Best Ways to Make Money Online for Free

Bag hundreds online for free with just a few hours per month

Updated: May 18, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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It’s always nice to have a bit of extra cash in your pocket over the course of a year. With the rise of the internet, it’s now more possible than ever before to pick up a few extra quid.

If you know what you’re doing, you could even add a few hundred pounds to the pot by the end of the year. We look at some of the best ways to make money online for free.

Before You Begin

Before we dive into the finer details of making money online, there are a few points worth mentioning. Perhaps the most important thing is that there are few quick-wins with these methods. Usually, you’ll have to put in some time and effort into a few endeavours. Don’t forget, if you do a few things that pay small amounts each month, the numbers will soon mount up.

Some other top tips for earning money online are:

  • Set up a specific email address. To avoid the reams of spam mail you might experience, it’s good to have a dedicated account for your side earnings.
  • Cash out early. With many websites, you’ll have to reach a threshold of earnings before you can withdraw. It’s always a good idea to do so as soon as you can, as your money isn’t protected. The same goes for gift vouchers you may receive — spend them right away.
  • Don’t forget your tax. If you earn over £1,000 per year by making money online, you’ll have to declare it to the tax man.

Top Ways to Make Money Online for Free

Below, we’ve outlined some of the best ways you can reliably make some extra cash from home. Some require more effort than others, while some will only be suitable for those in certain circumstances. A mix of these different approaches can yield some good results:

1. Cashback

The chances are that you already do some or all of your shopping online. After all, it’s a great way to find deals and compare prices. As an added bonus, there are also several websites that offer you cashback when you shop.

All you’ll need to do is sign up for an account and click on the relevant links before you make a purchase. Cashback is then tracked once the transaction is complete. It can sometimes take a few weeks for your money to come through, but it’s definitely possible to make some good money using these sites, particularly if you shop online a lot.

Example sites:

  • TopCashback — offers some of the highest rates of cashback.
  • Quidco — the UK’s top site for cashback.
  • KidStart — a variety of offers, funds must go towards a child’s savings account.

Many of these types of sites require you to meet a certain threshold before you can withdraw your money, which you should do as soon as possible. You can connect your bank account or PayPal address to make the withdrawal process easier.

2. Get Paid to Click

There are plenty of websites that will make you money for doing nothing more than clicking on a few links and signing up for some offers. The exact format that these sites take varies quite a bit, but usually, you’ll have to register, earn virtual currency, and exchange it for cold hard cash. You might have to take surveys, fill out forms, watch videos, and search for products.

It’s possible to earn both money and gift cards with these types of sites, so if you find yourself with plenty of downtime and an internet connection, you’ve nothing to lose.

Example sites:

  • OhMyDosh! — Plenty of different ways to earn money here, from trials, to surveys, to sign-up deals. There’s even a section for ‘lightning payouts’ which clear into your account within 24 hours.
  • Swagbucks — offers a wide variety of easy tasks to complete and awards you with virtual currency. You can exchange for cash or gift vouchers, and each offer is worth different amounts.

These types of sites are great if you want to add a little extra monthly income by taking part in some fairly chill tasks.

3. Take Surveys

Although we’ve already mentioned a couple of sites that involve surveys, there are quite a few that are dedicated to this type of offer. Market research can be expensive business, so companies often outsource the task and crowdsource.

With these types of sites, you’ll have to sign up and fill out your bio. You’ll then be directed to surveys of varying lengths about a selection of different topics and products. Completing the survey will net either cash or points to convert into money. In some instances, you’ll even be invited to take part in face-to-face focus groups which pay more (although are fairly infrequent).

Example sites:

  • i-Say — the UK’s highest-paying survey site, offering a selection of offers that give you points you can spend on vouchers for popular retailers such as Amazon and Argos.
  • PopulousLive — this site claims to pay £1 for every 5 minutes you spend on surveys. However, they often fill up fast so you’ll have to be quick off the mark.
  • Inboxpounds — with this site, you’ll earn money for completing surveys and more. With each programme you participate in, the more likely you’ll qualify for the higher-earning programmes.

