Whether you live at home, in halls of residence or in a shared student house, chances are that while you are at university studying for your degree or postgraduate qualifications, cash is going to be tight. Many students take on part time work or work through their summer holidays to help fund studies – and social life, of course – but you can also get creative. Be resourceful, get your laptop out…and you can earn yourself some cash without even getting up off the sofa. The only requirements for these jobs are laptop, internet connection and your time.
So if you like the idea of being able to work from home, here are 11 ways to do that:
1. Paid Surveys
You’re not going to make your fortune but taking paid surveys is an easy and fun way students can earn passive income and leave the money building up into a lump sum. Many companies use online survey agencies to do their market research. They want to find out what a cross section of the general public think about their existing and potential products and the agency will pay you for answering a few multiple choice questions.
If you are selected to take the survey, they take a matter of minutes to complete and you get a couple of quid or so for your troubles. The more you take, the quicker those small amounts will build up into a decent amount so register yourself with a few different paid survey companies to get a better chance of completing as many as possible. Some companies pay out in the form of vouchers and gift certificates – good for students who are taking surveys to pay for high street shopping sprees!
2. Freelancer Jobs
Have a think: What existing skills do you have that someone else would be willing to pay you for? More and more companies are starting to outsource all those jobs they either don’t have the time to do themselves or, particularly for smaller companies, those jobs they don’t have the skillset for. You could be the person to take that work off their hands and earn yourself some much needed cash.
There are many online freelancing websites out there that you can register with for free. Fill in your profile and when you see a job listed that you think you could do, put in a bid. As you get more jobs with good feedback under your belt and your profile grows, other projects are usually easier to come by. There’s a huge variety of jobs on there so you could do simple data entry tasks or take on work that gives you experience for your future graduate career. It’s up to you.
3. Online Tutoring
You’re a university student, which means you are furthering your study in a particular subject that you are interested in and that you excel in. Have you thought about passing that knowledge on to someone else in the form of tutoring? These days, tutoring doesn’t mean you have to meet up face to face with your tutee. All of this can be done from the comfort of the sofa via your laptop and an internet connection – online tutoring jobs mean you can access students all over the world who might be able to benefit from your help.
Some subjects, such as maths, science and law, are more in demand than others but most subjects lend themselves well to online tutoring. A fast broadband connection and instant messaging systems, such as Skype or Google+ hangouts are essential for work like this.
4. Website Testing
Companies rely heavily on their websites, these days, both for maintaining an online presence and also, more importantly, to make money. That’s where you come in. It is possible to make money by testing websites.
Web designers work hard to make sure that when a consumer clicks into a website, it’s easy to navigate, the consumer can find exactly what they need, and that it’s simple to make a purchase. However, what seems easy to one person isn’t necessarily easy for another. How user friendly is the website? Companies will pay consumers – and that includes students at university – a fee to test out their websites to make sure the site is fast, bug free and, of course, working to make a profit for the company.
Students who really know their way around a qwerty keyboard can make money from home by doing transcription work. Public speakers and people who do a lot of interviews are always looking for transcribers to type out their their recorded audio and videos. Competition for transcription work can be tough but it can still be an easy few quid. You just need your laptop and a set of earphones. These days, there’s a variety of transcription software you can use to make life easier for yourself.
Transcription jobs can be good for students who don’t have a reliable internet connection. Once you’ve downloaded your audio – and let’s face it, you can do that anywhere – you can transcribe the audio offline in your own time.
6. Sell Photos
Selling photos online is another way cash strapped university students can make a bit of extra money via the laptop and the good news is, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to do this.
Companies, web designers and graphic designers, right down to hobby bloggers, are always looking for legal images they can use on their products, brochures and sites. These photos are obtained from stock photography websites and stock photography websites get their photos from people like you. Do a bit of research to see what type of photos get the most downloads and go through your photo archives. If you’ve got something you think fits the bill, start to build up your stock photography profile and you’ll be paid a small amount each time one of your photos is downloaded. As with the online surveys, this is a good way for students to build up a bit of passive income slowly.
Have you got a Flickr account? If you have photos on the social networking site make sure you have your profile set for Getty Images to be able to view them. You never know, you might just get that email one day where they’d like to use your photo for an advertising campaign. Negotiate your fee and you could be quids in.
7. Sell Creations
Are you a creative type of student? Maybe you’re doing your university degree in Art, Design or fashion, for example. Or maybe you’re just downright talented in creating your own jewellery. If any of this applies to you, then sites such as Etsy are places where you can build yourself an online profile. If you are doing a degree in a creative subject, an Etsy account can be used later as part of your portfolio.
Etsy works like other social networks so don’t expect to add all your wonderful creations to your boards and the sales to come flooding in. Most students and graduates are familiar with social media these days – familiarise yourself with how Etsy works and get to know others on the site who create similar items to you. Hopefully, they will then help you out in other social media outlets. Oh and remember to show restraint – remember you’re here to make money on your laptop, not spend money on your laptop. Don’t be buying everyone else’s creations.
8. Write A Blog
No, you don’t need to be an expert web designer or tech whizz to write a blog. These days, there are loads of blogging sites out there that make it as easy as ‘paint by numbers’ to get going with your blog. Simply choose a subject you know about and you’re up and running.
And how can students make money from a blog? There are lots of ways to do this directly from your blog and also through opportunities that might arise as a result of your blog. Income from blogging isn’t instant. It takes time to build up your online presence, but once you’re there, it is possible to generate some decent supplementary income.
Read our detailed guide on how students can Make Money From Blogging.
Are you a student studying a foreign language degree? Are you bilingual? Or maybe you’re just one of these people who attracts the envy of others in your ability to speak and write a variety of foreign languages. If you fit any of these criteria then you could be sat at home with your laptop translating a variety of topics. This is usually from English to your specialist language or vice versa.
As with the online freelancing sites, there’s a growing number of online translation companies that are looking for people like you to translate for their clients. This is perfect for students as you can work in your own time and you only need to take work on when you have the spare time to do it.
10. Content Writing
Students or graduates with a flair for the written word can use their laptop to generate content for other people’s websites. This can be anything from writing blog posts to articles – and if you know a bit about SEO to boot, then a you might be able to command higher rates for your knowledge. There are many people out there who need websites and blogs for their company who don’t have the time, inclination or knowledge (maybe even all three of those) to keep their website updated. Get your laptop out and get writing for cash.
Ebay is an easy way to make some extra cash, selling all that stuff you don’t need anymore. So come on, it’s time to get ruthless. Comb through the wardrobe and drawers. How many of those pairs of shoes that you’ve been keeping for ‘just in case’ do you really need? You’d be surprised at what people can make use of – get it all on Ebay. That outfit you bought for a one-off night out, clothes you simply don’t wear anymore, that designer shirt you bought on a whim and then wondered what on earth you were thinking. Someone, somewhere will love the clothes you don’t.
And it’s not just clothes. We’d like to bet you’ve got bookshelves with course textbooks you don’t need anymore, CDs and DVDs you haven’t listened to or watched in an age. And what about jewellery, too? There’s allsorts you can sell on Ebay. Do a bit of research, see what’s selling, price your goods accordingly and away you go.
There are many ways, other than the 11 suggestions above, that students can make money from their laptop. Be sure to click on any of the links in the article to get further information about the different suggestions. Have you got any top tips? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below…
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