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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.
1: 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 a unique experience for tourists from the world.
The good thing about this 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.
So, what skills do you have that you can turn into a service?
If you are struggling to come up with ideas, it helps to take a look at the following:
- Books you usually read
- Activities you do in your free time
- Subjects you’ve studied in college
- Websites you frequently visit
- Tools you often use
- Results you’ve gotten for yourself or others
- Certification you have obtained
Also, you can ask your friends and family what they think you are good at.
Once you have identified at least 5 of your top skills, I would like you to think about what problems you can help other people solve with each skill.
You see, all the services out there serve ONE purpose – solve problems for people.
When you have a human resources problem, you will want to look for HR consulting services.
When you have a tax problem, you will want to look for tax consulting services.
When you have problems with your Facebook advertising, you will want to look for FB ads consulting services.
Basically, what problems you can help solve will give you clues as to who your ideal clients are.
So, who can you help with your service?
Do you help other businesses solve their problems?
Or do you help individuals with their problems?
Here are some service business ideas for each.
Money-Making Ideas For Offering Services To Business On The Side:
- Digital Advertising Service
- Graphic Design Service
- Social Media Marketing Service
- Copywriting Service
- Translation Service
- Website Design Service
- Legal Service
- Accounting Service
- SEO Service
- Project Management Consulting
- PR Service
- Tax Service
- HR/Payroll Service
- Video Editing Service
- Event Planning/Promotion
Money-Making Ideas For Offering Service To Individuals On The Side:
- Career Consulting/Help (Resume editing / Interview Prep / Finding job)
- Give Lessons (Music, Language, Arts, Sports)
- Personal Trainer
- Personal Chef
- Fashion Consulting
- Relationship Consulting
- Wedding Planning
- Interior Design
- Pet Service
- Travel Planning
- Tax & Financial Planning
- Home Maintenance
- SAT Prep
- College Application Review
Generally, it is easier to sell to businesses because they are always looking for help to solve their business problems.
And they also have the willingness and the ability to pay for solutions.
A few years ago, I started my own service business offering graphic design services to businesses.
The interesting part is that I didn’t have any graphic design skills.
What I did was that I found a group of talented freelancers online from platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork, and asked them to work with me because I always have projects that I want to outsource.
The freelancers need work.
And I need talented people to deliver the work for my clients.
It is a win-win situation.
So, if you don’t want to sell your own skills or don’t have the time to deliver the services yourself, you can consider Service Arbitrage.
Basically, you are reselling other talented people’s skills and services.
How you make money is that you will charge your clients at a higher rate than what you are paying your freelancers.
Want My FREE Blueprint: A Step-by-Step Guide On How You Can Start A $1,000/Month Service Arbitrage Business
3: 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.
Here are the 3 biggest profitable niches for information products:
- Health & Fitness
- Love & Relationship
- Business & Money
For example, 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.
When you are trying to figure out what course or ebook you can create, it might help to ask yourself the following questions:
- What skills do you have that other people want to learn from you?
- What knowledge do you have that can help solve other people’s problems?
- What results have you achieved that other people want to learn from you to get the same results?
Let’s say that you are very good at vegan cooking, you can create a course teaching people how to do that.
If you are very good at decluttering, you can also create a course on that.
For myself, I have created my own online course “Service Arbitrage Pro”.
The reason why I created an online course teaching people how to start their own service arbitrage business is because I have done it myself and gotten results doing it.
So, it is one good way for me to share my knowledge and experience with those who want to know how to do it.
You see, idea generation might look simple.
But you don’t want to have just any idea. You want a profitable idea.
So, before you start creating your online course or ebook, you need to first find out if there are actually people paying willing to pay for it.
Creating eBooks and online courses might take a lot 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.
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.
So, how much can you make from selling physical products online?
One of my friends actually started an online store selling private label products – handphone case covers.
He sourced the products from China at a very low cost per unit.
Then, he redesigned the packaging to sell it under his own brand name at a much higher price – about 500% higher than his cost price. (yes, that’s how high the profit margin for handphone accessories.
To market his products, he made a few videos of his products and then spent some money running Facebook ads on these videos.
Did he make any sales?
He made a lot of sales in the first two months.
His competitors started to bring in the exact same products and undercut his prices.
He had to keep sourcing for new products with good profit margin.
So, the challenge with private label products is that you don’t really have any competitive edge.
The barrier of entry is also pretty low, therefor you will face a lot of competition.
Another downside with selling physical products online is that you might have to invest some money upfront to buy inventory.
If you are strapped for cash, what you can do is drop ship your products without having to carry any inventory.
Here is how dropshipping works:
- The customer places an order for a product on your online store
- The order is then automatically (or manually) forwarded to the dropship supplier
- The dropship supplier then packages and ships the order directly to the customer in the name of your online store
Dropshipping is a pretty great business model for a first-timer. It’s a low-risk and low-investment way of starting your own business.
But, there are also some disadvantages.
The profit margin is low and you often have high fulfillment cost.
Let’s not forget that the competition is pretty high and you also have no control over the supply chain.
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?
Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome is consistently making 6 figure income every single month mainly from affiliate income and his own products.
So, you can see the huge earning potential in blogging.
6. 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.
7. Ride the Sharing Economy Wave
But, look beyond Uber and AirBnb.
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.
8. Invest in Dividend Stocks
Investment guru Warren Buffer made billions of dollars in the 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 a risk in investing in the 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.
9. 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. You get started investing in vetted real estate deals for as little as $5,000.
10. 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.
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.
12. 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.
Davis Lin of ClientAcquisitionLab has an awesome blueprint to show you EXACTLY how to start your 6-figure online consulting business.
13. 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 kit, sell products that are bought by the end-user and generally offer refunds for items you fail to sell.
14. 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 have 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.
15. 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.
16. Selling Your Art/Design Online
You upload your artwork and designs onto products such as T-shirts and Mugs. If a 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 have a good way to earn extra income while working a full-time job, please share with us in the comments section.
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