Legit ways to make money online
Thanks to the internet, there is an endless number of ways to make money online. Here are just 21 ways you can make some extra money on the side.
Making more money could likely solve a lot of your problems. In the past, we’ve talked about how teens can make money, but for those of us who are a little older, we need something a little more sophisticated than the $10 that comes from mowing lawns.
Luckily, in the age of the internet, making extra money (or your whole paycheck) online is incredibly easy if you know where to look.
Here are 21 ways to make (and save money) online:
1. Take surveys online
Take surveys online
While taking online surveys won’t make you rich by any means, a few minutes of your time can earn you a few extra dollars.
Swagbucks allows you to earn points and then redeem them for gift cards or cash back. And the cash back option is available for over 1500 retailers including Amazon, Starbucks, Target etc. Lots of options!
Here’s how it works: you earn points by shopping through their portal, filling out surveys, watching videos, etc. The best part is it’s free to sign up! Plus they are currently giving a $10 sign up bonus.
2. Become a freelancer
Become a freelancer
If you have a talent, chances are, you can sell your skill. Whether you’re a writer, artist, graphic designer, photographer, etc., there’s a freelance gig for you. Let’s cover a few possible freelance angles for you to take.
It’s easier than ever to become a freelance writer (all of our writers at Money Under 30 are freelancers). With that being said, if you’re just starting out it can be difficult to find a writing job that will pay you more than pennies.
We have advice here, on how to actually get hired for a freelance job. Also, a good place to start looking is Fiverr. It’s called Fiverr, because most people would charge just $5 for their services—some people still do that, others charge a lot more.
If you like to teach and have some free time, consider teaching English as a second language. EF, an online teaching company where you could earn up to $2,000 a month, making it a pretty great side-hustle.
VIPkid is another excellent service that connects North American teachers and tutors with students in China for one-on-one English lessons.
The application process is rigorous, but you could make between $14 and $22 an hour—not necessarily the most competitive, but still decent.
Do small tasks
If you’re not prone to creativity, you can still make money online by offering your handyman (or woman) services on TaskRabbit.
Many of the tasks advertised on TaskRabbit involve tasks such as:
Putting furniture together
Picking up groceries
Search the gigs section of Craigslist
Along with TaskRabbit, you can search the “gigs” section on Craigslist. Many of the gigs are hoaxes, but there are some that are legit. There are gigs that involve computer skills, writing skills, general labor, cleaning, etc.
3. Invest with a robo-advisor
Invest with a robo-advisor
Robo-advisors put your investments on auto-pilot. With many robo-advisors, all you have to do is choose your risk, your goals, and fund your account. The robo-advisor will take care of the rest. For those who are looking to invest, but may not understand the ins and outs of investing, robo-advisors can help.
Here are a couple of our favorite robo-advisors!
How To Make Money Online – 21 Ideas To Help You Start Earning More Money – Betterment
Betterment is a simple investing platform. You can easily open sub-accounts that use different portfolios for reaching multiple goals. It’s also surprisingly inexpensive! Betterment’s Digital plan charges 0.25% annually. You’ll have access to a full suite of services as well as mobile messaging to an advisor
Check out our full Betterment review.
How To Make Money Online – 21 Ideas To Help You Start Earning More Money – M1 Finance
M1 Finance is a hybrid robo-advisor and traditional brokerage, meaning you have a little more control in picking your portfolio than you would with just a robo-advisor. M1 allows you to pick and choose “pie slices” (different investments), which make up your portfolio.
M1 Finance is completely free, so any beginner investor should check them out.
Check out our full M1 Finance review.
How To Make Money Online – 21 Ideas To Help You Start Earning More Money – Wealthfront
Like Betterment, Wealthfront has a lot to offer investors. And what you’ll be excited to hear is that Wealthfront doesn’t charge management fees on balances under $10,000. They require a $500 minimum investment and its fee is 0.25% fixed a year on portfolios over $10,000—one of the more quite competitive fees.
Check out our full Wealthfront review.
