Love to Read and Write? 4 Ways Students Can Make Extra Cash

If my email is any indication, college students are quite drawn to the freelance writing field, and to independent work in general.

I've had long conversations with students who love the idea of making a little extra spending money in their free time, doing something that they are good at and simultaneously building their writing-specific resume and experiences.

Some of these students see writing as a potential career, whereas others see it as part of a bigger career choice, such as publicity or marketing. Also, as an English graduate myself, I obviously identify with the few English majors out there, who often ask me “How can I make a life out of my passion for books?”

A recent brainstorming session with one such writer resulted in a list of ways that students (and others) can do just that! Following are four ways that you can harness your voracious writing and reading appetite, and make it work for your pocketbook. 

Freelance Writing Projects

Of course, I've got to get my plug in here for this most versatile career. I do indeed see a place for students in the freelance writing field! The students I've spoken with have managed to build their reading and writing credentials into a solid writing resume, and have a lot of luck taking on smaller, shorter writing projects that leave room for their studies. Also, I tell those English majors to consider writing book reviews, as it’s a thriving area for all freelance writers (plus, who wouldn't want to get paid to read?). If that interests you, be sure to check out my tutorial on writing book reviews for money here.

Custom Word Creations

A couple days ago, I saw a writer announce her new Etsy store on Twitter (by the way, are you following me on Twitter?). She was offering custom-created poetry for any occasion. The Etsy marketplace is on fire—it’s the first place I go for great gifts. Here’s an example of custom poetry offerings. If you've got a way with words, this may be the outlet for you.

Consume, Then Sell

I personally go through books like wild fire. But, that gets expensive. Which is why I tend to sell my already-read books on Amazon pretty quickly after I’m done. But it occurred to me that students with a limited budget who are looking to make money may not be buying the latest bestseller at Barnes and Noble. But, what books do students have to buy? Textbooks, of course! Students could skip the local textbook store and check out the price they could get for their textbook online. It may be more than what your local store is prepared to give! Sites like Sell Textbooks for Cash even have apps and other services available to help you make some cash.

Sell Someone Else's Stuff

In fact, voracious readers out there don’t have to own or even possess a book-in-hand to sell it. Amazon A-Stores allow you to build online Amazon stores. You populate your store with the titles you want to sell from (without buying the titles yourself!), and when someone buys a copy of that book from your A-Store, you get to keep a portion of the profits. Sure, you've got to put some time into promotion, but the process and set up is ridiculously easy! 

It Just Takes Some Hustle (Like Everything Else!)

Turning your passions for reading and writing into profit takes a bit of work. In addition, this world isn't closed to you simply because you’re a student; on the contrary, your immersion in the world of reading and books can work in your favor! In addition to (my personal fave) freelance writing, students can take advantage of a few of these ways to generate extra cash--or, go for it, spreading your eggs among several baskets to generate some cash! Either way, try not to spend all your new found wealth at the local bookstore like I do.