Looking for quick ways to make money online? Look no further - here are 17 easy ways to earn some extra cash from your computer.
1. Make money with online surveys
Online surveys are a great way to make money online for relatively little effort. While they won’t make you rich, it’s perfectly possible to earn £40-£50 a month from them. If you often have 15-20 minutes to spare in front of your computer at lunchtime or in the evenings, give them a go!
Always remember three things with online surveys:
- NEVER pay to join an online survey site (see the recommended sites below).
- Set up a separate email address for surveys (like Hotmail or Gmail) so your main address doesn’t get clogged up with survey emails.
- Join at least five survey sites to get regular paid surveys.
The top 10 survey sites are:
1. Swagbucks - get $5 (£3) instantly just for signing up (open to UK customers).
2. My Survey - earn cash or get paid in Amazon, Homebase or Debenhams vouchers.
3. iPoll - Choose your own rewards for completing surveys, including Amazon vouchers and magazine subscriptions.
4. Global Test Market - earn cash and rewards for taking surveys; rewards from Boots, Amazon, Argos and more.
5. Clixsense - Earn money by completing short surveys, receiving free trial products or simply visiting commercial websites. Clixsense sometimes pay slightly more than some other sites for completing short online surveys.
6. Harris Poll - get paid in cash or Amazon vouchers, plus they often have free monthly prize draws and raffles
7. Pinecone Research - Pinecone Research is a brilliant survey company that's well worth signing up to. The reason we've listed it last is because they don't accept everyone. It's worth applying though, as they pay out £3 a survey (which only take 15-20 mins to complete).
8. GfK MediaView - Give your opinion on TV and radio programmes and earn tickets to go in the prize draw to win £1,000 cash and other prizes.
9. Inbox Pounds - Get paid £1 just for joining then earn cash by taking surveys, watching videos, reading emails and more.
10. MobileXpression: Earn while you surf - Recommended Install the free MobileXpression app to your smartphone or tablet, and you'll automatically start earning cash and rewards. (You get a FREE £5 Amazon gift card after you've been a member for 1 week, for starters). After you've installed the app you're done - you don't even need to fill out any surveys.
For more information, see our guide on how to make money with online surveys.
You can make between £40-£50 a month with online surveys
If you buy things online, you’re missing a trick if you don’t use cashback sites like Quidco.
Again, these can net you literally hundreds of pounds a year if you use them regularly (last year I got £90 cashback just for buying a mobile I was going to get anyway).
These sites pay you to shop by giving you between 2%-15% of your spend back at hundreds of high street shops and online stores (including Boots, Amazon, Tesco and loads more).
Why do cashback sites pay you? It’s simple: stores give cashback sites money as a ‘thank you’ for sending customers their way.
The cashback site then splits this ‘thank you’ money with you (to encourage people to keep using them).
You can then start earning money on every purchase you make. (It's money for old rope - our office secretary earned over £700 cashback with Quidco in 2013, which paid for a nice holiday!)
For more information on making money through cashback sites, see our guide on how to get paid to shop.
3. Sell your trash for cash
You can de-clutter your home while boosting your bank balance by recycling all sorts of things online for cash. For instance, you can earn up to £200 by recycling your old smartphone with O2 Recycle (open to phones from all networks).
- Earn up to £200+ for recycling your phone (from any network)
- Get cash for recycling other gadgets too (such as MP3 players, cameras, tablets and more)
- Same day payment
- FREE postage and packaging
- See how much you can get for your old phone and gadgets here
If your house is teeming with clutter you want to get rid of, you can make money by selling almost anything through second-hand site Preloved. Sell off your old furniture, electronics, cars, CDs or pretty much anything you can imagine. Best of all, it's absolutely free to place an ad (there are no listing fees, no selling fees, and no catches). Place a free advert on Preloved here.
For more ideas on things you can sell – everything from CDs to ink cartridges – see our article 7 things you can recycle for cash.
4. Turn your rags into riches
Did you know that the average person only wears 20% of the clothes in their wardrobe? And that the average woman has £200-worth of unworn clothes hiding in her closet?
Or if your house is packed full of old baby toys, clothes and equipment you still haven’t shifted, you’ll find a ready market for your cast-offs at the ‘Nearly New’ sale events that parenting charity NCT regularly hold all over the UK, so there's likely to be one near you soon.
For the full lowdown on how to turn your rags into riches, see our guide on how to make money selling second hand clothes.
