I’m writing this in the middle of the pandemic. It’s had a huge impact on many of our lives already.
If you’ve experienced a drop in income due to Covid, I want to reassure you that there are ways to make extra money to help plug the gaps.
And what’s more, there are plenty of ways to make money without leaving your house! Yes, you can make money during lockdown or on furlough while staying home safe and sound.
So even if you’re self-isolating due to health worries or government lockdown, you can still find ways to boost your income.
I’ve divided this post into three sections: quick fixes, work from home jobs and online business ideas.
Whether you need to make some extra cash fast, or you’re looking for a whole new work from home career, I hope you’ll find some ideas and inspiration here.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links. That means that if you sign up for some of the opportunities below, I may earn a commission. There is no cost to you. This helps pay to continue running this site. Thank you!
Here’s my roundup of the best ways to make money during the Coronavirus lockdown:
Quick wins to make money in lockdown UK
If you need a quick injection of cash to keep you going through lockdown, this is the place to start.
Most of these opportunities are not particularly high paying or consistent. They are no replacement for a full time job.
But it’s possible to make a few hundred pounds within a month or so by working through the ideas in this section.
Start here if you need ideas to make money from home fast, then move on to the longer-term ideas down the page.
Related post: I Need Money! How To Make Money FAST
OhMyDosh! is a site where you can get paid to sign up for trials and take part in special offers online.
For example, you can make a quick £11 by signing up for Prime Video (£4), downloading the Yolt app (£3), and buying some scratchcards on Lottoland (£4.50, but a 99p spend, so £3.51 profit) – plus a 50p welcome bonus.
This should take you less than 30 minutes, and even if you already use some of the services, you can usually get around it by using a secondary email address or making an account for somebody else in your family.
It pays very fast, especially if you concentrate on the ‘lightening payouts’ section. You can have money in your bank account within 3 working days.
You can take part in market research panels and focus groups online. These involve chatting with a researcher and/or other participants about a product or your experiences.
These can pay very well – often around £100 per hour! However, they often have very specific requirements so don’t count on getting frequent work.
Cashback sites are a real no-brainer. You can earn money back almost every time you shop online.
The main two in the UK are:
You can even get cashback on takeaways and delivery services – handy if you’re self-isolating! Here are some of the current offers on TopCashback:
Also, check out the ‘free cashback’ tab on TopCashback. There are lots of offers that you can claim without spending any money, such as claiming free trials and entering competitions.
Online surveys are not for everyone. They can be boring and they don’t usually pay well, so they’re not my personal preferred way to make money from home.
But, they are an easy way to start making money online that anyone can do! You can even do them on your phone while watching TV.
It can be possible to make a couple of hundred pounds a month from surveys if you put the time in. But some people have better luck than others, as it depends on your demographics.
Here are some of my favourites:
- Prolific – the best paying and most interesting surveys
- Qmee – cash out instantly, no minimum payment threshold
- YouGov – has a lot of interesting surveys and not too low paying, although you need to reach £50 before you can cash out.
- Pinecone Research – pays £3 per survey
For more, check my roundup of the best paying survey sites in the UK.
With website usability testing, you get paid to give feedback on company websites.
This is interesting and well-paid work. You can earn around £10 per 15 minute job and usually get paid within a week.
However, as with other ideas in this section, the work can be limited. Tests are first come, first served and some have eligibility requirements.
Sign up for multiple companies and combine this with some of the other ideas on the page to maximise your earnings.
Some companies to look at include Userlytics, User Testing, Try My UI, Testing Time and UTest.
Money making apps
There are so many apps you can download on your phone to start making money straight away.
From survey apps, to apps that run in the background to make passive income – download a few of these and the money starts adding up.
Matched betting is a way of profiting from bookmakers’ special offers. Typically matched betting uses football and horse racing. You ‘match’ two opposite bets against each other to cancel each other out, so you don’t lose money. And you make the profit from the free bets and special offers.
There are websites like this one that give you full training and lots of resources to talk you through it.
Matched betting was tough for a while during lockdown, with so many sports cancelled. But there were still profits to be made, especially with casino offers, and also in some foreign sports and e-sports. And now it’s back and as profitable as ever!
It can take a few weeks for all the offers to clear, but you can expect to make around £150 by the end of it.
Work from home jobs to earn money during lockdown
So, you’ve got a little bit of cash coming in from the ideas above.
Now you need an ongoing way to make money without leaving your house.
Here are some real ways to make money from home as full- or part-time home-based jobs.
These ideas may take a little more time to get set up and running, but you can make a more consistent income in the long run.
