How to Earn Money Online in India in 2021 (7 Easy Ways)
88% of the population would prefer to earn money online in India.
Considering the realities of COVID that Indians have had to contend with, it’s no wonder that online work and financial security are so appealing.
And, if the last year has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t always rely on our 9-5 jobs.
If we want to feel secure in our futures, we need to take matters into our own hands.
India has been a leading force in the world of technology and entrepreneurship. So, it makes sense that many of its citizens are moving online to start their own businesses.
To help clarify the options, I’ve put together a list of the 7 easiest ways you can earn money online in India. All of the jobs on this list are either free to start, or require very low investment.
They’re also mostly all passive income, highly profitable, and aren’t limited by language barriers or borders.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a modest commission if purchases are made through those links. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site up and running. My reputation is of the utmost importance to me, which is why I only provide completely honest, unbiased recommendations.
How to Earn Money Online in India
Here are my pics for the best ways to make money online in India this year.
The first method you can use to earn money online in India is by starting a blog.
Blogging is an easy, low investment / high return business model – and once you’ve got through the initial set-up, it’s also mostly passive income.
The great thing is, you can start a blog about anything, and still make money from it. Actually, the more specific your interests and content, the more money you can make!
Lower competition makes it easier to build a target audience. So as long as you can monetize it, nothing is too niche!
Most profitable blog topics
To give you some inspiration, here are some of the most profitable blog topics:
- Making Money Online
There are a few ways that you can monetize a blog. You can sell ad space, sell your own products, or sell courses and consulting services.
The best way to monetize a blog, though, is through affiliate marketing. (I’ll explain what this is in more detail later!)
Affiliate marketing just means that a business pays you commission for promoting their products or services.
The amount you can make depends on the business, but there are many affiliate programs that pay you more than $100 USD (Rs.7256) per sale!
Most companies and products offer affiliate links now, so no matter what you’re blogging about, you’ll find things you can promote.
How to start a blog in India
The first step to starting a blog is buy getting hosting.
Now, you can start a blog for free, but if you want to monetize it, you should invest in hosting your own website. (Many affiliate programs and advertisers won’t work with you if you don’t have your own domain.)
I would recommend Bluehost for hosting – not only is it consistently praised by bloggers and comes with a free domain, but it also has WordPress built-in and 24/7 support. (I personally use Bluehost and love it – you can get started via this link for just $3.95 a month)
Starting a blog is easy. To make it even easier you can check out this long-form post on ‘How to Start a Blog for Beginners’, here.
Once your blog is up and running you’ll be making money while you sleep.
- Passive Income
- Low cost
- Flexible schedule
- Open to any background or skillset
- Easy to monetize
Blogging is a fun way to make money online in India. It’s easy and cheap to start, easy to monetize, and the options are endless.
2. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is the best way to make money quickly, and lots of it.
Marketers/ Affiliates promote products or services for a company through various platforms, like blogs, social media, videos, or podcasts.
It’s a win-win because the company gets free advertising and the affiliate marketer gets paid for talking about a product they would have recommended anyway.
Affiliate marketing might be the BEST way to earn money online, for a few reasons:
- It’s completely passive income, so you can do it even if you already have a full-time job
- Each affiliate link is an income stream, so the earning potential is unlimited
- There are affiliate links for almost anything, so regardless of your niche, you can find products to promote
- This is a completely free way to earn money online – all you need is a link to get started
- You can start making money on the same day – you don’t have to start a blog or build an audience
Most services or products have affiliate links now – from subscription services to software companies to single products or even entire stores.
It’s not just for one-time purchases, either – it’s also for subscriptions, like web hosting or design programs. These offer commission for each renewal, which makes them a gold mine for affiliates.
How to start affiliate marketing
All you’ll need to get started is an affiliate link, which you’ll be given by the business you’re promoting.
You can also sign up for affiliate programs that include huge collections of products. (For example, Amazon has an affiliate program that includes most products on their site.)
If you need some ideas, checkout my post about ‘The Best Affiliate Programs’ here.
Once you’ve got your links, there are a few ways you can market them.
