Earn Extra Money from Home: An Insiders Guide

Lady on computer to earn money from home.
Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Work From Home

I’ve been a freelance blogger, writer and general doer working from home for around 20 years (on and off). Working from home is no longer considered a second rate job but a sort after and preferred set-up. Not to mention a way to earn extra money.

I am part of a family of women that work from home. Back in the day, pre-internet, freelancing or working from home was called piecework and reserved for women with uncertain circumstances.

In the early 1950s, my grandmother worked from home painting lead soldiers for 9 shillings a gross. That’s 45 pence to paint 144 soldiers in today’s money – you could get 90 pence a gross if you painted a highland piper’s tartan uniform. Sounds medieval, not to mention unhealthy.

Roll on to 1975, and a family friend spent her day listening to radio four and putting letters into envelopes for 80 pence a gross. While you might die of boredom (no reflection on radio four), at least you wouldn’t get lead poisoning stuffing envelopes.

It’s worth pointing out that UK women only entered the working world in numbers because of the 1960s feminist movement. Before that, women, especially married women, weren’t encouraged to go out to work. Piecework was a poorly paid and a hush, hush way to earn money to get the family through tough times (and the 70s were full of hard times).

These days things have changed (thank goodness). If you have a smartphone, laptop or desktop, there are many ways to boost your coffers and earn extra money. With no special skills, you could earn £1,000s/year by offering your views through clicking and swiping.

My guide covers a variety of unusual and entertaining methods to earn money online. Including some insider tips on getting paid to watch videos, blogging, writing reviews, Google searches, selling your snaps, creating social media content, and answering surveys.

There are plenty of ways to earn from home without taking on a part-time or full-time job. And, you don’t necessarily need any particular skills or experience. Here are some exciting ways to earn extra cash from home (sometimes without leaving your sofa).

Earn extra money.
Photo by Philip Veater on Unsplash

Paid Surveys

Another great way to earn extra cash from home is by taking surveys. Many companies will pay you for your opinions on various topics, and all you need is a computer or smartphone and an internet connection.

Survey websites like Toluna, Inbox Pounds, and Mingle offer paid surveys on various topics. You can choose the areas that interest you most of the time, and you can typically earn anywhere from £1-5 per survey. The best bit is that one can take these surveys in their spare time so that getting paid for opinions won’t interfere with day-to-day life.

I love a survey, and my favourite survey site is surveyspotter.com. Filling out surveys can become repetitious, so my advice is to dedicate an hour a day to surveys. In some cases, particularly government surveys through YouGov. Use your opinion to make a difference in the day to day lives of others and earn extra money doing so.

Cashback On Your Shopping

Cashback sites like TopCashBack and Honey (owned by Paypal) offer rebates when shopping online for everything from books to clothing to electronics. Visit these sites before shopping at your favourite stores, and you’ll earn cashback on every purchase you make.

Recently I got a £30 voucher to redeem at H&M, and all I did was my usual shop – happy days.

Write reviews online for cash.
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Writing Reviews For Cash

Writing reviews is another great way to earn extra money from home. If you have expertise in a particular area, why not write reviews for websites like TripAdvisor or Yelp? TripAdvisor won’t pay you, but it’s a great place to practise.

You can also write online product reviews for sites like Amazon and earn commissions each time someone purchases a product through your link.

My advice about review writing is to stick to the point, don’t ramble and inject some humour, be witty but be honest – the best reviews are truthful and direct.

Paid Google Searches

Here’s something! Google will pay you every time you search their site? By performing searches through the site’s special rewards program, you can earn up to £250 per year surfing the web. Visit the qmee.com page to earn free cash with Google searches.

Click the link to find out more.

Selling Your Photos

Are you an avid photographer, or do you love taking photos of events, family and friends? Why not sell your photos online to earn extra money, if that’s you? Sites like Shutterstock and Pond5 allow you to post your photos and earn a commission every time someone downloads one of your images.

Natural and candid photos are the most downloaded on these sites but get creative – try taking some shots of everyday items to make money.

The photo below is mine (they are my feet). When anyone downloads this photo, I get a small commission.

Earn extra money by creating social media content.

Creating Social Media Content

Companies are always looking for new ways to reach their target audiences, and social media is one of the most effective channels.

The key is to find your area of expertise and create great content around it, so if you love cooking, painting or reviewing tech, concentrate on that area rather than trying to post about everything.

There are a few easy ways to make cash by creating social media content. You can sign up for a platform like SponsoredTweets or Upfluence or work directly with brands as a social media influencer.

