18 Speedy Ways for Freelancers to Earn Extra Money that Actually Work

18 Speedy Ways for Freelancers to Earn Extra Money that Actually Work

December 26, 2011 by

Wanna Get Rich Quick? Welcome to my most scammy-sounding article to date. But is it?

Getting ‘rich’, well maybe not immediately, but could there be some true-tested ways for freelancers like us to generate some cashflow over days instead of months, especially in tough times?

Keeping the freelance money coming in at a steady pace is something I like to help out with on Red Lemon Club, but it can sometimes be tricky, especially if you are just starting out.

It’s inadvisable to quit your job before you begin to earn a regular income from freelancing, but from what I’ve learnt, and from people who have done it, there are a few ways to generate extra cash quickly, for support when you experience a lull, at any point in your career.

Each method will obviously depend on your own ability to put in the work, and I do mean work, motivation, and in some cases, the kinds of skills you possess. It is always best to work from your strengths, before choosing a method at random.

Here are 18 ways I’ve discovered that could earn you money quickly:

1. Consult

Think of what you know or what you are good at. People are out there willing to pay you for your knowledge.  You could set up a site or use an existing one to answer questions for a charge, for example. Set up a Paypal link and get paid instantly before sending over an answer.

2. Sell your stuff

Things you own that don’t really get used much, including things in the garage and your attic, can be sold online, on eBay, or even at a garage sale. The beauty of the Internet means you can your stuff within a few days.

3. Create a simple physical product and sell it

Consider what skills you have that would allow you to make quick products, people would like that could be sold at craft markets like Etsy or Ebay. You could create little characters made of bottles, pillows, small paintings, illustrations; the list goes on. Zazzle and Cafepress allow you to create products with your own designs on that they will make for you too.

4. Offer services through online classifieds and freelance sites

Use your existing skill as a freelancer or something else you’re good at, and offer your services online. Classifieds sites like Craigslist and Elance are places to place ads and to find people needing your services.

5. Do local, physical jobs

Put up an ad in your local area for services you can offer like cleaning, washing cars, raking leaves and walking dogs. You could also go around knocking on doors and asking.

You will be surprised at how many people are willing to pay you for doing some work, especially if it is on the spot for them.

6. Create a small downloadable product to sell

Put together a simple guide or ebook using pdf software, your knowledge, and/or even use previously written material with no copyright (known as ‘Public Label Rights’) that you can recreate into your own material. Sell the product via your blog or site, or partner with someone else who has access to followers, newsletter followers, and more.

7. Cut expenses

This is one of the best ways to not only make savings, but effectively create money by withholding on the things you normally spend money on day to day.

Have a look at what you spend money on and cut out what you don’t need, such as coffees away from home, eating out, magazine subscriptions, and gym memberships.

8. Resell stuff online

There are some great profits to be made on buying products for cheap somewhere and reselling them elsewhere, namely online.

Examples of this include buying physical things at a car boot sale at a bargain, and reselling them online to a more discerning market.

9. Create graphics and themes

You could create graphics including logos, templates, icons, buttons, web elements, wordpress or Tumblr themes, book covers, blog themes and illustrations for digital marketplaces like Graphic River or Template Sold. Decent designs on sites with busy marketplaces, can get you sales very quickly.

10. Advertise affiliate products on your blog

If you have a good means to market products, via a blog or to Twitter followers, or a mailing list, for example, you could sell affiliate products and earn a commission on each sold.

Clickbank and Amazon Associates (as well as right here in Red Lemon Club!) are places to go to find products to sell on behalf of others. In many cases, you can a earn a large share on each product, so selling to plenty of the right audience can be very fruitful.

11. Create basic sites for businesses or make basic sites and sell them

If you are good with designing websites, you could have a look for websites of companies that are relatively poor and suggest you redesign them for a fee.

Or, you can figure out what sites people are willing to buy as potential sources of income, build them (or buy them cheap and redesign), add some affiliate products and some content, perhaps a logo, and sell it on a site like Flippa. I’ve personally seen great results selling sites that people want to potentially make money from themselves, through doing this.

12. Write for other blogs or websites that pay

Many people do pay for decent quality written content. Have a hunt around for places that need you to write articles, ‘How-To’s’, tutorials, product and service reviews, stories, interview, and so on.

13. Earn through Youtube videos

Create videos for popular sites like YouTube and sell your own stuff, merchandise or affiliate products via links under the videos. You could, for example post reviews of popular products ou know about and sell the product itself and earn a commission when people buy this way.

If you have a really popular video, you can earn from the advertisements YouTube place next to it as well.

14. Tutoring people

Let people know of your willingness to teach people or groups of people for a fee in your local area. You can be paid immediately at the end of each class. Create a web page also, and even tutor people via Skype or Google Hangout.

15. Sell quick services on Fiverr.com

You could provide a service that doesn’t take too much out of your day via Fiverr, a site that costs users five dollars for jobs other members provide. Earning five dollars for a job may not sound like much, but if you plan carefully and assess the competition, it will build up, and you get paid instantly.

