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32 Proven Ways to Make Money Fast
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
In a bind? Need some fast cash? We’re talking here about small bursts of capital, not millions of dollars — enough to satisfy your monthly obligations or get that nagging creditor to stop calling you.
None of the 32 strategies listed here to get some money quickly will break the proverbial bank. Some are easier than others, but nearly all require very little to no capital. They are meant to get you through the difficult times.
Some of these strategies to make extra money will require you to be in certain locales, while others are location-independent, but it all boils down to being resourceful. We’ve all found ourselves in a tight spot at one point in our lives or another, but to the person who’s committed, anything is possible.
Much of this has to do with mindset. When you lack money, scarcity thinking sets in. The scarcity mindset is negative and thinks that there’s never enough of whatever it is to go around. When you find yourself thinking like that, do everything in your power to move into an abundant mindset.
Our thoughts are incredibly powerful. We have upwards of 60,000 thoughts per day, many deep within our subconscious mind, much of which are repeated. We have to be stewards of our thoughts. Once you find yourself thinking negatively, you need to jar yourself out of that.
When you’re looking to make money fast, you’re often in a tough spot financially, even desperate to make ends meet, but everything that we have and everything that we become is partly born from our thoughts. Think and you shall become. Curate and cultivate the right thoughts if you want to live an abundant life.
The psychology of making money.
Regardless if you need to earn some fast cash or we’re just talking about making money in the grand scheme of things, there’s an important psychology that needs to be mentioned before getting into the strategies. If you study Freud’s model of the mind, you’ll discover the Psychic Apparatus. It’s the three-part construct in your mind that controls all of your behavior.
Those three are the id, the super-ego and the ego. The id lives deep within the subconscious from birth. It’s the source of our sudden and most instinctive urges. When you find yourself doing what you know you shouldn’t, blame your id.
The super-ego is formed later in life to balance the id. It forms and breaks off from the id through our upbringing, parental guidance and our sense of community and beliefs. People who are careful with their money can thank their super-ego.
The ego is the driver making the decisions. It decides between the devil (the id) and the angel (the super-ego) on either shoulder (yes, all those cartoons you’ve ever seen are partly true). We have voices in our mind, and it’s up to the ego to decide which one to fulfill. Its goal is to satisfy the id in some way while also attending to the super-ego.
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Get-rich-quick schemes and fad weight-loss diets are naturally popular because they satisfy the id while also attending to the super-ego. The ego’s job is complete when it sees something like this. The appeal of “fast” stems from the innate desire for instant gratification, so beware of what seems too good to be true (they often are) when you’re looking to make money quickly. Be wary. Listen to the conversation deep within the confines of your mind and do your best to tame the proverbial beasts.
What are the best ways to make money right away? While a search online when you’re in need of some fast cash will produce millions of results, not all will be legitimate. It’s up to you to filter through the so-called noise. These 32 strategies will help put you in the black, even if it’s in a very small way. Once you are, resume planning and focusing on the bigger picture.
1. Money-making strategy: Drive for Uber or Lyft
Companies like Uber and Lyft offer a great opportunity to make some quick cash. You’ll need a clean driving record, a fairly new car and the authorization to work wherever it is that you live. If you have all of those things, you can work when it’s feasible for you, whether that’s in the middle of the day during rush hour, or in the wee hours of the night on a weekend. The choice is yours.
2. Money-making strategy: Become a market research participant
In college I participated in loads of market research. It’s fairly quick money for not a lot of work. Companies looking for consumers’ opinions on a variety of products and services put you in a room to garner your opinion. That’s it.
This often involves writing or stating your opinion, answering polls or surveys, or breaking off in a discussion group. The mechanics don’t matter much. The point is that you can rely on it from time to time. Focusgroup.com is just one company that is looking for participants.
3. Money-making strategy: Sell old books and games on Amazon
Amazon makes it fairly easy to list and sell old books, games and devices on its marketplace. You can make more than just a few bucks If you have pricey textbooks from college. Be sure the books are in good condition. You’ll get negative reviews if you attempt to sell books that are falling apart or games that are scratched up. Remember, be upfront about any defects, no matter how small they might be and no matter how few people might readily notice it.
4. Money-making strategy: Sell, or resell, used tech on Craigslist
The market for used electronics is vast. You can use Craigslist to part ways with your old iPhone or your MacBook. You can grab a premium for these types of electronics. Some people even flip items by buying them and reselling them.
You could also use a website like Gazelle to sell your used phones, no matter what kind you have. Companies like that have made an entire business model out of buying used phones and refurbishing them. Either way, you can expect to get a fair bit of money relatively quickly if you have these items laying around your house.
5. Money-making strategy: Do tasks with TaskRabbit
TaskRabbit lets you tap into an existing marketplace of people looking for help locally with chores. The tasks aren’t always small. This platform (along with others) offers bigger tasks, such as home renovations, as well.
Amazon is getting into the task business with Amazon Home Services. The services listed range from very small repairs to larger and more involved tasks that would take considerably more effort.
6. Money-making strategy: Deliver for PostMates
You can earn some cash when you’re in dire straits by using PostMates, and you don’t even need a car, just a bike for deliveries in busier cities and downtown centers. I’ve used it often to get food from specialty places that don’t deliver themselves, but it can be used for many things.
PostMates states on their website that you could earn up to $25/hour doing deliveries. You could also earn some tips in the process so it’s a great option for people that are looking to do something in their spare time, similar to the big ride-sharing apps that are hogging up app stores everywhere.
7. Money-making strategy: Flip real estate contracts
Ir you’re thinking this is cost prohibitive, it’s not. You can flip real estate contracts without ever taking possession of the property. This isn’t a fixer-upper endeavor, just securing a contract and selling it to an interested party. That’s it.
You can do this with just a few hundred dollars in most cases to open up escrow. There are companies dedicated to teaching how to do this like REWW. It’s good for making a little bit of money, but is also potentially something more long term as well.
8. Money-making strategy: Sell on CafePress or Etsy
If you can design digital items, you can sell them for a share of the profits on a site like CafePress. You can do this with nothing more than some design software. They can include custom logos, inspirational sayings and other topical or trending designs appealing to the masses.
You could hire a designer to assist you with this, but you still need to come up with the ideas. This works best if you understand design yourself but requires no overhead. Items are printed and delivered on-demand. You simply receive a share of the proceeds. Similarly, you could sell items on Etsy as well.
9. Money-making strategy: Answer questions on JustAnswer
People looking for expertise online. JustAnswer (and several sites like it) allow doctors, lawyers, engineers and others with enhanced knowledge to earn a small income merely answering questions from people who would otherwise have to pay a hefty sum for those answers.
This platform is a great resource for people. It’s also lucrative (for the time spent) if you’re looking to earn a bit of cash in a hurry. Don’t expect to get rich answering questions, but you can generate a few bucks here or there if you’re in a bind.
10. Money-making strategy: Grab gigs on Fivver
No matter what type of service you offer, you can likely offer it Fivver. This is terrific for digital services such as graphic design, web design, short audio or video clip creation, editing services, writing and so on.
Fivver has expanded beyond just the $5-per-gig model. Fiverr Pro pools the best talent on its platform. Depending on your skills, you could do considerably well on here.
11. Money-making strategy: Walk dogs
There are networks devoted connecting dog owners with dog walkers. Rover is one of the largest networks of dog walkers out there. Of course, you could also use social media or just knock on neighbors doors to advertise your services, but you can easily use one of these services.
Do a great job if you’re serious about building a track record of solid reviews. That will help you make money in the future when you’re in desperate need of it.
12. Money-making strategy: Babysitting with Care.com
You can easily do some babysitting when you need to make a few bucks quickly. Parents everywhere are always in need of babysitting and nanny services.
Websites like Care.com connect parents with babysitters. The company does all the background checking and other due diligence to put parents’ minds at ease. Of course, you can appeal directly to people in your personal network, but if you’re looking to generate recurring revenue sign up with a site marketing to parents looking for child care services.
13. Money-making strategy: Sell your photos
Have an eye for photography? Of course, you need to be good at this to earn any money but it you are, you can sell photos on ShutterStock or iStockPhoto (along with many others) to generate a passive income from something you might be very passionate about.
For a quicker way to earn by taking photos, solicit people looking for photographers to cover their wedding, engagement, child’s birthday or any other life event. You’ll need a good camera and some experience, but you can definitely earn some must-needed income this way no matter where you live.
14. Money-making strategy: Become a personal training
If you understand fitness, you could be a personal trainer. People pay good money for personal trainers, if only to have someone keep them on track towards their goals. You can add value while also helping yourself financially.
This could also break off into nutrition and assisting people with meal plans, and so on. You could solicit clients in your local gym, but depending on where you live, you might need some certification to do this (not to mention the gym’s approval). You could also use a site like FitnessTrainer to advertise your services.
15. Money-making strategy: Tutor students
Parents are always willing to invest in their children’s future. If you have a great deal of knowledge in subjects such as math, science or computers, you could tutor for cash.
Both Indeed.com and Care.com offer opportunities for tutoring local students. You could opt for either of these platforms or simply find your clients through your personal network or social media.
16. Money-making strategy: Advertise for companies with a car wrap
Platforms like Carvertise connect brands and companies with drivers. The process is simple — agree to turn your car into a roaming billboard for a price. If you qualify, you can earn a set monthly fee for advertising with your car. You won’t have to pay anything to do this, but you’ll need a clean driving record and a fairly new car.
You’ll have to drive the car enough to be worth it for brands paying for your services. If you have all that, then you could make a bit of side-hustle income through this endeavor.
17. Money-making strategy: Help with home gardening
Offering your services as a local gardener could make you enough money quick enough to satisfy some pressing needs. There are loads of options from mowing lawns and pulling weeds to planning gardens and decor. If you pitch to enough neighbors, you’ll find at least a few takers. It’ll definitely be worth your while.
18. Money-making strategy: Take on housecleaning jobs
There’s a variety of platforms online that you could tap into for doing this, or you could simply scour your neighborhood or post on social media. You could use Amazon’s Home Services for this as well, or you could create your own simple, one-page website to advertise.
