When I first started researching how to make money online, a lot of the resources I found were aimed at Americans. Some online side hustles work from anywhere in the world, but I was frustrated to find a lot of sites that weren’t available to us over in the UK.
To save you the same frustrations, I’ve put together this list of the best ways to make money online in the UK.
What’s more, all of these side hustles have been personally tested by me or by other UK bloggers, so you can be sure these are legit ways to make money from home on our side of the pond.
Whether you want to make extra money for Christmas, save for a holiday, pay down debt or even start a new work-from-home career, I hope one of these options will help you make real money online.
1. Matched betting
I want to start with this one because it’s possibly the only way to make money online that is exclusive to us in the UK!
If you haven’t heard of matched betting before, don’t panic – despite the name, it’s not gambling.
Matched betting is a legal and tax-free way to make extra cash from home by learning how to use the bookies’ free bets.
It sounds too good to be true, and to be honest it did take me a while to get my head around it, but it quickly became one of my favorite side hustles!
In a nutshell, matched betting works because you always place two bets: one for a specific result, and one againstthat result. You use online calculators which tell you exactly how much to bet and where. Because you’re placing these two calculated bets at the same time, they cancel each other out, so you don’t lose money.
The money I made matched betting has been life-changing for me, and I truly believe it’s one of the best ways to earn money online UK residents have available to us.
Oh, and because the money technically counts as ‘gambling wins’, you don’t have to declare it or pay tax on it in the UK.
Disclaimer: blogging is NOT a quick and easy way to make some extra cash. Anyone who promises you can make money in your first month is likely misleading you.
But if you’re interested in a long-term opportunity to build your own business and work from home on your own schedule, blogging could be for you!
I have been blogging for about a year and a half now. It took me about eight months to get to the stage where I was consistently making income every month (about £100-£200 per month at first). Now I make over £1,000 every month from blogging part time and I expect this to go up and up from here.
In fact, I now make enough blogging for my husband to drop his hours to part time while he works on our new house! I may not be a full time blogger yet, but it’s still giving us freedom we couldn’t have dreamed of two years ago.
Wondering how bloggers actually make money? I wrote about the four easiest ways here:
So is blogging a good way to make money online in the UK? Well, since blogging is an online business, you can do it from anywhere in the world and speak to any audience in the world.
But if you’re based in the UK, you have a great opportunity to niche down and target UK readers.
The UK has a lively blogging community but there are not as many big bloggers as in the US and there is less competition. A lot of my posts which are focused on the UK market are doing really well in Google rankings because of this.
How much can you make?
Be prepared to put in a lot of work upfront before you see any money. After a year or so, you could be making £1,000-£2,000 each month (like me!). Some top bloggers earn tens of thousands and I know several UK bloggers who have replaced the income from their day job.
3. Pinterest affiliate marketing
Did you know you can get paid to pin on Pinterest?
Yes, this is a real thing! It’s my second biggest side hustle (after blogging) which currently makes me over £100 each month.
I make money on Pinterest by pinning affiliate links for cool products I love. That means, if somebody clicks on the pin I made with my special link and buys a product, I get paid a commission.
There are so many reasons why Pinterest affiliate marketing is an awesome side hustle.
For starters, it’s really fun! You can tailor it completely to your own interests and basically carry on pinning the same sort of thing you’ve always pinned on Pinterest.
Secondly, it’s completely flexible and you can work as much or little as you like. You do need to be consistent with daily pinning if you want to see growth, but you can do this in less than an hour each day.
Also, you can use schedulers like Tailwind to keep your account going even if you need some days off. This means eventually you can be making money in your sleep!
As with blogging, you can do this from anywhere in the world. You can choose to target a UK audience or keep it general. I mostly pin products that are available globally and I’ve found my audience is about 50/50 split between the UK and US.
4. Teach English online
As a native English speaker, you already have one fantastic skill which is highly in demand all over the world.
Many companies are looking for native speakers to teach English to students abroad.
You can do this over Skype, so it’s completely online – all you need is a computer with a webcam and mic, and a quiet room.
Many companies don’t even require a teaching qualification, although most request a bachelor’s degree in any subject.
Being British can be an additional advantage, as many students request a British accent.
