There are many ways to make money online. Whether you want to invest time and money into building a long-term online side hustle (or main career), or just want a quick and easy way to make a few extra dollars right now, you can find many options available. Here are 49.
Ways to Earn Money Online Immediately and Painlessly
They won’t make you a millionaire, but there are some steps you can take to make money online with almost no effort, pretty much instantly.
1. Complete online paid surveys
It sounds unlikely that you’d get paid just for having an opinion, but that’s what happens when you take online surveys. Market research companies need to know what consumers think about different matters, from Donald Trump to whether you’d like fries with that. They don’t pay much – on average, if you completed one survey every day, you’d earn up to about $10 per week. But they don’t require much effort, and you can do them whenever you’re waiting on line, watching a movie, or just hanging around. Some survey sites allow you to cash out your earnings immediately. Others require you to wait until you have a minimum amount. You may need to wait up to five working days for your rewards to be credited to your account.
To use a survey site, you’ll need to create a profile and share some of your personal information. You might want to open a separate email account for all this, to cope with the spam you might get. Then, just take surveys whenever you have time.
Here are our favorites:
- SurveyJunkie is really easy to use. You get paid in points, and 100 points = $1. You get 168 points just for completing your profile (it only takes around five minutes). Most surveys are worth between 10 and 90 points, and take up to 20 minutes to complete. You can redeem your points through PayPal for cash or gift cards, each time you reach 1,000 points ($10).
- Vindale Research is another legit survey site. You’ll get paid around $2 to sign up, which only takes a couple of minutes. Then, just start completing surveys. Each survey takes 5-15 minutes and pays $0.50 to $2. There’s a Chrome extension, so you’ll get notified whenever a new survey is available. You can also earn more money by joining panels. These often pay you with a free entry into a sweepstake or competition.
- InboxDollars gives you a $5 bonus for joining up, which is easy and fast. Then, you can choose topics for surveys, each of which takes 10 to 20 minutes, paying you between $0.25 and $2 each time. InboxDollars has an Android and iOS app, making it easy to take a survey and earn money whenever you have some downtime. InboxDollars also pays you for things like watching videos and searching the web. We cover those below.
- Swagbucks goes way beyond completing surveys (see below), but it certainly does that too. Earn around $0.70 per survey.
- VoxPopMe is a survey app with a twist because you respond to surveys by answering questions in a video response. It’s an app for iOS and Android. You create a profile, browse a series of personally tailored questions, and pick one to answer. Use your phone’s ‘record’ button to leave a video reply. VoxPopMe pays about $1 for each survey you take, and you can redeem your cash whenever you reach $15.
2. Earn cashback
If you’re shopping anyway, you might as well get paid for it. There are a few cashback apps that work as affiliate merchants for major brands. When you buy something through the app, the app owner gets a commission and shares it with you.
Ebates is the most popular cashback site, or you could try DOSH as well. For example, you might get $7 back when you buy a $75 pair of Nikes through the Ebates site. If you spend $25 on eligible purchases within the first 90 days of signing up, you’ll get a $10 bonus. Just check both sites for the best deals before you make a purchase – but don’t get carried away by buying things you don’t really need just to get the cashback.
3. Get paid to try new products
You can get free stuff, and get paid to try it, both at the same time. There are many websites that connect companies with people like you who test out their new products or services. You can get paid anything up to a few hundred dollars a time. All you’ll have to do is register with the site, share your basic information (age, marital status, income, level of education, etc.), and wait for products to arrive. Once you’ve tried them out, you’ll write your review and share your opinion through the website.
Product Report Card, Toluna Influencers, MySoapBox, and Opinion Outpost, are just a few of the product review sites that pay you in cash for your review. Some of them, such as Product Report Card and Toluna Influencers, give you the chance to work your way onto the high-level focus group for some major brands. When you reach these groups, you can earn over $100 each time, just for giving your honest opinion about new products and services.
It’s difficult to anticipate how much you’ll earn, but you stand a good chance of making a few hundred dollars in six months, and more than that if you make it onto a high-level focus group.
4. Get paid to test apps and websites
Websites like User Testing, Userlytics, User Test, TryMyUI, Userfeel, WhatUsersDo, and TestingTime pay you to try out a website. You’ll go through the site to test drive a website or app. This way, the creators of the asset can learn what needs improving and see what they need to change.
User Testing pays you $10 for every 10-15 minutes test you complete. WhatUsersDo pays $8 and up for tests that last for 15-20 minutes, but you’ll need a microphone for this one. User Test pays $10.50 each time.
