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(Last Updated On: December 2, 2017)

Why Teenagers Should Make Money Online

Your teenage years are so valuable, hence so many people wish they could redo them. It's a time when you're able to learn things quickly and experiment without long term repercussions and generally enjoy having less responsibility.

People tend to discover online money making either when they're at their most desperate financial times, or when they have an excess of time on their hands. You may not know it yet, but you probably have more time than you could ever imagine when you're a teen.

You like money, right? We'll use it to have a go at the hundreds of online earning opportunities that could occupy the spare time you have.

When you're a teenager, you:

  • Usually don't have much responsibility
  • Learn things quickly
  • Have the time to test things out until you find out what works best, and you enjoy most
  • Have an innate knack for picking up new technology and emerging culture

Combining all of this together, you have an enviable advantage over those that discover the opportunities later in life.

Now we know why you're the best people to learn all of this, let's get into the best ways to earn that money.


Ways to Earn Money Online as a Teenager

I’ve done a whole resource on different ways to make money online, but for teenagers, it’s probably best to pick from one of the few below:
Easy; requires nothing but internet access

  •  There are loads of websites that pay you to answer questions about your shopping habits, political views and thoughts about adverts. The tasks are easy – and can be done in autopilot after a while – but the rewards are small.
  • Market research. This is a step up from the latter and revolves around more in-depth discussions about products and/or services and usually requires you to discuss it in person.
  • Gig work. Small one-off tasks like writing and completing assorted digital marketing-related tasks for clients around the world on sites like Fiverr.
  • Entering as many competitions as possible with the intention of selling any excess you receive

Medium; may involve small investments

  • Blogging. Make a personal site of your own where you discuss whatever you want, and earn money through sponsored posts, affiliate marketing and advertising
  • Video creation. Create video content and post it on a platform like YouTube where it can be monetised, and will generate money based on the viewership
  • Crafting. Create and sell handmade craft products
  • Reselling. Buying products to sell elsewhere. For teens, I would advise doing this on eBay, Gumtree and the Facebook Marketplace (not Amazon)
  • Affiliate marketing. Build up a following and get people to click on links usually get people to sign up for a mailing list or purchase something


Hard; may involve investment and specialised skills

  • Freelancing. Fulfilling services for clients. If you have a particular skill, such as copywriting, graphic design, coding or know how to grow a social media account, someone will pay you to do it for them. Just keep some of the common freelancing pitfalls in mind before you jump in
  • Dropshipping. Using a marketplace (like eBay, Gumtree, Depop) or a site of your own, market products that you don't have in your own inventory; you just order to go to the customers when it sells
  • Print on demand. Design, market and sell products that get printed and shipped out by a third party


Keep Learning

I've got a huge list of things I wish I could have learned when I was younger. Coding. Video editing. Graphic design. Received Pronunciation. Things. I can get by with the minimal skills I learned of a few of these, but I would be levels ahead if I knew to develop them from back then. Hindsight is the wickedest, but that's why I want people to get on track from early.

It comes back to that trial and error thing I mentioned earlier; you truly have more freedom to mess up when you're younger. Each of your first failures will probably feel like the biggest flop in the world at the time, but taking lessons from them now means you won't get caught out by the same potential problems in the future.

Learning now means saving a lot of time and money in the future. It also means you will probably get to that money much faster. Surely everyone wants that.


How to Balance Your Time

The trickiest one of all is what should be your main priority. Until you're 18, I'd say it's more important to stay studying and get those qualifications set. It's helpful to focus on subjects that will assist in the future you see yourself in. Learn as much as you can while your education is free.

You may then decide you want proper work experience or to expand on your knowledge in university. If that's the case, go with it. It's all probably going to help. If you decide that at 18, you're done with all the structured learning, it may be time to pivot and do more with your online activities.

Factor in:

  • Current financial status
  • Current earnings
  • Financial impact of university (moving, travel, accommodation)
  • Don't forget to have fun

I'm lucky I was an August baby. My GCSEs were done before I turned 16 (when I started making money online) so didn't have any of this to distract me. A-Levels were a different story and I was very much distracted by my online activity during those times. The summer between years 1 and 2 at university changed my whole mind set, and I ended up taking a completely different course to suit a direction that online money making had taken me to. How you make it work will be personal to you, but it's worth speaking to people that might have gone through the same experience in the past.


So What are You Going to Do?

Like I keep saying, you have plenty of time here. You can do whatever you want, and you will have the chance to develop your skills to get better at everything you throw yourself at, so don’t be put off if your first path doesn’t quite work for you. Just try something and see how you get along. Now you know the options available, it’s up to you to take the next steps and see where it leads you to.

If you really don’t know what you should do, get in contact and I’ll figure out where you’re best placed. I’ve done so many of them that I know what suits whose personality, time allowance and life situation. I’ll get you on the road.


27 / Nottingham, UK. Trying these things since 2007. Writing about these things since 2014. Doing this full-time since 2018.