If you had asked me in 2008, “How can I make money from home?” I would have just shrugged and laughed.
I didn’t have a smartphone, and my laptop was a dinosaur before I bought it. Because good technology wasn’t as readily available back then, making money from home was something you didn’t hear much about.
But then things changed. The first time I heard about running a successful business on social media was in 2010, with a business model as simple as selling baby clothes on Facebook. And that’s when I realized that making money at home was a very real possibility, both for me and for many others.
Today, there are lots of home-based business scams to avoid. But amongst the fakes are plenty of legitimate money-making opportunities.
10 Best Ways to Make Money at Home
Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on startup costs or commit to countless hours researching money-making opportunities. Instead, work with companies and simple business models that have already allowed hundreds of thousands of people to make money from home.
1. Take Online Surveys
Many legitimate companies pay consumers to share their opinions about various products and services. These companies use the data collected to make their businesses better and more successful.
What it Pays: You won’t get rich completing paid surveys online, but you can earn between $3 and $10 per hour filling out questionnaires. Most survey-taking gigs pay in PayPal cash, Visa cards, or gift cards to stores like Amazon, Target, or Walmart. The minimum payout threshold varies and starts as low as $3.
How to Get Started: Sign up with a legitimate company like Swagbucks. As a Swagbucks member, you get paid for taking online surveys, watching videos, shopping online, and other simple activities. Once you reach the minimum $5 payout, you can cash out via PayPal or a gift card to places like Amazon, Best Buy, and Target.
2. Start a Blog
Blogging is a popular way for writers to make money from home. You can write about personal finance, health and wellness, fashion and beauty, and so much more as a blogger. The most common ways that bloggers make money is by displaying ads, sharing affiliate products for a commission, or publishing sponsored posts for partnering brands.
What it Pays: It’s true that new bloggers often start out making nothing, but you can quickly develop your blog to begin making up to $500 per month. There are lots of possibilities for growth if you put in the effort. Seasoned bloggers who have learned how to make money blogging can earn between $1,000 and $10,000 or more per month.
How to Get Started: You can start a blog using WordPress.org for free, and have it hosted online using HostGator for only $5.95 per month. If you’re not sure where to begin, Create and Go offers an online course called Launch Your Blog that teaches new bloggers how to build a blog from scratch. And you don’t have to be tech savvy or know any code to get started.
3. Install Money-Making Apps
Take advantage of some easy ways to make money from home by installing several money-making apps onto your phone or computer, and continue shopping and searching the web as you normally do.
What it Pays: Depending on your online shopping habits, you can earn a few extra dollars in cash back or savings every time you make a purchase.
How to Get Started: There are two main money-making apps that can help you earn some extra cash: Honey and Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel.
- Honey is a free browser extension and app that automatically applies discount codes and coupons to your cart when you shop online. You can also earn Honey Gold (cash back) to use toward free gift cards to stores like Amazon or eBay.
- Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel is a software that collects your shopping and browsing data anonymously after you download it to your smartphone. You can passively earn up to $50 per year, just by using your device as normal.
4. Earn Cash Back for Shopping
These apps pay you money to shop online or in store. Use them to get cash back on purchases you already planned to make.
What it Pays: Cash-back apps pay between 1-40% on your purchase depending on the items you buy.
How to Get Started: Some cash-back apps like Dosh, Ibotta, and Rakuten pay new users a signup bonus just for giving the app a try.
- Dosh is a cashback app that allows you to connect your credit card and earn cash back on local purchases at places like Dunkin’, Pizza Hut, or Nike. Cash out your earnings via PayPal or bank transfer after you earn a minimum of $25.
- Ibotta pays cash back for everyday grocery purchases at stores like Walmart, Target, and RiteAid. Just search the app for cash-back offers, save them to your list, and submit your receipt to the app after shopping. You can cash out your earnings via PayPal when you reach $20 in your account.
- Rakuten pays cash back for online purchases at popular stores like Amazon, Walmart.com, Target, and more. Visit the Rakuten website or app, click on the referral link to the store of your choice, and shop as you normally would. As long as you earn at least $5, Rakuten will send you a check or PayPal cash each quarter.
Related: 100+ Genius Ways to Make Extra Money
5. Become a Freelance Writer
Freelance writing can help you earn money from home on a steady and consistent basis. If you build up a client base and write new articles each week, your income could potentially replace your full-time job.
