Does this sound like you? You want to make money online, but finding something legitimate is like finding a needle in a haystack.
When you search “make money online” you find plenty of “opportunities” or “systems” that require investments.
You see people in their garages full of Lambos talking about their “push-button system” and telling you “it’s like having your own ATM machine.”
You know better. You want money right now. Today.
You don’t want to spend money and have to learn a system that may or may not work.
You just want something real you can count on for income, right?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve compiled a list of ways to make money with legitimate companies without any investment on your part and which:
- Don’t require investment.
- Pay cash (not rewards)
- Don’t require hard-selling
- Don’t require starting your own website
- Don’t involve promoting through online marketing
These are real companies with strong business models that pay cash for performing a wide range of activities.
Let’s get right into it.
Make Money Online Without Investment (Legitimate Companies)
1. Work for Amazon for $10/Hour
Amazon consistently hires employees to work in virtual locations, such as your home office.
At the time of this writing, Amazon is hiring for positions ranging from Customer Service Associates (CSA) to Technical Trainers to Loss Prevention Managers.
Working for a reputable company like Amazon is a great way to make money online from your home.
Go to Amazon for current job descriptions and requirements and to apply for open positions.
2. Refer Brands and Companies
If you’re like most people, you routinely recommend products or services you like to your friends and colleagues.
Why not get paid for it?
You don’t even need a website to do this.
Another really good way to refer products you like is by becoming an Amazon Associate. You receive a referral commission from Amazon anytime someone clicks on your link, or uses your referral code, and purchases anything on Amazon.
Apply to become an affiliate. If and when the companies accept you as an affiliate, they’ll give you an affiliate link to their products.
You simply recommend those products and services, using your affiliate link, on your social media platforms or even email to your friends.
If you really enjoy recommending particular products or types of products, such as pet supplies or fitness products, then consider starting a blog. It’s fun, you can talk about what you enjoy, and where it’s appropriate, you can refer your readers to products you believe in, and receive a commission for doing so.
Companies have long enjoyed referral fees for recommending other companies to their customers. Why shouldn’t you join in the fun?
3. Freelance Your Skills
Do you have a skill or talent you could provide for others for a fee? I strongly suggest you take a look at Fiverr.
You can literally hang up your business sign on Fiverr in about 20 minutes and start taking orders today.
The rub most people have about Fiverr is that services are offered for only $5. Great for buyers but for freelancers – not so much.
But that’s not exactly true. $5 is just the starting point. It’s a good number to start with while you are building up your business.
If you look around the site, you’ll find most of the most popular providers are charging well over $5. Many are charging several hundred dollars per gig, depending on the service provided.
I’ve used Fiverr for years, as both a buyer and as a freelancer. I recommend offering a basic service which you can do well for $5 to start as a basic package. Then, create add-ons which will make your gig more valuable to customers while earning you more money.
Fiverr allows you to create add-on services to your gig which you can charge extra for. What’s more, you can create additional packages for higher prices as well.
Take a look at this gig to see how this provider provides a basic service for $5 but has other packages that make the gig considerably more profitable.
Do your best work so you can get 5-star reviews for each gig. Once you have 10-20 positive reviews, you’ll start to get a steady flow of buyers.
As your gig gets more popular, raise your rates accordingly.
Plenty of people are doing well on those sites, but just know there is more upfront work required.
4. Make Money Online by Answering Questions
Are you an expert in a particular field? Chances are – you are!
Most people are experts in something, or many things, even if they don’t consider themselves as such.
Use your expertise to make serious cash answering questions for Q&A companies like JustAnswer.
JustAnswer has over 175 categories, including, antiques, appraisal, computers, entertainment, genealogy, and weddings. Chances are you’ll find something you can share your knowledge about.
You’ll get paid per answer. When you look around the site, it’s very common to see experts who have helped thousands of customers. Many people report having made thousands on the site.
Go to JustAnswer to get started.
5. Start a blog
You can have a blog online today, literally in an hour or so.
The easiest and free way to start a blog is to set up a blog at Blogger or WordPress.
It’ll take about five minutes and you don’t have to know a thing about programming or design. If you can write an email, you can create a blog on these formats.
