50 Quick Ways to Make Money

50 Quick Ways to Earn MoneyMoney issues. I’m not sure anyone is immune to them. I’ve heard that the best way to keep them from happening is to have a hefty emergency fund saved up. That can take a lot of discipline and planning ahead though. And what do you do if your emergency fund is just getting started or is nonexistent?

Having some very unexpected bills pile up lately got me to brainstorming all the ways that you can quickly make money. Here is my list of 50 Quick Ways to Make Money:

  1. Garage Sale – everyone has unwanted items laying around. Clear the clutter and make some money doing so. For a bigger impact coordinate with family and neighbors.
  2. Sell Gold and Silver – Clean out your jewelry box.
  3. Sell unwanted items on Ebay – Have a bunch of collectibles just taking up space on a shelf somewhere?
  4. Make something and have a craft sale – Turn that hobby people admire you for into a money maker.
  5. Lemonade and Bake Sale – So this one may be more popular for your kids to do, but it is a great way to introduce them to the world of entrepreneurship.
  6. Consulting – What do people ask you for help doing? Turn that into a service that you can sell.
  7. Sell your product or service at a discount – Have an existing product or service? Consider offering a limited time discount in order to make money quickly.
  8. Bundle your products or services for a greater value – People love to receive a great deal or value. Add-on a service or bonus to your existing offer.
  9. Sign up with a temp agency – They are always looking for new people to help fill jobs and you can work around your current availability.
  10. Sell a Service on Fiverr – Check out what other people are offering and see if you can come up with something that may be a popular seller.
  11. Look for a freelance gig on Elance, FlexJobs, or Odesk.
  12. Dog Walking – Make up some fliers and distribute around your neighborhood. Sign up at an online directory to offer your dog walking service.
  13. Baby Sitting – Not just for teenagers anymore, babysitters can earn $15 or more an hour.
  14. Write an ebook- It is easier than ever to write a book, especially a how to one, and publish it online.
  15. Offer freelance writing services – Websites need new content all the time. Put on your writer’s cap and capitalize on it.
  16. Teach a class – Create an online course and offer it on Udemy.
  17. Scoop dog poop – Not much of a description needed here.
  18. Sell Plasma – I’m not a big fan of needles, but I remember this being a very popular way to earn money in college. It still is. Find a place to donate plasma here.
  19. Get a part-time job as a bartender or pizza delivery – With tips, these can be pretty high paying part time jobs.
  20. Sell crafts online – Etsy is a great place to sell unique goods to people around the world.
  21. Mechanical Turk – Perform HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks) and earn money.
  22. Answer surveys online – There are many reputable survey companies out there that will allow you to earn money by answering surveys.
  23. Sell items on Craigslist – This is a good option when you don’t want to have a garage sale and an item is too big to sell on eBay.
  24. Recycle Scrap Metal – I’m definitely not suggesting you rip out all the copper plumbing in your home, but look around for any old bits and pieces around your home.
  25. Sell Sperm or Eggs – There are health and age requirements with this one, as well as perhaps some moral issues but an option for some people.
  26. Medical Test Volunteer – This is an interesting option and at the very least you get a free health check up. The National Institute of Health has a search for active medical studies. Some medical schools also pay volunteers to act as patients.
  27. Return items to store – We all buy things and then never quite get around to using them. I can think of at least one thing in my house waiting for me to return it to the store. Spend a few hours gathering up the items that still have tags and you have the receipt for and return them.
  28. Collect Returnables – In several states you are paid a deposit for returnable bottles and cans. In others you can earn money for metal cans with a scrap metal recycler. Spend a day walking your neighborhood (or visit a collect campus and dive into trash cans). Earn some money and clean up the environment at the same time!
  29. Cut Lawns – Have a lawn mower and a good work ethic? Go door to door in your neighborhood and offer to cut grass at a discount from what the local lawn services charge.
