How To Make Money Online As A Student In Your Free Time

Last Updated on February 5, 2024 by James – SIO

Estimated reading time: 15 minutes

Hey there, future moguls! If you’re a student buried under textbooks and exams but still find your wallet eerily empty, you’ve come to the right place. We’re diving deep into the world of making money online—specifically tailored for you, the student.

Why Students Need to Make Money Online

You’re not just juggling classes and homework. There’s a whole life beyond that, and it comes with its own set of costs. If you’re sick of stretching your pennies, making money online is a game-changer. Let’s dig into the nitty-gritty.

The Real Costs of Student Life

First off, let’s break down the actual costs you might be shouldering:

  • Tuition Fees: Like it or not, this one’s unavoidable.
  • Books and Supplies: Ever noticed how your “required” textbooks are worth their weight in gold?
  • Living Costs: Rent, utilities, and, yes, even those late-night pizza runs.
  • Social Life: Going out, memberships, parties—these all add up.
  • Miscellaneous: Trust me, things pop up when you least expect them.
Expense TypeAverage Monthly Cost
Tuition$300 – $1500
Books & Supplies$50 – $200
Living Costs$400 – $800
Social Life$50 – $200
Miscellaneous$20 – $100

Personal Story: I remember my first semester like it was yesterday. Between tuition, books, and eating out, I was broke within weeks. That’s when I realized I needed an income stream that fit into my erratic schedule. Enter online jobs!

Why Online Jobs Are a Perfect Match

Flexibility: Be Your Boss

One of the best things about making money online is the flexibility. Have you got a class at 10 AM? No worries. You can work around your classes, study groups, and even those impromptu football games.

Convenience: No Commute Needed

Imagine making money while sitting in your pajamas. Online jobs save you the hassle of commuting, letting you focus more on your studies and less on metro schedules.

Extra Cash: Bid Farewell to Financial Stress

You can’t put a price on peace of mind. Whether it’s chipping away at student loans or covering your living expenses, every penny counts.

Personal Tip: When I started freelancing online, the extra cash made my life so much easier. I could finally go out with friends without stressing about my dwindling bank account.

Thriving, Not Just Surviving

Hey, let’s make this clear: making money online as a student isn’t just about getting by—it’s about upgrading your life. Want that new iPhone? You got it. Are you dreaming of a Spring Break vacation? It’s possible.

Investing in Your Future

Believe it or not, the skills you gain while making money online can be a boost for your future career. From communication skills in customer service jobs to technical chops in web development gigs, you’re also building your resume.

To Sum It Up: Key Benefits at a Glance

  • Flexibility: Work on your terms, according to your schedule.
  • Convenience: No need to leave your cozy room.
  • Extra Income: Say goodbye to financial woes.
  • Skill-building: You’re investing in the future.

So, there it is. Making money online as a student isn’t a “nice to have “—it’s a “must-have.” From boosting your income to upgrading your skills, the online hustle is more than worth it. Ready to leap? Stay tuned because we’re about to dive into how you can get started.

Understanding the Online Landscape

Hey folks, let’s get into the exciting stuff. The internet isn’t just your go-to source for memes and binge-watching. It’s also an ocean of opportunities for making money. We’re talking digital marketing, e-commerce, freelancing, and more! Ready to dive in?

By the Numbers: The Digital Boom

Fun Fact: Buckle up because this will blow your mind. By 2023, the number of digital buyers worldwide is projected to hit a whopping 2.14 billion!

YearNumber of Digital Buyers (in billions)
20212.14 (projected)

See the trend? It’s going up, and that’s great news for anyone looking to tap into the online market.

Unveiling the Marketplaces

Now, you might be wondering, “Where exactly can I make money online?” Good question. Here are some top online marketplaces you should know about:

  • Freelancer Websites: Think Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr.
  • Content Platforms: Websites like Medium pay for quality writing.
  • E-commerce Platforms: Ever heard of Amazon, eBay, or Etsy? Yep, you can make money there.
  • Teaching Platforms: Think Udemy, Coursera, or Teachable for those who like to educate.

Personal Anecdote: When I was just starting, I was clueless about where to begin. Then I found a freelancing site that fit my skills. I started out doing small gigs and gradually built up my profile. Before I knew it, I was making decent money!

