Over one summer, I was asked to be a staff writer for a blog. The e-mail came out of nowhere, but after I received it, I started looking into staff writing further. Having a blog (as talked about before), helped people find me and consider me for their staff writing positions. After that initial e-mail, I then posted on Yakezie (a personal finance community with a great forum) and stated that I was searching for a staff writing position. After I made the post on the forum, I received a couple of e-mails and this is what launched my staff writing career. The power of throwing yourself out there and just asking was definitely helpful for me.
Pro tip for first-timers: Carefully consider the pay rates that are listed. Penny Hoarder Carson Kohler has used the platform to find freelance writing gigs, and she reports low rates — like $3 for 500 written words. It’s probably not worth it. (And, yes, you’ll have to scroll through a whole lot of these low-paying listings to find the good ones.)
Working as a freelancer is a great way to make money online from the comfort of your own home. The beauty of freelancing is that you can tailor it to suit your needs. You can freelance for a couple of hours a week in the evenings to help save up for a holiday or some much-needed home improvements. Or carve out a full-time job for yourself, giving you a more satisfying work-life balance and enabling you to do the simpler things in life like taking the kids to school. With so many jobs available online, freelancing is becoming more and more popular.
I personally have enjoyed working a direct sales/home based business on the side. I found a good, legitimate company with very low upfront costs/overhead. It has been a great experience. Just be sure that the company offers training and some sort of simple, step-by-step system and it helps if they are in the DSA Top 100– instantly proves their legitimacy!
A popular tactic to make money on social media is to pay for advertising affiliate products. Create ads for particular affiliate products that are big sellers and have a high yield. Then target these ads at specific custom audiences to ensure your ads are viewed by those who will have an interest in the product you are promoting. If viewers click through your from advert to the product page and make a purchase then you will earn an affiliate fee.
Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to make money online doing something you love via a niche website. That of course, is easier said than done. Creating a profitable niche website takes time and is not intended for the faint of heart. But, if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business idea you’re thinking about is profitable, then you can begin building it and eventually monetize through advertising, affiliates, or other relevant products.
In fact, AirBnB recently swallowed up luxury vacation rental provider, Luxury Retreats, and other consolidations in the marketplace have happened with leading sites like InvitedHome's acquisition of PPG rentals and Seasoned Dreams' platforms, and Expedia's $3.9 billion acquisition of another vacation rental giant, HomeAway. The market is booming and the time is ripe for entry, no matter how big or small your home or condo might be.
Sell CDs and/or DVDs. Back up your collection on a computer or external hard drive, then sell the original discs. You’ll make quick cash and save space at the same time. If you have prized collections (boxed sets, limited-release editions, etc.), sell these individually for what they’re worth; otherwise, sell your discs very reasonably (remember, your potential buyers can also get the exact songs they want instantly by downloading them for buck or less apiece). Even for a mere $4 each, a sizeable collection of CDs can haul in a tidy – sum.
While you could launch a regular business selling someone else's products, you could also invent your own product, like billionaire fitness pioneer, Howard Panes who teamed up with Ab Roller creator, Don Brown to create the Stealth, a fitness system that gamifies core workouts. While businesses based on inventions might seem more complex to create, they do present attractive investment opportunities as depicted on popular shows like billionaire, Mark Cuban, and Daymond John's, Shark Tank.
Look into survey sites like MyPoints, Survey Junkie or Vindale Research where you’ll get paid just for taking surveys and giving your opinion. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right? Just remember, these sites are looking for specific criteria. So you might have to wait for the right survey to come along that you qualify for. Plus, you’ll have to reach a certain threshold before you can cash out your points. It’s not a get-rich-quick opportunity by any means, but that extra cash can still add up over time. If you’re the patient and persistent type, give it a shot!
I have been really disappointed with the survey gig. They underestimate the time they take to complete by like a third and often I find myself spending 10 minutes in what seems like a survey only to find out it’s a pre-survey qualifier, where it feels like I’m giving them so much personal information that I ought to be paid, but at the end of it I’m told I don’t qualify but the award like the equivalent of a penny or two to thank you for your time.
If you have a good idea for an app, and the skills to create it, then producing your own premium app can be profitable. However, with so many free apps available, it may be hard to convince people to pay. If you want to go down the premium app route, consider having a basic free version to encourage people to download the app in the first place. You can then provide the option of upgrading to a premium plan once users realize how useful the app is.
If you hook up with a for-hire car parking service (the type hired out for fancy neighborhood parties) you can make some nice cash tips in just a few hours at night and on the weekend, when parties are held. The key here is to do a great job by showing hustle and being super friendly. This was one of the most enjoyable jobs I had during graduate school. Who doesn't like to drive nice cars?
You can make extra income by becoming a virtual assistant. This is something that I started doing after I created my blog. It doesn’t comprise a LARGE percentage of my extra income, but it is there. I like to be diversified just in case anything does happen to one of my other extra income streams (yes I realize that I am not fully diversified because a lot of my extra income is earned online – just in different ways).
If you are really short on cash and need some immediate funds then you should start by looking around your house. Clear out your cupboards and find any items lying around that you don’t need or haven’t used for a while. Then sell them on eBay. Just because they are gathering dust in your cupboards, doesn’t mean someone else won’t snap them up. Simply sign up with eBay, list your products and then, as they are sold, send them off to the buyers.
Once you’ve gathered a list, put together a template outreach email (as you’ll be doing this over and over) that’s short and clear with expectations. Tell your potential interviewee who you are, what your podcast is about, and what you’re asking of them. Do a few test interviews with friends and family to make sure everything is being recorded at the quality you want and then book your first episode.
Websites like Survey Junkie will pay you a decent chunk of change for the low-maintenance, borderline mindless task of completing surveys. Companies want to understand consumers better, and one way they do that is by compensating survey-takers. Most surveys pay between $0.50 and $1.25, and many of them take less than 5 minutes to do. You can read our full Survey Junkie review for more info.