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How to Make Money Online; the Definitive Guide

Whenever I speak to anybody about travelling the question always comes up when I mention anything to do with work.

Inquiring traveller: ’Oh you work? What do you do?’

Me: ’I’m a writer, I make money from my laptop.’

Inquiring traveller: ‘You can make money from your laptop? That’s so cool, how do you do it?’

This is usually followed by a 10-minute conversation about all the different ways you can make money online, but for many that conversation doesn’t sink in.

You get a ‘Cool’, ‘That’s awesome’ or ‘How do you not just get drunk all the time?’

For many people, they want to know about How they can make money online, but with so many options out there it can be overwhelming to explain.

With that in mind, this article will take you through all of the different ways I’ve either made money online or personally know somebody that has made money that way.

Get ready for a no bullshit approach to how you can make money online from your laptop, anywhere in the world.

What This Guide Will Cover

This guide will go through all of the different online mediums you can use to make money, including detailed explanations of exactly how it makes you money, how you can do it yourself and how difficult it is to learn that skill or trade.

Be warned: Online business is not for the faint of heart, by no means are any of these approaches a ‘get rich quick scheme’. However, many of these methods of earning money online are far easier to do than many people realise.

Using Google as your search tool you can learn any of the methods I’m going to list below and with proper dedication and research can be making money quicker than you might think. If you’re prepared to leap; this could be the start of something beautiful.

Comparisons Explained

Comparing the different ways you can make money online can be daunting, so I’m going to rate each method out of five, based on three factors:

  • Learning Curve: How difficult it will be to learn the skill to be successful. Some of this will depend on your existing skillsets so may vary on your own experience.
  • Potential Earnings: Once you’ve gotten started, how much you could potentially earn at full throttle.
  • Time Invested: Time is our most significant commodity, some people want to get started in 30 days others are prepared to invest much longer in growing the right business for them. This will indicate how much time it’ll take you to be up and running.

Remember that this comparison is only of my own experience and there are still hundreds of other ways you can make money online. If you’ve got any other suggestions to add please let everybody know in the comments, the more knowledge shared the more everyone can succeed.

There’s enough to go around for everyone; OK let’s get started!

SEO Writing

SEO Writing

For anybody that hasn’t gotten started online already or who don’t have much experience in the online landscape, SEO writing is one of the best ways to get started. It doesn’t require loads of experience, anybody with GCSE English could write SEO content online, and it’s one of the easiest ways to instantly get started earning money online.

One of the biggest things that stop people pursuing an online business is that they don’t immediately make money. That’s where SEO writing is different; you could apply for some freelance jobs all through the next few days, and be writing by next week.

Other ways to make money like affiliate marketing and passive income may sound a lot sexier than just sitting down and doing some writing work. However, these different methods can take a lot longer to perfect, and you’ll wait a long time before seeing any money.

SEO writing is currently one of my primary sources of income, and although the amount you get paid per article (on average anywhere between $15-$30 per 1000 words) can seem low, when you start cranking these out at full speed you can quickly earn upwards of $1500 per month.

Suggested Read

How to Be a Freelance Writer and Land Your First Freelance Client in 48 Hours – In this post, I detailed everything I did almost exactly a month ago to land my first freelance client, and in my income report coming January, you’ll see exactly how my earnings have escalated from there.

Learning Curve: 1/5
Potential Earnings: 2/5
Time Invested: 1/5


Blogging is the number one thing that I recommend anybody who’s new to online marketing to get started with straight away. Blogging can be quite a complicated way to make money early on, and it definitely can take a long time to build up your audience and traffic to be at a high enough level to start earning money.

Blogging is my favourite recommendation because it acts as a playground for you to try out and understand precisely how WordPress and the online world work. Everything from learning about SEO to knowing how plugins and email lists work to writing copy can all be learned, tested and implemented on your WordPress blog.

Blogging contributes to my earnings every month, but I’ve gotten a lot of work through my blog indirectly as well, including a client who contacted me directly after reading my blog asking for me to complete some work for them.

It’s also one of the most natural things you can do right now to get started, and even if it doesn’t grow into a business, it can be one of the most significant positive changes on your life.

Both many other digital business owners and I started out with a blog just talking about wanting to leave our jobs and change, and now we are living proof that blogging can lead to significant change in your life.

Some bloggers report earnings off over $100,000 a month but most blogs with 10,000 monthly views after operating for a few years can tend to bring in anywhere between $500-$3,000 a month sometimes much more.

Suggested Read

How to Start Your Own Blog – In this post I take you step by step through all the things you need to do to setup your own WordPress blog the right way so you can get started on growing your audience as soon as possible.

