How to Make Money Online for Beginners in 2021: 35 Ways to Do So

If you are a beginner looking to make money online, you have come to the right place. Here are 35 ways to make money online for beginners.

The internet has brought many opportunities to make money online even for beginners. While some opportunities may require some effort, many do not. For example, you can make money by completing surveys, leaving music reviews, watching videos, playing games, downloading cash-back apps, becoming a freelancer, and so much more.

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Characteristics of the methods to make money online for beginners

The methods documented below have some key characteristics that I think make them suitable to use for beginners:

They are easy to set up

First and foremost, all of these ways to make money online are suitable for beginners because they are easy to set up. Yes, you may need to register for an account, but it doesn’t go more complicated than that.

They are legitimate

No matter where you are in your online money-making journey, you always want to make sure that you make money through legitimate means, and that you avoid scams. Rest assured that all of these companies that offer money-making opportunities are legitimate ones with a good reputation.

They are not difficult to use

You do not need any in-depth knowledge in any field to understand how to use these strategies. Only general knowledge is required for you to start employing these methods to make money online as beginners.

They are not risky

Although there is, in general, a positive correlation between risk and rewards, as beginners with no experience in making money online, you do not want to invest in areas with high risk. These approaches recommended below are not risky: You do not need to put in money to make money.

Now that we have talked about the general characteristics of all of these approaches, let’s dive in!

Complete online surveys & music reviews

1. Earn free gift cards with MyPoints

If you want to earn free gift cards, you should consider using MyPoints. You can get paid by taking surveys, watching videos, reading emails, or even shopping online. Whenever you shop online at the over 1,900 top retailers, including Walmart, eBay and Amazon, available through the platform, you can earn points to be redeemed for gift cards! There are over 75 retail and restaurant partners that collaborate with MyPoints, including Amazon, Starbucks and Walmart. I am sure you will find at least one place that you shop at regularly.

Check out my comprehensive MyPoints review to learn more!

For a limited time, MyPoints is giving you $5 with your first five surveys. Hurry up and sign up for MyPoints! You don’t want to miss the offer!

2. Complete short tasks and surveys with Swagbucks

Swagbucks is another one of my favourite platforms to make money online as beginners. Swagbucks offers a variety of different tasks, including answering surveys, shopping at your favourite store, searching the web, watching videos, or playing games. Each time you complete a short task, you can earn a corresponding number of points, called SBs. You can then use the points to redeem for retailer gift cards or cash via PayPal.

Curious to learn more about Swagbucks? Check out my complete review on Swagbucks!

3. Complete surveys with Survey Junkie

Speaking of surveys, another popular survey site is Survey Junkie. Survey Junkie is a well-established community with over 10 million members. Not only can you earn cash by completing surveys, but you can also make money by sharing your digital browsing behaviours through SJ Pulse. The latter is a great passive way of making money. I highly recommend that you join the community and start making money today!

Check out my Survey Junkie review to learn more!

4. Get paid listen to music with Slice the Pie

Using Slice the Pie is certainly one of the most interesting and unique ways to make money as a beginner.

On this website, you earn money for every review you leave. It is the paradise for music lovers since you will get paid reviewing music, but you can also review items in fashion, mobile and homeware categories.

The better your review, the bigger the bonus payment. Slice the Pie encourages people to leave detailed reviews and will reward you for your time and effort!

You will get paid through PayPal once you reach the minimum payment of $10.

5. Join Opinion Outpost and get paid for doing surveys

Another reputable survey-paying site out there is Opinion Outpost. Again, you get paid for doing surveys, and signing up is very easy and completely free!

If you are in the US: Sign up here for Opinion Outpost.

If you are in Canada: Sign up here!

If you want to learn more about this survey platform, check out my comprehensive Opinion Outpost review!

6. Join InboxDollars to earn cash and gift cards

InboxDollars is one of the pioneering sites in the online rewards genre and it offers legit tasks in return for quick money. Yes, indeed. You can get paid by taking surveys that pay cash instantly!

In addition to paid surveys, InboxDollars also offers many other earning opportunities. You can play games, watch videos, and answer short opinion polls to earn points and redeem them for cash or gift cards. Sign up here for InboxDollars! 

Check out my InboxDollars review to learn more!

For a limited time, InboxDollars offers $5 for new users for just joining. Sign up for InboxDollars to receive the $5 offer today!
Looking for more options? Check out my comprehensive post on surveys that pay cash instantly!

Use cash-back apps or sites for your purchases

7. Join SmartyPlus to earn cash rebates

The SmartyPlus membership is your perfect online shopping companion. Savings, protection, and convenience at all of the stores you know and trust. Earn more cash back and get free shipping rebates on all your purchases at over 10,000 stores!

Sign up for SmartyPlus today to get $15 cashback on the first purchase, PLUS get up to 10% cash back with double rewards on future purchases!

