For years, I’ve been writing about best ways to earn extra cash on the side in your spare time. It’s become one of the most popular topics on my blog!
This year, I’m starting a new tradition. I’d like to recap the most legitimate ways to earn extra income online based one what I’ve seen from the past year. Just the best ideas, in my opinion.
Only online jobs – these are things you can do from your computer to earn extra money on the internet. There are ideas for teachers, college students, and moms who want something to do while their kids are in school.
I believe this list goes beyond the standard advice of “get a driving job with Uber or Lyft” or “sell your gift cards” for money.
I think we need a little bit more flexibility and practicality in our lives as moms! I hope you find a money making idea you like.
Amazingly Easy Money Making Ideas for 2021
I know it sounds like some kind of really bad 90s commercial, but I promise that earning an income online is not fake!
It’s a completely real thing to make extra money each month working online. I wouldn’t tell you about anything that wasn’t for real. If you’d like to learn more about how exactly I earn a living online, you can read more in these posts:
- 7 Ways I Make an Extra $5,000 per Month Online
- WhatMommyDoes $5K – $10K Income Reports Collection
- How Long Does it Take to Make Money Blogging?
As a blogger, I get to live in a world of online jobs. There’s not just blogging, but some other really great, easy ways to earn money on the side which will increase your household income.
Rather than looking for a second job outside the home, you can earn more money by sitting at your computer, selling things or doing tasks others don’t want to do.
There are tons of options, especially if you are a creative person. We truly live in an amazing time!
How Do You Earn Money Online? Top Ideas
Today I am going to share with you some ideas to get started earning money on the side that can all be done online…on your computer (you can use your laptop, iPad, tablet, etc).
Whether you need a hundred dollars or a thousand extra dollars each month, this list of ideas will help you.
Some of them (like surveys) can be done on your phone, but for the most part these require actual computers. Some of them can be done with no money up front (other than having a computer & internet access, of course.)
That’s because you just can’t do as much on a phone and for some of the jobs you need to either have access to Microsoft Word or the ability to open multiple browsers at once.
A lot of people email me to ask if they can find a job that can be done ONLY from their phone. I would say that’s virtually impossible right now. Phones have large screens and all, but you can’t do many things easily from a mobile device, such as drag and drop items on a screen or access certain websites.
The best alternative for you if you don’t have a computer is to get access to one at your local library.
I know it’s not ideal, but in a pinch, having an actual computer to work on an hour or two a day is better than trying to do everything on your phone. You’ll notice below that survey sites like Survey Junkie are possibly the best option for your side gig if you must do it from a phone.
Hold fast, because now we’re gonna dive into the list of ideas!
Legit Things to Do for Extra Money – $50, $500, even $1000+
With many online jobs, you get to set your own schedule and work as it suits your availability. Even if you only earn a couple hundred dollars here and there, it really adds up!
If you are already a stay at home mom, making money during naptime or after the kids are in bed at night is a great option for you. If you have a job, you can make time to work for an hour or two before or after work, or on your commute if you ride mass transit.
Without further ado, here are the some of the easiest things you can do to earn extra money online this year…
1. Complete simple surveys for quickest cash
One of the very easiest, legitimate things to do to earn money on the side is by taking paid surveys. I recommend Survey Junkie, which you can read about here >> Best Online Survey Website for Quick Cash.
Survey Junkie is one of my top recommended paid survey panels on the Internet. They offer their members great surveys to complete for cash, and they pay super fast (how does receiving your money the same day you request it sound?!).
It’s free to sign up with Survey Junkie, and they currently have over 7 million members from the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia happily using their services.
Companies will pay for your opinion and thoughts. This is a job you can do without paying anything up front. However, because it is so low barrier to entry, keep in mind that there is lots of competition.
What kinds of questions do you have to answer? Well, they are interested in knowing what you like to eat and drink, your favorite clothing brands, and your travel habits, to name a few things.
With this information, they are able to change up their products and services to fit what the consumers are looking for. By completing surveys to make money, you are giving the companies valuable insights they need, straight from “the horse’s mouth” – so it’s no wonder that people are able to earn extra income online by taking these surveys.
2. Refer friends to Ebates – Guaranteed Payout
Some people just know Ebates as the website where you get cash back on online purchases. But what some people don’t know is that you can earn a decent amount of money in a way that doesn’t involve spending your own money – and that is by referring your friends to sign up!
With Ebates, your friends can earn cash back when they shop through the website for their online purchases. It’s really no different than their usual shopping – they just need to sign into Ebates first and then when they visit their end destination website, they will get a percentage of their purchase credited back to their Ebates account.
