Is making more money a New Year’s resolution? You’ve come to the right place! January marks the beginning of a new month, year and decade and what better way to enter this transformative period by setting up additional income streams? Whether you need extra cash to aggressively pay off bills, augment your paycheck, save for a vacation or start striking out on your own, making money yourself is incredibly liberating.
Making Money in the New Year
No matter what your personal strong suit, there’s a way to make money doing it. Stretch your fingers, bust out the crafting kit and grab that laptop stylus because we’ve put together some of the best ways to make side cash in 2021.
Making money blogging
Blogging isn’t the easiest way to make money – you need to be at least moderately talented at writing or some other creative endeavor. You also need to pick a niche that is interesting and can draw in viewers; you might have a passion for snow crabs, but if nobody else cares, then your blog won’t get traffic.
To generate money using a blog, you need to:
- Create a blog on WordPress.com or some other intuitive platform that allows you to monetize your posts.
- Pick a niche that makes money. Topics that are good for this are health, weight loss, IT, web design, financial planning and parenting but there are tons out there. Use Google analytics to find a frequently searched topic you know about and start there.
- Post. This is the most important part. You need engaging content and it needs to be regularly posted.
- Once you have a niche, a blog and regular posts that are drawing in views, you can then find a way to monetize your viewership. Ways to do this include:
- Displaying ads with Google Adsense
- Doing sponsored posts for businesses in your niche; Intellifluence is a good way to do this.
- Sell a product you personally create or a service you provide
- Affiliate marketing by linking to another person’s product or service and getting a percentage of the sale
Simple but not easy
Blogging requires skill and discipline, but if you are able to parlay your interest in a valuable topic into a hobby that pays you money, you’re only one step away from turning it into a full-time business. And of course should you need a blogging mentor, you’re only one step away from connecting (*psst* it’s me – I’m a mentor ;-))
Finally, if you are able to market yourself, you can make good money ghostwriting for other people’s blogs and letting them take the credit. Update your LinkedIn profile to add “freelance blogger” and add some examples of your work. There are dozens of new jobs posted daily in this field on LinkedIn looking for writers to create content for already existing blogs. This is a good way to find work to supplement your own blog’s income.
If blogging isn’t your thing but you’re still a compelling writer, you can go the freelance route. There are plenty of websites out there that broker fees to find writers for all sorts of jobs. Some pay very little but offer constant work, and some pay more based on your own ability to write, but if you have the talent and time, you can absolutely make money with freelancing.
We’ve written about Textbroker in the past, but it’s still a great site to find work in a variety of topics. Simply apply and test, and you’ll be given at star-level that corresponds to your ability and pay rate. If you get good at turning out orders, there’s a feature where clients can direct order from you and you set the price.
With consistency, Textbroker is a great place to make some extra cash for writing.
Upwork as a site offers jobs for more than just freelancing, but it does have plenty of writing jobs available. The pay tiers are less well-defined than Textbroker – you bid on jobs along with anyone else who is interested, and you offer a price along with a sample of your work. The job owner picks the writer they want.
This means you can find some jobs that pay really well and turn into long-term gigs, but it also means there are some on there that want to pay you $5 for 1000 words, which is an insanely small amount of money.
One tip I will give you in particular is never accept less than a penny per word. That’s a very low amount of money as it is but you can at least turn that into cash. Less than that is effectively working for free – and working hard – and it’s insulting. You can find better than 1c per word on almost any broker site, so never accept less.
Verblio is a little more involved to sign up for than Upwork or Textbroker, as they need writing samples and a resume. That means, however, that their pay rates and job opportunities are usually better. On Verblio, you apply for casting calls and if the job owner likes your pitch and resume, they hire you directly. There is also a pool of work that anyone can pick up if they meet the criteria, but the real benefit of Verblio is the direct-author jobs as these can turn into ongoing gigs.
Digital media jobs
There are more spaces opening up for digital media experts than in years past. As more businesses are commanding an online presence, they need graphics and charts to visually relay their messages and brand. This is great news for someone with digital media experience.
There are probably as many media jobs on Upwork as there are writing jobs, if not more. It’s become a great place to pick up work and the pay is often more competitive than with writing jobs. They’re still not going to pay you what your time and effort are worth as an experienced artist, but it’s a good way to buoy your resume and make some money while you look for better jobs.
Fiverr is a site where people post jobs for anything under the sun and pay you $5 flat for it. While this doesn’t sound awesome, you can get paid $5 for 10 minutes of work designing a basic logo, which is pretty cool.
