There are a lot of great ways to make money online, regardless of whether you’re looking for a side hustle or a full-time income.
Some of the best options require you to invest money in order to get started. In many cases, these are the opportunities that involve building a business and ultimately give you the potential for a high income.
The amount of money that you’ll need to invest can vary. You can start a blog for less than $100, but if you’re starting an ecommerce site or creating a private label brand to sell products on Amazon, you might need a few thousand dollars, or more, for your initial inventory.
But if you’re looking to start making money online and you have nothing to invest, don’t worry. There are some options to earn money online without paying anything, and in this article, we’ll look at many of the best possibilities.
The opportunities covered in this article are broken down into 3 different categories:
- Online tasks. These are great if you’re just looking to make a little extra money. They’re easy and extremely flexible, but it’s not going to turn into a full-time income.
- Start a business. There are some types of online businesses that you can start with zero investment. All of these options can be done part-time, but they also give you the potential to become a full-time income in the future.
- Work for someone else. You would work either as an employee or a contract worker for these opportunities. They can be done part-time, and some also could be full-time.
→ Related reading: 150+ Side Hustle Ideas to Make Money in Your Spare Time
If you’re looking for a flexible way to make some extra money in your spare time, these can be great options. To be clear, you’re not going to get rich with the options listed in this section, but they can be a good fit in the right situation. They offer complete flexibility to work when you want, and you can start making money very quickly.
You can also combine these options and do several of them to have the opportunity to increase your overall income. If you’re looking to make money online without paying anything, these options can be great starting points.
1. Take Online Surveys
One of the most popular side hustles is to take paid online surveys. There are a number of websites and apps that offer surveys (see this list of our favorite survey websites) and getting started is easy.
The flexibility is definitely one of the major perks of taking surveys for money. You have complete flexibility with your schedule, and you can even take a survey when you have just a short amount of time to spare (some take only a few minutes). Some people even take surveys while they’re watching TV.
Aside from the flexibility, another perk is that anyone can do it. You don’t need any specific skills or experience.
Some survey websites also offer several other ways to make money, like watching videos, playing games, installing apps.
If you want to maximize your income from surveys, the best approach is to join a few different sites. Each site will be limited in terms of the number of surveys that are available to you, so using a few different sites will increase the number of surveys that you’re able to take.
Some of our favorite survey websites and apps are:
- Swagbucks ($5 signup bonus)
- MyPoints ($10 signup bonus)
- Survey Junkie
- Vindale Research ($1 signup bonus)
- InboxDollars ($5 signup bonus)
How to Get Started with Online Surveys:
Getting started is easy. You can sign up and start earning money in the same day.
- Create a new email address with Gmail (or some other free service) to use for the survey sites.
- Signup at the survey sites listed above.
- Complete the initial profile or intro survey so they have some basic information about you (to find the surveys that you are eligible for).
- Start taking surveys. Each one will list the amount that you can earn and the time needed for the survey, so start with the ones that offer the best rate per hour.
There are several different websites that allow you to earn money by completing small tasks. This can include things like moderating content, basic research, categorizing data, and more. The tasks are simple and quick. You’ll get paid a small amount for each task and you’ll be able to complete a large volume of tasks.
Just like online surveys, microtasks are not the highest-paying side hustle, but the work is extremely flexible. You can sign up for a few different tasking websites and work as much or as little as you want. You can work a few hours in chunks, or just a few minutes whenever you have some spare time.
Some of the leading websites for microtasks are:
If you decide to use microtasks as a way to make money, be sure to track the amount that you are earning per hour. Some of the tasks won’t be worth your time, so try to take the best tasks and leave the ones that don’t pay enough to justify your time.
How to Get Started with Microtasks:
- Create an account at the websites listed above.
- Check the available tasks to see how much they pay and how long they will take.
- Perform the tasks that seem to be worth your time, and track your hourly wage.
3. Test Websites
Another flexible side hustle is to get paid to test websites and apps. Of course, companies need to get user feedback related to their designs and the functionality of their sites and apps, and some are willing to pay people to provide that feedback.
There are several different websites where you can sign up to be a tester. Some of the best ones include:
The amount of money that you make will depend on several factors, but in general, you’ll earn between $10 – $60 per test. The tests will often involve recording audio or video while you’re using the site or app.
The only downside to this side hustle is that the opportunities are somewhat limited. It’s become a popular way to make money online, so there are more testers than opportunities at times. If you sign up with several different websites, you can get notifications when new tests are available, but it’s not something that you can do on a large scale.
To learn more, please see our article How to Get Paid to Test Websites.
How to Get Started as a Website Tester:
- Signup as a tester at the websites listed above.
- Make sure that you have the needed equipment. Typically, you’ll need a computer with an internet connection, a webcam, and a mic. Most laptops will be sufficient.
- Take the initial test to qualify and be eligible for paid gigs.
- Check the testing opportunities that are available and follow the directions.
Another highly-flexible side hustle that just about anyone can do is to conduct research. The research opportunities that are available vary from simple tasks like finding and verifying addresses to much more detailed and thorough professional research.
Because the opportunities vary, the pay and other details surrounding the work will also vary. But in general, it’s very flexible work that can be done from home (or anywhere with an internet connection).
Some sites that offer work for researchers include:
How to Get Started as a Researcher:
- Apply to work as a researcher at the sites listed above.
- Once you’re approved, check the available opportunities and follow the directions (the tasks will vary).
5. Play Games
Like all of the other options listed in this section, p