How to Make Money

Want to Pay Off Debt? 45 Honest Ways to Make Extra Money Online

Updated May 13, 2016
by Kyle Taylor
Founder

Not all of us want to be Uber drivers. Nor are we all excited about the idea of trading our plasma for cash, walking dogs around the city all day, or selling our poop.

But if you’re a stay-at-home mom, student or even full-time employee who could use a little extra cash, you’re probably looking for ways to make some money on the side. And who wouldn’t want to pad that bank account from the comfort of your own couch?

We know you’re looking for opportunities to make money from home, which is why we’ve put together this list. In fact, these online jobs can be done from anywhere in the world. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection.  

Here are 45 ideas to help you start earning money online.

1. Get Paid to Listen to an Audiobook

Find your headphones and start listening. By signing up for accounts with Audible and Swagbucks, you can make $5 just by reading a book!  

I know it sounds weird, but here’s what you need to do.

If you haven’t already joined Swagbucks, you’ll need to create a free account. It takes about 15 seconds, and if you’re not familiar with it, here’s my beginner’s guide to earning Swagbucks.

Use the Swagbucks search tool to find the offer called “Audible.” Audible offers more than 150,000 titles you can download onto your smartphone.

Here’s the really cool part: Swagbucks will give you 600 Swag Bucks just to sign up for an Audible account. The Audible membership is only $1 per month for the first two months, so you can see where this is going.

You can redeem 600 Swag Bucks for up to $6 in PayPal or gift cards, which means you’ll net around $5 right away. Plus, you’ll get free access to thousands of books for free on Audible!

You can then cancel your account at any time, but I chose to keep my Audible membership because it’s so cheap and I like listening to audiobooks when I’m out running (yeah, I know it’s a little weird).

Plus, if you keep Audible for two months, you’ll be rewarded with an additional 1,200 Swag Bucks (worth another $12 in rewards).

2. Get Paid to Search the Internet

Would you change your default search engine if it meant you could earn gift cards to spend at your favorite stores?

Sign up for InboxDollars to make an extra $5 to $10 each month in gift cards to retailers like Starbucks and Amazon. My trick for this is to set your default homepage to SendEarnings, so you’ll never forget to use them for searches. Earning cash will feel like second nature before you know it!

3. Weigh In on Presidential Politics

What do you think of Donald Trump? Are you going to vote in the 2016 Election?

The Springboard Panel wants to know! Springboard is one of the largest presidential polling companies and they’re looking for registered voters to share their opinions on the 2016 Presidential Elections.

You’ll earn points for each survey you complete, depending on the number of questions, and you can redeem them for Visa prepaid cards, Amazon gift cards, Starbucks cards or cash through PayPal. Not bad for just explaining who you’re going to vote for!

4. Give Advice — and Sell Digital Products

Like to giving advice? Sign up for Ether and you could earn $1 to $2 per minute or more — though you’ll probably want to have an existing customer base, as the site doesn’t seem to have caught on quite yet.

You can also sell digital content through your Ether account. Once you have a few satisfied clients, an ebook might be the perfect upsell.

5. Let an App Track Your Phone Use

Download the free app Smart Panel and and in return, you’ll get paid up to $75 per year.

It’s run by Verto Analytics, a trusted analytics firm whose goal is to collect anonymous statistics from your phone. They want to know how long you’re spending on Facebook each week, what YouTube videos you like, and how often you check your email.

Once you’ve qualified and downloaded the app, they’ll give you $5. If you keep it installed for at least two weeks, you’ll earn another $10. And then for every month that you keep the Smart App installed, you’ll get another $5. In total, you can earn up to $75 for the first year!

You can redeem your rewards via Paypal or an Amazon.com gift card.

Want to earn another $50/year? If you’re between the ages of 18-24 or 45-65, the Nielsen company will also pay you to keep their app on your cell phone

6. Proofread Documents

If you’ve got a keen eye for grammar and formatting, freelance proofreading could be your next great gig — one that pays about $17 an hour. The average rate per page for proofreading is 35 cents, so your earnings depend on how efficiently you work. It’s not a great moneymaker for procrastinators!

Curious about learning how to become a proofreader? Sign up for this free seven-day mini-course on ProofreadAnywhere.com!

7. Get Paid to Watch Videos

Every time you watch a video in your Swagbucks account, you’ll earn cash. If you’ve ever fallen down a YouTube rabbit hole, this is a money-making activity for you. You can pick a video category to watch, like home, travel or entertainment.

Set it and forget it — let those videos play in another tab or on your second screen while you work!

8. Look at Ads on Your Smartphone

Don’t mind seeing advertisements every time you pick up your phone? Install Slidejoy on your  Android phone and you can earn a few extra bucks every month — up to $60 per year!

