According to a study by Neighbor.com, 21% of college students have less than $100 in the bank, while 61% have less than $1,000 saved. These statistics are shocking, especially considering the debt that most students get into so that they can afford their education.
While some do have the help of family members to cover day-to-day expenses such as food and accommodation, many are left to provide for themselves. However, balancing studies with work can be taxing on one’s physical and mental health, and most part-time work pays very little. Thankfully, there are some ways to earn money online as a student, while still having enough time and energy to focus on your education.
In this article, we will take a look at six ways that students can make money online, what you need to start these careers, and where to find entry-level jobs that will hire students.
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Freelance & Part-Time Online Jobs for Students
One of the most obvious – and viable – options for students is part-time freelance work. This gives them the opportunity to work in their spare time while prioritizing their studies. Most part-time freelance jobs do not adhere to strict working hours; as long as deadlines are met, freelancers can create their own schedules.
Some examples of freelance online jobs for students include:
Content & Copywriting
Content writing and copywriting involve creating written content for clients to use on their websites, newsletters, email flows, social media, or any other platform that they choose. Freelance writers will receive briefs from their clients about the details of the content and will work according to the client’s deadline.
Similarly to content writing, freelance graphic designers are tasked with creating content for clients according to briefs. However, graphic designers are responsible for curating visual content as opposed to written content, such as logos, advertisements, webpage designs, or product labels.
Freelance data entry specialists often work for multiple clients at one time, organizing and managing important business data. They are responsible for identifying and inputting relevant data into spreadsheets or databases, optimizing the data for accessibility and readability, and ensuring accuracy at all times.
Students who excel in a particular subject can assist other students in their year or below with understanding the topics and achieving higher marks on their exams. Students can advertise their services in common areas on campus, in nearby coffee shops, or online.
Selling Products or Services Online
Business-savvy students can sell various products or services online. There are ways to do this that are time- and money-efficient, so that students do not risk their financial stability and schedules to make money.
Dropshipping is a relatively new concept, but it has taken the world by storm. Dropshipping is a business model in which an online retailer does not keep a physical inventory of the products that they sell. Instead, when a customer places an order, the retailer purchases the item from a third-party supplier, who then ships the product directly to the customer. The retailer essentially acts as a middleman, handling the marketing, customer service, and order fulfillment processes.
Students who are able to create products to sell online can make money with an e-commerce business. E-commerce refers to ‘electronic commerce’, meaning that browsing and shopping are done solely online, with no need for face-to-face interaction. Students can sell their products on platforms such as Etsy.
Students can create and sell digital products, such as e-books, stock photos, Adobe Lightroom presets, study notes, or templates online. This can be a relatively efficient way to make money as a student, seeing as one only needs to create one of each product. Once the digital product has been created, students can sell as many of that product as they like.
Online Surveys & Microtasks
While online surveys and microtasks often do not pay enough to cover day-to-day expenses, they are both ways that students can make money online for savings, recreational use, or to supplement their income.
Certain platforms, such as Swagbucks, LifePoints Panel, and SurveyJunkie allow users to take surveys online in exchange for monetary compensation, gift cards, or coupons. The surveys vary in length, and all pay slightly different amounts depending on the company, the time it takes to complete the survey, and your activity on the platform.
Microtasks refer to small tasks or assignments that can be completed quickly and typically require little effort or expertise. These tasks are often broken down into small units and can be completed in a matter of minutes or even seconds. Examples of microtasks include online content moderation, image categorization, and sentiment analysis.
Affiliate Marketing & Influencer Opportunities
While not a traditional form of employment, affiliate marketing and influencer opportunities can provide students with a large social media following, access to an active online community, or a successful online blog or newsletter with a lucrative opportunity to promote products and services for other companies.
Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy in which affiliates earn a commission for promoting products or services offered by another company. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement where affiliates earn a percentage of the revenue for each successful referral they make. Students can post their affiliate links in their social media posts, on their blogs, or even on YouTube or TikTok videos in the form of a discount code.
Students with a large social media following on platforms like Instagram or TikTok can acquire brand deals from businesses for promoting their products or services. For example, a company may send an influencer a package full of their most popular products to try out and review on their social media accounts. These influencers will often be paid either a commission or a once-off amount to do this.
Online Investing and Trading
The following investment or trading opportunities do require a certain amount of money to start, but can be lucrative investments if done correctly. However, there is a great deal of risk involved with investment and trading, and students should take care with their money.
Online trading refers to the buying and selling of stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, or derivatives through online platforms or brokerage accounts. Investors have direct access to financial markets, enabling them to execute trades electronically and participate in market movements. Some popular platforms for online trading include E-Trade and Plus500.
Investing money as a student can be a smart way to grow your wealth and generate passive income over the long term. A few investment options that students can consider include stock market investments, cryptocurrency, and real estate investments.
There are various ways to earn money online as a student while balancing your studies. From freelancing and part-time online jobs to online investing and trading, there are endless opportunities for financial stability.
It’s important for students to assess their skills, interests, and financial goals when exploring these online earning opportunities and to prioritize their studies while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.