How the Internet Can Be Your Goldmine

Digital Marketing: The New Frontier

Digital marketing isn’t just for businesses. As a student, you can capitalize on this. Ever thought about starting a blog? With a bit of SEO knowledge and some engaging content, you can turn it into a money-making machine.

E-Commerce: From Zero to Hero

Starting your online store might seem daunting, but with platforms like Shopify, it’s easier than ever. Sell products you’re passionate about, and you’ll find an audience.

Freelancing: Sky’s the Limit

From graphic design to writing, freelancing is an ideal way to make money while building an impressive portfolio. Trust me, your future employers will love the initiative.

To Wrap It Up: Navigate Wisely

The internet is vast and can be tricky to navigate. Here’s a quick rundown of what to keep in mind:

  • Quality Over Quantity: Pick something you’re good at and focus on becoming an expert.
  • Research: Understand the platform you’re using. Look for tips and tricks to excel.
  • Be Consistent: Online money-making requires commitment. The more you put in, the more you get.

Ready to transform your digital presence into a cash-making venture? Now you know the landscape, let’s get you started on how to make money online as a student. Stay tuned!

How to Choose the Right Online Job

Alright, so you’re pumped about making money online as a student. But hold your horses—before you jump in, let’s get some basics sorted out. How much time can you invest? What are your skills? What’s the potential payoff? Let’s figure it out!

The Three Big Questions

How Much Time Can I Invest?

This is a biggie. Some online jobs require a consistent time commitment, while others let you pop in and out as you please.

Job TypeTime RequirementFlexibility
Freelancing15-30 hrs/weekHigh
Online Surveys5-10 hrs/weekVery High
Content Creation10-20 hrs/weekModerate to High
Digital Marketing20-40 hrs/weekLow to Moderate

Personal Story: When I was in college, I wanted to earn but also had to focus on my studies. I found that content writing allowed me to work 15 hours a week and still juggle my classes.

What Skills Do I Have?

Let’s be honest. You might be a tech wizard, or perhaps writing is your forte. Match your skills to the job.

  • Tech-Savvy: Coding, web development, app creation.
  • Good with Words: Writing, proofreading, or translating.
  • Artsy: Graphic design, video editing, or photography.

What’s the Payoff?

Some gigs pay better than others, but they may also require more work. Know what you’re getting into before committing.

  • High Pay, High Effort: Jobs like freelance coding can offer high payouts but require a significant time investment.
  • Medium Pay, Medium Effort: Content creation is relatively balanced in terms of effort and payout.
  • Low Pay, Low Effort: Online surveys don’t pay a lot but are super easy and flexible.

Age-Appropriate Jobs for Younger Folks

Hey, teenagers and younger students, don’t feel left out. There are still plenty of age-appropriate options.

Online Surveys: Quick Cash, Low Effort

Sites like Swagbucks or Survey Junkie let you make a quick buck with minimal effort. However, it won’t make you a millionaire overnight.

Content Creation: Unleash Your Creativity

Love making videos or writing stories? Websites like Medium or YouTube are great platforms to showcase your talent.

Personal Tip: I started making YouTube videos when I was a teenager. It started as a hobby, but as my audience grew, so did my earnings.

A Quick Reality Check: Pros and Cons

Every job has its upsides and downsides. Here’s a quick rundown:

Job TypeProsCons
FreelancingHigh pay, skill developmentTime-consuming
Online SurveysEasy, quick cashLow pay
Content CreationCreative freedom, passive incomeRequires initial time invest

Do Your Homework

In summary, choosing the right online job boils down to three things: your available time, your skills, and the payoff you’re after. Once you’ve got a clear picture, you’re set to dive in. So what are you waiting for? Your perfect online job awaits!

Best Ways to Make Money Online as a Student

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and earn some dough online, eh? Awesome. But with so many options out there, where should you start? Don’t sweat it; I’ve got your back. Here are some of the best ways to make money online as a student.

Freelancing: The Swiss Army Knife of Online Jobs

The Basics

Freelancing is like a buffet—there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re into writing, graphic design, or even programming, freelancing has got you covered.

Steps to Get Started:

  1. Choose a Niche: Find what you’re good at. It could be writing, design, or coding.
  2. Create a Portfolio: Show off your best work here. No work yet? Create some samples.
  3. Join Platforms: Think Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr.
  4. Start Bidding: Bid for projects that fit your skills.

