Turn Your Hobby Into a Cash Machine and Earn Extra Money

If you’re bored with your current job or feel you’re stuck in a no-win situation with no chance of advancement it may be time to seek a better job.  But, as the saying goes, don’t give up your day job just yet.  At least until you’ve found something better unless you have a working spouse who’s very understanding.

Ask yourself what you’d like to be doing.  Consider all your special interests and skills.  Where do you excel at the present time and where did you excel in school?  You need to set some near term and long term goals.

Start with examining your present job to see if there’s any chance of advancement or change of jobs within the company.  Talk with your boss or company counselor to find out your options.

Don’t threaten them with leaving or express unhappiness with what you’re doing.  Just let them know you want to do better and ask what they can do to help.  Most companies will do what they can to help you be the best you can be.  If the employee is interested in doing better it’s usually better for the company.

Determine what you’re qualified for and if it doesn’t fit with what you want then get qualified by attending school, taking special classes or reading books.  Be realistic with your job expectations.  Few people start at the top.  Update your resume, highlighting your strengths and education.  If you prepare the resume yourself double-check it for accuracy and neatness.

A good interview can be your springboard to a new and better job.  Start with dressing for success or what is appropriate for the job you’re seeking.  Better to dress up than dress down.  Make good eye contact and show enthusiasm and knowledge about the position you’re applying for.  Never speak badly about your former or current employer.

Turn your special interest or hobby into a career.  Perhaps you could start out converting your hobby into a money making venture while continuing your present job.  Many times what you’re enjoying as a pastime could become a good second income or more.

If you like making jewelry, sell it at an on-line auction or craft fair.  Or, use your jewelry expertise to become a jewelry salesperson at a local store and perhaps advancing to a jewelry buyer or repair person.

Writing presents many opportunities and you can do this at home or anywhere you have a laptop.  You may not get rich as a travel writer but it offers many perks of sometimes traveling and eating for free.

Entrepreneurs who sell things on line are always looking for good ghostwriters to write interesting articles and sales letters.  Good copywriters are always in demand to work from home or at an advertising agency.

Talents such as dancing, gardening or being good with animals all offer many opportunities to transform these hobbies into moneymakers or job changers.  Check the ads to see if jobs are being offered in these related fields. Getting a better job takes time and effort.  But, if you’re not happy with your current place of employment it will be worth it.  It’s up to you to get the job search ball rolling.

Getting a Second Job for the Short Term 

Working two jobs is quickly becoming the norm instead of the exception.  Many people even work three jobs.  More than 17% of Americans presently work more than one job and that number is increasing yearly.  With the spiraling costs of fuel and food it’s getting harder and harder to make ends meet on one income.

Many jobs are yours for the taking but may not suit your tastes.  Jobs at fast food restaurants are easy to come by but most are filled by teenagers who are only there for the short term.  Unless you’re planning to ultimately get into restaurant management fast food jobs are typically not for the long term but could fill the bill in the interim.

Working as a wait person however can yield some nice tips especially at an upscale restaurant.  Plus, it’s an excellent place to make contacts and get the word out that you’re looking to upgrade your employment status.  Doing a good job at wherever you’re working will get you noticed.

Examine yourself.  What are you good at?  What are your talents, hobbies, likes and dislikes?  If you’re musical, search for a job in the music field such as a music store.  If art is your forte, you could sell some of your work or do graphic art part time for any business for their advertising.  Computer geeks can always find work repairing computers or teaching others how to use them.  Teaching others whatever talent you have can lead to a lucrative second income.

If, after examining yourself and your talents, you discover you have little or none, educate yourself.  Take some night courses at a local community college or tech school.  Mail order courses, if you’re discriminating, can be a good source of useful knowledge.  Offer to intern at a job you’re interested in.  It may pay little or nothing but it also could lead to at least a part time job.

Retail sales offer wonderful opportunities for a second job because of their flexible hours.  Most regular employees don’t want to work nights or weekends.  This would probably be perfect for you and your day job.  You meet people in all walks of life in the retail world and one of those could be looking for the right person to work for them.  Good people skills go a long way in any type of occupation.

Don’t sit idle while you’re job hunting.  Prepare yourself for the future.  Set goals.  If you’ve placed several applications and haven’t heard from them, check back in a few days to show your interest.  Be polite and apologize for bothering them.  After all, they could become your future employer.

Understand your need for a second job and don’t over commit.  Make sure your extended hours are okay with your family, spouse or significant other.  Working two jobs will cut into your leisure and time with others; so talk it over with your friends and yourself.

Find a job that suits your interests if possible and that’s fun and relaxing.  Also, it’s best if the second job is close to your first or your home to save on gas.  Check with your primary employer to make sure working another job fits your company’s policies. Getting a second job has many benefits.  You’ll not only earn extra money but also enhance your resume and make countless new friends and contacts.