16. Skill brokerage

If you can help other people who provide services, like other freelancers you might know, for example, and come to an agreement on earning a commission on every job that you can get for them, you could earn some quick cash from this. As an example, you could set up a quick web design service site, and earn a commission of 25% for each job that this creates for your web designer friends.

17. Sell ad space on your site

If you have a site with a decent amount of traffic coming through it, ask around (people who know you first) for those willing to pay for a banner, text or other ad on the site. Buy Sell Ads is a great tool for automating this process, so that you place a box on your site, and the rest of the work is left to them, including being able to be searched for on their network.

18. Product/asset brokerage

Offer to help sell products and physical items like cars, furniture and computers for people that don’t know where to start, earning a commission that you negotiate on the item sold.

My dad, for example, had a large volume of valuable books that he wanted to get rid of, and I was able to sell them online and agree on a 25% commission on the value of the sale (What are sons for?!).

Other ideas, do post them in the comments below!

About the Author: Alex Mathers

Alex is a project starter, sometimes finisher, writer and illustrator. He started Red Lemon Club in 2009 with the aim of helping talented creative people leave their mark.

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"Your blog inspires me so much, and helps me feel somehow not as insignificant, despite the plethora of artists around the world."Natalie, artist

  • http://dxtr.co.uk Dexter

    SOme good ideas here, but it’s worth noting that that anything you plan to do in relation to a website is dependent on TRAFFIC.

    Make good use of Google’s Keyword Tool to determine which subjects/keywords are worth tackling – keywords with high search traffic and low competition are golden.

  • Alex Mathers

    Absolutely Dexter, traffic is important for some of them, so already having traffic on some of the web-related methods would be important. We’ll be putting together some information on building traffic through Red Lemon Club very soon.

    Thanks

  • Pingback: Tweet-Parade (no. 52 Dec 2011) | gonzoblog.nl

  • http://stores.ebay.com/LUCKY-STARS-CAT-IN-THE-HAT Charles A. Tijou

    This is terrific information for someone who has the numbers and a strong following. I’ve been working on maximizing my punch on Twitter ( @RareCat – https://twitter.com/#!/RareCat ). I have 67,000+ followers that I’m going to develop some of your ideas with.
    Thank you kindly for your efforts and graciously sharing your astute expertise.
    Kindest regards,
    Charles RareCat Tijou

  • http://www.permanagementservices.nl Petra Eromosele

    Thank you very much for all your advice Alex.
    You are a giver and continue to be a giver.

  • Alex Mathers

    Thanks Petra, more to come :) Alex

  • Alex Mathers

    Thank you Charles – good luck with that, I’m sure you can do very well. Alex

  • Donna B.

    One should find a risk, time invested, return on investment formula.
    Almost all of these ideas are very time intensive for very little money.
    Why not just get a part time job? Or spend the time making one’s art (or whatever) better or learn a new software program or skill.

  • Alex Mathers

    Thanks Donna, that’s a good point for people who need to learn a skill over time before being able to earn from it. In this case, many of the skills freelancers already possess will be instrumental in allowing for these ideas to work, and quickly, on top of the earning methods that require less skill, like going out and raking leaves.

    I also think all of these can be more lucrative and be done in a shorter time span than you might perceive or expect, if done well, in the right order, and with some help and advice. Many people, as I can understand, will find it difficult to go out and find a part-time job, and using time to study when earning money is a priority is not an option for many people.

  • Armin

    Cheers Alex! I appreciate ur concern. That was extremely helpful. :)

  • http://www.mancwebdesign.co.uk James

    Useful suggestions, thankyou for taking time to write about them!

  • Alex Mathers

    Glad you found em useful, James!

  • http://www.facebook.com/venezuerajin マ メ

    Nice! I needed this kind of suggestions at this moment! THANKS!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tanvir.zafar Tanvir Zafar
  • Irina

    very useful article! thank you! thinking about starting freelance as illustrator and now have some ideas!

  • http://www.bluesmokecreative.com/ Daniel Dogeanu

    Brilliant! Exactly what I needed! I was looking for methods to quickly make money for some time now, to compensate the fact that a full project of mine takes two – three months. Some of the methods to get cash are perfect for me. Thanks a lot!

  • http://www.artsyras.com/ Ras

    great advice!!! Thank you so much

  • Alex Mathers

    sure thing!

  • Jekabs Jencs

    very intresting,better read this complete to other site http://easy-ways.tk

  • haylee7291

    I really like graphicriver! do you know of any similar sites in the UK?

  • Alex Mathers

    Agreed. Any reason as to why it needs to be UK-based if it’s digital products?

  • haylee7291

    @alex_mathers:disqus purely for the exchange rate ;) I’m greedy and new to freelancing so maybe I am expecting too much!

  • chaitanyak

    the youtube thing has been working for me.. not thaat much money.. but enough to pay the internet bill sometimes :) selling stuff on Etsy sounds like a good idea, need to look into that.

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