It is never a bad idea to make money online, especially if you have some free time on your hands. On top of that, you do not need more than a laptop, and sometimes a few skills that are easy to acquire. Where to start from when searching for legit side hustles? Here are valuable tips and suggestions for anybody who is looking for legit ways to make money online. 

There are a few caveats to consider. A side hustle is never a solid job with a stable income and other perks usually coming with it. It is more about earning a few dollars here and there (although a successful side-job can bring as much as a few thousands a month!). A side gig is not a full-time freelance job either. If you want to try yourself on a freelance market, advertise your skills on Upwork or Fiverr.

Why would one bother with a side gig? Well, extra cash never hurts anybody, especially if you are a student or want to advance your savings. Moreover, some of us can turn our hobby into a small profitable venture. You can also approach this side hustle as a way to relax after your regular job or exhausting study sessions — it’s always a matter of your mindset! Nevertheless, don’t forget to have quality rest time.

Unfortunately, more and more people have to turn to these types of jobs, initially meant as side gigs, for their primary income, and this is an economic disaster. Some websites exploit this situation and offer a ridiculously small amount of money for the amount of effort you put into it. We’ve tried to avoid those in the overview below — only legit side hustles are listed.

Below are eight legit ways to make money online that are fun and won’t trigger any long-term commitments. These are suitable for any schedule, even if you want to dedicate no more than a few hours a week. And we only include stuff that you can really do online, so no tips on becoming an Uber driver that are omnipresent in other articles, we promise!

Sell things online and rent out your valuables

This one is the most straightforward step of all and also quite self-evident. Sell things that no longer serve you but still can be of value for other people. Such an approach is beneficial for everybody: you declutter and make money, the environment is not overburdened with waste, while somebody can get the desired item much cheaper. 

What can you sell? Anything that can be reused and is in good condition: furniture, clothing, sports equipment, books, old electronics, especially smartphones. You can consult the KonMari method when choosing what to sell and what to leave. 

After you have a list of items for sale, decide on the price by checking the average of similar offers. Finally, post your items on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist. Don’t skip on properly photographing your items and providing proper descriptions. 

Alternatively, you can rent out your items! If you have a piece of equipment or an instrument that is particularly valuable, but you don’t use it on a daily basis, you can rent it out on Fat LLama, for example. A conscious and legit way to earn money on the side!

sell books  to make money online
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Sell and hunt for books with BookScouter

While eBay and Marketplace are suitable for selling furniture and clothing, books require some special treatment. If you have a fair amount of books and especially valuable college textbooks — sell books via BookScouter. This aggregator will find the best price for your book, so it’s a real shortcut to getting the best offer possible. Moreover, you don’t have to wait weeks for anybody to get interested in your item for sale — with BookScouter, finding a buyer and getting paid is just a matter of a few clicks. 

You can also become a real book hunter! You can find books that are now cheap and sell them later for a profit when the price has risen. Your profit for just one book can be even around a hundred dollars! Not bad. Analytical instruments in the pro version will help you find the best deals on the market and identify seasonal trends to maximize your profit from selling books online.

Become an expert on JustAnswer 

If you have expert knowledge in a field or specific skills, you might want to share them with those who are interested. JustAnswer pays you precisely for that — for answering questions about your area of expertise. Register on the platform, go through the verification process, and start answering questions! Hobby and passion can make money!

Do secret shopping and user tests online

Mystery shopping can’t be your major occupation, and it probably won’t help you make heaps of money. But it can be enjoyable for some people! Usually, you’d go out to dine or shop as a mystery shopper, but now it’s also possible to get paid for online shopping. By helping companies improve the customer journey and product qualities, you get some money on the side. Look for the offers from companies like IWD, RBG, or Secret Shopper. You should also look for well-paid user tests for evaluating products and services. 

Make money with Etsy 

If you have a crafty hobby, you can consider turning it into a micro-business. Etsy is full of successful stories of crafty entrepreneurs! So if you are willing to invest time into building your profitable online shop, Etsy is a certain way to go.

Build a community on Patreon 

If you make art or produce content, including blogs, photography, youtube, or simply anything that your audience enjoys, you can ask them to become your patrons. Patreon offers an excellent platform for setting up communication between creators and their audience. For a single person becoming a patron might not cost more than a few bucks a month, but if you get a good crowd supporting you, your hobby will get a pleasant remuneration.

Tutor students on italki 

Do you want to help students learn your native language? You don’t need to be a pro-teacher for that. With italki, you can become a community tutor who offers chatting sessions, helps learners advance their grammar and speaking skills, and shares some insights about your culture. It is also an entertaining way to meet new people from all over the globe! 

a woman has online teaching as a side hustle
Designed with Freepik

Take part in experiments 

By participating in scientific experiments and clinical trials, you help researchers conduct their studies and, in the end, contribute to the advancement of science! This activity is ideal if you have just a few hours of idle time here and there, and you’d rather spend this time with some benefit for society instead of scrolling your feed. It’s also exciting to see behind the scenes of psychological and economic experiments! You will not get a great remuneration for your time (around 30-50$ for a study, often paid as gift cards), but it is gratifying. You can look for these studies on ITHS, MIT labs, Clinical trials, or check colleges and labs in your area.

How to choose a side hustle that suits you?

Always start with identifying your own interests — don’t consider doing something that does not suit your values and preferences. 

Know in advance how much time you can dedicate to a side hustle.

Some hustles will provide you with a stable income from the first day, while others can require certain time investments but guarantee future passive earnings.

Compare your regular rate per hour with the potential side hustle. Is it worth it? Maybe it’s more profitable to invest your time in getting an extra qualification to further your chances for a pay raise.

While for some jobs you don’t need any special qualifications, for others you’d require to learn a few new skills. Are you ready to handle a steep learning curve for potentially bigger earnings?

On a final note, there is no way you can make money without any effort, time, and skills. So side-hustling might not be a piece of cake, but still quite a rewarding activity! And once you’ve got the money, don’t forget that you can make it work by properly managing, saving, and investing.

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