56 Creative Ways to Make Money You May Not Have Thought of

A woman paints a mural in a restaurant.
Alli Arnold is an accomplished artist makes extra money painting murals for local businesses. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder
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Whether you’re at a typical 9-to-5 or working nights and weekends to thread several paychecks together, it seems everyone could use some extra money.

Before you sign up for another shift delivering groceries, check out this list of creative ways to make money. Many use your creative juices, while others aren’t the expected side gigs. While some of these money making ideas may be an easy way to score an extra $20 a month to stash in your savings account, others can earn you hundreds or thousands of dollars, and some will even get you started on your own side business.

56 Creative Ways to Make Money

Scroll through to spot ways to supplement your full-time job or simply find a creative outlet for making money. Links are included to get you on your way.

Start Your Own Side Gig

If you want to run your own show, you’ve got a lot of options.

1. Design Websites

Earning potential: $24.70 an hour

Web designers can expect to take home an average of $51,424 per year, according to Payscale. It’s tough to get to that point if you’re freelancing, but plenty of sites exist to help you to build up your clientele.

TopTal pays top dollar for those creative skills, but be warned: The company boasts that it only hires the top 3% of freelancers.

If you’re not yet ready for the big leagues, try sharpening your skills by signing up and accepting clients from other freelance websites.

Freelancer is a marketplace where both workers and employers can create special listings and hourly rates. Upwork is the largest freelance platform in the world. Gigster is an on demand software development website offering freelance work to designers, developers and product managers. Guru invites freelancers to bid on projects and jobs posted by employers. Employers reach out directly to freelancers as well.

Get clicking: TopTal, Freelancer, Upwork, Guru

2. Create Podcasts

Earning potential: $22 per episode if you have 1,000 listeners to $27 per episode if you have 1 million listeners.

When you create podcasts, you can sell subscriptions to listen or use them as an advertising platform. A quick search on iTunes will show you if there’s a demand for a topic you could offer. If there is, make yours the best podcast on the subject or give it a cool spin.

You can make money through several methods; advertising is the most common. Once you amass a decent amount of listeners, you can attract advertisers who will pay to be featured in your podcast, usually in the form of native ads — ads within the podcast, usually read directly by the host.

Advertisers pay based on a podcast’s “cost per thousand listeners” or CPM. (The M stands for the Latin word “mille,” which means 1,000.) According to advertisecast.com, the average CPM for a podcast with 500 to 999 listeners is $22. Rates go up with more listeners. The average CPM for podcasts with 100,000 to 999,999 listeners is $27.

Companies such as Midroll help podcasters find advertisers.

You may also charge a monthly subscription fee (usually between $5 and $15) or crowdsource funding directly from your listeners on websites like Patreon, Go Fund Me or Indiegogo. It’s probably best to incorporate an all-of-the-above approach.

Get clicking: Midroll, Patreon, Go Fund Me, Indiegogo

3. Create and Sell Online Courses

Earning potential: $150 to $1,000 a month on average, though there are documented instructors making more than $1 million a year.

Are you a self-taught coder with a knack for simplifying instructions? You could create an online course about it. Maybe you’re an expert at finger-picking techniques on acoustic guitar; you could make an online course about that, too.

If you’re good at explaining whatever it is you specialize in, people out there are eager to learn, and with Udemy, you can create content and host online courses — no master’s degree required.

Many variables affect what you can make including: the fee for the class, how many students take it each month and if you refer them or they come through the site. Usually, teachers make 25% to 50% of what each student pays for a class, but if they refer they can make 97%. Classes on Udemy typically cost $10 to $200.

Get clicking: Udemy

4. Freelance Online

Potential earnings: $10 to $75 an hour depending on the skill and demand.

Whether you’re good at math or marketing, you can sell your services online for extra money. Plenty of sites will pay you for just about anything, but you have to be wary of scams.

Opportunities abound on freelance websites including nDash for writers, Gigster for techies and PeoplePerHour for experts in just about any field.

You can sign up on the sites for free, and they can earn you a quick buck or a longtime client. And don’t worry, we vetted them.

Get clicking: nDash for writers, Gigster for techies and PeoplePerHour for experts in just about any field.

5. Start a Spray Tan Business

You can buy a hand-held spray tan machine and the tanning potions for $300 on Amazon. Then charge $25 per customer, which is more reasonable than tanning salons. The machine is paid for once you’ve tanned 25 customers and everything beyond that is profit, profit, profit.

Get clicking: Allure Spray Tan System

Ways to Make Money Online

We’ve only scratched the surface of ways to earn money online.

6. Be an Online Mock Juror

Earning potential: $5 to $60 for an hour or less

A mock or surrogate juror reviews evidence and renders a decision to help lawyers prepare for real cases. Participation usually requires a full day cooped up in a hotel conference room.

