10 Great Ways to Make Money in Your Free Time
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?
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 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 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 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 chose 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 Zecco.com 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.
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 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.
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.