In a tight spot and need to make some extra cash fast or need to make an extra $1,000? No matter your situation or skills, you can earn that money from the comfort of your home.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a student, or simply need to supplement your income, there’s plenty of ways you can make some cash on the side that are worth your time.
In the list that follows, you’ll find inventive, legitimate ways to make money online and learn how to earn extra cash from home without any investment. We hope you’ll find them useful.
You can easily combine several of these ideas to make additional money fast. Needless to say, the flexibility, autonomy and freedom of making money from home are priceless.
Legitimate ways to make extra money online and from home
1. Freelance writing
If you like to write, you can make good money from the comfort of your home. As a freelance writer, the opportunities are practically limitless. You can find project-by-project work or longer-term gigs, depending on your skills and clients’ needs.
The better you are at writing, the higher your rate. And as you get some experience and build your portfolio, you’ll be able to get better paying writing jobs.
You’ll find clients who pay on a per-word basis and others who’ll pay an hourly rate. A typical range for the former is $0.02 to $0.10 per word and for the latter from $20 to $30 an hour. But you can earn more. At the higher end, you can make $120,000+ as a freelance writer, according to ZipRecruiter.
One good place to quickly find available writing jobs is fiverr where you can create a seller profile after joining.
As a beginner, you’ll want to immerse yourself in the subject matter and quickly learn what works—and what doesn’t. Follow other successful freelance writers online and sharpen your writing chops.
Someone who’s found the key to success is Holly Johnson. She’s an accomplished freelance writer who’s figured out how to make real money (to the tune of more than $200,000 /yr). Check out her free introductory training here.
If you want to become a well-paid writer, we recommend her freelance writing course.
2. Become a proofreader
If you’re comfortable with grammar, spelling and usage, proofreading could be a fit for you. Proofreading not only is a good way to pick up freelance work to pad your wallet—it too can become a career. And you don’t need to be accredited. Focus and attention to detail are more important traits.
Over time, proofreaders often are able to transfer their skills to other work and expand their ability to earn. Examples include content editing, copyediting, editing, research and fact-checking.
Proofreading rates vary according to your experience and skill. The Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) provides a guideline range of between $30 and $35 per hour.
If you’re thinking about proofreading, taking a course can provide a good return on your investment. Caitlin Pyle’s ProofreadAnywhere.com helps proofreaders earn extra income, even if you’re starting from scratch. You can find her courses here.
The EFA also offers free resources and pre-recorded webinars available for purchase.
3. Start a blog
Blogging is a popular way to make money on the side. It’s low cost, simple to set up and you don’t need technical knowledge to get started.
A blog is a type of website where you post articles on topics you’re passionate or care about. You can make money from ads, affiliate links or digital products you create.
If you like to write and are willing to put in some time and effort into it, blogging can produce a nice side income.
To make money, you’ll need to be consistent and produce quality content that attracts your target audience. It’s best if you narrow down your focus and pick a few topics in your niche to write about them in depth. As you build an audience, you’ll be able to begin monetizing your traffic.
The money you can make varies greatly. There are a few elite bloggers who pull in $100,000+ a month. They’re well-established and have been working at it for several years.
Other bloggers are more up-and-coming, started a relatively short while ago and are making nice six-figure incomes. We like their stories. Natalie Bacon is one such blogger. You can check out her story and her courses at NatalieBacon.com
If you want full control over your blog it’s better to self-host it. That means that you’ll need to pick a blogging platform and a host—the place where you blog lives on the internet.
One popular platform-host pair for blogging is WordPress and HostGator. It’s quite affordable, simple, and easy to set up.
The steps at HostGator are simple:
- Click “Web Hosting” on the top left
- Choose a plan
- Register the domain name you want (that’s your blog’s name)
- Complete your information and receive an email to access your control panel
- Enter your credentials and click to install WordPress
The appearance of your blog depends on the theme you choose. You’ll be able to review themes and install the one you prefer once you install WordPress. Next, populate your About Me and Welcome pages. Now you’re ready to publish your first post!
4. Sell online courses
Do you have a skill or knowledge you can teach? Create an online video course and earn passive income by teaching others. You’ll earn money every time a student purchases your course.