Either way, this is a terrific way to make upwards of $20 per hour or more doing a job that’s often in high demand. You could easily make this a long-term gig if you perform well and don’t cut corners.
19. Money-making strategy: Become a home organizer
You could easily do home organizing for people, an industry that has gained a lot of popularity since the debut of Netflix’s hit series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. If you’re a tidy and organized person yourself, and you’re good at organizing spaces, why not offer your services to people around you? You’d be surprised at how many people, even on your own social media feed, might take you up on doing something like this.
Again, a site like Care.com also helps to connect home organizers with people looking for this type of service. It all depends on whether you want to go through a professional company or pitch it yourself to people that are already in your personal or business network.
20. Money-making strategy: Wash carpets
Rent a carpet cleaning machine at your local home improvement store, or buy one if you think you can get enough work doing this. You’ll likely find lots of people need something like this, but haven’t actively looked for the service.
You can wash carpets in the owner’s homes, or have them steam-cleaned offsite, depending on the job and the trust you build with the owners.
21. Money-making strategy: Give blood
You can \make around $20 to $50 per donation of blood, depending if your blood type is rare or common. You can also donate plasma. Different states have different minimum requirements that must be paid when people donate plasma.
Plasma donations help people who are fighting Leukemia and other immune disorders. This is a bit more complicated and involved than donating blood but you won’t get much more than donating blood.
22. Money-making strategy: Decorate homes for the holidays
Whether it’s New Year’s, Christmas lighting, Easter, Fourth of July or any other holiday, you can get paid to help decorate homes. This might involve putting up lights inside or outside, decorating trees, setting up games and decor.
Use the internet and social media to find clients, or simply advertise to your local network. There are loads of options when it comes to doing specialty jobs like this.
23. Money-making strategy: Participate in medical studies
If you don’t mind throwing caution to the wind, consider becoming a participant in medical studies or drug trials. Companies pay a significant amount of money to participants.
You’ll need to find the companies conducting medial studies and expect side effects. If you can live with that, then you can definitely make some money fast without too much effort.
24. Money-making strategy: Rent a spare room on AirBnB
AirBnB can be a terrific platform for renting out a spare room. You can make some good money, especially if you live in a tourist destination. If you don’t mind the neighbors, then this is definitely an option. You can crash with friends and family and rent out your entire house if you’re really desperate.
25. Money-making strategy: Do micro gigs on Mechanical Turk
Mechanical Turk is a platform by Amazon that allows you to do small jobs and get paid for it. But don’t expect too much money out of this. These gigs truly are “micro” and range from a few cents to a few dollars at the most. But if you string several of these together, it might be in your benefit.
You don’t need any serious qualification to do this. Usually, this involves clicking on links, taking surveys, giving an opinion, doing some light categorizing or other human-intelligence tasks (HITs as they like to call it).
26. Money-making strategy: Sell vintage clothes at a thrift shop
You’ll likely get paid by the pound but it’s some money, so if you’re in need, then why not — especially if you have no use for those clothes anymore. This works best for things like maternity clothes, old children’s clothes, clothes that you haven’t worn in years or are simply out of style.
27. Money-making strategy: Open a cash-bonus checking account
Check with your local bank to see if they’re giving away cash bonuses for opening up accounts. Banks run promotions like this all the time, so grab some real cash quickly if you’re in need. It won’t break the bank (no pun intended) but it will give you a quick $50 or $100 — maybe even more — when you really need it. You might need to deposit a minimum amount of cash (usually in the thousands) in order to qualify for these types of accounts (but not always).
28. Money-making strategy: Get a small microloan
You can get a small business loan (very small) on Fundera, or Prosper if you’re looking for a very small personal loan. Depending on your credit and your financial and employment situations, you can secure up to a few thousand dollars like this.
There are loads of platforms that offer these small microloans. You have to pay them back but it can help if you’re in a bind.
29. Money-making strategy: Conduct a webinar
Okay, it sounds intimidating but webinars are one of the best ways to earn cash quickly. You’re speaking to a highly-engaged audience. If you position yourself and the offer correctly, you can make loads of money in a very short period.
GoToWebinar is by far the biggest platform. Webinar Jam is one of the most feature-rich platforms out there. Whichever you go with comes down to how well you can sell. It takes practice, but this is fast cash at its essence.
30. Money-making strategy: Wash or detail cars
People are always looking to have their cars washed and detailed. You could be a mobile car washer and detailer without having a permanent location. Reach out to people you know or make some flyers and put it in your neighbors’ mailboxes. If you want to get serious about it, prop up a one-page website or give out business cards. You can make money quickly doing this.
31. Money-making strategy: Lead walking tours on Viator
If you live in a tourist locale, consider doing walking tours on Viator, which is one of the largest platforms for tour operators in the world. You’ll really need to work hard to get a good reputation. To find clients quickly offer free tours and ask for tips at the end.
This is leveraging the principle of reciprocity with the power of free. People love to get things for free, but they feel obligated at the end to give something in return. That’s why supermarkets are always giving away food. They know if you like it, you’ll buy it.
32. Money-making strategy: Pawn your valuables
If you’re running on fumes, financially speaking, but you have some money coming your way soon, consider pawning something of value to borrow fast cash. Of course, to get those items back you’ll need to pay back the loan with interest. If you don’t pay it back in time, that you’ll lose the item. If it’s really something that has a lot of intrinsic value to you, don’t do it. But if it’s something that doesn’t, you can certainly consider it depending on your situation.
40 Creative Ways to Make Money Fast
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Our number one goal at DollarSprout is to help readers improve their financial lives, and we regularly partner with companies that share that same vision. Some of the links in this post may be from our partners. Here’s how we make money.
You’re broke and payday is still a week away. You need to figure out how to make money fast.
Alas, you’ve arrived at the right place.
Whether it’s the end of the month and you’re short on cash for rent, or you’re a college student looking to make a little extra spending money, often all we need are a few easy ways to bring in some cash (and preferably something you can start today).
If you need to know how to make $100 in a day (or maybe even $200 in one day) you may be able to find a few options on this list to help you pull it off.
On the other hand, if you’re in debt and need $2,000 fast, this list probably isn’t for you. Outside of selling thousands of dollars worth of belongings or taking out a payday loan, anything that promises four-figures in a short time frame is likely a scam.
Be safe and stick to the legitimate ideas you’ll find here. Everything included has been vetted as a real way to make money; be it a short-term work-from-home gig or cashing in on a unique promo opportunity a company has to offer, we’ve done the due diligence on dozens of different money-making ideas so you don’t have to.
40 Best Ways to Make Money Fast
The best way to start making money fast is to get some quick wins. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Deliver groceries with Postmates
How much does it pay? Experienced drivers make up to $27 per hour according to Postmates.
Gig economy jobs have quickly changed the way Americans earn money.
They’re not always the highest-paying opportunities, but they do offer a more flexible means of earning than your traditional 9 to 5. As a Postmates courier, you can capitalize on this trend by delivering things like groceries, takeout food, or even alcohol depending on the state.
Worth noting is that Postmates doesn’t even require that you deliver by vehicle — a bike will do. Better yet, there are no startup fees or time commitments with Postmates and all you’ll have to do is pass a basic background check to get started. Once Postmates verifies your identity, they’ll send you a delivery bag and a prepaid card (in the mail) that you’ll use to purchase delivery items.
One perk worth noting: you take home 100% of what you earn for each delivery; furthermore, you can see exactly what you’ll earn before you begin a delivery.
2. Take paid surveys with Survey Junkie
How much does it pay? Variable. Earn between $0.25-$3 per completed survey.
Companies want to understand consumers better, and one way they do that is by compensating survey-takers. Websites like Survey Junkie will pay you a decent chunk of change for the low-maintenance, borderline mindless task of completing surveys.
When you sign up for an account, Survey Junkie will ask you a few questions. They’ll want to know about your interests and shopping habits so they can match you with surveys that are applicable to you. Answer as accurately as possible to ensure you’re eligible for the surveys they send you.
Survey Junkie adds new surveys every day, which means you’ll want to circle back frequently to see if there are newly available surveys. You won’t get rich by taking surveys, but they are a legitimate way to earn a few bucks with very little effort. Earned points can be redeemed to cash via PayPal.
3. Make Swagbucks your default search engine
How much does it pay Up to $50 per month for active use + earn a $10 sign-up bonus.
Another easy way to score some quick cash is to use Swagbucks as your default search engine (rather than Bing or Google).
In doing so, you’ll earn points (“Swagbucks”) just by surfing the web like you normally do. You can’t game the system (as they have systems to prevent that), but you can expect to earn 10 to 20 Swagbucks for every 10 to 20 eligible searches you complete.
Other ways you can earn with Swagbucks:
- Cash-back program for internet shopping
- Taking paid online surveys
- Watching videos
Redeem your Swagbucks for cash via PayPal. 100 SB = $1.00 (or more).
4. Become a LifePoints community member
How much does it pay? Between $0.50-$1.00 per completed survey + 10 bonus points.
Similar to Survey Junkie, LifePoints rewards members for sharing their opinions on the products and services that they use on a daily basis.
The feedback you give them helps the world’s largest companies and brands make alterations to their products for existing and future customers. In return for your contribution, they award you with LifePoints that you can redeem for amazing rewards or free gift cards.
Bonus: By registering today, LifePoints will award you 10 bonus points immediately.
5. Get paid to read email and watch TV with InboxDollars
How much does it pay? Variable. Earn $4-$5 per month for watching daily TV content (and up to $50 per day when utilizing all earning activities) + a $5 sign-up bonus.
As the name suggests, InboxDollars will pay you quick money for opening and skimming emails, and answering questions about the emails you read.
There is also a $5 signup bonus.
Most question sets pay from $0.50 to $5.00 and take 3 minutes to 25 minutes to complete. Some pay $10, $20, or even more, if you match the demographic profile they are looking for. Beyond the email earning component, InboxDollars also allows you to earn by watching daily TV clips on their site.
InboxDollars works on a cash-only system, so you don’t have to worry about converting points to cash or only being compensated in gift cards.
6. Let Nielsen learn about your internet usage
How much does it pay? $50 per year. Entry into $10,000 monthly drawing.
