Wouldn’t it be nice to actually earn a few bucks by doing what you naturally do every day? Maybe you’ve heard of a few fitness apps here or there claiming to pay you for your steps, but you just wrote it off as a scam.
But actually, it’s not (necessarily) a scam, and it’s not just apps! There are lots of people out there who have turned walking into a legitimate side job.
So, can you really make money walking?
From walking dogs to giving tours to betting on your own ability to complete a number of steps, there are countless ways to make money walking! In fact, you can earn anywhere from $7-$70 per hour depending on what you do.
So, let’s take a look at some of the most popular ways to earn some extra cash.
How to Make Money Walking
Walking is an integral part of the average person’s life. It’s not only a basic function, but it can be a great way to earn some extra cash, too!
Here’s some ideas on how to earn money walking:
- Get paid to walk with a walking app
- Become a walking tourist guide
- Become a human billboard
- Distribute leaflets in your local area
- Get paid to walk dogs
- Give the Gigwalk app a try
- Deliver food on foot
Let’s take a look at these more in-depth to give you a better idea at how to make money simply walking around!
1. Get Paid to Walk With a Walking App
The first method we’ll be looking at is apps that pay you to walk around. There’s a bunch of these apps out there, but we’ve rounded up what we believe are the best of the bunch. In this section, we’ll show you what these apps are, how they work, and how much they pay.
Achievement is a great app if you’ve already begun an exercise or personal health regimen.
It can connect with over 20 apps, including MyFitnessPal, FourSquare, and Google Fit. It can sync the data from those various apps and then convert it to points.
To earn money, you rack up points by not only exercising, but also by logging certain data (like your weight, sleep, and what foods you eat!). They also offer bonus points for participating in surveys and research.
You can earn up to 80 points per day for each type of tracked activity, and up to 6 points per day for daily activities.
You get $10 for every 10,000 points you earn.
So, if you were solely walking – not doing any of the daily activities or bonuses – then you would earn 80 points per day. In that case, it would take you a little over 4 months to earn $10.
You can get the money direct deposited into your bank account, paid our via PayPal, or donate to any of the charities on their app!
StepBet is an extremely unique app that uses your own money to motivate you to exercise.
It’s basically a game: you place a “bet” to get into a game, you have a certain number of weekly steps that you must make, and if you win, you make your bet back plus a profit!
It tracks your steps by connecting with one of the many popular activity trackers on the market.
Games generally cost $40 (on average) and last 6 weeks. You can only play one game at a time, unless you’re a member.
You can pay $50 per year to become a member, which gives you access to member-only games (where winners split 100% of the pot as opposed to the 85% of non-members) and it allows you to play in up to 3 games at once – tripling your earning potential!
As for how much you can make, this reviewer made a little over $6 profit for one game, but it all depends on how many people win (since all the winners split the pot evenly).
However, if you were a member, that same reviewer would’ve made over $13 profit. Which, if you did that over three games, would be $39 profit over the course of six weeks. That would be $338 of profit per year, which isn’t bad for just walking!
Sweatcoin is the fastest growing health app ever. They’re also unique in that you earn Sweatcoins that are essentially a form of digital currency.
How it works is you earn Sweatcoins and then use them to pay for things -instead of transferring them into cash. They can do that because they have partnerships with over 300 companies.
It’s simple: for every 1,000 steps you walk, you earn just under 1 Sweatcoin.
Because there is no official exchange rate (it’s not a cryptocurrency), it’s hard to determine exactly how many Sweatcoins are equivalent to one dollar. However, the rate usually works out to $1 for every 20 Sweatcoins.
BetterPoints markets itself as a behavior changing platform whose goal is to help create healthier behaviors and a more sustainable future.
It works by offering you different programs that you can join that offer different amounts of points.
For every 1,000 points, you earn a little less than $1. Some programs pay up to 5,000 points (about $5) per week.
However, programs with BetterPoints are almost always dependent on your location, and most high paying programs are only offered in the big cities. Plus, it’s only available to UK residents.
The WinWalk app is one of the most straightforward apps out there: you walk and get points, which can be redeemed for online gift cards to various brands.
