This post is not about submitting resumes to local businesses in your area.
We talk internet marketing on the Stukent blog, and our digital marketing courseware helps thousands of college students all over the world learn the fundamental principles of internet marketing.
So, can you guess which methods we’ll be covering as we discuss how you can earn some extra mula in 2016?
Excellent guess! Yes, after going through this blog post you’ll be fully aware of some of the best and most efficient ways to make some extra money ONLINE this year.
Are you familiar with the term passive income? Pat Flynn says it best when describing online passive income:
Building online businesses that take advantage of systems of automation that allow transactions, cash flow, and growth to happen without requiring a real-time presence. – Pat Flynn
Now that sounds exciting doesn’t it? Well, before you go jump on the passive income train you shoud know that NOTHING is 100% passive.
When you can invest your time up front to create value that someone else is willing to pay for in the future without you having to be physically in their presence each time money transfers from them to you is truly a magical place in which to be.
For students, this could be taking their semester off (summer time for most) and focusing on building out one of these online income streams that will pay off for them during future semesters.
You’ll notice that some of the ideas below will be passive while others won’t be as passive. That’s okay.
Nonetheless, you’ll be able to work and grow all of them simply from within your dorm room.
This is Not a Get Rich Quick Scheme
I can’t promise or guarantee that you will find success immediately, or even at all.
I’ve personally built online properties from which I saw money coming in within a couple of weeks and some that I still haven’t seen any money come in and should probably just do the walk of shame and let it go 🙂
Here’s what I will GUARANTEE
- Your eyes will be opened to all of the different ways a person could generate money online
- You will gain experience in ways that could benefit you and a future employer
- You will find yourself “nerding” out on a computer at 2 am in the morning probably listening to Bieber or Adele
- You will make mistakes
- You will learn from those mistakes
Now, let’s get this show on the road and talk about ways you can add a little extra cash money to your slush fund.
Top Ways To Earn Some Extra Money In 2016
Solve a Problem or Fix a Pain Through Idea Extraction
Make a list of categories that interest you. This could be the dental space. You then start calling dentists and strike up a conversation about what causes them the biggest headaches in their operation. What bottlenecks exist? What service or product do they wish they had that would make their lives easier?
Once you’ve conversed with enough dentists, you should see some similar themes.
There’s a potential area to which you could provide some value. This value could be you creating a simple product that keeps their tools clean and germ-free, or it could be a piece of software that reminds patients of their next visits to free up the phone lines and decrease appointment cancellations.
Whatever it is, will become known once you’ve reached out to enough dentists. I would try and get at least 25 – 50 responses from different dentists. You’ll need far more if you have already seen/heard a very obvious themergency from them.[line]
Create an Online Course
This one requires you to make a list of everything that interests you. You’ll want to make a note of those that you’re most familiar with as they might be initially easier on which to create a course.
Next you’ll want to check the demand to make sure there are people actually interested in learning about the content. There are multiple ways to do this:
- Simply do a Google search and see how many courses pop up and when they were created
- Go to Udemy and see how many courses exist there on your topic
- Use the Google Keyword Planner tool to see search volume for keywords around your topic (ex: fly tying online course)
Once you’ve settled on a topic/niche that interests you and has high demand, it’s time to start creating your course. You’ll want to go through this resource in its entirety if you choose this option.
Chances are you are just starting out and don’t have a large following or audience, yet. In that case, it’s usually best to go where buyers are already populating. A fantastic place to get started would be on a platform like Udemy.
If you’d rather publish that course on your own platform or website, here a few solid options:
- WP Wishlist: this is a plugin that is used on the WordPress CMS platform
- WP Courseware: this is another WordPress plugin
- Zippy Courses: Could possibly be the easiest and quickest way to get an online course up and running
Special Note: You do NOT have to know programming to use the programs listed above. If you ever get stumped, find a way around your problem by asking for instructions on Google and/or YouTube.[line]
There’s a popular saying, and that is “the riches are in the niches.”
This is where you pick a topic in a particular niche with a goal of finding keywords that relate to the niche and that get a high search volume with low competition.
Let me say that again.
Keywords with HIGH search volume and LOW competition are GOOD.
