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How to Make Money Online as a Teen (Under 18)
You don't have to get a job to make money, as the Internet is loaded with opportunities for teenagers to earn cash online -- and the best part is you can do it while concentrating on your interests. However, be aware of the dangers of working online, which can include cyber-bullying and identity theft. Always keep your parents informed about what you're doing, and get advice before disclosing personal information or spending money.
Be a Critic
Earn spare cash giving your opinion by joining survey websites such as SurveySavvy.com, or ReviewStream, which pay for short reviews. Survey sites ask personal questions about age, gender, race and household income. Those questions help the companies match surveys with the best survey-takers, so they don't waste time and money, such as 17-year-olds receiving surveys about denture cream.
Rates range from a few cents to a few dollars per survey, and some websites pay you for referring other survey-takers. You have to meet a minimum threshold before you can request payment for your work, but once you do, you may be able to choose between prizes, gift cards or cash.
Become a Service Provider
Sell your talent on Fiverr. List services, such as drawing, conducting keyword research, doing voiceovers or creating ads, and price each gig starting at $5. People around the world can place orders for your services. They pay when the order is placed, but Fiverr holds the money. After you complete and submit the work, Fiverr pays you 80 percent of the order price. It's free to join and list gigs, and the website doesn't specify any age requirements.
Let the Cameras Roll
Showcase your talent or expertise on YouTube and monetize the videos. You need a YouTube account with the monetization setting enabled, and also an AdSense account, which requires a parent or guardian since you're under 18. Associate the two accounts and you can make money displaying ads on your video pages. You can also earn money by creating subscription-based channels and creating links to merchandise elsewhere on the Internet.
Supply the World With Goodies
Sell stuff using online marketplaces, such as Amazon or eBay. You can sell books, clothes, toys and more. Sell items you don't want anymore, resell merchandise you buy, or sell stuff for other people and take a cut. You can even create your own online store so you can build regular clientele. And if you specialize in antiques or have creative talents, such as knitting, woodworking or painting skills, consider setting up an online store on Etsy, a marketplace for handmade and vintage goods. Check each marketplace's rules. You may have to set up the account in your parent's name if you're under 18.
Show off Your Photography Skills
Use your photography skills to earn some cash. Take pictures and record clips, upload the content to a stock image website, such as Shutterstock, and get a portion of the proceeds when visitors pay to download your content. Earn additional money referring customers and get a portion of the sales from other contributors you refer. Your earnings accrue in an account, but stock images websites generally require you to meet a minimum earning threshold before you're eligible for payment.
Become a Blogger
Teens are making money online writing about everything from fashion and beauty to anime and technology. Some even have successful blogs that feature random musings. Monetize the blog by making it a membership site, where your readers pay for access. Sell ad space to businesses, and use advertising network programs, such as AdSense and Chitika. Earn additional money with affiliate programs -- when your readers click your affiliate links and visit other websites, you receive a portion of the proceeds of those sales. You may need your parents' help to sign up for affiliate programs. And remember, earning money from blogging requires patience because you have to build an audience first.
Felicia Dye graduated from Anne Arundel Community College with an associate's degree in paralegal studies. She began her writing career specializing in legal writing, providing content to companies including Internet Brands and private law firms. She contributes articles to Trace 775.com.