It’s so easy to do, and only requires a few minutes of time when you shop to earn back $100-$300 per year, depending on how often you shop online. If you travel a lot, the savings can REALLY add up!
To get started, you will need to sign up for your own Ebates account first. Don’t worry – it’s completely free to create an account. Then grab your referal link and start sharing it with friends and family.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you use it yourself before you recommend it, though. You definitely want to make an intelligent recommendation or no one will really take you seriously.
If you need even more info on how it works before you sign up, you can check out my Ebates review here!
Yes, Ebates will pay you just for bringing them new members. The referral rates change every now and then. Sometimes, the company will do promotions to really push getting new people to join.
***They will often run seasonal specials where you can earn $25 bonuses for each friend that signs up and shops through Ebates!***
And if you want proof that Ebates pays, take a look at how I earned $50 simply by sharing about them on Facebook!
3. Sell used items for cash online – super easy
Sometimes, you need to make a little extra money quick. You don’t have time to wait to cash out on your survey sites, or for your referral programs to pay you. You need cash like yesterday, so what do you do?!
The answer is simple – use the Internet to quickly sell things you no longer need. List these items on Facebook yard sale groups, Craigslist, or Ebay to get them sold – and money in your pocket – quickly.
Curious what you can sell online to make extra income? Read this post to get started >> 15 Things You Can Resell for Profit
Of course, selling used items online isn’t just a “get money fast” idea. You can use it in the long-term to declutter your home and earn some cash on the side.
You can also help other people by selling their used items, then taking a commission fee for your time and efforts.
I just found out about the app Task Rabbit. You can sign up as a “tasker” and people will hire you to complete projects for them. It’s a great little side hustle if you have a flexible schedule.
If you want, you could specialize in this sort of thing and spread around the word about your Tasker profile in your area.
4. Become a virtual assistant
Bloggers have a lot of tasks to complete to ensure their online business turns a profit. They have to create posts, edit images, promote their content, answer emails, send pitches, interact with fans – the list goes on and on!
Many bloggers like to use a virtual assistant for some of these responsibilities, especially as their business grows and they don’t have time to do it all.
My sister became a VA and she says it is one of the very best things she ever did.
She now has a job that pays well, can be done from home, and is completely flexible with her time. In addition to paying her now for a job well done, this type of work is allowing her to get some good experience that she can apply to her own blog down the road. It’s a win-win if you need funds now and want to build something bigger for yourself to fall back on later on.
When you become a virtual assistant, you can earn a living online helping bloggers manage their online business. You can choose to charge for your services by the hour or a flat fee. Many VA’s earn a full-time income offering these services, so it’s definitely one of the legit online money making ideas.
Becoming a VA is a long term play and results in a bigger amount of money for your family. If you need quick cash, I wouldn’t go with this idea. But if you want a long term plan for generating a decent income, this is a phenomenal choice.
My friend Gina trains up and coming VAs, and I think the best way for you to learn all about being a Virtual Assistant is to simply read this blog post on her site >>
If you already think this is something you’d like to do, you can also download her free guide, List of 150+ Services You Can Offer as a VA
Being a Virtual Assistant is one of the most lucrative side jobs you can do online, so I really recommend it.
5. Sell items on Etsy
This idea is perfectly suited for you if you consider yourself a creative person. Even if you all you are good at is drawing pictures, there is a way for you to draw in extra cash on Etsy!
Opening an Etsy store is like having your own marketplace to sell items you have created. If you are very crafty and want to part with the art you make, you can use Etsy to make money online this year.
If you take a look at the website, you will see that other sellers list their items for top dollar. People love handmade items and they will pay for them!
Find your unique spot in this market and tap into the cash flow. You can even dig deep for passions you had as a kid and bring them to the present to design things to sell on there. You can sell things like beautiful rocks you collect on the beach. I kid you not! If it’s a craft or can be used in a craft, it can be sold on Etsy!
Getting started with Etsy is free. You simply pay $0.20 for each item you list, then a small processing fee when an item sells. The rest is profit for you.
Not sure what to sell? Here are a few items you can get for free to sell on Etsy!
6. Sell products on Amazon
Becoming an Amazon FBA seller requires an upfront investment, but you can see very good returns if you play your cards right! This is a great thing to do if you have some startup capital to spare.
I’ve actually been wondering myself, “What can I do to diversify my online come?” And this is up next for me! There have been so many successes with selling on Amazon…people starting businesses from their bedroom that end up quitting their full time jobs down the road.
Take Jessica Larrew and her family, for example. They earn a six-figure income online by being an Amazon FBA sellers. I had a chance to ask Jessica some questions about their business. You’ll want to be sure to read that Amazon FBA seller interview!
