How to Make Money Online in 2020

June 27, 2019
How to Make Money Online in 2020

** This article is updated regularly. It was last updated in January 2020 **

Making Money Online in the Translation and Language Industry 

If you’re good with languages, you will find plenty of opportunities to make money online in 2020. Whether you prefer to write articles, transcribe audio or undertake video translation, opportunities to make money quickly online abound. 

Are you in the mood to make money online today? Then let’s get started! 

Making Money Online from Translation 

If you speak two or more languages fluently and have a good eye for detail, there is much about online translation work that should appeal to you. As with all of the roles in this article, you can do the work from anywhere. All you need to start earning money online are a decent laptop and a stable internet connection. Plus your superb language skills, of course. 

Establishing yourself as a translator means finding clients and getting some great testimonials to prove your worth. Volunteering to translate for charities, working with translation agencies and bidding for jobs on freelancing sites will all help you to get started and build up both your confidence and your reputation. By varying the ways in which you seek clients, you should also be able to establish an online income stream that relies on several sources, which is important in case one of those sources suddenly dries up! 

How to Make Money Online Through Transcription

Transcription work is also a great way to make money online as we head towards 2020. Whether you speak only one language or several, you can transcribe video and audio files for clients online. It’s a good idea to have a proper transcription foot pedal if you’re undertaking this kind of work. While it’s perfectly possible to manage without one, doing so will reduce the speed and ease with which you can transcribe, meaning that your hourly rate will be lower. 

Finding transcription work is much the same as finding translation work, in that there are plenty of agencies out there who employ remote transcriptionists. There are also many opportunities available through freelancing job board sites, where you can quickly increase your hourly rate once you’ve built up a good reputation. 

Transcription is an easier way to make money online than some of the other options in this article. It also has a fast return rate, making it ideal for students looking to balance earning money through transcription with devoting time to their studies. 

Teaching: The Ideal Online Money Making Opportunity  

Do you have superb language skills that you want to share with the world? If so, then earning money by teaching could be an excellent career choice. With little more than a fast internet connection and some video calling software, you can work with online teaching companies to help people around the world improve their language skills. 

The one-on-one nature of online teaching means that you can help each student to learn at their own pace, with your chosen online teaching company on hand to help plan lessons and ensure that the content you’re teaching is engaging and relevant to your students’ needs. 

You’ll need a healthy dose of patience if you plan to make money online in 2020 through teaching. Sharing your knowledge can be immensely rewarding, but progress isn’t always swift. If you’re naturally very impatient, move right along! 

Delivering Proofreading and Editing Services Online 

If you have a superb grasp of one or more languages, proofreading and editing work may well appeal to you as a way to make money online in 2020. Both require exceptional attention to detail. Proofreading focuses more on spotting typos and grammatical errors, while editing involves more extensive work on the copy, including improving the way it’s written and how it comes across to the reader. 

There are numerous professional courses that you can undertake in order to qualify as a proofreader and/or editor. While some clients will be happy engaging those without formal qualifications, others will prefer to use qualified individuals – and potentially to pay more for their services. As such, if you are planning to deliver proofreading and editing services for a living, it may be best to ensure that you undertake a relevant qualification as part of your training. 

Making Money Online in 2020 Through Writing 

Writing is another task that you can use to make money online, either in your native tongue or using any other languages that you speak well enough. There are many ways to make money through providing content writing services, from helping companies with their brochures, press releases, blog posts, websites and guest articles to working for content mills. 

If you’re just starting out and looking to make money through writing in 2020, building up a strong portfolio is essential. That may mean taking low-paid jobs in order to build up a reputation and establishing your own blog in order to show off your writing abilities. Becoming a writer isn’t a get rich quick scheme, but it is achievable if you work hard at it and are prepared to ‘pay your dues’ in order to establish yourself. If you can write in more than one language, so much the better, as you’ll have a wider pool of potential clients to work for. 

Answering Questions Online

If you’re looking to make extra money online, one way to do it is by answering questions. JustAnswer pays for professionals to answer thousands of questions. You need to prove your professional credentials to register, but once you have you can earn money by sharing your expertise. 

