Innovative Ways to Make Money in the Modern Age

Budget-Debt-Stephanie Bates-Chispa MagazineWhether you’re tired of running the rat race or you simply want a little side hustle to get ahead, you should know that some truly unique and innovative ways to make money do exist.

About 44 million Americans report having a side hustle of some sort, particularly those from the millennial generation. And many of the jobs people classically consider to be “side gigs” can actually turn into very lucrative careers if done right. Here are some quick and potentially fun ways to start making more money today.

Open a Pop-Up Store
So, you have a unique skill and can make beautiful jewelry, the best pastries in town or have a keen eye for fashionable clothing? Consider opening a pop-up store to highlight these products.

With a pop-up store, you aren’t tied into a long-term lease or the overhead you have with a permanent brick-and-mortar location. If you can cater to a niche market, you’ll be able to earn your money back along with a little profit each time you host the pop-up.

… Or Sell Your Craft Online
You’ve likely seen people selling jewelry and clothing on Etsy, but there are many different crafts sold on that site and similar online outlets. What are you good at doing or making? Is it something you can turn into a profit?

At the same time, don’t rule out learning a new craft in order to sell items. Personalized products tend to do fairly well. Take a class at a local craft store and learn how to make silk flower arrangements or customized tee shirts.

Even though most people only use this type of work as a side gig, some crafters make selling their projects a full-time business.

Cook for Guests
Are you a great cook? Do you enjoy meeting new people? Perhaps you’re adept at fixing special meals, such as Keto or gluten-free.

If you live in one of several major cities around the world—including several in the U.S.—you’ll be happy to know there are many services now that allow you to sign up as a meal host for interested participants. Travelers pay for the experience of coming to your dinner party. You set the price, your menu and even the date and time of the party.

Give Speeches
What special knowledge do you have that you can turn into a money maker? For example, if you’re an amazing painter, can you give an inspirational speech and go to local schools to show students how to make art a part of their lives? Schools do pay speakers to come and talk to the student body.

You also can specialize in speeches for business professionals, seniors or any other group that interests you. The key is to tie your ability and knowledge with a topic people want to know more about.

There are many examples of people earning money from their speaking skills. Speakers such as Dave Ramsey run their own events that draw thousands of people, but there are also speakers who go into companies and offer executive coaching or team building events. The best place to start is figuring out where your skills reside and then reaching out to people who might be interested in what you have to say.

Develop Apps
Technology is a part of nearly everything we do these days. There are apps for tracking the weather, getting the news or watching what you eat. If you’ve ever had an idea for an app that you thought would go over well, you might benefit from developing it.

You’ll find two basic ways to make money developing apps. You can either work as a contractor for businesses that need an app developed, or create an app yourself and sell it or push out ads for profit.

It’s important to understand, though, that this money-making route involves a myriad of legal technicalities nowadays, especially regarding advertising and transparent communication with consumers, so it might be worth your time to seek legal advice before pursuing this path.

Put Your Smartphone to Better Use
If you’re like many people nowadays, you likely have your smartphone nearby most of the time. Why not turn that into a way to make money? Several apps out there allow you to make a bit of extra cash during your downtime. You can earn points for watching TV, making a pact to get healthy or taking a poll.

There are many different apps that allow you to earn extra money on your smartphone. Take polls and surveys through an app such as iPoll to earn gift cards, view ads via services like Slidejoy to earn a few extra bucks a month, or complete actions for brands by doing things such as taking a photo or sharing news on social media through a service like Loot.

Form Your Own Tour
Do you know the area where you live well? Consider forming your own tour company, showing the highlights of the area. You can either offer one-on-one tours or invest in a bus or trolley (if allowed in your city) and conduct group tours. Another option would be to start your own walking tour.

Join a Focus Group
Brands need feedback from the general public on everything from product packaging to whether a new food item tastes okay. Focus groups give them this information, but did you know that you can get paid to be part of a focus group?

You can easily find focus groups in your area online. Find out how much it pays to be a part of that group and what is available in your area. Some also offer apps that will allow you to receive push notifications of invitations for upcoming studies.

Be Open to Money-Making Methods
If you want to up your income, learn to look at the world around you through eyes that seek unusual profit. Whether you spend the time decluttering your house and selling those items on a social media marketplace or study how others are making money, there are hundreds of ways you can bring in more revenue. Starting the journey is half the battle toward innovative earning.

Kate Harveston

Kate Harveston

Kate Harveston is an online journalist from Pennsylvania. She enjoys writing about women's issues, career advice, and sociopolitical change. If you enjoy her writing, you can visit her at