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Tag Archive: 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas: Market Research and Focus Groups (Day 18)

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas

Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next two months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.

If you’ve found a great way to make extra cash before Christmas that doesn’t require an outlay of cash upfront, please email me your tip. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!

Guest post from Carrie of

For the past five years, I’ve been earning part-time money doing focus groups and testing and giving my opinions on products for market research firms.

These are not the same as doing online surveys. They usually involve traveling to a location in your area to participate. Sometimes, the study takes place over the phone.

Participating in market research is a fun way to earn some extra cash — especially for a stay at home mom, student, or a retired person with a flexible schedule. Other than gas to drive to the research facility, there is no cost to be a respondent.

What Are Market Research and Focus Groups?

When a company wants to change an existing product or launch a new one, they need people to test and try that product to get an idea of how it will perform in the marketplace.

These companies hire market research firms to gather groups of people in various demographics so they can compile this information from their target market.

How Do You Find Legitimate Market Research Companies?

The company I’ve done the most work for is Delve. They have offices in several states.

You can search for other similar companies in your area with a Google search. I found the two companies I work with by searching “market research respondent database”. has quite a few recommend companies to choose from.

Remember to use good common sense when searching for a research company to work with. The number one rule is: don’t pay any money to join a database. Legitimate Market Research companies will never ask you to pay them any money to join. In addition, don’t give private information such as your social security number out to anyone.

What Is the Process For Getting Jobs With Market Research Companies?

To start working for a market research firm, you’ll first need to fill out an online profile. Then, if you’re accepted, a screener will call you when a study becomes available that fits your demographics. The screener will ask you questions to determine whether you’re a good fit for the project.

Please note: Companies typically don’t want you to do more than one study for the same type of product in a 3-6 month period. Before accepting you for a particular job, a screener will ask you questions that may disqualify you for a particular study.

How Much Can You Earn?

The amount of money you can earn depends on how many companies you sign up with. Compensation is given to you immediately when the study is completed, and it is in the form of a check or a prepaid debit card.

The studies are fun and pay quite well for the time involved. For instance, once I got paid $35 just to taste and give my opinions on a bakery product. It took all of five minutes!

I have listened to music and shared my thoughts on radio stations. I’ve been given free baby diapers and personal care products in addition to compensation for my time.

My sons were even selected to do a study once and each of them earned $150 in about 1 ½ hours! They were thrilled about that, of course. 🙂

In addition to the in-house focus groups that you can do with other people, you will sometimes take home product and try it out over a period of days. A couple of times I’ve earned $100-$150 for a few minutes of paperwork each day. This doesn’t include the value of the product — things like beauty products or baby necessities or food.

Carrie is a writer, wife and homeschooling mom of 7 and lover of good food and great books. Visit her online at

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas: (Day 17)

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas

Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next two months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.

If you’ve found a great way to make extra cash before Christmas that doesn’t require an outlay of cash upfront, please email me your tip. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!

Guest post from Shannon of Tethered Mommy

I’ve discovered an interesting (and fun!) way to earn a few Amazon cards — just for getting rid of stuff I don’t need. I use to give away my items and receive credits that I can use to “buy” other things that I do want and need such as Amazon gift cards, Chili’s gift cards, and more.

What is Listia?

Listia is an online auction similar to eBay yet no money is exchanged (unless the winning bidder pays for shipping). Instead, credits are used to win auctions and are received when your auctions have “sold”.

How does it work?

If you have something you’d like to list, you would take a photo of it and list it using their auction platform. You’ll  choose a category, write a description, and select how long you would like the auction to run (ten days is the max).

There’s no cost to list an item and you’ll receive free credits for doing so. You can also receive free credits for offering free shipping, earning badges, and more. If your item ends with a winning bid, you’ll receive the credits for that auction.

Once you’ve accumulated a decent amount of credits, you can bid on auctions you’re interested in. The Amazon cards are very popular so I try to find some with a low GIN (Get It Now) price. I’ve won a $5 Amazon card for 2500 credits, but now that Listia is getting more popular I don’t think I’ll find one for that low again.

How much time does it take?

It take about 10-15 minutes to list an auction — basically however long it takes you to photograph your item, upload the picture, and create your listing.

How much can I earn?

The key to listing items on Listia is offering items that cost little or nothing to ship. You’ll want to offer small, lightweight items that can ship with just the cost of a stamp or two, such as CD’s or necklaces.

