Creative Ways to Make Extra Money – Online and Off


January 8, 2011   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

If you are already raking in the cash then I’m happy for you! However, I have a feeling that most of us are not. Whether a victim of the economy, bad decisions, or lack of motivation to make changes, many people need more cash to pay their bills.

Now, before we get into this, sit back and commit to yourself that you’re going to DO SOMETHING. Wallowing in debt and stressing out every time you open a bill isn’t going to change itself. These ideas are so basic and many so simple that there is only one thing keeping you from doing them: YOU.

If you feel like you could use a little extra money (even if it’s just to give away to people you care about) then here are some creative ways you can go about doing it.

    • Mow Lawns
      This is something very simple that everyone can do. Lawns continue to grow and people with lawns usually have someone mow it for them. Go around in your neighborhood and ask your neighbors if you can mow their lawn on a weekly basis for a small fee. 
  • Paint Curb numbers
    Get a can of paint and go around your neighborhood offering to paint the house-number clearly on the curb so that people will easily be able to find their house. Charge $5 or $10. 
  • Print Flyers with Advertising
    I once read a story about a guy who made lots of extra cash this way. He noticed that whenever he bought a pizza at his favorite restaurant, they would give him a free copy of their menu with his order. He realized that all these printed menus must cost the owner money, so he came up with the following plan: 

He approached the owner of the restaurant and told him that he had a fabulous offer for him. He was going to print all the menus for the restaurant (which were a couple thousand monthly) and give them to the owner for free. The only condition is that he wanted space along the bottom of the menu to fill with his own advertising. The owner of the restaurant happily agreed because it would save him a couple hundred dollars a month.

The guy then went around to neighboring stores and shops and told them that they could advertise their business or service on the restaurant’s menu and be exposed to a few thousand customers a month, and this all for just $250 per month. He actually got about a dozen stores to advertise immediately, and after the cost of printing the menu’s he was left with a very decent monthly profit and practically no work.

  • Au Pair
    Are you good with kids? If you are trustworthy and responsible you should be able to find people with kids who need a babysitter every now and then. Possibly even on a regular or daily basis. 
  • Dog Walking
    Start your own little business and go around offering people to walk their dogs for them for a small fee. It will give you good exercise too! (Note from Jay White – I just created a flier for my daughter’s dog walking and dog sitting business. Here is a link, feel free to use it.) 
  • Part-Time Job
    Work can be scarce in today’s economy but if you look around you should be able to find a part-time job somewhere. Clean windows, pack shelves, bag groceries. Just something simple for a few hours a week and it could make you some extra money. 
  • Work In a Bar
    This classifies as a part-time job but I thought I’d give it an extra mention. Bar-tending is rather easy to learn and anybody can do it. It does require late nights but you can try to choose nights when you are free (like weekends). 
  • Write a Book
    Do you have extensive knowledge on a subject or do you have wild theories about life? Maybe you have a vivid imagination and can come up with entertaining and awesome fictional stories. Take a look at the ‘Harry Potter’ series that started as bedtime stories for a mother’s children. Here is an article that can help get you started. 
  • Make Music
    The effect of music is enormous. There are hundreds of different styles and many instruments that you can choose from. Music is universal and you do not need a degree to be able to make it. Who knows, maybe you have natural talent to write songs or come up with amazing melodies and lyrics. What if you’re good enough to create an album? 
  • Make Jewelery
    Everybody likes jewelery. Maybe you can come up with a creative or unique design that is cheap and easy to make. 
  • Paint or Draw
    Besides the fact that painting and drawing is fun, it can also bring in some extra money. People love art and sometimes the more abstract and unique the art, the more people will pay for it. Discover if you have a hidden Van Gogh or Picasso inside of you. 
  • Offer To Advertise
    Brand your car or walk around with a T-shirt promoting someone’s idea for them. The more people you can advertise to or the smarter your advertising idea, the more you can make with it. 
  • Teach Something
    Everyone has something that they are good at. What are your skills? Offer to teach people one-on-one or start group lessons. Maybe you can teach someone a language, or teach guys how to get girls, or teach students how to become better writers. 
  • Sell Stuff
    Chances are that you have stuff lying around your house that you never use or don’t really need. Sell it for some extra cash. You will be amazed what you can sometimes come up with. 
  • Sign Up For Medical Tests
    Not something I would personally do (maybe giving blood) but there are people who get thousands of dollars for being guinea pigs for medical procedures and new drugs. 
  • Cut Expenses
    The easiest way to make money is by not spending it. Run through your expenses to see if there is anything you can cut down on or even eliminate completely.

