Making Money Online

Cash Cows for Teens: Legit Ways for Students to Make Money Online

Teens today have endless opportunities to make money online. From freelancing services to selling products, the internet provides numerous ways for students to earn cash.

With youth unemployment rates rising, having a side income is becoming increasingly important for teens. Whether saving up for college or just wanting extra spending money, who couldn’t use a little extra cash?

This comprehensive guide reveals 27 legitimate and proven ideas to help teens start earning money online. We’ll cover quick gigs, long-term income streams, and everything in between.

Ways for Teens to Make Money Online

1. Take Online Surveys

Taking online surveys in your spare time is an easy way to earn a bit of extra money. There are many survey companies to choose from, some popular ones include:

  • SurveyJunkie – Take short surveys for points redeemable for gift cards. Surveys take 5-10 minutes and payout is typically $1-$5.
  • Swagbucks – Another survey site that pays out gift cards. Most surveys pay between $0.50-$2.
  • Toluna – Features surveys and product testing opportunities. Payout is through PayPal or physical gift cards.
  • InboxDollars – Get paid for taking surveys, playing games, watching videos and more. Redeem for cash via check or gift cards.

Survey taking won’t make you rich but it’s an effortless way to earn extra cash in your downtime. Most teens can make $100-$200 a month.

2. Get Paid to Search the Web

Using search engines like you normally would, except getting paid for it. That’s the concept behind companies like:

  • Swagbucks – Earn points (called SB) for using their search engine. Redeem for gift cards or cash.
  • InboxDollars – Add their search bar extension and get paid for your searches.
  • Qmee – A browser add-on that pops up with paid search results when you search on Google, Bing, Amazon, etc.

You likely won’t get rich with paid search but it requires little effort and adds up over time. Expect to earn $5-$15 monthly.

3. Sell Your Old Stuff

Instead of letting your unwanted possessions collect dust, sell them for cash. Good options for teens include:

  • eBay – The internet’s largest auction and shopping site makes selling your stuff easy.
  • Facebook Marketplace – List your items for locals to browse and buy.
  • Poshmark – Resell new/used clothes from your closet on this popular app.
  • Decluttr – Trade in CDs, DVDs, electronics, games and more for cash. Free shipping labels provided.

Take stock of what you no longer use – video games, consoles, electronics, trading cards, designer items, musical instruments etc. You might be sitting on a small fortune!

4. Sell Used Books Online

From textbooks to novels, your old books can be exchanged for cash. Here are some options:

  • Decluttr – Scan books barcodes with their app for instant price quotes. Print free shipping label if you accept the offer.
  • sellBackYourBook – Enter ISBNs to see buyback offers. Free shipping and fast payment.
  • BookScouter – Compare buyback prices across over 35 book buyback vendors.
  • Amazon Trade-In – Trade-in eligible books for an Amazon gift card. Print free label.

Go through your shelves and gather up books you no longer want. Older editions of textbooks tend to have the highest resale value.

5. Freelance Writing

If you have a knack for writing, offer your services as a freelance writer. Possible opportunities include:

  • Article writing – Create blog posts, articles, web content etc. Self-publish on platforms like Medium for added income.
  • Copywriting – Write product descriptions, ad copy, press releases and more.
  • Resume writing – Many need help perfecting their resumes.
  • Proofreading & Editing – Proofread, edit or critique others’ writing. English teachers are great for this.
  • Reviews – Get paid to review products/services on sites like Google Local and Yelp.

Other writing gigs could include script writing, speech writing, data entry, transcription and creative writing.

Build up a portfolio of your writing and create profiles on freelance sites like Flexjobs, Fiverr, and Upwork to land clients.

6. Sell Your Photos Online

Did you know your photos could earn you money? Stock photo sites will pay for submissions:

  • Shutterstock – Submit photos, vectors, videos and music. Earn 15-33% royalties when your work is downloaded.
  • iStock – Exclusive photos can earn 15-45% royalties. Non-exclusive earn 15%.
  • Adobe Stock – Get 33% for exclusive contributions.
  • Alamy – Earn up to 50% royalties on your accepted photos.

