How to make money as a teenager without a job, is a question that’s been posed to me by my 15 year old daughter.
So I thought I’d put together this list of ideas for her and others like her who’d love to start earning without ever leaving your bedroom!
These days it’s easier than ever to make money from your computer or phone from within the confines of your warm duvet!
And if you’re currently in high school or planning on college, any of the following side hustle ideas have the potential to turn into life changing income so that by the time you hit the working world, you still don’t have to get a ‘real job’!
Instead, like us, you can travel the world, pursue your passions and enjoy life while earning money doing what you love!
So let’s get started!
Here are 25 ideas for how to make money as a teenager without a job;
How to Make Money as a Teenager Without a Job: 25 Profitable Ideas
1. Start a Blog
No matter your interests or passions, these days you can start a blog and generate income either through advertising on your site, affiliate marketing or even selling your own products.
To get started, simply choose your niche/topic that you want to blog about, set up a hosting account, create a simple site using WordPress or Wix, and start writing!
If during your downtime you could churn out 3 – 5 articles and schedule them all to be published through the week, it won’t be long before you start to build up your content and views.
Popular blogger Adam Enfroy generated over 7 figures in just 2 years of blogging. You can get more info about his blogging strategy here.
2. Become a Freelance Writer
Do you love to write, but don’t fancy starting your own blog?
If so, start a new career as a freelance writer.
Pick topics and subjects you’re interested in and are confident you can do a good job with and earn anywhere between $0.04 – $0.15 a word depending on your skill levels.
Elna Cain started as a freelance writer and now runs her own freelance writing academy.
Another super popular freelancing role is that of a virtual assistant. Let’s talk about that next.
3. Sell Your Skills as a Virtual Assistant
One of the easiest ways to learn how to make money as a teenager without a job is taking on the role of a virtual assistant. While becoming a virtual assistant is a job of sorts, it’s completely online and you can work from your computer from anywhere.
There are multiple freelance sites online dedicated to the role of virtual assistants including onlinejobs.ph specifically for Filipino virtual assistants, and Zirtual for US-based virtual assistants.
As a virtual assistant expect to be covering a variety of tasks including posting social media content, answering emails, creating basic graphics in Canva, researching stats, laying out blog posts in WordPress, managing product listings in Shopify, and loads more.
4. Become a Published Author
Sticking with the writing theme, it’s never been easier to publish your writing. No agent needed or publishing house required. You can manage the entire process from your laptop and have your book available to the world for under $100.
E. L. James, one of the most famous self-published authors, has a net worth of $150 million from her Fifty Shades trilogy, which started out as Twilight Fan-fiction. James’s success demonstrates that you don’t have to be established (or even a good writer!) to make it as an author.
That said, it helps if you give yourself a fighting chance. Innumerable authors never strike it rich writing their own fiction stories. But there are plenty of writers making a good living as authors of non-fiction books that educate and solve readers’ problems.
Amazon KDP is the platform that enables you to publish your manuscript and make it available to millions of Kindle e-book readers. You can set your own price, and you keep 70% of the profits.
Know all about gaming or skincare? Write down your guidance in a way that solves problems for readers. Kindle books are often impulse purchases, and millions are sold every year.
You don’t have to write a long book, either. Short 70-page books are common in the non-fiction categories.
To make money as a self-published author, check out my guide How to Self Publish on Amazon Kindle & Get Your Own ISBN No!
5. Become a Retail Arbitrager
If you’d love to know how to make money as a teenager without a job, by shopping for a living, retail arbitrage could be the business model for you.
Plus it’s something you can start immediately for minimal investment.
The goal is to head down to a local garage sale, a thrift store, or a bargain depot and pick up great products at rock bottom prices.
You could even search through the Facebook marketplace for quality products on sale in your area.
Create an account on Amazon as an Amazon seller and once you have a selection of products, take attractive photos and create your product listings on Amazon at a higher but competitive price.
Once someone purchases you send them the product and pocket the difference!
Nikki Kirk from Your Selling Guide is my recommended go-to resource for all things retail arbitrage, so find out more here.
6. Become a Videographer (or Photographer)
If you love to take photos or play with video editing apps on your phone, then becoming a modern-day photographer, videographer, or video blogger could be for you.
So many companies and small businesses want to tap into the image/video-based economy we’re now living in and so honing your videography skills will go a long way to making money as a teenager.
