Ways to Earn Money Online For Students
Making some extra cash when you’re a student can be tough. Between classes, homework, and your social life, finding a part-time job that fits into your schedule isn’t always easy. Luckily, there are now more options than ever for students to earn money online. With just an internet connection and some spare time, you can start padding your wallet.
In this guide, we’ll cover 19 unique ways for students to make money online. Whether you want to earn some spending money or start building savings, you’re sure to find an idea that works for you. Many of these money making ideas require little experience and can become lucrative side gigs. Let’s dive in!
Get Paid to Take Surveys
Taking online surveys in your spare time is one of the easiest ways for students to earn some cash. Many companies are looking for consumer opinions on products and services. And they’re willing to pay for your input.
Signing up for survey taking websites is completely free. Once registered, you can browse available surveys and complete them for money. Most surveys pay between $0.50 to $5.00, and many take less than 5-10 minutes to finish. The key is taking high quantity surveys to maximize your earnings.
Here are some of the best survey taking sites for students:
Swagbucks – One of the largest survey sites, with daily opportunities to earn cash and gift cards.
Survey Junkie https://www.surveyjunkie.com/ – Quick surveys with reliable payouts via Paypal or gift cards.
MyPoints – Earn points for surveys that can be redeemed for cash and other rewards.
Vindale Research https://www.vindale.com/ – Higher paying surveys with rewards redeemed via check or PayPal.
Pinecone Research – Invite-only platform with surveys paying $3 to $5 each.
Pro Tip: Set a daily survey taking goal for yourself. Most students find taking 5 to 10 surveys per day results in consistent extra income.
Get Paid for Everyday Online Activities
Another easy way for students to earn cash online is through rewards programs and apps. You can get paid for things you’re probably already doing online – like watching videos, taking photos, playing games, and shopping.
It won’t make you rich, but these sites offer an almost effortless way to earn some extra money with very little time commitment. Here are some top options:
Swagbucks – Probably the most popular rewards program. Earn points (called “SB”) for watching videos, playing games, answering surveys, browsing the web, and more. Then redeem your SB for cash via PayPal or gift cards.
Rakuten – Install the Rakuten browser extension and earn cash back when you shop from select online retailers. Rakuten sends payments quarterly via check or PayPal.
Fetch Rewards – Earn gift cards by scanning your grocery, drugstore, and restaurant receipts. Super easy passive income for students.
Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel – Get paid to install a meter on your devices to passively share internet usage data. Earn rewards, prizes, and cash.
Receipt Hog – Similar to Fetch Rewards. Upload receipts to earn “coins” redeemable for cash via PayPal or Amazon gift cards.
Making a few dollars here and there with these programs adds up over time. Install them today to effortlessly boost your income.
Sell Your Old Stuff
Have some old clothes, textbooks, electronics, or other items laying around your dorm room that you don’t use anymore? Those can easily be turned into quick cash. As they say, one person’s trash is another’s treasure.
Your stuff can sell like hot cakes on mobile marketplace apps and websites like:
Facebook Marketplace – List for free on the popular marketplace feature found on Facebook. Reach lots of interested buyers in your local area.
OfferUp – Popular peer-to-peer marketplace app for local buyers and sellers. List your stuff for free.
Poshmark – Great option for selling used clothing, which is in high demand. Takes a small commission on sales.
eBay – The web’s largest auction marketplace is perfect for reaching tons of buyers. But eBay does take a cut of your sales.
Decluttr – Quickly sell your old electronics, CDs, DVDs, games, and books for cash. Free shipping labels provided.
Gazelle – Sell your used smartphones and tablets directly to Gazelle. Lock in a price quote and they’ll send you a prepaid box.
Cleaning out your closet, desk drawers, and bookshelves can net you anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand+ dollars quickly.
Pro Tip: Take high quality photos and write detailed descriptions of your items to maximize their selling price.
Become an Online Tutor
One of the most valuable skills you have as a student is your knowledge. Consider putting it to use by tutoring others online in your spare time. This side gig is especially great for high schoolers, college students, and graduate students.
You can conveniently set your own hours and educate others in topics you already know well. Subjects that are commonly tutored online include:
- Math (Pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus)
- Sciences (biology, chemistry, physics)
- English (reading, writing, essays)
- Languages (French, Spanish, German, etc)
- Standardized test prep (ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT)
- Computer programming
The easiest way to start tutoring online is to join an established tutoring platform that will handle student acquisition and payments for you in exchange for a cut of the sessions. Here are some top options:
Wyzant – One of the most popular tutoring marketplaces. Pay starts at $12 per 1 hour session.
Varsity Tutors – Specializes in live 1-on-1 online tutoring. Get paid at least $15 per hour.
Chegg – Known for textbook rentals, Chegg also offers online tutoring opportunities.
Skooli – Get matched with students needing help and earn up to $25 per hour.
Tutor.com – Tutor K-12 & college students in dozens of subjects. Competitive pay.
The initial application process requires passing an online test in your subjects, submitting IDs for verification, and passing a background check. However, once approved, you can start earning immediately through flexible tutoring gigs.
Sell Digital Downloads
If you have creative talents or technical skills, you can create digital products to sell online as a great way to make money on the side. Digital downloads are simple to manage and lucrative.
Some ideas include:
Design templates – Create templates for brochures, social media posts, logos, flyers, resumes, and more. Sell individually or in bundles.
Lightroom presets – Professional photographers sell their custom presets for editing photos in Lightroom.
Web themes & templates – Design themes and site templates for WordPress users. Popular items include WooCommerce themes and photo/portfolio themes.
Technical tutorials – Record short video tutorials teaching people a technical skill like programming or app development.
