How to make money online and at home in the UK: Top 21 ways

Gert Svaiko

Do you want to learn how to make money online in the UK? If working from the comfort of your own home is your dream… Why not turn that dream into a reality?

Whether you’re looking to start a side hustle or grow a full-time business, there’s never been a better time to start. In the post-pandemic world online business is booming and there are more ways than ever to earn money online.


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How to make money online and at home in the UK today?

There are legitimate ways to earn money from home that don’t include trying to watch ads. All you need to start making money online is an internet connection and a computer or a smartphone. The rest comes down to your skills, interests, and how much time you’re willing to commit.

Once you have a good overview of how you can make money, you’ll be able to pick the best choice for you.

Without further ado, here are the 21 best ways that you can start making money online.

1. Take surveys

Many sites online will pay you in cash or gift cards for taking surveys or even for playing games. While you can’t make a full-time living from this, it’s a great way to make some additional money.

Different survey sites have slightly different surveys and additional features. They also differ in rewards (or how you get paid) and when you can cash out. You will usually need to reach a minimum amount to qualify for a payout. Some sites will let you cash out just once a month or once per quarter.

You can start off by trying some of these well-known sites: Swagbucks, Toluna, InboxPounds, Branded Surveys, and YouGov.

2. Start comping

Becoming a comper means you’ll be entering a huge amount of different competitions and prize draws or ‘comps’.

If you pay attention, you’ll find opportunities everywhere: follow local businesses and companies whose products you want to win, read local newspapers, and listen to the radio.

Many prize draws happen only on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, so open an account if you need to.

The great thing is that you’ll find many detailed guides to comping online, so it’s easy to get started.

Here’s a hot tip: local comps can be the fastest to pay off since the number of entrants will be lower.

3. Get paid to test websites and apps

Do you have strong opinions about website and app design? The businesses creating these apps and websites need people just like you.

Many sites provide user testing services and let you sign up as a tester. All you need is your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Once you’re signed up you’ll give positive and negative feedback about different parts of the website or app, following the given instructions.

You’ll usually be paid via PayPal or in gift cards. Some sites you can sign up to are UserTesting, Loop11, Userlytics, Beta Family, and Ferpection.


4. Resell or flip items

There are many items you can resell for profit if you manage to snatch them up at a low price. This can be furniture, gaming consoles, electronics, sports memorabilia, power tools and garage items, appliances, vintage or designer clothing, and so on.

So where do you get the items you’re looking to resell? There are loads of places online as well as offline.

You can pick up items to sell from:

  • Charity shops
  • Flea markets and second-hand stores
  • Wholesale suppliers
  • Off-price retailers that sell quality goods at lowered prices (like Top Brand Outlet and TK Maxx)
  • Police Auctions
  • Liquidated stock from resellers
  • Online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace and eBay

One recent trend is to buy liquidation return pallets. These are boxes that are filled with a mix of items that can’t be sold in a regular store for different reasons. For example, some items may be damaged.

A word of caution: yes, you might strike gold and end up with a box full of stuff you’ll sell for a decent profit. But there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a valuable pallet, as you won’t know what’s inside before buying.

5. Sell hand-made products

Handmade items have a charm that mass-produced items can’t compete with. There are many platforms where you can sell things like handmade soap, toys, home decor, etc.

Struggling to come up with anything you could make? See what others are selling and get inspired! Pick items that are top sellers, and you’re more likely to have success. Popular sites to sell hand-made products in the UK are Etsy, Folksy, and eBay.

Read more about how to sell on Etsy UK

6. Become a dropshipper

If you like the idea of running an online shop, this one’s for you. Dropshipping is a relatively well-known online business model. With a dropshipping business, you don’t need to buy any inventory yourself or handle shipping.

Instead, when a customer orders something from your online store, the order goes directly to the manufacturer of the product. Everything, including shipping, is handled by your dropshipping supplier. This means you don’t have any big upfront costs starting this business!

Dropshippers sell their products everywhere, from their own websites to online marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon.

Hot tip: If you need to pay a supplier located overseas, you could cut your transfer and currency exchange costs and increase profits by using an international money services provider like Wise and it’s Wise account. It’s not a bank account but offers many similar features.

Learn more about the Wise account 💰

7. Start a print-on-demand business

This is a great business idea for creatives and people with a good sense of style. Or, you could always outsource the creative part on Fiverr.