Nielsen has been around since 1923, has over 44,000 employees, and is the same company you hear about in conversations about TV ratings (Nielsen Ratings).
Beyond TV research, however, they have a super unique program called the Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel, and it likes to pay you for one thing: data.
The premise is simple: rather than have you take surveys (for which you might not be eligible), Nielsen skips the process and uses AI to automatically make inferences about user internet usage.
It’s non-invasive, doesn’t slow down your device, and runs anonymously in the background. It’s a little bit slower to earn than many items on the list, but if you’re not one to care if Nielsen collects data (just like every app on your phone does anyway), you can collect $50 per year just for registering your device and leaving the app installed.
7. Start a blog with HostGator
How much does it pay? Highly variable. From $0-$100,000+ per month, although most people should not expect any results for several months.
If you happen to be even a half-decent writer, you can do what you love and make money while doing it.
DollarSprout uses blogging as a way to share information about earning and saving more money. You too can be a source of information (or amusement) for just about anything that interests you.
Whether you’d like to start a lifestyle-oriented blog where you share your favorite home decor ideas or a beauty and fashion blog where you film makeup tutorials and write product reviews, you can turn your favorite hobby into an online business.
Some elite bloggers are even pulling in over $100,000 each month. For example:
- Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents made over $159,000 in her last published report;
- or Pat @ Smart Passive Income, who made over $167,000 in his most recent report;
- and lastly, there’s Rosemarie @ The Busy Budgeter, who also made over $100,000 in her most recent report
To get started for less than the price of a cup of a coffee each month, check out HostGator or follow along on our start a blog tutorial.
Pro Tip: Use code BTOP42 and see what happens.
8. Get paid to test products with Pinecone Research
How much does it pay? $3 per completed review. Occasional free products by mail.
Another market research company, Pinecone Research polls consumers about products on behalf of larger companies looking for answers.
But, with Pinecone Research, there are two distinct twists:
1️⃣ Pinecone will occasionally send products to your home for you to use and test. This is brand-dependent, but often, in exchange for a quality-review, they’ll let you keep the product rather than send it back. Free product + get paid to review it? Alright by us.
2️⃣ Even without occasional free products by mail, Pinecone offers a robust payout method for survey takers that is unmatched in the survey industry. Every completed survey earns you exactly $3. Cash-out in $3, $5, or $15 increments and expect a check or PayPal deposit in 3-5 days.
9. Flip (or sell) textbooks for a profit with BookScouter
How much does it pay? Variable (vendor dependent).
Textbooks cost hundreds of dollars. It’s not uncommon for engineering and healthcare-related books to come in just below $1,000.
But with the high cost of textbooks comes opportunity. Flipping them for profit. By using a service like BookScouter, you can instantly compare book prices across 44 different vendors. You pick the one that offers the best price and voila. Book sold.
If you’re a student trying to offload books at the end of each semester, this is a sure-fire way to get the most for your books (instead of going with whatever price the local bookstore gives you).
If you’re a savvy entrepreneur, you can make cash offers to students you see in Facebook groups, Craigslist, or yard-sale groups, and then flip the books online for a profit. You may not make thousands, but running an ISBN through BookScouter’s tool only takes seconds, and if you see an opportunity to flip a book for profit, take it.
10. Rent out your extra space with Airbnb
How much does it pay? Variable. The average Airbnb host makes $924 per month. Superhosts can make $100,000+ per year.
If you have room to spare in your home, Airbnb could be the perfect way for you to score some extra dough.
The premise is simple: see how much your space might be worth, list a single room (or the whole house) on the app, screen potential guests, get paid. Airbnb provides up to $1,000,000 worth of insurance to cover your belongings (and home) in the event something goes wrong.
To get started, create a listing by filling out a description, take and upload photos of your space, and set a price. Your listing helps guests get a sense of what your place is like. Then, set the dates the space will be available and draft your house rules. Once your listing is live, guests can book their stay at your home, and you start earning money.
11. Rent out your car with Getaround
How much does it pay? Variable. Per Getaround, users can make up to $800 per month (about $10,000 per year).
Have a spare vehicle or hardly use the one you have? Rent it out with Getaround.
Getaround lets you list your vehicle on the app and automatically connects you to people in your area who need to borrow one. Renters can view, book, and retrieve your car straight from the app, so you don’t have to mess around with scheduling a meetup to exchange keys.
As a Getaround car owner, you get access to premium parking as well as a $50 monthly rental credit. And with $1 million insurance coverage, you can rest assured your property is in good hands.
It only takes a few clicks to put your car to work with Getaround. Just sign up and name your car, set the location and availability, and enter a description. Rental earnings accrue on a monthly basis and are paid on the 15 th of the following month.
12. Get earning with Uber Eats
How much does it pay? Get paid up to 5 times per day. Earn between $10-$15 per hour.
Do you have any of the following? Car , Bike , Scooter , Feet .
If so, you can get paid to deliver food in your spare time with Uber Eats. Think of it as the ultimate pizza-delivery side gig except you have an even more diverse base of clientele. Instead of just pizza, you’ll be delivering any and all food items on planet Earth.
It takes just minutes to sign up, you have no boss, and your “hours” are whatever you want them to be. An hour here and there. Nights. Weekends. Whatever. And with Instant Pay, you get same-day cashouts (up to 5 times per day!). If you need cash immediately, this is about as easy as it comes.
Pro Tip: Once you get registered, you’ll want to head to Google and learn everything there is to know about Boost and Surge Zones, Quest Goals, and Choose Your Quest — they’re all ways to multiply your earnings on top of base fares and other offers.
13. Become an Instacart shopper
How much does it pay? Shoppers in some regions earn up to $20 per hour.
One positive development out of the gig economy is the rise in affordable services available to those who have difficulty leaving home.
Be it someone caring for a sick family member or senior who’s unable to drive, there are those unable to complete even a simple task like grocery shopping.
As an Instacart Shopper, you work to help these people. When a customer places an order, you retrieve the items from the desired store and deliver them to that person’s home.
It works similarly to Uber Eats in that whenever you need to figure out how to make money, you simply sign into the app and mark yourself as available for shopping.
The best part? You get to put a smile on someone’s face — and you get paid to do it. Though exact wages will vary, Instacart Shoppers can earn as much as $20 per hour. If you committed to a typical 40-hour workweek, your compensation would come in at just under $40,000 per year (without taking into consideration expenses like gas and wear and tear on your vehicle).
14. Refer new users to Vindale Research
How much does it pay? Variable. $5 per referred user + a $1 sign-up bonus.
Vindale Research is exactly what it sounds like: a company that helps companies learn about consumers.
And while you can earn up to $50 per survey you take, they have a more generous earnings opportunity. Refer them a new survey taker and they’ll award you $5. Take a survey if and when it’s available to you, but focus more on referring users. It’s a guaranteed income stream that isn’t dependent on eligibility, and if you get good at recruiting, you can make some serious coin.
To start, register for Vindale Research, log in and grab your referral link, and then get creative about how and where you’ll find new users.
15. Get paid to be a freelance proofreader
How much does it pay? Freelance proofreaders earn $56,762 per year on average according to ZipRecruiter ($4,730 per month).
Are you good at catching typos, poor grammar, or other mistakes in written text?
If so, you may want to consider becoming a freelance proofreader. In 2020, Caitlin Pyle made over $43,000 working as a freelance proofreader — in her spare time. After she had a ton of success doing that, s he started Proofread Anywhere to teach others how to do the same.
At Proofread Anywhere, Caitlin shows how you too can capitalize on businesses looking to outsource content proofreading (as opposed to hiring expensive full-time employees).
Sign up for one of her [Caitlin] free workshops to learn more about proofreading, or check out our guide on how to become a proofreader.
16. Let Trim slash your bills by 30%
How much does it pay? Variable. Trim states they can slash certain bills up to 30%. Reduced rates will show up at the next billing cycle.
While not a “side hustle” per se, Trim does the hustling for you and acts on your behalf as a full-service bill crusher.
When you sign up for Trim, they immediately begin analyzing your spending and look for ways to reduce it. They’ll call your internet service provider and negotiate you a better deal on the same service. Same for your cable package (or any other recurring service you have). They’ll also look for hidden or otherwise forgotten about subscriptions and cancel those if needed. Think of them as your bill guard dog. No one gets by without their permission.
Better yet, the service is free. Trim makes money by keeping one-third of the savings they get for you. Meaning they only get paid if you save. A pretty fair trade-off, and one where you get money back that you were otherwise content in spending.
17. Become a freelance writer
How much does it pay? Freelance writers earn $63,809 per year on average according to ZipRecruiter ($5,317 per month).
Like the idea of getting paid to write? There are hundreds of thousands of immediate-hire job openings available nationwide for writers who specialize in certain topics.
Take advantage of niche-specific bloggers, small business owners, and big brands that are willing to shell out serious cash for high-quality freelance writers. They do this because it’s often cheaper to hire high-rate per project writers than it is to employ a staff member full time with benefits.
One such writer, Holly Johnson from ClubThrifty, makes over $200,000 per year from her freelance work. S he too has a course that teaches others how to do the same .
Expect to spend some money upfront in learning how to hone your writing skills and pitch clients. But in as little as a few days, you’ll be able to quickly generate positive cash flow as you build your resume of clients.
18. Become a real estate mogul with Fundrise
How much does it pay? 8.7-12.4% annual returns since inception, according to Fundrise.
Traditionally, real estate investing was reserved for wealthy individuals that had hundreds of thousands of dollars in liquid assets. (Either that or hundreds of thousands of dollars in mortgage debt).
As their site says, “Regardless of your net worth, you can now benefit from real estate’s unique potential for generating consistent cash flow and long-term appreciation. This is a level of real estate investing that was previously reserved for only the wealthiest investors and institutions.”
Most simply, you can invest your money, according to your goals, in a portfolio filled with dozens of real estate projects — each one carefully handpicked and proactively developed to grow your net worth.
Start with as little as $500 and take advantage of their expected 8.7 – 12.4% annual returns.
