How To Make Money Online As A College Student + Free Bonus Training

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Interested in learning how to make money online as a college student then you're in the right place. In this post, I'll be discussing 5 different methods you can use to make enough money to pay for your rent, tuition, clothes, and food without having to spend so much time that it can affect your school performance.

Of every method we'll discuss:

  • What the method is
  • Why you should try it
  • Daily tasks
  • Earning potential
  • The process of finding clients/products

1. Become a Freelancer

What is a freelancer?

A freelancer is someone who is self-employed and does services based on their skillset in exchange for money.

Why should you become a freelancer?

Becoming a freelancer is an excellent way to make money as a college student. It's also a job with a low barrier of entry. The only thing you need is a skill that's in demand, a working computer, and an internet connection.

You have the freedom to choose when and where you want to work and also how much you charge. Ideally, as a freelancer, you work per project and not per hour so you can choose how much time you spend on working.

Daily tasks of a freelancer?

  • Emails (20 minutes)
    Most of your communication with the outside world will be done through email. Don't underestimate how much time this can cost. You'll be communicating with clients and other people that are vital to keeping your business running.

  • Lead generation (60 minutes)
    Without clients, your business dies this is why you have to spend time acquiring new clients. This can be done through social media marketing, search engine marketing but also through cold emailing.

  • Work ( depends on service )
    You're going to have to do the actual work that people pay you for. How long this takes differs per service that's provided. Some services take 10 minutes while others have you busy for 3 hours.

  • Education (60 minutes)
    You might already have mastered the skill set you used to provide your clients with their services but it's important to keep on learning more and as Robert Greene would say sharpen the saw to make sure you always deliver high-quality service.

source: The freelancers union's website

Take a look in the day of the life of a freelance graphic designer in this video.

Earning potential of a freelancer

How much you earn as a freelancer is dependent on a few factors:

  • The service you're providing
  • Your skill level
  • The target audience

It's honestly hard for me to give an exact ceiling for how much you can make because of these factors but an article from the balance small business website says that in the US the average hourly rate of a freelancer is $31.

Source: Balance small business website

How do you find clients?

You have a few options you can try out:

  1. Market your freelance business
    Social Media, PPC, and SEO are all effective methods to get clients if you know what you're doing.
  2. Referrals from your social circle
    Your social circle or their friends might need your skillset
  3. Freelance websites
    Join websites like Fiver, Freelancer, Upwork, and Guru

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2. Flipping products on eBay

What is flipping?

Finding products from different sources and selling them for a higher price on eBay.

Why should I try flipping products on eBay?

It's a flexible way of making money and can even be done without leaving your house depending on your creativity. You decide when you want to work and in a lot of instances, you don't even have to invest money to get started.

Daily tasks of people flipping products on eBay

  • Finding products to flip ( 90 minutes)
    To keep the business alive you'll have to find products you can flip for profit. You can take a few hours out of your day and make this a daily task or assign one day to just find as many products as you can to flip.
  • Listing products on eBay (30 minutes)
    You'll have to take some time to take adequate pictures of the products and come up with descriptions that give people a reason to buy your products.
  • Customer service ( 30 minutes )
    in case people have questions, want to return or get a refund you're going to have to take some time and communicate with these people.

Here's a video that might give you some insight into what people do in a day.

Earning potential of flipping products on eBay

It depends on what you're selling according to this article from one fine wallet its possible to get to the $100K by selling product on eBay but I imagine this is possible when you do it full time but it gives a good indication that it more than possible to make enough money to get through the month as a college student flipping party time.

source: one fine wallet

How do I find products to flip?

You can flip almost any product. A few examples of products you can flip are:

  • Your used products
  • Thrift stores
  • Garage sales
  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • dollar stores

You'd be surprised about how much you can make flipping products on eBay.

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3. Start a dropshipping business

What is dropshipping?

A drop shipper function is someone who sells products online without having them in stock. He acquires the products from a third party (often for a very cheap price) and sells them for profit.

Why should I start a dropshipping business?

