In today’s economy, it goes without saying that having a side hustle is much more than a hobby; it could be considered a necessity. Long gone are the days when one could depend on one source of income and ensure a quality life for them and their loved ones. But, is there any other way to make some easy extra money besides having a yard sale, tutoring students, babysitting, walking dogs, waiting tables, and mowing lawns? Absolutely! Here are some smart ways to increase your revenue streams and help you boost your net worth, pay down debt or save enough money to finally fulfill that dream of yours.
The secret is to cultivate a business around something you already know and are good at. Use the skills you have already developed, and start a freelance business. This could include:
• Writing – Work on crafting convincing copy, compelling blog posts, and website content if you are good at it. You can start with content sites (companies that hire large numbers of freelance writers to churn out a huge amount of content on a daily basis) if you are OK with the low pay (3 cents/word) or start your own blog. Some content sites worth applying are Crowdsource and WritersDomain. Alternatively, you could create a website and coach others with their careers if you are experienced in that field. You can start with promoting your services to industry-related forums and communities and offer an incentive (i.e. a discount) to new clients when they refer you. If you take it seriously, you can earn more than $1,000 each month.
• Blogging – Creating a blog with affiliate links and ads can get you a long way. If you have an area of expertise, you can create value for your audience and earn a lot of money. Take Pat Flynn, for instance. The Smart Passive Income guru has earned more than $3 million blogging so far. If he can do it, why not you?
• Do Web or Graphic Design – You can earn a good $100/hour if you can put together a striking website homepage or book cover or create a catching header. A good way to search for career opportunities in the digital space is by visiting Mashable’s Job Board.
• Develop Apps & Websites – If playing with code is your thing, the next thing to do is spot a problem and jump right in providing a solution. If, for example, a plugin does not work perfectly, tweak it and come up with your own improved version. The demand for mobile apps and highly responsive website are also on the rise, given that 80% of Internet users prefer to use their smartphone to access the Net. You can earn at least $75/hour, although you can easily reach $300/hour for fast turnarounds and urgent situations (i.e. site is hacked). Of course, your potential rates increase the more server-side you are.
• Take Photos – You can start as a portrait or wedding photographer or just take shots to sell them to stock photography websites, such as istockphoto.com or shutterstock.com (pay is between 15-50 cents/photo but can reach up to $60). Just have a website developed so that you can showcase your work or post your portfolio on Flickr (for those pursuing wedding/portrait business). The only hurdle is breaking into the wedding business. In this case, word-of-mouth can help you get the engine started. Of course, you’ll need to be experienced with photo-editing programs, have a decent camera, and understand basic photographic principles. Prices range from $100/session and skyrocket to more than $1000 for a full-day wedding shoot. High-end wedding photographers earn much more than the astronomical $9,000 for a wedding shoot.
• Officiate Weddings – If you are great at putting together a beautiful speech, taking staggering photos, writing code or just enjoy being a people person, you will excel as a wedding officiant during the weekends. Becoming ordained is very simple, quick, and free. The way to set up of your business (and the legal requirements) vary based on which state you are in. Start with friends’ weddings and ask them to refer you to engaged couples or just any couple they know! The cost of an officiant varies greatly, too. You can charge anywhere from free to over $1000 per wedding, although a price range between $200 to $600 is most common.
Of course, the list could go on forever because people are blessed with lots of talents that they could use to make some extra cash fast. So, it’s up to you to figure them out and use them wisely. And, if you reach the point where you feel it’s time to take things to another level, you can always turn yourself into an entrepreneur. There are lots of examples of people that started as freelancers and became successful business people. Take Brian Wong, for example, who started as an ad designer before he gave birth to Kiip and innovated the mobile game ad model. Today, his company has partnered with colossus brands, such as PepsiCo, Disney, Guinness World Records, and Sony.
Marketplaces to Post Your Services on (or Find a Job)
2. Create a Digital Product
Use the knowledge you have, invest time and resources once, and then earn cash with every sale.
➢ Write Ebooks – You may use your blog posts and turn them into an ebook. Then, sell them either through platforms such as Apple’s iBooks or Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, although you could also use your own site, too. As for royalty rates on ebooks, these vary.
➢ Write a Guide – People are always on the lookout for in-depth information about a subject they are interested in. Give your 5 cents of knowledge upon something you know well and create a package of resources (i.e. checklists, cheat sheets, video interviews) that readers will find handy and useful. Depending on the information you provide, niche, authority, and target audience, you can earn around $40 per piece you write (i.e. best-selling author’s Chris Guillebeau Unconventional Guides cost $39).
➢ Launch an Online Course – Whatever it is you feel comfortable teaching can become your next money-making endeavor. There are online learning platforms, such as Udemy that can help you create your first online course quite effortlessly or you could create a new page on your own site where you promote your online courses. Again, earning depends on the niche. An average instructor can earn about $7,000 annually on Udemy.
3. Get in Better Shape & Get Paid For it!
There are websites, such as DietBet that will actually pay you to get in shape. You just need to place a wager and do your best to achieve your goal. Once you do, you can decide what you are going to do with the extra cash that could range from couple of hundred dollars to several thousand!
Another great idea also related to the health and fitness niche is to start a fitness boot camp a couple of mornings or evening a week if you are a fitness buff (the local park is an ideal place to have your sessions). It is easy to start, as just a few friends working out in plain sight will work miracles. Don’t be surprised if you see more and more people joining in! Average prices for boot camp trainers are between $150-$300 per hour (depending on the number of people that sign up).
4. Make your Opinions/Brain Matter
There are many side gigs to get instant money for simply being, well, yourself. For example, you can sign up for focus groups (i.e. Focuscope, Inc., and MindSwarms), where you can earn between $50 and $250 per group. Or you could consider becoming a standardized patient and help medical students practice diagnoses, among others. You just need to be good at pretending to be sick! Online job boards (i.e. Indeed.com) and large medical schools are places to help you start off on the right foot. Pay ranges from $17 to $35 per hour.
5. Work in the Auto Industry…From Home!
Auto repair startup YourMechanic has come forward with an exciting idea that allows automobile owners to have a specialist sent to their office or home when their car needs service. This means that you can work as a contractor with them and work from home. The jobs they offer are (1) auto parts specialist and (2) customer service rep and include benefits and competitive pay, per their job descriptions.
4. Get a Car Title Loan
A title loan is an easy and fast way to get cash without using your credit score; only your own car title. Unlike the previous options, you can literally have cash in your hand today! And it’s a perfect option if your credit score is not all that shiny at the moment and need money pronto. The process is pretty much like taking your valuables to a pawn shop only in this case it is your car. An employee will appraise your asset and give you a loan, after considering the wholesale values. The size of the title loan is determined by your vehicle’s value, the amount of cash you need, and your ability to repay. If you find a trusted company that focuses on keeping your payments manageable and welcomes all credit types while getting you as much money as possible, such as USA Money Today, then you have a good solution in your hands for the times you need fast cash. Depending on the firm you collaborate with, you can get your money in half an hour and still get to keep driving your car. With no minimal income verifications and user-friendly online applications that take no more than a few minutes to process, getting your hands on some extra money has never been easier.
In today’s world, opportunities to make money on the side abound for just about everybody, regardless of the level of your experience. From sources to get instant money to options that offer you the chance to make side money, which could even allow you to quit your day job on the long run, there is an entire money-making world out there waiting to be explored. It just takes a little bit of effort on your part, but you can be making some extra money in no time–and be loving it!