7 Ways to Make Money Online and With Free Apps in 2018
If you’re looking for extra ways to make money outside of your full-time job, consider what’s become the tried-and-true method over the last decade: turning to your smartphone. These days, there are plenty of ways to find profitable side hustles and search for opportunities to earn extra dough through websites and apps – all in just a few swipes on your smartphone.
So, if you’re looking for some simple money-earning strategies, consider pocketing extra cash with these free apps and websites.
1. Participate in a focus group. By joining an online focus group – a mix of people selected to participate in a discussion, often about a particular product, service or issue – you can collect extra money for sharing your ideas. Many companies organizing focus groups for market research pay the participants for their time. Where to find one of these focus groups? There are quite a few websites that aim to help people find paid focus groups, including SideHustleNation.com and FindFocusGroups.com.
“Over the last few years, there has been a huge trend of companies conducting online focus groups. Because of technology and the fact that most people have a webcam, people can get paid for their opinions without even leaving their house. This is a really simple and fun way for people to make extra money online,” says Danny DiGiovanni, owner of FindFocusGroups.com. While you may not want to quit your day job, for a side gig, it could work out well. For instance, DiGiovanni says that some recent online paid focus groups on his site have included a focus group about tutors for parents that paid $100, a focus group about taxes that paid $100 and a 30-minute webcam interview about baby products that paid $50.
2. Use your hacking skills for good. If you know how to adeptly hack into websites, put your skills to use with HackerOne.com, a platform that pays their network of more than 100,000 hackers for finding and reporting software vulnerabilities. According to data on HackerOne’s website, 12 percent of their hackers make $20,000 or more per year. Approximately 3 percent of the hackers are making over $300,000, and 1.1 percent are making over $350,000, according to HackerOne.com.
3. Sell your photos. Shutterstock.com, a stock photography website, will buy your photos and pay you for photos that their consumers like. “We have a great selection of contributors who are regular people and decided to take on a new – or old – hobby to earn some extra cash,” says Paul Brennan, vice president of content operations at Shutterstock.
While you won’t make a lucrative sum by selling your photos online (unless you’re a gifted photographer with in-demand images), Shutterstock will pay you 25 cents every time one of your images is downloaded, according to its website. If you earn $500, then you’ll receive 33 cents per download; if you earn $3,000, you’ll receive 36 cents per download; and if you earn $10,000 or more, you’ll receive 38 cents for every download.
4. Teach English. Megan Robinson, a financial coach in Blacksburg, Virginia, says that she has made money online by teaching English as a second language at the website, VIPKID, an online education firm offering online English-speaking lessons to Chinese students ages 4 to 12. According to the website, you can make $14 to $22 an hour.
“I made over $10,000 in 2017 teaching part time. The only requirements for teachers are a bachelor’s degree and great English-speaking skills,” Robinson says, adding: “There’s no special equipment required, and teachers can work from anywhere they can get an internet connection.”
5. Sell your comic books. If you have an extensive comic book collection, check out the site ComicConnect.com, which is managed by Metropolis Collectibles, the world’s largest vintage comic book dealership. ComicConnect.com touts itself as the largest online vintage comic auction house. You can auction off your comics on the site, but you can also sell comics directly to interested buyers. Best of all, site membership is free. The website takes a small commission – on average, 10 percent – for the comic books you sell.
6. Break a sweat. If you consider yourself a fitness junkie or simply enjoy getting fresh air, try Sweatcoin, an app that pays you to walk outside. While you won’t make a hefty sum for using the app, if you like embracing the great outdoors (the app doesn’t work when you’re inside), this could be an easy way to earn extra dough and burn off extra calories simultaneously. Just remember to bring along your mobile device to sync the app with your phone’s GPS.
But before you turn to Sweatcoin, keep in mind that you won’t be paid in actual cash, says Howard Orloff, a crowdfunding and blockchain consultant in Northbrook, Illinois, who is a member of the site. “Sweatcoin, the app, pays in Sweatcoin, a cybercurrency, which can be exchanged for products and gift cards within the app,” Orloff says. In about three months, he bought and sold $2,000 in sweatcoins, he says.
He’s keeping most of the sweatcoins, since they might go up in value, similar to bitcoinand other digital currencies. Currently, a typical user walking 5,000 steps a day would be earning about $4 a week, according to Orloff.
7. Shop online. You can spend money online (and earn cash back) at some websites and apps, like Shopkick, where the more you spend, the more reward points (or “kicks”) you’ll get, which you can redeem for gift cards. Here’s how it works: After you connect your debit or credit card with the Shopkick app, you can shop online or in stores with Shopkick’s retail partners, which include Target, CVS, Marshalls, Best Buy and Amazon.com. The catch: It will take some time to pocket a significant amount. While you might get 500 points for buying an item or doing a task, like walking into a store (you can earn kicks just for simply walking into some shops), 500 points may translate to a $2 Target gift card. With that said, if you’re looking to gradually grow your savings by shopping at retailers you already visit, it may be worthwhile to download the app.