But there are online surrogate juror options, too: eJury and OnlineVerdict. Those opportunities pay $5 to $60 and can take less than an hour.

To qualify as an online juror, applicants must be:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • 18 years or older
  • Free of any past felony convictions

Creating an account for either site is free but will require a questionnaire that asks very personal questions about your age, marital status, criminal history, income, political opinions and more.

Get clicking: eJury,OnlineVerdict, signupdirect

7. Answer Questions on JustAnswer.com

Earning potential: $2,000 to $7,000 a month

“Where do babies come from?”

Are you a linguist who can satisfy the curiosity of a 7-year-old? Or a board-certified gynecologist who can detail the complex inner workings of the reproductive system?

Each is an expert in their own way.

A number of websites will pay you to answer people’s questions. It’s as simple as that. Try JustAnswer.com to see if you qualify as an expert.

Creating an account on JustAnswer requires three steps.

  1. Selecting your expertise category (as many as you want).
  2. Uploading your resume, experience and education.
  3. Submitting credentials, if needed. (Not all fields require licenses or degrees.)

After you submit your application, you’ll have to wait five to 10 business days to be vetted and accepted. Experts can answer as many questions as they want.

While rates range depending on your qualifications and how many questions you answer, the site says top earners in each category make thousands of dollars per month.

And even if you don’t qualify as an expert, you could refer one for a $50 gift card to Amazon.

Get clicking: Create an account on JustAnswer.com.

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8. Join an Online Focus Group

Earning potential: $20 an hour up to $600

Focus groups can pay extremely well for the amount of time you actually “work,” providing surges of side hustle income.

Most focus groups require between 30 minutes and 90 minutes of work. When you’re doing a focus group remotely, you may be asked to fill out a multiple choice survey. Most of the time, though, you’ll complete a phone or Zoom interview with a live person.

Topics are unlimited: You could find yourself answering questions about your favorite margarita recipe, how you’re coping with pandemic parenting or a survey related to your profession.

Some focus groups may require you to dedicate some time outside the interview itself. For example, you might have to give a specific product a test run or keep a journal of your experiences. This extra time is often accounted for in the compensation.

Get clicking: Respondent, WatchLAB, Focusscope, FindFocusGroups.com, User Interviews

9. Get Paid to Watch Videos

Earning potential: Gift cards for $1 to $5 after watching a handful of videos

Among all the fun ways to make money, this one may be the dream job, but it does take several hours of watching to get a small gift card.

The app Swagbucks pays you to watch videos and TV from your smartphone in your spare time. For each task completed, you’ll earn points, aka Swagbucks, which you can cash out for gift cards between $5 and $25. It takes about 160 points to earn a $1 Amazon gift card.

Netflix occasionally hires “taggers” to watch shows or movies and mark them with categories they fall within such as “sports comedy,” or “strong female lead.” The company doesn’t fill these positions very often and tends to prefer someone with experience analyzing film. But it only takes a minute to regularly search “tagger” on the Netflix career page.

Nielsen is the company famous for tracking TV viewing habits and rating programs. Nielsen families are chosen at random, but if you are one of the lucky ones, you make around $15 a month.

Get clicking: Swagbucks, Netflix careers

10. Take Surveys

Earning potential: Gift cards for $5 or $10 or a few dollars cash after completing many surveys.

Again, this is time consuming and not a way to bring in big bucks, but you can earn a little extra money in your spare time or a few gift cards by taking online surveys.

When you sign up for survey websites like Swagbucks, you’ll earn an extra $5 toward a gift card if you complete a certain amount of surveys or tasks within 60 days.

InboxDollars is another paid survey site that could net you up to $5 per survey (though it’s usually closer to 50 cents).

CashKarma allows users to conduct surveys and earn gift cards completely on an app. You can also watch videos, complete sign-up offers and earn bonus achievement. Most surveys earn 50 points. With 6,000 points you get a $5 Amazon gift card.

Get Clicking: CashKarma, Swagbucks, InboxDollars

11. Work on Mechanical Turk

Earning potential: $6 to $12 an hour

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform lets you complete small tasks online for a fee.

Tasks are dubbed Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) on the platform, and they include completing surveys, creating Excel spreadsheet tasks and audio transcription.

Get clicking: Sign up here.

12. Test Websites

Earning potential: $10 for 20 minutes to an hour

Websites should be very user-friendly — so easy to use that an intoxicated person should be able to navigate them.

User experience consultant Richard Littauer took that idea very seriously. He started “The User Is Drunk,” a business where he tested people’s websites after drinking too much beer. And his idea took off.

“I raised my price for reviews from $50 to $500 very quickly,” Littauer told The Penny Hoarder, “hoping that people would stop buying so that I didn’t have to be drunk permanently.”

To get a steady stream of jobs, you may have to be creative like Littauer and build up your client base. For a shot at getting more assignments (and more money), sign up with websites like UserTesting and TryMyUI.