Making money on the internet
is one of those dreams that many people think are unattainable. We’ve covered this subject thoroughly over the years. But times have changed so we want to add to the list of ideas.

  • Start a blog
    It is possible to make money by blogging, but it will usually not happen quickly. It may take months or even years before you get a good income.

You could start a blog about a topic you love like I did with Upgrade Reality. You could also create many small niche blogs to promote products and drive traffic to them.

Blogging is a longer-term strategy, but if you have time and are determined, you could have a super popular blog in 3 years from now. Here is an article that may help.

  • Create Affiliate Sites
    An affiliate site is a website set up with the sole purpose of promoting a product and getting commissions for a sale. 

You can create a site for a product and drive traffic towards it by writing articles, advertising or getting good rankings in search engines.

This will also not happen overnight and will take quite a bit of effort and persistence to master, but once you get it right you can literally make thousands of dollars a month with it with minimal maintenance required.

  • Squidoo
    Squidoo is a Web 2.0 community created my marketing genius Seth Godin. Web 2.0 means that you can create your own account and set up free Squidoo pages (as many as you like). 

On those pages you can write about things you love and insert affiliate links. It is similar to a website, but because it is free, you are governed by the Squidoo rules. These rules often restrict certain products and they place ads all around the page which result in people clicking these ads and not your content or affiliate links. However, it is still possible to make some extra money with Squidoo.

  • Ebay
    Ebay is an online market place where you can buy and sell all sorts of things. If you have stuff lying around at home you can put it up for auction on eBay. If you are creative and make things that you can sell, do it on eBay. 
  • Article Marketing
    Have you heard about article marketing? The concept is simple and it is totally free. It involves you writing articles that promote affiliate products and if you make sales you get commissions. 

However, thousands of people do this on a daily basis, so your articles have to be good and targeted to be able to get traffic. There is definitely potential to make money with article marketing and all it will cost you is time (not money).

  • Offer Services
    If you have any skills or are good at design, writing, proof-reading, creating copy, etc., then you can advertise your services on various forums related to the niche that you specialize in.  
  • Youtube
    Just like you can market with articles, you can also market with videos. Maybe you are a skilled camera-person. Create funny clips or inspirational ones and you could get thousands of views. Link to a product in your video and you may find yourself making sales. 
  • Forex Trading
    I added forex trading but purposely put it last. The reason being that forex trading is risky and requires capital that you can lose. You can learn more about how to trade forex here one of the best forex trading mentors around – Ezekiel Chew.

If you don’t have money to spare then I won’t advise trading forex. If you have some money that you can afford to lose then forex trading could be a source of incredible wealth and freedom. HOWEVER…I strongly advise that you spend days and weeks learning and studying the forex markets and the ins and outs of trading before you even consider risking your hard-earned money.

You need strong emotional control and strict discipline to be a successful forex trader. If you know you have no discipline, don’t even consider forex trading as an option to make money.

So how did I do? Are there other ways that you’ve found to earn some side cash? Share in the comments.

Diggy writes all about self improvement at his blog UpgradeReality. Diggy also created a cool course that will teach you how to cook easy healthy dinner recipes in 10 minutes or less. Photo Credit: _J_D_R_

Getting Started with Money

Learn More About Money

More on Money

Money Individual Reviews