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Information and advice for young people in Suffolk


Making money online

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Making money online

Posted by on 6 October 2022

The average person spends around two hours a day on social media, but I’ sure you know lots of people who spend much more time than this. Maybe you do to! Instead of spending all that time scrolling, you can make money from social media.  I bet you will know lots of people who do, and you will probably follow high profile influencers who seem to be raking in loads of money just by being on social media.

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Extra cash

So, if you’re looking to make a bit of extra money on Instagram, Twitter, Etsy, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok or any other channel, here’s some things to think about.

What are you going to do?  You could sell stuff, either second hand – or something you have made yourself – try to become an influencer, create a blog and use affiliate marketing schemes or have sponsored posts; promote local businesses and get a percentage of their takings; create online tutor package; share your gaming skills – there are literally loads of ideas.


However, you do need to put the work in to gain followers, keep them engaged and make your accounts visible to people. You will need to post regularly – at least twice a week and make the content interesting, relevant and attractive.

Find your niche – create content about something you are interested in or knowledgeable about.  It’s no good starting a blog on women’s football thinking you will ride on the back of the current trend when you know nothing about the game and don’t really care.  It’s all about being an authentic voice that people will want to listen to.

Rules of the game

You will need to understand the rules of the platform that you are using.  What is their lower age limit?  Can you have your own account or do you need an adult’s permission?  What are the rules about sponsored posts for example – will this affect your ranking? You will usually find this information right at the bottom of their homepage.

Making Time

think about how you juggle your time with your school or college work or a job or Apprenticeship.  It can take time to build up a following and start to make money, so don’t rely on this as a way of making your main income yet.  There are laws about working under 18 so it’s important that you don’t fall foul of any problems.   You can work part-time from age 13 but there are strict limited on the hours you can work until you reach the end of Year 11.  You can find all those rules here.

Making Money

If you do start to make money, you need to think about how you will get paid and when you might need to start paying tax and National Insurance.  Check what the options the platform has for payment and ensure you follow all the rules when it comes to accounts and age limits.  You may need to have payment sent to a parent or guardian’s account. You can earn up to £1000, after that need to register with HMRC as self-employed. You will have a tax-free allowance in each tax year (£12,570 in 2021/2022) where you pay no income tax. You will also need to keep track of any expenses that relate directly to your online income. Once you are 16, you will also need to pay National Insurance.

Mental health

Multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media use and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts. Social media may promote negative experiences such as inadequacy about your life or appearance.  If you start to feel this way, please talk to someone and ask for help. Kooth is a free online chat and wellbeing service for young people across Suffolk.


Always talk to your parents, guardian or trusted adult if you’re under 18 before setting up a public social media channel. Many people do this successfully and safely, but it’s important you do this in a safe way with adult support.  Every platform has their own online safeguarding rules that you must abide by and also anyone you interact with.  Be wary and report any suspicious incidents to one of a Child Protection Advisors at the CEOP Safety Centre or if you are in immediate danger to the Police 999.

Starting a Business

You might find that you are becoming successful and want to create a more stable business.  There’s lots of information from organisations like the Princes Trust and you might even be eligible for funding to help you grow. You will find more links on our 'becoming self-employed' page.

Have fun and spend your money wisely!

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