I've been a freelance writer for over 20 years. I enjoy writing about anything from non-fiction self-help to fiction thrillers and mysteries
We All Could Use a Little More Money
It should come as no surprise that nearly half of working American citizens live paycheck to paycheck. Even two incomes coming in each month aren't always enough to cover today’s rising costs of everything. The federal minimum wage hasn't increased since 2009, yet prices of everything from housing to food to oil have soared in the past decade. It seems that the only pockets getting filled are Uncle Sam's, and middle-class Americans are paying more out then they are receiving.
Americans Are Feeling the Crunch
American families need more money, but nobody wants to leave one job to drive to the next job, losing sleep or losing time that could be spent with the family. So the only alternative seems to be to settle for the income that we currently have and forfeit the finer things in life, all while robbing Peter to pay Paul.
But what if you could really make decent extra income without having to lose sleep and time with your family?
Earning Extra Money Doesn't Have to be a Drag
Earning extra income to help make ends meet, and then some, doesn’t have to be a drag. In fact, there are ways to earn extra money that are actually fun, even interesting, if you will. Here are a list of five jobs that can put extra money in your pocket while allowing you to have fun and giving you the freedom of working your own schedule, when and if you want to.
1. Create and Sell Your Own Products
If you love designing, and are somewhat creative, creating and selling your own products is a ton of fun and could bring in very good income for those who are cleaver and can market their products effectively. Both Gear Bubble and Cafepress offer the opportunity to create and sell products such as coffee mugs, T-shirts, calendars, posters, and so much more. Both are free to join and to create, with both taking a percentage of each sale.
The wonderful thing about creating and selling your own products is that once you create a product you can sit back and earn from it for years to come. The more products you create, the more potential for earning.
2. Use "We Go Look"
This is not a work-from-home job, but it can be a quite interesting gig as you “go look” at an item that’s for sale, take photos, and write a small report for someone who can’t see the item before they purchase it.
Example: Mr. Jones saw a 2010 Ford Pick-up truck for sale on Craigslist that he is very interested in purchasing. The only problem is that the seller lives 75 miles from Mr. Jones, which makes it very inconvenient for him to drive all that way just to find out that the truck is not up to the standards that the seller advertised. Mr. Jones pays a fee to We Go Look to have an inspector ("Looker") meet the buyer, take photos of the truck, and gather information to send to Mr. Jones.
The job requires some travel; however, as an independent contractor, you decide what tasks you are willing to perform and the location that you are willing to travel to. You are in charge of contacting the seller and setting an appointment to come out and look at the item for a day and time that is convenient for both of you. This job can pay up to $25 per hour, depending on the complexity of the task.
3. Do Freelance Writing
Becoming a freelance writer is much easier now than it was when I first started out twenty-some years ago. The internet has made it possible for many aspiring writers to accomplish their dreams and become published authors.
If you’ve ever had the itch to try your hand at freelance writing, there’s no time like the present. Freelance writing can be a rewarding, interesting and fun way to earn extra income, even for the beginner, and has been my main source for extra income for over two decades. I take newbies from start to finish in How to Become a Freelance Writer - The Newbie Guide to Freelance Writing, available on Amazon for those who need help getting started.
There are several ways to earn extra income as a freelance writer. Here are a few ideas to start with:
- Online Magazines. Many online (and even print) magazines pay freelance writers for interesting, relevant articles (20 Best Freelance Writing Jobs that Pay $100+ Per Article).
- Hubpages. Yep, right here on Hubpages you can write about anything (well, almost anything) that you want and earn a little money. You won’t get rich, but Hubpages is a great way to earn small passive income over time. The more articles (or hubs, as they call them) that you write, the better chance of earning more income.
- eBooks. Okay, so everybody and their brother is writing an eBook these days, but that doesn’t mean you can’t too. If you have a great story or how-to book in mind, you can publish it on Amazon, Kobo, or Smashwords (as well as other sites) and, if your eBook can engage interest in readers, you could be well on your way to becoming a successful freelance writer/author.
4. Sell How-to Videos
Youtube is a great way to offer free videos, especially if you have something interesting to say (how-to videos are just one idea) or something fun to share (people love funny animals and baby videos). These free videos will allow you to gather followers and fans.
However, to earn money from videos, you will also need to sell videos. A great way to do this is to offer free bits of your video along with a “for more” link to your paid video. If you have a particular skill or knowledge that you can share with others you can create how-to videos that will teach those interested in obtaining said skill or knowledge.
Although somewhat time-consuming, if you’re into videos and think you can offer a quality video that people will want to purchase, it can become a very lucrative way to earn extra income, while having a ton of fun making them.
5. Sell Used Items
Online garage/yard sales are on the rise and everyone loves a bargain. Selling used items can be fun and interesting if you’re good at spotting a deal and have some time to deliver the items that you sell. I know many people who collect and sell used items and are reaping some handsome rewards.
Example: I went to college with a girl who purchased used clothing and accessories from Craigslist, garage sales, and Goodwill, and then created fashion sets that she sold on eBay: a very clever idea that allowed her to earn a pretty decent side income.
You Just Can't Beat Passive Income
Most of the above extra income ideas will allow you to earn and grow passive income over time. Putting all of the ideas together and working on them in your spare time will allow you to create a product (coffee mug, eBook, article, video, etc.) only once and then the product will keep generating income for years and years to come. That’s the nice thing about the internet these days—anyone wishing to earn extra money can easily do so.
One Last Word......
You're Looking to Earn More Money - Not Lose it
It seems today that everybody is looking to make extra money off the internet. It’s a sign of the times. But, with the need to earn extra money comes extra ways for con-artists to attempt to rob you of your hard-earned dollars. If someone is asking for payment for you to work for them, this is a huge red flag jumping out at you. Legitimate companies do not require payment from a prospective employee, even if you're an independent contractor.
Watch for scams. Learn how to recognize a possible scam. Trust your instincts. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.