You get one coin for every 100 steps you walk, and you can earn up to 100 coins per day. And, while there’s no direct exchange rate, it generally takes a little more than 9,000 coins to earn a $5 gift card.
Another unique feature about this app is that it has it’s own pedometer – one that doesn’t use GPS. That means it can track both inside and outdoor steps, which means you can earn more coins faster and easier.
- Walking apps are generally straightforward and easy to use
- Simple way to make a little extra cash
- You won’t earn a ton of money
- Can’t always get money in hard cash
Learn more: Can You Make Real Money With a Walking App?
2. Become a Walking Tourist Guide
Becoming a walking tourist guide – also commonly referred to as a private tour guide – is an increasingly popular way people are earning some extra cash by simply walking around.
Essentially, you’re taking your knowledge and passion for your city or hometown, and getting paid to share it with those traveling there that want to get in on the insider secrets that only the locals know about!
The process is fairly simple: get connected with travelers who are planning on coming to your city, put together an itinerary catered to them, take them on tour, and get paid.
The hardest part about that (by far) is getting connected with travelers – but thankfully even that isn’t unreasonably difficult. Why? Because there are multiple websites designed to do just that!
Sites like ToursbyLocals, Vayable, and Shiroube all connect you with people who are planning on coming to your area and that are searching for a private guide to show them around.
Most sites allow you to pick how much you want to charge for your tour, and they just take a percentage of the total you get paid. Of course, most guides make tips on top of their base rate, which are untouched by the hosting site.
And, while it is a legitimate way to make money, some people will have more success than others.
If you’re social, knowledgeable, and live in a popular tourist destination, you’ll most likely see much more income coming in than your more introverted, rural-living counterpart.
All in all, though, it’s not uncommon for tour guides to make anywhere from $20-$30 an hour – and some can even make up to $70 per hour! So, it’s not a bad gig if you don’t mind a little extra leg work.
- Can earn decent money
- You decide how much you want to make
- Physically demanding
- Requires a high level of knowledge about your city/town
3. Become a Human Billboard
Becoming a human billboard is just like it sounds – you’re essentially a walking advertisement.
Basically, a company pays you to advertise for them – whether it be by holding a banner or by wearing a tablet on your backpack – and walk around.
Oftentimes, you’ll be given a script to memorize by the company that details the product/campaign you’re advertising. That way, if you get stopped by someone, you’ll be able to give them lots of information that will (ideally) lead to sales for the company!
For certain companies – like Nomad Technologies – you’ll have to pass an application process and interviews (both phone and Skype) before you’ll be allowed to get started.
Once approved, you’ll be able to start walking around! You can make your own schedule, which is great because it offers you the flexibility that’s generally required with a side job.
Generally, you’ll be tracked by the company you’re with and they’ll use general demographics to calculate approximately how many eyes see their ads. That information helps determine how much you’ll get paid.
And speaking of getting paid, you can generally expect to earn anywhere from $10-$20 per hour, but it all depends on the company and their set up.
So, although you won’t get rich overnight, it’s definitely a solid way to earn some extra cash on the side.
- You can make your own schedule and do it whenever you want
- Can earn decent money talking about something you enjoy
- The application process is time consuming
- Location-based (generally only available in urban areas)
4. Distribute Leaflets In Your Local Area
If you’re looking for something straightforward, there’s nothing more simple than distributing leaflets to earn a few extra bucks.
Basically, you’re getting paid to go door to door and give out paper advertisements. Anything from brochures, leaflets, flyers, newspapers, magazines – any printed material, really.
The main aspect of this side hustle is finding a business who will pay you to distribute their materials, but thankfully there are ways you can find them!
Here’s a few ideas to help get you started:
- Ask your local newspaper
- Search through Craigslist
- Look in the newspaper classifieds
- Look for signs in business windows
- Ask a small business owner personally
- Get hooked up with a distribution company
If you choose to go through a distribution company (like Dor-2-Dor), you’ll need to first go through an application process. If you get brought on board, you’ll generally get paid per number of houses you deliver to (although some might pay per leaflet delivered).
