The 13 Easiest Online Side Gigs For Extra Money

High inflation, a stagnant salary, growing grocery bills, and the ballooning cost of housing are all reasons to consider bringing in an alternate form of income, and online side gigs are valid ways to do just that. They're 1) accessible to anyone with an internet connection, 2) don't require the additional expense of brick-and-mortar retail, and 3) offer resources to pay off your debt at a time when the average total debt owed by U.S. consumers is $103,358, according to Experian.


Like most things in our world, only some online jobs are equal or even worth your time. Factors to look for in an online side gig include fair pay for equivalent work, schedule flexibility, the ability to choose who you work with and how you work, and, most importantly, taking on work you actually like doing. That said, if you don't already have a side gig, it turns out you could be one of the few on the block who doesn't. Per a 2023 Bankrate survey on side hustles, 39% of those surveyed said they had a side job, with 33% of respondents saying the money was essential to help cover their day-to-day expenses. Further, the average reported monthly earnings from the gigs, per person, was $810.

So, if you've been thinking about getting a side gig, too, but you're unsure where to start, we've got you covered. Below is our compiled list of 13 easy side gigs you can do from the comfort of home.


1. Virtual assistant

From time to time, everybody needs a little help. That's where your expertise could land you an online side gig as a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant is an administrative assistant who takes on tasks for people looking for help with scheduling, business-to-business calling, booking travel for business, or handling personal arrangements remotely. In doing so, you'll help to free up time for your clients to focus on more important requirements of their day.


To become a virtual assistant, Upwork suggests researching online courses, as well as browsing LinkedIn for virtual assistant networking groups for knowledge-sharing and to build your online presence for job opportunities. Leaning into the things you're already good at or have an interest in will make you more invested and raise your chances of doing a good job. Like most contractors, you'll have to think about how much you'll charge and whether it'll be by the hour or per task. Other job sites like Upwork or can help you find people seeking virtual assistants faster.

ZipRecruiter lists the median salary for this role at $24 per hour with virtual assistants in the 10 highest-paying U.S. cities offering anywhere from $30 to $34 per hour, or $62,585 to $72,480 per year.


2. Graphic designer

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there are 22,800 job openings for graphic designers every year, making this an in-demand job with 270,900 opportunities in 2022. As a designer, you'll be using your knowledge of software and image generation to create brand awareness for clients through unique and compelling visuals. Typically, graphic designers have received some training in the field, usually obtaining a bachelor's degree. Indeed places the national average for graphic design work as of December 2023 at $19 per hour for entry-level work to as much as $27 per hour after about a decade or more of experience, with the highest-paid designers earning $36 per hour.


To launch your graphic design side gig, WIXBlog suggests first learning the ropes of launching a business from the ground up, including regulatory permits, accounting basics, and required taxes for freelance workers in your state. When building a portfolio of work, consider your online presence a professional calling card for potential clients. Protect your business by having a contract in place for clients that clearly states your costs, roles, and responsibilities per project with provisions for work timelines, revisions, and payment terms. It's important to temper your client's expectations and set boundaries on your time to have a personal life outside of the work you do for them.

3. Customer service rep

As per ZipRecruiter, an online customer service representative provides general and/or technical support to client customers over the phone or virtually. This typically entails answering questions related to client services, problem-solving issues for customers, invoicing, billing, and potentially, some data entry.


The best part of this online side gig is you don't need more than a high school diploma or GED, some basic knowledge of standard office applications like Excel, and decent communication skills to get started. Microsoft offers a basic but free two-month certification course on all Microsoft 365 applications through Coursera, including PowerPoint, Word, and Excel.

In the United States, the average pay per hour fluctuates between $17 to $32 based on factors like experience, location, and education. If you ever considered turning this side gig into a career, note that the salary ranges from a low of $34,481 to a top percentile earning of $113,449, per Indeed data. If you live in Chicago, Illinois, lucky you! This is the highest-paying city in the U.S. for customer service reps, with an average salary of $74,052 per year to as much as $133,901.


