Living in a technology-enabled world means there are real ways to make money online. Sure, there are get-rich-quick schemes out there, but more people than ever are making a good living from the money they make online.
With a laptop and solid internet connection, you can do anything from start a freelancing business, run a blog, or even find ways to make money online fast. The 19 ideas on this list are legitimate opportunities to make money online from home.
18 Ways to Make Money Online Fast From Your Laptop
1. Take online surveys
If you’re looking for easy money online, taking online surveys is the first place to start. Surveys sites help companies gain valuable market research so they can improve their products and services.
Survey sites all work pretty much the same way. You sign up with an email address, enter demographic information about yourself, and then start finding surveys to take. Surveys can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, and you can make money from your laptop or phone.
Many survey companies pay in points that you convert to cash or gift cards, and you can realistically expect to make $1-$5 per survey.
You won’t be eligible for every single survey you try because companies are often trying to survey specific demographics of people. But the more information you add to your profile, the more surveys you’ll be matched with.
Survey Junkie is a company I highly recommend. In addition to surveys, you can make easy money online using their browser extension, through online focus groups, phone surveys, and product testing.
Taking surveys online isn’t going to make you rich by any means, but it’s a fast way to put some extra money in your pocket.
2. Manage Facebook ads for businesses
Right after I quit my job as a teacher to run this site full time, I started running Facebook ads for local businesses. I didn’t have any previous training or experience with marketing or advertising, and I learned everything online by watching YouTube videos and reading how-to guides.
You can make around $1,000-$1,500/month per client running Facebook ads. After I was running ads for a couple of months, I started to outearn what I made as a teacher.
The best part: it only took about 2-3 hours per week to manage ads for one client, and I was on my laptop making extra money from the comfort of my home.
This is still one of my favorite side hustles to tell people about because there is still a lot of opportunities out there for new Facebook marketers. More than ever, Small businesses need affordable and effective ways to tell people about their business. Facebook’s robust ad platform offers advanced ad targeting capabilities so business owners can get the most out of their ad spend.
I’ve put together everything I learned about Facebook ads into a comprehensive course to teach you everything you need to know to make money online running Facebook ads.
The Facebook Side Hustle Course teaches you:
- How to use Facebook’s ad platform
- What kind of businesses need these services
- How to find those business owners and get them to say “yes” to your services
3. Start a blog
IMO, starting a blog is one of the best ways to make money online. It isn't the fastest on this list, but the upside potential is definitely the highest. For example, a blog called The Penny Hoarder recently sold for $100 million (and no that's not a typo).
I started this blog back in 2015, but even now in 2021, blogging is a viable way to make money online. You can take a passion, interest, skills, or hobby and turn it into a profitable blog. There are lots of monetization options: affiliate marketing, sponsorships, sales of digital products, display ads, consulting, coaching, freelancing, and course sales.
Blogging legitimately changed my life. I used to hate my job, and now I wake up in the morning, pull out my laptop, and write about things I genuinely love to talk about.
Even though it takes considerable work to build a highly profitable blog, it’s extremely affordable to get started. You can start a blog for as little as $2.95/month when you start a blog using my exclusive Bluehost link.
You can learn more in my in-depth guide: How to Start a Blog – An Easy Step-by-Step Guide for 2021.
4. Test websites
Testing websites is another way to make easy money online. It’s similar to taking online surveys in that companies are willing to pay for customer feedback.
With website testing, you make money online by visiting websites and using apps and then answering questions about your experience. The goal is to help companies create a better user experience for their customers.
UserTesting.com is one of the most reputable testing sites, and they pay $10 for each 20-minute test you complete. All you need is an email address to sign up, and you’ll also need to complete a sample test before you are officially approved.
5. Sell gently used clothes online
I bet that if you looked through your closet you could find a basketful of clothes, shoes, and accessories to sell online. Selling stuff online is one of the fastest ways to make money online right now – sometimes it’s even same day cash depending on how you sell your stuff.
As far as clothes go, here are a few ways to sell things:
- Poshmark: This site is for on-trend gently used men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing and shoes. You set your own prices and are contacted when someone is interested in buying.
- ThredUp: ThredUp is the largest online thrift and consignment shop for women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. You can request a free Clean Out bag, which you fill with gently used, on-trend items and ship back to ThredUp. ThredUp has high standards, so they won’t accept everything you submit. But you get paid for the items they keep.
- Facebook Marketplace: Using Facebook is a really easy way to sell clothes (or anything else!) online. Besides Marketplace, you can also sell in local buy/sell/swap groups.
- Depop: This platform skews towards a younger audience, and is especially great for unique, handmade, and on-trend items. There are no fees to sell or buy on Depop.
