Are you a teenager trying to make money? Then you have come to the right place! In this article I am going to share the best ways you can start making money as a teenager today and why it isn’t much different than making money as an adult.
Making money as a teenager might have some extra challenges than making money as an adult such as having no start up funds, no experience, and not being able to take any job.
However, thanks to the internet millions of people make money online and grow their incomes, starting from zero at any age and from anywhere. So let’s get started!
How to Make Money As a Teenager?
In this article I want to split the money-making methods into two different sections:
#1 Exchanging time for money
#2 Not exchanging time for money, a.k.a passive income.
They are pretty self-explanatory but basically approach #1 means someone hires you to do a certain task, for a certain time period, and they pay you an agreed amount of money, usually hourly based.
Unless you come from a business-oriented family or have gone to a really progressive school, this is the way most of us were taught to make money by our parents and schools.
As a teenager, the variety of hourly based jobs is somehow limited but we will explore the best options available later on the article.
On the other hand, approach #2 means using a method for making money where you don’t exchange your time for money. Usually, these methods require you to put the most time and effort upfront but have the benefit of being more scalable since they are not tied to the hours you have in a day.
Are you ready to make some money? Let’s get started with the options!
Approach 1: make money as a teenager by exchanging your time for money
In this article you won’t finds options such as babysitting, selling your old stuff, or getting a part time job. I want to assume you already have those in mind so let’s go ahead an explore some other less traditional ways you can start making money.
1. Make money by taking online surveys
This one you have probably seen in every teenage-money-making list but it is still one of the most common and easiest ways to make money with almost zero requirements.
While it is a quite simple method, you need to be careful with the sites you used since there are a lot that are a scam and will never pay you.
However, there are still several legitimate websites out there where you will get the chance to answer surveys related to teens. All you have to be is at least 13 years old to participate.
Your earnings will depend on the activities you get to do and the time they take. As a reference, a 5-minute long will get you a dollar or less and it increases with longer surveys.
Some companies also have activities like watching videos which will earn you 10 cents per minute of video. You won’t become a millionaire with it but it adds up and can get your needs met.
Here is a list of legitimate sites you can try:
Rewards: Cash, gift vouchers
Minimum to cash out: $30
Average rate/survey: $0.50-$10.00
Rewards: PayPal cash
Minimum to cash out: None
Average rate/survey: $10-$50
Rewards: Points system that converts to cash and e-gift cards
Minimum to cash out: $10 or 1,000 points
Average rate/survey: $1-$3
Rewards: Points used to purchase gift cards and PayPal cash
Minimum to cash out: $10 cash or 30,000 points
Average rate/survey: 15 – 15,000 points depending on the length of the survey
To make your survey taking more efficient, sign up to all the websites mentioned above and do it with a new email account.
This way you won’t get the emails mixed up and won’t miss the notifications when a survey for you is available.
2. Make money as a teenager by freelancing online
Another great way of making money online as a teenager is by offering your services in freelancing sites.
If you are thinking you have no skills you could get paid for, do not worry. Some of the most sought-after ‘gigs’ in the online freelancing world are skills you could pick up in a couple of days if you put your mind to it.
When I first started making money online, freelancing was one of my main income sources and I was doing it with skills I taught myself by watching youtube videos such as logo design, video editing.
Take a look at the ‘logo design’ gigs for example. People are charging anything from $5 to hundred of dollars for a logo and there are tools out there that allow you to create one from scratch without any previous skills suchs as Wix Logo Maker.
The good thing about online freelancing is that, contrary to methods like taking surveys, you’ll get paid in cash 100% of the time and you will be able to increase what you charge as you get more experience and reviews.
Some of the best freelance skills that you can easily learn include:
- Logo design (you can use Canva for any graphic design)
- Youtube thumbnail design
- Voice-over for videos
- Video editing for social media ads (you can use Kapwing for all video editiing).
Of course, I recommend you browse on all the other gigs being offered and see if anything else catches your attention. Most skills you can learn online with a simple google search.
