When I came across Elance back in 2010, there were very few options for working online and earning a decent wage. And every time I tried to talk to other people about it thinking I might get to know more, I ended up feeling more like I knew more than them. Nobody was interested in working online. In fact, the majority of them thought it was completely fraudulent even when I was willing to show my payments to them.
Now, everyone knows (and a lot of people talk) about how the internet has made their lives so much more comfortable. Yet I still see so many people wandering around the internet wondering where they can go to offer their services.
So I have come up with this list of legitimate ways to earn online that provide guaranteed payments. I am categorizing them based on the expertise required. For example, some are writing focused, others are graphic-design focused, and still others require no special skills at all. Check out list and let me know if you are working in some other platform that I did not list below.
- 1 Tools for Promoting Your Own Product
- 2 Freelancing Platforms
- 3 Graphic Designers
- 4 More Authentic Jobs
Tools for Promoting Your Own Product
There are a lot of ways to promote your own product. And by product I don’t just mean a physical product, but e-products sold online—from your eBooks and eCourses to online materials and documents. If you really know something that others don’t and you want to value to your product by selling it, then check out the following platforms.
You can sell documents and books you have authored for whatever price you decide. The price people will buy at typically depends on how popular you are, but you must be the sole owner or publisher, else you will have copyright issues. Some famous writers sell their books here.
If you have written an eBook and you want to sell it directly to your reader, then Gumroad is one of the best options for you. Also, not only are you able to sell your product directly to your customers, but you can also give them a link of your product to be sold by their affiliates. When your product is sold by an affiliate, you have to pay commission to the affiliate who gave you a sale. Fortunately, Gumroad handles the commission process automatically.
I have personally used Gumroad and have received free as well as paid eBooks from other authors, including Nathan from ConvertKit after taking his combine webinar of Mariach Coz of Femtrepreneur. It was a webinar worthy of praise, I must say, and it included free giveaways to Nathan’s eBooks and Mariah’s online course of Convertkit. So Gumroad is used by most of the professional bloggers because of its authenticity and simplicity.
This is one of the newer platforms that I have currently been working for. Teachable enables you have your own online school where individuals can directly enroll in your courses. You just have to give the domain link to your students. This also allows you associate your existing domain name with it. So, for example, if you have a website called www.xyz.com, then the link to your courses can be www.courses.xyz.xom, which is truly amazing. Teachable gives you this feeling of ownership that you don’t feel when you are using other platforms. Payment is through PayPal and Teachable can be used worldwide.
- Link to your own online school
- Students can directly go to your link
- You can associate your domain name with teachable link (www.teachable.mywebsite.com)
- Membership and pricing plans available for more options
- Per transaction fees are also there depending on your membership plan
- Payment Method: PayPal only
Udemy was my first love when I started making online courses. I learned soo much about making online courses just because I wanted to know how well I could work at Udemy. People like Abdul Wali have earned millions from Udemy, and it’s seriously so easy to use. People do have issue with its high commission rates, especially if Udemy is marketing your courses for you. In that case, Udemy keeps 50% of the revenue your course makes. Even so, I consider it a good place for online teachers, tutors and tech-savvy people to start making their first course, especially if they have already built up an audience elsewhere.
- Used worldwide
- Payment method: PayPal Only
- Online courses platform – teach any course
- Course will be reviewed then published
- Udemy takes 25% if you market your own course and 50% if they market it for you
- You can either keep the course free or set a price between $10-$50
Also, check out my URDU course of PeoplePerHour that I made on Udemy. It already has 40 reviews.
This is one of the oldest freelancing platforms out there. Freelancer has all type of jobs, and there are thousands of them. This platform, like many other freelancing websites, has a bidding system where a client puts up a job and a freelancer has to write a short proposal to prove he/she is the best fit for that particular job. You can have a look at my “How to Write a Killer Proposal” post to understand how to write proposals that will ensure you win the job easily on such platforms.
- Used worldwide
- Payment methods
- Direct bank transfer
- Bidding system
- The more jobs you do, the more feedback you get—more feedback makes you look more credible to clients.
Fiverr is one of the most promising platforms being used in my country these days. Some people are earning really good income from this website. You can ask for anything for just $5, and believe me, it’s really cheap. You can get blog posts, video creation, and more, all for just 5$! The rates will go up if you are asking for extra services, and that’s where the freelancer earns the most money. There are many strategies of being successful at Fiverr. I plan to interview some Fiverr-only freelancers to learn what they are doing to boost their sales. Look forward to that post!
