25 Weird Ways to Make Money
There’s no shortage of creative ways to generate income—especially for those eager to make money online and are willing to take on some risk.
With the rise of the internet and the gig economy,
25 of the Weirdest Ways to Make Money
Ready to make extra cash? Buckle up: Here are 25 weird ways to make money.
- Write online dating profiles
- Take surveys
- Sell your hair
- Be someone’s friend
- Test products
- Host local tours
- Get paid to lose weight
- Sell your poop
- Flip furniture
- Odd jobs on Craigslist
- Freelance on Fiverr
- Stream video games
- Start a blog
- Sell breast milk
- Try mukbang
- Be a human guinea pig
- Help brands on social media
- Get paid to sleep
- Be a mystery shopper
- Explore Patreon
- Sell unwanted items
- Write speeches
- Become a clown
- Be a street performer
1. Write online dating profiles
The online dating industry is booming, especially as people come out of lockdowns and receive vaccinations. Millions of people are swiping and hoping to find the perfect match.
That also means there are plenty of people striking out. It takes work to get a match on a dating profile. You’ve got to craft decent pictures and write an engaging profile. Without the right combination of photos and words, it can be difficult to attract potential dating partners.
This creates an excellent opportunity for people with a sharp eye for detail and a way with words. One weird business idea: help people write online dating profiles and charge a flat rate or per-project fee.
Become a consultant through a site like e-Cyrano, or start your own service and post advertisements online. Who knows? You might be able to scale this into a full-time job and put Cyrano de Bergerac to shame.
2. Take surveys
Of the weird jobs, online survey sites have one of the weirdest reputations, as people often view them as scams. Yet there are plenty of legit survey sites—InboxDollars, Survey Junkie—that pay good money in exchange for opinions.
You can get paid to take surveys and provide your opinions about various products and services, right from your living room sofa.
Taking online surveys is fun, and you can simultaneously help brands improve their products. So it’s a win-win! Of course, you should still be on the lookout for scams and never give too much personal information away.
3. Sell your hair
If you’re able to grow your hair long, then you have a source of recurring revenue right on top of your head.
Companies are willing to pay money for human hair to make wigs for people in need. So, not only is this a way to make some extra money, but it’s also a great opportunity to help others. One company offering this type of service is HairSellon.
4. Be someone’s friend
Another way to cater to the lonely crowd is to be someone’s friend for a few hours. The site RentAFriend, just like it sounds, allows people to rent friends.
Simply create a profile on RentAFriend, and connect with others in need of companionship. You can get paid to visit comedy clubs, go bowling, visit the beach, or just hang out in a coffee shop and lend someone your ear.
5. Test products
Sites like Toluna pay people to test products and it doesn’t take all that much to get started. With Toluna, simply sign up as a product tester and they’ll send you products and ask you to provide feedback on your experiences.
In addition, Toluna offers paid survey opportunities, making them a great company for people looking for a lucrative side hustle.
6. Host local tours
The next of the unusual ways to make money is to become a local tour guide.
This is an option for people who live in cities or near natural or historic sites. If this sounds like something that interests you, connect with tourists online and charge for guided tours. TripAdvisor and Airbnb Experiences are two websites where you can offer such services.
You can also consider partnering with local vendors and retail shops (e.g., outdoor specialty stores, craft breweries) and work those businesses into your tours. This way, you’ll earn a commission in exchange for bringing paying customers, and increase your revenue for each trip.
7. Get paid to lose weight
Those who want to lose a few pounds should consider joining a site like HealthyWage, a weight loss site that allows users to set target weight loss goals and bet against themselves.
Suppose you want to lose 10 pounds. You would set a dollar amount that you’re willing to bet and then try your best to reach 10 pounds by the target date. If you lose the weight by then, you get paid. If you don’t, you lose the money. It’s that simple. You can participate in team challenges or go solo.
This is a fun and creative way to make money while also living a healthier lifestyle.
8. Sell your poop
What if I told you you’re flushing money down the toilet?
Believe it or not, you can turn around and sell your waste to a fecal bank and help others in the process. How can human waste possibly help? Through the process of fecal microbiota transplants, which are used to treat different illnesses.
You may also be a match to be a fecal transplant donor. Currently, there is high demand for this type of service. As gross as it sounds, it’s a real money-making opportunity.
If you go this route, make sure you’re careful about with whom you do business. This isn’t something you want to sell on Craigslist. If you’re interested in learning more, check out a legit site like OpenBiome to get started.
Side note: A Brooklyn-based film director sold a year’s worth of fart audio clips for $85 on the blockchain NFT market. This idea may be a gas (forgive me), but it proves you can sell just about anything online if you get creative.
