5 ways to make money online that DO NOT involve MLM or Network Marketing

Firstly, I would just like to say that I am in no way anti Network Marketing or MLM. However, I know there are lots of people out there who are suspicious, cautious or have had bad experiences with these kind of business models.

I personally believe that they can earn you an income. Like with all businesses they take time to build and rely on a number of factors which will not work for everyone.

I will say that there are some scams out there and I think they have ruined it for many of the other companies. I feel that they are not viewed very well by the general public and for this reason I have put together a list of ways to make money online that do not involve MLM or Network Marketing.

Freelancing/Digital Agency

Freelancing is probably a concept most people are familiar with. It involves working in a roll that could be a “job” but on your own terms as a self employed person. There are a large number of industries that you can freelance in but if you want total location independence some of the most popular are marketing, design, IT support, sales, administration and HR.

You can take this one step further than freelancing by setting up your own agency. As a freelancer it’s generally just you, building relationships and working with clients. As an agency you can grow, outsource and promote your services to a larger audience.


Amazon/aBay Seller

Trade is the earliest form of business. Buying or making something, and selling it for more than it cost you to buy or make. Simple right! Amazon and eBay have made it possible to reach a global audience with these products and there is serious money to be made.

Setting up an Amazon or eBay business is relatively simple and there are tonnes of online courses to help you get started. You can start with a small investment and grow the business gradually over time. Check out this course for on how to start an amazon business. 

amazon seller


Similar to buying and selling on Amazon or eBay, an e-commerce business is all about selling products. The difference with e-commerce is it would usually involve a specialist niche or product, you’d have your own brand or website and be working to drive traffic to your website rather than relying on Amazon or eBay to do the work for you.

Dropshipping is again about selling products but doesn’t require you to stock these products yourself. Dropshipping is the sale of products that someone else then fulfils. There are a number of ways to do this and sites such as Shopify have applications which will automatically send product orders to fulfilment partner. For example you could build a site selling mugs with quotes on, use a mug wholesale fulfilment company to send out the orders and promote your mugs online. You would sell the mugs and pay the fulfilment company their cut. The rest would be your profit



Helping people to get from where they are to where they want to be. Whether by coaching, training or teaching this is something that can be done totally online. Coaching can be carried out over the phone, skype, zoom or via social media platforms depending on what you think feels right.

Training and teaching could be offered in the form of online courses or one to one. There are thousands of things that people what to learn or want to be shown how to do. From business training and coaching to fitness, learning a new language, how to have successful relationships. What ever you think you could share with others could be an online course, coaching or training programme.


Membership Sites

This is something I am personally working on myself right now. Check out www.thedreamclub.co.uk

With a membership site people pay a monthly fee to access something of value. It could be training, coaching, resources, events, the list goes on.

One of the most successful membership sites out there is the Female Entrepreneurs Association created by Carrie Green. It has thousands of members and offered business training and resources for women. I am also a member of BizMums which offers unlimited networking for mums for a monthly fee along with access to online resources and training. Then there are other membership sites such as stock image sites or sites for designers with tips and resources. These can be websites or can start off simply as Facebook groups.

The good thing about membership sites is that they provide a recurring monthly income and you can do one set of work for multiple people. Reach more people with your message and make more money.

Find out more about membership sites here.

membership site

Final word

The last thing I want to say is this. Don’t let horror stories put you off. There are so many ways to make money online, it truly is the future. But as with any business it takes time to build, find customers and earn a decent income. Just because it’s online it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen over night. You have to work at it and be consistent. Lots of people want to sell the get rich quick dream but I am more realistic. I firmly believe anyone can start an online business but it takes time and dedication.

To find out more about starting an online business take a look at The Dream Club.

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