19. Buy dividend-paying stocks through Ally Invest
How much does it pay? Variable. Dependent on deposit size, stock market performance, and asset allocation. Earn up to a $3,500 cash bonus with a qualifying deposit.
Outside of starting your own business, investing in the stock market has been one of the most consistent ways to create wealth over the past 100 years. In fact, since its inception in 1957, the S&P 500 has consistently returned 8% per year on average. A far higher return than savings accounts, CDs, money markets, or any number of other vehicles for saving and investing your money.
If you have “extra” money sitting around or want to get serious about building wealth for later in life, consider investing it in the stock market with Ally Bank (whose investing branch is included on our list of best investment apps). If you don’t have immediate debts and aren’t currently living paycheck to paycheck, investing can be a powerful tool for generating passive returns.
To get started, we recommend a discount broker like Ally Invest because they have some of the lowest fees in the industry, are easy to use, and generally offer a generous sign-up bonus. Their two most popular options are:
Managed Accounts (Recommended):
- No advisory fees.
- Completely automated investing.
- $100 account minimum.
- Interest-earning cash buffer.
- Commission-free trading*.
- $0 account minimum to get started.
- Up to $3,500 cash bonus.
- Transfer fee reimbursement.
*Commission-free trading for U.S. listed stocks, options, and ETFs.
20. Get paid $10 to invest with Acorns
How much does it pay? Variable. Dependent on deposit size, stock market performance, and asset allocation. Get a free $10 at registration.
Acorns is a simple investing app that helps you grow your savings by putting your money into investments designed to grow in value over time. If you are new to investing and want to get your feet wet, this is a great app to start with.
Acorns works by “rounding up” the spare change from your everyday purchases and investing the difference in the stock market. For example, if you buy a coffee for $3.64, Acorns will move 36 cents into your investment account (so you spend $4 total). Over time, these small contributions can add up.
After completing your account registration, Acorns will deposit a free $10 into your account to help you get started.
21. Try peer-to-peer lending
How much does it pay? Variable. Users can expect between 5.06% to 8.74% APR according to Lending Club.
Have you heard of peer-to-peer lending? It’s a financial system that matches borrowers with investors that are willing to fund their loans.
As an investor, you act as the bank and fund projects that have promising potential returns. Using a service like Lending Club takes the guesswork out of determining who is a potentially good fit for your money. They screen potential investments, determine your risk, and assign a percent expected return on your investment.
How to get started:
- Open an account and transfer as little as a $0.01 minimum initial deposit.
- Quickly and easily build a portfolio by investing in a range of Loans in increments as little as $25.
- Receive monthly payments of principal and interest as borrowers repay their loans.
- Reinvest payments or withdraw.
In the simplest terms, you’ll be investing in consumer credit. For example, Lending Club will charge a borrower 10% APR on a loan, and they’ll pass on 4-7% of the annual returns back to you for taking on the risk.
22. Collect $10 cash-back with Rakuten
How much does it pay? Variable. $25 per referred user + earn a $10 sign-up bonus. Hundreds (or more) per year in cash-back savings.
If you’re going to buy something outside your house every day of your life, why not get money for doing it? Technically you’re not making money, but you’re getting cash-back instantly on purchases you would have made anyways.
The cool thing is, this is on top of any discounts/coupon codes you already have. Use Rakuten (formerly Ebates) in tandem with your choice of cash-back credit card and you’ll be paying 10%-45% less on all the items you buy throughout the year.
They’ll even give you $25 for each friend that you refer that ends up using the app.
This adds up to thousands and thousands of dollars for just about everyone over the course of 12 months — even if you’re not a big spender.
23. Automate your savings (and get a cash bonus) with Digit
How much does it pay? $5 for joining + savings bonus every 3 months on the existing balance.
You won’t make a ton of money fast, but that doesn’t make Digit any less of an amazing app.
Digit’s purpose is simple: the app analyzes your spending and automatically saves the perfect amount every day, so you don’t have to think about it. From the site, “Share what you’re saving for and Digit does the rest. It can budget for your next vacation, pay off credit cards, or put money away for a rainy day.”
FDIC insured with over $1 billion in assets securely saved, there’s no account minimum, overdraft prevention, and a 1% cash bonus on your account balances. If you’re terrible about saving, take 10 minutes out of your day and set up your account and get a free $5. Think of the 1% quarterly cash bonus as your future self thanking you for being more responsible about your finances.
24. Get paid to play video games with MyPoints
How much does it pay? Variable. $10 Amazon gift card sign-up bonus. Unlimited earnings potential (but points accrue slowly).
MyPoints is a rewards site that pays users to perform micro-tasks on a daily basis.
For example, users can earn 500 points per day by watching videos, earn 5 points by visiting certain partners (in an internet scavenger hunt of sorts), or 10 points per dollar for playing games.
As with many rewards sites, consistent daily use is important, so you’ll want to bookmark MyPoints or make it your homepage (so you don’t forget to check-in). Refer users to the program and earn 25 points when they join, 750 points if they spend $20 or more through the app, and most importantly, 10% bonus points on all the points they earn, forever.
1,750 points are equivalent to $10, and you can withdraw your earnings via gift cards, travel miles, or PayPal cash.
25. Link a card to Dosh and get a free $5 instantly
How much does it pay? Variable. $5 sign-up bonus when you link a card. Hundreds (or more) per year in cash-back savings.
The Dosh cash-back app has been creating a ton of buzz on social media lately, and for good reason.
They’re offering free money to attract new users.
Here’s how it works:
- Download the Dosh app and connect your credit and debit cards (they use bank-level encryption technology to keep your info safe).
- Earn cash-back on all your purchases without scanning receipts or using coupons.
- Deposit your earnings into your bank account.
Furthermore, the perks of Dosh are simple: All rewards are pure cash, you get $5 when you link your first card, and you’ll earn a quick $10 for each friend you refer to the app. Get a few family and friends to sign up and the money adds up fast.
26. Become a Facebook ads specialist
How much does it pay? Variable. $1,000 per client per month on average.
Facebook ads are nothing new. They’re also not going away any time soon. Think for a moment about the last time you saw a Facebook ad for a local small business. (And not the giant brands around you like Kroger, Walmart, etc.) Can’t remember? That doesn’t surprise us. It’s because while local small business would like to advertise, odds are they don’t have someone in-house that’s wise enough to effectively run campaigns for them without losing money.
That’s where you — the Facebook ads specialist — can come in. If you learn how to effectively run campaigns and generate leads for local small businesses, you can earn anywhere from $1,000 – $2,000 per month per client. You don’t need to have a degree or prior experience in the field to get started, and as your portfolio of clients expands, you can start to up your rates and charge more.
To get started, you’ll need to learn the ins and outs of Facebook ads. Several such courses can teach you this, but they’ll require an upfront investment, usually around $100-$300.
27. Walk dogs in your neighborhood with Rover
How much does it pay? Set your hourly rate. This Rover app user charges $50 per hour and made over $100,000 in 2020.
Rover is a dog walking and pet sitting website that is always looking for qualified dog walkers in cities all over the United States.
So when you take your pup on a walk, you can also take a second (or third) dog with you and get paid to walk. You’ll need to be 18 years of age to get started, so it’s not a great job for teens or kids.
For adults, 30-minute walks generally fall in the $10-$30 range. With a neighborhood route, your earnings can add up quickly .
28. Do virtual assistant work
How much does it pay? VAs typically earn between $19 and $25 per hour (or more).
Perhaps our favorite of all the fast ways to bring in extra income, virtual assistant work is the most realistic way to earn good money without a degree or crazy amounts of experience.
That’s because virtual assistants help small businesses complete everyday tasks that they merely need additional manpower for.
- Customer support
- Administrative support
- Social media management
- Website management
- Email copywriting and marketing
In fact, Gina Horkey, a renowned virtual assistant coach, says there are over 150 different services you can offer as a virtual assistant.
She even has a course that will train you on these exact services, and help you land clients in the next 30 days or less.
29. Earn rewards easily with the Drop App
How much does it pay? Variable. $1 for every 1,000 points you accumulate. 5,000 point minimum redemption.
Drop is a free app that rewards you for your everyday spending. The way it works is simple:
Once you download the app and create an account, you’ll need to link a debit or credit card to start earning. Whenever you shop with one of Drop’s hundreds of partner brands, you’ll earn points. In addition to the points you earn for shopping, you can earn more rewards for completing simple tasks. Every friend you refer is worth 1,000 points. You can also earn additional points for integrating other apps or completing a Linked or Mobile offer.
Every 1,000 points is worth $1. Once you’ve earned 5,000 points, you can redeem them for gift cards to your favorite places such as Amazon, Starbucks, Target, and more.
Bonus: Drop is currently running a 5x promotion — every friend you refer is worth 5,000 points.
30. Earn $25 when you tell 5 friends about Ibotta
How much does it pay? Make $25 fast for referring 5 friends + nearly $300 more in additional yearly earnings.
Cash-back apps have become all the rage as consumers look for ways to save on common purchases. And where all of these money-making apps want new users, they’re willing to offer sometimes crazy one-time cash bonuses to get them.
The Ibotta app is another opportunity to get such a bonus. They’re currently giving people $10 when they sign up. And unlike some of the other best cash-back apps mentioned in this article, Ibotta specializes in getting you cash back at grocery stores.
31. Switch banks
How much does it pay? $150-$200 cash bonus released after a predetermined time period. Variable thereafter. Dependent on deposit size and account interest rate.
Traditional brick and mortar banks are offering historic low rates on savings accounts. So low that you’re losing money to inflation by keeping funds in them.
For example, the national average savings account APY is hovering around 0.09%. The current inflation rate is above 1.2%. If your savings account doesn’t offer more than 1.2% per year, you’re losing money.
Defeat that statistic by moving your money to an online savings account that offers something higher than the current inflation rate.
Now, an increased interest won’t help you earn quickly, but a $150-$200 cash bonus will. Certain banks are offering new customers exactly that just to make the switch. Discover and Chase banks are but two of the many banks offering such bonuses.
Our advice? Read the terms and conditions, find out how long you need to leave your deposit in the account before unlocking the bonus, and then immediately move your money to another bonus eligible account with another bank. It’s like travel hacking except for banks. This is super easy to do and only takes 10 minutes of your time.