This app is only available to U.S.-based Android users. When it’s time to get paid, you can choose to receive cash or gift cards to retailers like CVS, Target, Sephora and more.

9. Join Focus Groups

If you have a webcam, you’re probably eligible for focus groups that host online research panels. Focus groups vary in size and type, but most of them provide some sort of compensation — a check in the mail, a PayPal deposit or even a gift card.

My favorite focus group site is ProOpinion, which has a short signup form.

Some participation requirements are very specific, so don’t expect to make piles of money on this one. If you get picked, you’re lucky!

10. Sign Up for a New Bank Account

You’ll need to make sure you’ll actually use a new bank account before signing up online. But a few minutes and smart spending could net you a bonus of $50 to $250, depending on the bank.

For example, right now Chase is offering $150 when you open a new bank account and make a direct deposit within the first 60 days. Check out this post for more details.

creditcards

11. Serve as a Mock Juror

Fascinated by courtroom drama, but hate wasting the day in jury duty for a measly $4 payout?

Serve as an online mock juror to help lawyers prepare for real cases. You can earn $10 to $60 for about an hour of your time. Instead of hearing arguments from both sides of the case, you review evidence, like documents, videos and photos, at your computer.

12. Test Websites

Sign up to help companies determine how customers use their websites. With UserTesting, you’ll make about $10 for spending 20 minutes evaluating websites or testing apps. The best part? You’ll be paid via PayPal within seven days.

This opportunity is available in the U.S., but we’re hearing there are a ton of jobs in the UK, Canada, Germany and Australia right now!

13. Jump on the Class-Action Bandwagon

If you use a product that’s involved in a class-action lawsuit, a little online legwork could get you a cash payout. The rules of each settlement are different, but in most cases you’ll have to provide proof of purchase or product use, like a serial number or a receipt. Once you fill out your online claim form, you may have to wait a few weeks or months before receiving your payment.

Psst — we regularly post new class-action settlement information, so check in often to make sure you’re not missing a chance to get paid!

14. Find Your Missing Money

Search online to find unclaimed money from retirement accounts you’ve forgotten, old security deposits and more. Check the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators website to find out how to search in your home state.

This strategy can only help you find your own misplaced money. If you keep good track of your cash already, you may not find anything.

15. Answer TV Trivia

Got a long list of favorite TV shows? Sign up for RewardTV and earn a few dollars by answering trivia questions about the shows you watched last night.

Most of the trivia has to do with shows that have recently aired, so if you’re binging on a three-year-old show on Netflix, you probably can’t compete. But if you love your TV, you can redeem your trivia points for gift certificates to your favorite stores.

16. Resell Domain Names

Love predicting the next big hashtag, catchphrase or business name? Scoop up domain names for cheap, and resell them to the highest bidder on sites like Flippa.

You can also make money by buying and selling active websites, instead of domain names. If a blogger doesn’t want to update their site anymore, but is still making money from advertisers, it could be worth spending a few pennies to take over that property.

Remember, .com URLS are still cooler than .nets and .orgs!

17. Create YouTube Videos

If you can pull in an audience, YouTube advertising can help pay your bills. Whether it’s humor, pets or toy reviews, you can probably monetize your favorite hobby.

It may take time to build that audience that turns views into dollars. The average revenue per 1,000 YouTube views is just over $6. But with enough videos for fans to scroll through, those views can add up over time.

18. Write Letters to Legislators

If you’re a good writer or editor, you can make $12 to $15 an hour writing letters to members of Congress. You’ll be able to learn more about the issues available before committing to writing a letter, so if you want to stick with your own political views, it’s easy to pick and choose.

Before you apply, make sure you have the required computer equipment. For example, I can’t do this job because the software the companies use doesn’t work on Macs.

19. Work as a Transcriptionist

Are you a good listener — and a good typist? You can make $15 to $25 an hour as a transcriptionist.

You’ll need experience in the medical or legal fields to get those transcription assignments, but plenty of researchers, reporters and Average Joes are willing to pay for someone to type up their recordings.

You get paid per audio hour, so this is another task that’s perfect for people with great focus. If an hour-long recording takes you four hours to transcribe, you still only get paid for one hour. Listen closely!

20. Sell Your Gift Cards

Received a gift card to a retailer you’ll never visit? Sell your gift cards online and get cash in return.

EBay auctions won’t net you much of the gift card’s original value — especially once you deduct the seller fees — but sites like Raise can help you earn 80-90% of the amount on the card. Be sure to “shop” around before choosing where to turn in your gift cards!

21. Sell Your Books Online

Everyone has about a dozen books too many, right? Use Bookscouter to see which buyback company will pay the most for yours.

