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How to Make Money With a Laptop [9 Options for 2023]

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Remote work is fast becoming the norm in the workplace, as there are now plenty of options to make money with a laptop in the comfort of your home or anywhere in the world.

These opportunities include freelancing gigs, selling digital products, and online tutoring, among many others.

So if you’re looking for a way to earn extra cash but don’t know where to start, this comprehensive guide will walk you through making money online with your laptop.

Can You Make Money With a Laptop?

vector graphic showing an illustration of lady learning how to make money with a laptop

It’s now normal to make money online using your laptop, as many remote work opportunities are available, from virtual assistant jobs to remote marketing jobs.

The number of freelancers in the United States grew to over 73 million in 2023 from just 59 million last 2021.

Also, according to a Harvard Business School study, almost half of corporate executives expect to continue to tap into digital talent platforms.

These data show that remote work is here to stay and offers an easy way to make money at home.

How Much Can You Make With a Laptop?

According to Zip Recruiter, remote work in the United States pay an annual average of $38,080. That’s around $18.31 per hour, $732 per week, or $3,173 per month.

However, keep in mind that earnings highly depend on your work, skill, and experience.

What You’ll Need to Make Money With a Laptop

Here are some things to prepare before starting to make money online:

  • Laptop: Start by having a reliable laptop with decent specs to process all your work and store your files.
  • Stable Internet Connection: Connect to a high-speed Internet connection to make downloads and uploads fast and seamless. And don’t forget to have a backup Internet connection too.
  • Headphones with Microphone: Invest in quality headphones with a microphone for meetings or as part of your work. Try to get a microphone with a noise-canceling feature to make your audio clear and crisp.
  • Webcam: If your part-time job requires being in front of a camera, consider getting a separate webcam with a better resolution.
  • Extra Monitor: Some people might want a bigger or extra screen while working. It’s a good investment for those who need to look at several files simultaneously.
  • Payment Channel: Set up your preferred payment channel if you haven’t. Popular payout methods include PayPal, Payoneer, and bank transfer.
  • Software or Equipment: Prepare all the software, tools, or equipment for earning money online.

Where to Make Money With a Laptop

What are the different opportunities and platforms you can try? Explore these nine options, and see which fits your skills and lifestyle the best:

1. Freelancing Platforms

As more corporations and small businesses hire freelancers, more people shift to freelancing opportunities.

Some popular freelancing platforms include Upwork, LinkedIn, Fiverr, FlexJobs, and TopTal, among many others. These websites offer many postings, including freelance writing jobs, virtual assistant jobs, and data entry jobs.

How Much You Can Make

Your earning depends on your work, skill, and level of experience. On Upwork, virtual assistants charge from $18 to $35 per hour.

Meanwhile, content writers charge from $15 to $40 per hour on the platform.

Note that freelance platforms have commissions. For example, Upwork has a 10% freelancer service, while Fiverr has a 5.5% service fee.

What Makes This Option Great

With freelancing platforms, you can explore different jobs and projects, from writing reviews for money to creating websites, depending on your expertise.

These platforms also allow you to tap into local and international markets, increasing your scope, experience, and potential earning income.

  • Fees/Commission: Depends on the platform
  • Payment Methods: PayPal, Payoneer, Wire Transfer, Direct to Local Bank, Digital Banks, Bank Codes, M-Pesa, and more

2. Online Surveys

You can get paid to take surveys on your laptop. Many platforms offer paid online surveys about products, services, and lifestyles.

However, be careful when joining survey platforms since some are scams. Some legitimate online survey sites include Swagbucks, Branded Surveys, InboxDollars, MyPoints, and Pinecone Research.

How Much You Can Make

Taking surveys online generally pays $0.25 to $5, but earnings greatly depend on the platform.

For example, detailed surveys on Swagbucks pay $20 or more, with some paying around $100 for in-home product surveys. You can earn around $50 to $250 monthly, depending on how many surveys you complete.

