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Most of us can use a few extra bucks to pay off debt, start building an emergency fund, or to just raise your income. There are a lot of things you can do from home to earn more, and they may even open the door to other opportunities. Here are 14 ways to earn extra money. Some are home based, some are outside the home. But they can all start putting money in your pocket with hardly any investment.
Get Paid for Decluttering Your House
You probably have several hundred dollars in unused items collecting dust in your home. We tend to accumulate stuff that we may really need when it’s purchased. But a year or two later it’s relegated to the closet or garage.
Tools for a home project? Kids outgrown sports equipment? How about cameras, cell phones, ski’s, video game consoles, golf clubs, or old records? Exercise equipment is one of the biggest categories. Hasn’t everyone owned a treadmill or weight bench that’s gradually used more to stack laundry on than to work out on?
Someone is looking for the things you’re no longer using. They may not be able to afford a new one but will pay you cash for yours. Clearing away your clutter is a win-win for you. You’ll simplify your life while putting some cash in your pocket.
You have a number of options depending on what you’re selling. Local consignment or second-hand shops are always looking for gently used items, especially clothing and furniture.
One easy way to make some money while decluttering is by using the app Decluttr.
Decluttr’s specialty is buying your used technology, like CDs, DVDx, books, Blu-rays, games, tablets, laptops, smartphones. It’s simple to use. Just load their free app on your iPhone or Android and scan your item. You’ll get an immediate price quote that you can accept or reject.
If you accept, just pack the items into a box large enough to fit them, print a free Decluttr shipping label and bring it to any authorized UPS location. You can even use a drop box. You’ll receive a payment via PayPal, direct deposit or check the day after your item arrives.
I like using Decluttr because you get a selling price immediately, there are no seller fees, and you’ll receive a guaranteed payment within a day of their receipt of your stuff.
Another great option for books is BookScouter . If you have any old textbooks collecting dust you’d be surprised at the value they hold. Just enter the book’s ISBN number into BookScouter and you’ll see the amount they’ll pay you.
I have 3 textbooks on my night table now. I just entered their ISBN number in and it turns out I have $53.75 sitting there right next to me! I’m going to print out a FREE shipping label and send them off.
Get Paid for Your Photos
Foap is an app you can use to make money just by selling your photos. Do you have a knack for taking great nature, still life or candid shots? Why not be paid for them? Charge whatever want. Content creators are constantly looking all types of photos. That close-up of your dog’s face or your local beach could pay for your next phone bill.
Click here to start using Foap. Just scroll to the bottom.
Become a Virtual Coach
Are you an experienced runner with some knowledge of training programs? You could spend time at your local high school track coaching a handful of people. Or you can spend less time, coaching more people and make more money.
Wait…less time, and more money?
Absolutely. By becoming a virtual coach, this is possible.
A virtual coach wouldn’t meet the customer in person for each session. You’d set up an initial meeting with the client, either in person or via Skype, Facetime, phone or email. Together, you’d go over the client’s needs, their experience, and fitness level.
The client might be training for a specific event or just need an ongoing program. You the virtual coach would then put together a personalized program.
Then you’d agree on a specific schedule to check in, go over progress, and make adjustments. Since a virtual coach rarely travels to meet the client, he or she can take on many more. You could easily charge $50-$100 per hour or more with experience.
Your only upfront expense could be the initial setup of a personal website. And once your site is up, you could attract customers across town or across the ocean.
One great example of someone who’s making a living this way is Laura Fountain. Her site, Lazy Girl Running offers coaching for individuals or groups. She offers personalized programs and has some great testimonials.
Self-Publish Your Own Books
Getting your own book into circulation is no longer a lengthy and expensive process. You can become a published author and start making a passive income without ever stepping into a publisher’s office.
One great way to establish a steady income is to self-publish short informational books using Kindle Direct Publishing. Think about your hobbies, your passion or your expertise.
You’d be surprised at how many people are searching for just the information you’ve learned. These would be no more than thirty to fifty pages around a tightly focused subject.
How much could you make?
Most eBooks on Amazon sell for between $2.99 and $9.99 and Amazon pays you a 70% royalty for eBooks priced within that range. With Amazon’s reach of hundreds of millions of customers, uploading your eBook is comparable to distributing a hard copy book to numerous countries.
One genre that sells very well is short “how-to” eBooks on various subjects. These don’t have to be any more than 30-50 pages on a tightly focused subject.
Don’t let the length of 30-50 pages scare you. If there’s a subject you’re familiar with, once you outline the areas you’ll cover, you’d be surprised how fast pages will start filling up. You don’t need to be a world renowned ‘expert’. If there’s an area you have experience in, just do enough research that will enable you to cover it sufficiently.
You’ll be able to target a specific audience better if you try not to cover every aspect of a subject. Just focus on one area.
