For a lot of us, college is a period of pinching pennies. Yes, you can get to be a bartender or dog walker, but with your hectic schedule, the list we have below will give you a much easier time. If you’re looking for extra cash, here’s a list of 21 ways to make money online for a college student.
Testing websites, answering surveys, and getting into dropshipping are only a few of the easy ways for college students to make money online.
What are the best jobs for college students?
Did you know that a lot of undergraduates are working more than 20 hours per week? A lot of college students work as baristas, nannies, and dog walkers. Unfortunately, even if these jobs are only part-time, they can still be overwhelming when you have deadlines at school and to be fair you will still struggle to make ends meet.
Fortunately, there are many ways to make money online that will give you flexibility —and even higher earning potential. 💸💸💸
How to make money online as a college student
It is important to pick a job that is within your interests. After all, it’s easier to do a job that you enjoy! So go ahead and take your pick from our list below! 👇
1. Website tester 🌐
Job description: You will help companies discover common problems their users may experience with their site.
How much you can make testing websites: $5 - $1,500/ test
Companies need to test websites and mobile apps before and after they go live. If you are interested in testing sites and apps, you can try the following websites:
Most of these platforms pay on review. This means you can work on your preferred schedule.
Tip: For most sites, tests have certain qualifications. To earn more apply for as many tests as you can. As you may not qualify for all the tests you applied for.
2. Social Media Manager 📱
Job description: You will likely manage and grow a business's online presence.
How much you can make as a social media manager:
In this day and age, online presence is key to success. As a social media manager, you will develop strategies, produce good content, and analyze usage data. You are also likely to facilitate customer service and manage projects and campaigns.
You can find jobs as a social media manager on the following platforms:
You can approach any small business that you know and offer your services. You can also advertise your services on your own social media account. This makes a lot of sense since you’ll be able to showcase your skills to interested people.
Tip: To get a better chance of getting hired, you need to create an impressive portfolio. Start with a short blurb about yourself, your niche, and of course a standout but professional picture.
3. Textbook flipper 📚
Job description: You will be finding textbooks that can be valuable for students like yourself.
How much you can make flipping textbooks: $100+/month
Instead of just throwing books out or leaving them in a cupboard to collect dust, why not sell them to incoming freshmen or lower years?
Flipping is making a profit from selling any item you got for a lower price or sometimes for free.
Tip: Make sure to inspect the books first before posting them online. Be honest with any damages or better fix them if possible and then resell them at a higher price. Just make sure it’s still lower than the price at your campus bookstore!
4. Song Reviewer 🎵
Job description: You will listen to and sometimes review songs on a site or app.
How much you can make listening to songs: up to $600/year
If you like music, you might enjoy getting paid while listening to it. Take Slice The Pie, for example, you get paid for giving feedback on different songs from various performers.
You’re helping them out on their research about how well the song is doing in the public. On average you get paid 10 cents for reviews going from ¢2 - ¢20. You’ll receive compensation via PayPal.
The Current app, on the other hand, uses a reward and points system. Some users claim to get so little but with the new update, some users claim it is possible to earn $600 a year.
It is available for both Android and iOS users. Just make sure your phone can handle this app because mine was kind of struggling when I installed it. It’s a lock screen music player so you can actually listen to songs while doing other things.
You can also try the following sites:
Note: This is best if you don’t have much free time but want some extra cash and want to earn while enjoying new music.
5. Graphic Designer 🎨
Job description: You will create designs such as logos for websites and businesses.
How much you can make as a graphic designer: $25-$50/hour
Different businesses need eye-catching graphics for everything including business cards, logos, social media images, and even packaging. This is where a graphic designer comes in.
You don’t have to be a badass at Photoshop to be a graphic designer (although it will help for sure). In fact, you can use a free web design tool like Canva to create beautiful and unique designs for your clients.
Canva has a free design school with tons of courses that allow you to master this powerful platform and use its superpower to the full extent. You can learn from scratch even if you haven't designed anything in the past!
You can post your services on websites like Fiverr by “creating a gig.”
Here are other websites you can go to:
Tip: Prepare a portfolio to show to clients. This will give you a better shot at getting hired. You can easily create a portfolio on Canva too!
6. Blogger 👩💻
Job description: You will write engaging content to promote your website or page. Make money through affiliate marketing or promoting a business.
How much you can make as a blogger: up to $1,000/month
Blogging is a pretty lucrative but low-cost business opportunity. It not only has the potential for passive income but also helps you generate thousands of dollars every month.
You can make money by promoting brands and their products. You can also earn through writing sponsored posts and affiliate marketing.
If you choose affiliate marketing, you can sign up for Amazon or Commission Junction as an affiliate. After that, you can write articles where you can insert affiliate links and earn a commission every time someone buys a product or service through your link.
