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Sell Your Knowledge on the Side

Sell Your Knowledge on the Side

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    Having a side line of income can come in handy — but not everyone is in a position to set up a full-fledged business or even take on freelance projects. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any opportunities to make some money on the side. If you’re knowledgeable about a specific area, you can sell your know-how, rather than selling your time. You’ll still need a little time, of course, but there are several ways to come up with ways to make a little money within your time constraints.

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    1. Write an ebook or white paper

    You can turn your knowledge and experiences into a document on your own schedule. While it does take an investment of some serious time to translate an ebook into serious earnings, you can start selling your work through sites like Scribd almost immediately. Your vendor will certainly take a cut, but the publication process is easier and faster than for print. There are also simple ways to up the likelihood of earning some good money: even something as basic as laying your document out in something besides Microsoft Word can give you an immediate boost. As far as topics go, how-to guides tend to do well, as do papers that address current issues in most fields.

    2. Offer a seminar or class

    While seminars and classes are generally a little more time-sensitive than projects that don’t require you to interact with other people, there are a long list of ways to make them a little more flexible. One of the most basic is picking a time and date for the class that works with your schedule and then taking care of planning and other details when ever it’s more convenient for you. Another option is offering a class online, even by email if that’s what it takes. The biggest difficulty with selling slots in a class is that you have to have a good reason for prospective students to buy from you. If you aren’t a well-known expert in your field, you’re going to have to do some marketing to make sure that your class is full.

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    3. Tutor on your topic

    If you specialize in a topic that is taught in school — from kindergarten through grad school — tutoring is an option. You don’t even need to worry about trying to find local students: you can tutor online. That can make managing time easier, because you can work with students in different time zones so that you can better take advantage of your time. Sites like Tutorz, offer an opportunity to list yourself for a variety of subjects.

    4. Write for websites

    There are many websites that allow writers to post any number of articles and take a cut of the profits. You’re not going to get rich off of such articles, but there’s no problem if you need to write on an odd schedule — or even stop writing suddenly. You can write about pretty much any topic, although you’ll probably be able to write more often if you focus on a topic you already know well. There are thousands of such sites. HubPages and Triond are just two examples.

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    5. Provide advice or consulting

    You can offer your consulting services on your own online, but if you don’t have a lot of time to devote to the project, it may be better to offer your services through a site that connects experts with individuals looking for advice. There are quite a few out there: one example is LivePerson.com. It’s a pretty typical site. You post your information and then clients can hire you through the site. You decide on the time and date you’ll actually talk to clients.

    6. Answer questions

    The number of websites offering payment for answers to specialized questions seem to grow every day. SmallBizAdvice, for instance, offers payment for answers to questions about small businesses, for example. There are also plenty of sites with multiple topics, as well as sites specially for students to post questions they have with (or, more often, from) their homework, like Student of Fortune.

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    Selling your knowledge

    It’s worth noting that none of these approaches are exactly get rich quick schemes. In some cases, they may not even be get rich quick schemes. You have to have some knowledge worth sharing, although that list can be pretty long — you’d be surprised what some people are willing to pay for video game tips or basic technical support — and you have to be able to share it in a fashion that other people can understand relatively easily. If you can handle those requirements, though, selling your knowledge can be a good way to bring in a little extra money. It doesn’t hurt that there are plenty of websites and online services ready to handle much of the marketing and promotion, and let you focus on your own expertise. The pay goes down when you work through these sites, of course, but the amount of time you need to devote to finding clients and related aspects of being in business also goes down. It doesn’t hurt that being associated with a larger site also establishes your credentials a lot faster than you can if you aren’t already particularly well known.

    If you’ve worked with a website beyond the ones I’ve mentioned here, please note them in the comments — there really are thousands of websites providing similar options out there, and I only discussed a handful here.

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    Last Updated on September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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