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5 Ways to Make a Side Income Online

Illustration: Online freelancer woman with laptop

It’s not uncommon for people to want to (or need to) find additional sources of income. The reasons don’t matter much — some people have gaps in their income that need filling, while others have no income at all. 

Students often need to make some money on the side, as well. And commonly enough, side jobs can turn out to be an excellent creative outlet. In that sense, you’ll see that plenty of people don’t even care about the side income. They do it because it’s a passion of theirs.

We’ll say it’s a safe bet you’re reading this today because you actually need an additional source of income. Not a hobby. And to you, we can only say that online side jobs are an excellent deal. You get to set your own schedule and work as many side jobs as you like, going as far as becoming a full-time freelancer.

What’s crucial is figuring out what you can do online. You’ll need all the information you can get since there are quite a number of scams going around. One thing to remember is that if you want to make money online, you’ll need to put some work in. Don’t trust any schemes offering fast roads to riches, claiming you’ll be making X amount of dollars per minute.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s see what gigs are worth putting your time into.

Popular Online Jobs

You can make money online doing various kinds of things. Some require higher education, while some are menial tasks that your potential client just doesn’t want to do themselves. On the other hand, there are jobs that require a keen and creative mind. By far, the most popular ones are:

  • Content writer
  • Online tutor
  • Reseller
  • Social media manager
  • Virtual assistant

These jobs are a great place to start and there’s no shortage of them.

Content Writer

Content writers create the core of every website. If you haven’t already heard, content is king. Without it, websites are a mess of code and empty advertising campaigns.

You can work as a content writer on your own, as a freelancer. It will be up to you to reach out to potential clients and establish valuable connections. You’ll also be in charge of financials as well as marketing. 

A freelancer needs to be his own one-man company and keep the business running. You can get started on one of the work platforms such as Upwork, where content writers usually earn from $15 to $80 per hour.

Of course, no one is the master of their own time as much as a freelancer is. You are your own boss, working from the comfort of your home.

The alternative is becoming a part of a content writing company. If you decide to work for a content writing agency, you’ll be less in charge of your time than as a freelancer. However, you get a more stable source of income that’s not as volatile as when you’re on your own.

Online Tutor

Much like content writers, online tutors can wing it on their own, or join one of the preexisting tutor platforms. Whichever path you take, you’ll become a part of the $100 billion industry.

Being a tutor in a foreign language is by far the most popular option available to you. If you’ve ever felt like you have an outstanding hang of any language, you can offer your expertise online and help others master it as well. And while it’s mostly language tutoring that takes place online, you can teach literally anything and share any knowledge that you possess.

You can advertise your services on one of the job platforms such as Freelancer or Upwork. Again, you’ll have incredible flexibility that way, but it will take some time to build up a good reputation.

On the other hand, online tutor companies exist to get both the tutors and the students together on their platform. If you want to play it safe, there’s no better way to do it than to join such a platform. You’ll have as many students as you want, usually in time slots of your choosing.

However, you’ll either have to pay a commission on your earnings or it will already be prebuilt into the rate that the company’s willing to pay you for the lessons. On top of that, they might ask you for a certificate to prove you have some kind of formal education in your field of expertise.


There are many ways how you can become a reseller and even more types of goods for you to sell. It’s an industry that’s bound to keep growing, with various forecasts valuing it at $64 billion within five years.

First, you need to figure out what it is you’d like to resell. Our advice? Go for something that you know a lot about. It can be anything you like: clothes, electronics, adult toys, makeup, and anything and everything in between.

The adult toy industry, in particular, seems to be growing in popularity these days. Surprisingly enough, there are dozens of benefits of becoming an adult toy reseller. Most of the benefits stem from the aforementioned increase in popularity. 

A part of it has to do with the advancements in technology, allowing for the most innovative and imaginative toys. Another important part has to do with the corona virus pandemic. Plenty of people found that experimenting with sex toys is the perfect way to pass time under these circumstances.

Based on the product you settle on, you’ll need to find a wholesaler to supply you with the items. Once you have your reseller plan all worked out, you’ll need a place to actually sell your goods. Any number of websites serve that purpose — eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc. You can even start your own website, or use apps such as Poshmark and Tradesy.

Social Media Manager

Most business owners are aware of how valuable social media can be for their exposure. Whether you like it or not, there’s no denying that social media can get you all the time in the limelight you could ask for. But most of the businesses don’t know how to go about it.

That’s where you, the social media manager, step in and take care of it. It’ll take quite a bit of time before you build a reputation as an effective social media manager, but it’s well worth the effort. After all, 71% of customers say they’re likely to recommend the brand to other people if they’ve had positive social media service experience with it.

You could charge a sizable monthly fee for each business to help manage their social media accounts. Of course, you’ll probably have to start low before you create a positive track record. But it can be a great side hustle that has a massive potential to turn into a full-time gig.

Virtual Assistant

Finally, you can always become someone’s virtual assistant. Your job won’t differ much from that of a regular assistant. You’ll run all sorts of errands and make all the necessary arrangements for your client.

Of course, not everyone is cut out to be a virtual assistant. If you feel like you can’t manage your own time properly and always find yourself running late or forgetting things, then it’s highly unlikely you’ll do too well as a virtual assistant to someone else.

It’s a job that requires a considerable amount of efficient organization, effort, and focus. However, if you find all those qualities come to you naturally, then being a virtual assistant presents a low-friction entry point into the digital services industry.

The reason it’s low-friction is that it’s quite easy to get into without prior experience. Depending on your client, it can also be quite low-stress. The fact that 59% of virtual assistants turn this side job into their main source of revenue speaks to the quality of this occupation.


Make sure to do your research before accepting anything. If you decide to freelance, it will be up to you to learn about the client (and the business). If you join an online company, it should be a bit safer and more secure, but be vigilant. As we’ve said, there are a lot of scams and you need to be on your guard.

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, so proceed with caution. After all, you need to set your expectations correctly. Online gigs are not maps to hidden treasure. But put in time and effort, learn your trade, work on yourself, and you just might find a profitable source of side income.

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