4. Focus group participant

While you've maybe never considered it a job, participating in focus groups can earn you money. With the help of focus groups, companies screen candidates with specific questions related to their brand, product, or service to collect data for market research. They often take three routes to get this information. Stand-alone, where the thoughts of the group become the primary source of research; multi-method, which collects data in multiple ways alongside the focus group; and supplementary, which uses the focus group to solidify or refute the research that has already been done.


The best way to get an online focus group side gig is to search for opportunities on Google. Note, some gigs will pay better than others. According to Side Hustle Nation, Respondent, Fieldwork, and usually offer anywhere from $100 to $250 for an hour of your time. A quick search on our own came up with this focus group opportunity on WayUp offering up to $350 per hour for a single session and up to $3,000 for multiple sessions in South Bend, Indiana.

5. Freelance translator

Freelance online translators write, edit, and generate content from one language into another. If you're fluent in speaking, reading, and writing in at least two languages, you already have the inside track on this side gig. To make yourself more marketable, Indeed suggests learning more languages, fine-tuning your skills through certification courses that open up your expertise to different styles of writing, establishing a workflow with schedules and work proposals, and leveraging your portfolio of past work to attract new clients. Being prepared to make a little less money on your first project will help open doors sooner and set you up to earn more down the road while attending seminars, workshops, or occupational groups can help with networking.


As per Tomedes Translation Services, the average freelancer can make $30 to $70 per hour. The market demand for the languages you translate, areas of specialization (academic journals versus a pet blog, for instance), and how quickly you can do the job are all factors in what you can earn. Of these, we'd say the area of specialization may have the greatest impact on your potential earnings. For a more complex area of specialization, such as translating a medical journal, a translator could charge twice as much or more per word, which could raise their potential for earning extra cash significantly.

6. Online seller

Seeing as everything is sold online these days, it stands to reason that online sales, also known as e-commerce, are a valid way to earn money on the side. The online sales market is expected to grow by 61.8 million users between 2023 and 2028 to a total of 316.63 million users, per Statista.


Grit Global, a provider of scalable automation for e-commerce, recommends the best businesses for online sales include clothing, technology, beauty products, food and drink, and things for the home and garden. Knowing how to leverage social media and search engine optimization, or SEO, to your advantage can help boost your business launch significantly. Take advantage of online markets like Etsy, Amazon, or Facebook marketplace to get your foot in the door without needing to build your own website.

Although clothes rarely make the list of things you should never buy brand new, somehow, we still manage to never wear 82% of the clothes we buy in the U.S., which is a boon for second-hand thrift shops and clothing swaps but not necessarily for you — or the environment. Yet, you could sell those clothes right now on platforms like Tradesy, Vinted, thredUp, Poshmark, and eBay. Per entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, instead of binge-watching your favorite series, you should be researching eBay to figure out what sells and how much they sell for. Look for those bestselling items in your home and local thrift stores to flip them online for extra money.


7. Closed captioner

According to the National Deaf Center, around 11 million Americans identify as deaf or hard of hearing. That's roughly 3% of the population who will require closed captioning for films, television, or really, any kind of recorded audio content. If you want to be good at this online side gig, you'll need to do a few things first: Get your typing skills in tip-top shape with a goal of 200 words per minute with a typing accuracy of at least 98%, purchase and learn how to use captioning software and equipment, and think about taking a certification course to boost your credentials to potential clients.


The Association for National Court Reporters offers a Certified Realtime Captioner certificate that will cost you 10 hours to complete and exactly zero dollars to register. ZipRecruiter, meanwhile, lists an hourly rate for a closed captioner at $31.60 with a high of $57.69.

8. Mock juror

A mock juror is someone who sits on a test jury and represents the demographics of a real jury to help legal teams prepare for the events of an upcoming court case, educate prospective lawyers on the dynamics of working with a trial jury, or compile research for law firms. According to Indeed, an online mock jury consists of a virtual group of jurors who are given a scenario before reviewing videos, pictures, or written transcripts to assist in delivering their mock verdict on a matter. As long as you're a U.S. citizen over 18 years old, can read and write at an acceptable level, and don't have a criminal record, you are eligible for this line of work. Find your online side gigs on sites like eJury, Online Verdict, Virtual Jury, or Resolution Research to make anywhere from $5 to $400 per case.