The key is quality, unique images with people, expressions, lifestyle moments etc. Nature shots or travel pics also sell.

Brush up on some photography tips before submitting your best work to stock agencies.

7. Create YouTube Videos

broadcasting yourself through YouTube videos can be surprisingly profitable. Ways to earn include:

  • Ad revenue – Get a cut of the ad money from YouTube videos you create. The more views, the more you earn.
  • Affiliate marketing – Review products and include affiliate links in your video descriptions.
  • Sponsorships – Get businesses to sponsor your videos and shoutout their products/services.
  • Fan funding – Fans can pay a monthly fee via YouTube membership to support your channel.

With over 2 billion monthly users, YouTube offers a huge potential audience. Channels about gaming, animation, music, comedy, tech, and family/lifestyle tend to see the best results.

But any niche can work – just provide quality content that informs or entertains.

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8. Launch an Ecommerce Business

Ambitious teens can make serious cash by starting their own online businesses. Popular options include:

  • Dropshipping – Sell products you don’t stock. When an order comes in, a supplier ships it for you.
  • Print-on-demand – Upload designs to be printed on t-shirts, mugs, phone cases and other products when ordered.
  • Handmade crafts – Sell your homemade soaps, candles, jewelry and other crafts on Etsy and at local markets.
  • Arbitrage – Buy products cheap then resell at higher prices.

You don’t need huge upfront investments or inventory. Leverage platforms like Shopify, Wix, and Weebly to quickly launch an ecommerce store. Effective marketing and SEO will be key to growing sales.

Teens can tap into trends, hobbies/passions or solve common problems by selling desired products or services online.

9. Resell Sneakers and Streetwear

The booming sneakerhead and streetwear scene offers opportunities to buy sought after shoes/apparel and resell for profits. For teens with knowledge of what’s hot, it can mean big money. Strategies include:

  • Limited releases – Get limited edition shoes/clothing and flip for 2-3X retail.
  • Pre-orders – Buy pre-order slots for upcoming releases and resell the slot or product.
  • Restocks – Sign up for restock notifications and buy limited shoes to resell.
  • Wholesale – Buy leftover stock from retailers at discount and resell at higher prices.

Use platforms like eBay, GOAT, StockX, Grailed, Instagram and local Facebook groups to connect with buyers. Limited Jordans, Yeezys, and Off-Whites are especially lucrative.

10. Become an Influencer

Social media influencing has become a highly profitable occupation. As a teen, you likely already know how to grow followings and create content on platforms like:

  • Instagram – Share aesthetically pleasing photos related to your niche/interests.
  • TikTok – Create fun 15-60 second videos showcasing your talents, humor, lifestyle etc.
  • YouTube – Develop a loyal following by consistently producing entertaining videos.
  • Twitch – Livestream yourself gaming and engage with viewers.

Once you build a large, engaged following you can make money through:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Advertising/sponsorships
  • Creating premium content
  • Selling merchandise
  • Appearances and events

Micro influencers with just 1,000 engaged followers can earn $100 per sponsored post. The income potential scales up dramatically the more followers you gain.

11. Teach a Skill Online

If you excel at something like art, music, acting, coding, math, tutoring, cooking etc. teach others through virtual classes. Platforms like:

  • Udemy – Create in-depth online courses and earn royalties when users enroll.
  • Outschool – Teach live small-group classes to kids ages 3-18. Make up to $40 per hour.
  • Skooli – Tutor 1-on-1 or small groups on this tutoring platform. Get paid $20-60 per hour.
  • Etsy – Sell teaching resources like PDF workbooks, lesson plans, templates, etc.

With virtual platforms, you can teach students around the world. Set your own prices and schedule. Share your knowledge while earning great side income.

