Want GENUINE ways to make money online in the UK and abroad? Don’t want surveys or crazy schemes which sound too good to be true? Don’t worry- I make money from home every day and in this post I’ll share the best and most genuine ways to make money from home or as you travel.
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Ways to Make Money Online- the problem
Oh, we’ve all seen the adverts, boasting how you can “make money online today with Paypal”, “make money online for free” and, my personal favourite, “make money online INSTANTLY”.
I mean, come on. If that doesn’t say ‘too good to be true”, I don’t know what does!
But what if you’re looking for genuine ways to make money online, either in the UK or abroad? What if you want or need to work from home, earn as you travel, or would just like more flexibility in your work life?
As I’m writing this, the world has changed immeasurably. We’ve been through ‘the crisis’ and many people are now working from home. Many more have found themselves needing to find a new income- and find it fast.
So, if that’s you, let’s find you the best ways to make some extra money online, either in your spare time or as an online business.
How I genuinely make money online in UK (and abroad!)
I’m aware that there are MANY schemes and get-rich-quick ideas floating around. There are plenty of results in the search engines offering easy side gigs, free bets and other seemingly easy options which are usually fake or a scam.
However, it is perfectly possible to make a living online, either from the comfort of your own home or while travelling. I myself quit my job as an air traffic controller several years ago in order to travel more– and I now make a full-time income as a travel blogger, van life YouTuber and writer. So you’re in a good place to learn from someone who’s actually done (and doing!) it!
Still, I remember how daunting it can be when you’re trying to make money online as a beginner. The good news is, there are LOADS more options now then there used to be, even a few years ago.
So let’s look at some of the genuine ways to make money online in the UK and overseas. None of these are instant solutions which will give you money today (or maybe even tomorrow), but they WILL all earn you a decent extra income within 12 months if you work hard at building it up.
Before we get started, if you’re working at home with kids, you’re DEFINITELY going to need ways to keep them occupied so you can work. Here are 14 easy quiet activities for kids– you NEED these to save your sanity!
Passive income vs Active Income
The first thing for you to understand is that there are different types of income. The most important ones are passive income and active income
Passive income is when you earn money without doing anything after the initial start-up, often literally while you sleep.
Example of this are:
- renting out a spare room
- renting out a parking space
- renting out your house while you travel
- writing a book which then sells without you advertising it
- creating an online course
- Getting a pension could also be a form of passive income as you don’t have to do anything to get it.
It is basically things which don’t require a lot of time and money input from you to maintain or work on to get income regularly.
Semi-Passive Income is slightly more ‘hands-on’ then completely passive income and requires a little more work.
For example, putting up a YouTube video (once your channel is monetised) will then continue to bring in passive income via Google AdSense, but requires a lot of upfront work to create the video.
If I add affiliate marketing links into a blog post or YouTube video and people click them (meaning I earn a small commission as a referral fee), that’s also passive income.
Aiming for semi-passive income is an excellent way to build up an online business and the best thing about it is once you’ve set up the basics, it should continue to give you a return on your time investment for years afterwards.
Active Income is where you exchange your free time for money. So, basically, work.
Things like filling in online surveys or data entry or being a pet sitter- if you don’t do the work, you won’t earn any money. Whilst there are usually fewer start-up costs for active income, you do need to be sure that you don’t end up working too much; that’s one of the dangers of working from home and earning money online.
I’ve touched on a few genuine ways to make money online above, but let’s dive into a few of the more common ones in more detail.
Start a Blog/ Website
It seems pretty obvious that I would start with this. After all, I’m a blogger and you’re reading this… on my blog. Not really sure what a ‘blog’ is? It’s basically a website, with some articles which have a more personal feel.
Is it REALLY a genuine way to make money online?
Abso-fricking-lutely. My friend, when I quit my job to travel Europe in a motorhome, I started writing blog posts just as an online diary.
I didn’t even know you COULD make money with a blog. I had no clue what digital marketing was or how to run social media accounts or anything about domain names. Less than two years later, I’m making more than enough money to live on.
NOTE: Blogging is NOT easy. It’s not an idyllic, chilled, ‘only work 10 minutes a day and then go lie in the sunshine and read a book’ type of thing.
