Man, this has been a rough year. With unemployment rates skyrocketing and so many families having to find ways to work and make money from home, I’ve been having more and more conversations with loved ones about how I’ve made money online for years.
I’ve been freelancing and making money online for over 6 years now – and matched my teaching salary after one year of working from home – so I have definitely learned a thing or two about creative ways to make money.
So, if you’re looking to make an extra $1000, $5000 or even $10,000 a month (and hey, sky is the limit – why stop there?) to reach your financial goals, here are some creative ways you can make money fast or build a lucrative career working from home as your own boss. Some of these are affiliate links, but I only recommend companies and sites that I have used and know are legit. Get out there and make some money, girl!
1. Sell Your Skills on Fiverr:
Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelancers to offer their services. I’ve used Fiverr many times to buy things like graphic design, video intros, printables and more. If you have a skill that you can sell, niche it down and sell it on Fiverr.
Get creative: I know a woman who made good money selling complaint letters on Fiverr. She had a template she would use and would plug in the unique company and circumstances for each person. Voila! In an hour or less, she had a complaint letter out that the person could use and she could sell again and again.
Think of anything you’ve learned at your jobs/school/hobbies and consider selling it on Fiverr to make quick money. I wrote a whole post on how I use Fiverr to outsource for my blog and business. Check it out here if you want to get more ideas for what you can sell on Fiverr.
2. Use CashBack Apps:
If you’re buying things – either in person or online – and you’re not using cashback apps, you are leaving money on the table. I use a ton of cashback apps for everything: in-person purchases, online purchases, credit card purchases, you name it! Plus, they are FREE FOR YOU TO USE. Most of them even have signing bonuses that if you add them all up – could be almost $50 right away. That’s a tank of gas!
Most of these are so easy to use – it takes seconds or less to download and set up the free apps. I layer all of these cashback apps on the same purchases, too, to maximize savings! I am working on a long post with all of my favorite cashback apps, but here’s a quick overview of the 3 cashback apps I use the most:
- Rakuten: I use this one all the time. I get hundreds a year back on purchases I was going to make anyway. It’s like a super coupon that you can layer on top of other coupons. Here’s how it works: say you want to buy something online from Gap. You go to Gap, put it in the cart, and go to check-out. If you’ve installed the Rakuten Chrome extension, it’ll pop-up with the deal for Gap, you click the Rakuten coupon to get their cashback offer, then it’ll take you back to the Gap cart. You can then apply any Gap coupons and checkout using a credit card stored in Dosh – BAM! 3 different layers of savings. For new Rakuten customers, you get $30 cash after your first $30 purchase (on something you would buy anyway) and $10 just for signing up. Use the referral fee once you sign up to get cash back on referrals, too.
- Dosh: I love Dosh. You upload the credit card you use for purchases – either online or person. Then, whenever you use that card, Dosh automatically looks through it’s book of rewards and applies cashback for the ones that qualify. That’s it. So easy. If it asks for the referral code, use ERICAJ168 to get new member rewards! My friend used my code and it immediately gave her $21.75 in immediate cashback rewards just for setting it up!!
- Fetch Rewards: This one, you guys, SO EASY. You just scan your receipts for whatever you are already buying. You get rewards back on those purchases. They run special promotions, too, that can up your rewards. Share your referral link with others to get more rewards. Use those rewards to get gift cards to places you already shop! I made $10 in Starbucks gift cards in just a couple weeks of scanning receipts. So easy.
3. Start a Blog:
This is another one that takes a little time to get rolling, but if you think like a business owner – you can start bringing home the bacon with a blog in months to a year. Getting started is not that expensive (but there are costs as you grow). You just need a host, like Bluehost or BigScoots, and some basic things to get started. (Read my full blog post review on the top 3 hosts for new bloggers!)
Then, really pick a niche with high value items or products you could create. It’s nice to write about makeup, but makeup is not expensive and affiliate income is very, very low. You would need thousands of sales to make even grocery money. So, be strategic if your goal is to make an income. Go after big ticket items, build a niche blog, and stay consistent.
