Earn Money Online 2021: The Ultimate Guide with 30 Business Ideas for the Internet

The internet, everyday online life and technological developments are changing the forms and content of work. New professions are emerging, but also some earning opportunities that everyone can participate in. Find out more about the different ways in which you can make money online – whether part-time or full-time, from home or in the form of passive income.

Earning money on the Internet: work flexibly and regardless of location

The internet has changed everyday life dramatically and is constantly creating new opportunities. Information on almost any topic is quickly available. Shopping, doing banking or booking your next vacation, it all happens naturally online.

There are also new opportunities for the world of work. The online world has changed professional fields and created entirely new ones. In some cases, obstacles to taking up an activity disappear, for example the commitment to a certain place of work, time required for travel to and from the site or interpersonal challenges in the team.

The possibilities for online jobs are as varied as the classic working world. You can also earn money online with surveys or micro-jobs on your smartphone, for example through Toluna. However, digitization also brings with it many jobs that require high qualifications and special skills. So how can you make money on the internet?

Make Money Online: The 15 Best Ways

The professions presented in the following can basically be carried out over the Internet and are suitable for self-employment. Often, however, employees are also wanted. Whether you can work in the home office or have to be present with the client or employer depends on individual agreements.

The specified investment amount relates to the self-employed activity. Standard household equipment with computer technology and an internet connection are required – these costs are not included in the sum below.

In most cases, both full-time and part-time work are possible. The table shows the typical amount of time. When it comes to earning potential, the individual circumstances always play a major role.

We rated the following 15 Internet professions on the basis of the criteria of earning potential, amount of time and investment requirements from 1-5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest evaluation result.

Amount of timeNecessary
1. Social Media ManagermarketinghighFull timefrom 500 €
2. Content managermarketinghighFull timefrom 500 €
3. Web AnalystmarketinghighFull timefrom € 1,000
4. SEO / SEA consultantsmarketinghighFull timefrom 500 €
5. IT managerIThighFull timefrom € 1,000
6. Data ScientistIThighFull timefrom € 1,000
7. LecturerlanguagemediumFull timefrom 500 €
8. Copywriter / Concept MakerlanguagemediumFull timefrom 500 €
9. Technical documentationlanguagemediumFull timefrom € 1,000
10. Online language teacherslanguagemediumPart timefrom 100 €
11. Virtual assistantservicemediumFull timefrom 500 €
12. Online coachservicehighPart timefrom € 1,000
13. E-learning developerCreativehighFull timefrom € 1,000
14. Media designerCreativemediumFull timefrom € 1,000
15. Video post producerCreativemediumFull timefrom € 1,000

1. Make money online as a social media specialist

Social networks are indispensable communication channels for companies, clubs and other organizations. Build customer loyalty , introduce new products, receive feedback – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. make it possible. It is important to stand out from the crowd and to hit the nerve of the customers with good and creative content.

Social media managers are familiar with social networks and their specifics. They are professionals in technical and legal issues and have mastered the art of communication. Larger companies usually employ their own social media managers. For the others, you can also work as a freelancer on a self-employed basis. Studies, training or experience in this area are required. You can find orders via portals such as freelancer.com, for example.

2. Make money online with content management

Earning money on the Internet is also possible as a content manager. He takes care of the website of a company or an organization and writes articles on the relevant topic, which should deliver as much traffic as possible. The tasks include, for example, the creation or commissioning of texts, images and videos, as well as the optimization of user-friendliness.

This activity also requires knowledge of the underlying technologies, the legal framework and the psychological aspects of communication. This profession not only enables employees, but also freelance work as a content manager. Long-term collaborations are more promising than short-term projects. Among other things, platforms such as freelancer.com mediate orders.

3. Make money online as a web analyst

The job of a web analyst is to optimize online shops and other websites. The main thing is to improve the conversion rate. This means that as many visitors to the site as possible should buy products or take other desired actions, for example fill out a contact form. The web analyst uses various methods to examine user behavior. He must be familiar with analysis methods and tools and master the handling of statistical numbers.