Make sure the books you want to sell are in good condition before shipping them off to a reseller. Try buying and selling college textbooks (the giant, 101-level books that everyone needs and hates spending $100 bucks for) to maximize your profit.

sell books on amazon
Sharon & Nikki McCutcheon under Creative Commons

22. Tutor Chess Players

Love to play chess? Tutor other chess players online to make $35 to $50 per hour.

Tutoring sites like WyzAnt can take a big cut (40% until you hit 20 hours of tutoring!), but you’ll get practice (and get paid) without leaving the house. Even if you’re a lower-rated player, you can charge $20 per hour to work with beginners.

23. Rent Your Clothing

You can make money renting clothing through sites like Loanables or Style Lend.

If you’ve got lots of special-occasion or high-end clothes, you could practically be running your own Rent the Runway from your closet!

Make sure to read the fine print on rental sites. Some don’t charge any fees to the buyers and sellers, but some charge a rental commission of 3 to 5% per order. You’ll need to price your wares accordingly to account for any commission handed over to the company!

24. Sell Your Clothes and Accessories

Not using that expensive handbag you received as a gift from a terrible ex-boyfriend? Know you’ll never wear that prom dress again? Sell it!

When you’re ready to send your items to their next homes, use an online consignment store like Cash in My Bag or a Facebook garage sale group. And don’t underestimate those Facebook groups. If you price your used items fairly — probably half off the retail price, if your stuff’s in great condition — you will probably see interested buyers (and extra cash in your pocket!).

25. Sell Your Coupons

What can you do with the extra coupons you won’t use from your newspaper each week? Sell them on eBay.

You’ll have to pay seller fees, but you might be surprised at how much a single coupon can net you — some bring in $300! People are dedicated to getting 10% off at Sears or Target with the right coupon. Are you dedicated enough to spot a sales opportunity when you see it next to the funny pages?

26. Get Grocery Rebates

Once you get home from the grocery store, use an app like Ibotta or Checkout51 to get rebates on the products you’ve already picked up (and used coupons to help pay for, right?).

These apps make it super easy to earn your rebates. For example, with Ibotta, you simply scan your receipt after you leave the store. Ibotta puts cash into your online account within 48 hours!

27. Sell Your Tweets

Love hanging out on Twitter?

Your devoted following could mean extra cash. Marketing companies that work with major brands can pay $25 per tweet or more for you to promote a product, though you’ll probably need to have a pretty big audience for this to work.

Sites like PaidPerTweet allow you to set your own price, which means companies come to you when there’s a good fit available. But the more you participate, the more you can charge to send promoted tweets.

28. Sell Your Crafts

Do friends always ask you to knit them a hat or hand-letter their invitations?

Take your crafty side to Etsy and sell your services or finished products. Etsy takes a 3.5% cut of every sale, but the platform is super easy to use.

You’ll need a digital camera or a recent smartphone to photograph your wares. Great photos and plenty of detail shots are crucial for convincing shoppers to put down their hard-earned cash for a carefully made craft.

29. Create an Online Course

Have a skill to share? Teaching through Udemy or Skillshare could bring in big bucks.

Higher education might be super expensive, but many people will pay $50 or $100 (at least!) to learn something new from an expert.

You’ll have to invest your time planning your curriculum and recording the videos that will accompany your course. But a high-quality presentation will seem all the more valuable to your potential students.

30. Sign Up for Mechanical Turk

This program from Amazon pays real people to do tasks computers can’t do, like choosing the best photo from a set or taking a survey. The downside: Some tasks pay very little for your time.

Here’s a smart workaround: Use Reddit threads to find the tasks that pay the most and/or require the least work so you can make the most money in the least time. With some careful searching and task-choosing, you could earn an extra $100 a week — or more!   

31. Sell Your Snapshots

Upload your perfectly filtered smartphone photos to Foap and let people buy a license to use them. You get $5 every time one of your photos sells. Your photo can even sell more than once, so that $5 for a beautiful landscape shot could turn into $20, $50, or $100 if enough people want to buy it.

Unfortunately, your Instagram feed is ineligible. So snap a picture before you upload it to Instagram, and send the unedited and uncropped version to Foap.

32. Perform Quick Tasks on Fiverr

Don’t mind doing the small tasks that other people hate? Offer your services on Fiverr for $5 per gig. Check our post on Fiverr to brainstorm services you can offer, from the practical to the fun and bizarre!

Just make sure it’s worth your time to perform tasks for $5 apiece. Anything that takes more than 15 minutes probably isn’t worth the effort.

33. Enter Naming Contests

Sign up for sites that host contests to name new companies or websites. You can earn $100 — but only if your suggestion is the winner.