The most common ways are:
- Including links in blog posts
- Reviewing or mentioning products in videos and adding the links to the description
- Having sponsored videos and podcasts that include links or codes in a short advert
- Creating posts on social media that promote or showcase the product/services
- Include affiliate links on email campaigns
- Reviewing or talking about products in podcasts and including links in the descriptions
- By sharing the links with friends and family
- By sharing the links on forums
This is a great way to earn money online in India specifically because it’s a global option – there’s no need to worry about language barriers or worldwide shipping.
These affiliate programs are also used by marketers in countries with high costs of living, and this is reflected with many companies offering between $50 -$100 (Rs.3625 – Rs.7251) per sale!
Affiliate marketing summary:
- Fast and easy way to make money
- Passive Income
- Extremely profitable
Affiliate marketing is wonderful for a number of reasons. It’s easy to start, totally passive, and can earn you a lot of money.
Easily one of the best ways on how to earn money from home in India!
3. Write an eBook
Writing an eBook is another easy, free way to make extra money.
You don’t have to worry about startup costs like you would with a physical product – you just write the content, use basic design software (like Canva or Fiverr) for the cover, and self-publish for free with Amazon Publishing.
You also don’t have to write fiction, or even anything long. Amazon has a category called ‘short reads’ – where books are supposed to be readable in less than 15 minutes.
How to start writing an eBook
The key to success with eBooks is in finding the perfect niche. Do some research and find out what kind of books sell well, what people are looking for, and how you can add something new to the conversation.
You should aim to write books on subjects you have expertise in, that will stay relevant over time, and that solves a big enough problem that you’ll have a big readership.
For example, I myself wrote a book called ‘T1D Pro’ about Diabetes Management, because it’s something I have expertise in. It serves a specific (but large) market and fulfills an ongoing need.
Even if you’re not a creative person, you can outsource a ghost-writer for the content. The only thing you really need to do is identify a topic that will sell well.
The best thing about writing a digital eBook is that once it’s done, you don’t have to worry about it anymore. It will keep making you money, while you continue with your everyday life.
This makes it an especially good way to make money online if you’re someone who works long hours or studies full time.
- Passive Income
- Easily outsourced
- Great for students
EBooks are a great way to explore your expressive side while also making money online. If you have a passion for something and want people to know, this might be the option for you.
Being a consultant is a great way to earn money online in India.
You can charge high prices for consulting services, and you can draw on any expertise you have. (Even if that’s just an extension of your 9-5!)
Most of us have a specific skill or industry experience that people will happily pay to learn. So, why not use it to make money from home?
Why waste months on trial and error if you can just ask someone who’s already been there?
How to start consulting from home in India?
This is another job where niching down is essential. Start by making a list of everything you have knowledge, experience, training, or skills in.
Decide which of these might be popular, and which of these might be profitable. If any of those are both, you’ve found the perfect niche!
Some of the highest-paid consultancy niches include:
- Financial Risk Consultants
- HR consultants
- Tax consultants
- IT consultants
- Accounting consultants
- Investment Consultants
Even if you don’t fit into any of these categories, you can find lots of clients in other niches. It doesn’t matter if it’s not strictly business-related (dating consultants can make a killing!)
You don’t need a degree, but you do need to be confident that you can improve someone’s business or lifestyle. Word of mouth and testimonials are everything here – so success stories are key.
You can get started for free by marketing yourself on social media, joining forums and Facebook groups, and asking friends to refer you.
If you want to look a little more professional, though, you should start your own business website to market yourself.
You’ll also want to focus on networking because that’s how most consultants build a reputation and find high-paying clients. If you can’t network or find groups in your area, though, cold pitching and applying to job boards works too.
- Highly profitable
- Good option for students
Consulting is hugely profitable and can earn you a lot of money in your spare time.
If you have a skill go ahead and sell it!
5. Create a course or digital product
If you’re an expert in something, no matter what, you can make good money sharing your knowledge through a course or a digital product.
Digital products are great because they’re free to make, they sell well and you only need to make them once (the same as creating a course)
There’s also a huge variety of products that you can sell; the most popular ones being:
- Art Work
- Software (like Apps)
For anything related to art or organization, Etsy is a great place to sell your products. You can learn how to get started here with my blog called ‘How to Sell on Etsy’.
If you want to create a course, it takes a little more work, but it’s worth it for the amount of money you can make.
Many online courses sell for somewhere between $500 – $1000 USD. (Rs.36281 – Rs.72562) Think about how much you’d make if you were selling that course multiple times a week!
