Many entry-level jobs are being snatched up by adult workers, leaving teenagers at a disadvantage when it comes to finding their first job. Teenagers are now being forced to think outside of the box to find a way to make money.
Over the last decade, the Internet and social media platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Shopify, eBay, and Amazon, have made it possible for young entrepreneurs a chance to own their businesses before graduating from high school.
Do you want to make money online as a Teenager? This article has been written to help you do so with ease.
Why Teens Should Start an Online Business
There’s more to be gained from starting a business than just a flexible lifestyle and having enough money in your pocket.
Navigating the world can be challenging as a teen, and starting your own online business is a truly enriching experience that can boost confidence and skills in teenagers. Here are reasons why you should start an online business.
1. You Learn to adapt and become more resilient.
Starting an online business does not mean automatic success as you have to try many times before you eventually succeed.
Failure at some point is inevitable. It’s a frustrating part of life that we have to face head-on. However, we can use how we navigate and recover from our mistakes and disappointments to shape our future selves.
Operating an online business puts opportunities to fail in an entrepreneur’s path, and teens will likely benefit from the practice of handling and bouncing back from failures.
Teens will soon learn that not everything goes their way, and it’s okay to fail, try again, fail again, and try once more.
2. Starting an online business helps you develop communication abilities.
Communication skills are an essential part of succeeding in an online business as constantly needs to send out emails, create content and many more. To be successful in an online business, one needs to communicate effectively with customers, suppliers, and followers at large.
As you go about running your business, you’ll naturally have to put many of these skills into practice and the practice will benefit you both personally and professionally.
3. You develop finance and accounting skills.
As soon as your online business begins to bring in much money as expected you need to develop accounting skills so as not to become bankrupt.
Whether it’s managing cash flow, purchasing inventory upfront, invoicing suppliers, handling your business’ bookkeeping, working with an accountant, etc. there’s a lot to learn — and learning it will provide you with valuable skills.
You don’t need to be an expert by any means, but familiarizing yourself with the basics and getting help from reputable bookkeeping, accounting, tax, and financial experts will benefit you greatly both personally and professionally.
4. You Learn Real-World Skills Not Taught In Schools
When operating your own online business, you’ll likely learn a lot of things along the way that you may not learn in school at your levels such as inventory management, customer service, financial management, delegation and outsourcing, marketing, website management and so much more.
Even if your business doesn’t last forever, the skills you learn along the way will. They will also likely make you stand out as a valuable candidate if or when you apply for jobs in the future.
5. Running an online business allows you to Build Savings For The Future.
You will eventually make money online, even if it’s just a couple hundred dollars per month extra, the profit you earn from your business could benefit your savings goals.
And if you automate your business to the point that you don’t have to spend a lot of your time managing it, the passive income you earn could be some of the easiest money you’re making each month.
6. Starting an Online Business is Cheap.
One beneficial thing that comes with starting an online business is that it is cheap compared to a traditional brick-and-mortar business.
As a teenager, you can open an online store, blog, or vlog with minimal start-up costs involved. The start-up costs, of course, will vary based on your business model and type of business.
For a simple website or blog, you only need a domain names provider such as NameCheap and a good host.
You don’t need a fancy office to work out of because it is something that you can do from your own home or perhaps while travelling.
Low overhead can help you keep the costs of doing business low. For me, some of my costs include, hosting, domain registration, and software needed to do my job effectively.
If you are tech-savvy and can build your website, then you could essentially start a blog for under $100.
How do I Make Money Online as a Teenager?
Making money online is not only restricted to adults only, even teenagers can now take a bite of the pie.
Is your teenager looking for a job and coming up empty-handed? What about starting an online business as a teen?
Making money online as a teenager can be a great way to gain financial independence and learn valuable skills. Here are a few ways to get started.
1. Become a Freelancer.
Freelancing is a business model that allows you to offer your skillset to a client for a certain amount of time for money.
As a Teen If you have a skill or talent, such as writing, graphic design, or programming, you can offer your services on freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.
You can set your rates and work on your schedule. I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to make money online as a freelancer. Check out the link to the article to learn more.
