I guess you could say; I was born with the entrepreneurial bug. Since the age of six — I've been exploring different ways to make money. I've gone door-to-door selling arts and crafts to neighbors, hosted lemonade stands, collected salamanders, and sold them to the local pet shop, as well as participated in many garage and yard sales.
As I got older, this trend continued, I provided babysitting services to friends and family; I sold stuff to consignment stores; I even participated in pharmaceutical research studies. If there was a way to make money — I found it.
Well, not much has changed.
To this day, I still get excited when I find a new way to make money. So if you're looking to make some extra cash, here are 15 odd ways you can make extra money from home.
1. Product Tester
Become a product tester and reviewer, and you can earn free products, services, gift cards, and sometimes even cash for sharing your opinions.
Check out these companies to get started:
The Product Review Mom has more sites that offer free products for review and payment.
2. Smartphone Apps
Smartphone apps are a great way to supplement your income! Some reward you for taking surveys or watching videos, while others offer cashback on purchases. If you're not using these, you're leaving money on the table!
Here are some of my favorites:
For more ways to make extra money with smartphone apps, read: Smartphone Apps That Pay Cash via PayPal
3. Sell Your Photos
If you know how to stage photos with proper composition and lighting, you can make extra money by selling stock photos online. Publishers, designers, bloggers, and small business owners purchase stock photos for a wide variety of projects like blog posts, brochures, and websites. Photographers generally earn a percentage (25% – 75%) of each photo sold on the stock photo site.
Here are some places to get started:
4. Sell Your Expertise Online
Do you have formal training as a nurse, doctor, teacher, or lawyer? Do you have expert knowledge in a particular area like math, a foreign language, or perhaps plumbing or electronics? If so, you can sell your knowledge and expertise to others who are looking for answers. These positions are independent contracting roles, where you can earn extra money by thoroughly answering a person's question online. You will need to prove your expertise in the subject matter by submitting the proper documentation and credentials.
Here are some platforms to check out:
For more ways to make money answering questions online, read: How to Make Money Answering Questions Online
5. Make Money With Your Vehicle
Rent out your car when you're not using it at GetAround.com. Here's how the program works, simply list your car for free and manage rentals via the GetAround.com website. You set your own rates, hours, and who you want to rent to. Rental earnings are paid on the 15th of the following month, and GetAround.com takes a 40% commission on rentals to cover insurance and customer support.
Do you have a motorhome, pop-up camper, travel trailer, or fifth wheel? Then put your recreational vehicle to work when you're not using it. RVshare is an on-demand platform that connects RV owners with renters. It's completely free to use, and according to their website, you can earn $120 – $365 a day! Booked rentals include 24/7 roadside assistance (so you know your RV is in good hands) and RV rental insurance.
For more ways to make extra money with your vehicle, read: 19 Flexible Ways to Make Money With Your Car
6. Submit Short-Form Content
Magazines and websites are continually looking for new content; that's why many publications are willing to pay for short stories, recipes, videos, reader tips, poems, and even jokes. Here are just a few publications that pay for submissions. As a side note, I haven't submitted short-form content to any of these sources, so I'm unable to comment on the validity of them.
- Cuisine at Home
- PANK Magazine
- FineScale Modeler
- The Saturday Evening Post
- The Story People
The Thrifty Couple has more tips for submitting tips and photos to magazines.
7. Test Websites and Apps for Cash
If you like testing out websites and apps for usability, you can earn a little extra money each month with this side gig. Most user tests take between 10-30 minutes to complete, and payment is usually $10 per test made via PayPal. Some platforms will require you to answer questions via audio or video, while others allow you to respond with written text. The ideal candidate for this type of side gig is someone who is tech-savvy and has excellent communication skills.
Sound interesting? Check out these companies:
For more ways to make money testing websites, read: 18 Sites That Will Pay You to Test Out Websites
8. Search Engine Evaluator
Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing want to ensure that they're serving up the very best search results for their users. To ensure that they are, these companies hire search engine evaluators to evaluate search results to determine their relevancy to the keyword or phrase that was typed in. These positions are flexible, part-time, independent contracting roles that pay around $10-$15 per hour.
