How to Make an Extra $500 a Month

How to Make an Extra $500 a Month

How to make an extra $500 a month - picture of imac and ipad

I've seen and read list posts for "How to make an extra $500 a month."

Most of them are terrible.

Why? Because almost all the ideas require you to trade your time for money. That's the worst way to build wealth and freedom. I'm not saying you can't make extra money by driving for Lyft or dog-walking. You can.

But you quickly run out of time. Don't limit your income by the hours you spend working.

We know that leveraged income is the way to wealth and freedom. Start building an income you own that you can scale and outsource.

Here are 3 ways to make an extra $500 a month without trading your time for money.

Related Post: The 3 Levels of Passive Income

1- Sell an Online Course

How to make an extra $500 a month - picture of girl on iphone

Online education is huge. And getting bigger every day.

You can teach someone how to get a specific result or solve a problem. People search the internet all day to try and find help. YouTube is packed with How-To videos for just about everything.

A paid online course just goes into more depth and may let the student ask questions to you, the instructor.

But here's the real beauty of online courses:

Using technology, your online course can be completely automated.

From marketing to payment to delivery, it can all be set up once and run on auto-pilot.

That's why online courses are such a powerful wealth building tool. You can literally make money in your sleep.

If you can walk someone through fixing a problem or give them individual steps to get to a result, they will pay you for that knowledge.

Even if the same information can be found for free, there is a higher perceived value to having someone walk you through the process. Often there is too much information. People want a curated, step-by-step process that they can follow along.

Video courses can charge more than text/screenshot only courses. Watching someone do the thing you're trying to learn is a huge help. Combining video, audio and images, students are more engaged and likely to get results.

What Kind of Course Should I Sell?

The best online courses are result-oriented.

Where the student gets a specific result by the end of the course. As opposed to a course where the student just learns about a topic. A good course is action focused.

To get some ideas, start with "How To" scenarios. How many things could you teach someone how to do with your current knowledge.

How-To Course Examples:

  • How to Make Slime for Your 7 Year Old's Birthday Party and Clean It Up After
  • How to Double the Traffic to Your Blog Using SEO
  • How to Master Pivot Tables in Microsoft Excel in 10 Days (for Non-Techies)
  • How to Find and Apply for Local Scholarships for Your N.C. High School Senior

All of these ideas offer a specific result for a specific person or situation.

That's the key to getting traction with online courses. Go for a very specific audience or problem. It will help you attract people because they will self-identify.

If you have a N.C. high school senior and you see these two course, which would you choose?

  1. "All About Scholarships"
  2. "How to Find and Apply for Local Scholarships for Your N.C. High School Senior"

You would choose #2, of course. The specificity is enticing. It promises a specific result. It calls out a certain person.

Sure the audience is smaller, but they will be the RIGHT audience.

You can always add other specific courses later. Maybe add a "Regional Scholarships" course, or make one for students in Georgia. You wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel.

By calling out a specific person in a specific situation, the right people say "Hey, that's me!"

How much can you make?

I've taken many online courses.

They ranged in price from $50 to $500. Some were amazing. Others were just okay.

The key is to make your course a series of steps that walk someone from where they are to where they want to go. Don't teach them everything about a subject. Make it focused on one specific result.

You want your students to take action and succeed at the task. Don't overwhelm them with minutia. Break it down into easy steps. If your knowledge is a Level 10 on the topic, talk or write for your student at a Level 2 or 3.

Don't make them think. Just let them DO.

For that, they will pay you. Sometimes a lot.

Your online course price really depends on what problem they're trying to solve.

If they want to learn the best way to turn old pants into shorts by cutting and hemming them, will someone pay $2,000?

Probably not. Will they pay $50? Maybe.

Show someone how to fix a problem that is costing them money. Or causing a lot of pain in their life. Physical, mental or emotional. Or show them how to overcome something holding them back from being the person they want to be.

Be the guide for someone. Let them be the hero. They will pay you for that help.

Here are some ideas on course pricing:

Title

Price

# Students / mo

Total

SEO Basics for Food Bloggers

$50

10

$500

7 Cooking Secrets of Top Chefs

$129

15

$1,935

Build a 10k Email List in 90 Days

$499

30

$14,970

The sweet spot for online course pricing seems to be around $200. At that price you still get ​impulse buyers, so the lead time for sales can be short.

