earn money online: Work from home: 8 ways teens can earn money online and gain valuable experience


With the Internet dominating over and influencing a large part of our lives, especially now with the work from home set-up, more people are looking for ways to earn money online to increase their income streams.

High-school and college-goers find themselves in a situation where physical internships at workplaces may still not be possible or ideal. They too have had to take to the Internet. For such homebound teens, here are a few ways to earn some income and gain valuable experience.

1. Freelance work

What is it?
An easy way to make money is to do freelance work, be it copywriting, translation, graphic designing, video editing, app development or marketing. There are many websites, both Indian and international, which offer teens the opportunity to get paid for their skills. These include Chegg India, Freelance India, Freelancer, Upwork, Fiverr, among others.

How to do it?
Step 1: Join the site by registering with your name, e-mail, country name, and so on. Once your details are verified, your account will be created.

Step 2: You will have to create a profile based on your education, experience and expertise, and only after it is approved in a specified time frame, will you be allowed to accept freelance work.

Step 3: You can pick the work or project by directly interacting with clients or going though the site. Some Indian sites ensure the payment to its freelancers, unlike those that allow direct transactions with customers, where the payment may not be guaranteed.

How much can you earn?
You can be paid hourly or on fixed basis and the amount will depend on the type of work and your skill level. Payments are typically made directly to the bank account, so you will need one. If you do not have a bank account, you may have to provide the details of your parents, or link it with PayPal where it is required.

2. Instagram influencer

What is it?
An influencer is a person who has a large number of online followers, including high-profile persons and celebs, in a specific field or industry, such as gaming, food, beauty, fashion, fitness, etc. A favourite fad among teenagers and youth, Instagram posts and videos can also help them earn a lot through sponsored posts, product reviews, brand promotion, selling photos, affiliate marketing and selling one’s own products.

How to do it?
Step 1: Select your niche field, something you are passionate about, have some kind of experience or expertise in, and a subject you can consistently post about.

Step 2: Create a striking profile picture as people will identify you with it, and make an engaging bio since it will determine your credibility.

Step 3: Switch to professional or business account through Settings as it will open up various options to analyse, engage and target your audience. The larger your audience and loyal follower base, the more money you can earn.

Step 4: Now post consistently in a way that it keeps the audience engaged at all times.

How much can you earn?

Earning for Instagram influencers


3. Blogging/Vlogging
What is it?

What was, till a few years ago, just a platform to give expression to one’s passions, is now a good way to earn money. By blogging about a specific topic of your interest, you can pull in readers or traffic, which in turn can translate into money. There are various ways in which you can earn through a blog or vlog on Youtube, such as ad placements via Google AdSense, affiliate marketing (promoting others’ products on your blog), doing product reviews, guest posts in others’ blogs, or product sales on your blog.)

How to do it?
Step 1: Choose a blogging platform. While there are several free blogging platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Medium, Ghost, Squarespace, etc. it is advisable to set up a self-hosted blog (preferably with WordPress. org). This is because free blogs have a lot of constraints when it comes to customising and features, have low storage capacity, and don’t allow ads or affiliate links, the best ways to make money. You will have to pay for the blog and domain name, but it will be money worth spent.

Step 2: Pick a domain name and a hosting plan. You will be treated more seriously and professionally with your own domain name, and buying a Web hosting plan will give you complete control over the look and feel of your blog.

Step 3: Next, pick a topic of your interest and start writing, sharing information or posting videos. It will take hard work, effort and time if you want to gain expertise and loyal following. You also need to post consistently and share unique information.

Step 4: Promote your blog on all social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, etc. to direct more traffic and increase your earning potential.

How much can you earn?
Blogger can start earning Rs 20,000-30,000 a month in a year or so. Teens, who are just starting out, may earn less. The top Indian blogger, Amit Agarwal, earns $60,000 (Rs 44.4 lakh) a month.

4. Amazon Associates online
What is it?

Like earning money through affiliate marketing while blogging, you can do the same using Amazon links and earning a commission. Amazon Associates is an affiliate marketing program that allows you to create links on your website or blog and earn referral fees when customers click on and buy products from Amazon. It’s free to join and easy to use.

How to do it?
Step 1: Go to www.affiliateprogram. amazon.in and log in to your Amazon account. Provide your account information.

Step 2: You will then need to provide a list of your websites and apps, or at least one, on which you will display banners, widgets, links or other Amazon ads. You can add up to 50 sites or apps.

