Looking for ways to make extra money at home? Whether you’re a student, caregiver, or just have some free time, you can earn additional income by pursuing an online gig from home. Think about your current skill set and experiences and how you can monetize them.
As an independent professional, you can choose the hours that you’re available. Work when you can and say yes to projects that are convenient for you. Once you start building your reputation and client list, you may even be able to turn one of these side hustles into your full-time job.
If you’re looking for ways to make extra money, here are some ideas that you can start right now:
Start a blog
Take part in surveys
Test websites and apps
Become a private tutor
Become a virtual assistant
Help brands with their marketing
Become a copywriter
Work as a data entry specialist
Launch an online business
1. Start a blog
Successful bloggers choose a niche and create content around this specific theme. Ideally, you can position yourself as an expert on the topic and write helpful blog articles that rank high in search engines. Think about what’s trending and the subjects you know a lot about and that interest you.
On your blog, you could write mostly articles like recipes and product reviews or branch out into different types of content with videos and pictures. You can promote your blog on social media channels like Instagram or Youtube to help grow your audience.
What do you need to start a blog?
All you need to start a blog is a platform and engaging content. What’s great about blogging is that once you have a website, the main cost is the time it takes you to create content. Blogging can become a fun hobby and creative outlet that can earn you additional income over time.
If you need help setting up your website, you can shop Project CatalogTM and find an independent professional to build your blog, working within your budget.
How do blogs make money?
As a blogger, if you can get enough traffic to your website, you can earn money as an affiliate partner or advertiser. Affiliate partners get a commission, either a flat fee or a percentage, for each sale they make.
Let’s say you have a blog about fitness. A yoga company may want to work with you as an affiliate to promote its equipment. You could make a 10% commission on every sale from your blog’s link (or personal code).
Advertising platforms like Google AdSense look for websites with lots of traffic to advertise on. You could work with Google AdSense and get paid a set amount (often a few cents per click) for hosting an ad. This can quickly add up if you have thousands of users daily or weekly on your blog.
2. Take part in surveys
Companies looking for honest feedback create surveys for market research. The responses from a survey may decide what product to launch next or what brand tagline to go with. Survey conductors want the most high-quality participants they can get to make the data more accurate.
If you fall into the survey’s target demographic, they may pay you to take their survey from home. Some surveys may be short, just a few multiple-choice questions, while others are longer and require written answers.
What do you need to start taking part in surveys?
Being a survey participant requires that you meet the survey’s audience requirements. The survey may have specific criteria for eligibility. You typically don’t need any special skills or training to take surveys.
How much can you make taking surveys?
Many survey sites pay participants in points that you can turn into a gift card at your favorite store, a general Visa gift card, or load into your PayPal. Two popular sites for participating in surveys are MyPoints and Swagbucks.
When you complete surveys on MyPoints, you earn points. Each point is worth about $0.06. Most surveys are between 50-100 points, which equals $3-$6 per survey.
Swagbuck participants earn Swagbucks (SB). Every 100 SB equals a dollar. Most surveys pay between $0.05-$2.50.
You can also find survey jobs on Upwork; some are longer and more involved and can pay $5 or $10 per survey.
3. Test websites and apps
Before releasing a new website or app to the public, companies hire beta testers. As a tester, you explore the website, app, or even a video game to make sure it’s ready for release. The company may ask that you document any bugs you encounter and give feedback at the end. Testing apps, websites, and games can be a fun side gig for tech-savvy people.
Beta testing can have different levels of involvement. An app company may need testers just to download their new app and test the login process. Before releasing a video game, a gaming company may want experienced testers to spend hours playing the game and documenting bugs, errors, and what they like and dislike.
What do you need to become a web or app tester?
All you need to become a tester is the right hardware and software. Know what computer and phone you have, and make sure to have the latest software updates. App, game, and web testers typically want to test their software across various devices, from iOS to Android and PC to Mac.
How much do beta testers make?
Testing an app or website pays, on average, $5-25/hr on Upwork.
See what mobile app and game testing jobs are available right now on Upwork.
4. Become a private tutor
If you’re knowledgeable in a specific subject, you can earn extra income as a private tutor. Consider what you feel comfortable teaching someone else. It could be a school subject like algebra, a test like the SAT, or even a specific software like Photoshop. Working as a tutor is a great gig for college students, helping to reinforce your understanding of the material while teaching others.
Tutoring is typically a job you can do outside of a 9-5 routine or even on the weekends from home. As a private tutor, you could provide a weekly ongoing service to a student struggling with a specific subject or one-time prep for a test. Parents often hire tutors to help with homework and test preparation.
What do you need to become a tutor?
Tutors should be subject matter experts and be able to communicate and explain ideas. A degree in the subject is a bonus, but not always necessary, if you can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. You can get certified by the Association of Coaching and Tutoring Profession or the National Tutoring Association.
How much do tutors make?
Online tutors make, on average, $20-45/hr on Upwork, but it depends on experience and specific subject matter.5. Consider freelancing
In 2022, 39% of the workforce had freelanced in the past year, according to an Upwork study. Freelancing has become a popular alternative to being a 9-5 employee. As a freelancer, you get to work from home and set your schedule based on what projects and clients you say yes to.
Clients on Upwork look for freelancers with a variety of talents. The most successful freelancers choose a niche and then work to build their reputation, positioning themselves as experts. Think about your skills and how you can market them to clients.
How do you become a freelancer?
