26 Legitimate Ways to Make Money from Home

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The job market today is tough and competitive, with fewer and fewer jobs offering good wages, full-time hours, or any sort of benefits. This has led many to look for alternative ways to help pad their incomes and increase – if even just a little – their monthly income. Stay-at-home parents, retired persons, college students, and even regular folks with traditional full-time jobs are looking for ways to make some extra cash in today’s economy.

This is why working at home has long been the dream and goal of parents who stay at home with their children or people who want to pad their income on the weekends. However, the problem is that there are far too many scams that simply work to take advantage of people and relieve them of more of their hard-earned money. There are too many people who are looking to make a buck off people who are, well, looking to make a buck.

I am not saying this to discourage people from looking into work-from-home money making opportunities, but it is as a word of caution. It is better to be critical of potential opportunities and do some research to ensure you aren’t being taken for a proverbial ride, than to expend a ton of time, money, and effort, on what was just a silly scam.

As the internet becomes an even bigger and more important part of our lives, the true, legitimate opportunities to work-from-home and earn a bit of extra money, are greater now than ever before. To find the gems within the piles of rubbish, you just need a little guidance and to be pointed in the direction of the types of gigs that are actually worth pursuing.

While it is difficult and not many can do so, some have utilized freelance job sites, leveraged the multiple ways to make money online, and have successfully been able to make a career out of doing so. There is a market online for anyone from survey takers, graphic artists, accountants, writers, voice talent, programmers, cold callers, virtual assistants, and more. These can be lucrative and rewarding job opportunities that allow even people who lack the ability to get a job outside the home to find gainful employment.

What follows is a brief, yet comprehensive, list of some of the legitimate and more popular ways to earn money online. These can net you anywhere from a few bucks a month to being equivalent to a salary at a brick and mortar establishment. What you do ultimately depends on your availability, skill set, work experience, educational background, and personal interest.

1) Technical Freelancing

For the tech savvy person looking for a way to make extra money or even earn a decent income from working at home have a ton of great remote freelancing opportunities at their disposal. As so much takes place online, there is an ever-growing need for people who can create apps, troubleshoot apps and websites, add functionality or new abilities to existing sites, and more. If you have programming skills or web design skills, there are tons of freelance sites, such as Upwork, that have a ton of job postings for people with a variety of web and technical skills.

This also extends to areas like accounting, marketing, promotions, and more. For many establishments, their online presence may be their most important, or even only, means of engaging customers. This means that they need access to a pool of the most talented and qualified personnel. With freelancing, location is not a barrier to finding the best talent for the job. And with freelancing, the actual worker doesn’t have to relocate or incur travel expenses in order to pick up some extra work.

2) Creative Freelancing

If you have acting or voice talent experience, artistic skill, writing abilities, or even just really good handwriting, there are a number of ways to utilize these skills to earn some extra money. There are a decent number of people who have made a career and earn their whole living by leveraging their creating talents for freelance work opportunities. Sites like Upwork and other popular freelancing sites, are a great place to start when looking for this kind of work.

These sites have a whole wealth of varied job opportunities that utilize any number of skills. There are always people looking for voice talent for advertisement, people to design logos and other marketing materials, to write reviews, in-depth articles, and even to address business mailings with high quality calligraphy. There really are a number of different ways to leverage these talents to your advantage.

It is recommended that you stick to well known and reputable freelancing sites to ensure that you have protection against being swindled or taken advantage of. A reputable site will offer escrow services, will not require any sort of financial commitment to use the services, and will preferably also offer mediation services for the peace of mind that you will be compensated for the work you produce.

3) Paid Surveys

This is one of the most popular and well known ways to earn extra money online. There are tons of different apps and websites that will pay you to take market research surveys about a whole host of topics. There are countless legitimate websites and apps that will pay you for your information and opinion. Some of these sites pay in actual cash, others offer awards in the way of gift cards or other cash-like incentives.

You do not need any training or special skills to take part in online surveys. They range in length from brief one question surveys to in-depth surveys that can take an hour or more to complete. With most sites and apps, the compensation you get for each survey is commiserate with the amount of time it takes to complete said survey. You really could spend most of the day going around and filling out surveys on the various popular sites and many swear by this as a great way to earn a little pocket money.

