50 ways to make money: Income from your skills

5 October 2017

Household bills have risen 10 times faster than incomes have grown since the start of the financial crisis, research by price comparison website uSwitch has found.

But if you have already fine-tuned your household finances by cutting energy and food bills, as well as remortgaging, and are still struggling to find spare cash, what can you do?

Here are seven ideas to earn extra money from your skills.

Find more money-making tips on our 50 ways to make money page.

36. Sell photos of news events

If you're in the right place at the right time and have your smartphone to hand, you can make money by selling pictures of breaking news to newspapers and websites. You can either approach the news outlet directly or go via an agency that will negotiate with the press for you – and take a cut of the money.

Featureworld.co.uktalktothepress.co.uk and cavendish-press.co.uk all deal with general news, while thesnitcherdesk.com specialises in celebrity pictures.

A picture of an A-list celebrity behaving badly can pay thousands of pounds.

37. Sell photos online

Budding photographers can upload their work to a stock library – this is where newspapers, magazines and advertisers go to buy images.

The biggest stock library is alamy.com. It's free to list photos, Alamy sets the prices and you get 50% commission on each sale. Prices for buyers start at £15 for a photo to use in a presentation up to £149 to use it as part of a big marketing package.

However, you'll need both a decent camera and good photography skills to pass Alamy's quality control tests.

Other stock libraries include istockphoto.com and gettyimages.co.uk.

38. Grow and sell vegetables

If you have green fingers and a big garden or an allotment, you could make extra cash selling fruit, vegetables and flowers to passers-by, shops or at farmers’ markets. How much you can make depends on how much you sell, and of what. Some people will attract customers by simply advertising in front of their house or selling to friends.

Alternatively, gardeners can join Big Barn’s Crop for the Shop (bigbarn.co.uk) programme. It connects people with surplus stock to sell with independent food retailers.

39. Sell your crafts

 If you enjoy knitting, woodcarving, pottery, making jewellery or other similar arts and craft type activities, you could make good money selling your wares on craft websites like etsy.co.uk and folksy.com. These websites have small fees for selling items.

40. Design an app

Apps are big business – in 2013 teenager Nick D'Aloisio sell the Summly news summary app to Yahoo! for an estimated £18 million.

Once you've had a unique idea for a useful app, or game you need to get it designed and made. FanStudio.co.uk says hiring an app developer to do this costs from £1,000 upwards.

The app will need to be submitted and approved by a mobile operating system such as Apple App Store, Google Play, or Windows Phone Store.

Once it's listed and people start downloading it, there are several ways to make money: charge each user to download it (from 79p on the App Store), sell in-app purchases or subscriptions, flog space on the app to advertisers, or sell the entire app to someone else.

41. Write an ebook

You no longer need a publishing deal to publish and sell a book – you can do it for free online. Writers such as EL James, who wrote 50 Shades of Grey, and Amanda Hocking, whose novels include Switched, have become millionaires this way.

Although you can publish for free, there are various services you can buy to increase your chances of success: for example, an 80,000-word novel will cost about £2,600 to copy edit, proof-read, format, design and advertise.

Next, you need to get it listed on Kindle Direct Publishing (kdp.amazon.com). There are other publishing platforms but Kindle is the biggest one.

Kindle allows you to set your own sale price and royalty level. Authors receive 70% of the sale price providing the cover price is between roughly £1.80 and £6. So if you set a sale price of £3, you'll receive £2.10 per download.

42. Start a blog

Blogs make money by attracting lots of visitors and then using visitor numbers to convince companies that buying advertising space on the blog is worthwhile. The more popular your blog is, the more advertisers will want to get involved and the more they'll be willing to pay.

As well as ads, blogs also feature 'sponsored links', which means the advertiser pays the blogger to publish a post in which there is a link to their website.

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