Thanks to the internet, there is an endless number of ways to make money online. Here are just 21 ways you can make some extra money on the side.
Making more money could likely solve a lot of your problems. In the past, we’ve talked about how teens can make money, but for those of us who are a little older, we need something a little more sophisticated than the $10 that comes from mowing lawns.
1. Take surveys online
While taking online surveys won’t make you rich by any means, a few minutes of your time can earn you a few extra dollars.
Swagbucks allows you to earn points and then redeem them for gift cards or cash back. And the cash back option is available for over 1500 retailers including Amazon, Starbucks, Target etc. Lots of options!
Here’s how it works: you earn points by shopping through their portal, filling out surveys, watching videos, etc. The best part is it’s free to sign up! Plus they are currently giving a $10 sign up bonus.
2. Become a freelancer
If you have a talent, chances are, you can sell your skill. Whether you’re a writer, artist, graphic designer, photographer, etc., there’s a freelance gig for you. Let’s cover a few possible freelance angles for you to take.
It’s easier than ever to become a freelance writer (all of our writers at Money Under 30 are freelancers). With that being said, if you’re just starting out it can be difficult to find a writing job that will pay you more than pennies.
We have advice here, on how to actually get hired for a freelance job. Also, a good place to start looking is Fiverr. It’s called Fiverr, because most people would charge just $5 for their services—some people still do that, others charge a lot more.
If you like to teach and have some free time, consider teaching English as a second language. EF, an online teaching company where you could earn up to $2,000 a month, making it a pretty great side-hustle.
VIPkid is another excellent service that connects North American teachers and tutors with students in China for one-on-one English lessons.
The application process is rigorous, but you could make between $14 and $22 an hour—not necessarily the most competitive, but still decent.
Do small tasks
If you’re not prone to creativity, you can still make money online by offering your handyman (or woman) services on TaskRabbit.
Many of the tasks advertised on TaskRabbit involve tasks such as:
- Putting furniture together
- Running errands
- Picking up groceries
Search the gigs section of Craigslist
Along with TaskRabbit, you can search the “gigs” section on Craigslist. Many of the gigs are hoaxes, but there are some that are legit. There are gigs that involve computer skills, writing skills, general labor, cleaning, etc.
3. Invest with a robo-advisor
Robo-advisors put your investments on auto-pilot. With many robo-advisors, all you have to do is choose your risk, your goals, and fund your account. The robo-advisor will take care of the rest. For those who are looking to invest, but may not understand the ins and outs of investing, robo-advisors can help.
Here are a couple of our favorite robo-advisors!
Betterment is a simple investing platform. You can easily open sub-accounts that use different portfolios for reaching multiple goals. It’s also surprisingly inexpensive! Betterment’s Digital plan charges 0.25% annually. You’ll have access to a full suite of services as well as mobile messaging to an advisor
Check out our full Betterment review
M1 Finance is a hybrid robo-advisor and traditional brokerage, meaning you have a little more control in picking your portfolio than you would with just a robo-advisor. M1 allows you to pick and choose “pie slices” (different investments), which make up your portfolio.
M1 Finance is completely free, so any beginner investor should check them out.
Check out our full M1 Finance review
Like Betterment, Wealthfront has a lot to offer investors. With Wealthfront, you can choose from a selection of existing portfolios and edit it by adding or deleting an ETF to make it fit your needs. Or, you can create a custom portfolio and invest in the things that matter most to you, whether that’s socially responsible investing or investing in categories like healthcare or clean energy.
Check out our full Wealthfront review
4. Invest in real estate
Investing in real estate online is a great form of passive income if you’re open to a little risk.
Real estate crowdfunding involves many investors investing small amounts of money into real estate ventures.
There are a couple of companies that are the frontrunners in the real estate crowdfunding industry.
Roofstock is one. They focus on single-family homes that you can buy and use as rental properties. It’s a platform for investors and created by investors, which is why there are no fees to join and search their properties. For more information, see our Roofstock review.
Another well-known name in the real estate crowdfunding world is Fundrise. They have a super low minimum investment of just $500 (which is almost unheard of in the real estate industry), and Fundrise states that their annual returns generally range from 8.7%-12.4%. Read our Fundrise review.
5. Invest with a broker
The stock market scares a lot of folks, but it’s getting easier and easier to invest your money in stocks, even if you don’t have a whole lot of know-how.
But no longer – that’s right, no need to be scared of the investing world with so many excellent options out there. Here are 4 good places to start digging in.
- If you invest through a company like E*TRADE, they offer tons of investing tools so you can invest on your own, and you can trade stocks, options, and ETFs for $0.