No need to create a product
Unlike a lot of other business, you don't have to create the product and you don't need a place to stock the products once you buy them in.

Location independent
Dropshipping can also be done from anywhere since it's done online.

Daily tasks as a dropshipper

  • Website maintenance (60 minutes)
    As a drop shipper, your website must look good. It's often what separates you from your competition. You'll be putting up customer reviews to build credibility and update your listings to provide website visitors with information.

  • Marketing (60 minutes)
    A business isn't anything without its customers so you'll need to promote your business and attract customers. Most drop shippers use advertising. This means a big part of your business is monitoring and creating marketing campaigns.

  • Communication (60 minutes)
    As a "middle man" between the supplier and the customer you're going to be in contact with both so your daily tasks will include communicating with:
    suppliers (Managing inventory)
    customers (questions, returns, refunds, etc.)

Here's a video that'll give you an idea of what you'll be doing.

Earning potential drop shipping

There's an interesting article created by cloudways talking about the state of drop shipping in 2019.

According to this article, you can still make a lot of money with drop shipping but you're going to have to spend a lot more time doing customer service and branding to make it work.

source: cloudways

How do I find dropshipping products?

You'll have to do some research to find out what works. There are multiple methods you can use such as:

  • Monitoring your direct competitors
    What works for them should also work for you.
  • Research Google results
    Use keyword research tools to find active niches with low competition

Multiple platforms can help you with setting up your dropshipping business such as:

  • Shopify
  • WooComerce
  • Magento
  • BigCommerce

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and last but not least my favorite method

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4. Affiliate Marketing

It's the method that generates a big part of my income and in my super biased opinion the best way to make money online as a college student.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing where companies partner up with marketers to get more exposure. In exchange for the marketer referring people to the company and getting them to buy their products the marketer receives a commission.

Why Should I Get Into Affiliate Marketing As a Student?

  • Financial risk is low
    I remember as a student not having a lot of time and money. I'm still mind-blown thinking about how Mark Zuckerberg made Facebook from his dorm room.

    I guess that's for the chosen ones but those among us that are normal (like myself) would rather not invest that much time into our side hustles.

    You don't need to create a product when you do affiliate marketing. The only thing you're doing is promoting the product which saves time and money.

  • Location independent
    The only thing you need when you do affiliate marketing is a working computer and an internet connection which means you can do it from anywhere in the world including your dorm room.

    This eliminates the need to go from place to place and waste time.You can make money while you're sitting in the campus cafeteria or even in the lecture halls ( which I never did, of course haha)

  • No need to trade hours for money.
    Affiliate marketing is results-based which means to make more money you don't have necessarily spend more hours working. You get paid for every customer you refer and buys a product.

    Yes. It takes time and effort to set up your affiliate business but once it's up and running and you have automated the majority of the processes you don't have to spend as much time on it.

  • Easy to scale
    Everything within affiliate marketing happens online which means it's easier to increase our income. Invest more in your marketing to increase your reach and you'll earn more. This can easily be done with advertising.

Daily tasks of an affiliate marketer

I've been promoting affiliate products for the last 16 months on this website so I can give you insight into what you'll be doing as an affiliate marketer. The majority of these last 16 months I haven't been doing it full-time. On average my most important tasks are done within 3 hours.

  • Maintaining the website (30 minutes)
    Your website is the home of your business. You aren't going to be taken seriously if you don't have one this is why it needs to be kept up to date. The pages I focus on are my main page, about page, and sales pages.

  • Creating content (90 minutes)
    Content functions as the oxygen of your business. It brings in customers, gives you credibility, and creates the relationship needed to get people to buy products based on your suggestions.

    The method you use is up to you. Most affiliate marketers write blog posts but you can also create videos, use graphic design, and start a podcast.
  •  Answering emails ( 30 minutes)
    Most people that buy my products are added to my email list. Here I can help them with their questions and it's also an opportunity to offer affiliate products that can help them with whatever problems they have. This is a win-win situation because they get more help and I make more money.
  • Monitoring marketing/sales performance (30 minutes)
    While a lot of my processes are automated by this point you still need to monitor the performance of the website. There might be things you need to adjust because of changes in the Google algorithm.

