Employment Trends

12 Ways to Make Money Without a Job

Written by Peter Jones

You don’t have a job at present. And, for whatever reason, you don’t want one. But you do need to make some money. Whether you’re out to try and earn $100k income while sitting at your desk, or just pick up a few dollars to pay the bills when you need to, there are dozens of opportunities for you to make money without a job and bring in some extra bucks.

Some of these jobs are web-based, others are merely odd jobs or out-of-the-box strategies, but either way, the internet is your friend. Use it to sell yourself and whatever skill or service you would like to use to generate income. You can’t afford to be squeamish about self-promotion, particularly in the freelance market where income disparities are a reality.

If you’re in a situation where you’re looking to make money without a job, and you’re willing to hustle a little more around the edges to compensate for income stability, then the following 12 ideas might be something to consider.

1. Sell or Rent Your Stuff

Secondhand, or “used”/”unique” items are all the rage these days. Go through your house or apartment for anything you just don’t need or use anymore and sell it on eBay or Amazon or Gumtree. Then look at your space itself. If you have an extra room, or you’re planning to go on vacation, consider renting out some or all of your space on Airbnb. If you live in a busy city, you could even rent out your parking space.

2. Fill Out Surveys

It is actually possible to earn money by filling out online surveys. Compensation will vary, and might not ever be substantial, but lumping a bunch of these jobs together can add up. Start with a platform like MySurvey.net, which pays in gift cards. Look to other platforms if you prefer to be paid in cash.

3. Ghost Shop

Love shopping and being critical? Trying to find defects and keeping a keen eye out for details? Start applying on MysteryShopping.com if this appeals to you. Your reports after visiting shops, restaurants, hotels, etc. will be used to grade employees’ performance—and, hopefully, will improve future shoppers’ experiences.

4. Publish on Kindle

You don’t need to go the traditional publishing route to sell your books and earn money for your writing. Use Amazon’s Kindle platform to self-publish ebooks you’ve written. The sky’s the limit.

5. Sell Stock Photos

Ever try to use a stock photo and realize you have to pay a (sometimes hefty) fee? Get yourself set up with a site like Shutterstock, load your photos, and get paid when people use them. It’s possible to make a decent salary this way, even to break six figures!

6. Invest (Legally) in Pot

Now that marijuana is legal in certain states, there are opportunities for you to do a bit of long-game gambling, if you’re so inclined and can afford the risk. Cash in on the craze by investing in marijuana-related stocks.

7. Buy Bitcoin

Use sites like CoinBase and buy a small amount to start. The biggest gains in Bitcoin may be gone, but you can monitor how your investment grows, then keep your eyes out for the next hottest cryptocurrency and get in on the ground floor.

8. Sell Books

Use a site like BookScouter to see what the highest market rate might be for any given book—either your old paperback, or some bargain book you picked up in a used bookstore. Then sell it online for as much of a profit as the market will allow.

9. Participate in Mock Trials

Lawyers often need to test their cases out to get a sense of how they’ll go in court. Get paid to be part of a mock jury on sites like eJury or Online Verdict.

10. Design Shirts

T-shirt design is, rather surprisingly, a bit of an emerging industry on the internet. Use different sites like Threadless, DesignbyHumans, or TeeSpring to make your designs. The company will set you a price and a sales goal, and the company will pay you, depending on how you do and how many shirts you sell. If you have the chops to drive up sales without alienating all of your friends, this could be a great gig for you.

11. Betatest or Review Software

Ever wonder how companies work out the kinks and bugs in their software? Ever wonder who gets paid for this kind of work? Well, it could be you. Go to SoftwareJudge or Utest or Erli Bird, and get started. You can easily make $10 per hour or more doing what might actually be fun work.

12. Donate Your Eggs or Sperm

This one isn’t for the faint of heart or health, but it is perhaps one of the most lucrative options. If you’re selected for sperm donation, you can make up to $40 per donation. Eggs are much more complicated (and painful) to harvest, and require a significant physical commitment. But you could make anywhere from $3-$200,000 per donation, depending on your location and the quality of your eggs.

About the author

Peter Jones