From time to time I get asked this question or variants of it: ‘’Can I make money online as a college student without breaking the law? ‘’
For sure there is indeed no lack of getting rich quick schemes and promises in the online world, so if you’re a college student and want to make extra cash but have trouble finding the time, the following best legit ways to make money online can give you the flexibility you’re looking for. Not to mention working online often pays way better than your regular campus positions — double win.
Besides, you will have the freedom to do it just with your laptop and an Internet connection while enjoying yourself at the student bar.
Working through college can help offset the skyrocketing expenses, but between classes, home works, extracurricular, volunteer work, friends and enjoying the best years of your life, it can be challenging fitting into a rigid work schedule.
That’s where the internet comes in.
First Step, Decide On Your Goal First
As a college student, before you begin anything online, you have to determine what really you WANT. I mean that you need to decide whether you are looking for a Short Term Income or a Long Term Income.
Short term revenue is also known as the “Fast Cash” where you can make money faster, but it is a tiny amount and not sustainable (Side/Extra income). While long term income is the type where the money will come slowly, but it is a potential full-time income in the future.
Short Term Online Income – Fast Cash
There are a bunches of easy legit ways where you can make some bucks online, but these are mostly very short term measures. Most are simply exchanging your time for money online. For example, you can get paid by, downloading Apps, watching videos, taking surveys, selling used textbooks, viewing advertisements or testing products. Let me break down for you. I’ve roughly classified them into 5 main types.
1- Sharing your opinion by taking surveys: As a college student you spend a lot of time online, don’t you? Chances are you’ve done things like watching videos, playing games, writing reviews, reading emails and much more. Now imagine earning some bucks to do all that stuff every day! You can get paid to take surveys, shopping, viewing ads, signing up for trials and so on.
2- Downloading Apps: As we speak, you probably have many apps running on your smartphone right now. Smartphone Apps like AppMan, Getmoocash, FeaturePoints are the best apps that you might enjoy and pays you for every download. But don’t be surprised if you’ll be making only cents at the end of the day off such an app.
3- Surfing the Web – Test Out Websites: Some sites use terrible colors and fonts, have too many pop-ups, so they aren’t user-friendly. Obviously, no site owner wants that to happen, so they pay other people to test their website for them and provide real feedback.
As a college student, you can be one of those people that get paid to test their websites for them. Sites like Usertesting, Enroll, TestingTime, TryMyUI and UserFeel are in the top of the list of sites that can pay you some cash to test out websites.
4- Sell your stuff (TextBooks, Clothes…): Whether it’s selling your old stuff or buying and selling like an online store, you can make money in terms of E-commerce. Hereafter are some good marketplaces where you can sell your stuff.
* TextBookRush found online at textbookrush.com; it’s a place where you can sell your used textbooks, video games or movies. The amount you can earn on the books you sell to TextBookRush depends on the demand for those books. They give you a quote immediately if they’re buying what you wish to sell. But it seems they frequently buy college textbooks, vintage movies, and popular video games.
* Amazon & eBay, as a millennial college student you’ve probably already bought some products online through Amazon, eBay. There are three ways you can sell on Amazon & Ebay. One is to put up your own stuff ( new or used), the second is dropshipping, and the other is to become an affiliate marketer. (I will touch on affiliate later in the post).
* CraigsList – Sell locally your stuff (buyers pick up).
* Etsy the store where you can sell your arts & crafts.
5- Freelance work: Freelance jobs for college and university students are getting more and more common these days due to the advancement in technology. We live in a wonderful time, where you can get an accredited university degree from home, and make a living from home.
If you have a skill like being social media friendly, graphic design, website development, coding, foreign languages you can earn good money from freelancing. But if you don’t, no problem, there are also online jobs such as writing transcripts which only requires you to spend time to make money.
Below an exhaustive list of great online freelance works for a college student:
* Online Tutor: Many college students struggle with passing their courses, so if you’re doing well in college, you can make some bucks by helping to overcome their difficulties and teaching them what you know. Not only college students. You can also help and teach kids – from elementary school to high school. There are plenty of kids who could need and use your help.
Thankfully, with the Internet, you don’t have to be limited to your local geographic area. You can teach kids and student from all over the world. Websites like wyzant.com, cambly.com, tutor.com, coursehero.com pay you to teach and help other students.
* Social Media Manager: I can confidently say most of the college students are social media friendly and spend a lot of time on it every day and night. Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the list goes on. If you’re used to getting a lot of likes or comments, through your post, you might want to consider making your living by doing the same thing for other people’s or companies social media accounts. Social media managers play a vital role in building brands awareness for companies and small businesses.
Long Term Online Income – Potential Full-Time
There are several ways where you can make long term revenue online but it all surrounds one area, and that is… :
Creating An Online Asset – Your Own Website
Guess what?! Building a website is a legit and feasible way for you as a college student to make long term passive income online. This is due to the nature of the Internet world. When you have your own website, everything you own online will be running non-stop day and night, 7/7, 365 days. Once you upload your content and offers, they will be there all the time available for the whole world to see and read. Even when you are not working on it, you can still make sales automatically as long as you have the necessary things in place.
Your website is your online “asset”. It’s just like real estate. If nothing goes wrong, the value of your asset is there and it can rise or decline when there are changes in different factors affecting it.
So you have your website set up but how do you start making money with it?
Best Ways To Make Money With Your Online Asset.
* Advertising: When your website reaches a certain level where there are a lot of visitors, companies or even individuals who want to advertise and promote their products or services are your potential customer. You can “rent” specific spaces on your website for them to put their advertisements. This will be a very lucrative business for you as a college student if your website is running pretty well, you can earn up to hundreds or thousands per month just for these ads.
* Affiliate Marketing: You can join Amazon or eBay as an affiliate and promote any of their products on your website. The advantage of using Amazon or eBay is that you get paid for any products your visitors purchase on it as long as your cookies are valid. (You can earn from any other products even if you didn’t promote it).
For example, you are promoting a smartphone charger on your website which is a few dollars. One of your website visitors clicks on your link but then goes on to buy a smartwatch instead. You get paid for the smartwatch commission which is a lot higher than the smartphone charger commission!
* Google Adsense Ads: Once you have your own website in place, you can create your account and sign up for Google’s Adsense Ads. Google will automatically insert ads into your website after approving your account. You get paid by Google for every click on any of those Ads. How lucky you are!
* Building Marketing List: Marketing List building is the process of collecting visitors’ email address. You can do this by giving your website visitors some free offers as a list of tips, eBooks as an incentive for them to provide you with their email on your website.
Once you have a list of email, you can connect with your potential customer by sending them by email more information that can help them. When your potential customers trust you more, and that relationship is built up, it’s time for you to recommend relevant products to them and make some real money!
Just Keep in mind that the more you try to sell, the less you actually sell. This is always the case. So always have the mindset of HELPING people NOT SELLING.
Let’s Put Everything Together Now
I’ve just very briefly touched on each of the points. There are more and more to learn if you want to earn legit money online as a college student. But there’s a critical thing in common, and that is..
Whether you want to earn long term full-time income or only to make short term fast cash, it’s entirely up to you. I’ve given you the first guide, and the options are in front of you right now.
In any case, comparing to the idea of investing in stocks, or an offline business, building an online asset of yours as a college student is not risky at all. All the time and money you invest now is all adding value to your online asset. No one at all can take that away. So, you’ve got nothing to lose. Do you see my point?