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While most of us dream about making a million dollars a year, the truth is that many of us would be thrilled to make another $1,000 each month. Wouldn’t an extra $12,000 a year make a huge difference?
There’s so many different things you can do to supplement your income. And it’s not that difficult. It’s a matter of commitment more than anything else.
Getting off on the right foot will help to ensure your success as you take on a new money-making venture. But before making your first dollar, remember to do the necessary preliminary work. That way, you’re more likely to do well and make much more money in the future.
Here are some factors you want to consider FIRST before diving into a side gig.
1. Create a list of your unique skills and knowledge.
It’s not necessary to know or be able to do anything special to make an extra $1,000 each month, but it doesn’t hurt. Having a unique skill-set can allow you to charge more for your time.
2. How much free time do you have?
Do you have to earn money outside of a regular job? Are your weekends free? What about your weekday evenings? How many hours are you willing to work?
3. Do you have any friends or family that you can help with?
Maybe you have a friend with a construction business that needs help on the weekends. Think about everyone, you know. They might have something that would be perfect for you.
4. Are you willing to try something new?
It’s possible to force your will on the marketplace, but it’s a lot easier to provide what it needs. What do you hear people complaining about in your area? Find a need and fill it!
5. Prepare to become a marketing machine.
Many of the methods I’m going to suggest require finding clients. The work itself is quite simple, but finding the clients is the harder part.
6. Have fun.
It’s one thing to make yourself miserable for a few months to reach a goal, but it’s quite another to do it long-term. Find something that you enjoy doing.
Anyone can make another $1,000 each month. You might even be able to do a few different side jobs and eventually replace your full-time income. Even one successful venture might be enough in some cases.
The Money-Making Methods
Depending on where you live, all of the ideas in this guide could be viable options. However, some are more suited for certain areas than others. Hopefully, you’ll find a method that appeals to you.
Create A Website And Sell Something
With WordPress, it’s never been easier to set up your own website. Gone are the days of needing to be a programmer to create a great looking site.
Selling something on a website is fairly simple:
1. When people come to your website, sell them something. Find a topic that interests you, and then capitalize on that interest.
- For example, there was recently a story of a woman that started her own blog about lighthouses and now makes a full-time living selling lighthouse related items and lighthouse travel tours.
- You can also sell a service. Think of something you can do better than the average person. There’s no need to be an expert. You only need to be one.step.ahead.
- You can also have Google Ads or something similar on your website and get paid when people click on them. The “pay-per-click” market is huge!
- Affiliate marketing can be lucrative. There are websites with thousands of digital products that you can sell.
- On these affiliate sites, you earn a commission every time you make a sale. Commissions are commonly 20-70%. The product creator even provides a sales page where you send your customers.
2. The real key is doing the marketing to get customers to your webpage. There are plenty of resources available to help you market your website.
- Write some articles related to the topic of your website and post them in the appropriate places. Posting to article directories would be good start. Article marketing has always been a great way to drive web traffic.
- Write excellent content. Some of the most popular websites were never intentionally marketed in any way. If your content is unique, people will come to read it.
- Social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Pinterest are additional ways of creating a buzz.
Even if you’re not technologically inclined, a website can be a great way to boost your income in your spare time.
Sell A Technical Service
I know many people are intimidated by internet technology. But there are many easy and simple services you could offer to people and businesses that they might not think they can do themselves.
Selling technical services can could look like:
A reasonable website can be created in just a couple of hours, and it wouldn’t be difficult to find someone willing to pay at least a few hundred dollars for a website.
- One website a week would easily be an additional $1,000 each month. It could even be much, much more.
2. Create Facebook pages for small businesses.
Smaller businesses often have no designated marketing employees. Many of those businesses are also too small to justify hiring a full-blown marketing firm.
- Templates are available that would allow you to create a Facebook page for a business in a just a few minutes.