To learn SEO, Brian Dean from Baclinko has compiled everything you need to know about in this comprehensive guide.
Definitive Guide to SEO in 2022
Tip: Learn about SEO to get more internet users to your website. Find a niche to blog about and write about it regularly. You get a better chance of attracting a loyal audience when you stick to a specific niche. You can write about:
SEO means “Search Engine Optimization” which is the process of obtaining traffic from search engine results that are free, organic, editorial, or natural. It aims to boost your website's ranking on search engine results pages. The higher the website ranks in the search results, the more people will see it.
7. Freelance writer ✍️
Job description: You will provide writing services to different clients and often write in a variety of genres, writing about any topic a client assigns.
How much you can make as a freelance writer: Average $5578/month
A good place to start looking for freelance writing work is on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. Find gigs according to your interests, skills, or knowledge and apply for any freelance job.
There are many free resources from where you can learn writing and make some real money if you have a knack for advertising.
Copywriters can make anywhere from $25 per hour to more than $200 per hour!
Yes, you heard it right!
Tip: To be a better freelance writer, you need to learn the basics of SEO. Make an effort to read about it and how to apply it in your writing. Proofread and self-edit your work with the help of apps like Grammarly and Hemingway app.
8. Vlogger 📹
Job description: You will create content to drive viewers to your page or account.
How much you can make as a vlogger: $5/1000 views
You can make money through basic ads, sponsored videos, affiliate marketing as well as selling merchandise.
There are vast choices of concepts and niches for you when you decide to pursue vlogging. Make sure to conduct your research about trending topics. You can check this on Google Trends, Semrush, Ahrefs and more.
Tip: Like blogging, you need to pick a niche to attract a loyal audience and post content regularly. You should also research trends to know what kind of content people will eat up.
9. Translator 🗣️
Job description: You will provide accurate translation for machine-translated articles, documents, or communication.
How much you can make as a translator: $19.67/hour
There’s a plethora of websites where you can sign up to be a translator. One of them is Unbabel where you are expected to refine machine-translated texts. Check out the steps for applying below.
You can also find job listings on Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer. Many of these sites don’t ask for formal qualifications. However, clients might ask for a sample translation so they can check your proficiency.
10. Answer surveys 📊
Job description: You will help companies discover common problems their customer may experience with their products and services.
How much you can make answering surveys: ¢240-$2/survey
Online surveys are an excellent way to supplement your income as an undergrad. Companies like Swagbucks allow you to answer a number of surveys per day.
They will pay you anywhere from a few cents to $5 for longer surveys. Depending on your availability, you could sign up for several sites and earn some extra cash simply by answering questions honestly.
Lifepoints will pay you through gift cards and will even give you 10 Lifepoints just for signing up.
Here are more websites that offer this kind of job:
Tip: Most survey sites limit the number of surveys you can participate in. I recommend that you sign up for multiple sites to keep your income going.
11. Virtual assistant 💻
Job description: You will provide clients/businesses assistance with day-to-day tasks or whatever task they need help with.
How much you can make being a virtual assistant: $15 to $22/hour
Virtual assistants (VAs) are hired by businesses that pick to outsource tasks. Tasks like bookkeeping, data entry, or customer services are usually outsourced because they don’t have to be done in-house.
The rate you can charge as a virtual assistant will depend on your skillset and experience. Specialized skills like managing Facebook ads or email marketing can be worth a premium rate.
You can create your profile at the following websites and start biding at the new job postings in which you are interested.
Tip: Start working as a virtual assistant by making a list of services you can offer; then create profiles on different platforms to get the word out about your offerings.
12. Resume writer 📁
Job description: You will help job seekers create attractive and engaging resumes that will get them noticed.
How much you can make as a resume writer: $50-$75/resume
If you’re good at transforming a person’s work history into a resume that stands out, then why not make good money by helping your friends write theirs? If they have used an online template or have a solid resume, you can offer resume proofreading services to make sure it’s not only error-free but an HR’s first choice.
You can post about your availability or find jobs at these websites:
13. Online Tutor 👩🏫
Job description: You will help learners with subjects they have difficulty in or when they want to prepare for upcoming exams.
How much you can make testing websites: $14-$20/hour
Wyzant lets you set your own rate.
Chegg on the other hand start at $20 per hour.
You're not restricted to teaching academic subjects only but can also teach other stuff you’re good at like playing the guitar or dancing. Advertise your services on social media, in student centers, or in the community around your school.
Tip: Don’t forget that being a tutor isn’t all about being a know-it-all. It’s about finding ways to help your tutee understand the lesson. Make sure they enjoy the session so they come back to you for another one.
14. Ebook writer 📖
Job description: You will write about different topics you are an expert in.