4. Invest in real estate
Invest in real estate
Investing in real estate online is a great form of passive income if you’re open to a little risk.
Real estate crowdfunding involves many investors investing small amounts of money into real estate ventures.
There are a couple of companies that are the frontrunners in the real estate crowdfunding industry.
Roofstock is one. They focus on single-family homes that you can buy and use as rental properties. It’s a platform for investors and created by investors, which is why there are no fees to join and search their properties. For more information, see our Roofstock review.
Another well-known name in the real estate crowdfunding world is Fundrise. They have a super low minimum investment of just $500 (which is almost unheard of in the real estate industry), and Fundrise states that their annual returns generally range from 8.7%-12.4%. Read our Fundrise review.
5. Invest with a broker
How To Make Money Online – 21 Ideas To Help You Start Earning More Money – Invest with a Broker
The stock market scares a lot of folks, but it’s getting easier and easier to invest your money in stocks, even if you don’t have a whole lot of know-how.
But no longer – that’s right, no need to be scared of the investing world with so many excellent options out there. Here are 4 good places to start digging in.
If you invest through a company like E*TRADE, they offer tons of investing tools so you can invest on your own, and you can trade stocks, options, and ETFs for $0.
For slightly more seasoned investors, Zacks Trade makes day-trading easy and cost-effective. You can buy stocks and bonds, ETFs, options, and more. Their pricing is simple and straightforward – stock and ETF trades can be made for $0.01 per share (with a $3 minimum).
TD Ameritrade is attractive for young investors because it has no minimum investment and they offer tons of tools for every level of investing. You can also trade through their mobile app which makes it super convenient.
Ally Invest is one that truly stands out on its own from the group because they have no commission fees AND no account minimum! For the self-directed trader, this is a dream come true. You can invest in stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, and mutual funds – so there’s a little something for everyone.
6. Become a virtual assistant
Become a virtual assistant
Virtual assistants can make up to $16 an hour. You can work part-time or full time, and your schedule can be relatively flexible, as long as it lines up with whomever you’re working for.
What you need to be a virtual assistant:
Headset or cell phone
Good communication skills
7. Sell or rent your belongings
Sell or rent your belongings
This could mean selling a few things here and there on Ebay, running a full-fledged online store, or renting out your home (okay, so that’s not entirely online, but it starts out there).
Ebay may seem old school, what with Amazon and Etsy, but selling stuff you don’t need is a great way to make extra cash.
You can make a free account, but you’ll be limited to how much you can sell. If you want to sell more than 50 items a month online, you’ll need to sign-up for one of Ebay’s subscriptions.
Starter: $4.95/ mo with an annual subscription
Basic: $21.95/ mo with an annual subscription
Premium: $59.95/ mo with an annual subscription
Anchor: $299.95/ mo with an annual subscription
Enterprise: $2,999.95/ mo with an annual subscription
Each comes with different selling caps, and the higher the subscription, the lower the fees.
Etsy’s setup is a lot more satisfying than Ebay and even Amazon. But, just like Ebay and Amazon, Etsy does have some fees to consider if you’re planning on just casually selling. The fee schedule goes as follows:
$0.20 USD for each item that you list for sale
When you make a sale you’ll be charged a transaction fee of 3.5% of the price you display for each listing
If you want to go real old-school, you can sell your items on Craigslist. While there’s a lot that can go wrong on Craigslist, it’s still one of the most used sites—mostly because it’s free.
Sell your text books
Textbooks are expensive—too expensive for most. So, if you have old textbooks you’re never going to look at again—or never looked at in the first place—selling them can make you back some of the money you had to spend.
If you buy your books from Barnes and Noble, they make it easy to sell them back at the end of the year!
Rent your home on Airbnb
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Airbnb. If you have an extra room or even a whole house you’re willing to rent out, you could earn a hefty side income.
There’s a cost when it comes to listing on Airbnb, You’ll be charged 3% of the booking total. Since you can set prices, however, you’ll still have quite a bit of control over how much you can make as an Airbnb host.
