How does making money from the comfort of your own home sound? You can set up a little side hustle, or if you fancy becoming your own boss take the plunge and invest to set up your own business. Either way, there is a big wide world out there offering you the chance to make money – sometimes without even leaving the sofa.
We’re going to take a look at some of the best ways to make money from home – some are much easier than others. Some will need time and effort, others can be done on a lunch break. We will also explore the rules on making money from home (don’t worry; all are completely legal), but there is some fine print that comes with everything – and this particular finer detail involves the tax man.
With this in mind, take a look at our ideas that will see you making a little extra cash in no time.
If you’re wondering how to make money at home online for free, online surveys can be done easily. Market research is huge and very important to businesses, which is why you can be rewarded for helping them. You can get money or vouchers (depending on what sites you pick) and all you have to do is share your opinion and views on a particular subject. From the latest phone to insurance and pets. Any topic you can think of, there’s a survey waiting.
How it works:
When you’ve found a site you like the look of, make an account and fill in your details. The information you provide in the initial setup will determine what surveys you get. If, for example, you say you’re a non-smoker, you won’t get any smoking-related surveys. If you say you don’t have pets, don’t expect pet-related tasks.
Once you’re set up, start answering the surveys and watch the pennies roll in. How much you can earn per survey varies, but you can get as much as £5 by completing a survey which could take you just 30 minutes to fill out. There are a range of sites available for you to choose from including:
Once upon a time you needed to load up your car early in the morning and head to a carboot to make some extra cash by selling your unwanted items. But now thanks to the internet, you can sell anything you no longer need or want from the comfort of your sofa. Albeit you may have to venture out to post it (unless you do collection only).
Thanks to online selling sites such as eBay, Depop, Shpock and Facebook Marketplace it has never been easier to make money from home online. So have a clearout, you may find some hidden treasures lurking in the corners of your home that you can make some quick cash on.
Are you really good at knitting? Can you make amazing items with a glue gun? If you like getting crafty in your spare time, you can make a nice sum by selling your creations online.
Sites such as Etsy and Not On The High Street allow you to sell handmade items such as prints, jewellery and homeware all from that desk in your spare room. Simply make an account and upload images and details of the items you want to sell.
If you’re offering a physical product, you will, of course, have to venture out to the post office to send it to its new owner. But if, for example, you offer digital-only prints you don’t even need to leave your home (and you’ll save money on printing costs). Bear in mind, you will be charged a small fee for selling your products on these sites but you can definitely earn some extra cash even with this cut taken out.
Write a book
Thanks to Kindle Direct Publishing anyone can publish a book – whether it’s a paperback or eBook. If you’ve always wanted to write a book or are an expert in an industry and want to publish a guide, this is a great way to make money from it. You can self-publish your book on Kindle and have it reach millions of people around the world.
You’ll earn up to 70% of royalties from your creation. It takes less than five minutes to publish and it will appear in Kindle stores within 24-48 hours. When you publish, you will still own all of the rights and can make changes at any time to your books.
Depending on how you look at this one, you’re either making money or saving it. Imagine getting money back by spending money. Thanks to cashback sites such as TopCashback, this has never been easier. Here’s a step by step guide to earning money through cashback:
- Set up an account with a cashback site
- If there’s something you’re wanting to buy (let’s say a new washing machine) have a look on the cashback site and see if the store you want to buy your washing machine is on there
- If it is, visit the store through the cashback site. This will then register that you’ve clicked on a link from a cashback provider
- If you place an order, you will earn a percentage back from the total.
While this does require you to make a purchase, if you already plan on buying something it can be an easy way to save yourself some pennies. It’s not a quick-cash solution though as it does take some time for the transaction to be confirmed. But if you do it enough, it will all start to add up; as the saying goes, look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves. Take a look at Boom25, Quidco and TopCashback which all offer cashback services.
Start a podcast
Live out your radio host dreams and launch a podcast. This isn’t a straight road leading to a pot of gold, however. It takes time and dedication, but the rewards can be great if you’re willing to commit to it. First, you’ll need to find a subject you’re passionate about and can talk about for a whole series of episodes. Once you’ve picked your subject you want to narrow it down and make it a niche. Just like the blogging industry, podcasts, while not as saturated, are still available in their thousands. Which is why you want to find a subject that you can shine a new light on and bring something different to the table.