Get clicking: UserTesting, TryMyUI

13. Be a Search Engine Evaluator

Earning potential: Up to $15 an hour

It’s scary how good Google’s search algorithm is, but it’s not perfect… yet. Neither are other search engines, such as Yahoo or Bing.

To bypass those flaws and make search results more relevant, companies like Appen and Lionbridge frequently hire search engine evaluators as independent contractors. Positions are typically part time, with hourly rates up to $15.

No previous experience is required — just tech savviness and a laptop or Android smartphone.

Get clicking: For open positions, check Appen and Lionbridge’s career portals.

Using Your Home to Make Money

Your home likely costs you a fair amount of money, so it’s time to enlist it to earn some of that money back.

14. Rent Out a Room with Airbnb

Earning potential: Varies depending on your space, but anywhere from $50 to $150 a night on average for a spare room or garage apartment. Use Airbnb’s calculator to get a more specific estimate.

Have a spare room? You may as well try to earn some money by listing it on Airbnb.

If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your income.

A few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one. We talked to Terence Michael, an Airbnb superhost to get these tips:

  • Break out the labelmaker. “I have the entire house loaded with labels,” Michael says. “They look nice; they’re modern. This helps people feel less helpless.”
  • Stock your place with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels. “I order on Amazon and have it delivered when people are there.”
  • Be kind to your neighbors. “I say, ‘I’m not going to put anyone here who I think won’t be good for you,’” Michael says. “And I turn a lot of big groups away, especially in Nashville. I don’t want anyone going to the cops or the city.”

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

Get clicking: Go here to start listing on Airbnb.

15. Rent Your Yard for RV and Boat Storage

Earning potential: $50 to $125 a month.

People need a place to put their boats and recreational vehicles during the off-season, which spells profit for you if you have the space. Your home insurance policy probably won’t cover damage, so you might have to add additional liability insurance (and check those local ordinances again).

Once your insurance is in shape, find a storage-space website and create a listing. While it’s possible to list your storage space on sites like Craigslist or on Facebook Marketplace, other sites are dedicated to RV or boat storage. One example is Neighbor.

You can set the rules and the price. Once you find a client, the agreed-upon amount will automatically be paid to you monthly (minus a 3% fee from the site). Regardless if the client misses a payment, Neighbor will pay out the full listing price.

Get clicking: Making a listing on Neighbor is free.

16. Rent Out a Parking Spot

Earning potential: $50 to $200 a month.

Just as Airbnb matches renters with properties where they can spend a night, there are a growing number of apps that match drivers with parking place owners. You can list your residential or commercial parking space for short-term daily parking or by the month.

The closer you are to a sports arena, college campus, the beach or other major attraction the more money you can make.

SpotHero operates in 120 cities across the country and charges $70 a month in Jackson, Miss., to $530 a month in New York City. The parking space owner gets around 80 percent of the fee.

More than 600 parking spaces across the United States are listed on CurbFlip. They range from a spot near the Rainbow River in Dunnellon, Fla., for $15 a day to a commercial garage space in Jersey City, N.J. for $250 a month. According to CurbFlip, more than 10,000 drivers around the world search the site for parking each day.

Get clicking: SpotHero, CurbFlip

Writing Jobs

Are you a wordsmith? Put those writing skills to work to earn extra cash.

17. Get an Ebook Published

Earning potential: For every $10 book sold you make $7

The publishing industry has changed. More than ever, writers are expected to be the primary marketer of their books. That means the work isn’t over once you send the manuscript off. Now you have to promote your work on social media,on book tours and earn solid book reviews.

That’s why many authors opt for ebooks and self-publishing through the Kindle Direct Publishing program, which is free. It’s possible to make money with your ebook even if you give it away.

Thanks to the internet age, self-publishing isn’t just possible, it’s popular. And it doesn’t mean your book isn’t a “real” book; in fact, many now-famous volumes started as self-publishing efforts, including Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey and E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey.

That said, self-publishing isn’t as simple as uploading your manuscript and waiting for readers to flock to it. Particularly for writers who hope to earn a profit, self-publishing takes more than just passion. It takes a lot of promotion.

Get clicking: Kindle Direct Publishing program

18. Be a Copywriter or Editor

Earning potential: $30 to $200 per article

Content sites hire freelancers to write and edit articles. You have to work fast to make money on these sites, since you may earn less than 3 cents per word. Low pay aside, they are great for beginning freelancers to make some cash and get experience.

Freelance websites such as Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer and Guru can connect writers with individuals and companies in need of their talents. They tend to pay between $30 to $200 per article.

Get clicking: Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer and Guru

19. Write for Blogs

Earning potential: Up to $100 a post

Blogs typically pay more than content sites, but there’s more competition.

Usually, blogs aren’t big businesses, and bloggers can’t afford Indeed listings, so it takes a little digging to find paying gigs.

