Starting a podcast, like making a YouTube channel or blog, comes down to telling interesting stories and building an engaged audience. I’m probably sounding like a broken record by now, but you need a niche that you’re interested in and there’s already a demand for. Come up with a list of topics you’d like to talk about and then search iTunes charts, Google Trends and other podcast research sites like cast.market to see what’s currently out there and popular.
If there’s a plasma donation center in your area, you might be able to make anywhere from $25 to $50, and odds are, you’ll get paid today. Call ahead and ask, of course, but these days, many donation centers are giving money cards (similar to a debit card). Generally, it takes about 30 minutes to donate your plasma, but a first visit may take longer — up to two hours — since you’ll be filling out paperwork and taking a physical. And while it’s not a ton of money, many donors are able to sell plasma twice a week.
Do you love getting refunds? How cool would it be to get money back on stuff you’ve already bought? Paribus is a service that lets you find out if stores you’ve shopped at online owe you a refund.  It’s free to sign up. Paribus connects to your email account and checks your receipts.  If they find out a retailer has dropped their price they file a price adjustment claim for you.  Try out Paribus.

If you have the necessary skills, there are websites on the internet where you can find freelance work that you can do from home. This work usually requires a skill set like writing, editing, computer programming, data entry, etc. There are also surveys you can do for money, but tread with caution. Some surveys are scams and you can end up losing money if they gain access to your bank account. Check for trustworthy surveys.

I’m really torn here. As a writer, I sympathize with you. I’ve looked again and again into freelancing, and consistently find that the rates other people are willing to work for make it an insulting waste of my time. (Like, $10/hour is what a 15-year-old babysitter makes, not a professional writer.) On the other hand, you really can’t ask others to not compete with you. On the plus side, in my (limited) experience, you do get what you pay for most of the time. My sister had a less-expensive wedding photographer, and she was definitely less than happy with the results. So …
Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to make money online doing something you love via a niche website. That of course, is easier said than done. Creating a profitable niche website takes time and is not intended for the faint of heart. But, if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business idea you’re thinking about is profitable, then you can begin building it and eventually monetize through advertising, affiliates, or other relevant products.
Make the most of your spare space by listing it for short term rentals with Airbnb. If you know how to be an Airbnb host that wows their guests, you have an amazing opportunity to make money fast. By creating a wonderful experience for your guests, you’re setting yourself up for great reviews and lots of repeat guests. Check out our complete guide on getting started as an Airbnb host.

Sell plasma. After passing an initial screening, you can usually sell your plasma for anywhere from $25 to $50 per donation. To qualify, you’ll have to stand in a long line or show up early, be willing to fill out a very personal questionnaire, and endure a painful needle prick or two. Still, selling plasma is a great way to raise money fast – if you can stand the hassle.
5. Fiverr – Fiverr is a great place to make a few bucks or spend a few bucks if you need some of the services people offer. Basically, everything is $5. You either pay $5 or charge $5. They call them “gigs.” You can offer your services however you choose. If you sell art and you’re fine selling pieces for $5 each, that’s a gig. If you’re a graphic designer and you want to offer your services for $10/hour, simply offer a 30 minute gig. If they need two hours of graphic design, they pay you $20, or $10/hour by buying four gigs.
Another option that isn’t quite cash back but is along the same lines of “make money by saving money” — the Honey Chrome extension. Whenever you head to your cart to check out, Honey searches for online coupon codes or better deals from different retailers. That means no more wasted time Googling “[insert store name] coupon code” just to come up empty-handed. Honey does all the legwork for you!
Go hunting or foraging for food. You may need to invest in gear and permits, but if you already have these, this is an inexpensive way to get your own food. If you're ethically against the killing of animals, it's pretty easy to forage for food, depending on where you live. Just make sure to forage only for food whose origin and properties you are sure of. Getting sick or poisoned is never any fun.
Still, many people need more than that to retire, let alone feel flush in retirement — so over time, that $500 monthly investment needs to increase. The best ways to do that are by investing any windfalls you receive or — better yet, and — increasing how much you save by 1% or 2% each year. A windfall might be any influx of cash you receive infrequently, such as a tax refund or employer bonus.
You can charge up to $995 for a service, but many if not most gigs still start at just $5 (of which you make $4), so the key to making money on Fiverr is either working in volume or offering custom add-on services. But it’s free, easy, and quick to get started, and payment happens fairly quickly, so if you’re able to whip up a logo or business card design without much effort, it’s not a bad way to cash in on your creative skills.

Great message, Jeff. When I look at big goals, or even incremental goals, I like to break them down into bite size bits. Earning $100,000 a year seems difficult in many situations, but it seems easier when you break it down to $8,350 a month, or roughly $280 a day. Sure, that is aggressive for many salaries, but there are many ways to fill the gaps with side income, owning a small business, consulting, freelance work, etc. The same concept works for any number or goal you want to reach. Find out where you are, and what it will take to reach the next step. It’s much more attainable when you make incremental goals.
Even if it’s a mundane task like walking dogs, you could start the next (or only) full-service dog walking and grooming service in your town, where dog owners rave over your business and always refer you to others. You can hire other dog walkers as you grow, and turn your side hustle into a sustainable enterprise. You just have to do the work, and do it well.
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