Our Best Ways to Make Money: 73 Ideas to Make 2017 Your Richest Year Yet

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We all want more money. But far less of us actually do anything to make it happen.  This post is meant to take all of your excuses away- these are 73 of our BEST ways to make money.  All of these are actionable items that you can start on today.Want to make extra money from home? This list contains our BEST ways to make money. Online, in person, everything. If you want to start earning extra money, you NEED this list :)

There are lots of different ideas on this list for making extra money, from just simple side gigs… to launching full blown startups (and everything in between).

Obviously, earning extra money is something that can really change your life.  

Money can buy you freedom in more ways than one, despite what people may say.

Earning extra money on top of your day job can improve many areas of your life:

  • Less stress from living paycheck to paycheck
  • Reduce the burden of crippling debt
  • More opportunities to save for a dream vacation
  • It can be passed on to others for social good
  • You can retire earlier
  • It can be snowballed into even more wealth

The purpose of this post is to serve as a source of ideas for all of the best ways to make money.  Let this list be a source of inspiration to you!

Whether you've only got a few spare minutes to make a quick buck or if you are willing to burn the midnight oil in the hours after your full-time job and put in maximum effort, there are SO many ways to earn extra money.

There is a ton of information on this page, so I suggest bookmarking it and coming back periodically.

Alright, let's get to it!

Our 73 Best Ways to Make Money

There's something on this list for everyone, but I wanted to start things off with my personal favorites in terms of making extra money.

1. Blog about your favorite hobby: This can be just a simple side hustle, or it can turn into something really special; it's up to you. I'm a huge fan of blogging because I love writing and connecting with people all over the world. If you want to get started, read my post From 0-$100k per Year: How to Start a Blog for Beginners.

In less than 15 minutes you can setup your own money making website with zero experience whatsoever. That's exactly what I did 1 year ago and I made $44,000 in my first 12 months – this year we're on pace to bring in nearly $120,000. Not bad for a side hustle on top of my normal 9-5.

Completely new to blogging but want to get started? I recommend starting a WordPress blog (like this one) with HostGator. Use the coupon code BTOP60 for 60% off (less than $3/month to start!). Here's a great step by step tutorial for getting started.

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Pinterest Design 101:  How to Create Viral Pins that Drive Insane Amounts of Free Traffic to Your Blog

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2. Do Paid Online Surveys: Companies are willing to pay money to get inside the heads of consumers.  Below are my favorite survey sites.  They’re free to join and free to use. Pro tip: It’s best to sign up for as many as you can as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.


Take paid surveys with Swagbucks and make money at home the easy way.Swagbucks – Perhaps the most well-known and trusted of all the survey sites, users earn “Swagbucks” (also known as SB’s) for each survey they complete. Swagbucks even gives you a FREE $5 as an incentive just for signing up.

Sign up for Swagbucks and claim your FREE $5 here.


Make money from home online with Survey Junkie; give your opinion on things and get paid for it!Survey Junkie – Survey Junkie works much in the same way that Swagbucks does. All you have to do is sign up to be eligible for surveys. Once you complete a survey you earn a certain amount of points that you can exchange for cash paid directly to a PayPal account or you can redeem your points for gift cards. Super simple.

Sign up for Survey Junkie and get started making money today!


Vindale Research – Vindale Research asks for information about you that they can match you with fitting surveys. At up to $50 a pop for some surveys, and a free $2 just for signing up, it pays to check in daily to see which ones are available to you. Cashouts are through PayPal.

Sign up for Vindale Research and claim your FREE $2 here.


Making money on the internet is easy with VIP Voice! It is one of the easiest real ways to make money from home out there. VIP Voice – You use the points you get from completing surveys to enter into sweepstakes and auctions for great rewards. Prizes include vacations, electronics, appliances, and much more.

Get entered into a $1,000 sweepstakes just for signing up.


survey club paid surveysSurvey Club – Participate in latest & highest paying research, product test, focus groups, clinical trials, and survey opportunities. Get paid each time you take part in a paid research study (deposited directly to your PayPal account).

Sign up at Survey Club and get started for FREE today.


earning station paid survey EarningStation – Earn points by taking surveys, shopping online, watching videos and signing up for great products. Redeem your points for gift cards to your favorite stores like Amazon and Walmart.