Userlytics has a few more options for testing – as well as websites and apps, you might be asked to watch a video, see an ad, or even consider an idea. Then you’ll give your feedback, and get paid. Userlytics pays $10+ per test, with each test taking about 10-20 minutes.
5. Review music
If you’re really into music, you can make money from it without leaving your computer. Slicethepie invites you to listen to new, unsigned bands and review their music. It’s not going to replace your day job, but you can earn up to $30 a month – and who knows, you might discover the next Bruno Mars on the way.
6. Get paid to play games, watch videos, and more with Swagbucks
Swagbucks is one of the biggest ‘get paid to’ sites. Swagbucks pays you in Swagbucks points (SB) when you take a survey, watch videos, and play games. You can also earn SB points as cashback when you shop online and search the web through the SB search engine. Finally, Swagbucks offers free samples, free trials for new services, and exclusive special offers – and then pays you in SB points when you try them out.
You can use Swagbucks online and through the app. It’s simple to sign up – expect to have to share some basic personal information like your age, marital status, residential address, level of education, etc. And then you can earn points and redeem them for gift cards or for cash via PayPal.
Swagbucks pays you a $5 bonus for signing up, and then you can expect to earn an average of 70 SB points per survey, each of which takes about 10 minutes, and an average of 5%-8% cashback on your SB online shopping. The value of your SB points depends on how you redeem them – for example, a $500 Amazon gift card would cost you 50,000 SB points, or 25 Euros in cash through PayPal would require 4,499 SB points – but as a rule of thumb, 1SB point = $0.01. So, if you take five surveys a day on a regular basis, you could earn $630 in six months.
7. Earn money with InboxDollars
InboxDollars is very similar to Swagbucks. You’ll start off well with a $5 bonus just for signing up and entering your basic personal information. InboxDollars works online or through an app so that you can do it wherever you are.
Then, you can choose in which ways you prefer to earn. Web searches pay $0.15 for every four searches you complete – not a lot, but then you are getting paid for something you’d be doing anyway. Surveys pay between $0.25 and $2, and each one generally takes about 10-20 minutes. So, if you spend five hours a week on surveys, you could earn over $700 in six months. You need at least $30 to cash out, and you can choose between requesting a check or cash on a prepaid visa, making a donation to charity, or pick a gift card.
You’ll also get paid for replacing your search engine with one from InboxDollars. InboxDollars runs contests from time to time, where you earn money by spotting the temporary contest code on their social media feeds and then entering it into the special box on the website. Cashback deals give you different amounts of cashback (typically around 2%) when you shop online using the InboxDollars code, or you can get paid to take advantage of special offers. The downside with the special offers is that you do have to spend money first – for example, you might get $8 if you sign up to a new TV streaming site – so, make sure that it’s something you would have paid for anyway.
8. Download the Nielsen app
Nielsen is a research company that will pay you $50 just to download their app.
Here’s how it works:
- First, you complete the online survey to share your information like your age, location, education, income, marital status, etc.
- Then, you download the app to your phone or tablet, and just use the internet as normal.
- When you use the app for one year, you’ll get paid $50
Nielsen uses the app to collect information about your internet usage, but it anonymizes all data, so there’s no need to worry.
9. Use the Shoptracker app
Shoptracker is another research company – this one wants to know your Amazon buying habits. You just need to sign up with your basic information, download the app, and sync it with your Amazon account. Everything else happens automatically. Shoptracker pays you $3 when you sign up, and then $3 every month, indefinitely. Yes, you’ll only be earning $36 a year, but it’s still a nice gift.
Ibotta is an app that makes money from your grocery receipts, Uber payments, and lots of other shopping transactions that you do on a daily basis. You just need to install the app, then check it every day to see the featured products. When you buy these products, take a photo of your receipt with the app and get cashback. Ibotta gives you $1 to $5 cashback each time. Depending on your shopping habits, you could be earning over $600 every six months, just for the shopping you’d be doing anyway.
Use your Money to Make More Money
If you’ve got a small amount of savings or spare cash, and you’re willing to spend it or lock it away in order to make more money, there are plenty of money-making options for you.
11. Lend money with peer-to-peer lending
Peer-to-peer lending is one of the hottest innovations in the banking world, and it’s totally changing the lending scene. With peer-to-peer lending, you basically become a hot-shot lender but with a lot less risk.
One of the best options is Lending Club. You invest your money by buying Notes in $25 denominations. You can either invest all of your money in one single borrower (which is riskier), or spread it out as part of many separate loans to different people.
Lending Club lets you manage your investment automatically or manually, and it does warn that there’s no guarantee of returns. You only need $1,000 to begin investing through Lending Club, and you could make returns of 8%-10% on your money. Note that your money will be locked away for between 36 and 60 months until the loan matures.