- Gig setup (You make a gig of your service which has image and description of what you can provide)
- Payment system: PayPal only
- You can ask for anything for $5
- The more work you do, the more credibility you earn, allowing you to charge more and work on more prestigious projects
PeoplePerHour is currently my favorite freelancing website. I use it so much that I have reached CERT level 5. CERT is a score that denotes freelancer and client quality, and CERT 5 is the second best. The projects are not easy to capture, but when you land one, you are paid a decent amount for your services. It’s not cheap and you will be paid for your quality work. PeoplePerHour has systems in place that prevent you from bidding too low, which means you can’t use price-war strategies to win clients. You simply have to be honest at what you can do and how much do you deserve for that. And believe me, that strategy works very well for me!
- Payment method:
- Bank Transfer
- Bidding system
- Pays a decent amount
- Less academic assignment and more web-development jobs
- Easy-to-use platform
- 10% transaction fees
- Trusted clients – 80% of clients pay for what you do.
Upwork (formerly Elance) is basically an amalgamation of Elance + Odesk. You will find tons of jobs here just like in Freelancer. You can also find cheap freelancers, but I can’t guarantee the quality of work since low-paid freelancers don’t usually produce high-quality service. Like with most things, you will get better quality if you pay more. The bidding system makes it as competitive as other freelancing platforms, but it’s worth a try due to its credibility.
- More writing and academic tasks than web development
- You can find more academic stuff as well
- Payment method
- Direct transfer
- Tracker system for hourly rates, which is one of the best features. Your time will be tracked whenever you start to work and you will be paid in accordance to the hours of work you have completed
Safe payment setup and worth trying out because it has a lot of jobs with almost all types of categories to work with.
- Payment methods:
- Direct transfer
- All types of categories
- Most of the job are remote
- Both cheap and high-paying jobs are available
- Not free
- Membership only
This website is just like any other freelancing website but its requirements include a monthly membership. You can’t join in as a freelancer if you are not a member.
In Speedlancer, work is available in the following categories
- Data Entry
It primarily has remote jobs, which is great for freelancers. There aren’t too many jobs on there at the moment, so you might be better off turning your attention to other sites on this list.
These are top graphic designing freelance websites. Here, designers can pull out their creativity and flourish them with color. Fun fact: I always wanted to be a crazy graphic designer!
No matter who I ask, this is probably the most famous and renowned graphic designing website out there. That’s because the work that comes out of this site is of the highest quality. If you are trying to freelance here, be warned: you will encounter some fierce competition.
Smashing Jobs (Both Remote and Full Time)
Smashing Jobs has both remote and full time jobs available. However, this website is not for beginners.
Smashing Jobs was made by Smashing Magazine which usually requires full-time or part-time freelance workers for their different projects that are usually web design and web development related. Keep in mind that this website is invite only.
I came to know about Behance when I started my “Meet the Freelancer” interview session where I asked CERT 5-level freelance experts for their opinions and their experience freelancers. When I checked out some of the work that has come out of Behance, I realized this is one rapidly progressing website that designers need to go for.
Krop is yet another authentic, high-profile job board which requires higher-level designers to provide their portfolios. Clients on Krop pay a decent amount for the quality content you provide. This includes full-time and part-time designers, so take your pick!
Remote.co is a new website that provides remote full-time jobs to online expert designers whose clients include high-level companies. For some, though, the feeling of working with a high-level company while at home overwhelms them.
Remote.co provides developer jobs, but it also includes sales, recruiter, and customer service jobs as well.
More Authentic Jobs
I consider flexjobs one of the most reliable sources of receiving authentic and credible long term, part-time work available. There is even the option to work remotely!
Thousands of people use this website and have gained so much from it. Note that this is not a free website and that you need to pay for monthly membership if you are interested in joining. It pays for itself in no time, and besides, I seriously think there is no harm in paying for a website that provides so many resources to work around the globe while being at home!
If you want to know more, check out flexjobs 125 Virtual companies that embrace remote working.
You’re probably familiar with the gurus of blogging, and ProBlogger website owner Darren Rowse is one of them. His articles and blog posts are not only informative and to the point, but he also has a page that includes jobs of all categories. Many people visit this page to check out the remote jobs that are available—most of them are related to blog writing and designing somehow.
Earning Money Through Paid Surveys
Surveys are the easiest ways to earn money online. Every time you fill out a survey, you get a certain amount of points. How much those points are worth depends on the website, but eventually you will reach the minimum payment threshold and can cash out on your work.
Many of these websites are UK, US and Canada based, and very few of them are worldwide. Nevertheless, they are legitimate and they do pay you per survey. Just Google “paid survey website [your country]” to find ones that work in your country.
Many of these sites require a US bank account, address, and phone number, which only makes it possible for people living in the US. However, if you fit those criteria,
Check out these blogger’s images and the amount she has earned from these surveys.
I would love know the websites that you are working in. Add them in the comment below to let people know where you are working.