Gone are the days when the only opportunity for you to make some money as a teen was flipping burgers and bagging groceries. The infinite potential of the internet has made many online side hustles possible for teens. There’s a lot that you can do from the comfort of your home now to bring in a respectable amount of money working online.
That’s not to say that it’s going to be easy. This tends to be a misconception that many teens have, as they feel that it’s very easy to make money online. It’s certainly easier than working in some jobs but still requires dedication and hard work to generate a good income from an online side hustle.
Is It Legal for Teens to Have Online Side Hustles?
It’s entirely legal for a teenager to have an online side hustle, however, the age requirements do vary based on the type of work being done. For most jobs, there’s going to be a requirement to be at least 18 years of age. Some online freelancing platforms won’t approach freelancers under the age of 18.
However, there are many different opportunities for teens that are under the age of 18, even those that may be as young as 13 years old. These include taking surveys, testing games, playing games, and more. As long as there’s no minimum age requirement associated with the online side hustle you’re interested in, it’s fine for you to go ahead and start doing it.
Why Should You Do Online Side Hustles Even as a Teen?
There are a lot of benefits of doing online side hustles as a teen, here are a few of them:
- You learn the importance of productivity. Having an online side hustle is a responsibility. You’ll have to be mindful of the work you’re doing and strive to maintain a work schedule. This will teach you the importance of good time management and productivity, attributes that will surely help you later in life.
- Income brings freedom. Having your own income brings a degree of freedom to your life, enabling you to make decisions about spending money independently. It will teach you valuable lessons about spending habits and the importance of saving up for rainy days.
- Achieve great returns by investing early. Once you have an independent income, you can start investing early to achieve great returns over time. Even if you start investing small amounts, think about what your savings will grow to in 30 or 40 years. You have time on your side, utilize its power.
- Gain valuable work experience. The experience that you gain working on a side hustle will help you later in life. It will teach you how to manage your time, how to set expectations for clients, how to negotiate your terms, etc. The earlier you learn these realities of life, the better you’ll be able to navigate them.
- You’ll be driven to succeed in life. Running your side hustle and generating income from it will ignite in you a drive to succeed in life. You’ll begin to see the fruits of your efforts and it will encourage you to use your energies more effectively to ensure long-term success.
31 Online Side Hustles for Teens
There are countless online side hustles for teens and some won’t require much more than a smartphone. The great thing about online side hustles is that they evolve and grow. Given the rapid pace at which the internet advances, it’s entirely possible that new online side hustles, that we can’t even currently imagine, will come up in the next few years. Until that happens, the following online side hustles are readily accessible for teens:
Answer Online Surveys
This is a relatively easy online side gig that requires you to take paid surveys. You simply have to answer a bunch of questions to provide your opinion and you’ll be rewarded with free gift cards to retailers like Amazon. Some will even pay you in cash. Expect to receive between $5-10 per hour answering surveys.
Sites like Swagbucks are open to teens aged 13+. There are no set working times so you can answer surveys whenever you want. To get started, you just need to create an account on one of many online survey sites.
Many companies that release new products look for testers to take them for a spin. They are willing to send you a free sample in exchange for an honest review. While you don’t directly earn cash from these services, the sample is yours to keep after you’ve tested it, so you can sell it online to make some money.
Sites like Toluna are a great resource to get started with testing products. It’s open to teens aged 16+, and you’re free to choose which products you want to review.
If you have an eye for design and are detail-oriented enough to catch errors, you should consider testing websites as an online side hustle. Companies want testers to find any errors, broken elements, typos, etc. on their websites before they’re launched. This is something they pay for.
You can use services like UserTesting.com to get started. Do keep in mind that these services are usually open to those who are at least 17 years old.
Watch Ads for Money
You already see a lot of ads online, did you ever think you could get paid for watching ads? Not only is that possible, but it’s also a popular online side hustle for teens. Advertisers are happy to pay you if you’re willing to watch their ads.
Sites like InboxDollars offer brief ad content. You just need to watch the short ads they run in exchange for money. The minimum age limit is 18 or whatever the starting age of an adult is in your state.
