A ton of people are still wondering how to make money without a job to help pay monthly bills, outrageous rent rates, or to help pay off debt (looking at you student loans ?).
I’m here to tell you that it’s not that hard, and I spent the past few years learning about the best ways to make money, even during the pandemic, that won’t waste your time.
I put together a huge list of real ways to make money from home so you can start earning money without a job in 2021.
These opportunities to make money are broadly divided into 3 categories:
Want Free Money?
- Aspiration: Want to get spotted a $150 for free? Simply sign up for Aspiration, and the free banking app will give you cash for free, you just relax while it gives you $150 just for opening a new debit card. There’s no catch. This bank account is legit and only takes two minutes to sign up for an account.
Pro tip: Surveys are quick, easy, and can pay you cash from the comfort of your home. No wonder they are so popular. Survey Junkie, Branded Surveys, Swagbucks, and InboxDollars are just a few of the best survey sites to make money.
How to Make Money Online
In case you do not have the time to invest in learning a specialization, you can opt for generalized ways to make money online. These are ways to make money online without investment.
The payoff is comparatively lower than those found for specialized profiles, but the skill-set can be developed pretty quickly. Here are a few alternatives that you can explore:
1. Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant is a self-employed professional who is hired to provide administrative, technical or creative help to clients through online mediums.
For example, I recently hired a virtual assistant off Upwork who helps me respond to emails, update social media statuses, and other tiny tasks that I don’t want to spend time with.
A lot of other big bloggers and companies outsource virtual assistants, so this is a sector where the demand for freelancers is extremely high.
You can pick up projects from sites like Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer and earn some money online quickly.
You can literally learn how to become a virtual assistant for free and I show you how in our latest article.
2. Online Surveys & Market Research
Yes, you do get paid to give your opinion.
However, your feedback should be detailed and helpful as you are getting paid by major corporations for your honest feedback.
In case you didn’t know, market research companies now pay you to watch ads and test new products and services. It’s a great way to earn money online that doesn’t require much effort.
The best survey apps are ones that have lucrative payoff options, pay on time, and have a ton of offers available.
To chalk it up, you can earn anything from $1-$100 per survey by using these types of sites.
Here are some trusted survey companies that pay you in cash via PayPal:
- SurveyJunkie: Make $25 fast or more in your spare time from home to take online surveys, participating in focus groups and trying new products.
- Swagbucks: Watch videos, take surveys, shop and more to earn real money. They also offer a $10 signup bonus for new users.
- InboxDollars: Has so far paid its members over $59 Million. Watch videos, take surveys, shop and more. Join InboxDollars today and they’ll give you $5 to start.
If you wanted to get started with online surveys and market research opportunities make sure you check out the two highest paying survey sites for 2021.
3. User Testing
User testing is research conducted by firms to improve their customer experience.
Businesses are willing to shell out quite a few bucks to understand if their product/service effectively satisfies the customer demand before officially introducing it in the market.
So you can start getting paid for testing apps and websites and earn money online pretty easily.
You can also learn how to get paid with lockscreen apps that really pay.
4. Online Tutoring
Another way to make money online with through online tutoring or by teaching English online.
Subject knowledge, a desire to teach and working internet connection is all you need to establish yourself as a tutor.
Here are a few sites that can help you set-up your online tutoring career teaching English online:
Education First (US/UK) – If you are good with your English, then you can become an online tutor with Education First. Teachers with EF enjoy the ability to choose their own work-from-home schedule, ability to bring their own teaching style a custom-designed classroom and receive local, US and UK-based support and payment weekly. Teachers with EF earn up to $20/hour.
VIPKID Another teaching opportunity, with this company you can teach kids English. VIPKID is the #1 platform for online English teaching in China. Having won #1 on Forbes magazines “Best work from home companies” list amidst many other accolades, the company has been rapidly expanding. VIPKID needs thousands of work-from-home teacher’s to teach English online to kids in China. This is an amazing work-from-home opportunity – and don’t worry, users do not need to know any foreign language or have formal teaching experience. Teachers can earn as much as $22/hour working on the VIPKID platform.
Blogging is one of the most powerful ways to make money online without much risk. In fact, full-time bloggers are known to earn as high as a 6 figure income just with one money-making blog.