Some also pay out gift cards for Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, or Google Play. 

What Makes This Option Great

Answering online surveys is one of the easiest ways to make money with a laptop since it doesn’t usually require a specific skill or experience. Plus, most platforms provide surveys based on your preferences, making them a fun passive income.

Although the earnings are little per task, your earnings can compound significantly if you answer more surveys in your spare time.

  • Fees/Commission: None
  • Payment Methods: PayPal, Gift Card, Visa

3. Online Tutoring Services

Becoming an online tutor is one of the ways to make money with a laptop, especially if you’re in the teaching field.

Some of the most popular platforms mainly teach English online. However, other high-demand subjects include science and math.

If you’re considering online tutoring as a side hustle, explore Tutor.com, TutorMe, Qkids, BookNook, TakeLessons, Preply, and more.

How Much You Can Make

According to Glassdoor, an online tutor earns around $44,386 per year. Meanwhile, the average hourly rate for Preply online tutors is $18.30.

Rates depend on your platform, skill, subject, number of teaching hours, or how much you want to charge.

What Makes This Option Great

For teachers, you’re no longer limited to teaching kids in your area, and you’re free to explore and teach kids from other states or countries.

As a result, you can gain better teaching experience as you engage with different learners.

And some online teaching platforms don’t require a teaching background or license if you can teach a subject well.

Most platforms also train their teachers, helping you kickstart your teaching experience if you don’t know the field.

  • Fees/Commission: Depends on the platform
  • Payment Methods: PayPal, Payoneer, Wise, Skrill, Direct Deposit

4. Dropshipping Platforms

Dropshipping is a business model where you work with an order fulfillment company that stocks and ships your items on your behalf. You don’t need to store and package your products in person.

This way, you can source, sell, and ship products without ever physically having the item.

If you want to start a dropshipping business, some trusted dropshipping platforms to find and connect with suppliers include Oberlo, AliExpress, Alibaba, and SaleHoo.

How Much You Can Make

According to BlueCart, dropshippers earn a profit between 20% and 30% from each sale. The rest goes to the supplier, dropshipping, web host, and marketing fees.

Regarding commission fees, it depends on the platform. For example, AliExpress commissions range from 5% to 8%.

What Makes This Option Great

Dropshipping is a purely remote way to make money online. You can open an online store without having a storage room to stock your items and the labor to package and ship your orders.

Overall, it’s an ideal passive income that lets you earn money while you sleep.

  • Fees/Commission: Depends on the platform
  • Payment Methods: Credit Card, Debit Card, Cash on Delivery, PayPal, Bank Transfer, etc.

5. E-commerce Platforms

You can also do old-school online selling, where you’re directly involved in creating or sourcing your products, packaging the items, and shipping orders.

Set up your own online business and get paid to sell art online, apparel, accessories, shoes, and more. Some popular e-commerce platforms include Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, and Bigcommerce.

How Much You Can Make

Profits vary depending on the product you sell and its demand. According to ZipRecruiter, Amazon Sellers generally earn from $18,500 to $112,000 annually.

Note that most e-commerce platforms have fees. For example, Shopify has a subscription fee according to your plan, shipping label fees, third-party transaction fees, and more.

What Makes This Option Great

Selling on e-commerce platforms is perfect for online entrepreneurs who want to showcase their products or brand. You can also sell digital products and new or used items.

Setting up an e-commerce store also enables small businesses to reach their customer digitally and tap into a wider market locally and overseas.

  • Fees/Commission: Depends on the platform
  • Payment Methods: Payoneer, PayPal, Wire Transfer 

6. Print-On-Demand Services

Print-on-demand (POD) services work like the dropshipping business model, except you create and own the designs you sell.

For example, to start a T-shirt business, you must design graphics to be printed on the shirt. The POD platform will then print, pack, and ship your shirts.

Other merchandise you can insert your design includes tote bags, mugs, tapestries, and more.