For instance, instead of publishing a general diet book, publish one like “50 Great Paleo Recipes”. Or if you’re an experienced woodworker, don’t try to cover woodworking in general. Write something like, “20 Birdhouses You Can Make in an Afternoon”. These are focused subjects that can be covered in around 50 pages or less.
What’s great about publishing eBooks is the passive income they can produce. You don’t have to consistently update and maintain them. You do the work once, publish it and it’s available to an audience of millions 24/7/365.
If you’re considering a certain subject, or you just want to get ideas, browse through the eBooks for sale and you’ll get a good idea of what’s already available in a certain price range.
It’s surprisingly easy to self-publish on Amazon. The basic steps are:
You’d write the text of the book in your preferred word processor.
You’d choose a cover. You can either pay someone to create a cover, or Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing has a wizard that walks you right through it, free of charge.
You’d upload your book’s text and cover to Amazon, and tell them what you want to charge for it.
That’s it! Now you’re a published author!
One thing to know: Amazon needs to have the book in the file format called “MOBI”. So, if you write it in Word or Google Docs you can either convert it to MOBI using Amazon when you upload it, or you can pay someone to convert it and send you the finished file. I’ve had this done at Word-2-Kindle.com for less than $50 and they had it sent back to me within 48 hours.
Think about your own expertise. If enough people want to read it, you could be making money in your sleep.
Earn Money to Search Online
Ever get the feeling that people aren’t listening to you? Well, there are people who will PAY you for your opinion.
Some of the most popular are:
Paid Surveys at Home – You can sign up for free and there are no reports to fill out and no calls to answer. You can do a number of things to earn money from where ever you happen to be:
- Take online surveys (I made $20 for a 20-minute survey!)
- Participate in focus groups
- Take phone surveys
- Try new products (and keep the free products too)
- Preview new movie trailers
Inbox Dollars pays you to take surveys that they’ll send to you depending on your particular demographic. Marketing companies are looking for information on consumer preferences, and they’ll pay for information from targeted demographic groups. So, when you signup they’ll ask you questions like your age group, geographical location, so just answer honestly and you’ll receive the appropriate surveys.
It’s a really great way to make use of 20 minutes here and there, where you happen to be sitting on the couch or waiting for your kids. And finding $75 or $100 in your mailbox every week or two is nice also.
Swag Bucks – is a search engine that pays you in the form of ”Swag Bucks” for using it. You’d download their search engine, install it and start using it. There are other ways to obtain swag bucks too, like taking surveys, playing games, and cutting coupons. You can also get paid for watching movie previews, news, or other videos. Once you accumulate some swag bucks you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and merchandise. There’s no cost to sign up. In fact, they’ll give you $5 just for signing up. You just download their search engine toolbar and you’re off.
Answer Surveys – Get Paid
If you’re already working from home, or even have a few hours to spare, answering online surveys is a great way to earn some extra cash. You don’t need any experience other than basic computer skills. Most of these survey companies are free to join. Some of the more popular ones are:
Panel Bucks VIP Voice Pro Opinion Product Report Card Opinion Outpost Pinecone Research Mobile Epression Cash Crate Clear Voice Surveys Survey Club Say So For Profit Survey Junkie American Consumer Opinion, Prize Rebel Harris Poll Online VIP Voice Point Club
The advantage of doing online surveys is that you can work your own schedule. You can work as much or as little as you want.
Become a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant, sometimes referred to as a VA, would work from home performing any of the office tasks that someone else may not have the time or resources to do. Typing, research, emailing, updating contacts or mailing lists, or making phone calls are some of the things you may be asked to do.
It’s a great way to work from home. Depending on the workload, you may be able to take on more than one client. Or you could take on some more advanced tasks like updating the client’s website or helping out with their social media platforms. That experience could be a stepping stone to a lot more opportunities.
Getting started cleaning homes has very low overhead, and you can tailor your own schedule. You can work while your kids are in school or weekends. Just assemble some basic cleaning supplies, have some business cards made and drop some off at a few of the local real estate offices.
You could create a simple website to advertise, but if this is just a side hustle to make a few hundred here and there, word of mouth can establish you. Once you get a few satisfied customers, don’t be surprised when their neighbors call you.
$100 is a reasonable price for an average size home where you’re in and out in a few hours. For more advanced cleaning you’d charge more. And if you live in an area with a lot of summer rentals, that weekly changeover day can be your most profitable day of the week.
Give man’s Best Friend a Break
Isn’t it nice to make someone’s day? Even if that’s a four-legged someone? There are an estimated 46 million dog owners in the country. Imagine how many of them in your town leave poor little Fido in the morning to face a long lonely day of staring out the window.
A percentage of those people would probably pay someone to stop by and spend 15 minutes with lonely little Fido. You can earn between $15-$25 dollars per visit, so this is something you can easily earn at least $100 dollars a week doing for a minimal investment of time.