32. Complete micro-tasks
How much does it pay? $5-$130 per task completed. Up to $300 in one day.
What are micro tasks, you ask?
Mostly simply, “micro-jobs are small, easy tasks that can be completed in a short amount of time, and generally earn you between $3 and $100. They’re often online jobs that you can do from home, but there are local opportunities, too. They don’t require an interview, meetings, or set hours, which makes them the perfect vehicle for making extra money on the side.”
To find micro-jobs in your area, check out this list of the best places to find micro-jobs.
33. Explore cryptocurrency
How much does it pay? Highly variable.
You’ve probably heard all the mania surrounding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. If you are looking to get in on the action, you can do it with the Coinbase app. If you sign up for Coinbase and invest $100, Coinbase will deposit $10 into your account — an instant 10% return.
Warning: Trading cryptocurrencies is very risky, and you should never invest more than you can afford to lose.
34. Find unclaimed money
Unclaimed.org is an awesome site for finding money that’s due to you that you may have forgotten about. Examples: A utility deposit on an account you had forever ago, money left in a bank account you had as a kid, or a check from a former employer.
35. Make $100 fast with Listverse
Do you love to write? Listverse, a popular site featuring tons of list articles, will pay you $100 to write a “listicle” of your own. “You don’t need to be an expert — you just need to have English equal to that of a native speaker, a sense of humor, and a love for things unusual or interesting.”
36. Earn a $1,000 bonus as a new Lyft Driver
If you’ve got some free time and don’t live in the middle of nowhere, becoming a Lyft driver can be a very lucrative side hustle. And right now, they’ve got a promotion going on where any new driver can earn up to a $1,000 bonus after completing their 125th ride. If you start now and hustle hard on the weekends, you can probably unlock that bonus within a few weeks of driving (the bonus is cleared on top of your normal earnings).
Note: Bonus amounts are always subject to change, so be sure to check Lyft’s site for the most up to date figures.
37. Drive with Uber
If Uber Eats or Lyft weren’t a great fit, Uber is yet another option. By driving with Uber, you have the flexibility to drive whenever you want, which means you can start making money as soon as you are approved to drive, and it’s all on your schedule. They’re currently offering a $1,050 bonus to new drivers in our area (Virginia Beach, VA) but that amount will vary based on your regional market. See their website for more details.
Pro Tip: Sign up for Uber, Uber Eats, and Lyft so you can compare fares and keep yourself busy.
38. Get a promotion
If you’re willing to go above and beyond and prove your value to your boss, you can move up the corporate ladder. Check out this article from The Balance on how to get promoted at work.
39. Ask for a pay raise
Getting a raise is harder than getting a promotion. Think about it from your boss’s perspective, would you rather a) pay more money for the same service, or b) pay more money for additional responsibilities? Regardless, sometimes a raise is in order, especially if you have worked for several years without one.
40. Work overtime
It’s not glamorous, but at a lot of jobs, the opportunity is there to rack up overtime hours. At time and a half, overtime pay will beat out nearly all side hustle alternatives, merely for performing a skill you already know how to do.
Earning More Money Means Having More Freedom
No matter what your circumstances may be right now, remember one thing: earning more money means having more freedom.
Freedom to eat what you want to eat, live where you want to live, vacation when and where you want, and more. Making extra money starts with a simple decision: do you want more freedom in your life?
If the answer is yes, it’s time to go for it. You may have to try more than one idea on the list before you find one that sticks, but once your income starts to rise, you will gain control of your life and find even more opportunity than you could ever imagine.
Note: Results can vary in terms of earnings. The totals listed in this article are from select experiences but can’t represent every experience.
Hi! I’m Ben. A personal finance nerd on a mission to help DollarSprout readers make and manage financial decisions. A quoted contributor for Business News Daily, Business.com, Discover Bank, Moneyish, Student Loan Hero, Policygenius, TechRepublic, and more, I work to help others live their financial best life.
I’ve thought about trying some of these money making ideas! That said, it seems like I just get the run around have to keep doing the same stuff over an over again! I’ve been thinking about advertising chauffeur services where I take people to appointments, clean houses, and run errands for them! I have a list of things to do to make people lives easier (where I can earn some extra money for me). Thank you for all your advice. I’ll just have to go over stuff and see what I think will work best for me!
Those are some awesome ideas, Tina! I love seeing other people create their own side hustles/small businesses, and I think your ideas could be really beneficial for a lot of people. Keep us updated!
35 Real Ways to Actually Make Money Online
How many articles are there about making money online? Thousands? Millions? Enough? Probably. But there’s a problem. Too many of them are just sales pitches to convince you to sign up for some seminar, webinar, training session or some other way to become an online millionaire.
They really give online money making a bad name. But it is possible to make money online. I mean, the people selling all of those millionaire pitches are making money, right?
There are legitimate ways to make money online. The problem is that the real ways to make money aren’t “get rich quick” schemes.
Most of them require a lot of work and sometimes a lot of dedication before seeing a return on your time. But if you really want to make money online, work from home or turn an idea into a business, you can do it. You can even earn money with apps if you don’t want to venture all the way to the computer.
I’m going to tell you about all kinds of legitimate ways to make money online. Since we are talking about legitimate jobs, you’ve got to be…well, legitimate. And no, you don’t have to give everything up to have a fresh start. (Here’s the proof.)
Many of these options are real jobs that require you to put in hours if you want to get paid. They also require real work. Here are some tips for actually getting the job:
- Take it seriously. Yes, you’re applying for an online job. Yes, you can do the work in your underwear, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a “real job”. You must treat it as such or they aren’t going to treat you as a serious candidate. You aren’t the only one who wants to work in their underwear. In fact, the competition online is likely higher than it is in your local area.
- Be professional. When you submit a résumé, don’t type it in ALL CAPS and please don’t avoid the caps lock like the plague. Know how to use it without looking incompetent. Write in complete sentences with proper grammar. Of course, there will be exceptions, but even with the exceptions, you must keep it professional. You’re building their view of you.
- Give some, but not all. Whether you’re providing writing samples, a photography portfolio or links to your work, give them enough examples to get the idea, but not so many that they don’t even know where to start. And while we’re on the topic, give them some of your background information, but don’t tell them your life story.
- Double check yourself, before you double wreck yourself. Make sure everything you send to a company, whether a résumé, an email or a portfolio, is good to go. Double check your grammar and wording, and for God’s sake use spell check! This is especially important when it comes to the company’s name. Don’t spell their name wrong and be sure to type it how they type it (e.g. Problogger, not Pro Blogger).
Below are 35 ways to make money online orgainzed into categories (with unique tips to make each way work):
Table of Contents
Websites That Pay
Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. There are all kinds of websites that will pay you for various things, such as shopping, taking surveys or testing products. No, I’m not getting paid to promote any of these and no, these websites won’t make you a millionaire, but they are great for earning some extra cash. I’ll leave out the scams.
Here are some legitimate websites that pay:
1. Swagbucks – Swagbucks is great for earning some extra cash. You can do a variety of things to make money, from taking surveys to using their search engine. You won’t get rich, but you will earn a few bucks. If you have the time to kill, you can spend it earning some extra cash, instead of surfing the web.
2. InboxDollars – InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks, since you’re going to be taking surveys, shopping, etc., so if you want to maximize your return, sign up with both websites. They also offer a search engine that pays you (like Swagbucks) and you get $5 just for signing up. I won’t continue to list survey sites one after another down the list, but if you want to get paid to take surveys, also check out GlobalTestMarket, E-Poll Surveys and Survey Club.
– Project Payday is one of those sites that has testimonials of people who have earned thousands of dollars by getting paid to get trial offers. I’m not saying you’ll earn thousands, but it is legit and you can earn some extra cash. They assume that by paying you to do a free trial, you’ll either like the product and purchase it, or forget to cancel the trial and get charged for it. If you can keep track and cancel before you get charged (if you don’t want the product), then this is a great site for making some money.
4. User Testing – User Testing pays $10 a pop for testing websites. A test usually takes about 15-20 minutes. The purpose is for a website owner to watch someone, who is new to their site, try to navigate it. The value that the site owner gets by watching an actual user experience is worth a ton, but $10 isn’t a bad pay-out.
5. Fiverr – Fiverr is a great place to make a few bucks or spend a few bucks if you need some of the services people offer. Basically, everything is $5. You either pay $5 or charge $5. They call them “gigs.” You can offer your services however you choose. If you sell art and you’re fine selling pieces for $5 each, that’s a gig. If you’re a graphic designer and you want to offer your services for $10/hour, simply offer a 30 minute gig. If they need two hours of graphic design, they pay you $20, or $10/hour by buying four gigs.
6. IZEA – IZEA works in addition to a blog or on its own. You get paid to blog, tweet, take photos and take videos. The pay is mostly based on your following, so if you want to make money with your tweets, you’ll need to grow you Twitter following. Likewise, if you want to make money with blogs, you’ll need substantial blog traffic (more on blogging below).
Freelance writing is one of the most popular ways to earn money online. Many successful freelancers can earn an average of 50 cents to a dollar per word. Some are earning twice that!
Of course, it doesn’t start out like that. You’ve got to build your portfolio and your résumé, blah blah blah. If you’re interested in writing, I’m sure you know this. If you’re not interested in writing, I wouldn’t recommend traveling down this road just for the money.
It takes dedication and time, though it can be highly profitable if it’s what you love. Assuming it is what you love, let’s talk about making money with it.
Before you decide to start reaching out to all of these freelance writing companies, you need to have a web presence. You need a blog (in my humble blogger opinion, of course).
Or you could just have an online portfolio. Even a LinkedIn profile works to get started. When you’re ready to start, here are 150 resources to help you write better, faster and more persuasively.
If that’s intimidating, just start with these 50 resources.
Now for what you’ve all been waiting for; once you’re ready to actually start making money, here are 10 websites you can start with:
7. Listverse – Listverse pays $100 for each accepted post. The article must be a list, it must be at least 1,500 words and you must include at least 10 things. Other than that, you can get pretty creative with it.