Surveys can be a useful way of earning a few extra quid. However, you might not always meet the target demographic for a particular questionnaire, so be prepared for that.

4. Install Add-ons and Apps

One of the easiest ways to earn small amounts of money on the side is to use browser extensions and other apps. They essentially allow you to continue using your device as you normally would, while paying you for the data they collect or the offers you complete.

Although you do have to install extra software to get started with this method (and give up some data about how you use your device), it’s generally a good way to accumulate some passive income each month.

Example add-ons/apps:

  • Qmee — this simple add-on attaches to your internet browser of choice and helps you find results related to your searches. Companies pay to appear in ads on this service, and Qmee pays you if you click on the result.
  • Google Opinion Rewards — This app has two different functions. One is a surveys app that allows you to take part in various polls, reviews, and surveys, rewarding you with Google Play or PayPal credit. The other measures your TV and internet usage (while protecting your privacy).

5. Sell Your Services

If you’re an avid writer, aspiring artist, or have some other skills, you’ll be able to find a variety of sites where you can sell your services. You’ll be surprised how many people are looking for niche skill sets, as well as things like admin and PA work. If you know what you’re doing, you can make a nice side income in no time.

It takes some time to set up a profile and portfolio, but it’s often worthwhile. As with many of these options, it will also take effort to gain traction. It could lead to some exciting places though, and at least earn you a little extra on the side.

Example sites:

  • Upwork — There are so many different categories you can work in here, no matter your field. Charge per hour or per project, from entry-level to expert.
  • Fiverr — If you’re the creative type, you’ll find a whole list of opportunities here. You can list your services and wait for businesses to contact you.

This might not be a suitable option for everyone and depends somewhat on your skill set. You’ll also need to bear in mind the tax implications of a second income.

5. Rent Your Space

Ok, so it's not strictly all online, but if you have extra space at or around your home that you’re not using, you can make a passive income from it with very little hassle. Peer-to-peer transactions of all kinds are becoming very popular, and there are plenty of sites that allow you to take advantage of your extra room.

Some of these options take a fair amount of effort, as you’ll have to manage listings, make arrangements, and deal with the finances. However, they can be lucrative.

Example sites:

  • Airbnb — Perhaps the most famous site in this model, you can join a huge network of people and advertise your space. It’s a potentially highly profitable way to utilise your extra space.
  • Justpark — If you live in a house or apartment with a parking space you don’t use, you can rent it out at times that suit you and make money doing so.

It’s worth looking into your options with these sites, as well as your liabilities and other legal matters. Don’t forget that you can earn up to £1000 tax-free with these types of services.

6. Complete Simple Tasks

If you’ve got a bit of spare time on your hands, there are various services that will pay you to carry out simple tasks. Some of these can be done remotely, while others require you to be out and about. These are the kinds of things that you can build into the errands you already have to do or use as a time-sink.

These days, data and information are important, which is why companies like to get their hands on as much as possible. You can help out and make money as you do so.

Example sites/apps:

  • Shepper — businesses such as Airbnb use this service to check on listings and perform other maintenance/spot checks. You’ll be fully insured and can easily sign up. Odd jobs pay £10-20.
  • Job Spotter — use your phone’s camera to snap pictures of job adverts nearby. You can then redeem points towards Amazon gift cards.

With any task that takes you to other locations, you’ll need to make sure to keep your wits about you and not take any chances.

7. Sell Your Stuff

We all accumulate stuff over the years and often hold on to it longer than we should. By selling your excess assets, you could make a whole bunch of money. There’s always someone looking to buy if the price is right. The internet has many platforms designed specifically for this purpose.

Whether it’s via social media or other online portals, make sure you know the true value of the things you’re selling. It will help you manage your expectations and ensure you get a fair price.

Example sites:

  • eBay — perhaps the most famous site for this sort of thing, you can find all kinds of tools to help you make the most of your selling activity.
  • Facebook — again, you’ve probably seen ads for local buying and selling groups on the platform. It’s a useful way to connect with local people who might be interested in your sales.

Both of these platforms have good reputations, but you should always take caution when selling online. If it sounds too good to be true or seems a little dodgy, don’t be pressed into making a sale.

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