Make Money Doing Almost Nothing


A recent report from Reuters news agency caught my eye. Having a keen interest in what you might describe as fairly gruesome topics, I couldn’t ignore their in-depth exploration into what the article called “The Body Trade” and which looked at the monies made on bodies “donated to science”. It was interesting to discover the many ways that we still need to study actual human tissue, organ and bones, and how a whole industry exists around it. It got me thinking about the idea of selling blood for cash, and if it was still an actual “thing”. I thought, “Can you make money donating blood, like I’ve so often heard?”

The answer: No.

However, you can make money when you donate blood plasma.

Before we delve into plasma, let’s just reconsider plain old blood donating. First, you won’t become a Rockefeller donating plain old blood, but there are some distinctly good reasons for still doing it.

One is that you are doing a good thing by helping to keep a local blood bank supplied with such a rare and important commodity. Two, if you are a rare blood type or “universal donor” (O negative is often a type that can be given in a life-threatening situation or when supplies are limited), you are doing a very good thing by handing over some blood to the medical community. . Three, is that you might still find a way to line your pocket with a nice injection of cash for doing it. As I said, you can sell blood plasma.

Yet, by looking for an answer to the question of “can you make money donating blood” it introduced me to even further ways that you can make money by “selling your body” to science while still among the living. And most of them offer you methods for making good money doing almost nothing!

Let’s look at that blood plasma, first.

How Much Money to Donate Plasma

If you are not quite sure what plasma is, let’s do a quick review. Blood is made up of a few compounds, and the most common compound (the one in the greatest abundance) is plasma. It is actually a clear liquid made up mostly of water, but it also contains a lot of antibodies, enzymes, and proteins. Your body uses it to transport substances like hormones, nutrients and proteins.

Yet, donated plasma can be used therapeutically for people will all kinds of health problems. This is why donations are often described as the gift of life because it is crucial to patients with blood clotting problems, burn victims, people with uncontrolled autoimmune diseases, emergency patients and more.

So, how much money to donate plasma? It can pay between $20 and $50 per donation (It takes around two hours, so if you can find a site paying the highest amounts, you can reasonably earn $25 per hour), and you can do it up to twice each week. Some facilities even have sign on bonuses if you commit to ongoing donations.

The process involves nothing more than you sitting down at the machine which takes the blood coming from your body, removes the plasma and then returns the blood to you. Most people have no downtime and can be back to normal within an hour or so.

So, how can you make money donating blood? You can’t but you can donate blood plasma for cash, and a good way to find out where there are facilities in your area is by following this link to

Another way to earn income by doing almost nothing, and by “selling your body to science” is a bit on the gross side, but can be remarkably profitable. It involves stool donation, and it can actually help to save lives.

Cash In on Regular Stool Donation

Though the process takes a bit of time, you can actually become a part of the OpenBiome Stool Donor Registry. They take your donations and use them to help patients with an often incurable infection of clostridium difficile. This is a bacteria that doesn’t seem to react to antibiotics but which can be killed off by the introduction of material taken from a stool donation from another person.

It sounds impossible, but it’s true and if you pass the OpenBiom screening process, you can earn $40 for each donation made. They do ask you to commit to four donations per week for at least two months. Some of their donors earn thousands of dollars a year for doing little more than…well, their business!

If stool donation is not something you are all that comfortable with, you still have many ways to make money doing almost nothing by selling your body to science. The next suggestion would be to join one of the highest paid clinical trials.

Exploring the Highest Paid Clinical Trials

One of the best ways to scout around for the highest paid clinical trials in your area is to turn to the organization to which most of the data is submitted – the National Institute for Health. They have a database of all current human clinical studies in all corners of the globe. You just search the listing to see if you are a good candidate.

You get paid to be a subject used to test new drugs, medical products, or even just as part of an observed group. While you will often hear that joining trials with bigger risks involved will result in higher earnings, you might find lengthy trials with low risk and good payouts. You can also get in touch with local colleges and universities, as well as hospitals and medical centers as they too often need subject volunteers who will participate in trials, studies or programs in exchange for financial compensation.

You might also allow yourself to be part of a psychological study which demands only your time and your normal behaviors in a clinical setting. These often demand a shorter amount of time and are of much lower risk. As one expert said, “Most research universities keep an online database of studies so people can easily sign up.”