8. Use Drop to earn cash awards

Online shopping has never been as ubiquitous as it is today. If you want to earn cash rewards for online shopping, you should add Drop to your app list. For every purchase you make, you will receive Drop points. So far, Drop has helped over 3 million users earn cash awards at stores like Amazon gift card, Netflix, and Starbucks. This app is very easy to use and suitable for beginners. You can link your credit and debit card accounts to track your purchases and unlock even more perks!

Want to learn more? Check out my comprehensive Drop app review today!

9. Join Rakuten to earn cash back rebates

Rakuten, formally known as Ebates, is another popular online cash-back shopping site in Canada and the US. You can earn a percentage of money back from every purchase you make through the site. Brands also offer hot deals and coupons specifically through Rakuten!

Rakuten has more than 2,500 stores from a wide array of categories listed, including many well-known brands like Dell, Walmart, Chapter-Indigo, and Amazon.

I have been using Rakuten since 2016, and have always remained a happy member!

10. Use a browser extension like Honey

Browser extensions, like Honey, easily help you find coupons and automatically apply them to your purchases so you can always get the best deals. You also get a great cash-back in the meantime!

Sign up for Honey today and earn 500 Gold ($5 equivalent) when you make your first qualifying purchase!

11. Use Ibotta to earn money online for your online purchases

Ibotta is a popular online cashback app in the US. For every single purchase that you make through ibotta, you will get cash back. The cash-backs add up! There are also in-app offers for you to take advantage of and save even more money!

Check out the Ibotta review to learn more!

12. Use Fetch to earn cash back on your groceries

Fetch Rewards is a free cashback app that focuses on groceries. After you buy groceries, simply upload pictures of your receipt, and you can earn cash back! You can cash out the rewards for as low as $3!

Interested in learning more? Check out my complete Fetch Rewards review today!

Become a freelancer

Freelancing gives you amazing exposure to the types of clients you get to work with. It also offers optimal flexibility, because you are not usually bound by a location or time (though you do have to meet the deadlines). As a beginner, you want to focus on freelancing opportunities in areas that you already excel at, whether it is website design, writing, or data entry.

Below are some great ways you can become a freelancer.

13. Become a DoorDash driver

If you have a car, you may want to take advantage of the booming delivery economy that is going on by becoming a DoorDash driver!

DoorDash is an online food ordering and food delivery service platform. Of course, they will need people to help their customers pick up food orders and deliver them to their houses. As a DoorDash driver, you can set your own time and your own goals, and be your own boss.

As a DoorDash driver, you can make between $18 and $25 per hour. 

Of course, DoorDash is only one of the many food delivery service platforms out there. Platforms like UberEats and SkipTheDishes also need motivated individuals like you to help their customers!

14. Turn your love for pets into income with Rover

Pet sitting is a great choice if you love animals and have experience living with them. Not to mention, pet sitting can be lucrative. Many people are willing to pay hundreds and thousands of dollars for their beloved furry friends to have a safe, loving, and fun home while they are away.

Rover is my top recommended site when it comes to pet sitting. Many Rover sitters earn $1000-1500 a month with just 20-25 hours of work. 

15. Become an Instacart Shopper

The philosophy of Instacart is simple. It is a grocery delivery service, and they require people to help their customers pick up groceries from stores and deliver them to their houses. You can either become a full-service shopper (you will likely need a car since you will be delivering orders) or an in-store shopper (no car required).

You can earn an hourly rate of $17.14 as a full-service shopper, and around $13.39 as an in-store shopper.

16. Join nDash to become a freelance writer

Other than pitching your ideas to individual magazines or other media outlets, you can also sign up for an account on a freelancing platform and advertise your service there. nDash is a great platform designed specifically for freelance writers. Not only will you be able to pitch companies directly, but you will also be able to browse assignments and apply for them. If you are good at writing, this side hustle can be a great source of online income for you.

17. Become a freelancer on Fiverr

Another popular site where you can look for work as a freelancer is Fiverr. If you want to be a virtual assistant, a freelance writer, a logo designer, a website designer, and more, you can advertise your services on Fiverr.

One unique category I found on Fiverr is that you can help others play games. If you love playing games, it may now be the time to monetize your hobby!

Check out my Ninja net worth article to learn how Ninja makes money playing games!

18. Become a freelancer on Upwork

Another popular destination for freelance jobs is UpWork. Many bloggers I know have hired people from this website. You can offer a variety of services there, including freelance writing, offering virtual assistance, data entry support, etc.

19. Become an online tutor

Another potentially lucrative way to make money online as beginners is to become an online tutor. If you excel academically, you can get paid really well with online tutoring services. Online tutoring also offers great flexibility as you can set the hours and the number of students you want to take on.