Sign up at EarningStation and get started for FREE today.


make money from homeMyPoints rewards members when they shop online, take surveys, play games, watch videos and more. Similar to Swagbucks, plus they give you a $5 gift card for free after signing up.

Sign up for MyPoints and claim your FREE $5 here.


harris poll online paid surveysHarris Poll Online – Start to earn “HIpoints” by taking surveys online. Redeem your points for rewards whenever you meet their cash-out thresholds.

Note: HPO periodically shuts down registration to new members (thus the link may not work at times).

Sign up for Harris Poll Online for FREE today and get eligible to win $10,000.


PanelPlace – Much like the others, PanelPlace offers a platform where you can get paid to give your opinion. They act as a liaison between you and marketing companies and send you paid surveys that you complete and redeem for cash or gift cards.

Sign up for PanelPlace FREE here.


3. Drive for Uber: This is a really good use of your time if you are trying to make some extra cash in a weekend.  Here's a signup link you can use to get started with the application process today.

4. Earn More Interest on Your Savings: Move your savings over to a bank account that actually pays you a decent interest rate on your savings.  Discover pays around 1%, which is 11 times higher than the national average.  Take 10 minutes out of your day and do this- over time, it really does make a difference.

5. Peer to Peer Lending: Using money you already have to make more money is usually a pretty smart move. Using a service like Lending Club is a great way to act as a lender and earn interest on your money. Essentially, YOU act as the bank, which is pretty neat.  Lending Club is the world's largest online credit marketplace connecting borrowers and investors. Definitely something worth looking into!

Learn more about Lending Club

6. Sell Your Stuff:  Most of us are guilty of hanging onto things that we never use, myself included. Take a day and go through all your old stuff and get rid of some of it!

7. Donate PlasmaDonating your body is a great way to help other people in need, and some donation centers even pay donors.  I regularly donate platelets and plasma with the American Red Cross (who unfortunately do not compensate donors), but it's a great way to give back to the community.

To find a plasma donation center near you that compensates donors, visit donatingplasma.org.

8. Get Cashback When You Shop:

Earn extra money

Technically you’re not getting money, but you’re getting money back (cashback) on purchases you would have made anyways. Cool thing is, this is on top of any discounts/coupon codes you already have.  The two best sites that offer cashback on your online purchases are Ebates ($10 free signup bonus) and Swagbucks ($5 free signup bonus).

9. Bet on Your Own Weight Loss:

What better way to lose weight than to avoid losing a bet? Sites like HealthyWage.com allow you to place a wager and earn extra money when you successfully lose weight.

10. Invest Your Savings: Depending on your age, you should be netting around 7% year with a balanced investment portfolio. Have $50,000 in savings? That is $3,500 dollars PER YEAR that you are missing out on by not investing.  And getting started is easier than you think. Check out How to Make Money in the Stock Market, courtesy of Mr. Money Moustache. And FYI, Ally Invest has a promo going on right now where you can start investing in stocks for only $4.95 per trade (one of the cheapest around).

…More Creative Ways to Make Money:

11. Become a Freelance Proofreader: In 2014, Caitlin Pyle made over $43,000 by working as a freelance proofreader… PART TIME. When she wasn’t working, she even had time to go on several fun vacations.  After she had a ton of success doing that, she decided she wanted to teach others how to do the same thing, so she started up Proofread Anywhere.  Sign up for her Free  7 Day Email Course on making money as a proofreader.

12. Manage Social Media for Businesses: This can also include advertising, but many businesses also need help just filling up their social media profiles with relevant (and consistent) content. If you enjoy learning about social media and want to take things a step further and earn extra money, social media management is a great option. If you're good at it, it can also open up a lot of doors for you down the road. This is a great article from Small Biz Trends on How to Start Your Own Social Media Business.

13. Invest in Ideas You Believe In: If you are looking for a unique way to put your money to use, consider a service like Motif Investing. If there’s a particular sector you believe in, such as cancer research, Motif lets you invest in stocks related to that particular sector. And right now they are offering up to $150 to anyone who opens an account with them.

