Make Money Online

5 Proven Ways To Make Money as a Teenager using a Laptop

5 Ways I Made Money as a Teenager
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In this article...

Popular blogs and known bloggers tend to promote various ways of making money as the best ways to earn online from your home, from watching advertisements to completing online surveys, but are those things actually worth your time?

From late 14 to the first day I became an 18-year-old boy, I started making money as a teenager from home using only an 11.6-inch notebook; Here’s everything I’ve tried so far, what paid the best, and where I lost all my time trying to make a few bucks.

Have you ever tried searching online for ways to make money as a teenager? I remember doing that, in an area where blogging was just starting, no one was podcasting at that time, and YouTube had only a few videos published on its platform. Growing up I’ve seen many people make the same mistakes as me, and I keep seeing them to this day.

Here’s everything I know about making money as a teenager from your own little bedroom, only using your PC or laptop.

Can I make money as a teenager working from home?

In most countries, as a teenager, you can’t make money or start earning, as most of the companies or ways that we will discuss need you to be at least 18 years old, or depending on your country’s laws. But, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t alternative ways, because there are many, but you need the help of your parents to get started.

When I was young and found out about blogging and AdSense for example, I started a blog that quickly started to gain more than 2,000 visitors per day, which is a pretty small number, but it was a big start for me. AdSense wouldn’t let me create an account and get paid, so I talked to my mother, saw her what I was doing and how people were making money from their blogs, and she agreed to help me start by using her own name and bank account.

Without your parent’s approval, there’s no way you can start earning money as a teenager legitimate, so you’ll have to talk to them and share your ideas. After that, they may need to talk to an accountant, because earning money online also comes with its own laws.

What are the best ways I can make money as a teenager from home?

While there are tons of ways to make money online, the list is very limited when it comes to the age limit. If you’re a teenager looking to make some bucks, the following list may help you achieve that, and even improve your skills from a young age, landing you a good and high-paying job in the future.

1. Start your own blog

A blog is a great way not only to share your thoughts, experiences, and knowledge, but to improve your writing skills, make new friends, and even create a passive income. It’s pretty easy and cheap to start a blog nowadays, and if you spend a good amount of time learning anything about blogging, including optimizing your content for search engines, doing research for blog posts and competitors, and how to create and manage blogs, those skills are all in demand right now.

As a teenage blogger, you can choose a niche that you love, create a blog, and start writing. You can either put your parents register for an account in Google’s AdSense so you can display ads and make money from clicks, or wait until your blog has enough daily visitors to create a passive income. When I started my blog, I waited until I had 100 published blog posts before putting my mother to register for an AdSense account in her name.

In the beginning, I was making around $30 to 40$ per month with AdSense’s ads, and I needed two to three months to get paid from the platform. I wanted to make more money, so as I was writing and publishing articles, I started learning more about affiliate marketing and quickly started monetizing my blog with affiliate links. A few months later I was making more than $200 per month as a 15-year-old teenage boy. Not bad, huh?

Blogging is not easy if you want to make it a full-time job, but that doesn’t mean you can make thousands or even millions from your blog. Many people started with a simple idea they had, turned it into a blog, and found themselves married to the blogosphere, managing a successful blog and working remotely from anywhere in the world.

2. Learn how to create websites

As technology is involved, more and more people are creating their own websites for various reasons, including promoting their businesses, selling their products or services, showcasing their work, and giving their ideas and projects a home. Website creation is in demand right now, and having the skills to create from simple blogs to complicated websites can get you a pretty good amount of money.

First, you’ll need to learn a few basic programming languages, including HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and maybe more, depending on your goals. There are hundreds of thousands of available tutorials on how to get started with web development, including online courses on platforms like Udemy, crash courses on YouTube, e-books, and even podcasts.

When I started learning HTML, CSS, and PHP, there weren’t any videos on websites such as YouTube to gain more information, and I wasn’t even speaking English to start with. So I only had two Greek websites that provided the basics to get started, and then I had to search in forums and websites with the help of other people who spoke English and could help me understand how to do simple things, such as creating a mega menu for my blog. Nowadays, there’s a plethora of available tutorials, most of it provided for free, and you never know, maybe web development is something that you may fall in love with.

3. Create and sell templates

Most people don’t want to design their own website, logo, flyer, cover, video or podcast intro, presentation, and many others, just to name a few. Being able to create professional and complex templates can help you not only get thousands of sales but also create a strong passive income. And the best part of all? You can probably start without spending a dime.

People search for many different kinds of templates, from PowerPoint presentations, and resumes built on Microsoft Word or Canva, to covers for e-books and podcasts, your options are set to millions. The secret here is to learn how to use a specific software, app, or platform as a professional, creating professional and complex templates that people tend to use. After that, you can do research and see how other people are creating, providing, and selling their templates.

Examples of templates you can create to make money as a teenager:

  • Templates for Notion users.
  • Templates for Canva users.
  • Templates for Microsoft Office users.
  • Website templates (also known as ‘Themes’).
  • E-book and Podcast cover or intro templates.
  • Video templates for video-editing software such as Adobe’s After Effects and Premiere Pro, or for DaVinci Resolve.
  • Logos, mockups, covers, flyers, and other digital assets that are needed.

