Whether with a side hustle, creating a passive income stream, or a small work-from-home gig, many millennials are making extra money outside of their “9 to 5.” When do they have the time to do it all? If you’re also hoping to earn some extra cash aside from your regular job, this guide to how to make money as a millennial should give you some guidance (and some extra spending money).
Table of contents
- How To Make Money As a Millennial
- Any Millennial Can Make Extra Money (And So Can Others)
How To Make Money As a Millennial
Millennials who make good money on the side often do so through the following methods.
1. Selling Online
In 2020, 2.05 billion people shopped online. That’s roughly one in every four people! This statistic makes selling items online a great way to earn some extra cash.
Popular e-commerce websites such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are great places to start. Amazon and eBay are the two most popular e-commerce sites overall, and Etsy is the most popular crafts and niche e-commerce site. So if you’re selling something for which a large customer base or many general uses exists, try Amazon or eBay. For home decor, furniture, or niche or handmade items, try Etsy.
If you have some old clothing, electronics, or other items lying around, you can download specific apps to help give them a new home for cash. Poshmark, for example, is a well known app for selling clothing and accessories, while Nextdoor is designed to help you sell items to others nearby.
Alternatively, you can use e-commerce platforms like Shopify to start your own website. However, doing so is often more labor-intensive. Instead, consider starting out on a big-name e-commerce site to get your footing. Then, build your own website if your side hustle starts picking up enough to be a part-time job. This way, you have greater control over how you earn money online.
Blogging can initially be a challenging way to make money as a millennial, but sometimes, the introductory obstacles can quickly lead to extra money. To start a blog, you’ll need to buy a domain name or register for a service like WordPress or Blogspot. More difficult can be building a following loyal and interested enough to monetize. However, once you check both these boxes, you have a few ways to earn a decent chunk of cash.
For starters, you can run ads on your blog and get paid based on how they perform. You can also reach out to other websites to write for them based on your own blog’s successes. Additionally, you can include affiliate links (more on that below) in your blog posts. Both these links and reaching out to other websites tie directly into another way to work from home and make money as a millennial.
3. Affiliate Marketing and Content Creation
Let’s say you do start your own blog. In that case, every blog post you write is content. It’s also an opportunity to include links to companies that have sponsored your content. These affiliate links can direct your readers to your sponsors for purchases, and you’ll get paid to include these links.
Sponsors will pay you to promote them because they view you as someone with influence. Perhaps when you think of someone with influence, the notion of social media influencers comes to mind. If your blog has a strong following, you can indeed turn to social media for affiliate marketing and content creation. Branded social media content that links to your sponsors is perhaps the most prominent example that millennials like you can follow.
4. Remote Personal Assistance
The widespread shift to working from home hasn’t stopped people from needing personal assistants. That said, bosses and assistants might not always feel comfortable meeting in person. Virtual assistants can fill this gap, and they’re a role in which you can easily earn money as a millennial.
To start earning money as a virtual assistant, head to TaskRabbit, Fiverr, or other websites where people search for freelancers and other gig workers to hire. After you take on enough work, you can build a portfolio and start your own virtual assistant business. The demand for work like yours should remain constant, making virtual assistance a solid way to earn and save money.
When people go away for long periods of time, they might need someone to watch over their house. You can easily be that person, especially if you already work from home and can bring your laptop along with you. In that case, you can just work from someone else’s house while keeping an eye on what’s going on with their home. You can earn a pretty penny with just a simple change in scenery.
6. Renting Part of Your Home
Nearly as passive a form of income as housesitting for someone else is sharing your own home. You encounter this business model every time you stay at an Airbnb that’s part of, but not all of, someone’s house. If part of your home can be cordoned off to privately accommodate guests, then you can rent that space for extra cash.
When you rent part of your home, you might face one-time setup expenses for privacy barriers, linens, and other basic needs. You’ll then have cleaning expenses to pay every time a guest checks out. But besides these costs, you won’t need to spend much. And you won’t have to do much work for your rental to earn you significantly more than you spent to get started.
7. Teaching Online Courses
In recent years, maybe you’ve noticed the success of MasterClass, Khan Academy, and other online learning portals. These platforms give users access to premade content they can use for their own learning, on their own time. You too can create this content and teach online courses without appointments or scheduling.
To teach online courses, you’ll probably need to create videos, which can lead to software and hardware costs. However, if you choose YouTube as your video platform, you typically won’t pay anything to post your content. This way, you can more easily save money than spend it. Either way, your audience size may depend on how niche your subject matter is and whether you’re truly doing something unavailable elsewhere.
YouTube is also a great platform for all kinds of videos, not just educational ones. Yes, your audience should learn something from you to remain invested in your content, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a skill. If you have unique perspectives or stories to share via video, you can build an audience that way.
In fact, many of the most successful “YouTube celebrities” are millennials like yourself. You can easily join their ranks if your barriers to filming and editing videos aren’t too high. And then, once you have an audience, you can incorporate this list’s blogging, affiliate marketing, and content creation ideas into your money-making.
Compelling images will always be part of advertising and marketing campaigns. The entities behind these campaigns will often pay quite a good amount for high-quality images, and that’s where you can come in. If you have a great eye and an even better camera (and photo editing software), you can sell your photos online to make money.
Stock photo platforms can be a solid start for selling your photos. That said, these platforms are already home to many other photographers and countless photos. You might do better reaching out directly to advertisers in your area. Note when a certain photo-heavy campaign strikes you, then find the people behind it and reach out to them. Maybe you’ll forge a connection that leads to more use of your services.
10. Writing E-Books
E-books are among the most versatile ways to make money as a millennial. Perhaps you can find a side gig ghostwriting e-books sold on big-name e-commerce platforms. Or maybe you can shift the online course idea above away from video toward e-books. You have all kinds of options.
That said, you’ll fare better as an e-book writer if your content is so valuable and unique that people won’t hesitate to pay for it. To get some ideas, jump among advice-heavy websites and look at the e-books or webinars offered there. Download them and use what’s in them (or not in them) to inform your own content. And then, get to writing. Before you know it, you might be making that good millennial money.
Any Millennial Can Make Extra Money (And So Can Others)
Millennials are in an especially good position to earn money with the above ideas for side or passive income. After all, millennials are the generation perhaps most associated with working from home and taking on side gigs.
When the goal is to earn extra money with your limited extra time, that motivation isn’t limited to just “millennials.” Other generations and stages of life are looking for new ways to earn, too. Some more inspiration can be found in our article: Online Jobs for College Students.