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Seven Ways To Make Money Online As A College Student

Updated on January 3, 2012

The life of a college student is notorious for being one of little free time. Between studying and socializing, what little time remaining is often not enough to support any kind of meaningful employment. However, as a student you are not always busy. Often times there are significant chunks of time between classes or events that are wasted with procrastination and goofing off. These chunks of time are typically too short to do anything important, but too long to ignore. What if there was a way of using this time to make a little bit of extra cash?

Well with the internet, there is! Making money online has never been easier. All it takes is a little bit of time, a little bit of effort, and a little bit of internet savvy. As a student, you should be able to take care of the two former requirements. With this hub, I'll help you out with the latter.

All it takes is access to a computer. So no matter if you're at home, at the library, or at Starbucks, if there's a computer around you can start making some money using the internet. So without further adieu, let's begin!

Sign Up For Advertising

First most of the methods that I will be mentioning below, it is required that you have a Google Adsense account of an Amazon Affiliate Program account if you want to earn anything. To use these services you must be legally allowed to work in your country of residence. Signing up is pretty simple so I'm not going to go into too much detail. You'll just need to be a part of these programs if you want to make money using your own websites or through Hubpages.

1. Earn Money While Studying

Often times, when someone mentions "making money online" they go off on a tangent regarding making a bunch of ugly product-related sites that are rife with advertising. I don't suggest you do this as it takes too much time and effort with too little reward.

However, I do recommend adapting this method to better suit your needs. Instead of creating sites dealing with products and services, how about you create a site dealing in information! You can combine this with your current studying efforts and make money while studying!

So basically, what you do is set up your own study site or Hubpages account and starting posting your own, original study guides. Tons of people search Google and the other major search engines looking for help with their homework and assignments and by writing your own guides and explanations relating to these subjects, you'll both learn the material better yourself and earn a little extra money on the side! It's an excellent way to make money as a college student.

2. Make Money With Hubpages

When I mentioned earlier that writing about products takes up too much time, it's true -- in regards to making your own websites related to them at least. If you're using Hubpages, then it's actually quite simple and it can be pretty lucrative! Whenever you buy something, head on over here to Hubpages and review it truthfully. Many people search the internet looking for honest product reviews, and it does not take much effort to write them.

So just create a new hub related to what you just purchases and write a shortish, 500-1000 word review about it! Then slap some Amazon content boxes on the side and link to the product with them. If the person decides to order anything from Amazon after clicking on your links then you'll earn a small commission! It's usually only around 6% on average, but it can really add up!

Also with Hubpages you are not just restricted to writing product reviews, you can really write about whatever you want. However, guides and reviews are generally more lucrative than poetry and recipes, so you may want to keep that in mind.

3. Be A Freelance Copyrighter

If you are reasonably good at writing (and creative) you can make some money on a site called Textbroker. On Textbroker you earn a variable amount of money (depending on your skill) per word, and you can pretty easily make around ten dollars an hour if you are moderately talented. If you are exceptional at cranking out content for others then you could probably make as much as twenty dollars an hour, but don't count on it.

Textbroker pays twice a month through PayPal, so it can be a pretty simple way to make some quick extra cash.

4. Tutor Others

If you are extremely capable in a subject, then it may be possible for you to tutor others online! Services such as will distance hire capable tutors periodically and it can be a decent way to make some side income while as a college student. All you have to do is pass several written tests related to the subject material that you wish to teach and sign up for a shift in which you will help students online!

5. Write Your Own Ebooks

Now, this method may not actually make you much money and it won't be as quick as the others, but it can be quite fun and you will have something to show for yourself when you're finished! With the advent of Kindles, Nooks, and other e-book readers, it is easier than ever to become a published author. If you are an English major, or just creative when it comes to writing, then it could be possible for you to write the next best selling e-book!

Just write your own book and publish it through Smashwords or Kindle Direct Publishing. Now I say this like it's really simple, but it's actually not. Still if you have the drive and the will of fire, it can be done! If motivation is an issue I recommend waiting until November and doing it as part of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) competition.

Though the whole idea of writing ebooks for money may sound like a longshot, it is possible and you don't have to even be a particularly good writer. Average quality fiction, if it is pulpy and enjoying to read, can sell quite well on the ebook marketplaces. Just try to choose a niche subject and dominate it with your works! Be prolific and you may succeed.

6. Create iPhone and Android Apps

So far, most of my suggestions have been writing related. However, if your skill set is more computer science or math based, don't worry because you're not out of luck! In this case, I recommend learning Objective C if you want to publish your apps on the iPhone (iOS) or Java if you wish to publish on Android.

The iOS marketplace tends to be more lucrative, as the iPhone userbase tends to spend more money on games and apps than Android users. Still, in the Android marketplace you are faced with less competition and there is a lot of room for market domination.

Think of Angry Birds. It's just a simple physics-based slingshot game -- the kind that had been on flash games sites for over a decade. Still, despite it's simplicity it has made millions! Or Minecraft, another popular indie game that has made its owner, Notch, into a millionaire. If you can think of something simple and addicting like these, then try to make it! The market for indie game developers has never been better and it can provide steady income for a busy college student.

7. Selling Arts and Crafts on Etsy

If you are artistic or interested in making crafts or clothing, then Etsy is the place for you. Etsy provides a marketplace for both vintage and handmade items and anyone can set up a shop and sell their wares to the internet.

It's kind of like an online craft show. It's actually pretty cool and you can find a lot of interesting things on Etsy. Personally, I'm not much of an arts and crafts person myself, but if you are then Etsy is definitely a great option.

Other Opportunities

Well that's all I have for now. I set out to write about five different ways for a college student to make money and ended up with seven!

Still, there is a lot more out there that I'm not aware of. However, I believe that the strategies about can help a time strapped college student make some nice passive income in their free time. I use many of them myself and I think others should be aware that even in this economy opportunities are out there! :)


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    • WayneDave profile image

      WayneDave 6 years ago from Leeds, England

      Some decent ideas, and nicely written too. Great stuff.

    • lumberjack profile image

      lumberjack 6 years ago

      Glad you enjoyed it :)

    • Doblar profile image

      Doblar 6 years ago

      Thank you, finally a good, well-written hub, with links.