Making Money While in College

Depending on your school’s policy, it may or may not be legal for you to run a business out of your dorm, even though many big companies started in college dorms (e.g., Facebook and Yahoo!).  The way around this is to get a PO Box or have business-related correspondence sent to your parents’ house.  Nowadays many things are done over the Internet so the amount of mail correspondence should be low anyway.

What can you do to make money?  Internet has opened many doors for many people.  It may take nothing more than a computer and a bit of time.  E-commerce via eBay and Amazon is one possibility, but the key is volume – do you generate enough business so you are profitable and worth the time you spent on it?  If you find a niche product that has a big market, try it.  If you can do it without investing in inventories, even better. You can utilize shopping cart systems such as PayPal to manage your “store” and receive payments.

If you have unique skills, you may be able to make more money faster than your friends can.  A friend of mine told me about a friend of his who twists balloons at parties, and taught his kids the same skills.  Those kids twists balloons at parties on weekends when they went to college, and paid for their college education that way.  Each party can pay hundreds of dollars, depending on the skills and length of the event.  That sure beats washing dishes for $8/hour!

Many of you have valuable computer skills without even knowing it.  Social media is a big thing now and many companies want people to manage their social media campaigns.  Just learn how Facebook really works and learn about the plugins that you can buy, then you are in business.  Also learn website creation tools such as WordPress and Joomla that do not really involve a lot of programming.  You can be managing websites for several businesses and get monthly compensation for doing so.

If you can create original content (e.g., like this very site) or aggregate useful content from others, then you can run advertisements such as the big Google AdSense on the upper right-hand corner of this page, or affiliate banners like those to the right.  The more people that visit your site, the higher the chance they’ll click on those ads and buy something from there.