I’m pretty sure you’ve heard the often quoted phrase
“You must spend money to make money”
That advice is over 2,000 years old and nowadays it just doesn’t always apply.
The reality of our modern world is that it is possible to make money with no money whatsoever.
How then can you do this?
Time vs. Money
The thing you need to understand here is that if you have no money, you need to replace it with something else: time.
Time is after all, money!
Time is valuable to everybody which is why so many people out there use cash to obtain things that they could actually do themselves, just to free up their time.
This is where you come in; you take their cash and give your time instead.
Ways to sell your time
If you have access to an internet connection then there are a million and one ways to give your time in exchange for cold hard cash, here’s just a few of them:
Fiverr.com is a marketplace where people sell services for (in theory) $5 dollars. It’s changed recently so people can charge much more than that.
Not only is the marketplace proven, but people will buy all sorts of stuff, from proofreading to video testimonials, to logos and coding.
There are a lot of options and a large variety of them will cost you nothing but time.
This site is more aimed at people hiring freelancers, but the basics are the same. If you have a skill you can promote, you can swap your time and energy for money.
Unlike Fiverr where you can sell yourself singing happy birthday in your birthday suit, Upwork is more professional so you will need to have a skillset.
If you prefer to sit on the sofa and earn cash why not check out Swagbucks? This site allows you to earn cash from surveys, web browsing and more. They even give you $5 just for signing up!
We wrote a full review of Swagbucks because it is just that good.
Like a cross between Fiverr and Upwork, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a marketplace for micro jobs. The system is designed to use crowdsourcing to perform jobs that computers can’t currently do, for example:
- Inputting specific values from an image
- Label objects displayed in images
- Internet research
- Classifying tweets as useful or not
The rewards are low but the tasks are generally easy.
Do the hustle
Using time to create money doesn’t have to be about working for someone else. Instead you can use that time plus a bunch of free services out there to actively create an income.
Take affiliate marketing for instance. While it’s not the fastest way to do it, you could start with a small free website such as one at Blogger, Hubpages or Squidoo.
Each of these sites offers the ability to get your content out there and potentially earn cash from affiliate marketing.
YouTube is another great opportunity. All you need is a video camera and an idea. If you don’t own a video camera, then use a webcam or smart phone. Borrowing one from a friend or family member is an option too.
Social networks are another great place to make cash just by using your time. Take Instagram for instance. By posting great photos it’s possible to get tapped by a company to do product placement and advertising.
Sometimes you do need to spend money
Once you’ve earned some cash, now would be the point to stop trading time for money and start spending your cash to create more cash. The reason is simple, if you continue to trade time for money you won’t make as much money as you could by spending money to make money.
You could start by teaching yourself to create an online business, that way you invest in your own future.
Or you could invest that cash for more short term goals like creating a website to promote your skills through or even hiring someone to do what you’ve been doing but at less than you charge.
Automation of your tasks is also a great way of spending cash to help speed things up and/or free up your time, to allow you to do other things to make money.
The Bottom Line
The reality is clear: while in the beginning selling your time for money pays off, it’s not a long term solution.
Far from it, instead you should see it as a stepping stone to building up enough money to really start your own business and start spending money to free up your time instead.
If you’re serious about investing a small amount to learn and grow and make more money online, then I’d suggest checking out sites like Wealthy Affiliate which are an affordable way to learn to earn.