13 Common Ways to Make Extra Money on the Side


February 15, 2017

Wouldn’t it be nice to find easy ways to make money on the side? Whether you’re looking to have extra spending money, working to pay off your debt faster, or saving for a dream vacation, here are a few common ways to earn extra income.

Keep in mind, the demands and pay for these jobs will vary depending on location and your experience, as well as who you’re working for. But each is an opportunity that deserves exploring.

1. Online Sales

The extra stuff around your house or apartment may be treasures to someone else. Consider selling clothes, golf clubs, bikes, guitars, jewelry and other items you no longer use. There are a variety of platforms for selling your goods online. Find one that’s a good fit for what you’re selling, and see what kind of money you can make.

2. Freelance

Businesses are always looking for outsiders who understand writing, graphic design, mobile app creation and other services. If you’re interested in one of these areas and have a little bit of experience, you can turn that hobby into money. Check freelance marketplaces to see what’s out there, and get started with small jobs to build up a portfolio — then look for larger, better-paying work.

3. Coaching and Consulting

You never know when your knowledge might be valuable to someone else. Use your work experience to offer consulting to businesses, or use your personal experience to coach someone in an area that’s challenging for them.

4. The Sharing Economy

There are an increasing number of companies that will help you make money on the side by driving your personal vehicle, or renting your apartment or home. There’s no obligation, and you get to work or rent whenever you want. Just be sure to do research on the companies beforehand to make sure they’re legitimate and be cautious in choosing who to provide rides to and when granting access to your home.

5. User Testing

Companies need to know how their websites are performing, and they’re counting on outside users to help them. Look for sites that connect brands to user testers, get registered and start making some extra cash on the side. You can make a fast $10 or $15 in as little as 10 to 15 minutes.

6. Focus Groups

Brands are always doing research, and they want to talk to a wide variety of consumers. Find a focus group that is interested in consumers who fit your profile.

Many focus groups and research opportunities are simple and can be completed online or over the phone. They can also be completed in person. Sign up with a few focus group companies, and take advantage of opportunities as they come up.

7. Tutoring

Do you have specialized knowledge in a certain subject area? Help others through tutoring. You can tutor in person near college campuses or through middle and high schools, or you can sign up for or start an online tutoring business that uses video chat and other digital tools.

8. Affiliate Marketing and Blogging

Affiliate marketing is a simple way to make money, though few people know about it. How does it work? You become an “affiliate” for a certain company or product, and then you share information about that company, product or service online. Through the affiliate-marketing program, you get customized links to embed on your blog or website. When someone clicks your links and makes a purchase, you get a cut of the sale. If you’re a blogger, there are several other money-making opportunities as well, such as selling ads on your site or reviewing products for brands.

9. Photography

If you have a knack for photography, maybe it’s time to put that skill to work. You can find gigs taking family photos, portraits and even action shots at sports games. If you love to take pictures, shoot for stock image sites and follow those sites’ submissions guidelines to make some extra cash.

10. Recycling

Don’t bother with bottles and cans — focus on items that can bring in better money. You won’t get rich, but you can make some spending money by recycling old cell phones, batteries, electronics, ink cartridges and similar products.

11. Yard Work

Are you willing to break a sweat to earn extra money? Raking leaves, mowing lawns, trimming trees and doing other yard work can pay when you need the cash, and you can offer your services whenever you need the money.

12. Babysitting

Babysitting or serving as a nanny is an incredibly common way to make extra money. Babysitting can pay anywhere from $10 to $15 an hour, depending on where you live and your experience level. Serving as a nanny could bring in significantly more — up to $25 an hour.

13. Make Something

Do people often remark on your creativity? Perhaps it’s time to leverage that creativity to make some extra cash. You can create anything from holiday crafts to jewelry. Market, promote and sell your product through online platforms. You may find it to be an enjoyable way to get a handy stream of extra income.

When you’re wondering how to make extra money on the side, try one of the ideas above.

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