- These Facebook pages can easily be sold for $100 or more. Two or three a week would meet the magical $1,000 mark.
3. Create YouTube videos for small businesses.
A few simple shots with a digital camera can be made in to a slideshow with free software and a little bit of time.
4. Create and operate Twitter accounts for businesses.
Many small businesses would love to have a Twitter account, but they are unsure how to go about setting it up. (This applies to any social network as well. Hence, “social media manager!”)
The common methods for finding customers (in order of effectiveness) are in-person visit, phone call, email, and snail-mail. You might be surprised how easy it is to find a client if you can muster the courage and stop by or pick up the phone.
These services are all much easier than you probably realize. You can teach yourself everything you need to know very quickly.
It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sakeMargaret Thatcher
Do Taxes For Others
With the software that’s now available, nearly anyone can do some else’s taxes. You won’t require a degree in accounting to put some numbers into a software program.
Many of the people working for the big tax firms each spring are just regular people working part-time.
In the rare event that someone’s taxes are too complicated once you start doing them, simply tell them the truth. Just as all lawyers aren’t qualified to handle all cases, it’s okay to admit you can’t do the taxes of a multi-millionaire with extensive offshore investments.
This method won’t work all year. It’s going to be limited to a couple of months, but you can easily make more than $1,000 each month during that time.
Think about other services you can offer to the same clients. If they’re happy with your tax preparation services, maybe they’ll give you the opportunity to do something else for them during other times of the year.
Remember to ask for referrals. The easiest way to find new clients is by receiving a recommendation from other clients you’ve worked with.
All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happySpike Milligan
Rent Out Your Extra Room On Airbnb
Airbnb.com is a unique website that allows people to rent out space they own. It can be space in a tree house, a walk-in closet with an air mattress, an entire vacation home, or a room in your home. If you have a livable space, someone would probably be interested in renting it from you. If the space isn’t currently being used, it’s really just a wasted resource. Make the most of it!
Here’s a couple of tips:
1. Have a proper lease in place.
Laws and customs can vary from state to state. Contact an attorney or your local real estate investors club for assistance.
2. Do a thorough background check before letting a stranger move into your home.
There are services available to run background checks, credit checks, and every other type of check you can imagine. At the very least be sure to scope out their Airbnb profile!
- Before letting anyone move in, you’ll probably want to require a security deposit or rent up front. Everyone seems to have a story about getting the ‘money next week.’
3. Ensure you’re comfortable with someone new living in your space.
If you’re uncomfortable, there’s not a lot that can be done, depending on the terms of the lease.
- If you’re interested in providing space in your home, think about how you want to handle the common areas. These would include the kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Also, figure out where they’ll park their car.
Why waste space you’re not using? Monetize it instead!
Write for Extra Money
Are you good with words? Do you like to write as a hobby? If so, capitalize on those writing skills. With all the content available online, there’s a tremendous need for people to write that content.
Try these options:
Approach website owners and offer to write some content for them. Pay rates can vary dramatically. Some writers can make a few hundred dollars per article.
2. Join a content providing service.
- You can search through jobs and choose ones that appeal to you.
- You’ll have to write quickly to really earn some money, but this is something you can do in the comfort of your own home.
3. Write an eBook and sell it on your own website.
Many people have made millions of dollars by selling information. We’ll cover more about writing and selling books on Amazon later.
4. Offer to write ads for eBay sellers.
Contact the sellers of high-ticket items such as homes, cars, motorcycles, and boats. Offer to write a top-notch ad for them, in exchange for 1% of the selling price. You won’t get paid unless it sells.
- For example, if you wrote an ad selling a $20,000 car, you’d be looking at getting paid $200.
Writing can be hard work, but it has very flexible work hours. You can easily work it into your busy schedule.
There are people who have money and people who are richCoco Chanel
Tutor Or Give Lessons
Some tutors are making over $100 an hour! If you’re good at piano, golf, tennis, painting, or anything else that’s marketable, consider giving lessons.
