Earning Extra Money – 5 Fool-Proof Methods Revealed

Everybody wants to be earning extra money since the recession hit. Many people around the country are struggling to pay their bills, and they want to know what they can do to make up the difference.

Well, I’ve by no means cornered the market on ideas for earning extra money. But I have been working from home for nearly 5 years now, so I’ve got some experience.

Plus, many of my clients are doing well financially — and I’ve gotten to peek inside their businesses. So I know which methods work and which ones don’t.

With that in mind, I offer the following 5 fool-proof methods for earning extra money:

Method #1: Mystery Shopping

One popular way to make extra money is to become a mystery shopper — somebody who gets paid to shop certain stores and report on their experiences.

Companies will often pay for mystery shoppers to shop their own stores because they want to know that the shopping experience is a good one. In a way, it is a form of covert quality assurance.

While I’ve not done this personally, I do know a woman who has quite a bit of experience in the field. Her name is Cathy Stucker. You might want to look her up if you’re interested in mystery shopping. She has a how-to guide available.

Method #2: Sell Products on Ebay

Do you know how to find and buy a certain line of products at or below wholesale prices? Or do you think you could?

Then you may have what it takes to sell products on Ebay.

I have a good friend who has made significant profits (to the tune of $15,000 in a year) by reselling used books on Ebay.

The trick here is to have a consistent supply of products you can buy at a low price. Your profit is based on the difference between your cost and your sale price.

Not all products sell well on Ebay. And it’s not always easy to find a good product supplier. But if you think creatively and do some research, this may be a good option for you.

Method #3: Get Paid to Write Sales Copy

I’m a freelance copywriter. I write direct response sales copy for a living: ads, sales letters, emails, etc.

If you have writing ability, and you like the idea of persuading people to buy products through the written word, then this may be a good avenue for you to explore.

I personally worked as a copywriter for 3 years before going freelance. And I also took the AWAI Six-Figure Copywriting course before striking out on my own.

No doubt, your path will be different than mine. You can research the course I named above. You can also check out classic copywriting books like Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins and The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy.

Or you can check out two online products I have: Copywriting Code (to learn how to write sales copy) and Get Clients Report (to learn how to get copywriting clients).

Method #4: Write an Ad-Funded Blog

If you like to write and think you could write articles about a particular hobby you have, then you might consider starting a blog.

How will you make money?

Simple. Through ads that you place on your blog. You can make money through Adsense blogging, affiliate links, text links, etc. There are actually quite a few ways to monetize your blog writing.

As with any worthwhile endeavor, blogging does take work. And you have to be consistent to attract and retain readers. So keep that in mind before you start a blog.

Method #5: Create & Sell Your Own Digital Product

A fifth and final way for earning extra money is to create your own digital product and sell it. You can write an ebook, record an interview, or make a video.

Then you can sell that product through Clickbank. Or sell it on your own and collect money through PayPal. Or get your own merchant account and shopping cart and collect the money that way instead.

The beauty of a digital product is that it can sell consistently for years. And with the right product and the right traffic to your offer, you can easily make $50 to $250 extra per month. This is conservative.

Earning Extra Money Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

When you use your creativity and start researching your options, you’ll find that earning extra money is much easier than you might have thought.

Even better, you can design your new income stream around the lifestyle you want. You can make money from home or you can choose to do something that gets you out of the house and talking with people.

The key is to just get started earning extra money. Once you’re moving in a certain direction, then you can course-correct along the way. Good luck!

Reflections on Money & Debt

The U.S. dollar is a funny thing. For one, it has no intrinsic value. If everybody stopped believing in it, it would have as much credibility as Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy.

Which is to say, not much.

And yet we spend a large portion of our lives working for these strange little paper bills.

I’ve had a number of new leads interested in my copywriting services lately. Unfortunately, everything falls into one of two categories: make money biz opp stuff… or… how to increase your sex appeal.

Basically, they are appeals to greed and vanity.

I don’t know. I just can’t get excited about these projects. There’s too much deceit (on the selling side) and self-delusion (on the buying side) involved in making such projects “work.”

Anyway, with what I see as the inevitable collapse of the U.S. dollar, it’s hard for me to get excited about much of anything related to money: earning it, saving it, multiplying it, etc. It seems like it’s all for naught.

And that brings me to silver.

About a week ago I got a letter from Investment Rarities offering me a free Silver Eagle if I would promise to read their 12-page report on silver.

Well, I’ve already done some reading about silver and have some interest in it. So I finally called on the offer today. Who knows? I may find myself invested in silver in the near future.

Here’s the thing about gold and silver: They are hedges against inflation and will give you some degree of financial protection when the dollar finally goes belly up.

