Are you tired of working a minimum wage college job? You’re studying to become a brilliant professional – why should you be working for a few dollars an hour?
My friends, you don’t have to. Although making a lot of money in college isn’t easy – it is DEFINITELY possible. If you have a positive attitude, some creativity, and the willingness to work hard, you may discover that you can earn as much in college as most people do working fulltime!
Although I am sure that there are many more ways to get rich while at university, this list should help you get started. Oh, and once you get rich, I would love for you to take me on a thank-you cruise.
1. Buy Real Estate – For Less Than You Think
Before you brush me off as a complete idiot for thinking that a college kid can afford to purchase real estate, let me tell you something – I did! My brother and I purchased a foreclosed house in a slightly-questionable neighborhood for $10,000. We then lived in it for a year while investing much of our own time and an additional $10,000 to fix it up.
It was one of the smartest moves we could have made! The cost of rent for one year would have been close to $10,000. Instead, we spent that rent on a house that we are now renting out for $700 a month. Furthermore, we can probably sell the place now for over $40,000! That’s not a bad return on one year of living in slight discomfort.
Of course, this option isn’t for everyone. However, a quick Zillow search will show you where the cheapest houses are in your area. If you team up with a few friends (and create legal documents) you may find yourself with a real estate empire before you have a degree.
A second way to invest in real estate, which won’t make you quite as rich but takes a lot less work, is to sign up for Fundrise — a site that allows anyone to invest as little as $1,000 and earn a steady 8-10% annual return. I have invested with these guys for just over a year and love them! I would recommend that you review their latest returns to determine if investing with Fundrise is right for you.
2. Start a Blog
Everyone talks about blogging. Although you won’t get rich off of a few casual blog posts, if you are able to upload one post a day for a year, you may start earning a healthy return. I make between $250-$2,500 a month from this site and you can check out my blog earnings for one month here.
I would say that the most important aspect of building a blog is grow an audience that you can capitalize on later. If you ever decide to start a business, you already have a powerful way to inform a significant number of people who know and trust your work. Furthermore, if you show a potential employer that you’ve written 100 blog posts on a topic related to your career, it can provide a tremendous advantage during your job hunt.
If you don’t know if you want to commit to a regular blog, start by writing on HubPages. I have written nearly 100 articles and received almost 150,000 views on HubPages. Furthermore, it as provided me with multiple writing opportunities that I would not have had otherwise (opportunities that earn me $50+ an hour). Read this article that I wrote about HubPages to decide if it is right for you.
However, buckling down and starting a real blog will certainly pay off in the long run.
Related post: How to start a blog in 20 minutes
3. Manage Your Own Team of Outsourcers
If you believe that you already have a significant amount of management prowess, and would like to monetize that, why not become a boss while in college? Create a free account on Upwork , Fiverr, or SEOClerk and hire people to do projects for you. You can post jobs and select the best candidates for your team.
Once you have a solid team of graphic designers, website developers, and social media experts, you can offer your website services to small businesses and freelancers in your area.
The key is to find something that you can have done efficiently, and charge people $10-$20/hr for the work. Then hire people on Upwork for $5-$10/hr. Many young entrepreneurs are making a lot of money managing social networks, writing content, and running advertising campaigns for small businesses. You can become one of them.
4. Sell Advertising Space
Everyone is desperate for attention – making advertising a big business. There are a variety of ways that people make money from selling advertising. You can create a website to sell it on, or sell the ads space on other people’s websites. Furthermore, you can hire people to hold signs, pass out flyers, and tweet about the message to their friends.
Some college students have gotten creative and sold advertising on the side of people’s cars, on store floors, or even on a pointless website (milliondollarhomepage.com). If you can think up creative ways to catch people’s attention, you will certainly be able to monetize those ideas.
5. Create a YouTube Channel
A growing crowd of YouTubers are making videos as a full-time job. From make-up application videos, to cooking and fashion tips, if you create videos that people enjoy, you can earn big bucks from them.