It’s amazing the items people will bid on! I’ve seen MyCokeRewards codes being listed and have started collecting caps myself to create an auction of my own. These codes can then be emailed to the winning bidder, saving you from having to pay shipping costs. Just make sure to include a photo of the caps because there is a rule that no intangible goods can be sold.

I recently received a TJ MAXX $10 store credit and will not be using it since the closest TJ Maxx is two hours away. Instead, I’m going to list on Listia — and that should result in a large number of credits (plus, it will only cost $0.45 to ship!)

You can also earn credits by referring your friends. When they successfully list their first auction, you’ll get 500 credits! And they’ll get 100 credits simply by joining.

You’re not going to get rich, but Listia is a great way to earn Amazon cards from things you no longer need or can’t use. Then, you can use your Amazon gift cards to purchase Christmas gifts or other things your family needs!

Shannon is a blogger at Tethered Mommy. She’s always on the lookout for ways to earn extra money when you’re “tied-up” at home.

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas: Have a Garage Sale (Day 16)

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas

Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next two months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.

If you’ve found a great way to make extra cash before Christmas that doesn’t require an outlay of cash upfront, please email me your tip. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!

A series on earning money wouldn’t be complete without me talking about garage sales — especially since I’ve sort of garnered a reputation for having smashingly successful garage sales. After many years of hosting and earning thousands of dollars from garage sales, I’ve learned much through trial and error.

Here are my well-proven top 10 tips for having a successful garage sale:

1. Collect Clutter Year-Round

I have an ongoing Garage Sale Stash. When I come upon something we no longer need or use and I don’t know anyone to pass it onto, I stick it in a box in our garage. Once a box fills up, I start another. And another.

Without much effort at all, by the time it’s the month of our annual garage sale, I usually have at least 8-10 boxes of stuff collected.

2. Have a Plan

A successful garage sale does not happen without organization. At least a week before the sale I go through my home from top to bottom and clear out clutter. At least 2-3 days before the sale, I take an afternoon to price everything and organize it. And then the day before the sale, I devote a few hours to final organization, posting an ad on Craigslist, getting the cash and signs together and so forth.

Do not wait until the last minute to pull off a garage sale. Either it will flop or you’ll run yourself ragged–or both. If you’re in a new location or you’re new to hosting a garage sale, I’d suggest that you start getting organized at least 3-4 weeks in advance.

Getting Organized for a Garage Sale

::How are you going to display items? Do you need to borrow or make a clothes-rack?

::Do you have enough table space? If not, check and see if you can borrow tables from friends or put together some makeshift tables out of plywood and boxes.

::What signs will you be using and how many do you need? Where will you be displaying the signs to best direct traffic to your home? Drive the routes people will be coming and decide on these locations so you’re not scrambling the morning of the sale.

::Who is going to put the signs out the morning of the sale? Designate someone for this ahead of time and let them know specifically where to place the signs.

::How much cash should you have on hand and how will you keep it in a safe location?

::Do you need to purchase a license for running a garage sale in your area?

::Do you have enough help?

3. Team Up

One of my best “secrets” for success when it comes to garage sales is that I never do them on my own. I always find friends or family to team up with.

Not only does this arrangement mean you have more stuff to sell and more variety in sizes and types of things offered, it also means you have more help. Divvying up the responsibilities between 3 or 4 people makes a garage sale much more manageable. Plus, it just makes it more fun when you’re doing it with friends and family!

4. Location, Location, Location!

If you want to have a garage sale that flops, pick a location which is off-the-beaten-path and hard to get to. That’s a surefire way to lose a lot of business.

Don’t live near a busy intersection? Well, look for alternative locations like a friend or relative’s home.

This is probably the key to our garage sale success. We live right between two very heavily-trafficked streets. We put up some good signage and the crowds descend!

5. Timing is Everything (well, just about!)

I don’t advise planning a sale in the freezing cold Winter or the blazing hot Summer. Choose a time of the year when the weather will be very pleasant and try to check the weather forecast ahead of time to make sure rain is not expected when you’re planning your sale.

In addition, find out what days of the week are best for yard sales to run in your area. When we lived in Kansas City, I found people usually only held sales on Friday and Saturday. However, where we live now, Thursdays are a big yard sale day and seem to garner the most traffic.

