Best Ways for College Students to Earn Extra Money Online?

I was once a college student and I totally understand the need for an extra cash. Occasionally, you need money for books, food, and those increasing student activity fees. There are many ways to make some side income. The easiest and simplest way to earn some pocket money is through the internet. Here, I want to share the best ways for college students to earn extra money online.

As a student, financial survival can be an issue as you may want to sacrifice your time working at a bar or a mall for extra allowances. It can be hard as you will barely have the time to do what you are supposed to do in college – study.

Best Ways for College Students to Earn Extra Money Online

Most college students do not know that they can actually make money without having to leave their computers. There are many different ways to make more money as a college student. Some even allow you to treat it as your full-time job.

Best Ways for College Students to Earn Extra Money Online?

#1 Sell Things Online

As a way of making money, selling things is fairly simplistic. There are a few effective ways that you can make money selling things online as a student.

One of the approaches for selling things is to take advantage of passions. For example, at a sports game, you could sell almost anything in the team’s colors and make a profit. Likewise, it’s fairly easy to sell memorabilia, especially if you’ve designed it yourself.

You could sell products online as a subscription and earn recurring monthly revenue too. Some companies like Birchbox, Dollar Shave Club and Honest Co are examples who earn a fortune by earning monthly recurring revenue through subscribers.

If you don’t have your own website and you are looking for an online platform to sell your stuff, you could try Cratejoy. It is a subscription commerce platform that includes all the necessary features you need to start your own subscription commerce business online.

Companies like Birchbox, Dollar Shave Club and Honest Co. have built their fortune by earning monthly recurring revenue from their subscribers. Cratejoy lets anyone start and run a subscription business without all the technical and logistical hassle. Hence, don’t worry if you are not a tech-savvy person. Cratejoy is very user-friendly and easy to use.

What can you sell in your subscription box? Everything from art, homemade products, collectibles, interest-based products, sports themed products and much more.

#2 Data Entry and Surveys

I have tried data entry and online surveys. These are ones of the most common recommendations from most of the people. Indeed, it is very straight-forward to do data entry work or online surveys. However, I wouldn’t recommend them because you have to spend lots of your time and the rewards are often pretty low.

For example, you can earn up to $1 per hour with survey panels. However, you need to spend 30 – 40 minutes filling up questionnaires. Sometimes, you are disqualified half way through the survey exercise. This is a very common phenomenon.

If you are interested in earning some cash playing games and watching trailers, you could try some good online survey panels such as Zoombucks and Swagbucks.

Hence, this approach for making money is only good for an extra pocket money and it certainly won’t help relieve any financial strain.

#3 Micro Jobs

A popular site such as Fiverr allows you to sell your services and make a few dollars from completing some small tasks. The tasks or assignments can be things like creating a logo or image, writing/editing an article, researching, transcribing audio, etc.

If you love graphic design and want to try your hand at making covers, you can easily sign up an account in Fiverr. You can list any services you want for $5 to $10.

If you have lots of Twitter followers or Facebook friends, you could offer social media promotion via Follows or Likes. Through task runner sites like TaskRabbit, you might offer local services like standing in line and picking up tickets to an event or dog-sitting.

#4 Write and Publish a Kindle eBook

If you are good at writing and passionate about something, you could also publish eBook and make money. With Amazon Kindle store, you can become a writer.

Some college students have made a fortune publishing eBooks. Kindle App is available on laptops, iPads, smartphones and Kindles. The market and customer potential is enormous.

Simply consolidate information you have researched and publish it in an easy to digest format (eBook). List your eBook for $5 – $10 and earn 70% of the sale. Amazon is a trustworthy shopping platform, there is no harm trying.

TIPS: To increase sales, simply create an eye-catchy cover so it stands out. Of course, you have to publish high-quality content as you will get some reviews from readers of yours. Once you have some good reviews, it shows up higher in search results.

The best part about publishing eBooks is you only need to spend a week time to create an eBook but you will earn a passive income for years to come!

#5 The Best Method: Building Your Own Website

This is my favorite and preferred way to make money as a college student. In the long-term, this approach for making more money as a student is probably the most reliable, especially as it is something that you could theoretically keep going for the rest of your life.

If you are thinking to turn a part-time job into a full-time source of income, you definitely should consider building your own website and monetize it.

