9 Realistic Methods to Make Money from Home in 2021 (+ 5 to Avoid)

Disclaimer: You wouldn’t find this information in the top-ranking articles on “How to Make Money from Home”.

You will need to learn from your informal digital education if you want to make real money online. Avoid sites that offer surveys online and pay via gift cards or PayPal. If someone offers you a job at Fiverr or Upwork, run for the hills. Instead, use your knowledge and experience to create a business.

You don’t have to limit your business builder abilities. You can sell anything you like. You will make more online if you are more determined. It’s as simple as that.

Be a business owner instead of just being a website tester. This article will help you discover an new online business idea that you can make a profitable, exciting venture that pays more than $1 per survey.

9 ways to make money at home

The days of stressful Airbnb rentals and low-paying cash back credit cards are gone. You can make a lot of money at home by starting a small business that will pay you dividends over time.

Custom products can be sold

Product Development Isn’t always the easiest, but it can be the most rewarding. It may not seem as difficult as you think. While custom product development is popular among jewelry and fashion brands as well as home decor brands, it can be expanded in any industry that makes stuff from scratch.

Recently, we asked shoppers about their plans for post-pandemic shopping. Below is the infographic that shows their answers. These items can be used to inspire you to create your own product and sell it online.


These are some of the evergreen categories that you might be able to sell in:

  • Clothing and apparel. One of the most trendy categories is clothing. Fashion can be a profitable and fun business because people look for clothing and accessories that reflect their personality and style. By 2030, the market will surpass $3 Trillion.
  • Home decor. Another popular category is home decor. To make their home feel more comfortable and inviting, people want to personalize it. Online home decor sales are possible to anyone and everywhere, with minimal overhead. In 2024, the home decor market will reach $22 billion.
  • Beauty and health. By 2025, the beauty and personal care market will be worth $716 billion. There are many options for this market: you can sell products that treat skin, make-up, hair, or vegan issues. Grand View Research found a growing market for anti-aging and men’s grooming products. This is expected to continue in the future.
  • Arts and entertainment. The movie box office revenue fell by 66% last year. However, there are some areas that show remarkable growth in this multi-trillion-dollar industry. Digital newspaper revenue increased by 10%, while video games revenue experienced a 6.9% increase in sales and consumer books experienced a 3.8% rise. Esports continues to grow and is expected to reach $37 Billion by 2024. There are many exciting and innovative products that you can sell in the arts or entertainment industry.
  • Food and beverages. Food and beverages will not die. The segment is expected to grow at 8.21% per annum, reaching $379 million by 2025, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also poised to explode in ecommerce, with 20% of the food and beverage industry’s sales expected to be online by 2025. This is a 10x increase over 2016.

When looking for products and services that are popular, it is worth analyzing the market and following trends. After you have created a product, set up your Shopify store and get a free trial. You’re now ready to sell!

Learn more: 

Start a print-on demand business

Print-on-demand is when you work with a supplier and customize white label products with your designs before selling them under your brand. You can sell products to your customers online, such as hats and tote bags.

The best part? The best part? You don’t need to buy any products until you sell.

Working with a printing-on-demand company means that everything, from printing to shipping, is taken care of by the supplier. After the customer has checked out, it only takes a few seconds to create an online shop with your designs.

Print-on-demand businesses are a great way for you to make money at home.

  • It is easy to create products quickly. You can create a product in minutes.
  • Shipping is not something you need to worry about. The fulfillment will be handled by your supplier. After the sale, you are only responsible for customer service.
  • This is a low-risk, low-investment option. You don’t need any inventory so it’s easy for you to add products to your online store. Because you will only need an internet store to begin, your initial business costs will be minimal.

Print-on-demand businesses offer creators numerous opportunities to connect with their fans through beautiful products, particularly products that are chosen for their aesthetic design. Boba Love is one example.


The retailer’s products are focused on one thing: bubble tea, also known as “boba”, a drink that was created in Taiwan in early 1980s. Bubble tea is a very popular beverage that has gained a loyal following.

Boba Love sells shirts and blankets as well as blankets and hats. The supplier creates the product and ships it to the customer when a customer orders it from the shop.

Are you curious about the types of products that you can make? To learn more, read A Canvas for Creativity: These Are 10 Print-on-Demand Products You Can Sell (Without Having Inventory)

Subscription boxes are a great idea


subscription company offers customers products on a recurring base. Subscription ecommerce is expected to grow in value to $478 million by 2025 with more customers using it every year. According to McKinsey, 15% of US consumers have subscribed to one or more subscriptions in order to receive products on a regular basis.