6. Clearly Mark Your Prices

It’s easy to want to just stick a big sign on a table saying that everything on that table is a quarter, but, in the long-run, it is much more efficient to go ahead and put price stickers on everything. Instead of having to make up prices on the spot, people will know exactly how much something is. In addition, some people are too shy to ask the price of an item, so you’ll lose a sale if an item isn’t marked.

I’ve found it’s easiest to invest the few dollars it costs to buy pre-priced stickers for most of my items as this makes pricing a snap. I try to have variety in pricing with plenty of $0.25 or less items. I’ve found that when people pick up one thing to buy, they are more likely to pick up other things as well, so have lots of $0.25 items and it might help you sell some of your larger-ticketed items, too!

Since we pretty much always have multiple families involved when we run a garage sale, we just mark initials on all our price tags and then keep a tally sheet in a notebook as things sell. It adds a bit more time when customers are checking out, so it’s good to have at least two people working the money table–one to keep track of the tally sheet and one handle the money and making change.

7. Price Things to Sell

When I go to a garage sale, I expect to pay yard sale prices. Unless something is brand-new with the tags on, I am not going to pay more than a few quarters for it, if that. When I am pricing my own items to sell, I always try to price things at what I feel would be a good bargain if I were buying the item at someone else’s garage sale.

I’d rather price something on the low end and have someone actually buy my item, than to have 25 people pick up the item and put it back down on the table because it is too expensive.

8. Advertise well

The marketing of your sale is usually the number-one factor in how well your sale does. You can have great items, great prices and a great location, but if you don’t tell people how to get there, they won’t find it on their own.

Put some time and effort into making a number of quality, clearly-readable signs which you put in conspicuous places to easily lead to your home. The brighter, bolder and bigger the sign, the better.

I have also found Craigslist to be the most-effective marketing tool for advertising a garage sale. And did I mention it’s free to advertise on Craigslist? I usually advertise the day before the sale and then re-post a revised ad each day of the sale. The more details you can put in your ad, the better. Tell specific items, specific brands, and specific sizes.

When people search for items on Craigslist, if they are looking for what you’re selling–even if they aren’t looking at garage sales–your item will pull up in searches for them. So the more descriptive you can be in the listing and title, the better.

Of course, don’t write a book; just focus on your hottest sellers. And please use proper grammar and spelling. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a big difference!

9. Mark Things Down on the Last Day

Things are usually pretty picked over by the last day of the sale. That’s the perfect opportunity to get creative and hand out rock-bottom bargains! We found that running “Fill a Bag for a Buck” is extremely effective. In a recent garage sale, we got rid of around 25 bags full of stuff in a few hours by doing this.

We’ve also done it where everything was half-price the last day. Or, if we have quite a bit of stuff left and we’re feeling ready to close up shop, we’ll just say that everything is free the last hour.

10. Don’t forget the cookies and lemonade!

What better way to teach your children entrepreneurial skills and let them earn a little money in the process than to have them set up their own little cookie and lemonade stands at the sale? Or, if it’s cold outside, try selling hot chocolate, coffee, and fresh cinnamon rolls. One yard sale, we even set up a pancake griddle and sold pancakes hot off the griddle on Saturday morning.

Baked goods–like homemade cookies and bars–sell extremely well at our garage sales. In fact, my younger brother  made around $100 from selling cookies at a recent garage sale!

What are your best tips for having a great yard sale? I’d love to hear!

photo credits: Louisa_catlover; Chiot’s Run

31 Ways to Earn Cash Before Christmas: Have an Autumn Food Stand (Day 15)

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas

Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next two months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.

If you’ve found a great way to make extra cash before Christmas that doesn’t require an outlay of cash upfront, please email me your tip. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!

Guest post from Davonne of

We’ve all seen the classic lemonade stand, but something a little more unique is an Autumn Food Stand, complete with hot chocolate, cider, and freshly baked goodies. My daughters and I have had these together and we’ve learned a lot of ways to make it successful.


1. Use what you have.

There’s no need to spend money on tables, signs, and food. Just look around your house and see what you can “borrow” for the stand.

We put our for-sale items in baskets or on dinner plates, and we’ll cover our table with a party tablecloth that’s left over from a previous event. The items we sell vary depending on what we have on hand.

A brownie mix in the pantry means we’ll sell fresh baked brownies. Frozen or refrigerated cookie dough can be popped into the oven as well.

