Every year, high school and college students find themselves scrambling for ways to make some easy money during summer break, or even during the school year.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many decent paying jobs available for teens, especially in a rough economic climate. However, there are a number of websites that offer very easy money for teens online.
For a teenager who is disciplined and responsible, online jobs are the easiest way to earn a significant wad of cash year-round.
Websites That Offer Easy Money for Teens
Teenagers today have an assortment of skills that are useful on the Internet. For those who are skilled writers, earning money will be that much simpler. Additionally, there are well paying jobs available for teenagers who know how to write web pages or programs, are skilled at making crafts or collecting antiques, or are just interested in making a bit of cash from using the web like normal.
Finding those opportunities often involves wading through a mountain of garbage and scams. This article will provide teens with a complete guide for the best opportunities on the web that offer easy money for teens. For more options, check out the best TaskRabbit jobs that a lot of people can do.
1. Sell Local Things Online
One of the easiest ways to make money fast, especially if you already have a pile of “junk” in your basement just collecting dust, is to sell your goods online. You may think that as a teen you have nothing worth selling, but you’d be surprised. Old video games, game consoles and even certain books often sell for more than you might expect on eBay.
Even if you don’t have anything, if you can get your parents to lend you $100 to $200 in “starter funds”, you can go to AuctionZip, find an antiques auction near you, and buy some box lots of vintage goods you can sell on eBay for profit.
I don’t suggest this lightly. This is actually how I personally started making a fair amount of cash on the Internet years ago, so I know that it works. It does take work — traveling to antiques, carrying stuff around, photographing, listing and packaging — but if you enjoy this kind of thing, you’re going to love selling antiques on eBay.
Teens under 18 are allowed to use Etsy to sell goods, so long as their parents are the ones managing the accounts.
Another place to sell stuff online — whether it’s crafts, antiques or anything else, is Craigslist.
Craigslist is fast becoming the go-to website for everything from apartment hunting to car shopping and everything in between. Become a seller there and you’ll have a huge audience of people looking to buy your stuff.
2. Easy Income for Teens Who Can Write Articles
For any teen that has excellent writing skills, the Internet offers an abundance of cash just sitting there for the taking.
Yes, it may take a full eight hours a day of good solid writing work — but what could be better than rolling out of bed at ten in the morning and going to your summer job at home, in your pajamas? Sounds too good to be true? Well put on your pajamas and check out these opportunities.
At ArticleSale.com, you can write as many articles as you like, and put them up for sale on the site.
Prices for most new articles on the site range from between $2 to $7, but as you gain experience and sales, those prices will go up because people will recognize that experience. The downside to this particular site is that you have to sit around waiting for your articles to sell — and many of them may not. There are no guarantees.
A similar site as this is Constant Content, where you can also post your articles for sale to potential buyers.
Sales for these articles are typically listed at around $20 to $25 for “usage” (meaning the buyer only buys rights to publish once, but doesn’t own the copyright), or $40 to $100 for “Full” rights.
Typically, buyers will buy usage rights, but since prices are higher, you really need to sell your article by making the summary field very compelling.
If writing random articles isn’t quite your thing, you might consider writing reviews for Sponsored Reviews instead.
The catch here is that you need to already have your own established blog or website. Sponsored Reviews essentially serves as the middle man, to get you companies willing to sponsor content on your blog. They pay you via Sponsored Reviews, and you publish the review article on your blog. That’s it.
If you don’t have your own blog, you can still make money by writing on the Internet. However, if you’re just getting started, you’re going to have to start writing for websites that pay bottom-dollar for articles. One such site is Demand Studios (now known as StudioD).
You can apply here, and most likely get accepted as an author, but you’ll need to wade through long lists of really weird and surreal topics to find one that you can even figure out how to write about. One former Demand Studios author explained the experience as follows:
“I immediately began searching in their ‘Find Assignments’ section, looking for a topic that would be appropriate for me to write about. That was my first reality check. This section can be quite laughable, to put it nicely. For example, when I searched their section on animals, looking specifically for dog-themed assignments, some of the topics under this heading included ‘How to Change the Heating Coil in a 1994 Cavalier,’ ‘How to Troubleshoot an Airhandler Float Switch,’ and ‘What are IRS Plan Disqualification Penalties’.”
The cold, hard truth about online writing is that you have to start somewhere, and that somewhere means writing really boring articles for peanuts — and lots of them. Once you build a reputation and a large online profile of articles, your name alone can earn you much more per article, but this takes years.
There are some sites that may serve you better. For example, Writers Domain promises $15 to $17.50 for a standard article, assuming you pass the application process.
Of course, it isn’t fair to assume that just because you’re a teenager, you don’t have the writing skills or experience to achieve higher-paying writing gigs. Maybe you’ve been running your own successful blog for years. That’s experience, and that’ll land you writing jobs easily.
Of course, if you feel like you have what it takes to write in the big leagues — in print — you might purchase an inexpensive monthly subscription to Writers Market, and pour over the database listings.
You’ll find everything from publishing agents and publishing companies to magazine article job postings and even writing contests! Spend time every day writing for a few of the opportunities found here, and you never know, you may become one of the youngest published authors in your community!
3. Make Money Doing Reviews
Okay, so maybe you don’t write at all. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find a good way to make money online. There’s a lot more to the web than just writing content.
One of the most popular reasons many people use the Internet is to research products before buying them. This has turned online “reviews” into one of the most popular types of content on the web.
