According to StudentLoanHero, the average graduate of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt. It’s no surprise that more and more millennials are looking for ways to make extra money while working a full-time job.
Whether you are trying to pay off your loan faster or you just want to earn some side income to pay for your next vacation, here are 17 ways to help you put some extra cash in your pocket.
- Offer Unique Travel Experience As a Host
If the city which you are living in is a popular tourist destination, you can earn extra money by becoming a host and creating unique experience for tourists from the world. The good thing about it is that you can host on your own terms and only do it outside your work hours.
For example, if you are a hiker, you can offer a fun hiking experience.
Or if you are a food lover and know where to find good food, you can create an interesting culinary experience.
Once they publish your experience, you are set to go.
Freelancing is basically offering a service. Take inventory of all your skills and see how you can translate it into a service that will benefit other people.
For example, if you know how to design websites, you can offer web design services to small businesses. Or if you speak a second language, you can give language lessons.
If you still have trouble finding an idea, you can check out freelancing platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork and look at what services people are already offering. If there are people already selling it, chances are there is demand for it.
Once you have decided what services you want to offer, it is time to find customers who are willing to pay for it.
There are two ways you can do it. You can either use freelancing platforms or find clients on your own.
Although there are a lot of ready buyers on the freelancing websites, it could be challenging to land your first job because of the fierce competition.
The faster way to get your first paying clients is to let the people in your existing network know what service you provide and ask them to spread the words and send you referrals.
- Launch An Online Course/eBook
If you have knowledge or expertise that you can share with people to help them, you can consider creating an eBook or launching an online course.
The big 3 niches for these information products are health & fitness, love & relationship and Business & Money.
Eben Pagan of DoubleYourDating built a multi-million business selling eBooks and video courses related to dating advice. Steve Kamb of NerdFitness grew his fitness business to 7 figures mostly selling online courses through its Nerd Fitness Academy.
Creating eBooks and online courses takes tons of work upfront. But, once it’s done, it requires minimal effort to maintain. The best part is that it generates passive income for you 24/7.
With e-commerce sales expected to continue its double digit growth, there are still a lot of money-making opportunities in this space.
Today, it’s very easy to set up an online store. You can do it on high traffic platforms such as Amazon, Ebay and Etsy. If you prefer your own website, Shopify has everything you need to create your online store hassle free.
To make running your online store easier, you can also send your products to order fulfillment centers which will take care of everything from shipping to returns & refunds for you.
There are upfront costs involved such as setting up the online store and buying inventory. If you are strapped for cash, what you can do is drop ship your products without having to carry any inventory.
Blogging can be a hobby as well as a source of additional income. If you enjoy writing and connecting with other people, then blogging could be suitable for you.
In general, bloggers make money from a few revenue sources such as advertising, sponsored posts, affiliate partnerships, their own products and consulting.
So, how much can you really make from blogging? Michelle at MakingSenseOfCents paid off her approximately $40,000 student loan by blogging in just 7 months. Now, she is consistently making 6 figure income every single month mainly from affiliate income and her own products.
While her results are not typical, you can see the huge earning potential in blogging.
- Make a “Fake” Store and link to Amazon
If you don’t want the hassle of running and managing an online store but still want to get a piece of the fast-growing e-commerce pie, there is a clever way for you to do it.
Basically, how it works is that you create an online store complete with product listings, then use your Amazon affiliate link to link each product to an Amazon store which is selling the same product.
So, when people click to buy the product on your website, it will automatically bring them to buy the same product on Amazon instead. You will earn a commission for every sale made through your affiliate link.
- Ride the Sharing Economy Wave
And if you are a food lover and someone who enjoys hosting guests for a lovely evening of dining and networking, you are going to love this. A new app called TastePlease allows you to make extra money by hosting dining events at your home for guests who will pay to join.
- Invest in Dividend Stocks
Investment guru Warren Buffer made billions of dollars in stock market. If you know how to invest the right way, you can put your money in the stock market and let it work for you even when you are asleep.
High quality dividend stocks can be a good way to earn some extra income. In fact, Jeremy at GoCurryCracker successfully built an investment portfolio which gives them enough passive dividend income every year to retire early.
However, you need to understand that there is always risk in investing in stock market. The price of the stock you bought might go up or down. If you are comfortable with taking the risk, it is a good passive income strategy.
- Invest In Real Estate
Investing in real estate to earn rental income is a tried and tested strategy for many. In fact, Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad Poor Dad famously used this strategy to generate enough passive rental income to be financially free.
