How To Get Started Making Extra Money (Online or Offline!)
*Asterisks set out in this article relate to advertising and they indicate that the author receives a small share of sales through the related link.*
One of the things that I get asked about over and over, is how to get started with earning extra money. Many people find that they have cut back on their outgoings as much as they possibly can, and now need to bring in some extra income in order to be in a better place.
Extra money coming in can help with:
- Paying off debt quicker
- Building an emergency fund
- Saving for retirement and having peace of mind with that
- Better quality of life
- Help loved ones when they need it
- Travel more
There are many more things that bringing in extra money can do, although it is important to point out that there is no point in earning extra money if you are not on top of your finances, because you will just end up wasting the extra cash.
If you have cut back on your expenditure as much as you can, then you can figure out some goals for your money, and use the extra money for that purpose.
I used earning extra money to pay off my debt, have a car, reach some personal goals, and to give me the freedom to do more things with my friends and family that I couldn’t do when I was struggling. It made a massive difference to my life, and I would recommend that all of you try the same.
When it comes to starting something new, we can be quite apprehensive about it – after all, we are frequently being told about various scams – but this is why reading blogs can be helpful, as they are written by real people, who try out things and will recommend them if they have success with them.
I was a little unsure myself when I first started, so I’ll share with you what I started with, and how I earn extra money from it, in the hopes that you can do the same. If not, I put together a list of 100 money making side hustle ideas, so have a look on there and see if there’s anything that you like the sound of!
This is what I started with, and many other people start with this as well, because it’s easy! All that you need to do is answer some questions, and you will get paid for doing so. Now a lot of surveys don’t pay that well, but it’s a good place to start when you are beginning your money journey.
There are many different survey sites, but the ones that I personally use are:
YouGov send survey requests for political questions. They take around 10 minutes on average to complete and you are rewarded with either cash or entries into their cash prize draw. The cash out on this site is £50. I quite enjoy doing these ones as they are regular but not too regular!
If you just want to complete small surveys that take a minimal amount of time, then OnePoll is the survey site for you. This is a good one for me because I do find it a bit tedious! They don’t take very long at all and the cash out on this site is £40.
Swagbucks is becoming increasingly more popular and can be used for a variety of things – not just answering surveys. It’s also used for searches, watching videos and various other tasks. It’s an easy earn especially if you do the searches, but you may not get along with it.
I really like Pinecone as well, because their customer service is amazing. They pay out really well for a survey site – £3 per survey and they are around the same length as the other surveys. The questions are usually relating to well known household products or brands.
If you have a laptop and the internet, then anyone can complete surveys. They sound a bit boring and to be honest they are – but if you stick to the short ones then it shouldn’t take up too much of your time and it’s a great little money earner. The great thing about some of these sites is the payout threshold because it’s so nice to get a lump sum of £40 or £50 sent to your account! Most of the survey sites pay via paypal, or some by vouchers (e.g. Amazon).
When I started mystery shopping, it really fuelled my desire to earn extra money, because I’d always heard about mystery shopping but had no clue how it really worked, wondered if it was a scam etc, but then when I did my first job I was amazed – it was only down the road from me and I got some free food and drink as well as a (small) fee! I was hooked.
The companies that I am signed up to and have earned money from are:
Market Force* – my favourite one. They frequently have a great deal of jobs and they are with very well known companies. This is the one that I get most of my jobs from.
It’s very easy to use their system and the reports are very straight forward also. The reports are generally very consistent with what they ask you to report, but obviously make sure you check any differences so you don’t forget to do something.
On most assignments they will require the time in and out, a photo of the exterior after completing the mystery shop, and an itemised receipt.
Grassroots – I have only done one job with Grassroots as they don’t seem to be as frequent, but it has been the highest paid one that I’ve done so far (it was for a travel agency).
The report was still pretty simple to do and the job was easy too – I just had to enquire about a couple of holidays.
Red Wigwam* – this company are a temp recruitment agency with a ton of different jobs available. When you register, you can select which jobs you would like to appear to you – you can select mystery shopping if this is all you want to use the website for.
The majority of jobs that pop up for me are supermarket checks where you just have to check/buy one item in a well known supermarket. The good thing about this company is that you get paid within a week! Definitely handy if you would like some quick cash.
Mystery Dining Company – the assignments on this are a bit different because they tend to just reimburse you for your purchase and don’t pay an additional fee. However I have seen them pay a small fee if it is an urgent job.
You collect points for the jobs that you complete and once you have reached a certain amount they treat you to a surprise! Once you have collected a lot of points more jobs are available to you also.
You have to complete an assessment to be accepted as a mystery shopper with this company.
