Teen girl smiles as she uploads graphics as an online job

*This post may contain affiliate links. What does that mean? At no extra cost to you, as an Amazon Associate and affiliate for products that make MY life as a neurodiverse mom MUCH easier, I earn a small commission anytime you click one of my links and make a qualifying purchase. 😊 A girl’s ‘gotta have some extra coin for her pricey lattes and Thai noodles! Thanks guys! 🥰

For a teenager, one of the most exciting “rites of passage” is getting their first job. But most of us wouldn’t think about online jobs for teens. We want them to participate in the whole glorious experience; including the ugly non-slip shoes, a smelly uniform, the joy of learning to use a cash register, and yes- that first paycheck! Indeed, having their own money to spend that they earned all by themselves is something every teen looks forward to!

Or at, least, as a mom, it’s something I look forward to… I can’t imagine ANYTHING more heavenly than being able to say, “if you want that (fill in the blank with the current must have expensive crap), buy it with your OWN damn money…” And then – watching them actually buy said expensive crap with their own self-earned money!!!

That’s the stuff dreams are made of! I actually get giddy thinking about it!

And then reality kicks in.

The reality is, 2020 is the stuff of nightmares! I mean, first of all, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. And that’s just the beginning of this year’s insanity – it’s not even trending on Twitter anymore!

In all this craziness, we’re facing some really harsh truths. Millions of people are out of jobs, many of whom can’t get unemployment if their life depended on it…which actually, it does…

But before I get sucked into a long rant about the madness of our current world, let’s talk about what all of this means for our teens. Heh he..

Welp.

It means a lot of things, but for the purposes of this particular article, it means, if your teen is looking for a job right now, statistically speaking, they’re fucked.

Hey, I’m just bein’ honest.

BUT!!! Thanks to the internet and all of us Millennials 😉 (who refuse to work our lives away at some crap job for mere pennies), there’s hope for us all! This is the era of internet millionaires and a fast emerging gig economy – all these kids need is an internet connection, a bit of drive, and a dash of resourcefulness, and they can literally make money online doing just about anything! 

You’re welcome Gen Z!

AJ's avatar poses as a millennial super hero, standing on a building engraved with the words "you're welcome".

But can teens really make money online? Are there age restrictions in the gig market? What about upfront fees and investments? Don’t most legit online job opportunities require some kind of money or equipment up front? What’s that bs saying…you gotta have money to make money? And really, aren’t most them low-key shady as hell scams that lure vulnerable and/or stupid people into giving them your data so they can sell it???

First off, have a little faith…I did NOT spend an astronomical time researching this just so your kid can sign up for a bunch of garbage survey sites! No one deserves that kind email spamming nightmare, not to mention the frustration of realizing that not one of those surveys will ever earn you a damn cent.

Nah boo, I don’t play that game. Surveys are not the move. Neither is reviewing songs or beta testing for big gaming companies.

Scam, scam, scaaa…well actually that last one is real, but not unless you have a bachelors in computer science. Sorry!

But while there are loads of scams and assholes feeding off peoples desperation and gullibility (not sure if that’s a word?) to make a quick buck, you should know that there are also VERY real and VERY doable (and legal) ways to make money via the all-powerful internet. Including online jobs for teens! 😉

And yes, it is a very select few of these opportunities are available to teens…All five of the online jobs I’ve listed below are open to teens 13 years and up. 😁 I’ll gloat a little and add that every money making opportunity in this post is 100% free – there’s no equipment needed, no fancy software to buy, no fees or subscriptions, and – just throwin’ this out there – no fast food nightmares, no crusty uniforms or those ugly ass slip free shoes. Ew. Just a perk of working from home. Make sure your kids appreciate that shit!

via GIPHY

Going back to my awesome research skills here, your teen can start any of these opportunities listed TODAY and can start earning money immediately! AND – last thing I promise – I chose each of these opportunities because they force your teen to socially interact with other human beings…the recent lack of which, I know is pushing these kids over the edge (and us parents). Granted, that interaction is online, but hey, take your wins where you can 😉

Yes, I know I’m so GOAT! But anywayyyyy…

Here are the 5 BEST online jobs for teens 😊

1) Create Designs For Your Own Online Print On Demand Store:

