Whether you’re in college or dropping out, you’re going to need to earn money. There’s a stigma out there that college age people are broke. But you don’t have to be part of the status quo. In fact, we encourage you to challenge the status quo always and learn how to make money in college (and as a dropout).
Here’s a list of ways to make money in college and outside of college as a dropout. I’m going to continue adding as I discover new ways to earn cash, so make sure to bookmark this page and visit it again in the future.
If you’ve discovered another way to make money in college or as a dropout that isn’t on this list, let me know and we’ll add it.
Let’s dive in!
Obviously, one of the best ways to start making money online, is to create a blog or website. Consider it your “homebase” for anything you create online and if done well, can start making you money. It’s super easy to start and something you can continue to learn about as you grow. Te and I have both learned wordpress through developing our own websites over the years and have helped others get started because of the skills we learned.
Then, start creating content! With some dedicated time and effort, you can begin making money and may even reach 6 figures a year through ads, affiliate links and more.
Digital Marketing is becoming more popular as businesses are operating and growing their online presence. It’s essential to be online in order to grow business in our culture and digital marketing ensures you’re doing that effectively and efficiently.
Seth Hymes, a former SD podcast guest runs a great course to get you started in digital marketing. The best part is that you don’t have to be a genius techie in order to learn the concepts and start applying them. He has a free course that will give you an idea of what you’ll learn. Check it out!
Becoming a freelancer is one of the easiest ways to start making money, especially if you’re fast and write well.
Beyond writing blogs, a lot of companies look for someone to write website copy, basic content, technical content, creating brochures and even help write SOP’s. If you want to get started writing or proofreading, then jump onto Freelancer or Upwork, search for listings and start applying for freelance work.
You can start there, but if you get good enough, you may be able to break away and create your own business as a freelancer. Listen to our episode with William McCanless to learn a step by step approach to starting as a copywriter freelancer and how you can make good money from it.
Starting an Amazon FBA store is one way to start your own business, create your own product and instantly get access to millions of potential customers. We’ve had some folks on the podcast, like Rob Schad that are making hundreds of thousands of dollars from FBA. I even launched some products and made some money at one point.
In case you didn’t know, FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon, now known as Amazon Business. It’s a program that allows you to sell your own products on Amazon gaining access to their millions of customers, while Amazon takes care of all product shipping and customer service so you don’t have to. But, in addition to this, Amazon now has “Amazon Accelerator”, “Amazon Handmade” and so much more. Think Etsy, but with a larger customer network.
Becoming a Virtual Assistant is a quick way to start making some extra cash. Businesses outsource various aspects of their day to day work and you can help in exchange for money. This can be anything from emails, keeping calendars, writing content, organization, marketing, etc.
If this is something you are good at, think about becoming a virtual assistant and make a few hundred dollars or more a month. We’ve had some incredible people in our group become really successful virtual assistants.
Selling gigs on Fiverr or Upwork is a great way to make some extra cash and for very little time on your part. Depending on your skill set, you can start selling gigs for $5 and net about $4, which may not seem like a lot, but can be, when done efficiently.
In fact, Te used to create quick yoga sequences for individuals with injuries and would sell them. Typically, the sequence would be similar to a previous one she created, so the time spent would be minimal. Think about something that you do regularly and is it something that would benefit someone else?
If you’re good with graphic design and enjoy doing it in your spare time, you can easily design things for businesses or individuals. This can be anything from basic content creation, to complete website overhauls to graphic advertisements.
Honestly, there are tons of people looking for others to design for their businesses, myself included. It’s great because you can start immediately. Check out 99designs and Upwork, and begin bidding on various jobs!
Again, if you are into graphic design and want to share your designs with the world, make them into T-Shirts! You can get paid by taking your art, designing T-shirts and selling them online! Pretty much anything from graphic art to funny sayings can be designed and sold now days.
Two websites that are great for selling t-shirts on are Zazzle and CafePress. If you are creating a personal store for your brand, check out Printful. Again, this is a great option because these companies take care of the shipping and fulfillment for you, making sure you don’t have to keep inventory on hand.
It’s not glamorous work, but everyone needs a service like this and many people would rather pay someone else than do it themselves.
Feel free to take a page from my book. When I was 12 we lived close to a lake that had a lot of nice homes. The owners of these homes often didn’t live there and would rent them out to vacationers and the homes always needed upkeep and cleaning before and after people came to rent. I saw an opportunity, so I printed up some flyers and slipped them under some doors. Pretty soon I had a couple of homeowners that were paying me $14/hour to shovel snow and clean their home before and after renters were there.
If you have a car and some extra time, you may look into driving for Uber or Lyft! This is a great job if you’re looking for flexibility and the convenience of only driving in close proximity to where you are or common routes you personally take.
There are various requirements you’ll have to pass before you begin driving others, but if you like meeting people and exploring different parts of your city, this may be a great option for you. I believe that you can also get into the food delivery game through these companies as well. To learn more, visit Uber or Lyft’s website.
Etsy is the original site for selling handmade crafts and features from artisans around the world. If you are crafty and want to make money from the various items you create, check out Etsy. They are all about supporting independent, unique artists.
My sister found a love for creating candles that were essential oil based and healthier to breathe in. She started out just doing it for family, but quickly realized that more and more people wanted them. She has a website, Etsy store, and blog that keeps her busy and makes her some extra cash on the side when she isn’t raising her daughters. Also, my step-mom has a shop on Etsy selling bird feeders that she assembles from broken teacups and tea plates. All of this is to say: Even if it’s random, put it out there. You never know what people are looking to buy!