Oh, we've all seen the adverts- “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, or want to work as you travel or just want more flexibility to your work life.
As I'm writing this, the world has changed immeasurably. We're all in the thick of ‘the crisis'. Many people are now working from home, and many more have sadly found themselves needing to find a new income- and find it fast.
Don't blame yourself. NO-ONE saw this coming. Or at least, they did… but only in a theoretical sense. So drop all the guilt and distress and let's find you some options.
Genuine Ways to Make Money Online in UK (and abroad!)
I'm aware that there are MANY schemes and get-rich-quick idea floating around. But let's assume that you're a real person who doesn't want to lose their limited life savings and just wants to work hard and get some income in, preferably asap. Getting a job is one thing, but if you want to make money online as a beginner, how do you start?
So, let's give you some options, which will ACTUALLY work. I'm talking about schemes which are available in the UK (as that's where I'm based) but many of these will work just great from wherever you are in the world.) None of these are instant solutions which will give you money today (or maybe even tomorrow), but they WILL all earn you a decent income within 12 months if you work hard at building it up.
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 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 this blog as an online diary. I didn't even know you COULD make money with a blog. Less than two years later, I'm making more than many of the full-time staff my husband employs (admittedly, CV is about to severely damage that, but I'll find ways to adapt, just like everybody else.)
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. 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 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.
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
Yeah, sticking with things which are hard work!! 🙂 But starting a youtube channel is honestly a genuine way to make money online. Admittedly, I have found more success with my blog- but that's because I prefer writing to being on camera. It's not my happy place.
BUT, the world loves video. People watch countless hours of Youtube EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. So if you know anything or can show anything or have any skill at all, start a channel and see what happens! Do you know how to play guitar, to sing, to grow vegetables, to save money, to clean, to 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 many money online (like this one!) People are happy to watch something similar said in a different way, so don't let that 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 a lot of work. I've had my channel for over 2 years and I barely make £100/ 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 free to set-up and start -you can begin with a camera either on your phone or laptop, so there's no big outlay of expenses. Why not give it a go!?!
Teach English Online
Teaching English online is a fantastic and genuine way to make money online- especially in the current climate while people can't go to actual lessons. If you are an English native speaker, companies are BEGGING for you to come and teach their employees or students, especially if you're from England or the UK. (Don't panic if you're one of our English-speaking cousins around the world- there are PLENTY of opportunities for Americans, Canadians and Australians to teach English online too. )
I am learning French with a company called Lingoda (which I highly recommend!) and they are constantly asking for English-speaking teachers to help supply the demand. (Want to learn a language? Get 50€ off Lingoda here, using code vea9yx)
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 instant and, depending on which 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 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 one.
What do you need?
A laptop with camera and somewhere quiet to work. People are paying good money for your service, and you need to make sure they 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 which 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 an 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 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 that then it's a great 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 over £100k a MONTH with their podcast!
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 a million tutorials on Youtube and Google to get you started if that's something which appeals to you.
Sell your photos online
Are you a good photographer? Do people always complement your photos? Why not sell them online?
There are plenty of sites where you can make money online by selling your photos, such as:
- Your own website- by far the best place
- Adobe stock
You could also turn your photos in postcards, t-shirts or mugs and sell them on Amazon or Etsy. 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 £1000 per shot!
Freelance Writing/ Writing competitions
Love to write but don't want to start a blog? I'm not sure I blame you…!!
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 harder to break in to, but again, 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.
There are several sites (which we use weekly for my husband's business) where you can sign up and people will contact you for work they need doing.
For example, Mr WB regularly needs presentations creating or PDFs smartened up. I am trying to use it right now to get someone to create a new Youtube intro for me… as soon as I can find the time I'll get on that!
Places to sign up:
Is graphic design a genuine way to make money online?
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 work.
Again, be patient and not too greedy and 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. 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 an online 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 market. Heck, it's part of what my husband does for a living! You just need to get out and market yourself- getting started is the hard it.
Become a Virtual Assistant
Understand Pinterest? Know how to make pins, answer emails, moderate Facebook groups, arrange 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 than 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.
The bottom line- pick one of these genuine ways of making money online in the UK- and go for it!
So, there are several options for things you can start TODAY. 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.
Working from home isn't always easy, but in these times where the world is changing fast, we need to be able to change with it. Maybe now it's your time to do that.
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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