The analysis form the basis for improvements that are geared towards the needs of customers or users. Web analysts can work as employees for a company or in a consulting agency for several clients. Self-employment is also possible.

4. Earn money online with SEO / SEA

SEO and SEA are two different fields of activity that both have to do with search engines, especially Google. Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) ensures that a website is one of the first results for relevant search queries. The search engine optimization is based on the Google algorithm, which changes continuously. It is therefore important for an SEO expert to always be up to date.

Search Engine Advertising (SEA) deals with advertising measures via Google or other search engines. Companies want to use the financial resources for this as efficiently as possible. The SEA expert draws up a strategy for this and takes care of the measures. Many SEO or SEA consultants work as self-employed and can make money online. 

5. Make money online through IT management

IT management is a collective term for various services that are related to the IT structure of companies or organizations. Accordingly, experts specialize in certain topics and work as employees or as external managers or consultants.

For example, it can be general support that keeps the system running. Other important topics are IT security and data protection. This work requires appropriate training and professional experience. With certain certificates, for example as a Certified Information System Auditor (CISA), you can prove your skills and earn even better money online. 4scotty.com is a specialized placement platform for IT jobs and orders.

6. Earn money online with data science

The introduction of data technologies into everyday life has resulted in extensive data storage. By analyzing these masses of data, you can identify relationships and derive findings from them. Future developments are also predictable. Data analysis improve the quality of business decisions. Ultimately, the use of these possibilities is decisive for the competitiveness of a company.

While many large companies employ their own data scientists, the smaller and medium-sized companies often employ external experts. The tasks consist of preparing data from various sources and creating and maintaining a system for regular analysis. The task is suitable for computer scientists, statisticians and business economists with appropriate training and further education.

7. Make money online as a lecturer

You can also earn money on the Internet as a lecturer. This profession deals with texts and literary works by other authors. There are different forms of work and specializations. Those who work for a publisher, often as an employee, choose on the one hand the manuscripts of various authors that are suitable for the publisher’s program. On the other hand, one of the tasks is to review the works of publishers’ authors. An editor pays attention to the style and comprehensibility of the work and to linguistic subtleties.

In contrast, many freelance editors work for different clients, also directly for authors. So you can make money online, but also offline. The focus is also on optimizing texts. The field of work includes not only novels and non-fiction books, but also content for online and print media, academic papers and advertising texts. Most lecturers have a degree in linguistics and specialize in one subject. Lecturers with no practical experience may find jobs via unker.com .

8. Make money online as a copywriter / concept creator

Copywriters specialize in writing promotional content for various media. This includes drafting slogans as well as content for a company website or texts for commercials. Often copywriters even develop complete advertising concepts.

In addition to very good language skills and creativity, communication psychology skills are also required for this job. Because it depends on reaching the target group of the advertising measures. Although there is training to become a copywriter / concept designer, many career changers also work in this profession. Copywriters are either employed by large companies or advertising agencies or work as self-employed. 

9. Make money online with technical documentation

Technical writers also write texts. However, it is about technical products. This documentation is often operating or maintenance instructions. Graphics or technical drawings that you create yourself complement many of these texts. Earning money on the Internet is also possible in this professional field.

The work requires a high level of specialist knowledge in the respective field, which is why a technical degree is usually the basis for this. You need to understand the technology being described in great detail. Often legal requirements or other standards also play a role. And of course, language skills are very important so that the target group can understand the documentation. Jobs and orders are mediated by job boards like indeed.com.

10. Online language teachers

As a native language learners around the world to give lessons is also a way how to make money online. Ideally, you have completed a degree in “German as a Foreign Language” or a similar linguistic or pedagogical training. You can create your own teaching materials and search for students through your own website, social networks or internet advertisements. Lessons then often take place via Skype, zoom or on various learning platforms.

