9 Real Ways for College Students to Make Money Online

Hey, If you’re a college student and looking for how to make money online in 2023, trust me you’ll love this guide.

Back in the day, like you, I also searched for the same. I tried a couple of things and found that you need to learn a useful skill to earn real money online starting from your college.

However, during the journey itself, you’ll start making a few bucks, and later on, you may also convert it into a business. And this is what I did!

Isn’t it fascinating?

So in this post, I’m very excited to share 9 ways for college students to make money online. But I must tell you, like other Bloggers and YouTubers, I won’t suggest you download the XYZ app and refer it to your friends to earn some bucks for a short time.

I want you to make a consistent income that doesn’t require much hustle and time so that you can also focus on your studies. . So I’m only going to share those ways only that I’ve tested and got results and for some, I have done deep research.

Excited?

We have a lot of things to cover in this article so without further ado, let’s dive straight into it…

1. Freelancing:

This is the first and one of the best ways for students to earn money online without any investment. You just need a laptop or a PC and an internet connection.

Wait, If you don’t know what freelancing is, allow me to elaborate on it first…

In freelancing, you are your own boss and set your own work schedule. It’s up to you who you work with and what you do. The person who does the freelancing is known as a Freelancer.

If you have any skills like Content Writing, Graphic designing, Logo making, Typing speed, Web-development, or others then through freelancing you can provide your services to clients around the world by working from your college dorm.

Even online jobs like Data Entry, Grammar Correction, or selling your photographs can be easily done through freelancing and earn a handsome amount of money. To get an idea of some freelancing niches you may check out this amazing article: The 30 best online freelance services on-demand.

You might not believe it, but a freelancer can earn between ₹ 1.8 Lakhs to ₹ 11.0 Lakhs in India whereas, in the USA, the average freelancer can make $24.96 per hour in any gig. (Source: Ambitionbox)

In case, if you want to become a freelance writer, your average rate could be between $30-40/hr, with an annual salary of around $42,000. (Source: Upwork) When I started freelancing in content writing I used to charge $25/hr.

How to start:

If you find freelancing fascinating and want to explore more, then your first question would be how to start freelancing, and where to get clients and sell your services. Right?

Well, there are many platforms that connect freelancers to clients who seek services. Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer.com, Toptal, and more are the best freelance websites (platforms) in this market. Upwork is well-known for content writing.

Some platforms are completely free while some platforms charge a small commission when you get paid by any client. In order to sell your services on any of these platforms, you need to make a profile, build a portfolio and demonstrate your skills along with the price you charge.

For example, here is my profile and portfolio on Upwork for content writing Job:

My Upwork Profile

If you want to start making money online in college then Freelancing is the way to go. But, I must tell you, freelancing can be competitive, and getting clients is not a piece of the cake.

You better first learn more about freelancing and find which skill you can sell and make money from.

2. Start a Blog:

Are you passionate about writing?

Blogging is one of the easiest ways for college students to make money online. All you have to do is create a blog or website and write about topics that interest you.

Your blog can be about anything from cooking to fashion or from health to product reviews. As you can see, my blog is based on students’ life, study tips, and all.

My Education Blog

If you have fond of writing like me and want to share your experience and knowledge by writing then blogging can be the best way to earn money online in college while studying. Even, I started my first blog in my college days.

A blogger can earn in many ways. However, the common way is to put advertisements inside your blog and content, and when your readers watch and click the ads the Advertisement company (like; Google and more) pays you money.

However, it depends on how many visitors you get on your blog and what conversion rate you get. In case, you’re wondering how I make money from my blog without advertisements I must tell the majority of my blog income come from affiliate marketing and sponsorship. I’ll tell you more about it later.

How to start:

If you’re afraid that you have to learn to code to build a website or blog then it’s not true.

There was a time when learning to code was only the way to create your personal blog but now with CMS (Content Management System) platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Shopify, etc, it is very easy to start a blog with zero coding knowledge. You get built-in themes with drag-and-drop features.

All you need is just purchase a domain name (e.g. .com) and good hosting. Rest of the things like the theme, and plugins you can get for free if you’re on a tight budget.

You may read this article to learn how to start a blog. If you want to learn blogging from scratch, you may follow amazing blogs like Hubspot, Firstsiteguide, and a name of few popular blogs.

You will be surprised to know, I learned all about blogging for free by reading hundreds of blogs and watching countless blogging tutorials on YouTube.