How much you can actually earn varies significantly depending on who’s paying you and how much time you’re working. However, one distributor claims to make anywhere from $7-$15 per hour (or six to twelve pounds).
Depending on who you’re working for, you have a steady stream of income coming in from simply walking around!
- Flexibility to set your own schedule
- Requires no knowledge or expertise
- Involves lots of walking when compared to other jobs
- Not as available in rural areas
5. Get Paid to Walk Dogs
Walking dogs is the original side gig – and it’s still around for a good reason! Tons of people have dogs, but not enough time to give them a proper walk.
Thankfully, that void creates an invaluable opportunity for those looking to make some extra money. And there’s a two main ways you can break out in the business: starting your own business or using apps. First, let’s look at starting your own business.
Start Your Own Dog Walking Business
If you want to start out small, you could reach out to some of your puppy-loving friends and ask if they’d let you walk their dog for a few bucks.
Starting off small might be a good way to test the waters and see if this is something you’d like to do, or if you would get too easily overwhelmed being in the care of someone else’s fur baby.
Once you’ve decided that you want to turn it into a full-blown business, you’ll want to make sure you check with your county/city to ensure you’re aware of all the rules and regulations that go along with this type of business.
Some of those might include:
- How many dogs you can walk at one time
- If you must meet the owners before being booked
- Making sure the pooch’s collar meets the requirements (if any)
- Being prepared to properly clean up after the dog’s bathroom breaks
After familiarizing yourself with the rules, then you’ll want to think about how much you’ll charge. Most independent dog walkers charge $15-$25 per 30-minute walk per dog.
The next step would be to market yourself so you can start getting clients. Here are some great ways to go about that:
- Put up local flyers
- Create social media accounts for your business (and use their marketing)
- Ask for referrals from friends
Once you start building your business, you can start gathering testimonials and reviews to help build your credibility. Getting established is the hardest part – so long as you provide excellent customer service!
Download a Dog Walking App
Of course, there is another way to go about becoming a dog walker (thanks to technology), and that’s the use of apps. Let’s break down a couple apps that make walking dogs easier and more profitable than ever before!
Wag is an app that connects a dog walker (you) with someone who needs their pet walked.
They offer both on-demand (in the next 30 minutes or less) and scheduled walks, which is great if you want flexibility or a more steady stream of pups to walk.
To sign up, you have to be 18 or older and legally allowed to work in the U.S., plus you have to be physically able to walk at least 20 minutes.
If that’s you, then you can apply (which costs $25). The process includes three tests (a prior dog experience test, a collar and harness test, and a situational assessment test). You’ll also be required to pass a background check.
To actually get started, you go on the app, and you’ll see a feed with available walk opportunities. You can request whichever you want, and you’ll get a text if you’ve been confirmed.
On average, you get paid $12 plus a tip for a thirty minute walk. Payments are processed through the app, and it gets direct deposited weekly through Stripe.
Rover is one of the widest-reaching dog walking apps, available in all 50 states!
To sign up, you can go online or on the app and make an account to become a sitter. You simply fill out your profile information and it’ll be reviewed. If it’s approved, you’ll have to pass a background check (that you pay for).
Once it’s approved, you’ll be able to start receiving requests. Which is how it differs from Wag! – pet owners request to schedule you, not vice versa. You do get to either accept or decline the offer, though.
And you get to set your own prices, but they do take a whopping 20%, so you’ll want to account for that when choosing your rates. The lowest rate starts at $15 per 30-minute walk.
You can get paid via check or PayPal two business days after the completed service.
BarklyPets is an on-demand walking app for more serious pet sitters.
Once you apply (and if you get approved), you’ll be trained in person and fully bonded and insured, as well as getting (and passing) a required background check. So, it’s not a venture to take lightly.
Pet owners can specifically request you, and they can specify a list of things they want done for their pet while walked (for example, giving them medicine).
You do get to set your own rates, and they only take a 3% fee to cover credit card processing expenses. So even though it’s a bit more time consuming at first, you’ll get more money in the end than some other apps.
PetBacker is really similar to Wag, in that it’s an on-demand walking app that offers both immediate and scheduled walks.