8. TopTenz – TopTenz pays $50 for each accepted post. Again, the article has to be in a list format and it must be at least 1,500 words, with few exceptions. They post often so your chances of getting accepted are fairly high.
9. A List Apart – A List Apart pays $200 for each accepted post. They’re not first on the list, because they tend to publish less articles, which means you have a smaller chance of getting accepted. Same guidelines as above, 1,500 word minimum.
10. International Living – International Living pays $75 for each accepted post. They are mostly looking for travel experiences from countries you have visited. For this site, it’s more about your experience than your writing ability.
11. FundsforWriters – FundsforWriters pays $50 for each accepted post. They are looking for articles about writing and making money with it. They only accept articles between 500-600 words, but they want you to make each word count.
12. Uxbooth – Uxbooth pays $100 for each accepted post. They do tend to take four to eight weeks to accept and post articles, so don’t count on this being a quick money maker. They take so long, because they pair with editors to only publish amazing content.
13. iWriter – iWriter pays up to $15 for each accepted post. That may seem small, but they aren’t as strict as many of the others above and they also allow you to pick exactly what you write. You can write as many or as few articles as you want.
14. Textbroker – Textbroker pays up to five cents per word, if you’re a 5-star writer. You’ll start by submitting a short sample article and you will most likely start as a 3-star writer, but you can work your way up by writing more and writing great content.
15. Matador Network – Matador Network pays up to $60 for each accepted post, but standard pay is around $20-$25. They don’t really focus on a minimum word count, but they have a maximum count of 1,500 words.
16. The Penny Hoarder – The Penny Hoarder pays up to $800 (rarely), depending upon the number of page views you receive. The pay starts at $100 for 50,000 page views, so this isn’t a guaranteed paid article, but it can potentially be highly rewarding.
There’s no doubt that you can make money with freelance writing, but it’s a process. Once you start building your portfolio and your writing skills, you can start making some serious money. If you’re not an experienced writer, expect to put some time in before you really start to see some dough.
Sell Your Stuff
Ever since the idea of online auctions came into existence, the online selling market has been on the rise. Many are interested, but don’t know how to get started. There are still all kinds of ways to make money by selling online, whether you’re selling what you already have or buying and selling like a store. Before we get started, here are a few general tips when selling anything online:
- Get a PayPal account. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you’ll want to get one if you’re doing business online. It’s the standard in online business for receiving payment and paying others.
- Take good pictures. Some of the options below don’t require you to actually take the picture and sell the product, but for the ones that do, make sure you take a clear picture that makes your product stand out from the others. If you’re going to be taking a lot of pictures, set up a small “studio-like” area in your home with a backdrop and proper lighting to really make your pictures come across as professional. And of course, you’ll want a good camera too.
- Be honest. If you’re selling used items, be honest about every dent, scratch, blemish, etc.. This will reduce many issues you could run into and keep your reviews positive.
- Do good business. Plain and simple. Whether you’re selling on a small site or opening an online store, your customer service matters. You’ll want to get those positive reviews and make a good name for yourself. Respond to questions, concerns and complaints. Offer a guarantee if available.
Follow those guidelines and you will do well in online sales. When you’re ready to start selling, here’s where you go:
17. Amazon – Have you heard of FBA? It stands for “Fulfilled by Amazon” and it’s getting pretty popular. Basically, you buy products (in bulk is best) and ship them to Amazon for them to store. When your products sell, Amazon packs them up, ships them out and sends you the money (after taking their cut). There are people making a full-time living from FBA, while others just do it for some extra money.
18. CraigsList – Some things don’t ship very well. Other things may make you feel uncomfortable to sell to someone across the country. Anytime you’re selling a large item or something you just don’t want to ship, Craigslist is a great place to go. It’s simple to list your item (again, take good pictures!). If you don’t like the idea of putting your phone number out there, the interested individual can send you a message to your inbox without even getting your email address.
19. eBay – Of course you can’t read an article about making money online that doesn’t mention eBay. You can start an eBay store and get serious about it or you can just sell some stuff to declutter your home. Either way, I’ve made my fair share from selling on eBay and it’s still a popular way to earn money. If you decide to start an actual eBay store, you’ll want to find a drop-ship business like Doba that will store and ship items straight to your customers so you don’t have to deal with an inventory.
20. Etsy – If you like to create arts and crafts, you can sell them on Etsy.It’s completely free to open an Etsy store. You simply sign up, post pictures of your creations and starting selling. You can choose your payment option, but PayPal is generally the easiest. Etsy makes it easy to sell and keep track of your inventory. There is a small listing fee and they take 3.5% of every sale you make.
21. Facebook – Facebook swap shops are great for selling things locally. It’s like CraigsList, but a little easier. You simply search for swap shops in your area and ask to join the group. Once you’re in, take a picture of the item, write a quick description with the price and post it. It doesn’t get much easier than that. You can generally expect to get about what you would get at a yard sale, maybe a little more.
Hey look, an article about making money online that doesn’t mention blogging. . . oh wait, here it is.
First off, I’m a blogger so it seems wrong not to mention it, but more importantly, it’s a legitimate way to make money. It’s quite possibly the least straight-forward way on this list, but it’s very doable and it’s also quite possibly the funnest way on this list. I love blogging and I know hundreds of bloggers who feel the same. So let’s talk about making money blogging and what it really means.
Blogging is something that requires patience, persistence and discipline. It may mean writing everyday for over a year before you really start to see any money from it. There are exceptions to the rule, but from my dealings with other bloggers, it seems to be pretty common to spend one or even two years building your blog, your brand and your authority, before making any serious amount of money.
Some people argue that you can make money without a lot of traffic and while that is true in some circumstances, you will generally need a lot of website traffic to start earning from a blog and that takes a while. Once you’ve reached that point, here are the primary ways to monetize your blog and start earning:
22. Advertising – This is definitely the most old-school way of earning money with a blog. It’s also starting to become the least common way. You can sell advertising spots directly on your site or you can sign up with a company like Google AdSense or Media.net. Either way, you won’t see a whole lot of money from ads until your views are well into the thousands each day.
23. Affiliates – There are many affiliate networks, such as FlexOffers and CJ Affiliate that allow you to promote other people’s products and services. You simply put a link or a banner on your page and then you get a percentage if someone clicks through and buys the product/service. You’ll want to select products that are specifically within your blog’s category.This is an effective way to earn money once you have the traffic coming to your blog.
24. Membership – Many people have created a paid membership area on their blog. This is typically for exclusive content that you can only access in the “member’s area.” If you have a really great idea on what to include, this can be a great idea. You’ll have to create something that can’t easily be accessed around the web.
25. Products – You can create your own product, such as an ebook or computer software. You would then use your blog as a promotion tool to get people to buy your product. As long as you create a legitimate product with a whole lot of value, you should be able to get some buyers, but like everything else with a blog, you’ll need the traffic to get the sells.
26. Services – You can offer a paid service, such as life coaching, blog coaching, goal setting or financial planning. Just be sure to investigate all the legal implications and make sure you’re not claiming to be a professional if you’re not one. With a service like this, you’re basically using your blog to sell yourself. You’ll need to convince people that you’re worth buying and then be able to back up your claims once they purchase your service.
27. Sponsored/paid posts – Many blogs publish sponsored and paid posts. Sponsored posts are basically just posts about a specific brand, product or service. A company will pay you to publish an article about it. It’s similar with other paid posts as well. Your basically selling the spot for the article on your site. If you decide to take this route, you’ll want to build your traffic before you will get many offers.
28. Subscription – If you think of something valuable (newsletter, online magazine, etc.) that you can consistently offer on a certain basis (weekly, monthly, etc.), you may want to offer a subscription service. This could be a fee charged each time your product is sent out or on a monthly basis. Either way, this has to be something that your customers can only get by subscribing to your website.
29. Videos – This could be an entire section on it’s own. Many people have made money by creating YouTube videos. Evan of EvanTube is a kid and he has made millions by creating reviews of products that other kids his age would use. It’s not easy to get views into the millions, but once you do, you’ll start seeing some cash come in. Many bloggers have completely turned to videos to get their point across by starting a video blog.
If you’re truly interested in becoming a blogger, start by looking through the archives of ProBlogger, Copyblogger and Boost Blog Traffic. Then go read through all the free guides over at Quick Sprout. It may take you a year to complete those tasks alone, but it will be worth it. You’ll practically have a MBA in blogging.
Finally, there are some companies that will hire you to work from the comfort of your own home. If you’re interested in working for someone else, while still making your own schedule and deciding where to work from, here are a few companies that will let you do just that:
30. CrowdSource – CrowdSource offers many types of jobs from “microtask” jobs to larger writing and editing jobs. You decide how much you work and you can do most of it right at your computer.
31. Demand Studios – Demand Studios is hiring all kinds of creative professionals, from writer to filmmakers. The pay isn’t amazing, but it’s competitive for a work-at-home job.
32. Fast Chart – Fast Chart allows you to work from home as a medical transcriptionist. There are some requirments and qualifications listed on the page, but if you meet them, you’ll make competitive pay for the industry. You’ll also be able to set your own schedule since you’ll be working from home.
33. Leap Force – Leap Force is one way that Google rates websites for search engine ranking. If you’re hired, you make decent money (usually over $11/hour), you set your own schedule and it can be pretty fun to view and rank websites.
34. Liveops – Liveops is a call center that allows you to work from home. Once your set up to take the calls, you can begin making a weekly schedule and working from home. The pay is generally close to $10/hour, but you can earn more with commissions.
35. SpeakWrite – SpeakWrite will pay you up to $15/hour to transcribe information. You set your own schedule and work from home.
Now you’ve got many different options to start earning online. If you saw something that really interests you, try it out and learn more about it. If you’re really wanting to make a full-time income online, you need to be dedicated to learning how to do what you want to do. There are tons of free resources out there. You just have to search for them!
26 Legit Ways to Make Money
[Editor’s note: This guide was published before the coronavirus pandemic of early 2020. Some of these suggestions may not be currently viable, given measures in place to control spread of the virus.]