These sites provide the easiest entry into blogging. Blogger automates everything, even setting up Google Adsense so you can start making money immediately. You can also insert your affiliate links (see Item #2 from this list) into your blog posts wherever appropriate. Just make sure the brands you recommend are ones you use and trust and are confident will help your readers.
Perhaps the only downside to starting a blog on free platforms like Blogger and WordPress is that you don’t own the site, or even the domain (i.e. blogger.com/YourSiteName). You have to abide by their rules, and if those sites ever get shut down, your blog goes with it.
The best way to blog:
I recommend starting your own blog, with your own domain (i.e. YourSiteName.com) and hosting.
You’ll host your site on a host, which will usually provide the domain name for free. You can then add WordPress to your site for free to create your blog.
Starting a blog this way typically costs you about $3-5 per month in hosting fees while giving you complete control over your blog.
You’ll be able to customize it and have infinitely more design and monetization options. If this interests you, refer to my tutorial to learn how to start your own blog in an hour or less.
Many popular blogs started as a hobby before becoming the top income-earning blogs on the internet.
6. Microstock Photography
Do you have a photographic eye and a camera (even a camera phone)? If so, you’re going to love this way to make money without any investment on your part.
There are a number of popular stock image sights that will pay you for your best images, even pictures currently sitting on your phone.
Depending on the image, and the site you submit it to, your work can end up on a website or even a television commercial.
Here are 3 of the best sites which will pay you for your images.
- Foap – You download the app and sign up for a free account. Then upload your photos to Foap’s marketplace.
When someone buys the license to your photo for $10, Foap makes $5, and you make $5. So if you sell 20 pictures, you’ll pocket a cool $100.
This news report gives you a good idea of the kind of pictures that sell.
Other places to sell your pictures:
- 500px Prime – 500px Prime gives you the opportunity to see your images in popular brand name ad campaigns.
Sign up for a free account and submit your photos. The site makes it easy to create your store and start selling your images. You can see their image payouts here.
- Shutterstock – Shutterstock has long been a reputable stock image site offering up to $120 per image and they claim to have paid $500 million to their contributors.
They have an interesting payout scale, which pays you more as your “lifetime earnings” increase. In other words, the more times your images sell, the more you make for each image.
You earn less per image than the other sites, but Shutterstock is very popular so you may make decent money selling in volume. Obviously, it’s worth it to give it a try and see how it works for you.
7. Make Money Giving Feedback to Companies
Filling out surveys is not one of my favorite ways to make money online. For one, the pay works out to around $8 an hour or so. Plus, the work is kind of tedious and not very interesting.
In short, it’s not a good side income.
But it IS an excellent way to make money during your downtime. It’s just too easy to fill out a survey while you watch tv, sit at the DMV, or commute to work (assuming you’re not driving!).
Here are my 3 favorite survey sites:
- Pinecone Research – This is a “no-bs” survey company, easily the best of the best. You’re not clicking through a bunch of ads.
You’re truly just giving your honest feedback to companies. They pay $3 for each survey you complete, and the best part is, you get paid via PayPal immediately after you complete a survey.
- Inbox Dollars – You can make money a number of different ways on this site. One of them is by filling our short surveys. You won’t make a lot, but it’s a nice way to make a few extra bucks while you watch the game.
- Harris Poll – This polling company is run by the Nielsen Media Research, the same company which determines television ratings. Sign up for Harris Poll here to qualify for local focus groups in your area. Typically, you can earn $50-$100 to participate in a focus group for a couple of hours.
8. Transcribe Files
Transcribing has long been an excellent way to make money from home. And since 1989, Tigerfish has been providing transcribing opportunities for these positions.
Their roster of clients offering work in a variety of fields, including legal, healthcare, and even filmmaking.
Speechpad is another solid company offering transcribing jobs. You’ll be paid per audio minute you transcribe, ranging from $0.25/min to $1.00/min depending on your experience. Speechpad also offers captioning jobs.
If you can type fast, you can easily make $25/hour and up. The company pays every night through PayPal.
NOTE: Speechpad hires at different times throughout the year, depending on their needs and the number of workers they are already working with. If they are not hiring currently, don’t give up – just check back regularly for open positions. It’s worth it.
