Can you really make money online in the UK? Absolutely! As a furloughed pilot during COVID, I found myself suddenly having my income slashed by more than 50% wondering how I was going to pay my bills. I was looking for ways to supplement my income online and make money from home here in the UK without spending a fortune on inventory or expensive gear.
If interested in how to make money online, then this blog post is for you. As long as you have a computer and Internet access, anyone can work at home and make money online.
Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that earn this site a commission at no extra cost to you. Everything we recommend, we have used ourselves and hope you find the recommendations helpful.
1) Start a YouTube Channel
Starting a YouTube channel can be one of the best ways in how to make money online for free. Provided you have a smartphone with a camera (which most of us do), then you can actually get started with a YouTube channel right away.
Most people would rather not be on camera, and that serves as a pretty good barrier to reducing the amount of competition to get your videos seen online.
I started my adventure to make money online with a YouTube channel and this is what I learnt:
- To monetize a YouTube channel, you need to get 1000 subscribers and 4000hours of watch time. This takes time.
- Roughly speaking, you will need to make between 50-100 videos consistently (ideally at least 2x per week) to become monetized. Consistency is key with YouTube.
- There is no real shortcut to making money online. Whatever you decide to do, you will have to work hard and work your socks off. YouTube is no exception.
YouTubers like Ali Abdaal make over $1M a year from their YouTube channels by maximizing sponsorship, affiliate marketing and advertising opportunities on their channels. On average it takes about 12-18 months to become monetised on YouTube.
2) Start a blog or website
Starting a blog is a legit way to make money online in the UK.
How to earn a second income with a blog?
The most common way to earn income from a blog is through hosting adverts on your blog. Once you start generating reasonable traffic (roughly 10,000) page views a month, you can apply to AdSense (Google Ads) to host adverts on your sites.
Your blogging site will then be paid based on the ads viewed. Depending on your niche (what you blog about), you can earn anywhere from $1-20 per thousand views on your blog.
How to earn money online with google and your blog
One way to drive traffic to your blog is through search engine optimization, i.e. making your posts able to be found via google search.
Google is a search engine, ultimately trying to answer specific questions for a particular user. Google aims to provide a given user with specific answers to their questions and provide a good user experience.
If you write good, insightful, detailed and original blog posts answering specific questions, then there is a good chance that Google will start to rank your blog posts and in turn direct traffic to your site. The more traffic you generate, the more revenue you can earn from your site trough adverts or products that you sell on your site.
The key to successful blogging is to write the best content possible to help other poople.
There are amazing courses like the Create & Go launch your blog biz course that teaches you how to make your first $1k or £1k from your blog.
3) Write a book or ebook (and publish it with Amazon KDP)
Writing a book is one of my favourite real ways to make money from home. There are various ways to publish your book online, but I found the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for a new writer, one of the easiest and risk-free ways to publish my book.
I found Amazon KDP easy to use. I keep around 70% on the sale of ebooks (kindle) and around 60% on the hard copy version of my book (after printing costs) as royalty. You can probably earn more with other publishers in terms of royalty, but you then have other issues to worry about, i.e. inventory with printing your book, processing orders etc.
Amazon KDP takes care of all that stuff, and as an author, because Amazon operates on a print to order system, there is no minimum print requirement. If your book does well – then great. But if, unfortunately, it does not do well, then you don’t suffer from having 1000 books sitting in your shed rotting away.
Amazon is a well known and respected brand, so having your book for sale there will allow you to immediately overcome some of the scepticism people have when considering buying something from someone they do not know!
Amazon operates as a search engine too, so if you write a book to answer specific questions, then Amazon (and Google) will present your book in relevant search results.
4) Create an Audiobook
With any book you write, try and find a topic you are an expert on and have the authority to write about and have the trust from audience. That increases the chances of your book doing well.
I created an Audiobook with ACX (part of Amazon). Although the audiobook itself is priced modestly, Amazon has many bounties available. Depending on how you published your audiobook, AXC offers the author a bounty of between $50-75 when anyone signs up to Audible using your audiobook link and keeps their subscription for more than 61 days.
This is another great way of making money online in the UK particularly when used in conjunction with a blog or website that is already driving a significant amount of traffic!
If you put the work in, it is possible to have some amazing success.
5) Sell Affiliate Products
Affiliate product sales is a way to earn income by recommending products and getting a percentage of the sale each time a purchase is made.
One of the best affiliate programs and well used is Amazon Affiliates. If you have an affiliate link in a post (on a blog) and someone clicks on it, you get a certain percentage commission from Amazon for 24 hours on any products purchased (not just the link you recommended).