The best tutoring jobs tend to be in the nicer neighborhoods since mom and dad are likely to have more disposable income.
Get in touch with schools and even post an ad on Craigslist.com. Research the average fees for the service you’re providing and offer a competitive price.
He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for moneyBenjamin Franklin
Mow Lawns or Offer Other Home Maintenance Services
This could go along well with taxes. You could do the taxes in the late winter and early spring and then move into basic landscaping. It’s not difficult or uncommon to make $20 or more per hour mowing lawns.
These things will make everything easier:
1. Stick close to home.
You want to avoid having your profits eaten up by gas and other traveling costs.
2. It requires minimal equipment.
All that’s really required is a lawnmower, trimmer, and transportation. The mower and trimmer can be purchased used for very little money. However, you might be able to use the ones you already own.
3. Create flyers and pass them out around your target neighborhoods.
As you are passing out your flyers, be friendly. Also, offer a fair price.
4. You can also offer to do other “outside” services.
Other than mowing lawns, there are other services you could offer. For example, you could do edging, planting flowers, picking up dog poop, washing cars, or cleaning out gutters.
- People who are elderly or that live very busy lives are often looking for someone to help maintain the outside of their homes.
After a certain point, money is meaningless. It ceases to be the goal. The game is what countsAristotle Onassis
Provide Pet-Sitting Services
Many individuals work all day, and their pets need to be let outside for obvious reasons. Some people go out of town and prefer to leave their pets at home instead of boarding them at a kennel.
If you like caring for pets, consider:
1. Offer additional services.
Since you’re already at the house, think about other things you can do that would be helpful. Some examples would be dog training, picking up dog poop, housecleaning, or mowing the lawn.
2. Be the vacation solution.
If your customers leave town, offer to take care of their pets. Remember that you’ll have to let the dog out at least 3 times each day. Consider keeping the pets in your home or charge for each of the 3 visits. Even offer to get the mail.
3. Stick with clients that are close to home.
It’s not worth driving 20 miles each way to make $11 for letting the dog out.
4. Expand your animal services.
Try not to limit yourself to just dogs. With a little reading, you could easily learn how to care for cats, birds, hamsters, an iguana, and just about anything else.
Taking care of other’s pets is a low stress way to spend your time. Call around and find the rates of other pet-sitters before you decide on your own rates. Advertise everywhere you can think of. It makes the most sense to advertise at dog parks, pet stores, and veterinarians.
Flip Items on Craigslist
This can be a very lucrative part-time business. In a nutshell, you find items on Craigslist.com that you’re confident you can resell at a profit.
The following items will all but guarantee a profit:
1. Look for poorly written ads.
Many sellers create poor ads that lack pictures. With a better ad, you can expect to resell the item at a higher price.
2. Limit yourself to a few different types of items.
Maybe you have some knowledge of or interest in guitars, appliances, and jewelry. If you have knowledge in a certain area, you’ll be able to spot a good deal on Craigslist when you see it.
3. Make a lot of offers.
Many people price their items appropriately but are in a hurry to sell. That could be good for you because many of them will take nearly any offer to make some money quickly. You’ll never know if you could’ve gotten a bargain unless you ask.
4. Check on the free items.
It’s competitive, but sometimes there are valuable items given away for free. Even a $20 item might be worth getting and reselling, since it’s all profit that goes straight into your pocket.
5. Avoid getting involved with lower-priced items.
There’s only so much profit to be made on a $10 item, but it’s not hard to make $50 on a used refrigerator. Your time is valuable.
6. You might need a truck. Some items, like large appliances, will require a truck. But there are plenty of other items that are suitable buys if you don’t have a truck.
I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of moneyPablo Picasso
Babysitting After School Hours
There are many children that go into after-school programs. Many other children are forced to spend the afternoon home alone until their parents return from work.
