No matter who you are, making money online is a common interest among most generations.
The internet has created so many jobs and opportunities for people to make money from their phones, computer, or tablets without putting in much effort.
Not every way to make money online will generate a ton of income, but who doesn’t love some extra cash? Additionally, there are many types of online work one can start, but they will require some start-up costs like any business.
However, most of these can be started with $100 or less. Maybe you don’t have money to start or don’t want to spend any money to start. Don’t worry, you have options!
If finding ways to make money online without paying anything sounds like a scam, you are wrong! There are actually a few ways you can start earning money without spending a dime of your own cash.
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How to Make Money Without Spending Money
Since there are a few different options for you to make money online without paying anything, I wanted to break it down into a few simple categories. Pending your interests, you can find some opportunities under one category or work in all three.
Short-Term Ways: Looking to make some extra money fast? Utilizing some short-term ways to make money will be good to line your wallets with some money. You won’t generate a full-time income or even part-time income levels, but $25, $50, or $100+ is not too shabby.
Work For Others: With the power of remote work, you can work as a contractor, consultant, freelancer, or part-time employee online. These opportunities could even lead to a full-time position and income. And these ways to make money will also be a little more time-intensive, but most require $0 to get started.
Start An Online Business: Most online businesses will require some upfront cash, but you might be surprised to learn that there are a few types that do not need start-up money. And the potential income could be huge and even a business you might sell down the road for a nice sum of cash.
Short-Term Ways To Make Money Online
1. Take online surveys
You really can get paid to take online surveys. Brands pay a lot of money for market research and value the opinions of members of the public. If you have a few spare hours, sign up for a survey site and get started taking surveys on topics from the environment to your spending habits.
Beware, as some of these sites won’t pay in cash but instead in gift cards for sites like Amazon. So before you sign-up for one looking for cash or PayPal money, ensure you read how you would get paid.
- Swagbucks: Pays you in coupons, gift cards, and sweepstakes entries for your opinions. It’s easily the most popular survey site.
- SurveyJunkie: Focused solely on consumer goods, this site pays cash (in small amounts) in order to give brands feedback on new launches, products, and opinions.
- InboxDollars: Qualifies your profile, and matches the information with market research companies to provide brand feedback. They pay in cash.
- MyPoints: As well as surveys, MyPoints pays you to shop with your favorite sites; providing cashback in the form of coupons and gift cards when you shop with certain stores online.
2. Complete Tasks for others
Otherwise known as microtasks, completing tasks for others are usually small and simple “to-dos” that others don’t want to do or cannot due to time commitments. Whether you have DIY and handyman skills, or can help with shopping and cleaning; microtask sites are a popular fix to hiring a professional.
Of course, be wary of safety as these sites can’t usually verify the identity of those asking, or offering help. But there are some legit options for you.
- TaskRabbit: Offer same-day handyman services to those in need. So, if you’ve got a spare couple of hours or a free day, you could find short-notice work that pays cash in hand.
- Instacart: You can make money shopping and delivering groceries for people, with most retail grocery chains offered. This exploded in popularity during COVID-19 but seems this trend will continue.
- Amazon Mechanical Turk: Mechanical Turk is a crowdsourced working platform where you can promote your skills and get hired for short-term projects. Tasks range from manual and physical lifting to online data collection and more.
- Microworkers: This is similar in design to Mechanical Turk, but Microworkers is focused on online jobs, including transcription, data mining, digital market research for companies in need.
3. Play mobile games
Sounds like a dream job, right? Beta testers for apps and mobile games are in high demand, with hourly jobs paying an average of $10-15 per hour, and full-time games testers making an average of $50,000.
Some of these require software knowledge, while others simply need a strong level of patience as you repeat the same scenarios over multiple conditions.
- Mistplay: This is an incredibly accessible game testing found in the Google play store. The more games you test, the more points you can accumulate — which are then converted into gift cards for your favorite stores.
- Lucktastic: Gives you the chance to play fun online games in exchange for real-world prizes. The games are instant-win, but each participant is entered into a sweepstakes-style prize pool for the chance to win extra daily prizes.
- Long Game: A gamified savings account, the long game connects your regular savings accounts with games and contests to top up your pots with surplus funds.
4. Test Websites
User testing websites give real people the chance to give feedback on your new products, software, and services. Although full-time user testing roles are few and far between, one-off projects will pay between $10 and $120 depending on the level of detail and time each participant will spend.
- Userfeel: Has matched over 130,000 qualified testers with over 200 clients in order to gain market feedback and opinion. They pay $10 per test and only require you to have a computer with a microphone.
- User Testing: Has worked with over 35,000 brands and specifically matches each tester based on the criteria of each client. They pay in cash via PayPal, and again only require a computer with a microphone.