Several websites specialize in these types of jobs. Try these aggregators:

  • Listverse publishes nothing but lists. Their posts are all long lists (usually beyond 1,500 words) containing at least 10 items, with an explanation of each item.
  • WriteJobs is a no-frills job listing site tailored for writers and editors. The free version is more than enough to snag a few clients, but a paid version is available if you donate $5 a month.
  • ProBlogger is a one-stop-shop for budding bloggers. Beyond listing a steady stream of jobs for writers, photographers and editors, ProBlogger has a ton of free resources for new writers, podcasts, ebooks and courses.
  • AllFreelanceWriting is a curated list of writing jobs that are paid directly from the client listed. Each job includes a pay rating from “LOW RATE” to “PRO RATE.”

As with all odd jobs, use your spidey sense when applying. Don’t do work for free or give sensitive information like your Social Security number up front.

Get clicking: Listverse.com, WriteJobs.info, ProBlogger.com, AllFreelanceWriting.com

20. Become an Affiliate Marketer

Earning potential: $100 up to thousands of dollars

Affiliate marketing is simple in theory: Write emails, blog articles, comments or posts on your own website that contain links to sponsored products, and when people use your coded link to visit and buy something, you make a commission.

Our sponsored posts at The Penny Hoarder are examples of affiliate marketing partnerships.

To get your feet wet, you can start making money as an affiliate partner at Amazon and earn up to 10% on e-commerce purchases that you link to.

Get clicking: Amazon’s affiliate partner program

21. Write Slogans

Earning Potential: $25 to $800 per slogan

Several websites will pay you to write slogans for companies. Some pay cash for each slogan (Freelancer and Fiverr, for example), while other sites host contests where you can earn big bucks for the winning creation.

Slogan Slingers is one such site that’s free for copywriters to sign up and start writing slogans. Winning entries earn up to $999 (minus a 15% service fee) and are paid out via PayPal, which is required to register.

Get clicking: Slogan Slingers, Freelancer,Fiverr

22. Sell Writing, Photos and Art to Greeting Card Companies

Earning potential: 10 cents to $250 per sale

Old photos from the ‘40s to ‘70s are in demand as well as clever art. And writing humorous and thoughtful greeting cards could earn some extra cash for as little as five or ten words. But they have to be funny, clever or insightful, says Nicky Burton, founder of Calypso Cards, a greeting card company in Rhode Island that accepts submissions of art and words

“They have to have something fresh,” Burton told The Penny Hoarder. “We can’t keep going back to ‘gray hair’ and ‘over the hill.’”

Calypso as well as more than 10 other greeting card companies accept submissions. They don’t all specify what they pay, but they do offer specific specifications of what they want.

Viabella pays $50 to $100 per verse and $150 to $250 per accepted photo or drawing.

Card Gnome lets you apply to open your own shop on their site while they handle the printing and order fulfillment. You get 10% of every card sold, with a minimum of 10-cents.

One greeting card writer told The Penny Hoarder he may sell just three ideas out of 70, but, hey that’s $150 for some good brain exercise and flexing that creativity.

Get clicking: Blue Mountain Arts,Viabella, NobleWorks, Card Gnome

23. Enter Writing Contests

Earning potential: $50, $200 and up per contest

Many writing contests pay cash prizes. Some pay more than $1,000 for first place and also award a publishing contract. A few pay prizes of $5,000 to $10,000.

If you’re a poet, submit to Poetry Nook, which holds weekly contests that pay $50 for winning poems. You can also submit to several magazines and publications for free. Catapult, for example, pays a minimum of $200 for pieces it accepts that are 500 to 4,000 words.

Get clicking: Poetry Nook, Catapult

24. Write Resumes (and Cover Letters)

Earning potential: $20 to $800

Some people just hate writing, and they hate resume writing in particular. You can help them put their resumes together using free resume makers online.

Some resume writers charge as little as $20, while others charge upwards of $800 a pop.

In 2014, Charmaine Pocek quit her day job to write resumes and cover letters on Fiverr. A couple years later, she became the first U.S. millionaire on the site.

Pocek told The Penny Hoarder that she charged her clients as little as $5 when she was just starting. Now she charges up to $800 for a resume, cover-letter and LinkedIn profile services.

Since Pocek has the resume market on Fiverr cornered, you may want to give other resume-writing services a shot. Talent Inc. frequently hires resume writers. No professional experience is required, but you will need to be a master of Microsoft Word.

You can also tout your skills and prices on Facebook Marketplace, college campuses and through other social media and word of mouth.

Get clicking: Talent Inc.

25. Write for Revenue-Sharing Sites

Earning potential: $50 to $500 per article

Among the websites that pay for articles, the revenue-sharing ones are the easiest to break into — sites like Dotdash and HubPages.