- eBay: Selling on eBay is another option to make money online selling clothes, but it’s also a good platform to sell collectibles, sports equipment, home goods, antiques, and more.
6. Get cash for your old electronics
If you want to make fast money online, I highly recommend going through and seeing if there are any electronics, video games, DVDs, phones, or other devices you are no longer using.
Decluttr is one way to easily make money online with old electronics. You simply scan the barcode or search for what you’re selling in the Decluttr app. They give you a price and send you a free shipping label to send it to their warehouse.
Once Decluttr receives your item, they pay you via PayPal or direct deposit.
Decluttr is a solid site to sell smartphones, video game consoles, video games, tablets, and more.
7. Sell your unused gift cards
I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a stash of gift cards I will never use or ones that are partially used. Selling unused or partially unused gift cards is one of the really easy ways to make money online.
Raise and Cardpool are two legitimate platforms for selling your gift cards. Instead of letting those gift cards sit in your wallet or drawer, why not make extra money with them?
8. Online data entry
Data entry is repetitive work, but it’s an extremely flexible way to make money online from home. Most data entry jobs these days are helping with machine learning tasks that help artificial intelligence work even better.
Because humans are still better than computers at doing a lot of things, like evaluating speech and annotating images, companies pay for quick machine learning tasks.
Data entry does not require any previous experience, and there is a growing list of companies offering data entry jobs from home. One of the most well-known ones is Amazon MTurk. It’s a crowdsourcing marketplace where you can get paid to do research, validate data, and moderate content.
9. Cashback when you shop
Getting paid cashback for shopping as you normally do is one of the easiest ways to make money online in 2021.
Ibotta is an app that you download to your phone and then earn cashback when you visit certain retailers’ websites through the Ibotta app. It’s usually a percentage back on your total purchase.
Ibotta works with over 300 major nationwide retailers, like Target, Home Depot, REI, Domino’s Pizza, Glossier, Gamestop, and many more.
You can also claim offers in the app and then upload your receipt when you shop in-store.
Ibotta will process payments within 48 hours of earning your cashback and pay you via PayPal or Venmo.
10. Tutor online
When I was still working as a high school band teacher, I remember that many of my students had outside tutoring to help them with specific subjects or test prep. Parents are willing to pay good money to get academic support for their kids.
If there is a specific subject you excel at, becoming an online tutor is a good way to make money online.
Wyzant is an online tutoring platform that I highly recommend. Tutors set their own rates and schedules. You can make anywhere from $35-$100/hour tutoring online depending on the subject and your experience.
11. Sell your photos
Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, you can make money online selling your photos.
Sites like Shutterstock, Twenty20, Adobe Stock, Getty Images, and Alamy are all platforms where you can license your images to be used as stock photos. You typically don’t get paid until one of your photos is used, but it can turn into a fairly passive way to make money online.
12. Watch videos and play games
This sounds like an easy way to make money online – and it is – but you’re not going to make a lot of money. I still wanted to list it because it’s such an easy option in 2021.
If you’re interested, I recommend Swagbucks. This is a 100% legitimate site that pays points when you watch videos, play games, and answer surveys through their platform. Swagbucks pays in points that you convert to cash.
As I said, it’s not a ton of money here – Swagbucks pays 1-2 points for watching videos, which translates to $0.01-$0.02. Think of it as an alternative to Netflix or games on your phone, because Swagbucks pays you for your time.
13. Start an Etsy shop
For creative people, starting an Etsy business gives you the option to make money online while still feeling like you can get hands-on with your arts or crafts. There are legitimately so many options for selling on Etsy, including:
- Snapchat filters – I just learned about this one
- Home decor
- Wedding decor, invites, attire, and more
- Baby items – my wife decorated our son’s nursery almost exclusively with stuff she bought on Etsy
- Printables – things like invites, checklist, planner pages, calendar sheets, thank you cards, gift tags, etc. Learning how to sell e-printables on Etsy can turn into a really passive side hustle because you’re selling digital files that can be sold and delivered indefinitely without much work on your end
14. Create an online course
There’s a lot of income potential with teaching online courses. It’s been a part of my business model for a couple of years, but you don’t need a blog to sell courses online.
One of my readers leveraged her background in graphic design to create a series of extremely successful courses that she sells on Udemy and Skillshare. Her courses typically sell for around $20, and she’s making around $60,000 a month in sales.
The most successful courses help people solve a problem or teach a marketable skill. I am a big believer that video-based courses are the way to go. They’re great for visual learners and you can give an over-the-shoulder look at how you’re doing things.
Creating a course may sound like a big undertaking, but you start with a larger topic and break it down into the most important things or steps someone needs to know. Then, divide each of those steps into short 5-10 minute lessons.
