In 2013, one in ten Americans who worked full-time also had side jobs for extra cash. In the coming years, that number is expected to rise. Just as businesses eagerly exploit additional income streams, individuals can and should do the same. Unfortunately, acquiring the skills to do so is often a long and arduous process. If you would like the extra income, but don’t have the time or resources to invest in additional training, there are plenty of ways to make money using the skills you already have.
Market, sell, and deliver digital content
Everyone tends to have that one quirky skill that’s used as a party trick or to impress your kids. Sometimes it’s a useless skill, but often it’s something you picked up while working to pay for college. Bottom line, don’t let that skill coupled with the accumulated knowledge go to waste.
One platform that allows you to sell your knowledge online is Kajabi. The platform gives companies and individuals the ability to set up courses online to share knowledge and even monetize content. With the platform, you can market, sell and deliver information products online and create a website to grow your audience. The company says its users have sold content for over $350 million, from marketing tips for home business owners to DIY plumbing.
Get paid to answer simple questions
Generating additional income through sites like JustAnswer is simple. On JustAnswer, simply provide evidence of your expertise in one of the several areas, answer questions, and get paid. Maven and CreatePool are similar platforms, but allow you to also do small jobs in your area of expertise. You set your rate with Maven and CreatePool, leading to the opportunity to earn significantly more. Finder’s fees can be costly, however. Be ready to pay both companies a hefty commission of up to 20%.
Be the human intelligence computers can’t replace
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) provides users with access to on-demand jobs, surveys, and tasks that require human intelligence to complete. The slogan for MTurk emphasizes the vision of the platform – “Artificial Artificial Intelligence.” Designed to help professionals, academics, companies, and IT experts accomplish tasks that require human intelligence, there’s something for everyone here. Most jobs don’t pay much, but the little bit you do earn through each short task can quickly accumulate to a decent side income.
Put Skype and Google Hangouts to work for you
Do you have a unique skill set or hobby? If you’re willing to invest in marketing yourself, services like Skype and Google Hangouts can provide a path to a lucrative side income. Offer lessons via Skype or Hangouts to save yourself travel time, grow a wide customer base, and make cash off skills you have that others value (like playing an instrument or tutoring). If you are in medicine (human or animal), you can do a ‘house call’ from anywhere in the world with the help of livestream or to expand the services you already offer your clients.
Give advice or provide consulting services online
Sites like PrestoExperts and SmallBizAdvice work on a concept similar to that of Maven and CreatePool, by giving you the chance to earn money giving advice or providing consulting services online. There is no shortage of sites similar to these, and many (like SmallBizAdvice) are niche specific, allowing you to target your services to an audience that is already hoping to work with you.
Host webinars using your expertise
Skype and Google Hangouts provide users with the opportunity to work one-on-one with clients, but ClickMeeting and other webinar hosting services provide a different way to make extra cash with live video. Rather than targeting an individual, reach an audience ranging in size from a small group to tens of thousands by providing webinars and live classes that teach your audience how to do something – from using essential oils to building furniture or investing in the stock market. If you can teach it, you can sell a webinar or class on it with a little marketing effort.
Sell eBooks and whitepapers
Your company may be overlooking an easy and quick source of profits. By re-purposing existing content, adding a bit more information, and marketing wisely, you can turn eBooks and whitepapers into lucrative income streams. With very little time commitment required because of your intelligent reuse of content and knowledge of your industry. Amazon.com has long been the dominant platform for eBooks, but you can also sell whitepapers and eBooks on your site or through other channels. iBooks is a popular alternative to Amazon, for example, and offers more interactive and high-tech options than traditional eBooks allow.
The above list is just a small sample of the numerous opportunities available to earn an extra income using your existing skills. To succeed in any of the above, however, you need to know how to present yourself in writing. Remember that a side job is just that – something you do in addition to your day job. Don’t let it distract you from your existing obligations. That said, if you are ready to turn your side job into your day job and you’re making enough on the side to do so, go for it. Just make sure to keep your boss in the loop and not burn bridges in the process.
Tomas Laurinavicius is a traveling lifestyle entrepreneur and blogger from Lithuania. He writes about habits, lifestyle design, and entrepreneurship on his blog and weekly lifestyle design newsletter. Tomas is currently traveling the world with a mission to empower 1 million people to change lifestyle for good.