12 ways to make money that isn’t a Job

While you can't really make money doing nothing, you can make money without a job.


Most people who visit WAHS are looking for a home-based job. While you can’t really make money doing nothing, you can make money without a job. In fact, there are some perks to making a living without a job such as:

  • You can often work part-time.
  • The work can be flexible, allowing you to work the hours you prefer.
  • The work can be portable, allowing you work wherever you want, whether thats in an RV, at the local java joint, or half-way across the world.
  • You can often get paid more than you would in a job.
  • You can do work that you enjoy.
  • Sometimes you can earn money doing things you’re already doing anyway.

Below are a list of ideas that are not jobs, but that can make money. Some can make significant money, while others are more of a side-hustle or ways to make a little extra mad money.

Flexible, Passive, High-Income Potential


Blogging is a popular way to turn an interest, passion, or quest (i.e. pay debt, lose weight, etc) into income. However, making a good living from blogging takes more than a few blog posts shared on social media. It’s my opinion that it’s takes more work today, at least to get started, than it used to make money blogging. With that said, there are people out there who’ve started earning several thousand dollars a month from their blog within a few months. Most bloggers I see today who make significant income earn it through affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and creating their own products.

Success in blogging involves several things including:

  • A topic a lot of people want to read about.
  • Quality content that keeps them coming back.
  • Marketing strategies that finds and lures your reader to your blog.
  • Monetization options that your readers use.

To learn more about making a living blogging, check out Blogging 101.


I’ve been considering a new blog idea, but I’ve reluctant to start because of the amount of work that goes into it. I’ve therefore been considering a video blog (vlog). That’s not to say that vlogging is easier than blogging. In fact, I’ve found it more work to set up, film, edit, and upload a video than to simply write a post. However, vlogs take advantage of YouTube which is second only to Google in getting traffic.

Like blogging, you can make money through Youtube with affiliate programs, ads (i.e. AdSense, although you’ll need to meet a threshold of views and subscribers to use the program), sponsorships and more.

If you head over to YouTube, you’ll find people are making money all sorts of interesting ways from videoing their weekly planners, gaming, talking politics, entertaining, and more.

Affiliate Funnel

This is the other way I’ve been focusing on making money recently. Instead of using a blog to promote affiliate products, it uses a 2-3 page website funnel system and email. To learn about affiliate marketing, especially without blogging, check out the Free Intensive Affiliate Bootcamp (it’s free!).

Basically, you find affiliate products, build a funnel that offers a freebie in exchange for signing up for the email list, and then the thank you page promotes an affiliate product. The email promotes it and other products too. However, not every email should be selling something. Similar to a blog, you need to provide helpful content that will make people want to stay on your list. You can learn more about funnel/email affiliate marketing here.


Like blogging, there are people who are killing it in self-publishing. However, there are more people who are barely making any money, if at all. Self-publishing is like any other money-making opportunity in that your success will be in large part the quality of your book and your ability to help readers find it and like it.

Digital Writer SuccessThe great part of self-publishing is that you can take a hobby or interest and write a book or, like me, can write fiction. Most publishing platforms, such as Amazon are free to list your book, although you should pay for professional editing and high quality cover. If you’d like to know more, be sure to check out Digital Writer Success.

Information Products and Online Courses

Along with income from an affiliate funnel, I’m working on other products and courses that are passive income earners too. These can take time to set up, but once they’re done, the work is simply in promoting them and keeping them up-to-date. If you offer an affiliate program with it, you can get a team of people promoting your product without any upfront marketing fees.

Information products can be anything from books, reports, courses,  webinars and more. I’ve been focusing on online courses because they offer a lot of great content and are big money earners.

One thing I’ve been seeing more lately are digital printables sold through Etsy. This can be planner pages or stickers, art prints, coloring books, workbooks and more. This option is great because once you create the digital file, you can sell it over and over on Etsy or Amazon or through your own website, making it a passive income source (create one, sell over and over).

Service Agency

Offering your services as a business or freelancer is a great way to make money. However, if you’re providing the service, you’re still trading time for money, which can create limits on your income. That’s not to say some service business don’t pay well. I know freelance writers making 6-figures a year.

However, if you’d like to work less and make more (my motto for 2019), a better option would be to create a service agency whereby you use contractors to provide the service, you’re job is in running the business side. For example, you can have a freelance writing agency, where you have 10 people who write, and you do the marketing, project assigning and perhaps checking your writer’s work. Or you can open a tutoring agency, where you have 10 tutors, and again, you just manage the marketing and business aspects.

Flexible, Good to High Income Potential

The income options below allow you to be your own boss, working when you want, and have the potential for good income. The only downside is that you’re trading time for money, which does offer some limits on how much you can make based on the amount of time you want to work. However, you can turn these businesses into agencies (see Service Agency in previous section), to boost your income without having to invest more time.

