For those of us overly reliant on our fortnightly or monthly salary payments, additional revenue streams are highly appealing. Finding them sometimes means thinking outside the square, but often they may require relatively simple actions. Here are five ways to supplement your regular income and make some extra money, ranging from the straightforward to the slightly odd. This is not intended as a true cross section of the opportunities out there, of which there are literally dozens, once you let your imagination loose on the idea.

Acquire a new expertise

Find something that interests you in a preferably niche area of collecting such as books, jewellery, furniture, clothes, LPs or glassware. Do as much research as you can then be on the lookout at markets, garage sales, and second-hand shops for bargains. Things pop up in the strangest places, and you can find good great deals if you know what you’re looking for, especially at the auctions of deceased or liquidated estates or at annual police auctions. You have unprecedented opportunities, in this day and age, to buy low and sell high on mass-consumer sites such as Gumtree and eBay if you know what you’re doing, but be prepared for some trial and error along the way.

Profit from your holiday snaps

If you have any interest in photography and you take lots of snaps either at home or on holiday, then there are websites that will actually pay for your photos, assuming they’re of a high-enough quality. Stock libraries such as Fotolia and 123rf are always looking for more content, but there’s plenty of competition, especially when it comes to tourist destinations, so try and make your contributions as exciting and off the well-beaten track as possible. Similarly, if you take photos of quirky parts of your own town there’s no reason why you can’t sell them too.

Sell your hair or volunteer for medical experiments

To some these would appear to fit more into the ‘if you’re desperate’ category, but wigmakers are always looking for nice long locks so if you feel your hair is of merchantable quality, hop onto Gumtree or similar sites and see what you can find. You mightn’t get paid terribly much, but it could be a regular source of income. Alternatively, you can enquire at large hospitals about upcoming medical experiments, where volunteers earn relatively good money over a period of up to two weeks testing what are usually miniscule doses of drugs that have previously been untested on humans. Nobody’s died yet doing one of these tests in Australia, to the best of my knowledge.

Create a website or blog

Do you have strong opinions about particular issues and want an outlet for them? Successful bloggers make very good money (some make a fortune) once they attract a sufficient number of advertisers and other sites wanting to re-use their content. Be aware though, that once you’ve set up your blog or website, it’s going to take time to get any traction, regardless of how energetically you market yourself through friends, family and every social media avenue at your disposal.

Make your pet an online megastar

Does your kitty or canine have star potential? You may find them ridiculously adorable, now you just have to convince a whole lot of other people. Start with an Instagram account in their name, bombard it with the most creative photos you can muster, then move on to a web site and Facebook page. Before you know it, you’ll be getting sponsorship and endorsement deals that more than justify the effort it will require to make a success of this venture. It might be a bit of a long shot, but there are pet owners out there that have well and truly proven the viability of this idea.

Think I’m joking? Tuna, a Chiweenie mix of Chihuahua and Dachshund found as a stray at a California farmer’s market, has more than a million followers on Instagram due to his cartoonish overbite. A book, The Underdog with the Overbite, goes on sale in two weeks for $14.95.

Then there’s Boo, a Pomeranian with 17 million fans on Facebook, multiple books and a line of toys. Boo also recently became Virgin America’s official “pet liaison.”

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