10 Ways to Earn Money for Learning a Language

earn money

Earn Money for Learning a Language

Learning a language costs both time and money, the main issue actually being time. However, if you can efficiently make money then you can give yourself more and higher quality learning time.

I totally believe that you can learn a language entirely for free, I mean, you learnt your mother tongue for “free” right?

In a way yes, but this is pretty hard to replicate as adults.

Kid’s find anything interesting and thus will absorb language like a sponge. Us adults need content that we can sink our teeth into. Beautiful, interesting, super high quality HD content.

As I spoke about in this post here, there are enough resources on the internet that are free and that can get you to fluency, given enough exposure to the language.

You can also find a list of, mostly, free resources for learning languages in this post.

But the only thing is this, a lot of the “free” stuff can be dry, boring and really hard to learn as you quite simply don’t have any interest in it. 

This is a massive problem.

If you can’t find interesting material to read and listen to then you will get bored and stressed out quickly. This increases your chance of dropping the language 10 fold.

You NEED high quality, interesting content to sustain your lust for learning the language.

One of the main issues with this though is that the good quality content usually costs money. Netflix is a great resource which is fairly priced at a minimum of £5.99 a month but regular DVD’s are usually way overpriced. Good luck trying to use Doctor Who to learn British English when an entire season is nearly £30.

Well if you don’t have much income, are a student (like me), or just begrudge spending a large amount of money on content then I have a few solutions which can get you some extra cash to help pay towards the expenses that come with learning a new language.

Not all of these are going to earn you a living but some of them can earn you a large sum of money if used correctly.

This post is meant to help you earn a little extra on the sides for purchasing content in the language you wish to learn and to also give you some ideas for making a living while learning a language.

This list is in no particular order.


1. Earn Cash for Surfing the Web and Watching Videos

There are a variety of sites out there that provide cash for answering surveys. Most of the time these sites are not worth your time. The pay out rate is incredibly low for the effort you have to put in. However some of these sites, like Swagbucks, provide other ways of earning cash, besides just answering surveys.

Here are some ways you can earn money from Swagbucks (not all are great so I’ve emboldened the ones I think are good):

  • Answering surveys
  • Reading articles (you don’t have to actually read them)
  • Watching videos (you don’t have to actually watch them)
  • Completing daily goals
  • Searching the internet (you do this anyway, so why not?)
  • Finding secret codes called “swag codes
  • Referring people
  • Cash back from shopping
  • Playing flash games

I managed to get £30s worth of Amazon vouchers from Swagbucks by searching the internet and leaving my phone on playing videos while I studied.

How insane is that? I literally don’t have to do anything!

Yeah, It’s not that much money, but it all helps. Also it’s basically passive income, all you have to do is open the app up and click play. Not bad if you ask me.

Other services similar to Swagbucks:



2. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate networks are companies that advertise products to users via other services, usually via adverts on websites.

For example, I personally use Amazon’s Affiliate marketing as well as AdFly for a few links on this site. In AdFly‘s case I get a few pence when someone clicks on an AdFly link and in Amazon’s case I earn a small percentage of any sales that are made from people clicking links on this website.

I will be honest though, so far I haven’t earned much from these programs, but if you run a large website or have a large following on Facebook or Twitter then making use of affiliate marketing can be a great source of side income.

Amazon and AdFly have the ability to directly advertise through links but other services mainly focus on such services as banner adverts etc.

Just be sure to read terms and conditions when signing up to these services, for example Amazon’s program only allows links that are embedded into website content, not emails or social media.

Here are a few services that can get you started:

  • Amazon Associates
  • Google Adsense
  • AdFly
  • BitVertiser – 
  • InfoLinks



3. Matched betting

Before you think I am an idiot to suggest betting as a way of earning money, here me out. This isn’t betting. Provided you understand the concept entirely and follow the process of matching your bets correctly, then you are guaranteed a profit.

What is matched betting and how does it work?

Here’s a quick example:

Say there is a football match, England vs Germany. You bet on England to win using a betting website. Then you bet against England winning (draw or Germany winning) using another betting website.

For each bet you place £5 and will get £10 if you win either one of the bets.

Now, no matter what the outcome of the match is, you will have 1 win and 1 loss and will end up with your £10 back. 

Normally this isn’t profitable as both websites will take a fee for placing bets. You would end up losing a small percentage of the money you put in. In reality you would end up with something like £9.30 back.

However, most betting websites offer free bets to potential customers to get them to sign up and start betting.

Free bets can’t normally be withdrawn until they have been used in a bet. So if you use the free bets by matching your bet with some of your own money using a different site, then all you have to do is wait for the outcome of the match for your free bets to be converted into real money, which you can then withdraw.

The outcome of the match doesn’t matter, you will always make a profit due to using free bets!

Let’s go back over our previous example

You have 1 free bet worth £5 and £5 of your own money.

For each bet you place £5 (1 free bet, and 1 £5 bet from your own money).

You will get £10 if you win one of the bets.

No matter what the outcome of the match is, the free bet is converted into withdraw-able cash and you’ve just gained £5 profit.

Easy money!

If you still don’t fully understand what I am talking about, I completely understand, I didn’t quite understand it when I first heard about it either.

It is a real legit thing though and a lot of people are doing it to earn a fair bit of pocket-money. I myself did it for 2 weeks for a few hours a day and brought in a £300 profit, which isn’t bad if you ask me.

Is there any risk to this?

Yes, there is, but it isn’t as risky as normal betting.

The risk comes down to two things, human error and the possibility of getting your account banned.

Obviously if you screw up during ordering a bet then you could lose some money.

