Nowadays, more and more people are turning to the internet to make money and I believe you should too. Whether it be a side hustle, a full-time job, or just something to do while you’re bored, the internet is bound to have something for you.
Oh, and you know the best part? You don’t have to spend a single dollar to start earning money.
Sadly, there are also a lot of scams out there and if you’re not careful, you could just as easily fall into one of their schemes.
Not to worry though. What I have here is a list of free, easy, and most importantly, legitimate ways to make money online. So, let’s get to it!
Free easy ways to make money online – Taking paid surveys
Signing up for a bunch of paid survey sites is probably one of the easiest ways to make money online. It’s also a great way to make your free time more productive.
However, while I’m positive that it makes a great side hustle, I also think there’s a paltry chance of getting rich from just completing surveys so don’t quit your day job just yet.
That being said, here are some of my favorite ones:
I consider Swagbucks as a paid survey site but in reality, it’s so much more than that.
With Swagbucks, you get to do a bunch of different activities such as discount shopping (through coupons and cashback), watch videos, play games, surfing the internet, and of course, answering surveys.
These activities will earn you points which can then be used to redeem cash or gift cards.
InboxDollars is a lot like Swagbucks. Besides answering surveys, you also get to do a lot of the same easy tasks such as shopping, watching videos, and playing games.
You do need to earn at least $30 before you can cash out though but with the number of activities you get to do, earning that much shouldn’t be hard to get especially since they have a $5 signing bonus.
With well over 9 million members, PrizeRebel is one of the most successful paid survey sites in the world.
Also, signing up for it only takes seconds and it’s also quite easy to use. Like Swagbucks, PrizeRebel uses points to reward you for answering surveys, which can then be exchanged for cash or gift cards.
Speaking of successful survey sites, Survey Junkie is 10 million members strong.
Uh-huh. Even more than PrizeRebel.
Again, you earn points for answering surveys and you use those points to redeem rewards (i.e. cash or gift cards).
While most other survey sites send you invites through email, what sets Toluna apart is that it also notifies you of available surveys through SMS.
Moreover, sometimes you don’t qualify for surveys that you were invited to–which, by the way, can happen on every single survey site, not just Toluna. With most others, that’s pretty much all you can do but here, you can also participate in polls and games. Oh, and they have a neat referral program too!
Google Opinion Rewards is an app you can download on both iOS and Android.
For answering surveys, you can get paid by either Google Play or PayPal credits. Also, you can earn rewards for major retailers for allowing Google to track your internet and TV usage.
As of the moment, these are some of my favorite paid survey sites to use but there are plenty of other legitimate sites out there where you can earn money or gift cards.
Here’s a quick list of other survey sites that I trust:
- Nielsen Digital Voice
- Harris Poll Online
- Vindale Research
- Opinion Outpost
Free ways of making money online – Being a freelancer
While answering surveys is a good way to make extra money, freelancing is something that I believe you can turn into a career. In fact, I personally know people who do freelance work for a living. Here’s the catch though:
It’s hard to calculate how much you’ll be earning on an annual basis. Heck, even your monthly earnings can vary.
Essentially, how much you make depends on how good you are at what you do (because it’s a factor on how much you can get paid) and how hard you hunt for clients and projects.
That being said, there are numerous things you can do as a freelancer. Let’s talk about some of them.
Virtual assistant (VA)
If there’s any job out there that embodies someone with a large set of skills, it’s this. I mean, the kinds of tasks a VA must potentially accomplish can’t be counted with the fingers on your hands–maybe even with your feet!
Some of these tasks include:
- Organizing emails
- Organizing schedules
- Scheduling appointments
- Managing social media
- Booking flights
- Reserving hotels
- Booking taxis or Ubers
And so much more.
Granted, a lot of the tasks are simple which is why it’s generally easy getting into the VA scene. However, some clients might need virtual assistants with a very specific set of skills like ones that involve marketing, or content creation, or pretty much anything that falls into the realm of their business.
Essentially, your job as a VA would be to help your clients grow their business by dealing with the little things while they focus on the bigger, more managerial tasks.
With new websites popping out of nowhere like an acne outbreak, freelance jobs for web developers are in high demand.
If you know how to design and code a website, trust me when I say that you won’t be running out of job opportunities any time soon.
Graphic artist/graphic designer
Despite the jobs titles often being interchanged, there’s actually a difference between graphic artists and graphic designers. I won’t bore you with the specifics but basically, graphic artists create the artwork while designers oversee it.