As an example, NYU recently paid people $50 for simple brain scans and $10 just to sit and watch a movie or two.

Don’t feel like being a guinea pig for the highest paid clinical trials? You still have other ways to sell your body to science and make money doing almost nothing along the way. The next option doesn’t even involve “science” and is more an “industry” instead.

Selling Hair

In the classic Christmas story by O. Henry “The Gift of the Magi” a young couple is faced with the challenge of buying one another gifts when struggling with poverty. The husband wishes to buy the woman some lovely combs for here elegant, long hair. The wife wishes to buy the husband a fancy chain for his pocket watch. In the end…well, I won’t spoil it, but suffice it to say there is some cashing in on follicles!

Today, wig makers, beauticians and others are glad to buy healthy and attractive hair. In fact, hair that has never been dyed and which is very long and straight can earn substantial amounts of money. As one article, shockingly, informed me, “a Valparaiso, Indiana, woman banked $4,000 by selling 31 inches of her hair in 2013.” Through websites like Craigslist, and, you might be able to quickly cash in on your locks and go back again and again as the years pass.

If you don’t yet have the long locks to sell, there are still further ways you can make money by selling your body.

Some More Extreme Ways to Make Money Doing Almost Nothing

There is a bit more involved in these money making schemes, so you won’t, technically do “nothing”. However, these opportunities can start to feel a bit extreme to some, and it is why there are among the highest paying ways to earn money by doing almost nothing. The first we’ll look at is the selling of “sex cells”. This is entirely legal, and is done in one of two ways:

  • Sperm donations
  • Egg donations

Obviously, your gender determines which of the two you can do, and you must undergo some screening before it can occur. Keep in mind that there are also age limits for both groups.

Sperm donations can be done around once each week. In fact, most banks require a commitment to that schedule, and ask for six months to a year of participation. How much is paid? It is possible to earn as much as $1500 per month. Typically, donors must be between the ages of 18 and 37 and pass a thorough health screening.

Women who wish to donate eggs must usually be from 21 to 35 and also in optimal health. Drug screenings may be part of the process and compensation is never for the eggs themselves but for your commitment to the process. It takes time, organization and effort, and you can earn from $5k to $8k depending upon the clinic chosen. It takes from 25 to 100 hours for the treatment and extraction, as well as a bit of recovery time following the procedure.

There are also many breastfeeding mothers who donate breast milk, though this is a practice that is frowned upon by many as samples have consistently been tested and found to be high in bacteria. If this is of interest to you, beware that fewer and fewer compensation programs exist for it due to the difficulties with safety and regulation.

Of course, there are quite extreme examples of people donating their bodies to science in exchange for cash that go well beyond, blood, time spent in clinical trials, stool donation or sex cell donation. Consider one Las Vegas man who was earning around $750 per month doing clinical trials when he was asked to donate a testicle in exchange for cash. He decided to do it and was compensated for it with $35k and a prosthetic implant.

So, as you can see, you cannot get paid for donating blood, but you can earn some surprisingly high and consistent sums by donating your time, cells and tissues in other ways. If you are looking for the safest way to generate income, and the one that involves the least amount of effort, the blood plasma approach is probably for you. Of course, if you can find low effort studies, the highest paid clinical trials can be a great way to earn income, also.

Other Opportunities That Don’t Involve Science or Medicine

What other ways can you make money doing almost nothing, but without losing blood or body parts? There are many simple and effective routes to follow. As you might know from our other articles, we are big fans of affiliate marketing, and this has to rate as one of the simplest ways to make money by doing almost nothing, but that does come with a caveat.

What is that? You begin by doing a lot of work and then you let your hard work payoff in passive income. If you choose the right niche and commit to simple marketing efforts, you can often see a tidy sum in returns on a regular basis. We’ve covered a lot of affiliate concepts and setups in other articles, but just to review – it is basically an arrangement where you become a “publisher” promoting a “vendor’s” products and getting a bit of income for every sale you help to make. Your publishing is done however you would like, with social media, blogs, and your own website as a prime example.

No matter what your passion, it is highly likely that there are products or services you can affiliate market. This can feel a lot like doing nothing because you are studying, writing about, talking about and socializing around your passion, and it can be a fantastic way to earn a regular income easily and without great effort …or by doing almost nothing!


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