***offer no longer valid as of 09/05/2017

14. Participate in Paid Research Studies:  If you live near a university, there are likely all sorts of research studies looking for participants.  While I was an undergrad at Virginia Tech, I got paid $500 to participate in a 6 week dietary study.  The study provided all my meals AND paid me, but I had to eat a 5,000 calorie diet of 50% fat for 6 weeks, plus I had multiple muscle biopsies taken, urine/blood testing, etc.

15. Use Swagbucks for Online Search to Make Money Fast: Swagbucks is a great way to passively earn cash and Amazon gift cards with very little work. They have a search tool, which is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “SBs” for the things you do through their website. Redeem SBs for rewards. And by signing up through our link, they give you a free $5. Boom.

16. Trade Options: Warning: don't do this without at least SOME understanding of what you are doing. Trading options is similar to trading stocks, but there can be higher risks involved. Etrade is a great platform for options trading, and right now they have a promotion where they are offering commission free trading for 60 days when you open an account. To learn more about trading options, check out a Simple Guide to Making Money with Options.

***offer no longer valid as of 09/05/2017

17. Install the Nielsen Digital Voice App: Install the app, surf the web, and get entries into their monthly $10,000 sweepstakes. Learn more about Nielsen Digital Voice here.

18. Install the Shoptracker App: As the name suggests, this app tracks your shopping habits (anonymously) for market research companies. You get a free $3 just for installing the app!

19. Consulting for Local Small Businesses: This side hustle can easily become a full time job! If you've got expertise in an area and think you can help small businesses near you, give this a shot. For instance, Ben and I know a lot about running Facebook advertising campaigns, so we approached the owner of our gym if he would let us design a few campaigns for him.  And of course he was thrilled to get the help! Here's a useful 18 Step Checklist for Becoming a Small Business Consultant.

20. Affiliate Marketing: That's how this website is able to generate thousands in revenue each month without selling anything. Setting up an affiliate-focused website is fairly easy, but it will take quite a bit of time and effort to draw in enough traffic to make decent money. Our article From 0-$100k: How Anyone Can Start Blogging is a great starting point!

Other Ways to Make Money on the Side:

21. Create an Online Course: If you've got expertise in a certain area, package up your knowledge into an online course and sell it. This has become a very popular business model for online entrepreneurs over the past several years.  The two big websites that are used to sell online courses are Udemy and Teachable. Check out this awesome article from Regina over at byRegina.com on How to Create an Online Course that Sells.

22. Offer Resume Help: This can either be done locally or through an online service like Fiverr. Resumes are something that people can be very insecure and self conscious about, which means there is always a demand for services that will help spruce them up.  Holly Hanna from The Work at Home Woman wrote a really useful article on How to Make Money from Home with Resume Writing.

23. Become a Bartender: If you live in a college town, this can be a really lucrative side hustle. Get a better idea of how much you can expect to earn as a bartender here.

24. Pet Sitting: Especially around the holidays, this service is in high demand. People want someone they can trust to look after their pets while they are out of town.  ToughNickel has a helpful page on Making Money as a Pet Sitter.

25. Start Personal Training: If you have a passion for fitness and love helping others improve their health, you might consider becoming a personal trainer. With social media, there are now more ways than just 1 on 1 training to earn extra money in the fitness industry. Smart Asset wrote a great piece on The Economics of Personal Training.

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Jeff Proctor

Hi there! I'm Jeff. I started VTX with Ben after working in professionally in the personal finance field for almost 3 years.

You'll usually see me on here writing articles about how to save (and make!) money, how to make smarter investment choices, and how to have a better overall financial life. If there's ever a topic you'd like to see me cover, shoot me an email!
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5 comments

  1. I completely appreciate your post! You have shared legitimate and useful ideas. I am in agreement with you, we have to do something thay matters. I am especially intrigued with the idea of a podcast. I always wanted to have my own radio show, this is the next best thing. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. There is something for everyone on this list. I’m definitely going to bookmark and come back to find one or more ideas that I can run with.

  3. It’s ironic you mentioned “weight loss.” I’m actually doing that right now; a new fitness transformation, building a business, getting very little sleep which I do need more of, and focusing more on “lots and lots of content.” Do people really make money from taking online surveys and earn good monthly income?

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