If you’re an English speaker wondering how to make money on the internet without any start up costs or major time investments, this might be the money making solution for you. Unlike blogging or affiliate marketing (which require time to build your business), you can start earning straight away.
This is one side hustle I haven’t tried myself yet, but it is next on my list, especially since I used to work as a ESL teacher in ‘real life’ and it was a lot of fun!
5. Survey sites
Surveys are one of the most common ways to make money online. It’s how I got started making extra money myself. However, when I first started looking for survey sites online, I was frustrated to find that a lot of them were only open to US residents.
I put together this list of the best survey sites available in the UK. Many of them can be used anywhere in the world, but rest assured that all will work in the UK.
Pro tip: my all time favorite survey site is Prolific Academic. It’s the only site that never screens you out, plus it’s the best paying!
6. Fulfilled by Amazon business
Fulfilled by Amazon (or FBA) is an awesome business model that makes it so easy to sell on Amazon for a profit.
With FBA, you send your products into the Amazon warehouse and let them handle packing, shipping and deliveries. All you have to do is source the products.
Amazon gets over 3 million visitors DAILY in the UK alone, so to be able to tap into this customer base is incredible!
Most FBA businesses use something called retail arbitrage. This simply means finding something for sale cheaply and reselling it for a higher price.
Many FBAers source products cheaply from China. You can even get in touch with a factory and have your own product made through a website like Alibaba.
This is such a profitable business model that UK blogger Paul from Mr Paul Blog was able to quit his job as cabin crew to work on FBA full time after just six months.
Another UK entrepreneur killing it on Amazon is Christos Fellos. He has some great tips on getting started with FBAon his site.
7. Search Engine Evaluation
Search engine evaluation is a little known work from home job available in the UK, and many other countries. The work involves testing search engines to assess how relevant the first page results are.
Many people in the UK are successfully working online as search engine evaluators to make extra money from home. Search engine evaluators have to sign a confidentiality agreement so it’s difficult to learn much about what the actual work involves, but have a search over on The Money Shed forums for some interesting discussions.
To get the job, you’ll have to pass an online test.
One advantage of this job is you can pick your hours and work around the school run or other commitments.
8. Website testing
Did you know you can get paid simply to check out different websites and apps? You don’t need any technical knowledge. The clients just want to know how their sites come across to an average user.
There are many companies such as the UK-based WhatUsersDo that pay for this kind of work. You will need to install a special software on your browser. The software records your screen and voice as you visit different websites and talk about your impressions of the site.
Tests are first come, first served, so this isn’t a full time job. But this is a fun little side hustle to earn some extra pocket money each month.
9. Sell T-shirts online
This is one of my own current side hustles. I LOVE it because after some initial work, it generates passive income every month!
I design T-shirts to sell on Merch By Amazon. You literally just upload the design, and Amazon handles the selling, printing, packing and delivery. It’s an incredible business that’s almost completely hands free.
Merch is the best way to sell T-shirts online because you can tap into Amazon’s massive customer base. There is a waiting list to join, but no worries – you can use this smart workaround while you’re waiting.
There are also dozens of other platforms where you can sell your designs.
Merch shirts are only sold in the US at present, but you can become a designer from any country in the world because it’s all completely online.
Rumor has it that Amazon will expand Merch to the UK and European markets in the near future, so I think getting some experience as a UK seller now has some great advantages!
No design skills? Don’t worry. All of my shirts are text only and some of them do very well.
There is free software such as Gimp to make your designs at home.
Dropshipping is an exciting way to build an online shop without having to handle any inventory yourself!
To start a drop shipping business, you need to find products to sell and a supplier who’s open to drop shipping (most people find Chinese suppliers on Alibaba or Aliexpress). You set up an online storefront for the products on Shopify or similar. When the orders come in, you ask the supplier to send the products directly to the customer.
A profitable business model with very low overheads, which you can do from anywhere in the world!
11. Freelance writing
If you have a way with words, have you considered freelance writing as an online side hustle?
There is an endless supply of writing jobs online on sites such as Fiverr and People Per Hour. Work can range from writing blog posts, to technical writing, to ghost writing entire books.
This is another online job where being British can be an advantage because it puts you in a niche market. Many UK businesses need writers who are familiar with UK spelling and style.
If you find writing fun and you have good spelling and grammar (as well as organization and time management skills!), freelance writing could be the best way to make money online for you.