Free UK Product Trials

Many companies offer free product trials in exchange for your honest product review. Products testing is a great way to get new products for free and earn some extra cash simultaneously.

You can find free product trials for everything from makeup to food to household cleaning products. Do a quick Google search for “free product trials” + “your city.”

Earn extra money by working from home.
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Free Online Courses

There are tons of free online courses available on Coursera and FutureLearn. These courses can be anything from business development to cooking to technology. While you won’t earn any money taking these courses, they can be a great way to improve your existing skillset.

FutureLearn has courses specifically designed to teach you about social media marketing. Life and how we work are changing rapidly, so it’s always a good idea to brush up on your skills.

Free Competitions

You can also enter competitions to win cash and other prizes. Free competitions are a fun way to win money instantly, plus they add some intrigue. You never know when you might win – BTW, someone has to win (it’s the law).

My top tip for competition buffs is to create a separate email address specifically for competitions. By separating your online life, brands will not clog up your personal email address, and you can easily unsubscribe if you want to.

Remember to check it regularly as some competition sites ask you to claim your prize. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a trip to Cadbury World because you didn’t check your emails (which happened to me)

Become a Professional Freelancer

If you’ve got a skill that you can offer others, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be earning money from it. You can sign up to platforms like Fiverr and Upwork to start offering your services today.

Freelancers on these sites offer all sorts of skills, from social media marketing to web design and illustration to copywriting. Once you’ve built up a portfolio of work, you can start charging more for your services.

When working with a freelance platform, I always advise you to read the contract carefully. You need to make sure you’re comfortable with the terms and conditions, including how much commission you will be charged and vet your prospective clients carefully – initially, until you have the hang of things, stay away from clients without reviews.

I know this sounds mean, and everyone has to start somewhere, but ignoring job postings from those with no previous record means you won’t waste your time on “toe dippers” who are often looking for freebies.

Earn cash by watching videos online.
Photo by Alvaro Felipe on Unsplash

Watch Videos for Cash

Getting paid to watch videos is thing! Sounds too good to be true, right?

A few different websites offer this opportunity, including InboxPounds (a UK site) and Swagbucks. Sign up for an account and start watching. You’ll then earn points to cash out for gift cards or PayPal payments – remember to redeem your gift cards as they often have shorter expiry dates than regular gift tokens.

WeAre8 will pay you to watch ads. Who remembers some of the all-time best adverts? The Gorilla playing the drums for a chocolate ad (Phil Collins is still getting the royalties for the music) and the robots in the instant potato ad? I’m showing my age now, but it’s proof that a great ad has influence – so, just do it!

Free Music and Free Audiobooks

SliceThePie is a website that pays you to write reviews of songs. Once you’ve collected a following, you can submit your tunes and earn money by becoming a Verified Artist.

If you prefer audiobooks, there are a couple of alternative methods to access them for nothing. You can sign up for a free Audible trial and receive two free audiobooks. Alternatively, Amazon Prime’s 30-day free trial will give you a free audiobook and the other benefits you get with Prime.

There’s an option to write reviews for Audible and Amazon UK to get you points and access to more free stuff.

Earn extra money by testing products.
Photo by Obi – @pixel6propix on Unsplash

Product Testing

If you’re open to providing feedback on new products or services, you could get paid for product testing or receive free stuff. Product manufacturers and retailers often run focus groups or send free samples to people willing to provide their honest opinions about them.

You’ll need to sign up with a platform like OneSpace or UserTesting if you want to get involved in this work. And remember that your feedback is crucial – every point of view matters.

Finally, a little information you should know. As a tech-savvy person, I know that companies are keen to improve the usability of their websites and apps, so user testing is a massive business.

Sign up with Utest to take advantage of a variety of user-testing possibilities. Utest paid me £25 per hour to test a mobile provider’s app and £35 to test my home internet connections regularly. The company is always looking for people with certain smartphones, TVs, or gaming paraphernalia to test software.

Although you don’t have to be a tech geek to join, having a technical mindset is advantageous. Joining Utest is a lot more work than scanning receipts or taking photos, but it’s well paid, and you get to look at new technology before it hits the market.


So there you have it, some excellent ways to supplement your income while working from home. My guide includes something for everyone. Whether you want to learn new ways to upskill, compete for cash and other rewards, watch videos or listen to music and audiobooks while getting paid, it’s all possible if you know where to look.

So what’s stopping you? Get started today to earn free stuff and earn extra money from home!