How much you can make writing Ebooks: up to $600+/per month
You can write about the following:
- Case study
It might even be more simple that you think. If you’ve been writing a blog before, then you can use your blog and compile it to complete your book. You can also compile old essays and assignments from school and write about your field.
Tip: Use free tools such as Canva or Visme to bring you vision to life and for creating a cover. Remember to use Grammarly and Hemingway app to improve your writing quality.
15. Sell your designs online 👕
Job description: You will create collectible items or decorative products.
How much you can make by selling your art: $500/month (print on demand), $300 - $1200 (online art)
If you think you’re an artist, you can sell stuff with your design. You can make any type of art and sell them whether it's crocheted dress or wall paintings. When you’re done decide on a price and post it on sites like Etsy, UGallery, or Craigslist.
You simply upload your design to the site and they will handle printing and fulfillment for you.
16. Sell printables 🖨️
Job description: You will design eye-catching printable documents that others can download for a price.
How much you can make selling printables: $50/week to $1000/month
You can sell different types of printables like journal prompts, money-saving trackers, schedule templates, spending and budget templates, and even stickers. You can sell them on Creative Market. Etsy, or even Fiverr.
You don’t need to use elaborate or licensed design software. You can use free tools like Canva or Adobe Color.
Tip: Since screen resolution may vary, print out your design to check what it looks like on paper.
17. Data Entry Specialist 👨💻
Job description: You will encode and transfer data from one document to another.
How much you can make with Data Entry: $17.95/hour
Data entry is a pretty simple and uncomplicated way to make money. As a college student, though, it’s a great opportunity for you to make some money without adding to your mental stress.
You can easily find data entry jobs on freelance platforms. All you need is basic skills with spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, fast typing, and of course, a working laptop.
If you want to learn data entry, check out The Beginner's Guide to Excel below. 👇
Tip: Speed up your typing by practising on websites to increase your typing speed. This lets you get the work done faster.
18. Proofreader 🧐
Job description: You will proofread documents for grammar, punctuation, and accuracy.
How much you can earn through proofreading: $10-$45/hour
Proofreading isn’t only beneficial because you make money out of it. It also helps you transform yourself into a much better writer.
By proofreading, you get to hone your eye for detail as well as your grammar and punctuation. You are not only putting your writing talent to use, you are training yourself to avoid the mistakes your client is making.
There are lots of free resources to learn proofreading online. You can check these Online Proofreading Classes on Skillshare.
You can start as simple as posting your services on your social media or offer to proofread and edit your schoolmate’s essays for a fee. Set your rate depending on the length and difficulty of the essay or paper.
You can use the following tools:
- Hemingway App
- Paper Rater
Tip: Read the document aloud so you can also “hear” if it “sounds” right.
19. English Tutor 👩🏫
Job description: Teach non-English speaking persons to speak English for business or school.
How much you can make teaching ESL: $10-$40/hour
English is considered the universal language. This is why a lot of people enroll in ESL (English as a second language) for school and work.
When you become an ESL teacher, expect that you’ll be teaching non-native speakers like Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans.
You can teach ESL on these sites:
Tip: You need to invest in a good noise-canceling headset with an external microphone. This will ensure a good call quality which is important in a class like this.
20. Product Reviewer 🔎
Job description: You will test a company’s product and submit an honest review
How much you can make reviewing products: $5-$10/survey
Did you know that you can earn money by giving your feedback about new products? When a company wants to launch a novel product in the market, they are willing to pay users to try it out.
If you choose this gig, you are required to test the company’s product and submit an honest review. You can earn cash, freebies, or gift cards when doing this kind of work. Visit the following websites if you’re interested in making money by reviewing products:
Tip: Make sure you are in the age-group targeted by the product tests to qualify. Take note of the details such as the respondents and the time limit for testing the products.
21. Dropshipping 📦
Job description: You will conduct research on which products is best to sell online and find manufacturers/suppliers who can supply and handle fulfillment.
How much you can make dropshipping: Up to $1000/month and more
If it’s your first time hearing about it, dropshipping is a actually a kind of retail fulfillment strategy. As an online reseller you will be outsourcing the purchasing, storing, and shipping of your products.
You can choose to create your own brand and earn up to $1000 every month. Furthermore, since you are running your own business, you will have all the flexibility you need. This is important since your studies are still the priority.
Tip: Pick a niche to get a better chance at getting loyal customers. Make sure you conduct a thorough research about the following:
- Products to sell
Want to know more? Read our dropshipping guide for beginners. And if you like coffee and want to start selling it, you can start your dropshipping store with Dripshipper in 3 days!
Earning money online as a student is the most practical way
With student loans and other expenses living so far from home, it’s no wonder undergrads are looking for a gig. But you have to consider your studies too.
Don’t forget that passing your subjects is still the #1 priority. That is why making money online is the most practical way for you to fit in work with your academic obligations.