The same is true of specie (hard money) in general. When paper money becomes worthless, coins become more valuable because they are difficult to reproduce. While the raw materials to print paper money are abundant, the raw materials to manufacture coins are harder to come by.

Makes me think twice about taking my coin jar to the bank. I think I’ll keep it for now. We could soon see the day when a 25-cent coin is worth more than a paper dollar.

Right now, God has blessed me and I’m in a good position to get through the holidays and pay my taxes in January. I’m thankful because that gives me some peace of mind and frees me up to focus on other things… like relaxation, spending time with family, and how to improve my business in 2009.

For now, I don’t expect to pay off much debt until February. Of course, I will keep you posted every step of the way.

As always, thanks for reading, and have a fantastic weekend. :-)

What Some People Will Do For Money

Cash GiftI have a relative who has almost zero financial sense. She has money problems constantly. Here’s a sketch of where she’s at in life.

  • She works part-time. (She can barely keep a job. She has authority issues, and will lie at the drop of a hat to get out of work.)
  • She goes to school part-time, which is funded by debt.
  • She lives in government-assisted housing with two room mates.
  • She has a cat and recently got a dog, both of which add to her monthly bills.
  • She blows money on new brand-name clothes, expensive haircuts and highlights, not to mention dress-up outfits and spa visits for her dog.

She has no car payment because her parents gave her a car and pay the car payment and insurance for her. She’s single, so her parents feel like they need to help her out.

Anyway, my relative is apparently short on cash these days and needs more money. How do I know? Because this week she asked her mom to throw her a graduation party… even though she hasn’t graduated yet.

The conversation went something like this:

“So mom, I want to have a graduation party over here this month.”

“Why now?” her mother asked. “You haven’t graduated yet. Don’t you want to wait until you finish your internship?”

“No, I don’t want to wait. I want to have a party now. So can we do it May 31st?”

“Well, I don’t know. Who are you going to invite?”

“You know, some friends and family. So we can do it on May 31st, right?”

Another relative: “Gosh, you’re being really pushy. Why is this so urgent?”

“Because I need money!”

Aha. The truth comes out.

My relative needs money. So upon further discussion we learned that she wants to throw herself a graduation party to raise money.

The plan: Her parents will host the party. She’ll invite friends and family members she thinks have money. And then she’ll ask for cash-only gifts.

Most folks who would like to make more money will work more hours, learn a new skill, or start a part-time business on the side.

Others throw themselves graduation parties even though they haven’t graduated yet.

Go figure.

Naturally, my family is invited. Now we’re torn. I don’t even want to go, and I certainly don’t want to give a gift.

If you were invited, what would you do?

What’s Better than Pure Gold

Gold TreasureI’ve seen it time and time again: People chasing after the latest fad or trend that promises to make them wealthy. Everybody wants a new method, a new money-making technique. But it just doesn’t exist. The path to wealth is older than time itself. It is called wisdom.

Just how valuable is wisdom? I turn to Proverbs 8:12-21 for the answer…

I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate. Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine. By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, all who judge rightly. I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me. Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold, and my yield better than choicest silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice, to endow those who love me with wealth, that I may fill their treasuries.

Too often we are consumed with the “latest and greatest” ways of making money and eliminating debt. But if we will but turn to wisdom, then perhaps our journey out of debt and into wealth would not be so difficult.

Mankind’s Greatest Asset

Gold HeartFrom a purely physical perspective, a person’s greatest asset is not his money, nor his ability to create wealth. It is his health. For without health, money and material possessions become practically worthless. A person who has lost his or her health can attest to this.

If you zoom in a little bit and view the question from a purely financial perspective, I agree with Patrick at Cash Money Life: Your greatest asset is the ability to create wealth. I’ve written about this before. You can claw your way out of debt by reducing expenses and using what you save to pay down debt. But this is a slow method. Much faster to increase your income and use the excess to pay down debt.

I’ve often heard wealthy people say that if you took everything away from them and dropped them on a street corner anywhere in America, they would earn it all back within a few years.

Let me pose a question. If you strip away everything a person has… all his material possessions… and every last cent he has… what is left of value?

Naturally, the life of the person is priceless. But the things he has that can be priced are mostly intangible. They are his knowledge, skills, and raw effort. With these, he can get back to whatever level of material abundance he left off at. In fact, he can surpass everything he has ever achieved. If you study wealthy people, you will discover that most of them have at some point lost everything.

But now that we’ve zoomed in, let us zoom out. What could possibly be more important than health or the ability to create wealth? I would argue that our greatest asset is our connection with God. For we will all die. He sustains us daily until that day. God is the giver of life. And we owe all that we are to Him.

Take away my health. Take away my wealth. But don’t take away my connection with God.