If you already have a million photos gathering dust in google photos or iphoto, why not start monetizing by selling images to stock photo sites like depositphotos.com or istock.com?
Even better, upload your photos to an Etsy store and sell them as wall art or digital images.
As a photographer, you can even take advantage of print-on-demand sites like Redbubble.
7. Sell on Redbubble
Redbubble is a print-on-demand marketplace, meaning they house a catalog of blank products for you to add your designs to.
Products include t-shirts, mugs, canvases, face masks, clothes, candles, home decor, etc.
Your job is to create your own Redbubble storefront on their platform, add your images to their products and then sell like crazy.
If you’re a natural graphic designer, love playing with apps like Canva, or have a stack of unused images you want to monetize, a site like Redbubble could start to generate regular income for you.
8. Become a Social Media Manager
Another superb way teenagers can make money without getting a regular job is to become a social media manager. If posting on Instagram is your jam or editing clever videos for TikTok, you could soon pick up work managing someone else’s account.
Social media management is tricky as you’ll need to come up with creative ways to tell interesting stories around the business and likely spend a fair chunk of time nagging the business owner for content.
But it can be an extremely rewarding role, particularly if you’re spending your days coming up with awesome content ideas, engaging with other social media accounts, and watching that follower account increase!
Next on my list of how to make money as a teenager without a job…
9. Sell Your Skills as a Web Designer
These days it is easier than ever to become a web designer.
With easy WordPress page builders such as Elementor or the Kadence or Astra themes and plus full-service website builders like Wix, if you’re creative and love tinkering with WordPress and websites perhaps this is the side hustle for you.
Prices vary wildly in this niche and depending on the types of clients you pitch to depends on how much you can charge.
For example, online business owners who know their way around platforms like WordPress, but don’t have the time to tinker with their own site will expect to pay far less than a small off-line business with no website experience.
Looking on Upwork, developers are charging anywhere from $15 – $200, with the average fee being around $20 – $50/hour.
10. Create & Sell Online Courses
Another fantastic idea for how to make money as a teenager without a job is to create and sell an online courses.
If you create a $200-$500 course, packed to the brim with expert guidance on a very specific topic, you could stand to earn tens of thousands of dollars a month, even though you may only receive a few thousand visitors to your site.
As you’d imagine, building and promoting a course doesn’t happen overnight.
Use your blog to demonstrate your expertise and build your email list. Then create a sales funnel leading people to your course sales page.
For a better breakdown of this process, check out my guide on how to create a six-figure course.
Key takeaway: Focus on building your email list from the outset. That way, you have a list of people you can potentially sell your course to in a few months’ time.
11. Sell Digital Printables on Etsy
Another amazing idea of how to make money as a teenager without a job is to sell digital printables on Etsy.
Simply head to Etsy and research a niche you’d love to be in. Weddings are big business on Etsy as are downloadable coloring books, printable wall art, printable stickers and labels, greeting cards, games & activities, planners and journals, and loads more!
Choose your niche and look at the best-selling items within that niche.
Head over to Canva to see if they have any pre-made templates you can use to quickly and easily create your own version of some of the best-selling products.
Create your Etsy store, add your downloadable digital printables, create keyword-rich listings, add super attractive images of your products and jump on social media to let the world know your products are live!
You may need to invest in some Etsy ads to help promote your products to get things rolling, but as you start to generate sales and reviews any new products you launch will likely take off much faster.
12. Build & Flip Blogs
Did you know that you can sell a blog for roughly 12 times its net monthly income?
If your site is only making a measly $500 per month, you could sell it online for $6000!
Depending on the niche, how you currently make money from it, as well as future growth potential, it could be worth much more than this.
Building and selling blogs is a huge industry. Many people build dozens of websites each year with the sole aim of selling them in 6 to 12 months’ time and making a huge profit.
Each of these services charge a small fee in exchange for helping bring together buyers and sellers of blogs.
These sellers often specialize in building profitable blogs within a certain niche, that make money online in a very clear way.
For example, say you were very good at promoting affiliate products.
You could build a small blog, receive just a few thousand visitors a month, and still make in excess of two or three thousand dollars by promoting very specific affiliate products.
If you have no desire to take the blog beyond this point, you could sell the site for $25- $35,000.