Whether you make a video course or a downloadable course with graphics and modules, you only have to make it once, and then you’ll be making passive income every month for the foreseeable future.
As long as you have something of high value to teach people, especially if it helps them make money, you’ll have a consistent and loyal customer base.
If you want to create a digital course, you have two options:
- You can upload a video course to learning platforms like Skillshare or Udemy, or
- You can create your own site to promote your products
Upload a video course to learn platforms
This is an easy option if you don’t have a lot of time. You just need to film a short video series that teaches a skill, and the learning platforms take care of the rest.
You’ll get a cut every time someone watches your video or downloads your course, without having to worry about marketing or self-promotion.
The downside here is that you won’t get a huge amount of money this way (skillshare only pays $0.10 per minute watched) but it’s still a good way to make consistent money with little effort.
Create your own site to promote your products
This option might take a little more upfront investment, but the earning potential is worth the start-up costs.
Again this is specifically a great way to earn online in India because most courses online are charged in US dollars. So, if you have a great course that provides enough value to charge $300 per customer, that’s roughly Rs.21763 per sale.
Imagine making that 10 times a month, while only having to do the actual work once!
Create a course or digital product summary:
- Passive Income
- Extremely profitable
- Great option for students
Do the work once, and get paid forever. Not a bad option!
Put the time in upfront and the rewards will come when you create a course or digital product to sell.
If you are good at anything that requires a little skill, you can sell that skill as a freelancer.
Freelancing just means selling a service as a self-employed worker. This could be anything – from building websites to graphic design to copywriting or translation.
Money making apps in India
If you look at Fiverr’s front page, you’ll see how varied the type of services you can provide are:
Freelancing is a great option for those looking to earn money online in India because the standard pay for freelancing services is usually determined in American dollars based on American wages.
If you consider that the minimum hourly wage in the USA is about 6 times higher than in India, that’s a huge difference in what you could earn working at an office for a fellow Indian vs. doing the same job online for an American.
You have two options when setting yourself up for freelancing:
- You can set up your own website and social media, and market yourself and your services. This will bring you the most income, but it requires a little upfront investment, both in time and money.
If you’re a student or working full time, you might want to choose the next option, because marketing uses a lot of empty time (for example, having to cold pitch)
- You can sign up to a freelancing site where you pitch job postings based on your skillset.
This is a better option for people who are busy because you don’t need to find your own clients. All you need to do is answer adverts on the platforms, and prove you are the best freelancer for the job.
The only downside here is that it’s very competitive and you’ll have to charge lower rates to get noticed.
- Different options that fit different schedules
- Highly profitable
While highly competitive, freelancing is nice for those who have a particular skill to offer.
Try to target wealthy nations to sell. American and England are good examples because you get paid by people who are making (generally) very good salaries. By default, you can charge more for your work!
7. Start a Youtube channel
The last method I’d recommend if you’re looking to earn money online in India would be starting a Youtube Channel.
Not only is it free to start a channel and promote it, but it’s also free to make videos.
How to earn money from Youtube in India
You don’t even need to have a camera to make Youtube videos. You can make software tutorial videos by screen sharing, or use graphics to create animated educational videos. (Animaker is amazing for this.)
Another option that’s easy but highly profitable is compilation videos. All you need to do here is use editing software to piece together other videos and clips (usually funny ones).
These are great because you don’t have to make anything but you’ll get a lot of watch time.
The same goes for music compilations. (For example – ‘Two hours of classical music for studying’.)
Just be careful here that you don’t breach any copyright laws and that you stay within the law!
The type of Youtube videos that make the most money include:
- Product reviews and unboxing videos
- Entertainment videos
- Gaming videos
- Cooking videos
Product reviews and unboxing videos
Videos like this are consistently popular because they help people avoid wasting money. They also help viewers make decisions based on personal details (like seeing someone with the same hair type review a straightener)
Try to be as detailed and personal with these videos as possible, and if you’re lucky, companies might send you free products to review!
These are easy videos to monetize – because, for every product you review, you can add an affiliate link!
Unboxing videos focus more on just one product and the draw is the element of surprise, but you can still include lots of sponsored videos and affiliate links.
Vlogging, comedy, or commentary videos perform really well on Youtube, even if they’re not dramatic or groundbreaking.