12. Online or in-app investor trading
Investing used to be seen as only for the rich, but new platforms make it easy for you to start investing with just your small change. If you manage your investments carefully, you could get returns of 10% or more on your money. One of the best options is Acorns, which connects to your debit or credit card and then automatically rounds up the cost of your purchases to the nearest dollar. It then invests your small change in an investment account. It’s a very hands-off way to make passive income.
With Wealthsimple and Stash, you can choose to make your own investment choices – or not. Wealthsimple has a minimum investment amount of $100, and it offers a $50 bonus when you sign up. So, that’s a 50% return on your investment straight away! Stash lets you start investing with just $5. If you invest $100 and make a 10% return, you’ll earn $10 each month without doing a thing.
If you want to go this route, check out our article on the best robo advisors on the market today.
13. Crowdfunded real estate investment
Investing in real estate sounds a bit scary, but there are real estate investment trusts (REITs) that let you take part in real estate purchases without needing to invest thousands of dollars. Fundrise lets you make money from property with only $500. It’s a long-term investment, so you can’t expect to take out your money after six months, but in the past year, it reported returns of over 11%. You can make your choices manually, or set your investment on autopilot.
14. Open a high yield savings account
Investing your money in a high-yield savings account is less exciting than real estate, but it’s also surer. Online banks like CIT Bank offer much higher interest rates than traditional banks and guarantee your interest. Mind you; you won’t get much unless you have a large sum to deposit – at 2% interest, you’ll earn $10 each month on a $500 deposit.
Ways to Earn Money Online that Take More Time and Effort
15. Start your own website or blog
There’s no doubt that it takes time to make money from your own website or blog. The typical rule of thumb is that it takes around three to six months to build a part-time income from your blog or website. But what really matters is the number of engaged visitors you get every month. If you already have a big following on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, then converting those followers into web visitors won’t take too long. If you’re building a blog audience from scratch, it could take nearer a year before you see much financial return on your site.
Although making your own website takes quite a bit of time and input, you could make a lot of money from it. Some of the biggest bloggers earn more than $40,000 each month.
16. Clean up search engines
Sometimes, even Google gets it wrong. Sites like Appen and LionBridge pay you to run specific search queries and send in feedback about the results you get, to check that nothing unexpected pops up. Average hourly pay is between $9 and $11.
17. Edit admissions essays
If you’ve successfully applied to college or grad school, and you think your admissions essay was pretty good, you can make money out of your achievement.
Applicants will pay to have you check and edit their admissions essays. You’ll find jobs by searching Craigslist and similar platforms, or on editing sites like Scribendi, Top Admit, or Essay Edge. Expect to earn $10-$50 per essay.
18. Write a Kindle eBook
It’s free to publish a book through the Amazon platform, and then you can easily share and promote it online, through your website and your social media channels. Non-fiction books sell the best, with prices typically ranging from $1.49 – $6.99. Just pick your topic, research it well, and then write your book. You’ll earn 70% of the sale price.
19. Make YouTube videos
YouTube is now a very profitable channel. You can broadcast your own YouTube videos and link them to your website, or else use YouTube to make money on its own. YouTube AdSense lets you earn money for every 1,000 viewers who see ads on your videos. The commission is generally between $1 and $6 per 1,000 views, so If you have 10,000 daily video views, you could earn between $430 and $700 every month in AdSense commission
20. Do small jobs online
Today, you can do low-key, mindless tasks from your couch. Sites like Clickworker and Mechanical Turk make it easy to find paid, online tasks like web research, data entry, or form-filling. These jobs don’t pay much, but there are plenty of them, and you can do them in your spare time. The average hourly pay on Mechanical Turk is $2, but Clickworker jobs pay around $9-10 per hour.
21. Hire out your capabilities
50 years ago, you’d have knocked on doors to ask if anyone needs their grass cut. Today, you can use sites like TaskRabbit to find people in your area who need you to do small jobs. We’re talking anything – walking the dogs, creating a photo album for people who don’t have the time, ripping music from CDs to digital files, doing small repairs – you name it, someone is willing to pay you to do it. On TaskRabbit, you browse through listed jobs and decide what you’re willing to do, instead of posting your own capabilities and waiting for someone to hire you.
22. Use a tasking app
Tasking apps are similar to being a mystery shopper. There are a few apps like Roamler, Field Agent, Findyr, and Yoobic, which give you short jobs, like checking out the displays in stores or photographing packaging out on the streets. You can enter your location to look for jobs near you, and you’ll usually be given a time frame to complete your task. Field Agent tasks pay between $3 and $8, and usually only take 10-20 minutes of your time.