Building multiple blogs at a time, with an aim to sell them on, is a scalable and great way to build a side hustle online.
13. Become a Social Media Influencer
It can take time to build up a big enough following to be seen as a social media influencer, but this is a fantastic route to make money as a teen and a way to generate a consistent income for a long time.
Plus if you focus on TikTok or YouTube shorts you could be making money in just a few weeks.
If you love to create content, have no issue with being in front of the video camera, and have a natural creative lean, becoming a social media influencer will probably suit you to a tee.
These days you don’t even have to get in front of the camera to make super engaging and popular videos.
TikTok and YouTube shorts are currently putting everything behind launching new creators and rewarding them for their views and engagement. TikTok celebrities have reported going viral within a few weeks and the more views you get, the more money you make!
Have a look at the kind of content that’s currently doing well on both platforms and start to test your own ideas. Be prepared to post consistently and often, to test as many strategies as possible and see what resonates.
14. Sell Your Services as an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Consultant
There is an old joke in digital marketing that goes something like this:
Q. What’s the dark web?
A. Page 2 of the Google results.
It illustrates a point quite nicely that for all the searches performed on Google, nearly two-thirds of the clicks go to the websites ranked in the top three positions. If you are ranked in the tenth position, then you can expect only 2.5% of the clicks.
The businesses not on the first page of Google for their chosen keywords are practically invisible, which causes much frustration.
As someone who’s recently been studying and attempting to implement SEO strategies, I can understand their frustration!
As an SEO specialist, you reduce this frustration by helping to rank web pages on page one of the Google results for a target keyword. You would use a variety of methods; keyword research, content marketing, and link-building outreach to improve a website’s ranking.
There is plenty of demand for capable SEOs. (I know I’ve been through a few in the last few weeks!)
To enter this arena, you would need to demonstrate that you can rank web pages.
One route would be to build a live portfolio by setting up a webpage – a simple blog would do – then rank it for a chosen keyword.
Of course, it would need to be a short 3 or 4 phrase keyword to prove you have what it takes. But this is the benefit of these new digital roles. You don’t need a degree or have to know the right person. If you can demonstrate your capability, then you can find work.
SEO is not only a great lifestyle business idea but something everyone working in the digital world should know about and understand. If you are a total newbie to SEO, then Yoast, a popular WordPress tool, runs a free course that covers the basics.
There are many routes to find work as an SEO; use the freelancing job boards like Upwork and Fiverr. But for less competition, get on the phone and call local businesses. Show them your ranked pages and pitch them keywords to rank their web pages for.
A low-cost and fairly simple route to how to make money as a teenager without a job is dropshipping.
Dropshipping simply means that you as the seller create a store and brand and source and advertise products relevant to your niche.
Once a customer makes a purchase, the product is shipped directly from the manufacturer to the customer.
You make the difference between the price you charge the customer & the price the manufacturer charges you.
For example, let’s say you’re in the jewelry niche. You find a lovely silver bracelet you want to sell on a dropshipping marketplace.
The manufacturer is charging $10 per bracelet. You might advertise that bracelet on your site at $30. When a customer buys, the bracelet is shipped directly to the customer & you generate a $20 profit minus other costs.
You never actually own or see the bracelet (except if you ordered samples). You’re effectively getting paid for good advertising!
The goal is to build a strong brand and use dropshipping as a way to test your market before shelling out for private label products yourself.
For more details see my article on dropshipping here.
16. Start a Podcast
A fun and potentially lucrative way for a teen to make money is podcasting!
If you like talking to people to entertain, educate, or inspire, then consider launching a podcast.
There are podcasts for literally all the topics under the sun from starting a business online to crypto, history, book reviews, gaming, weight loss, fashion, mindfulness, relationships, you name it!
To launch a podcast that has a chance of success, first listen to other popular podcasts to see what kind of content they produce, and how they structure each episode.
Many podcasts follow a few common formats. There is the interview podcast, the solo monologue podcast, or the conversational podcast where the same presenters host the show each week and talk about a niche topic in detail.
To monetize, as your audience grows you can attract significant sponsorship to your podcast and build an entire business using just your podcast only.
However, there are a variety of other ways to make money podcasting including; affiliate offers, selling courses, using it to talk about your physical products, networking, and building relationships to get speaking gigs or publishing deals, or building an online following for another digital asset, like a website.