You can advertise your service on sites like Kijiji or Craiglist, or join a site like

20. Find tasks on TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit is a site that connects you with busy people in need of help with errands, home repairs, furniture assembly, cleaning, and so much more.

Like the freelance platforms that I mentioned above, you can decide when, how and where to work. Pick one or two areas from the 50+ categories that TaskRabbit offers, and start making some extra money! TaskRabbit also lets you keep 100% of your tips.

21. Submit interesting stories to magazines or other media outlets

Magazines and digital media sites are always looking for interesting stories. If you have a good story to tell, you may want to pitch your story to any publishers of interest.

This is actually how I got started with my blog. I pitched my idea to The Financial Diet, a well-known publisher in the personal finance space. After some back-and-forth with the editors, my article, The One-Time Money Routine That Saved Me $1,400 A Year, was published. It gave me a lot of confidence in my writing and encouraged me to start my own blog and document my own journeys.

Who knows, maybe you can turn a one-time gig into a profitable and steady side hustle!

Sell pre-owned stuff online

Chances are you have accumulated a lot of stuff throughout your life, many of which you may no longer use. Why not declutter your home and make some money online as well?

One important thing to keep in mind is that because you will most likely need to physically meet somebody to make a transaction, you want to make sure that safety comes first. Make sure you meet in a public place during the day.

22. Advertise your stuff on Kijiji/Craiglist/Amazon

This is actually the first thing I did when I started thinking about making money online over a decade ago. Over the years, I have successfully sold many things on sites like Kijiji, Craigslist, eBay or Amazon:

  • Textbooks
  • An old desktop
  • A bookshelf
  • A used desk
  • Earphones
  • A boxing punching bag

To be a successful online seller, you need to keep in mind the following:

  • Be honest about the conditions of your stuff
  • Take clear pictures so people know what you are offering
  • Do your research. Some of your old stuff can be worth a lot of money! Don’t sell yourself short.

23. Sell your clothes on Poshmark

Poshmark is the heaven of fashionistas. There are literally millions of pieces of clothes on this site. Not only can you purchase clothes, but you can also sell your gently worn and pre-owned clothes on the site!

Join a crowdsourcing marketplace

Many businesses are now looking at crowdsourcing their work to the general public. This trend creates opportunities for beginners to start making some extra cash on the side. Here are a few reputable crowdsourcing marketplaces worth checking out.

24. Join Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk)

Amazon Mechanical Turk is one of the most well-known crowdsourcing platforms out there. By signing up for MTurk, you can start working on various online jobs include conducting simple data validation and research, survey participation, content moderation, and more. 

25. Join Appen

Appen is a publicly-traded company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. As a machine intelligence company, Appen needs a lot of data points, and so it pays users to complete tasks through crowdsourcing. Once you sign up and fill out your profile, you will receive periodic email alerts informing you of opportunities you may be eligible for.

I have completed some tasks with Appen. The process is professional and easy to navigate through. It is certainly worth a try.

26. Test websites/mobile apps

Many companies also want real human input before launching their websites or mobile apps. This makes testing websites/apps a source of online income for beginners. Sign up for a site like UserTesting, and you can start making money while helping companies and future consumers!

Make money while having fun

It is possible to make money online without feeling like you are completing extra work. Here are some possible ways to do so:

27. Play games for money with Android app Mistplay

One reason many people are beginning to consider making money online is that they have some free time on hand. Mistplay not only enables you to make money in your free time, but it also makes it fun!

Mistplay is an awesome Android app that allows you to play games and make money. It is as easy as downloading the app on your Android phone, playing games, earning Mistplay units, and cashing out on gift cards. To maximize your income potential, make sure you take note of the games that offer higher value rewards.

What are you waiting for? Download Mistplay today (US or Canada)!

28. Lose Weight with HealthyWage

Losing weight may not exactly be fun: it takes a ton of hard work and dedication to shed a few pounds. However, if you already want to lose weight, why not gamify the process and use HealthyWage?

The concept of HealthyWage is simple: you make a bet on how much weight you can lose. When you achieve your goal, you win real money!

Of course, keep in mind that you should lose weight in a healthy manner. Never go to the extremes to win prize money. It is never worth it.

29. Enter free giveaways online

If you think “oh I will never win these giveaways”, think again! You may actually be surprised at your odds your winning: with so many brands (and yes, I have run a few myself) wanting your attention, your odds are not as low as you think!

Here are some of the most well-known giveaway sites that you can use. I have advertised on all of these sites myself and entered a few giveaways.

  • True Sweepstakes
  • Giveaway frenzy
  • Sweepgrab
  • Contest Girl

Leverage your social media platforms

If you enjoy using social media and have built a following, now is time to make some money! Whether you have a blog, a YouTube channel, a TikTok account, or an active Instagram/Twitter/Facebook account, all of the methods below are applicable.