- Userlytics: Focuses on remote, digital user research rather than in-person focus groups. They pay between $5 and $90 per project and tend to work with usability testing.
5. Sell your stuff
The days of eBay reigning strong are long gone — and we no longer have to accept mere cents for our old stuff. Competition on these types of sites are high, but if you have great quality items, you should be able to sell them easily.
- Poshmark: Focused on the fashion industry, Poshmark allows people to buy and sell pre-loved clothing. The platform specializes in designer brands, which may be more wallet-friendly for the average American.
- ThredUp: Online thrift store, ThredUp takes your items first, and pays you out once they sell. They also place emphasis on the brand; and act as the middle-man of a drop shipping scenario.
- Decluttr: The perfect place to get rid of all of the old phones, games consoles, and other gadgets just lying around in your drawers. Decluttr quotes you a fair price for the condition of your items and pays promptly, whether it’s sold on their site or not.
- Bookscouter: This is an online book marketplace where you can buy and sell used textbooks and academic materials. Simply search using the ISBN number and find the price that Bookscouter is prepared to pay.
6. Become a researcher
If you love to deep dive into the internet and find out all manner of information, becoming a researcher may be the online job that suits you. Personal researchers get paid to answer questions, recommend products or gather statistics on their own schedule.
- Wonder: Has a super quick sign-up process, before you enter the assignment area and can find your own assignments on the dashboard. Used by Fortune 500 companies, this high-level research site will ensure you stay anonymous while working.
- RWS: Supports scientific researchers and theories in its sector, employing researchers to gather data, statistics, and more to validate theories.
- Clickworker: Describes itself as a crowdsourcing website, Clickworker specializes in AI data. Researchers will interact with technology to allow it to learn the native language and behavior.
7. Miscellaneous Apps
Some other passive income apps can make you money without paying anything. Some of these you might not want to do, but they are additional options to consider to snagging a few bucks.
- Honeygain: Shares your access to the internet without infringing on personal data and privacy. As a form of passive income- it means you can make around $20 a month by doing absolutely nothing.
- MobileXpression: Gains access to your web surfing habits in exchange for cash. They use the insight into your internet usage to inform market researchers from various brands and companies.
- UpVoice: This is a browser extension that, once downloaded by the user, gives access to your screen in exchange for gift cards at your favorite stores. The company focuses on social media usage — so those addicted to their socials would benefit from signing up.
Make Money Online Working For Others
8. Be a Tutor
One popular option as a side hustle is becoming an online tutor. There is a need for many subjects and languages, where you can get paid well to help others learn.
You can find quite a few full-time jobs in this position, but there are plenty of part-time options available to you as well. In order to become an online tutor, some jobs will require previous teaching experience or specific credentials, but some you won’t.
9. Full-Time Remote Work
I included full-time work on here because working remotely continues to grow in popularity. And when COVID-19 happened, it forced more organizations to become remote and start hiring people all over the world.
While many organizations are going back to in-office, there are plenty of opportunities to work from home full-time in various categories. Take a look at websites like Remote.co, WeWorkRemotely, Remotive.io for your next remote gig.
10. Work As An Accountant
Do you have experience with accounting and bookkeeping? Then you can find some good-paying working in this position, which oftentimes can be done remotely. And even if you don’t have much experience, but would like to work in this field, you may also come across some entry-level gigs that can be a great fit.
If you really want to take it to the next level, you can take courses from Quickbooks and even get listed on their website for your area, which businesses can discover and hire you.
11. Be A Personal Assistant
Although you might want to start your own virtual assistant business (see below), you can also work in some capacity as a personal assistant to just one specific business owner or CEO of a company.
Many busy executives or business owners will look for someone to handle their schedules, travel, paperwork, and more for them. If you are highly organized and enjoy helping others, this can be a good option for you to consider. Plus, this role can mostly be done from home and online.
12. Become a Transcriptionist
Do you have some strong typing skills and don’t mind typing up tons of content? While it might not be glamorous there is tons of work out there for a transcriptionist. This type of work is very flexible, meaning you can work as much or as little as you would like.
To get started, you’ll probably have to pass a typing test to ensure you are quick and accurate. Then you’ll have access to the job or jobs if you use a job board to find gigs as a transcriptionist. Any sites you use to find this type of work will offer varying degrees of pay (pending the company, type of transcription work, and hours), but you can make decent money.
13. Customer Service Rep
I won’t sugarcoat it, while you can make money without paying anything and quick start earning money, working in customer service can suck. If you don’t want to deal with customers complaining or helping people solve their issues, look elsewhere on this list.
But if you do find customer service work for you and have a knack for it, then you can easily find work in this category.