There are TONS of platforms out there that make creating and uploading your teens designs and selling them a BREEZE, like Tee Public! I love the idea of a T-Shirt shop for teens, but there’s definitely no reason to stop there! Your teen can sell her designs on a variety of products from t-shirts and hoodies to cosmetic bags and wall art! Teens can choose to create a design in one of the many awesome applications found in Adobe Creative Cloud like Adobe Spark , (students get a discount!) or she can opt for one of the many more beginner friendly alternatives available (like Canva) – many of which are FREE! Check out this expansive list of some of my favorite free and easy to use alternatives to Adobe Spark – these can be addictive, just warning ya! Once your teen has created her design, she can upload her masterpieces to a free online storefront, complete with her own style and flair (like ours)! She’ll decide what products she wants to showcase her design on, set her prices (on some platforms), and start selling! 

Graphic from Tee Public about page  shows how teens can make money  by uploading their designs and selling products on their platform

Why do I love this online job for teens? First, you only need to be 13 to get started. Plus, it’s great if you have no money to invest, which is true for most teens 🙄. There is no physical product to sell, so you don’t have to worry about inventory, shipping, or the printing process itself! All sales are pure profit, there is no cost to use the service or create your online shop, and you never have to purchase a a goddamn thing! 

Have a magical unicorn child who is actually taking their future seriously? This is GREAT for teens who might be interested in marketing or graphic design after high school. And yes, they can ABSOLUTELY put it on their resume! I’m all for the “try before you buy” tactic when it comes to making career decisions – especially when it involves spending tens of thousands of dollars on college tuition! 

Tailwind for Instagram

2) Get published as a writer on Vocal: 

Writing is one of EASIEST ways to make money online, and there are a gazillion different job boards and freelance sites where you can get started. i also thinks anything that gives our teens an appropriate outlet is the bomb.com! That’s why I consider it one the absolute best online jobs for teens. But – why Vocal, and also…

What the heck even is Vocal? 

Vocal.Media is an online community of writers, musicians, photographers, filmmakers and other artists, focused on discovering and rewarding creative talent. You only need to be 13 to be a Vocal Creator, which makes it one of the best places to get started if your teen is interested in journalism, op-eds, poetry, short stories, screenplay writing, writing lyrics, photography snapshots, or just about any other style of writing! Here, your teen can get published, get practice, feedback, and mentoring from a community of supportive fellow creatives – and of course, earn some coin! 

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How does it work? Your teen will sign up for a free account here, (yup, free 😉) and can begin submitting articles immediately! The Vocal moderation team reviews submissions to ensure they meet community guidelines. If there are grammatical errors or a source is needed, they’ll let your teen know and give them the opportunity to fix it and resubmit. I recommend using a program like Grammarly that proofreads and checks for plagiarism. If everything is gucci, submissions get published in around 24 hours! Once a submission is published, there are three ways your teen can make money:

  1. Get paid per read: Vocal Creators with free accounts are paid $3.80 per thousand reads. That might not sound like much, but your teen already has an audience – a whole community of readers on Vocal, which any content creator will tell you is the most difficult part of monetizing their craft! Each article has Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons, and your teen, you, your family, friends, and anyone else your teen is willing to share their work with can share on any social platform. If the content is good, it won’t take long to start racking up views! 

2. Get paid with tips: Vocal Creators are able to receive tips from fans! Tips go directly to their Stripe account, which is set up when they create an account.

3. Promote your products: If your teen set up that t-shirt shop, has another product, video, blog they want to promote OR signs up for any of the other opportunities in this article, they can post links in each article to their profiles or products to drive traffic and sales to ANY and ALL of their side hustles 😉

The only drawback is that with a free account, Vocal Creators can’t withdraw money from their Stripe account until it hits $35. But if you think your teen is too impatient for all that, you can check out the differences between Vocal and Vocal+ here.

If your teen loves journaling and struggles not to write whole books when texting her friends, or even if they don’t, check out the Vocal’s Creator 101 page!

Grammarly Writing Support

3) Become an Amazon Influencer

The Amazon Influencer program is by far the easiest way to make money online…it requires the bare minimum amount of effort and allows for a pretty impressive stream of fairly passive income. Which is why I love it for teens, and also kind of…don’t. I don’t know, I guess I just always try to encourage a love of lifelong learning and growth in my kids activities (including jobs, online or no), NOT just the easiest way to make a buck.

