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10 Great Ways to Make Money in Your Free Time

As an MBA student and an alum of the HubPages Apprenticeship Program, I am fascinated with marketing, leadership, and communication.

Because why not?

Because why not?

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 ten ways that I have found to make additional money during downtime between classes, while sitting in an airport, or during commercial breaks. I've avoided job ideas that require you to create your own websites, sell things, or take huge risks to make a profit.

The ten 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 the 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?

Sitting around with nothing to do? Interested in making some cash off of your hobby? Enjoy these ten 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-night 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 via Any of Your Strange Talents or Abilities – Visit Fiverr

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

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 to make 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 it's funny or insightful, I'll share it with my network of friends.

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 increases, 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 a following 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 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 question!

Note: WebAnswers is no longer active.

7. Pick up Freelance Work – Check out Guru

I've used this site to find website programmers 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 the most impressive freelancer.

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

8. Sell 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 that need 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 one's 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 learning 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

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 that you are able to make $5–20/hr simply talking—something I enjoy doing immensely.

Make Money Working Your Own Schedule

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 ten 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 using these methods? Let me know in the comment section below.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


JOSEPH on November 22, 2018:


Muneera from India on July 02, 2018:

useful one

eitan on December 03, 2016:

at my spare time i teach my hobbies at koocam

And making money from it.

John on August 03, 2016:

Great article here, Robert.

Which is the Sweepstakes app you mentioned? Having trouble finding it! :)

Suresh on May 02, 2016:

excellent post... good job buddy... :)

stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on October 13, 2014:

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.

norman bermoy from Bremerton, WA on October 12, 2013:

Thanks very incite full. Have you tried Mystery Shopping?

norman bermoy from Bremerton, WA on October 12, 2013:

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

Jason Gonzales on March 21, 2013:

Thank you free money sounds good

Dusana1234 on February 18, 2013:

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

Dusana :-)

neha on January 09, 2013:

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

Vik Beluso from Champaign, IL on November 13, 2012:

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

Robert Erich (author) from California on October 26, 2012:

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

Insightful Tiger on October 25, 2012:

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

Robert Erich (author) from California on August 28, 2012:

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

Lemuel John E. Paule from Philippines on August 28, 2012:

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

Robert Erich (author) from California on August 26, 2012:

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 from Mid Asia on August 26, 2012:

Really great ways to make money online. Good ideas.

Geja8856 on August 09, 2012:

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 from Chicago, IL on May 27, 2012:

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 from Serbia on May 04, 2012:

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

Robert Erich (author) from California on April 26, 2012:

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 from Southern Clime on April 26, 2012:

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 (author) from California on April 18, 2012:

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

chef stella on April 17, 2012:

That was really helpful:)

Clayton from Dubai, United Arab Emirates on March 03, 2012:

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

Robert Erich (author) from California on March 01, 2012:

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 from Ontario, Canada on March 01, 2012:

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!