So here’s a few tips:

  • triple check before you do anything
  • make sure you fully understand what this is about
  • if you are just starting out with matched betting then follow a guide such as the one posted here on Saving the Student, or use a service such as Profit Accumulator that does most of the work for you.

It is also possible that you could get your account banned.

Matched betting isn’t against the law in the UK, but needless to say the betting companies probably don’t like it. After all, you are taking their nice, kind offers and using them to make a profit. You are quite literally having your cake and eating it.

If your activity on your accounts is fishy then it will be flagged up in their systems and they will stop your account from receiving free offers and, in the worst case scenario, ban your account.

To prevent this you just need to make yourself out to look like a normal better who bets for a hobby. Make bets on your favourite team, put a couple of pounds into the casino etc. This should be enough to keep them off your back.

To get started you are going to need this guide which contains instructions and a calculator for performing matched bets.

You may also want to look into some of the following services that pretty much spoon feed you the process of matched betting, giving you access to all the offers available that you can make use of:


4. Fiverr Gigs

Fiverr makes working online from home entirely doable.

The site provides thousands of gigs from lots of different professions.

You can find a lot of weird and wacky stuff on there too, such as people offering to write your message on their belly or prank call someone for you.

If you have a skill, idea or product then you can easily sell it on Fiverr to earn some extra cash.

For example, I recently got my girlfriend into Fiverr to help get her some translation work as she studies to become an English to Japanese translator (you can find her here) and in her first month she has earned just over $100 from a few translation gigs.

Fiverr truly is a unique marketplace as you can sell almost anything you want.



5. Write an eBook about something you are knowledgeable about

This is one that I haven’t done but seems like it could be quite a good source of passive income.

Actually writing the eBook could take a little bit of effort but once it is written and you submit it to Amazon, or advertise it yourself, all you have to do is sit back and wait.

You don’t have to do anything else with the product and it will keep paying out again and again.

Writing an eBook is not a huge task either. You only need something like 100 pages and publishing to Amazon is apparently very easy to do as well. In fact, there are a variety of eBooks on Amazon that teach you how to write an eBook! What a crazy time we live in…

Why not give it a go?



6. Referral Marketing

This is very similar to affiliate marketing except in this case instead of providing links to a product, such as a book on Amazon, you are providing a recommendation to a service. I have recommended a variety of services in this post that have referral marketing programs.

The best way to find out if a service has a referral program is to scroll to the bottom of their main website and look in the footer section. Usually you will see something like “affiliate program” which you can sign up to and begin earning almost straight away.

There are also a lot of websites that provide special offers when you get friends to sign up. Some of these sites will actually give you straight up cash for getting people to join.

If you have access to a large number of internet traffic, a large email list or have a twitter account with 1000’s of followers then you could rack in quite a fair bit of money with this technique.

Here are a few websites that are free to sign-up to and that provide referral programs:



7. Teach language lessons to people whose language you are learning

This can be a brilliant idea for a part-time job while you focus on learning your new language. Not only will you get paid a high wage for teaching your mother tongue but you can also improve your language skills in the target language at the same time.

Of course the whole point of the lessons is to improve the student’s English, not your Japanese. However, if you need a job to sustain yourself, and want to learn your target language, then this is a good route to go down as it will keep you exposed to the new language more so than working at MacDonald’s or doing bar work will.

Some popular sites for teaching languages without needing qualifications include:



8. Get a job that let’s you wear ear phones

You can also search for a job that allows you a large amount of freedom. If you can find an employer that doesn’t mind you having earphones in while you work then you are good to go. Most full time and part jobs that require you to spend an a lot of time by yourself are a good choice. Even if you do work as a team, there is a good chance that your boss will be perfectly fine with you having one earphone in so that you can still hear if you need to.

I personally had a part time job as a kitchen porter in a restaurant. The work was busy and I was required to quickly grab stock for the chefs at a moments notice, yet they where still cool with me having a one earphone in as long as it didn’t get in the way of working. It’s worth asking your boss!

You need massive amounts of listening when it comes to learning a language so being able to listen while you work is a huge bonus.

If you find a really cool employer you might even be allowed to switch your work computer’s OS into your target language!



9. Create your own website or blog

Setup a blog about something you find interesting and sell products, earn money passively from adverts or even accept donations. If you can create a site that gets a relatively consistent stream of traffic then you could also sell it once it becomes worth a fair amount.

Buying and selling websites can be a very profitable business but requires a lot of input and has quite a learning curve.

For now I would recommend some of the following services to get you started with creating a website:

If you decide to make your own website then don’t forget to make use of the services I mentioned in step 2!

  • Amazon Associates
  • Google Adsense
  • AdFly
  • BitVertiser – 
  • InfoLinks

You can also use PayPal to receive donations. You can find instructions here.

Here is an example of the PayPal button I recently made to help pay for the costs of running this site.



10. Look into passive income streams

If you can set up enough passive income streams in the correct manner then you will never have to work at all.

The best solution would be setting up a fully automated business. 

Look into exporting as many tasks as you can via employing people over the internet. This will keep the business churning money into your bank account while you just sit on your ass reading as much Japanese as you want. Yeah alright, this may seem like a ludicrous suggestion, but the business doesn’t have to be huge, it just has to be making a profit.

Providing you do it right, you could end up with a lot more money than you bargained for.

If you think that this stuff is too difficult, or that it’s impossible, then check out Tim Ferris’s book “The 4-Hour Workweek” (JP: 「週4時間」だけ働く) which is a brilliant read and should get you past the first hurdle of producing passive income.


Thanks for reading,


By Matthew Hawkins

北海道札幌市 – 2017/10/11