There are multiple course platforms to choose from. Look for one where you can benefit from active communities of instructors and instructor support. You’ll also want to join more than one platform to expand your reach.
How much you earn selling online courses will depend on the type of course you make, its price, and how much you promote it. The more valuable the skill you can teach, the more you can charge per course.
If you decide to sell an online course, go ahead and promote it. Feature it in your website (see #3), and use social media to increase its exposure.
We like Udemy. Their platform has millions of potential students to purchase your courses and there’s no fee to create and host your course. They offer free support on how to how to build your own course and their revenue share policy is transparent.
Other platforms where you can sell your courses include Skillshare, WizIQ, Kajabi, Teachable, and TalentLMS.
5. Make your money work harder
You work hard for your money. You owe it to yourself to make sure your money returns the favor and works even harder for you.
If you keep your cash in a regular bank account, you should check the rate you’re earning. You see, banks can change the APY they pay you at any time after you’ve opened your account. So even if you think you’re earning a good rate, check it. It might be lower now.
Since banks make money by borrowing low (deposits) and lending high (loans) there’s always competition for funding. And that’s good for your money. Just make sure you stick with FDIC insured institutions.
» Related: Check this tool to compare online savings accounts.
6. Become an online tutor
If the idea of teaching is attractive to you, but selling online courses (see #4) is not your thing, consider online tutoring to make extra cash.
Online tutoring offers plenty of flexibility. You can set when and how often you want to tutor on subjects you’re enthusiastic about. All from the comfort of your home or anywhere you have a computer with internet access.
You don’t need a degree in education to work as a tutor. If you completed high school or have a GED, you can work with elementary, junior high, or high school students.
The average you can charge as an online tutor is about $20 to $25 per hour depending on the tutoring platform you choose.
You always have the option of earning a tutoring certification and to move from online to in-person tutoring to increase your hourly rate. The Association for the Coaching & Tutoring Profession is a good place to learn more about tutoring.
7. Sell your arts and crafts online
Do you love expressing your artistic ability with custom, hand-made crafts? You can sell the things you enjoy making by setting up an Etsy shop.
Etsy is an online marketplace where people make, sell and buy one-of-a-kind crafted items. In addition to a digital storefront, you’ll get support, tips on selling, and access to a community of other Etsy sellers.
How much you earn varies depending on what you make, your prices, and how much you promote your online shop. But plenty of shop owners are able to make a living selling on Etsy.
Promoting your products is key, so it makes sense to have your own website to market your brand. Feature your store in your website, write about the things you make (see #3), and use social media to increase your exposure. With your own website you’ll be able to create listings and add your inventory with ecommerce plugins.
8. Self-publish an eBook
If you like writing and are interested in building passive income streams, consider self-publishing an eBook. With Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) you can make money with your eBook around the clock.
In addition, Amazon offers free tools to help you along the publishing process. Kindle Create, for example, can help you prepare eBooks with lots of images and complex formatting such as textbooks, travel books and cookbooks.
Your eBooks don’t have to be lengthy end elaborate to make you money either. You can price a 10,000 to 15,000-word eBook—roughly three times the length of this post, at $2.99.
As an author, you’ll want to know that your copyrights are protected. With KDP your work is under copyright protection the moment it’s created and fixed in a tangible form.
Self-publishing Kindle ebooks is free on KDP and Amazon pays writers up to 70% royalties on eBooks priced between $2.99 and $9.99. This is a good price range to aim for initially, as it’s best suited for shorter books.
With this price point, you’ll want to consider writing more than one ebook to build passive income. Little by little, these direct publishing streams can add up to real money. And it’s income you can earn literally in your sleep.
9. Free up cash by saving on interest
You could be denying yourself $100’s of dollars in interest savings if you’re carrying a credit card balance and have good credit (if you’re working on your credit, check out # 23).
Perhaps you already know that a balance transfer can save you money, but you’ve been putting it off. Too busy, no time, you’ve got other things to do like…make money. Exactly.
Money saved is money earned. That’s why spending an hour or two to do a balance transfer is a good return on your time. There are several options to choose from.
» Related: With this tool, you can easily compare the best balance transfer credit cards.
10. Create graphic designs
If graphic design interests you, there are a lot of money-making opportunities for you. The internet is chock-full of people who need infographics, logos, flyers, or ebook covers.