Running this website is a full-time job and it is HARD WORK. Like, possibly the hardest thing I’ve EVER done in my entire adult life (and I’m an ex-Navy helicopter navigator and an air traffic controller!! On second thoughts, working with some of my ex-colleagues may have been harder…!)
Still, being able to be your own boss and work from home or while I’m travelling is EPIC and worth all the effort.
How much money can you earn blogging in the UK?
Like most online income, how much you can make depends almost entirely on how much time and effort you’re willing to put in. Anyone who says you can make good money within a month is lying to you/ trying to sell you something!
But you CAN make decent income within 12 months, and most likely a decent full-time income within 2 years. One of the best ways to do this is by creating your own products, especially digital products that your target audience want.
Of course, there will be costs associated with this and you’ll want to learn how to use platforms and improve your knowledge on a particular topic.
If you want to learn more, and start your own little corner of the internet, here’s a fantastic course on how to get started.
Also, once you’ve started, you NEED traffic to your blog. This is one of the best courses EVER to get that traffic. And it’s probably the cheapest course you’ll ever buy too!.
Are you thinking of starting a blog? I’m not a ‘blogging blogger’, but I occasionally share some insights, tips and things which are working for me with interested readers. You are welcome to join that mailing list HERE.
NOTE- this is NOT the same as the normal Wandering Bird Motorhome travel mailing list. You will need to sign up for that separately. You can do that here if you wish
Start a Youtube Channel
Sticking with things which are hard work!!
It’s not the easiest option but starting a YouTube channel is honestly a genuine way to make money online.
The world loves video. People watch countless hours of Youtube EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
So if you know anything, want to share your life or have any skill at all, start a channel and see what happens! Do you know how to play the guitar or other musical instruments, sing, grow vegetables, save money, clean, or do yoga… literally ANYTHING you can teach people?
And no, it’s not ‘over-saturated’. How many times how you read an article on the same thing? Heck, how many posts/ articles have you read on how to make money online (like this one!) People are happy to watch something similar said in a different way, so don’t let the fact that you’re just starting put you off!
Is it really a genuine way to earn money online?
Definitely- if you’re dedicated. But again, it’s not the easiest way to make extra money. I’ve had my channel for several years and I barely make £400/ month with it.
On the flip side, I know others who have had a channel for just over a year and are making several thousand pounds a month regularly!
Also, it’s basically free to set up and start – there might be an initial investment for a better phone or camera but many start with the equipment they’ve got. Why not give it a go!?!
My top tips for making money online with Youtube?
Pick one subject and talk about it a lot- ideally something with a high demand for more videos. Once you get monetised with Google Adsense, post 2/3 videos a week for maximum growth.
I barely do one a week, so I’m definitely not an expert, but there are plenty of videos on Youtube about how to start and grow on there- and I do believe there’s room for us all! It is a real way to make real money.
Teach English Online
Teaching English online is a fantastic and genuine way to make money online all around the world, including in the UK.
Companies are BEGGING for native English speakers to teach their employees or students, especially if you’re English, American, Canadian or Australian.
I learn French with a company called Lingoda (which I highly recommend!) and they are constantly asking for English-speaking teachers to help supply the demand.
Is it a genuine way to make money fast online?
Fast? Possibly not- although it’s a heck of a lot quicker than starting a blog or a Youtube channel! But it’s not going to be an instant income and, depending on the company you sign up with, there will be checks, trials and you might have to work for free for a short period while they assess you.
But in recent years teaching English (or any other language you speak) has become a popular way to make good money online quite quickly, especially as a side job. Realistically you can be making decent money within a couple of months. Expect to make around £8-£10/ hour without any qualifications; more if you have some.
You can also look around the local area and see if anyone is advertising for English teachers- many are happy to let you work online.
What do you need?
Not a lot! A laptop with camera and somewhere quiet to work. People are paying good money for your service, and you need to make sure they have a good user experience and get their money’s worth.
Some key places to start are:
Teach ANYTHING online
Do you have a skill? I bet you do!
Every single one of us can do something which most people struggle with. What do people always ask your advice with? What do you find easy to do that other people don’t?
- Bake bread easily
- Clean a house in an hour and have it sparkling
- Know how to get the best from your kids- without yelling!
