Making money online has never been easier than it is today. In fact, the most difficult part about making money online is figuring out how, exactly, you want to do it – and of course, not all methods are created equal. Some methods pay very little per gig, but offer a lot of opportunities over time. Other methods take a lot of work to get started but can start paying off down the road.
Of course, on lists like this one, blogging is ALWAYS brought up and touted as a foolproof, above-board, and profitable online money-making venture. But blogging is really, really slow to start, and requires a lot of commitment. Ultimately blogging can yield some pretty amazing returns, but more often than not blogs consume your life and fail to pay the bills.
Some lists like these also suggest starting an app or a service-oriented website or business. But obviously, that’s also a ton of work, and frankly isn’t relevant to the vast majority of people searching for ways to “make money online.” If you ARE the next Mark Zuckerberg, you’re probably not reading this article. So “build a website or app from scratch” is just as bad a suggestion as “blogging.” This article is going to ignore “building a website” as a money-making venture altogether. Try these comparatively easy “gigs on the side” instead.
“Get paid to” sites
“Get paid to” sites are sites that offer a modest payout to complete a simple task or offer. Most of these types of sites feature online surveys, wherein you answer market research questions and are reimbursed by the data collection companies that offer such surveys. Payouts range between 50 cents to a few dollars per survey depending on the nature and depth of the questions. Surveys typically take 15 minutes to half an hour to complete. “Get paid to” sites often offer other methods of making money, such as watching commercial videos (which you do for free anyway on sites like YouTube) or downloading a special offer. There are some seriously shady sites in this niche, but some of the most reputable and verifiably legitimate ones are Swagbucks, MintVine, and InboxDollars.
Sell stuff you make
Do you like to tinker around and create stuff in your spare time? Do you paint, shoot photos, knit scarves, build wood furniture by hand, or fashion snazzy bead necklaces for friends? If so, you can start turning your hobby into a pursuit for both pleasure and profit with services like Etsy (for crafts), Foap and istockphoto (for photos), and CafePress (for a bit of both). With Etsy and CafePress, admittedly, this is sort of like “having your own website” – but the platforms make it so effortlessly easy to get set up and going, really you’ll be getting back to monetizing your crafty passion in no time!
Sell your belongings
Does anyone here remember the days when you couldn’t drive around your neighborhood on any given weekend without bumping into at least one garage sale or yard sale? Well, the internet made shilling your old stuff even easier than ever, and while you’ll still see some physical garage sales around town from time to time, most of them have taken to the web. It’s a fast, easy way to downsize your extra junk while making a little extra cash. Your best bets: Craigslist, Ebay, Facebook Swap Shops/Sell groups search your local area for a group), and Bookscouter (specifically for books, but great for it!)
Sell your talent with a gig on Fiverr
I love Fiverr. It can be a hive of spam, chicanery, and disappointment, but it’s also not uncommon to find some awesome gems for a mere five bucks. Do you have a marketable skill? Handy with quick photo editing, transcription, writing, logo design, diddy-singing? Have a popular social media account you can leverage? Sell your services for five bucks a pop on Fiverr! Easy to get started, easy to sell, and it can be a lot of fun if you let it.
5.Test websites with UserTesting.com
Want to get paid for surfing the web and testing websites, which is basically what you’re doing right now anyway? Then check out this awesome service. You are given some basic websurfing tasks to complete, and payment comes quickly. Like secret shopping, but on the internet!
Make money off your social media following
You can leverage your social media following with Fiverr, as mentioned above. You can also leverage your social media following on sites like Instagram and YouTube with preferred advertising, if you have SO much traffic and followers that those services deem you worthy. But even if you aren’t one of those golden few, you can still make money off of whatever social media following you do have with Izea.
Write what you know for the web
The internet basically democratized paid writing. Journalism took a big hit to its field of talented professional writers when amateur (and, nowadays, professional) bloggers became the de facto new go-to source for news. Entertainment writing is also a hugely open field with little to no barrier to entry. The good news is, this means anyone can write for the web. The bad news is, anyone can write for the web. But if you are knowledgeable about a topic, or at least interested and passionate about the research in it, you can write for various free-form publications around the web, usually in list-form. Here are some of the best places to write for, with policies strict enough that only the good content gets through (and is compensated accordingly): Listverse, TopTenz, and AListApart.
Write for people seeking specific content
Writing what you know can be rewarding (literally), but sometimes it’s easier just to write what someone else tells you to. Luckily for us, there are services online that do just that! Buyers have specific content they need written, writers write that content, buyers pay the service that pays the writers. Easy peasy. Check out iWriter or TextBroker to get started!
Do data entry and other desk-jobs from home
Connecting people in need of quick gig-related work and available qualified workers, it seems, is the internet’s biggest strength! Are you able and willing to do data entry, call routing, simple customer service, email outreach, outbound calling, and more? Check out manpower gigs on sites like Liveops, CrowdSource, and ClickWorker.
Or, become a work-from-home transcriber
Do your fingers type at lightning speed? Then online transcription work can be a pretty lucrative side gig for you! Most online transcription has to do with email and voicemail transcription or business documentation. You can find those sorts of transcription gigs, as well as a lot of legal and law enforcement transcription projects, on SpeakWrite. Or, if you want to perform medical transcription, there’s a niche-specific service for that too with FastChart!
Help Google rank websites
Ever wonder how Google ranks websites in their search engine for all those billions of queries? Well, now you can be a part of that magic! Join Google’s huge remote team of “website quality reviewers” and help determine which sites rank high, and which ones drop down. Google sends you a list of sites to visit as well as a list of quality guidelines and criteria, which you will score for each website on a number scale. Who contracts out these Google gigs? LeapForce!
Get paid for searching the web
Like secret shoppers, you can get paid to search the internet! But unlike UserTesting mentioned above, Qmee doesn’t give you a list of sites to visit. You just… surf the internet normally! Over time, you will accrue Qmee points which can be redeemed for rewards. Some of these rewards are cash, others are gift cards or credits. But if you’re searching the web on your free time anyway, you may as well make a little pocket change from it while you’re at it, yeah?
Do tasks outside in the real world via directions from your smartphone
Does all this online work give you the itch to take a break and head outside for a walk? Perfect! Just bring your smartphone with you, and you can keep making money online, even while you’re taking a break from your computer! You can do this with FieldAgent – an app that turns you into a market researcher on the go. The app feeds you tasks near your location (usually tasks related to engaging with customer service and taking photos of nearby stores), and when you complete the tasks, you get rewarded in cash.
Get paid to be a music critic
Everyone’s a critic, the old saying goes. And if you’re going to be something, you might as well get paid to be it, right? So check out SliceThePie, and get paid to critique new music from small-scale artists looking to make it to the Big Time. Rock out to cool new tunes none of your friends have ever heard (you wacky little hipster, you) and get paid to review those sounds. If this is your jam, be sure to sign up today! Note: as the site is growing, it is moving into other categories as well, so you won’t just be reviewing music; you’ll be reviewing clothes, artwork, and more as well.