2. Keep it simple.

We’ve made our own hot chocolate mix and baked brownies from scratch for previous food stands and while our customers loved that, it didn’t increase sales, so the extra prep time involved actually cut our profit-per-hour in half.

3. Make your stand cute.

Having a colored tablecloth and a sign hanging in the front of the stand are good. Balloons or little pumpkins on or around the table are great. Coming up with a cute name for the stand is a fun touch.

4. Clearly list prices on the sign.

People in our area won’t pay more than $1 per item. Items priced at $0.50 or less sell even better.

5. Enlist your children’s help.

My daughters sell much more than I can. When they step away from the table, people drive right by even if I’m holding my daughters’ spots for them.

We attract sales when they’re at the table and ready to sell. I keep my kids in their seats by bringing coloring books and crayons outside, offering complimentary cookies when they start to look tired, and singing songs with them when the sales are slow.

If you don’t have children, borrow a friend’s child, make an afternoon of it, and share the profits!

6. Location, location… location?

We live on a quiet street, and I decided that we could easily double our profits if we had a busier location to sell. I found a spot, received permission, lugged our gear over, and…. watched the cars whiz by (in a 35mph zone).

We ended up making less per hour than we make when we set our stand up in front of our house.

7. Pay attention to the weather.

Hot chocolate and hot tea don’t sell well when it’s 85 degrees outside. Nothing sells when it’s raining.

8. Choose good hours.

On weekdays, we’ve found that we make the most money from 4 to 6 p.m. Sales on Saturdays tend to trickle in all day.

9. Be sanitary.

This probably goes without saying, but keep your kitchen and hands clean while making the food. Wrap everything in advance by placing individual items in plastic wrap or placing two goodies into each snack bag.

Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on the food stand table, and let the customers see you wash your hands before touching food or drinks.

10. Provide large servings.

We make more sales when we sell large cups of lemonade or hot chocolate for $0.50 than we do when we sell small cups for $0.25. We also sell cookies better when we put two in a baggie for $0.50 than when we wrap them individually for a quarter.

11. Offer a “deal”.

When we offer half priced refills on drinks, most people will drink two cups. We always offer a buy-four-get-one (or two!) free deal. People generally take us up on that offer, and then leave a tip.

Additional information:

We don’t advertise for these sales. We just set up when we’re ready and let the cars stop when they see us.

I can plan on making about $10 per hour when we have a food stand. We spend about an hour of prep time, two hours actually hosting the stand, and just a few minutes putting things away when we’re finished. After we subtract supply costs, we usually end up with $30 or so in profit.

Note from Crystal: Some areas have strict laws concerning selling food. Before setting up a food stand, please check local ordinances to make sure it is allowed in your area.

Have you ever had a food stand before? If so, I’d love to hear your tips, ideas, and suggestions.

Davonne Parks is an author who is passionate about striving to make the most of her time, using her talents for good, and inspiring others to do the same. She blogs at and she just released her first eBook, 28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person.

31 Days to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas: Write for Revenue-Sharing Sites (Day 14)

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas

Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next three months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.

If you’ve found a great way to make extra cash before Christmas that doesn’t require an outlay of cash upfront, please email me your tip. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!

Guest post from Alaina of Telecommuting Mommies

Freelance writing may sound like it’s only for the pros. However, on many writing sites that pay by revenue-sharing, anyone can share their knowledge and get paid for it. Get started now and you may have enough time to earn some cash before the holidays.

What Are Revenue Sharing Writing Sites?

Revenue-sharing sites are websites that pay freelance writers based on page views or page clicks. They are often referred to as revenue-sharing sites because the amount they pay is based on the amount of money they are earning from traffic to your articles. They pay you a portion of that money, thus, sharing their revenue with you.

What Are the Differences Between These Writing Sites Compared to Others?

The internet is full of freelance writing opportunities, but unless you are a recent journalism or English major, most of them are going to want some kind of experience — even if it is just publishing on your own blog.

Almost all regular freelance writing companies will want writing samples submitted showing where you have previously been published. For this reason, inexperienced writers will find these assignments or jobs hard to come by.

Revenue-sharing sites, for the most part, do not require prior experience. Some do not even have an application process, just sign up and start writing.

The pay is obviously another big difference between revenue-sharing sites and others. These companies can afford to take on inexperienced writers because they are not paying up front. This means they can take a chance on writers who will prove their worth by bringing in the traffic.