If this sounds like a good fit, apply with these companies:
9. Referral Links
It's likely that you already tell your friends and family about your favorite products and services, so why not earn some free swag or money for doing so?!
For instance, I love using the online cashback shopping site, Rakuten (formerly Ebates). When you're shopping online, and you want to make a purchase, login to Rakuten, and see if the retailer is a participant in their program. If so, click on the merchant's link from Rakuten, and you'll earn a certain percentage back on your purchase. It's literally free money for what you were going to do anyway. Now, here's the fun part, when you refer your friends to the platform, and they sign-up and make a purchase using the site, you'll both earn a cashback bonus (anywhere between $5 – $30)!
Looking for more ways to earn money with referral links, read: Refer Your Friends and Earn Money with Referral Links
10. Complete Short Tasks
Only have short periods to make extra money? No problem! With short tasks, you can complete microtasks that take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Tasks may consist of doing internet research, data entry, scheduling appointments, making phone calls, running errands, or whatever else the individual needs help with. The pay varies greatly, as do the assignments, but it can be an easy and flexible way to add some extra moola to your bottom line.
Check out these platforms to get started:
For more ways to make money with short tasks, read: 18 Short Task Sites for Making Money From Home
11. Teach English as a Second Langauge
If you have a Bachelor's degree, and you enjoy working with children, you can work online by teaching ESL classes to children in China. These roles are part-time, independent contracting roles that pay between $16-$26 per hour. Because you're working with students based in China, you'll be working odd hours (2 am – 8 am depending on your time zone).
If this sounds appealing, check out:
12. Make Money Selling Print-on-Demand Products
If you have a great slogan for a t-shirt, or if you're talented at design, you can make money selling print-on-demand products. Each platform allows you to create or upload your custom designs to a wide variety of products like shirts, mugs, bags, jewelry, and more. Once your designs are completed, you write up your description, set your prices, and sell the wares online for a profit. The cool thing about print-on-demand is you're not responsible for inventory or shipping, it's all done for you — and you can get started for free!
Here are some platforms to get you started:
13. Take Surveys Online
You're not going to get rich taking surveys, but it is an easy way to put a little extra cash into your wallet. When you're browsing available surveys, don't waste your time with ones that only pay pennies for 45-minutes of your time. Hold out for the ones that offer a decent payment for the time invested. I like to take surveys on my phone when I'm watching TV at night. Since I'm multitasking, I don't mind only making an extra $1.00 for a 5-minute survey.
If you'd like to take surveys online, here are some to check out:
For more ways to make money with surveys, read: 19 Ways to Make Money from Home with Paid Surveys
14. Scan Your Receipts for Cash
Companies and brands want to know your purchasing habits, and that's why multiple companies will pay or reward you for your receipts. In fact, every time I come home from a shopping trip, I'll take a few minutes to scan all of my receipts into these four receipt apps. I don't earn a ton of money by doing this, but these apps help me pay for fun reads on Amazon and coffee at Starbucks.
- Ibotta – Cash via PayPal or gift cards
- FetchRewards – Gift cards or cash via Visa or MasterCard
- Receipt Hog – Redeem coins for Amazon gift cards or payment via PayPal or Visa
- ReceiptPal – Gift cards
15. Project-Based Work
If you've got writing, editing, proofreading, transcription, design, translation, or project management skills, you can work on a wide variety of freelance projects. Pay and time involved will vary on the scope of the project, but freelancing is an excellent way to earn extra money from home without having to take on a part-time job.
As you can see, there are lots of weird ways to make extra money from home. The key is to start thinking outside the traditional employment box and experiment with some of these unusual side gigs, to see which ones are best suited for your skills and personality type.
What interesting and odd ways have you earned money from home? Drop us a note; we'd love to hear from you! If you enjoyed this post — please share it on your favorite social media site.
Originally published April 2, 2014. Content updated on May 12, 2020.
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