Why a Lifestyle Business Will Change Your Life – In this post explaining what a lifestyle business is I got into more detail about how exactly you can make money blogging using affiliate marketing, Google Adsense, and info-product creation. Check it out for a more detailed breakdown of how to make money blogging.

Learning Curve: 2/5
Potential Earnings: 3/5
Time Invested: 4/5

SEO Specialist

The great thing about the internet is that in a short space of time you can become an expert in any field of your choosing. Forget going to university and studying for four years and getting $100,000 in debt, if you want to become truly proficient you study online.

Digital marketing, in general, is one of those incredible skills that you can pick up by reading blogs, watching videos and immersing yourself in the digital marketing landscape. One of the skills that tie closely to digital marketing is SEO.

One of my very close friends runs his own digital marketing agency, and you can go as broad or as niche with this topic as you like. The SEO industry in just the US alone is worth $65.26 billion and is estimated to rise to $79.27 billion by 2020.

It’s safe to say that SEO is essential to many companies, and with that much money flowing there’s enough to go around for everyone. It can take time to become fully competent in SEO enough to offer another company your services but once mastered it can be an incredibly useful skill.

Suggested Read

Basics of SEO Post – This post takes you through some of the fundamentals of SEO and helps you to understand everything from why SEO is critical, how ranking works and how you get to the top spot in Google.

Learning Curve: 3/5
Potential Earnings: 3/5
Time Invested: 4/5

Graphic Designer

Graphic Designer

This method of making money online for most will usually already leverage skills that you possess. To outright train from scratch as a graphic designer isn’t impossible and it’s something many people have gone to the trouble of doing.

It’s an excellent method to use if you already possess a talent for graphic design, and you can then devote your time in some ways. You can create a website and sell your graphic design services to business including everything from:

  • Website design
  • Logo design
  • Infographic creation
  • Ad design
  • Flyer design

Other ways you can incorporate graphic design is to use websites like Cafe Press and Fiverr.

Cafe Press

Cafe Press allows you to create digital designs that can then be sold on their platform. You earn a commission for every design that gets sold on the site but without the need for ever producing any of the goods. The site has over 2 million independent graphic designers, so it’s safe to say it’s a pretty solid bet for graphic designers to make money online.


Fiverr was started in 2010 in Israel by Shal Wininger and Micha Kaufam. Fiverr will allow you to sell nearly any service through their site and it’s a great place to offer your services online. Gigs you can offer go as low as $5 and get paid more for upgrades.

Somebody I know in the Paradise Pack community was making over $3,000 per month selling his services on Fiverr, so you shouldn’t overlook it as a viable option for selling your services.

Learning Curve: 5/5
Potential Earnings: 4/5
Time Invested: 5/5

Content Writing

Think of content writing as the big brother to SEO writing. Content writing has a much broader spectrum of work to it compared to SEO writing.

When you compare the two side by side, SEO writing is limited to writing content for sites to boost SEO. Search engines and consumers behaviours have been changing in the last few years.

A study looking at over 1 million search engine results found that content with 2000 words was about optimal for ranking. In other words, longer content is both more engaging for the user, and therefore Google will rank you higher because of it.

This is important as SEO writing is typically shorter length articles around 500 words. As longer content becomes more important for businesses both the pay and the quality of work required improves dramatically from SEO writing.

There are many different forms of content writing that you can complete.

Blog Posts

These posts will be much longer than regular SEO writing, and will usually be much higher quality. These types of posts may require research, external factual links, proper use of internal links and compelling and often funny writing to keep readers engaged.

These types of articles can make anywhere between $50-$500 depending on the person you are writing for.

It’s worth being aware that regular SEO writing work can lead to content writing opportunities. I was writing a weekly article once aof around 1000 words for approximately $35 per article.

I was then asked by the website owner to write a 2500 word article for $250 when the work was completed he said he’d have more work like this for me in the future. It just shows that the low paying gigs which you may think aren’t worth your time can evolve into much more profitable writing.

This happened in the first two months of me beginning to freelance write, imagine the opportunities you could have after 12 months.

Ghost Writing

This type of content writing is often completed for businesses who want something written but under their own brand. A ghostwriter is when you finish the writing work but don’t get any forward credit for completing the article.

This can happen with both blog posts, E-books and other forms of content. The market for ghostwritten content is enormous and is an excellent development from standard SEO writing.

Business Content

Many small and medium-sized businesses understand the importance of content marketing. Driving traffic to your site and growing a site’s SEO is crucial to developing new leads.

To this end, rather than hiring a new employee to complete the work many businesses are looking for freelancers to complete the work for them.


Ebooks in 2018 are going to be huge, and in the last few years have been growing in popularity. For many businesses, having an online eBook either as a lead magnet to drive email capture or as a paid for online asset is a great way to make money.