9. Flip furniture
What’s better than sitting on a comfortable couch or chair? Buying one, restoring it, and flipping it for money online or in a yard sale.
Flipping furniture isn’t hard. All it takes is an eye for a bargain and a willingness to roll up your sleeves and put in some sweat equity. You may also need room to store and sand furniture without messing up your living space.
This could be a fun and different job for bringing in cash if you work quickly and avoid spending too much. Remember that it’s not just about buying unwanted furniture. You also have to make it attractive to a new buyer, which may take a bit of marketing finesse.
10. Odd jobs on Craigslist
If you’re looking for some weird ways to make money, just head to a site like Craigslist and start browsing job opportunities. Craigslist is notorious for offering weird jobs, and you’re guaranteed to find some unusual ways to make money, especially if you live in a large metropolitan area.
Just be on the lookout for scams and be safe. It’s also important to be careful about clicking links and navigating away from Craigslist to untrusted sites.
11. Freelance on Fiverr
If you’re used to working for a steady paycheck, then the idea of freelancing may seem odd. However, it’s entirely doable if you can line up the right opportunities. In fact, a growing number of people are choosing to embrace the gig economy and earn money on their own.
Fiverr is a marketplace that connects you with companies that need content. Simply create a profile on Fiverr and link up with companies that need projects completed.
Just remember that Fiverr will take a cut of your profits, and you’ll also need to set money aside for taxes.
12. Stream video games
Just as fun as playing video games is streaming them on Twitch and turning a profit in the process.
That said, it’s hard to make money streaming games on Twitch. It takes a bit of personality, a willingness to post content, and the time to do it consistently.
If you have the resources to pull this off, then you should consider becoming a Twitch Affiliate or Partner. You can get paid for generating subscribers and even potentially get sponsorships and promotional opportunities for streaming on Twitch.
Truth be told, it’s not easy. But if you’re successful, you could actually become a professional gamer or esports participant.
13. Start a blog
The idea of blogging for money may seem obscure, but it’s entirely possible. All you need is a niche area of focus and an ability to produce content, and you’ll be on your way to a career as a blogger.
You can make money blogging by using Google AdSense and contacting potential advertising partners directly. If you start a cooking blog, you can reach out to food and kitchen supply partners to see if they’re interested in putting paid ads on your website.
That said, setting up and monetizing a blog takes a lot of hard work. With enough patience and determination, it’s doable, but it won’t happen overnight.
- Check out my Free Blogging Course
14. Sell breast milk
Believe it or not, you can get paid to sell breast milk by the ounce through a site like OnlyTheBreast while helping other mothers feed their children.
Selling breast milk online can be risky. But if you go through a reputable site, stay cautious, and avoid sites and opportunities that seem shady, you can make money and help a person in need.
15. Try mukbang
Mukbang is a viral food trend from South Korea. The practice involves gorging yourself on large quantities of food in front of your webcam for online audiences.
You can do it on a site like YouTube or Twitch. Get some food, fire up your webcam, and start eating your way to financial freedom.
Just remember to practice safety when performing mukbang so you don’t hurt yourself or negatively impact your health. There is such a concept as “too much of a good thing”—even with food!
16. Be a human guinea pig
Those willing to put their bodies on the line for cash could make money as human guinea pigs.
This essentially involves partnering with research groups, participating in trials and experiments, and getting paid to try a certain study or medicine.
Just make sure to think about what you get involved with ahead of time and avoid putting yourself in harm’s way. Most studies are relatively safe, but it always pays to assess risk before doing any kind of experiment or test.
17. Help brands on social media
Browse your social media feed to look for paid posts. Many of those sponsored ads were produced by people like you looking to make extra money.
This takes some skill and involves learning different brand “voices.” For example, the voice of a local pizza shop is going to be very different from the voice of a producer of cleaning products. If you’re interested in trying this gig, you’re going to have to learn different brands’ styles and different ways of speaking, which can be fun! You can also work from home in most cases.
18. Get paid to sleep
Do you ever just lay there and wish you could get paid to sleep? Turns out, you can!
Companies pay people to participate in sleep studies, the ultimate passive income. Eachnight currently pays $1,500 to nap for 30 days. That means you can get paid just to catch some extra rest, bringing in money while improving your health and wellness.
You can also participate in sleep studies through local clinics to make more money sleeping. Check local message boards and university studies for paid sleep opportunities.
19. Be a mystery shopper
Try this: Go to the mall and spend some time sitting on a bench observing other shoppers. Look for people taking notes when visiting retailers or generally acting a bit weird (or… weirder than most). Some of them might be mystery shoppers: people paid to essentially spy on companies for money.
