Shelli Mader: Road to Ranching 1-9-12 |

Shelli Mader: Road to Ranching 1-9-12

One of my biggest goals for 2012 is to earn some extra income. I love being a mom to my kids while my husband works a full-time job, but I’m always looking for ways to make some money to help out. As you know, whether you are trying to pay off debt, save for a ranch, give to needy children or pursue another dream, having a little extra income can make a big difference.

Though none of these tips are rocket science, and you’ve probably heard them all before, hopefully they will get you thinking about potential income-earning possibilities in your own life.

Like I mentioned last month, saving money can be like earning money if you save on products you are already buying. Some people are just really good at budgeting and saving. For the last few years my sister Becki and her husband Kurt have operated on a strict cash budget. They account for every dollar they make. If they don’t have the money in their budget they don’t buy it. Their grocery budget is shockingly low (I’m amazed at how they do it), but they’ve learned how to get good deals at their local stores. They’ve listened to cds, watched videos and done research on budgeting and today they are reaping the benefits of their saving skills. They are about to have their first baby and reached their goal of having no consumer debt.

Both and have been around for years now and are still great places to sell extra stuff. I’ve sold odds and ends on both sites. My friend Marlene has an eye for deals and has made a business of buying cheap items at yard sales and reselling them on ebay.

If I had any kind of craft skills I would be taking advantage of all of the opportunities to sell crafty items. Unfortunately, my craftiness consists of 4 unfinished quilts in my basement and several books full of marginal scrapbook pages, so I have to sit this idea out. But, if you have craft or art skills of any kind this is one of the best ways around to make extra cash.

My sister has a knack for making beaded jewelry. She sells it from her purse at the school where she works and lists it on her free Facebook page. My friend Leah watched an Internet video about making hair bows last year, realized she had the talent for it, and now she can hardly keep up with orders from all over the country. She sells at crafts shows and on the website Etsy is a great site for crafters to list homemade products of all kinds. Like Ebay, the site takes a small commission from every sale in exchange for showcasing products to thousands of potential customers. It’s is definitely a site worth looking into if you make any kind of homemade product.

I think that setting up a blog or website is one of the best ways to make a little extra money these days. It takes a lot of work, but it can reap great rewards. (Just don’t be like me and think that because you designed a web site using FrontPage once when you were a freshman in college that you are an awesome web designer).

I started my blog about 9 months ago. Though I haven’t earned much money with it yet, I know that there is potential. Did you know that every time you click on an advertisement on a webpage that site makes money? It may be a few cents here and there, but it can sure add up. I’ve learned that someone somewhere is making money from almost everything you and I do online – things like making searching and printing off coupons are making bloggers money.

Affiliate programs are my favorite way to make money on the web. Popular stores like, Cabela’s, and hundreds of others offer a chance to be an affiliate. If just you sign up for their free affiliate program and put an ad on your site. Anytime someone clicks on your site’s ad and buys a product you get a percentage of the purchase. offers one of the best affiliate programs around. They kick back 4 percent to 6 percent of each purchase made on their site. Last year I had my friends and family go through my Amazon link when they needed to purchase something there and I got 6 percent cash on everything they bought. So even if you just have a bunch of friends or a large, internet-savvy family, setting up a webpage can be a great way to earn some cash.

There are dozens of ways to make money from a blog or website and it t is truly worth looking into, even if you aren’t that great at online stuff. The costs of running a site should be factored into the money-making equation of course (my blog cost about $10 for the domain name and $8 a month to host on but the earning potential is there. Plus, if you are a poor web designer like I am, there are lots of free site templates out there that offer easy customization to use to get you started.

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