One of the best ways to make money is online.

Since you might be trying to earn a few extra dollars in your spare time, the last thing you want to do is invest a lot of money upfront before you can begin earning a profit. Thankfully, there are many jobs that require zero capital to get started and allow you to begin earning income on your very first gig.

1. Complete Online Surveys

If you have as little as 15 minutes a day, you can get paid to take online surveys. Your opinions will be collected on a variety of topics from brand research, your daily habits, and even your perception of the latest political happenings and current events. You can earn up to $100 if you are selected for discussion group!

While there are many online survey sites to choose from, you might have the most success with Vindale Research, Survey Junkie, and Panel PayDay.

With Panel PayDay for instance, you will earn $25 just for completing your first survey. Signing up for multiple survey sites will increase your earning potential if you can answer several surveys each day.

2. Get Paid to Use the Internet

If you want to get paid for doing what you usually do on the Internet, you can join Swagbucks to take surveys, perform web searches, watch videos, play games, shop online, and test products.

The earnings opportunities are virtually limitless and you most likely do many of these same tasks online already. Now, you just have to do them through the Swagbucks portals to get paid in PayPal cash or redeem your points for gift cards.

3. Read Emails

You can also make money reading sponsored emails from Inbox Dollars. And, you will get a $5 signup bonus. Inbox Dollars is probably one of the largest Swagbucks alternatives as you can also make money answering daily surveys, providing feedback after watching digital videos, and browsing the web with their search toolbar.

Another reason you might prefer Inbox Dollars is that they pay you in cash.

4. Click on Sponsored Ads

Another easy way to make money online is by clicking on Pay-to-Click (PTC) ads.

Sites including Inbox Dollars, ClixSense, NeoBux will pay you to watch advertisements on a daily basis. You can boost your earning potential by referring friends as you can be paid a commission for each ad they watch.

This income stream is a good option to make a few extra dollars in your spare time. Several PTC sites have also begun offering online surveys to increase your earning opportunities.

5. Watch TV Online

You can also make money by watching TV online.

Two free websites that make it fun and easy are Viggle and Perk. The former site is better for interacting with your favorite shows as you can play in-show games to earn additional points while Perk is a better option when you want to make money watching short videos like news clips, commercials, and movie trailers.

6. View Ads from Your Smartphone

At home or on the go, you can also get paid to view ads on your smartphone. Slidejoy will display an ad when you attempt to access your phone’s lock screen. This app allows you to get paid up to 60 times a day for only a few seconds of work each time.

One of the advantages of Slidejoy, is that you earn the same amount if you like the ad and explore it further or decline the ad. Some of the ads will be YouTube videos, links to the merchant’s website, or activating a digital coupon.

Currently, Slidejoy is available for iOS and Android devices. Soon, you will also be able to access Slidejoy from your tablet.

7. Complete Micro Jobs

While you might think the only way you can make money from Amazon is by selling merchandise, they will also pay you to complete micro jobs from university studies, transcribing audio, to data entry at Amazon MTurk.

Want to learn more about how to become a transcriptionist? Check out Transcribe Anywhere!

These are jobs that cannot be successfully automated and need a dab of human touch to be successfully completed. Each HIT (job) can pay up a few cents or a couple dollars depending on the complexity of the task.

As there are a variety of tasks and the offerings are always changing, this can be a fun way to earn money. All you need is an Amazon account and they will even pay you via direct deposit.

8. Sell Unused Items Online

You can also make money selling your existing possessions on Amazon, eBay, or Craigslist.

In addition to getting money for items you no longer need, you will also have more functional living space. As you can sell virtually anything online, you might be able to become a regular online seller if you can continue to flip items for a profit.

This is another good income stream to consider if you want to monetize a hobby like woodworking or quilting to name a couple possibilities. If you already have the materials and tools at home, you can create products that can be sold on a digital marketplace or your very own website.

9. Become an Audio Transcriptionist

Companies, legal firms, and medical professionals are always in need of transcriptionists. While there are several online transcription services, TranscribeMe! is one of the best.

