18 Creative Ways to Make Money for Cash-Strapped Writers

Whether you’re looking for a part-time job you can do online or just want some extra cash, these creative ways to make money online will help.

Do you need some extra money to pay off credit card debt or plan for your next vacation? If so, then it’s time to start thinking about creative ways to make money online and offline.

Here are 18 easy ways to make money using on the side to support your writing career or put that career to work for you.

1. Write as a Freelancer

Creative ways to make money for cash-strapped writers

The online world means written and video content, not to mention social media posts, are in high demand, and working as a freelancer lets you earn through these channels. As a freelance writer, blogger or social media manager, you can earn income through these venues by finding jobs on sites like Upwork.

When you work in blogging and freelancing, you can work when it works for you, rather than being stuck in a nine-to-five full-time job schedule.

2. Work as a Copywriter

Freelance job ideas for writers
Offer your services as a copywriter

You’re already honing your writing skills, so turn that into a side business by offering your services as a copywriter. A copywriter writes blogs, press releases and website copy for companies to publish on their own platforms. Many companies lack the time or writing skill to do this task, which is why it can work as a profitable side gig.

3. Take Online Surveys

Online surveys are another way to share your opinion and make some extra money. It is not as lucrative as online research studies but can be an easy way to bring in some extra cash. Some sites to look for surveys from include:

Sign up for these sites and take advantage of the surveys when they come in, and you can start earning a little extra each month. Use referral codes for survey sites to add even more income.

4. Use Cashback Apps

Cashback apps allow you to earn cashback on the purchases you’re already making. Ibotta and Rakuten are two popular options, and many credit cards also offer cashback opportunities.

5. Shop for Others

Personal shoppers are a hot commodity, and companies like Istacart will help you make money by buying groceries for other people. You can average between $10 and $25 an hour buying and delivering groceries to other people, and you get the flexibility to make your own schedule, working only during those times that make the most sense for you.

6. Sell on Etsy

Creative ways to make money: Sell on Etsy
If you sell on Etsy, consider the marketability of your crafty items, and then start selling

Etsy is the largest online craft selling platform, and if you are a creative individual, you can sign up to sell on it. It does take some time to build a following and learn how to rank well for search terms for your product, but the end result can be highly lucrative. Just consider the marketability of your crafty items, and then start selling.

7. List Your Writing Side Hustle on Fiverr

Fiverr is a site that lets you offer any service for a flat $5. Many writers will offer a simple service, like 100 words of copy or a social media posting, for the $5 fee. Use Fiverr not only to earn money, but also to land new writing clients for larger projects.

8. Rent a Room on AirBnB

AirBnB lets homeowners rent out their homes to vacationers, but what many people don’t know is that you can rent just one room. Use AirBnB to turn your home into a place for people to crash while traveling, and make good money in return.

9. Pet Sit for Friends

When friends are going on vacation, make it easier for them by babysitting their pets. You can make some cash and enjoy some furry snuggle time while your friends enjoy some time away by pet sitting. List your services on care.com to find more pet sitting customers.

10. Become an Online Teacher

The rise in online learning has created a new market, and you can tap into it to make money online in your spare time. Teaching through a platform like Outschool or Udemy can let you earn a lot, or you can sign up to teach children overseas, usually in China, basic English. You don’t even need a teaching degree to teach many types of online courses.

11. Play Video Games

Yes, you can play video games and get paid. Using the Mistplay app, you can share feedback with game developers and earn units for playing new games, then exchange those units for gift cards. If you’re already going to be playing games, use the app to earn rewards while you do!

12. Become a Rideshare Driver

Driving for rideshare companies like Lyft or Uber is fairly simple. All you need is a clean car and a clean background check to build this type of side income. When you need some cash, just turn on the Lyft or Uber app and pick up interested riders to get them around town.

13. Make Deliveries with Meal Delivery Sites

When people can’t make it to the restaurant, they can turn to sites like GrubHub, DoorDash and Postmates to get the meal delivered. You make money for each delivery as well as potential tips when you deliver for companies like this.

14. Wrap Your Car

If you bank a lot of miles on your vehicle each month, you can make passive income by wrapping your car. Simply sign up with a company like Wrapify to earn extra income for every mile you drive.

15. Take Part in Research Studies

Online research companies will actually pay you for your opinion. To make good money in this venue, you need to choose the right company. Consider these:

These are a little different than online surveys, which are another way to make money, as they are more in-depth and require you to fit into particular criteria, but if you do, you can make a decent amount.

16. Make a Podcast or YouTube Channel

Podcasts and YouTube channels can be passive income streams if you get sponsors or put ads on them. Once your podcast or YouTube Channel has a good following, you can further monetize it by creating a premium subscriber’s only channel. Podcasts and videos can be a good venue for affiliate marketing as well.

17. Become a Blogger and Influencer

Are you good at using your words to reach people? If so, then launch a blog and start promoting it. You can earn money as a blogger off of ads on your blog.

If your following gets large enough, transform yourself into an influencer using that blog. Influencers market and support products on their own blogs and social media pages in return for a cut from the sales.

You might also take inspiration from our round-up of the 25 richest writers.

18. Sell Stock Photos

Stock photos are important in the World Wide Web. Start selling images on stock photo sites like Shutterstock. With a large portfolio, you can build a nice passive income in your spare time.

19. Work as a Virtual Assistant

If you’re highly organized, other companies can use your services as a virtual assistant. Many startups can’t afford full-time secretaries, and they outsource this work, giving you a way to make money.

The Final Word on Creative Ways to Make Money

Everyone can use a little extra income. With these creative ways to make money, you can start a small business or work a side hustle to bring in some extra cash using your own creativity. This can give you the money you need to help you on your way as you build your writing career.

FAQs About Creative Ways to Make Money

Do I have to pay taxes on extra income I make through a side hustle?

The answer to this depends on how much you make, but often it is yes. Talk to an accountant and keep good records, so you can pay the right taxes on any side income you make.

How can I make money fast?

Some survey sites and options for making money online have a delay between the time you do the job and the time you get paid. Using online platforms that payout quickly via PayPal or a similar payment platform is the best way to make money fast on a side hustle.

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  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.