How I made extra money while building my business

How I've made extra money on the side

When I first started freelancing I was mainly living off my savings while I built up my business. As I watched the money decrease in my savings account, my insides were filled with dread. Panic would sometimes overtake me and I'd think:

  • My business isn't building up quickly enough.
  • What if I run out of savings and my business STILL isn't doing that great?
  • I don't want to return to my day job, but what if I have to?

If you're at the start of your freelancing journey then you've probably felt the same way, or maybe you still do.

Here's the thing: money is important. Quitting your job to fulfill your dream of freelancing is super admirable, but you have to get used to the fact that your finances won't be the same to begin with.

It helps if you can make some money on the side of freelance biz. And there are plenty of ways you can!

In the past, here's some ways I've made money on the side:

  • Sold my clothes on eBay. I killed two birds with one stone here because I had a TON of clothes that I needed to get rid of. I made £300 / $455 on eBay.
  • Sold my furniture on Gumtree (or you could use Craigslist.) You can get decent money for furniture like desks and chairs. List it as 'pickup only' and see if it sells. Your junk is another persons treasure!
  • Taught someone. I charged hourly to teach IT skills to home-taught children whose parents weren't great with tech.
  • Sold blog ads. If you sell 5 blog ads at $10 each, that's an extra $50 per month. That could go nicely towards petrol (gas) for your car!
  • Replied to ads for small design jobs. Sometimes people don't want a total rebrand, they just want someone to add an opt-in to their site or fix their social media buttons. I found that I could fit about 4 or 5 of these jobs into one day, which provided me with some decent extra money.
  • Sold website reviews. A couple of local companies asked me to review their website and tell them what needed improving. They were industrial companies- not my target market at all- but I didn't mind because it was extra money.

Here are some other (random) ways you can earn some extra cash if you really need it:

  • Babysitting
  • Dog walking
  • Cleaning
  • Look for work on eLance, Freelancer and similar sites.
  • Become a mystery shopper
  • Become an affiliate
  • Be someone's virtual assistant for 2-5 hours per week.
  • Handle someone's social media.
  • Sell digital goods on Etsy, like photo overlays and Photoshop patterns.
  • House-sittng
  • Sell articles

Sometimes, prideful freelancers will refuse to make money in any way that isn't directly linked to their business. Don't be like that. Making extra money is clever- it's not a compromise and it doesn't reflect poorly on your business. You won't have to do these side jobs forever, but doing some of them when you first start freelancing can really help support you, as it did for me.

Nesha Woolery

I build beautiful brands & websites for passionate entrepreneurs!