How Can I Earn Money?

Feeling strapped for money? Earn more instead of cutting back

Side view of senior woman and girls hands playing piano together
Cultura Exclusive/Rebecca Nelson / Getty Images

Growing rich is a two-part approach: you need to earn money AND save money.

If you're a sports fan, think of "playing offense" as the earn money part of the game, and "playing defense" as the save money part of the game.

To help you play stronger offense, here's a list of 14 ways you can earn money on the side and boost your earnings from your full-time job.

#1: Social Media Consulting

Get paid to surf Facebook!

Many companies hire someone to help them manage Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest campaigns.

You can help a company craft its message in 140 characters or less, respond to comments, upload photos and thank the people who re-tweet your posts.

Or you can get paid to create Pinterest profiles for brands, or manage a large Facebook group. There is no shortage of social media gig opportunities available. 

#2: Tutor or Give Lessons

Share your piano skills, your guitar knowledge, or your talent at speaking Spanish. Feel like you don't have any special skills? That's fine. As long as you're smarter than a 5th grader, you can always tutor elementary-school kids who need basic homework help: multiplication, fractions, and reading, for example.

#3: Design Branding for Social Media

If you're decent at graphic design, you can make a little money creating cover photos for social media platforms, logos, profile images, Pinterest graphics, etc.

#4: Design Websites

Most people don't want to go through the hassle of learning how to set up a site on Wordpress or Blogger.

After all, why should they learn all that technical junk for something they're only going to do once? This is where you can step in to set up their site. Even if you're not an expert, if you know enough to create your own blog, you can offer basic setup services.

 

#5: SEO Optimization

Team up with a blogger or a company that wants to optimize their website for search engines. You can learn this skill in a couple of weeks, then set up your own SEO-optimized website to offer to share this skill with others.

#6: Painting

If you can tape corners, put down dropcloths, and (most importantly) lead a crew and work fast, you can paint people's housing interiors.

#7: Dog-Walking

Plenty of pet-owners need their pups walked while they're at work or away on business. Paying you a few bucks is certainly better than letting Fido make a mess in the living room.

#8: House-sitting

Some house-sitters simply offer free or reduced rent in exchange for your house-sitting services, but you can offer to drop into a home one to two times a day for a low fee.

#9: Mow Lawns

It's best to try to snag the business of several houses on the same block; that way you can "bundle" your work and mow one lawn after the next, with minimal down time.

#10: Freelance Writing

Upwork.com is a great place to start looking for freelance writing jobs. The pay is lower than a professional writer might command, but you'll also spend less time hunting for work.

#11: Join a Focus Group

Many companies will pay you for your opinion on their products or services.

Google the term "focus group jobs" plus the name of your city or town.

#12: Start an eBay Business

There are millions of businesses on eBay selling everything from factory-direct dishwashers to homemade soaps. While all that competition might lower your profit margins, you also won't have to spend any money on advertising or hiring salespeople. Plus your new budgeting skills will help you keep your businesses' money organized

#13: Offer Classes

Teach anything from writing to sewing to meditation techniques. Many local businesses like coffee shops, food co-operatives, or the YMCA will allow you to teach at their businesses.

It's a win-win: they draw more customers through their doors, while you have a free space to hold your classes and receive extra advertising through the business.

#14: Sell Foods at Farmer's Markets

Depending on the laws in your state, you might be able to sell fruits and vegetables from your garden at farmer’s markets.

If you enjoy gardening and preserving foods into jams, jellies, pickles, and spreads like pesto, you might make a little extra cash on the side by selling these at local markets.

Make sure you know your state’s laws, though: some states won’t allow you to sell food products unless you have a commercial kitchen or a food-vendor license.