Blogging is the top choice for those wondering how to make money because it looks deceptively simple. However, that is far from the truth.
Maintaining a successful blog is a very scientific process that requires content writing and marketing skills of the highest order. However, it’s still possible and I explained how in my guide on how to make money blogging.
You can start-up a new blog in a matter of minutes, and it’s super easy, just take a look at this free blog starter guide to get your site set up in less than 15 minutes (no kidding).
The current market size of the global languages industry is around $40 billion and it is expected to keep growing cumulatively every year.
The best part is, although there are various translation-related applications, automated translation is not considered to be completely reliable by publishers.
There is a continued demand for translators especially in the areas of website translation, transcripts and foreign language education. Plus, most of these translation jobs pay weekly and can be done on your own time.
7. Referral Programs
According to research by the research company Neilson Holdings, people are 4 times more likely to buy a product/service when it is referred by a friend.
Now, that is a statistic that companies like and this is precisely why companies across all sectors and sizes have been implementing affiliate programs.
From an organization’s perspective, the ROI of referral programs is lucrative and hence they are willing to invest in a decent incentive plan for the referring sources.
This way to make money can be great for stay at home moms who want to earn money.
8. Stock Photography
The growth of E-commerce and E-learning industries has been a catalyst in the transition of photography from a hobby occupation to an off-beat profession.
Almost every company has an account on stock photography sites like Shutter Stock and Getty Images to fulfill their imaging needs.
There is a high demand for HD images to support E-commerce products, blog posts, articles and E-learning modules.
If you have always pursued photography as a hobby, maybe it is time to start thinking about it commercially. Here are a few sites where you can sell your photos online.
In case you are thinking about how to go about it, you can learn more about selling photos online.
Believe it or not, companies and people are willing to pay huge bucks for proof-reading and editing reports, proposals, advertising copies, and other such documents. You can even get paid to read emails.
In fact, certain freelance proof-reading is known to pay $17 per hour! If you happen to have a background in human resources, you have an added leverage.
You can take up a resume and cover-letter editing projects as there is a huge job-seekers’ market out there.
10. Get Paid for Surfing the Web
You already browse the web, right? So why not get paid to surf the web! In fact, this is one of the easiest ways to make money online.
The best way to earn is simply by setting Swagbucks as your default search engine.
To set Swagbucks as your default search engine on Chrome, follow the instructions below:
- Go to your browser address bar.
- Right-click and select Edit search engines… from the dropdown menu.
- Under the Other search engines scroll down to Swagbucks and hover over it.
- Click on Make default on the right of the row.
- Click Done.
Told you it was easy! You can quickly sign up here.
How to Make Money in the Gig Economy
Rather, it is more dependent on time commitment, soft skills and the resources available to the gig worker.
These are ways to earn money in your town that can make you money quickly. Here are a few options that you can check out:
11. Renting out a Spare Room
This is an awesome opportunity to earn a little extra income from your extra space by becoming an Airbnb host.
There is enough profit in renting out a spare room to help you cover a quarter of your monthly costs.
If you are not looking for a full-time room-mate, you can list out your house on Airbnb for specific time-periods. If you have a home or spare room to rent out, you should seriously consider this option.
Babysitting is a great job for college students because according to UrbanSitter, babysitters are known to make $15.71 per hour.
It is a good idea to babysit for family and friends as a beginning. You will be able to gauge if you have the required patience and aptitude to deal with kids. Also, trust is an extremely important factor for parents while hiring for babysitters.
By starting off with your friends-family circle, you will be able to earn reference & experience letters which will give a huge credibility boost for your profile. Or you can find babysitting gigs on Care.com.
13. Uber or Lyft
Driving for Uber or Lyft is an excellent opportunity to put your driving license to use.
It is an ideal gig on our best side hustles list for those who want to make easy money as Uber and left allows you to set your own working hours and get paid instantly.
At the end of the day, you can make as much as $24.25 per hour if you pass. the driver requirements.
14. Handyman Services
Do you love being a renovator or handyman around your house? Well, now your hobby can make you money.
A handyman is someone who is skilled in tackling “fix-up tasks” like repairs and maintenance work.
