The epidemic is real and it’s increasing every year, no we’re not talking about sickness or war, we’re talking about students struggling to make ends meet.
So much in fact that college students alone living off campus make up for over 36% of the 51% below the poverty level in the U.S. alone.
So to battle this here’s some ways I managed to keep myself from becoming another statistic and learned how to earn money as a student.
P.S.- I’m not going to list off any survey taking, or PTC sites. They’re simply not worth the time and any site that is listing them off as viable options are just trying to take their “10 things to not go broke in college list” to 12, or 15 in the sake of looking more valuable.
How To Earn Money As A Student
I’m going to list off things that actually worked, so if it’s shorter than most you know why. I’m not here to waste your time or mine.
Using Skills You Already Have
Now this is something that most people don’t really think of, they think that they don’t have any skills to offer so they just overlook it and pursue something else.
So we’re going to bear down and really think about what you’re good at, what skills you have, what people have commended you on, or things that people ask your help with.
This can be anything like:
You’re physically fit and people are always asking you for nutritional or workout advice.
You have people commenting on how great you are on a particular subject.
You have an eye for design.
You like making arts and crafts in your spare time and have people interested. (but it’s just a “hobby”)
Well, these “hobbies” can be the start of something you’ve never really thought of. Let me give you a few examples on the one’s above, how these hobbies are transformed into something profitable.
Being physically fit- Offer training sessions, charge per session or even per hour. If you’re knowledgeable about nutrition and have the physique to show it, grow a following on Instagram or some other social platform and offer nutritional plans for people at a set price per plan.
Being good at a subject- This is really a no brainier, tutor! You can offer sessions per hour to tutor somewhere public, or even tutor via Skype if you’re not comfortable meeting face to face.
Having an eye for design- This can really transcend into multiple options, especially online. You can craft things like Social media Headers, logos, custom banners, all things that you can charge a set price per piece.
Arts and crafts- This is also something that can go online and offline, you can start taking requests and doing them when you can for people that are interested or you can take it online and start selling your items.
Etsy is a good place to start, they have a huge customer base already built making it easier to get your items out to the masses.
These are just a few of the hundreds of examples I could come up with, but unfortunately, I don’t know you as good as you know yourself.
So sit down and see what you can bring to the table like the examples above. If you need any help just drop a comment below and I’ll see what we can come up with.
Reselling Yours And Other People’s Items
Now it’s something that’s obvious but something that you never use that’s just sitting there is no good to you but might be good to someone else.
So if you have any headphones, phone cases, laptop, games, or any other small physical product you can try re-selling it to someone that might need/want it.
It can be as simple as posting it on Facebook and seeing if anybody’s interested or you can even try selling it online.
Due to the shadiness of meeting up with someone like craigslist, I usually recommend people to sell it on Amazon.
They have the customer base there and if it’s something of value it’ll probably sell pretty quick.
For those of you who have already thought of this, I have something else for you.
If you want to take this whole re-selling thing up another notch, you can try re-selling products online on a bigger scale.
Since the whole point of this article is to earn money, why leave out a potential way to make some more cash?
There’s actually a whole science around this and it’s called Arbitrage. The process is simple and has been around pretty much as far as we can trace it back.
Buy products for a lower/discounted price -> re-sell at full/raised price for a profit.
There are two forms of it:
Retail Arbitrage– The sourcing (buying) of products in store and re-selling them online.
Online Arbitrage– The sourcing (buying) of products online and re-selling them online.
The obvious difference between the two is how you source your products.
Both being lucrative business models and have and are providing full-time incomes for people I know pulling in multiple 6 figures a year doing so, but like anything it will take work.
Find out how two brothers pulled in over $30,000 in their first 3 months selling other people’s products on Amazon.
Get Your Entrepreneur On
I could sit here all day and list off all the possible forms or business models that can fall under being an entrepreneur but since we’re trying to learn how to make a few extra dollars here I don’t think you have a few $1,000 in startup money just laying around.
Besides retail arbitrage, there is another business model I recommend for those looking to make some extra money online.
You’ve probably heard of it before, it’s Affiliate Marketing, now I’m not going the entire process I already have a beginners guide that does just that but I’m going to go over what it is, the potential, and what it takes to get started.
Affiliate Marketing- The Rundown
This will probably be one of the easier ways to earn money as a student due to the process and time it takes, but even with that being said it’s not the quickest way to earn either.
Affiliate Marketing by definition is:
“…a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’sown marketing efforts.”
What this means is that a company or a person has a product they want to sell so they let people like you (affiliates) promote their product online and in exchange for every sale you get them you get a % of the sale price.
You promote product -> Customer buys product -> Seller gets sale -> Seller pays you
The potential to earn with Affiliate Marketing
This has always been a sticky question to answer because with anything there are some people who excel and some who don’t so the margin for “potential” is hard to gauge.
With Affiliate Marketing there are three things that can affect how much you earn:
The amount of people viewing your promotion- Commonly referred to as “traffic” is the amount of people who view or see your promotion, being if it’s an article, tweet, post, whatever. Typically if you engage the right audience the bigger the better, more people = more possibility of sales.
The product you’re promoting- Is the product your promoting of good quality? Even if you write the best sales pitch in the world if you have a bad product people aren’t going to buy. Another factor is price, a product selling for $300 compared to $3 99% of the time is going to have a better return.
The commission you get- This is referring to how much your % of the sale is, if you’re promoting one product that cost $50 but your payout is 20%, you get $10. Compared to a product that cost $30 but has a %50 payout, you get $15. % is sometimes worth more than price.
What you’ll need to get started
First off you’re going to need to build a website, now this might scare most people but there are tons of programs out there that make it as easy as a few clicks.
For this website you are going to need a domain, all a domain (if you don’t already know) is, is your piece of real estate online.
It’s where people can find you and your site, by searching your domain in the address bar.
For example: If you look in the address bar you can see mine is brokecollegsolutions.com.
You want to make sure you’re domain speaks to the kind of site you’re creating and the products you’re promoting.
Mine is Broke College Solutions so without even looking into my site the reader can know that I cater primarily to broke college students and I show them ways (solutions) to their money problems.
Yours needs to have the same effect, so choose wisely. For most .com domains you’ll pay somewhere around $15 – $30 for a whole year so it won’t break the bank to get started.
If this sounds like something that could work for you, find out what program I used to build my first online business for pennies on the dollar.
Wrapping Things Up…
Hopefully, you found this helpful, earning money as a student is never easy being why I felt the need to show what worked for me and maybe it’ll do the same for you.
An ex-broke college student turned online business owner, Tyler is a regular poster on Broke College Solutions. Usually taking a more creative approach to making money while in college he is our go-to guy for making money online.