When times are hard and your bank statements bear nothing but bad news, you’d be forgiven for hiding beneath the covers and wallowing in self-pity.
We all know that money makes the world go around. And going without it can make everyday life more challenging. Nevertheless, if life is seemingly giving you lemons, do not despair. There are plenty of ways to combat the bank balance blues and secure an additional flow of cash into your piggy bank each month.
While achieving a second income may seem more hassle than it’s worth, you may want to think again as we reveal how you can earn an extra income online – that’s right, from the comfort of your own home.
And best of all, you don’t need a computer science degree or any special skills. We’ve compiled a list of five easy ways to be productive in your spare time and earn extra income online:
1. Get paid for your opinion
Have you ever wondered how businesses really make their millions?
We’ll give you a clue – it’s all about you. Behind every successful business lies an even more successful market research team who are waiting with open cheque books for your opinion. In order to increase sales, businesses need to understand their consumers’ needs and will pay anything up to £3 per survey.
Typically taking between 10 and 20 minutes to complete, online surveys are a quick and easy way to earn extra income online. Popular survey sites include Swagbucks, Ipsos, MySurvey and Crowdology, and they each pay in cash (via cheque, PayPal or BACS) or vouchers (typically high street brands or Amazon) once you reach a pay-out threshold.
While most sites limit the amount of surveys and polls each day, dedicated survey enthusiasts have been known to make an additional £200 per year.
Tip! Should the opportunity arise, we recommend registering with Pinecone Research – a generous invite-only site that pays up to £3 per survey and is deemed the ‘holy grail’ of survey sites by Money Saving Expert.
2. Earn cash through user testing
If you thought earning extra income by completing surveys sounded too good to be true, earning cash through user testing is even better. Paying anything up to £10 per test, you will be required to ‘test’ a website and provide feedback.
While this may seem a time consuming task, most user testing takes between 10 and 20 minutes and requires no previous experience.
User testing is extremely valuable to all businesses to ensure that their websites are straightforward to use. When reviewing a website as a tester, your journey is recorded via screen recorder software, and you will be expected to voice your opinion aloud, answering anything up to five questions about the site.
Once you’re done, your review is sent to the company, and you get paid – simple!
UserTesting, WhatUsersDo and PeopleForResearch are firm favourites for user testing, and completing 5 user tests a week could potentially provide an extra income of £200 each month.
3. Sell stock photography
Another superb way to earn extra income online is to sell your digital photographs.
Many businesses favour stock photography over their own as it is less time consuming and often far cheaper than hiring a photographer and equipment. While you may not receive any money for photos of your grandmother’s 80th birthday or work Christmas parties, scenic landscapes, table-top photography and portraits are among the stock photography best-sellers.
Royalty rates vary from website to website:
• Leading stock photography website iStock offers a rate of 15% per download or 45% to exclusive contributors.
• Fotolia offers up to 63% per download.
• SmugMug allows you to set your own prices and keep 85% of the mark-up.
Tip! When uploading photographs to stock photography websites, make sure that you choose tags, categories and keywords for your images carefully. Remember that you want your photographs to be found easily in the search results so tagging them appropriately is essential.
4. Register for affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing may sound complicated, but in fact it’s very simple.
In layman’s terms, affiliate marketing is a method of earning money by referring others to buy goods and services online. While affiliates are only paid once a sale is completed, it can be an easy way to earn extra income online if you choose the right niche.
In order to promote products and services, you’ll need to regularly generate relevant and focused content via a blog or website. Once you’re up and running, you can then register for affiliate marketing schemes and advertise products and services. For those getting started, we’d recommend joining an affiliate network such as ABestWeb or MoreNiche.
Affiliate marketing is often a long-term commitment to generate an extra income online. Consequently, you will want to ensure that the subject or theme is of interest and stick to what you know. This way, your content will write itself and you will eventually be able to work with the brands you love.
5. Advertise your skills and services
If you speak several languages or enjoy performing administrative work, advertising your skills and services is an excellent way to earn an extra income online.
Prominent websites such as Elance, oDesk, and PeoplePerHour are ever popular with freelancers for advertising skills, posting ‘hourlies’ (jobs that can be done in an hour) and submitting proposals for tasks.
From virtual assistance and social media management to proofreading and translations, most freelancer websites allow you to create a profile, upload a portfolio of work and set your own rates. As well as managing your own time, it’s possible to win recurring work and be your own boss.
Tip! Play to your strengths and don’t sell yourself short. Online pricing can be extremely competitive and it’s vital to ask yourself whether a task is worth your time.
Using these five tips above, you could potentially earn an additional £1,000 per year by simply spending an hour an evening on surveys, user tests and more, which is enough money to treat yourself and the family come Christmas time.
Do you have any great ways to earn an extra income online? Let me know in the comments section below.