At the beginning, you want to keep your price at $5 so you can appear on searches when people look for the cheapest gigs. Once you start getting more reviews and growing your portfolio you can increase your prices.
3. Make money as a teenager by doing translations
If you know a second language, congrats! you have another great source of income.
Many people earn their living and make full time incomes by translating and there is nothing stoping you to do the same as a teenager.
The average rate per word is 0.8 to 15 cents, depending on the type of document to be translated, the language combination, the amount of work involved, the subject matter and the deadline.
Site visits/month: ~370,000
Methods: PayPal only
Payout fee: 1.5% on top of PayPal’s withdrawal fees
- Site visits/month: ~270,000
- Methods: PayPal, wire, Payoneer mastercard
- Payout fee: None for regular payouts; varies for early payouts
- Site visits/month: ~320,000
- Methods: PayPal, Payoneer (in countries where PayPal is not available)
- Payout fee: According to PayPal/Payoneer terms
- Site visits/month: ~160,000
- Methods: PayPal, Payoneer
- Payout fee: According to PayPal/Payoneer terms
If you want to explore doing translations as a way to make money, I would recommend signing up for as many of these agencies as you can as well as creating your translation gig in Fiverr and searching for translation proposals in Upwork.
4. Make money as a teenager by doing transcriptions
Did you know you can make money by typing? It is a legit work and you can make as much money as time you can dedicate. (It always helps if you are a fast typer)
Some of the benefits of doing transcriptions online include having flexible hours and being able to do it from wherever you are. These are great because you can put in more hours and increase your income whenever you have some extra free time.
Generally, you can expect to get paid $0.75 cents to $1.50 per audio minute for transcription services but it changes depending on the website.
Some websites will ask that you take a transcription test that they will provide themselves to evaluate the accuracy of your transcript compare to the audio.
The following sites offer a variety of online transcription jobs for qualified individuals:
TranscribeMe is one of the trusted online transcription sites. Beginners need to complete a thorough assessment to be accepted as freelancers. If you’re lucky enough to be among the ones who pass, you can start getting jobs instantly. TranscribeMe will pay you at least $0.79 per audio minute for good-quality work.
TigerFish is known for flexibility and friendliness towards the needs of their transcribers. They have their own transcription style guide that you are required to understand and you can only start working after you have successfully passed a test. Earnings are about $8-$16/hr
Scribie is an ideal platform if you don’t have lots of experience. They usually give you less time to complete the tasks but that also means you’ll be able to complete more jobs in total. Their rate is set at $10 per audio hour flat fee which may seem low compared to other sites but they also offer bonuses and a promotions based on the quality of the work.
- Fiverr and Upwork.
We have mentioned these sites before and while they are not specialized in transcription they are always a good place to consider when looking for any type of freelancing work, including transcriptions.
If transcription sounds like something you’d like to make money, I’d recommend checking the sites mentioned and apply to them all. Since the majority have a test you want to have the most opportunities of qualifying and starting to get jobs.
If you are not feeling quite ready yet, you can also use the tests as a way of practicing. Try taking them a few times without submitting them until you feel more confident with your skills.
5. Make money as a teenager with Amazon MTurk
Amazon Mechanical Turk, or Mturk for short, is a platform where you can earn money by completing quick, menial tasks posted by researchers. The tasks include labeling images, taking surveys, transcribing receipts, etc.
The dashboard below is what you will find when logging in to MTurk. You will see a list of all available ‘HITs’, who they’re offered by, the deadline, and the pay.
Some ‘HITs’ take 10 minutes and pay-out $1 (a $6/hour pay rate) while others take 5 minutes and pay $0.10 ($1.20/hour).
Can you get rich with Amazon MTurk? not really but the earnings will add up and is a good method to have as an emergency plan.
6. Make money as a teenager by being a Social Media Manager
You? a Social Media Manager? Well, social media does come naturally to you right?
Nowadays, having a social media presence is essential for any business to stay relevant, no matter how big or small.