He doesn’t buy the property to sell for a profit. What he is looking for is deals that will provide monthly positive cash flow for years to come.
So, that means the monthly rental income from his property has to exceed all the monthly expenses(i.e. mortgage payment, maintenance and etc).
To find these deals, you will need to do a lot of proper due diligence.
But, if you are cash strapped or don’t want to deal with tenants, there are real estate crowdsourcing platforms such as RealtyShares & RealtyMogul. You get started investing in vetted real estate deals for as little as $5,000.
- Build A Niche Site
Compared to blogging, building a niche site could give you results relatively quicker in terms of income.
A niche site is a website that is catered to a small group of people in larger market with a specific interest. Often, it offers useful information and quality content to its visitors to help them solve a problem.
Once you have set it up, you can let it run on auto-pilot to generate passive income every month. But the earnings are generally limited, unlike blogging.
Pat Flynn at SmartPassiveIncome successfully built two niche sites from scratch. These two niche sites continue to give him passive income for years to come. He even documented the entire process from start to finish. Get all the details here.
You can follow his strategy and get your first niche site up and running.
You’ve probably heard how some YouTube video creators make money. They make videos, upload to YouTube, attract views and then get a cut of the revenue from the ads.
But the truth is that you could only make a couple of thousand dollars for every million views for your videos. And, getting millions of views is very challenging.
Here is the good news. There are other creative ways to generate income from your YouTube videos.
For example, you can direct traffic to affiliate links and earn a commission for each sale made, or you can get sponsorships for your videos once you have built a sizable following.
- Online Consulting
Consulting on the side is a very easy and quick way to bring in some extra income. All you need is your knowledge which people will want to pay for to help them get results or solve problems for them.
For example, if you know a lot about marketing, people would want to pay you to help them with their marketing and get more customers. Or if you know how to get a website to the top of Google, people would want to pay you to help them do that.
So, identify exactly who you can help and what problems you can help them solve or what results you can help them achieve. Once you have these nailed down, you are ready for business.
- Direct Selling
Direct selling has been around for a very long time. As its name suggests, it simply sells directly to customers away from a fixed retail location. These days, you can sell everything from supplements to financial products.
If you are good at sales, it is an option for you to earn some extra income because you can set your own hours.
However, before you decide to go into direct sales, you need to learn how to tell the difference between legitimate companies and phonies. Be cautious not to fall for those pyramid schemes.
Legitimate ones usually charge a relatively small fee for a starter kits, sell products that are bought by the end user and generally offer refunds for items you fail to sell.
- Peer to Peer Lending
Traditionally, if anyone or any business needs to borrow money, they go to a bank for a loan. Now, peer to peer lending platforms such as LendingClub has made it easy for everyone to lend money and earn interests from it.
How it works is that they assign a grade to each loan based on the reviews of the borrower’s profile. The higher the grade, the lower the interest rate and the default risk.
You can browse these loans and make your decision manually. Or you can choose to automate your investment based on a pre-selected strategy.
- Earn Royalties on Your Photos
If you love photography, why not earn some extra money doing what you love?
Simply sign up to become a contributor at sites like Shutterstock and start earning royalties on your photos. As a contributor, you can earn up to 30% of the sale price of your photos.
- Selling Your Art/Design Online
You upload your artwork and designs onto products such as T-shirt and Mugs. If customer likes your design and buys it, they will print and ship to customers and pay you a percentage of the sale.
So, all you need to do is upload your designs and they will take care of everything else.
If you are spending time every day on Instagram, there are a few ways for you to make it worthwhile.
Do you think your Instagram photos are of very high quality? If the answer is yes, you can consider selling your Instagram photos to brands that want to use them. Foap is an online photography marketplace for you to do just that. And the best thing is that you don’t have to have a big following to do it.
In addition, you can make money promoting other companies’ products/services or capturing leads for them. To get started, you can check out Peerfly which is an affiliate network.
Generally, capturing leads for these companies is easier than making sales. First, browse the promotional offers listed as “Social” under “Traffic Methods” tab. Once you have decided which offer to promote, then you just need to copy the unique URL and paste it on your Instagram. When people click on the link and decide to enter their email address, you will earn a commission.
For this strategy to work well, you will need to build a sizable following on Instagram.
If you are in the lazy mode, you can earn some quick cash by taking part in surveys(Survey Junkie & Survey Club), testing websites(UserTesting) or simply downloading some apps(SwagBuck Mobile App & Inbox Dollars).
If you have a good way to earn extra income while working a full-time job, please share with us in the comments section.