How You Can Make Extra Cash Online

Photographed by Rachel Cabitt.
These days, it feels like everyone is trying to find ways to earn extra money on the side.
Some of that is out of necessity: You might be underpaid at your job, or simply need more money to make the ends meet. Maybe you want to pay off outstanding debt or loans faster; or you're saving up for a big (costly) event, like a wedding; or maybe you just want to build a fun fund for travel.
There are lots of ways to grow your income with side hustles that requires you to leave home. However, if you need to or want to earn some extra money from home, the following online jobs and tasks might be right for you.
Advertisement
1 of 9

Join A Focus Group

Get paid to have thoughts? Sure!

As the FocusGroup.com homepage explains, companies need people to "test new products, taste new snacks and beverages, watch new TV shows, take online survey, and more." After you sign up, the site sends invitations to focus groups you might be a fit for. 20|20 Panel is another option.

You won't be able to take advantage of every opportunity from these companies. For example, if a company wants to know how straight men between ages 18-44 feel about an up-and-coming yogurt, but you don't meet any of those criteria, you could be passed over. But if you're the right demographic, you could start earning money just for being honest.
2 of 9

Get Multilingual

One of the best things about speaking another language is the ability to meet and communicate with other people in a deeper way. Being multilingual can also pay off if you share that skill with others.

Look through Upwork to find requests for translation services. Those seeking freelancers will likely want someone who is a native speaker, and can understand the nuances of a language and any turns of phrase — so don't go this route unless you have a truly thorough knowledge of that language. Sometimes, being in a different timezone can increase your chances for these kinds of gigs: If you're awake when they're asleep, you could have the file ready for them the next day, seemingly without skipping a beat.
Advertisement
3 of 9

Become A Transcriptionist

Translation services and transcription work often go hand-in-hand — but if you've got fast fingers and a good ear, just focus on the language you know.

Transcription work is a tremendously popular option on Upwork. Listening and then typing might seem unbelievably simple, but there is some nuance. There's no use sending someone a file that's woefully inaccurate or that takes ages to complete. Plus, some knowledge of certain specialized fields may be necessary to assure that accuracy. For example, people in engineering and architecture to accounting and medicine ask for transcription services on Upwork, so you might be able to use your knowledge of certain fields to command a higher rate.
4 of 9

Rent Your Parking Space

Finding a place to park can be a nightmare in some places, and not everyone wants, or can afford, to use a parking garage.

If you're lucky enough to own your own spot, you might as well make the deal even sweeter and help others at the same time. As Forbes reports, renting out your space through an app while you're out of town is a side-hustle that requires minimals levels of effort. Try one of the options they suggest (ParkingSpotter is nationwide), and set up a secure method of receiving payment. You'll have to pay a 20% commission to use Spot, which is currently available in eight major U.S. cities. But, if you're paying a monthly rate for (or own) your space anyway, earning some of that back is a plus.
5 of 9

Get Into Data Entry

Calling all detail-oriented side hustlers!

Several reputable sites, including Upwork and Indeed list jobs from companies and organizations looking for remote data entry workers. You might need to help develop a Powerpoint presentation, do bookkeeping and accounting, or assemble sales lists. The specifics of the job will depend on the task.

If you're new to this kind of work (and securing it this way), browse the website to see what people who are seeking jobs are asking for. Get a handle on what your rates should be based on those figures.
6 of 9

Sell Your Stuff

Selling your unwanted belongings online isn't a new way to earn money, but it can definitely work and there are lots of options these days.

There's eBay, of course, which I'm a fan of when it comes to selling aged electronics. Using ThredUp is understandably critiqued, because the returns can be so small. For example, I recently sent in a big bag of clothes that netted just $0.70 — an amount I can't even using the Visa Prepaid Card option (which has a $1 minimum), and isn't worth subjecting to the 2% PayPal transfer fee. Still, I swear by the convenience of the site for cleaning house.

You might have better luck getting top-dollar online if you have higher-end items. The RealReal, a leading digital consignment company, will vet your goods for authenticity and quality before putting it on their market. Check out this guide to selling there.

If all else fails, sell your gift cards. You can get as much as 92% of the value back using certain websites.
7 of 9

Extend Your Office Hours

Teachers have a wealth of knowledge that can earn them dividends even after-hours. If you're an educator, and you have the time to spare (a sometimes difficult caveat in this profession), consider extending your teaching hours online.

The rise of MOOCs, from new education companies as well as more established universities, has created opportunities for people to continue their education outside of a traditional school setting. As a result, educators across the age spectrum can put their knowledge to use.

For example, The Spruce suggests looking for online tutoring and test prep gigs for elementary, middle, and high school teachers. Those in higher education who have more experience working with adults might be interested in teaching online ESL courses, or test prep for advanced degrees, such as the GRE, GMAT, and LSAT.
8 of 9

Build A Passive Income Revenue Stream

A more time-intensive option for people interested in building out a bigger, more lucrative business over time is starting a passive income revenue stream. Teachers with great, shareable materials could provide that work to others on a regular basis. Or, if you have the time and inclination to create a niche e-book, you might sell it online and watch your royalties come in every now and then.

Passive income usually requires some initial investment of time, so it's not money you earn from nothing. Once the first phase is over, though, you could see a new, regular stream of revenue.
9 of 9

Make Web Searches Better

If you're used to aimlessly browsing the internet for hours, refreshing Instagram and Snapchat every five minutes and searching embarrassing questions, this might be the job for you.

Making search engines useful takes work. Ideally, when you Google something, you get the best, most accurate result that delivers what you're looking for, but that isn't always the case. To clean up those digital finds, some companies hire search engine evaluators to improve users' search results.

Steve Gillman at The Penny Hoarder explains that there are often qualifying tests you'll have to complete before you get hired as an independent contractor. "They aren’t too difficult," he says, "but they can take a couple hours and you won’t be paid for this time. Some companies also interview you by phone."

If you make the cut, you could earn $12 to $15 per hour to work. Check out The Spruce for more information, or read through Gillman's recommendations for legit places to start, including Leapforce, Lionbridge, and Appen Butler Hill.
Advertisement