Blogging can be easy to start, but growing a blog and ranking your blog posts can be challenging. You must spend enough time learning blogging and writing amazing articles.

Pro Tip: The more visitors (i.e.Traffic) come to your blog the more money you make. And, this audience either can drive through social platforms or by publishing quality content around a category that will rank top on Google.

Here is one of my article ranking top on Google search for the keyword ‘Useful products for students’:

On average it can take 3-6 months to grow your blog and earn decent money for your college expenses. So, If you are into writing, you must start a blog.

3. Start a YouTube Channel:

Just like Blogging, starting a YouTube channel can be a great idea to share your knowledge, thoughts, and experiences in exchange for money.

You can make videos on any topic in which you have some knowledge and expertise and you’ll love to share it. It could be an entertainment channel, a subject-oriented channel, or your college vlogging channel.

You may also look at these cool YouTube channel Ideas:

  • Health & Fitness
  • Lifestyle
  • Technology
  • Dance
  • Travel & Vlogging
  • Movies and Web series review
  • Comedy
  • Educational

You can also share vlogs about the course that you’re pursuing and your college-life style. It can be helpful for many students who want to also pursue the same course and in return, you’ll be earning a good amount of money while studying.

For example, take a look at this YouTube channel Anuj Pachhel.

YouTube is a great way for college students to make money online

This guy is amazing, he is pursuing MBBS and loves to share his journey from clearing NEET to a Medical college lifestyle.

Currently, he has 6.5 lakh+ subscribers, and his every video gets views in lakhs. By just putting ads in videos he is making enough money to pay college fees and manage expenses. He uploads one video per week that way he saves enough time for his studies also.

You can do the same with your course and college life, many people would love to watch your content. However, if you’re camera shy then you can create animated videos and try the voice-over.

An average YouTuber can earn from $200 to $1000 depending on how many views they get.

Additionally, when you have more subscribers and videos, you will also be approached by top brands for sponsorships. With YouTube, you can also do affiliate marketing by adding links in video descriptions. (I’ll tell you more later.)

How to start:

First, find the niche in which you want to create videos and share your knowledge. Besides a PC and an internet connection, you just need a tripod to hold your phone.

It’s not necessary to purchase a camera to record video. I believe your smartphone’s camera can also record superb-quality videos.

Starting a YouTube channel is easy peasy but recording videos can be something you may find hard. You must first learn filmmaking, video editing, thumbnail-creating, and how to speak in front of camera skills.

Don’t worry! These skills you can easily learn these by watching some free tutorials on YouTube or taking some free courses on Udemy or Coursera.

Being consistent and publishing videos regularly can be also tough, so don’t lose your motivation if you don’t get enough views at the beginning. If you enjoy video making, you can grow your YouTube channel in 4-6 months and earn up to $100/month in college.

Pro Tip: The more views and subscribers you get the more money you make.

4. Amazon Affiliate Marketing:

This is again one of the best ways for college students to earn money online. Let me first tell you what is affiliate marketing…

Affiliate marketing is a type of online marketing where a business pays a person or company, called an affiliate, a commission for referring sales. Affiliate marketing is often used to promote physical & digital products online through a special link.

For affiliate marketing and making good bucks, I would recommend you to Amazon Associates. It’s not only easy to start but also keeps giving you money on an auto-pilot.

In Amazon affiliate marketing, you just need to pick up some amazon listed products and share the link with ones, and when they make a purchase, you’ll earn a small commission from Amazon.

Here is the commission list that amazon pays in a specific product category:

Source: Amazon. in

And the best part of Amazon associate is if you recommend A and someone ends up purchasing B via your link, you’ll still earn the commission. And if they add more products to the cart that you haven’t recommended, you still earn the commission for those.

Isn’t it something great about Amazon associates?

You can also refer to Prime subscription, Audible, and more Amazon apps. An Amazon affiliate marketer can earn on average, from $100 to $20,000 from the Amazon Affiliate program, depending on how many referrals he/she generates for Amazon.

Even a small part of my blog income comes from Amazon by sharing college essentials, books, and study products, for you.

How to start:

To get started with Amazon associates you must have a Blog, YouTube Channel, or a great social media presence. Even if you have good followers on Reddit or Quora, you may earn enough money by recommending products.

Remember always target a specific audience for recommending products. If you’ve noticed, I feature only those Amazon products on my site that are essentials for college students. Check out my ‘Materials for students‘ page.