What if you love design, but need to work on your skills? You can learn, of course! Canva makes it super-easy to make high quality designs and you’ll love their free in-depth design content. It’s a great resource for beginners and experienced designers alike.
If you land work on an hourly basis, according to Upwork you can charge $20 to $150 an hour with an average rate of around $45 per hour. And if you understand the project requirements and are comfortable with the amount of work, you can bid a fixed price.
There are many profitable graphic design opportunities through job boards such as Upwork or Fiverr. Once you get your feet wet, you’ll want to showcase your design portfolio in your own website. This expands your reach and allows potential clients to see your quality work.
Other platforms where you can find graphic design opportunities include: Freelancer, Guru, Outsource and 99designs.
11. Sell your photographs online
You can make money from your high-quality pictures even if you’re not a pro photographer. The process is simple. Sign up to become a contributor to one or several stock photo websites, upload your images and get paid.
After you upload your images to the platform of your choice, you make money every time your image is downloaded. Commission payouts usually range from 20% to 50%, and vary depending on whether the photos are exclusive or non-exclusive.
If you’re a beginner, we recommend getting started with well-known stock photography sites such as Shutterstock, iStock, and Dreamstime.
12. Buy and sell web domains
Web domains are digital properties you can buy and sell just like a house, but without the complications of a physical asset. You can flip them, broker them or “build them” by registering new ones.
You can buy and sell existing domains at auctions or register new domains and put them up for sale. The concept is simple and there’s plenty of free resources you can use to learn more. ICANN—think of them as the internet address administrator, has a useful beginner’s guide to domain names.
Start by visiting websites like NamePros which have forums for investors to stay up-to-date on the domain industry. Other tools you can use include: DomainSherpa, DomainIQ, ExpiredDomains and TextMechanic.
13. Resell products online
Flea markets, thrift stores, garage sales, Craigslist, or Freecycle.org are all good sources of extra cash. Look for cheap, unique items and flip them at a profit.
Start with a low investment and focus on inexpensive things first. Once you get the hang of what works and what doesn’t, move on to more expensive and profitable items.
Flipping online has never been easier. Rob and Melissa of Flea Market Flipper started their flipping business in 2015 and never looked back. They’ve taught others how to make $1,000’s by buying and selling online in their spare time.
Rob has a free workshop that will teach you the skills you need to earn cash flipping on the side.
14. Virtual bookkeeping
Bookkeepers manage the finances of small businesses and are familiar with accounting software such as QuickBooks or Xero. As a bookkeeper, you don’t need a CPA, but many employers prefer that you have some coursework under your belt.
Virtual bookkeepers can make $20 to $45 per hour and are in high demand throughout the year.
The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers offers self-study courses to help you master double-entry bookkeeping and sharpen your skills and confidence.
15. Earn cash back from your everyday purchases
Picture a stack of $20’s missing from your wallet.
Yes, that’s an unpleasant image. But if you don’t have a cash back credit card, you’re letting go of some of the easiest passive cash there is.
Cash back credit cards pay you a percent of the amount you charge as cash back. And some of them offer attractive reward rates on your everyday purchases. The extra cash is nice, but you’ll want to avoid carrying a balance to keep interest from lessening the value of your rewards.
» Related: Our cash back credit cards comparison tool can simplify finding the best card for you.
Make money from home without any (or little) investment
16. Rent a spare room
Are you away some weekends or otherwise have an empty room no one uses? You can host others and make extra cash. Airbnb makes it simple to earn money on the side throughout the year.
We browsed Airbnb and found Katie & Dan. They list a private bedroom and bathroom in their home for $39 a night (they also charge additional service and cleaning fees). If you run the numbers, you’ll see they can charge at least a cool $7,000 per year even if their room is empty half the time.
You’ll make more if you’re able to host consistently. It also helps if you live near a place that attracts visitors year-round.
You can find other alternatives to Airbnb. But some, like Vrbo, only allow you to list your entire place. Check out Homestay, Booking.com, TurnKey, Flipkey, HomeAway, and Outdoorsy for additional options.
17. Rent your car
Carsharing has been part of the sharing economy for a while now. Think of it as Airbnb for cars. You list your car online and let it earn for you.