8. Get a cash back credit card
Get a cash back credit card
Applying online for a cash back credit card is a great way to earn money on purchases you already plan on making.
There are many credit cards to choose from—here are just a few we recommend. Let’s dig a little deeper into our favorites.
Discover it® Cash Back
With the Discover it® Cash Back, you can earn 5% cashback on different categories each quarter when you activate, up to the quarterly limit. Previous categories have included gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, and wholesale clubs.
You’ll receive 1% on all other purchases.
Discover will also match your cashback at the end of your first year as a card holder!
Learn more: See card details or apply here
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card
Disclaimer – The information about the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card has been collected independently by MoneyUnder30.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.
With the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card you’ll receive an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. And you can get 1.8% cash rewards on qualified digital wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google PayTM during the first year.
On the cash back front – new card members can also earn earn a $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in the first three months.
Finally, with no annual fee, this card is a great deal for anyone looking for a straight forward cash back card.
Apply now or read our full review of the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card.
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card gives 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on a choice category for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/choice category purchases each quarter.
It also has a $0 annual fee!
Learn more: See card details or apply here
9. Download money-making apps
Download money-making apps
If you already shop online, downloading money-making apps can earn you cash every time you shop. Let’s take a look at some of the best apps.
MyPoints is one of my favorites. You can earn up to 40% back on all your purchases at 2,000 top retailers like Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy, and Amazon. They also offer promo codes at tons of online stores. One of my favorite things about MyPoints is that you can redeem your points whenever you want. All you have to do is can cash out and get gift cards, or you can transfer the cash to your PayPal account. It’s actually very easy.
Dosh is an enticing cash back app because the bash back part is 100% automatic making your purchases even easier. Just link your credit or debit card in the app and you’ll automatically earn cash back whenever you make a purchase at a partner site. Partners include Walmart, ASOS, GNC, Instacart, and Sephora, plus over 15k local restaurants and retailers that offer up to 10% cash back. Best of all, you can move the cash you earn directly to your PayPal or Venmo account as soon as you earn at least $25.
For your grocery purchases, Fetch Rewards can help. In addition to scanning receipts for your brick-and-mortar purchases, you can also take advantage of Fetch’s eReceipts feature. Just tap on the icon and connect the app to your email. You can then search your email account for digital receipts. You’ll get points for any purchase you made from participating brands.
Another great option is Acorns and my experience is that Acorns can make anyone an investor. It helps you start saving by rounding up your purchases on the debit or credit card of your choice. Then, every time you hit $5 in savings, Acorns invests your money in ETFs. Mighty convenient. Acorns cost $1, $2, or $3 per month depending on the plan you choose – making it a cheap option for young investors. Here’s our review of Acorns.
Finally, Swagbuck, another cool option lets you earn gift cards and cash for shopping online, watching certain videos, and answering surveys. You can redeem points for cash through PayPal, or get gift cards from retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
10. Create a blog
Create a blog
If you can create a niche audience for your blog, you can make an entire paycheck—just ask our founder.
To start earning money by blogging, you’ll need to use certain advertising tactics, the best for start-up blogs is:
Advertising and affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing makes it possible for small blogs to stay in business. Rather than getting paid per 1,000 page views or per click—which is the traditional middle—affiliate advertising involves an advertiser paying an affiliate publisher (your blog) when it refers a paying customer.
11. Open an online savings account
Open an online savings/checking account
Opening an online savings and checking account can earn you a much higher interest rate than at traditional banks. Our favorite banks are below:
Barclays Online SavingsBarclays Online Savings Account
Barclays Online Savings is currently yielding a 1.15% APY which is better than 18x the national average.
There is no deposit required to open an account and there are no monthly maintenance fees to worry about. To receive the APY you must have at least $1 in your account (and if you don’t have $1 to put in your account, revisit the other items on this list ASAP!)
Discover Online SavingsDiscover Bank Online Savings Account
The Discover Bank Online Savings Account earns you a 0.50% APY—they also offer CD’s and money market accounts for your deposit needs. No minimum deposit required and no minimum balance to earn the APY.