Personal Anecdote: The first time I freelanced, I was sweating bullets. My first gig? Writing a 500-word article. I researched like a maniac and edited till my eyes went blurry. End result? The client loved it, and I felt like a million bucks!

Make it Work for You: Tips & Tricks

  • Start Small: Don’t overcommit. Build your profile and ratings first.
  • Communication is Key: Always keep your clients in the loop.

Online Surveys: Easiest Way to Make Quick Money

Recommended Platforms

  • Swagbucks
  • Survey Junkie
  • MyPoints

How It Works

Sign up, take surveys, earn points, and redeem them for cash or gift cards. Simple as that.

Tutoring: Turn Your Smarts Into Cash

Platforms to Get Started

  • Chegg Tutors
  • VIPKid (for English tutoring)

Getting Started

  • Sign up for a platform
  • Take a qualification test (usually)
  • Start tutoring!

Content Creation: Where Creativity Pays Off

Quick Tips to Kickstart

  1. Start Small: Begin with a short vlog or a blog post about something you’re passionate about.
  2. Learn Some SEO: Get familiar with terms like “keywords” and “meta descriptions” to make your content more searchable.

Types of Content

  • Blogs: WordPress, Medium
  • Videos: YouTube, TikTok
  • Podcasts: Anchor, Spotify

Data Entry: Not Glamorous, But It Pays

Where to Find Jobs

  • Clickworker
  • Mechanical Turk (by Amazon)

What You Need

  • A decent computer
  • Good typing speed
  • Attention to detail

Trading Stocks or Cryptocurrency: High Risk, High Reward

Personal Story: I once dabbled in stock trading without doing my homework. Bad idea. I lost a couple of hundred bucks quicker than I could say “bear market.” Learn from my mistake—do your research!

Things to Consider

  • Start Small: Never invest money you can’t afford to lose.
  • Educate Yourself: Books, online courses, articles—there’s a ton of material out there to get you started.

Take Your Pick

From freelancing to tutoring to trading stocks, there are lots of ways to make money online as a student. Just remember to pick something that fits your schedule and skill set. So go on, take your pick and start earning!

Skills Required to Make Money Online as a Student

Okay, folks, let’s talk skills. No, I’m not talking about your insane ability to cram for an exam the night before (though that’s impressive, too!). I’m talking about the skills you need to rock the online money-making world. Are you ready? Let’s dig in.

Communication: More Than Just Talk

Why It Matters

In the online world, communication is your bread and butter. Whether it’s talking to clients or collaborating on a project, you’ve got to be clear, professional, and prompt.

Personal Anecdote: In my early freelancing days, I messed up an entire project because of poor communication. I didn’t clarify project details with the client, and well… it cost me. Lesson learned: Never assume, always clarify.

Tips to Excel

  • Active Listening: Pay attention to what the other person is saying.
  • Email Etiquette: Use precise subjects, proper greetings, and sign-offs.

Time Management: Your Secret Weapon

The Importance

Online gigs often mean juggling multiple tasks. The better you manage your time, the more projects you can take on—and the more money you make.

Time-Saving Tools

Here’s a table with some tools that can help you out:

ToolUse Case
Google CalendarAppointment Scheduling
TrelloTask Management
RescueTimeTracking Time Spent on Activities

Technical Skills: The Deal Breakers

Basics You Should Know

This is where the rubber meets the road. Knowing your way around a computer is a given. But other skills depend on what you want to do.

  • For Writers: Know basic SEO and Word Processing.
  • For Designers: Adobe Suite, Sketch.
  • For Programmers: Languages like Python and Java.

Personal Story: I wanted to try my hand at graphic design. Started messing around with free software and thought I was good to go. Big mistake. Clients want you to know the big names like Adobe, so don’t skimp on learning them!

Soft Skills: The Icing on the Cake

The Extras That Count

These are skills that you won’t necessarily find in a job description, but they’ll make you stand out.

  • Adaptability: Online trends change. Can you keep up?
  • Proactiveness: Don’t wait for instructions; anticipate needs.

Skill Up and Cash In

Having the right skills can make or break your online earning journey. Communication, time management, and technical skills are all part of the game. Plus, a sprinkle of soft skills never hurt anybody. So, go ahead—build your skillset and start making some serious cash online!