4) Website Testing

Even the most well conceived and well designed website is bound to have a few glitches and flaws. This is where beta testers are so important. As a website tester it is, essentially, your job to try to break the website and ferret out flaws within the system. This is an invaluable service as it helps to prevent issues from arising after the publishing or release of the site. It allows for more troubleshooting and fixes to be done before the site goes live than trying to fix them once complaints from users start rolling in.

This means you will need to do things like try drilling down all the links. Try filling out forms and pushing the site to see where it may be lacking in usability or even where potential vulnerabilities may lie within the page, interface, or system.

5) Opportunities to Earn Gift Cards or Cash Equivalents

Some sites have a whole host of different small tasks that you can take part in – from taking surveys to basic data entry, that remunerate participants with cash equivalents like gift cards or actual products and services. Though indirect, this is still a good means of earning money from home, online. Many places “pay” people in valuable things like Amazon gift cards which can be exchanged for things of actual value.

6) Administrative Assistance

Administrative assistants perform a wide array of functions and are incredibly valuable to many types of businesses. The need for people to answer emails or phone correspondence, to set up appointments, to manage travel, to keep supplies ordered, etc., is as necessary now as ever. However, many people do not have so many needs in this area that they need to hire a dedicated in house administrative assistant. There is a growing market for people who can perform these duties remotely. These services are used by companies and even just busy people like doctors, lawyers, celebrities, politicians, and more.

7) Online Retailing

Small local business or even just at-home creative enterprises provide an opportunity for entrepreneurial endeavors. Online retailing is the way of the present and the future. More and more people do most, if not all their shopping for non-necessities online. Sites like Etsy allow creative individuals a market to ply their wares. If you are an artists, a designer, etc., you can create your own ecommerce site or utilize on the already existing services as a place to sell your products.

Most sites that are already in existence will allow you to post your products for free or for very little money and take a small part of each sale as renumeration for the already built website and large pool of already existing potential customers.

8) Ad-Supported or Monetized Blog/Website

This has been a fairly popular and good way to use your existing blog or website to earn a little extra cash on the side. Having an ad supported and monetized blog is a way of earning what is called “passive income.” This is income that you earn through no work of your own. If you are already blogging and have a decent following, related products and services will pay you to allow their ads to be placed on your website or blog.

With this type of passive income, you get a few cents for every time a visitor clicks on one of the sponsored links. Oftentimes, you will get an even bigger cut through companies like Amazon if the clicks actually result in sales.

9) Get Paid to Watch YouTube Videos or Movie Previews

There are a growing number of places that will pay you small amounts of money (or incentives like gift cards) if you watch certain videos on YouTube or even movie previews. Sites like Inbox Dollars are pioneering this new way to make money online. It isn’t a ton of money per view, but if you have a whole list of videos to watch and previews to take in, that will start to add up over time. Besides, it is a fun way to earn a little extra pocket cash and to be up-to-date on the latest Hollywood offerings.

10) Earn Cash for Trying New Apps

One of the biggest factors in whether or not an app is a success or failure is the number of downloads it has received (and conversely, the number of positive reviews the app has gotten). This gives companies the impetus to offer renumeration to people who download, run, and review their apps or games. Apps like the popular AppsLike, offer a means to earn actual money by trying out new apps, playing new games, and even watching TV shows on subscription services like Netflix or Hulu.

11) Earn Points, Cash, and Other Rewards for the Things You Already Buy

There are a variety of apps and websites, such as iBotta, which allow you to gain rewards and earn actual financial incentives for documenting the things that you buy on a daily basis. While this is not a way to quit your day job, it is a great way to earn a few bucks and why not get benefits for buying the things you need?

12) Remote Tutoring

Do you have an educational background or a background in teaching or tutoring? If so, there are quite a few potentially lucrative remote opportunities at your disposal. There is an ever-growing need for remote tutors to help students in a variety of age groups with certain concepts. Most in demand are tutors in the so-called STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and math. But there is also a need for tutors who specialize in language, grammar, reading comprehension, history, and more.

There are opportunities for tutoring of kids from grade school up through college. Many sites who offer these services have a vetting process that one must complete to ensure that you have the skills and qualifications to provide quality tutoring services. Once completed, many are able to make a decent amount of extra money by taking on a few tutoring clients on the evenings and weekends.