23. Trade domain names
Domain names cost as little as $0.99 to register on GoDaddy, but if you can find and register a premium domain name that hasn’t been claimed, you could charge hundreds, even thousands of dollars to sell it.
The trick is to think of website names that could be in demand, register them, and then list them for sale. Sedo.com is a good place to advertise your registered domains.
24. Become an online private tutor
If you’ve got a graduate degree or even passed high school science with a high grade, you could charge for your tutoring services online. Superprof, MyTutor, and Tutor.com are good places to look for students.
Tutoring rates can be anything from $10/hour up to $100+/hour, but the average for high school tutoring falls between $30 and $50 per hour. With three students per week, you could earn $360 to $600 per month.
25. Teach English online
There’s a huge demand for tutors for English as a foreign language. Even if you don’t have an ESL qualification, you can earn money teaching English to students in Hong Kong, the Middle East, or eastern Europe.
26. Teach anything through Udemy
With Udemy, you can create and sell an online course in just about anything. Whether it’s learning to play the guitar, how to code a website, or the best way to braid hair, you can teach it through Udemy.
Once you’ve created an online course, you can get paid for it again and again, each time someone signs up. A typical Udemy course is priced at $20 to $50. Just one student every week will bring you $80-$200 per month.
27. Work as a freelancer
If you have some marketable skills, you could earn money online on the side as a freelancer. A good place to start for low-key freelancing jobs is CrowdSource.
You could do some brief editing or proofreading, post on someone’s social media account, or make short video clips. Here are more freelancing job opportunities.
28. Narrate audiobooks
If you have a clear voice and enjoy performing, you could get work narrating audiobooks, or recording voiceovers for animated videos, company videos, and marketing videos.
You could earn $50 to $350 per hour for audiobook narration, or anything from $100 to $500 per hour for voiceovers.
29. Rank websites
Although Google has a clever algorithm, it also pays for human input into its search engine ranking. You can make $11 per hour or more through Leap Force, giving your opinion on website ranking. You can do it from home and set your own schedule.
30. Provide customer service
Handling customer service calls from home is a pretty popular way to make money online. You might need to get a headset and microphone for your computer, but once you’ve got that, you’re good to go.
Other call centers use live online chat, so you wouldn’t even need the headset. You can create your own schedule and earn around $10 an hour, or more as you gain experience. Liveops is a good place to start.
31. Transcribe audio and video recordings
Transcribing audio and video recordings is a flexible option for earning money online. There are many sites that pay you to create text documents from audio files.
Average pay ranges from $8 to $20 per hour, although the amount you earn is usually linked to how many lines you’ve transcribed, so as time goes by and you get faster, you’ll be able to earn more. Check out SpeakWrite, TranscribeMe, Fast Chart, Transcribe Anywhere, Quicktate, Tigerfish, and Crowdsurf.
32. Get paid to write
Freelance writing is a lucrative career option. If you’re a talented writer, you could use platforms like Upwork and Fiverr to get work that pays up to $100 per hour. But beginner writers can still earn a few dollars on the side.
Listverse pays $100 for every accepted post, as long as it’s a list and at least 1,500 words. TopTenz is another good starter option, with $50 payouts per post. Textbroker accepts lots of starter writers, paying up to $0.05 per word – that’s $75 for a 1,500-word piece. However, you’ll have to work your way up to that level of pay.
33. Get paid for your creativity
If you have any creative drive, you can use it to earn money online.
Designing logos and graphics, coming up with slogans, shooting short videos, composing background music – you name it, you can get paid for it. Demand Studios is a good address for creative work. You won’t get paid much – $6 an hour is common – but it’s still an option for side income.
If you’re good at creating slogans and company names, try namingforce.com, squadhelp, Slogan Slingers and Get a Slogan. You could earn anything from $50 up to $1,000 – if you get the right catchy phrase, that is.
34. Be a virtual assistant
More and more businesses use virtual assistants instead of the real-life version.
You could work online as a VA and earn an average of $35 to $50 per hour. Some VAs work full time, but there are plenty of part-time VA positions with tasks including replying to emails, booking business travel, handling client inquiries, and more.
35. Upsell other people’s work
If you like a clever hustle, you could find talented freelancers on platforms like Fiverr, and upsell their work for a higher price on another platform, like Upwork.
For example, you pay a designer $5 for a logo design and charge your client $10. It requires some business intelligence, but if you’re good at spotting talent and opportunity, you could make several hundred dollars each month.