If you like sharing your opinion about products and services, then there are countless opportunities to earn income from your opinions. One of the coolest websites like this is MusicXray, which will pay you for listening to and giving feedback about music!
If you’re a music lover, you may find it hard to believe you can make money listening to music, but it’s a fact.
Or you could take the usual route of writing up reviews about actual products at a site like SliceThePie [No Longer Available].
For a site like this to be profitable, you’ll need to devote a good part of your day to completing reviews for the site. Just doing one or two may not appear to pay out a whole lot, but if you stay dedicated to it every day, you could earn some pretty decent cash.
A similar review site to this is one called Reviewstream. Reviewstream has plenty of categories to review. Everything from Airlines and baby products to education and electronics.
Yet again, individual review earnings aren’t huge, but with this kind of work it’s all about putting in the hard work and developing a high volume of reviews over time. Before you know it, you’ll be raking in the dough.
This site is the most versatile, and because of that it’s also the most fun. You’ll probably never get bored here, because you can earn money for things like watching videos, writing reviews, taking surveys, and even browsing the Internet using the Swagbucks browser add-on.
4. Quick Money for Teen Programmers
If you are an ace programmer in any programming language, you could spend your summer doing programming freelance jobs for some real cash. However, when it comes to finding freelance work, you have to be very careful what websites you visit — as most of them are useless or flat out scams.
Have no fear though, there are plenty of reputable sites where individuals and organizations submit jobs that you can bid on. One such site is Upwork.
This is the kind of directory where freelancers will spend a good part of their days browsing job opportunities and bidding. The catch here is that to land these jobs, you’re going to either need to bid very, very low on the work, or you’re going to need an established profile of past jobs with high ratings. If you are just getting started, prepare to practically work for free in order to establish a collection of clients.
By doing excellent work for those clients at such low rates, you’ll get them hooked on the quality of your work. Later, when they ask for more work, you can suggest a small pay increase to continue. Most clients are more than happy to pay a bit more once they’ve seen the quality of your work.
Another site where you can browse and bid on really good jobs is Flexjobs.
Flexjobs isn’t free. It’s approximately $14.95 a month to establish an account where you can browse the jobs, but in return you get listings of really excellent jobs from reputable employers who are willing to pay a little bit more for the work. This site is dedicated to people who work from home, so if you’re planning to use it, make sure you’re dedicated to working full days and doing excellent quality work for these clients, and you’ll find that you’ve built a very respectable at-home business.
Of course, most teens have no interest in sitting at home for 8 hours a day doing work. Sometimes you may just want to do a quick job, get paid, and then go shopping or spend time with friends. If that’s the case, then Fiverr is the site for you.
The premise of the site is pretty simple, and it’s also what makes it so fun. All you have to do is post the jobs that you’re willing to do for five bucks! Then, people who are looking for temp help will search the site, find your listing, and hire you to do that job for them.
You’ve essentially got an ad out there doing the job searching for you. Clients come to you, and you get the job without having to bid or beg for it. Make sure that your write-up of what you’ll do for $5 is thorough and clear (and well-written!). This will increase the odds of landing great jobs and building a client base.
Finally, yet another freelancer directory listing of job postings is iFreelance.
New postings show up here frequently, so you’d be smart to monitor the listings daily and bid on as many jobs as you feel you can handle. You won’t get most of them (at least at the start), but by bidding often you’ll increase your odds of landing at least one. And one is all it takes to add one more client to your list.
5. Take Surveys and Surfing
I mentioned above that Swagbucks not only pays you for reviews, but also taking surveys and surfing the web. Well, there are other sites that specifically pay you just for surfing the web. Others pay for both surveys and web searching.
One such site is called Global Test Market.
Sign up here is really fast and simple. You don’t need a credit card or anything, just your email address, mailing address and phone number. If you’re concerned about being overrun with marketing calls or emails, just use a fake email address and a P.O. Box for the address. See Mark’s past tips for signing up for services like this with greater online security.
Another service where you can take surveys for cash is Survey Savvy.
Just sign up for the site and start offering your opinions for cash. It’s probably the easiest way for a teen to make easy cash on the web, because what teen doesn’t have an opinion, right?
Cashcrate gets its name because it’s one of those services where you get to try out actual products that get shipped to you, and then you provide your feedback for cash.
It isn’t all products though. You also get paid there for taking surveys and taking part in the games and activities going on within the community they’ve built on the site.
Qmee is a little bit different from sites like Swagbucks that have a whole list of activities to earn some cash online. When you sign up and install the Qmee browser add-in, you’ll start noticing parallel search listings next to the search listings in any of your favorite search engines (the major ones are supported).
All you have to do is click on those sponsored listings when they come up and visit the website, and your Qmee account gets credited the amount shown next to the ad. Hey, if you’re going to see ads, you might as well be the one getting paid to see them, right?
Work Hard, Be Persistent, and Rake in the Dough!
The key for teens to successfully earn a small fortune during summer break or in the evenings during the school year, is to stay persistent. Even when it looks like you’ll never land that first gig or when it seems like you aren’t earning very much at first.
Keep posting your daily articles to the royalty paying websites. Bid on freelance projects constantly. Keep taking those surveys and writing those reviews. Soon, you’ll find that you have more work than you know what to do with. If you can discipline yourself to work for at least eight hours straight for every weekday during the summer — you’ll eventually save far more money than any of your friends could earn waiting tables or mowing lawns!
And for helping your friends out before they find their money-maker, take a look at these apps for sending money with your smartphone.