A subscription box offers many benefits:

  • Predictable revenue. Companies know how much money they are getting each month so that they can plan for growth.
  • Cash on hand: Subscription businesses require full payment upfront at a reduced price. This creates regular cash flow.
  • Reduced customer acquisition costs. Customers will pay you regularly so that you don’t have to convince them to buy additional items in your store.

A subscription business is a winning idea. We found that 63% of subscription-selling founders were satisfied with their business performance, as opposed to 55% who didn’t sell subscriptions.

We found two types of subscription business that thrived over the past year:

  1. Replenishment model where subscribers receive the exact same or similar products every cycle. This would be the grooming brand Harry’s. The Harry’s starter kit includes a razor, razor cartridges, and shave gel. Based on their preferences and usage, they receive monthly automatic blade and gel refills.
  2. Members receive exclusive products and perks for a monthly or annual fee. The membership model is used by the Peak Freelance freelance writing community. A set fee is charged to members and they have access to Slack groups, content and on-demand tools, expert interviews, strategy sessions and many other benefits.

How to launch a subscription box at home To learn step-by-step, read How to Start a Subscription Box: Lessons From a Successful Korean Beauty Company

Marketplaces for selling

Beware when selling products on online markets Although selling sites can be a great way to launch businesses, the current marketplaces have a Faustian bargain. You get customers if you build your business in another’s territory. They have their land and their rules.

These are some of the most popular marketplaces:

  • Etsy
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Handshake
  • Mercado Libre
  • Rakuten
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • VarageSale

You will eventually want to diversify your company by creating your own website. You have the advantage of making your own profit. There are no sales fees and no rules you must follow.


Sell digital products


Digital products can be used to sell digital assets and media pieces online. These products can be streamable or downloaded files such as templates and plug-ins.

Because of their high profit margins, digital assets are increasingly popular. While it takes time and money to create them, once they are created, it is easy to store the media or deliver it to customers.

There are no limits to the number of products you can offer. Creators can scale their digital products by using their expertise in creating kits, printables and files that professionals can use.

UX kits was founded in 2013. It sells wireflows and user personas as well as flowcharts and other products that aid the design process.


Over 10,000 developers and product managers from more than 100 countries have purchased kits from the brand. The brand has since grown to include three physical products and continues to generate sales using digital assets that were created many years ago.

Digital products aren’t just for business professionals. Home fitness business Street parking offers a range of digital products, including workout plans and online courses. There are also memberships available for those who require at-home workouts.


Consider the needs of your target audience before you start creating anything. Create products that they are interested in by thinking about what assets they require/want. This will allow you to sell more products and make more money from your home.

Your creative work can be sold

Creators can now sell their work online much easier than ever before. You can easily set up a digital shop to sell music, videos, photos, magazines, and podcasts.

Although selling creative work may sound similar to selling digital products, the difference between them is that your products are more creative. These products are a way for you to express yourself online, rather than satisfying buyers’ needs. Creators and artists without a network of contacts or PR connections can make a living online doing what they love.

Harry Hambley’s first Instagram cartoon has evolved into an iconic international brand and icon for ecommerce. An interview with BBC reveals that the Ketnipz creator drew cartoons online instead of attending university.


Hambley’s strategy paid off. The Ketnipz brand, which has more than 2.9 million Instagram followers, sells clothes and accessories online and can be found in murals all over the globe.

You can make money online by using a combination social media and an internet store. To establish your brand and attract new customers, you need to build an active presence.


Monetize an audience

Although it is difficult to monetize an audience, the creator-to commerce business model is becoming more popular in modern times. Bloggers and influencers don’t have to be internet stars to make it online. They just need to find the right people on one or more platforms to turn their followers into passive income.

Sonja Detrinidad is the founder of Partly Sunny Projects. This online plant shop turned one of her hobbies from pre-pandemic into a full-time venture through TikTok marketing. Although she didn’t intend to be TikTok’s favorite plant mom, she discovered the potential for monetizing her audience.


Sonja handled over 1,200 orders in a single month during peak plant-shopping season. With over 350K followers, Sonja has also seen a 4x increase in her subscribers since she became a TikTok sensation.

There are many ways to monetize your audience.