Getting this equation right will allow for your new niche site to rank faster and have more sustaining power in the search engine results.
After you create a large list of these “profitable” keywords, you’ll then set out to create an article for each keyword. You’ll then publish each article to your new niche website. To give your website the best chances of online success (rankings and traffic), you’ll want to build the site up to 50 (at least 30) articles in a timely fashion.
If you’ve done your keyword research correctly, those 50 articles will slowly start acting like little minions that go out and attract people to your website.
There are two main ways to monetize a niche site.
- Google Adsense: This is where you use Google’s display ad network and allow Google to place ads on your website in certain areas. When visitors click these ads, you will earn money. It could be anywhere from $.10 a click to $5 or more per click.
- Affiliate sales: The most popular platform for this is Amazon. Amazon has a program called Amazon Associates. If you are writing about ping pong, then you might consider writing an article that reviews the top ping pong paddles. Each of these paddles could be purchased on Amazon and you would use your Amazon affiliate link to each paddle. When someone clicks through to Amazon from your site, you not only earn a commission on a ping pong paddle, but anything else they purchase during that session.
Perform Services Online for People
There are multiple ways you could do this. This option isn’t quite as passive as the others up to this point. You are basically marketing your skills online for which people will pay.
- Writing articles for people.
- Do research or admin work for people or companies.
- Create video intros for clients.
There are services that connect writers with people looking for content. You would essentially create an account on one of these services and bid for jobs. The client would give you the article guidelines, and you would then have a day or two to write a 1000-word article on different ping pong techniques.
If you love writing, but not so much the business and website creation side of things, then this option would be great for you.
Do Freelance Work
Creating an account on a platform like Upwork will allow you to put yourself in front of people looking to outsource certain jobs or tasks. A company may want a list of every dental practice in the state of Arizona, but doesn’t have the manpower nor the time to get this done in-house.
This is where you swoop in and save the day. It’s in-between semesters, so you’ve got plenty of spare time to crank out these types of projects.
Special Note: This is a fantastic resume builder! You can put this down as experience on your resume.
If you’re a quality designer, then you’ll definitely want to check out 99designs. Here you’ll be able to submit designs to clients, and if they like your designs enough, you’ll get paid.[line]
Publish an eBook
I know that sounds scary. Publish your own eBook.
However, there are thousands upon thousands of books on the Amazon Kindle platform. Amazon has made it so easy to purchase eBooks on the Kindle platform that it’s actually kind of scary.
Much like what you’ve read about above, this is all about finding topics that interest you, show a high volume of demand, and aren’t impossible to penetrate.
The video below by Pat Flynn will teach you the secrets to writing a SUPER FAST first draft.
Once again, if you love to write, or are passionate enough about a topic that you could “put up” with cranking out an eBook, then this is another great option for you.
With your first eBook, I would definitely suggest keeping it under 100 pages. I feel that 50 – 75 pages would be perfect. You’ll want to keep this first book under $5, so a $1.99 – $4.99 price point is what you want. People usually don’t think twice if it’s under $5, and they are willing to put up with a lot more “unprofessionalism.” As long as you can get them to feel like they came away with at least one major big idea, you’ve won.[line]
Are you a bargain shopper? Coupon collector? Second-hand/thrift-store-frequent-visitor? Are you the type that finds ridiculously good deals on Craigslist and Facebook “for sale” pages all the time.
If so, you might have some fun with retail arbitrage.
Basically, how it works is you go to your local clothing shop and notice they have a HUGE sale going on where you’re able to pick up 10 – 20 pairs of jeans for $18 a piece.
You know that on Amazon, those jeans you found are selling for $39.99, which means you could make about $20 per pair sold (minus Amazon seller fees). So you purchase those jeans and list them for sale on Amazon. Then you go out and do that over and over again. Try eBay too. Remember that with this option there is no need to bother with your own website.[line]
There you have it.
I hope that your brain is spinning right now with different ideas on how you could pull in some extra money this year.
Remember, even if you try and fail at this, you’ve still won! This is experience for the resume and it will help you know if you would enjoy a career in digital marketing.
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about any of the above-mentioned ways to earn extra money!