I have heard folks saying that it is important to have multiple sources of income. This is one common mantra of many who have become rich, that they never had just one source of income. If we think about it, this makes sense. Not only additional income, secondary sources also secures your finances if you lose your job (or want to leave your job). While there are many ways to grow passive income, the earlier you start, the better it is.
Lot of college students have asked me on Quora about different ways they can make money while they are still studying. I like how people want to be financially independent, pay their tuition fee and manage other expenses. During my college, I started up a website that covered college news which later grew to multiple cities and with 1Mn readers, I started making money at an early age. It got acquired in 2018, you can read more about that journey here.
While there are certain things that just clicked and worked for me, I am listing down few ways to earn money while still in college:
- Internship – Even if you don’t want to make money, I think internship is a must for every student. It opens up perspectives to think, explore and make the right career choice. It also makes a student more skilled and ready for a job later. I did an internship for free but what I earned from it, is irreplaceable. Today’s scenario is different and companies pay good stipend to interns. It is a positive change because while a free internship worked for me (read about it here), for a lot of other people it was a channel of getting exploited. Working as a full time intern during vacation or as a part time intern during your college is a blessing with reward.
- Freelancing – One you are skilled or develop expertise in some areas, you can start freelancing. It is different from internship because the relationship here is binary – you take money and deliver X. There are lot of students who make money by freelancing as a content writer, graphic designer, website designer, digital marketer etc. There is huge demand in the market specifically from small business who have capital constraint or who have just entered the online world. Keep cases from your previous work, build an honest LinkedIn profile and start!
Similar to taking an internship or freelance projects, the concept of gig economy has also taken a boost in India. Companies outsource certain tasks which you can perform and make money. Platforms like GigIndia, Picxele etc have pioneered this marketplace in India.
- Blogging, building community, becoming an influencer: Putting all these together because they are very closed linked and there is no quick way to get there. This is what worked for me in college days as I started building a blog/website and hence community of students. With platforms like Instagram, YouTube etc, it has become easy to distribute your content. However, this requires great content producing abilities, hard work and consistency to drive traffic. Once your traffic/engagement grows, you can then start monetising it by collaborating with brands for branded content, running ads on your blog and affiliate marketing.
There are many influencer marketing agencies and ad networks that helps bridge gaps with content creators and brand. Platforms like EarnKaro are helping people to excel in affiliate marketing. While building it, I came across students who are making over 2.5 lakhs a month via this. That is a lot of money but it takes a lot of time as well!
- E-Commerce/ Reselling: Creating an online store is not difficult and with platforms like Spotify, Meesho, EarnKaro etc, this has become very easy. With EarnKaro, you can sell a product listed on any website operating in India via your affiliate links and make money on every sale. So, next time when your friend wants to buy a jeans from Ajio or a phone from Flipkart or a Beard oil from Beardo – you can simply recommend a product using your special link and earn! You can join my Telegram group to get real time updates on top online deals which you can buy or recommend to others. Apart from this, you can also resell your books, notes etc and collect payments using tools like Instamojo.
- Teaching – If you are good in academics and have expertise in your subject, spread your knowledge and help others. Well, a college senior is the best teacher in my view – they have first hand experience of the pressure, priorities, difficulties of a junior’s life and have updated version of concepts as well (also hacks). Hence, you can start teaching / coaching your juniors and earn.
- Start Investing – Simply open your demat account and start investing in shares/ mutual fund. It will not give you instant money but overtime yield good results if invested smartly. Just signup on free platforms like Angel Broking (explore here) and your demat account will be created. Investing in Cryptocurrency is the new trend. Read about it before trying because it is a little immature market with lots of ups and downs but just a fact – if you bought 1 Bitcoin in 2010 for Rs 6 (approximately), it would have become Rs 43 Lakhs by 8th May 2021. Saving my 1 rickshaw ride during college and investing in bitcoin would have been worth 1.29 Cr. (At the same time, guy who bought Bitcoin on 8th May 2021 for 43L would have dropped to 26L this week – fluctuations and risks are super high here, read a lot to make smart choices).
You can try to earn money following one or more ways listed above or ways not listed above. However, be focused and be ready to give what it takes to crack it. Picking up less and doing it nicely is the key.
You can reach out to me on LinkedIn for any help.
All the best!