If you get to the top, you can charge your most adoring fans for exclusive content. And, if you’re lucky, land a deal with a top podcast publisher like Apple and Spotify for millions of dollars.
17. Launch a Print On Demand Ecommerce Store
Earlier I talked about selling print-on-demand products on Redbubble.
Another awesome route to making money as a teenager, that requires minimal upfront investment is to launch your own print-on-demand e-commerce store.
As a quick recap, print on demand says what it does on the tin.
You advertise a blank product from a print-on-demand marketplace adorned with your designs. When a customer purchases, much like dropshipping, the product is shipped directly to the customer.
You pocket the difference between what you charge the customer & how much the product costs you.
I personally love this business model & even though profit margins are lower due to the high costs of print-on-demand products, if you attract enough sales, it’s a great way to make money.
See more details here in my print-on-demand article.
18. Become a Content Marketing Guru
Content marketing is the collective description for raising awareness of a product or service via blogs, video, social media, and other mediums. Content marketing is a dynamic and varied field.
As an idea for how to make money as a teenager without a job, if you love creating content, playing with social media, making videos etc, this could an ideal role for you.
Your primary responsibility will be attracting online traffic to all parts of the sales funnel, so you’ll need to know about marketing and the sales process.
As a content marketer, you can work for a single organization or contract out to many at the same time. Your role will be to plan and execute a content strategy to fulfill the goals of the organization.
Content marketing requires you to have all-around abilities. It helps if you know how to write, or at the very least have strong editing skills, and be able to co-ordinate other freelancing content creators.
Depending on the requirements of the client, you may need to know SEO, Social Media, Paid media, understand branding, and have strong research methods – all skills you can learn.
Content marketing is a growth industry as many organizations wake up to the need for a coherent approach to their overall digital strategy.
19. Become a Coach
Think you’re too young to coach?
Teenagers react well to other teens and with todays challenges, mental health issues on the rise, teens with identity crisis, study stress, etc, you could become an excellent coach and not only make money as a teenager, but have a real impact on others your age.
The fastest route to getting your coaching career off the ground is to choose your platform, ie., blog, podcast, youtube, TikTok, etc, and start posting every single day.
Build your audience and add in webinars or live streams.
Give as much value as you can over an hour-long presentation or workshop and tell people where they can sign up to get one-on-one or more specialized group coaching at the end of the session.
Once a potential client has spent an hour or so on a webinar with you they’re far more likely to sign up for more coaching than off the bottom of a blog post or your ‘link in bio’ on IG.
You can also join coaching organizations such as The Life Coach School, where you’ll receive training and certification.
For more steps on becoming a coach, see my post here.
20. Become a Canva Graphic Designer
If you have an eye for design, another fab idea for how to make money as a teenager without a job is becoming a graphic designer or a specialist Canva graphic designer.
Selling pre-made Canva templates is big business online these days and you can sell them directly on social media, on Etsy, or on your own site.
Or sell bundles of templates like the awesome bizsister.
21. Star as a YouTuber
An extremely popular route for how to make money as a teenager without a job is undoubtedly becoming a YouTuber.
Anyone can set up a YouTube Channel free of charge, all you need is a Google account, and YouTube can become a very lucrative way for a teen to make money.
We’ve all seen the stories about YouTube stars with millions of followers earning astronomical sums of money. But there are thousands of others who make a full-time living with smaller channels.
Vanessa Lau’s channel, for example, is dedicated to helping people become coaches online. She posts videos about every aspect of building a following and earning money from becoming a content creator and coach. She has been able to leverage her success into lucrative consulting gigs.
If the thought of showing your face on camera makes you squirm, then there are lots of different types of videos you can make instead.
- Unboxing videos
- Animated explainer videos
- Cooking videos with a top-down camera
- Screen-recording videos showing how to use software
- Motivation videos using stock footage clips
- Travel videos
You are only limited by your imagination.
22. Become a TikTok star
If you don’t fancy YouTube, these days TikTok is the place to be.
Founded at the end of 2016, TikTok is perhaps the most successful business to evolve out of Coronavirus.
With more people spending a lot more time at home, the app seems to have exploded in popularity, with roughly 1 billion active users acquired to date. This number is growing, and it’s currently one of the hottest and fastest ways for you to build a huge following and monetize your audience.
