Are you looking for full-time income or just some extra money on the side? In this post, I will show you 7 different ways how to make money online for free. Yes, you can totally start it with 0 financial investment, there is no catch here! And I will show you 17 different websites and apps that are currently the best in each category of money-making ideas.
I realize that we all have different skillsets and talents, so feel free to use the timestamps below the video to jump to those income streams that sound like the best match for your interests.
7. Selling Digital Products
The first way how to make money online for free I wanted to show you is by selling digital products online. Your income potential here is really unlimited and you can start for free. For example, to create printables, and eBooks you can use a free graphic design platform like Canva.
For example, I have a digital product called Pinterest Trends.
6. Cash-back apps
Another way of making money online is by using cash-back apps. We all have some expenses, so why not get a little bit of cash back if we’d have to make those purchases anyway?
Cash-back apps give you a rebate on a purchase or provide a coupon for an additional discount. Some apps offer points that can be redeemed as a discount on future purchases.
You could start with Ibotta. It is one of the most popular apps in its category and will give you a cashback whether you’re shopping in person, online, or even if you are traveling or eating out. It works without any promotional codes or coupons to track.
You’ll need to search the app for offers you like, then make the purchase and later upload a photo of your receipt in the app.
You can also install the Rakuten app on your smartphone and use it for purchases to get deep discounts without any additional effort on your side. Once you start earning money with Rakuten, you can get paid via check or Paypal every few months.
Swagbucks works in a very similar way to the previous two cash-back apps but it doesn’t only pay you via PayPal for shopping online. You can also earn Swagbucks rewards by,
- Taking surveys
- Watching videos
- Signing up for offers with its partner merchants and doing other online activities.
5. Making Money on Pinterest
The next idea I’d like to suggest could be something unexpected for you – making money on Pinterest.
Out of all other social media platforms, Pinterest seems to be the most underestimated. But you can make money on Pinterest in several ways that don’t require any upfront financial investment.
The first way is by driving traffic to your own website where you can monetize the free traffic – either with display ads, or with affiliate links or even by selling your own products.
You can run a business account on Pinterest for free and it will work for you as a traffic source similar to Google search. You see, Pinterest is not just a social media platform like Instagram or Facebook. It’s a hybrid between social media and a visual search engine.
Pinterest users don’t only use it to browse whatever the platform suggests in the feed. But even more so, they use it to search for inspiration and ideas and they use keywords for that, like on Google.
Most of the pins that show up in search results are linked to some websites and a user just needs to click on the pin once to be sent to your website.
Pinterest is a visual search engine, so most of the content that you’ll need to create for this platform, like images and short videos up to 15 seconds, can be created in a free graphic design tool. For example, you could use Canva. I have a video tutorial on my channel that will show you how easy it is to create images and video pins in Canva.
As for me, I currently drive over 100,000/mo pageviews of traffic just to one of my blogs and Pinterest brings about half of all traffic to my blog. If you want to learn more about Pinterest as a free traffic source, watch my Free Pinterest Masterclass. You’ll find all the links up there and in the description below.
By the way, if you don’t run a blog like I do, maybe you just sell products or want to send traffic to some affiliate offers – that’s how to make money online for free without paying for web hosting and your own domain. You can drive traffic from Pinterest directly to affiliate offers. Here is how:
4. Review Websites and Tests
You can also get paid to test websites from home. Businesses and online platforms all need your help to understand whether or not their websites are user-friendly. So to make money with this you’ll just need to have a basic computer with a headset including a microphone and a web camera. Your internet connection should be decent as well. In some cases, you might be asked to test a website or an app on your smartphone instead of the computer. Most tests take 5-25 minutes to complete and pay an average of $10 per test.
- UserTesting is one of the most popular platforms where you can earn $4 for a 5-minute test, $10 for a 20-minute test, and up to $120 for live interviews. This site accepts applicants from US and International residents. And you will receive payments via PayPal.
A few other similar platforms worth mentioning here are TryMyUI or Testbirds.
3. Launch Youtube Channel
You might have seen some of my videos on Youtube. If you can imagine yourself making videos kind of like mine, I can tell you exactly which monetization methods work great on Youtube.
First, you can make money with Adsense – these are the ads that show up and sometimes interrupt the videos for you and can be a bit annoying. But that’s just one way video content creators get paid for their work.
Another way is through sponsored integrations inside the videos. You should know that even when your channel is quite small, you have a chance to do these sponsored integrations with brands. And moreover, brands will actively reach out to you. Youtube is a very popular and lucrative platform for advertisers nowadays. And they often prefer to deal with creators directly because this way, they can often get better results for a lower amount of ad dollars than if they were to buy ads in your videos through Google.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Speaking of affiliate marketing, it is also one of my favorite ways of making money online. You will earn a commission from marketing another person’s or company’s products. I think it can be a great way to make online income even for beginners because the entry requirements are very low.
You don’t have to think about creating your own product, you don’t have to market it or hire customer support. All of this is done by the company that offers the affiliate program. All you have to do is share the information about their product or service.
And the easiest way to start in affiliate marketing is by joining some of the largest affiliate networks. Platforms like
- CJ Affiliates
- Impact and others.
I like to give you some numbers for inspiration and to have a better idea of what you could expect from each type income. So personally, for me the biggest chunk of my affiliate income comes from the companies that offer products and services in the online marketing space. This screenshot below is for an online program that I promoted to my email list only twice and during these 2 promotions I made $8,660 in commissions.
1. Create an Online Course
One of the most profitable income streams online that I found so far is selling your own online courses. You might be thinking that when the world is going through difficult times, people don’t spend money on online courses. But the reality is, since the pandemic, people all over the world became way more open to online education. A lot of people realized that their office jobs are not guaranteed and that it’s very important to learn new skills and maybe even get an entirely new profession.
You can see in my dashboard, I made almost $220k in the first year of the pandemic just with my Pinterest course.
With that said, people usually have an impression that to sell online courses, you need to make a significant investment upfront. Indeed, many platforms for hosting and selling online courses have monthly plans starting at $100/ mo but I promised to show you how to make money online for free. So I will give you a few apps you can use for free!
You can use Thinkific (which is actually the platform I use to sell my courses for over 3 years now). Thinkific has a completely free plan that allows you to sell one course to unlimited students and gives you all the basic functionality you might need including landing page builder, free video hosting for your video lessons and payment processing integrations.
You can start on Thinkific but if you want to try even more functionality for free, maybe you want to build the entire funnel, including your email sequences and sales pages, you should try Systeme.io.
This platform allows you to grow your email list up to 2000 users on the free plan and even run your own affiliate program to increase your sales.
Did you find this post helpful? If so, save it to your Make Money Online board on Pinterest and check it again later!
I’m Anastasia and I’m a full-time blogger, online entrepreneur, and Pinterest marketing strategist. I help digital entrepreneurs and bloggers drive targeted traffic from Pinterest either through my online courses or through Pinterest consultancy.