  • Build your website and sell online
  • Affiliate marketing commissions
  • Using Instagram shoppable posts
  • Start a YouTube channel and run ads
  • Google AdSense can be added to an active blog

No matter how you approach it, monetizing your audience is a legitimate way for you to make money at home. Although it may take time to create a targeted audience for your website, the return on investment is well worth the effort.

Be a freelancer

Offering freelance services online is a growing home-based business idea. As a freelancer, you can fill almost any job a company would need.

  • Writing for free
  • Graphic design
  • Marketing
  • Data entry
  • Illustration
  • Transcription
  • Online tutoring
  • Shopify store setup

These services are most suited for business clients. Why? Online businesses are more likely to be willing to spend. When pricing their services, freelancers have the option to charge according to the result of their work or the deliverable.

Elise Dopson is co-founder of peak freelance.

Freelance writers aren’t just bloggers for companies. They create content that drives traffic, leads and customers to a company’s website. You’ll be able to make more money freelancing at home the sooner you realize this and can implement it.

Elise has worked for brands like ConversionXL and HubSpot to create amazing content that delivers results. This is how she broke through the six figure-income ceiling at the age of 21.


You can turn your passion for organizing, writing, and designing into a freelance business. The results will not disappoint.

The opportunities to make money at home by freelancing from your home will increase as more companies go completely remote. You just need a little bit of know-how and determination in order to make it possible.

Be a virtual assistant


Virtual assistants are in high demand because so many businesses are moving online. Virtual assistants (VAs), contracted workers, work with businesses and individuals to do the tasks you assign.

Virtual assistants are available to help with such tasks as:

  • Administrative tasks such as responding to emails and time management are important.
  • Bookkeeping and invoicing clients are just a few of the financial tasks that can be done.
  • Tasks in team management include following up on deliverables and organizing training sessions.
  • Social media and digital marketing tasks such as publishing and managing content
  • Personal tasks include planning trips, managing investments properties and paying bills.
  • Content tasks like video or podcast editing

Each VA is unique. My writing business has had VAs for many years. Many of them make a living as virtual assistants.

Alexandra Froese is a VA who specializes in systems and strategizes. She works with clients to reduce redundant tasks and make their businesses more efficient.


Alexandra assists entrepreneurs by either doing the work herself or creating workflows that make a client’s company run more smoothly.

My top tip for VAs is to never be afraid of learning something new. You don’t have to be an expert in everything, but that doesn’t mean you won’t learn.

Alexandra Froese

While you can make a lot of money working with small clients, your cash flow will stop once you stop working. VAs can create a blog, sell digital goods, or coach others to make more money at home.

Avoid home jobs

You now have an idea of the many ways you can make money at home. Let’s take a look at some things to avoid.

Marketplaces for freelance

Marketplaces such as Fiverr or Upwork may be a good way to start your business, but they can quickly become a race to the bottom. This forces you to compete on price, and doesn’t allow you to offer a premium service or differentiate your products. This is not the best way to go long-term. It is better to create a freelancer site and build a business that does not rely on digital space being rented in a marketplace.

Online survey sites

Online survey sites offer very low pay and little long-term value. Online survey sites don’t build skills or assets, they just waste time. While trading time for additional cash is a viable side hustle option, it’s best to look long-term.

Online survey sites include:

  • Swagbucks
  • Survey Junkie
  • InboxDollars

App development

You’ll find many websites that promote legit ways of making money online urging you to create an app. Although all new ventures can be difficult and fail, consumer apps are highly competitive. The average user uses 9 apps per day on their smartphone, the majority of which are developed by large companies.

Better options? You have a better option?

Side gigs

Side gig apps such as Rover and UserTesting can be a good option if you are looking to make quick cash. You won’t be building something long-term, just like online survey sites.

It is better to learn skills in your spare-time, such as running Facebook ads or opening a dropshipping shop, which can bring you regular income, than a single cash job from Craigslist.

Anything that pays to earn

Investment is necessary for real businesses. However, any model that works in a pay to earn model should be avoided. Sites that claim you can make money by spending money or multi-level marketing groups which require money for product or inventory but only to join are examples of scams.

Many gimmicks are just scams disguised as frauds. The simple truth is that people need you to sell them something.

Learn how to make money at home

You can make money online if you have an internet connection. Although the idea of quick and easy cash jobs may sound appealing, it will only lead to you trading your time for money. Time is our most precious asset.

You can save your time and build a rewarding business that will pay more than any survey or tester site. Although $100 per day sounds great, what if I said that you could make $500+ per day with an online business? Are you willing to give up on Craigslist for side gigs?

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