Unfortunately there is higher competition than usual for these jobs, due to the number of people now looking to make money from home during lockdown.
But if you are persistent, there is still work out there. I recommend applying to as many jobs as possible to increase your chances.
Teach English online
If you’re a native English speaker, you have a great skill that’s highly in demand – speaking English!
There are several companies recruiting English speakers to tutor overseas students via webcam.
One company is EF Education First, which pays up to £12.50 per hour to teach students in China and provides all the teaching materials for you.
EF requires a TEFL certificate, which you can actually complete online for a very low price. I would definitely recommend going through a TEFL course if you’re interested in pursuing English teaching in the long term.
Even if you don’t want to become certified, there are other companies that don’t require any qualifications, such as Cambly, Palfish (this is an app only) and iTalki.
It typically takes a couple of weeks to get through the application process, and then you will have consistent, well paid work from home.
Related post: How to Make Money Teaching English Online in the UK
Not interested in teaching English online? You can become an online tutor in almost any subject or skill.
And there is currently a rise in demand for online tutoring and support with homeschooling, with so many children at home now.
Online tutoring is particularly suitable for any teachers whose schools have closed.
It’s also a good home-based job for university students, recent graduates, and subject experts such as musicians.
You can advertise your lessons locally, on Facebook or local community sites. There are also websites such as Superprof in the UK that help match up tutors and students.
Related post: 29 Legit Online Jobs For Students To Earn Money At Home
Run online classes
If you run a class or workshop, you might have to pause in-person sessions for the time being. But have you considered moving the class online?
In my local area, I’ve seen all kinds of classes move to online, from fitness and languages to online craft workshops.
As with tutoring, there is increased demand as more people are stuck at home. Parents are looking for activities to keep their children occupied at home. Even many adults who are having to self-isolate are looking for new ways to fill their time by taking online classes.
A popular software to facilitate online classes is Zoom.
You can also try Skype, Google Hangouts or even Facetime, depending on the number of students in your class and what extra features you may require.
Data entry is an easy online job that doesn’t require experience. It involves taking data in one format and putting into another format, for example entering details into a spreadsheet.
There are lots of data entry jobs advertised on Upwork. There are also some on the microtasking websites Clickworker and Microworkers, although these aren’t so well paid.
You can also advertise your services on freelancer sites such as Fiverr or People Per Hour. Or search on job sites such as Indeed.
Virtual Assistants help businesses, bloggers and individuals with any kind of task that they can do remotely.
- email management
- social media management
- moderating Facebook groups and online communities
- liaising with suppliers and contractors
- uploading text and images to a website
- editing copy
- … and 100s of other things!
Many businesses are moving more and more of their operations online at this time, so there could well be a boom in requirements for VA services.
The course teaches:
- What a VA really is + case studies of successful students
- A downloadable assessment to help find the work that best suits your situation
- How to choose the right work category (administrative, creative, support and sales, management, etc) to get started
- How to optimize/use your Linkedin profile to ‘put yourself out there’ ASAP (i.e. no need for a website!)
- 3 easy ways to market your business NOW (including tracking/pitching templates)
- Plus a resources module with printable PDFs, checklists and more!
(Note: you still have to enter payment information, due to the way the payment portal is set up, but if you enter coupon code WEGOTTHIS you will not be charged. Check that the 100% discount has applied correctly before proceeding!)
Home-based customer service jobs
Customer service reps answer customer queries over the phone or by web chat. This type of work is commonly done from home.
Here’s an interview with a mum who does this kind of work, where you can learn more about how she got into it.
Web evaluation jobs
An interesting way to make money from home online is web evaluation. There are jobs in search evaluation and social media evaluation, which help improve the web experience for users.
The main two companies hiring this sort of work are:
They also have some transcription work, and translation work that you can do if you speak a foreign language.
You have to pass a test, and it can take a while to get your first job. But once you’re in you’ll benefit from a rate of pay above minimum wage and a job you can do without leaving the house.
Transcription means turning audio content into written content, i.e. listening to a recording and typing out what you hear!
There are so many opportunities to do this kind of work from home, and you don’t need any qualifications – although as with most jobs, the more qualifications and experience you have, the more you can earn!
Transcription work pays per ‘audio minute’ or ‘audio hour’. Be aware that on average, it takes 4x the amount of audio time to complete the transcription.
Some companies to look at for entry-level transcribing work include:
Sell your services
Do you have any skills that you can sell online? Such as writing, coding, editing, designing, translation, and so on.
You can try selling your services on one of the many online marketplaces for freelancers such as Upwork (where you apply for jobs) or Fiverr (where the clients come to you).
