How to Make Money Online: 19 Ways to Earn Extra Cash
Need to boost your income? We compare the best ways to make money online, short- and long-term, that you can do from home.
A bit of extra cash never goes astray. And in the current climate, economic circumstances are more unstable than ever. One option is to use the magic of the internet to generate a bit of extra money. You can take two approaches here: make money fast, or make a lot of money over a longer term.
Yes, internet money is a real thing. We’ve done the research for you and curated two lists of legitimate ways to make money online.
Table of Contents
- 1 Warning
- 2 Quick Wins: I Need Money Now
- 3 Our Pick: The Easiest Way to Make Money Online
- 4 Quick Wins Comparison Table
- 5 1. User Testing
- 6 2. Market Research
- 7 3. Data Entry
- 8 4. Airtasker
- 9 5. Online Surveys
- 10 6. ‘Get Paid To’ Sites
- 11 Playing the Long Game
- 12 7. Freelancing
- 13 8. Invest in Stock Markets
- 14 9. Become a Virtual Assistant (VA)
- 15 10. Write Music Reviews
- 16 11. Affiliate Marketing
- 17 12. Buying and Selling Domain Names
- 18 13. Ecommerce Dropshipping
- 19 14. Etsy, eBay or Amazon Shop
- 20 15. YouTube Channel
- 21 16. Start a Podcast
- 22 17. Blogging and Social Media
- 23 17. Create an Online Course
- 24 18. Online Tutoring
There are a lot of scams out there, so be wary. You should never have to provide your credit card details, and a good rule of thumb is: you should never have to pay to work.
Need ideas for a side hustle? Whether you’re after something that will earn you cash straight away, or you’re playing the long game, this list of 102 side hustle will help you choose the best one for you.
Quick Wins: I Need Money Now
Need money now? Want to make some extra cash online during the to tide you through a tough time? We’ve curated a list of legitimate ways to make money at home during coronavirus lockdown. We’ve also compared them based on how much you can make and how fast you’ll get paid.
Our Pick: The Easiest Way to Make Money Online
For most people, the easiest way to make money online quickly is doing user testing for websites, combined with participating in market research. It’s one of the best earners without having to start your own business. That’s because it’s:
No barriers to entry. You don’t need any special skills, software, or equipment.
You can get decent pay for your time, and sometimes you’ll get lucky with a high-paying gig.
The turnaround time between working and getting paid is reasonably fast, so you can start earning some extra cash straight away.
If you want to make a lot of money over a longer timeframe, build a passive income stream, or transition into a full-time gig, then getting a side hustle or starting your own business online is going to be a better choice for you. Read on for more easy ways to make money and longer-term online business ideas.
Quick Wins Comparison Table
We’ve gathered info on some quick return methods so you can compare rates – and how fast you’ll get your money – in one glance.
These range sites where you complete random online tasks, to focus groups where you can earn upwards of $150 for a single one-hour session. Some of the better-earning options, like freelancing or being a virtual assistant, could even evolve into a quality part-time job or side-hustle, or even a full-time job.
|Website||Type of Job||Payment||Time (mins)||Equivalent Hourly rate||Payment Timeframe||Payment Method|
Data entry, surveys, proofreading
|varies||varies||$27||Weekly or Monthly||SEPA or Paypal|
|20|20 Panel||Market research||$50-$350||varies||–||7-10 days||
Visa Rewards Card, Gift Cards
|Farron Research||Market Research||$150.00||varies||$80-300||PayPal|
|Slicethepie||Review music and more||varies||10||–||Anytime||PayPal|
|InboxDollars||Simple online tasks||varies||varies||–||Cheque|
|Amazon Mechanical Turk||Simple online tasks||varies||varies||–|
|Respondent||Surveys, Market research, Website testing||$140.00||60||$140.00||10||PayPal|
PayPal or Amazon Gift Cards
|Userlytics||User testing||$5-90||30||–||15 days after approval||PayPal|
|Intuit User Research||User testing||$50.00||30||$100.00||
Visa Rewards Card
PayPal or Transferwise
|Upwork||Virtual assistant||varies||varies||–||5-20 days||
Bank transfer, PayPal
|Website||Type of Job||Equivalent Hourly Rate||Payment Timeframe||
|Clickworker||Data entry, surveys, proofreading||$27||Weekly or Monthly||SEPA or Paypal|
|20|20 Panel||Market research||–||7-10 days||
Visa Rewards Card, Gift Cards
|Farron Research||Market Research||$80-300||PayPal|
|Slicethepie||Review music and more||–||Anytime||PayPal|
|InboxDollars||Simple online tasks||–||Cheque|
|Amazon Mechanical Turk||Simple online tasks||–|
|Respondent||Surveys, Market research, Website testing||$140.00||10||PayPal|
PayPal or Amazon Gift Cards
|Userlytics||User testing||–||15 days after approval||PayPal|
|Intuit User Research||User testing||$100.00||
Visa Rewards Card
PayPal or Transferwise
|Upwork||Virtual assistant||–||5-20 days||
Bank transfer, PayPal
Before You Get Started
1. User Testing
User testing is a service that tech and product companies use to collect data on how people use their websites, apps, or products. Once you sign up, you’ll receive alerts for new testing jobs that you’re eligible for.
