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Work Around Your Class Schedule: 20 Online Jobs for College Students

Working through college is a good way to offset the high costs of school. But it can be tough to find a decent-paying job you can balance with classes and extracurriculars.

Instead, look into the hundreds of ways to make money online. If you want this to be your primary, consistent source of income, however, tricks to make a quick $100 won’t suffice.

For a regular paycheck and work-at-home schedule, check out these ongoing online gigs.

1. Social Media Manager

Managing a company’s social media accounts can be a fun way to make money on a flexible schedule. It’s also a cool way to connect with businesses you love.

A social media manager serves as the voice and face of a business on a number of engagement platforms. You’ll promote deals and content, and interact with followers.

How to Get Started

You could post your resume on random job boards, but it’s better to contact local companies directly. Better yet, connect with a business you already patronize.

Focus on social platforms you love and know inside-out to boost your pay. If you’re a Twitter fiend, talk up your experience. If you spend all your free time on Pinterest, put your pinning skills to use.

Then, get creative: Outline a plan to connect with customers via Snapchat or Periscope. Smaller companies might not have thought about exploring these newer platforms, making you an integral part of the team.

2. Professional Tweeter or Instagrammer

You read that right. If you’re savvy at building a following on social media, why not put it to use for some extra cash?

Popular Twitter or Instagram accounts can partner with ad agencies, individual businesses or affiliate programs to share sponsored content.

Unless you’re a celebrity, your personal account probably won’t demand a high rate per tweet. But, you could grow a following for a theme, joke or parody account.

Use a sponsored tweet site to get paid a flat rate to send out specific tweets, or become an affiliate to recommend products to your followers and earn money per click or purchase.

Even if you don’t grow a huge following, you can try these tricks to leverage your social media accounts for extra money or free stuff.

How to Get Started

Sign up as an advertiser with your social media account(s) through these sites:

Find products and services to promote through an affiliate marketing network like ShareASale. See if companies or blogs you follow offer affiliate programs for their products, or reach out to them directly to negotiate a joint venture. I suggest only recommending products you actually know and love.

3. Online Tutor

Take your academic strengths and knowledge online to start your own tutoring business.

Offer peer tutoring for fellow college students or connect with K-12 students in home-school programs.

And it’s not just academic: Focus on your extra-curricular talents, and offer tutoring or consulting in things like music, art, social media, fashion or nutrition, too.

How to Get Started

Market your tutoring services online at sites like Wyzant or Tutor.com. Or, do all the work up front and create an online course to sell through Skillshare, Udemy or your own site.

4. Data Entry Clerk

These aren’t the best paying online jobs, but they also don’t require a ton of skills or experience. Typically, all you need is a computer and an Internet connection.

How to Get Started

Find online data entry jobs through these sites:

5. Resume Writer

Know someone about to graduate or look for a new job? Offer to help polish their resume to make it job-search-ready.

How to Get Started

Find online resume writing jobs through these sites:

But you’ll face a lot of competition and submit many unanswered applications. Instead, try reaching into your existing network for potential clients, like friends looking for summer jobs and internships.

6. Turker

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is an online service that connects contractors with easy tasks to make some money on the side. You’ll select from a list of Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs), some of which take just a few minutes to complete.

You won’t pay rent doing these tasks, but you can work as much or as little as you want and earn around $50 a week. That should cover your groceries and maybe a beer fund for the month!

How to Get Started

To make MTurk worth your time, you want to find HITs with a high payout. Lucky for you, there’s a Reddit community to help you sort through the noise!

7. Search Engine Evaluator

Earn between $12 and $15 an hour cleaning up search engines, such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

Despite constant updates to their algorithms, search engines are still riddled with errors. They rely on real humans to look at search results and offer feedback on quality, accuracy and usefulness. That’s where you come in.

How to Get Started

Find search engine evaluator jobs through these sites:

8. Niche Blogger

Choose a topic that offers clear value to readers. By focusing your efforts on becoming an authority, you can make money blogging.

If you create a go-to source of information in your niche, you can earn money through relevant advertising, affiliate marketing and sponsored posts. With good planning and time management, you can write for and promote your blog in your spare time, and earn passive income all day when readers visit your site.

How to Get Started

Follow our guide to starting a blog to get up and running.

9. Freelance Writer or Editor

This is how I made my living for four years while I traveled and moved around the U.S. It can be lucrative, flexible work.

You can make your own schedule, pick your own gigs and set your own rates. The best part is you get paid to write about almost anything! Get paid to research and write about your existing hobbies and passions — beats a barista gig at the campus coffee shop, right?

You can also try freelance proofreading or copyediting. These gigs are good way to keep your foot in the door of the writing world when you don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to composition.

How to Get Started

A quick search will show you there’s no shortage of freelance writing work online. It’s hard to sift through, so here are our tips on finding the best gigs:

10. Micro-Freelancer

Could you cut into your debt, or even make a living, $5 at a time? If you get creative, you might be able to do just that with Fiverr!

Turn your weird ideas and unique skills into gigs on Fiverr. If you don’t want to wait for takers, look for a requested service, and pick up a few bucks from someone who needs help with a quick, simple task.