How would you drum up business? I’d suggest investing about $10 in a box of business cards and just put some up in the local Vet office, the dentist, the real estate office or supermarket. Having a professionally printed card will give a good impression. Chances are, as soon as you get a handful of jobs, word of mouth will get you more.
Become an Uber Driver
If you have a dependable car and like to determine your own work hours, Uber can be a great way to earn some cash. You keep 80% of everything you earn and give Uber 20%. Uber doesn’t require you to drive all over the state either. You can decide what fares you accept.
There are a few regulations. You’ll need a valid, in-state driver’s license and a four-door car that seats a minimum of four passengers, not including you. Your car needs to be registered and insured in your state, and you’ll have to pass a background check. But you can easily make several hundred dollars per week.
If you’d like to apply to be an Uber driver, click here.
Freelance writing could be writing posts for someone’s blog, magazine articles, print ads or social media platforms. Usually, you’d agree on a price, a format and due date and then it’s up to you whether you work days nights or both to get the job done.
How can you get started? If there’s a particular niche you have an interest in, start following some blogs related to your subject. Read the posts, start making comments and you’ll soon be making contacts. The blog may have a link for submission proposals, but if not you can always send the blogger an email with your simple proposal, and maybe a sample of your writing. If they need more, they’ll ask.
There’s a chance you may write a few for free just to get your name out there, but once you have a bit of a portfolio you’ll be able to charge. You can probably expect $50 or so for an article, but once you’ve established yourself the price goes up – and the opportunities expand.
The best resume to have, to show prospective clients is your own website. They’ll get an idea of your style of writing and the areas you’ve written about. If you don’t have a website yet, it’s pretty easy to setup and it’ll cost you about $59 per year. Considering the possible return, that’s a pretty small investment.
Become a Tutor
If working from home is a priority, online tutoring is a great option. One place you can do that is Studypool. To become a tutor for Studypool you’d sign up and then bid for jobs. The “jobs” are questions submitted by students where they propose a timeframe and bid a certain amount.
You would then bid for a question and if selected, would follow up with the student. Questions paying less than $15 are rated as “small” questions, and those over $15 are known as “big” questions. Tutors receive a rating based on customer satisfaction and difficulty of questions answered. It’s not uncommon to earn up to $500/week or up to $60,000/year as a tutor.
Become a Babysitter, Nanny, Pet Sitter or Housekeeper
Are you the caring type? Check out Care.com where you can offer your services to care for children, pets, seniors, even empty homes. You can offer in-home or out-of-home child care or tutoring.
You can also offer your services as a dog walker, pet sitter, grooming, boarding or training.
Or just offer your services as a housekeeper, housesitter, babysitting or an errand runner. Or provide event help.
Are you a skilled nurse? Browse their database for jobs that fit your schedule.
Here’s how it works. You’d just sign up and create a profile, then search the Care.com database for jobs. They pay by direct deposit.
Start a Blog
Ok, fair warning – starting a blog won’t put money in your pocket immediately. You’ll have to work at this one. But if you enjoy writing and have a particular area of interest that people want to read about, the sky’s the limit here. Once you start your blog and put some interesting content out there, you can begin to monetize it several different ways.
Some of the most popular blogs are those by Moms who write about organization tips, parenting, recipes, and budgeting. Personal finance and DIY topics are also popular blog topics. And one thing you’ll see is that many of the bloggers who are making double, triple or even more than their old income from a traditional job, started their blog just within the past couple years.
Blogging will require you to put some hours in each week and be consistent. But if you do, you (and your spouse) may never have to work in an office again.
You don’t need to be a programmer or know any special coding to start a blog. In fact, many of the more popular bloggers making five figures or more per month say they didn’t even know what a blog was when they started.
Check out my tutorial How To Start a Blog That Will Replace Your Income. It will walk you through setting up your own blog in about 20 minutes. Once it’s up and running you’ll have your own platform to reach potentially millions of readers. And if you put consistent effort into writing regular posts each week, you could possibly replace your income several times over.
Get Paid For Using Your Cell Phone
Lots of companies collect information about what sites people visit. They’re interested in the time of day you visit sites, how long you stay, or what you might purchase. They’ll actually pay you to install their app on your phone. And as long as you keep it installed, you can get paid each month.
Some of the ones I’d recommend are:
Nielsen Mobile for iPhone Users – if you have an iPhone, this Nielsen panel will pay you $50/year to keep this app on your cell phone.
ShopTracker – Shop Tracker is similar to Neilsen, but if you’re a regular Amazon shopper, installing Shop Tracker could start putting money in your pocket. The information about what people are searching for and buying is valuable enough that they’ll pay you for it. This couldn’t be easier. You’d install their app, then connect it to your Amazon account. Right away, they’ll send you a $3 Visa gift card. Then another $3 for each month you keep it installed.
SavvyConnect – Install SavvyConnect and earn $5 for each device. It collects anonymous data as you browse the web. Installation is quick and easy, and you will become eligible for additional paid research opportunities. Install on all of your devices to earn even more!