What it Pays: Freelance writers can charge anywhere from $0.05 to $1.50 per word depending on the subject matter and their previous writing experience. As a new writer with strong grammar and English skills, you can expect to make between $0.15 and $0.25 per word starting out with the right niche and clients.
How to Get Started: If you enjoy writing but you’re unsure where to find clients or what topics to write about, consider taking Holly Johnson’s Earn More Writing online course. Holly started earning six figures within two years of becoming a freelance writer and shares her strategies to help beginners do the same. Holly also offers a free workshop to help you jumpstart your writing business.
6. Become a Proofreader
General proofreading is an increasingly popular way to earn money from home. If you are detail-oriented and have strong grammar skills, this could be a good fit for you. Proofreaders are needed for publications like books, articles, website content, and other general transcripts.
What it Pays: The average proofreader earns $18.74 per hour, according to Indeed. But you can set your own rates depending on the local competition, your skills, and the demand for your services.
How to Get Started: Find out if proofreading is right for you by attending Caitlin Pyle’s free online workshop. She earned $43,000 in one year working between 20 and 30 hours per week as a proofreader.
7. Rent out Extra Space
Renting out your whole house or just a spare bedroom is a simple way to make money from home.
What it Pays: Earn between $50 and $300+ per night renting out your extra space. The amount you can charge for your rental depends on the demand in your area, the size of the space, and the local competition.
How to Get Started: You can become an Airbnb host and start renting out your space immediately. Just clean up your rental, take nice pictures of what you have to offer, and list it on the Airbnb website to start earning money from home.
8. Deliver Food
Food will never go out of style, and the number of options available to order fresh or prepared food on delivery is ever increasing. Many companies pay drivers to deliver groceries or restaurant meals to local customers.
What it Pays: You can earn between $10 and $15 per hour as a delivery driver, plus tips in some cases.
How to Get Started: Companies like Instacart hire drivers on a contract basis. Pick up delivery jobs in your spare time without being forced to commit to a full work shift or to clock in with an employer.
9. Rent Out Your Car
Your car can help you earn money from home on a residual basis when you rent it out on your days off. Or set up a rental schedule that will allow you to rent out your vehicle during your work shifts.
What it Pays: There’s no set rate to rent out a car. Income varies based on how long someone needs the vehicle, the competition in your area, and the time of day the car is available.
How to Get Started: Getaround is a peer-to-peer car-sharing company that connects available vehicles with people looking for rentals in your area. List your car on the website and set a schedule that works for you. Getaround does the rest of the work, from getting your keys to the renter to retrieving your car for you.
10. Teach English as a Second Language
Parents in other countries are willing to pay tutors to help their children learn English. If you can set aside a few hours in the early mornings to connect with students, tutoring is a legitimate make-money-at-home job to consider.
What it Pays: According to PayScale, English tutors earn an average of $20.06 per hour. This rate can vary based on skill, location, and bonuses.
How to Get Started: If you have a bachelor’s degree in any subject and want to become an English tutor from home, apply to a company like VIPKID. Those who pass the company’s rigorous application process can earn up to $22 per hour working early mornings on a flexible schedule.
Ways to Make Money from Home Online
Providing online services for existing businesses is a great way to make money from home. You can use your skills to begin a side hustle or to start a full-blown online business.
11. Manage Facebook Ads
If you find yourself scrolling through Facebook on a regular basis, consider using your time to manage Facebook ads for businesses.
What it Pays: With the right training, you can earn $1,000 to $2,000 per month per client by running their Facebook advertising.
How to Get Started: Reaching customers on Facebook is no new business tactic, and it’s simpler to set up recurring ads than you might think. Bobby Hoyt perfected a strategy that he used to replace his full-time income on an almost residual basis. His FB Side Hustle Course teaches users how to find clients and set up ads for them in just a few hours a week.
12. Become a Social Media Manager
Another way to make money from home with the time you spend on social media is to offer your management services to business pages. Companies can reach thousands of potential customers or more per day with an effective social media strategy.
What it Pays: Set your own hourly or project-based rates to manage local or online businesses’ social media pages. According to Glassdoor, social media managers earn an average yearly salary of $55,199.
How to Get Started: Managing commercial social media accounts can be tricky at first. It’s important to build community engagement around a company’s products or services. The Complete 2019 Manager Bootcamp is an online course that walks students through starting a freelance social media management service. With more than 14,000 students enrolled, the course holds a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
13. Become a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants can offer services ranging from data entry to email newsletter creation to online customer support. Make money by completing a single service for multiple companies, or offer multiple services for a single client.
