Use What You Know to Make More Money

What's going on inside your head? Do you have knowledge that others would pay to learn? Many of us don't realize it, but we have information that someone else can benefit from. If you know a lot about something, or if you are good at something (even if it's just a hobby right now), it might be possible for you to turn it into a side hustle and earn some money.

How to Monetize What You Know

There are a number of avenues you can take to turn the knowledge in your head or the skills in your hands into money. Some of the more popular ways include:

Books or Freelance Writing in General: Write a book about what you know. You don't even have to sign a contract with a big publisher. There are ways to self-publish and the costs are very reasonable these days. You can even produce ebooks and that’s the costs are almost nothing. When you are the publisher and the author, there are no middlemen so you get to keep all the profits.

You can also write online for a fee. This piece is exactly what I’m talking about. I have my own business but I share my knowledge by writing about money topics here as a freelancer on the side.

Blogging: You can curate knowledge on your blog, or you can provide how-to guides, news, or just entertainment. Blogs can provide you with a way to make money from affiliate programs or advertising. That’s how my business started at I was a salesperson and started writing on my own website on the side. One day, an advertiser asked if they could give me money for a spot on my blog to showcase their product. The rest is history.

Videos on YouTube: Nowadays, the hot trend is moving more towards videos than written words. While you can still make a good living writing for others, many people are making even more as an influencer on YouTube. Either can be lucrative, but which path you choose really depends on what you are good at. Are you good at speaking in front of a camera, or are you better at typing out your thoughts and explanations?

Teaching: Many people are willing to pay for lessons when they want to learn something. That’s why you can provide instruction and reap the benefits. Teach your hobby, or teach music lessons, or apply to be an adjunct at the local college.

My daughter’s viola teacher started out this way. You teach a class here and there and before you know it, word of mouth will keep you plenty busy and plenty wealthy.

Teaching is a more traditional method of earning money, but there’s also a modern twist. You can teach online these days via zoom. I know one friend who is quitting her day job because she started teaching Mandarin classes on Zoom and business has been booming. Everyone is so used to going on Zoom calls now and my friend can take on many students at the same time with an online class without the cost of renting an office to house every student.

Even if you aren't teaching classes, you can become a tutor if you are knowledgeable about certain subjects. Believe it or not, people are even paying for online tutors too. It’s just so easy to get a teaching gig these days if you are knowledgeable.

Consulting: If you have been in a career field for a long period of time and understand the ins and outs of the industry, then you can get hired as a consultant. This is a great way to earn money without having a "regular" job. Take what you know and help others using your knowledge.

Product development: It's also possible to design products, such as courses, around your knowledge. Take your knowledge and turn it into a product that someone can use. Courses are especially nice because you can resell the same product to every new student without having to reinvent the wheel.

Crafting: Are you good with your hands? Then you can make crafts and sell them on Etsy or eBay. My wife bought custom wooden lettering as decorations on the kids’ rooms. They were custom made and pretty cute. The work was also a good source of income for the owner. The best part was that the owner could totally control the hours. Whenever he wanted to take a break, he could just take down his eBay listing nearly instantly.

There are a number of options available to those who want to turn their knowledge into a money-maker. Consider what format is likely to provide the best vehicle for your knowledge. Realize, too, that you might be able to profit from more than one format.

My friend who’s teaching mandarin is already thinking of turning her lessons into a more structured course she could resell for decades to come. She’s excited at the opportunity, and I can see why. Once she’s done and she is able to start selling, it’s possible that she could be set for life without much work because maintaining the course really requires minimal work but the material will be fresh for every new student.

Selling Yourself

It can be difficult to sell yourself at first. You will need to make sure that there is an audience for what you are selling. Additionally, you will need to establish yourself as an expert. You need to build a reputation and a following. This can be done using the Internet, but it can also be done using word of mouth and utilizing your professional and personal networks.

Consider the best way to sell yourself, and what channels your audience is most likely to use, and focus on those. Remember to provide added value in all your products and services. You need to be able to show others why you are worth the price. If you are good at something, or if you know something and can demonstrate your competence, you are more likely to be able to sell yourself and what you know effectively.

There are plenty of ways to make money off the knowledge you already have. The question is whether you are willing to go out there and grab a piece of that pie.

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