But I will say, while it is pretty easy to make money as an Amazon Affiliate, it’s not completely without it’s challenges, and it does require a certain skill set that many teens (who aren’t obscenely outspoken extroverts like mine) would ABSOLUTELY benefit from developing, especially during all of this years craziness!

So, what exactly are we talkin’ about here? What the heck is an Amazon Influencer?

Amazon’s Influencer Program is one of two ways to become an Amazon Affiliate. The first is Amazon Associates, which is best for someone who has a website they publish content to with a reasonably established audience. The second, and the path I find easiest for most teens to get started with, is as an Amazon Influencer

An Amazon Affiliate is simply someone who signs up to promote Amazon products they already use and love, and in return, receives a commission from any sales initiated by their promotion. 

An Amazon Influencer uses an established social media presence to promote these products (as opposed to Amazon Associates, who promote on a website).

Since most teens have an account on at least one social media platform, this is an easy way for your less motivated kid to make money doing exactly what they do all day anyway – sitting on their phone scrolling to find the latest tea! And there is no age restriction for Amazon Influencers (accept those applying to the social media platform being used), which means almost anyone can do it! They will need an Amazon Teen Program here

Once your teen has an Amazon Teen account, they can apply to be an Amazon Influencer. Upon approval, all they have to do is search for products they like- maybe those badass gaming headphones he dropped $300 on, or the hair & make-up products she uses that wins her compliments on every selfie she posts – and add them to their own Amazon “storefront” – once they choose a product, Amazon provides a special tracking link for that product. Your teen copies the link, writes a little blurb on why they love it, adds the link, and posts. It will look like this one I added below: ⬇⬇⬇ (Great book BTW, in case your kid wants to delve a little deeper into the world of internet marketing 😉) That’s it! Super easy!

So how do they make money? Any time someone clicks on your teens link, it sends them to your teens store. If they make a purchase (even up to 24 hours later), your teen earns a small commission on the sale of that product – and anything else that they might buy in the next few hours! 😉

How does this develop any kind of skill set? Your teen will have to entice people to click on their posts, which means they’ll have to practice their persuasive writing, AND online social etiquette. See! What makes the Amazon Influencer program a great online job for teens is that it’s a perfect entry point for learning social media marketing and affiliate marketing – both extremely profitable ways to earn money in the online arena! Check the BEST course I’ve ever taken on Udemy for the most comprehensive info on how it works 🙂

So yes, I’m satisfied and pretty impressed with this program! If you agree, check out the Amazon Influencer Program here

4)  Freelance on Fiverr: 

I can’t talk enough about how awesome Fiverr is. You may hear rumors of it’s incompetence and a lot of trashtalking from the internet trolls. But I’m telling you, if you utilize this platform correctly and know how to market yourself even a teeny bit, this is where it’s at!

So what is “this platform”, exactly?

Fiverr is basically an online marketplace that brings freelancers and customers together. You only need to be 13 years old to sign up, and it’s absolutely free! Sellers post offers to complete tasks or services in over 200 categories, for anywhere from $5 – $995! Tasks range from quirky & fun to highly professional and business oriented. So that obnoxious but fairly accurate impression of Donald Duck your teen is always doing? Yes, someone is looking for that for a YouTube channel or podcast, and yes, they will pay for it! As he completes more tasks and earns more positive reviews, he can charge more money. 

What’s cool about Fiverr is that you can discover all sorts of hidden talents you didn’t even know you had, let alone that people would actually pay for! For example, you can offer to do celebrity impressions, write dating profiles or product descriptions, complete video game challenges, make origami, or read horoscopes and yes – people pay for it!! I’ve seen everything from offers to sing “happy birthday” as Darth Vader for $5 a pop to creating whole websites on WordPress for upwards of $1000! Whatever quirky or badass talent your kid has, someone is willing to pay for it on Fiverr!

Check out the gig below…this seller makes $30 an hour coaching and playing Apex Legends on PS4 with other gamers who need a little help. Based on his 5 star reviews (which you can read by clicking on the image), he’s got a minimum of 45 gigs under his belt (and 2 more in queue) and has been doing this for less than a year! That works out to around 5 hours of gameplay and $140 per month…not too shabby for a side hustle doing something you enjoy!