There isn’t really an “application” process per se, it’s more of a “you download the app and list your services” type of thing.
Basically, you fill out your profile, set your own rate, and set the locations that you cover. Then, people can request you.
If you get a request, you’ll be notified. And if you accept, you’ll have an informal interview with the owners (more like a quick discussion to get acquainted) and they’ll decide whether or not to hire you.
They do charge a fee, which is dependent upon how long you’ve been working with them. It breaks down like this:
- 25% when you first start
- 20% after your first 5 jobs
- 19% after 150 jobs
- 18% after 300 jobs
Those are pretty steep fees, so you’ll want to balance your rate to account for that while not being too expensive. And there is a 72-hour hold before your funds can get deposited into your bank account the first time.
- Lots of flexibility to work whenever you’re available and with what pet you want
- Great option if you love dogs!
- Hard to get started and established
- Time consuming (especially at first)
Related: Do Dog Walkers Make Good Money?
6. Give the Gigwalk app a try
Gigwalk is really similar to Task Rabbit. It’s basically an app that helps you find quick, little jobs in your local area.
To get started, you simply download the app and hook up your Paypal.
Then, you’ll see a map of all the available “gigs” in your area. You can pick which one you want to apply to from that list.
If your application gets selected, you’re given instructions on how to complete it. Once you’ve actually done it, you submit it through the app and you get paid straight into your Paypal account!
“Gigs” can take anywhere from 5 minutes to a couple hours, and can make from $3 all the way up to $300 (or more!) per job. And the best part? All you need is your phone and your legs!
To give you a quick example of what a gig consists of, you could be asked to go to a restaurant and take a picture of their menu. Or take a picture of an intersection or roadblock.
Ultimately, it’s a very straightforward process that you can do on your own time and earn a few extra bucks.
- Easy to get started
- Offers lots of flexibility
- Amount of money can fluctuate – it’s not dependable
- Only available in metropolitan areas
7. Deliver Food (on foot)!
Food delivery apps have revolutionized the food industry. What was once limited to Chinese food or pizza has now exploded to encompass nearly all the major restaurants in any given urban area.
And no, you don’t need a car – you can deliver food on foot! Which, actually, might be a better option if you live in a bustling city crammed with traffic (like San Francisco or NYC).
Applying is fairly simple: just fill out your info, pass a background check, and get hired! You’ll be treated as an independent contractor, so you’ll be responsible for your own taxes (keep that in mind!).
How it works is you mark yourself as “available,” and you can start accepting orders on the app.
An offer will pop up on the screen telling you where the pickup restaurant is, where it’s going, how long you have to deliver it, and how much it’ll pay. You can choose from there to either accept or reject it.
You get paid for each delivery you complete, and you can get paid via Direct Deposit or Paypal.
Generally, you can make about $7-$10 per delivery with DoorDash, and starting at $5 per delivery with PostMates.
Overall, the process is fairly straightforward. The apps do take a little time to get used to, but once you have it down, you can actually earn some decent money on your spare time.
- You can make your own schedule
- No prior knowledge or expertise is required
- On foot delivery option is only available in large metropolitan areas
- Amount of deliveries you get can fluctuate a lot
How Much Money Can You Make Walking?
How much money you can make by simply walking around varies, as it depends a lot on what you do. However, you can easily earn a few hundred extra dollars a month by combining a few of these ideas.
And, if you decided to spend a significant amount of time, say, walking dogs, you could even earn $1,000 or more per month just with one side job!
Would This Make a Good Business or Side Hustle?
Overall, this would be better as a side hustle to earn some extra cash as opposed to a full-blown business. The notable exception to this, however, is dog walking.
Whether you use an app or start your business from scratch, there is a fair amount of growth potential. You could easily start off walking dogs as a side job, but turn it into a full-on business overtime.
In the end, whether you’re just looking to make a few dollars here or there, or you want to try and earn as much as possible, there’s an option to be found by simply walking!
Plus, with the fact that it’s so versatile, there’s an option for every type of person! Whether you are introverted or a social butterfly; whether you love dogs or prefer food, there’s a side hustle that can work for you.