How to make money from home online in the UK

Find out how you can make money online from the safety and comfort of home with Anne East.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

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Image source: Getty Images.

There’s no sugar-coating the facts: times are tough and lockdown lethargy is well and truly starting to kick in for many of us. So, if you’ve been furloughed or are simply at a loose end, here’s how to make money from home online in the UK.

A word to the wise: you won’t make your millions from these opportunities, but they could help plug the gaps and give you a new focus. You might even discover a whole new career.

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Alternatively, if you’re looking for firms hiring actual employees right now, head to these 13 UK companies hiring remote workers.

Sign up to freelancer sites

You can try selling your skills or bid for work on freelancer sites like People Per Hour and Upwork. Each has its own rules, but essentially you set up a profile pitching your abilities or you scroll through job listings and quote on what you fancy. Skills in demand include those of website developers, graphic designers and marketers.

Freelancer sites can be hit and miss. Competition is fierce and buyers can be tight, so you won’t necessarily be paid professional rates. That said, if you’re tentatively looking to change career and want to build up your portfolio, these are good places to do that while earning money from home.

Start affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is the online equivalent of door-to-door selling. If you sign up for this, you’ll be pushing products online via your own social media profiles. Every time someone buys a product via your link, you’ll earn commission.

It doesn’t have to be as impersonal as cold calling. You can choose to advertise items or brands that you feel an affinity for. Needless to say, you’ll need a pretty decent sized online presence to make this worthwhile and have the ability to market products online.

So, if you’re a blogger, vlogger or Insta influencer and want to try out affiliate marketing, consider joining one of the many affiliate networks. From there, you can pick and choose what you link to. Two of the biggest networks are AWIN and Amazon Associates. AWIN charges a £5 join-up fee, refunded to your account if you meet the eligibility criteria. Amazon is free to join.    

Trade on marketplaces

Online marketplace selling is a perennial home money-maker for us in the UK, but one that’s getting harder to do as more and more people try their luck.

There’s the usual ‘sell your old clothes, books and DVDs’ approach, which is a quick and easy way to clear out unwanted belongings and earn cash.

But, if you’re looking for something a little more sustainable, it pays to have a point of difference. Of course, being in lockdown means it’s tricky to source unusual or vintage items. However, if you’re handy with a sewing machine, selling your own handmade face masks could be an opportunity to brush up on your skills and make a few quid.

Write CVs

Signing up as a CV writer at one of the many online UK agencies is another great way to make money from home. Some agencies like you to have HR experience, while others just need you to have competent written English skills. Most firms pay per CV and are on hand to help. Some will also provide CV templates to work from. If you can knock out several CVs a day, it could be a lucrative side earner.

Sell photos

Whether you’re a pro or an amateur, you can try selling your photos to stock image banks such as Adobe Stock or Getty Images. Every time someone buys your photo, you’ll be paid a percentage of the cost. There’s also the Stockimo app, owned by Alamay, which makes the job even easier. Simply upload photos from a compatible iPhone (4 or above) and hope they sell.

Become an ethical hacker

This is one for coding wizards and those with a flair for technology looking at the bigger picture. Ethical, or ‘white hat’, hacking is an ever-growing industry. Businesses and organisations pay you to sniff out online security weaknesses (glitches in the Matrix, if you like).

If this sounds interesting, take a look at the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) training course. You don’t need any particular qualifications, but it is expensive (although discounts are being offered throughout May at the IT Governance site).

Make the most of your money at home

As well as earning a bit more on the side, make the most of the money you’ve got with these budgeting tips for working from home and essential resources for payment relief.

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