4. Fill Out Surveys:
There are so many little gigs you can do at home, while sitting on the couch watching Netflix, to make some money. It may not be thousands of dollars (unless you’re doing a lot of them), but how many of us would breathe a little easier with even an extra $500, $1000, or even $2000 a month? I know I do.
Especially for my mamas who are saying – “My kids are here and sleeping, so I can’t run DoorDash or spend a bunch of money I don’t have on supplies for an Etsy shop. How can I make money from home right now?” Here are a few different ways that you can make money at home – with just a computer and internet connection. These are all sites I have and do use – not just random sites I don’t have experience with:
- Survey Junkie – Big fan of this one. They are one of the most respected survey sites, so you know you will get paid. Just sign-up, fill out surveys when you have time, make cash. You could even do this while sitting there waiting for your kid to do their swim lessons. Easy money.
- SwagBucks – Another survey site I’ve used as well that makes it really easy to earn Swagbucks that you can cash in for gift cards and cash. You can also shop through their Swag shop to earn rewards on stores you were going to shop at anyway.
- Website User Testing – I found out about this when I applied to have my site evaluated by User Testers to get feedback. This helped me a ton in the site redesign I did recently to be more mobile friendly. You can apply to be a User Tester, too. Get paid to record your voice as your check out new websites and answer questions that the site owner has asked you to answer. That’s it. Literally paid to browse websites and give your opinion. You’ll need a quiet space, a computer, a headset and the software they require for recordings to be ready to go.
5. Shop & Deliver for Cash:
I have two friends who are now making cash doing drop-offs for companies like DoorDash, Postmates and InstaCart. With all three, you have a lot of freedom to pick your shifts, pick your orders, and make some cash! You’ll even get tips, too! I actually wrote an entire post on the highest paying delivery apps and how to maximize your earnings. So, if you’re interested in this, read it here.
With InstaCart you actually go to the store and pick out the things they have ordered and then deliver them. Imagine what a big help this is to a mom with young kids or an elderly person who doesn’t want to leave the house. InstaCart is a great resource and you can make money while knowing you are easing that burden for someone else. My cousin loves InstaCart, because she gets paid more per gig to be someone’s personal shopper. She made $40 on just one Costco run the other day in between other things she was doing. That would pay my coffee budget for a month!
I hear only good things from InstaCart Shoppers and users. It’s free to sign-up, so there’s not risk!
Become an InstaCart Shopper here.
Postmates has one of the most diverse delivery options of any app out there. Imagine you’re in the middle of a party and you run out of something – drinks, food, anything – you can order it on Postmates and have it delivered straight to your door. Postmates will pick up and deliver from so many different types of stores, you could have pretty much anything delivered.
The beauty of this if you are part of their Fleet is the amount of options people will have – which should mean more opportunities for you to pick up and drop off for cash. They also are not as well-known as Uber and DoorDash, which means more opportunities for you. Plus, I’m partial to their super chic black branding. Yass.
Join the Postmates Fleet here.
For DoorDash, you just pick up food and deliver it. No shopping required. I’ve used DoorDash so many times and it’s been such a nice pick-me-up on days when I don’t want to cook, but we can’t leave the house. As a Dasher, you have the freedom to pick your shifts, pick your gigs within that shift and see exactly what you’ll make. So, if there are certain areas or places you prefer to dash, you can choose that. They also provide a handy kit once you get started. Two of my friends run DoorDash and one made $800 in her first month in her spare time. Who couldn’t use an extra $800?
Only downside to DoorDash is how popular it has become, so grabbing the best shifts in the high-traffic/high-paying areas might be a challenge. Still, you can sign up for all three and grab shifts for whichever is busiest when you have time.
Become a DoorDasher here.
6. Offer a Needed Service:
If you have any skills or even just love dogs, you can monetize it. Rover and TaskRabbit are both sites that give you the opportunity to make money quickly offering a service other people need.
TaskRabbit helps people find people with handy skills, such as moving, painting, furniture assembly, cleaning, yard work, plumbing, organizing and more. There are a ton of services you can offer on TaskRabbit so you can start making money doing something you’re good at.