  30. Wash and Detail Cars – This is another task that you neighbors who are strapped for time will really appreciate.
  31. Collect loose change -Upend those couch cushions and empty your piggy banks! My credit union even has a change counting machine making it really easy to get cash (or make a deposit) with all of our loose change.
  32. Sell Old Electronics – Gazelle makes it really easy to earn cash for your old cell phones, tablets, and computers. You can earn an extra $5 for returning a device with a value of $25 or more during the month of April 2014.
  33. Sell unused gift cards – Gift cards are a great gift to get, unless they are from a store or restaurant that you don’t like. Cardpool¬†and GiftCards.com are two places to get you started.
  34. Join a focus group – Companies are always looking for people to join their focus groups and give their opinion on things, in exchange for compensation for their time.
  35. Pet sitting – People go on vacation year round these days and want someone to either stay in their home to watch their pets or check on them a few times a day. You can offer this service to people that you know to start, which is also a great way to gain references. Sign up to become a Pet Sitter and advertise your services on Care.com.
  36. House sitting – There is a certain peace of mind knowing that someone is staying in your home while you are away, to take in the mail, water the plants, and give it an appearance of being lived in. This is also a great way to see different areas if you are able to be location independent for a time period.
  37. Rent a spare room – If you don’t mind opening your home up to another person, this can be a great way to help with expenses.
  38. Shovel Snow – This is most efficient if you have a snow blower, but a good old fashioned snow shovel will work too.
  39. Clean Houses – Make up a flyer and pass it around your neighborhood. Offer weekly, biweekly, or monthly cleaning or help with one time clean up projects.
  40. Clean Gutters – Most homeowners do not want to do this necessary task. Have a ladder and don’t mind heights? This messy job could be the perfect way to earn some extra money.
  41. House Painting – I’m always surprised at how many people hire out this job as I think it is one of the easiest home improvement tasks there is. Disclosure though: I love to paint. Except bathrooms, those are never fun. Anyway if you love to paint too, this can be a great job.
  42. Mystery Shopping – Love to shop and good at remembering details? There are a number of legitimate companies that will pay you to order a latte, go to the movies, or get the oil changed in your car, just to name a few.
  43. Tutor students – Is everyone also raving about how well you explain polynomials or cell mitosis? Perhaps a job tutoring students struggling with your favorite subjects is your key to making some extra money each month.
  44. Offer music lessons – Have an ear for music? Piano, drums, and violin lessons are some of in demand lessons needed. You definitely need some experience for this one.
  45. Officiate Weddings – States vary with their requirements for this one. Check with your local and state officials to see if this is possible. Many couples are choosing untraditional wedding places these days, along with officiants.
  46. Sell at a Consignment Shop – Don’t want to go through the hassle of selling your things on eBay or in a garage sale? Find a local consignment shop that will do all the hard work for you. They usually take a commission on the sale, but might have a more targeted audience for your items than a garage sale would draw in.
  47. Sell for others on eBay or Craigslist – Let’s face it, selling on eBay and Craigslist can be a pain. The pictures, the listings, the shipping, etc. Earn a commission on the sales for other people by providing this service.
  48. Become a mock juror – Some attorneys prepare for trials with a mock jury. You can sign up with eJury or Online Verdict.
  49. Spring or Fall Yard Cleanup – Offer your services with leaf clean up in the fall and weed clean up in the spring. This is a labor intensive job that many people will gladly pay for.
  50. Sell hair – I didn’t quite realize that there was a market for actual human hair but there are two online marketplaces where people are doing just that. Online Hair Affair and Hairwork are two of the places that I found where people are buying and selling hair.