Obviously it’s on you to decide if what the client is asking for is worth $5, but if it is, then it’s a quick, easy way to make the money to pay for lunch.
Normally known for full time job placement, Indeed has started branching out to allow for short term, remote and freelancer jobs to be posted on their site. The best part of these jobs is that Indeed isn’t cheap to use as an employer, which means you shouldn’t be bombarded with “design the layout to my entire book for $7” offers. These are real offers from real companies, and should lead to more in the future.
A much more sophisticated job site for artists in every niche, Creative Circle has professional-level jobs for digital media, marketing, writing and advertising, among a slew of others. These are real jobs that require you to make a profile and post a resume, and as such, pay very competitively.
The only downside here is that you won’t get very far if you don’t have a decent resume with some work history, so find work you can be attributed to and build your CV to improve your job chances.
Stock photographs are one of the biggest searches on Google, for everything from digital marketing firms to farms. People want high-quality photos for their sites, books and emails, and often don’t have the talent or time to do it themselves.
This is where you come in and partner with these sites below to get your name out there as a photographer and make some cash in the process.
Alamy is the largest source of digital photographs online, and as such, they are INCREDIBLY picky when it comes to whose photographs get sold on their site. You’ll need a DSLR, 6-megapixel camera at least, and then they still might not accept your photos if they’re not perfectly clear and free from glare and other undesirable bits.
With this said, they are the go-to for people who need digital photographs and they pay well, so if you’re talented with good equipment, it’s a great place to start.
People using Photoshop or Illustrator who want professional photographs have the option of buying the rights directly from Adobe, which can be faster and easier than searching online and paying a separate service. Adobe pays 33% of the sales price to the photographer, which is a very competitive rate, and if you’re good, this can be a fantastic way to earn extra money as a photographer
Perhaps one of the most well-known online photograph purveyors, Shutterstock is a great way to sell your images. Because of its brand reach, it’s often the first site that people search for when they need a specific photograph, and their quality control ensures that their stock is high-quality.
Shutterstock also pays around 33% of the sale to the photographer and they have a referral program that pays .04c per sale your referral makes. While that might not sound great, if they’re a prolific photographer, that adds up quickly, especially when you refer many talented friends.
Take photos of local events and sell them on Pixieset
For this you’ll need a personal website to show off your photography and a Pixieset account, but both are incredibly easy to get. Cover your local sports teams, parades and other events, take great photos and upload them to your site, with corresponding Pixieset links. Pixieset will print and ship the photos when someone buys them and they’ll pay you a commission.
Making money in other ways
Creativity expands into a million different categories – baking, sewing and painting are all ways that you might be creative in your personal life that you can potentially still monetize online.
Open an Etsy store
There are Etsy stores for everything – digital photography, clay work, woodworking, and sewing are some of the most popular. In fact, if you’ve ever cosplayed, you’ve probably bought something from an Etsy seller; it’s just that popular.
Along those lines, if you’re considering breaking into the Etsy sewing game, you’ll find there’s plenty of areas to focus your talent and make money. As long as you have the talent, a great sewing machine, and you pick a good niche, you’ll find yourself struggling to keep up with demand for your stock.
Apps that pay you to complete a simple task are becoming increasingly more common. Two of the most popular are TaskRabbit and ThumbTack.
TaskRabbit was bought by Ikea as one of the most common tasks requested through TaskRabbit was to build Ikea furniture. This should give you an idea of the types and ranges of jobs offered through the platform.
ThumbTack requires you to pay to bid on jobs and you pay whether you get them or not, but the jobs pay well. Unlike Upwork which also requires you to pay in credits to bid, there aren’t any extremely low-paying gigs on ThumbTack but the market is competitive.
If you have reliable transportation, Postmates will pay you to deliver everything from lunch or booze to important legal documents. Originally designed as a courier service between companies in large cities, Postmates has expanded into almost every marketplace, ensuring quick delivery of whatever you need right now.
No matter your talents, you can make money online in the new year
There are plenty of opportunities out there for someone who wants to make money online. If you’re particularly good at what you do, it’s possible to make a career out of online work, at distance and on your own schedule.
It requires hard work – probably harder work than simply going to a 9-5 – but the feeling of being your own boss and getting paid for your talents is incredible and will fuel your desire to do it more and more. Let 2020 be your year to break free from the daily grind.