- For slightly more seasoned investors, Zacks Trade makes day-trading easy and cost-effective. You can buy stocks and bonds, ETFs, options, and more. Their pricing is simple and straightforward – stock and ETF trades can be made for $0.01 per share (with a $3 minimum).
- TD Ameritrade is attractive for young investors because it has no minimum investment and they offer tons of tools for every level of investing. You can also trade through their mobile app which makes it super convenient.
- Ally Invest is one that truly stands out on its own from the group because they have no commission fees AND no account minimum! For the self-directed trader, this is a dream come true. You can invest in stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, and mutual funds – so there’s a little something for everyone.
6. Become a virtual assistant
Virtual assistants can make up to $16 an hour. You can work part-time or full time, and your schedule can be relatively flexible, as long as it lines up with whomever you’re working for.
What you need to be a virtual assistant:
- Headset or cell phone
- Good communication skills
- Flexible schedule
7. Sell or rent your belongings
This could mean selling a few things here and there on Ebay, running a full-fledged online store, or renting out your home (okay, so that’s not entirely online, but it starts out there).
Ebay may seem old school, what with Amazon and Etsy, but selling stuff you don’t need is a great way to make extra cash.
You can make a free account, but you’ll be limited to how much you can sell. If you want to sell more than 50 items a month online, you’ll need to sign-up for one of Ebay’s subscriptions.
- Starter: $4.95/ mo with an annual subscription
- Basic: $21.95/ mo with an annual subscription
- Premium: $59.95/ mo with an annual subscription
- Anchor: $299.95/ mo with an annual subscription
- Enterprise: $2,999.95/ mo with an annual subscription
Each comes with different selling caps, and the higher the subscription, the lower the fees.
Etsy’s setup is a lot more satisfying than Ebay and even Amazon. But, just like Ebay and Amazon, Etsy does have some fees to consider if you’re planning on just casually selling. The fee schedule goes as follows:
- $0.20 USD for each item that you list for sale
- When you make a sale you’ll be charged a transaction fee of 3.5% of the price you display for each listing
If you want to go real old-school, you can sell your items on Craigslist. While there’s a lot that can go wrong on Craigslist, it’s still one of the most used sites—mostly because it’s free.
Sell your text books
Textbooks are expensive—too expensive for most. So, if you have old textbooks you’re never going to look at again—or never looked at in the first place—selling them can make you back some of the money you had to spend.
If you buy your books from Barnes and Noble, they make it easy to sell them back at the end of the year!
Rent your home on Airbnb
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Airbnb. If you have an extra room or even a whole house you’re willing to rent out, you could earn a hefty side income.
There’s a cost when it comes to listing on Airbnb, You’ll be charged 3% of the booking total. Since you can set prices, however, you’ll still have quite a bit of control over how much you can make as an Airbnb host.
8. Get a cash back credit card
Applying online for a cash back credit card is a great way to earn money on purchases you already plan on making.
There are many credit cards to choose from—here are just a few we recommend. Let’s dig a little deeper into our favorites.
Discover it® Cash Back
With the Discover it® Cash Back, you can earn 5% cashback on different categories each quarter when you activate, up to the quarterly limit. Previous categories have included gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, and wholesale clubs.
You’ll receive 1% on all other purchases.
Discover will also match your cashback at the end of your first year as a card holder!
Learn more: See card details or apply here
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
IN A NUTSHELL
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card earns a strong $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back and this card also includes an excellent 0% intro APR opportunity.Read reviewApply Now On the Citi Secure WebsiteCREDIT SCORE REQUIREMENTS:?Poor500-599Fair600-699Good700-749Excellent750-850
WHAT WE LIKE:
- 0% into APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (regular APR is 13.99% – 23.99% variable)
- Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back
- No annual fee
Intro APR Purchases0% for 15 months on purchasesIntro Term Purchases15 monthsIntro APR Balance Transfers0% for 15 months on balance transfersIntro Term Balance Transfers15 monthsRegular APR13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)Annual Fee$0
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card offers a little bit of everything you could possibly ask for from a cash back rewards card.
There’s no annual fee, get 0% for 15 months on purchases & 0% for 15 months on balance transfers, a $200 welcome bonus after spending $750 within three months of account opening, and most uniquely, 5% cash back on whichever spending category you made the biggest purchases in (travel, groceries, etc.) during the previous billing cycle.
And to top it all off, you’ll get 1% back on everything else.
Learn more: See card details or apply here.