    I also use this time to find out what I can improve to get more leads and sales. After or before that you have all day to spend on your studies or anything else you need to do.

How much money you can make as an affiliate marketer

How much you make in affiliate marketing is entirely up to you. There is no ceiling when it comes to affiliate marketing. I've seen some people make in the 4 figures a month while others have become millionaires.

Not too long ago I created a post with a few affiliate marketing success stories from people that didn't have the money or the time but made it work.

The process of building an affiliate marketing business

1. Pick a niche
To get people to buy something based on your recommendation they need to trust you. The most effective way to get that trust is to position yourself as an authority. People listen to authorities and experts because they often know to give the right recommendations.

You can't be an expert in everything which means you're going to have to pick a niche ( A specific subject or product that is found interesting by a select part of the population.).

2. Validate the niche
Not every niche will work as a business this is why you're going to have to do some research. You need to find out three things:

  • Is the niche profitable?
  • How much competition is focusing on that particular niche?
  • How popular is the niche?

3. Choose Affiliate Companies to partner up with
You need to pick products to promote. Luckily you can either use Google to find affiliate products or go to affiliate marketplaces that are full of affiliate products that you can promote.

Here are a few affiliate market places that you can check out:

  • JVZoo
  • WarriorPlus
  • ClickBank
  • Amazon Associates

4. Create A Website
The website is the home of your business. This is where people go to find your content and see what you're all about. It's your greatest tool when it comes to positioning yourself as an authority with information about yourself, your business, and all your content.

To create a website you need two things:

  • Hosting
    A host provides you with a place online to store all your content.
  • Domain name
    This is the address of your website. It's what people used to find all the content you have uploaded on the internet through your host.

5. Market Website
To make money you need to be able to get people to your website. Most affiliate marketers use either SEO or advertising on Google to get people on their website.

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8 thoughts on “How To Make Money Online As A College Student + Free Bonus Training”

  1. This is a detailed and very informative article on creating an online income for college students, but your information applies to folks of all ages as well.

    Helping young folks get started early in life learning the basics of online marketing is so essential in enablsing them to be independent rather than holding down a 9 to 5 or picking ups gigs here and there just to pay the bills.

    Your information is much appreciated.

    • Hey Joseph.
      I’m glad you liked the article. I’d tried to make it as detailed as possible without making it too complicated for beginners.
      I also agree that this information applies to people of all ages. That’s what makes earning money online so great. Everyone can do it!

  2. Collage can be pretty expensive and it is good to know that there are jobs available which can help those who are in college to make a few extra bucks that can go a long way. My son is in college but he has a part-time job as a lifeguard which is a great help to us and him.

    • Hey Norman.
      Thanks for the comment. College indeed is expensive. Having a son you probably know that all too well. I’m hoping this article can at least help one person with
      financing their tuition.

  3. Wow! An abudance of information you provided for making money online. Great tips! I’ve even thought about freelancing myself once, but after reading your post i might have to revisit that.

    You definately gave me a lot to think about. I think anyone who comes across your site will be glad they did. Thanks For the awesome tips.

    Much Success


    • Hey Eric,

      With all the methods to make money online freelancing has become less popular but its definitely one of the better ways to make money online. You can start earning money relatively quickly and you can do it using your own unique skillset. I know a lot of people that combine freelancing with some of the other methods I’ve mentioned in this post.

  4. That’s a great, great article!

    I live in a student city (Durham UK) and I must admit i’d never really considered creating content for these people. Your article is actually great for non-students too and there’s a few things that anyone can do based on your article to make a better living.

    Keep up the good work,

    Dave (dkohara)

    • Hey Dave.
      I’m glad you liked the article. I too believe no matter what phase of your life you’re in having an additional income stream
      can help you. I tried to come up with as many methods as possible because not everyone likes the same methods.


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