If you’re a high school or college student, you’re probably always on the lookout for ways to earn extra cash. While you could work at a restaurant or clothing store, there are also easier ways to earn money that will allow you to put all of your school textbooks and hard-earned reading and writing skills to good use. Before you decide to dedicate your time to pizza making or stocking shelves, take a look at these smart alternatives below.
1. Sell textbooks
High school students begin amassing large quantities of textbooks on everything from American history to physics, and college students accumulate even more of these pricey books. Since most classes last only one semester, books are often only used for a short time and then sit abandoned on a shelf, gathering dust. Once you’ve finished with your textbooks, why not sell them to earn cash?
You’ll save space in your apartment by decluttering your shelves, and your mind and wallet will appreciate the extra money. You can sell textbooks at numerous sites online. Make sure to check multiple sites to find out which ones will give you the most money for your books, and don’t get discouraged if one site isn’t taking your particular book—chances are, another site will accept it. To get the best deal for your book, consider selling it at off-peak times of the year.
For example, if your semester ends in December, wait to sell your book until January or February. That way, there will likely be fewer books in stock and higher demand for your particular book.
2. Write for a blog or content site
If you’re a strong writer looking to polish your skills, you might consider starting your own blog or doing freelance writing for a content site. These opportunities will let you build a client base, and the experience is an added bonus for your resume.
High school students can use the writing opportunities to practice skills for their college applications, and college students can use the experience to bolster their understanding of different writing styles, including MLA, AP, and APA. If you’re starting your own blog, you’ll also gain useful knowledge of how to work with WordPress and use SEO keywords. For those students looking to write for content sites, places such as iWriter, TextBroker, and HireWriters let you write about subjects that are of interest to you, and you’ll gain valuable research skills that you can use in your academic work. Anyone can apply to write for a content site, and some of the sites provide useful feedback on submissions to help you improve your skills.
3. Self-publish your novel, recipe book or fanfiction
Whatever style of writing you’re into, you can find a market for it on the internet. If you’re into creative writing, you might want to consider self-publishing your work. Whether you write fan fiction, short stories, recipe books or novels, someone out there will be interested in what you have to say and be willing to pay you for it. Who knows, you might even amass a large fan base that makes more money than you would think. To get started with self-publishing, you could make a PDF e-book version of your materials and sell it online on your personal website.
You might start out by giving a free preview of the first few pages to visitors who provide you with their email address. If you want to use a third-party platform, you can self-publish your book through Amazon, Outskirts Press, and Blurb.
If you’ve written a great research paper that you like, you might want to publish it on Academia.edu. Although it’s a free site, many professors and scholars use papers from there in their research, and the site has a messaging feature that allows users to contact each other. Publishing your research to the site may help you get noticed, and it can help you find future mentors and people who can help you with your career. Even if you make only a small amount of money with self-publishing, to begin with, stick with it! You never know who might read your materials and offer you a book deal.
4. Tutoring locally and online
If you’re an experienced writer or A student in your English class, you might want to consider tutoring your peers and younger students in your community. Tutoring lets you build valuable teaching experience for your resume, and it also helps you give back to your local area. You could try posting advertisements at your local library and setting up a website for your tutoring services. You could help students with reading comprehension or proofread their research papers, resumes, or application essays. You might also consider helping out at a literacy agency to help local people learn to read.
If you’re a college student or recent graduate and you’d like to make a global impact, you could consider applying to be a tutor at a company that offers English lessons for students in other countries. The companies let you teach on your own schedule, and you generally commit to working at least 10 to 20 hours a week. You can choose which age group you’d like to teach, and some companies even provide lesson plans for you. VIP Kids and QKids are two companies that hire tutors for English lessons. The pay rate is dependent upon your experience level, and it can help to get a certificate in teaching English as a foreign language.