5 Ways to Generate a Second Income

No matter how much you earn, a little more wouldn’t get turned away would it? Of course not, and as a result, you may be looking for ways to generate a second income. A quick internet search will reveal a myriad of ways you can earn money from home, many of which promise you’ll be able to work just an hour a day and earn more than your regular full time wage.

While this sounds enticing, the truth is there are just as many scams out there as there are legitimate opportunities. Following are five popular ways of supplementing your income and advice on making that supplement a success.

When considering any form of secondary income you should make sure you have a responsible financial plan for the funds. The reason for a secondary income, which makes the most sense, is to pay off debts or build up savings. That’s because you are working harder for your future not simply to pay for items you want rather than the financial security you need.

You should consider the additional expenses which could come with a second income such as commuting and other sporadic travel, child care, or a new wardrobe. Again, make sure that these expenses are not simply enhancing your lifestyle because, with more income, you will be tempted to spend more but you will end up back in the same place financially. And is that worth giving up your evenings or weekends for?

Also make sure you keep a record of all expenses associated with work because, as you earn more, you may be taxed severely on your second income, and you’ll need all of the deductions you can get. Now you’re ready to consider a secondary income stream which might suit you.

Mystery shopping

If you’ve ever appreciated the high quality of customer service or the intuitive layout of a store, chances are these things didn’t happen by accident. A wide range of stores and businesses will use mystery shoppers to assess the customer service, product knowledge and training levels of their staff, and the overall experience for their customers and those mystery shoppers can be paid for their feedback.

You can often be paid up to $100 per assignment and you will be reimbursed for related expenses, such as the cost of a meal at a restaurant you are reviewing. You will usually need to communicate with the company online to submit your feedback but you’ll also be able to pick and choose assignments which suit your schedule and you’ll know the pay rate before you take the job so you can judge its worthiness.

Completing surveys

Billions of dollars are spent every year by companies conducting market research to understand their customers better—to better tailor their products and services. If you are looking for a secondary income, you can be a part of this research by conducting surveys. You don’t need any specialist knowledge all you have to do is answer honestly.

Completing surveys online is an easy way to supplement your income, but don’t be fooled by the sites which promise that you can earn a full time wage working just a few hours a week. To earn a full time wage you will need to work full time hours completing surveys. Also beware of survey companies which ask for a membership fee. Not only does this eat into your profits, you often pay the membership fee regardless of how many surveys you complete.


Blogs began as a way to express your knowledge, your ideas and your thoughts, and connect with other like-minded people all around the world. However, there is a growing number of ways you can turn a hobby or an online journal into a second income stream:

  • Advertising on your blog. There are a range of online advertising systems which can turn a profit for you where advertisers pay for space on your blog and there are also advertising programs which are specifically designed for blogs.
  • Attracting sponsorship. If there are companies selling the products or services you are blogging about, or in a similar industry, then you could paid for one off sponsorship of a blog post or be paid for a month sponsorship.
  • Affiliate programs. This can involve link sharing where you can promote your blog on other websites through reciprocal links or you could receive payment from a website who wants to list their link on your blog.
  • Digital sales. Online sales have never been easier. You can start selling digital assets such as ebooks, white papers, or webinars.
  • Blogging for a network or company. If you become part of a blog network, you can start writing for and with others who will help you set up your blog and handle all of the SEO and administration. Or you could blog for another business or company to promote their business. The person behind a blog isn’t always the one listed on the ‘About’ page.
  • Writing and consultancy in other mediums. As your writing and profile develops, you may be asked to write magazine or newspaper articles which can often pay better than traditional website copy writing. Also, as you become an expert on your topic over time, you may be able to do consultancy work or speak at seminars or workshops on your topic.
  • Donations from readers. There are also a number of tools which allow your readers to make donations. Sometimes known as “tipping”, your readers can support your work and show their appreciation for a good post.

Clinical trials

Partaking in drug testing and clinical trials can be a dangerous sideline career and there is more than one horror story/urban legend about clinical trial participants suffering permanent damage and organ failure. At the same time, the doctors running the trials will conduct a comprehensive physical before allowing you to participate. And you can of course pick and choose the trials you participate in to avoid those which are particularly invasive or which involve a lot of radiation and x-rays.

While you are part of a clinical trial, you are also getting around the clock medical attention and you can potentially earn tens of thousands of dollars a year. Those who make a full time income from clinical trials tend to travel the country in search of an appealing and high paying trial. But, whether you are traveling or not, you will find greater success if you don’t let the doctors know you are a ‘serial human guinea pig’, Some clinicians are concerns that lingering past experiments will compromise their results, and will disallow you from the trial.

This is Jerret. I had no idea something like this existed. Or that people did it full-time. I’m absolutely amazed. Please tell me you are too?!

A weekend job

Finding a weekend job which can generate a second income is about playing to your skills. There is little point in trying to earn a second income from mowing lawns if you have to go out and buy a lawnmower and a trailer to dump the clippings. However, if your day job is landscaper then you probably have everything you need to earn some cash on the side.

Or if you already ride your bike around the neighborhood you could make some extra money by loading yourself up with newspapers or catalogs to make deliveries. If you want to get fitter, or you already take your own dog for a walk regularly, then why not ask others in your community if they’re looking for dog walking services.

Today’s guest post is from Alban at HomeLoanFinder . Alban is a personal finance writer at HomeLoanFinder, a free home loan comparison service.

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