How to Make Money With a Full Time Job

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Brian Roberts

August 24, 2020  •  5 min read

Many full-time employees want (or need) to supplement their income. If you’re one of them, here are five ways you can make some money while still holding down a full-time job.

1. Invest in Real Estate

id you know you can invest in real estate without actually managing any property? It’s true.

You can reap many of the benefits of real estate ownership without incurring any of the typical overhead costs by investing in a REIT, or real estate investment trust. These trusts are companies that act like mutual funds, buying and managing property on behalf of investors for a fee. 

Fundrise allows you to create a REIT portfolio to fit your goals and risk tolerance. They charge a 0.15% annual advisory fee, boast an impressive 3.4% annual dividend and a 10.6% average annual return rate over the past 6 years. The Fundrise minimum investment is $500.

2. Freelance or Consult

Take the skills you’ve honed on the job and put them to work after hours by offering your services as a freelancer or consultant in your spare time. Depending on how much time you invest at the start, it can become surprisingly lucrative (through long-term contracts, retainer work, etc.). All it takes is two-to-three steady clients to dramatically increase your earnings with a moderate time investment.

The first step here is to identify your buyer. Think of who your end client is at work. Who benefits most from what you do? Start there and put together a list of the services tied to what you do best. Create a portfolio and sign up for marketplaces where buyers and sellers are already transacting in your niche. 

  • Clarity.fm allows you to charge by the minute or by the hour for calls. This platform is great if you want a nimble consultancy business where you charge a set rate for your time and provide specialized business insights through calls.
  • Fiverr is one of the largest online marketplaces in the world where sellers do short-term projects on everything from research and writing to programming, photography and more. Fees are modest, starting at just $2 per project.
  • Upwork is where thousands of hourly and fixed-rate jobs are posted across hundreds of fields. Pay is higher than Fiverr in most cases, and jobs are more long-term and posted by larger businesses versus other small businesses.

3. Sell a Course

If you’ve held  a full-time job long enough, you’ve developed certain marketable skills. But, what may be easy for you to do might be a lot more difficult for someone else. You can sell that knowledge as a course and use one of the platforms below to scale it to the masses. Here’s a breakdown of what the top course maker platforms offer:

  • Thinkific, an all-in-one course creator, is great for creators who want to market and sell their own course, taking  the lion’s share of the profits. You can build and design your site, then leverage Thinkific’s built-in tools to enroll students, create quizzes, grade assignments, add downloadable files, and host student discussions. Pricing starts at $49 a month.
  • Udemy is great for course creators who would rather tap into a built-in audience. Over 50,000,000 students from around the world have taken Udemy courses, and they have dozens of categories for creators to choose from. All you do is create the course.

Because Udemy advertises and has a built-in audience, payouts vary:

  • When Udemy or a Udemy affiliate makes the sale: You earn a 25% instructor revenue share (in most cases).
  • When the instructor makes the sale: There’s a 97% revenue share on sales made by instructors (when a student purchases directly from you via a coupon or link).
  • When a Udemy user makes the sale: You get a 50% revenue share for organic Udemy sales (no instructor referral or coupon).

Learn more by visiting their Instructor revenue FAQ.

4. Write e-Books

If teaching a course sounds like too much work, you can always write what you know and sell it for profit as an e-book, whether for yourself or others. If you do it for yourself, there’s some upfront work involved. If you do it for others, request a deposit and try to negotiate royalties on the backend.  

  • Amazon Kindle is the perfect place to self-publish and sell your own e-books. Topics are endless and some of the best e-books are written by self-published authors with specialized skill sets.
  • Upwork is great if you’re interested in ghostwriting a book for someone else. This can be especially lucrative if you’re willing to put the time in. You can write  in the early morning or after work.

The best part of this option is, after you write them, selling e-books can generate 100% passive income. So you can make money while you sleep, eat, go on vacation or do anything else.

5. Drive

If you’re exhausted after a long day at work, driving may not be the best option for you. Or consider driving an hour or two before you start your day. It’s one of the simplest, yet most in-demand jobs. From delivering food and groceries to dry cleaning, Amazon packages and more, the options are endless. This is ideal for people who want to make money while they have  a full-time job and are open to working nights and weekends (or early mornings for commuters). Options include:

  • Uber and Lyft for general ride-sharing
  • Amazon Flex for package delivery
  • DoorDash, Postmates, UberEats and Grubhub for food delivery
  • Instacart and Amazon Prime for grocery delivery
  • Dolly to help with home and furniture moving
  • Rinse for dry cleaning and laundry delivery
  • Turo for renting out your car to others (or parking at airports for a monthly fee)

Note: Driving for money won’t replace your full-time job, but it’s a great way to supplement your income. You can realistically make a few extra hundred dollars a month driving. Many companies offer new driver bonuses up to $300 or more, so consider signing up using the links above to see if you qualify. 

Our Two Cents

It’s 100% possible to make money while working a full-time job. Real estate is a great option. But if you don’t have sufficient capital, you can leverage the skills and tools you already have to create and sell extensions of what you know. Or, if you’re looking to go in a totally different direction, just drive in your spare time and make a few extra hundred bucks a month. The sky’s the limit.