What it Pays: ZipRecruiter estimates an average hourly rate of $19 for virtual assistants. But because VAs can offer a wide variety of skills, there’s no single dollar amount available for potential earnings.
How to Get Started: Make a list of the skills you’ve gained through work and personal projects. These can include things like project management, customer service, or specific software skills. Then brainstorm a list of problems small business owners need help with and find where your skills overlap. If you’re not sure where to start, sign up for Gina Horkey’s list of 150+ services you can offer as a virtual assistant. Once you nail down your offering, reach out to your network and use social media to find your first few clients.
14. Start an Ecommerce Store
Online shopping grows in popularity every year. There are thousands of items that you can sell online to earn an income from home. You can either stock and sell products out of your own inventory, or you can dropship from a supplier and avoid having to directly handle customer orders.
What it Pays: Pay varies based on how many products you can sell and the profit (selling price minus your costs) for each.
How to Get Started: Shopify is a robust platform that lets you build an online inventory from scratch. Join one of the available free webinars that train beginners on how to start a profitable dropshipping store.
15. Transcribe Audio to Text
If you have intermediate typing and listening skills, you may be able to earn an income from home online as a transcriptionist. Companies pay individuals to type out the minutes from conferences, meetings, appointments, interviews, etc.
What it Pays: According to the Transcription Certification Institute, beginner transcriptionists earn an average of $15 per hour with the potential to earn up to $25 to $30 per hour as their skills progress.
How to Get Started: Apply to transcribe for companies like Scribie or Rev, or publish your services on a platform like Fiverr. If you’re brand new to transcription, consider taking an online course like Transcribe Anywhere to get certified and potentially find better jobs.
16. Create an Online Course
If you’ve mastered a skill that others would pay to learn, you already have the basics for creating an online course. People purchase classes on topics ranging from music to coding to organizing their closet.
What it Pays: Creating a successful online course could lead to a passive income for years to come. If your course is helpful, complete, and teaches exactly what you promise your students, you can continue selling it for a profit.
How to Get Started: Every online class needs a platform like Udemy to host and market it. Once you create and publish your online course, potential students can find it on Udemy and pay you straight through the platform.
17. Write an eBook
Similar to creating an online course, writing an eBook is another way to potentially earn passive income from home. Writing and marketing a bestselling eBook requires some hard work upfront.
What it Pays: There’s no set income potential when it comes to writing and publishing an eBook. It all depends on how well you market your book and solve your audience’s problem. The more copies you sell, the more you can expect to earn.
How to Get Started: Writing an eBook starts with outlining a great idea. Choose a skill you already know inside and out, then research the competition to see if there is a demand for learning that skill. When you’ve finished your eBook, publish it on a platform like SendOwl to begin selling copies.
18. Create a Niche Website
A niche website hyper-focuses on a single topic and solves readers’ problems by introducing affiliate products within context. For example, a website in the dog food niche might cover topics like “the best grain-free dog foods” or “the best grain-free dog treats.”
What it Pays: In this example, when a reader clicks on an affiliate link to a website that sells dog food and makes a purchase, the niche site creator earns a small commission on the sale. Overall earnings vary based on website traffic, commission amounts, and how many people who come to the site actually make a purchase.
How to Get Started: Starting a niche website is similar to starting a blog. You can use WordPress.org for free to build your site, and then host it with an affordable company like HostGator.
19. Start a YouTube Channel
YouTube video creators cover topics ranging from celebrity gossip to makeup tutorials to gaming, and more. A YouTube channel is a great alternative (or addition) to a blog if you don’t like to write or have a good screen presence.
What it Pays: Making money on YouTube pays in three main ways: display ads served by Google AdSense, affiliate marketing using unique tracking links in your video descriptions, and paid sponsorships from companies in your niche. You can expect to earn between $1.43 and $2.38 per 1,000 video views using ads.
How to Get Started: Starting a YouTube channel can be as simple as choosing a topic you’re passionate about, signing up for a Google account, and recording and uploading your first video. But making money on YouTube can take time and strategizing to become successful. Consider taking an online course to learn how to start a YouTube channel the right way.
20. Sell Handmade Goods Online
If you have a talent for crocheting, sewing, candle making, or any other craft, consider selling your handmade items online.
What it Pays: Depending on where you sell your pieces, you can set your own prices based on materials used and time put into each project. Track your time and your material costs closely so that you can make sure you’re earning a profit with each sale.
