With a traditional job, you generally have to quit your current role to find something that pays better or is more enjoyable. But, that process is always a risk and there is a chance that you would find yourself worse off than you were in the beginning.
Thankfully, there are other options for earning money. As such, it is possible to make extra money without quitting your day job. Some approaches even give you the chance to build a business of your own that could potentially replace your current job at some point.
One of the great things about doing so is that the risk is less. Plus, making some extra money on the site may be critical for meeting your household bills or paying for some unexpected expenses.
Selling Products Or Services Locally
One of the simplest way to make extra money on the side is to sell something locally. For example, some people offer their skills as tutors or as handymen, while others might sell handmade crafts at a farmers market. Realistically, the options are endless, and you can do this in the evenings or on the weekend.
To be honest though, you’ve probably already thought about this area.
When I was looking for ways to increase my income while I was living in China, I freelance tutored English, and also had a cafe for a while. Those weren't bad ideas, but they didn't turn out. I was bored with teaching, and well, the cafe ran into money problems.
Additionally, this idea may not work for everyone. You may be strapped for time, or your work may prohibit you from doing business outside the company. Before the entrepreneur bug bit me, I simply didn't have any ideas.
Getting Involved In Direct Marketing
A related method is to get involved with a direct marketing company. By this, I mean companies like Amway, Vante Pearls and doTERRA. Here, you would typically be selling products but you don’t have to worry about actually creating anything. You can work in your spare time, putting in an hour or so per night, then extra on the weekends. But, this type of company comes with its own challenges.
All of the examples of companies that I mentioned above (and many others) fall into what’s known as an MLM model. With this approach, you are basically making money in two ways.
The first is by simply selling the products from the company and getting a commission on sales. This can be effective but you really have to sell a lot to make a decent profit.
The other approach is to make money via recruiting. Here, the idea is that you build a team of people below you by recruiting and getting those people to recruit as well. That collection of people becomes your downline and you make some money from their success.
Theoretically, this model has extremely high income potential. After all, you are making money from other people’s work. Companies also tend to offer fairly enticing bonuses if you progress far enough. At the same time, sales and recruitment both sound like fairly easy processes on paper.
For some people, direct marketing does work. But for most, it doesn't.
In particular, most direct marketing members will earn relatively little and will struggle to make sales and to recruit. This might be fine if you’re not looking for much income but that may not be the case.
Indeed, the structure often ends up working against you. To make a decent income from this model, you have to build an effective team. In many cases, that team will also need to have a specific structure, with multiple successful ‘legs’. Achieving this is exceptionally difficult, especially as you can’t really force others to be effective at making money.
Now, with direct marketing, you do have the advantage of flexibility. So, you could easily get involved without quitting your current job. Nevertheless, the odds really are against you with this system.
The one other thing worth mentioning is that direct marketing is often expensive. For one thing, you normally need to buy a starter kit, which could set you back upwards of $100.
Companies like this also tend to require you to buy products yourself. Often this means you have to buy $50 to $100 of products every month. This adds up fast and can easily mean that you end up spending more money than you earn.
All-in-all, direct marketing simply doesn’t work for most people. Personally, I never recommend this model. It has a habit of ruining personal relationships because most members end up bugging friends and family to buy their junk instead of selling to real customers.
Making Money Online With A Blog/Website
If you’re trying to make money locally, your audience is always going to be a limiting factor. In contrast, being online lets you target a much wider audience. As a result, your income potential is higher. Plus, you're working from a computer, so you can do it on your lunch break, in the evenings, and on the weekends no matter where you are (as long as there's an internet connection)
Now, there is no shortage of ways to make money online. Many of these are outright scams or methods that mostly just waste your time. But, there are some techniques that do work well as an income option. As someone that's been in the industry for almost 7 years now, I have seen lots of success stories, and they are quite diverse!
For now, I want to focus just on making money from a website. It's easier for most people because you don't have to create a “product”, and there are systems in place to help you model your business after a template, instead of reinventing the wheel.
There is a little bit of stigma surrounding websites because many people imagine that a website is hard to develop. That was true once but it certainly isn’t the case now. Instead, websites are fairly easy to create and you can do so without ever getting involved in the coding. They can look quite amazing without knowing much at all. Just look at what I've created, and I certainly can't code!
Websites work exceptionally well because they provide you with a cheap way to build a “brand” and sell something very valuable…information.
There are various ways to make money from a website, some of which are simpler than others. One example is ads, such as through Google AdSense.
Many people do try to make money this way, partly because ads seem like an incredibly simple approach. And, to a degree, that idea is accurate. After all, having ads means that you don’t have to promote anything in your content and you don’t have to sell anything.
But, successfully making money from ads requires a ton of traffic. In most cases, you simply won’t have that. For example, 100 visits may only earn you around $0.10. The income can add up but it generally isn’t worth it for new sites.
If you do get your traffic up there, ads can be a good way to go. However, it could take a long time to get to that point and that is a frustrating strategy if you’re trying to make money now.
Some people also choose to create and sell products on their site, such as Kindle Books. A website can work great for this, especially if the product is digital. There is no shortage of potential information-based products you can make either, especially as people are often looking to learn something. You can produce and sell your own ebook for free. Just a few sales per month of a book could make you $100+ per month. A popular book could make thousands.
My $$$ Method: Affiliate Marketing
As a tool, websites get more powerful as you go along. So, your potential to make money with ads or to sell products increases as you get a better reputation and more traffic. This is particularly frustrating early on, as it takes time to build up a site, a reputation, a following, etc to the point where it is doing well.
Regardless of how you approach it, building a good site does take time.
I have found that affiliate marketing is a little faster at making money. Affiliate marketing does still rely on traffic but not to the same degree as the other methods. I can make $100 off of 10,000 visits using Google Ads. From 10,000 visits I could make $100k promoting affiliate products. The difference is HUGE.
It also takes less effort than a brick and mortar business because you’re not actually selling things directly. Rather than making a prototype and sourcing a factory to produce something, or even selling something on Etsy, you’re promoting other people's products and linking your visitors to where they can buy the items. This lets you leverage the trust and the reputation that the product and company already has. You get paid a commission!
In fact, there are many well-known companies with affiliate programs and no shortage of popular products that you can promote. For example, Starbucks has an affiliate program, as does Amazon and both companies have well-established reputations. So, visitors may still be willing to buy even if they don’t particularly trust your site.
Affiliate marketing works well because you’re promoting things that people are already interested in. In many cases, you would even design your content around the specific searches that people make. So a “top 5” list works great! “Top 5 Drones of 2017” could be a big money maker this year. Or “10 ways to clean your kitchen with essential oils” is another easy example.