On average, you can make the equivalent of your monthly car payment by sharing your car nine days a month, according to Turo, a carsharing company. Prices are set for you depending on your car’s market value, location, and time of year.
18. Rent your parking space
You can make extra money on something that typically goes unused when you’re out to work: your parking space.
Whether your spot is in a driveway, garage, alley or lot, you can rent it out to make extra cash. Check out Craigslist or sites such as Spothero and Curbflip. Just make sure you go with a trusted parking app.
19. Teach English
Get an income boost by teaching English to kids online. If you have a bachelor’s degree check out VIPKid.
You can work from anywhere and pick the schedule that works for you. Work wherever you have a stable internet connection.
Earn up to $22 per hour plus referrals and incentives. Get started with VIPKid.
20. Cut your expenses with Trim
You can save extra cash by lowering your monthly expenses with Trim. Trim is a financial management bot that automates savings. You get personalized recommendations and savings opportunities based on your spending.
Once you sign up with Trim, you get a free personal finance dashboard, personalized spend alerts and reminders. Plus, detection and fighting of overdraft fees, finding and cancelling old subscriptions. Trim can negotiate your cable, internet and/or phone bill with any provider, lowering your bill by up to 30%.
21. Earn cash back from your online purchases
Shopping through a cash back app or website is a no brainer if you want to earn easy, passive money. Rakuten (Ebates), TopCashback, Dosh and BeFrugal are free legit alternatives that will pay you cash back on your shopping.
It works like this: when shopping through a cash back site, retailers pay a commission for referring you to them. The cash back site then shares this commission as a cash back rebate with you.
Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is a well-established cash back site that has been around since 1999. They offer coupons and cash rebates to customers who shop at their partner retailers. You can earn in-store cash back too when shopping in person at participating stores. They have more than 2,925 partner merchants. Learn more in our Rakuten review.
TopCashback gives all of their cash back commission rate back to you, and offers to pay you whenever you choose with no minimum payout. In addition to online cashback, they offer coupons and in-store coupons. They have over 4,400 merchants and launched in the US in 2011.
Dosh is a cash back app that accumulates your cash back automatically when you dine, shop online or in-store. After downloading the app, you enter your credit or debit card information and then shop. You’ll accumulate cash if you shop at a partner brand using the card information you saved.
BeFrugal offers cash back for online purchases at over 5,000 stores and guarantees that their rates are the highest. Similar to TopCashback, they give shoppers all of the commissions they earn for driving traffic to their partner merchants. They also offer online and printable coupons.
This will depend on how often you shop and the cash back rate on the deals you select. According to TopCashback, their average member earns over $450 a year in cash back.
22. Open a family child care home (in-home day care)
(Update: The pandemic has made it difficult to consider this way to make money from home.) More and more families in the U.S. have both parents employed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the figure is 63% of married families with children.
This creates a large market opportunity for people who want to provide in-home day care. Requirements vary by state, but you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and have some initial training like basic safety and health training. Also, most states require a license.
The cost of child care is one of the highest in a family’s monthly budget. The average home day care pricing around the country for a 4-year-old child is $7,360 per year, according to figures from Child Care Aware of America. If you care for 6 children, that’s more than $44,000 a year.
Most states will require an application, background checks, fire inspection, and to complete certain training hours before they’ll issue a license.
Some programs may be exempt from licensing, depending on the type of program, where and when it operates, and the number of children in care. Child Care Aware of America has a state-by-state resource map for information on your state’s licensing requirements.
23. Keep more cash by refinancing credit card debt
You could save $100’s.
If you have credit card debt and can’t get a zero percent balance transfer, consider a personal loan. With a loan you can pay off your credit card debt and roll it into one convenient monthly payment.
Our pay off with a loan calculator can give you an idea of your potential savings. If it looks like you won’t be saving any money with a loan, it’ll tell you so. You’ll need to input a loan rate to run the numbers.
» Related: You can get started with our personal loans comparison tool here and check your rate.
Whether you need to make an extra $250 or $1,000, technology has made it possible to make money remotely from the comfort of your home.
You don’t need to be highly trained to make it work, either. Your phone, computer and desire to earn are the main means to do it.
So no matter your situation or skills, you can earn that money. Start today!