Luckily, there are a bunch of naming sites you can sign up for. And once you’re a member, you can enter any of the thousands of contests to your heart’s content. If you’re creative enough, you could bring in winnings from several contests each year.

34. Sell Junk You Find on the Curb

If you’re always spotting half-decent used furniture or other household items tossed out on trash night, grab them to sell on Craigslist.

You’ll need space to store your finds — and time to scour the streets — before you’ll start to profit. Don’t forget the time you might spend cleaning or repairing an item so you can get top dollar for it when it’s time to sell.

You’ll never look at the trash out on the curb the same way again!

garage sales
Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose under Creative Commons

35. Write and Sell an Ebook

Are you an expert with advice to share? Create an ebook and make money each time it sells for years to come!

Make sure to set aside time to write an ebook people will be willing to pay for, though; you’re probably not going to knock this one out in an afternoon.

If you have a blog or have written extensively about a topic, see whether you could compile those past articles into a book At the very least, those posts can give you a foundation for your book, and a great head-start on your word count goals.

36. Resell Concert Tickets

Think you know which games and shows are going to sell out?

Buy a few tickets, and flip them once the box office is out. On sites like StubHub, you’re not a scalper — you’re a reseller! StubHub guarantees ticket authenticity for the buyer, which weeds out a lot of the seedy guys selling fakes.

StubHub takes a 15% commission on every sale, so price your tickets accordingly.

37. Sell Private-Label Products on Amazon

Have the initiative to create labels and packaging? Turn a generic product into a private-label item that could make you thousands on Amazon.

But this isn’t a quick moneymaker: You’ll need to do plenty of research and find a supplier before you start slapping on labels and actually making money. One TPH contributor made more than $1,000 a month, even after paying for Amazon to fulfill his orders. How’s that for passive income?

38. Buy a Few Loans

What?! Buying loans to make money? Hear me out.

Buying a small loan means your money will be tied up for a few months. But when all’s said and done, you’ll earn interest on the money you lent. Check out the Lending Club Secondary Market for more details.

39. Clean Up Search Engines

The web is so full of information, search engines like Google need real humans to help keep it tidy. The work can be tedious, but pays about $12 per hour.

Companies that offer this kind of work typically pay once a month, so it’s not a way to make quick cash. But if you have time on your hands — maybe between jobs or seasonal gigs — you can put in some serious hours whenever the mood strikes.

40. Find Virtual Odd Jobs on TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit helps you connect with regular people who need help getting things done — everything from picking up dry cleaning to calling customer service and tolerating the hold music.

Keep an eye out for virtual tasks, which are mostly centered around personal assistance, administrative work or research help. Last year, TaskRabbit established a pricing floor of $14 for its Taskers. You can rest assured that you won’t be getting paid pennies to solve someone’s Excel woes.

41. Start a Patreon

Have a cool new project, but can’t figure out how to finance it? Ask people to fund your new book, album or podcast by subscribing to support you on Patreon.

Participants pledge to your Patreon each month. So even if you only have a few proud supporters, their support is recurring — indefinitely!

42. Make Money with Old Newspapers and Magazines

Wondering what to do with that stash of daily papers you found in the attic?

You’d be surprised by what people will pay for a news item or magazine advertisement that means something special to them. List them on eBay to earn a few bucks per page! Make sure to have your buyers pay for shipping, so you make the most per newspaper page sold.

43. Create and Sell Paper Decorations

Those DIY instructions look easy, but plenty of people just can’t turn a pile of paper into the beautiful craft they envisioned.

Sell your paper crafts on Etsy or eBay for baby showers, weddings, birthday parties and more. Be sure to check Craigslist, eBay and those Facebook yard sale groups to snag supplies at a big discount.

PermaCultured under Creative Commons
PermaCultured under Creative Commons

 

44. Write Slogans

Can you write stellar slogans quicker than Don Draper? Enter your ideas on slogan contest websites.

If your slogan for a company or product beats the competition, you could get $50 — or a few hundred dollars, for some contests. If you’re feeling particularly heartfelt, search around for opportunities to enter submissions for greeting card sayings.

45. Write for Your Favorite Blogs

Blogging isn’t all about pajamas and basement living — it’s a big business. You can earn $50, $100, or more by contributing to one of your favorite blogs.

Have personal finance expertise to share? Write for us! If we accept your post, you get $75 and a chance to earn up to $800 in pageview bonuses.

Your Turn: What’s your favorite way to make money online?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We would have shared them with you anyway, but a true “penny hoarder” would be a fool not to take the company’s money. :)

by Kyle Taylor
Kyle is the founder of ThePennyHoarder.com

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