13) Micro Tasks from Amazon

The huge online retailer, Amazon, now has a way for individuals to earn small amounts of money in exchange for the completetion of what they call “micro tasks.” These tasks may include categorizing things, translating, finding and fixing errors, finding product numbers, sourcing images, etc. These are all small, administrative tasks that need to be performed by humans and can easily be accomplished remotely. The tasks pay from a few cents to a few bucks and allow for a flexible work environment and the ability to earn some extra cash at home.

14) Write Reviews for Products, Establishments, or Services

Product and other types of reviews are incredibly valuable to businesses, authors, and more. When searching for products and services, most of us want to know what our friends and family think of a product or service, not what the company’s marketing department worked up. Personal reviews tend to be both more objective and subjective, yet they provide the user with the information they need to make purchasing descisions.

Many companies are willing to pay decent money for people to write well thought out reviews of business establishments, products, or services. This gives you a way to get monetary gain for giving your personal opinion. Some companies will send you the actual product to test, provding yet another incentive to this opportunity.

15) Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the original legitimate ways to earn money online, along with paid surveys. Affiliate marketing is a type of marketing whereby an individual uses their blog or website to try to entice people to try third party products or services. For every person who makes a purchase, or even just clicks through to the main product site, you get a small financial reward. While small, this can really begin to add up, especially if you own or run a well known or popular website or blog. You earn money by helping purveyors sell their products and services to a more diverse array of people.

16) Online Focus Groups

This is, in some ways, and offshoot of the paid survey. Focus groups have long been an important source of demographic and other information that is invaluable to corporations and small businesses alike. This information is used to guide research, development, and production. It can also be used to help target ad and marketing campaigns and to find the best way to reach that target audience the company is trying to promote their product or service to.

There have long been brick and mortar focus groups about anything from a new flavor of cheese curl or a potential new feature on an automobile. These tend to be more like a round table discussion than just providing rote data. With online focus groups, the attendees meet in a chatroom or forum type setting and someone guides the discussion and keeps the group on task. These can be fun and it is a great way to influence future products and services, as well as earn some money on the side.

17) Correcting Search Engine Errors

Huge companies like Google and Bing, while highly professional and well staffed, are not immune to making mistakes in spelling, grammar, coding, labeling, and more. There is an opportunity for people who want to look for these errors and help these sites improve the quality of their data and search result offerings, and there are companies who are willing to pay as much as $12 an hour for you to peruse their sites and find any errors or elements that need to be fixed or otherwise corrected.

18) Online Presence for Physical Business like Pet Sitting or At-Home Daycare

Working from home does not necessarily have to be something that you do online, though you will utilize the internet as a way to attract business and clientèle. If you are at home and you have the space and ability, you can make a decent amount of money by offering local pet sitting services or even at-home daycare services for local children. You will want to contact your particular locale to ensure that you are not in violation of any rules or regulations.

Some places require permits or other forms of registration for you to legally operate a business enterprise out of your home, so it is imperative that you look into these things before diving head first into an at-home business opportunity like this.

You can easily advertise your services on sites like Craigslist, Facebook groups, and more. You can have your own website that you work to drive local traffic to through the use of SEO-based techniques in the creation of the site and content. You can gain exposure through word of mouth, online recommendations, and even online rating services like Yelp and the like.

19) Remote Transcription

Many industries, particularly the legal and medical industry, have a need for transcriptionists to digitize their handwritten or audio notes. Often times, people will take handwritten notes about a legal case, details of a sale, or concerns about a certain health condition. They may also dictate this information to a recording device. Either way, it needs to be rendered in an accessible format that is backed up for legal and documentary reasons.

Transcriptionists are people who take these notes and audio clips and type them up into note and document form. There are a ton of places that utilize these services via freelancers and there are bound to be tons of opportunities with both local, national, and international clients for this service. To be a good transcriptionist, you need a good ear, a fast mind, and excellent typing skills. This is an in-demand job field where being remote makes complete sense.

20) Sell Things Online/Online Flea Market

Most of us have closets full of clothes we don’t wear, shoes that were only worn once, old games, books, electronics, antiques, art and more. Who doesn’t have spare closets or basements that are crammed full of stuff that we never use anymore? Why not declutter your life and earn a bit of extra money in the process? People have made a decent amount of money selling their old, used, or unwanted items on sites like Etsy and eBay. It is a great way to eliminate some of the junk taking up space in your life while padding the wallet as well.