You need extra money, but you’re not sure where to start (or what’s legit). Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
NerdWallet rounded up 26 legitimate ways to earn some extra income — at home or out and about — and listed each option based on how fast you can get started and get paid. While most people prefer fast cash, don’t discount the “slow” gigs, as they may pay more in the long run.
- Fast — If it takes two weeks or less.
- Medium — For gigs that take closer to a month.
- Slow — Anything that would likely take more than a month.
1. Sell your gently used clothes
Selling clothes you no longer wear is a quick way to make some money. Start with local consignment shops for faster cash, or use sites like ThredUp and Poshmark to find buyers. If you go the online route, be sure to take clear, well-lit photos of your pieces and research similar items to set competitive prices. Get tips on how to sell your clothing.
- You can sell used clothing and accessories several ways, but they’re all pretty quick to start.
payment: fast to medium
- Fast: A brick-and-mortar consignment store like Plato’s Closet will give you cash on the spot.
- Medium: Other in-person and online consignment shops pay you when your items sell, or when they receive and inspect your items. Either way, allow at least a month for your payout.
Gently worn shoes, clothing and accessories.
Monitor your money during trying times
If you’re facing financial anxiety, NerdWallet can find ways to save.
2. Trade in old phones, electronics for cash
Have an old phone, iPad or gaming system lying around? Sell it on a site like Swappa and NextWorth. Check out Amazon’s trade-in program, which pays participants in Amazon gift cards — and eBay, too. If you’re in a rush for cash, try an ecoATM. Learn more about selling used phones.
- Selling directly (Swappa, LetGo, Craigslist): In most cases, you take photos of the phone, verify the electronic serial number (ESN) is clean and post your listing. Some sites review and approve postings, but the time is minimal.
- Selling to reseller (NextWorth, Gazelle): Answer a few questions online for an instant quote.
Payment: Fast to Medium
- Selling directly: When you get paid depends on how quickly your phone or device sells. Once the item sells, payment is fast.
- Selling to reseller: First, you need to ship your phone to the reseller, who will then inspect it before payment is sent via check or PayPal. Devices are typically inspected within five business days. With Gazelle, you can take it to a kiosk for immediate payment.
- A used phone, laptop, gaming system, etc.
- Cell phones: You need to verify the phone is not stolen or under a repayment plan.
3. Rent out your parking spot
Parking spots can be a hot commodity, particularly in crowded areas. If you have a driveway or dedicated spot that you don’t use, rent it out on Craigslist or another service. Just make sure leasing your space is allowed if you’re a renter or belong to a homeowners association.
- Simply list your space on a site like Craigslist.
- You set the payment terms when you rent out your spot via Craigslist. You can choose to be paid upfront for short-term rentals, or monthly for longer rentals.
- Check the terms of your rental agreement or condo/homeowners association to ensure you can rent out your parking space.
4. Drive for Uber, Lyft
Join Uber or Lyft (or both) and earn money by driving passengers around. Just don’t forget to factor in gas and maintenance costs. You need a clean driving record and a newish car in good condition. Learn more about what it takes to drive for Uber and Lyft.
- Allow about a week for the application process, background check and car inspection.
- A car with four doors. It must also meet other requirements, such as year, physical condition, etc.
- You may need to change your car insurance to include ride sharing.
5. Make deliveries for Amazon, Uber Eats
Take advantage of the growing delivery trend and sign up for a service like Instacart, UberEats, Postmates or Amazon Flex. You get paid per delivery, in most cases, and can even earn tips. A car isn’t always required — Postmates lets you use a bike, scooter or your own two feet to make deliveries — but a background check almost always is part of the deal. Learn more about how to get started with Amazon Flex, UberEats and Instacart.
- The background check can take up to five days.
- You’ll need a way to deliver items, but it could be a car, scooter or bike, depending on service.
- A smartphone is necessary to accept and process jobs.
- Each delivery service has a minimum age requirement, but it varies by service.
6. Become a dog walker or dog sitter
Love dogs, but not ready to get one of your own? Get your fix by taking care of other people’s pooches — and get paid for it. If your home isn’t dog-friendly, consider becoming a dog walker. Apps like Wag! offer on-demand dog walking, so you can pick up walks when your schedule allows. If you have space (and your landlord’s permission, if you rent), offer overnight dog boarding. Dog sitters on Rover.com, the go-to site for pet-sitting, generally command $25 to $35 a night, according to the company.
- It can take up to five days for your Rover profile to be reviewed and approved.
- The application process for Wag! can take up to two weeks, and you must pass a test and complete an orientation class.
- Rover: You receive payment in your account two days after completing a stay.
- Payments received via PayPal are released within one to four days. Payments via check can take up to five business days to process, up to 20 days to arrive and incur a $2 fee.
- Wag! walkers get paid weekly via a service called Payable, which is similar to PayPal.
- For Rover or Wag!, you’ll need to live in an area where the service operates.
- If you want to pet-sit, you’ll need an apartment or house that allows pets.
- You’ll have to pass a background check.
7. Get a babysitting gig
Babysitting isn’t just for teens. Everyone from college students to recent retirees can make money watching other people’s children. Word-of-mouth referrals from friends and family are still a great way to get started, but you can also create a profile on Care.com or Sittercity to expand your reach. Note any specialized skills, such as CPR certifications or experience with special needs children, to make yourself more marketable.
- You can create a profile on Care.com in a matter of minutes.
- You typically get paid when you complete your gig.
- You usually need to be at least 18 to list as a caregiver on sites like Care.com.
8. Find work as a housesitter
If you’re willing to watch someone’s home — and maybe feed the pets, water the plants and take out the garbage — become a housesitter. Tap your personal network for referrals or try out HouseSitter.com, which connects homeowners with housesitters. People often make $25 to $45 a day, according to the company’s website.
- You can create a profile on HouseSitter.com in a matter of minutes, though it may take time to secure your first housesitting gig.
- You typically get paid by the homeowner when you complete your gig.
Most sites have an age requirement.
9. Pick up freelance work online
Websites such as Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer offer opportunities to do a variety of freelance jobs, such as writing, programming, design, marketing, data entry and being a virtual assistant. Fluent in a second language? Check sites such as Gengo or One Hour Translation, or drum up business through a site of your own. No matter what kind of freelancing you do, keep track of the going rate for the kind of work you provide so you know if you’re charging too much or too little. Learn how to get started on Upwork.
- Upwork will approve your profile within 24 hours. But keep in mind it can take time to land your first freelance gig.
- Payment varies by site. On Upwork, you’re paid after you and the client review the work, 10 days after the billing period ends. On Fiverr, you’re paid when the work order is complete, but you can’t withdraw funds for another 14 days.
- Upwork requires users to be at least 18. Fiverr sets the age requirement at 13. And Freelancer requires users be at least 16.
- Some sites require you be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
10. Test websites and apps
Sites such as UserTesting.com will pay you for your thoughts on how well — or not so well — certain websites and apps worked. You’ll have to pass a short test to be accepted, then you’ll be paid $10 for each 20-minute test, which involves a recording and answering four follow-up written questions.
- You typically need to complete a sample test as part of the application process.
- You will start receiving testing opportunities after your application is approved.
- The timeline for approval can vary.
- You get paid seven days after completing a website or app test.
- Payment is issued via PayPal.
- You need to be at least 18.
- You need a computer, internet connection and microphone.
- Mobile app testers also need an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or Android tablet.
11. Pick up tasks on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk
Even in the age of automation, some jobs still require a human touch. Companies often outsource those jobs via services like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. These jobs can be tedious — tagging images, transcribing videos, classifying receipts — and can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Pay depends on the task, and the person requesting the work gets to approve the finished product before paying you. That can leave room for scams, so do your research and join a community like TurkNation, which can steer you away from shifty dealers. Read more about doing tasks on Mechanical Turk.
- Amazon will send you a registration invitation within a few days of applying, if you’re approved. From there, Amazon will verify your identity, which can take up to 24 hours.
- You also need to establish an Amazon Payment account to get paid for your work. This only takes a few minutes.
- After you submit your work, the requester has 30 days to approve it and pay you.
- Once paid, you can transfer earnings to your bank account, which can take a few days.
- Payment for new workers is held for 10 days before it is released to their Mechanical Turk earnings account.
- You must be at least 18 to register for Mechanical Turk.
- You also need an Amazon account to register for Mechanical Turk.
12. Sell unused gift cards
Unload your unused gift cards using a site like Cardpool or Giftcard Zen. You can sell cards for a percentage of the balance or trade them in for a card you’ll use. Cardpool also has kiosks and cashier-assisted locations so you can get cash on the spot. Read more about what to do with unwanted gift cards.
- You can get an instant offer or quote via sites like Cardpool and Gift Card Granny.
Payment: Fast to medium
- You can sell gift cards at kiosks and participating retail locations to get cash the same day, or try to sell it online. The latter takes longer, but you may get a better offer for your gift card.
Airbnb hosts earn an average of $924 per month, according to data from Earnest, an online lender.
13. List your spare bedroom on Airbnb
Have a spare bedroom — or two? Making it available on vacation rental sites can provide a lucrative side income. For example, Airbnb hosts earn an average of $924 per month, according to data from Earnest, an online lender. If you’re a renter, just make sure that everything is kosher with your rental agreement beforehand. Learn how to cash in on short-term rentals.
- You can create a listing and start accepting reservations in the same day.
Payment: fast to medium
- Payment is disbursed once the rental starts (VRBO, Airbnb), but total time to payment will depend on payout method. PayPal is the fastest option, when available; payment appears within one business day.
- Own or rent your home
- Comply with any rules governing short-term or vacation rentals in your property, including city ordinances and rules issued by your landlord, condo board or homeowners association.
14. Rent out your car
City-dwellers often don’t use their cars for days or weeks at a time. That idle time can translate to money with services like Getaround and Turo, which let you rent out your car by the hour or day. Earning potential varies by car and location, but standard vehicles typically rent for $30 to $50 per day. Luxury cars and sport-utility vehicles command even more money. Just be sure you talk to your insurance provider before signing up to make sure that you don’t run afoul of the policy.