Student Ways to Make Money Online 

Students are, on the whole, known for being fairly short of cash. However, there are now plenty of ways to make money online fast. Are you a student wondering how to make money online without paying anything? If you have decent language skills, then check out the ideas above. 

If language isn’t your strong point, there’s still plenty of ways to earn an online income, even if you only have a few hours available each week. If you’re seeking inspiration for how to make money online for free, then read on! 

Providing Desktop Publishing Services Online

If you have a talent for design, then providing desktop publishing services is a great way to make money online while using your creative abilities. There are countless companies out there who want to produce impressive publications but lack the in-house skills to do so and thus turn to freelancers or agencies for help. 

All you need is a good computer and a fast internet connection, as well as design software that will allow you to produce fabulous brochures, leaflets, presentations and more, in line with your clients’ needs. You can use software that you already own or opt for something like Canva. Most design programs offer a free trial period, so you can try before you commit to buy. 

Making money through desktop publishing is a great way to indulge your creative side while also making money. You don’t need a fancy website to get started – a few examples of your work will be sufficient for you to set up a profile on Upwork or Fiverr. Then it’s time to bid for jobs and source your first few clients. This is a wonderfully easy way to make money online for those with a flair for design. 

How to Make Money Online in 2020 with Data Entry

One online job for students that definitely doesn’t require creative flair is data entry. If your strategy for making money online is to go for solid, dependable work, this could be a good option. Again, you can use Upwork and similar freelancing sites to pick up jobs. You’ll need a good eye for detail and somewhere quiet to work so that you can focus on the task at hand. 

In fact, making money through freelancing sites is the ideal online money-making option for students, as you can take on work when you have time and then leave your account dormant for a while when you need to focus more on your studies. 

Make Money Through Micro-tasking 

There are a whole host of apps and sites out there that will let you earn a few pennies at a time for completing micro-tasks. Tasks take from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the site you’re using and what’s available. Clickworker and Swagbucks are two popular examples of this kind of work. 

Students making money online through these apps can be paid to undertake surveys, surf the web, watch videos and even shop online. Just be sure to use a reputable site that pays promptly. 

Get Paid to Talk 

Do you like to talk? If you’re the person in your group of friends who always has the most to say, why not put your voice to use making money? Working as a voice-over artist requires very little equipment (a microphone and laptop are about all you need) and is quick and easy to set up. Simply record a few examples and create profiles on Upwork, Fiverr and the like. You may have to complete a few lower-paying jobs initially in order to build up your feedback but should quickly be able to put your prices up. 

This is a great gig for those who want to fit their work around their studies. It’s also something that you can ramp up during the summer break in order to build up some cash to head back to school with in the fall. 

Student Money Making Idea: Product Testing

There’s a big market out there for testing products, with everyone from Mumsnet to Intellifluence offering the chance to trial goods and services, as well as individual companies. For students, making money online and receiving free products is the ideal combination! 

Some product tests pay cash, others provide gift cards and some simply let you keep the goods you’re testing. Either way, you’re getting something for giving your opinion – are there easier ways to make money online than that? 

Register with a range of product testing companies or services in order to increase the number of products that you’re invited to test. You can fit the work around your studies and carry on with it even after you leave college. 

Website Testing

If you’re happy testing products, why not also test websites? This is another part-time online money-making activity that you can fit around your studies. Simply register with User Testing, Userlytics or similar in order to get started!  

Earn an Income Online by Selling

Heading off to college is a great opportunity to declutter. You can use eBay to turn all those childhood toys that have been sitting in the back of closets for years into a health wedge of cash to fund your studies. 

Once at university, you can continue to sell items online to make money. Textbooks sell well, so if you’re finished with yours, it’s time to list them on eBay! Alternatively, some stores (such as Barnes and Noble) offer a buy-back scheme, so be sure to keep your books in good condition in order to get some money back at the end of the semester. 

Craigslist is another option if you’re selling goods to make money and has the advantage of being free. 

If you have a talent for creating things, they Etsy should be your first port of call. This popular site makes it easy for you to set up an online shop window to sell your wares and doing so is a great way to fit making an income online around your studies. 