There are thousands of teenagers making large amounts of money on TikTok. Some of them are already successful influencers, and others are newcomers to the game.
If Charli can do it, so can you!
Here’s how to monetize an audience in order to make money on TikTok.
- Donations – TikTok actually has a built-in capability for viewers to send their favorite creator’s money! They first buy “coins” and then send these to their creator who then converts them into “diamonds” and withdraws them to their PayPal account.
- Selling products – Much like any other influencer platform, if you have a large following of loyal viewers, you can launch products for them to buy.
- Growing and selling accounts – This has been a common practice for years across social media platforms (even if it goes against some guidelines). Brands will pay decent amounts of money to purchase a channel that already has a large following.
- Sponsorship – Just like Instagram, companies pay creators to sponsor their products in videos on their account.
- Ad revenue – In June 2020, TikTok launched its Creator Fund, with $200 million to share out between creators. The system is nowhere as sophisticated or advanced as the ad revenue program offered on Youtube, but can still allow creators to earn ad revenue if they get large amounts of views each month.
There are a lot of different things you can do to grow a TikTok channel, but the main thing is to deliver some form of entertainment in as little as 10 or 20 seconds.
Much like YouTube, posting frequent content and appealing to a particular demographic is the key to growing on TikTok.
Coming down from the starry heights of TikTok stardom, another excellent side hustle for teens is proofreading.
If you love to read why not offer your services as a proofreader/editor for the millions of authors penning books, scripts, ebooks, blog posts, editorials, etc.
Building your own website will allow you to command higher prices and even build a team of proofreaders if that floats your boat!
Another route for avid readers to make money from their favorite hobby is to…
24. Get Paid to Read Books
How amazing would it be, to start a side hustle by getting paid to read other people’s books!
Well, these days you can.
Either as a book reviewer or as a book narrator.
Sites such as Kirkus Media, Reedsy Discovery, and Women’s Review of Books, all pay for intelligent, well-thought-out, and well-written, book reviews.
Or if you like the thought of narrating books, sign up with companies such as Audible and ACX and start reading books aloud for money!
If you love to read, then proofreading, editing, reviewing, or narrating books are all fun and lucrative ways for how make money as a teenager without getting a job.
25. Start an Email Newsletter
Another of my favorites in my list of how to make money as a teenager without a job, is to start an email newsletter.
Pick a topic or niche that you love to talk or write about. It could be health, beauty, study skills, fashion, gaming, crypto, meditation, yoga.
Any topic you know has a large passionate audience.
Create several weeks’ newsletters in advance so you can get started with a few week’s content in the bank and sign up for an email platform like Flodesk, Aweber, or ConvertKit. Or, use a specialist newsletter service like Substack.
Then choose your promotional platform, whether it be Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc, and start to post content daily, always with a link to join your weekly newsletter.
Over time, you can monetize your email list either via affiliate offers, your own products, or if you use a service like substack, even charge for the newsletter itself.
Starting an email newsletter is a long-term, lucrative and consistent side hustle that can absolutely lead to a full-time lifestyle business income, giving you the freedom to work from anywhere in the world!
26. Sell Products on Amazon
I’ve left this until last as it requires fairly significant upfront investment. However, if you have generous folks or an investible idea, selling on Amazon could be for you.
Amazon has a program called FBA (fulfillment by Amazon). This means that they handle all the picking, packing, and distribution of products from their warehouses.
Your job is to source products to sell on the Amazon marketplace, negotiate with manufacturers and suppliers, ship the products to the warehouses, then list and promote your products on and off Amazon.
While this does require upfront investment to purchase stock, it’s a very lucrative business model.
My husband & I generated over 7 figures within a year on Amazon and you can read our story here.
This is definitely a business model I’ll be teaching my teenage daughter to do as she goes through college.
How to Make Money as a Teenager Without a Job Summary
We are truly living in a time where it’s easier than ever to make money online, see yourself through college and generate an income doing something you love to do!
Have a look through this list of how to make money as a teenager without a job and if you want even more options, check out my post 189 Lifestyle Business ideas.
The most important thing is to pick something and get started. Even if it’s not the side hustle you end up growing, the act of starting and learning will open your mind to new possibilities.
For some help and guidance along the way, sign up for my 21 Day Free Email Course on how to start and grow your own lifestyle business.