Best Legitimate Real Ways to Make Money From Home for Free (2024)

In the past, the thought of earning a substantial income from the comfort of your home was almost a fantasy. Today, thanks to technology, this fantasy has become a reality for many.

The digital era has revolutionized the way we work, offering opportunities to earn online. Now we Have Real Ways to Make Money From Home for Free.

In fact, a recent study shows that over 50% of the workforce is projected to be involved in some form of freelance or remote work by 2027.

This shift reflects not just a change in technology but in mindset too – the desire for more flexibility and control over our working lives.

If you’ve spent any time on the internet, looking for legitimate real ways to make money from home for free, I’m sure you’ve seen a hundred articles about how to make money online.

Those articles will claim to give you 1000 hustle ideas to make money and tell you that you can earn $10,000 in a week in your pajamas in your bed.

This is not that article. I will not sell you a blogging course or promise you will retire early by taking online surveys.

I will give you simple side hustle ideas to earn extra money and real ways to make money from home without investing.

You will get to learn about some ways that you can use as a starting point to perfect your online side hustle strategy.

Whether you make $500 a month or $5,000 will depend on how much work you’re willing to put in.

Now, you might be thinking: “Are these opportunities really lucrative? Can I trust them?” It’s normal to be skeptical. Many people assume that online earning methods are either too good to be true or scams.

However, the truth is that while there are certainly scams out there, there are also plenty of legitimate, profitable opportunities. The key is to approach them with a discerning eye and realistic expectations.

Earning Extra money online is a very close and personal topic for me. I spent a lot of time trying to figure it out a few years ago and still enjoy doing it. Here is how I think you should go about it.

Easy, Enjoyable, or Profitable

You may have heard of the “unattainable triangle” of cost, quality, and speed.

Similarly, you can find side hustle ideas or ways to make money from home online that are:

  • Easy
  • Enjoyable, and
  • Profitable

You will get to pick any two.

If it’s easy and enjoyable, it won’t make much money. If it’s easy and profitable, it’s probably not very enjoyable (otherwise, everyone would be doing it).

And if it’s enjoyable and profitable, there’s a barrier to entry that requires some hard work.

But after all, for making money online, you get to choose.

The definitions of easy, enjoyable, and profitable are somewhat subjective. What’s easy for you may not be easy for me. Some people are great at socializing and making things work fast, and I am terrible at it.

The point is to think through what you want to get out of your online side hustle.

It’s perfectly fine to stick to things that are easy and that you enjoy, even though they may not make much money.

It’s also ok to want to make $10,000 a month working from home. As long as you realize it will take a lot of work to get there.

Let’s now get to the legitimate online ways to make money from home without any investment!

Real Ways to Make Extra Money Online from Home

I will start with the easiest ways that have low barriers to entry.

You won’t get rich doing any of these things, but if you’ve never made a single dollar side hustling, these are great ways to earn extra money without investment.

Freelancing

If you’re looking to make more than a couple of hundred dollars a month or how to make quick money in one day, freelancing is a great way to do it.

You will work as a contractor and sell your time and skills for money. This is a great way to make a good side hustle or more.


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It’s easy to find freelance work online. Trust me; you have one or more marketable skills for which people will pay good money, even if you don’t know yet.

1. Become a Virtual Assistant ($15-50+ per hour)

A virtual assistant is a catch-all term for almost any administrative task and is a great way to make extra money from home.

Owners of successful businesses (online or otherwise) are extremely busy. They need help with tasks such as responding to emails or organizing their calendars.

As a virtual assistant, you can be the one to take those tasks off their plate. As long as you have some basic administrative and office software skills, you can get started quickly through sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, or even Craigslist.

Virtual-assistant

This will allow you to try many different side hustle ideas to make money and see what you enjoy and don’t.

Once you’ve built up some experience and credibility, I recommend going out independently as an independent contractor. You will generally boost your income this way and make a name for yourself in your niche.

If you specialize in a specific skill set, you can find clients through referrals, Facebook groups, and creating your website marketing your services.

Here are just a few of the services you could offer as an online virtual assistant:

  • Customer service support Social media management
  • Graphic design
  • Personal assistant
  • Website setup and tech support
  • Data entry or analysis

There are so many different skills you can use to make money as a virtual assistant.

  • Potential Earnings: As a virtual bookkeeper, you can expect to earn between $15 to $50 per hour, depending on your expertise and the complexity of the work.
  • Getting Started: To kick off, you don’t need a degree in accounting, but familiarity with financial software like Quickbooks or Xero is beneficial. Start by offering your services on freelance websites or by reaching out to small businesses in your network.
  • Necessary Skills: Key skills include attention to detail, a good understanding of accounting principles, and proficiency in bookkeeping software. Being organized and having excellent communication skills are also vital.
  • Opportunities: Many small businesses and startups look for virtual bookkeepers. By specializing in a particular industry, you can tailor your services to specific needs, adding more value to your clients.