9. Work for Google From Home (No Scams, No Investments)
If you search for job opportunities working for Google, you’ll likely run into a lot of scams.
The best way to find legitimate work from home jobs at Google is to simply go to their career site and search for job openings.
At the top of the page, enter a job search term and location. Include words like “telecommute” in your search query and a number of work-from-home jobs will appear.
From there, you only need to click “Apply” to start the online application process.
10. Evaluate Search Engines Results
In some cases, Google, and other search engines contract out some of their work to third-party companies.
For example, you can get a position as a Search Engine Evaluator, working for one of these companies.
What is a Search Engine Evaluator?
Search engine results are decided by computer algorithms which take into account thousands of factors in an instant. It’s pretty impressive when you think about it.
Still, these search results are not without occasional errors.
That’s why big search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, need a human set of eyes to identify to report on these errors so they can be fixed.
So a Search Engine Evaluator is simply a person who checks search engine results looking for errors and judge them for quality and relevance and their usefulness to readers.
These companies typically pay $13-$15 per hour and you’ll likely be paid once a month via PayPal.
As you can imagine, competition is strong for these positions, likely because it is such an attractive way to make money online that doesn’t cost anything to get started.
11. Make Money Playing Video Games (Beta Tester)
I don’t want to overstate it, but this gig is, well, awesome.
Yes, you can get paid to play video games, literally, as a game tester with VMC.
Your job is to play new video games before they hit the shelves and report on them.
These are games from the top gaming companies in the world. Imagine working on the latest “Madden,” or “Call of Duty” before it is released – that’s what this job is all about.
According to VMC, you must be at least 18 years or age, with experience playing video games. You must understand the importance of confidentiality. You also need to be able to follow instructions and report on user experience and errors you discover.
NOTE: These jobs typically run on a weekly basis and pay through PayPal.
12. Complete Simple Tasks and Earn Money Through Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon Turk offers simple micro-tasks that you can do.
Each task only pays pennies, but they usually take a minute or less to complete. Tasks range from data entry, classifying receipts, and labeling pictures.
So you won’t get rich, or replace your day job. In my research, I found many Turkers hit minimum wage performing these quick tasks.
You could go mad performing these microtasks for anything more than a couple of hours. Think of this job as something to do while you’re watching television or watching your kid’s soccer practice.
In short, this is just a nice way to pick up a few extra bucks in your spare time.
I’ll be doing a full review of Mechanical Turk soon and I’ll report my experience with them.
Check back soon.
13. Sell Online Courses
A great and often lucrative way to make money online is to sell a video course about something you can teach well.
All you have to do is make a few videos about it, and upload and sell it online. You can offer it on your own site, or on Udemy.
Udemy offers topics ranging from pet care to Powerpoint presentations. Browse through the site and you’ll be inspired to make videos of many things you can do well.
Just make sure your videos are high quality and truly useful to your viewers.
Udemy is a highly trafficked site, meaning you’re videos will get exposure and you can make a tidy sum.
14. Test Websites for Quick Money
Do you ever get frustrated trying to navigate user-unfriendly websites? Well, here’s your chance to help fix the problem and make some extra income while you’re at it.
UserTesting makes it really simple to make money testing sites from the 34,000 companies which use their service, including the top 10 web properties.
You sign up. You visit a website or app and complete a series of tasks, such as using a site’s search function or completing a form.
While you are doing this you are being recorded so you simply speak your thoughts out loud to provide feedback and complete the test.
After completing a 20-minute video, you will be paid $10.
Like I said, it’s really simple!
The Bottom Line About Making Money Online Without Spending Money
Finding legitimate companies to make money online can be challenging.
I hope this list of reputable companies gives provides at least one solid source of income for you.
Really that’s all you need.
Identify one source you like and don’t mind spending time doing. The more you do it, the more efficient you will become, leading the way to more income.
That’s what being an Incomist is all about; finding new income streams to pay for the expenses in your life.
Living week to week? Create an extra income for your bills.
Want to get a new 60″ television? Create an income for it.
Want to invest weekly? Create an income for it.
Try at least one of the opportunities on this list and enjoy making extra income online.
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