As eBook sales are bound to make the company a lot of money, writing a well thought out, accurate and compelling eBook is a fantastic paying job you can take on. Self-publishing has never been easier, and this is a great way to branch out your writing portfolio.

Suggested Read

Freelance Writing – I will complete a more in-depth guide in the future on how to jump from SEO-writing to content writing, but this post on how to land your first freelance client contains some handy information on where to look for retainer jobs which can often fall under the Content Writing category of higher paid work.

Learning Curve: 2/5
Potential Earnings: 3/5
Time Invested: 2/5


When it comes to one of the best skills you can learn for anything you are going to do online, copywriting is up there as possibly the greatest one to master. If you can be persuasive with your words, you’ll never struggle to make money.

Whether you decide to sell other peoples products, write copy for somebody else site or even write copy for your own products you are selling, this way to make money online is all about converting. If you can convince people to convert, you are winning.

Copywriting is writing at MAX level when you can start to land these gigs you, my friend, have made it. This is the level that many people are striving for, and for a good reason. Content writing not only carries incredible prestige but more importantly it pays the most cash.

It’s like jumping from being on the bench of a lower division team to the star player on the top side. You might ask the question, what makes copywriting different to content writing?

The difference is Copywriting is writing with the intent to sell.

Some of the best copywriters make millions of dollars every year, and exceptional copy can cost a lot of money. But why is that?

It pays so well because if you are writing a sales page, an about page for a blog or even the headline of an article or Facebook ad; if the copy you write sells well, it can mean serious money for the owner.

For example: Let’s say I have a product that I’m selling for $695, a course designed to help you improve your email marketing.

If I write the copy for the page and it converts at 1%, then for every 100 people I get to that sales page, I convert one person, making $695. If a professional copywriter writes a sales page that converts at 4%, for every 100 people I would convert four people, making $2780.

You can see the difference that could make on my potential earning. Therefore a copywriter in this situation could charge upwards of $1000 or even more, as I’d still benefit as a business owner.

Learning Curve: 3/5
Potential Earnings: 5/5
Time Invested: 3/5

Info-Product Creation

Info Product Creation

Info-products are everywhere on the web, if you scroll through your Facebook news feed you will see countless free webinars. These webinars promise to give you untold secrets for free, yet at the end of these webinars, there is always the up-sell.

Honestly, some of these content marketers have incredible info-products which can help your business.

Info-products are products you create which can be distributed quickly online without the need to physically create a product; they can include:

  • eBooks
  • Mp3 Downloads
  • Video Guides
  • Online Courses

The beauty of info-products is they can be automated in a sales funnel, creating what many online call passive income. The beauty of passive income is that you don’t need to trade time for money.

It takes a long time to create these type of products but when it comes to selling them, it often can be done while you are not present.

This automation and form of income are how many established bloggers make their regular monthly income. By layering the different info-products, they have available on their site they can create multiple revenue streams without having to ‘work’ for the money.

To create an info-product can be very simple, websites like canva.com allow you to easily create templates and follow designs to create beautiful looking eBooks for example. The challenge comes in selling these types of products efficiently and often requires you to grow an audience through something like an email list, a blog or social media.

That’s why I’ve placed the learning curve so high on this way to make money online, as often it takes mastery of blogging, writing and social media advertising to build info-products effectively.

Once mastered, however, it is an amazing way to build a lifestyle business, that focuses on not trading time for money.

Suggested Read

Lifestyle business post – This post goes into more detail about passive income, lifestyle businesses and how to create info-products.

Learning Curve: 4/5
Potential Earnings: 3/5
Time Invested: 2/5


Podcasting has risen to prominence over the last few years and is set only to grow. Experts in the field such as Gary Vaynerchuk predict that passive content will grow exponentially in the next few years.

Audio and streaming are up year on year by 76%; you can’t ignore those figures. With the rise of devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home and voice search becoming more prominent with mobiles, podcasts are one of the best ways to get your content out there.

Many people are making a killing with podcasts. Sometimes podcasts are a lead source, much the same as blog posts to get email addresses and to get your brand message out amongst your audience.

Many people with a broad podcast audience are making great money off recommending affiliate products, podcast sponsorship and through linked sales. An alternative to launching your own podcast, however, is to offer a podcast management service.

Podcast Management Service

If you have a talent for audio and editing, producing podcasts for other users can be an incredible way to create a great business for yourself that you can do anywhere in the world. You can help from every aspect, from marketing all the way through to production.

Learning Curve: 3/5
Potential Earnings: 3/5
Time Invested: 4/5

Facebook Ad Management and Pay-Per-Click Campaigns

Facebook Advertising is booming in 2017, in 2018 many people will be moving the majority of their advertising over to Facebook and for a good reason. Everything to do with advertisement is about attention.