Be aware that these online freelancer sites can be very competitive, especially in the beginning before you have any reviews. You may have to offer low prices or extra bonuses in the beginning, while you build up a recommendation for yourself.
Another route is to pitch local businesses directly.
Think about what you can offer businesses to help out at this time. For example, if you know how to build websites, you could help a local shop without a website get online so they can continue running their own business from home.
Online business ideas for long-term earnings from home
In this section, we’ll look at some online home business ideas. These are longer-term projects – they’re not suitable if you need to make money right away, because it can take a while to build up an income.
But in the long run, these businesses are the most profitable ideas on this page.
If you find yourself with lots of time on your hands while self-isolating, this could be a great project to get stuck into!
Start a blog
Blogging is the ultimate way to make money without leaving home. All you need is a laptop, and you can work from anywhere!
Blogging is so flexible. You set your own hours, and you don’t have a boss.
You can blog on whichever topic you choose – although of course, if you want to make money, some topics are more profitable than others.
The key is to write the kind of articles that people search Google for. You need to help people find answers to their questions, and the money will follow.
My blog started to generate a full time income after around two years of blogging. So while it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, it’s something to look at if you have long-term plans to become self-employed.
Wondering how blogs actually make money? Here are a few of the most common ways:
- Display advertising
- Affiliate links
- Selling your own products (e.g. ebooks, online courses)
- Sponsored posts
- Use your blog as a platform to sell your freelance services, coaching etc.
The best thing about blogging for me is that it can become a source of passive income over time. If your website is getting visitors, you will make money – whether you worked that day or not.
This is a real relief when life gets busy or when you need to take a break.
This is designing T-shirts, phone cases etc to sell online.
You can use free software to create your designs, and upload it to a platform such as Merch By Amazon. When your product sells, the POD platform prints and ships it – with no further input from you!
As with blogging, this is not a quick win but potentially very profitable over the long run.
Read about my experience with print-on-demand here.
With so many people stuck at home at the moment, there are lots of niches that are going to see a big boom on YouTube. For example: home exercise videos, home schooling/educational videos, storecupboard meals.
Could you create helpful content around any of these? If so, you could grow a YouTube following.
You need at least 1,000 followers before you can add adverts to your channel. But you can also earn with affiliate links, selling merch, and sponsorship deals.
Create online courses
If you have a skill to share – and you probably do! – consider creating an online course to teach others.
This is an opportunity to develop passive income, as you can sell the same course over and over again.
Udemy is a popular platform for creating and selling online courses. You don’t need your own website.
Self-publish Kindle books
With KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), anyone can become an author. You can write your own ebooks and upload them for distribution on Amazon very easily.
Can’t write, but have lots of ideas? You can find writers on Fiverr to do that for you.
You don’t have to write hundreds of pages, or come up with the next bestseller to be a success selling Kindle books. A lot of short how-to guides do very well.
Here’s a detailed guide on how to get started.
No content books
This idea is kind of a mash-up of self-publishing and print-on-demand.
In addition to ebooks, KDP also lets you self-publish paperbacks. You simply upload the content and Amazon will print it out for you when you get an order.
Many people are now hacking this system by creating ‘no content books’ such as notebooks and journals. You create an eye-catching cover for your book, and then just upload blank pages for the interior (or lined, or square, or music scores, and so on.)
This is an interesting idea that I’d like to try myself!
‘Printables’ are any digital file that you can print out at home.
If you have some basic design skills, it’s easy to create printables to sell online.
Again, once you’ve created the file once, you can sell it over and over, potentially bringing you an income for years to come.
A great place to start selling with no upfront fees is Etsy.
More ways to make money without leaving home
As you can see, there are so many different ways to make money without leaving the house. You could even use your time in quarantine to start a whole new career!
I hope this post has helped brainstorm some ways to raise extra cash. You can look after your health and your bank balance at the same time by finding ways to safely make money while staying at home.
If you know of any other ways to work at home during this time, please share in the comments below.
Take a look at these posts for lots more ideas:
- How to Earn Extra Money in the UK: 75 Ways to Make Extra Cash
- How to Make Money Online: 50+ Money Making Ideas
- 13 Tried-and-Tested Ways to Make Money Online in the UK (Updated for 2020!)
- How To Make Money Without A Job
- 7 Online Jobs You Can Do With No Experience
- 12 Best Flexible Work From Home Jobs for Mums
- 54 Sure-Fire Ways to Make Money From Home
- How to Make Money Teaching English Online in the UK
Good luck and stay safe out there!
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