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Top 10 Realistic Ways to Earn Money Online

7th May 2024 | 14 Views

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The very core principle of earning money is based on a single factor – are you a consumer or a service provider? A consumer can only spend money, never earn it. A service provider on the other hand charges money. To put it simply, if you want to earn money online, you need to shift from being an online consumer to an online service provider, whatever service that maybe.

There are hundreds of different ways to earn, but we will explore the most popular side hustles that actually work.

1. Blog Writing

Writing blog posts is a popular way to earn online. The #blog creator gets paid based on #advertising revenue generated and other methods. You can write on well-established platforms like Medium, Vocal Media, Milyin, etc. Another option is to host your own blog via Blogger, WordPress or a self-hosted website.

Websites like #Medium and Vocal Media pay writers based on full reads and engagement by members. Most other platforms like #Blogger and #WordPress including self-hosted blogs pay using ad revenue. Whenever someone clicks on an ad, you get paid a % based on #AdSense rates.


  • You have full control over the topics and contents you write.
  • Write at your own pace, there is no deadline to meet.


  • To earn via ad revenues, you need to have an approved Google AdSense account, which is not easy. You need good amount of quality content and need to follow strict guidelines to get an AdSense account approved.
  • You need to drive a high amount of organic traffic to your blog posts by sharing across social media, friend’s circle, etc.
  • It is time-consuming to build up a significant number of followers.
  • Self-hosted websites have its own expenses like buying a domain name, hosting your website, etc.

2. Selling Stock Photos

If you are into #photography or graphic design, try selling photos or #digital art on websites like Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, etc. Stock photos can be photographs you have taken or graphically designed. Whenever someone purchases any of your images, you earn a royalty based on a % commission offered by the platform.


  • There is no need to shoot or edit videos or create contents.
  • No AdSense account needed for monetization.
  • Best passive way to earn income once you have the photos uploaded, no effort needed by the contributor.


  • No earnings when there is no sale.
  • Photo reviews often take few weeks, so the earnings are not immediate.
  • Photos that are not high-resolution or not meeting the requirements of the platforms will not get approved.

3. Print on Demand Services

Print on demand websites give solid earnings like Merch on Amazon, Redbubble, #Etsy, etc. You’ll need to come up with unique eye-catching designs that are advertised on products such as t-shirts, mugs, notebooks, phones cases, bags, etc. When the products are sold, the print on demand service such as #Amazon, #Printify or #Redbubble take care of printing the digital product and also ships it to customers.


  • This is the laziest way to sell #merchandise, no need to manufacture, ship or provide customer support.
  • The platforms usually take care of printing your product on the given merchandise and shipping it to the customer. All you need to do is come up with creative designs, just can’t get easier than that.


  • It is difficult to get approved by platforms like Merch on Amazon, acceptances are time consuming and not easy to achieve. Amazon particularly isn’t very transparent about its acceptance or rejection criteria.
  • You need to take extra care not to violate any #copyrights. If images, designs or fonts designed by you appear similar to any copyrighted design, you will be hit by a copyright strike and your products will get unlisted. Some people might even have their accounts suspended.

4. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate programs allow users to earn commissions by selling products online. Using affiliate platforms, you can generate your links to any online products and advertise those links in your blog, articles, social media, videos, etc. If anyone buys any item using your custom link, you earn the commission for the sales.  Amazon, #eBay, Click Banks, #Shopify are well-known #affiliate programs.


  • No acceptance criteria, anyone can sign up for affiliate marketing.
  • Another lazy way to earn a passive income, generate links, post them in as many places as possible and then wait for purchases to happen.
  • If you already have social media accounts with huge number of followers, such as Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and so on, it’s easy to promote affiliate marketing links.


  • If you are new to social media, then is will take time to build up followers and drive significant traffic to your posts and videos that house the affiliate links.
  • It’s not easy to sell affiliate products unless you have a huge number of subscribers, because the probability of people making actual purchases of the products are rare, most customer directly browse the shopping websites.

5. Freelancing

This involves selling your technical skills to online customers and businesses. It can be any skills like website development, content writing, programming, video editing, animation, graphic design, among many others. You can advertise your services on #freelancing platforms such as, #Fiverr and #Upwork. Customers post their requirements, and you can bid for various tasks. If you get the job, you get paid once you finish it satisfactorily within the set time.


  • Freelancers can set their own rates for different tasks.
  • You can start earning quick bucks right away if you can get tasks to work on.