Obviously, there's a wide wage gap between mock jury pools. With this said, seeking out the more complicated cases will tend to pay out the highest rates per hour or per trial with a flat rate.

9. Blogger or writer

The Content Marketing Institute found that 71% of content marketers believe more content is a necessity for their companies, yet 46% of all content marketers surveyed rely on just one person to deliver that content. This might explain why 47% of marketers planned to hire or contract more freelance content writers. There are two possible lanes to this side gig: blogging and freelance writing. While both are writing gigs, there are slight differences.


A freelance blogger works specifically on blog posts using their specialized knowledge. The best bloggers write confidently and consistently about the niche or subject they're an expert in, generating income through relevant ad placement or the promotion of a product or a service adjacent to their blog. Freelance writers, on the other hand, are sort of mercenaries for hire who are commissioned to do a certain job, get paid for that job, and move on to the next job. A freelance writer is responsible for all the research required to do a job based on the client's specifications and create a cohesive article on their client's behalf.

Since blogging is your venture and you don't make any money unless you convert your following into profit, it's hard to say what an average salary would be. However, UpWork estimates freelance writers can make between $30 to $40 per hour.


10. Gamer

If you're spending all your time playing video games in your parent's basement — but you're really good at it — one way to get your parents off your back is to turn your hobby into an online side gig. According to Comparably, professional gamers in the United States make anywhere from $40,246 to $471,748, with a median of $99,508 before taxes. Even if you earned the lower end of that average doing something you love to do in your spare time anyway, you would likely change everyone's perception of what you've been trying to convince them is a skill for years.


To make it as an online gamer, advises a consistent daily schedule of gaming practice that also accounts for rest, ergonomics, and diet, which may be somewhat difficult for a side gig, but practicing and constantly improving your skills is important in gaming. The goal is to get noticed by gaming scouts. Registering on platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming will get you more visibility.

11. Website tester

A website tester ensures a website functions smoothly and according to the intention of the client, from the perspective of a visitor to the site. While there are web programmers who include this as part of their service, you don't necessarily need technical knowledge of programming or a degree in computer science to do this job as an online side gig. If you can follow the direction of your client, are attentive to the needs of the site, and don't find doing the same mundane thing over and over, this may be a side gig for you. Realistically, the more background in programming you have, the better you can sell yourself and the more you can get paid.


That said, the average salary for a website tester is $30 per hour, with $26 per hour being the lower end. Without in-depth knowledge of design, assume the lower end is closer to what you could make as a tester. Still, considering this is a side gig only there to supplement your income, it may still be worth exploring.

12. Survey taker

A survey taker, much like a focus group participant, offers marketers their opinions to help them determine the value of their product or service to their target demographic. To get started, the only thing you need is Wi-Fi and an email address to join survey groups online. For your participation, you may receive money or gift cards with no limit on the amount of surveys you can try for. The drawback, according to a report by CBS News, is it takes a number of surveys over several hours to earn small amounts of money — with some sites citing $40 per month or $1 to $5 a day.


Aside from generally low pay, there are other hidden downsides of using survey platforms, like better-paying surveys filling up before you have a chance to join them, a low rate of completion for particularly long surveys, and wonky sites that do irritating things like freezing or glitching halfway through your 50-question, $5 survey. The value of this online side gig really depends on how much time you have to invest in these surveys and what kind of side money you're looking for. Still, the barrier to entry is practically nonexistent and you're definitely your own boss.

13. Search engine evaluator

A search engine evaluator evaluates how well a search engine does in returning relevant results. In this online side gig, you'd perform various web searches, then review the search engine results page, or SERP, that returns. Is the order the best it could be as far as relevancy? Is the user experience as frictionless as possible?


The best way to start working in this role as a side gig is to look for companies that routinely hire freelancers and undergo a qualifying test. Companies, such as Appen, Lionbridge, iSoftstone, and TELUS International, pay between $8 to $23 per hour with qualifying tests that take anywhere from 15 minutes to eight hours. TELUS specifically requires evaluators to undergo a recruitment process, while Lionbridge requires you to be bilingual. Aside from those things, all you need to perform the work of a search engine evaluator is high-speed internet, a computer with updated anti-virus and anti-spyware, and time.