How to Make Money Without a 9 to 5 Job

Do you know how to make money without a 9 to 5 Job? Did you know you don’t have to punch a clock to make a living.

As a matter of fact, these 10 beginner-friendly ways to make money without a 9 to 5 require zero previous experience or degrees of any kind, although having them is a plus.

About the only requirement is a laptop and a willingness to try something new. You can be a college student, a stay-at-home mom, a worker looking for something different, or a retiree.

Depending on your starting point, you can reach full-time status within a week or 3-6 months for the tasks that require a bit of learning. One thing is for sure: you will be your own boss!

Here are 10 real ways that allow you to make just as much monthly income (or more) as a traditional job.

First on the list is…

Start Freelancing

Someone who offers services to multiple clients needing various projects is called a freelancer. Freelancers are self-employed independent contractors who typically set their own hours and use Paypal as the most common way to get paid.

A freelancer can choose to be paid hourly or on a per-project basis. They can communicate daily with clients via Skype calls, Zoom conferences, or chat windows on a website designed for freelancers.

To acquire new clients, you will usually need a decent looking website that describes who your ideal client is and showcases a handful of samples of your work. Gather as many client testimonials to show publicly and new clients will flock to you.

If it’s going to be your first time dumping your 9 to 5 for a chance at freelancing, you might be overwhelmed by the number of hats you have to wear. The most difficult part of freelancing is prospecting, or finding clients, in order to keep a steady monthly income. To help ease your entry into the freelancing world, you can start on platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, or PeoplePerHour who take care of that aspect for you for a small fee.

Also, avoid perpetually chasing odd jobs and instead look for signs that there is a demand for what you offer as a service. In this regard, you want to embrace competition since it’s a good sign that other freelancers are earning a healthy living.

In the U.S., the typical freelancer earns more than an employee at a traditional 9 to 5. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found in 2017, for example, that full-time workers earn an average of $45,000 a year while freelancers earn an average of $64,000.

Once you are up and running, you will eventually reach a point where earning more means you have to start growing a small team. That’s when a freelancer becomes an agency owner.

Start Your Own Agency

It’s quite common for a freelancer to transform into a small team with 1-2 helpers once they are swamped with clients and projects that exceed their capacity.

Before long, the freelancer has one helper and a virtual assistant to deal with administrative tasks. This then frees up time, which the freelancer can use to acquire more clients which, in turn, invites the freelancer to continue growing and scaling his/her operation.

A light bulb moment occurs, and the freelancer shifts most or all of the workload to be fully completed by the helpers.

At that point, the freelancer has a substantially sized team and functions as an agency owner. You can think of an agency as a middleman, or connector between two parties.

A writing agency, for example, connects clients who seek content with a team of specialized writers controlled by the agency owner. A digital agency of writers can generate multiple six-figure months.

Not everyone desires to make this transition, however. A freelancer is always hands-on, while an agency owner delegates and manages the “machine”. An agency owner also has to deal with cash flow issues, paying his team on time, chasing after unpaid invoices, and general management.

If you find that your earnings as a freelancer are limited but you don’t like the idea of being an agency owner, you might consider being a highly paid copywriter.

Be A Copywriter

There’s copyright, which deals with legally protecting an invention or creative work of art, and then there’s copywrite, which is the writing of words for the purpose of generating sales.

Unlike freelance blog content writers who focus on either entertaining or informing an audience, copywriters craft words that compel and persuade a reader to take a specific action.

This action is usually the purchase of a product or service but it can also be something as simple as encouraging readers to sign up for an email newsletter. This action is valuable for website owners because they can directly communicate with their readers and offer products to them via email.

As you can imagine, copywriters are in high demand all the time and top ones are paid very well.

Copywriters are needed everywhere on the internet to produce copy for social media platforms, email newsletters, blog posts, banners, video scripts, and sales letters.

A copywriter who specializes in writing sales letters, for example, will charge for the sales letter and also earn a percentage of the sales generated from his words on a page. Tracking software can measure who clicks on a button on the product website, which assigns the sale to the copywriter and this is how a skilled copywriter can earn six figures by himself.

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To succeed, you’ll need to know about human psychology, marketing, and persuasion tactics. 

You will also find that many copywriters sell their own courses on how to do what they do since it is a lucrative career and schools don’t typically teach the art of copywriting. Students learn directly from successful copywriters who market themselves on the internet.