All you need to have is an internet connection and a microphone (most laptops will have one built in). In a typical job, you will be asked to complete a task on someone’s website or app while speaking your thoughts aloud, explaining why you are making certain decisions and what catches your attention.
Doing a test can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the site, and you can earn anywhere from $10 to $60 (or more if you get lucky).
If you’re going to take this approach, I’d recommend signing up with multiple sites, as availability of testing jobs is the main bottleneck to earning here.
2. Market Research
Market research and focus groups can be more lucrative than user testing, but they’re also harder gigs to get, as you must match a certain set of criteria. They can also go for longer, anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours – and are paid accordingly.
You’ll answer questions and give your opinion on various matters, usually related to your behaviour or buying patterns. Companies will then use this data to develop products and services.
3. Data Entry
If you have a marketable skill like design, digital marketing, or coding, or you’ve got a background in business administration, this could be your best bet.
If you’re a creative, it will probably be less than you can make if you are an established freelancer. Competition is fierce on international online platforms, and there can be a race to the bottom.
The outlook is somewhat better for virtual assistants, and you can expect to make around $27/hr. Prices are often fixed for a certain amount of work, so it’s up to you to figure out how much you can get done and whether it will be worth it. Being a virtual assistant can be a great side hustle at any time, if you want to work from home or make some extra cash.
Airtasker is an online platform where people post odd jobs, and you can offer to do them. These jobs range from small writing jobs for websites, admin, design, marketing and more. It’s not an online-only platform, but there are plenty of digital-only tasks that you can complete online.
When you start out, focus on one type of job, and tackle smaller tasks first to garner some reviews. Price bidding can be fierce, but true to your worth, and don’t go too low on prices, as Airtasker takes a 20% cut of your earnings.
Earnings on Airtasker can range from a couple of hundred a month for the occasional odd job, to $1500 a month if you spend a large amount of time completing jobs.
5. Online Surveys
Filling out online surveys may not make you lots of money at once, but if you stick with it, you can make a bit extra that could help you cover the cost of a big bag of rice and some lentils – the food of choice for coronavirus lockdown! Or perhaps to treat yourself with something nice and non-essential.
You’ll most often get paid with gift cards, but some sites will pay you into your PayPal account directly. Again, hedging your bets is a good tactic here. Sign up to lots of websites and apps.
All you need to do is fill out quick surveys, many of which can be done on your phone.
6. ‘Get Paid To’ Sites
These random assortments of tasks can be quite fun, but tend to pay less than the other options. That being said, the small amounts do add up over time, so persistence can pay off.
Tasks can range from anything like searching the web, playing games, watching videos, reading emails, and getting money back when you online shop. This last one’s a bit more dubious – shopping to get paid seems somewhat counterproductive if you’re already struggling, but hey, it’s an option if you’re into that. These sites often pay you in gift cards, which you can redeem at many major retailers.
Jump to the comparison table to see your options.
Playing the Long Game
If you’re willing to put in the hard work and wait longer, these online business ideas can grow into an extra income source, or even replace your main job.
Do you have a marketable skillset – like graphic design, writing, bookkeeping, digital marketing, or coding? Do you have a background in business administration? Then freelancing online could be your best bet. It does take a little longer to start earning than the first two, but you can earn a lot of money, and it can even be a springboard to going full-time freelance.
However, if you use these platforms your earnings will probably be less than you can make as an independent freelancer. Pricing competition is fierce on international online marketplaces, which often results in a race to the bottom. So, you may want to reach out to your network through LinkedIn and let them know you’re open to freelance work.