Play Video Games Online
Do you get scolded for playing video games all the time? Next time you do, tell them you’re actually working! Yes, you can get paid for playing video games, making this one of the most fun side hustles on the list.
These are usually fun little games without much difficulty. There are services like Mistplay that you can download on your smartphone or computer to play video games and earn money on the side. It’s available to users aged 18 and above.
If you love listening to music then you’ll love this side hustle because you can get paid for doing something you love. There are plenty of online services that let you review songs in exchange for money.
These include Slice The Pie which pays people to review songs and even commercials. The opinions you provide in the review help artists and record labels make any changes to their records before they’re released. The service is open to users aged 12+.
Did you know that it’s possible to earn over $5 per hour from home by simply reviewing phone calls? You’ll be required to listen closely to calls between companies and their customers and then provide your review about certain parts of the conversation.
It’s a time-consuming job for sure since it requires spending a considerable amount of time listening to the calls, but it’s quite rewarding. Platforms like Humanatic are great to get started with this side hustle.
Start Your Online Store
If you have some money to invest or can get some help from people around you, you can consider launching an online store. This will require you to have one or more products that you can either source from distributors or have created.
Shopify is a popular platform for setting up an online store. You’re required to be 18 years or older, however, Shopify allows your parents to start an online store on your behalf if you’re under 18.
Design & Sell T-Shirts Online
Selling T-Shirts online is a longstanding tried and tested online side hustle for teens. If you have good graphic design skills and can make some nice designs, you can start selling them online through platforms like Printful.
The earning potential is significant since you can set your own pricing for the designs. These platforms are typically open for users as young as 13 years, however, the account for users below the age of 18 will need to be supervised by their parents.
Start a Flipping Business
If you have an eye for spotting a good deal and the skill to sell it quickly, then flipping side hustle is perfect for you. There are endless options. You can flip everything from shoes to textbooks, electronics, phones, websites, domain names, etc. The idea is to buy something and sell it for more than what you bought it for and pocket the difference as your profit.
Facebook Marketplace is a great place to search for deals as that’s where a lot of people sell and purchase used stuff. There are other platforms like eBay for the buying and selling of used goods. You can even pick up items from garage sales and flip them online.
Apply for Data Entry Jobs
There’s a lot of data entry work available online which tends to be very flexible and pays well, too. The tasks are relatively easy since you’re provided the data and just need to type it into its designated place.
You can get started by signing up for platforms like Fiverr where clients post various jobs, including data entry. The earning potential is also higher compared to some other side hustles, even $100 or more per job.
If you’re able to read fast and make sense of the information quickly, you can leverage this skill into an online side hustle. Companies are willing to pay gig workers to read their emails as it’s more cost-effective for them compared to hiring full-time workers.
These jobs can typically be found on online freelancing platforms and offer compensation based on an hourly basis. It’s normal to make up to $20 per hour reading emails.
Become a Transcriptionist
Companies often have audio files that need to be transcribed into words. There’s a lot of work available in this niche and if you have good listening and typing skills, you can use them to earn money on the side.
These jobs can also be found on freelancing platforms such as Fiverr and Freelancer.com.
Apply as a Translator
Knowing another language is a great skill that can be utilized to earn money on the side. Often there’s a need for companies and individuals to get something translated from one language to another.
If you have a good grasp of another language and have great writing skills, you can work as a translator. These jobs are available through popular online freelancing platforms and are typically paid for on an hourly basis.
Apply as a Proofreader
A good eye for detail and excellent grammatical skills can land you jobs as a proofreader. You can proofread everything from books, articles, magazines, emails, social media posts, and more on behalf of individuals and companies that need the service.
Online freelancing platforms are a great resource for these jobs. You can typically earn an hourly wage of $20 or more for these jobs, but the rates can vary based on the ease or the complexity of the job and your level of experience.
Content writing is a big niche and a lot of people who are interested in starting a side hustle start with it. If you’re reasonably knowledgeable about a topic or even if you’re willing to learn, as long as you have good writing skills, you can use them to write articles.
There’s a lot of content writing work available on freelancing platforms like Fiverr and Freelancer. Your earning potential depends on your skills and the type of job. Expect to make anywhere from $10 per article to more than $100.