Rover makes it easy to get your dogs walked. I remember when we had the entire backyard ripped up and two active dogs who needed to play. Walking two dogs and strollers wasn’t possible, so I hired out to Rover until our backyard was back together. It was a lifesaver!
If you love animals and feel confident walking dogs – you can make money fast with Rover! Plus, according to reviewers, walkers make about 60% of whatever it charges the customer, plus tips – meaning you can probably make about 20$ or more an hour.
Get paid to play with dogs with Rover!
7. Can You Write? Get Paid:
I make money every month writing for companies. After years as a freelancer, I have a number of regular clients that I write for often, but in the beginning – I had to find a lot of gigs to bring home the bacon! I shared my top 21 sites for finding high-paying writing gigs in this post here. I share a lot of my secrets in that post, so be sure to check it out.
If you’re going to offer writing services, make sure there’s a solid contract in place before writing. Also, if you’re new to offering paid services a la carte, rather than through the protection of a site like Fiverr, then make sure you read my post on how to make your side hustle look legit and, most importantly, how to invoice your clients and get paid faster.
8. Sell Your Stuff:
If you need cash now, one way is to look around your house for stuff, toys, things, you just aren’t using anymore. I bet if you took the time to go through your closets and dig into those back shelves, you could find a bag or two (or more) of things that are in good condition and can be sold for top dollar.
I’ve made thousands of dollars selling our used things. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Kids clothes in good condition
- Old sports equipment you’re not using
- Things your kids grow out of, like cribs and strollers
- Video Games
- Home decor, like lamps and pictures
As the daughter of a salesman, negotiating deals might be in my blood – but you can fake it by using my best tips for selling used things for top dollar.
9. Start an Online Shop:
People are buying online now than ever. If you’re crafty, have a skill, or can design printables, you should start an online shop using a platform like Etsy!
I’ve started over 5 e-commerce shops over the years on Shopify, WooCommerce and Etsy. I do have to say this is not a get rich quick scheme and takes some time to get running. But, if you hit a niche that people are looking for and offer a good product for a good price – you can make sales (see my current shop here and here).
When starting a shop, here are my top tips:
- Offer great customer service
- Think like a buyer. Make what people want – not what you would want.
- Consider branding. You can make your own logos and branding with sites like Canva and PicMonkey and look like you know what you’re doing right out of the gate!
- Take great pictures with good lighting. Use the free app Lightroom on your phone!
- Write compelling descriptions.
- Regularly add new listings
- Price competitively – look at the comps! You can price it the highest, but you may have to wait longer for sales.
If you’re just starting out, I recommend Etsy. They offer so many payment gateways – which really helps with sales – and their platform is so easy to use. Plus, Etsy has a built-in audience that trusts them, so you can access that very quickly and get going.
Get 40 free listings on Etsy with my link!
10. Can You Type? Monetize That:
When I was looking for work-from-home jobs years ago, I met a mama that stayed home with her kids, worked around their schedule, and still made money. Yup, I wanted to know more.
You know how she did it? She did transcriptions. She just typed out things from recordings or records sent to her into the format that they needed and got paid. Basically, she was literally paid to type.
So, maybe you’re not a writer, maybe you’re not crafty, and maybe you can’t drive around. But, do you have a computer and can you type? You can make money with that. SpeakWrite is one of the most reputable sites for transcription jobs. Here’s a great post with many more transcription job sites.
If you’d like to take a free 7-day course on transcription jobs, check out Transcription Anywhere. They do sell certification courses that can help you land higher paying transcription gigs if you like it and want to make it a full-time thing, too. Their free course has a lot of great information that can get you started.
What do you think? Would you do any of these creative ways to make money? I do a number of these now and have done even more of them in the past.
And, if you ever feel embarrassed to try something new, just remember – any person who says anything about your side hustle is probably just feeling insecure that they don’t have the guts to do it.
You may not do these things forever – but they might pad your pocket for a bit until your kids are older, or daycares reopen, and you can get back to doing other things.
I’d love to hear your ideas that should be added to this list! Here are some similar posts you might like!
Have a fabulous day,