The No. 1 rule of personal finance is to spend less than you earn. So if you want to get ahead financially, it’s important to save money where you can.
But if you really want to improve your finances, there’s the flip side of that equation to consider as well – making more money. With a side hustle or money-making hobby, you can give yourself a raise whether your employer wants to or not.
Here’s the truth no one wants to talk about: Learning how to make money can improve your finances in ways that saving money simply cannot. There are only so many ways to save, but there are an unlimited number of ways to earn extra money you can use to pay down debt, save for the future, or actually have some fun.
20 Ways to Make Money Online
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, it’s completely possible to bring in a steady side income from the comfort of your own home. If you want to know how to make money online, consider these possibilities:
Open an Etsy store. If you have a creative talent or skill – whether it’s creating art, sewing clothes, or making keepsakes – you can open an online store on Etsy.com and sell your wares for some quick cash. With your own Etsy store, you’re left in charge of pricing and, ultimately, how much you make. See our detailed primer, “How to Make Money on Etsy.”
Complete surveys online. Sites like Swagbucks and MyPoints.com pay people to share their opinions on products or services, test mobile apps, or participate in market research. While the payday for these sites is modest, participating frequently can help you earn extra money in a short amount of time.
Get paid to search the Web. Zoombucks.com will pay you to use their online interface to search the web. To qualify, you need to be willing to download their search bar and use it for everyday Internet use. The only caveat that comes with this “gig” is that you might be paid in gift cards instead of cash. If you can parlay those gift cards into items you need to buy anyway – like groceries or gas – searching online can be a lucrative way to spend your free time.
Evaluate search engines. Search engine evaluators use commonly-accessed search engines in order to seek out bugs or errors. You may not earn a lot, but you can do this job in your spare time and from the comfort of your own home. To find gigs, check sites like Lionbridge, and Appen Butler Hill.
Start a blog. If you love writing and are passionate about a specific topic, starting a blog is a great way to launch a low-cost side business with little money out-of-pocket. All you need to get started is a domain name, some basic online support, and a head full of ideas to share. Here’s a basic primer on starting a blog for profit.
Write and publish an eBook. You don’t need a traditional publisher and financial backing to publish your own book anymore. In fact, Amazon.com makes it possible for you to publish your own eBook and sell it independently – with no financial investment on your part. And with Kindle eBook publishing, your book will appear on Kindle stores worldwide within 24-48 hours. Just be prepared to market it yourself on social media, your blog, or elsewhere if you expect to generate sales.
Become a freelance writer or editor. If you have a passion for storytelling or a background in writing or editing, it’s possible to find freelance writing or editing work online. To search available job openings, check out sites like UpWork.com and Problogger.net. You can also check traditional job sites such as Indeed.com and enter “telecommute” or “anywhere” in the location field.
Get into affiliate marketing. If you’re active on social media and have a large following, you could parlay those connections into some fast cash with a comprehensive affiliate marketing strategy. By becoming an affiliate marketer, you’ll sell items through your own links tied to sites like Amazon.com, ClickBank.com, and Commission Junction.
Earn cash back for shopping. Earning cash back on your purchases is a smart idea, and credit card rewards aren’t the only good cash-back strategy out there. With a site like ShopAtHome you can earn cash back on purchases made with approved merchants. Many frequent shoppers also love the Ibotta app, which lets you earn cash-back on every purchase.
Buy and sell domain names. If you’re good at finding popular yet undiscovered domain names, you can make some cash on the side by buying and reselling websites. Think of it as digital real estate speculation. Domains are available on GoDaddy.com for as little as $2.99 per year, but are sometimes resold at far higher prices: According to Business Insider, the site MM.com sold for $1.2 million dollars in 2014. Once you find the perfect domain name to resell, you can market it on Flippa.com for a flat fee.
Make money on YouTube. People who love the spotlight and have other online hustles should consider creating their own YouTube channel. If you’re interested — and interesting — you can use the platform to market affiliate products, sell products you create yourself, or receive ad revenue for your informal tutorials or entertaining videos. Once you get the ball rolling, YouTube offers a partner program that can help you monetize your business further.
Become a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants perform a wide range of services for their clients, all of which can be completed online. Depending on the day, they may open and reply to emails, schedule online work or blog posts, write mock-up letters and proposals, or perform data entry. You can look for virtual assistant jobs on sites like UpWork.com and Problogger.net.
Work as an online interpreter or translator. If you’re fluent in a foreign language, it makes sense to look for work as an online interpreter or translator. Depending on your individual skillset, you could find work translating blog posts or eBooks, transcribing recorded lessons or speeches for clients, or translating through Skype or another online video service. And, thanks to the increased use of foreign languages in the United States, getting started could really pay off. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for interpreters and translators is expected to increase 17% nationally through 2026.
Manage social media for businesses. If you have a knack for social media, you could potentially get paid to manage various platforms for others. Many businesses are too busy running day-to-day operations to stay on top of their Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts – and will pay someone with the knowledge and time to do it for them. To find these jobs, ask local businesses and check sites like UpWork.com and Problogger.net.
Work remotely for a call center. Because many call center jobs are location independent, finding work in this field is an easy way to earn some money from home. Dozens of sites list job openings for call-center representatives, including Freelancer.com and SimplyHired.com. Meanwhile, you should check local job listings for openings and opportunities as well.
Rent out your car. If you’re not using your car on a daily basis, you might consider renting it out for some easy cash. Sites like , RelayRides.com, and FlightCar.com let you rent out your car for a daily – or even hourly – rate.
Answer questions. If you’re a subject matter expert, you can get paid for your expertise. Sites like JustAnswer will pay you to answer questions either on the phone or online. Just register, enter your area of expertise, and get started to begin earning money on the side.
Rent out a room on Airbnb. Living near a tourist area has its perks, including the prospect of renting out a room for a profit. With home sharing sites like Airbnb, you can rent out a room in your home – or even the entire place – for a day, a week, or longer. If you have extra space and might enjoy the company of travelers, renting out a room is great way to earn some extra money with little effort on your part. See our post, “How to Make Money as an AirBNB Host.”
Teach English online. A company called VIPKID makes it easier than ever to make money teaching English to international children online. You do need a bachelor’s degree and at least one year of teaching experience to get started, but you can easily make up to $22 per hour working just 7.5 hours per week.
Become a proofreader. All kinds of businesses hire professional proofreaders to look over their copy and content for errors before they publish. This side hustle is one that could work for nearly anyone since you can work from home provided you have a computer and an internet connection. You can find online proofreading jobs through websites like Indeed.com and FlexJobs.com