Hopefully some of these ideas help you if you are looking for a quick way to make some money. Let me know if you have any suggestions in the comments below. Have you tried any of the ideas above? How did it work for you?

WordPress Spring Cleaning

Spring is here, even though the freshly fallen snow outside my window isn’t really convincing me of that. The changing of the seasons is a great reminder that everything needs a fresh look and new perspective. One of things that you should take a close look at is your WordPress website.

WordPress is constantly being updated for both increased functionality and to close any security breaches. With each new update plugins and themes are also updated to work with the new version of WordPress. It can be a lot to keep up with. It is never fun to login into the admin of your site though and see this:

Wordpress Updates Needed

It is really important to update to a version of WordPress that is 3.7 or later. This update enabled auto updates for minor and security updates. Definitely nice to not have to worry about things. If WordPress is in need of an update, backup your site first and then click update now.

While in the Dashboard it is also a great idea to update any of the plugins or themes that you are using. When you update WordPress, they may not work with the new version perfectly. A good plugin developer will keep their plugins up to date.

I also like to do a mini site audit while this is all going on. Here are some of the questions that I ask myself. Is there something about the site that I don’t like? Is it time to update the theme? Move some things around? Are there any new plugins out there that may increase the functionality of my site? What is working really well? What are some of the most popular pages and posts? Can I build on those things?

Take a look at your site with a critical eye. Is the navigation easy to understand and follow? Will people know within a few minutes of visiting what your website it about? Look at the footer and make sure there are not any weird links. This can be common in free themes and you really don’t want to have a link to something you don’t approve of on every page of your site.

Do you have an about page, a privacy policy, and a disclosure page? Is there an easy way for your readers and visitors to contact you? Do any of these pages need an update? Read up on how to build a great contact page and about page for ideas and then implement them.

Are you collecting email addresses and building a list? This is so important. Out of every channel available to you, this is the one thing that you can own and control. Definitely pick an email provides such as Aweber, MailChimp, or Constant Contact. Create an opt-in offer to give your readers an incentive to sign up.

Doing some spring cleaning on your website is definitely not an easy task and it will take a bit of time, but it will be highly worth it. You will increase the number of visits to your website, as well as engagement.

Share some of the things that you like to do on a semi-regular basis to keep your website up to date in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!

 

Work at Home Scam Letter

Work At Home Scam LetterLast week I received a letter in the mail addressed to me at my home address with a nondescript return address in New Jersey. Curious I opened it up and found a generic letter letting me know about a wonderful work at home opportunity assembling booklets at home. My first thought was “really, this kind of stuff is still around?” I’m really hopeful that very few people fall for it.

Here is a scan of the letter (I’ve removed any kind of contact information as I don’t want to give them a free advertisement).

Work at Home Scam Letter

I find it sad that these kind of scams still exist. If you are looking for a way to work at home legitimately the first rule is to never, ever pay someone to do so. This scam will most likely have you stuffing the same envelope and letter that I received and mailing it out to other people at your own expense. The return slip had a unique code written on it, that makes me think this.

So what is a legitimate work at home opportunity? I personally am a big fan of Affiliate Marketing, but there are a number of ways that you can make money while working at home.

  • Find something that you are passionate about and blog about it. You can then recommend products and services to your readers with affiliate links and sponsored posts. You can also sell advertising space on your blog as well.
  • Pick up jobs as a contractor on Elance, Odesk, or Fiverr. Everyone has a unique skill or something that they are good at. Translate that into a paying job. Are you a writer, programmer, graphic artist, good with videos? There is someone out there that needs you.
  • Look at online job boards. Be careful out there as there are always scams listed (remember paying for the job is a red flag), but there are many legitimate opportunities as well. FlexJobs, WAHM, and Simply Hired are some of the places to start looking.
  • Ask around. Network with your friends on Facebook and create a Linkedin account. You never know which of your friends will either have some work for you or know of someone that is hiring.

There are a number of other ways as well, the world has endless opportunities. I would love to know of other legitimate opportunities and ideas. Have one? Please share it in the comments.

Transitioning to Working At Home Panel Resources from ASW14

In January I had the opportunity to share my knowledge and expertise on working from home on a panel at Affiliate Summit West 2014. Karen Garcia of GTO Management, Deborah Carney of Team Loxly, and Scott Jangro of Shareist, were my fellow panelists. Together we have, well many years of experience.

