The internet provides numerous opportunities for kids and teenagers to make money online. Here’s a list of ways teens can make money online.
To see a full list of ways kids can make money see: How to Make Money as a Kid
(This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you.)
When looking over Inc. magazine’s list of 40 Young People Who Became Millionaires Before They Were 20 it’s remarkable to see how many made their millions with technology.
A perfect example of a teen who has begun not one but three successful online businesses is Christian Owens.
At just 14, Christian began Mac Bundle Box, a product that provides Mac applications at the lowest possible prices. Later he founded Branchr Advertising which secured clients William Hill and Myspace.
By age 16, Christian had made his first $1 million and dropped out of school to focus on his businesses. Today, Christian is the founder and CEO of Paddle, a company that helps developers sell their digital products such as apps.
While not every teen will likely experience the success Christian has (and hopefully won’t drop out of school!) there are still plenty of opportunities for kids and teens to make money online.
Addressing Internet Safety
Sure there are plenty of ways teens and kids can make money online, but safety is also important. For example, teens should know when and where it is appropriate to post personal information and also be extremely cautious when giving out a social security number.
For more tips about how teens can be safe online see: Parent’s Guide to Protecting Kids Online
How to Make Money Online as a Teen
Here are a few ideas of how to make money online as a teen. The possibilities for online businesses often seem endless so this is by no means an exhaustive list.
If you have stuff to sell:
Whether you’re good at creating – be it crafts or artwork – or simply have stuff you want to sell, there are a number of sites teens can use to sell their goods online:
- Mercari: Think of Mercari as an online yard sale where sellers can sell clothing, technology, sports equipment, home goods and even their own homemade crafts. Mercari takes a 10% commission on each sale.
- Poshmark: A marketplace for clothing and shoes, Poshmark is a direct seller-to-buyer site. Meaning, the seller provides fulfillment (and in return keeps more profit). Poshmark takes a $2.95 commission on all sales under $15. It takes a 20% commission on any sales above $15.
- Thredup: If you’d rather not be hassled by selling your sold clothing items, Thredup could be a good solution. Think of it as a consignment store online. Sellers send in a bag full of clothing, shoes, jewelry or accessories they want to sell. Thredup will then decide which items to sell and which to donate. Since Thredup takes care of fulfillment, the seller keeps less profit.
- Ebay: The old standby, just about anything can be sold on Ebay.
- Etsy: If you’re creative, Etsy can be a great place to sell your goods. The key is to understand how SEO works on Etsy to get your goods placed at the top of searches.
If you know advanced code:
- Design websites: There’s always a demand for website design. If you’re a kid who knows how to design a professional-looking site there’s no reason you can’t get paid for your work. However, like any entrepreneur, when you first start out, don’t expect to be paid a lot. Once you’ve developed a good portfolio of work and demand for your services picks up, your prices can increase. For some great advice about running a web design business see: 10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting a Web Design Business
- Create apps: There are over a million apps available to both Apple and Android users today. Coming up with a new idea for an app can be nearly impossible so your best bet is most likely to improve upon already existing ideas. Although creating an app is a lot of work, it’s the marketing and sales component that can be the most challenging. See A 12-Step Guide to Building Your Very First Mobile App: Part 1 for a good high-level overview of what it takes to build an app.
- Fixing computer viruses and other problems: If you have a knack for fixing computer problems, there’s certainly a market for your skill. Even fairly tech-savvy people run into issues with their computers that they just can’t figure out. Advertising your proven skill and ability will be key to your success. Word-of-mouth advertising could likely be your best advertisement so it’s important to make sure clients are happy and satisfied enough to recommend your services to others.
- Teach other kids how to code: Lots of kids want to learn how to code and if you’ve mastered this skill, you can teach other kids through paid classes. Teaching other kids isn’t easy and it will take some skill to clearly explain basics that you, the expert, have probably known and understood for years. Get the word out about courses by building a website and handing out and hanging up fliers in places where kids will see them.
More media-centric technology:
- Record YouTube videos: YouTube videos are in demand with over one billion viewers visiting YouTube every day. People make money on YouTube through advertising, affiliate marketing, and sponsor advertising. To learn more about how to make money by making YouTube videos see: How to Earn Money on YouTube
- Launch a Blog or Podcast: Similiar to creating YouTube videos, a successful blog or podcast can provide a source of income through advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsorships and as a means to sell other products such as e-books. Starting a blog is easy with WordPress.org and thousands of themes, or designs, to choose from. The article, How to Start a Blog Today is a good general guide. And How to Start a Podcast: Pat’s Complete Step-by-Step Podcasting Tutorial is an in-depth overview of how Pat Flynn began his successful Smart Passive Income podcast series.
- Consult on social media: If your savvy with a number of social media platforms and know what it takes to gain followers and get posts noticed, consider selling your services to small businesses and organizations. To find out what’s involved in doing social media consulting work see: How to Become a Social Media Consultant and What to Charge for Social Media Work.
- Become a blogger’s virtual assistant: Bloggers need help. There are endless things they could be doing every day and just don’t have the time to get them done. To fill the gaps, bloggers hire virtual assistants. One common way VAs help bloggers is by managing their social media accounts. To learn more about what it takes to be a VA see: How to Become a Virtual Assistant.
Earn Money Through Surveys and Other Online Paid Programs
- MusicXRay: MusicXRay is an online service that provides consumer feedback to aspiring new artists. After signing up for the service, users listen to music and then rate whether or not they like the song. Regardless of the rating, MusicXray pays 10 cents per song. Check out this video to learn more: Get Paid to Listen to Music
- Swagbucks: If you are interested in making money from taking surveys, watching videos, and getting cashback deals on online purchases, Swagbucks may be for you. The site offers a few different ways for users to accumulate what it calls Swagbucks, which can either be cashed in for money or traded in for gift certificates. Don’t expect to make a lot from this site, however – Swagbucks accumulate slowly and often requires a large investment of time. See a review of Swagbucks here: SurveySay’s Swagbucks Review. Similar sites include:
Become an Online Tutor:
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Kerry Flatley is the owner and author of Self-Sufficient Kids. She has a BA in economics, an MBA, a certificate in financial planning, and has been investing ever since she landed her first job. Kerry also has two girls, ages 11 and 13, who have been learning about money management through their allowance for the past five years.