Regardless, there are always opportunities to showcase your artistic talent (and get paid to do it) on the freelance market.
If you can create visually appealing art, whether it be digital or physical, this is something I strongly suggest you try. A close friend of mine actually works as a graphic artist and believe me, he’s earned way more money as a freelancer than he did as an office employee.
A lot of companies, including call centers, are now reaching out to remote workers as a way of solving their budget and staffing problems. This way, they get to hire workers without having to pay for additional computers, desks, chairs, and headsets–not to mention the accompanying rise in their electricity bills.
If you have experience in customer service and the equipment required by the company, this is also something you can look at.
As a freelancer, however, some companies might require you to work certain hours. Others might not be so demanding and pay you for the number of hours you put in or for the amount of work you did.
Well, this is pretty much self-explanatory. Clients pay you to write.
Of course, your clients will likely give you guidelines to follow and you might find yourself writing better articles for niches that you have expertise in.
You can either get paid by the hour, per word, or per article.
For now, this is all I’ll say about working as a writer but, don’t worry. We’ll talk more about getting paid to write in the later parts of this article so don’t stop scrolling.
Having said that, these are just some of the more popular freelance jobs in the market but they’re not the only ones.
Other freelance jobs you might want to try:
- Mobile developer
- Marketing expert
- Accounting advisor
- ESL Teacher
- Data entry
Now, you might be wondering:
Where do I find a job as a freelancer?
Well, there’s a ton of them! But, personally, I suggest you start with these:
I’ve used UpWork, Fiverr, and Freelancer before and they’re great. Guru and PeoplePerHour, I haven’t tried yet but I’m sure they’re legit too.
Altogether, I think these places probably have bigger pools of freelance jobs compared to other websites. So, if you regularly visit them, I’m confident you’ll find clients that will hire you in no time.
Free ways to make money online – Getting paid to write
We’ve touched on getting paid to write but let’s talk more about it here.
To be a writer, some of you might think that you need a degree in writing or journalism. While majoring in those areas does create an advantage, it really isn’t a requirement.
As a matter of fact, a lot of the world’s most successful authors didn’t even graduate college and had careers as far away from writing as you can imagine.
- Charles Dickens, author of Oliver Twist, was a factory worker and lacked formal education
- Jack Kerouac, author of On The Road, dropped out of college
- William Faulkner, author of controversial novel Sanctuary, was a soldier, a college dropout, and the 1949 Nobel Prize Winner
Now, I’m not nearly as successful as those guys but I, too, had a degree and career outside of writing. Specifically, I was a physical therapist but writing is where I found my happiness and here I am living my best life because of it.
That being said, you, too, can write for a living. You can get paid to do full-time work or, as already mentioned, a freelancer. UpWork, Fiverr, and Freelancer are great places to find gigs but here are other sites you can visit with writing-specific jobs.
Cracked is all about giving people with an uncanny sense of humor the chance to write. If they like your article, you get paid.
They’re not just about writing though. They also pay artists to create funny yet informative images that can be shared on social media.
If you can write or create comedic pictures or articles, Cracked should be right up your alley.
As you might have already guessed, ACHS focuses on the health and wellness niche.
They accept guest writers who can write articles that are 600-1000 words long. Also, since you’ll be writing blog-type articles, you can use an informal tone to your work but do make sure to properly cite your sources.
StrongWhispers pays its writers to talk about all sorts of topics including nature, politics, sports, and many more.
They don’t specify how long your articles need to be though but they do pay $50 per published article. Before any of that, you do need to send them a topic you’d like to write about as well as its outline.
Once you’ve seen the website, it’ll become clear that the site and its owner are all about business. After all, they did say this as an important note:
“WE ARE A BUSINESS SITE. I do not require articles written about ANYTHING else.“
They pay you $50-150 per piece. Provided that you have expertise on anything business, this is a site you should visit.
Constant Content is sort of like UpWork, Fiverr, and Freelancer but here, the jobs are all about writing.
However, because they’re all about writing, signing up isn’t as simple as typing in your email, username, and password. Instead, you will also have to pass a quiz and submit a short sample of your work.
Once you’ve passed though, you’ll have access to numerous clients.
TextBroker is similar to Constant Content where they connect writers to clients.
For both, you don’t need any prior writing experience (although it does make things easier) and they’re both FREE.
How much money you make all depends on how much you work. If you want to do this as a side hustle, that’s fine but if you want to turn writing into a career, try these websites and start looking for clients now!