Copycat sites offer similar opportunities. Try Gigbucks for tasks ranging from $5 to $50, and TenBux for gigs from $5 to $10. TaskRabbit also connects you with real-life and virtual odd jobs that can bring in extra cash or even become a full-time job.

How to Get Started

Read our overview of what you could sell on Fiverr to get an idea of the hidden gems and talents you might possess! But make sure you’re valuing your time; if you’re only earning $4 an hour, it might not be your best bet.

11. Virtual Recruiter

Put your skills and connections in your industry to use by connecting employees or freelancers with the right jobs.

As a virtual recruiter, you’ll work as a liaison between a company and potential new hires. You’ll do things like post available jobs, screen resumes, conduct preliminary interviews and negotiate salaries.

How to Get Started

This is freelance work, so you can start by perusing virtual recruiter job listings on LinkedIn or these freelance sites:

12. PowerPoint Presentation Designer

Did you master PowerPoint for a project last semester? Turn that skill into a moneymaker!

When businesses or keynote speakers don’t have time to create presentations for their events, do it for them.

How to Get Started

Set up your own virtual storefront, like this professional slide designer, or list your services on freelance sites like Upwork or Freelancer.

13. Genealogist

Yes, people will pay you to put together their tricky family trees.

Are you already a hobby genealogist or studying the subject in school? You could charge between $70 and $700 per request, and take on as much or as little work as you can manage.

How to Get Started

Set up your own virtual storefront, like this professional genealogist, or list your services on freelance sites.

14. Survey Subject

This is easy and flexible work, but you’re not likely to make more than $7-8 per hour. But, if you put in an hour or two each day regularly, you could bring in an extra $50 a week to boost your grocery or entertainment budget.

How to Get Started

Here are our nine favorite survey sites.

15. Amazon Reseller

This gig could earn you some serious income if you learn the tricks of the trade.

The job: Scour the web for good deals, and purchase products at deep discounts. Then, list your products and ship them off to an Amazon Distribution Center. Through the Fulfillment by Amazon program, Amazon takes care of the storage, sales, shipping and customer support.

Reselling will require a few hours of legwork each week, but you can do it on your own time. And, if you’ve got a knack for spotting a good deal and understanding what will sell, you can earn a lot more from these hours than you would from a more demanding part-time job.

How to Get Started

Read our guide to getting the most out of Fulfillment by Amazon to get started!

16. Etsy Store Owner

If you’re crafty, try selling your handmade goods on Etsy. (Even if you’re not, you can sell simple, in-demand jewelry.)

Knit while you watch course videos, and string beads while you study. Crafting can be time-consuming, but if you’re clever, you can make money while multitasking.

How to Get Started

Check out these tips from Etsy store owner Alicia Shaffer, who makes up to $70,000 per month selling fashion accessories through her shop, Three Bird Nest.

17. Ebook Author and Publisher

Like crafting, writing an ebook can be time-consuming. But a bit of creativity can make the process efficient and lucrative.

Can you create a digital product for a business, composition or marketing course you can sell later? How about using what you learned from a research paper to create an informative ebook?

This is great for flexible income. How much money you make depends on how much time you’re willing and able to put into marketing the book once it’s available.

Or, if you don’t want to publish your own book, offer a freelance service to help businesses or bloggers publish books to sell on Amazon or their own websites.

How to Get Started

Read our guide on how to publish your own book.

If you want to write ebooks for other people, set up a website to promote your services, or list them on freelance sites.

18. Virtual Assistant

Get paid to use the organization and communication skills you’ve developed to stay on top of schoolwork, classes and extracurriculars.

VA gigs vary in pay, hours and the actual work. You might help people and businesses with data entry, social media management, website maintenance, research and customer service.

With more and more professionals diving into freelance jobs and self-employment, these positions are increasingly in demand.

How to Get Started

Find virtual assistant jobs through these sites:

19. Stock Photographer

Get a head start on a photography business while you’re still in school by selling stock photos. Microstock sites make it easy for hobby and amateur photogs to make money selling photos online.

More into videography? You can also make money licensing videos with GoPro’s stock video site.

How to Get Started

Here are some of the most popular sites that pay for stock photos.

For more options, check out stock photographer Eliza Snow’s chart of microstock sites

20. Transcriptionist

Transcribing requires little to no prior experience, and offers flexible hours and workloads.

The work sounds easy: Listen to audio and type what you hear. But it can be repetitive and requires a lot of attention to detail.

With that said, the flexible work hours fit well around an academic schedule. And the pay is a pretty good selling point: Earn around $15 to $25 for general transcription, and more if you learn to specialize in the legal or medical fields.

How to Get Started

Find transcriptionist jobs through these sites:

Your Turn: Have you worked any of these online gigs in the past? Will you pick up one to earn money this school year?

Dana Sitar is a Staff Writer at The Penny Hoarder. She also writes about writing, work, life and love for blogs and books, and sometimes things people care about, like Huffington Post and that one time she had an article published in The Onion. Follow along on Twitter @danasitar.

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