How to Get Started: Sell your handmade items on Facebook Marketplace, Amazon Handmade, or set up an Etsy store.
How to Earn Money from Home Without Any Investment
You don’t have to invest money in the following jobs to make money at home. You can get started for free by simply submitting an application online.
21. Test Websites
According to Internet Live Stats, there are more than 1.7 billion websites on the internet. Website owners pay people to walk through a series of steps to test the usability of their sites.
What it Pays: Some companies pay up to $10 per 20-minute test, making it simple to earn up to $30 an hour testing websites.
How to Get Started: Apply to companies that facilitate website testing, like UserTesting or 99Tests. If you’re hired, you can pick up testing jobs in your spare time and start earning money from home.
22. Mystery Shop
Mystery shoppers are given a series of instructions to follow as they visit a local store and shop for a specific item or interact with customer service. Then they complete a questionnaire describing the experience and rating the store or customer service representative.
What it Pays: Each shopping task varies and pays based on time and location. ZipRecruiter estimates the average pay at $20 per hour.
23. Test Products
Product testing is a flexible job that you can use to make money from home in your spare time. Some companies will send you free products in exchange for an honest review, or they will pay you to buy a product and then review it.
What it Pays: Each test has its own pay rate or product value. You can pick and choose the jobs you want to try based on the project details listed.
How to Get Started: Sign up to become a paid product tester with a website like PineCone Research. You’ll earn $3 per product you test, plus you get to keep the merchandise they send to you.
You don’t need to own a laptop or invest in upfront business tools to make money from home as a babysitter. As long as you have experience with children, a clean background check, and flexible hours, babysitting might work for you and your clients.
What it Pays: Urbansitter conducted a study in 2019 that estimated the average hourly pay for babysitting to be $16.75 for one child. But rates vary by location, experience, and hours, so research your area before setting your own rates.
How to Get Started: Market your services on Facebook, ask friends and family for referrals, or set up a free profile with Care.com to find local babysitting jobs in your area.
25. Pet Sit
If spending time with animals is fun and rewarding for you, offer your services as a pet sitter or dog walker for local pet owners.
What it Pays: According to PetSitter, the average sitter charges $16.80 per hour. If you make your rates attractive, you could overlap clients and earn more per hour taking care of multiple animals at once.
How to Get Started: Rover lets you set up a free profile to market your pet services like dog walking, boarding, or doggy daycare. When you complete a job, Rover takes a fee of 15% and you keep the remainder. You can also share your services in local Facebook groups or create fliers to post on public bulletin boards in your area.
26. Write or Illustrate a Children’s Book
You don’t have to write in-depth non-fiction books to become a published author. Writing or illustrating children’s books to publish online or in print can be just as rewarding.
What it Pays: Authors earn an average of $29.89 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you write multiple popular sellers, you can turn your earnings into passive income as copies continue to sell.
How to Get Started: If you’re not sure where to start, check out How To Write a GREAT Children’s Book, an online course that walks beginners through the process of creating children’s books and then self-publishing or submitting to publishers.
27. Sell Stock Photos
If you enjoy taking pictures, consider listing and selling them as stock photography.
What it Pays: Online businesses pay licensing fees for stock photography to use on their websites. According to Improve Photography, photographers can earn an average of $0.25 to $0.45 per image each month.
How to Get Started: List and sell your photos on sites like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, or EyeEm. To learn more about what it takes to increase your earnings, take an online course like Earn extra income by selling your photos online.
28. Design Websites
With the increasing popularity of the internet, local businesses understand their need for professional-looking websites. You don’t need to understand coding or be overly tech savvy to use drag-and-drop website design platforms.
What it Pays: According to Chron, website designers earn an average of $22.40 per hour. Set your own rates per hour or per project with each client.
How to Get Started: Build an online portfolio of your work that you can share with potential clients. A great way to get started is by creating your own website where you can share your projects, pricing, and experience in design. Learn Photoshop, Web Design & Profitable Freelancing is an online course for beginners who have no previous experience in web design.
29. Design Graphics
If you have an eye for it, consider going into graphic design. You can make money at home by designing graphics for websites, T-shirts, poster boards, printables, and more.
What it Pays: Graphic designers in the United States earn an average of $17.73 per hour, according to Indeed. Adjust your rates based on your talent, location, and local demand.
How to Get Started: To see if graphic design is right for you, take a free Graphic Design Basics course on Skillshare.
