Great Ways to Make Money in Your Free Time

Updated on April 23, 2016

Most people would enjoy making a little extra cash on the side. However, the commitment of time necessary to take on an additional job creates a multitude of inconveniences - limiting your weekends, holidays, and evenings. What if there was a way to make a few bucks on the side without having to commit to specific hours?

My friends, there is a way! Many in fact. Here are 10 ways that I have found to make additional money between classes, while sitting in an airport, or during commercial breaks. I've avoided job ideas that require you to create your own websites, go around selling things, or take huge risks to make a profit. The 10 ideas I've listed here are relatively easy to get involved with and can be accomplished using a couple of minutes/hours here and there, whenever you feel like it. Additionally, read this article with some other great ideas to make money offline using fantastic websites.

These are not get rich quick schemes. You will have to put in time to make money - and your time may not even be worth minimum wage. But hey, if you can make $5 while watching TV, why not?

If you are nearing graduation, and can't find a job, some of these tips may help, but you may also want to read my article, I Can't Find a Job After College - What Should I Do?

Sitting around with nothing to do? Interested in making some money off of your hobby? Enjoy these 10 ways to make money in your free time...


10 Profitable Pursuits

1. Facebook Sweepstakes - Visit the Sweepstakes App

I accidentally stumbled upon an amazing thing - a comprehensive list of every company with a sweepstake on Facebook! You can enter each individual sweepstake from this Facebook app - most by simply inserting your name and email address.

Now, I have generally not been a big fan of sweepstakes, but I found this site, entered about 30 while watching a TV show, and forgot about it. Two days later I received an email that I had won a two nights stay, with two lift tickets, for two people, to a ski resort in Colorado worth about $700! I spent half an hour writing my name and email over and over while watching TV and made $700. I must say that $1400/hr is pretty good pay for an almost college grad to make while sitting in front of the tube.

Of course, you are not guaranteed to win. But hey, why not do something while watching your favorite shows?

2. Make Money From Any of Your Strange Talents or Abilities - Visit Just A Five

This website is awesome! You can offer virtually any product/service for $5, $10, or $20. Willing to be someone's Facebook girlfriend for a week for $20? Someone might take you up on that offer. Maybe you would be willing to videotape yourself singing happy birthday to a special someone in your long underwear for $10 - this may interest someone as well! The variety of opportunities you can find on this site are entertaining and inspiring.

I've used this site to try to sell advertising space on my website. I communicated with several people though never initiated a sale from here. Just remember that the website takes $1 out of every $5. So you are actually getting $4 to do whatever it is you've promised to do. If you are creative and have some spare time, Just a Five may be for you.

3. Write Articles on HubPages - Read this article to learn more

Hubpages allows you to write articles on virtually anything. If your article is good, it receives a higher score and others are more likely to read it. If it is bad, it gets ranked lower and people won't. The awesome thing here is that you can create a Google Adsense account and link it to Hubpages. Then, 60% of the time, ads from your Google account will be shown - when people click on the Google ads, you make money!

I've been on for a week and written several articles and have already made $5! Of course, this isn't much, but as long as people keep viewing your articles, you have the potential of making money forever. You'll need to promote the articles on your own to really start increasing your view count, but as your followers and views increase, you'll continually increase your revenue stream.

After you've written an entertaining article, let me know about it. If I think its funny or insightful, I'll share it with my network of friends. Before you start writing, you may want to read My Hubscore is One so that you can avoid having this happen to you.

4. Sell Your Photos Online - Visit 123 Royalty Free to sell photos

I've created an account at 123 Royalty Free, but I haven't uploaded any photos (primarily because I'm not the greatest at taking pictures). However, from the research I've done, this seems to be one of the best websites for photographers to sell their pics. I recommend this site because many of the bigger ones only pay photographers 15% of the royalties. This website gives the photographer 50% - a much better deal.

As the number of articles, websites, and digital books increase, so will the need for photographs featuring a plethora of topics. If you're good at taking pictures, this is definitely a way to make a little money doing what you enjoy.

5. Sell Your Homemade Crafts and Products Online - Visit Etsy

Do you have a hobby that involves painting, knitting, or some other crafty form of art? Etsy has provided an excellent marketplace and venue for gathering followings of people interested in purchasing your crafts. Making a little money from a hobby is a great way to pass time in a profitable way.

6. Answer Questions For Money - Visit WebAnswers

I have just joined this site and it appears to have potential. Basically, you get paid for answering questions. Anyone can ask a questions (Think Yahoo! Answers) and if you give the best answer, you receive the advertising revenue from that question (you create a Google Adsense account). The site hopes to create a large database of answers that will show up near the top of search engines. If they are successful with this, their answers would be read by millions. Imagine making money anytime someone has a questions!

7. Pick Up Freelance Work - Check out Guru

I've used this site to find website programers for my own projects and I've bid on several projects myself. Guru is a website where people/businesses post projects and professionals bid on how much they will charge to do the project. The company then chooses most impressive freelancer.

From programming and graphic design, to writing and movie making, Guru has a large variety of projects to chose from - any college student with decent Powerpoint abilities may be able to find a few side jobs.

8. Selling Things You Already Have on Amazon and Ebay - Visit Amazon and Ebay

If you have a lot of "junk" that you never use, then selling it online is definitely a great way to free up extra space while girth to your wallet. If you want to take it further, you can buy things at garage sales, from your neighbors, or purchase items in bulk to sell online.

