The economy in 2011 shows a lot of promise, but Americans are not out of the clear just yet. Now more than ever people are looking for ways to make a little extra cash, and with the right talents and skills anyone can provide a service to be bought.
Here are three ways to start thinking about how to take advantage of your talents and transform them into cash:
Start a Blog
Currently, there are many ways you can showcase your authorship skills, the most popular of which is by putting your ideas out on the web. If you have a passion, then oftentimes others have it as well and are blogging about it. And, many of them are making money for it. Bloggers who start to build a strong following can make money off of the page views on their site. Programs like Google AdSense allow online publishers to make money off their sites. Bloggers who display relevant ads provided by google can earn money per click or view. Granted, it’s not a lot of money, but if you build a large following you can end up making some decent spending cash.
If you aren’t sure what to write about, check out some popular blogs like davidlebovitz.com, published by an American pastry chef in Paris, and tnooz.com, which discusses the technological side of travel. Your experiences and opinions can find a niche within a blogging community.
Sell a Skill
Can you play music or entertain? Can you cook or bake? Do you have a fancy camera and enjoy taking pictures? Try turning any of your raw talents and materials into a way of providing a service. People are always looking for a cheaper ways of acquiring these services for their affairs, so why not advertise yourself as a provider? This is also a great opportunity to market yourself to friends and colleagues as someone they know and can trust. Also remember, expensive machines like snowblowers or powerwashers, which are not widely consumed, can be used to your advantage. Make an investment, and use it to help others as well as yourself.
Start looking on websites like Craigslist.com or Guru.com for freelance-type work. While the job market is poor you may as well be bulking up your experiences and resume so once job opening begin to increase you are a desirable candidate.
Sell a Product
Buying things in bulk and flipping them for profit is becoming more popular, especially among students. Websites like Overstock.com have based their entire business on buying in bulk. The way it works: stores that have produced too much of a certain good end up selling off the extra stock for a cheaper amount. Get creative, buy a large package of plain t-shirts and put your own spin on them with new designs, or patterns. You can also shop at stores like Sam’s Club where items are sold for less in bulk. Use the bulk-items there to create goods you can sell such as baked goods, or unique art pieces. Websites like etsy.com allow artists sell their own creations on the internet. Even if you are not particularly artistic, get in touch with your creative side — you’d be surprised what crafts people are willing to buy.
Clean Out Your Closet
We’ve already mentioned using website like Craigslist.com to sell a service, but the same website can also double as a virtual garage sale. Clean up your room and your closet and get rid of anything you haven’t used or touched in months. Another option is looking into re-selling sites like Amazon.com or eBay.com, these sites provide connections that gets you in contact with thousands of users who may be looking for exactly what you are selling.
A new trend is having “gold parties” this is where an appraiser comes to your house in order to evaluate your old an unneeded jewelry. It’s almost as if the pawnshop comes to you. This is not only a great way to socialize with friends, but its also good for making fast cash on the spot. Just make sure to do your research first. Precious metals are increasing in value and you want to get the best deal for you goods. Also, make sure not to give in to peer pressure if you don’t feel right about a deal.
These three tips can help to broadly incorporate any ideas you may have in making money. The first advice you should take though is USE THE INTERNET. As long as you are persistent and ambitious, you will find there is always someone out there who needs what you have.