If you have been shopping from Amazon all the time, you can recommend better products to others. Now, to make a good amount of sales on Amazon, you must either start a blog or YouTube channel.

For example, this Counting Unique named YouTube channel runs by a student who loves to share unique gadgets. By just recommending products he earns a good amount of money online from Amazon India associates.

Pro Tip: The more sales you bring to Amazon, the more money you make.

So what are you waiting for?

Do sign up for Amazon associates today and find the right way to promote Amazon products. You may check out this Amazon Affiliate complete guide from Shopify if you want to join Amazon associates.

5. Provide Online Tuition Services:

make money online in college

Online learning is a new trend in the digital world where students have the power to learn something from the comfort of their homes. And, there you have an opportunity to teach them online and make money while studying. If you’re a college student, you can easily provide tuition online to your junior students.

Online tutoring platforms connect tutors with students from all over the world for learning, guidance, and homework help. Students can arrange for virtual, or one-on-one sessions with a tutor.

So, If you have the knowledge and want to teach something online, it can be a great way to earn extra income.

Some online platform like Tutor.com has fixed tutoring prices i.e. $39.99-$114.99/month, or $.75/minute while on some platforms, you can also set your own hourly rate and receive payment via credit card, PayPal, or direct deposit.

How to start:

No doubt, with online tutoring platforms not only you can brush up on your knowledge but can earn money online.

There are many online tutoring platforms like Teachable, Thinkific, and Tutor.com works great that give you an opportunity to teach students a subject that you want. If you’re from India, you may try Byju’s and Unacademy as well.

Now, you just need to find your expertise in a subject and choose these platforms wisely. You must read the review of these platforms before signing up. If you have the zeal to teach something online, you must read this article Tech online, and make money by Thinkific.

Pro Tip: The more you take classes and teach online the more money you’ll earn online.

6. Become a Social Media Influencer:

If you are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat and have a decent number of followers on any platform then you can become a social media influencer and make money online during your college days.

A social media influencer earns money through sponsorship. When you post content on a specific niche and hold a good number of followers, many brands around that niche approaches you for sponsorship.

Let me give you a small example…

So one of my friends is into bodybuilding and he keeps posting Gym and workout posts and reels frequently on Instagram. He has 13k+ followers on Instagram and he gets many sponsorships offers from Peanut butter companies and other health and fitness products. Those brands don’t only offer their products free to him but also pay a great amount for promoting their brands.

Just Imagine, having just 13k followers on Instagram make him noticed by many brands what if he had 100k followers?

I have a great presence on Pinterest and my blog, and many educational institutes approach me for sponsorships. For example, here is one of sponsored offers I received from an education platform:

I got a Sponsored offer

There are many brands that approach a social media influencer to promote their brand and in return they pay money. You’ll be surprised to know that Cristiano Ronaldo can earn an estimated $1.6 million per post on Instagram.

How to start:

Millions of dollars can be made as a social media influencer. If you have the zeal to make money online from your college, you may become a social media influencer by targeting one platform and posting content in a specific niche.

For example, if you have a good knowledge of fashion, you may post your amazing fashion styles on Instagram, or If you’re good at pet caring, you may post pet caring and feeding tips images on Pinterest.

So, find your expertise and interest and post your content in a specific niche in which you can grow your audience. Once you have a good number of followers, you’ll start getting sponsorship offers. But make sure, always sponsor those products that you have tested or find trustworthy.

You may also check out this amazing article: A complete guide to becoming a social media influencer by Wordstream.

7. Create and Sell E-books:

Creating and selling e-books is another great way for college students to make money online.

Back in the day, I had also created an e-book on ‘Study Challenges and How to beat them but I make it available for free so that many students could download it. It helped me to grow and earn audiences. This free e-book has generated 2500+ email subscribers so far.

The thing I want to teach you here is the power of e-books. People are always interested in downloading and purchasing e-books. Very few people prefer hard copies these days.

You must be surprised to know that the global e-book market size is estimated to be valued at US $19.95 Bn in 2022 and is projected to reach US $32.19 Bn by 2032. (Source: Future Market Insights)

Again, If you have deep knowledge about any topic or subject then only you can create an e-book and make it available for sale. If you just keep the price at only $5, people would be happy to purchase it if they find it worth it.

How to start:

If you want to earn money online by selling e-books then first find your expertise in a subject. It could be in health, technology, or a complete guide for anything.

