There are many ways to make money online in your free time and earn extra money to supplement your day job or save towards an upcoming goal.
Many money-making ideas are easy to start and don’t always have extensive time commitments. As a result, you can still take care of your daily duties and have free time.
Whether you only want to make a few dollars or need to earn several hundred dollars per month from a new income stream, these ideas will get your brain churning and improve your finances. I engage in several myself to monetize my free time and gain extra spending money.
How To Make Money Online
You can pursue one or several of these side gigs to make more money online. Most have minimal startup costs and don’t require a commute.
These ideas are listed alphabetically and you may start with your favorite interest.
1. Answer Questions Online
Several platforms need experts to answer questions for money in many academic, mechanical and professional categories. After completing the onboarding process, you can typically have a flexible schedule and answer inquiries by email, live chat or phone call.
Advanced topics such as home improvement, mechanical repairs or pet care have a high pay potential. You are an excellent candidate when you have several years of relevant work experience and want to use your knowledge to help others instead of waiting for service calls.
Consider becoming a bookkeeper if you have an eye for numbers. Businesses will pay you to manage invoices and budget spreadsheets. Other tasks can include payroll processing, paying bills and managing inventory.
It’s possible to fulfill these job responsibilities from home on a full-time or part-time basis. Some companies may require you to work from a local office periodically for in-depth tasks.
Having an accounting background is encouraged but not necessary to qualify for bookkeeping jobs.
3. Be an Online Counselor
Most people have personal struggles of many kinds and are looking for help. Consider becoming an online counselor or therapist if you have a counseling degree. Offering online sessions makes it easy to help clients who cannot attend a local therapy session.
Depending on your professional background, you can provide short-term help and work through life challenges. There are several other high-income skills you can use for online employment.
4. Customer Service Agent
Remote customer service jobs are available from multiple companies. Depending on the position, you need a distraction-free home office with a reliable internet connection. Most jobs are phone-based and can be a great way to make money at home with consistent hours.
While part-time and full-time positions are most common, some companies offer seasonal jobs which are helpful to avoid burnout. If you already have call center experience, you can be an excellent candidate for online chat jobs.
5. Create a YouTube Channel
There are a few ways to make money on YouTube when you enjoy recording videos that are fun to watch and informative. The opportunities increase as your channel size grows. Some of the options include ad revenue from monetized videos and product sponsorships.
You may also sell products or services that you provide or insert affiliate links for recommended items. Another option is to receive donations from viewers during livestreams. Be sure to join the YouTube Partner Program to start making money from your videos.
6. Data Entry
Data entry jobs provide steady income and schedule flexibility by helping businesses complete clerical tasks. Excellent typing skills, research abilities and spreadsheet skills can help you qualify for more openings and boost your productivity.
These jobs usually don’t require talking on the phone which provides more flexibility if you work in a noisy environment. Common tasks include organizing data, performing in-depth web searches and completing other short assignments.
7. Design Clothing and Gifts
Graphic design is a popular money-making idea as several online platforms let you create logos and other intriguing products. Usually, you can use free software and the marketplace prints and ships the item to the buyer.
Most designers create an online store featuring various designs. Next, customers can choose from existing designs or inquire about a customized project. Some platforms also let you bid on requests.
Selling merchandise online at Amazon, eBay and other marketplaces can help you earn income. Partnering with a dropshipping supplier lets you buy products at wholesale cost and store them at a warehouse. The supplier mails the sold items to buyers so you don’t touch the product or handle shipping but must field customer inquiries and questions.
Consider selling lightweight products as your shipping costs are less to easily boost your profit margins. There are many evergreen products to consider such as beauty, clothing and toys. You may also consider trendy merchandise when you can make a quick sale.
9. Flip Valuables
Finding valuable items at garage sales and thrift shops can be a gold mine for collectibles and other overlooked products that you can sell for a profit. Consider browsing items that you’re most familiar with as you can quickly calculate the current market value and your potential profit.
For instance, I have a friend who went to local thrift stores and pawn shops to find valuable sports trading cards. He was able to make a nice profit by selling them at online marketplaces. I’ve had success with finding printer ink on clearance to sell for more.
Buying underpriced items and selling them for a fair market value is a popular way to flip money when you find high-demand items that sell quickly.
10. Freelance Online
I’m a huge fan of freelancing online to increase your income as I have been a full-time freelancer for over five years. Prior to that, it started as a part-time side gig that I eventually scaled by gaining experience and building a client base.
Some of the best online freelancing ideas include:
Marketing and sales
I had success with finding freelancer positions on Upwork. There are many other freelance platforms, including several focusing on a specific niche. You may also have networking connections that can help you find extra work.
11. Invest in Stocks
Investing is a popular and effective passive income idea. It’s also one way to make money online without sacrificing your free time as you buy shares and collect dividends. Your original investment can also appreciate in market value allowing you to sell for a profit.