8. Invest in Stock Markets
If you have a chunk of capital available to you, and you don’t mind a bit of risk, investing in stock markets can be a good way to earn extra money. For an easy option, you can use an online share trading platform such as IG Share Trading, eToro, Bell Direct, or CMC Markets.
9. Become a Virtual Assistant (VA)
The outlook is only getting better for virtual assistants, and you can expect to make around $27/hr. Prices are often fixed for a certain amount of work, so it’s up to you to figure out how much you can get done and whether it will be worth it. Being a virtual assistant can be a great side hustle at any time, if you want to work from home or make some extra cash.
10. Write Music Reviews
Bit of a music buff? Got a flair for writing? Slice the pie could be a fun, fast way to make some extra cash, which you can withdraw to your PayPal immediately.
You get paid to review anonymous songs, mostly, but also products and merch. The better your reviews, the better you get paid, and as you build up a good rating your prices will improve.
11. Affiliate Marketing
While affiliate marketing is one of the most profitable passive income games around, it can take a lot of time to start making proper money – think six months to a couple of years.
- Purchase a domain name
- Buy hosting
- Design your own website using a free WordPress theme
- Use Google Keyword Planner to find what people are searching for, and plan your articles around that
- Write high quality content
- Sign up for Google Adsense and other affiliate programs.
Here are some platforms you can use to get started with affiliate partnerships.
12. Buying and Selling Domain Names
Again, if you don’t mind investing some capital, you can watch out for expiring domain names and buy them up, also known as ‘drop catching’. A company will then have to pay you for their negligence in letting the domain slip – sometimes to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Or, if it’s a generic domain name that gets lots of searches, then companies may bid on it for the amount of web traffic it will bring them.
A popular site for catching domains is drop.com.au.
13. Ecommerce Dropshipping
Dropshipping has exploded in popularity in recent times because of its potential to supply a passive income. The idea is that you start an online store – but you don’t buy any stock. Instead, you partner with a wholesale supplier, who will send the item directly to your customer. So you’re essentially buying wholesale items one at a time, at wholesale prices, instead of the traditional arrangement of buying bulk amounts of stock and then being responsible for selling them.
It’s much easier to set up a business this way, as all you need is an internet connection and some marketing savvy.
14. Etsy, eBay or Amazon Shop
You can set up an eBay, Etsy or Amazon shop fairly easily, identify items that may sell well or that are trending, buy or make these items, and put them up for sale. For instance, masks have been a notable new niche in the pandemic.
Be aware that all these platforms charge fees, so you’ll need to get your sales up reasonably high or have a decent profit margin if you’re going to make any kind of decent money.
It’s not limited to these platforms, either.
15. YouTube Channel
If you can find a topic you’re passionate about, chances are there’s an audience for it. This can also be a fantastic avenue for younger people to make some extra money. The main challenge lies in creating content that will engage people. Often that means taking a new, unique angle, speaking with passion, and finding a fun format with frequent surprises or breaks so as to keep your audience’s attention.
16. Start a Podcast
If you start a podcast that people really love, you can then earn revenue from it either through ads, or through creating a Patreon account and gaining subscribers.
This is a long-term strategy, because it will take a while to create enough content, build a reputation, and attract a fanbase.
17. Blogging and Social Media
Do you have sway in the world of social media? Do you have more than 10,000 followers? Do you run a popular blog? Here are a few ideas for monetising your passion:
- Influencers can promote a product or service in a post
- Bloggers can do sponsored posts, i.e. product reviews for brands.
- Bloggers can host ads on their site
While it can take 1-2 years to build content, a solid brand, and a following, there is the potential to take blogging full-time or use it as a springboard into a writing or content creating career.
17. Create an Online Course
Do you know a lot about a particular area? Are you a subject matter expert? Then you can create an online course. It’s an easy option now that there are a wide range of online platforms like Udemy, Teachable, Podia, and Learnworlds available.
To make your online course successful, you will probably need to do quite a bit of marketing at the beginning, but you may be able to automate this later on, giving you the potential to earn a decent passive income.
18. Online Tutoring
Unlike online courses, tutoring focuses on teaching a particular skill or subject area one-on-one. This could also potentially include running webinars with small groups, which give you the opportunity to make money more quickly, rather than seeing several individual students.
This can be great if you have experience in teaching, or if you’re very skilled or knowledgeable in a particular area. For example, if you’ve been an accountant, you may be able to mentor people studying for a CPA exam online. If you’re fantastic at an instrument, you could do online lessons with students.