Step 3: In the Profile section, provide information about your sites and apps, the kind of products you intend to put up, the kind of traffic you draw, the manner in which you draw it, how you generate income, number of visitors you get, etc.

Step 4: You finally agree to the Amazon terms and start work.

How much can you earn?
You can earn up to 10% in affiliate fee from the qualifying purchases and program.

5. Online surveys
What is it?

Possibly one of the easiest ways for teens to earn money is through paid online surveys. Swagbucks is among the most well-known sites and pays for participating in several activities like filling out surveys, watching videos and shopping, among others. Some of the other sites which offer surveys are Toluna, Telly Pulse, CashCrate (aggregator of survey sites), ValuedOpinions, OpinionBureau, Streetbees (app) etc. Each site typically has a fixed number of surveys a person can attempt in a month.

How to do it?
Step 1: Register with the website by giving basic personal information and an account will be created for you.

Step 2: The surveys will be sent through the registered e-mail to you.

Step 3: Fill up as many surveys as you can and the points will be credited to your account. Redeem these as you want.

How much can you earn?
You usually earn points, which can be redeemed in the form of cash (PayPal), via cheques or through gift vouchers and cards. You can earn Rs. 1,000-2,000 a week. It is better to register with at least 8-10 sites or apps to earn well.

6. Design t-shirts online
What is it?

If you have an artistic flair, you can earn by creating designs for t-shirts. There are several websites, both Indian and foreign, that allow you to do so. You only contribute the design and don’t have to worry about manufacturing, selling or shipping the t-shirts. Some Indian sites are TeeShopper, The Souled Store and My Home Store, while foreign sites include TeeSpring, Zazzle etc.

How to do it?
Step 1: Create an account with the website.

Step 2: For some sites, you can simply create the design on the shirt and upload it. Others allow you to choose the t-shirt style, colours, and text fonts, fix a price and upload the shirt to be sold.

Step 3: Though the website will advertise your ware, you will have to make an extra effort to market your designs on other social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, etc, if you want to sell your work.

How much can you earn?
Different websites have their own methods of payment, which can be monthly or as per its sale schedule. Some pay a royalty of 10-20%, others let you fix your own price over the base price and keep the profit (Rs.30-300 per piece), and some pay a fixed price.

7. Rent, sell books, online tutoring, project work
What is it?

If you love reading or are academically gifted, this is perhaps the easiest way to earn some pocket money. You can rent out your books, sell previous year’s school books, tutor other kids online and help them with their project work. You can also earn by teaching or selling courses on online platforms like Udacity, Udemy or Lynda, or sign up for online tutoring sites like Vedantu, TutorMe, TeacherOn etc.

How to do it?
Step 1: For online tutoring sites, you will first have to register with the site. Then you will be assessed through an online interview or demo, and if you clear it, you will be taken on board.

Step 2: All you need to be an online tutor are a computer or laptop, Internet connection, and expertise in your subject.

How much can you earn?
With online tutoring sites, you can earn anywhere from Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh a month. These pay either a fixed salary or on an hourly contract basis. For tutoring your friends, neighbours and acquaintances, depending on your caliber, academic record and teaching skills, you can start by charging Rs 200 per hour and increase it to Rs 500-1,000 as you gain experience. Depending on the complexity of the project work, you can charge between Rs 200 and Rs 1,500 per project.

8. Storytelling via podcasts

What is it?
If you have good oratory skills and love telling stories, monetise it. A podcast is a series of digital audio or video files a user can download to listen. With nearly 200 million monthly active users, 40 podcast companies, and a steady rise in users triggered by Covid lockdowns, audiobooks and story reading have caught on.

How to do it?
Step 1: You can start recording on your mobile phone, but it is better to get good equipment if you want to sound professional You will need a microphone, pop filter, computer or laptop and audio editing software.

Step 2: Next, look for a platform where you can post and publish your podcast. While Apple is the premier podcast platform, there are others such as Google Podcast, Anchor, Spotify, etc.

Step 3: You will first have to sign up on the platform, then either record an episode or upload a pre-recorded one.

How much can you earn?
You can earn through sponsors, advertisements, subscriptions, selling products, courses and merchandise. Once you have around 500 downloads, you can start earning, but for a decent income you will need advertisers and sponsors, who look for bigger audiences of over 5,000 listeners.


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