Print-on-demand providers let you print your design on a wide variety of products and they then ship them to your customers. These could be things like mugs, stickers, t-shirts, and hoodies. Printify, for example, has a whopping 850+ products to choose from!

Some other print-on-demand companies in the UK are Printful, Inkthreadable, and Gelato. A quick Google search will reveal many more.

Good to know: marketplaces like Shopify and Etsy have existing integrations with print-on-demand services.


8. Write an ebook

While writing a book may seem daunting, ebooks are usually much shorter than print books.

You can write an ebook about anything you’re interested in – as long as the readers are interested in it too!

Choose a popular topic that matches your expertise or sparks your creativity. You could write a children’s book, a comic book, a romance novel, or a practical guide, to name just a few ideas.

You’ll also need to do some marketing to get your book in front of people. The easiest way to do this for free is through social media. Also consider setting up a website to promote yourself and your book.

You can publish your ebook through providers like Draft2Digital, Lulu, Kobo Writing Life, Amazon KDP, or Barnes & Noble Press.

If you want to skip PayPal fees for Draft2Digital¹ and Lulu², you can open a Wise account instead. Also, you could also get the local account details to receive in 8+ currencies, including in USD. You can then convert it to pounds using the mid-market rate and start using it in the UK.


9. Sell digital products and templates

Do you make your own custom brushes for your digital art or have some killer custom presets for Lightroom? Are you a secret spreadsheet wizard or an AI-whisperer?

When it comes to digital products, there’s plenty of demand for different useful products that help people get the results they want.

Here are some examples of digital templates you can sell:

  • Plugins, presets, or filters for different media editors
  • Notion templates
  • Canva and Vistacreate templates
  • Digital planners and stickers
  • Journalling guides
  • Email templates for marketing or sales
  • ChatGTP prompts
  • Midjourney prompts
  • Budgeting sheets and other spreadsheet templates

You can sell your digital products on different platforms, on your own website, or through social media.


10. Start a blog

Starting a blog can be a great way to harness your writing skills. There are several ways you can make money from blogging. You can run ads through networks like Google Ads or or promote products through affiliate marketing. You can also partner with brands to sell their products or sell your own products or services.

11. Sell your photos

If you’re passionate about photography, you can turn your photos into some cash. You can easily sell your photos through many online stock photo suppliers like Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, Alamy, Getty Images, Dreamstime, and 500px.

You can also sell your photography directly to customers by setting up your own website or through platforms like Etsy.

12. Become a freelance writer

If you’ve ever fantasised about being Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, you should definitely consider starting a job as a writer. There are many different types of writing you can do as a freelancer.

Here are a few examples:

  • Technical writers take complicated ideas and make them understandable to a general audience. If you have expertise in mechanical, medical, or other high-level fields, you can make decent money.
  • Copywriting is all about helping businesses promote their brands and sell their products or services.
  • Content writing is similar to copywriting, but focuses less on sales. You might write blogs, newsletters, and other assets.
  • Ghostwriting is when you write copy that is published under someone else’s name. These can be books, blogs, whitepapers, or even LinkedIn posts.

Start your writing career by honing your craft and building your portfolio. You can publish your writing on platforms such as Medium yourself. Or, to start, you might offer to write some free copy for your friends or family.

You can find freelance writing jobs on Best Writing, LinkedIn, Peak Freelance Jobs, Upwork, ProBlogger, and many other sites.

Read our Upwork review for freelancers

13. Make a course

Do you have any skills or knowledge that you could teach to others? Online learning is thriving and the eLearning industry has grown by 900% since the year 2000.³

These days it’s easy to find lots of support and resources online to create your first online course. You can publish your course on popular learning platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, Kajabi, or Domestika.

14. Offer tutoring online

Many students need a bit of extra help to achieve better results. This is where you come in. Are you good at languages, maths, or physics? Or maybe you know the perfect method to prepare for exams.

You don’t need to meet specific requirements to become a tutor in the UK.⁴ However, if you plan to work with a company, they might require you to hold a degree in what you’re teaching or have previous experience in teaching.

15. Pick up a translation gig

Do you speak more than one language? Put your skills to good use and offer up your services as a translator. You can do so on platforms like Gengo, TextMaster, and Upwork, to name a few.


16. Become a virtual assistant (VA)

Virtual assistants work with clients from all over the world and usually help them with different admin tasks. Think scheduling meetings, booking travel, answering emails, and sometimes taking calls.