These sites don’t require you to be a well-renowned author per se. You can pen as many articles as you want, and if they generate revenue (aka clicks, views, sales or shares), you’ll get a part of it.

Some sites pay you a flat fee, 70% of what they make from your work, while others pay per view or comment. Either way, if nobody reads your article, you make nothing. But, hey, at least you still get a byline. If you’re a beginning freelance writer, those can really bolster your portfolio.

Get clicking: Dotdash, HubPages .

26. Post Reviews and Photos

Earning potential: $10 to $25 in gift cards, free products or services

If you have an impressive Instagram following, or your own blog or website that gets significant clicks, you could connect with companies willing to pay for product reviews. For example, at SocialSpark.com you can get paid to show your followers why you like a certain product. To avoid selling false reviews, only accept assignments for products you actually love.

Get clicking: SocialSpark

Selling Things

We all have a few items we could do without. Instead of letting them gather dust, use an online marketplace or set up your own online store to sell stuff online. Or do it the old fashioned way.

27. Have a Garage Sale

Earning potential: A few dollars and up

Hosting a garage sale may sound like more work than is worth the effort, but if you do it right, you might be surprised how much money you can make.

Here are some tips for success:

    • Timing is everything. When you plan your Saturday morning sale, you put yourself up against all the other garage sales in the area. Try a different day of the week. Thrifty Thursday, anyone?
    • Advertise. Let everyone know well beforehand — on Facebook, Craigslist, Twitter and in person with signs. About 20 will do.
    • Involve thy neighbor. If you get your neighbors involved, everyone wins. Less competition. More customers.
    • Price it right. For larger items, think 10% to 15% of its original value. For anything under $15, don’t tag it at all. Haggle it out.

28. Sell Items on Craigslist

Earning potential: $5 to who knows?

This might be a better bet than a garage sale since you don’t have to spend hours sitting outside haggling over the price of a stapler.

After all, Craigslist is basically an online version of a garage sale combined with a newspaper classified section — only you don’t pay for the ads.

You can buy and sell just about anything, and people give away tons of free things on Craigslist, too. You’ll be sure to make a few bucks, whether you want to flip some freebies or sell your own stuff.

Get clicking: Craigslist

29. Start a Used Books Business

Earning potential: $2 to $50 per book

There are a number of ways to sell used books online, and yes, you can do this at home.

Start by selling the books around the house that you aren’t going to read. Etsy, eBay and Ziffit are just a few of the many sites where you can sell used books.

If you have textbooks, those could really bring in some extra money. You can sell them on Amazon and BookScouter. Use BookFinder and enter your ISBN to compare buyback prices.

If you’re looking for a more consistent way to make money, use the above sites to appraise a book so you know its worth. Then, when you see a book selling low, you can purchase it and flip it on another site for profit.

Get clicking: Amazon video on selling used books, BookScouter, Ziffit, eBay.

30. Sell Your Used Clothes

Earning potential: $3 and up per item depending on the quality and brand

You know that giant pile of clothes in your closet? You can turn that into extra money, too. Stores like Plato’s Closet and Once Upon A Child will take your used clothes as well as accessories and even baby gear and give you cash on the spot.

If you really don’t want to leave your house, there are plenty places to sell your clothes online such as Poshmark, The RealReal, thredUP, Etsy, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace. Some, like eBay and thredUP, have simple processes for listing items. Others, such as Etsy and Poshmark, encourage you to set up and curate your own online shop.

Get clicking: thredUP, Poshmark, RealReal

31. Sell Things Through Amazon

Earning potential: Varies

When you sell through Fulfillment by Amazon, you never ship anything directly to customers. Amazon handles that.

A lot of Amazon sellers are private-label businesses that buy generic products from abroad, or score sale items from brick and mortar stores and sell them at a markup. The sellers pack them, then send them off to Amazon, which does the rest.

Get clicking: Sign up to sell in bulk on Amazon fulfilment.

32. Sell Your Art

Earning potential: Varies

Alli Arnold has picked up tons of side work as an artist illustrating gift cards for Target to painting murals and pet portraits. After promoting her custom pet and people portraits on Etsy, HGTV featured her as a favorite pet artist. Now she has a hard time keeping up with requests.

33. Sell Coupons Online

A common way to make extra money is by selling coupons. The thousands of coupons that arrive in the mail, come tucked inside print publications and via other special offers. People who don’t need them sell them on eBay. It’s a save-save proposition.

Selling individual coupons won’t replace a full-time job, by any means. But when you sell them in multiples of 10 or so, you can charge much more money. Besides eBay, there are marketplaces dedicated to coupon selling, such as the aptly-named The Happy Couponer Marketplace.

Becoming a Happy Couponer vendor takes only a couple minutes. It’s free to create an account and start listing your coupons, coupon books, coupon fliers and newspaper inserts. No digital coupons, links or other intangible items are allowed. Once your coupons start selling, the site charges a fee of 42 cents per $7 in sales (and no fees under that amount).