21) Sell Stock Photos

Most of us have errant snapshots lying around that we will never use or have any need to look at again. That doesn’t mean you should just toss or delete these images. There is a bigger market than ever before for what are called stock photos. These are generic or even specific photos of places, things, people, etc., that can be purchased for use in advertising content, on websites, in promotional material, in books, etc.

Sites like iStockPhoto pay actual cash for select personal shots that can be used in their library of stock photos. There are tons of sites like this and they are always looking for a huge variety of different content. Check out all these sites to find out what their current needs are and see if any of your old photos would be suitable for these needs. You can make a decent amount of cash by allowing others to utilize your imagery for their specific needs.

22) Sell Old Books and Textbooks for Cash

Anyone who went to college or who is an avid reader knows that books are expensive and do not lose their educational value once we have read them or completed the class. Especially with the case of textbooks, new materials are printed every year with few updates in actual information but with an ever-growing price tag. There are now many places online that you can sell your old textbooks and even general books. There are niche sites that specialize in first editions of books or rare copies or print runs.

Regardless of the books you have, chances are there is someone out there that would like to read or learn about it that doesn’t want to pay full price when a used option is available. There are places where you can simply sell your book for a set amount of cash, or places like Amazon and eBay that allow you to list your wares on their site and even handle the shipping and distribution. You certainly won’t get rich or even make back the money that was invested in the original books, but it is a great, easy way to get something out of old tomes and textbooks that are taking up space and gathering dust.

23) Sell Old Electronics for Cash

How many of us have outdated (or even just not the latest) phones, tablets, laptops, and other gadgets that are just taking up space and gathering dust in a drawer or closet somewhere? While it might be hard to believe, there are people and companies out there that are willing to pay cold, hard cash for items that, to you, seem outdated, or you just don’t use anymore for whatever reason. Sites like Gazelle and Swappa will pay cash for old phones (particularly iPhones which can be refurbished and resold).

24) Get Rebates for Food Shopping

With rebate apps, such as the above noted iBotta, and also apps like Checkout51, you can earn rebates, cash rewards, and more, simply by documenting what you buy at the grocery store. All you have to do to earn credit and rebates is to take a picture of your grocery receipt with your phone and submit it to the app.

This is a great way to leverage your need for groceries in a way that works for you. These apps work with a variety of major retailers, like Walmart and Target, making it simple for people across the country to take advantage of this great opportunity.

25) Remote Editing Jobs

Today, there are more ways to get published than ever before. There is an ever-growing mound of online content and information and it is not necessarily written by people who have the best English and grammar skills. There are always companies and individuals who are looking for qualified editors to remotely edit or proofread website content, article submissions, or even full-length works of fiction or non-fiction.

For those with a proven knack for this skill can find a whole wealth of potential freelance opportunities on sites like Upwork and other general freelancing websites. These can be one-off gigs, or can even turn into long-term contract jobs. There is flexibility depending on your needs and this is a growing market.

26) Earn Cash By Losing Weight

Believe it or not, there are apps and websites that provide monetary incentive for people to lose weight and get healthier. This makes it a great way to get in shape and earn a bit of money on the side. This is a relatively new concept, but given the preponderance of overweight or obese people in the world, things like this could actually end up being a public health service in addition to a way for individuals to get in shape and earn a few bucks.

The options that are described above are, by no means, the only ways one can make money from home or online. The list just includes the most popular and lucrative of the legitimate opportunities out there. With a bit of research, you can easily leverage your free time, skills, and even old stuff to make a bit of extra cash here and there.

There are nearly limitless opportunities and there is something that is suitable for people with pretty much any type of skill set. Whether taking online surveys for a bit of extra cash, selling those old gadgets taking up closet space, or working as a freelance writer, programmer, or administrative assistant, there truly are a whole world of options for making money from home.

By keeping in mind the things discussed here, and using this guide as a starting point, you are well on your way to earning extra money in your spare time or even carving out a new, remote career for yourself in this burgeoning virtual world. Be sure to use your common sense, critical thinking skills, and always do research. Being vigilant with these things helps to ensure that you aren’t taken for a proverbial ride and that any work you might do is legitimate and what it purports to be.

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