If you are unsatisfied with your current income, and want to earn more, there’s numerous approaches you can take. You can ask your boss for more money, you can try to work more overtime (assuming you aren’t an ‘exempt’ employee, for whom extra hours worked just mean few hours spent with your family), or if you are unable to earn more through your current job, you can even consider quitting and finding another job. (Although, in the current economic climate, you might want to hold off on that step.)
But what if there’s no way to earn more money through your current job, but you enjoy it too much to strike out on your own? Well, that’s where a side income comes in. By finding a way to earn money in your spare time, you can supplement your income, make your hobbies pay off, and who knows, perhaps even find a new profession.
First, Generate Ideas
One of the toughest parts of generating a side income is coming up with an appropriate idea to follow. You find yourself with a desire to make money outside of your day job, but where to begin can be tough. Trying to come up with a decent money making idea (or figuring out which method will be the best for your needs) can be tough, but there are some ways to make the task easier:
Consider Your Interests and Hobbies: Probably the best way to find something you can turn into a side income source is to find something you enjoy doing already, and working on monetizing it. If you enjoy drawing comics, for example, perhaps you could start your own webcomic. If you are the crafty sort (that is, enjoy making craft items, not sneaky and diabolical), you could consider opening a shop through Etsy or something similar.
Try to Find Ways to Apply Your Skills: You’ve probably developed quite a few skills over the years, from your skills in school to the ones you’ve developed while working. There are plenty of ways you can put your skills to work and earn income doing it. Given the rise of online work sites like Elance and Guru, it’s never been easier to find people who’ll pay you for your work, if you are willing to put in the effort to do a good job.
Find a Need, and Fill It: If there’s one way to ensure that you will have a ready client base, it’s to make sure that your side work meets someone else’s needs. There are plenty of tasks that people need done, and if you find a way to do them quickly and efficiently, you can end up making a sizable amount of money this way.
Next, Monetize It
By now, you should have a few ideas for a reasonable side income (or more than a few, if you’ve done a quick search on the subject online). But you also need to ensure that your idea can actually make you some money. There are several ways to derive an income from your side work; here are a few of them:
Direct Payments: Simple and direct; just find someone who wants a job done, do said job, and get paid. As long as they pay and you finish the job, it’s a quick and easy method for making a side income.
Commissions: If your side income method involves selling something, there’s a good chance that you’ll receive all or part of your income via commissions on the sales you complete. It takes extra effort to make a profit through this method, but there is the opportunity to greatly boost your income if you are an efficient sales person.
Advertising Payments: If you are generating a form of media, like a blog or video site, you will probably make a good portion of your money via advertisements. As with commissions, if you are good at creating content and drawing attention to the ads, there is a high possibility of generating good money this way.
Finally, Keep It Up
One of the hardest things about having a side income is keeping up with it. As I noted when giving advice to novice bloggers, it can be tough to keep up with all the work it takes to maintain some sources of side income. If you find yourself being unmotivated or otherwise unwilling to keep up with your side income source, there are a few things you can do to regain the motivation.
First, try to mix things up a bit; sometimes, all it takes is a little chance of pace to allow you to get back to earning a side income. Second, consider what you will do with the earnings from your side task. It’s much easier to keep going with a sometimes difficult and time consuming side income task if you consider the rewards for doing so. Lastly, if you find that you are really and truly not enjoying your side income job, try something else. While quitters never win, sometimes you need to take a different approach in order to reach your goal. Don’t feel you need to spend months, or even years, trying to make a success out of something you don’t really care about doing.