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Making money online: Could and should you do it?

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Take a look at some fun and simple ways for dads to make money online.

You’ve probably read a few articles on the subject of ‘side hustles’ in the past. If you’re not familiar with that term, a side hustle is basically another name for making money on the side — away from your main job. Most of the blogs that cover this sort of thing out there focus on using weeknights and weekends as fertile ground for productivity, in order to get your side business off the ground.

Of course, the problem with this approach is that it doesn’t take into account those of us who have kids and prefer to set aside our evenings and weekends for spending time with the people we love.

So, with that in mind, we’ve carefully picked ways that allow you to put in as much time as you like/can and, in most cases, you can involve your kids too.

Start a Twitch channel

If you’re a gaming dad, you’ll be familiar with Twitch. If you’re not, go check it out. It’s the most popular place for people to stream their gaming and for other people to watch them do it. If that sounds stupid to you, try to approach it with an open mind. Some of the most popular Twitchers get paid thousands for broadcasting their gaming to viewers, as the platform allows users to donate cash to their favourite streamers.

Of course, you’ll need a gaming PC, an Xbox/PS4 or the like, along with additional software to capture your exploits. The good thing is that you don’t have to upload your streaming live if you’re not comfortable doing so. If your kids love gaming, too, this is a win-win all ‘round. Have a gaming session with your children and focus on just having fun, then check the video back later, do some light editing and upload. Simple — and fun for everyone.

Photo:Ugur Akdemir on Unsplash

Take advantage of free promotions

“Never look a gift horse in the mouth”, as the old saying goes. In all honesty, it’s never really made that much sense. But whether you think the meaning is clear or not, the sentiment is something we should all embrace: “Never question the value of a gift.”

Some gifts are more welcome than others, but if you enjoy the likes of roulette, blackjack or poker, free casino promotions will undoubtedly be right up your street. There are loads out there and although there’s no guarantee of making money from gambling, there’s also no risk of losing any if you stick to freebies.

And of course, the promotions aren’t limited to just one industry. For any product or service you could possibly consider buying, an offer will be out there to be found. For example, food delivery companies such as Postmates (in the US) and JustEat (UK) regularly offer money-off vouchers via Facebook or their own newsletters. Browser extensions like Honey even trawl the internet for you, looking for discount codes to apply at checkout when you’re shopping online.

If there’s product you’re really into or use a lot, the best bet is to do a quick Google search for promotions, check out their social channels for information on discounts and visit their website for a newsletter sign-up. Chances are, within a day or two (at the latest) you’ll be sent a discount code. Sure, it might only be for 15% off your next order but… never look that gift horse in the mouth!

Start a YouTube channel

This one’s similar to starting a Twitch channel, but you need even less equipment to get started. As long as you have an interesting idea and a personality to match, there’s every chance you can cultivate a following large enough to gain the attention of advertisers. YouTube do have some numbers you need to hit before you can start monetising your channel. Once you meet the criteria though, you’re free to run ads ahead of your videos and start earning. It’s as simple as flipping a switch. And if you think making money from YouTube is only for the likes of PewDiePie, KSI and the Pauls, think again.

One of the biggest recent trends at the minute are ‘unboxing’ videos. The premise is so simple: when people buy something new, they sit down and record their experience of opening the packaging — does it include any cool surprises, like stickers or a note from the store/maker, that sort of thing. Some of the most popular channels involve kids unboxing and playing with their toys. So not only is this an interesting and simple way to start a YouTube channel, you can also get your kids involved — hey, why not make them the star?

Now, you’re not going to be bringing in the big bucks with this one, but if you enjoy providing your opinion and would rather get paid for it than give it away for free, you’ll want to read on. Places like YouGov pay you for completing short surveys, with points allocated for each one and cash paid out once you reach a particular target. Don’t just rely on one survey site to earn from though. The most effective way to make the most of these platforms is to sign up to as many as you can and complete as many questionnaires as possible. Don’t stress yourself out, mind you. Simply open your laptop the next time you’re Netflix binging with the family (stop pretending you never do it!) and get answering. The more active you are, the more surveys you’ll be given — and the quicker you can start cashing in your points.

Get paid for your opinion

This is far from an exhaustive list but I hope it’s given you an idea of a few ways to earn cash on the net without sacrificing your happiness or time with family. If you’ve got any tips to share with the community (and us), please send us your comments — we’re interested to see what you come up with…