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
IN A NUTSHELL
This is one of the best all-around credit cards on the market, and it’s especially attractive if you bank with Bank of America. A nice up front bonus, strong cash rewards program and no annual fee make for a terrific combination.Read reviewApply Now On the Secure Bank of America WebsiteCREDIT SCORE REQUIREMENTS:?
WHAT WE LIKE:
- 3% cash back in your choice category. Choose from gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
- $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days
- 25% – 75% rewards bonus on every purchase if you’re a Preferred Rewards member
Intro APR Purchases0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchasesIntro Term Purchases15 billing cyclesIntro APR Balance Transfers0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 daysIntro Term Balance Transfers15 billing cyclesRegular APR13.99% – 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfersAnnual Fee$0
The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card gives 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on a choice category for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/choice category purchases each quarter.
It also has a $0 annual fee!
Learn more: See card details or apply here
9. Download money-making apps
If you already shop online, downloading money-making apps can earn you cash every time you shop. Let’s take a look at some of the best apps.
MyPoints is one of my favorites. You can earn up to 40% back on all your purchases at 2,000 top retailers like Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy, and Amazon. They also offer promo codes at tons of online stores. One of my favorite things about MyPoints is that you can redeem your points whenever you want. All you have to do is can cash out and get gift cards, or you can transfer the cash to your PayPal account. It’s actually very easy.
Dosh is an enticing cash back app because the bash back part is 100% automatic making your purchases even easier. Just link your credit or debit card in the app and you’ll automatically earn cash back whenever you make a purchase at a partner site. Partners include Walmart, ASOS, GNC, Instacart, and Sephora, plus over 15k local restaurants and retailers that offer up to 10% cash back. Best of all, you can move the cash you earn directly to your PayPal or Venmo account as soon as you earn at least $25.
For your grocery purchases, Fetch Rewards can help. In addition to scanning receipts for your brick-and-mortar purchases, you can also take advantage of Fetch’s eReceipts feature. Just tap on the icon and connect the app to your email. You can then search your email account for digital receipts. You’ll get points for any purchase you made from participating brands.
Another great option is Acorns and my experience is that Acorns can make anyone an investor. It helps you start saving by rounding up your purchases on the debit or credit card of your choice. Then, every time you hit $5 in savings, Acorns invests your money in ETFs. Mighty convenient. Acorns cost $1, $3, or $5 per month depending on the plan you choose – making it a cheap option for young investors. Here’s our review of Acorns.
Finally, Swagbuck, another cool option lets you earn gift cards and cash for shopping online, watching certain videos, and answering surveys. You can redeem points for cash through PayPal, or get gift cards from retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
10. Create a blog
If you can create a niche audience for your blog, you can make an entire paycheck—just ask our founder.
To start earning money by blogging, you’ll need to use certain advertising tactics, the best for start-up blogs is:
Advertising and affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing makes it possible for small blogs to stay in business. Rather than getting paid per 1,000 page views or per click—which is the traditional middle—affiliate advertising involves an advertiser paying an affiliate publisher (your blog) when it refers a paying customer.
11. Open an online savings account
Opening an online savings and checking account can earn you a much higher interest rate than at traditional banks. Our favorite banks are below:
Barclays Online Savings Account
Barclays Online Savings is currently yielding a 0.40% APY which is better than 18x the national average.
There is no deposit required to open an account and there are no monthly maintenance fees to worry about. To receive the APY you must have at least $1 in your account (and if you don’t have $1 to put in your account, revisit the other items on this list ASAP!)
Discover Bank Online Savings Account
The Discover Bank Online Savings Account earns you a 0.40% APY—they also offer CD’s and money market accounts for your deposit needs. No minimum deposit required and no minimum balance to earn the APY.
12. Unsubscribe from some online services that you don’t use
Making money online is easy, but spending money online is even easier. It’s incredibly easy to sign-up for a service, put it on auto-pay, and forget about it.
Luckily, there’s a service that will go through all your old subscriptions and ask you which ones you want to cancel. This service is Trim.
Trim can even negotiate some of your bills for you! That makes it perfect for millennials who have an aversion to phone calls.
13. Start a podcast
Blogs and podcasts are two of the top side-hustles these days. You can make money doing a podcast similarly to how you make money running a blog. Find a niche topic. This makes it easier to narrow down your audience and affiliate market.
Once you have a dedicated audience (which could take a while), you can start reaching out to advertisers who’s products would make sense to mention. Here are a few other ways to monetize your podcast.
14. Become YouTube famous
If you’re good at talking in front of a camera and have an idea/product you want to discuss, YouTube could be the perfect platform for you. You can earn money on YouTube in a variety of ways:
Become a YouTube partner
The big money on YouTube is if you meet the requirements to become a partner. This year, YouTube changed the requirements to become a partner. You need to have a channel that has reached 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers.
