The sting of inflation may have you pondering how to make some extra income. If you have the time and energy, you can put your skills and passions to work with a side hustle.
NerdWallet rounded up 25 real ways to make money at home, online or out and about. For each potential side job, we list details like what it takes to get started, age requirements and how fast you can get paid. While most people want to make money fast, don’t discount the “slow” gigs, as they may pay more in the long run.
How to make money online
Making money online is the sweet spot people look for in the gig economy. Whether you aspire to be a six-figure social media influencer, or are just looking to supplement your regular income with some online side jobs, we’ve found some viable options.
1. Pick up freelance work online
Make money online through websites such as Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer.com. These sites offer opportunities to do a variety of freelance jobs, such as writing, programming, design, marketing, data entry and being a virtual assistant. Fluent in a second language? Check sites such as Gengo or Blend Express, or drum up business through a site of your own. No matter what freelancing you do, keep track of the going rate for the kind of work you provide so you know what to charge. Learn how to get started on Upwork.
A recent report from Freelancer.com found that creative writing jobs had the fastest growth in listings on its site in the second quarter of 2023, up 58%. And although generative artificial intelligence (AI) is being used more for content creation, it can’t fully do the work of human writers. Companies are looking for writers who know how to edit AI content and who have at least a basic understanding of search engine optimization — learning or beefing up SEO skills could be a lucrative side hustle. Some freelancers are charging $100 an hour or more for their freelance writing services.
Total time: It can take a while to get your first gig. Setup: 24-48 hours. How easy to start: Easy, if you have the expertise. How fast you’ll get paid: Varies by site.
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2. Test websites and apps
Another way to make money from home is on sites like UserTesting.com. You get paid for your thoughts on how well — or not so well — certain websites and apps work. You’ll have to complete a short test to be accepted, then you’ll be paid depending on the test type.
Total time: Approval time can vary. Setup: Less than an hour. How easy to start: Easy, if you have the tech gear and complete a sample test. Age threshold: 18+. How fast you’ll get paid: Seven days.
3. Learn to use AI tools
The use of generative artificial intelligence is on the rise. A recent report from PwC estimates that the North American economy will see a $3.7 trillion impact by 2030, thanks to the AI market.
So there’s no better time to learn how to make money by using AI tools. Some AI-related side hustles include:
- Integrating AI tools as a freelancer, to help you create digital products or to edit AI content for a client.
- Improving your advertising, marketing efforts and management of your existing small business.
- Teaching others to use AI tools.
Total time: Depends on demand. Setup: Around 24-48 hours if using a site like Upwork or Freelancer.com. How easy to start: If you’re already familiar with AI tools, it will be easier to get started. Age threshold: 16+ for Freelancer.com and 18 for Upwork. How fast you’ll get paid: Varies by client or the number of products you sell and your chosen platform.
4. Take surveys for money
You can make money from home by taking online surveys, but don’t expect to earn a lot. Survey sites don’t typically offer a big payoff, and many sites are more useful for earning gift cards than cash. Some of the more popular survey sites include Swag bucks and Survey Junkie. Read our analysis of survey sites to find out which one is best suited for you.
Total time: It will take a while. Setup: Just minutes. How easy to start: Very. Just register and begin. Age threshold: 13 to 18+. How fast you’ll get paid: Varies by site.