If you like children, babysitting could be a profitable endeavor. You could offer to look after kids between the time they are finished at school up until their parents return from work.
You can either pick them up from school or meet them as they get off the bus. All you’d really have to do is fix them a snack and supervise them while they do their homework.
Consider these ideas:
1. Try to watch multiple children.
Watching two children pays better than one. Watching five pays better than two.
2. Think about the third shift crowd.
Many single parents work third shift and someone has to watch those children. What could be easier than putting a child to bed in your home and getting them ready for school in the morning? You could easily make $30 per night per child.
A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heartJonathan Swift
Give Swimming Lessons
This is another gig that would dovetail well with the tax preparation idea. Many pools offer group lessons, but each child spends most of their time just watching while the children take turns swimming for the instructor.
Many parents are happy to pay for private swim lessons. It would be easy to make $20-$50 per hour. Get certified as a swim instructor and get in the pool. If you’re a parent, you can even bring your children to the pool.
While you’re at it, get certified as a life guard. This will give you even more job opportunities. In warmer climates, both of these can be done year-round.
Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasonsWoody Allen
Be A Freelancer Online
If you already have a regular job, there’s a good chance you can get paid to do the same thing at home. Someone out there wants help doing whatever it is you do.
Elance.com is a great place to find clients for your services. You can do anything from writing to setting up websites, to transcribing, doing spreadsheets, or providing voiceovers.
Avoid selling yourself short. There are many potential clients looking for the cheapest deal. If you have something of value to offer, ensure you’re making the money you deserve.
There are many other comparable sites that offer similar opportunities. Odesk.com is another example of a site where freelancers can get work.
A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need itBob Hope
Become A Photographer
Photographers can make impressive money. If you have the skill, you can photograph weddings and other formal events. Family portraits are another way to make a decent buck.
Consider the following:
1. Many websites utilize photographs.
Typically, you won’t get rich selling one or two copies of individual photos. But if you think about it, if you sell 3,000 photos at $0.50, it can really add up. You can also sell each photo one time for $30 or more.
2. Sitting fees.
One way photographers can get paid, independent of photo sales, is by charging a sitting fee for taking the photos. Many photographers go to people’s homes for a photo shoot. You can charge an additional fee for the convenience of traveling to your clients.
3. You can also create calendars and other items with your photographs.
Take pictures of your travels and make a calendar.
Becoming a photographer doesn’t have to require extra fancy equipment. If you have a decent camera, that should suffice. Depending on the type of phone you have, you might even be able to use that for some jobs.
Liking money like I like it, is nothing less than mysticism. Money is a glorySalvador Dali
Write An eBook And Sell It On Amazon
Some people actually write a new book every week! While you might not write a bestseller, if you pick the right topics, it’s possible to make $1,000 or more from each book.
We already discussed writing, but this is a little different. The previous example was when you write an eBook for someone else and get paid just one time for that work. Although it is your work, you’ve been hired by someone to write it and therefore are turning over the rights.
In this case, you’re going to keep control and ownership of your writing. You will be selling it on Amazon.com. The best part is that you’ll have the opportunity to get paid multiple times for the same work. Once an eBook is up for sale online, you can continually capitalize on every book for years to come.
This is more speculative, since you’re not guaranteed to make anything. However, the potential rewards are many times greater. Also, this is a more involved job than all the other suggestions.
Follow this process if you are interested in writing your own eBook:
1. Fiction or non-fiction.
First you need to decide if you’re more comfortable writing fiction or non-fiction. Non-fiction will be easier, since you can use other books as source material.
2. Determine the best sellers in your niche.
Think about personal areas of interest and check to see which topics are doing well in sales.
- Now, look at Amazon and see how many books within each category are within the top 50,000 best-selling books. You’ll want to see at least three books in the top 50,000. Any less and it won’t be worth your time. In that case, find another, more popular, niche.
