Just a few years ago, I never thought I would be staff writing, and I never even thought about it. But once I began, I really started to enjoy it. I really love to write (yes, I do realize that I’m not the best and I probably should proofread more, but I do like to talk), and writing for different blogs was fun for me. How are people supposed to know that you are looking for a freelance writing position?
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Most of the software and apps you use on a regular basis are made by massive companies or established development studios. Well, yes. But many successful apps, particularly those in the Apple and Google stores, are created and marketed by individuals and small businesses. In fact, independent developers made $20 billion in the App Store in 2016 alone.
Blogging is also one of the cheapest ways to make money online, aside from the time and and intellectual input that you have to invest. As you begin to make money from your blogging efforts, you can easily outsource for greater scalability. I also use Bluehost and I like the fact that it seamlessly integrates or interfaces with WordPress. You can set-up a domain or subdomain in minutes and start blogging in seconds. I love it!
Over one summer, I was asked to be a staff writer for a blog. The e-mail came out of nowhere, but after I received it, I started looking into staff writing further. Having a blog (as talked about before), helped people find me and consider me for their staff writing positions. After that initial e-mail, I then posted on Yakezie (a personal finance community with a great forum) and stated that I was searching for a staff writing position. After I made the post on the forum, I received a couple of e-mails and this is what launched my staff writing career. The power of throwing yourself out there and just asking was definitely helpful for me.
Acorns rounds up your everyday credit and debit transactions and automatically invests the spare change for you. It's only $1 a month and free for college students with an .edu address for up to four years from the date of registration. You'll barely notice the micro-investments of spare change, plus the Found Money feature invests money in your account when you shop with Acorns partners such as Macy's, Nordstrom, and Walmart.
There are also some great apps that allow you to earn rewards as well. For instance, Ohmconnect is a free app pays you just for reducing your energy usage. You can make between $50 and $150 per year (yes, they pay you just to turn off the lights!), plus you get cool tools for analyzing your home energy use, allowing you to save BIG on your utility bills, too! Viggle is an app that lets you earn points for watching TV, while Ibotta offers cash rewards AND helps you save on groceries.
Websites like Survey Junkie will pay you a decent chunk of change for the low-maintenance, borderline mindless task of completing surveys. Companies want to understand consumers better, and one way they do that is by compensating survey-takers (a.k.a. you). Most surveys pay between $0.50 and $1.25, and many of them take less than 5 minutes to do. You can read our full Survey Junkie review for more info.
Saving Money is Making Money. You may have heard the saying “You can’t “outwork a bad diet”; finances are similar. Before launching your side hustle, it makes sense to sit down and look for opportunities to reduce unnecessary expenses. Now, I’m not suggesting you give up the items you and your family value and enjoy, rather lets just trim the fat a bit.
Next Day Payment: When you sell on Decluttr, you receive payment within 24 hours after the sale completes and the item arrives at the new owner’s address. That’s substantially faster than many online consignment platforms, which tend to have more flexible payment terms. And it’s much more predictable than auction sites or venues for third party sellers (including Amazon), which typically allow buyers and sellers to work out their own payment arrangements.
Amazon offers a service called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which can be extremely useful for arbitrage sellers, or others selling their own products. If you opt for FBA, Amazon will store, pick, pack and deliver your products. That means you can scale your arbitrage business quickly as you don’t have to store products in your own home or waste time with postage.
You knew I had to start here, right? Given the success of Living Well Spending Less, I am a huge proponent of blogging. Not only is it fun and interesting, it is always changing–I am never bored! That said, it is by no means easy money. Blogging takes a lot of work, strategy and effort to get started. Sometimes it can take years before you see the results of that hard work. The most important driver is choosing a topic both you and your audience is passionate about, and then working to connect with readers and solve their problems.
If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.