Student Guide: 13 ways to make money online

When it feels like that student loan just isn’t stretching far enough (when does it?!) The good news is that students have amazing opportunities to get a side hustle going. We’ve taken a look at a few of the best money-making ideas to earn some extra cash from the comfort of the couch.

An image

1. Freelancing: Tailoring your skills to market needs

Upwork and Fiverr are two digital platforms leading the way when it comes to connecting freelancers with businesses seeking specific skills. Use them as a starting point to gain work related to your skill set, while building up your CV ready for graduation. These small jobs are flexible to your schedule, so you only need to take the ones you have time for. It could be anything from a bit of coding support to writing blog posts and simple graphic design.

You may even make some useful professional connections through these platforms for future work. search around and you may find more niche platforms that suit your skill set perfectly.

Do have realistic expectations though, you may need to start at a cheaper rate per hour and work up as you build your experience.

2. Online surveys and research participation

Probably the most well-known on this list—online surveys are easy pocket money. However, a lot of earnings = a lot of your time.A real benefit here is that almost anyone can take part with no skills necessary. But, do factor in the time it takes and the return on your time investment. You may find freelancing is a quicker payday that can develop your skills at the same time.

3. Virtual tutoring: imparting knowledge, earning rewards

If you are particularly skilled in an area—it could be academic, music or art—consider sharing that knowledge for a price with online tutoring. Platforms such as Chegg Tutors is a great place to connect you with those willing to learn. Even better? When you teach a subject you gain confidence and learn more in return. Even if you’re new to tutoring, you’ll find that explaining something clearly and going over the basics only strengthens your own foundation.

4. Content creation: capitalise on your digital persona

It might be that becoming a social media ‘influencer’ isn’t something that would come to mind immediately. This path really comes into its own if you have a passion for a single subject and you can connect with that niche audience. If there’s something you love and could talk about consistently, this could be the right path for you. Build an audience, connect with brands, network with the community and you’ll go far.

Content creation can also cover guest blogging for businesses, taking part in brand ambassador programs and more—it doesn’t always need a huge following to make a bit extra money. Plus, it’s FUN!

5. Affiliate marketing: monetising your online influence

Use your influence! Following on from the previous idea, let’s say you’re already somewhat big online, then consider affiliate marketing if you haven’t already. Promoting products in return for revenue is easier than ever, especially if you have an audience a brand wants to connect with. Everyone’s looking for micro-influencers with authentic content and voices. Even simply sharing referral links with your followers can earn money and rewards for your wallet.

6. E-commerce ventures: from hobby to business

Turn your crafts into cash with Etsy! That’s what we’re getting at here. If you’re a seamstress, or woodworker or have a passion for crochet, an Etsy shop can blend your hobby with those who are looking for handmade items. Offer personalised items or create things that aren’t out there already—find that niche and go for it!

Got some old clothing lying around? Clear out your closet while making extra money with re-seller platforms like Vinted, Ebay or DePop. Selling secondhand clothing and accessories can quickly turn into your own little online vintage shop for very little effort.

7. Remote internships and part-time jobs: blending learning with earning

A relatively new thing, remote internships are available from some companies. Have a search around and you might find something that fits your skill set and the free time you have. Some will offer a package including part-time work or a paid element. Don’t be afraid to discuss a paid option alongside an unpaid internship, often companies are more flexible than you’d think.

8. The digital nomad lifestyle: Earning on the go

An image

Spreadsheets from Sydney? Team Meetings from Thailand? Blogging from Bali? It’s all possible. For those wanting to travel and earn, many of the concepts on this list can be done remotely. Find out more in our article on earning while travelling.

9. Crafting and selling digital products

We’ve mentioned Etsy for selling handmade crafts,, but you could also create and sell e-books, or even publish fiction via Amazon, and their publishing process is relatively simple. If you have a concept, simply dive right in—even colouring books, children’s stories or journals are able to be self-published. They say everyone has a story to tell—what’s yours?

10. Make money from your photography and art

An image

If you’re a keen photographer, you can submit your shots to Shutterstock or similar. We’d recommend finding locations or places ess photographed to beat the competition and catch attention. Not sure where to start? Check out Google Trends to find places or items growing in search popularity and which of those subjects have less stock photography—there lies your biggest money-making opportunity.

11. Explore social media management

Social media management is often something companies want to outsource—perfect for students wanting to start a side hustle! This Creating and managing content for brands’ social media channels can fit into a student lifestyle really well and can be all done via your phone, on the move. It does require an ‘always on’ mentality, but good planning means plenty of downtime—plus, young people are often in demand for these roles as they understand social media trends better than the big wigs at some companies.

12. Blogging and article writing

If you’re a gifted writer or trying to develop your skills, contributing to blog articles can be a path to earning money. Consider collaborative LinkedIn pieces or signing up for the freelance platforms mentioned above. Many companies are seeking skilled writers to help build an online presence tailored to bring readers in via social media or Google searches. Plus, you can work as little or as often as you like.

13. Online course creation

An image

Finally, if you’re an expert in a certain field, explore platforms like Udemy, which allow you to share your knowledge through online course creation. We also offer discounts on courses. Plus, you can also save on taking Udemy courses yourself with UNiDAYS—win, win!

It’s always a balancing act when it comes to online work and your academic responsibilities, but the rewards can be the perfect blend of self-development and some extra cash. For further inspiration and tips, delve into our other ideas around money-making for students.

Even more from UNiDAYS

We bring the best discounts from the best brands to college and uni students, as well as exclusive videos, articles and loads of tips and advice to make your student life even better - all for free!

  • Join now or log in to start saving on everything from food comas and fashion to (finally) getting fitter.
  • Verify now to start saving on everything from food comas and fashion to (finally) getting fitter.

  • Got a lot to say? We're always looking for awesome guest bloggers. Get in touch with your ideas!