For the first time since the invention of the DVR, where you can fast-forward through adverts, the percentage of people who fast forward has stopped increasing and has dropped. A study in 2014 showed that 84% wanted to fast forward ad’s.

For the first time in 2017 this figure has dropped, and the reason? People can no longer be bothered to fast-forward the adverts as their attention is on their smartphones. It’s said that young adults use their smartphone nearly twice as much as they think they do. This automatic behaviour that we have adopted means that eyes are on Facebook.

With 80% of smartphone users accessing Facebook daily, you can start to understand why Facebook advertisement is so successful for businesses.

If you can learn how to successfully run Facebook advert campaigns for businesses that will generate income for them, you can take a nice cut for bringing them in extra business. What’s great about this market is also how many businesses there are who are utterly clueless about Facebook marketing and are spending millions yearly on TV advertising campaigns.

Google AdWords comes under the same category as Facebook but with slightly less potential. Businesses make on average $2 in revenue for every $1 spent on AdWords.

Suggested Read

Neil Patel’s Facebook Ad’s Made Simple – Neil Patel is a killer writer with a ton of credibility and experience. He’s written a simple to follow guide to learning how to dominate Facebook Ads.

Learning Curve: 2/5
Potential Earnings: 4/5
Time Invested: 3/5

Social Media Consulting

Social Media Consulting

Jumping on the back of understanding Facebook Ad’s, you have social media consulting. Many businesses out their just do not know how to grow an online audience. The potential returns of building an audience are huge!

Your online audience can lead to improved traffic, improved sales, better engagement and stronger customer service. By understanding how to market a business on social media, you are put into a strong position to help companies at a cost.

This type of business can be challenging, everybody knows how to use social media, but few know how to market a business on social media successfully. Even fewer know how to sell the benefits to business owners in a way which will make them understand how crucial it can be to their business.

[clickToTweet tweet=”The truth is social media is the new word of mouth, Youtube and video is the new TV, and podcasts are the new radio.” quote=”The truth is social media is the new word of mouth, Youtube and video is the new TV, and podcasts are the new radio. We have always shared and consumed content, in the same way, it’s just evolved over time.” theme=”style3″]

When you consider that 92% of people trust recommendations from friend and family more than all other forms of marketing, and social media is just word-of-mouth recommendations… that’s when it hits home how crucial it is to have a strong social media presence.

Learning Curve: 4/5
Potential Earnings: 3/5
Time Invested: 4/5

Making Money Online Is Your Passage to Freedom

I’ve put together this post for one core reason; I want as many of you as possible to take the first steps to growing your own lifestyle business. I want this for no other reason than pursuing a life of work and travel for me so far has been an incredible experience.

I’ve loved every minute of seeing more of the world, helping others achieve success and growth in myself as a person. Whether you want more time to pursue hobbies (my latest one is Yoga), want to make some extra money on the side to pay off debt or give you more spending money or want to do like I did and quit your job; the potential to earn money online has never been greater.

All it takes is a little action; You can plan, dream and think about it until your blue in the face, but without action… it’s nothing.

I implore you to take action today, grow not only a business but a lifestyle that allows you to enjoy more of what you love.


Jamie is a freelance writer and sales coach who has over 10 years of experience in retail and sales. He is now taking his experience on the road and is on a mission to help other entrepreneurs achieve their potential.


  1. Jamie, can you explain to me what SEO writing is in comparison to content writing please? Another great read! Thank you!

    • Sure thing Jonathan! The difference is SEO writing is where you write articles to grow a websites SEO. Often the articles largely focus on keywords to improve SEO rankings and are a lot simpler articles, and therefore paid a lot less. Most writers can crank out SEO articles quickly too, a 500 word article can be done in 30 minutes or less.

      Content writing is writing work which needs to be crafted to a much higher standard. It could be a sales page, an about me page, an e-book, or even a website article but this type of article would need to be much more indepth. This will often require research, external links to backup points, and will often be persuasuave or a much greater length than a standard SEO article.

      I hope this answers your question! I can give you some examples of the difference between the two if you like.

  2. Pingback: Changing the Way I Look at My Business | Let's Get Jobless

  3. Nice post on the basics of DN businesses and remote work Jamie. You missed Vlogging! 😉 I’m eager to follow your journey as a fellow freelancer and Digital Nomad and look forward to your success! Good read and valuable post my friend!



    • Hey Ron, thanks for posting! Yes I’ve been adding in things I’m familiar with to the list but I think I could definitely add more parts to this list. Maybe as I get more experience I’ll keep it updated, I guess I need to learn about Vlogging then!

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