Blogging as a way to make money online
In line with writing, running your own blog can be a fun and rewarding way to make money online.
As a blogger, you are your own boss. You decide what you want to write about, when you want to write it, where you want to work, and how you will design your page.
Starting a blog can be free as well. The perks are, well… it’s free, but it’s also easy especially since there are numerous blogging platforms that are dedicated to helping people do this. Here are a few examples:
Before we discuss this further, don’t confuse WordPress.com with WordPress.org.
WordPress, the open source content management system (CMS) is a software that’s used to run a good percentage of websites from the world’s most successful companies, including CNN, eBay, Sony, UPS, just to name a few.
WordPress.org is the home of this software, while website builders such as WordPress.com (and many others) use the software as part of their own.
Now, when it comes to starting a blog for free, WordPress.com has a free plan. You get basic features, a free subdomain, and free hosting. This is great if you just want to publish content but if you want more features, you’re going to have to pay for a better plan.
Like WordPress, Blogger has a free plan that gets you a free subdomain under blogger.com and free hosting. It’s also one of the most popularly used free blog builders.
As usual, there are limitations to free blog sites but I think it’s still great particularly for start-up bloggers.
Wix is another easy to use, drag-and-drop site builder that I believe should be on your short list of options when creating a free blog.
Both hosting and domains are free and you also get hundreds of free templates to choose from.
These are just 3 of the many free blogging platforms out there but whatever you choose, you likely won’t have full control over your website. Also, because of this lack of control, there’s a good chance you might not make as much money as you thought.
By now, you might be asking…
“Why can’t I make a lot of money with blogs from free platforms?”
Well, one of the reasons why bloggers get rich is because of partnerships that pay them for affiliate marketing and ads. If you don’t have full control of your website, companies might not give you these chances regardless of how compelling you write or how big your audience.
I’m not saying free blogs are bad though. They’re great! If you’re lucky, you could find a company that’s willing to partner with you. On the other hand, even if you don’t get to cashout, you’re building your own writing portfolio anyway, making it easier to land a writing gig.
If you’re truly serious about monetizing your blog, however, I suggest you reach for your wallet and run a self-hosted website. It’s not that expensive anyway. Bluehost, for instance, makes it extremely easy and affordable. Supposing this is the path you want to take, we have a guide on how to get you started here.
Free and legit ways to make money online – GPT sites
GPT or get-paid-to sites are also options you can get into if you want free and easy money.
Basically, you get paid to do tasks that you’re probably already doing anyway–and even if you don’t, the tasks are simple enough that virtually anyone is capable of doing them.
Gifthulk offers a variety of ways for you to earn points, including:
- Using their Gifthulk search engine
- Completing surveys
- Watching videos
- Referring people
- Complete offers
The points you earn here, as usual, can be used to redeem gift cards or PayPal cash.
With TreasureTrooper, you earn cash, not points. However, you must have $20 credited to your account before you can withdraw your earnings.
Nonetheless, it’s a pretty straightforward site. First, choose an offer you want to take on. When you’re done, you wait for them to verify the task’s completion then they’ll credit the money to your account.
ClixSense is a lot like TreasureTrooper where they pay you to complete surveys, offers, and tasks.
Offers, in particular, can range from testing out new products and services, watching videos, or signing up for new websites. Tasks, on the other hand, are a set of instructions given to you by ClixSense (Ysense).
Compensation depends on how difficult or how long the tasks, offers, or surveys take to complete.
Here, you get paid to sign-up for websites, watch videos, listen to the radio, or subscribe to free trial offers.
However, do make sure to cancel your subscription for these offers before they expire or you could end up paying for them and lose more money than you earn.
Free ways to make money online – Website testing
Have you noticed how your favorite websites change from time to time? For instance, Facebook used to just have a “like” button but now, they have hearts, and laughs, and all those other reactions. Instagram used to be all about pictures as well but now, they have IG stories and IG TV.
I can go on and on but my point is that the best websites evolve to be better.
On that note, they know what changes they have to make by listening to their audience. One way they listen is through website/user testing sites.
These sites pay you to review websites. All you need is access to the internet, microphone, maybe a camera, and of course, either a phone, a tablet, or a computer. Oh, and they generally pay better than surveys too!
Here’s a list of my top preferences:
UserTesting is the first website testing site I’ve heard of and it’s been great ever since.
As a tester, you will be paid $10 for each test and $60 for a live conversation with a representative from the website you’re testing.