Time Management Tips for Making Money Online as a Student

Alright, let’s talk time management. It’s like juggling—you’ve got your classes in one hand and your side gig in the other. Drop one, and everything falls apart. But fear not. I’ve got you covered. Let’s break down how you can manage your time like a pro.

Why Time Management is Crucial

You’re a Student First

Never forget your primary role is being a student. If your grades suffer because of your side hustle, it’s time to re-evaluate.

Personal Story: Once upon a time, I got so caught up in freelancing that I almost flunked a final exam. It was a wake-up call. You’ve got to balance both worlds.

Time is Money

Especially in the gig economy, the more efficient you are, the more jobs you can take and the more cash you can earn.

Tools to Track Your Time

Planners: Old School but Gold

A physical planner is great for visualizing your week at a glance.

Apps: High-Tech Tracking

For the tech-savvy, there are tons of apps. Here’s a handy table for you:

AppWhat it’s Good For
TodoistTask Management
AsanaProject Planning
ClockifyTime Tracking

Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize

Focus on Your Studies

Assign study slots in your planner or app, and stick to them. No excuses!

Side Gig Priorities

When you know your academic commitments, it’s easier to schedule your side gigs.

Time Management Hacks

The Pomodoro Technique

Work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. It’s simple but super effective.

Time Blocking

Plan your day in sections. Maybe mornings for studies and evenings for online gigs.

Quick Tip: I started using time blocking and it was a game-changer. I dedicated specific hours to specific tasks, and guess what? I got more done!

Keep an Eye on Burnout

Signs and Solutions

Are you feeling drained or disinterested? You might be heading towards burnout. Take some time off or cut back on the gigs for a bit.

Wrapping It Up

Mastering time management can be your golden ticket to succeeding both as a student and a side hustler. Use planners or apps, prioritize, and don’t forget those handy hacks. So go ahead, own your time, and make some dough while you’re at it!

How Much Money Can You Make Online as a Student?

So, you’re probably wondering, “How fat can my wallet get?” Right? Well, let’s dive into the potential earnings you can rack up from various online gigs. Keep in mind the amounts can vary based on your skill level, time commitment, and sometimes just plain luck.

Factors That Influence Earnings

Location Matters

Yep, where you live can impact how much you make, especially if you’re freelancing for international clients.

Skill Level

The better you are at something, the more you can charge. Simple as that.

Personal Anecdote: When I first started freelancing, I was earning around $15/hr. After I polished my skills, I was able to triple that rate!

Time Invested

More time usually means more money, but watch out for burnout.

Breakdown by Method

Alright, let’s look at some numbers. Here’s a table to make things super clear:

MethodEarning Potential
Online Surveys$1-$10 per survey
Content CreationVaries


Freelancing can be lucrative but competitive. Higher skills often lead to higher pay.

Online Surveys

He’s not the biggest money-maker, but suitable for quick cash. Some surveys pay more than others based on length and complexity.


If you’re really good at a subject, tutoring can pay off. Specialized subjects usually pay more.

Content Creation

This one’s a wildcard. You could earn a little or strike it rich if you go viral.

Personal Story: I know someone who started a YouTube channel for fun and now earns a decent income from sponsorships and ads. So yeah, the sky’s the limit!

Long-Term vs Short-Term Gains

Quick Cash

Online surveys and small freelance tasks are suitable for quick cash but don’t offer long-term growth.

Investment Time

Content creation and skilled freelancing are more of an investment. It takes time, but the payoff can be significant.

Reality Check

Keep your expectations realistic. You’re probably not going to become a millionaire overnight (if you do, call me). However, with dedication, you can make a nice chunk of change to help with your student expenses. So go out there and make that money!

Staying Safe Online While Making Money as a Student

Alright, so you’re pumped about making some moolah online. Awesome! But let’s pause and talk about something super important: online safety. The internet is a wild place, and you’ve got to know the ropes to stay safe.

Why Is Online Safety Crucial?

Protect Your Identity

You don’t want some random person to know all about you.

Financial Safety

You’re here to make money, not lose it.

Mental Peace

Knowing you’re secure allows you to focus on your tasks.

Personal Anecdote: A friend of mine once joined a sketchy freelancing site. Long story short, he got scammed. Took him weeks to sort it all out. Don’t let that be you!

