Photo: Jinho.Jung / Flickr, CC
If you’d come to me a few years ago and asked how you could make more money, I would have said you have two choices: Find a better-paying job or take on a second one.Now, I know better.
There are plenty of ways to make some more cash without schlepping to another desk or waiting tables at night.
Check out these four ideas for ways to bring in the dough without putting in more hours at the office.
1. Share ads on your social media network
Ever watch a funny video and immediately click the share button on Facebook, or see the same funny meme retweeted on Twitter a dozen times in a day? It’s called viral marketing and companies are itching to be a part of it.
The strategy works for a couple of reasons. One, the more times a video or ad is shared, the more people see it. Two, people are more likely to pay attention to something shared by a friend. If a company can get you interested enough in their ad to share it, they win – or they could take the easier route and pay you to watch and share their videos on your social network.
Enter the startup company Wingsplay. Wingsplay’s idea is pretty simple: You sign up for an account, view available videos, and share the ones you like on sites like Twitter, Facebook, or your personal blog. Every time someone else views the video, you make a little bit of money.
The catch: Your earnings potential depends on how popular you are on social networks. For example, I have 264 Facebook friends and update my status about once a week. I had Wingsplay calculate my influence and they said I could make $29 a month through Facebook. To make more, I’d need to have more friends in my social networking circles and be more active on the sites.
2. Turn your car into a mobile billboard
It’s no secret that advertising companies pay people to put advertisements on their cars. Take, for example, adzinmotion – they say they’ll pay you anywhere from $70 to $500 per month depending on the campaign. This could mean anything from a few bumper stickers to a complete advertising wrap, but either way, you’re getting paid to drive around.
To qualify for this program or a similar one, you’ll need a few things:
- A vehicle in good shape
- Valid licence and insurance
- Commute daily (Your car needs to be seen around town)
3. Sport a temporary tattoo
Companies know you’re hounded by billboards, magazine ads, commercials, and pop-ups when you browse the Internet. Because you’re so used to the stuff, you’ve also gotten pretty good at tuning it out, so they need to come up with new ways to advertise – like paying someone to tattoo the company logo on their forehead. And some people are willing to do just that.
Take Karolyne Smith, for example. She tattooed GoldenPalace.com on her forehead for $10,000.
But not everyone is willing to permanently brand themselves with a logo, which is where sites like Lease Your Body come in. They’ll pay you to wear a temporary tattoo in an attention-drawing place (like your forehead), but you’ll have to create a profile and get approved before you can start wearing any advertisements.
4. Wear a company’s T-shirt
If you’ve ever wondered if what you wear matters, just ask an advertiser. Companies hand out free T-shirts at different events for a reason. When other people see you wearing their shirt, they start developing brand recognition, and that means more customers, more earnings, and more business stability.
This is where companies like IWearYourShirt.com come in. The founder, Jason Sadler, had an idea: Why not start a website and have advertisers pay him to wear their T-shirts? It may sound far-fetched, but it worked.
Business Insider said Sadler made $70,000 in his first year through a combination of wearing T-shirts, blogging, creating YouTube videos, and staying active on social networking sites. The more popular IWearYourShirt.com got, the more advertisers were willing to pay for Sadler’s idea.
So how do you get a job like this? Well, Sadler does hire the occasional employee. If you’re interested, sign up for their newsletter and you’ll be notified when they have positions available. If you’re in school, ShirtsinSchool.com offers $10 a day for wearing a company T-shirt around campus and blogging about your experiences or posting pictures of yourself wearing the shirt on your social networks.
If you’ve got the initiative, you could also go at it alone. Contact local businesses in your area and see if they’re willing to pay you to wear their advertising T-shirts. Last year, a barbecue joint in my area offered people $50 a day to wear their T-shirts during Jazz Fest, a huge concert in New Orleans.