Some popular POD platforms include Printify, Printful, SPOD, and JetPrint.

How Much You Can Make

According to ZipRecruiter, a print-on-demand online store receives an average of $4,639 monthly. However, earnings greatly vary based on the product, its demand, and a store’s popularity.

Some platforms may charge a tax per order or have subscription plans for better online business features.

What Makes This Option Great

A print-on-demand business is a great way to make extra money, especially if you’re into graphic design. Also, it’s an ideal way for artists to showcase and sell their designs.

Since everything will be stocked and shipped, you only need a laptop to get started.

  • Fees/Commission: Depends on the platform
  • Payment Methods: Direct Deposit, PayPal

7. Microtask Websites

If you’re not looking for a full-time income, try accepting jobs on microtask websites.

These platforms pay small amounts of money when you complete a short online task, from translation to data entry. You can also get paid to watch videos.

It’s one of the easiest ways to make money with a laptop since most projects don’t need much skill, experience, and equipment. Popular platforms include Appen and Clickworker.

How Much You Can Make

Earnings highly depend on the number of projects you join and tasks you complete.

For example, you can earn $0.05 per word to translate a specific language to English on Appen. But other translation projects give more or less depending on their requirements.

What Makes This Option Great

Microtask websites are a good option for people who want a quick, low-skill part-time job during their spare time. Most platforms offer a flexible work schedule if you deliver your tasks within the deadline.

You also choose the type of work you want to do, allowing you to do familiar tasks or explore new projects.

  • Fees/Commission: Transaction Fees
  • Payment Methods: Payoneer, PayPal

8. Blogging Platforms

Get paid to write by starting your blog page. Explore different niches, such as food, fashion, and tech. It’s one of the best ways to make money for people who are into freelance writing and want to write about their passions.

Established blogging sites include WordPress.org, Blogger, and Medium.

How Much You Can Make

A blogger earns an average annual salary of $42,020, based on Indeed’s May 2023 data. They usually earn money online via different monetization options, such as subscriptions, marketing affiliates, or sponsorship.

What Makes This Option Great

If you’re a freelance writer, blogging is an excellent way to showcase your writing skills and experience.

And you can earn passive income from writing product or service reviews, selling ad space on your website, accepting paid guest posts, and becoming a marketing affiliate.

Ultimately, you can write the content in your time and according to your liking.

  • Fees/Commission: Depends on the platform
  • Payment Methods: PayPal, Wire Transfer

9. Online Course Websites

You can turn your expertise into an online course and sell it online. Online courses you can teach range from cooking to the best affiliate marketing course.

Some of the best online course platforms include Skillshare, Udemy, Learnworlds, and Teachable.

But if you don’t want to join these platforms, you can also upload YouTube videos about the course and monetize them via ads or subscriptions.

How Much You Can Make

According to Learnworlds, successful online course creators earn around $1,000 to $10,000 per month, with top course creators making six to seven figures yearly.

What Makes This Option Great

Creating an online course is perfect for people who are experts on a subject. There’s no limit to the topics you can teach, whether it’s a hobby like crocheting or an in-demand skill like digital marketing.

And once you upload your course, it’ll stay available online and continue earning sales for you, making it a high passive income.

  • Fees/Commission: Depends on the platform
  • Payment Methods: PayPal, Wire Transfer

Why You Should Consider Making Money With a Laptop As a Side Hustle

Are you still undecided about this opportunity? Here are four reasons to make money online today:

  • Work Anywhere: Working remotely on a laptop allows you to work in a park, inside a cafe, or near the beach.
  • Explore Different Opportunities: Tap into various job postings locally and abroad.
  • Offers Various Functions and Features: A laptop offers enough specs for graphic design, video editing, and other features and tools you may need for work.
  • Connect to the Internet Easily: Go anywhere and have Internet whenever there’s a Wi-Fi connection.