Audio transcription can either be a part-time or full-time income stream as the most talented transcriptionists can earn $2,200 a month.

All you need to get started is an Internet connection and a computer with audio playback and typing capability. Legal and medical transcriptionists earn higher hourly wages than other industries but require a professional background or relevant training. If you are looking to transition to a work-from-home career, audio transcription has a lot of upside potential.

10. Proofread Online

Another way you can make money by helping others with their projects is becoming an online proofreader. From blog posts to book manuscripts or legal transcripts, you can put your grammar skills to use. Unless the written word becomes extinct, proofreading is another job that will always have a steady demand.

Like audio transcription, proofreading can be a side hustle or provide a full-time income. Since you can do it online, you can literally do it anywhere with an internet connection at home, go on a world tour, or during your lunch break.

11. Become a Freelance Writer

If you would rather write than proofread other people’s work to earn an income, you can also become a freelance writer yourself. You can begin writing for free on freelance platforms like Upwork where you bid on job postings and also respond to client invites.

You do not have to be an English or Communications major to get started writing. While these skills can be helpful in landing higher-paying clients, they are not necessary.

Your expertise might be engineering, pop culture, personal finance, or any other topic under the sun. As long as you can communicate effectively with the written word, you will have no problem finding work.

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12. Start a Blog

To attract writing clients, you will need an online portfolio that includes writing examples. You can write some sample articles or include pieces you wrote in college or for your current job. Another option is to start a personal blog that can be viewed by anybody in the world at any time.

You can create a blog for free at Blogger or build your own self-hosted domain for $3.95 a month at Bluehost.

Publishing on a blog allows you to write new articles each week that can build an audience, and you can even add a “Work With Me” page to include your contact information that can allow you to partner with other website owners looking for experienced writers.

You can find our in-depth guide about starting a blog here.

13. Affiliate Marketing

A blog can help you earn active income (attracting clients) and passive income through affiliate marketing.

If you are unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, here’s a very brief definition. You place referral links for products you want others to use and you receive a small commission if they buy that product using your link.

There’s the initial investment of time required to write the post or produce the video describing why this product will improve their quality of life. Once the post is published, it will remain visible on the web in perpetuity allowing visitors to make a purchase even five years later!

Many of your favorite products and services might already offer “Refer-A-Friend” links that you can easily embed into your content.

If you are unsure about affiliate marketing, you can take the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course to learn the ropes about optimizing your content and website from visitors and attracting search engine traffic. More website traffic means more opportunities to earn affiliate income.

14. Google AdSense

Did you know that Google will pay you for owning a website? All you need to do is create a Google AdSense account and add display ads on your site. There are several other advertising networks, however, Google AdSense is the largest and easiest to apply for if you are just getting started.

You will earn a small commission each time a visitor clicks on an ad. In addition to affiliate links, this is a second way to monetize your website. Until your articles with affiliate links ranks in the search engines, Google AdSense can be a more lucrative income option. And to sweeten the pot, it’s free to join!

15. Create a YouTube Channel

Another passive income option is starting your own YouTube channel. As it seems we will watch a video for just about anything from unboxing the latest smartphone, reviewing makeup brands, performing car repairs, or beating a video game boss level. All you need to get started is a basic webcam or smartphone. The options are limitless.

There are two different ways to monetize your YouTube channel. One way is by using advertisements that pay you a small commission each time a viewer clicks on one. The second way is to include affiliate links within your video or in the video description field.

16. Build an Udemy Course

If you enjoy teaching others, you can build an Udemy course. There are courses on every topic from coding, foreign languages, personal finance, and any other skill or hobby that can be learned through an online course. Courses are video-based and can sell for as much as $200 and can be a great source of recurring income as well.

17. Become an Online Translator

Becoming an online translator with Unbabel can be an excellent option if you are bilingual or possess experience as a professional translator. You will be able to get paid for completing tasks after completing their training and evaluation sessions. Translators are needed for over 28 languages including Simplified Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, and Italian.