If you want to start freelancing, all you need to do is create your Upwork profile and portfolio. Browse open jobs on the Talent MarketplaceTM and submit proposals to the ones that interest you. A client who likes your proposal can invite you to interview for the job. You could also create fixed-price prescoped services in Project CatalogTM to offer clients.
How much do freelancers make?
As a freelancer, you get to set your rate and choose which projects to submit proposals to. What you make as a freelancer depends on a variety of factors like your niche, years of experience, and specific skill set. Head to our Hourly Rates Guide to check out the average for different categories and skills.
See what freelance jobs clients are posting on Upwork right now.
6. Become a virtual assistant
Businesses and organizations across different industries hire virtual assistants to help with administrative tasks. As a virtual assistant, you can gain experience working in a corporate environment and grow your skills in areas like human resources and marketing.
Becoming a virtual assistant is a great side hustle for steady work. These jobs are often part-time and needed on an ongoing basis.
Virtual assistant tasks may include
Managing personal schedule
Responding to and organizing emails
Taking meeting notes
Posting on social media
What do you need to become a virtual assistant?
If you want to specialize in a type of virtual assistance like social media or bookkeeping, you may need to take courses and earn certificates. Working as a virtual assistant is typically an entry-level position that you can do with basic computer skills and learn on the job. As you build your virtual assistant skills, you can offer more services to your clients.
How much do virtual assistants make?
Virtual assistants on Upwork make, on average, $18-35/hour depending on skills and experience.
See what virtual assistant jobs are available on Upwork right now.
7. Help brands with their marketing
Marketing is an in-demand job you can do from home, even full time, if you work on developing your skills and building your reputation. Brands hire independent professionals to help with digital marketing–how they reach their customers online.
Each brand may have a different marketing strategy, depending on its goals. One brand may focus on sales, needing marketing campaigns that convert or generate leads. Another brand may want to grow awareness, letting customers know who they are and what they do through messaging and content.
Marketing is a broad term, and while you could find a full-time job as a marketing manager, you can also freelance as a digital marketer and specialize in something more specific to make money on the side.
Different areas of in-demand marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM)
What do you need to start working in marketing?
While you can earn a degree in marketing or advertising, it’s not always necessary. If you want to work in marketing on the side to earn money, you can get relevant certificates and start gaining experience and building your portfolio.
How much do marketers make?
What you can earn working in marketing depends heavily on your skills, experience, and niche. On average, marketers on Upwork make $25–45/hr.
See what marketing jobs clients are posting on Upwork right now.
8. Become a copywriter
If you’re a talented writer, you may be able to make money on the side as a copywriter. Brands and organizations need writers that sell and persuade through copy. Compared to other types of writing, like content writing, copywriters typically focus on sales-driven copy with clear calls to action (CTAs).
The main focus areas for copywriting are brand, social media, and advertising. You could find yourself writing social media captions, ad copy, or an SEO landing page. Companies use copywriters across their organizations to help create the content they need.
What do you need to become a copywriter?
If you want to find work as a copywriter, you should have strong writing and editing skills. You may have limited characters or space to create copy that drives action. Your final copy should be free of errors and always be on-brand, following the brief or directions from your client. Copywriters should have knowledge of best practices for social media, ads, and SEO content.
How much do copywriters make?
Copywriters on Upwork make, on average, $19-45/hr.
See what copywriting jobs are available on Upwork right now.
9. Work as a data entry specialist
Companies need help managing and organizing their data. As a data entry clerk or specialist, you work with spreadsheets or databases, adding data and checking for accuracy. Clients in various industries hire data entry specialists to input customer data, checking for any inconsistencies and running reports as needed.
What do you need to work as a data entry specialist?
A data entry specialist is a skills-driven job that typically does not need a degree or specific certifications. As a data entry specialist, you should demonstrate excellent attention to detail, fast and accurate typing speed, and comfort working with spreadsheets, text documents, and new database software if needed.
How much can you make working in data entry?
Data entry specialists on Upwork make, on average, $10-20/hr.
See what data entry jobs clients on Upwork are posting right now.
10. Launch an online business
Do you have any crafts or hobbies you could make extra money on? Launching a business and selling products or services to customers and clients can be a great way to earn supplemental income. You could have an e-commerce site and sell products or offer an online service like travel planning.
Once you have an idea, you’ll need to figure out what platform you’ll use to sell your goods or services. You can build your own business website or use an e-commerce site like Etsy for marketing and selling goods. If you want to offer services directly to clients, create a profile on Upwork and bid on projects that fit your skills.
What do you need to start an online business?
All you need is an idea and a business plan. First, figure out what goods or services you want to sell. After that, you need to decide where to sell it, whether using a business website or a marketplace like Etsy or Upwork. Once you have your business model, it’s about marketing and getting clients.
How much can you make with an online business?
The amount of money you can make depends on what your business is. If you sell a product, you need to calculate what your profit is (how much it costs to produce minus how much you sell it for). When selling a service, if you don’t charge hourly, divide the total price by how long it took you to complete the work to see your hourly earnings.
Earn extra money from home with Upwork
Upwork is the world’s work marketplace, where clients from around the world go to find the help they need from independent professionals. Once you create your profile, you can start bidding on jobs in Talent Marketplace that fit your current skill set. Every job you get helps build your reputation, earning more client feedback. As an independent professional, you choose what jobs to bid on and interview for. You can make extra money at home, working the hours and projects that are the best fit for you.