Apply as a Virtual Assistant
Companies and busy individuals are increasingly hiring virtual assistants to manage their workload. It’s more cost-effective than hiring a full-time assistant. You’ll be responsible for a variety of tasks such as responding to emails, setting the schedule, booking appointments, and more.
If you have good time management and communication skills as well as can manage someone’s schedule, then working as a virtual assistant can be a very lucrative side hustle. These jobs tend to be long-term since clients who are happy with your work will likely want to keep you around.
Manage Social Media
Social media management is another popular online side hustle for teens. Most people in this age group are already quite skilled at using social media platforms. As long as you have the skills or are willing to learn the skills for social media management, you can make a decent income.
The tasks in these jobs will require you to do everything from responding to comments to making new posts, offering customer service, and more. These jobs typically pay between $10 – $25 per hour, depending on the client and your experience.
Do Graphic Design
The graphic design skills you have can launch your career from a mere side hustle. If this is something you’re good at, you can start signing up for freelancer platforms to do graphic design for clients in a wide range of industries.
This has the added benefit of expanding your portfolio. As you transition into a full-time position, you’ll have a great portfolio that you can show to potential clients as you negotiate rates for a graphic design role.
Sell Stock Photos
There’s a lot of demand for stock photos online. People who have a passion for photography can leverage that into a side hustle. You can put your skills to good use by selling stock images that people can use in their profiles.
Stock photos can be of anything as mundane as a coffee cup or a tree, but it needs to be aesthetic enough that people will want to pay for it. Sites like Shutterstock are great for selling stock photos online, you can earn between a few cents to over $100 per royalty-free sale.
Offer Video Editing Services
Businesses are increasingly focusing on creating video content and they often rely on video editors to sort through the footage and provide them with a polished finished product. As long as you have the required video editing skills, this can be a great way to utilize them and earn a bit of money.
This has the potential to turn into a serious side hustle as you can effectively work as a freelance video editor. You can take on as many projects as your schedule allows and set your own rate, which can certainly go higher once you’ve gained experience.
Start a Podcast
Podcasting has become quite popular in recent years as people have begun relying on them for news, entertainment, opinions, and more. You can brainstorm interesting ideas regarding topics that you’re well informed about and then create compelling podcasts around that.
The setup will require good-quality microphones and cameras. It will also require some work editing the program but once it’s all good and your podcast takes off, you can easily generate passive income.
Start Your YouTube Channel
YouTube still has immense potential even though it has been around for a while and there’s no shortage of successful YouTubers. It takes very little to get started on YouTube; you can start shooting videos with your smartphone and even edit the clips on them.
People are interested in watching unique and exciting content on YouTube. As long as you’re able to produce that, you should be able to get good views on the platform, and views equal money. The average YouTuber makes over $1,000 a month, while those who are popular make millions.
Become a Brand Ambassador
If you’ve built a lot of fan following online either through your podcast or YouTube channel, you can utilize that base to work with brands that are in a related industry. Brands want to be associated with relevant creators and would be willing to take you on as a brand ambassador.
In this role, you’ll typically be required to promote the brand’s products and services. The specifics of the job will depend on the contract that you have with the brand. How lucrative this role can be for you will also rely on the contract you’re able to get.
Develop Your Own Website and Start Blogging
Blogging has also been one of the most widely used online side hustles for teens. This is where a lot of people get their start in the world of making money online. It’s easy to set up your own website these days and you can start blogging about the topics that interest you, such as fashion, tech, education, etc.
The idea is to grow your blog enough that the ad income starts coming in. This normally takes time so expect to soldier on for a few months before you see some ad income. Once your blog takes off, the earning potential becomes quite impressive.
Become a Social Media Influencer
Social media rules our lives these days and people are willing to follow interesting creators and influencers who can open their minds to new products and experiences. It requires content creation skills as what you share must be capable of capturing the audience’s attention.
You can consider this as a side hustle but only if you’re willing to possibly spend a long time before you gain any considerable following. While it’s possible to go viral overnight, this doesn’t happen for everybody, and upcoming creators may often have to wait for years before they can be truly established as influencers.