If you have a topic in mind that people would read for sure and you can provide a better guide, creating and selling e-books will be very easy. There are many online tools that you can use to create amazing e-books. Canva, Visme, Google Docs, and Microsoft Word are some free tools that you may try.

If you’re interested in learning more about creating an e-book, you must read this Hubspot e-book creating guide.

Once you create your e-book, the next question is how to sell it and make money online. Right?

Well, You can promote your e-book and sell it on social media. Moreover, you can list your e-book for sale on Amazon and Google Play. Some third-party websites like Payhip.com and Blurb also work great to sell e-books.

You may also read this complete beginner’s guide for selling e-books online.

8. Test Apps and Websites:

Do you give your feedback for any app that you’ve used? What if I tell you, you can make money by testing apps and websites and giving your honest feedback? And, for a student like you, it could be a great way to earn money online in your free time.

The company will pay you for telling them how well or how poorly certain websites and apps work.

But, Why does someone pay you for testing apps and websites?

Well, before an online platform goes live it’s crucial to take a test of it and find its bugs and issues. Needless to say, identifying and fixing issues at the earliest stages reduces long-term costs for a company. Therefore, you get paid.

By testing a website or app for just 20-30 minutes, you can earn up to $60 instantly. However, a testing job depends on lots of factors. Moreover, very few people actually succeed at it.

How to start:

There are many sites that offer user testing and earn money online services. Usertesting.com is a great one that I came across. To be honest, I haven’t used it, but I researched and read numerous reviews before featuring it here.

Usertesting.com

This is a legitimate website that has a very straightforward and transparent process for enrollment and work.

Here, you will find tests based on your demographics and profile. Additionally, the tests will include screening to ensure that you are the right person to provide feedback.

Here are four steps you need to take to get started with this platform:

  • Submit your email and take a quick practice test to join its global network of trusted contributors.
  • Answer screening questions to match test opportunities.
  • Share your perspectives via tests you match with, and help brands improve their products and services.
  • Earn money for different types of tests! Your test feed will show you the amount you’ll get paid for each test.

You may read a complete usertesting.com review here. Besides this platform, you may also take a look at Enroll, IntelliZoom, and a few more similar sites.

9. Invest in Stocks:

earn money online while studying in Collège

Stocks are one of the best ways to create wealth online. Being a college student you can’t spare your entire day working for earning money online. However, by investing in stocks you can give sufficient time to your college and studies.

Stocks are a form of ownership in a company, and you can buy shares of a company without actually having to go to the company’s location or meet the people running the company.

Online trading has made investing in stocks even easier, with the ability to buy and sell stocks without ever having to leave the comfort of your home or college. Today, there are plenty of websites that let you buy stocks online with just a few minutes of your time each day.

Now you don’t need to do this on a daily basis. Buying perfect stocks and holding them for a month can bring you enough money to manage your expenses for a month. It can go up to INR 1 lakh a month or even higher if you are skilled enough and your strategies are in place.

Note: Investing in stocks can be a risky decision so make sure first you learn all the parameters of it and then decide to buy and sell a stock.

How to start:

If you want to jump into investing and make money online you must learn all about Investing and fundamental analysis. I’d recommend this article to get a complete guide about investing in stocks and then come up with a decision.

To get started with Investing in stocks, you are required to have a Demat account associated with your bank account.

If you’re a newbie at investing and have no idea about Demat account, face value, bonus, or the right time to purchase and sell stocks then here I’m highlighting two resources to learn Investing and fundamental analysis from scratch:

  1. Varsity by Zerodha: Markets, Trading, and Investing Simplified
  2. Investing 101: Free Online Investing Course for Beginners

As a beginner, you should always invest a small amount of your college savings in any company. Also remember, if you invest in renowned companies you’ll be less likely to take risks.

Pro Tip: The more you learn about the stock market the more you earn. If you invest without having proper knowledge you’ll end up losing all your wealth.

Conclusion:

Utilizing your free time in college by working and making money online is a great decision. This will not only teach you the value of money but you can also gain some work experience.

So in this article, I have shared the 9 ways for college students to make money online while studying. I hope you enjoyed the article and found it useful.

Besides these ways, there could be some other ways also to earn money also like Dropshipping or Designing T-shirts, but I find these works have less income and need too much hustle. You better try in any of our 9 ways above.

Now, I’d like to listen from you:

Being a college student which way are you going to try first? Do you want to start a blog or YouTube channel? Or, Is it freelancing?

Let me know in the comment.

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