30. Become a Social Media Influencer
Social media influencing has become a popular moneymaker in recent years. Influencers share anything from daily Amazon deals to stylish clothing to makeup tutorials and more. If you do a search for some of your favorite topics on social media, you’ll quickly see how popular influencing has become in so many areas.
What it Pays: You can make money on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest by promoting products and services to your followers. When a fan clicks on one of your paid links and completes a purchase, you earn a small commission for the sale.
How to Get Started: Becoming a successful social media influencer starts with observing others in the industry. Follow some of your favorite influencers and take notes on what works for them. Grow your own audience and promote products that fit your followers’ wants and needs. For more insight, try out an inexpensive like Social Media Success: How to Become an Influencer on Udemy.
Fast Ways to Make Money from Home in Your Spare Time
If your schedule doesn’t allow you to commit to a business or part-time job online, you can still make money from home in your spare time.
31. Consign Stuff for Friends and Family
Selling things online or in person is a simple way to make money from home. But if you don’t want to invest in inventory, or you run out of things of your own to sell, consigning for friends and family could keep the income flowing. You can even set your own consignment percentages. Many consignors split the profits on items sold 50/50.
To get started, contact friends and family to let them know that you’re willing to help them clear out their garages, attics, and storage spaces and list any unwanted items to sell online. Continuously grow your client base by sharing your services in local Facebook groups or creating fliers to post around town.
32. Watch Ads
Sites like Swagbucks and InboxDollars pay members to watch ads in their spare time. This is a simple task you can do while standing in line at the bank or lounging at the table during your lunch break. You can even set up your phone to play ads in the background while you complete your daily chores.
33. Play Games
Swagbucks and InboxDollars also pay users to play games on their platforms. Download the apps or open up your laptop to play games in your spare time and make money from home online. You won’t earn enough to cover your monthly bills, but you can couple this technique with other side hustles to have a little lucrative fun throughout your day.
34. Narrate Audiobooks
Do you have a voice that people enjoy listening to? If so, you could possibly get hired to narrate audio books for companies to stream online. Set up a profile on Fiverr or Upwork to market your services, or apply for jobs on ACX or Brilliance Audio.
35. Sell Your Art
As an artist, you may already have a stash of finished pieces to sell. Start a Facebook or Instagram page around your art.
Art sellers also make money by listing their pieces on places like Etsy or Artfire. It can be tricky to successfully sell your art, but once you grow an audience, you can turn something you already enjoy doing into a nice income from home.
36. Become an Online Chat Agent
Companies like Apple and Convergys hire online chat agents to work from home. For these positions, you’ll need to have fast typing skills, the ability to walk people through technical or customer support issues, and a willingness to commit to a part-time work schedule.
According to Glassdoor, chat agents earn an average of $13 per hour.
37. Become an Online Travel Agent
If you enjoy scheduling trips and have extra time to help others plan the perfect vacation, you might make a good online travel agent. Companies like Travel with the Magic (Disney trips), Red Butler, and American Express hire online travel agents. You can earn an average of $17 per hour as a successful travel agent, according to ZipRecruiter.
38. Wash or Detail Cars
You don’t have to start a business or commit to 40 hours per week to set up a car detailing service in your own driveway. Washing or detailing cars is a flexible way to make money at home during your free hours.
You can charge a set price per vehicle, but make sure to cover the cost of the soap, water, and cloths you’ll use for each project. You can also take your service to your clients and offer to do the work in their driveways for an extra convenience fee.
39. Answer Questions on JustAnswer
Make money from home answering questions within your professional line of business on a site like JustAnswer. There are more than 175 categories you can apply for to start answering questions for cash.
Tax and finance, law, mechanics, and electronics are just a few examples of what you’ll find. The payment you earn per answer depends on your area of expertise.
40. Pick Up Local Tasks Through TaskRabbit
If you don’t mind tasks like house cleaning, putting together furniture, or moving and packing, sign up for a free site like TaskRabbit to pick up extra gigs in your area.
You’ll work with each client to set up a schedule and price. And you can fill your evening hours or days off to earn extra money outside of your normal work schedule.
There Are Dozens of Ways to Earn
Making money at home can require some upfront investments in things like a laptop or an online course to learn the proper skills. But there are other real ways to make money from home that require nothing at all but your time and effort.
If you’re ready to quit your day job or simply supplement your current income, these money-making opportunities are a good place to start. You don’t have to commit to hundreds of hours before seeing whether an opportunity is right for you.