Things to consider when starting a podcast
- Pick a subject you’re passionate about and one you think others will enjoy. If it’s too niche, you risk not getting any listeners
- Find something that isn’t too competitive. Research Apple Podcasts and Spotify to see the different categories available. You don’t want to compete with a full-time professional podcaster complete with their own studio
- Choose a subject that comes easily. That way it doesn’t require hours of research.
How can you make money from a podcast?
Once you’ve got your show idea planned, it’s worth putting a few episodes out there to get an idea of listener numbers. Once you have established your place in the podcasting world, and have a few listener numbers and figures, now is the time to approach brands.
One of the best ways to make money in podcasting is through episode sponsorship. This will see you promote products or services for a business related to your podcast topic in each episode. You can charge as much as you want – you can make the most by having the advert in the middle of the podcast show.
Set up a blog or website
Just like launching a podcast, you can also set up a blog or website. It is not an easy and simple way to make money, but with time and effort it can be done – some bloggers can make thousands a year! Again, like podcasting, think of something you’re passionate about. Fashion is a big part of the blogosphere, but if that’s what you’re into and passionate about, you can make it work.
As a rule with launching anything new, you should aim to find a niche. So if you’re set on creating a fashion blog, you can narrow down your area of expertise to sustainable fashion, for example, or perhaps you love wearing bright colours or shopping in thrift stores. Find a niche you love and believe in and you’ll soon create a community of other like minded people who want to read what you have to offer.
How to make money from blogging
First set up a blog. If you’re new to website creation, use a platform which will host your site for you and guide through setting it up. WordPress is a favourite among bloggers. It has a range of tiers starting from a free site for beginners to a paid subscription ideal for professionals. By using a free blogging site, as you haven’t made any monetary investment, when you start making money you will be in profit from the get-go.
It’s important to note that while free sites are good to begin with, paid ones give you more control over advertising – making it easier to make money.
Next, organise a schedule. Regular posting will generate regular views. Once you have your schedule stick to it. You don’t want to have your readers visiting your site on a Tuesday at 7pm to read an article you haven’t posted.
One of the best ways to make money from your blog is through affiliate marketing. Sites such as Awin connect content creators with businesses. You simply sign up to Awin, and then you can reach out to many different businesses’ affiliate programmes. Through adding a link on your blog to a business, if one of your readers makes a purchase, you can earn yourself a commission. You can also make money through sponsored posts and advertisements.
Freelance your skills
Are you good at writing? If you are a CV writing master or have dreamed about writing a book but don’t have a story to tell, you could freelance your skills. If you’re not a wordsmith, but can spot a grammatical error from a mile away, your skills can still make you money.
Where to find freelancer positions online
- Reach out to magazines, newspapers or marketing agencies and ask if they’re looking for freelancers or accepting ideas.
- Sign up to People Per Hour. This is a site where freelancers advertise their skills and expertise and people can hire them.
- Check out the freelance Facebook groups. Other people within the industry will post any freelance opportunities and you can put yourself forward to be considered for the job.
Rent out your parking space
Did you know that you could make money from renting out your parking space? While this isn’t possible for everyone, there is a select lucky few who can make quite a bit of profit simply by advertising their spare spaces. Here’s how and why.
If you live in a location which is home to a big venue, let’s say Wembley, you can expect thousands of people to flock to the area to watch a football game or a concert (Wembley Stadium does have a capacity of 90,000 after all). Now, not everyone is going to use public transport to get there, some will drive and with the official Wembley Stadium car park only having a capacity for 3,000 cars, here’s how you can help (and make a little extra cash).
You can advertise your driveway or parking space to visitors on a range of sites. Depending on proximity, you can make more the closer to the venue you are. Even more if the event spans a few days and you get bookings for each day. This will work for a range of desirable locations including:
- Airports – People looking to save money when they head on holiday might take you up on the offer of your parking space, then they can get a taxi into the terminal.
- Train stations – Commuters looking to save some cash on parking will definitely take you up on the offer. It’s ideal if you work elsewhere and your space is free all day.
- A big city – Again, people want to save cash where they can and your parking space could work out cheaper than the council run car parks in the city centre.
The rules of renting out a parking space
Like everything, there are some rules (and maybe a little grey area) when it comes to renting out your parking space. In England, the government has said that you can rent one parking space without the need for planning permission – as long as it’s not a disturbance to neighbours. However, bear in mind that some local councils have different views. Here’s the government’s stance on it.
