When I started blogging in 2007 making money online was never my intention. It’s something I discovered accidentally and now I make thousands of dollars per month from online marketing. Obstacles like PayPal limitations, limited market, low buying power, unfamiliarity with online transactions make it somewhat difficult to make money online in Sri Lanka.
All is not lost though. Below are few tried and tested methods to make money online. Some of these are free options which require only time and commitment. Some require an investment. All of them are done online so you can do them from home, as a part time job or even if you’re still studying as a student.
Currently, I earn the most from FOREX trading. Various scams have given it a bad name. But, done right, it’s a great way to make money online. FOREX trading requires some level of expertise and has a long learning curve. This isn’t something you can jump in and start making money right away.
However, trading platforms have evolved and gradually become beginner friendly. Plus they provide multiple ways to invest your money while minimizing the risks. I personally use eToro and you can read all about it in my eToro review for 2017.
I have covered FOREX trading in Sri Lanka before so won’t go into detail here. On average you can expect a 2%-5% return on your investment per month. Which is usually better than most investment options in Sri Lanka.
2/ Doing freelance work
If you have a marketable skill then this is a probably the best way to make money online. I know freelancers from Sri Lanka who earn well over Rs. 200,000 by doing freelance work like web development, software development, and graphic design. I do freelance SEO consulting and at a minimum make around Rs. 50,000+ per month.
If you want some inspiration, check out this Elakiri thread which explains how a fellow Sri Lankan is making money through Fiverr, a website that allows you to sell your services online.
Popular freelancing niches
It’s important to note that work doesn’t come to you unless you establish a reputation. Once you establish a reputation you have to keep delivering to maintain that reputation. I personally know that the below services have a huge demand.
- Software development – These range from adding a small form in a website to large complex software projects.
- Web development – A skill that is high in demand where you can earn Rs. 50,000 upwards for a website.
- Graphic design – From a simple graphic to animated videos, this is another service that has a constant demand.
- Digital marketing – Things include search engine optimization, content writing, link building, social media marketing and other niche marketing work.
Because labor is expensive in countries like USA and Europe there is a good demand for good freelancers from Sri Lanka. There are many sites for freelancers that are absolutely free to sign up. I have covered some of them in the below article.
- Read the article freelance work in Sri Lanka and follow the instructions given in that article.
If you have a knack for writing then blogging is a great way to make money online. However, it will take some time for you to develop a blog, bring traffic to your blog and then monetize your blog to make money. This is ideal for someone who thinks long term instead of a quick profit. In the first few months, you won’t earn a lot. But once you write few articles and starts to get traffic then you will see a steady increase in earnings.
With blogging, you can gradually scale your income. This blog makes me about $500 a month from affiliate marketing, paid posts and advertising deals. And for the whole year, it costs me about $100 for hosting and the domain.
Low entry cost
The good thing about blogging is you can get started for free using blogging platforms like Blogger, WordPress or Medium. If you have no idea about hosting, buying domain etc then joining one of the above platforms is a good way to get started. Please note if you want to monetize it later then Blogger is the best option.
Once you get the hang of it then you can host your own blog with your preferred domain name. But creating a blog and writing articles is just the start. Then you need to learn things like search engine optimization, social media marketing etc to bring traffic to your blog. That’s why this is ideal for someone who is willing to make a commitment and persevere until you see the income.
4/ Joining paid to write sites
If you’re good at writing then this is a great way to make money online. You sign up for these website and they’ll provide you with all the tools and resources to create awesome looking webpages. These webpages will have advertisements on them and you’ll get a percentage of money earned from those advertisements. It’s free so just signup and give it a try.
5/ Sell Photos Online
Selling photos is another great way to make money online. If you’re already into photography then this could be a great way to make some extra income. All those photos are just lying there on Facebook anyway, so no harm in uploading them to a photo selling site and making some extra cash. Most of my friends use Shutterstock and they’d have some amazing success through them.
6/ Affiliate marketing
In affiliate marketing you act as the middle man. You sell a companies products or services to consumers and the company pays you a commission for every successful sale. For a comprehensive take on affiliate marketing check out this wiki article.
There are many products and services that has affiliate programs. Although not used extensively some Sri Lankan companies also have affiliate programs. This is a great way to make money online for free if you find the right product in the right niche.
7/ Data Entry Jobs
My article about data entry jobs in SL gets lots of traffic so I know this is a topic most people are interested. You wont get rich by doing data entry jobs but still if you find the right job you can make a decent income.
- Read the article Data Entry jobs in Sri Lanka and follow the instructions given in that article.
8/ PTC programs
PTC stands for paid to click and this is not the best way to build a sustainable income but I understand that some of you just want to earn some quick cash. These programs require you to log in for like 10-15 minutes everyday and clicking on ads and reading them. If you want to be really successful at this then you need to get lots of referrals because you earn a part of what your referrals earn as well. You can earn a decent amount if you manage to get enough referrals.
9/ Doing Paid surveys
Online surveys are a very legitimate method to make money online but the problem is most of these paid surveys are targeted towards US and Canadian citizens. It is very hard to find worldwide surveys where Sri Lankans can participate in. These programs do have referral programs so as with most things in making money online, if you can get enough referrals you have a chance of making a decent income.
10/ Buying and selling domains
This is another good way to make money online but you need to have some knowledge about domain valuation etc to make money through this method. There are few Sri Lankans who are doing it but if you are new to making money online then it is better if you focus on the other things mentioned above.
Listed above are some good ways to make money online in Sri Lanka, if you know some other good way to make money online in Sri Lanka please mention in the comments section so I can consider adding it to the list. Taking action is the most important thing needed to make money online, follow the steps mentioned in the article and you have a good chance of making money online.
Any other awesome methods to make money online from Sri Lanka?
I personally use most of the methods listed above. Even the ones that I don’t personally use I have done some research before including it. Making money online is not easy and you have to put it in the hard yards as any other job. But, compared to most other jobs its scalable and gives you a lot more freedom.
So don’t spend time thinking about it, just get started. And if you know of another great way to make money online make sure to mentions in the comments. I will try to add it when possible.