It should go without saying, but don’t list already-redeemed or counterfeit coupons.

Get clicking: The Happy Couponer Marketplace

34. Sell Your Photos

Earning potential: $100 per photo

Whether you’re a beginner with an iPhone or a hobbyist with a DSLR camera, selling stock photography is easy now that several great sites help you list your photos.

Check through your cache of iPhone photos, select the best ones and list them on Foap, an app that works like a photo marketplace. When someone buys your photo from the online store, you get 50% of the price; Foap takes the other half.

If you have the photography chops and a solid camera, stock photo agencies will be a little more lucrative. These are sites that host and sell stock photography. Common companies include iStock, shutterstock and Getty Images.

Some best practices:

  • Keep your photos as generic as possible.
  • Don’t include any visible brands.
  • Describe your photos with relevant keywords in the microstock listing.
  • Travel photos are in demand.

Get clicking: Foap, iStock, shutterstock and Getty Images.

35. Sell Your Used Video Games

Earning potential: Average of $25 for popular but not rare games.

There are plenty of ways to sell used video games for extra money: Decluttr, eBay and Facebook for-sale groups are all online options.

If you want to avoid the fees associated with selling video games online, you can always take the games to a store — and get up to 50% extra cash when you sell games and electronics at GameStop.

Get clicking: GameStop, Decluttr, eBay Facebook

36. Sell Your Junk Mail

Earning potential: $20 every two or three months

How’d you like to be making money off stuff you regularly throw away?

Yes, there really is at least one company that will buy your junk mail. The Small Business Knowledge Center, a market-research firm, is one such company. It uses the information for its insurance and financial services clients to learn what their competitors are sending through the mail. You won’t make much, but hey, what better use do you have for the stuff?

To get started, fill out an application to become a consumer panelist. Once approved, they’ll send you self-addressed envelopes for you to stuff full of your junk mail. You’ll start accruing points over time, which are redeemable for gift cards.

“I earn five to six gift cards per year on average,” Abby Hewes, one junk mail seller told The Penny Hoarder, “so it averages out to be $20 every two to three months.”

Get clicking: Small Business Knowledge Center

37. Sell Your Music

Earning potential: Depends on popularity with listeners

If you create music (perhaps in a home studio?), companies like TuneCore and Bandcamp make it easier than ever to sell.

With Bandcamp, artists can upload their music for free and collect about 45 percent of what it sells for. TuneCore charges musicmakers $10 to upload a single and $30 for an album, then the musician gets 100 percent of sales. It distributes your music through Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and other digital vendors. You get paid depending based on the amount of plays, and you keep 100% of the royalties.

Get clicking: TuneCore, Bandcamp

38. Sell Your Gift Cards

Earning potential: Up to 85% of card’s value

Don’t you hate it when you get a gift card for someplace you never shop? Instead of letting it sit unused in your wallet, cash it in.

Depending on where you sell it, it’s possible to get 85% of the gift card value in cash.

We experimented with a $25 Walmart gift card to find the top sites. Card Cash paid $21.88, Gift Cash paid $21 and Clip Kard paid $17.84.

Here’s exactly what you need to know about selling your gift cards.

Get clicking: CardCash, GiftCash, ClipKard


Love sharing your knowledge with others? Here are a few ways to get paid for it.

39. Tutor People

Earning potential: $12 to $50 an hour

You can tutor people on any subject you know well, from academics to writing a business plan. When you open an account with websites like Wyzant and SuperProf, you set your own rates, which can go as high as $50 per hour. Knack is an app that connects college student tutors to students on the same campus. In most cases the college (not the client) pays the tutor a flat fee of $12 an hour.

Other tutoring websites typically take around 20% of your hourly rate in fees, but it’s free to sign up and create a listing. Be sure to include your professional experience and any relevant credentials to boost your rates and distinguish yourself from other tutors.

Get clicking: Wyzant, SuperProf, Knack

40. Teach Video Game Domination

Earning potential: $20 an hour

If you’re not a fan of academic tutoring, you can also get paid to play video games by tutoring players on Gamer Sensei. There’s a video game category on Superprof. Set your own schedule and rates. Popular games include Dota, League of Legends and Fortnite.

Get clicking: Superprof, Gamer Sensei

41. Teach English Online

Earning potential: $10 for 25 minutes to $25 or more an hour

The international business world runs on English, and somebody’s got to teach all those people.

To fill the demand for English lessons, several companies hire native English speakers to run classes online. In most cases, online teachers can set their own hours and earn up to $25 an hour.

To meet baseline qualifications, all you need is English fluency, a high school diploma and a computer with a high-speed internet connection.

Get clicking: Boxfish, Qkids, Cambly

Other Ways to Make Extra Money

Still looking for ideas to earn money? Here are more options.