Big companies have entire teams in charge of everything digital-marketing-related but small businesses usually have a couple of people in charge of everything and could use some help with their social media presence.
If you know any small businesses in your area (cafes, coworking spaces, pet shops, or even entrepreneurs) do not hesitate in reaching out to them to see if they are in need of a social media account manager.
Your tasks could involve scheduling their posts, taking pictures for their feed and stories, and replying to their dms among any other ideas you have depending on their business.
If you have a friend or family member who has a small business, you could even ask to help them for free to have their profiles as a sample to show your prospects.
With teenagers being 100% natural at everything online, chances are they’d be pretty happy to have someone as tech-savvy as you helping them!
7. Make money as a teenager by working in customer service (16+)
If you are over 16, working as a customer service representative is also a great chance to make some money.
While not all companies will hire people under 18, there are still some that do, especially those who are looking for customer service reps to work from home instead of having to be in an office or commercial location.
The job usually consists of duties like answering customers about the products and scheduling appointments.
Companies provide their employees with the necessary training and they will have an online service manual that you can use to learn about the company and its services and products.
One of the main companies that hire teenagers as young as 16 as customer service reps is U-Haul.
You can check right here here for any open job listings.
If you get a job with them, you would be performing tasks like taking calls, answering questions, and monitoring your customers’ experience through the process of truck/storage/transport facilities.
On average, U-Haul pays its online customer service assistants anywhere from $7.00-8.50/hour. That’s not bad consider you can do it from the comfort of your own home and don’t have to spend on gas.
If you are polite and like working with people, this job could be a great option for you.
8. Make money as a teenager by teaching English online (16+)
In case you didn’t know yet, having English as your native language is a powerful money-making skill. In fact, many adults make a full-time income by teaching English while traveling the world.
While not every English teaching company will hire teenagers, some like SameSpeak will accept you if you are over 16.
Working for SameSpeak is not complicated. As a coach, you’ll be asked you talk with the students for half-an-hour sessions conducted via Skype.
Since the idea of the program is to make it possible for the students to communicate, you’ll be able to use conversational English to help them practice their skills.
SameSpeak will provide you with information for each chat session and give you detailed instructions on what specific things the student you’ll be chatting with needs to work on.
SameSpeak pays $10 for every half-hour session which is not bad at all for 30 minutes of chatting. The company uses PayPal and so before you apply for a coaching position make sure to create an account and make sure you’ve verified it.
After you have earned a minimum of $100, the money will be deposited into your account each Friday.
Approach 2: make money as a teenager by creating passive income
On this section I want to give you options on how can you make money as a teenager that are not limited to how much time you can put into it.
The concept of passive income doesn’t mean you won’t have to put time into it, but rather than after the initial effort, you will be able to earn money even when you are not working on it directly.
These options have more of an ‘entreprenurial’ / business angle which might seem a bit more overwhelming and less ‘safe’ than pay-per-hour methods.
However, if you find them interesting I invite you to try them out, and hopefully, you will discover a new way to make money on your own terms.
I don’t think one is every to young to start creating their own wealth and I often wish I had started way earlier than I did.
1. Make money as a teenager by selling your art
If you have an artistic vein in you (or want to develop one for the pursuit of money), you can make some good earnings by selling your art online.
Many artists make a full-time income by shaping their creations in objects that people want to buy such as t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, cards or even prints.
To do this there are two steps you need to follow:
a. Grow your audience
Before getting on the selling piece, you want to make sure to grow an audience of people who enjoy your art and will buy anything you have to offer.
Start by creating an Instagram account solely for your art where you post content of your pieces along with your creative process and even pieces of your personal life.
Make sure to post consistently (at least once a day) and to use hashtags that are relevant to your account. You can also follow similar accounts and interact on the comments so you can start growing your followers.
Every 3 or 4 ‘non-salesly’ posts, you can make a post that is strictly focused on selling your products and telling people how to get them. (more on this on the next section)
b. Get your art printed
To get your own art into objects that people can buy, you can use what is known as ‘Print-On-Demand’ services. These are platforms that allow you to sell your own custom designs on their various types of products.