Have a Garage Sale Where Everything Must Go 

Garage sales are a fun way to make some extra money, get rid of old stuff you no longer use and help the environment by recycling.  But, to have a successful garage sale it takes hard work and planning.  It’s easier if you involve your family.  Many hands make light work, you know.

Invite your neighbors or friends to bring their items over and to help set up.  The more things you have for sale the more potential customers you’ll attract. Plus, they can help with the advertising costs, sign placement, price marking and just keeping an eye on the money and the merchandise.

Start with accumulating items long before you have a garage sale if possible.  That’s not to say a spur of the moment sale won’t be successful as well.  Place things for sale to one side where you won’t have to be looking for them on the day of the sale.  Go ahead and write the price on a sticker and put it in plain view, not on the bottom.  The more things you get done ahead of time, the more you’ll enjoy the day.

Check your community for required permits.  Most towns require a permit but the cost is minimal.  Place an ad in the newspaper and save money by keeping it brief.  If you do have a specialty item, go ahead and mention it and don’t leave out the address of the sale.  It’s been done many times.

Signs can bring extra traffic to your sale because not everyone reads the paper.  Make sure your sign is readable and not too flexible.  If it bends in the wind, people won’t be able to read it.  The same goes for small print.  Write in large, bold letters.  Obtain permission to place your sign if it’s on private property.  Some cities prohibit garage sale signs anywhere.  You should also place flyers on community bulletin boards.

Hide or cover anything that’s not for sale.  Be friendly but let them shop and buy.  Prices should be about a quarter of what it cost new, as a rule of thumb.  Be careful about putting too much sentimental value in the price.

You want to earn extra money but if you don’t want the item anyway, sell it and not have to re-store it.  In pricing, remember you can always go down but not up.  Be fair on pricing and expect bargaining.  Always be truthful on the condition of an item.  It’s best to point out any flaws before the purchase.

Don’t have a garage sale on a holiday weekend.  Try to pick a weekend that good weather is forecast.  Too hot or too wet can ruin your chances of making money.  Display merchandise attractively.  Don’t pile everything on top of each other where customers have to waste time digging.

Place a few interesting items near the roadway. Light music is okay but not too loud.  Guard your money and watch for shoplifters.  Most people are honest and rarely is there a problem.  By the way, have plenty of change on hand along with plenty of bags for purchased items.

When the sale is over count your money and take down any signs you’ve put in people’s yard or on the roadways.  Remember as the old saying goes, “One man’s trash is another person’s treasure.”  Almost everyone, rich and poor, spends money at garage sales.

Make Money as an Affiliate Marketer 

If you want to make a lot of money, find a product that everybody wants and sell it.  The trick here is finding the right product.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could just sell other people’s products that have already been manufactured and proven?

Well, that’s being done every day by more and more people just like you who are making good money by becoming what’s known as an affiliate marketer. Affiliate marketing is defined as an Internet based marketing practice in which a business pays the affiliate for his efforts in bringing customers to their website.

In other words, they’re using one website to drive traffic to another where the purchase is ultimately made. When this is done, or an item is purchased, the associate gets paid or gets a commission.

Affiliate marketing has grown steadily since its inception more than a dozen years ago.  There are several ways to receive compensation.  Most affiliate programs use revenue sharing or cost per sale.  Others use cost per action or cost per click.  It’s your job to send visitors through your affiliate link.

Merchants like affiliate marketing because there’s little expense to them unless a sale is made.  Affiliate marketing is also called performance marketing because you’re rewarded according to your performance.

If you don’t perform, you don’t get paid.  Most affiliate programs and affiliate networks offer free participation when you fill out the required forms and get approval.  They’ll sometimes want to see your website.

Develop a website, blog or forum on something you know and love and it becomes much easier.  People search the Internet primarily for information and as they’re accessing that information, many will click through your affiliate link for additional data where the sales pitch is made.  Turn your knowledge into content and content will turn into income.

Create a website that’s professional and attractive that will delight your visitors.  Find a niche market if possible and specialize for less competition.  It must also be convenient and easy for your customers to click through to the affiliate.  Keep them happy with your knowledge and reputation.

Theme-based websites are best. For example, cooking exotic dishes with tasty recipes.  This would put you in a great position to market to various companies that sell cookbooks, cookware and foods that go into preparation of the dishes.

Sewing unique fashions is an excellent idea if that’s your talent, leading to a market for fabric and clothing stores.  The theme based list is endless.  Be creative and call upon your own talents and expertise.

Affiliate marketing is rarely a get rich quick scheme, but you can start part time requiring little money.  With proper planning, learning and a little work you could develop a respectable income.