Build Sales Funnels

Many products and services require a drawn-out step-by-step process to take a potential customer from total stranger to loyal buyer. This process can take place on a website, through a series of emails, videos, or static web pages called landing pages. The content is strategically designed to ultimately lead to a sale and, hence, it’s known as a sales funnel.

If you are fascinated by the buying process and also love tinkering with websites and software, you can make serious money as a sales funnel builder.

A sales funnel builder designs and creates a particular marketing strategy using software like ClickFunnels, Leadpages, and even email autoresponders now include a sales funnel builder.

There are many sales funnel types and an example would be a landing page that promotes a new book. The offer could be “free plus shipping”, and your job could include connecting the purchase button to a link tracking software, as well as transferring the visitor to an intermediate page that offers a one-time special offer (known as an upsell) to help the company increase sales.

Because designing and building sales funnels is technical and very complex, a funnel builder who takes their skills seriously can easily command five figures a month.

Start A Blog

A website that is regularly updated with new content is called a blog, and the person who writes for the blog is called a blogger.

Blogging is a long-term effort. Writing content for a blog requires ongoing dedication, not only to continue to build up a readership but also to vie for the visitors’ attention against competing blogs and also to demonstrate to Google that you are an authority on a subject.

Blogging involves both a creative and a technical side. However, it’s not like writing in a personal diary or sharing mostly opinionated posts. The majority of bloggers exist to educate a reader on a specific topic. Deep knowledge of SEO (search engine optimization) methods is necessary.

In other words, a blog fulfills a need. Here’s just a few ways you can make money from blogging.

  • affiliate marketing
  • advertisements
  • email marketing
  • sell courses that you create
  • offer 1-on-1 coaching
  • get sponsorship

It can take a long time for a blog to make any money. This is either because the website owner doesn’t understand how to monetize the blog properly or has given up before the site has had a chance to gain in popularity.

Once a blog is profitable, most owners will hire writers to take over the content creation, at which point they focus on growing more blogs.

You can make income similar to a full-time job working as a blogger. There are celebrity bloggers who report their monthly income, and this can lure many fans into becoming new bloggers because the potential is enormous.

To start a blog, all you need is to register a domain, pay for monthly hosting, and learn to use something like WordPress. The total cost is less than $40. The rest is a time/effort investment.


Editors are necessary to maintain the highest quality possible for written content online.

An editor is responsible for proofreading a blog post or any written content. It’s perfect for a detail-oriented person who has an affinity for spelling, grammar, and creative style.

You can work as a freelance editor and proofreader through your own personal website or you can use a platform that helps promote you and sends you clients, like Fiverr, Upwork, and Guru.

You will want to avoid being a generalist. Specialize in a particular category or niche, and you can charge between $10 to $50 per hour.


Someone who watches a video and types out the spoken words is a transcriptionist.

A transcriptionist can work with recordings of various topics, whether medical, legal, marketing, etc. This can include transcribing university lectures, court hearings, business meetings, and YouTube videos.

It’s helpful to have a fast typing speed and you will need to have a good ear to pick out different accents and properly document dialogue that takes place in a video or audio file. Your spelling, punctuation, and grammar need to be sharp.

It’s recommended that you start out transcribing anything you can. Be a generalist at first and accept any project so that you build up your skill.

It’s a job that requires patience and accuracy. You can freelance as a transcriptionist with no formal training whatsoever, or you can elevate yourself by taking certifications so that, for example, you can transcribe for clients dealing with legal and medical projects.

Because transcribing requires constantly stopping and repeating a recording section, you will need a special foot pedal, transcription software, and headset.

You can work from home, on your own schedule, and you get to be with your kids (if you have any).

Earning can potentially be in the range from $20 to $45 an hour. As with most freelancing, the more testimonials you can showcase, the more you will be trusted by new clients and you can command higher pay.

Create Online Courses

Anyone who has a skill that others would pay to learn can make good money as an online course creator.

Websites like Teachable, Kajabi, and Udemy (to name a few) allow you to upload your digital course videos and process payments.

If you aren’t sure that anyone is interested in buying your course, you can charge for the concept upfront. If no one is willing to pay, you don’t invest time creating it. On the other hand, if you make lots of pre-sales, then you can quickly get to work and deliver exactly what your customers paid for.

Pricing can be a fixed one-time cost or a monthly subscription.