For tests, you only need a computer or a mobile device that meets their requirements and a microphone so your remarks can be recorded.
The test will only last for 20 minutes. You will then be asked to answer 4 follow-up questions. After which, you’ve completed your task and only need to wait for your payment.
Live conversations, on the other hand, are video conferences with the representative. It’s probably a little more intimidating but, hey, $60 is a lot of money for just sharing your opinion.
Like UserTesting, TryMyUI pays $10 for every test which lasts approximately 20 minutes, followed by a few short questions about the website.
Regardless if you’re testing from your mobile phone or from your computer, your screen and your verbal remarks will be recorded. Hence, you will need a microphone and a camera to go along with your device.
Again, each test here pays $10 for about 20 minutes of testing where your screen and your voice will be recorded.
Userfeel also gives you a task to accomplish for each site.
For example, if you’re testing a video website like Vimeo or Youtube, Userfeel might tell you to go through the process of searching for a particular vid. Throughout the process, you must say your remarks out loud, whether it be positive or negative.
Userlytics is pretty much just like all the other testing sites listed here.
You can use your computer, an android phone, or an iPhone. Your screen, voice, and maybe yourself through your camera will be recorded as you go through a website and give your remarks.
I’m sure there are a lot of other sites out there that pay you to test websites but these are my personal favorites. If you want some extra money, this makes a great side hustle.
Like surveys, however, tests are limited and you might not be able to get tests everyday. So, make sure to sign up for as many legitimate sites as you can.
Free ways of making money online – Shopping
“Wait, wait, wait. Shopping?? Aren’t I supposed to spending and not making money from shopping?”
I asked this same question the day a colleague told me I could make money shopping, and you’re probably thinking along those same lines too.
But, you know what? YES! You CAN make money shopping! The secret is cashback and receipt apps.
Obviously, they’re different but essentially, they all give you a fraction of your shopping bill back. Here’s a list of sites that I think you should try:
One of the biggest cashback sites in America, Mr. Rebates has a HUGE collection of affiliate stores that you can choose from–from auto parts, to baby clothes, to travel, and everything in between.
They offer huge cashback offers too.
Plus, they have an app and a browser extension that you can use to shop and earn a percentage of your shopping bill anywhere you go.
Extrabux has some of the highest cashback rates I’ve seen. Moreover, you can use both cashback and coupons so you can save and earn money at the same time. Oh, and they have a browser extension that tells you all about their offers too.
Their credit card isn’t just any ordinary credit card either. Whatever you buy, for as long as you use the card to buy it, you get 1% cashback. Plus, if you use the card to purchase any of their cashback offers, you get 3% cashback on top of the original deal.
RetailMeNot has cashback, coupons, and gift cards. Additionally, when you choose to buy gift cards from them, they also come with cash back so, really, you never lose.
This site also has an app and a browser extension to help you with your shopping.
What sets them apart, however, is their RxSaver feature. Basically, it compares prescription medication prices across multiple pharmacies to help you find the cheapest one. Plus, it comes with a free coupon to help you save even more money.
Ibotta is a receipt scanning app that you can download on your phone.
The way this and most other receipt apps work are simple. You go to the app, find product offers that are also on your shopping list, go to the store and shop as usual, and take a pic of your receipt. When that’s done, all you have to do is wait for the money to be reflected on your account.
Ibotta has an online shopping option too and it’s pretty much the same as any cashback site. You open the app and choose whatever it is you want to buy. Ibotta then redirects you to the retailers website where you shop as you normally would, and wait for the money. It’s really that easy.
ReceiptPal, as you might have already guessed, is a receipt scanning app similar to ibotta.
The difference is that with ReceiptPal, you get a “point card” that you need to fill with 4 different, and valid receipts. When you complete your point card, you are awarded 100 points that you can use to redeem cash. Also, each receipt you submit earns you an entry into their sweepstakes.
These are just what I commonly use but you might also want to try these:
Other sites/apps that let you earn money from shopping:
- Coupon Cactus
- Fetch Rewards Use Code 7D6YQ
If you’ve scrolled this far, I’m sure by now you realize that there are a ton of things you can do online to make money without having to spend a dime.
A lot of these things are great side hustles that’ll perfectly complement your 9-5 job. Some, you can even turn into a career. So, the next time you surf the internet and you’re thinking about making yourself some money, I guarantee these sites can help.
Also, share us with your friends so they, too, can start earning money for free!