There are also portals specializing in this type of teaching, such as lingoda.com. In this case, you do not have to worry about curricula and teaching materials, as these are already prepared and available to you. They give group or individual lessons. At least two years of teaching experience and very good knowledge of English are required. Another great way to become a tutor yourself is to Preply. The focus of the online platform is on students who would like to learn a foreign language and to bring together qualified tutors. However, the offer is continuously being expanded and teachers with knowledge of the natural sciences are at the right place at Preply. If you give tuition at Preply, you will always plan the dates for learning individually with your students. This means that you decide when and how much you work.

11. Earn money online with virtual assistance

Smaller companies or mobile sole proprietorships often do not have their own secretariat. They employ virtual assistants so that they do not have to do all the administrative work themselves. These are not present in a certain place, but rather do all tasks online. Virtual assistants can be employees. However, they often work as freelancers for several clients.

The possible range of tasks is very large, so that many virtual assistants specialize. Telephone service can be part of the work as well as making appointments, researching or coordinating projects. The fernarbeit.net portal has specialized in the placement of virtual assistant jobs and assignments to paying members. Comparable portals are:

  • my-vpa
  • eAssistant

12. Online coaching

For coaching and personal advice in various areas, the Internet offers particularly good opportunities to expand the circle of clients. Because if conversations can be carried out via video chat, you can also reach people who would otherwise not come to you due to long distances or limited mobility or who simply have little time.

Coaching is basically possible in all areas in which you have extensive knowledge and experience with which you can help interested people in a long-term counseling and training process. Whether for business consulting, time management or a healthier lifestyle, a lot is possible. For some counseling fields, especially in the therapeutic area, certain training courses and exams are required. Offer your services via your own website or social networks. You can also use brokerage portals such as freelancer.com.

13. Make money online as an e-learning developer

The internet and digitization have greatly expanded the possibilities for self-learning. The market for electronic learning media is developing accordingly. Examples are:

  • Online courses
  • Apps
  • Videos
  • E-books
  • Audio courses

If you are very knowledgeable in a field, are creative and have didactic skills, you can make money online with it. It can also be a hobby. Consider cooperating with experts for the technical implementation. Either sales or affiliate marketing or advertising bring money. This means that you include advertisements or links to affiliate partners who pay for them. A platform for providers of paid video courses is udemy.com .

14. Make money online with media design

Media design is a broad field in which specializations are common. The designers create articles for online appearances, print media or film and video productions. In doing so, they implement customer specifications and contribute their own ideas. Artistic talent, creativity and technical understanding are required for the profession.

There are courses and training courses that prepare you for the profession of media designer. However, those who teach themselves the skills to do so in self-study and gain practical experience also have opportunities. Many media designers work in agencies or as self-employed for various clients. You can find jobs, orders and collaborations, for example, at dasauge.com/jobs/ .

15. Make money online as a video post producer

Video post production is also a form of media creation, but only in relation to video editing. The work does not include the actual video or film shooting, but the cutting, the sound editing and, if necessary, the addition of effects. That means you cooperate with film and video producers or accept their orders.

There are courses of study that impart the relevant know-how. Those who have acquired the knowledge out of interest and gained experience through internships or smaller projects can also offer their services in this area. Often it is about advertising or image films. But also operators of professional video channels on YouTube or producers of educational videos are sometimes looking for experts. A brokerage exchange for such orders is among other things twago.com/s/projects/

Working from Home : 5 Suitable Business Ideas

The development of the Internet working world means that you can also earn money online from home. Before the Internet age, it was more of a simple job with lower earning potential that could be done as serious homework. There was often no other option, especially for parents of young children or people with restricted mobility for other reasons. Today you can work from home in a demanding and well-paid job and earn money online.

You can also, but not always, do the following work from home:

  • Translation: In contrast to the interpreter, you only work in writing and translate texts from a well-mastered foreign language into your mother tongue. The free registration at proz.com helps with the job search.
  • Writing, correcting, editing texts: Create or improve texts for company websites, online shops or blogs. Textbroker.com offers a good start.
  • Internet Research : If you are familiar with the Internet and can find the information you want quickly, you can make money doing research online. You can find jobs and orders on job exchanges such as kimeta.de if you are living in Germany.
  • Graphic designer: You design logos, packaging or, among other things, websites and publications. Here you have to pay attention to both design and technical aspects. Find out more when searching for orders on the fiverr.com platform, among others.
  • Programmer / software developer: The highly qualified profession offers various specialization options and, with the appropriate agreement, also enables working from home. A profile on uplink.tech/en helps to find suitable jobs.