Selling on eBay/other selling sites
If you have a money goal that you really want to achieve, selling stuff on eBay or other selling sites is a great place to start, because you could already have untapped money in the unwanted items in your home.
Apparently 9 in 10 of us have £1000 worth of unwanted items in our home, isn’t that crazy?! I try to be really ruthless with it, and look around the rooms/wardrobe/garage and imagine them all with ££ in front of them. Someone will pay good money for the things that you don’t use or no longer need, even if you think that they are worthless.
I have a few guides to get you started:
These are my personal favourite selling sites, because they either have no fees (Gumtree, Facebook) or they have a large audience and sell well (eBay). I find popular clothes do well on eBay, and I tend to sell bigger/bulkier items on either Gumtree or Facebook so that someone can pick them up rather than having to post them.
In addition to this, when you have sold all of your stuff, there is a reselling community that you may not know about. As I spend a lot of time on my blog Instagram account, I come across loads of these accounts, and I love them! It’s basically where you buy things cheaply (e.g. car boot sales, charity shops) and then sell on for a profit on sites such as eBay or Amazon.
I did an interview set of questions with a successful reseller that I know in the US – they are a family team and do amazingly well with re-selling – it’s definitely worth a read to pick up some tips.
You can of course jump right into this from the start, but a lot of people (myself included) are a bit apprehensive with taking the plunge, because it sounds a bit scary and complicated! I was terrified when I first started doing it, and tried to use some free software but it was hard to do on my own.
I then signed up to a matched betting site where they walk you through it with videos, instructions and have all of the software such as calculators which show you the correct amount of money to use, and they find all of the bets for you (this would take SO long if you did it yourself).
If you are unsure what matched betting is, I wrote a post explaining it, but it’s basically where you place a bet one way, and then on a betting exchange site you place it the opposing way to counteract it. This may sound pointless, but the point of it is that you use the free bet that the betting sites offer you for signing up, and they also send frequent offers to keep you betting too. You end up getting the free bet back in cash form.
I’ve personally taken a back seat on matched betting now, but that’s because I tend to concentrate my efforts on blogging instead.
This is something that I wish I started sooner, because I could have made a ton of money from it! There are various things that you can do: dog boarding, dog sitting, cat sitting, dog walking, small animal care.
I started with dog boarding, which is where you have dogs stay at your home when their owners are away. I was quite strict about the dogs that I would take because I have a young daughter, so they had to be used to children and be breeds that were known to be excellent family dogs.
I’ve also done dog sitting (well, I just had to pop in to feed the dog and walk him), cat sitting (popping in to feed the cat) – but dog boarding will always be my favourite, as it’s nice to have a dog around and my daughter loves it as well.
Dog boarding is of course best if you have your own house, but pretty much anyone could do dog sitting or cat sitting. Dog walking you would need to look at the days and times that they want the dog walked – I have never done dog walking as a service as I would be unable to stick to a strict schedule each week.
You can still do things like cat sitting even if you have a full time job – or even dog boarding – as I have had dogs before just for a weekend because their owners have gone away on a weekend trip. Cat sitting as well you probably just need to pop in once or twice a day which you could do before and after work (depending on the instructions from the owner).
I’ll be honest here and say that you are unlikely to make a ton of money in the beginning of your blogging journey – and there is no timeframe on when you will start earning a certain amount of money from it either. You will need to put in the time and effort, be smart and good at marketing.
I have a step-by-step guide on how to set up a blog, and also a free 7 day email course on getting it all set up with some tips, if you are thinking about starting one of your own.
I also put together some posts with the best tips for new bloggers, and also how I made my first £100 blogging – I hope that these both can show you how to get started earning money from blogging. I don’t want everyone to think that you will become an instant millionaire from having a blog, but there is no doubt that there any many people out there who are earning money from theirs.
I earned more than I thought was possible from mine, and whilst it seems that I earn more the harder I work on it, I’m happy to have it ticking along as it currently is at the moment.
There are various ways of earning money from your blog, but the main ones tend to be from sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, and advertising. Advertising is basically when you have ads on your blog that people click on and you get a small payment for this.
Sponsored posts are where you work with a company to promote them/their product and they pay you a one-off fee – they do this because they want to have access to your audience and influence.
Affiliate marketing is where you promote a product or service using a referral link, and if a reader clicks through on your link and makes a purchase on the other end, you will be credited for it. There are lots of different affiliate programmes, all with different kind of payouts, but it’s important to make sure that you only recommend products that you use yourself.
There are many ways that you can earn extra money from home, but I hope that this can get you started – especially without having to resort to trying an MLM scheme. What are your favourite ways of earning extra money from home?