As far as selling your courses, which can turn into a pretty passive way to make money online because you’re not actively teaching, I highly recommend Teachable – it’s what I use for my courses.
If Teachable doesn’t fit your price point or if you want more features, here’s a comprehensive list of the best online course platforms for 2021.
15. Become a freelance writer
With more and more brands focusing on content marketing, companies are increasingly interested in hiring skilled freelance writers to create great content for their websites. Freelance writers are hired to write articles, blog posts, ad copy, sales pages, emails, and more.
You don’t need to have a background in English, journalism, or creative writing to make money as a freelance writer. It doesn’t hurt, but the most important thing is that you know how to write well.
The hardest part of getting started is learning how to find a niche and market yourself, but you can learn more about how to get started in How to Become a Freelance Writer. This article explains how to find a niche, courses to jumpstart your career, and how to start building your portfolio.
16. Start a freelance business
Writing isn’t the only freelance business idea to make money online in 2021. There are now over 57 million freelancers in the U.S., and more and more businesses have started outsourcing to freelancers.
Here are some freelance business ideas to consider.
- Web development: There’s a growing need for web developers who can work with coding languages like Java, Ruby on Rails, Python, etc.
- Transcriptionists: Take audio or video files and turn them into text documents. You can make money as a general, medical, or legal transcriptionist.
- Proofreading: If you are good at spotting punctuation and grammatical errors, freelance proofreading is a really flexible way to make money online.
- Bookkeeping: Bookkeepers manage payroll, billing, keep track of business transactions, and prepare reports. You do not need a background in accounting to work online as a bookkeeper.
I recommend starting by leveraging an existing skill because you can make money faster if you’re spending less time learning a skill. But if you’re up for learning a new skill, look for areas where there’s a high need for new workers, like digital marketing (i.e. Facebook ads).
According to a study done by UpWork – a well-known freelancing platform – freelancers say they love the way they work because it’s so flexible. Some say that they can make more freelancing compared to what they would make at a traditional 9-5 job.
17. Work online as a virtual assistant
This is technically another way to make money online as a freelancer, but there’s such a high need for virtual assistants that I wanted to give it it’s own section.
Virtual assistants (or VAs) are people who work online from home and help business owners use their time more effectively. If there’s a task that can be done by someone else, like running reports or scheduling blog posts, having a virtual assistant handle those jobs frees up time for the business owner to handle high-level work.
I have several VAs that help me run this site, and I honestly couldn’t do what I do without them. One of my VAs manages my schedule, does keyword research, does email inbox management, and pays the people on my team. She’s a huge asset to me and my business.
Virtual assistants can make $15-$25/hour depending on the kind of skills they offer and what their clients need.
18. Write an ebook
This isn’t fast money online because you have to write an entire book, but ebooks don’t need to fit the traditional book format, meaning that they don’t have to be 200-300+ page novels.
An ebook can be much shorter, and you don’t have to go through the traditional publication steps when you publish a book on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).
Amazon KDP makes it easy to upload, list, and sell your book on Amazon. These are considered self-published books, and your book is available for purchase worldwide 24-48 hours after you hit the publish button.
The final word on how to make money online fast
Technology has opened the door to more and more opportunities to make money online.
It’s a solid side hustle for those who want to make money in addition to their 9-5. Making money from home is great for parents of small kids. But it’s also become a necessity for where we are in the world right now.
People want the safety and flexibility of working from home.
The best way to make money online will depend on the kind of commitment you are willing to make. Do you want something simple and mindless like taking surveys on Survey Junkie? Or are you willing to put in the time to start a blog?
Think about what you’re interested in, what kind of skills you have, and your financial goals.
There’s something online for everyone.
Yes, it’s definitely possible to make $100/day online. You can sell things online, manage Facebook ads, freelance, run a blog, and more.
If you want the fastest way to make $100 in one day, then I would start by finding things in your home that you’re willing to get rid of. You’ll need to price things to sell, and selling on Facebook is probably the fastest option for same-day payments. But be safe when you meet people!
Many of the online jobs I mentioned in this article have the potential to net you a steady $1,000 a month or more. Running Facebook ads, for example, pays $1,000 to $1,500/month per client. Once you have the ad system set up and running, it takes around 2-3 hours a week to manage ads for one client.
A number of the students who have taken my Facebook Side Hustle Course are now running their own digital marketing agencies and hitting the $5,000 to $10,000 a month mark running Facebook ads.
Selling your stuff is the fastest way to start making money. It’s not a sustainable business idea unless you start doing something like flea market flipping, but it’s quick cash.
The sign-up process is quick, and you can usually start driving in about a week.