This post may include affiliate links. Don't worry though: We only recommend products and services that we believe may be helpful — scout's honor.(Last Updated On: December 29, 2018)
Welcome, welcome, welcome to my guide on making money on your own. 🙂 Making money can mean a lot of things a.k.a. MLM and other thangs. When I talk about making money on your own I mean through selling e-commerce products, information, coaching, teaching, or freelancing.
I created this list in order from the ways you can make money the fastest to the ones that take a little while longer. Before trying any of these ways to make money understand that it takes hard work. Whenever you see someone who’s acting like they’re making money because they took the fast track down easy street it’s a complete fabrication. Basically, lies. Here we only speak facts.
This is one of my biggest pet peeves with the entrepreneurial world. There’s this expectation that you need to be bringing in enough money to quit your day job within six months to a year. This expectation is not based in reality. Point blank period. It will take time to come up with a business formula that works for you. You can only do this through experimentation.
I always recommend that anyone who’s interested in making money on their own push themselves beyond their comfort zone over and over again. If something doesn’t work, tweak your idea, pivot, or move to the next one.
Don’t worry, I’m jumping off the soap box now! There are many approaches to positioning, marketing, and selling, but when you strip that all away, there are four main ways to make money.
Do a service.
Offering a service is the quickest way in my opinion to start making money. Offering a service could be freelancing, coaching, or consulting. It could be doing make up, hair, cleaning, painting, or doing nails.
Offer a service in an area that you already do. For me, it was writing. I’ve always been a writer and was able to transfer that into a side hustle and then a full-time job.
What are you good at doing? What do you already do professionally in your day job? Can those skills transfer to something that you do on the side? Maybe you have a hobby that you do really well. Can you offer this as a service on the side?
Create a simple website landing page with what you do and how people can contact you. Create some business cards and start promoting your service. Word of mouth is your best friend in the beginning.
One huge piece of advice I have for you here is to get laser focused on your ideal client. Your ideal client is probably not your friend on Facebook or Instagram followers on your personal account. If these people don’t buy, you may fear that your service isn’t useful to anyone. That’s simply not true. They’re just not your clientele.
Your clientele may be businesses, companies, or consumers who aren’t yet following you on social media platforms. You need to find these people in-person or online to start making money.
The important thing about services is that you only have so many hours in the day to work. You need to price your services accordingly. If you don’t charge enough you’ll be working none stop.
Sell a product.
The next thing that you can do is offer a product for sale. I generally avoid selling physical products because of having to deal with overhead costs and margins.
However, creating an e-commerce store, brick-and-mortar store, or selling products out of your home is another way that you can make money on the side.
My friend Sandy of Yes, I am Cheap, has mastered selling products on Amazon. If you want to learn more, I would definitely check her page out. My Wife Quit Her Job is another resource that has tons of information about starting an online store.
I prefer to sell online digital products, specifically workbooks and ebooks. They are low cost to produce and for this reason I can also price them at a low cost for my people.
Books, courses, and other resources are often called “information” products. You’re selling your knowledge to someone within a product. If you’re an expert in an area and can identify an audience, this is a great way to make extra income.
Create a website that gets traffic or social media following that loves you.
Now we’re getting into the money making options that take a little bit more time to build out.
Creating a site or blog that creates money itself doesn’t happen overnight, but it can earn you passive income. This site, for example, can make anywhere from $300 to $1,000 by itself each month without too much effort on my part.
I did put many years of work into this site to build awareness and traffic before I got to this point but it’s been worth it. The site helps me connect with people interested in personal finance and used to serve as a writing portfolio. The traffic to this site also helps me make ad and affiliate revenue. (We’ll talk about affiliates more next.)
The best way to start a site is to do a business plan beforehand. Decide who you’re helping and the topic that you’re covering. ByRegina has an awesome blog business plan here.
Promote other people’s products.
Yes, you’ve seen it all over Instagram — people promoting Fit Tea and all the other products. These celebs get paid thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of dollars to promote products from other businesses. Anyone can do this including you. You build a following on your website and social media platforms. People trust you, purchase products based off of your recommendation, and you get a commission.
The benefit of referring people to services or products that already exist as an affiliate or sponsor is that there is really no risk and less time spent on your part. By contrast, offering a service is trading time for hours. Creating products requires heavy effort on the front end and serious attention to numbers to make sure you’re profitable.
The personal finance writing and consulting part of my business requires a lot of heavy lifting. I have to research, pitch ideas, develop ideas, interview experts, edit, and much more. Promoting products I love as an affiliate takes work to build the partnership but otherwise it’s more passive.
I always suggest that on top of offering a service you focus on your own brand and creating a name for yourself. This is something that took me a little while to do but now that this aspect of my business is growing I love being able to make more passive income while I’m hard at work writing.
Experimenting is the name of the game. You will eventually find a mix of offerings that works for you. Understand that it won’t happen overnight without you consistently putting in the elbow grease. That’s why I think that a lot of the entrepreneurial climate right now does people a disservice. It makes you give up early when a breakthrough could be right around the corner. Stick to it!
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