What Are the Advantages of Working With These Types of Sites?

  • No waiting period to getting started, and no long application process. Some sites allow you to sign up and start immediately.
  • Flexibility to work as much or as little as you want. No deadlines or minimum number of articles to stay on with the company.
  • Earnings of an article over time have the possibility of being greater. For most sites, your article remains there indefinitely. This means that an article could continue to earn money for many years.
  • Experience publishing articles on reputable websites that can then be used as writing samples to apply for freelance writing jobs that pay up front. Writing for the revenue sharing sites that offer some sort of editing process before your article is published can also be a great learning experience. Pay close attention to what changes were made and why.
  • Freedom to write about the topics you are interested in. Many writing sites will assign you certain topics or titles, while most revenue sharing sites give you the freedom of creating your own topics and titles based on your knowledge and background.
  • Ability to use your own affiliate links, meaning that you can earn money by linking to affiliate besides the money you are earning for the article.

What are the Disadvantages of Writing for These Sites?

  • No guaranteed income; putting in time and energy without knowing what the outcome will be. Money from your articles may take a while to start coming in.
  • Minimum cash out amounts that many sites have mean it may take a while to see your first check. This all depends on how quickly you can start driving traffic to your articles and how much traffic it adds up to.
  • Lack of editing process means not having a second pair of eyes on an article — however, most sites do allow you to edit your own articles if you spot an error after hitting that publish button. Brush up on your grammar using sites like Grammar Girl before getting started.
  • Quantity of articles that you need to write to start earning a decent income. Depending on expectations for income, you’ll need to write a lot! Those who make a lot of money from revenue sharing sites often make that money from the sheer volume of articles they write.
  • Marketing yourself and your articles by learning how to write with SEO and keywords in mind, as well as promoting them on social networks is part of the process that some consider a disadvantage, but this will help immensely in getting traffic.

What are the Best Revenue Sharing Sites to Get Started With?

  • Squidoo — Sign up and start writing immediately. Write about any topic, and you can include affiliate links.
  • Hubpages — No application process but you need to sign up for your own Google Adsense ID and set it up.  Affiliate links allowed.
  • Helium — No experience required. Some articles include a small upfront payment. Participation is required in rating the other articles on the site in order to continue earning on your own articles.
  • ExpertsColumn — Sign up and get started, low minimum payout of $5.
  • Firehow — How-to website, no experience required.
  • Suite101 — Includes a proofreading process, but they are currently in the middle of a relaunch, so check back soon. Previously they did require an application process, not sure what the new process will be.

Have you worked for revenue sharing sites before? If so, tell us about your experiences!

Alaina shares her twelve years of work-from-home experience at her blog Telecommuting Mommies. She also opens up her personal life as a homeschooling, blogging, work at home Mom of four at The Maestro Mom.

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas: 4 Proven Ways to Make Money Blogging (Day 13)

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas

Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next three months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.

If you’ve found a great way to make extra cash before Christmas that doesn’t require an outlay of cash upfront, please email me your tip. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!

Did you know that you can earn a decent stream of income through blogging? If you have a blog, you should definitely be capitalizing upon the opportunity. Plus, if you’re going to put time and effort into it, you might as well make something for your work, right?

Yes, it usually takes at least a few thousand followers to have a chance at earning a part-time income from blogging. But even if you only have a few hundred visitors each week, there are lots of creative ways that you can earn at least a small side income through your blog.

Here are four proven ways to earn money through blogging, taken from my How to Make Money Blogging series:

1. Become an Affiliate

For those who may have never heard the term of affiliate marketing before, it’s basically when you are paid to promote another person’s product, coupon, deal, or website. It’s typically CPA advertising — which means that you only get paid per action. In other words, a reader must take some form of action (purchase something, click through your link and sign up for something, download a coupon or ebook, etc.)

You sign up for an affiliate program (I’ll share some of my favorites in a little bit), you promote your unique affiliate link that the company gives you, and then you are paid if your readers buy the item or sign up for the item.

For instance, I sometimes promote Amy’s Tell Your Time ebook. She has an affiliate program that offers 50% of the sales to the affiliate. Since the ebook is priced at $4.99, I earn $2.50 for every person who clicks through my affiliate link and makes a purchase. So, if 10 people buy the ebook each month, I’ll make $25 in affiliate earnings.