Payment: medium to slow
- Turo sends payment within 30 minutes of the end of the rental. Payment is issued via direct deposit and can take up to three business days to appear in your account. For rentals longer than one week, Turo issues partial payments every seven days.
- Getaround rental earnings accrue monthly and are paid out by the 15th of the following month.
- You must own your car and it must meet certain requirements (make/model/year/mileage).
- You must have a current, valid driver’s license.
- You must be at least 19, though the age requirement for Turo is 21.
15. Take surveys for money
You can generate a small side income taking online surveys — but don’t expect to be rolling in the dough. Survey sites don’t typically offer a big payoff, unless you invest a lot of time, and many sites are more useful for earning gift cards than cash. Some of the more popular survey sites include Swagbucks and Global Test Market. Read our analysis of a dozen survey sites to find out which one is best suited for you.
- You can register with a site and start taking surveys in a matter of minutes.
- The time it takes to get paid depends on the survey site and how much time you dedicate to taking surveys.
- Some sites only let you cash out after you hit a minimum earnings threshold. With InboxDollars, for example, the threshold is $30.
- Other survey sites issue points, which can be redeemed for cash (via PayPal) or gift cards.
- Most survey sites have a minimum age requirement, which ranges from 13 to 18, depending on the site.
- Individual surveys may have specific requirements. Don’t be surprised if you are disqualified from a survey without much explanation.
16. Sign up for TaskRabbit
If you actually enjoy putting together Ikea furniture or standing in long lines, you may be cut out for doing tasks for others. Websites like TaskRabbit can connect you with people who need help with a variety of things. Moving, cleaning, delivery and being a handyman have the “highest earning potential,” according to the company. Read about how to get started on TaskRabbit.
- You can set up your profile and register in a matter of hours, but can’t start accepting tasks until your profile is approved by TaskRabbit.
- Allow a few weeks to get approved. The company processes registration on a rolling basis to avoid over saturation in a given market. How quickly your application is approved will depend on demand in your area.
- Once approved, you need to pay a $20 fee and attend an orientation.
- You’re paid after the task is completed. Payment typically takes a few days to appear in your account.
- You need to be at least 21 to start working with TaskRabbit.
- Prospective Taskers must also pass a background check.
Moving, cleaning, delivery and being a handyman have the ‘highest earning potential,’ according to TaskRabbit.
17. Sell your photography
Turn your photographs into cash via sites like Fine Art America, which lets you upload your images to sell as prints, t-shirts, phone cases and more. Other marketplaces for photographers include SmugMug, 500px and PhotoShelter. Some sites require a subscription but may provide features ranging from cloud storage to password-protected galleries and a customized website.
- You can set up a profile with sites like SmugMug, PhotoShelter or Fine Art America in a few hours, assuming you have a body of original work.
payment: medium to slow
- Payment varies widely depending on the site.
- Fine Art America: Payment issued after 30-day return window expires. Sent on 15th of each month.
- PhotoShelter: Payment issued at time of sale to your chosen payment method (PayPal, Stripe, etc.).
- SmugMug: You can request payment be issued the following month if you have a balance of at least $5.
- Requirements vary by site, but you need to have all necessary rights to the images you sell.
18. Become a private tutor
Parlay your math, science, foreign-language or test-prep expertise into a lucrative side gig by becoming a private tutor. You can tutor people online or in-person. What you charge can depend on your experience, expertise and what’s in demand. To get started, see what types of tutors are needed on Craigslist, or create a profile on sites like Tutor.com or Care.com. You can also advertise your services at local schools and community centers.
startup time: fast
- Startup time depends on demand in your area. It could take awhile before you get your first student.
- If you haven’t tutored before, you’ll want to allow for time to prep so students feel like they’re getting the most out of their time with you.
- How quickly you get paid depends on whether you tutor via a platform or in-person; either way, it likely won’t take long.
- You’ll need deep knowledge in an area that people need help understanding, like mathematics, a foreign language or test prep.
19. Make money from your blog as an affiliate
If you’re a blogger who gets decent traffic, you could make money by joining an affiliate network. Affiliates (that’s you) get paid when someone clicks through from the website to the partner site and buys something there. Some bloggers make a lot of money this way. Read more about affiliate marketing and other ways bloggers can make money.
- First, you need a blog, social media account or other online presence that draws a healthy number of visitors each month.
- Then, you need to apply for and be approved by an affiliate marketing network like CJ Affiliates, ShareASale, FlexOffers or Amazon Associates.
- Payment schedules and thresholds vary by affiliate network, but expect to wait at least a month or two for your first paycheck.
- Amazon Associates pays out earnings 60 days after the end of the calendar month in which they were earned. You must have a balance of at least $10 for earnings to be disbursed.
- ShareASale disburses earnings on the 20th of each month, if you earned $50 or more the previous month.
A blog, social media account or other online presence that attracts a steady stream of visitors.
20. Sell your wares on Etsy
Have a penchant for woodworking, jewelry-making, embroidery or pottery? Sell your goods on Etsy, the go-to site for artisans selling home goods, art and knickknacks. Last year, almost 30 million shoppers spent more than $2.8 billion on Etsy, according to the website. Learn more about how to start making money on Etsy.
- Opening an Etsy shop is the easy part. It can be done in a few hours.
- The prep work before you open up shop is more time-consuming. You need merchandise to sell, photos and descriptions to post, a name for your shop and a business plan to help you succeed. Once that’s done, you’ll still need to find customers. Depending on what you’re selling, that could take weeks, which is why you should expect the overall time for this gig to be slow.
- Once you sell an item, payment is deposited into your Etsy Payments account.
- In your first 90 days as a seller: Funds are available three days after a sale.
- After your first 90 days, funds are available for deposit the next business day.
- You need to be at least 18 to sell on Etsy.
- You need to have all necessary rights to the merchandise sold in your shop.
21. Get advertising revenue from your blog or YouTube channel
Turn your cat videos into cash videos. If your YouTube videos or blog posts draw a big audience, you may be able to make money from advertising. With Google AdSense, businesses pay to advertise around your content. The service is free, but there are requirements you must meet. Read more about making money with YouTube and Google AdSense.
- Signing up for Google AdSense is pretty easy, but it can take a few days to get approved.
- Allow at least two months for ad revenues to start trickling in.
- You need to earn at least $100 before you’re eligible for a payout.
- Once you hit the $100 threshold, earnings are disbursed on or around the 21st of the following month. It can take up to seven business days to receive a payment via direct deposit, and up to four weeks to receive payment via check.
22. Become an Instagram influencer
Companies are using Instagram influencers — people with large, dedicated followings on the platform — to rep their products. You can get in on the action by applying for opportunities via a marketing platform like Instabrand or Famebit, or by contacting the brands you want to work with. Read more about what it takes to make money on Instagram.
- Creating an Instagram account is easy, but building a following takes time. Allow a few months to build a large enough following to attract advertisers.
- Once you have the numbers, you’ll need to find paid opportunities. You can do this via affiliate networks or by pitching brands you want to work with.
- The time to receive your payment will depend on the terms of your agreement, but affiliate networks typically pay out earnings the month after a campaign is completed.
- An Instagram account with a dedicated, engaged following.
- You’ll also need to meet the requirements of any affiliate network.
23. Monetize your Twitch channel
Gaming can be a lucrative side gig once you build a steady following on Twitch, the go-to site for gamers. Broadcasters can receive donations from viewers and even get a share of subscription and ad revenue if they reach Affiliate or Partner status. Learn more about the different ways to make money on Twitch.
- You can launch a Twitch channel and start streaming in a day, but it will take weeks or even months to build a following.
- Donation revenue can be withdrawn rather quickly, depending on the payout method.
- Subscription and ad revenue earned as a Twitch Partner or Affiliate is paid out 45 days from the end of the month, and you must have a balance of at least $100 to request a payout.
- You need to hit certain viewership milestones to become a Twitch Affiliate or Partner and qualify for a share of game sales, ads and subscription revenue.
24. Sign up to be a mystery shopper
Businesses often want to know how they’re performing from a customer’s perspective. Sign up to be their eyes and ears. You can apply online via sites like IntelliShop, BestMark and Sinclair Customer Metrics. Just beware of scams and do thorough research before signing on.
setup: medium to slow
- The application process is typically quick, but then it’s in the company’s hands. They can take days, or even months, to access your application, depending on demand.
- Payout timing varies by company. BestMark, for example, sends checks twice a month and payment is typically received three to four weeks after the mystery shop is complete.
- Most mystery shopping services have an age requirement. You have to be at least 19 to shop for BestMark.
- Depending on the service, you may need reliable transportation and internet access.
25. Find seasonal work
Need a gig for a few months? Try something seasonal, like being a lifeguard, doing snow removal or working at a retailer during the holidays. Employers typically staff up a month or two ahead of their busy season, so plan ahead to get on their payroll. Check storefront windows, Craigslist and local classifieds for seasonal opportunities.
setup: medium to slow
- Allow time for interviews, which can take a few weeks.
- Companies start hiring for seasonal jobs a month or two in advance.
- Unlike other side gigs, seasonal jobs often operate on a traditional payroll system. That means it may take a month from your start date to earn your first full paycheck.
- But you can expect a regular paycheck, with payroll taxes already withheld, which is something other side gigs don’t offer.
- It depends on the specific job, which could include being a minimum age, having a driver’s license, etc.
26. Put your drone to work
The market for drones is expanding. Companies hire out work like aerial inspection, photography and land mapping. So if you’re already a drone enthusiast, why not put your aircraft to work? You first need to register it with the Federal Aviation Administration and obtain a license from them for commercial use. Then, you can apply for gigs as a drone pilot. Learn how to start making money with drones.
- More than a month, in order to study, schedule and pass a written test.
- You also need to pass a background check and find clients.
payment: fast to medium
- Payment will depend on your client.
- You’ll need a drone.
- To do this legitimately, you’ll need a license that involves passing an aeronautical knowledge test.
- A background check is also needed.
Watch out for scams
The internet is full of opportunities to make a quick buck online or from home, but many are questionable, if not outright scams. Be wary of any “opportunity” that asks for an upfront fee, wants you to pay for certification, or requests your Social Security number or any financial information, such as your credit card number.
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