- Grow flowers or vegetables
- Live on a budget
- Take amazing photos or videos
- Play a musical instrument
- Speak a language
- Make money online!
Literally- ANYTHING. People love knowledge and they love learning online. Create a course and teach them what YOU know. You can then sell your course through an online platform like Skillshare, Udemy or Teachable.
Is it a genuine way to make money fast online?
Actually, it’s a pretty fast way to make some money- although it’s not free. You’ll need to pay for the course hosting platform, unless you use Youtube and make the videos private (meaning people can’t see them without a specific link.)
But it will mostly just be your time and effort which goes into creating the course- so if you have free time it’s an easy way to get some money coming in within a short period of time.
Start a Podcast
Did you know you can make money podcasting? Oh yes you can. It’s another one where you need to build an audience first and then work on getting sponsors, but some people make a lot of money with their podcast- some even make over £100k a MONTH!
I personally have never done or uploaded a podcast, but I know many bloggers who do them as an alternative to a Youtube channel- and these are some BIG bloggers!
There are plenty of tutorials on Youtube and Google to get you started if that’s something which appeals to you (and if you know how to do it well, create a course on it!)
Sell your photographs online
Are you a good photographer? Do people complement your photos? Why not sell them online?
There are plenty of sites where you can top up your bank account by selling your photos, such as:
- Your own website
- Adobe Stock (one of the best online marketplaces)
- Shutterstock – for stock photos
You could also turn your photos into postcards, t-shirts or mugs and sell them on Amazon or Etsy- which is a great idea for your own business. And if you get REALLY good, you could start selling your own photography tutorials online, or create a course teaching other people how to take spectacular photos too!
Is it REALLY a genuine way to make money online?
Yep, you really can make money selling your photos. Of course, there’s a lot of competition, so you need to hustle, but the better your photos are the more you can charge for them. Some photos sell for £10 or less, while popular photographers make several thousand pounds per shot!
Freelance Writing/ Writing competitions
Love to write but don’t want to start a blog? I’m not sure I blame you…!!
There are PLENTY of ways you can make money online by writing- mostly by being a freelance writer. You can write posts for companies who pay, you can write posts for other bloggers, you can write for magazines, both online and for print. Anywhere where there is writing, there’s normally an opportunity for freelancers.
Heck, I employ a couple of freelance writers to help me write and edit old posts on this blog- it’s too big to do all by myself anymore.
Also, you can enter writing competitions, such as this one where you could win £200!!! Prize amounts vary, but if you’ve got the gift of storytelling, why not make it work for you!
Is freelance writing a genuine way to make money online?
Yes- I personally know several people who do this as a vanlife job while on the road. They have a list of publications/ bloggers who they write for regularly, or who they contact frequently to see if there is any requirement.
Some of them have more stable income than others, but they all seem to make it work. It’s a bit like blogging in a lot of ways- the income isn’t guaranteed.
How much money can you make?
I have been asked to write articles for several outlets. One quoted me £100 for a 1000 word article, another quoted me £500 for a 2000 word one. Many places will pay per word or per article- but you’ll need a portfolio/ long-standing relationship to get the really high rates.
Places to start:
- People Per Hour
- Magazines in a niche you a knowledgable about- just find the details for the submissions editor and contact them with a story idea.
This one is hard to break in to but if English is your thing, then editing other people’s writing is a great way to earn some genuine money online.
Editors/ publishing houses will send over manuscripts and ask you to edit them. My mum used to do this when we were kids, although admittedly that was a while ago and the process has likely changed.
Your best bet is to contact online or nearby publishers and see what they say- once you’re in the door, you’re in!
Freelance Graphic Design/ video editor
Know how to use iMovie, Final Cut Pro or create documents in Powerpoint? You can be a freelance Graphic Designer/ editor or even a video editor,
There are several sites where you can sign up and people will contact you for work they need doing.
For example, I give regular talks at conferences and shows, so could hire someone to create my presentations or a new YouTube intro for me.
Places to sign up:
Is freelance design and editing a genuine way to make money online UK?
Yep. Like most of the ideas for earning money online listed here, if you’re offering a service or something which people don’t know how to do, they will pay you to do it for them. So graphic design, powerpoint, video editing- all useful and important services which people are willing to pay for.