Many of these gigs can be done at home through phone, computer, and online chat. You’ll be able to find work directly with companies or connect with a customer service staffing company that can help place you in a paying gig.
Find some customer service opportunities here:
14. Work As A Digital Marketer
Digital marketing is in high demand and every business will need some form of online marketing to grow their revenue. The cool thing about digital marketing is you can work anywhere in the world and deliver results, as pretty much every marketing work is done online today.
Many remote job boards have various degrees of digital marketing positions available from paid advertising, social media, content, analytics, and more. You’ll also find full-time and part-time opportunities to work for start-ups, local companies, and Fortune 500 organizations.
Now in order to get a good digital marketing job, you’ll need experience in the field and certifications. You can get started education yourself through free certifications from HubSpot and Google.
15. Become A Search Engine Evaluator
You might not have known that it is possible to make money just by evaluating search engines and the results from various searches. There are companies like Appen and Lionbridge that will hire people to evaluate search results in various search engines. They may not always call these jobs “Search Engine Evaluator” but they will entail flexible work that pays you to analyze how searches come up.
The only downside is that the work has limits and not many opportunities come up. That creates more competition to do the work, which means you may miss opportunities you were hoping to get.
Start An Online Business
16. Create and sell courses
Are you an expert in a particular field and have extensive experience or knowledge in a subject? Then one way you could make some good money is by building courses and selling them to the public.
In your online research for topics, you may have come across websites that have paid courses to teach you something. And some of these courses generate thousands of dollars per month for their creators.
There are many ways to build and sell your courses, which can be integrated into your own website or you can utilize the course creation website audience, like the popular site Udemy.
17. Freelance Writing
Freelance writers can get paid through a number of specialisms, including journalism, blog writing, social media content, and more. Get paid per project or per word, and set your own rates.
As this is a refined skill, freelance writers tend to get a higher income than some of the other online jobs on this list, starting from around $20 per hour and increasing to well over $100.
18. Freelance Programming
If you know your code, programming is a highly sought-after skill that many companies need. Most of the time, you’ll have a day rate and work on projects one-by-one, but on occasion, you could be splitting your time between multiple programming gigs.
Again, this tends to pay much more than the average job. Many programmers or software developers get started on sites like Upwork to build clientele, but you could quickly branch out on your own.
19. Freelance Graphic Design
Social media graphics, marketing materials and branding materials are all in high demand as we watch new businesses spring up from the pandemic.
Average graphic designers can charge up to $200 per hour, with freelance income also required to cover time spent on non-billable items such as discussing project requirements with clients, for example.
20. Become a Virtual Assistant
If you’re a jack of all trades, virtual assistant work could be perfect. There’s no specific qualifications or requirements for this role, but you could be performing anything from customer service to scheduling and calendar management. As more and more brick-and-mortar businesses move digital, demand for virtual assistants will only increase.
21. Sell Products on Etsy
Etsy is suited to the crafters and the makers, an online marketplace for individual sellers to access millions of potential buyers. Great for unique, handmade items, Etsy is a selling platform that takes a percentage of fees so that you don’t have to worry about marketing your product, paying for domains and creating your own website.
22. Create and sell ebooks
The book market has changed over the last decade or so, with self-publishers having much more power and control than previously. Sites like Amazon allow writers and creators to sell their ebooks directly to consumers, making it easier than ever to make money from ebook writing. And if you don’t want to go the Amazon route, another popular option is Gumroad.
23. Social Media Consultant
As more companies than ever moved online, social media has grown in both importance and value for the majority of brands to connect with customers and audiences. If you’ve got social media know-how, then offering your services as a consultant can generate more leads and sales for entrepreneurs, while creating another flow of income for yourself, too.
24. Start A Youtube Channel
While Youtube is a notoriously long-term commitment to reach monetization, the level of funding can become absolutely lucrative once you hit the masses in terms of viewers. Building a Youtube community takes patience and skill, but if your content is relatable and useful, you’ll surely be able to start making a buck from the platform. And it really doesn’t cost you anything to start, unless you decided to invest in more expensive filming equipment.
25. Photo Editor
Whether you work with professional photographers or amateur models who just need a good edit, the world is flooded with people looking for photo editors. Sites like Upwork and Fiverr allow you to offer your services for free, and use crowdsourcing to bring clients to you. Investing in photoshop and other photo editing software can be costly, so ensure you’ve tested the water on this role first.
Hopefully, this list of ways to make money online without paying anything gave you some motivation and ideas to boost your income. Not every way here will be easy or will make you wealthy overnight, but you can make some lucrative new income streams that benefit your financial health.
Pick a few that interest you the most based on what you are looking to accomplish and just get started! You’ll find which ones work best for you and will find your money-making rhythm.