42. Babysit

Earning potential: Up to $18 an hour

As a babysitter, you may not even have to leave your house. Let the babies come to you.

At Sittercity, you can create a babysitter profile for free and start searching for listings in your area. Care.com is another good choice for child care (and elder care). Even teens (14-17) can apply if they have permission from a parent or guardian.

Be sure to include previous sitting experience and credentials such as CPR or first-aid training to improve your profile and hourly rates.

If all else fails, try word of mouth. It’s likely that someone you know would enjoy a night without their little monster adorable angel.

Get clicking: Sittercity, Care.com

43. Be a Pet Sitter

Earning potential: Up to $100 an hour

Getting paid to love on animals is practically free money. But seriously, you can make good money pet sitting. Rates for an overnight stay go as high as $100, but if you watch pets only at your home, you may have to charge less.

Spread the word about your services and experience through friends, coworkers and your neighborhood. There are also several sites where you can register as a pet sitter including Rover Wagwalking and Trustedhousesitters.

Check local regulations to see how many animals you can watch at once without needing to be licensed as a kennel.

Get clicking: Rover.com Wagwalking.com, Trustedhousesitters.com,

44. Charge for Your Friendship

Earning potential: $10 to $50 an hour

You may have heard of selling your friendship on websites like RentAFriend. Some people claim to make $2,000 per week being a strictly platonic “friend.” That can mean anything from playing tennis with someone to showing a new resident around your hometown.

There’s also an app called Papa that connects seniors with companions — often college kids — to help with errands, technology and offer companionship. Companions who sign up on the site find they’re a making money and getting fulfillment at the same time.

The company has expanded to more than 25 states and plans to expand to all 50.

Get clicking: RentAFriend, Papa

45. Find Lost Money

Earning potential: $10 to $763,000

In 2017, a New Yorker got a call about $763,000 in unclaimed cash. Of course, he thought it was a scam, but it turned out to be true.

While that’s not going to be the case for the vast majority of us, pocketfuls of cash are still waiting to be collected. Uncashed paychecks, balances from closed bank accounts, customer refunds, forgotten life insurance policies often go unclaimed.

So after you check under your couch cushions, there are several places you can look to find missing money online. A good place to start is the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, most states and provinces in North America are members. It takes only seconds to conduct a free search, and you never know what you might find.

Get clicking: National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators

46. Scalp Tickets

Earning potential: $20 to $100 on average

You used to have to stand outside of concert and sports venues to resell tickets, and it was of questionable legality. Now you can legally scalp tickets online, right from home, using platforms like Stubhub or Ticketmaster.

If you’re good at predicting what events will sell out, you can buy tickets early for less then them later for big profits as the event date gets closer.

Get clicking: Stubhub or Ticketmaster.

47. Cut Up Old Magazines

Earning potential: $5 to $20 per vintage ad

Odd money expert Steve Gillman still regrets selling a stack of old National Geographic magazines for a few bucks at a garage sale.

After a bit of research, he found that old ‘40s and ‘50s magazines sell for more than $50 apiece on eBay. If you aren’t already sitting on a stack of vintage magazines, a lucrative strategy is to purchase old magazines online, cut out several ads (especially ones for cars, trains, guns sports or furniture), put it in a nice frame or protective sleeve and resell each ad for $5 or $10.

Get clicking: Here’s what’s selling: eBay, Etsy

48. Rent Out Your Car

Earning potential: $80 to $255 depending on your car

If you try to rent out your car on your own, you’ll probably invalidate your insurance. And you have to find customers.

But companies like GetAround and Turo will find the customers for you and provide the insurance.

Listing your car on GetAround costs $20 a month, plus a one-time $99 installation fee for a remote receiver to unlock your car for customers. Turo doesn’t charge monthly fees but takes a 15% to 35% percentage of earnings based on how much insurance you pay for with GetAround or Turo to cover potential damage to your car.

Get clicking: GetAround, Turo

49. Stick an Ad on Your Car

Earning potential: $175 to $450 per month

Placing an ad on your car through a car wrap company is an easy form of passive income. If you’re a ride-share driver, even better. You can pull in extra money while you’re already making money!

Legitimate companies such as Wrapify, Carvertise and Nickelytics will wrap your car at no cost to you. The money you make depends on how much you drive, whether you have a full or partial wrap and your driving market. But watch out for scams: If a company contacts you out of the blue, that could be a scam. If they ask for money up front, it almost certainly is.

Get clicking: Nickelytics, Carvertise, Wrapify

50. Rent Out Your Stuff

Earning potential: $10 to $100 an hour depending what you rent out

Do you have a Ping-Pong table that’s easy to transport? How about a cotton candy machine you bought on impulse three years ago for Halloween? A high end camera? A swimming pool?

