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(Last Updated On: February 5, 2019)


To make real money, you have to spend money. That’s what a lot of people think, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many ways to build up your income online without putting in a penny yourself. I feel like awareness is key here, because if I’d have known what was possible when I was 16, I’d be in a different place right now.

Before we go any further, I’ll confirm that these are all going to require a lot of your time. I know because I’ve tried each and every one of them at some point. We’ll break it down by the ease to get involved and how much you can expect from each.


Low Effort, Low Return: Up to £100/month

Paid Surveys

Surveys are a gateway to the vast world of online money making. You’re given the chance to get rewarded you’re your opinion, essentially just for clicking a few buttons. The pay is generally low, but it’s one of the easiest ways to get involved.



As the days go by, more apps spring out offering people the chance to earn money for doing tasks on their phone. You can earn for playing games on your phone, walking, carrying out activities or for just giving someone access to your data. It may take time to sift through the bad ones to find worthwhile ones, but just know that they are out there.


Medium Effort, Medium Return: Up to £100s/month


Generally speaking, the likes of Fiverr and other service-based marketplaces are for hobbyist skilled freelancers that want to boost their income a little. Advertise your abilities to people around the world and fulfil the tasks they need assistance with. I can’t stress how diverse the work is and how many opportunities can come out of this.



Product reviewing is a lucrative field and one that doesn’t even require you to buy they things you talk about (if you don’t want to). Platforms like Ciao reward you for talking about things you know well, and consistent writers are able to make significant sums from it.


High Effort, High Return: Up to £1,000s/month

Content Creation

Whether you spend your time growing an Instagram account to the point you can earn money through collaborations, sell your photos or you put effort into your own YouTube channel, there are so many ways to monetise your own content. There’s no reason that anyone shouldn’t give affiliate marketing and advertising a go if they’re already on social media.



Whatever your personal skills may be, there’s likely to be someone out there that can find them useful. It’s especially good if you’re in a creative field – whether it’s writing, graphic design or whatever else – to transition this into a full-time income. Here’s how to find your first clients.


Print on Demand

Merch by Amazon, Inkthreadable, Kite and all of these other print-on-demand services legitimately give people the chance to make thousands per month using nothing but their creativity. Once you get to a certain stage, it’s likely you will want to spend money on tools, but you can earn a lot for free too.



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

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