Summer’s coming and you want to make extra money- but you don’t want to be mowing Mrs. Meyer’s lawn again. The paper route is also not for you especially since someone ran over your bicycle. And your parents’ allowance just isn’t cutting it, not when you want to by cool stuff like the Xbox Kinect or PlayStation Vita.
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The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do online to earn extra cash. The bad news is that many of these online sites require that you be 18 years of age or older. So, what can you do to make money online if you’re “just a kid”?
Browse the Web, Play Games, Watch Videos
If I told you could get paid to watch videos of cats on YouTube all day, would there even be a moment of hesitation on your part? Well it’s true. Create a free SwagBucks account and you can get paid to do just about anything you already do online. It’s free to join, you get a $5.00 offer just for signing up, and if you use the code IVETRIEDTHAT3 you’ll get a surprise cash bonus on top of the $5.00.
Do you like to write, take pictures or create videos? If you said yes and are at least 13 years of age, you can get paid for submitting your content to websites like Helium, Triond and Gather. These sites are revenue-sharing sites that pay you based on the popularity (i.e., page views) of your content. Helium pays you through Paypal, Triond pays you through Paypal, check or Western Union, and Gather pays you through points that are redeemable for gift cards or cash through Paypal.
With Helium, you first need to find a channel that matches the topic of your proposed article. Once your article is submitted, other Helium users will rate it based on its quality relative to existing articles in the same channel. If your article lands in one of the top five spots of that particular channel, it will be featured and accumulate page views. Triond allows you to submit content in your choice of category and pays you 50% of your page view-generated revenue. The site also offers an online forum where you can make friends with fellow writers.
Gather is a content sharing site to which you can submit articles, photos or videos. You also earn by commenting on content submitted by other members. To purchase gift cards or obtain cash from your activities, Gather does require the involvement (i.e., consent) of your parent or guardian.
If you are 14 years of age or older, you can write for Xomba, another revenue sharing site that pays you through Google AdSense. Squidoo requires that its contributors be at least 18 years of age but will accept you if your parent or guardian acts as a proxy for you. This means that your parent or guardian needs to write a note to Squidoo authorizing your account.
If you already have a large online following and would rather keep all of your online earnings, creating and posting content to your own blog is a great way to make money online. Most online bloggers use Google AdSense as a way to generate online income.
You can create your own blog from scratch using a free program like WordPress and then pay a small fee for your own unique website address and hosting from a site like HostGator. Alternately, there are blog creation sites like Blogger, MyBlogSite and My Yahoo! Blog that allow you to post (and monetize) your content for free. The only catch with the above-mentioned free sites is that your blog’s web address will include a reference to that free site (e.g., http://www.yourblogname.blogspot.com/).
Fill Out Surveys
Is there a computer game that you recently played and can review? Do you like to shop at a particular store? Is there one brand name that you prefer over another? If so, then you can get paid for taking online surveys. If you are at least 13 years age, you can complete surveys posted by the following companies:
Most of these companies pay via Paypal, but some do send checks by mail. Other companies allow you to “cash out” by trading in your money or points for gift cards.
Create Your Own Job
What if you have a talent for singing, can create an animated cartoon, or are good at programming? Fiverr allows you to post odd jobs that you will do for just $5. Keep in mind that Fiverr pays you only $4 out of the $5 that you earn through the site- but hey, it’s still $4 that you didn’t have before. Fiverr payments are made via Paypal.
Ebay is by far the #1 site to sell stuff online, from your old textbooks to that itchy sweater your Aunt Sally gave you for your birthday. Ebay’s policy regarding underage members is pretty clear:
“You must be at least 18 years old to be an eBay member. A person under 18 can use an adult’s account with the permission of the account holder. However, the account holder is responsible for everything done with that account.”
So, if you can prove that you are trustworthy to your folks, you should be able to sell (or buy) on Ebay.
The problem with Google AdSense and Paypal
Many other sites are open to minors beyond those listed above. However, the major problem with many of these sites is that, even if they do permit underage user sign-ups, their payment structures are largely geared towards Google AdSense and/or Paypal account holders. In case you didn’t know, both AdSense and Paypal require their users to be 18 years of age or older.
There is a way around this age requirement, however, and again, it goes back to your parents or guardians. An adult Google AdSense account holder can allow a minor to use his or her AdSense code. Likewise, a parent or guardian can set up a student Paypal account for a minor, allowing that minor to collect money online through any site that pays via Paypal. So, now’s the time to show your folks how responsible and trustworthy you can be.
How are you making money online? Share a tip below!