(Want to edit my Youtube videos for me? Seriously… drop me an email. I’m looking for someone to work with- I am SO SLOW at editing…!!)
In a similar vein, people may decent money to get someone to set up a website, customise it, speed it up and many other things. In this online world, if you understand the tech, you can always find work- and a lot of well-paid genuine work.
Again, be patient, build your skill level and eventually people will recommend you again and again. You need to find one or two clients and use their websites as a testimonial for future business.
Facebook and focus groups/ forums are a good place to spread the word about your business too. Luckily, you won’t have to invest too much at first other than your time- and maybe setting up your own website as a brochure.
Alternatively, sign up on online communities or resource, where people (like me!) come to find clever people who understand stuff I don’t… like how to change a website theme. (If you know, feel free to email me!)
Places to get started:
Is website design a genuine way to make money online?
Isn’t it fun, all these ways to make money online that your teachers never told you about! But yes, if you’re clever enough to know how to build/ customise websites, there is a genuine market for you to be employed by as you work from home or while travelling.
Become a Virtual Assistant
Understand Social Media? Know how to make images and pins, answer emails, moderate Facebook groups or schedule Instagram posts? You can become a Virtual Assistant (VA).
Bloggers and many other types of online companies are desperate for people to help them organise and stay on top of their social media and online presence. And you can DEFINITELY do it from anywhere.
How much can you expect to make?
I would recommend not being greedy. Start small, and do the best job you possibly can do. Your blogger/ company will likely recommend you… and that’s how it grows. Don’t take on more clients then you can handle.
You can expect to make £10-£15/ hour and don’t need any sort of qualification. But, please remember this is someone’s livelihood. Don’t lie or say you can do something if you can’t- take the time to learn about it first.
Is this a genuine way to make money in the UK?
Definitely! I currently employ my daughter (who’s a graphic design student) to help me create Pinterest and Facebook images and do lots of other jobs for my blog.
These aren’t the HARD jobs- they’re often the boring but necessary ones- accepting people into Facebook groups, replying to emails from random suppliers, posting on Twitter and Instagram and 1000s of other little jobs which take a lot of time. (Did I mention as a digital nomad blogger I don’t HAVE a lot of time!)
Write an Ebook
I think many of us have been there. You come up with an awesome book concept, or maybe even just a lightbulb idea. Either way, for one reason (or many!) you don’t follow through and write a book. But what about an Ebook?
Writing an Ebook is a great option to make money online, especially if you are creative-minded but the tech and design side of the internet isn’t your cup of tea. Ebooks are similar to traditional books, only they are digital and normally read via a phone or tablet, like these Motorhome Guides and Ebooks I wrote.
Ultimately, the only way to make a successful e-book is to start typing! Creating can be daunting, but it’s also a fantastic remote income opportunity that you can do in the UK and beyond.
How to make it happen?
- Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing
- Apple iBooks Store
Is writing an Ebook a genuine way of making money online?
It’ll take time and patience to create an Ebook, but with platforms available to do the hard work of selling for you, it’s an income worth considering. If you’ve got a wealth of knowledge about a particular subject, or a story that just NEEDS to be told, why not give writing a go and publish an Ebook?
So, I’ve heard the term dropshipping before but didn’t realise it could be such a valid way of making money online. It takes the stress and effort of directly handling products and sending them to the buyer – this is all done by a third party instead.
Owning an online store can be great if you have the time to create products, manage sales, and deal with shipping. I feel like that’s not an option for everybody though, especially those living the vanlife, and that’s where dropshipping comes in!
Unlike owning an online store yourself, you don’t need to shell out lots of money for initial materials or products, as items are shipped by a third party as and when they sell, meaning no bulk upfront is necessary.
How much can you expect to make from dropshipping?
Successful dropshippers can make a healthy income of 20%-30% of every sale, which can equate to over £1000 a month! This does depend on how well your online store does, but if things are slow at first, don’t get discouraged, as good things take time!
Is dropshipping REALLY a good way of making money online?
Yes, you can run a successful dropshipping business. We all have different needs, so whether you are a digital nomad travelling the world in a motorhome, or a stay-at-home mum looking to bring in some extra pennies, dropshipping may be worth considering.