When you’re a partner, you start earning by how many views you receive. Here’s how it works: “YouTube takes around a 45% slice of advertising revenue, although the CPM (cost per thousand) that advertisers are charged varies. Most partners earn anywhere between $0.30 to $2.50 CPM.”
Connect to Google AdSense
Once you become a Youtube partner, you can connect to Google AdSense, their advertising system. You’ll be paid based on the number of “impressions” your videos get. That’s when someone clicks on or watches an ad.
If you can get companies to sponsor your videos, or place their products in their videos, you can generate even more income. But you’ll need to inform YouTube of these product placements, or they may pull your partnership.
15. Create online courses
If you have a specific area you’re especially knowledgeable in, creating an online course can make you some decent money. This could be a course in just about anything: Cooking skills, massage therapy, how to play the guitar, etc.
You’ll want to start by creating a course outline—show it to a couple people, have them tell you if they think they’ll actually learn whatever it is you’re trying to teach. Next, it’s time to make your course. Most of them are done through video, with worksheets included.
When it’s time to sell your course, you can sell to places like Zippy Courses.
16. Write an e-book
Writing an e-book and selling it is a lot like making courses online. Again, if you have a topic you want to write about—it could be as simple as the hobbies you like—writing about it should be easy, and if you can find a site willing to buy your book you can rake in a little extra cash.
You can go through Amazon Kindle Publishing—they’ll charge you a commission each time you get a sale, but their reach is huge, so you’re more likely to sell more copies.
17. Sell pictures that you’ve taken
If your hobby is photography, or you’re looking to become a professional photographer, there are a couple ways you can get started and make some money online.
First, you can sell your photos to stock photo companies. Some of those companies include:
Or, if the only camera you have access to is your smartphone, you can sell your pictures you take with your phone. Apps and companies you can sell to include:
18. Shop online
Most people shop online these days—and for good reason. It can actually save you money.
If you use coupon sites, you can save money on things you’ll already spend on. Some of these sites include:
19. Subscribe to a food delivery service
Using a food delivery service can’t necessarily earn you money, but it can help you save you money if you constantly find yourself throwing out half the food you buy. Food delivery services send a box of food every week with new, sometimes unique vegetables, meat, fruit, and so on. If you don’t have time to shop and want simple meal-prep that leads to a good meal, a food subscription service may be perfect for you.
Most of the services offer similar enough foods – it just depends on the price range you want. Our recommended food services are HelloFresh, Home Chef, SunBasket, Purple Carrot, and Freshly.Try Freshly — Get $60 off your first 4 Boxes!
And another great option I want to throw in is Blue Apron – especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with cooking or you want to take advantage that they have meal options for Weight Watchers as well as vegetarians.
20. File your taxes online
While filing your taxes online isn’t a constant source of income, it can help you get your tax return sooner. Here’s three of the best tax softwares that make filing easy!
TurboTax is likely the tax software you’ve heard the most about, and for good reason! If you file a 1040-EZ, 1040, or 1040A you could file your federal return for free, plus, the guided format explains the tax filing process clearly, so you can be done filing in a matter of minutes.
Plus, if you’re self-employed, TurboTax has a Self-Employed product that can save you from having to hire a costly tax expert. It costs $114.99 for the software.
H&R Block has evolved past its brick and mortar beginnings and offers online products that compete with the best of them. If you’ve used past tax software products, you can upload a PDF of last year’s return from any other tax prep service.
H&R Block works like many of the other softwares—H&R Block Online guides you through your tax return to make sure you haven’t missed anything. All along, the Refund Reveal feature shows your estimated refund or balance due in the upper left corner.
TaxAct is one of the cheapest tax software programs, but it still offers a lot. Like TurboTax, it offers a free filing for forms 1040EZ and 1040A. Their Premium services are also cheaper, starting at just $37 for more complicated tax situations.
While TaxAct might not look as fancy as the other tax softwares, it offers many of the same products for a lower cost.
21. Become a graphic designer
A graphic designer creates digital art for their clients. And it’s actually a lot easier to make money as a graphic designer than some might think—it just takes a little persistence.
First, you’ll need to create a portfolio. After that, you can find direct clients to work with by using sites like Fiverr, where you can sell your talents. You can also post videos of you teaching graphic design—with product placement—and get clients that way.
Making money online is becoming easier and easier. As long as you have some technological know-how, you can make a little extra cash on the side. We have just 21 ideas above, but there are an endless amount of things you can do to make money if you get creative.