All you have to do is upload your designs to their templates to create your products. You can then set up your own prices and get your links so you can send people to buy them.
And boom, once someone buys it you get your payment (minus the fee).
Some of the best Print On Demand platfroms you can use are:
Keep in mind that this is not a method to make money fast but rather a long term plan. It can take up to a month of consistently posting and creating before you start seeing your first sales but once you learn the process it is just a matter of rinse, repeat, and scale.
2. Make Money as a teenager by selling services
This alternative would be the equivalent of having a service-based agency and subcontracting freelancers. Except without the agency part.
We have already seen that there are many freelancing sites with talented people offering their services for a wide range of costs.
On the other side of this question, there are thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners who are in need of those services but do not use these platforms.
So, why not be an intermediary between the two of them and make a cut in the process?
Here is what you’ll need to do
- Create a Facebook profile dedicated to this purpose or pimp yours to make it look nice and professional.
- Join Facebook groups where people are likely to be looking for help. Eg. groups for entrepreneurs and business owners in different markets.
- Stay alert to posts asking for help with tasks such as logo designs, website creation, article writing, etc. These are the most requested serices and there is also a lot of offers available in the freelancing sites.
- Once you find someone looking for help, get in contact with them and offer your services. Meanwhile, make a quick check on Fiverr to get an idea of what a freelancer would charge and add a fee for your commission
- Once you close the deal with the clients you can go ahead and hire the freelancer.
- Send the job requirements according to your client needs and once is delivered make sure to review and ask for any necessary revision.
- Deliver the job to the client, get paid and take your cut.
In case if you are wondering if this is morally correct I would argue than it is. It is literally what any agency in the world does and the freelancer receives more work and gets paid what they would normally do.
3. Make money as a teenager by becoming a meme Lord/Lady on Instagram
How would you like making money by sharing memes all day? If you nodded enthusiastically then pay attention because you will like this method.
If you ever wondered what do meme accounts get for sharing content all day, it is money, the answer is money.
Well, technically they don’t get money for sharing memes BUT for having an audience and ‘renting’ it to advertisers.
Almost all of these accounts do promotional posts for brands among all their regular content, and they get paid pretty well for it.
The rates of a promotional post are determined by the account owner and they vary by niche, amount of followers and engagement so is hard to get an estimate of how much you could make.
To get a general idea these are some of the fees I have received from some accounts:
- 5k-10k followers = $20 to $70 per post
- 10k-100k followers = $70-$300 per post
- 100K – 500k = $300-$500 per post
- +1M followers = $500+
And some of these account are posting ads every day so don’t tell me it is not a legitimate business.
Of course it take some time to grow your followers and engagement (how much of your follower are real and interact with the account) but the return on you time invest can be totally worth it.
You can have a general meme account or focus on one specific target such as students, women, men, fitness, gaming, etc.
You can also do the same with niche accounts that do not necessarily post memes. You can choose to focus on other content such as videos of pets, makeup, crafts, etc. The possibilities are endless and you can have as many accounts as you can manage!
2. Make money as a teenager by flipping Instagram accounts
Flipping Instagram accounts is the new flipping cellphones. Except you don’t need any cash to get started.
Instagram accounts are digital assets that you can buy and sell with the purpose of making money and, of course, ending up with a better, bigger account in the process.
If you are starting from scratch, you would need to create a new account and put some time and effort into growing it so you can then sell it and get money to keep investing.
The point is that when you buy a new account you, you look for one that is ‘cheap’ for the number of followers and engagement it has. This way you can keep it for a while, grow it, sell promotional posts (see method above) and sell it for more than what you paid. Rinse and repeat.
There are websites you can use to buy and sell accounts but I would recommend doing it directly with the account owner since they will take a fee otherwise.
To do this you can start by looking for other accounts in your niche and simply message them via dm or email to ask if they are interested in buying. You’ll need to message several accounts to find buyers and they usually take a couple of days to reply so don’t get too worried about it.