I suggest seeing if your employer offers a 401k match as you get “free money” to invest. Further, a brokerage account and a tax-advantaged individual retirement account (IRA) both have perks and can make investing easy.
This income stream isn’t risk-free but building a diversified portfolio with the best investment vehicles. Each one has a different risk tolerance, income potential and minimum holding period. Consider having long-term and short-term investments.
12. Listen to Music
Most people listen to music or podcasts in the background while working, studying or completing household tasks. There are several ways for you to make money by listening to music.
Anticipate listening to a song and leaving a review. Avid music lovers can earn up to $15 per review and access unreleased tracks or albums. However, anticipate receiving a few cents for your initial reviews.
13. Offer Consulting Services
Channeling your professional experience into helping other businesses grow and improve by becoming a consultant. Highly skilled consultants can earn $1,000 within 24 hours, although you can also charge $100 or less per hour for your expertise and make a good wage.
Business management, IT and marketing consultants have plenty of potential. You can be successful in many fields by being a self-starter. Many associate this income idea with being travel-intensive yet online videoconferencing makes on-demand sessions possible.
14. Online Surveys
The best survey sites provide an easy way to earn a few bucks by answering basic questions about your shopping habits, household interests and personal opinions. Most surveys take less than 20 minutes to complete and you can attempt several per day.
To be clear, this income idea won’t make you rich but you don’t need any special skills or go through a rigorous job application process. It’s also a great fit for busy parents or caretakers who don’t have the time for tasks requiring at least an hour of distraction-free attention.
Most survey platforms have a redemption minimum of $5 or less which makes it easy to cash out quickly. Your payment options are usually PayPal Cash and gift cards.
15. Play Games
Mobile games are a popular pastime and there are several rewards platforms that pay you to play video games. You will find most opportunities on get-paid-to (GPT) sites that also award you to complete other micro-tasks, including surveys and shopping offers.
This is an excellent way to discover new games while making money. Typically, you must reach a specific level by the deadline to receive payment. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for gaming offers to require in-app purchases, so read the offer terms to estimate your take-home pay.
16. Proofread and Edit
You may have excellent proofreading and editing skills that can turn another writer’s words into gold. There are several places to find proofreading jobs for websites and companies on a part-time or full-time basis.
The proofreading possibilities include articles, books, marketing material and research papers. Having a strong attention to detail and grammar skills will help you be proficient. You don’t need to have paid writing experience but you should be able to provide error-free writing samples.
17. Sell Photography
Taking pictures for money is another creative way to improve your finances as websites may use your stock photos and graphics. Drone footage is growing in demand as well.
You may need to travel to take pictures of events, landscapes and other picturesque scenes. Then, you can upload your images to several marketplaces for sale. Businesses and individuals may also commission you for future projects if they like your work.
18. Sell Unwanted Items
Instead of throwing away or donating belongings you no longer want, try seeing if you can sell them first as it can be an easy way to make money. I sell several gadgets, possessions and kid’s toys during the year that have market value.
There are many apps to sell stuff, including several that offer instant buyback offers for valuable items. I try selling locally first as it’s easier to avoid seller fees and shipping expenses. However, selling online helps you reach more potential buyers and you don’t have to schedule a meetup.
19. Share Internet Bandwidth
Do you have a high-speed internet plan with lots of unused data? If so, you can sell internet data and earn money to companies needing a residential connection for market research.
There are several sites that pay you to install an app on your internet-connected devices anonymously. This app doesn’t monitor what you browse but sells your unused bandwidth. You will earn more if you have a quick connection speed and live in a major metro area.
20. Shop Online
There are thousands of online stores partnering with cash back apps to give you a percentage of the purchase amount back as cash or gift card rewards. I belong to several online shopping portals and check for the best rate to activate a rewards shopping session.
These sites are free to join and usually have a minimum redemption of $5 or less. You only need to activate a shopping session before paying and the portal tracks your earnings.
Rakuten is one of my favorite cash back sites as it has competitive rewards rates and can automatically apply discount codes. Further, new members get a $10 signup bonus after making their first qualifying purchase of at least $25.
21. Social Media Manager
Consider managing social media channels for companies, influencers and websites if you excel at interacting with followers. You may schedule social media posts, run advertising campaigns and look for ways to add followers on a part-time or full-time basis.
This is an enticing way to make money with a computer while helping brands grow their online presence. Being familiar with several social media platforms makes you a competitive candidate. Be sure to include growth examples in your portfolio.
22. Start a Blog
Making money by blogging is an excellent long-term strategy as you can use affiliate links, run ads and offer premium services. I had a personal blog for seven years where I earned affiliate income that helped pay the bills until I could increase my day job income.