2. Freelance Writing as Side Hustle to Earn Extra Money ($50-500+ per article)

As a freelance writer, you can make extra money from the comfort of your home by writing articles for blogs or news publications without any investment.

As a side hustle, you are trading your time for money. But it may not even feel like a job if you enjoy writing (and researching)!

Similar to becoming a virtual assistant, you can initially find work through sites like Fiverr.

But to get regular paying gigs, setting up your own business and focusing on a subject that you are interested in can allow you to make more money in the long run.

For example, if you like writing about traveling or living in an RV full-time, you can target blogs in that niche and build a relationship with the owners.

freelance-writer

Once you establish a track record and can point to the great content you have created, the referrals will start to pile up, and you can pick and choose what you want to write about.

You can also command higher rates – whereas you might start at $50-75 for a 1,000-word article. As you gain credibility, you can raise your rates to $200-500 for that same content!

That’s the legitimate real way to make money from home for free in one day by writing a single piece of content.

A reliable freelance writer who can publish consistent content that is SEO optimized is worth their weight in gold.

It can be a real ways to make money from home for free with a bit of experience.

Freelance Writing:

  • Potential Earnings: Freelance writers can earn from $50 to over $500 per article. Your earnings depend on the niche, your expertise, and the publication or client you are writing for.
  • Getting Started: Begin by identifying your writing niche. Create a portfolio of your work (even if it’s self-published blogs or guest posts). Start pitching to blogs, online magazines, and content platforms like Fiverr or Upwork. Networking with other writers and content creators is also beneficial.
  • Necessary Skills: Strong writing skills, research ability, and understanding of SEO are crucial. Adapting your writing style to different tones and audiences is also important.
  • Opportunities: There’s a wide range of opportunities, from writing blog posts and articles to creating marketing content and technical writing. As you gain experience, you can specialize in lucrative fields like copywriting or grant writing.

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More Ways to Make Money From Home

3. Easy Way to Make Money with Online Surveys ($50 – $100 per month)

If you are looking for real ways to make money from home for free in one day, here is your gig called online surveys. There are a lot of spammy survey sites out there, but also a lot of legitimate ones.

When looking for survey sites, these are the criteria I use:

  • They have a steady supply of new surveys
  • They pay a reasonable amount for your time
  • Are legitimate and trustworthy companies

There are three survey sites that I would consider the best of the online surveys that pay cash. They give you a ton of survey options, they actually payout, and users on TrustPilot highly rate them.

  • Survey Junkie – One of the best in business. There are always a few exciting surveys available, which tend to pay well.
  • Swagbucks – You make money taking legit surveys with Swagbucks. If you get bored with JUST surveys, they also offer other ways to earn points, such as watching videos and playing games, which can be a refreshing change of pace.
  • Inbox dollars – Similar to Swagbucks, you earn money for surveys, games, and many more. In addition, they pay cash for reading their emails.
  • Potential Earnings: While not the most lucrative, online surveys can offer $50 to $100 per month, depending on the number of surveys you complete.
  • Getting Started: Sign up with reputable survey sites like Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, and InboxDollars. Complete your profile accurately to receive surveys that match your demographics.
  • Necessary Skills: Patience and persistence are key, as well as basic internet navigation skills.
  • Opportunities: Surveys are a simple way to make extra money. Although they won’t make you rich, they can be a convenient way to earn a little extra on the side, especially if you have spare time and minimal effort to invest.

4. Refer friends and Earn Extra Money

It doesn’t get easier than this if you are looking for real ways to make money from home for free in one day. I have listed a few websites below that pay you to refer friends.

Once you sign up with them, you receive a unique referral link.

Share your referral links with your friends. For each member that signs up using your link, you make money.

Here are a few of the high-paying sites.

Sign up on these apps and refer your friends to earn money.

  • Ebates – A generous cashback site that offers $25 for each referral when they spend at least $25.
  • Inbox Dollars – a survey site that offers 30% of lifetime earnings from each referral.
  • Topcashback – $10 bonus when your friend earns their first $10 cashback.
  • Potential Earnings: Earnings can vary widely but typically range from a few dollars to $25 or more per successful referral. However, in most cases, you can refer an unlimited number of people and make that much money.
  • Getting Started: Sign up for referral programs through platforms like Ebates, Swagbucks, and Topcashback. Share your unique referral links with friends and family or on your social media.
  • Necessary Skills: Good networking and social media skills can be helpful in spreading the word about the referral programs you are promoting.
  • Opportunities: This method can be a steady source of passive income, especially if you have a large social network or a platform where you can share referral links.

5. Using Cash Back Apps ($20 – 50 per month)

There are a few straightforward ways to make money from home that I recommend EVERYONE does, just because they take no effort and no investment.