It’s a good way of making money online if you can fully trust the third party to send items correctly, and the way you would want them to be sent, especially if you’re including things like handwritten notes for a personal touch. However, you will need to think about customer support, returns and the initial investment.
Most of us access the internet at least once a day. Oh, who are we kidding- we pretty much all access the internet several times a day. So, being able to make money online from something you do ANYWAY is pretty cool. That’s exactly why website testing or mobile app testing is another good option for making money from home or while traveling.
This isn’t the most joyous or exciting way of making a remote income, but it can be an effective way to bring in some extra pounds every month, especially if you have several mobile devices you can use to test.
There are many sites out there that pay for people to test websites, such as:
Some of these website testing sites may also offer app testing work, so you can earn while on your phone for ultimate convenience.
How much can you make from website testing?
Although different website testing platforms pay different amounts, expect to earn upwards of £10 per test. This will also vary depending on the type of test conducted, along with how long you’ll have to be on the site.
Can website testing make money online fast?
Know how a website should work and think you’d be good at providing feedback? Then website testing is a remote income worth thinking about! Once you’ve signed up for a website testing site and understand the task at hand, you can earn from the get-go.
As the pay tends to be relatively low, website testing may not be the ideal job for the long haul, but it’s an ideal side hustle to bring in some extra cash and help fund your European vanlife adventure!
Become a Social Media Influencer
We live in a world where social media seems to be EVERYWHERE. Heck, maybe you even found this blog post after finding it on social media? Being able to stay connected with friends and family online is one of the beautiful things about sites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
Nowadays, though, having a social media presence can earn you money online. If you follow large accounts on social media, you’ve likely noticed ‘paid partnership’ labels or ‘affiliate links’ on some posts. This means the poster has linked up with a company or business to promote or review products to their community of followers, thus becoming an influencer.
Social media affiliate marketing is often most successful with accounts highlighting a particular niche, producing high-quality content, and engaging with their followers well. If you’ve got a knack for photography and have a community growing online, what are you waiting for!? Start reaching out to brands, getting paid to post pictures and videos, and making money through commission links.
How much can you earn through being a social media influencer in the UK?
Depending on how many followers you have and the quality of your content, you could earn from £50 to £1000+ per post. This all sounds very easy, but there’s a lot unseen time and effort behind a photograph.
Setting up the ‘perfect’ shot can take time and skill, not to mention the writing of captions too. But social media is definitely a great place for those who are willing and able to make it work for them.
Play Games Online
Seriously, I’m not kidding. You can get paid for playing games and video games online. Different sites may have varied requirements, but Swagbucks is a popular one where users have to create an account and simply play games they are drawn to.
Although Swagbucks offers paid surveys, you don’t need to do that to earn money online with them. Through each game you play, you can earn rewards and these can then be transformed into gift cards, vouchers or PayPal credit.
There’s always another option, like using platforms such as Twitch, where you can stream the game you’re playing. If you’re a pro at Fortnite or League of Legends, you might want to check out a video-streaming site.
How much money can playing games online REALLY make?
In short – a LOT if you’re really good. Sites like Swagbucks may not make you a millionaire in a year or two, but if you are seriously into gaming, streaming on Twitch could earn you up to £10 per subscription, per month!
So if thousands of people enjoy watching you slay zombies, you could be onto a winner.
The bottom line…
Pick one of these genuine ways of making money online in the UK- and go for it!
Out of the above options, I can pretty much guarantee you won’t make money from them straight away, but they are all long-term, sustainable and genuine ways to make money online UK which you can get started on straight away.
Of course, there are other options like playing the stock market or survey sites where you take time to complete surveys, but I’ve tried to concentrate on the ones which might give you a more lasting form of income and business model.
Working from home isn’t always easy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t! Now might be exactly the right time for a new business plan! Let me know if you try any of them- and how they work for you!! Good luck with your new venture.
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Kat never planned to buy a motorhome. She also never planned to quit her job as an air traffic controller, go touring around Europe in said motorhome, start one of the UK’s largest motorhome travel websites… or get a cocker spaniel.
If you’d like to connect with Kat, send her an email or follow her adventures on social media.