Make money by selling things online
36. Rent your home with Airbnb
Airbnb lets you to rent out your spare room, basement, or your whole apartment to get some extra cash.
If you live in a popular tourist area, you could earn as much as $10,000 per month, but some Airbnb hosts only make around $100. It just depends on your location and the space you have available.
37. Rent out your car when you aren’t using it
If you don’t use your car much, you may as well put it to work.
More realistically, with Getaround, you keep 60% of the rental fee, so if your car is hired for $7/hour, 10 hours a week, you’ll keep $42 each week, or $168 a month.
38. Rent out anything
It’s not just your home or your car. You can get money online for renting our pretty much anything with Nookzy. For example, you could charge people to store things in your garage, hire out your driveway for parking for a local concert or festival, or charge for the use of your hot tub.
Dropshipping is a way of selling products without having to make them, store them, or ship them yourself. Here’s how it works:
- First, choose a product that is in high demand, easy to ship, and competitively priced. It takes some research to get the right items.
- Find a supplier with good prices and reliable service.
- Advertise your products on sites like Amazon, Wish, and Shopify. You can also sell through social media like Pinterest and Instagram, or through your website or blog.
40. Sell your stuff
If your house is overflowing with things you don’t need, you could use them to make money online.
You can sell old clothes, music, games, books, and even old furniture on eBay, Craigslist, or specialist sites. Bookscouter is a great app for selling old books. ThredUp, Poshmark, and Tradesy are all good options for unwanted clothes. BuybackExpress, F.Y.E. and Eagle Saver are all possibilities for music CDs.
There could be hundreds of dollars waiting in the back of your closet.
41. Flip Craigslist freebies
When you’ve run out of your own unwanted stuff, you can sell other people’s.
You can often find items on Craigslist, eBay, or other sites, for free or extremely low prices. If you have a good eye for a bargain, pick up these items and then sell them on for more.
42. Recycle old phones
Instead of throwing away your old cellphone, you could get money by recycling it. Go around your neighborhood collecting other people’s old phones, too.
They’ll appreciate your help, and you’ll make money. EcoATM lets you enter your phone type and condition, and then tells you how much you can expect to get for it. You’ll then be told your nearest cellphone recycling location.
43. Sell your photos
You’ll only earn between $0.20 and $3.33 per image on Adobe, but you could earn up to $100 per image on Getty.
Photos on Clashot can sell for up to $80 each. On Foap, you’ll charge $10 per photo and pay $5 commission each time, but you can sell each photo more than once.
More Ways to Make Money Online that you Might Never Have Thought Of
44. Answer professional questions online
You’ll need to prove your expertise by sharing your qualifications, and then you can set your fees and answer questions through email, phone, or live chat.
JustAnswer pays you between 20% and 50% of the fee, with most questions costing $20-$50. On PrestoExperts, you set your fees, with most people charging $1-$3 per minute.
If you’re not professional, you can still earn money answering questions on ChaCha. You supply your answers on the ChaCha platform as fast as possible, earning $0.10 to $0.20 per question. If you’re quick, you could earn a hundred dollars or more a month, which is a good and painless side income.
45. Become a matchmaker
Believe it or not, you could make money by making matches online.
If you have the skills, you could set up online shop as an independent matchmaker, connecting singles around the world. Good matchmakers can earn a six-figure annual salary, but you need to put a lot of work and thought into it.
You could also work for an existing matchmaking service like Tawkify, which pays you an average of $100 per match.
46. Be a mock juror
If you enjoy the law, you could earn money serving as a mock juror.
Mock jurors help lawyers prepare their case for real trials. Earn between $5 and $10 per case on the eJury site, and get paid by PayPal.
47. Sign up for junk mail
Most people try to avoid junk mail, which is why you could earn gift cards or prepaid credit cards in exchange for signing up for it.
You could earn about $10 a month, just by signing up to the SBK Center (Small Business Knowledge Center.
48. Accept ads on your phone
You don’t have to click through on any of them, and you can turn them off whenever you’d like. Slidejoy pays $5 to $15 per month, and Fronto is a little more lucrative with payouts of $15-$20 each month.
49. Give consumer feedback
Giving consumer feedback as part of a high-level focus group earns you more than completing online surveys.
Although most focus groups are still concentrated in large cities, you can now join them online too. You can earn anything between $30 and $150 per focus group, with some paying you in cash and some in gift cards.
Earn Money Online Any Way You’d Like
Whether you want to earn pocket money or run a side career, and no matter what skills you have, you can earn money online. Pick one, two, or more of the ideas we’ve listed to put a few more pennies in your pocket fast.