In many cases, people have to make a purchase in order for you to earn money as an affiliate. However, there are also hundreds of other options that require no purchase.

I’m affiliate for, RedPlum, SmartSource, SavingStar, Cellfire, and Coupon Network. If I post a great coupon that is on any of these sites, I earn anywhere from $0.02 to around $0.42 per coupon printed (I have different agreements with each network and some pay per coupon printed, others pay a flat fee per print session per user per day).

As you can imagine, since one of the key focuses of happens to be using coupons, the affiliate money earned from coupons printed is one of the highest revenue earners. However, it is a win-win situation, because I’m sharing a great deal with you, it’s hopefully helping you save money and get a great deal, and then we both benefit from it.

My Current Top-Earning Affiliates:

Amy has a great list of many different affiliate programs here, if you’re interested. Read more of my thoughts on how to be successful at affiliate marketing here.

2. Sell Sidebar Ads

While selling sidebar ads yourself does require more work and effort, it can really pay off in the long run. Plus, it’s a great option for blogs in every genre.

If you don’t want to use an advertising network because you don’t have as much control over the ads they run (read more about advertising networks here), selling sidebar ads yourself allows you to have complete control over what is running on your blog at all times.

Read more of my tips and tricks for successfully selling sidebar ads here.

How Much Should You Charge?

How you price your advertising will depend upon many factors — your blog’s traffic, your blogging niche, where the ad will be placed, how many ad spots you are selling, and the demand. I always encourage people to start out with lowball prices and gradually move up from there.

Advertising is usually priced per thousand pageviews (CPM), so I suggest starting with $0.50 – $1 per thousand pageviews and working up from there. This means that if your blog currently gets 10,000 pageviews per month, you could start out charging something like $10 per month for a small 250×250 sidebar ad that is located near the middle of your sidebar or higher. As your traffic increases and the demand for sidebar advertising increases, you can slowly raise this price.

I’d suggest selling no more than six to eight sidebar ads maximum. If you have too many ads running, their value decreases. It’s easier for you and better for the advertiser if you have a few higher-paying, larger ads on the sidebar than a bunch of small ads all over the place.

3) Teach an Online Class

I taught my first online course back in 2006–way back when I was just learning about online marketing and blogging and really didn’t have much of a clue what I was doing. That first class was successful, so I taught another and another and another. Not only did I learn so much through teaching (and hopefully imparted some helpful information to my students!), but it was a great source of side income to supplement our family during a lean season.

With just a few simple tools, you can teach video or audio courses online. Or, you can put together a package with video and/or audio plus a course handbook like Carrie’s Grocery University.

Consider what are your areas of expertise and what questions you are asked most as a blogger and then see if there’s a way you can turn these ideas into a marketable online class. Offer the class very inexpensively the first time around as you learn the ropes, ask other bloggers to promote the class for you (you could write a guest post for a few blogs on a relevant topic and then link to your class in your bio), and make sure to include testimonials from those who have gone through the class on your sales page.

4) Write an Ebook

Writing and selling ebooks is one market that is untapped by many, many bloggers–and there’s tremendous potential to earn a few hundred (or even a few thousand dollars!) each year by selling ebooks.

There are a few things you must know about successfully selling ebooks, though:

::You need to write on a relevant, practical topic. The best-selling ebooks are those that tell you how to make money, save money, lose weight, cook better, get organized, or somehow practically improve your life. Unfortunately, an ebook comprised of poems is probably not going to sell well.

::Your cover and salespage are everything. You can write a killer ebook, but if your cover is cheesy and your salespage is pathetic, it probably won’t sell. Hire a designer to do your cover (it’s worth the expense, I promise!), and make sure that your salespage has a clear-cut call to action, includes specific details on why someone should buy your book, and has testimonies to back up your claims.

::You must exhaust every marketing possibility. People need to see things again and again and again in order to consider buying. Write guest posts, get every blogger possible to review your ebook, run ebook giveaways on dozens of blogs, and find every other creative free way to get your ebook out there.

If you are planning to write an ebook, I heartily recommend Sarah Mae’s ebook, How to Market and Sell Your Ebook. It’s packed with helpful information and advice and is worth every penny. Also, be sure to read her article on how to sell $20,000 worth of your next ebook.

Have you earned money through your blog? If so, tell us what has been successful for you — and add your ideas to mine here! I’d love to hear!