  • Some platforms like Upwork needs freelancers to prepare a pitch based on which the customer will decide whether to give you the task. There may be many bidders for the same task, so the pitching part is wasted effort unless you win the bid.
  • It may be initially difficult to get frequent and regular jobs until you build up a good rating for yourself by working on whatever tasks come along.
  • There are deadlines to meet once you take up a job.
  • Freelancers don’t get the contacts of your customers, for obvious reasons. So, they are always dependent on the platforms to find work.

6. Social Media Content Creation

Most of us are familiar with the #partnership programs offered by YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. While there are many other social media sites you can earn from, these are the most popular and effective platforms to generate significant income. You can post videos, reels, shorts and images on these platforms and once you reach a stipulated number of followers and watch hours, you become eligible for monetization.


  • You can choose what content to create and when to post.
  • Once monetized, it’s easy to get a steady income out of platforms like YouTube.


  • As a content creator, shooting and then editing videos require a lot of effort.
  • It is very easy to get demonetized if your channel becomes inactive.
  • Besides, copyright strikes and repetitive content can also cause demonetization.
  • You need to constantly keep your viewers engaged by coming up with unique content, else the platforms stop promoting your videos.

7. Publishing eBooks

Amazon KDP and Google Play Books are two of the best ways to earn by #publishing your own #ebooks. You can compose high, medium or low-content books and earn good amount of royalty for every book sold.

Fictions, self-developments books and documentaries comprise high content books. Painting and coloring books, handwriting and activity books fall under the medium content category. Anything else such as journals, notebooks and others form low content books.


  • It’s easy to publish books on both the platforms without having to undergo rigorous checks.
  • You don’t need AdSense account to sell books.


  • The biggest menace in book publishing is the high probability of copyright violations, especially if you are using contents or images generated using AI, not surprising as most AI tools use the internet to generate contents.
  • Recently, platforms like Amazon KDP have been cracking down on low-content books as they tend to be repetitive in their contents.
  • Accounts can get suspended for the smallest compliance violations. As your product line grows, you need to be more and more cautious about strict adherence to the platform guidelines, as account suspension means you lose all your pending payments, regular buyers and ratings.

8. Gaming Websites

Another option is gaming sites like Bitcoin Solitaire, Bitcoin Bingo, etc. These pay players in gift cards or crypto coins for each play or win. You can immediately with withdraw these crypto coins to your crypto currency accounts such as Coinbase.


  • Since most earning platforms require contributors to be at least 18 and have a valid bank account or alternate payment methods, most teenagers wishing to earn online cannot do so. Gaming websites is a good beginning as many pay through gift cards.


  • Gaming doesn’t give as much earning as the other methods discussed above, its just a lazy way to earn pocket money if you are already a game addict.
  • It’s easy to get scammed by gaming sites. Anything that asks you to invest money to play, like #rummy and #casino games, are huge #scams. I have never heard of anyone making money by playing card games online. Most games are fixed and it’s impossible to earn anything after your initial winnings.

9. Tasks Completion

Many crowd sourcing sites like Swagbucks, Inbox Dollars and similar platforms pay users to watch ads, complete small tasks, answer surveys, etc. Payment is provided via gift vouchers or cash withdrawal after the user accumulates the minimum payout amount.


  • These platforms require literally no skills for earning.
  • No need to have followers, drive traffic, have good ratings, just do the task and earn.


  • The number of ads and tasks available are dependent on your location and often limited depending on the residing countries.
  • The earnings from these websites are very low, as expected from any work that doesn’t need skills.

10. Online Surveys

Many websites like PaidViewPoints and Eureka are dedicated to paid #surveys and allow users to complete a fixed number of daily surveys. Payment is provided via gift vouchers or cash withdrawal after the user accumulates the minimum payout amount.


  • Just fill up the survey and earn, no other skills needed.
  • No need to have followers, drive traffic, have good ratings, just do the survey and earn.


  • Filling up surveys take time and can get tedious.
  • Data can be misused, so never disclose any sensitive details like name, address, social identifiers, etc.
  • The earnings from these websites are very low, as expected from any work that doesn’t need skills.


There are multiple side hustles that offer passive income. But none of them will replace your day job overnight. Remember that no platform will give away easy dollars, ultimately, they are trying to make profits for themselves. Their primary goal is to drive traffic to their websites and earn via ad revenue and affiliate marketing.

All of them have minimum payout amounts, which limits the prospect of earning for any beginners. So don’t fall for false promises that offer easy money, it’s simply not possible. Contribute to a familiar niche that you enjoy, sell quality content, gradually build up your followers and you’ll start getting stable income eventually.

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