One of the fastest-growing segments of the global economy is the “gig” economy. These are jobs that can be done remotely, over the internet, and that come with a very real cash payment.
In some cases “gigs” are one-time jobs you can perform for a fee, or a regular stream of work you can do every week or month.
In this article, we’ll cover the most common ways people currently make money online. The choice really comes down to what your skill set is, and how much time you have available to invest into this new job market.
Making Money Online for Beginners
Why is any method of making money online for “beginners”?
- Low or no startup costs
- Requires few special skills
- Does not include complicated work processes
- Doesn’t require much past experience
If this sounds like something you might want to try, then read on to learn nine potential side hustles you can use to make money online.
1. Taking Surveys: Low Effort for Small Rewards
If you enjoy sharing your opinions and influencing how companies or even governments make decisions, you will probably like taking online surveys.
Online survey companies poll people from all across the world on a number of topics and issues. Sometimes these surveys are performed for companies who want to do market research before creating or trying to sell products. In other cases government organizations may turn to survey companies to “check the pulse” of the public on specific topics.
In return for taking surveys, the survey companies will pay you. In most cases, payment is in the form of a gift card. But in other cases it could be a straight payment via PayPal. It’s a great way to make a little extra money.
Once you start taking surveys, you’ll realize quickly that it isn’t a huge money-maker. For example, a typical payout at Ipsos ISay is 2500 points for a $25 gift card. Considering a 30-minute survey may provide 125 points, you’d have to take twenty 30-minute surveys to get that $25. That’s basically earning $2.50 an hour.
So do surveys as a fun pastime, not only for the money.
2. Writing and Blogging: For Writers
If you are a good writer, you can certainly make money by writing for websites. The Problogger Job Board is a great place to start looking for these types of opportunities. However, you can even find website owners hiring on places like Craigslist or even Indeed and similar job websites.
If you have not published online work yet, expect to work at first for as little as $10 to $25 for a 1000-word article. However, once you have a good portfolio of online work proving the quality of your writing, start applying to larger websites and provide links to your articles as proof of your work quality. Experienced online freelance writers can expect to earn from $100 to $200 per 1000-word article.
3. Become an Amazon Mechanical Turk Worker
One of the easiest ways to make money online for beginners is by signing up as an Amazon Mechanical Turk worker.
What work is available on Amazon Mechanical Turk? You could get jobs identifying objects in photos, scanning business listings or catalogs for duplicate content or other errors, data entry, transcribing audio, and much more.
To get started:
- Visit the link above and select the Get Started with Amazon Mechanical Turk button.
- Select Request a Worker account on the next page.
Fill out the application process and once it’s accepted you can sign up for the type of work you’d like to do and set your prices. Then start browsing available jobs or getting offers for work.
4. Sell Things on eBay, Poshmark, or Etsy
While it isn’t the easiest way to make money online, there are in fact lots of profits to be made by selling on sites like eBay, Poshmark, or Etsy. There are also lots of other online marketplaces to sell on.
This option for making money online works best if you:
- You have sources of low cost goods to sell like local auctions or thrift stores.
- Have a place in your home where you can package up items.
- Have access to a local post office that’s easy to get to.
- Time available to spend listing and describing items.
Depending how much time you can invest, this online business has a lot of potential to make a great deal of money just by selling things online. Some people even do it as a full-time job.
5. Test Websites or Apps
Another way to drive decisions made by companies is by giving them feedback on their websites or apps. Companies depend on services like UserTesting.com to gather user feedback.
You can quickly apply by taking a practice test. Once approved, you’ll need to answer some questions to screen what tests match your interests and skills. Finally, work through the tests and get paid for your time. UserTesting pays $4 for 5-minute tests, $10 for 20-minute tests, and $30 to $120 for tests that include interviews with clients.
6. Sell Photography
If you’re a good photographer, there are lots of opportunities to make money online using your talents.
For example, on Shutterstock, all you need to do is sign up and start submitting your content. If and when your photos get purchased by users, you make money. It’s a great source of passive income.
The better your work, the more likely your photos will be purchased. You aren’t limited to only Shutterstock either. There are lots of places online where you can sell your photos. So don’t limit yourself to only one or two!
7. Buy and Sell Event Tickets
One method you can use to make money online is an approach that not many people consider. Making money buying and selling anything comes down to supply and demand. Years ago, ticket “scalpers” took advantage of this concept by buying event tickets cheaply the first day they were available, then waiting until the event and selling the tickets outside the gates at cutthroat prices.
Today, “scalpers” are referred to more legitimately as “resellers”. And all it takes to be a ticket reseller is a little bit of cash for tickets, and patience.
Once you buy tickets, you can either resell them on Ticketmaster or StubHub. StubHub is a well-known marketplace for reselling tickets and it’s the place where you can make a fortune if you can stomach overcharging people for being too lazy to buy tickets when they’re first available!
8. Rent Your Space on Airbnb
Do you own a large house with extra rooms? Maybe you have a cabin somewhere that you only use a few times a year and most of the time it’s vacant. Turn your spaces into cash by listing it as available for rent on Airbnb.
Lots of people are making a significant amount of income on Airbnb, and all it requires is owning a place that people would be interested in staying at.
There are a few important things to keep in mind before you try to make money online in this way.
- Set up the space with a smart lock so that people can check themselves in.
- Be prepared to have a plan for cleaning the space in between guest stays.
- Be available to answer questions and respond to any needs your guests may have during their stay.
- Set up the room with conveniences like a microwave, toaster oven, refrigerator, and necessities like coffee and snacks.
Don’t take renting on Airbnb lightly or you could end up with a poor rating and few guests.
9. Be an Online Tutor
There are many students all around the world who are struggling with learning concepts in whatever class they may be taking. There are also many people who’ve taken those classes successfully and have the knowledge that it takes to help those students succeed.
If you have expertise in any subject matter, whether that’s algebra, biology, geometry, or anything else, you could make good money by tutoring students online.
A site like Tutor.com helps link students with tutors. You can apply there to become a tutor. If your application is accepted, you could end up with your very own list of student clients and a solid source of online income.