12. Become a Virtual Assistant

Task management, email management, data entry, customer service and more – businesses will pay for this administrative help. Virtual assistant services teens can offer include:

  • Calendar management
  • Email organization
  • Document formatting
  • Data entry
  • Scheduling calls/meetings
  • Customer service
  • Market research

Create profiles on sites like Fancy Hands, Belay, Upwork and Fiverr to connect with clients. Consider specializing in an industry like legal services, real estate, or marketing.

Virtual assisting provides fantastic work experience too!

13. Sell Crafts on Etsy

Crafty teens can sell their handmade creations through an Etsy storefront. Best selling ideas include:

  • Jewelry making
  • Soaps and candles
  • Decor pieces like wall hangings
  • Clothing and accessories
  • Paper goods such as greeting cards, invitations, journals
  • Paintings, drawings, and other artwork
  • Knitted, crocheted, and sewn items

Etsy makes it simple to set up a shop, handle payments, market your goods, and manage shipping.

Start creating and capturing product photos during your downtime to build up inventory. With the massive Etsy audience, top sellers earn over $100K a year!

14. Offer Pet Care Services

From dog walking to pet sitting, pet owners always need extra help caring for their animals. Services teens can provide include:

  • Dog walking
  • Pet sitting
  • Pet grooming/bathing
  • Pet boarding – watch pets in your home while owners travel
  • House visits – pop in to feed pets, give medication, provide exercise for mid-day dog walks

Create profiles on sites like Rover or Wag to connect with pet owners in your area. You can set rates, availability, and what services you offer.

With flexible work from home options available, pets are a great way for teens to earn money locally.

15. Develop Apps

For teens interested in technology and programming, developing and selling apps can be highly profitable. Options include:

  • Creating game apps
  • Utility apps that fulfill common needs
  • Subscription based apps
  • Geo-location apps
  • Augmented reality apps
  • Apps for specific purposes like small businesses

The best apps solve a problem, simplify a task, or provide entertainment value. Brainstorm ideas, learn development through tutorials and programs like Swift, use prototyping tools, partner with a developer, or join programming clubs to turn your app idea into reality.

Popular platforms like the App Store and Google Play make distribution simple. Apps have the potential to deliver passive income year after year.

16. Resell Sneakers and Streetwear

The booming sneakerhead and streetwear scene offers opportunities to buy sought after shoes/apparel and resell for profits. For teens with knowledge of what’s hot, it can mean big money. Strategies include:

  • Limited releases – Get limited edition shoes/clothing and flip for 2-3X retail.
  • Pre-orders – Buy pre-order slots for upcoming releases and resell the slot or product.
  • Restocks – Sign up for restock notifications and buy limited shoes to resell.
  • Wholesale – Buy leftover stock from retailers at discount and resell at higher prices.

Use platforms like eBay, GOAT, StockX, Grailed, Instagram and local Facebook groups to connect with buyers. Limited Jordans, Yeezys, and Off-Whites are especially lucrative.

17. Garage Sale Flipping

Frequent yard sales and buy valuable items for cheap. Resell finds for profit on sites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Mercari, Poshmark etc. Potential flips include:

  • Electronics – Older game consoles, iPods, cameras, laptops etc.
  • Vintage toys – Hot Wheels, Transformers, Lego sets, dolls etc.
  • Sports memorabilia – Signed gear, trading cards etc.
  • Jewelry – Real jewelry often slips through the cracks. Grab designer pieces.
  • Rare books/comics – 1st editions and vintage comics can be worth big bucks.
  • Furniture – Mid-century and retro styles are hot.

Garage sale flipping takes some digging but profits can be huge – like $5 turning into $500. Bring a price guide and scanner to value finds.

18. Design & Sell Merch

Use sites like Teespring and Redbubble to upload your original t-shirt, sticker, phone case, and other merch designs. You set the price to earn a commission on each sale. Trending merch ideas include:

  • Pop culture – Create timely designs referencing movies, TV shows, games, music etc.
  • Funny sayings and quotes
  • Political/social commentary
  • Quirky creatures
  • Gamer tags and jokes
  • Birthday, holidays and events

Promote your products through social media. As your designs gain visibility, you can earn passive income from merchandise sales.