3. Purchase the top three books in your chosen category and read them.
Make some notes as you read. What you’re ultimately doing is writing your own book from what you learned from those three. However, you’ll also need to add unique ideas of your own.
4. Start writing.
Keep in mind that a book doesn’t necessarily have to belong. Some of the best-selling books have been very short. The best length, however, seems to be 125-175 pages. This may seem like a lot. But, keep in mind that one page in a word-processing program is almost 2 pages in a Kindle book.
- Each Kindle page should take approximately 15 minutes to write, so a 150-page book should take approximately 35-40 hours.
- Some Kindle book writers actually outsource the writing! Remember that sites like Odesk and Elance can be used to find writers.
5. Read your book.
After your book is written, go back through and actually read it! Look for ways to enhance your work.
6. Hire an editor.
You should always consider hiring someone else to edit the eBook for you, even after you’ve read it over.
- Customers will get really turned off if there are errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
- Bad reviews for your first book could negatively impact your future as an eBook writer.
- A second pair of eyes, especially those of a trained editor, is imperative to ensure that your eBook is error-free.
7. Kindle books require specific formatting.
There are many templates that you can find online. Information about formatting your book can also be found on Amazon.com.
- Be careful about using images. First, always Insert the image, never Copy-Paste.
- Amazon charges you a download fee for each book you sell. That fee is based on the size of the book file, which is another reason to avoid too many images.
- Using a lot of images can increase your costs and decrease your profits. Images can also be compressed to a smaller file size, limiting your expense.
- It would be incredibly smart to include hyperlinks in your eBook that point back to your personal website. You can then sell additional items to your customers.
- Hyperlinks will also let you capture email addresses for future marketing purposes. Prepare a free report and provide it in exchange for their email address.
- A good email list is worth at least $0.50 per address per month. A list of just 2,000 email addresses should be worth $1,000 a month.
- Numbered lists can be a good idea, but bullet points aren’t able to be displayed on older Kindle models. An asterisk or dash can be used instead.
8. A good book cover is imperative. A book with a poor cover doesn’t sell well. Take the time to secure an attractive cover. The first option is to buy a cover.
- The most inexpensive option for purchasing a cover is to head over to fiverr.com and search for Kindle covers. You’re only paying $5, so keep your expectations in check. However, you might be pleasantly surprised with the quality.
- With fiverr.com, you may have to pay a few different people before you find a cover you like. However, at such an affordable price, it might be worth it to try out a few different designers.
- An option that costs a little more is visiting www.goonwrite.com. The covers from this site are about $35 each, but once a cover is bought, it’s removed from circulation. There are other similar websites.
- There are also more expensive options. One of these is www.99designs.com. The cost for a cover is $300 or more. It’s debatable whether or not it’s worth spending that much for an eBook cover.
- Another source of covers is www.warriorforum.com. You’re sure to find someone there that can create a great book cover at a variety of price points.
- You can also make your own cover. There are several programs and templates available online that will help you to create a great cover.
- If you use a photograph to make your own cover, be certain that you have the legal rights to use it. Only use high-resolution photos, so your eBook looks professional.
9. Now, it’s time to upload your book to Amazon! Uploading a book requires an account with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). You can set up an account at www.kdp.amazon.com.
- Amazon has excellent video tutorials that will walk you through all the steps. Enroll in KDP Select, which allows you to promote your book in some unique ways. It’s free for the first 90 days.
- You’re allowed 4,000 characters to describe your book. Use them wisely! A longer description looks more professional and gives your potential readers more information to make a good buying decision.
- The description doesn’t have to be 4,000 characters, but be thorough enough to arouse the curiosity of the potential buyer.
- Regarding publishing rights, choose option-2, ‘Not a public domain work.’ You probably wouldn’t want other people to be able to sell your eBook as their own, right?
- When you ‘add categories,’ choose the two that are most closely related to your topic.
- Keywords are critically important. You can add up to seven keywords, so always use all seven! The Google Keyword Tool is a great tool for finding keywords related to your niche.