For the most part, all you have to do is download an app. Do some basic sign-up formalities and then forget about it.

You’ll earn points for doing your regular everyday shopping (similar to credit card rewards).

Some apps are better for local stores and restaurants, while others are better for online shopping.

Having 3 or 4 different ones allows you to get cashback for almost everything you buy.

Here are the cash-back apps I recommend the most:

  • Drop – Drop gives you cash back at your chosen local stores. Just link a credit card, select your stores, and forget about it until you cash in!
  • Rakuten – This is the most well-known cashback app. A free browser extension lets you know how much cashback they offer at various online retailers while you shop. Just click the link before checkout, and you’ll automatically get cashback!
  • Ibotta – Ibotta lets your earn cashback on all your grocery shopping trips. It may take 5 minutes to scroll through the offers and select which ones you want to use, then scan your receipt and the app does the rest.
  • Potential Earnings: Earnings vary based on your shopping habits but typically range from $20 to $50 per month in cashback and rewards.
  • Getting Started: Download popular cashback apps like Rakuten, Drop, and Ibotta. Complete the sign-up process and start using these apps for your regular shopping to earn cash back.
  • Necessary Skills: Basic smartphone usage and online shopping skills are all you need.
  • Opportunities: These apps offer an effortless way to save money on regular purchases. They are especially useful for frequent online shoppers and can provide savings on a wide range of products and services.

Online Business Ideas to Make Money From Home

6. Online Tutoring ($15 to $50 per hour)

Online tutoring stands out as a real way to make money from home for free, offering the luxury to share knowledge right from your living room.

The digital revolution has significantly expanded the scope of education beyond traditional classrooms, opening doors to personalized, flexible learning experiences.

In this era, where expertise can be shared globally, online tutoring becomes not just a side hustle but a fulfilling career for many.

  • Potential Earnings: Earnings can range from $15 to $50 per hour, depending on your area of expertise and the level of subjects taught.
  • Getting Started: To start this journey, platforms like VIPKid, Tutor.com, or Chegg Tutors offer a seamless entry. Showcasing certifications or a degree in your chosen subject will enhance your credibility.
  • Necessary Skills: Key skills include excellent communication, patience, and proficiency with digital teaching tools.
  • Opportunities: Specializing in high-demand areas like SAT preparation or ESL can significantly boost your earning potential.

7. Create Digital Products

Creating digital products is a prime example of a legitimate real way to make money from home for free.

In today’s interconnected world, digital products like eBooks, artwork, or planners cater to a diverse, global audience.

This venture allows you to leverage your creativity and knowledge, turning them into products that can be sold worldwide, which tells us about the ease of modern online entrepreneurship.

  • Potential Earnings: The earning potential varies, but digital products can provide a significant passive income over time.
  • Getting Started: Identify your niche and utilize user-friendly tools like Canva for design, Kindle Direct Publishing for eBooks, or platforms like Etsy and Gumroad for selling.
  • Necessary Skills: Creativity, audience understanding, and basic digital production skills are essential.
  • Opportunities: The scope is vast, ranging from designing digital planners to creating comprehensive educational guides.

8. Podcasting

Podcasting is not just a trendy activity; it’s a legitimate and real way to make money from home, offering flexibility and the opportunity to connect with audiences on a personal level.

As the world of podcasting continues to grow, it presents a unique platform for sharing stories, knowledge, or entertainment, resonating with the digital age’s demand for on-the-go, accessible content.

  • Potential Earnings: Income varies, with some podcasters earning substantial amounts through sponsorships, ads, and donations.
  • Getting Started: Select a niche, invest in quality recording equipment, and utilize hosting platforms like Anchor or Podbean.
  • Necessary Skills: Strong storytelling or conversational abilities, basic audio editing, and promotional skills are key.
  • Opportunities: Podcast topics can range widely, from educational content to lifestyle and hobby discussions.

9. E-commerce

E-commerce represents a cornerstone in the realm of legitimate real ways to make money from home.

It allows entrepreneurs to reach a global market.

Whether you’re creating your own products or utilizing a dropshipping model, e-commerce empowers individuals to operate an entire retail business from their computer, making it a highly sought-after side hustle in today’s digital economy.

  • Potential Earnings: Earnings can be unlimited but do require an initial investment, especially for inventory.
  • Getting Started: Utilize platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce to create your store. Identifying a niche and managing logistics are key steps.
  • Necessary Skills: Skills in marketing, e-commerce platform management, and customer service are crucial.
  • Opportunities: The opportunities are vast, ranging from selling handmade goods to tech gadgets.

10. Creating an Online Course

Creating an online course is a powerful way to tap into the potential of earning money from home.

It capitalizes on the increasing demand for online learning, allowing you to package your expertise into courses that can be accessed globally.