Dos and Don’ts: The Fundamentals

Let’s break it down into easy-to-remember chunks:


  1. Use Verified Platforms: Stick to well-known, trusted sites.
  2. Check Reviews: Before joining a platform, look for reviews or testimonials.
  3. Secure Payments: Ensure the platform offers secure payment options like PayPal or escrow services.
  4. Two-Factor Authentication: Enable it. Enough said.


  1. Personal Info: Don’t give out details like your SSN, home address, or bank details carelessly.
  2. Sketchy Links: If something smells fishy, it probably is. Don’t click.
  3. Oversharing: Keep your private life private. That means no oversharing on job boards or social media.
Use Verified PlatformsGive Out Personal Info
Check ReviewsClick Sketchy Links
Secure PaymentsOvershare
Two-Factor AuthenticationIgnore Red Flags

Safety Measures: Go the Extra Mile

Use a VPN

This can hide your IP address, making you more anonymous online.

Regular Updates

Keep your software updated for the latest security features.

Personal Stories: Lessons Learned

Personal Story: I used to use the same password for everything (bad idea, I know). One site got hacked, and I had to change passwords everywhere. Now I use a password manager and sleep easier.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Alright, we’ve covered a lot, but remember: you can’t be too careful. Online safety is an ongoing effort, not a one-time setup. So, as you venture into making money online, keep these tips in mind. Happy earning (and staying safe)!

People Also Ask

You’ve got questions; we’ve got answers. Let’s dive in.

Can a 13-Year-Old Make Good Money Online?

Totally. At 13, you can do stuff like taking online surveys, selling crafts, or even basic graphic design. Platforms like Swagbucks are a good start.

How Do Teens Earn Money Online?

Teens have lots of options:
Freelancing (writing, coding)
Content creation (YouTube, blogs)

Ways for Students to Earn Without a Job?

You don’t need a 9-5 to make cash. Think passive income:
– Affiliate marketing
– Selling digital products
– Stock photography

No Experience? How to Make Money Online?

Don’t worry. Start small:
1. Join beginner-friendly platforms like Fiverr.
2. Learn as you go; free courses are available.
3. Try micro-tasks to get your feet wet.

Broke Girl’s Guide to Making Money?

Feeling broke? No worries:
– Resell thrift store finds online
– Take up virtual assistant gigs
– Try dropshipping with low upfront costs

Why Waiting Isn’t an Option for Making Money Online as a Student

Alright, folks, we’ve covered a lot of ground, from breaking down various online money-making methods to giving you the nitty-gritty on staying safe online. But let’s get to the meat of the matter: you’re ready to take the plunge.

Why Time is Money, Literally!

We’ve all heard that time is money, but when you’re a student, that saying takes on a whole new meaning. Each moment you’re not utilizing your skills online, you’re leaving money on the table.

Personal Anecdote: Remember my first freelancing gig? I dragged my feet for weeks before I mustered the courage to bid for a project. When I finally did it and got the job, I kicked myself for not starting sooner. Trust me, the sooner you dive in, the quicker you’ll learn and earn.

Benefits Recap – Why You Can’t Afford to Miss Out

Let’s revisit the advantages real quick, in case you skipped straight to the end. We’re talking:

  1. Flexibility: Fit work around your study time, not the other way around.
  2. Convenience: Earn from your dorm room in your PJs. Beat that!
  3. Extra Cash: Say goodbye to the stress of student loans and other living expenses.
  4. Skill-building: Learn real-world skills that can help you in your future job.

Table: Earning Potential by Method

MethodEarning Potential
Online Surveys$1-$10 per survey
Content CreationVaries

Final Thoughts and Action Steps

Stop waiting and start doing. Your future self will thank you. Here’s what you should do next:

  1. Pick a Method: Choose the best fit based on your skills and time.
  2. Set Up Your Space: Ensure you have all the tools you need.
  3. Get Learning: There are tons of free resources to get you started.
  4. Take the Plunge: Apply for gigs, submit those surveys, or launch that blog.

So there you have it—no more excuses. You’re not just surviving; you’re thriving. Turn those student years into a launchpad for financial freedom. You’ve got this! 🚀

Additional Resources

  • Books: “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss
  • Blogs: Side Hustle School, The Penny Hoarder
  • Money-Making Apps: Robinhood, Cash App

Ready to fill those empty pockets? Dive in now!