But that’s not all VAs might be asked to do. It all comes down to what the person or business hiring you needs help with. You might help with bookkeeping, data entry, social media, or work as a personal assistant.

You can find Virtual Assistant jobs through sites like Upwork, Reed, Virtalent, and LinkedIn.

If you’re taking on VA work outside the country, there’s an easy way to maximise your earnings. Use the Wise account to receive payments just like a local would.

17. Rent out a room or start an Airbnb

Do you have an extra room? Or maybe you haven’t considered some of the more unconventional Airbnb ideas. Guests are often looking for unique stays.

Instead of a house or apartment you can also spruce up and rent out:

  • Treehouses
  • Houseboats
  • Tents and teepees (think glamping)
  • Old barns

18. Start a YouTube channel

Whatever the topic, there’s a YouTube channel for it. To earn money from making YouTube videos you need to qualify for the YouTube Partner Program. In order to join you need to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past year (or 10 million Shorts views in the past 90 days).⁵

Once you join the program you can also earn money from doing lives where viewers can tip you and by offering channel memberships.⁶ ⁷

But that’s not all. You can also tap into further fan funding by letting your viewers support you through sites like Patreon, Tipeee, or Buy Me a Coffee. You can also sell your own products or partner with a brand or affiliate program to promote others' products.

Read more on how to make money on Youtube with Adsense

19. Work for someone else’s YouTube channel

If you’re not keen on starting your own YouTube channel, why not help out a channel that’s already successful?

YouTubers often hire people like script writers, thumbnail designers, video editors, creative directors, and channel managers. Reach out to some of your favourite creators directly to see if they need help or browse job openings on YT Jobs.


20. Make content on social media

It’s not only accounts with millions of followers that are raking in cash on social media. You’ve probably heard of the term ‘micro-influencer’. Micro-influencers have a small but engaged group of followers who trust them and are willing to buy what they recommend. This is exactly why brands want to partner with them.

If you’re feeling camera shy, look into ‘faceless’ Instagram accounts. There are plenty of people out there making money without ever showing themselves on camera.

21. Become a social media manager

If you have experience in planning content or you’re passionate about creating social media content, why not turn it into your job? This can also be a great way to earn a bit of extra cash without committing full-time.

Why not set up a mock account to test things out or offer your services to local businesses that can’t afford to hire a big agency?

What to look out for when earning money online?

While making money online can be exciting, it’s important to also be aware of a few things.

Opportunities that seem too good to be true

When someone asks you for upfront payments or too much personal information, while promising you easy money – be careful. Always double and triple-check if the offer, company, or person is legitimate.

Mentors without experience

If you’re trying to level up your skills by taking a course or hiring a mentor, always do your due diligence. Make sure the person has experience in what they’re teaching.

Security risks

Once you start operating online, you’ll be sharing more information frequently. Make sure all personal and financial information sharing is always done securely.

Tax implications

When you earn money online, you may need to pay taxes on it. If you’re not sure, you can contact HMRC for advice.

Losing money on currency conversion

Online business often happens across borders. Whenever you need to send or receive money overseas, it can cut into your profits.

International bank transfers carry huge fees and providers like PayPal might levy additional charges. Not to mention the exchange rates that eat away at your hard-earned money.

To maximise your profits, consider signing up for a Wise account. It lets you manage your money in over 40 currencies and convert it using the fair mid-market exchange rate. You’ll never have to worry about hidden costs or sneaky fees. With Wise you’ll only ever pay a small fee, that you’ll know upfront.

Sign up with Wise today 💰

Making money online in the post-pandemic world is easier than ever. Whether you want to make a full-time living or bring home some extra cash, pick something you’ll love doing. That way you’ll always be motivated to keep going. And, you’ll probably make some friends along the way who share your passions.

All it takes is the next step to start your new adventure!

Sources used:

  1. Draft2Digital – FAQ
  2. Lulu – Creator Revenue FAQ
  3. Oxford College – Online Education Statistics UK | E-Learning Data 2022
  4. UK – How To Become an Online Tutor
  5. YouTube Help – YouTube Partner Program overview & eligibility
  6. YouTube – ​​Channel Memberships
  7. YouTube Help – Super Chat & Super Stickers eligibility, availability, and policies

Sources last checked on date: 13-Mar-2024

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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