Good evening world! Hope everyone is well and looking forward to summer. The UK has gone a little bit patriotic crazy for a certain jubilee that we are supposed to be celebrating – I enjoy the free stuff at work, but am more looking forward to the fact that I am going on holiday on Saturday and only have to take 8 days annual leave thanks to 2 free days (Thanks your Majesty) public holiday! Planned that one nicely didn’t we
Let’s face it – it is nice to celebrate the jubilee, however What Do You Actually Do?
- You could battle the shops (which will likely be sold out of everything bbq / drinks / food related) and have your own celebration
- You could stay at home and watch celebrations on TV (boring right)
- You could spend about 24 hours trying to navigate the roads/trains/buses into central London, pay inflated prices, wait in long queues and not actually achieve anything
You could go to Roatan for 2 weeks and record all the coverage on sky plus; allowing you to select what parts you wanted to see when recovering from jetlag….. HELLLLS YEAH!!
OK I think I made my point – I AM VERY EXCITED!!
I have been busy at work trying to get everything finished this week before going away and have barely had a chance to read emails and blogs etc. When I finally got the time to sift through my @savvyscot.com account, among all the normal (increasingly frequent) requests for guestposts or advertising requests which ALL involve payday loans – I was pleasantly surprised to receive the following email:
Hi there -
First, I wanted to say that I’m really enjoying your blog. I moved from Texas to the UK about 10 months ago and have found your advice really helpful in navigating personal finance issues from a UK perspective.
I wanted to suggest an article that I’d like your opinion on: (LINK)
I came across it last week and it focused on creative options for helping households make money. Some I’d never heard of before (i.e. selling photos, etc.), and I wondered if you were familiar with these and whether it was worth sharing with other readers. I didn’t want to put a comment without knowing first.
Hope you find the article interesting – would love to hear what you think. Thanks!
Firstly; someone is enjoying my blog….. WOOOP! This email got me thinking about ways to make money. I am sure everyone has read blog posts which detail how people can make some side income. While there is often some really good ideas there; how often does anyone get excited… inspired… motivated by a suggestion? I am willing to bet that the answer is not very often.
The article that the reader links to talks about the 6 quickest ways to make money:
- Selling Photographs
- Designing T Shirts
- Selling your things (e.g. eBay)
- Selling your Hair (seriously)
- Have an opinion (completing surveys)
- Get a micro job
I want to briefly comment on this article in particular. I think that there are a couple of semi decent ideas there, however I think they should be expanded on…
Selling Photographs – This in theory; is a good idea. Shutterstock and Veer are two suggested sites that can host your image and pay you dividends. Let’s be realistic though – it is going to take a long time at 25c a photo to make you some decent money. Is it really worth your time uploading them? Instead, people need to be creative. Why not use a collection of photographs to make your own calendar and target it at local boutique shops. You could even theme your calendar around different local businesses and before you know it you have a mini business going. Think bigger picture – sell advertising space, hand the calendar out free. Students might want a free academic planner than local bars and nightclubs would like to target with their club nights written on days (e.g. Vodka Island Mondays) and their logo on the top in return for a hefty fee.
Designing T shirts is quite a good idea – I know some people who make a pretty decent living in the UK out custom graphic tees. A lot of print companies will Print on Demand as well which prevents a loss of capital tied up in stock. Again think bigger picture – Think sponsorship, think corporate events. Let these simple ideas be the seed and grow your business with ideas.
Selling Things – I always think this is a cop out. Really you are selling assets (often at a loss from what you once paid – think games/cds/dvds/electronics). There are some people who buy in bulk and sell individual products on eBay. It is a vast and tough market. My advice here is that if you are going to sell on eBay then you have to know something / somewhere to buy that others don’t – Think buying from a factory in China, think making a phone call to a distributor. If you can find it online – then so can someone else!!
Selling your hair – Well this one is completely new to me and I cannot comment. I have a number 2 haircut with the clippers (easy, neat, free – as I do it myself and no fancy products required). I don’t think the hair that I cut off would be of any use – Realistically this is not a money maker.
Having an opinion – I HATE surveys. Let’s face it – you are going to fill in surveys that are completely off topic that you really hate and you will get really frustrated and you will likely not ever get paid very much. Some people do them and continue to do them. For me, my mind is too active. Does anyone fill in surveys to earn extra cash?
Microjobs – This is an interesting concept. For those of you who are wondering what a microjob is, it is basically a defined task that someone else is willing to pay for. This could be that they require you to write a short program, design a logo, translate a letter, write a blog post (you will probably end up with some rubbish about payday loans ) etc. You get the idea. Amazon Mechanical Turk and Fiverr are two companies that come to mind. I actually got the logo (Savvy Scot) designed on Fiverr. My experience was very positive and I think that if you have a marketable skill then there is the potential to make money. One thing that I would add is that as the market becomes more saturated, it will drive the margins down – i.e. as more people become available to work, they will be willing to do it for less to get the work! This could (and already does) lead to somebody in a third would country undercutting the western workers and winning the work. They are willing to work for less as the cost of living is less. Not a new story. If you can find something good while it lasts – jump on it!
What are MY suggestions?
I will be brutally honest for starters. Blogging is not a quick way to make money. A lot of people start a blog in the hope of making a fast buck – it doesn’t happen. I blog because I enjoy it and love interacting with readers and meeting like-minded people. If I make some money – BONUS. If I am to give one piece of advice it is this:
Do Something Different
What I mean by that is that you have to find a niche. This is a bit of a cliche, I know but what I am getting at is that you have to go a bit further. You cannot solely rely on online ideas to make money. You have to chase an idea – make telephone calls, contact companys, write letters, meet people in person, go into shops – do everything you can.
My top ideas for side income are as follows:
- Amazon Portal – Choose something that you are interested in and know a lot about. You can create a custom store and add value by your own selection and comments on products.
- Start a mini holiday company – A lot of the older generations still do not realise how cheaply holidays can be put together online – cheap flights, last minute hotels and discount tickets. Arrange this on their behalf and charge a commission.
- Run a student club night – Visit local nightclubs and try and arrange to host a night. Be prepared to pitch with ideas and strategy. A social network will help promote, as will going round student halls / accommodation handing out flyers. Clubs will often give you the night free if you get a certain amount of people through the doors – that way you can charge what you want for entrance and the club makes money from the bar.
- Market your skills – What do you do for a living? Can you do some consultancy work on the side. Use family and friends, LINKEDIN, word of mouth. Don’t be afraid to charge.
- Do AD-HOC promotion work – stuckforstaff.co.uk is a good one for UK based people. You pay a small subscription and your details become available to just about every agency in the UK. I have done work for Sony, Sharp, Photography Company and Sweet brands via this site. I have done some great mystery shopping and dining too. Consider setting up a different email account for this though as even today I still get contacted!!
I have some more ideas, but will call it a day here. Longest ever post – If you made it this far I am impressed!