As I said, blogging isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme as you must produce content consistently and establish an audience. It will most likely take several months before you start making money. However, the financial rewards can be worth the wait when you stick with it.
You can follow our guide to start a blog within 10 minutes. After completing the first step, start writing and your site traffic and monetization opportunities will gradually increase.
23. Start a TikTok Channel
There are several ways to make money on TikTok which is today’s fastest-growing social media channel. The best way is to start a channel and grow your audience. You can earn tips from watchers and partner with brands.
In fact, the social media platform has an in-app marketplace that helps connect channels with brands. As your audience grows, brands are likely to reach out to you for sponsored videos. You can also add affiliate links or blog links to your biography as another monetization strategy.
Depending on your skills and personal goals, it’s also possible to manage another influencer’s TikTok channel. You may prefer editing videos instead of taking the time to record and optimize your own videos.
24. Test Products
Consumer brands are looking for product testers to try out prototypes or full-size samples and provide feedback. Anticipate receiving a small cash reward. The best opportunities can award as much as $20 per test without having to travel to a testing center.
You can apply for samples at product testing sites that match paid offers with your interests. Most samples are for beauty, food and household products. After testing the product, you will usually need to produce a written or video review describing your experience and suggestions.
25. Test Websites
It’s possible to get paid to test websites for usability and user experience. Typically, you install screen sharing software plus you need a webcam and microphone. Companies provide a list of tasks to complete and you talk through the process to describe how the site or app works.
Most website tests require 20 minutes of your time or less and you can earn up to $30 per hour. After producing several short reviews, you can be invited for live testing that takes an hour but pay more.
26. Transcribe and Video
Transcription jobs are in high demand and you’re an ideal candidate if you can convert audio recordings into written transcripts. Companies hire general and legal transcriptionists who can earn a competitive wage.
You may also prefer producing video captions for hearing-impaired viewers. Another video-based option is translating videos into another language. Transcribing videos can require more skill but also pays more per audio hour.
You don’t need transcribing experience to start making money from this income stream, although your pay potential grows as your experience increases. Consider enrolling in a course from Transcribe Anywhere to increase your efficiency.
27. Tutor Online
Online tutoring jobs can help you connect with students from all over the world. Depending on your field of study, you can tutor high school or college students for a host of academic subjects. There is also a market for international students wishing to learn English.
Some of the most popular tutoring subjects include:
College entrance exams
You can also start a tutoring business with local and online sessions. I tutored part-time for several years with local high school students. It was a few hours each week and it was exciting seeing the students improve their skills while keeping my knowledge fresh.
28. Watch Videos
Not every side hustle involves creating or selling something. You may enjoy watching videos for money as a low-effort income stream. Depending on the platform, anticipate watching short commercials and informational videos.
Admittedly, you will only earn a few cents for each video but it’s easy to diversify your income and have fun in the process. Some micro-task sites will pay you to watch your favorite shows and movies by tracking your viewing habits instead of showing sponsored videos.
29. Write a Book
There is the adage that “every person has a story to tell.” You may decide to tell yours by writing a book, whether it’s for adults or children. It’s easy to self-publish a book and sell it on the Amazon Kindle store or use a print-on-demand service.
Find out more from a successful author about how to make money writing a book. There are several aspects to consider such as the publishing method, editing process and book length.
30. Virtual Assistant
Consider becoming a virtual assistant when you have strong organizational skills or love performing a variety of tasks. The job responsibilities differ by client and your interests.
Virtual assistants may complete the following assignments:
Assigning and monitoring project due dates
Creating blog posts and newsletters
Responding to emails and calls
It’s possible to work for one or multiple outlets, depending on your availability. Working as a virtual assistant is one way to earn a consistent income.
Can I Make Money Quickly Online?
There are several ways to make money quickly online while avoiding scams. Typically, you will need to sell valuable items or have skills, although there are multiple ways to get paid instantly.
Here are several tips for success in earning an online income:
Compare pay and time commitment: Typically, choosing a task with the highest hourly rate boosts your productivity so you can take on more work. An example is Job A pays $50 for one hour of work and Job B also pays $50 but takes two hours to finish.
Consider freelancer platforms: Joining freelancing platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr help you work for multiple clients and earn competitive rates. You should also consider platforms for a specific niche like Rev to gain experience.
Diversify your workload: Working with multiple clients and having several income streams means you’re more likely to always stay busy. In time, you can see which money-making idea is the most successful and enjoyable.
Learn advanced skills: Similar to local side hustles, online jobs that pay well tend to require special skills or several years of experience. Consider expanding your skillset and attempting more challenging tasks to increase your hourly rate.
As you can see, there are many ways to make money online through side jobs and short tasks. Try out several of the above suggestions to find out what works best for your schedule and income needs.
Since you’re a freelancer, you can do several at a time for extra flexibility.