My experience with Amazon affiliate is that to make a significant income- beyond a few £ per month, you need to be driving serious traffic > 50-100k page views a month to make it really pay. Most people will convert only a handful of visitors to their website (around 1-2% of their traffic will click on a given link and make a purchase) so with a low single-digit commission from Amazon – don’t expect to become a millionaire over night.
6) Teach anything online
I created a few online courses using Skillshares. If you are creative and have something you can teach, making online courses can be an excellent way to earn a second income.
Online Classes To Make extra money online UK
The thing to bear in mind with any online course provider is that you have to have a marketing plan of how you intend to sell your courses. Don’t expect to create a course, sit back and, with no effort, make a fortune as the reality is you will have very few sales because nobody knows about your course.
You can drive traffic to your course through social media, optimise for search or hoping people find your course browsing the various courses available from the given course provider.
Different providers have different payment structures. Some will pay you a fixed price for each course sold. Others like Skillshare work on a subscription basis. This typically includes a ‘bounty’ for each person that signs up and a given rate for each minute of your course watched.
At the time of writing, Skillshare offers all new people that sign up to get 14 days of free access to all their courses. If you teach on Skillshare and someone signs up from your link, you get a $10 bonus for each signup.
Realistically, earning $50-100 per month is achievable. If you have a big following and can be featured by Skillshare, I know teachers that make $10k per month.
7) Start a podcast
I have not had any experience with podcasts myself. Still, my understanding is that you can monetize your podcast by selling it via a subscription service or placing ads on your podcast and earning whenever adverts are listened to once you have a certain audience.
Other ways to monetize your podcast include:
- Affiliate sales
- Direct membership support for premium content
If using direct membership to monetise your podcase – the best way for membership is via Patreon. Through the membership via Patreon, you can earn a monthly amount to provide users with certain premium benefits like access to you answering members questions directly/ unpublished content etc.
8) Sell photos online
I didn’t know that this was an actual thing until looking for stock images online for my blogs. You can make money online by selling your photographs. The amount you make from the photographs will depend on what they are and the setting. To make the most of selling photographs online, check out the below stock image websites:
- Getty Images
To make the most of selling your images online, upload good quality images. Make sure you read the terms and conditions as different stock image providers have different terms. Optimize your images to allow them to be easily found on search by being properly keyworded.
9) Freelance writing
Depending on what your skills are, freelance writing can be an excellent way to make money from home in the UK.
You can offer your services through sites like People Per Hour or Fiverr. Writing opportunities include writing for blogs, publications or magazines.
10) Website designer
A lot of people are ‘afraid’ of learning how to build a website. If you know how to use WordPress (or you are willing to learn), you can knock together a website in a very short space of time.
The best part is if you are building a website for someone else, then the process is even quicker as they will be providing the content.
Learn how to optimise a website for search engine optimisation and speed and very quickly you can differentiate yourself.
11) Virtual assistant
A virtual assistant provides support to a business, company or person. Companies or individuals often have smaller tasks that may not be big enough to justify recruiting someone full time, so they will often sub contract these smaller work packages, which is where a virtual assistant comes in!
Many of these virtual assistant roles are working from home paid on an hourly basis. This allows you the flexibility to earn an extra income around your existing commitments.
If you can type reletively quickly, are profficient in the use of the main computer packages – word, excel, powerpoint etc there is no reason why you could not be a virtual assistant.
Ideally, as a virtual assistant, you want to pick a niche that you know well. Picking a niche that you know well and have the relevant skills and track record will allow you to command a higher rate.
12) Buy and sell on eBay
We all have items at home that have accumulated over the years, but we have done nothing with them or rarely use them. Rather than throwing these items away, placing them for sale on online markets like eBay can help you earn money online.
Selling your old items is perhaps more of a 1 off earning opportunity, but there are professional ‘eBayers’ who specialize in buying unwanted items, refurbishing them in some way and then re-selling them online for a profit. For example, selling second hand books for a profit!
If you have a craft that allows you to pick out discounted items that can be re-sold at a profit, buying and selling on eBay could be for you.
13) Invest in a stocks and shares ISA
Investing in a stocks and share ISA is probably one of the best ways for how to make your money work for you from a passive income perspective.
Investing in stocks and shares should be seen as a long term activity ideally in excess of 20 years. So far as generating passive income, dividend-paying stocks can be an excellent way to make money by doing nothing!
Disclaimer – stocks can go up as well as down and you may lose all your money. Seek professional advice to make sure stock investments are suitable for you.
If you have any questions on how to make money online in the UK, please leave a comment in the section below. It would be great to hear from you!