18. Tutor a Language Online

Students from around the world are looking to learn your language and are willing to pay you money to help teach them.

As a foreign language tutor, you can interact via video with people from all over the world. If you can speak their language, this job can actually be mutually beneficial as you get paid to tutor them with English and can strengthen your own foreign language skills in the process.

To get started tutoring, you need a webcam and a microphone-headset combination in order to communicate with your students. As these students might live on the other side of the world, this can be a good option if you are free in the evenings or early morning hours.

19. Become an Academic Tutor

You don’t need to know a foreign language to be a tutor. Students from all over the country are also looking for academic tutors for liberal arts, math, and science courses. It’s possible to be an online academic tutor at It’s possible to tutor high school students, college students, working professionals, and members of the military.

In all, you can become a tutor in over 21 different subjects. After completing your online profile and passing a competency exam, you can begin tutoring for money!

20. Become a Virtual Assistant

Being a virtual assistant is one of the most flexible ways to make money online with the skills you already have. Many business owners and blogs hire several virtual assistants to handle the day-to-day operations that keep a website or business running smoothly.

Tasks can vary widely as you might be hired to manage emails or financial accounts, post on social media accounts, schedule blog posts, create post images, or uploading podcasts.

You can find virtual assistant position openings on Upwork, Fancy Hands, or you can also pitch websites and blogs that you think can benefit from your services.

Pitching your services and starting your own virtual assistant business may help you earn more money. For example, my friend Kayla earns $10,000 per month as a VA and has even started an online course to help others do the same.

21. Online Data Entry

Online data entry is another online income stream that is gaining in popularity as companies outsource traditional clerical work to independent contractors. This income option can take many different shapes and sizes depending on the needs of the company.

To get started, you will need to be proficient with Microsoft Programs including Word and Excel as you might be importing data into an Excel sheet or transcribing business meeting notes into a Word document.

22. Design Custom T-Shirts

Unleash your artistic passion at CafePress where you can design custom t-shirts and other clothing apparel. You can create your own store for free that allows you to connect with buyers from across the globe. All you need to do is upload your design and CafePress will print and ship the purchased products for you.

23. Sell Photos Online

If you enjoy taking photos of your everyday life or your travels, you can sell your photos online. Companies, agencies, and blogs pay for stock photos and videos to include in their content on a daily basis. When one of your media items sells, you earn a royalty.

While having a professional camera is recommended, some companies will even pay you for cell phone pictures as camera technology has rapidly progressed in the past few years.

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24. Make Custom Graphics and eBook Covers

It’s also possible to make custom graphics and eBook covers online at Fiverr.

Authors, blogs, and companies are looking for quality, custom graphics without having to pay the fees of a traditional graphic design agency. Including a few graphics or covers that you have already created will increase your odds of landing a gig.

25. Publish Your Own eBook

It’s easier than ever to become a self-published author. All you need to do is write your own eBook with Amazon Kindle. You might need to hire a proofreader or graphic designer to make your book look professional. Once the writing and design process has been completed, you can upload your book for free in a matter of minutes.

To reach an even larger audience, you can also take advantage of Amazon’s print-on-demand services that will print and mail a hard copy of your book to readers that do not want to read a digital version.

26. Sell Web Domain Names

If you have an entrepreneurial itch and a vision for catchy domain names, you can make a profit by selling in-demand domain names to companies looking to expand their online presence. Flippa is one of the best sites to engage in domain flipping as websites, domain names, and apps are auctioned to the highest bidder.

You might be surprised at how much somebody is willing to pay to purchase a particular piece of online real estate. Especially if it’s a growing brand, product, hobby, or idea. If you can buy a domain for $15 and sell it for $5,000, that’s a pretty good profit margin for a single purchase.


To make money online, there are many different opportunities that only require an investment of time. Whether you only want to earn a side income or gradually transition away from your current full-time occupation, you don’t always have to spend money to make money. These free online jobs help reinforce that mantra.

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