Although Google is very vague about their earnings programs, I have heard that a YouTube video will earn between $2 and $5 per 1000 views. If 100 people watch your video, that isn’t much. However, if you reach 1,000,000 views, you’ve just earned $2000-$5000! Many YouTubers make more than this by promoting brands in their videos.
If you enjoy a particular topic, and believe that you can entertain others, making videos may be right for you.
6. Develop an App
The world is moving more and more to mobile apps. For a while, Candy Crush was making $10 million a day. Whether you have a concept for a revolutionary new networking app, or simply a fun little game, creating an app can provide you with a lot of money. There have even been high school kids who have sold their app companies for millions of dollars – why can’t you be next?
To develop an app takes some skills and time. However, if you spend 30 minutes a day learning how to program apps, I’m sure it will pay off in the long run. Or, if you have a great idea, you may be able to pull on other people to help create or pay for the app. Again, Upwork is a great place to hire people. Outsource your project there and it can cost you $3-10 an hour for development.
7. Invest Wisely
You don’t have to be 30 to start investing. Rachel Fox started blogging about investing as a 16 year old actress (made famous from the show, Desperate Housewives). If a television actor can invest at 16, there’s no reason you should be able to start investing right now.
And, as it turns out, there are many ways to invest like a millionaire before you’re rich. Sign up for MotifInvesting or TradeKing to start investing your own cash. Meanwhile, if you want your money to grow without requiring substantial work on your part, consider using a robo-advisor like Betterment.
Although investing is always risky, with a little education, you can be prepared to invest intelligently. Depending on the level of risk (and possibility of loss) that you are willing to take on, you can make a decent, or huge, return on your investment.
I have one friend who made $20,000 over a 3 month period by focusing on inexpensive stocks – almost doubling his initial investment. Of course, he has a degree in finance and watches the market closely. However, he isn’t doing anything that a college student wouldn’t be able to do.
8. Launch a Kickstarter or IndieGoGo Campaign
If you have a great idea for a business or a product, but don’t want to wait until your rich to get this business started, consider launching an IndieGoGo campaign. You can make anywhere from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands of dollars through a successful campaign. Whether you want to create a film, invent a product, or start a fashion label, Kickstarter is a great way to test the market and make money in the process.
9. Sell Online
I almost didn’t put this one on the list because it can take a lot of work for a minimal return. However, there are some people making a tremendous amount of money from buying and selling on Ebay, AliExpress, Amazon, Etsy, and other sites. If you have a creative idea or know how to find inexpensive products, consider starting an online store.
One method that’s becoming popular is to dropship – something you can start for free! Here’s how:
- Find products on AliExpress to sell.
- Sign up for a free trial of Shopify and create a store based around those products.
- Sign up for a free trial of Oberlo (a Shopify plugin that allows you to easily import products from AliExpress).
- Add your profit margin and promote your store.
- When a purchase is made from your store simply contact the supplier to have them ship the order!
The beauty of this method above is that you can start for free. If the store takes off during the trial period, keep it going. If it doesn’t, then shut it down and try something else.
Because you only buy inventory once it’s already sold, you have absolutely zero start up costs!
So there you have it – 9 ways to make money in college. Now get out there and start making some serious money while in college.
Bonus: Enter sweepstakes and giveaways
There are hundreds of giveaways that you can enter and win anywhere from a few dollars to well over a million. These giveaways, along with college scholarships, can make any college experience more affordable (and enjoyable).
Interested in more ways to make money?
If you’re ready to make a few more bucks in your free time, don’t miss out on this list of 100+ websites that pay you to sign up and refer friends, along with this other list of over 100 websites you can use to make money in your spare time, and finally, these 21 fun side hustles. Between these three lists, you should be able to make anywhere from $100-5,000 over the weekend!
Are there any ideas that I missed? I would love for you to share your strategies for making a LOT of money while in college.