Finally, when you find a buyer make sure they pay via Paypal so you are both safer.
3. Make money as a teenager with Youtube
Another great platform to make money as a teenager is starting a Youtube Channel.
If you are wondering what could you possibly make a Youtube channel about, do not overthink it. There are people out there making lots of money with videos about everything from makeup and games to puppies and trains (trains video are strangely popular and the reason is still a mystery to me).
So, if you’re someone who would enjoy making videos regularly, start now! While Youtube videos can take some time to rank and start getting views, they have a snowball effect and your channel will get bigger and bigger with time.
One of the main ways Youtubers make their income is by having ads placed in their videos. The average Youtube channel makes anywhere from $1-$20 per thousand views, so the earnings can really stack up.
Also, it seems to be a theme than some of Youtube’s highest earners are kids and teenagers. Ryan Kaji, an 8-year-old kid who reviews toys, topped the list for the second year in a row with an income of $26 million.
Which you had started yesterday right?
4. Make money as a teenager with Affiliate Marketing
To put it simply, Affiliate Marketing means you promote a company’s product and receive a commission in exchange if a sale if made thanks to your referral.
Affiliate Marketing is a widely used strategy and basically, every company out there has an affiliate program. In fact, it is one of the most popular methods to make money online. Youtubers, bloggers, and influencers use it, and you can make money with it too.
Consider Affiliate Marketing as a long term business, you probably won’t make money on your first day but once you get the hang on it and your audience grows, you will be able to grow your income as well.
It is a multi millionaire business and there are month long courses about it so it would be hard to condess all the possibles angles and strategies you could use.
However, you don’t need to learn them all and, as a teenager, it is better if you don’t. Most of them will take years and big investments so let’s focus on the methods you can actually put into practice to start making some money.
Here are the basic steps you will need to follow to make money as an affiliate:
a. Choose your niche
Your niche is the category or market you will be focusing on. It can be anything from fitness, games, diet, fashion, travel, relationships, etc.
I would recommend it is something you actually like and have some experience with. Knowing the audience, their likes and need, and how the brands and influencers ‘talk’ will be an advantage to create your own content.
b. Choose your affiliate offers
Your affiliate offers are the products or services you will choose to promote.
Once you choose your niche there are a few ways you can go about to find the best affiliate offers:
- Do a quick google search for “niche + affiliate programs” eg. “”gaming affiliate programs” or “weight loss affiliate programs”
- Check out youtubers, bloggers and influencers in your niche to see what products they are promoting. Those are very likely to be affiliate programs.
- If you are familiarized with the niche, think of what products and brands you’d like to promote and do a quick google search to find out if they have an affiliate program.
Note: digital products like courses or memberships usually have a higher commission rate than physical products. Clickbank is a great affiliate network where you can find digital offers for almost any niche.
Finally, once you have chosen your niche and offers, you need to share and promote them so you can start making money.
You can do this through any platform but the ones I recommend the most are:
Instagram: Create an account dedicated to your chosen niche and start growing your followers by posting relevant content. Eg. if you chose a pet training program, post videos of pets doing cool tricks and tell people they could teach their dog similar stuff by checking the link in your bio.
Suggest Read: Blogging On Instagram: Beginner’s Guide To Making Money
Youtube: In a similar way, create a Youtube channel and post videos that relate to your offer. For example, If you choose a weight loss offer, you can share tips, transformations, and reviews and always place your affiliate link in the description and invite them to check it out.
Pinterest: create an account with boards and pins related to your offer. Let’s say you join the booking.com affiliate program. You can then post nice pictures of hotels in popular vacation destinations and get a commission if people book their stay through your link.
As you can see, Affiliate Marketing has a huge money-making-potential and the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be making some serious income.
Recommended: How to make money with Affiliate Marketing
What to do with your money as a teenager?
You probably started on the path of making money because you needed it for something specific or maybe you just wanted to be more financial indecent.
