How to make money online as a college student

When you’re in college every $20 counts.


That’s your next 4 meals. A few bottles for the buds. A Jefferson for your Robinhood account.


I did work-study in college and although it let me do homework like 30% of the time it paid barely over minimum wage.

With the right planning and grit you can make $50/hr as a college student.


It sounds outlandish, but if you focus on the right jobs and follow the demand, it’s possible.


I like targeting $50/hr because if you fail to hit that number, you can still hit $25/hr as a fallback. It’s good to be a bit ambitious and aim higher.


News Flash: Smart Online Entrepreneurs Don’t Care that You’re a College Kid


I’m an online entrepreneur – I own a marketing agency and a few content websites, and I’m 10 years out of college.


I have a secret: I don’t care if you’re 19 or 49. All I care about is are you good, do you deliver on time, and do I see an ROI on the work.


There are nuances. If it’s personal finance writing for retirees, I need someone experienced and likely in their 30s.


If it’s writing about how to care for pets, I don’t care about your age!


If it’s programming in JavaScript – I’ll likely hire the more seasoned programmer, but those are really hard to hire so I have no problem hiring college students.


Ideas for Online Jobs for College Students


Here are some ideas off the top of my head. I wrote this quickly so I’ll update later if you like it.


1. Blog Post Writing


90% of college students can write well enough for what marketing agencies and small business owners want. So this is the most widely available job.


Go find a writing marketplace like Verblio, Textbroker or Upwork. Apply there.


Choose a specific and in-demand niche.


The one that pays the most? B2B and SaaS writing. If you don’t know what those are go look it up.


Listen. You can write about cats and knitting if you want. But think about supply and demand. There’s a lot of people that can write about pets. So


If you want $50/hr follow the money. Look into tech, finance, insurance, and law for the best paying opps.


2. FUNNY and Smart Social Media Manager


You would think social media managers would be a low paying job with too many applicants.


I’ll say this. As a business owner, I don’t have time to create social media posts.


BUT it’s valuable for me to post on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Here’s another secret. You may be familiar with Tik Tok and Instagram. But those really only work for DTC and consumer brands.


Where is the real money? Learn how to craft really good LinkedIn posts for insurance agents, real estate agency, or B2B software companies. Choose one industry, learn the lingo, and write 3 SMART and FUNNY sample posts and send it to 25 marketing directors at 25 companies.

I guaranteed you’ll get a few nibbles.

When they ask your rate tell them 10 hrs a week for $500/week. Negotiate from there.

Again, be funny, be smart, and know the industry lingo.

Research social media growth.

You know what’s a total waste of time and will get you fired after a month? Creating lame posts on Canva that are just quotes and get like 3 likes.

Create a plan to test 5-10 different formats and show the company how you will iterate and test monthly.


3. Project Manager


Don’t call yourself an administrative assistant or VA.


Call yourself a project manager. You’ll get paid double.


Take 3 courses on project management on Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, or Udemy. Spend 30 hrs on these 3 courses, total.


Write up 3 blog posts with your learnings.


Then approach busy marketing agencies and say you can be a project manager for some of their chaotic project.


All marketing agencies have one or more chaotic projects.


Learn how to use Asana. Then you can adapt your Asana learnings to any PM platform.


Other Ideas


Email me if you want me to write about: designers, web developers, and marketing.


Good luck!