19. Become a Brand Ambassador

Brands will hire teens to promote products as campus ambassadors and through social media. Typical tasks include:

  • Distributing product samples on campus
  • Putting up flyers and posters
  • Managing campus social media
  • Running giveaways and contests
  • Posting sponsored content on your accounts
  • Reporting back on results

Great side gig for sociable teens involved on campus. Can likely earn $100-$200 monthly for just a few hours of weekly work with the right brands.

20. Flipping Domains

Snatch up high-quality domain names when they become available and resell them for profit. Good domains to flip include:

  • Category-specific – Finance, travel, tech, fashion etc.
  • Generic – Something broad like
  • Misspellings – Common misspellings of high-value domains.
  • Short names – Anything under six characters.
  • High-value brands – Related names like

Tools like GoDaddy Domain Search and Namebio help spot valuable dropping domains. Sites like Flippa and Afternic connect buyers and sellers.

Domain flipping requires low time investment for the potential of high payouts. Teens with business minds can profit from this creative method.

21. Graphic Design

Everyone needs graphics for websites, social media, product listings, ads, and more. As a teen graphic designer, offer services like:

  • Logo design
  • Website and social media graphics
  • Flyers, posters presentations
  • Packaging design
  • Infographics
  • Marketing materials
  • Brochures, business cards, letterheads
  • Book covers and illustrations

Register on freelancing sites like Fiverr and Upwork or reach out directly to local businesses and nonprofits. Build up a compelling portfolio highlighting your design skills and previous work.

Graphic design provides an opportunity to gain professional experience before leaving school.

22. Collectibles Reselling

Tap into your knowledge of collectibles to buy underpriced items and resell for large profits. Hot categories include:

  • Trading cards – Sports, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh etc. Use eBay recent sold listings to spot underpriced listings.
  • Comic books – Especially 1st editions of popular titles. Check community pricing tools.
  • Action figures – Vintage 80s-90s toys like TMNT, Transformers and Star Wars are valuable.
  • Dolls – Vintage Barbie, Bratz, Monster High can all flip for good profits.
  • Lego Sets – Older discontinued sets can sell for a lot.

Frequent hobby shops, thrift stores and garage sales to find hidden gems you can quickly flip online. The right find could bring in over $500 profit!

23. Gaming Livestreams

Streams of video gameplay content are huge right now. With platforms like Twitch, teens can earn income through:

  • Ad revenue – Get a share of ad dollars from your streams.
  • Subscriptions – Fans pay monthly fees for perks like ad-free viewing and exclusive content.
  • Donations – Viewers can donate money during your stream.
  • Sponsorships and brand deals – Promote products on your channel.

To gain traction, consistently stream popular competitive games like Fortnite, CS:GO, L

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George James

George was born on March 15, 1995 in Chicago, Illinois. From a young age, George was fascinated by international finance and the foreign exchange (forex) market. He studied Economics and Finance at the University of Chicago, graduating in 2017. After college, George worked at a hedge fund as a junior analyst, gaining first-hand experience analyzing currency markets. He eventually realized his true passion was educating novice traders on how to profit in forex. In 2020, George started his blog "Forex Trading for the Beginners" to share forex trading tips, strategies, and insights with beginner traders. His engaging writing style and ability to explain complex forex concepts in simple terms quickly gained him a large readership. Over the next decade, George's blog grew into one of the most popular resources for new forex traders worldwide. He expanded his content into training courses and video tutorials. John also became an influential figure on social media, with over 5000 Twitter followers and 3000 YouTube subscribers. George's trading advice emphasizes risk management, developing a trading plan, and avoiding common beginner mistakes. He also frequently collaborates with other successful forex traders to provide readers with a variety of perspectives and strategies. Now based in New York City, George continues to operate "Forex Trading for the Beginners" as a full-time endeavor. George takes pride in helping newcomers avoid losses and achieve forex trading success.

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