Pay Off High Interest Debt and Then Invest Wisely 

If you’re drowning in high interest debt yet realize the need for saving it’s a tough row to hoe on how to accomplish this, but not impossible.  Most high interest debt is created by shiny, easy to use credit cards that come with the promise of building up air or cruise miles.

You get one air mile for each dollar spent.  Some even promise money back. Hey, that could be good.  At least you get something back for spending your money through them. Check out the interest rate on those credit cards and the promise of flying or cruising to an exotic destination may not be so appealing and even attainable in the near term.

Many times you could have bought the ticket yourself much cheaper than the high interest you’re paying.  Credit card interest can be as high as 29% or more and if you don’t pay off your charges in full each month that’s money down the drain.

Develop a budget and stick to it.  If you’re married, work together on this.  Getting your financial house in order is much more fun and easily done if you work as a team.  Two can pay off debt more quickly than one.  But, if you’re not careful two can create debt more quickly than one as well.

Compare your debts and their interest rates with your savings account interest rate and if your debt rates are higher, you’re losing money.  Develop a plan to pay down as quickly as possible the debt with the highest interest.  Then, concentrate on the others until you’re debt free.  When you pay off the card with the highest rate don’t use it again.

Look for extra money to pay off the debts.  It could come from cutting back on any luxury items you’re now enjoying or postponing that vacation until next year.  It may take months or even years but the key is to avoid adding additional debt and sticking to your plan.  If you pay an extra $100 on a debt that has 18% interest you’ve saved $18.

If you pay only the minimum required you’ll pay off the debt in the maximum amount of time.

Borrow money from family or friends only if there’s no other alternative of your getting out of debt that’s become an unbearable burden.  Even if you have to pay them a lesser interest rate it could be a solution.  If you resort to this, pay them back without hesitation as soon as possible.  Don’t lose a good friend over money.

Financial experts advise families to allocate between five and ten percent of their income toward savings and this should be your goal once you’re out of high interest debt.  It doesn’t make good financial sense to pay more interest on a debt than you could earn in a savings account.  Consider talking to a financial consultant about how better to manage your money.

Find a balance between contributing to debts and savings.  Actually, you can think of paying off a debt as an investment.  A clear examination of your financial situation should point you down the right debt free path.  Being debt free can be a wonderful feeling both mentally and financially.

Sell Some Stuff on eBay! 

We’ve all heard the stories about how people have started out small selling an item or two on eBay and within a few weeks or months they’re raking in thousands of dollars each month.

Are they true?  Some of them are and it’s being done everyday.  Selling on eBay is easy if you’re willing to educate yourself and follow the rules that have been honed to near perfection over many years of trial and error.

Register with eBay is a good way to begin and browse through the various auctions and see what’s selling and what’s not.  There are many tutorials, books and audios you can purchase (some of them are free) if you’re serious about making money on eBay.

The more you know the more likely you are to succeed.  The basics are easy and you can get started almost immediately.  But, to make serious money it typically takes a while to fine tune your business.

The beauty of selling on online auctions is that it’s inexpensive to get started and test a product.  Throw it out there and see how many buyers bite.  If it’s a flop, try something else and you’ve only lost a few cents.  eBay offers many ways to research a product to see what an item has sold for and how many have sold.  If there’s no demand for your product, find something else.

Good feedback goes a long way to the success of buying or selling on eBay.  Feedback is a system where each buyer or seller receives a rating on his service and the item.  A good way to get started receiving positive feedback is to buy a few items and pay promptly.

Whether buying or selling the best way to pay is through Pay Pal.  This is a company affiliated with eBay that allows you to pay with a credit card through them.  It’s easy, fast and as safe as possible.  You can accept checks or money orders if you want, but it delays completing the transaction.

When you’re ready to start selling it’s probably best to start with items around the home you don’t want anymore such as clothes, electronics, books and collectibles.  When you run out of those you can find items at garage sales, wholesale houses and even other auctions.  Some people sell items for a commission for their friends.

You can sell both new and used items.  It’s nice if you can find a niche market for something you’re interested in such as digital cameras, Hot Wheels, or antiques.

The more specialized you become the more you’re perceived as an expert.

When you have multiple items for sale or a good source for your products it may be time to place them in an eBay store.  Details on how to do this can be found on the eBay website.  In the eBay store, your items are on display without the expense of a bricks and mortar building.

Be honest about the things you’re selling and point out any flaw it may have.  If you make a mistake, admit it and make it good.  Your reputation as a seller is at stake.  A good digital picture of the item will reveal most flaws and will boost your sales.  Most of the time on eBay the first picture is free and you can add others for a small fee.

When you sell an item, communicate with your buyer and ship promptly.  Say thank you and that you’d appreciate receiving a good feedback and you’ll do the same.  Selling on eBay one item at a time or in volume in an eBay store is an excellent way to make easy extra money and maybe even a small fortune…at least a good living.

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