Just a couple years ago, I was looking for ways to make money while in college. Luckily, I stumbled upon a few ways that actually work. Between my wife (girlfriend at the time) and I, we tried a shit ton of ways to make money. Here’s what worked for us, but I only recommend one of these methods. You’ll see why in a sec.
8 Ways To Make Money In College
Let’s start with my favorite method first. I highly recommend method number one. You can read the rest if you want, but number one is golden.
1. Affiliate Marketing
You may have never heard of this, but I assure you it’s not complicated. All these people that tell you that you can make money blogging are either doing affiliate marketing or making money off of the ads on their website.
Do you have a passion? Hopefully the answer to that question is a resounding yes. But honestly, I was in college not too long ago and I remember not being too convicted on what my passion was. People told me my passion wasn’t a real passion, so I was a bit lost and confused.
You may be the same way and that’s okay. If you don’t know your passion, think of something you love to do. Or think of a topic that you can talk about for hours on end without realizing where the time went. With affiliate marketing, you’ll be able to make money with your passion.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
So basically, affiliate marketing is when you help a company sell its products online. But don’t worry, you wont have to talk to a single person. It’s all online. It can be as simple as making a Facebook status about a product you like. If your friends buy the product, you’ll get a commission. These commissions add up. Some programs allow you to get recurring commissions while others only give you one time commission. The recurring commissions are the best. How would you like to graduate college making $5,000 a month on damn near autopilot? Yeah, me too.
I know what you’re thinking, ‘this sounds too good to be true.’ I assure you it’s 100% real. Here’s a check I just received a few days ago from one of the affiliate programs I promote.
Yes, this is 100% legit. It’s not network marketing either. You have to talk to too many people for that. Not my style. Want to know the catch?
Here’s the catch, you have to put in the work to make affiliate marketing work. That’s it. All you have to do is get people to the company’s offer. It may sound easy, but it requires you to put in a decent amount of work. Affiliate marketing isn’t a get rich quick scheme.
You probably won’t make money instantly unless you leverage social media or YouTube. With YouTube and social media, you can be making money in less than 30 days. I haven’t leveraged social media all that well because I don’t post much.
My Preferred Method
In the same way you found this article, I have hundreds of other articles on different websites that are advertising products. When someone finds my articles on Google and buys a product through my link, I get paid! That’s it!
It’s simple like riding a bike. Do you remember when you first learned how to ride a bike? It didn’t seem so simple at first. You probably fell down several times. A few bumps and bruises later you were off to the races. Affiliate marketing is the same way. It seems daunting at first, but a few hiccups later you’ll be running to the bank while all the other college students scrape change together for beer money.
I really hope you consider affiliate marketing. It’s seriously the best way to make money while in college.
Now, let’s proceed to the rest of the basic methods that everyone else talks about on their blogs.
2. Sell Things Online
My wife was an expert at this. She made hundreds of dollars by selling her used stuff on eBay. She got a little turned off when a customer filed a PayPal dispute and PayPal sided with the customer. She sold a used purse and the lady said it was too used. It’s not like she didn’t post pictures. It was a typical case of buyers remorse.
In hindsight, it would have been better for my wife to seek out a mentor, or at least an online course. Back when we were in college (2009-13), online courses were less popular. Nowadays, they’re a little too popular. It can be hard to sift out which courses actually work since everyone is a self proclaimed guru. Nonetheless, if you just want to make a couple extra bucks, you should easily be able to sell whatever you have laying around the house. Investing in a cheap course could help, but isn’t absolutely necessary.
3. Sell Things In Person
Depending on where you’re going to college, you will be limited with this method. I went to college in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The little town had a population of less than 40,000 people. Even with such a small population, we were able to sell a few things on Craigslist. We bought quite a few things on Craigslist too lol. If you live in a larger city, or near one, you’ll be able to sell a lot more stuff on Craigslist. There will be much more demand.
Also, if you live in a larger city, you can become a street vendor. Right now, we live in Los Angeles. People sell shit in every corner of this city. Just last week my wife and I bought incense on the Redline (subway in LA). Yes, people sell things on the subway. We also donated money to a guy who played his guitar and sang a song on the Redline. In a town like LA, you could go to a busy corner or area and sell things. Venice Beach is full of street vendors.
4. Flex Your Talents
Just like the guy on the Redline that I mentioned, you could do something similar. If you have a talent, you can perform it in public and make money. Every time I’m in a decent size city, there are performers making money on the street. In college, people are always looking for something to do. Perform your talent in public and set out a bucket. You’d be surprised how fast those one dollar donations add up.
5. Trade Forex
I traded Forex like crazy while I was in college. Forex stands for foreign exchange. Basically, you’ll be swapping currencies and making money when the value of your currency goes up. I’m not going to go into a technical definition. Click here if you want a detailed definition. It might confuse you a bit so I’ll leave it out of this article.
When I was trading Forex in college, I would fund my account with anywhere from $100-$500. I haven’t traded Forex in a few years, so I don’t know what the current minimums are. My broker was based in Cyprus, so they had different minimums that US brokers have.
I would stay up all night trading Forex. It was exhilarating. I once turned $300 into $800 overnight. I thought I was going to get rich from Forex! Could you imagine what kind of bets I was placing to be able to do that? I’ll give you a one word clue, risky lol.
Needless to say, I blew that account up real fast. If you just want beer money, Forex could be a good tool to use. Don’t go crazy like I did and wager your whole account on every trade. If you find a conservative strategy that puts a little money in your pocket, it could work out.
6. Trade Penny Stocks
By now, you might think I have a gambling problem lol. Trading penny stocks is basically gambling. These companies are usually not real companies. They are just shells that people promote, run the price up, then they dump all of their stocks on you.
To this day, I still don’t know if my penny stock days were profitable. I made a lot of money, and I lost a lot of money. I turned a $500 account in $6,000 and a $300 into $3,000. But like I said, I lost quite a bit of money as well. Finding a good penny stock strategy is hard. You have to be in the know to succeed. Or maybe there’s some magic strategy that works and I’m not aware of it.
I would just swing for the fences, and sometimes I hit home runs.
7. Trading Options
Options are legit. They have the same profitability as penny stocks, but the legitimacy of blue chip stocks. With options, you can make money like the big traders but with a fraction of the risk. I’ve made thousands here too while in college, and I’ve lost thousands as well. I’m a big risk taker. I will bet my whole account, IDGAF!
With my lack of risk management skills, I slowly realized trading was not for me lol. If you’re more conservative, then these can be a stable source of income. They are a bit complicated to explain, so visit Investopedia to learn more.
8. Provide A Service
This is one of the easiest ways I can think of how to make money while in college. You can provide a service for your friends or for the locals. You could provide services for both if you’re especially ambitious. Don’t rack your brain here. Think simple but useful. You can babysit for a few local families. You can walk dogs or dog sit.
My brother and sister in law used to house sit when they were in college. Yes, wealthy people will pay you to live in their house while they’re out of town. I’m sure you can think of some service you can provide.
Now You Can Make Money During College
I’ve given you eight different ways to make money while in college. You just need one of them to take off and you’ll be throwing the next big party. Well, at least that’s what I did with my money from time to time. You may be a little more responsible than me though lol.
No matter which method you choose, I wish you the best. I rememeber what it was like to be in college and searching for money. Eventually I found a solid way to make money, which is affiliate marketing for me. You might fall in love with a different method, and that’s just fine. Just remember one thing.
Have fun! Don’t stress too much about money and enjoy your friends. It’s the last time you’ll see some of them.
Be easy and get that money fam!