Here’s How to Make $100/Night With Just Your Couch or Backyard

part of a bed and night stand in a spare bedroom
This one bedroom garden flat in London is listed for $141 per night. Photo courtesy Airbnb
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You’ve probably heard of Airbnb, the platform that lets you rent temporary accommodations to travelers from all over the world.

You may have even been tempted to get involved — extra money sure sounds nice — but thought you couldn’t because you don’t have a spare room.

The thing is, though: You don’t need a spare room.

To host on Airbnb, all you need is a friend, a backyard or even a couch — plus a sprinkling of creativity and hospitality.

Here’s how it works…

How to Make Money on Airbnb — Without a Spare Room

No spare room? No worries. 

If you look outside the box (or bedroom), you’ll discover plenty of ways to earn money on Airbnb…

1. Split Hosting With a Friend

Do you have a friend you trust? Or maybe a boyfriend or girlfriend you don’t live with?

List one of your apartments on Airbnb. When you get a booking, stay with the other person and split the profits. Win-win!

I’ve been a guest at several Airbnbs with this arrangement, and it always seemed like a brilliant idea to me. Want to give it a try? Take five minutes and create your listing here.

2. Ball Out Your Backyard

Airbnb host
“Asheville’s Romantic Tent Glamping Getaway,” run by a woman named Brookes in Asheville, North Carolina, lets people glamp (stay in a luxurious tent) in her backyard. Photo Courtesy Airbnb

Got a nice yard? Then you’ve got a potentially killer Airbnb listing.

We even found a host in San Francisco who charges a whopping $275 per night for their treehouse!

Or this woman named Brookes in Asheville, North Carolina, who lets people glamp (stay in a luxurious tent) in her backyard. Brooke charges $125 per night with a two-night minimum, plus a $50 cleaning fee. She also provides fresh breakfast each day.

So she grosses about $300 per stay — and is booked nearly every weekend for the next three months.

When I talked to Brookes, she said the business is doing “really well” — so well, in fact, her husband’s going to be able to retire early!

Take a few pictures of your backyard and list them here to get your first booking.

3. Use Your Couch

Even if you don’t have a reliable friend or a spacious backyard, you probably at least have a couch.

And that’s good enough for Airbnb, too; even the CEO himself used to list his for $50 per night.

This New York City couple did even better: They listed their couch on Airbnb for $65 per night — and used the listing to pay half their $2,250 rent!

This strategy probably works best in big cities where accommodation is expensive, but it’s certainly an option anyone can try. So dust the Cheetos off the sofa, take a picture, and list your couch for $50/night here. If you’re getting a ton of listings, consider raising the price in future months. 

How to Make Your Airbnb Listing

As you can see, there are lots of ways to earn money on Airbnb. So why not give it a shot?

Here’s how to get started:

1. Create Your Airbnb Account

Make a hosting account on Airbnb.

Or, log in to your existing account, and create your first listing.

2. Make an Airbnb Listing

Make a listing for your apartment, tent, couch, spare room, treehouse, hammock, whatever.

Be sure to spend time on your description, and add high-quality photos with lots of natural light

3. Complete an Airbnb Reservation

Now, all that’s left to do is start hosting.

Here are a few tips:

  • Make your space available during high-demand times in your area. Think: concerts, conventions and sporting events in your area.
  • Be a good host, and make sure your place is stocked with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels.
  • Be personable. A lot of travelers turn to Airbnb for the personal touch they won’t find at commercial properties.

Here’s the link to sign up as an Airbnb host.

(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)


Susan Shain, contributor for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.