If you’re a good student of English, you can use your knowledge to benefit others and earn some money in the process. Students from across the globe search for tutors online that can help improve their English.
This can be a good work-from-home side hustle where you can set your schedule and take classes when it suits you. You can set your rates depending on your experience and skill, and potentially make a decent amount.
Offer Tutorial Services
Online tutoring jobs are available through platforms like TutorMe.com. You can leverage your knowledge in topics such as mathematics, English, chemistry, biology, etc., and teach other students in exchange for a fee.
A lot of students are willing to pay to get the extra assistance. This is a great way to not just earn income from a side hustle but also help other students improve academically.
Create and Sell Online Courses
Selling courses online is also a proven method of generating a side income. This usually involves packaging all of your knowledge into a digital course that can teach others valuable new skills.
For example, if you’re skilled in video editing or creative writing, you can create a course that teaches people those skills in exchange for a fee. You can sell these courses through your website or platforms such as Thinkific and Skillshare.
Apply as Customer Service Representative
Customer service online jobs can be a bit challenging as they require you to deal with customers who may not have had a good experience with the company. This requires diplomacy and diligence on your part when handling such complaints.
Nevertheless, it’s a good way to make some income on the side as the average pay starts around $10 per hour. All you need is a good internet connection and a pair of good-quality headphones to start.
Create an App
If you’re skilled at app development, this is a great way to build a side hustle. It will require you to come up with a unique idea as apps are dime a dozen these days and unless your app stands out it will be difficult for it to gain traction.
You can choose to create apps for iOS or Android, the two leading mobile platforms. They can either be simple apps that help people with scheduling, or full-fledged informational or entertainment apps. You could either charge an upfront fee for the app or sell subscriptions for recurring income.
5 Steps on How to Start and Formalize Your Online Side Hustles
Now that you’ve figured out which side hustle suits you the best, you now need to learn how to start a business as a teenager. It may sound like a daunting process but in reality, it’s not that difficult. Here are five steps that you need to follow in order to start an online side hustle.
Develop a Business Plan
Start by developing a business plan that highlights the vision and challenges for the business. The plan should also include a path to profitability and growth. You can adapt it with time as the business grows, but it’s a vital document to put together when you start formalizing your online side hustles.
Choose The Relevant Business Structure
You’ll need to set up a business entity to formalize your online side hustle. The structure that you can choose can either be a sole proprietorship, general or limited partnership, Limited Liability Company, (LLC) or corporation.
If your online side hustle has considerable startup costs, like launching a podcast does, you’ll need to arrange adequate financing to get the business off the ground. Once your legal entity is registered, you can reach out to lenders who may be willing to invest in your business.
Register Your Business
After all the documentation has been done, register your LLC or any other type of entity with the relevant department in your area. For LLCs, this will be the Secretary of State. Once the incorporation is approved, your LLC is effectively open for business.
Open a Business Bank Account
You must learn from a very young age that personal and business finances should never be linked. A separate business bank account ensures that all the income and expenses of the business are monitored independently.
Don’t Start Your New Side Hustle Without Doola
You may have your heart set on one or more of these side hustles, that’s great, but you must not start without doola Bookkeeping. It’s like having a dedicated recordkeeper for your side hustle. It’s the ultimate bookkeeping solution that makes it easier for you to manage your finances.
You can easily create customized invoice templates, manage client lists, set up recurring invoices, and more. It takes bookkeeping completely off your plate so you can focus on growing your side hustle.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to start an online side hustle?
The cost to start an online side hustle depends on the type of side hustle you choose. For some, like selling stock photos, the costs will be negligible but for side hustles like podcasts, the initial costs will include expensive equipment.
Are online side hustles profitable?
Online side hustles can be very profitable, but your earning potential largely depends on the type of side hustle you’re in, the demand for those services, your level of experience, and your relationships with clients.
How can I manage my time being a student and doing online jobs?
You’d want to focus on your studies but you may find enough time to do online jobs. You can start small by taking on jobs that only require an hour or two of your time. As you begin to get more experience, you can take jobs that require more time but by then you will be able to better split your time between studies and online jobs.