Freelance Writing

If you can string words together coherently, freelance writing is one of the easiest, most affordable, and fastest ways to start making money online. The need for written content is huge! You can start by finding freelance work on writing job sites such as  WritersWeekly.comProblogger.net, and FreelanceWritingGigs.com. Knowing how to search and network for writing clients and jobs is crucial to success.

Once you have a few clients and testimonials, you can go out on your own, which allows you to charge more. And since you have happy clients, you can do a good business on referrals.

For more information, check out WAHS post on Freelance Writing

Service Business

If you have a skill people will pay for, you can sell it as a service. In general, business-to-business services offer the most stability, such as bookkeeping and marketing (i.e. copywriting or social media). However, you can offer services to individuals such as home cleaning, child care, pet sitting, and more.

Here are more tips for starting a service-based business quickly and cheaply.


People need help and are willing to pay for it. If you have patience and the ability to motivate people to make changes in their lives, you can be a coach. Similar to service businesses, coaches that are focused on helping other businesses tend to charge more and have a little more stability as businesses are more likely to invest in help. However, people hire life coaches, parenting coaches, health coaches and more.

You can learn more about starting a coaching business in my article over at The Balance Small Business on How to Start a Coaching Business from Home.

Extra Income Options

The options listed below won’t make enough to live on over the long run, but they can make several hundred dollars, and who couldn’t use that? Here are a few good extra income options:

Take Surveys

I get email about surveys all time. While you won’t get rich, or even make a living on surveys, you can make several hundred dollars a month if you’re consistent.


e-Poll (ages 13-24 years only)

Global Test Market 

Inbox Dollars (surveys and more. $5 sign-up bonus too!)

One Opinion

Online Customer Surveys

Opinion Surveys

Panda Research

Pinecone Research

Survey Junkie

Survey Savvy


VIP Voice

For more survey sites, including international sites, check out How to Make Money with Surveys.

Focus Groups

Another option is to join in on focus groups. These can often pay more that surveys, although the usually take a bit more time too.

2020 Panel


Accurate Data Marketing

Adept Consumer Testing

Adler Weiner Research

C2 Research

Chasen Research

Consumer Opinion Services



Google Usability (you don’t need to be tech savvy to participate)

Indy Focus

Inspired Opinions

Mind Swarms (video participation)

Nichols Research

People’s Views (UK)

Plaza Research

Probe Market Research

Research House (Canada)

Savitz Research

Schlesinger Associates (worldwide)

Rent Out Your Stuff

I’m a big fan of getting paid to do what what I already do, or from assets I already have. Chances are you own something that someone else would pay to use, such as baby gear, a car, a parking space, a room, a lawn mower etc. You can earn money simply renting out stuff that you’ve got that’s just sitting around. Here’s a few places to check out:

GoBaby (baby items)

Kitsplit (camera gear)







Find more places to rent out your stuff: 7 Things You Rent for Extra Money

Sell Your Stuff

You can declutter your home and make money! If you have unused and unwanted items, new and used, you can sell them online.

Amazon.com allows you to sell more than books. (NOTE: If you’re wanting a one-stop-shop to sell your stuff, Amazon is your best resource and if your items qualify, you can even use Amazon FBA which will not only take payment, but also ship your items for you as well. Learn more about Amazon FBA here)

Bonanza offers itself as an eBay alternative for selling just about anything.

eBay has long been a great resource for selling just about anything. If you don’t want to hassle with selling your various items at different places, eBay offers a great one-shop option.

eBid is another eBay-like auction option for selling your used items. It offers free listings and fees of only 3%.

iOffer is another eBay-like site where you can sell your stuff and buyers can make an offer or buy items in many categories.

Mercari is a phone app through which you can sell just about anything.  Snap a picture of your item, list it on Mercari, and sell it.

Oodle is an online classified ad market place similar to Craigslist where you can sell just about anything. It focuses on buying/selling in your local area.

Varagesaleis a resource for selling locally. Started by a mother who found selling used items online tedious, she got her husband to create a resource that made it easier. Plus it makes it easy for you to let people know about your items through social media integration.

Learn more, get more places to sell your stuff, plus a free printable worksheet to track what you sell and how much you make by reading: renting out stuff

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1 Comment
  1. Teresa says

    Leslie, I am on your work at home success website, and I can see, on some of the surveys, there is a line crossing some of them out. What does that mean? Do it mean, that they are no longer on the site, or accepting surveyors anymore? I had done in box dollars. If I were to get back into my account with them, would that tell me, that they are no longer available? Please, let me know.

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