Part-time job from home: 3 exciting options

Certain activities allow you to earn money online without leaving your home. Both salaried employees and independent work are possible. The classification of work as an additional income influences social security matters. As a full-time employee, you do not pay any social security contributions for the additional income. The prerequisite for this is that your additional income is also classified as such. The health insurance company will decide on this.

Find out what you need to consider as a pensioner, student or on parental leave.

You can earn money online from home with these ideas:

  • Usability tests: test software, apps and websites according to specified criteria. Registering at trymyui.com makes it possible.
  • Transcribe: You transfer audio or video files into text form to make money online. Apply to TranscribeMe for example.
  • Selling homemade: This is a part-time job from home that you use to turn your hobby into money. The sale can take place, for example, via etsy.com.

If you want to become self-employed as a part-time job and earn money online, find out about all regulatory and legal requirements. Above all, pay attention to the tax obligations. Your part-time job from home must not interfere with your main income.

Earn money fast: 3 ideas for quick money

Earn an extra few euros if money is tight or not enough for a special request. The Internet also offers opportunities for this. You cannot earn a living with it, but you can earn additional income quickly.

Earn money quickly online with the following ideas:

  • Online surveys: Register for paid surveys or as a product tester at several portals of this type.
  • Micro jobs: With simple research and paperwork, surveys and similar small jobs you can earn money quickly online, for example via clickworker.com.
  • Selling used goods: You can earn money quickly and at the same time create some order at home by selling used items online. 

Passive income : The supreme discipline of making money on the Internet

Certain business ideas that you use to make money online can generate passive income in the long run. This means that at some point you don’t need to do anything or not much, but the money still flows. At the beginning, however, there is always a greater effort without direct payment.

With these four example concepts you can build up a passive income in the long term :

  • Affiliate marketing with blog or niche site: Build a successful website with so-called content management systems like WordPress, for example, and incorporate affiliate links. These affiliate links refer to external sites. The site operator receives commissions for this.
  • YouTube videos: A channel on YouTube with many subscribers generates income through advertisements or affiliate links.
  • Dropshipping: In this form of online trading, you sell goods that you do not come into direct contact with. This means that the dispatch takes place directly from the wholesaler to the customer. So you don’t need any storage space or inventory. And the best thing is: you don’t have to pre-finance the goods. Because of this, dropshipping businesses can be built without a lot of capital. Biaheza offers a video course on the subject of dropshipping . Here you will learn step by step the most important things about dropshipping. You can type this name Biaheza in YouTube for more information.
  • Selling digital products / stock photos : Photos, graphics, e-books, video courses and similar digital products can be sold as often as required without additional effort and thus generate passive income. You can publish e-books, for example, via the Amazon Kindle store.

Earning money on the Internet: 6 questions about the tax office.

When you make money online, it is often done on a self-employed basis. In this case you have special duties. However, employees also have to pay attention to some special features – so please note our following information and tips.

1. When do I work as an employee and when do I work on a self-employed basis?

If you sign an employment contract, you are an employee. This also applies to mini jobs. In this case, you are employed, receive a regular salary or hourly wage and are entitled to vacation and continued payment in the event of illness. The employer pays part of the social security contributions.

If you are self-employed, you do not conclude an employment contract, but negotiate with various clients according to assignments. In addition to hourly payment, fixed prices can also be agreed for services provided.

There is no entitlement to vacation or continued payment in the event of illness. You pay your contributions to private or statutory social security yourself. You must also observe certain statutory and, above all, tax regulations.