Deb Carney, Karen Garcia, Shannon WeidemannImage Courtesy Affiliate Summit

Slides from our panel

Scott Jangro, Deb Carney, and Karen Garcia
Image Courtesy Affiliate Summit

Here are some of the things that we shared:

  • Working from home can be difficult if you are not accountable to someone else. Make sure that you have goals that can keep your motivated. Many of us have dream or goal boards. Use a cork board, pin a picture to your computer monitor, or create a Pinterest dream board.
  • Sometimes you have to get out of the house. Find a good place to work out of the home and go there from time to time. It can be difficult to work in isolation for long periods of time. Coffee shops, libraries, and co-working spaces are all places to try.
  • A to do list system that works for you is key. Pen and paper, an app, or something else. Try them out and see what works. This To-Do Productivity Lifehack that Karen uses is a great one. A to done list is also very helpful to keep a record of what you actually accomplished (or didn’t) in a day.
  • Get some help. It is a big myth that someone can work from home and do it all, especially if you are a parent. Get a housekeeper, hire a mother’s helper or a babysitter, find a great daycare situation, swap childcare with another parent nearby.
  • Work together with your partner. Just because you are one at home, doesn’t necessarily mean you should be the one to to the burden of housework, childcare, household management. The Cozi app is a great calendar, shopping list, to do list and more that you can share with multiple members of your family.
  • Become part of Mastermind Group. Either form your own or find one to join. Having the support and accountability to others is super important. Eric Nagel, Tricia Meyer, and Todd Farmer explained how their successful group works in this Affiliate Summit video from 2012.
  • Balance is super important. There is such thing as working too much. Make sure that you set office hours and keep to them. Take time to do things important to you. Find a hobby, exercise, spend time with friends.
  • Learn how to say no. People may assume that you because you work from home you are free to get coffee, go shopping, run errands for them. While it is great to do these things from time to time, it can keep you from your work.
  • Collaboration tools can be very helpful when you are working with others. Basecamp, Trello, and Shareist are all great options.

We shared a lot of information and I am sure that I have missed some. Here is your chance, what are your questions about working from home? Ask me in the comments below, I would love to help you out!

 

Affiliate Summit West 2014 Recap

Two weeks ago was Affiliate Summit West 2014 in Las Vegas. I’m a bit behind in getting my recap written due to coming home with some conference crud and dealing with the extreme changes in temperature. Las Vegas to Polar Vortex anyone? I’m from Detroit though and I am allowed to complain though.

I arrived on Saturday, pretty early, so I was able to sneak in a few hours of sightseeing. My first stop was heading over to the Bellagio to see how their Conservatory and Botanical Gardens were decorated. Right now it is celebrating the Chinese New Year. It was so nice to step into all the color, flowers and greenery.

Bellagio Botanical Gardens

While walking around I also went through part of their convention center. There was some kind of “own your own business” type company having a leadership conference. I remember years ago researching this company for a friend and not liking what I saw. It certainly had a different vibe than any Affiliate Summit I’ve ever been to. Lots more suits for one thing.

Saturday wrapped up with picking up my badge at early check in, attending a reception for speakers, and then grabbing a late dinner.

ASW14 Badge

Affiliate Summit West was held at the Paris Hotel and Casino for the first time. I have walked through there before and of course the epic Shareasale party has been held at the Chateau nightclub for many years now. It was nice because it was just a short walk to the Convention Center from the hotel elevators. Plus the convention center was all on one floor. It did however cause a lot of people gathering and congestion in certain areas. It will be interesting to see if it is held there again.

I went to many great sessions, including the keynote by Steve Denton, Vice President of Marketing Solutions at eBay Enterprise. It was filled with some really interesting statistics and figures about the affiliate marketing industry, including who is driving traffic and closing sales. You can watch it here:

This was also my second time speaking at Affiliate Summit and I think we presented a great panel on working from home with Karen Garcia, Deb Carney, and Scott Jangro. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to speak at a future Affiliate Summit.

Speaking of which, the next one is already open for registration and it is Affiliate Summit East 2014 and it is going back to New York City August 10-12, 2014. Right now is the absolute best time to register because you can save hundreds of dollars with the early bird prices. I highly recommend the VIP pass as it gets you into all the sessions, the Exhibit Hall, Meet Market, and meals. You don’t want to miss the meals, they are definitely where some great networking (and fun) can happen.

It was definitely another great show put on by Affiliate Summit. I came home with new knowledge, new connections, strengthened old ones, and am moving my business forward in new directions. I’m already looking forward to New York!

Register Today for Affiliate Summit