There are a growing number of apps and websites that connect people for peer-to-peer rentals of stuff that goes far beyond cars and guest houses. Some charge for the posting while others take a cut if the item rents.

Loanables.com lists everything from ladders to bounce houses. ShareGrid and KitSplit connect owners of high end photography equipment with moviemakers and photographers. FriendWithA is a rental platform for a wide range of items but specializes in bikes, one-wheels and other pricey sporting goods. Swimply is for renting a pool by the hour or day.

Get clicking: Loanables.com, ShareGrid, KitSplit, FriendWithA, Swimply

51. Become a Calligrapher

Earning potential: $2 to $5 an envelope when addressing multiple invites

Do you have great handwriting? Sell that skill. Start a calligraphy business, and you can make up to $5 per envelope addressing wedding invitations.

Start-up costs may set you back about $155 for supplies, but once you hone your craft, the Art Career Project, a website that supports arts education and careers, estimates you could earn more than $50,000 a year.

Get clicking: Buy a calligraphy starter kit.

52. Treasure Hunt at Home

Earning potential: $5 or a long lost fortune

People have found treasures in their attics, valuables in their floorboards and cash in their walls. It’s amazing how many things people hide in and around their homes. Maybe it’s time to start looking for items your home’s previous owners left behind.

It’s more popular than you might think. There’s a whole section of Reddit about finding treasures — usually old locked safes — in houses called r/WhatsInThisThing.

53. Become a Market Researcher

Earning potential: $50 a year and gift cards from several sources

Market research firms are always looking for ways to track consumer behavior. That’s why you can get paid to install apps such as Nielsen Consumer Panel and MobileXpression for iPhone or Android then share info on your shopping habits

Once you sign up, you can rack up points by using either Nielsen’s barcode scanner or your smartphone to scan the barcodes of products you’ve purchased. Then you can redeem your points for products in Nielsen’s gift catalog.

Participating in the panel automatically enrolls you in cash sweepstakes and a curated list of surveys, which can be completed for extra cash.

MobileXpression works a little differently. For that program, you don’t have to do much but let the app track how you use your cell phone. Once you’ve had the app installed for at least a week, you’ll be eligible for gift cards and other compensation.

Get clicking: MobileXpression, Nielsen Consumer Panel

Work from Home

To apply to fresh gigs you can do from your computer, be sure to check out our work-from-home jobs portal for jobs that are permanently remote.

Millions of jobs transitioned to work-from-home positions during the pandemic. However, there have always been plenty of jobs that don’t require leaving your home as long as you have an internet connection.

54. Be a Virtual Assistant

Earning potential: $10 to $55 an hour.

As a virtual assistant, you might answer calls, send emails, prepare reports or do any number of other tasks for busy executives and business owners. It’s a lot like an online secretarial position.

You can list your services on freelance sites like CloudPeeps, Fiverr, Upwork, Guru or Freelancer, or you can get a job with a virtual assistant company like Zirtual.

Base requirements for jobs at Zirtual include:

  • Some administrative or equivalent college experience
  • Tech savviness, including proficiency with G Suite and other email software
  • Typing skills (50 words per minute or more)

Get clicking: CloudPeeps, Fiverr, Upwork, Guru, Freelancer, Zirtual

55. Work for a Virtual Call Center

Earning potential: $10 to $15 an hour

Customer-service jobs are common with companies that hire at-home workers. You typically spend your days responding to customers over the phone, via email or through instant messages. Tracking trends in customer complaints and questions are a large part of these roles as well.

Since the employers vary dramatically, you may find yourself fielding questions about deliveries and shipments or giving details about products and services.

Get clicking: AAA, American Express and Apple are just a few companies that hire people to work from home for their call centers.

56. Be a Transcriptionist or Proofreader

Earning potential: $25 an hour

To make money as a transcriptionist, you need to listen well and type fast. You’ll listen to audio files of varying quality and type out what you hear perfectly.

Basic requirements include:

  • A computer and headset
  • Native English fluency
  • The ability to type with high accuracy at 80 or more words per minute

Some companies also require (or supply) transcribers with a foot pedal that controls audio speed, rewinding and fast forwarding.

To test your typing speed, several companies rely on TypingTest.com.

Not sure you want to do the typing yourself? Consider being a transcript proofreader, which is someone who reviews transcripts (usually courtroom and legal documents) for grammar and spelling errors.

These proofreading positions range from entry-level to post-graduate, depending on the material.

To dip your feet into the field before committing to a professional project, check out Transcribe Anywhere and Proofread Anywhere for tips, ecourses and hands-on practice.

Get clicking:

Transcribing: Allegis Transcription, NetTranscripts, TransPerfect and Rev.com.

Proofreading: U.S. Legal Support, ProofreadingPal,Transcribe Anywhere,Proofread Anywhere

Katherine Snow Smith is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder. Adam Hardy is a former staff writer. Steve Gillman contributed to this article.