Example of how one Fivver user makes money online selling time playing and coaching gamers on Apex Legends.
This Fivver users gig description is an  example of how teens can freelance as an online job

One of the many reasons I love Fiverr for teens is, no matter what your teen is interested in, this is a platform that can help them build skills that will stay with them loooong after high school!  Don’t dismiss the opportunity here for teens to build up their portfolios for graphic design, photography, writing, coding, game design, anything…you name it! 

Want to know more about selling on Fiverr? Check it out here!

5) Start a Podcast on Anchor

Anchor is a truly amazing app that lets podcasters create and monetize content in a single, easy to use platform. Which is like, a dream come true for any content creator! I LOVE Anchor because of how easy they make it to record, edit, publish, distribute and monetize content with nothing but a smartphone! They offer free unlimited hosting, awesome analytics, cover art design, text transcription…and the best part! They automatically publish your content to all the major podcast platforms at once – for FREE!

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It’s true! No need to register with every platform one at a time! Just choose who you want to publish to, and hit submit!

I can tell you that for my teens (and let’s be honest, my lazy ass as well), removing that tedious process alone is a game-changer!

Another reason I love Anchor for teens? You only need to be 13 to join, (although anyone under 18 will need parental consent) and I can’t tell you how much that excites me, because I believe so strongly that our teens need to know that speaking up and speaking out matters. In a world where they are constantly told they have no place, Anchor has given them a seat at the grown up table.

Ya like that wordplay? Yep…just came up with that outta nowhere 😉

So, I think we all can agree that this is a fabulous platform for anyone who has something to say and wants to try their hand at podcasting risk free…but how exactly will your teen make money on Anchor?

Teens can make money online using sponsored ads as described in this graphic from the Anchor website
  1. Listener Support: Your teen can add a button for listener support to their profile. This allows his audience to make a monthly contribution so he can keep creating great content. While Anchor does take a percentage of these contributions, your teen is still earning pure profit, free and clear!

  2. Sponsored Ads: Anchor will match your teen’s podcast with brands who want to sponsor her work. All she needs to do is activate sponsorship’s in each episode she wants to monetize, and keep creating an awesome show! Anchor will do the rest. 😊 Once she’s been matched to a sponsor, she‘ll record the ad in a way that matches the feel of her show. The more people who hear the ad, the more money she’ll make! You can learn more about how sponsored ads on Anchor work here.

Like I said, sheer simplicity!!!

Think your teen might be too nervous to give it real go? Anchor lets multiple people record at the same time, even if they’re not together. So they can easily start a show with a friend, or even a few friends, all while practicing social distancing and staying home. 😊 And since Anchor let’s you record right from your phone without sacrificing sound quality, there’s no reason not to encourage your teen to push past a little stage fright. It will serve them well in the future!

Like all of us, teens have ideas, opinions, passions, and experiences they want to share. Podcasting is an excellent outlet for teens – and really anyone who wants their voice to be heard, respected, and valued. Anchor makes it happen, free of charge – no equipment required, no subscriptions to pay, no tedious registrations with multiple platforms.

Ok, I’m done preaching, swearzies!

If you think your teen might be interested, they can sign up for Anchor here!

Well mama’s, I hope at least one of these ideas strikes you at something your teen may enjoy! As always, our goal is always to provide real opportunities and resources that will benefit you and your family. We know how tough it is out there right now! We want our teens to experience the joy of making their own money, for sure. But we also know that many teens are struggling with the emotional effects of social distancing. So again, please know that these options were not chosen thoughtlessly. These opportunities were carefully researched and chosen because they are real and provide legitimate income, because they don’t cost a single penny to get started, and because they create opportunities for social engagement, contact free!

And we all know your teens happiness and well-being (and your sanity) are far more valuable than any amount of money!

We wish you and your teen the best of luck and can’t wait to hear your success stories!

Let us know if there are any other online opportunities your teen might be interested in that weren’t mentioned here. We’ll check ‘em out and give you the skinny!


I lOVE success stories!!!!

Has your teen started an online business or side hustle and just fuckin’ rocked it??? I want to hear about it!!

Tell me a little about your awesome entrepreneurial teen!


Thanks for reading!! Don’t forget to like and share!

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