This method stands out in the digital era, offering a scalable way to impact others’ lives while generating income, embodying the essence of a flexible and profitable side hustle.

  • Potential Earnings: Earnings vary widely, with some course creators earning substantial amounts.
  • Getting Started: Choose a subject you’re well-versed in, use platforms like Teachable or Udemy, and develop engaging content.
  • Necessary Skills: Expertise in your chosen topic, content creation skills, and basic video editing capabilities are essential.
  • Opportunities: There’s a high demand for courses in areas like programming, digital marketing, personal development, and various creative skills.

11. Start a Virtual Bookkeeping Business ($60-100 per hour)

If writing isn’t your thing, maybe you’re a numbers guy. Many business owners are great at producing, marketing, and selling their products, but their finances are a disaster.

There are a lot of small business owners out there that need your help.

The great thing about bookkeeping is that you can start with no degree or prior experience.

As long as you are willing to put in the effort to learn as you go and aren’t scared of numbers and financial software like Quickbooks or Xero, you are all set to go.

Unlike an accountant or CPA, you are there to keep track of the day-to-day finances and help the owner track their income and expenses to make better strategic business decisions.

And it’s a real way to make money from home for free for you.

Attention to detail is key if you want to make money online.

A CPA is excellent in tax planning, but they are not there to see the business’s daily functions. This is where you, as a bookkeeper, can become indispensable to keeping the financials running smoothly.

As with any freelance business, finding your initial client is usually the most challenging.

But by defining a niche (such as online business owners, real estate investors, or electricians), you can become an expert in their business model, help them improve their financial position, and ultimately demonstrate your value and increase your pricing.

With the increase of web-based file management and accounting software, you can easily be an online-only bookkeeper, which keeps overhead low and profits high.

If you target small-business clients, you usually provide monthly transaction recording and reporting services, which may take 4-5 hours per client, and earn you a profit of $250-300 each.

Just having 3 or 4 clients on the side of your day job could bring in a significant amount of extra income and can be a great way to make money from home!


12. Start a Blog ($0-unlimited)

You can’t have a list of online side hustles ideas or ways to make money from home for free that is complete without mentioning starting a blog.

Blogging has gotten a bad name because the people promoting it as a side hustle want you to believe it’s super easy to make $100,000 a month online so that you’ll sign up for their hosting affiliate or their latest “blogging secrets” course.

The truth is that blogging is extremely hard work. Unlike freelancing or other “easy” ways to make money online, you won’t see a return from blogging for 6-12 months or even more.

Few lucky and smart ones can make it in three months.

Blogging won’t make you money quickly in one day.

This is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme, and not even close.

I have been blogging for almost a year and am just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel to make an actual income from it potentially.

If you added up all my income so far and divided it by the number of hours I’ve put in, I guarantee you it would be less than the minimum wage. That’s right; you’d be better off working at McDonald’s.

But as we discussed upfront in the “unattainable triangle” of online income, because it’s not easy, there is a large barrier to entry to actually make money. That means others will give up long before reaching profitability.

You need to be willing to blog for free for AT LEAST a year before having any expectations of making a profit.

It’s like rolling a snowball down a hill, it takes a lot of work at the beginning, but once it picks up momentum, it almost runs on its own.

Once you get to this point, you can make $1,000 a month, $10,000 a month, or even $100,000 a month while working less than you did at the beginning.

But it takes that initial sacrifice to get there and is a real great way to make money from home.

  • Potential Earnings: Blogging can start slow but has unlimited earning potential. Successful bloggers can make anywhere from $1,000 to over $100,000 per month through various monetization strategies like advertising, affiliate marketing, and product sales.
  • Getting Started: Begin by choosing a niche you’re passionate about. Set up your blog using platforms like WordPress. Consistently create and publish high-quality, engaging content. Learn about SEO to increase your blog’s visibility.
  • Necessary Skills: You’ll need skills in writing, basic SEO, and digital marketing. Understanding how to engage and grow an audience is also crucial.
  • Opportunities: As your blog grows, opportunities expand into areas like sponsored posts, selling digital products, or even writing and publishing books. Networking with other bloggers and attending blogging conferences can also open new doors.

Final Words On Making Money From Home

As the gig economy grows, so do the opportunities for remote and freelance work. The key is to find what aligns with your skills and interests.

So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the world of online earning! Start small, explore different options, and who knows – your side hustle might just turn into your main hustle.

Have you tried any of these methods? Share your experience in the comments below or drop any questions you have!

earn-money-from-home-side-hustle

If you are planning to start a new blog or running a blog but still not making any money, here is my step by step guide for starting a blog. I will show you everything you need to generate a passive source of income.


Check out all the best resources I use! These resources have helped me immensely in my journey and I am sure they will help you as well.

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