- How To Become a Freelancer and Make Money
- How To Join Fiverr and Make Money
- How To Make Money Online With Upwork
2. Sell on Amazon FBA.
FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon, a solution which allows you, as an online seller, to utilize Amazon’s numerous huge warehouses to store and ship the products you sell through the Amazon website.
How Amazon FBA works is a very simple, yet powerful process which can help your online business grow without the need for you to invest thousands of pounds in storage facilities and staff.
Amazon allows you to sell your products online. You can create and sell your crafts, clothing, or digital products.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to make money online with Amazon FBA. check out the link to the article to learn more.
3. Affiliate Marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a business model that allows you to earn money promoting other people’s products online.
You can join affiliate programs like Amazon’s Affiliate Program or ShareASale and earn a commission on any sales made through your unique affiliate link.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to make money online with affiliate marketing. Check out the link to the article to learn more.
4. Start a Blog.
There’s no age requirement to start a blog. You may need a parent or guardian to set up your web hosting account and domain name, but you can install WordPress for free and have complete control over your site.
The possibilities for blogging are wide open. You can choose a topic that interests you, which makes your work much more enjoyable and less like real work.
Much of the information you’ll find online about making money with a blog focuses on creating content that provides value through teaching or education.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to start a successful blog. Check out the link to the article to learn more.
5. Create an online course.
Creating an online course is a good option for teens because you can tailor your course to your interests and your unique knowledge or expertise. It’s also highly flexible.
Another benefit that may be appealing is the ability to start building a long-term business.
You could start with a simple course now, and you may ultimately decide to add more courses and continue to grow the business in the future.
Teachable, udemy and other online course hosting platform makes it easy to create your course or lesson (video or text) on any topic of your choice.
They process payments from customers and then pay you what you’ve earned, minus some small fees.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to make money online by creating online courses. Check out the link to the article to learn more.
6. Start a Newsletter on Substack
Writing on Substack is another way to make money online as a teenager. Substack is similar to blogging or publishing platforms like Medium, but it’s focused specifically on delivering content by email.
People can subscribe to receive updates when you publish something new. You can offer your newsletter for free, or if you want to make some money, you’ll charge a monthly subscription fee.
You can also publish some posts for free and select others to be accessible only to paying subscribers.
People are using Substack to publish everything from comics to financial content, so the options are truly unlimited.
Writers keep 90% of the revenue charged by Substack, minus credit card fees. I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to make money online with Substack. Check out the link to the article to learn more.
7. Start a YouTube channel.
YouTube is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. Having the second largest search engine after Google, people are searching for everything.
All you need do as a teenager to start a YouTube channel is to find your interest and create videos about it.
See what others are doing and apply it to your niche. Although getting paid will take time and lots of effort, if you stick with a strategy eventually you can get paid from advertising and sponsorships.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to become successful on YouTube. Check out the link to the article to learn more.
8. Start a Print-on-Demand Business.
A print-on-demand business is where you work with a supplier of white-label products (like baseball hats or tote bags) to customize those products and sell them on a per-order basis under your brand and with your designs.
With print-on-demand, you don’t pay for the cost of the product until after you’ve sold it, so there’s no need to buy in bulk or hold any inventory yourself.
Plus with print-on-demand services, everything after the sale, from digital printing to order fulfilment and shipping, is handled by your supplier.
Many of the selling companies dropship (print, package, send) for you so you have no costs other than the programs you use for design, and a monthly fee.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to make money online with a dropshipping business. Check out the link to the article to learn more.
Making money online comes with its ups and downs. There have never been more legit online jobs and side hustles.
Gigs like answering questions on a paid survey site can be a solid way to make money from home with your smartphone but go into them knowing that the payout will be quite small, more reason why I did not include them in this article.
On the other hand, becoming a freelancer gives you almost endless opportunities. With experience and skill, it’s realistic to make $100,000 or more per year as a freelance writer, editor or graphic designer.
So before you get started with any of the options on this list, take a few minutes to think about your goals.
To further buttress this, I wrote a comprehensive guide on an additional 50 online businesses that can make you real money. Check out the link to the article to learn more.