Their methods involve purchasing items online or in stores on clearance and selling them at a profit on Amazon. With millions of shoppers every day, Amazon is the best online marketplace to flip these items.
The sticking point with an Amazon business is that you need room for inventory if you’re shipping items on your own. Luckily, you don’t have to store items in your bedroom or hallway closet lol. Amazon offers fulfillment services (called FBA), which help tremendously.
FBA stands for fulfilled by Amazon, so you purchase items and send them into Amazon before you list them for sale. This gives your items free shipping and that special “Amazon Prime” label, making them much more appealing to shoppers.
An Amazon business is probably the most likely business to be the most profitable out of this list in the long term. But it’s just harder to start than others. That’s the way it always seems to go, though, right? Higher difficulty and bigger investment typically mean bigger potential payout in the end!
7. Start a blog – the best path to making extra cash!
Though it’s my favorite, I am adding blogging last, since it’s more of a long-term strategy for making money using a computer.
It takes the most effort and dedication but the potential rewards are tremendous!
This money making idea is especially good for stay-at-home-moms and teachers. Even if you don’t want to work full time on it, blogging can be a great source of passive income.
While it is possible to see a little income here and there after your first couple months, in order to really make a go with blogging and make thousands of dollars every month, you shouldn’t expect to make much money in your first 6-12 months.
Most bloggers don’t see amazing success for 18 months. But rarely do I see someone completely fail who sticks it out for that long and is willing to invest in themselves throughout the process. To me, this is very encouraging!
Blogging is one of those things where the reward comes SO FAR after the initial starting point, but the people who are willing to work for very little up front and stick with it, are the ones who benefit later on. I suppose lots of things in this world work this way! 😊
With blogging, you get paid for providing INFORMATION that people want and go to search engines (like Google) to find. Much the way you came to me by searching for answers….your blog will just answer important questions for people!
A Free Blog Startup Resource: FREE STEP BY STEP COURSE to START A MONEY MAKING BLOG >>
Why does it take a year or more to succeed at blogging? It’s because it takes time to establish your blog as a resource. Whether you want to make money with ads, sponsored posts, or by offering your own products, you need to grow your online presence before you earn a substantial amount of money with blogging.
Bloggers earn income from email marketing, doing sponsored campaigns for brands, and even placing ads on their blogs. There are so many ways to monetize a blog…you’ll be very surprised!
I just love being a blogger because it gives me an outlet for my creativity – and more importantly – it pays commensurate with results! I am a results oriented person. If this describes you, you might be blogging material!
I have several tutorials that will help you get your blog up and running really quickly. If you use them, you can easily be earning with your blog by the end of the New Year.
- Simple Step By Step Guide to Start a New Blog
- How to Choose a Blog Name You Will Love
- What to Do Right After Installing WordPress
- 3 Ways to Get a Lot More Page Views!
I absolutely love being my own boss and setting my own schedule, especially as a busy mom of three children. They keep me pretty busy, but I still have time to fit in my online business!
Do You Need to Make Extra Money Starting Now?
As you can probably tell, some of these money making ideas require a time investment. Time that not everybody has to waste when it comes to starting to earn. Hands down the #1 comment I get on posts like these is “I like your ideas, but how can I make a lot of money fast?”
If you need money soon (like today or by the end of the week), then your best bet is to find things laying around the house to sell (idea #3 above). BUT if you can afford to wait and want huge earning potential, then blogging (idea #7) is the way to go.
Really, you can mix and match these opportunities many different ways. If you are wondering what you should do, I would suggest considering your timeline and going from there.
Another ideas is to stack long term and short term money making ideas together. So for instance, while you are working on building your blog, you can try your hand at one or more of the other ways to earn extra cash mentioned above. For example, surveys are an easy to complete in your spare time. (In addition to Survey Junkie, I have many more survey opportunities listed in this post as well).
I hope you like this list of real ideas for earning an income working online. Which business is most profitable and which one is the best idea for you are two things you will have to consider as you figure out what you want to do to increase your overall earnings this year.
The fact that we have all these fun ways to make ends meet these days just blows me away. An extra side gig that you do 5-10 hours per week can make a huge difference in your budget!
If you decide to try one of them, please let me know in the comments below! Whatever you decide on, I hope you find a way to earn money from home that works for you and your family.
I hope to write another post soon from a different angle with more ideas like pet sitting, graphic design, and even mowing lawns!
Related Work from Home Money Making Ideas
If you still want even more ideas to consider, here are some articles that might help:
- How Do I Make an Extra $500 to $1,000 a Month?
- How to Start a Blog the Right Way (in 3 easy steps!)
- How My Blog Earned $1000+ While I Had the Flu
- Start the Blog of Your Dreams