The road to winning money from entering competitions isn’t as straight and easy as selling your unwanted goods on eBay. It is a waiting game. There are many free competitions online which you can enter and you never know; someone has to win, right? Avoid the competitions which you have to pay for because if you rack up a bill and never win, you’re out of pocket.
Learn how to trade
There’s no get rich quick scheme here. But trading, when done correctly, can really pay off. We’re not going to lie, it’s easy to make mistakes, so research the different trading platforms available and brush up on the rules and recommendations of trading. It’s not something to be entered into lightly, but if you learn how to do it well, it could make you a nice sum of money.
If you’re a beginner looking for an introduction it’s a good start to learn about the different types of trades. Once you have become aware of what’s available, check out this article which provides some handy strategies for beginners. Trading isn’t an easy world, so taking it back to basics and learning from the very beginning help set you on the right path.
Post your photography
Another way you can make some extra money from your home is by uploading your pictures to sites such as Shutterstock. If you have some generic images which can be used in a range of industries, you can put them online and earn money if they’re used.
If you like this option, one thing to bear in mind is that you have no control over who licenses your images. This means you have no say where they end up. This could be a particular issue if your images feature friends or family.
If a brand chooses one of your images to promote their products or services, the people in the images could be advertising a brand they may not wish to be associated with. Steer clear of this by only offering generic images which don’t feature people. Or at least gain permission from people in the images and make them aware of where they could end up.
Become a brand representative
Avon calling. Brand representation is no longer what it used to be. Thanks to the wonderful world of the internet and social media, it’s never been easier to promote a brand’s products and make a nice cash flow each month.
You can now sign up to a range of businesses from candles, skin care, Avon and even Ann Summers. While looking into this, check that the company you choose is part of the Direct Selling Association, this ensures that they’re fair to those that sign up and that the company abides by their code of conduct.
No longer do you need to venture out into the rain collecting catalogues, simply set up your website and people can order from you through that. You don’t even need to leave the sofa. And you can still orgaisiner pamper nights and have people try a load of the products before they purchase. You’ll make a commission from every order someone places through you. It’s as simple as that.
Here are some great brand representative gigs to consider:
- Neals Yard
- The Body Shop
- Ann Summers
Sell your story
Do you have a story to tell? If you are comfortable to share your experiences, newspapers and magazines may be interested in hearing from you – and they will be happy to pay too. Check out FeatureMe! UK, a Facebook page where journalists can pitch stories and ask for case studies. They will also mention if a fee is paid. If you can’t find anything on there, you can also reach out directly to the publications and ask if they’re interested in what you have.
Don’t forget that your story could be read by thousands of people – millions if it appears online. Be sure you’re comfortable with airing this particular load of laundry before hitting the send button on the email. If your story aims to raise awareness, it could be a real benefit and help to others reading it. Just be sure to weigh up the pros and cons of selling your story.
Rent a room
If you have an unoccupied room in your home, you’re missing the chance to make some big pounds. In fact, with the rent-a-room scheme, you can actually make up to £7,500 a year tax-free – this is reduced to £3,750 if you’re letting jointly. If you earn more than this, you will need to complete a tax return. Now you don’t have to be a homeowner to benefit from this, but you do need to ensure your lease allows it.
How it works:
The government explains that you can use the scheme if:
- You let a furnished room to a lodger
- Your letting activity includes a trade, for example, if you:
- Run a guest house
- Run a bed-and-breakfast business
- Provide meals and cleaning.
You cannot use this scheme if:
- The room is unfurnished
- If it’s not part of your main home when you let it
- If you rent a room in your UK home while you live abroad.
There are two types of tenancies:
- Periodic: This means it will run indefinitely – renting month by month
- Fixed term: This is where you will agree on a set number of weeks, months or even years. If you don’t agree on a timeframe, it will automatically become a periodic let.
Rules on making extra money
In 2017, everything changed when it came to making a few pounds on the side. The policy which came into force means you can now earn up to £1,000 under the Trading Income Allowance before you have to declare this money to HMRC.
So you can make upto £1,000 tax-free. Of course once you go over that threshold, you need to declare it all, otherwise you could get into some serious trouble. But that’s not all…
As well as that £1,000 tax-free allowance, you also get another £1,000 which relates to money made with help from your property. So this will come into play for things like renting out your driveway.
Try out these ways to make money from the comfort of your home and enjoy some additional funds to put towards things you need or to squirrel away in a savings pot!