Digital planners & journals – Crafters make stylish digital planners and journals to help organize schedules, health, finances, etc.
The benefit of digital downloads is that once created, they can earn you passive income with no additional work. Some popular platforms for selling your digital goods include Creative Market, Graphic River, Etsy, and Sellfy.
Pro Tip: Study what’s selling well in your category, then offer your own spin on popular products to improve your chances of success.
Start a Blog
Launching your own blog is an ambitious online project – but one with huge upside, including the potential to earn a full-time income one day. While it takes work to build an audience and traffic, starting earlier maximizes your chances of success.
Some proven ways students earn money from blogs:
Affiliate marketing – Place affiliate links to products related to your niche. Earn a commission when readers click and make a purchase.
Display advertising – Place Google AdSense code on your site to earn money from ads placed on your pages. As traffic grows, so can your earnings.
Sponsored posts – Write reviews or tutorials for brands related to your niche. Companies will pay to get mentions on sites with engaged viewers.
Digital products – Once established, leverage your audience by selling online courses, ebooks, or membership programs.
While becoming a full-time blogger takes time, you can start out doing it part-time while earning some side money. Pick a topic you’re passionate about and start creating valuable content.
If you have strong writing skills, consider putting them to use by freelance proofreading online. This involves checking and correcting written content for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and consistency errors.
Many businesses hire proofreaders on a freelance basis to ensure their content is clean and professional. Common projects include:
- Proofreading business documents
- Proofreading blog posts and articles before publishing
- Proofreading academic papers
- Proofreading manuscripts
- Proofreading websites to check for typos and broken formatting
This work-from-home job requires a keen eye for detail and expertise with spelling and grammar rules. But the time commitment is flexible, and it pays decently. Expect to earn around $20 per hour and up.
Sign up for accounts on proofreading freelance platforms to find jobs:
Scribendi – Freelance proofreading site with an application and test required. Pay starts at $15 per hour.
Kibin – Earn $12 to $25 per essay proofread after a short test.
Proofed – Online proofreading service with opportunities for freelancers.
Gramlee – Join the team of remote proofreaders at this established company.
This is a great gig for English and journalism majors looking to earn extra income.
Create How-To Videos
Video content is booming. And many companies, bloggers, and other creators pay for quality stock videos – especially of the educational “how-to” variety. If you can teach a skill on camera, you can turn those talents into online income.
Some popular how-to video topics include:
- DIY projects
- Crafting (sewing, jewelry making, candle making)
- Cooking tutorials
- Beauty tips (hair, makeup)
- Software or coding tutorials
- Home Organization Tips
Use your creativity and areas of expertise to film your own tutorials. Keep the videos succinct and well-edited. Then upload them to stock video marketplaces like:
Pond5 – Earn up to $300 per clip based on length, quality, and demand.
Shutterstock – Contribute stock footage to earn cash when people purchase and download your videos.
Newsflare – Licensed news and viral video platform accepting submissions. Earn 50% on sales.
You set your own prices based on demand and average pricing for similar clips. Then earn royalties each time your video sells. This is excellent passive income potential.
Teach Music Lessons Online
If you’re musically gifted, teaching lessons online is an enriching way to share your talents while earning cash on the side. Instruments commonly taught online include:
Lessons take place one-on-one over video chat using a platform like Zoom or Skype. You arrange lesson times directly with students. Typical rates range from $20 – $50 per 30 to 60-minute lesson.
Some sites that connect music teachers with students seeking lessons include:
TakeLessons – Has options for teaching locally or online to earn extra income.
Chegg Tutors – List your music teaching services for interested students to find.
Preply – Online tutoring site accepting music teacher applications.
Verbling – Language learning platform with demand for music teachers too.
The process involves submitting a profile showcasing your skills and music education. Once approved, you’re ready to start booking students online.
Sell Music, Audio & Video
If making music, podcasts, audio effects, or stock video is your thing, you can earn royalties when people purchase and download your content. Some key platforms to sell your work include:
Getty Images – Submit your photos, illustrations, video clips, and music tracks to earn licensing fees.
Shutterstock – Diverse marketplace accepting all content types including music and sound effects.
Fiverr – List your skills for creating custom tracks people can order for $5 and up.
AudioJungle – Part of Envato Market, this platform sells background music, loops, sound effects and more.
Pond5 – Audio marketplace with opportunities to license your original compositions.
The more content you have available for sale, the greater your passive earnings as people download your work for projects.
Voice Acting Gigs
If you have golden vocal cords, a neat way to potentially earn online is voice acting. This includes narrating audiobooks, commercials, cartoons, videos, and more.
Some key resources for finding voice over work:
Fiverr – Voice acting and impressions are popular gigs. Sign up for an account to list your services.
Voices – Leading freelance voice over marketplaces with opportunities in many languages.
Upwork – Freelance site with search options for finding voice acting and voice over jobs.
Bunny Studio – Submit an audition to get hired for voice projects on this creative platform.
When just starting out, focus on smaller gigs to build up your profile and reviews. Rates vary based on the length and complexity of the project. As you gain experience, you can start commanding higher rates.
Get Paid to Be an Online Friend
This might sound strange, but some services will actually pay you to chat with lonely people seeking online friends. Conversations are strictly platonic friendship only. But if providing an ear and social interaction appeals to you, it can be an easy way to make money working from home.
Some options in this space include:
RentAFriend – Chat, text, email, or accompany people to events. Pay ranges from $10 to $50 per hour.
Taskerr – Earn by talking to people who want conversation and accountability.
Talkspace – Provide online therapy and counseling for cash under professional supervision.
Note that most platforms will require ID verification, background checks, and sometimes short interviews before approving you as a conversation companion. But once passed, simply log into your account when available to start getting paid.