Unlike the methods I mentioned above, it is not a quick fix to make pocket money. It’s not like selling old stuff, where you get paid instantly.

Creating your own online business requires time to develop and grow. That means you have to spend time building a site and regularly develop content for it. It may take several months or even more than a year to start making sales because you need to work on getting traffic to your site in the beginning.

To me, spending six months to a year creating an online business of your own is totally worth it.


Because a traditional brick and mortar business can take several years to break even and may have very little profit margin. Building an online business requires a very minimum cost and relatively shorter time frame. The best part about online business is it generates sustainable income in the long run. That means your website generates money even when you sleep, travel and spend quality time with your family.

With a money-generating website, you run the show from your laptop, as long as there is an internet connection. It is relatively cheaper to start an online business because you don’t have to invest in any equipment or staff. As long as you are willing to learn and spend some time writing, your site will generate revenue.

One of the things that I like the most about making money with your own website is that you have the choice to go at your own pace. As a student, you might have some exam weeks and summer holidays. You can make use of your holiday to build your website and grow your business. This means that you could put a lot of time into the site on weeks where you don’t have many assignments or when you are on holiday.

At the same time, you have the ability to develop a website on pretty much any niche or topic that you can imagine. You could make a site about a hobby, like surfing, vaping, building computers, traveling, or something else that catches your interest.

The general idea is that you utilize your website as a platform for promoting and selling products. You don’t have to produce products of your own or buy anything physically.

Instead, you’re working on getting people to click on a link (e.g. Amazon or ShareASale) and making a purchase. If you’re promoting products that are appealing, getting people to do this is not difficult at all.

Best Ways for College Students to Earn Extra Money Online?

People often get put off by this concept because building a website sounds like it is going to be difficult. But, that’s not the case. Nowadays, you can build a website without knowing a single thing about coding.

When I first started, I didn’t know anything about running a website and I am not a programmer. Things have come so handy where I can build my website within 10 minutes.

Nowadays, there are many platforms you can find training for everything that you need to do online, so there’s no guesswork needed at all.

My recommendation for training is a site called Wealthy Affiliate. The site acts as a community for people from all walks of life, who are looking at making money from their own website. Even though everyone works on their own projects, the amount of support is overwhelming.

At the same time, there is also an extensive amount of training on the site to teach you everything you want to know from the ground up.

If you are not comfortable to take your first step forward, you can sign up for my 7-day free training course whereby I will be working alongside with you.

If you ask me once again what is the Best Way for College Students to Earn Extra Money Online? My answer would definitely be the last one – affiliate marketing.

Interested to build an online business like me?

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6 Responses

  1. Michel says:

    Some great ideas here for students wanting some extra pocket money, but I have tho agree with you that your last recommendation of affiliate marketing is tops.

    Students can build their business in their own time and who knows they may even be able to pay back all those student loans before they finish their studies.

    • Alex Y says:

      Hi Michel.

      Affiliate marketing not only allows students to earn extra pocket money but also it can be a full-time job. It offers an opportunity for students to become an online entreprenuer.

  2. NathanG says:

    Thank you for your suggestions Alex! My daughter is in college and I will have to forward your post to her. It would be cool if she could find an affiliate program that suited her interests. When I get a chance, I will have to check out this Cratejoy you referred to. I am wondering how this subscription base service works and what one could possibly sell on it. I will check that out and please feel free to respond with your recommendations.

    • Alex Y says:

      Hi Nathan. No problem at all. Cratejoy is a neat and relatively cheap way to find new stuff you’re interested in. From food and clothing to geeky toys, there are hundreds of subscription boxes to choose from. Cratejoy helps you find them all.

      If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, most subscription boxes work like this: you pay the company a set amount every month, and in return they send you a new box of stuff each month. The details vary from one company to another. You can find monthly boxes for new spices, books and others. It is quite a cool concept.

  3. Riaz Shah says:

    Hey there Alex,

    Loving your post, I wish I had found this article of yours earlier while I was studying! I actually started my Online Business adventure at the last semester of studies, bummer lol.

    Thanks for all these great tips! I am definitely going for affiliate marketing! I have learned all the advantages about it but have no idea where to start. Thanks for the link!!

    • Alex Y says:

      Hi Riaz,

      You are most welcome! Indeed, affiliate marketing is still the best way to make a sustainable income online! It’s always my first choice 🙂


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