How to Make Extra Money: 10 Side Gigs You Could Start Tomorrow

August 18, 2016 : Kathy Cano-Murillo

Extra cash… We all could use some. Whether for paying bills, buying school supplies, springing for an emergency home repair, taking a vacation or padding your savings every bit helps!

But what happens when you have a set paycheck and need your balance to stretch a little further? No sweat. Roll up your sleeves, power up your self-determination and get to work with ideas!

I know, I’ve been there. I’m a full-time artist and writer and have learned that anything is possible when it comes to money. With a smart sense and positive frame of mind, you can attract those dollar bills and reduce financial stress in your life.

Here are 10 of my favorite ways to bring in extra income. Some are easier than others, but they work!

Keep in mind that you will have to report this income on your taxes, so plan accordingly!

1 – Online auctions and sales.

I’ve used this method for years! But make it easy for yourself. Instead of listing a single item at a time, think in bulk and sets. For example, if you have a lot of clothes you want to sell, group them: “Four Concert Shirts”, “Trio of High Heels” “Boho Date night Ensemble”, “Set of Two Purses” or “Mystery Box of Craft Supplies”.  (For this last one you can put a dress, shoes, and jewelry together as one listing.) This way saves you time in listing the items, plus and you can ask for a higher amount,especially if you have designer labels. Also, make sure to research the era, designer and style of your posted items to include in the description. Is that necklace similar to one a movie star recently wore? Mention it! Put time and thought into your listings for maximum return.

2 – Online services.

What are your strongest skills that you can use to help others? If you are used to reading over your kid’s homework to check for errors – great! You must be great at proofreading. You can visit sites like, sign up for an account and offer proofreading services. Are you good at writing cover letters for resumes? Maybe consider critiquing written pieces. I would suggest first to go through a service site to get the ball rolling, then branch off to build your own website. Make sure to gather testimonials of your work so you can score even more jobs!

3 – Services to family and friends.

If you don’t want to find potential job opportunities online, send an email to close family and friends with a list of services you can offer: babysitting, driving, making party centerpieces, taking and editing photos, building a website, or cleaning services. If you have a family member who has a small business, learn some social media skills then create a package deal to run their accounts for them. Many family and friends would rather hire someone they know rather than a stranger.

4 – Test websites.

This is where you critique random websites or videos and talk about your experience in real time. It’s fun and easy because you’ll see all different kinds of businesses, learn about branding and marketing, plus make some cash! You can find a list here.

5 – Teach an eCourse.

What is your BEST skill or talent? Create videos for your course that you will set to private. Then set up a marketing/landing page that tells all about your class. Set up an account for people to pay you, once they do, you give them the password to watch the video tutorials you made. You can also set up a private Facebook group for students. You can teach everything from accounting to cooking to painting to yoga! As an added asset, create a printable document that gives an overview of best practices. That way your students will have something to refer to when they are done watching the video(s). If you don’t want to set it up yourself, use sites like CreativeLive or SkillShare to host your classes.

6 – Offer downloadable PDFs and printables.

I have a friend who started a late-night business designing activity pages for kindergarten teachers. Think about it, many teachers are so busy managing the kids and the main curriculum, this was a blessing to their schedule. These days, my friend and her husband both run this business full-time providing lessons plans, activity pages and other learning modules for thousands of teachers across the country! You can also use this idea for people who want fun coloring pages, sewing patterns, knitting patterns and more.

7 – Write eBooks and offer workshops.

Take the time to plan out a topic and think long term. What workshops could you teach from your eBook? What are the topics of speaking presentations you can offer? Sure you’ll gain income from book sales, but bigger money can come from all the ways you can use the book as leverage!

8 – Sell crafty items on Etsy.

Find a simple, well-loved category and own it! Whether it is labels, collage sheets, marble magnets or vintage supplies, package them to be appealing! It helps if you have at least four to five pages of items for sale, and you should also research Etsy’s handbook for helpful tips to gain better sales. You can also visit local yard sales and thrift stores to find low-cost items to resell.

9 – Become an online affiliate.

If you have a website, sign up for Amazon Affiliates, ShareaSale or other online affiliates. Make use of sidebars and blog posts by monetizing them in some way. It’s important to be in tune with your target audience, and  create ads for items that will appeal to them. You can also connect with friends who have businesses and work out an affiliate plan.

10 – Sell books you don’t want anymore.

We all have lots of these. Visit sites like and eBay to get the best price.

Other ideas:

  • Have a giant tea jar to toss in extra coins that you can cash in later.
  • Visit your local bank to round up your extra change to go into your savings account.
  • If you have a lot of gift cards, visit sites where you can trade them in for cash.
  • Offer yourself as a tutor or consultant in your area of expertise.
  • Enter contests! Look online for giveaways and sweepstakes that you can enter!

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

Guest Contributor

Kathy Cano-Murillo is an author, artist & founder of the award-winning site, She loves to spread the gospel of glitter – literally through her DIY projects and figuratively through her speeches, workshops, books, and essays. A former reporter for The Arizona Republic, she is now a full-time creativepreneur.

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