5. Make money online buying and selling domain names
A domain name is just a website address - for example, both 'www.google.com' and 'www.youtube.com' are both domain names.
If you buy up desirable domain names, other people (especially businesses) will often buy them off you. For instance, one guy was savvy enough to register www.fb.com - and Facebook bought it off him for eight and a half million dollars (about five million pounds)!
Of course, you're unlikely to be quite that lucky - but a lot of buying and selling does go on (particularly from businesses who want to buy up every domain name that's similar to their brand name).
You just type in the domain name you want, and both 1&1 and GoDaddy will tell you if it's available or not. If it's available, you can buy it (many can be bought for just a few quid).
The best approach is to buy domain names that have obvious commercial value - domain names like quickpizza.com, or mortgagehelp.com.
Remember, a business buys a '.co.uk' address every 20 seconds - so there are constant opportunities to make money buying and selling domain names online.
6. Make money blogging
You have two options if you want to make money from blogging: you can get paid to write for other people's blogs, or you can set up your own blog.
Unless your own blog becomes incredibly popular then writing for other blogs will make you more money. Most blogging jobs are freelance, and you tend to get paid for each blogpost you write.
Most (though not all) blogging jobs ask for previous writing or blogging experience. But if you can provide some examples of good quality work that you've done - even if it's just on your own personal blog - you should be able to land some paid freelance opportunities. Have a look at writing jobs on Elance, Problogger and Indeed.co.uk to get a feel for what's out there.
Writers and bloggers get paid to write about all sorts of things: travel, food, furniture, beauty, parenting... you name it, people blog about it. Remember that if you've got specialist knowledge of a particular subject (fashion, for example) then you may well find work writing about your passion or hobby.
Alternatively, you can start your own blog - and write about anything you like. You don't have to be the least bit technical to set up a blog these days - if you can use a word processor, you can start a blog. With free blogging software like Blogger or Wordpress you can be up and running in under five minutes.
Bloggers get paid to write about all sorts of things: travel, food, furniture, fashion, beauty, parenting... you name it, people blog about it!
If you want to make money from your own blog, you can set up adverts to appear - but unless your blog starts attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors a month, don't expect to make much cash from this! Many bloggers do however get approached by companies and get paid to write about their products (or at the very least, get some decent freebies sent their way).
Have a look at Bloggers Required, a website which connects businesses with bloggers. Here you'll find businesses looking to connect with bloggers - for example, a beauty company might send you free face cream if you review it on your blog. Or a theme park might have a new ride they want to promote, and will give you free tickets to the park so you go and review it.
There are lots of opportunities out there for savvy bloggers!
Got a spare room you could rent out to a lodger? Then you can make some serious money.
Thanks to the government’s Rent-A-Room scheme, you don’t pay any tax on the first £4,250 you earn each year through renting out a room. You can advertise your room online at sites like Easyroomate.
If you don't fancy taking in a lodger, there are other ways you can make money.
For instance, if you’ve had a clear out and sold a lot of your old stuff online (see point 3 above), you may well find yourself with a bit of extra space – so why not rent out that space for money?
Storemates brings together people who have spare space with people who need it. It’s up to you how much you charge for storing their stuff, but if you charge less than commercial storage companies you should get a steady stream of money coming in for practically no effort (£10 a week seems to be the going rate).
Or if you live near a popular city, airport, train station or attraction, you can rent out your driveway or parking space to other motorists for as much as £500 a month through sites such as Parkatmyhouse.com.
You can even make money by renting out your garden to campers through the site Campinmygarden.com.
8. Rent out your stuff online
Most of us have items kicking around that we don’t use that often – whether it’s an old bike, lawnmower, TV or pushchair. So why not rent them out to people who need them for a reasonable fee?
Get paid every time your train is delayed - see below for details
It’s up to you how much you charge to rent out your items. These websites don’t take responsibility if things go wrong (i.e. someone breaks the bike you’ve rented out) but you can charge a deposit to cover yourself should the worst happen.
9. Become an online Virtual Assistant
If you have good admin skills or office experience, you can make up to £25 an hour working from home as a Virtual Assistant. This is where you provide admin support to businesses that can’t afford a full-time secretary. You’ll need up-to-date office software and a broadband connection, but you get good rates and can pick your own hours.
10. Start your own online business
Starting your own online business isn't as hard as you might think. You can of course start up your own website, which needn't cost hundreds or thousands of pounds (read how one chap started a successful online business for just £20).