If you have already achieved your initial needs and are not really sure about what to do with your hard-earned money, take a look at the following options:
Really, you deserve it. Going out of your way to starting making money on your own is something to be proud of. Not a lot of teenagers are doing it (and even some adults).
That’s why once you start making some consistent money you need to remember to reward yourself. Take some time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.Go out and buy something you’ve been wanting for a long time or treat a friend to some nice dinner.
Just don’t go too crazy on it!
Reinvest in Your Business
If you have started some of the hustles above like selling your art of starting a Youtube channel, there is always something you can invest in to make your business better.
You can get a logo made, invest in some shout outs for your brand or buy some video equipment.
Whatever it is, putting money back into your business will help it grow and will help you stay motivated and invested in it.
You don’t need to invest all your earning back into your business. Actually, experts advice you always put aside some part of your income for saving no matter what.
Having money to invest and being debt-free and two of the principles of wealth creation and financial freedom.
Plus, if you ever want to make a big purchase (business or not business related), you’ll need some money saved in the bank for it.
If you’re 13 or 14, investing might seem complicated and don’t make much sense at the moment.
However, the younger you start, the bigger your advantage. How you ask?
Let’s say you invest $1,000 when you’re 15 with no additional contributions. With an 8% return rate, by the time you’re 45, you’ll have $10,062.66 just from interest. That’s your money making money without you doing anything.
If you do the same but start at 20 instead of 15 by the time you’re 45, you’ll have $6,848.48. That’s $3,214.18 less just because you waited 5 years.
You can always ask your family to help you set up and investment account.
Final tips on making money as a teenager
Hopefully after eading this list you are feeling more optimistic and excited about all the possibilities availbale to you to make money.
Some people will tell you that you should not worry about it in your teenage years but I believe one is never too young to start learning about how money (really works) and start building your own wealth.
The best part about starting early is that you are already way ahead of the curve and can take some time to try different things and find the perfect match for your personality.
To finalize, I want to leave you with my best tips for you to enjoy and make the best of this journey:
1. Have Fun
Try choosing jobs and methods that seem exciting and that you actually look forward to doing. This is not the time of your life to settle for a boring job.
2. Cultivate your mindset
Growing your wealth is not easy and they will be hardships along the way. It is important that you cultivate an optimistic mindset and that you have a vision for what you want to achieve in the long term so you are not easily brought down by any obstacle.
3. Surround yourself with like-minded people
The people you spend time with will impact your habits and the way you see the world. Try to surround yourself with friends that have the same goals as they will understand and support you.
Do the same with your online content, follow accounts that inspire you in social media, and unfollow those that do the opposite.
4. Have fun
You don’t need to get rich off your first side hustle. Have some fun with it and choose stuff that you enjoy doing. This is not the time of your life to settle for a boring job.
5. Learn from your mistakes
You will be making lots of them and they are only a sign that you are learning something new. Sounds easier than it is but try not to get discouraged and apply what you have learned to improve your work.
6. Have a great work ethic
Even when you’ll be working for yourself in most of these options, do your best to be impeccable with your work and always do your best to deliver something you can be proud of.
7. Start Now
Trust me, you’ll be thankful that you did.
99% of people will read this article and do nothing. They will read a few more next year and the year after that but never take action.
Unfortunately, reading articles won’t make you money. You need to actually take action if you want to take control of your financial destiny.
It might seem overwhelming and tempting to just close the tab and come back to it later. But as I hope you have learned, the only regret you might have if you start now is not having started sooner.
Here’s what I recommend you do:
- Pick one thing on the list. Just one. And commit to it.
- If you don’t like it, come back to this list and move on to the next one that catches your attention.
- Keep going until you find something you enjoy.
The biggest thing you have at your advantage is time. I talk to people who are starting online hustles in the 40s and 50s and all they wish is they have started at your age.
Plus, you might find something you become super passionate about and discover you want to pursue it as a full time job.
Maybe you discover you enjoy something on this list that you thought you would’ve hated. Or you find out you are really good at something you would have never tried.
So, what are you waiting for? now is the time to start creating your financial independence and better future now.