Updated January 20, 2023

There’s so much bullshit out there about making money online. When I was starting my journey into running Roostervane, I read it all too. 

“Take online surveys for $5 an hour.”

“Join an affiliate program and earn $0.10 per thousand clicks.”

Honestly, there’s so much crap and it’s really hard for people to discern true from false. So, in this post, I want to talk through what I have learned about making money online. 

Yes, I do make money online. In fact, you could say that I make all of my money online. But I don’t waste my time filling out surveys. 

In this article, I want to tell you the hard truth about making money online, and why the common “make money online” avenues don’t work for most people. And, I want to give you 10 legitimate and realistic ways to make money online this year. In fact, I want making money online to be a legitimate part of my plan to build wealth. And it needs to be real money. Not pennies.


This post may contain links to affiliate products, which–if you choose to purchase–pay us a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps to support our work. We only promote products we’ve used and love.

10 real ways to make money online

In what follows, I want to give you real ways to make money online. Actual, decent money, not pennies. I’m not going to tell you to fill out surveys for money or become a Mechanical Turk because those things suck and exploit you. 

So let me tell you some things I believe actually will work. Many of these I’ve used myself. 

1. Get a job

Oh snap, I started here. But let’s be honest, a lot of amazing jobs are remote now. I have spent months working on teams that I have never met in person. I think that qualifies as working online.

What is it you want from making money online? For most people, it’s freedom. I know what it’s like to be chained to a desk every day. I wanted the freedom to make money as I travel, living in new places, experiencing new things. Five years ago, it was very hard to get a job that let you have this. Now, tons of companies are working remotely. Some will even let you work from abroad. The unicorns will even give you a bonus to travel and work abroad.

So it’s worth it to figure out if a job could give you some freedom and wealth online. You can always build other stuff in your spare time.

2. Consulting + Freelancing

If you don’t want to get a job, or you want more flexibility, you might choose consulting or freelancing instead. The great thing about consulting or freelancing is that you often earn a much higher rate. You might be able to make two or three times per hour what you can make as an employee. But you do have to be a bit entrepreneurial. That might be a bad thing for some people, or it might be exciting for others.

Probably depends on your personality. But with platforms like Upwork, it can honestly be super easy to get started and find clients.