But there are plenty of other options, too. Many people run their entire business just through eBay or Amazon, which is extremely cheap to do, while others sell arts and crafts on sites like Etsy (more information on selling arts and crafts online below).
Remember too that you can start an online business in your spare time, especially if you're selling products through eBay or Amazon.
For more information (and inspiration), see our article 10 reasons why you should start your own business with BBC Apprentice star Saira Khan.
11. Earn extra cash by entering competitions
You'd be amazed at what our readers have won just by getting in the habit of entering competitions - everything from 5 star holidays to brand new cars to £10,000 in cash!
Some of our 'compers' keep their winnings, while others sell on their prizes to make some quick cash.
What might surprise you is how few people enter many competitions - it's just a case of knowing where to look.
We picked the brains of our most successful compers to put together the How to Win Competitions eBook. It's packed full of insider tips on where to find the best competitions (including those competitions that few people enter), and shows you the handy tools that let you enter twice as many competitions in half the time.
12. Get crafty - sell arts and crafts online
If you're a dab hand at crafting jewellery, pottery, paintings, clothes (or any type of arts and crafts) - why not sell your goods online?
There's a huge demand for well made and unique items from talented craftsmen and women, and the online marketplace for arts and crafts is booming.
You don't need any technical knowledge to set up shop online. There are plenty of online craft marketplaces that set up your online shop for you and will handle all the technical issues and processing sales for you (in return for taking a small cut of any sale you make).
13. Check you’re getting the money you’re entitled to online
Did you know that there is more than £15 billion sitting in forgotten bank accounts in the UK? Many of these accounts (often forgotten after being opened for children or following a change of address) have hundreds or even thousands of pounds in them. Fill in a quick form at mylostaccount and see if anything turns up – you could get a nice surprise!
If your household income is below £66,000, check to see whether you’re entitled to any benefits
Don’t forget to check you’re getting all the benefits you’re due either. Whether you’re in work or unemployed, billions of pounds worth of benefits go unclaimed each year. The Citizen’s Advice Bureau has a free online benefits calculator. It’s definitely worth checking – if your family household income is below £66,000, you may be entitled to some form of benefit.
14. Complain to gain
Find yourself constantly ticked off by train and tube disruptions? Get money back every time your train is delayed or cancelled with Traindelays.co.uk. The site is free to use – just register the details of your journey online, and they’ll do the leg work of completing the claim form for you. All you need to do is print it out and send it off to the train company and wait for your compensation money to arrive. (You may also be interested in these 10 ways to get cheaper train tickets).
15. Switch your bank account
Want to make £100 (or more) online? Just switch your bank account. It’s not hard – the banks will automatically transfer over all your standing orders and direct debits. All you need to do is notify the people who pay money into your account, such as your employer.
Right now if you switch your current account to a First Direct 1st Account – which consistently comes top for customer service – they’ll give you £125 for your trouble. (You need to pay in at least £1,000 a month to qualify for this account).
Alternatively, the Halifax will give you £100 if you switch to their Reward Account, as well as £5 for every month you pay in £1,000 or more.
16. Get paid to surf the web
Did you know you can get paid just for searching for things online?
It sounds too good to be true, but it really works. If you install the Qmee application to your browser, every time you search on Google, Yahoo, Bing, Amazon or eBay, you get also Qmee results displayed on a sidebar alongside your normal search results.
So if you search for 'Cheap TVs' on Google for example, alongside your normal Google search results you'll also get search results from Qmee as well. The difference is, each time you click on a Qmee link, you get paid (usually between 5p-15p a click).
Our readers who have installed Qmee tell us they tend to make between £3-£5 a month from Qmee (so around £50-£60 a year). So it's not buckets of cash, but they say it's a nice little extra for doing no extra work!
You can find out more about how Qmee works here.
17. Make serious money from home
Forgive us for blowing our own trumpet, but if you want to pick up some serious extra cash, then pick up a copy of our popular guide 25 quick ways to make money from home.
It walks you through 25 tried and tested ways of earning extra money online and at home. None of these ways to make money will make you a millionaire – but all of them will give your bank balance a decent boost.
Make money online today with our eBook
Right now you can grab a copy for just £1.99 – which we reckon is pretty good value for a product that will put hundreds of pounds back into your pocket. Get your copy and start making money from home.
More ways to make and save money
Want more ways to make money - both online and at home? Have a look at these articles: