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12 Ways to Make Money From Your Phone

Haley Rogers • June 14, 2024

A person using their smartphone to track and manage their investment portfolio.

Who isn’t looking for a little extra spending money? If you’ve got a smartphone, several money-making options may be within reach, like testing and reviewing products online or building and monetizing a YouTube channel.

Here is how to make money on your phone so you can choose which side hustle works best for you.

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1. Profitable personality: Start a YouTube channel

Are you a natural storyteller? Create a YouTube channel and easily record, edit, and post content like tutorials or reviews — all from your phone.

What should you talk about? Lean into your passions and strengths, study popular content trends, build a list of topics and ideas, and post consistently.

Monetizing your YouTube channel is a long-term play. You make money by building a solid subscriber base over time.

For example, you need 4,000 viewing hours¹ over the past twelve months to earn money from ads. Such engagement indicates quality content that will retain viewership.

Other real ways to make money from your phone on YouTube

As you get into content creation, here are some other ideas for monetizing your YouTube channel.

  • Earning commission as an affiliate marketer through product placements and endorsements
  • Accepting monthly payments for channel membership in exchange for member perks
  • Creating helpful, detailed content sponsored by brands you trust
  • Selling products and merchandise through an online store and advertising it on your channel in a way that won’t jeopardize the quality of your content
  • Receiving fan donations during live streams

Find out other ways to make money online.

2. Social skills: Manage social media accounts

Small and local businesses often need help with their social profiles. If you have experience in social media, this type of job can earn you money on the side or even have full-time potential — especially convenient for stay-at-home parents.

You may find yourself:

  • Fully running the business’s social accounts
  • Offering guidance in optimizing their social media strategy
  • Regularly posting on various platforms
  • Responding to customer reviews
  • Creating or refreshing social ads

Look for social media manager roles online or ask local businesses if they’re looking for social support.

3. Snapshots: Sell your photography

If you already have a robust photo library and enjoy photography as a pastime, you can get paid for it! And luckily, you don’t even need a professional-grade camera to take high-quality images people will want.

Now, you can earn money from your phone by selling your images to stock photo websites and getting paid when a brand or agency buys them. Whether it’s a series of fun selfies or a beautiful city skyline, your snapshots may be worth it!

Simply upload your images straight from your phone and license them for commercial use.

4. Game on: Play online games

Gamers, you can make money for your skills. There are plenty of apps that offer gameplay in exchange for in-app currency redeemable for gift cards from top brands.

Play an edgy version of Bingo, test your memory, assemble an online puzzle, take quick surveys, or watch ads through your gaming. Sure, it may not supplement your income, but gaming can be a fun way to earn money with minimal time and effort.

5. Step-by-step: Earn money by walking

Paid by the step! Whether taking your dog for a daily stroll, checking the mail at the curb, or going for your morning run, you could be earning every step of the way.

Check out some of today’s popular health apps, which may convert your steps into digital currency — often redeemable for goods and services in the app’s online marketplace.

You could earn rewards for things like athletic wear or digital devices, all for your regular daily activity.

6. Paid to scroll: Watch videos

Watching videos is another quick money-making tactic if you aren’t sure how to make money from your phone via any of these other methods.

Typically, the same apps that pay you to take surveys, will also pay you to watch videos. If scrolling through social media or kicking back in front of Netflix is a regular occurrence, enjoy a little coin for your leisure time.

You may not earn as much as some of these other options, but it is an easy way to add extra spending money to your budget without needing specific skills or a degree. A nice reward for being effortlessly entertained, right?

7. Clutter to cash: Sell unwanted items

If you’ve got items around the house that haven’t been used in the past six months, it’s probably time to let them go — and watch some cash come back your way.

The process is straightforward:

  1. Take high-quality photos of your items to show their true appeal
  2. Write clear descriptions of the items and their condition
  3. List your items on the appropriate platform for your particular category
  4. Meet the buyer in a safe, public location and notify someone of your whereabouts
  5. Get paid!

Whether it’s old electronics, clothing, or books, there’s always a convenient and virtual way to turn unwanted items into extra cash.

8. Get the job done: Use gig apps

Want a sweet side hustle to make money outside of your 9-5? Gig apps can connect you with all kinds of opportunities in your area, directly from your phone.

Depending on the app, you could walk dogs, deliver groceries, drive people around, or complete various odd jobs. There are plenty of platforms that provide diverse ways to monetize your time and skills — offering the flexibility to work on your own schedule.

9. On-the-go entrepreneur: Start an e-commerce store

You’re a go-getter, but you’re always on the go. Starting an online store may be your ticket to entrepreneurship that fits your busy lifestyle.

Popular e-commerce platforms will typically allow you to handle every aspect of your store from your smartphone: uploading product photos, responding to customer comments, and setting up marketing campaigns.

How to start your store

Is there something you’re good at that could meet a demand in the market? Once you land on an idea you’re passionate about and skilled at:

  • Get to know your audience deeper, through research
  • Start developing your products and services
  • Build a business plan that makes sense for your niche.
  • Launch your store on a popular e-commerce platform

How to manage your store

Use the platform’s mobile app to record and track sales, manage and monitor inventory, fulfill customer orders and shipments, and communicate with your customers directly.

You set up your store on a desktop, and from that point on, the app makes it easy to run your business through the hustle and bustle.

10. You try it, they pay: Test products

Businesses need to know if their products, services, and websites are user-friendly, effective, and valuable. So, they will pay someone like you to use their products or website and provide honest feedback.

User testing can be a straightforward way to earn cash from your phone by simply visiting sites or downloading apps and sharing your user experience with testing companies.

The more time you invest in testing digital products, the more you can make! Depending on the task and how much time you put in, you can earn anywhere from a few bucks a week up to a full annual salary.²

11. Money that earns: Start investing

Investing doesn’t have to feel like a lofty undertaking, and you don’t have to be a day trader to start your investing journey. Different investment apps cater to different levels of expertise when it comes to saving and investing.

Passive approach

For passive income, automated savings apps can help you save without even noticing. They’ll typically link to your bank account, round up your everyday purchases to the nearest dollar, and invest whatever’s left into a diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds.

Active approach

If you do intend to invest more time, day trading apps are an option. Some allow you to easily trade stocks and funds, even offering fractional shares. But you would probably need to stay on top of the market and have a solid understanding of trading strategies.

A little of both

Or you can find an investment app that’s the best of both worlds, allowing you to set your financial goals and create a customized, even automated investment plan.

12. Money for your thoughts: Take online surveys

Similar to user testing, online paid surveys can also earn you cash on the side and are a flexible way to get paid instantly for your opinions. Companies are eager for direct customer insights, and they’ll pay you to participate in surveys and online focus groups.

You may not see big bucks, but you can use some time waiting in line or on a walk to complete a few surveys, earning you extra cash, cashback rewards, or gift cards to popular retailers.

Earn money from the palm of your hands

So there you go, side hustlers! From starting your own YouTube channel to managing social media accounts for businesses, selling your photography, and even playing games, there are plenty of creative ways to earn extra money on the side.

Whether you’re looking to supplement your income, save for the future, or have a little extra spending money, grab your phone and turn it into a money-making machine.

Have some solid writing skills? Freelance writing is another way to cushion your savings.

#1 most-loved banking app™~

  • Over 1,000,000+ five-star reviews on Google Play & Apple Store
  • Send and receive money fee-free
  • Deposit checks from anywhere
Get Started

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¹ Information from Google Support resource, “How to earn money on YouTube" as of June 4, 2024: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/72857

² Information from Swagbucks article, "Product Tester: How to Get Paid to Test Products at Home" as of June 4, 2024: https://www.swagbucks.com/articles/product-tester-how-to-get-paid-to-test-products-at-home

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