2. What obligations do I have as a self-employed person?

You must observe certain recording obligations, which in addition to double bookkeeping or the income surplus calculation also include the cash book, the incoming goods book or other prescribed records in certain cases. You are also obliged to issue invoices with the mandatory components for your services.

Unless you are a small business owner, you have to submit regular sales tax returns and pay the sales tax accordingly. After the end of a financial year, the tax returns that self-employed persons submit electronically with ELSTER are due. As a sole trader or partner in a partnership, please add Appendix G for traders or Appendix S for freelancers to your income tax return, in which you declare your income. 

In addition, submit the sales tax return and, as a trader, the trade tax declaration, even if you do not have to pay any of these taxes due to the small business status or the trade tax exemption.

3. Where do I have to register as self-employed?

If you work as a freelance profession, contact the tax office immediately and fill out the questionnaire for tax registration. Register commercial activities with the commercial office of your city or municipality. This informs the tax office, the trade association and also the Chamber of Industry, Commerce and Crafts, which in turn will contact you.

4. What is bogus self-employment?

Fictitious self-employed people only work for one client, although other characteristics also indicate greater dependency and thus an employment relationship. As a result, they are not really independent for the legislature and there is a compulsory pension insurance. If the pension insurance agency proves bogus self-employment during an examination, this results in additional claims for insurance contributions and, depending on the extent, possibly also penalties. So you should make sure that as a self-employed person you never only work for one client.

5. Do I have to inform my employer about a part-time job?

Civil servants and public sector employees must obtain approval for a part-time job. Most other employees are also obliged to inform the employer under their employment contracts. You must not compete with your employer with the secondary job. Even on vacation or on sick leave, working for the part-time job is usually taboo.

6. Do I have to state very little additional income in the income tax return?

With surveys or micro jobs, you usually only earn a few dollars. You do not have to state this in your income tax return if the total of all additional income does not exceed 500 euros in a calendar year . The monetary value of vouchers that you often receive for surveys also count as income.

FAQ: What you should know about making money online

The online working world is diverse. The following questions often arise in connection with Internet jobs:

1. Earning Opportunities: How Much Can You Earn Online?

You can see from the examples above that online jobs have very different demands. The possible amount of earnings therefore depends on the type of work. A lot is possible, from the occasional $ 20 for surveys to $ 5,000 or more per month for successful programmers or data experts.

2. Are all online activities suitable for the home office ?

Basically, Internet jobs are well suited for working from home. But it is not always possible. In the case of job or order offers, pay attention to whether a presence in the company is expected. Sometimes the place of work is also a matter of negotiation or there is at least the possibility of working from home.

3. Do occasional small online jobs also have to be reported to the trade office?

As surveys and other micro jobs are not based on an employment contract, they may be reportable commercial activities. Important characteristics of a trade are the intention to make a profit and the long-term, planned procedure.

Internet jobs have the first quality because you want to make money online with them. So pay attention to the second feature. For example, if you are registered with many portals for surveys or as a product tester and regularly take on jobs, you should register a small business. If you only occasionally earn a few dollars for special expenses, this is usually not necessary.

4. What indicates a dubious online job offer?

Caution is always advised if you are asked to prepay money. Find out more about the company that is behind a job offer. Is there a meaningful website with a complete imprint? Does the research reveal positive or negative experiences? If in doubt, a call to the consumer advice center will help.

5. Can you also earn money with network marketing on the Internet?

There are also companies in the area of network marketing where customer acquisition and advice are partly carried out via the Internet. Usually, however, there are also personal discussions.

More articles about the topic of earning money from the internet can be found below.

Build Passive Income: 10 Ideas + Tips & Tricks to Earn Passive Money in 2021

Working from Home: 22 Great Ways to Make Money Working From Home

Conclusion: Versatile work opportunities thanks to the Internet

Earning money on the Internet – there are many ways to do it. The online world has created new professions and enables flexible working, even in the home office. 

There are many general or specialized portals that provide Internet jobs or assignments for the self-employed. The chances of earning money are not always high, but with the right conditions you can also make money online on a large scale.

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