Handyman work includes gardening, plumbing, electric and mechanical repairs and more tasks.
Apart from making a few extra bucks, you also can get paid under the table and save money taxes.
15. Dog Walking
This one is for all the animal-lovers out there.
Dog-walking has 3 lucrative benefits – You get to spend time with your four-legged friends, you yourself get some exercise and you don’t have to pay taxes!
You can learn how much you can make walking dogs with Rover here.
16. Medical Studies
Being a human guinea pig is not a bad idea after all, especially if you can earn up to $15,000 per project (Some clinical trials do shell out that kind of cash!)
Research and clinical trials test the effect of drugs and medicines to determine their efficiency.
While the money may look lucrative, one must do thorough research before nominating himself/herself for a study regarding the safety measures and side effects.
17. Event Anchor
If you were a regular participant in elocution and debates, anchoring/hosting events is an opportunity to get paid to chat.
To start off, you can register yourself with your local event management agencies and put the word out on social media.
18. Brand Ambassador
This is suited to students with people, sales and marketing skills.
A brand ambassador is an incentive-based program, where students are paid to promote a particular brand on campus.
Tasks can range from wearing company merchandise, getting registrations or social media promotions.
19. Get Paid to Walk
Getting paid to walk is a great way to get more exercise and earning money on the side.
The task is simple: Go for runs or exercise indoors or outdoors and these get paid to walk apps really pay you money.
There’s no catch, you can really earn some extra cash by running or walking.
How to Make Money with Your Skills
This set of work from home jobs require a certain level of refined skill set.
Establishing yourself as an independent contractor in this category requires a greater deal of time and effort, but you can be sure of a lucrative payoff.
So what kinds of jobs can you expect in this category?
According to a report published on LinkedIn, here is the list of the most in-demand skills in the market right now:
- Cloud and distributed computing
- Statistical analysis and data mining
- Web architecture and development framework
- Middleware and integration software
- User interface design
- Network and interface security
- Mobile development
- UX/UI Design
- Data Presentation
- Storage systems and management
So how do you brand yourself in the above fields?
20. Develop and Refine Your Skill-Set
Since you will be working on real-time projects, you cannot work with novice skills.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are an excellent way to strengthen your knowledge on a host of subjects.
These courses are conducted by tier-1 universities, professional internet groups, and industry experts and are the most cost-effective way to gaining expertise in a particular subject as you get access to industry-best resources and training for a fraction of the cost than what is offered through others sources.
Most of them are free with a paid option for a verified certificate. For example, here are some courses that you can refer to establish yourself as a freelancer in the above fields:
You can find several useful courses on:
- Harvard Open Courses
- Khan Academy
Gaining some level of practical experience in the form of internships is recommended before you start off as a freelancer.
Accept projects/internships even in cases of low or no pay because having a good mentor in the initial phase of your career can be a really good pay-off.
Apart from the learning curve that an internship provides, there are chances of your internship transitioning into a full-time job.
Do you like crafting while listening to music under the warm sun? Are you the person who has a knack for innovating things out of nothing?
Well, in that case, you have great opportunities for earning a lot of bucks. You can pick up interesting items at flea markets or online at Craigslist, restore them, add your personal touch, and then sell them for a profit.
You can sell your creativity online by listing your crafts on various websites like Etsy and Shopify. People love buying creative stuff and can pay you well in exchange for them.
Freelancing is a great way to gain some practical experience in your interested field. As a freelancer, you can work with multiple clients at the same time.
Freelancing projects are a great way to build your portfolio and pick up on a multitude of skill sets.
You can take up a few projects for free initially, to get on your references and build work samples for your freelance portfolio.
Once the word is out about your credibility, you can set a price chart and take up projects according to it. You can find excellent freelancing projects on Fiverr, Elance, and Craigslist.
Ready to Make Money Without a Job?
The best side hustles are not limited to just making extra money. In the current skill economy, they are a great asset to help you live without a job.
In fact, you might actually find your career calling and there is a possibility of a side hustle turning into your full-time business so you can work for yourself and enjoy the freedom that it brings.
Have you tried any of these ways that teach you how to make money without a job? Tell us in the comments section below!