You could also try your hand at selling t-shirts. You can either create your own arty designs or simply sell text or slogan-based designs. There are plenty of buyers out there for both. 

Shop Your Way to an Online Income in 2020! 

If you like to shop online (who doesn’t?!) then it’s worth checking out money-making apps such as MyPoints. These give you points every time you make a purchase online, so the more you shop, the faster your points build up. Different apps pay in different ways, from cash transfers via PaPal to gift cards for various online retailers, so be sure to choose the one that suits you best. 

Work Remotely 

More and more companies are waking up to the advantages that remote working delivers. For those looking to work part-time from home, this means plenty of excellent online earning opportunities. Sites like Flexjobs, We Work Remotely and Solid Gigs are awash with opportunities. Some charge a fee for access to their job boards, but there are free resources out there, so if you want to make money online for free, don’t be discouraged. With a little Googling you should find plenty of remote working opportunities. 

Working remotely means that you lose no time to commuting, so you can start earning the moment you open your laptop or pick up the phone (depending on the kind of remote job you get). Part-time positions are often ideal for fitting around studies, with students able to undertake evening and weekend work that means they are free to attend lectures during the day. 

Sell Your Photographs

Are you a dab hand behind the camera? Shutterstock, Fotolia and the like are always on the lookout for enticing imagery, so if you like taking photographs, it’s well worth checking out such sites. Once you’ve uploaded your images, you simply wait for people to buy them. There are also plenty of videography sites looking for fresh content, so you can make money online from your video clips as well. 

Become an Instagram Influencer

Another option if you take beautiful photographs is to aim to become an influencer on Instagram. Making money as an Instagram influencer is harder than it used to be, as there are so many more people trying to do it. However, there are still opportunities there for people who persevere and who have genuinely interesting content to share. 

Becoming an influence can open up a host of openings from free products to events and travel opportunities. If you have something to say and people are interested in it, all backed up by enticing imagery, then the life of an influencer could await you! 

High Tech Ways to Make Money Online in 2020

We’ve looked at how students can make money through part-time online work, but there are also plenty of ways to make money online fulltime in 2020, particularly if you have impressive technical abilities. Let’s consider some of those. 

Earn Income Online Through Blogging

There’s a common belief that anyone with a talent for writing can start a blog. This is true in a way, as sites like WordPress can take much of the technical hassle out of blogging. However, if you’re serious about making money through blogging, you need to get your tech on! 

Does the idea of researching keywords, fiddling with snippets of code, handling affiliate marketing and maximising site speed leave you cold? If so, perhaps blogging isn’t the online money-making venture for you! The more technical your abilities, the greater your chance of turning your blog into a profitable business. 

Many blogs fail as money-making entities, while others fall by the wayside due to lack of enthusiasm on the creator’s part. Some, however, go on to make serious money. If you’re wondering how to make money online in 2020 and you can back up writing ability with technical skills, blogging could be the way forward. 

Make Money from eBooks 

If you’re already an established blogger, why not consider related ways to make money online? eBooks are the perfect example. You already have a vast amount of content available through your blog. It shouldn’t take too much work to gather together the best parts and turn them into an eBook. Add in some original content for those who have already loyally read your blog from start to finish and suddenly you’ve got an eBook ready to self-publish. 

eBooks and print-on-demand books are an ideal way to make money working from home. Once they’re written, you can earn money from them for as long as the topic is of interest to people. Regardless of the future turns that your career may take, the residual income from your eBooks can keep rolling in, making this an excellent way to make money online. 

Making Money Online Through Podcasts  

Do you have a decent microphone and some expertise to share? If so, it’s time to make a podcast. Once that charges, of course! You can share your knowledge and get paid to do so by creating a series of interesting, informative episodes that will keep listeners hungry for more. Make sure that the knowledge you’re sharing is in demand and that your delivery style is engaging and varied in order to maximise your chances of success. 

Share Your Tech Skills on YouTube 

Are you comfortable in front of the camera? If you have an easy style on film and some tech skills to share, then why not create instructional videos? The idea is that you teach people a skill or how to complete a task and they pay for that knowledge on a subscription basis. There are plenty of opportunities for receiving free products here too and for working with companies that like your style. You also get to follow your heart when it comes to what you want to teach people to do, so you can focus on sharing the knowledge that interests you the most. 