Here’s just a few things you can teach…

  • computer programming
  • musical instruments
  • singing lessons
  • digital marketing
  • fitness
  • yoga/meditation
  • Google/Bing/Facebook advertisement
  • more

The tricky part might be finding a steady and significant amount of monthly customers. With solid marketing skills, you can promote your own course through the use of Facebook Groups, your own blog, and running a YouTube channel.

You can also partner up with influencers who have a large following in the same or similar niche as you, and split profits with them in exchange for promoting to their audience. This can be a great way to kickstart sales when you have no audience who knows you.

Common price points include various levels of commitment. A $7 “teaser” can warm up your customer. From there, you can ask them to try a $47 or $97 crash course. Finally, you can give them a world-class comprehensive course at a high ticket price, be it $1,000, $5,000, or more depending on the value you provide.

Be A Virtual Assistant

This is HOT right now

A virtual assistant (VA) is someone who works remotely and offers to help a business owner with any tasks, usually administrative but can also extend into creative projects.

The earning potential is very wide. You can do this part-time, full-time, seasonal, or temporary. It starts at minimum wage. As you become experienced, you can charge upwards of $25. When you are comfortable calling yourself an expert, your hourly rate can go as high as the market will bare.

Common tasks performed by a VA include:

  • digital marketing tasks
  • making and scheduling appointments
  • bookkeeping
  • data entry
  • preparing documents and spreadsheets
  • managing email
  • replying to users on social media accounts
  • travel research

Social Media Marketer

Most online businesses know the power of social media. And they could use your help.

A social media marker will help drive business by developing campaigns. This can include creating images and videos that get shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

It also involves learning who the competitors are and coordinating with team members to develop new ways to boost engagement. This might also overlap in gathering performance data and converting it into statistical reports.

You might be tasked with allocating budgets and directing promotional activities.

If you love using social media and understand the business side of it, you can establish yourself as a freelance social media marketer and work from home.


Finding legitimate ways to make money without a 9 to 5 can be overwhelming. I’ve listed ten real ways to make a serious income from home but there are plenty more.

Itching to get started? Perhaps being an online course creator is the fastest path if you currently have a skill that is in demand.

Not much of a social person? Try being a transcriptionist.

Love the idea of turning words into cash? Maybe copywriting is your calling.

Remember, none of these require degrees and there is plenty of room to grow and increase the value you offer to businesses or to your own customers.

Which one appeals to you most?

Leave a comment below if you have suggestions for my next blog post or any questions regarding online income. I’ve got many more interesting articles coming out soon and I love to help!

One last thing, if you really want to know how to make money without a 9 to 5 job here is a good place to start

Find Your Freedom


4 thoughts on “How to Make Money Without a 9 to 5 Job”

  1. Thank you for this list of ways to make money without the 9 to 5 job. I often start before 9 a.m. and end well after 5 p.m. five to six days per week. I am tired of making $12 an hour (for the last 5 years now) doing the same boring job day in and day out.

    Several of the topics really sparked my interest including Freelancing and Building a Sales Funnel. These are two things that I am interested in and also find interesting and appealing. I also thought about Creating an Online Course. I have wanted to do that for years now and I think I actually have a good idea for a course.

    Do you have suggestions for where to learn how to create a course? Also, do you know where I could learn how to create a sales funnel without having to pay hundreds a month to use another prebuilt one?

    Thanks. I am really liking your site and am bookmarking it! I am interested in a few of your other pages that I looked at, too. I think your site might become one of my favorites!

    • Hi Karin. Always glad to see someone stepping out of the box. 

      Actually I’ll be writing more on those topics here directly. If you want me to let you know when those are up, email me here wakeman@dumpmy9to5 and I’ll let you know.

      In the mean time check Udemy for building courses and here’s a great tutorial in funnel building.

  2. Some really great creative ideas on how you can ditch your 9 to 5 job and still make money, something I have very recently decided to do myself and choose one of your options.

    I went down the route of blogging and believe you me I wouldn’t have been able to have done this alone, I joined a program that guides you through the process of building a website with free hosting fabulous training and an amazing support network.

    For me this works the best so I can write about my passion in my own time around my family.

    You have written a brilliant guide and there will be something for everyone here.

    • Thank you Amy. Happy you’re finding your freedom. For anyone else looking to start the journey you can find links to the best training around scattered throughout this site.


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