Those are just a few simple examples of what you can create and sell online. People love templates because they’re pre-made, easy to customize, and they can finish their job in a matter of minutes, especially for busy professionals.

You can register and create a simple e-shop page using Gumroad, which is free, but keeps a 2% fee for every sale completed from the platform. You can also start a shop to sell your templates using Shopify or Squarespace, which are both great options. WordPress is the best choice of all, but you may need to spend a bit of time learning how to use the platform (although there are numerous great tutorials already available).

4. Promote affiliate products and services

There are many good reasons why content creators tend to promote affiliate marketing so highly. It’s pretty easy to get started, really simple to work with, and there are good chances that you can make your first money as a teenager in a matter of minutes. But, and there’s always a big ‘but’, affiliate marketing comes with its own disadvantages, including the age limit.

Now, if your parents are up to helping you get started with affiliate marketing, you can use trustworthy affiliate networks to register. Affiliate networks are platforms that let publishers create an account, register with their favorite companies that they want to promote, and start making money by keeping a percentage of every sale they make using their affiliate links.

Some of the best and most popular affiliate networks include Impact, ShareASale, TravelPayouts, and many others. You can promote your affiliate links through your social media accounts and pages, blog, podcast, YouTube channel, or even to your friends and family if there’s something they need. Those affiliate links include some cookies that are saved in every user’s browser, so don’t worry if they don’t complete the purchase immediately, as you will keep your cut when they do, even if that’s days after.

5. Helping people solve their tech-related problems

What’s something you’re very good at? For example, as a teenager, I was good at creating blogs and customizing them, and people wanted a person to help them fix some problems they were experiencing, make small design changes, and add more options and features. I was making more than $60 per hour working on small fixes and design changes, including changing the fonts, colors, menu, footer, and many other parts a blog may have.

I remember I went to look for clients in some Facebook groups that had been specifically created for bloggers to connect with each other. Anytime I saw a blogger having a blog-related problem, I provided them with a quick way to solve their issue, but I also mentioned other more complex and professional ways only a developer would know how to do, mostly better ways. Sometimes, 3 comments were enough before getting to bed, and the morning after I even had 5-6 new people sending me messages through Facebook to help them with their blogs (and no, not for free, as I had in my profile’s description my job title as a “Web Designer, available for hire”).

There may be a lot of people who have no clue how to do something that you are pretty good at, so make sure you’re using your skills to help people and make some money as a teenager.

What to avoid when looking at ways to make money online

The list of websites suggesting various ways to make money online as a teenager is endless, and many of them recommend all the right ways to lose your time rather than earn some bucks. For example, there are hundreds of examples of websites saying that you can quickly make money from your home by watching advertisements on different services, completing online surveys, and just browsing the internet, to name a few.

These are all bad recommendations and you shouldn’t lose your time if you’re in need.

Yes, they are legitimate, and yes they do pay their users. But the amount of money you will make during a period of a whole month and spending at least 4-6 hours per app, is less than $200, and many of them instead of paying with real money, are providing you with coupon codes for various websites.

How am I so sure, you say? Well, my ex-girlfriend tried the most popular of them to see how much money she could earn in a month, and she made $237.47 for spending a total of 4 to 6 hours per day watching ads, completing surveys, downloading apps, browsing the internet, and whatever else there was for her to do. So yeah, not worth your while, except if you really don’t have anything else to do and you don’t mind getting a few bucks every month.

If you’re a gamer, then you are probably waiting for the sections that write, “How to make money as a teenager playing games“, right? Wrong. Sorry kiddo, but playing games and getting enough money to live is a whole different story, and unfortunately many fail. But – and there’s always a ‘but’, isn’t it? – there’s nothing to lose trying, and most importantly, is important to try and achieve whatever it is that makes you happy.

Games are a hard niche with many competitors, but if you can entertain your audience in a unique way, a future with you as a professional gamer, streamer, vlogger, or even podcaster, isn’t so far away. Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram are the best platforms to get started as a gamer and find the right audience.

Why it’s important to start learning from a young age?

When you’re young and don’t have as many responsibilities as you would have if you were older, things are easier, you can learn faster, and you have time to test, fail, and get better. It’s important to start increasing and improving your skills as soon as possible because time passes very quickly, and before you know it, you have neither the time nor the patience to learn new things; Or at least, that’s the case for many.

If you haven’t found out what you want to do and you are still wondering and searching, then start by watching a few YouTube videos, reading a few blog posts, and listening to specific niche podcasts to learn about new things you could do. I wouldn’t ever fall in love with web design if I hadn’t started in one way or another, so you never know if something may someday become your passion.

Panos Sakalakis

Meet Panos Sakalakis, a web wizard, blogging buff, podcasting pro, and SEO sorcerer with over 15 years of enchanting experience. When he's not weaving digital spells with his keyboard, you'll likely spot him conquering mountain trails with his trusty Hard-Trail MTB bike, in hot pursuit of the ultimate adrenaline rush and the perfect blog post inspiration.

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