One of the best ways to make money online, if you have knowledge that other people want, is webinars. You can host webinars on any topic you like and can tie them in with other work that you do, from blogging and podcasts to writing eBooks. There’s huge scope for  cross-promotion here. 

Several sites exist to host webinars and many include integrated mailing functionality so that you can let people know when and how to join. All you need to do is promote your webinar, charge a small fee (or a large fee, depending on how sought-after the knowledge you’re sharing is!) and get to work. 

Offer Freelance Tech Skills

Upwork and its ilk have plenty of opportunities available for those with technical prowess. Are you a Ruby on Rails specialist? Is SaaS JavaScript your thing? Do you live and breathe website development? Whatever your technical niche, there are those out there who are willing to pay for your skills. You just need to connect with them – and freelancing platforms are ideal for doing so. 

Set Up Your Own Business

Of course, you don’t have to work freelance in order to sell your tech skills. Many of those who work online to make money do so through their own company. Setting up a business doesn’t cost a great deal and doesn’t take long. As soon as you’ve done so, you are free to start marketing your technical services to clients far and wide! 

If you’re thinking of starting a business, be sure to research the need for what you’re offering first. Undertake market research to ensure that your time is being spent wisely and that your venture has a good chance of making money. You’ll also need to define what your business offers that others don’t – then make sure that your potential client sees this unique advantage too. 

Create an Online Course

Do you have tech skills that you want to share with others? If so, creating your own online course can be a profitable way to do so. You’ll need to invest a small amount in software and a decent microphone, if you’re going to record spoken modules, but the upfront cost is relatively low compared to the earning potential. 

If you’re unsure how to make money online through setting up a course, take a look at sites such as Skillshare and Udemy. These types of sites include courses written by a diverse range of individuals, covering a huge variety of topics. Simply find your niche, write some engaging material and away you go! 

Make Money Online by Sharing Your Skills 

Creating a course isn’t the only way you can make money online in 2020 from sharing your skills. Why not check out Clarity – a site that allows you to charge for your advice over the phone. You detail where your expertise lies and how much you want for sharing it, then sit back and let the phone calls (and cash) roll in! 

Review Software 

One of the more fun ways to make money online fast, if you like to share your opinions, is to review software. There are a number of websites that will pay you to review the software of your choice. Think about the software you use daily, then investigate Software Judge or similar to see if they are happy for you to review it. When it’s a product that you already know inside out, the review process can be surprisingly simple and offers an excellent means of getting paid for your tech expertise and opinions. 

Make Money Online by Creating Your Own App

If your tech skills are really above and beyond the rest, you could consider creating your own software. It’s never been easier to make your own app and there are plenty of ways to profit from doing so. If you can conceive of an idea that will help people to do things faster, more efficiently or more easily, there’s money to be made. 

Maximise your chances of success by jumping on current trends with your app. Can you create something that will help people to live more sustainably? That will help promote kindness and heal divisions? There’s plenty of call for apps related to these issues right now. 

Of course, you could simply go back to basics and create a gaming app. Some of the most addictive games are built on incredibly simple ideas (Candy Crush, anyone?) but have absolutely huge earning potential. 

Buy and Sell Websites

Do you have a keen eye for the next big thing? If so, it could be worth investigating Flippa. This site allows you to buy and sell websites. All you need to do is identify which sites have huge potential, then time your exchanges perfectly! 


Final Thoughts

If you’re wondering how to make money online in 2020, why not consider one of the above career paths? Or perhaps you could deliver multiple services as part of a portfolio career. Either way, using your language skills to make money online provides you with an array of interesting opportunities. 

Remember, too, that our suggestions have focused mainly on translation, localization and the written word. There are many alternative paths out there. Whichever activity or activities you choose, remember that how much money you make online nearly always equates to how much effort you are prepared to put in! 

By Ofer Tirosh

Ofer Tirosh is the founder and CEO of Tomedes, a language technology and translation company that supports business growth through a range of innovative localization strategies. He has been helping companies reach their global goals since 2007.



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