30. Make money through ads

Advertising income is one of the easiest ways to make money online as beginners if you have a social media platform. Although it takes perhaps millions of views to make a very good living (like Jacksepticeye, for example), it doesn’t take long to make some extra money on the side. I myself started making ads money only a few months into blogging.

For some of the platforms, making money through ads is as easy as turning the option on in your Settings. For others, you may need to apply to join ad networks. If you are a beginner blogger, Google Adsense is usually the first step. You can get approved relatively easily as long as you have a functioning site that you update regularly.

Once you go through a simple approval process, you can start placing ads on your site. Any time a visitor views or clicks on an ad, you will receive some revenue.

The ability to join an ad network was one of the key reasons why I decided to self-host with Bluehost. Most free blogging platforms don’t allow third-party ad networks.

For me personally, I have joined Ezoic ad network. It pays quite a bit better than Google AdSense. If you have over 5,000 pageviews a month, you should definitely consider applying for it! Sign up for ezoic here!

31. Generate income from affiliate marketing

Another easy way to make money as beginners by leveraging your social media platforms is to participate in affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate (aka, you) earns a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products. If you enjoy a certain product and service, it doesn’t hurt to let more people know about them, and get paid at the same time, right?

Of course, because you are recommending a certain product or service, you want to first make sure that the product or service is actually of real value to your readers. After all, you do not want to be associated with a product that is of poor quality. It will hurt your reputation in the long run.

A great place to start is to turn your blog into an Amazon affiliate site by joining the Amazon Associates Program. You can earn a commission on basically anything that someone buys on Amazon through your link.

Check out my blog post to learn more ways to make money on Amazon!

32. Become a social media influencer or brand ambassador

If you have a large following on social media, you can become a social media influencer or brand ambassador. You may be surprised to learn that you do not need millions of followers to be a successful social media influencer or brand ambassador. Brands are also interested in working with Micro- or nano-influencers, who may have a few as a few hundred followers.

Again, similar to affiliate marketing, you want to make sure that the products or services you promote are in line with your personal value and are of good quality.

Speaking of social media, if you haven’t already, please follow me on Twitter or Instagram!

Earn passive income with savings accounts & investing

33. Park your emergency fund in a high-interest savings account

If you are looking to make more money with your emergency fund, you will want to select a high-interest savings account online. An online high-interest savings account is the perfect solution if you want the money to be accessible at any time, and if you want to make a bit more interest than what the big banks typically offer.

If you are a Canadian resident looking for a great savings account, you will want to check out EQ Bank, which offers one of the best high-interest savings accounts, TFSA and RSP!

To learn more, check out my comprehensive EQ Bank review!

If you do not have an emergency fund yet, it is time to start saving for one. I recommend that you set aside at least three months of your essential expenses to cover emergencies.

34. Invest your spare change with Acorns

If investing scares you a little bit, Acorns is a good place to start. It is the leading micro-investing app in the U.S. There is no minimum amount required to open an account, and it only takes 5 minutes to set up.

Acorns is particularly suitable for beginners who are looking for a relatively easy solution to grow your money. It also allows you to set an automatic Recurring Investment, starting at just $5 a day, week or month. Now, instead of seeing your spare change go to frivolous spending, you can actually watch it grow in your Acorns wallet!

For a limited time, Acorns is offering a $20 bonus when you make your first investment of just $5. Sign up directly for Acorns here, or check out my Acorns review to learn more!

35. Invest with Moka if you are in Canada

Acorns is the micro-investing app in the US. The Canadian counterpart is Moka. Setting up your account is super easy and hassle-free. Moka lets you round up your purchases and invest the spare change automatically. They also help you negotiate your bills so you pay less for your phone, internet and cable.

Save more, spend less, and invest smarter with Moka!

Key things to remember when making money online as beginners

Now that we have talked about the 50 ways you can make money online as beginners, let me walk through some key items that you should keep in mind when making money online.

It is okay to try many methods, but only continue using them if they suit you.

As you can see in this blog post, there are at least 50 ways you can make money online. It is okay to pick a few ideas and try them out, but you do not want to be consumed with these methods. You should only continue using some of these approaches if they add to your life. Do not be afraid of ditching the methods if they don’t work for you.

Prioritize other aspects of your life

There are so many other aspects of your life that deserve your attention, even if some of them do not make you money (in fact, they may actually cost you money). Life is too short to be spent for the sole purpose of accumulating wealth. If you haven’t been on a proper date with your significant other for a while, it is time to prioritize him/her instead of working on another side hustle. If your kids are yearning for your attention, it is play-time, not play-with-your-phone time.

Conclusion on how to make money online for beginners

There you have it, some best ways to make money online for beginners. Which ones of these methods have you tried? Which ones work for you, and which ones don’t? Share your experiences in the comments down below!


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