Problems With Making Money With a Laptop

Working with a laptop may come some with challenges. Consider these before trying fully remote work:

  • Technical Skills: Most remote job opportunities require you to be tech-savvy since you’ll only work on a laptop.
  • Costly Device: If you don’t have a laptop yet or are planning to upgrade, it can be quite expensive, especially if you need one with higher specs or better features.
  • Sensitive Device: Laptops can break quickly when uncared for.
  • Unpredictable Battery: It can be a hassle to need a charging port when working outside due to the laptop’s unpredictable charge capacity.

How To Make Money With a Laptop: Step-By-Step Instructions

Since there are various ways to make money online, this general guide will explain how to start earning using your laptop:

Step 1: Know What You’re Good At

What skills or knowledge do you have? Narrowing down a specific skill will help you focus on what method to use for making money online.

Also, doing what you’re already good at will make it easy to find the right opportunities. However, feel free to explore other skills and opportunities if you want to learn them.

Step 2: Invest in the Necessary Equipment or Materials

Regardless of which money-making method you want to start with your laptop, remember that you’ll likely need to invest in tools, materials, equipment, or software.

If you want to become a tutor, invest in visual aids like cards or toys. And if you want to write blogs, you must pay for editing tools like Grammarly or purchase a better subscription plan for your blog’s website.

Ultimately, be ready to shell out money to increase your chance of making good money with your laptop.

Step 3: Choose a Platform

Search for the best platforms for the niche you want. Then, compare each one, looking at online reviews for pros and cons.

When browsing, check the platform’s overall process and payment method. And see if a website has transaction or commission fees. Choose a platform with the most advantageous perks and features.

Step 4: Set Up or Apply to the Platform

After choosing a platform, you must set up your account or apply to be officially part of the platform.

If you’re selling online, you must create your online store, but if you’re teaching online, you must apply for the position.

When applying for a platform, always read instructions carefully to avoid delays on your application.

Step 5: Start Your Remote Work at Home

After being accepted on the platform and creating your account, you may now make money online as a side income or full-time job.

As a tip, ensure that your software and equipment are complete to help you manage your new online work well.

Things to Consider When Making Money With a Laptop

Although working on your laptop is possible, it’s still not easy to make money online for beginners. Here are more things to consider before jumping into this online opportunity:

1. Can Be Expensive to Start

Depending on your path, you must pay for a subscription, materials, items, software, or equipment to get started. And if you don’t have a decent laptop, you must buy one. Prepare a budget to prevent overspending.

2. Set a Goal

What do you want to achieve by making money with your laptop? Do you want a full-time job or a passive income?

If you’re looking for a side hustle, tailor your search for quick online jobs. Remember that each online opportunity mentioned above has a different earning potential, and it would help if you set an income goal.

3. Prepare Backup

Electricity and the Internet are unpredictable. Ensure you have a backup device in case your laptop has a technical issue or a portable Wi-Fi connection if there’s a blackout.

4. Learn New Skills or Knowledge

Some side hustles may require you to learn new skills. For example, if you want to sell online courses, writing a script and video editing are essential skills you must learn to deliver quality courses.

To sell shirts via print-on-demand, you must also know photo editing or graphic design skills to create images and illustrations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Beginner Earn on Fiverr?

Fiverr is a great option for beginners to earn money online since they offer various projects, from tedious to technical tasks.

Which Website Is Best for Freelancing?

Some of the best freelance sites to make money with a laptop include Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer.com, Toptal, Flexjobs, Jooble, Guru, LinkedIn, People Per Hour, and Behance.

Similar Ways to Get Paid

Explore these other options to make money online:

Wrapping Up

People now have various ways to make money online. Many find success selling online, while others do online teaching.

Regardless of your path, always consider your strengths and choose online work that fits your lifestyle.

Which of the nine options above do you want to try? Share your thoughts in the comments!

And feel free to share this article with others who want to start earning at home using their laptop.

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