10. It’s advisable to set the price of your book between $2.99 and $9.99. Amazon allows you to claim 70% of the price as your commission within this price range. That commission drops to 30% if you price your book higher or lower.
- Now buy it! You’ll get 70% of the money back anyway. Amazon is more likely to promote your book if they see buying activity occur quickly.
11. Marketing your book is the next step. KDP will allow you to offer your book for free. Three days is long enough to get your book out there. You’re aiming for at least 2,500 downloads during that time.
- If people aren’t downloading your free book, the cover probably needs to be changed. The next place to look is the book description. Is the description boring? People must want to learn more about your book if they’re willing to spend money to purchase it.
- The best marketing for your eBook is good reviews. Tell all your friends and family to buy a copy and leave a good review!
- Ask for reviews in the book itself. Put a simple blurb at the front and the end of the book requesting a review. Always thank your readers in advance for their help.
- You can also “bribe” your readers for reviews. Offer them something for free and strongly SUGGEST they leave a review. You can’t offer the free item in exchange for a review, but you can give them something free upfront and then request a review.
- Facebook is another great tool for advertising your book. Post the book cover on your Facebook page and tell all your friends to pick up a copy. Also remind your friends and family to leave a review.
- Ask your friends to like and share your post on Facebook. Even if they haven’t purchased the book yet, they can still spread the word.
- Create a Facebook Page for your book. Search around and see what other authors have done. Be shameless in mimicking the pages that appeal to you. You can even give away free chapters of your book to “hook” some readers.
- You can also find Facebook Groups related to your book topic. Join them. Most groups will allow you to post information about your book. Join the group as part of the page for promoting your eBook. Then your post will show up as your book page instead of your real name.
12. Have your own blog. Every author should have a website dedicated to his writing. In order to be taken seriously, an author requires a website.
- A central hub allows you to give away free chapters, post information about new books, and collect names for your email list. Have a separate page for each book.
- On your website, create buying links for each of your books that point back to Amazon. Update your website once a week to keep your readers engaged. That is where content comes in again.
- Create a social media hub on your website. Create links to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and email accounts. We haven’t covered how to set up all of these, but there’s more than enough information out there to guide you through the process.
- Videos can be a great way to market your book. Video reviews are great. That’s what friends are for! You can also put up a video of yourself talking about your book.
If you’re planning to continue writing books and want to write on a variety of topics, it’s suggested that you create a pen name for each topic. It’s hard to claim to be an expert on dog training, international investing, building model boats, and tutoring math. If you were to write all those books under the same name, no one is likely to take you seriously.
You’ll require separate email, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn accounts for each pen name.
Writing and selling eBooks is a very viable way to make some real money. Remember to pick a topic that’s already selling well. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel.
Money is a strange business. People who haven’t got it aim it strongly. People who have are full of troublesAyrton Senna
There are many ways to earn an extra $1,000 each month. The most important step is to commit to the method that best suits you. Consider your circumstances. If you live in a rural area, writing an eBook probably makes more sense than being a dog-sitter. If you live in a suburban area, but have a full-time job, being a dog-sitter may not be practical.
Committing to a method means exactly that. You’re planning to stick with that method and make it work. Most of these methods require expertise that you probably already possess. If it’s not a perfect fit, try to mold the method to your strengths.
Remember that marketing is the key. The work itself is quite simple. The challenging part is finding clients, so you’ll want to concentrate on doing some marketing every day. Marketing needs to be done regularly if you’re looking for the most benefit.
Use every possible form of marketing. Focus on the methods that are likely to be the most successful, but there’s no reason to be afraid to branch out into other methods over time.
Always ask for referrals after you’ve made a customer happy. Give them a couple of extra business cards to hand out to friends, family, and colleagues.
An extra $12,000 a year could make a huge difference in your life. How will you spend your new-found funds?
When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it isOscar Wilde