An important thing to determine before buying items to sell on Ebay/Amazon is whether or not you will make money on your venture. This seems obvious, but it is pretty easy to forget about shipping charges (when you buy AND sell), and other additional costs needing to be included in your selling price.

9. Trade Stocks Online - But do your homework first

Although you need money before purchasing stocks, stock trading is a good way to increase ones wealth. I had the unfortunate experience of investing in the stock market right before the crash in 2007-08 and lost about half of what I invested. However, a year later I reinvested and made it all back! I like because they only charge $4 per trade - much better than the $7-$10 charged by other sites. However, look around and you may find a site you like better.

Before you start investing, spend 30 minutes to learn the basics. Additionally, keep an eye on the overall stability of the market, as even a good company will lose value if the whole market collapses. However, if you find companies with solid financial statements and quality products, you may be able to make money with the money you have sitting around.

BE CAREFUL - Everyone knows that the stock market is risky at this time. You CAN still make money, but caution is very important. Lose everything here and you might need a third or fourth job.

10. Teach English Online - Check out ESL Jobs World

I've met several people who have taught English online using Skype and Google. Although this requires a bit more of a time commitment because you need to arrange class times with your students, there is still a bit of flexibility. The nice thing is, you are able to make $5-20/hr simply talking - something I enjoy doing immensely.

While you may be able to find clients on your own using craigslist or other forums, using a service like the ones listed on ESL Jobs World will likely set you up with a larger starting client base. I've looked around a bit and they seem to have one of the best/most organized lists of companies to contact. However, the companies they promote also seem to have high expectations - so let me know how it turns out if you decide to give this a shot.



There is no fast and easy way to make money. If you hear of one, question it seriously - odds are you will be the one making someone else rich.

However, you can make money working on your own schedule. It might not be a lot at first, and it might not always be consistent, but using these 10 ideas I've mentioned, along with others, you can find a bit of extra income doing what you love in your free time.

Know of other ways to make money on the side? Have you had success from using these methods? Let me know in the comment section below.


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    • profile image

      eitan 13 months ago

      at my spare time i teach my hobbies at koocam

      And making money from it.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Good Hub and like some of your ideas. Yes teaching is extra money and so much fun. It is not work at all if you like the subject. I like amazon and eBay for extra money. Buy fix and resell.

    • normbermoy profile image

      norman bermoy 4 years ago from Bremerton, WA

      Thanks very incite full. Have you tried Mystery Shopping?

    • normbermoy profile image

      norman bermoy 4 years ago from Bremerton, WA

      Thanks these are all good ideas. How about Mystery Shopping have you had any experience with that?

    • profile image

      Jason Gonzales 4 years ago

      Thank you free money sounds good

    • Dusana1234 profile image

      Dusana1234 4 years ago

      Great post, very informative. Thank you for the tips. Sell your photos online sounds great.

      Dusana :-)

    • profile image

      neha 5 years ago

      how can i earn money by the sweepstakes app?//

    • Vik Beluso profile image

      Vik Beluso 5 years ago from Champaign, IL

      Great article! I've never heard of some of these and will definitely check them out.

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      I will certainly check it out! It's always great to learn more useful information on this subject.

    • Insightful Tiger profile image

      Insightful Tiger 5 years ago

      I just put up my first hub on making money from home. I thought you might be interested:) ^Jah is the source^

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      I'm glad it helped you out! Good luck.

    • lemueloodle profile image

      Lemuel John E. Paule 5 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you so much. I got another ideas. :)

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      I am glad that you are all enjoying the article. It was fun to put together and I enjoy find creative ways to make a little extra cash.

      And Geja, I may just have to start doing a little bit more writing on the side for a newspaper or something. It would certainly be fun!

    • ajayshah2005 profile image

      ajayshah2005 5 years ago from Mid Asia

      Really great ways to make money online. Good ideas.

    • Geja8856 profile image

      Geja8856 5 years ago

      I must say you really do your research! Great article! I'm not sure how to keep it close at hand for future reference though. Just got back on the site after a long inactivity. Why don't you write for a newspaper? You've got some real talent for writing.

    • Modern Lady profile image

      Modern Lady 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      This is a great hub with some creative ideas. Many of these I had not heard of before. I will definitely check them out. Thanks! Voted up and shared.

    • Gentle Fist profile image

      Gentle Fist 5 years ago from Serbia

      THANKS very much for this article, I will test Just a Five in a moment, did not know such thing exists :)))

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Wow! That is a great talent to have. If you can paint that definitely seems like a great way to make some money and have some fun doing it. You may have to write an article about that sometime!

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 5 years ago from Southern Clime

      What great money-making ideas!

      I have a son who is a great self-made artist. He has been offered as much as $250.00 to produce one family sketch, but he is very shy and freezes whenever anyone views his work and tries to engage him. I am trying to get him excited about building wealth. One 10-minute caricature could sell for $15.00.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Thanks Stella! I'm glad you enjoyed the read and welcome to Hubpages!

    • chef stella profile image

      chef stella 5 years ago

      That was really helpful:)

    • Clayton Fernandes profile image

      Clayton 5 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates

      wonderful Hub Robert!, And your Hubscore has shot up! congratulations!!

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      I'm glad you enjoyed the article Teresa! Yes, I realized that many other people have been struggling with the same economic issues I have had, so I thought an article about it could be useful. I wish you the best in your continued writing!

    • Teresa Coppens profile image

      Teresa Coppens 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Well done Robert. Lots of solid ideas for making extra cash. In the present economy this article should be a gold mine itself. I see your hub score has risen appreciably. Congrats!