Companies like Secret Shopper pay consumers to act as mystery shoppers and report on quality control and their in-store experiences. Consumers can get paid to interact with store employees, buy products, and take photographs.
Stores use mystery shoppers to get honest feedback from consumers. They want to see how clean their aisles or restrooms are or how friendly store associates are when they aren’t going through an official audit. It’s a more honest way to collect feedback for stores, and it could be a profitable experience for you.
20. Explore Patreon
Patreon is a site that allows content creators to profit from paid subscriptions. If you have a niche area of focus, you can potentially get paid on Patreon, earning monthly income and rewards. With over 6 million active patrons, this platform is growing quickly and we only expect that trend to continue.
Keep in mind that you actually have to produce a creative project or endeavor. And many patrons expect small rewards in exchange for their patronage.
21. Sell unwanted items
Chances are your house is full of items that you don’t use anymore: old china, dated clothes, gaming consoles, and books.
Sell these items on sites like eBay, Amazon, or Facebook Marketplace. You’ll liquidate objects and bring in cash while also freeing your house from surfaces that collect dust or take up space.
If you’re looking to offload old tech specifically, check out Dectluttr.
Selling unwanted items is a great way to clear some room while adding extra money to your bank account. Plus, it doesn’t require much work other than possibly cleaning certain items and packaging them.
If you sell to people in your local area, you may not even have to pay for shipping. Check out sites like Nextdoor to connect with local buyers in your community.
22. Write speeches
Most people dread writing a speech. First of all, it takes time and practice. And second of all, there’s no guarantee your best effort will be a success.
As such, people often outsource their speeches to professionals who can at least provide something that sounds professional and has a better chance of resonating with target audiences.
23. Become a clown
There are no real requirements to become a clown. You don’t have to graduate from clown school (yes, there is such a thing) or even get certified. All you have to do is dress in clown garb, learn a few routines—like blowing up balloons and doing funny dances—and find gigs.
Believe it or not, you can make decent money attending birthday parties and private events as a clown. And since this is a niche area of focus, you could find new clients through recommendations.
Working as a clown isn’t easy. But it’s certainly a weird way to make money.
24. Be a street performer
Piggybacking on the clown idea, if you live in an urban area you can also earn cash as a street performer.
Whether your skill is playing the guitar, doing puppetry, or even break dancing, you can potentially earn over $100 per day. However, it won’t be easy as you’ll need to devote most of your day to performing. Also, people are only going to pay money if you’re very good at what you do.
Before you start, check on any local ordinances or rules that may hinder your ability to perform. Some cities require street performers be licensed, and the last thing you want is to get a ticket.
Professional cuddlers get paid to lay down with strangers and provide some TLC.
One site that arranges this type of meeting is Cuddle Buddies. The site will link you with a cuddle buddy, providing a safe and effective way to help people get their fix without any further expectations. Of the weird ways to make money, it’s definitely up there! That’s why we saved it for last. But it could be a fun and rewarding way to help a person out.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do with side hustle income?
Side hustle money needs to be carefully tracked and managed. First and foremost, you may get slammed with taxes on the money you bring in, so it’s important to set cash aside to pay the government. Work with a tax advisor to reduce tax liabilities so that you don’t pay more than you legally owe.
Check out our Freelance Tax Guide for more information.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to pay off any debt you have (e.g. credit cards, student loans) and then save and invest as much as you can to stretch your money further. The more you can save and invest, the more you can make in the long run.
What are focus groups?
Focus groups are group studies in which people get together and share their ideas and opinions about products and services. The point of holding a focus group is to collect information to help a company improve its offerings.
As a result, you can get paid in cash or rewards for participating in a focus group.
Are clinical trials safe?
It all depends on the trial you sign up for. If you’re joining a trial that’s testing an experimental medicine, it’s important to be properly compensated for your efforts. Making a few bucks upfront won’t help you much if you get a disease or worse from participating in an experiment.
That said, most trials are quite harmless. Do your research and know what you’re getting into before agreeing to sample any particular product or do an experiment for money.
The Bottom Line
Personal finance decisions are never easy. Sometimes you have to get downright weird to make a living. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
The above-mentioned ideas are perfectly legit and there to help you make money when you need it. Consider branching out of your comfort zone and looking for ways to bring in more cash.
If that’s not your cup of tea, remember there are options out there that don’t even require you to leave your home.
In addition to making more money, you may also learn about yourself in the process. And who knows? You may even find yourself with a new line of work you’re passionate about.
Here’s to figuring out more ways to stack cash and secure your financial future, even—no, especially—if it’s weird!