Even if you feel your life is boring, others might not agree. It’s always interesting to know what someone else’s day looks like, especially if you live in an area of India that isn’t often documented.
People are always hungry for new content, even if it’s a copy of something they’ve seen before, so use Youtubers you admire for inspiration.
Record your screen while playing a game, either with other players or with funny commentary.
Just like compilation videos, you can make these really long, and insert lots of advertisements to make money. Just try to strike a balance between making money, and annoying your audience to the point of leaving!
People love food. Obviously. So if you can show them how to make a recipe, they’ll love you!
This is a great option for those looking to earn money online in India because people across the globe love to learn about other cultures and cuisines.
Many of Youtube’s users live in western countries and would love to learn traditional Indian recipes at home.
Advertisements are the most common way to monetize Youtube videos, using display banners or short videos every few minutes. Or, you can weave affiliate marketing into most videos somewhere, as well as teaming up with businesses for sponsored videos.
A Youtube channel is also a great tool for free advertising. You can use your channel to sell digital products or services, like courses and merchandise.
For instance, a cooking channel could be a jumping-off point for your own recipe book.
Making money from Youtube in India summary:
- Easy to monetize
- Great for students
- Can scale into other businesses
When looking to get started with making money with Youtube, do your research. Understand the types of videos that are getting massive views and work from there.
This is a fun one. Enjoy!
That covers our top 7 ways to earn money online in India post. Below, however, you can find answers to some of the most common questions about how to earn money from home in India.
Why Are So May People Looking to Earn Money Online in India?
One of the main incentives for Indians to make money online is the different pay / exchange rates across the globe.
Most of the ways you can make money online – freelancing, advertising, consulting, etc. – are paid in US dollars, at US rates.
The exchange rates and costs of living are drastically different in America. So, Indians getting paid online can make five or six times as much as they would be paid for the same work in an in-person job.
This actually gives Indians a competitive edge because you can still make a huge profit while charging less than online workers in other countries!
What is The Fastest Way to Earn Money Online in India?
Out of all the methods outlined, the fastest way to make money online is either through affiliate marketing or by selling a digital product.
Some programs will accept you within a few hours (sometimes even a few minutes!) You can then either make money with a social media post, or by sending a link to a friend.
Start a website is always a good way to promote your affiliate marketing strategies. And, remember, to start a website you need hosting and a domain name.
The only thing you need to keep an eye on here is how frequently affiliate programs payout. Some companies pay weekly, but some only pay once a month.
(If you want to learn about the best affiliate programs to join as a beginner and how often they pay, I’ve put together a guide here.)
With digital products, it’s not guaranteed you’ll make money on day one. But, if you promote your product on social media, and ask friends to do the same (Facebook groups work well for this!) you have a good chance.
How Much Can I Earn Online?
Each job has different potential to earn money online in India.
There are bloggers who make only a few thousand dollars (USD) a year. Then there are some that consistently make six figures.
Some freelancers charge $50 an hour, some charge $5 – it completely depends on what job you’re doing, what your skillset is like, how much you want to earn and how you market yourself.
Out of the methods in this article, though, the one that will likely make you the most money, in the long run, would be either blogging or selling a digital course.
Blogging, because there are so many different ways to monetize it and it’s such a consistent stream of income. Digital courses, because they sell at a high price and continue making money over time.
What Are The Best Jobs For Students?
If you’re a student looking to earn money online in India, you’re in luck!
Almost all of the jobs listed above make passive income – meaning that even when you’re not actively working at them, you’re still making money.
These are the types of jobs you want to look out for as a student – you don’t want to sacrifice your education by working too hard elsewhere.
Don’t dismiss jobs that require a little more work though, like consulting or freelancing.
As a student, you have the added advantage of using your studies as marketable expertise.
If you’re an IT student – become a part-time IT consultant. If you’re studying design, become a freelance graphic designer. Your degree or course counts as proof of your value to clients, meaning you can charge more than many of your competitors.
So now you know exactly how you can start making money online! If you’ve tried any of these methods, or have another great idea for making money online, let me know in the comments!
About Matt Collins
With a rapidly growing team of readers, my mission is to teach hungry professionals how to maximize their net worth with scalable side hustles and responsible financial management practices.
My reputation is of the utmost importance to me, which is why I only provide completely honest, 100% true, unbiased recommendations for systems and software I know and trust.