At $200, you only need to have 3 students a month for $500+ in income.

Just remember to get someone a result in as few steps as possible and you'll have success.

2- Group Coaching / In Person Workshop

How to make an extra $500 a month - picture of auditorium of people

Group coaching or in-person workshops are simply teaching to a live group. This can be in a room or over the internet via a video class.

There are two benefits group coaching has over automated online courses.

The first is that you can get up and running quickly. You may only need to create a presentation, rent a room and invite people.

The second is that having you there with other people can make it more attractive. Knowing that the instruction is there, in-person, to answer questions add value. So does having a group of people sharing the same desire or issue. People love to be part of a group, especially if working towards the same goal.

The drawback of group coaching is that you're limited in size. It's unlikely you're going to have 200 people in the room. But that doesn't mean it can't work well.

How much can you make?

I've seen half day sessions for $2,000 a person. That was for a highly sought after expert. If there were 30 students, that would be $60,000. For 4 hours of teaching time.

You probably won't start there, but just understand that people will pay good money for help. Especially if they can meet and interact with the instructor.

Like with online courses, you want the student to get a specific result by the end. They should walk out with something accomplished. 

Please don't leave people hanging and then try to charge them more for the rest of the information. That's scammy and unethical. 

Charge at least $50 per person. For the administration and effort you should get at least that much. If you have trouble attracting students, don't lower your price below $50. Add value somewhere instead.

Make your offer more specific, or for a more niche group of people. Add a bonus guide or worksheet. Do NOT lower you prices thinking it will attract more people. You'll just lower your perceived value, which can hurt you in the long run.

Here are some examples of group coaching pricing:

Title

Price

# Students

Total

iPhone Photos Master Class (1 hr)

$59

20

$1,180

Create Your Blog in 3 Hours

$199

30

$5,970

Business Accounting Boot Camp (6 hr)

$499

25

$12,475

2-Day Website SEO Workshop

$1,249

40

$49,960

Clearly you can make more than $500 a month doing group coaching or in-person workshops.

Imagine a workshop you run one weekend a month, teaching the same or complimentary topics. Aim for 20-40 students at each session. That could add thousands of dollars to your bank account each month.

That's the power of leveraged income. It often gets easier to make more and more money.

With hourly work, the only way to make more is to work more.

Hourly work is not the best way to wealth and freedom. Leveraged income is.

3- Rent a Bedroom in Your House on AirBnb.com

How to make an extra $500 a month - picture of house to rent out on AirBnb.com

Okay, this is not true leveraged income. But it is easy.

And can quickly lead to making an extra $500 a month.

If you have an extra bedroom, garage apartment or basement that you could rent out, you can definitely make money.

I have two friends who do this and make $12,000+ extra each year. For using an asset they already own that was just sitting there.

That's enough for a fancy three week vacation. Or to pay off a lot of debt.

You can get up and running quickly. There are some good books about getting set up on Airbnb.com. You'll want to have enticing pictures and good copywriting to attract people who are browsing online.

You could hire someone to do this for you to start. 

Once you have it up and running, you can test different pricing to see what works best. Like all good business, it's about trying out different things and seeing what happens. When you find the sweet spot, you just do as much as you can (or want to).

If you want to scale your Airbnb business, you could buy an apartment to add to your rental portfolio.

I've even heard of people who long-term rent an apartment then offer it on Airbnb.com for nightly stays. You can charge more for short-term stays. It's a kind of rental arbitrage.

Anyway, you have options to expand if you want. 

Now It's Your Turn to Take Action

Making an extra $500 a month could make a huge difference in your life.

You could cover a few monthly bills. Or pay down more on your student loans. Or max out a Roth IRA account.

And you can see that $500 a month is just scratching the surface. You can make a lot more money.

Try to create leveraged income sources. So you don't have to work more hours to make more money.

Three ways to make an extra $500 a month are:

  1. Sell an Online Course
  2. Group Coaching / In-Person Workshops
  3. Rent a Room in Your House on AirBnb.com

Now it's you turn.

- Tommy Sikes

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