My social media feed has been hijacked. And I’m willing to bet a hefty stash of eyelash boost that yours has been, too.

Legions of my friends, high school acquaintances, and other random contacts have figured out that they can earn a nice chunk of extra cash by selling makeup, leggings, and other random products via social media.

I could totally steer this article into an aggravated rant against these social media solicitors, but I personally know moms who have been able to stay at home with their children or have otherwise been able to make ends meet because they joined in the fray and sold products via social media. So I’m not going to bash these people. They’re doing what is best for their family.

Instead, I want to offer alternative ways you can earn extra cash – ways that don’t involve blowing up other people’s social media feeds and may even make you better at things you love doing.

I’ve spent some time researching money-making ideas, and I’ve also had success in turning two of my own hobbies into money-making ventures (without having to awkwardly solicit my friends).

How I turn hobbies into money-making ventures

When I was in high school, I loved playing guitar. I wasn’t that guy who tried to get every girl to swoon, but I loved playing and finding ways to improve my skills.

When I was a senior, it occurred to me that I might be able to get paid to give guitar lessons. When I let some of my friends know, I immediately had two takers. Not only did I get better at guitar, I also made some extra cash.

In my 20s, I started getting interested in writing. I started a blog and at first, I was terrible. I would spend hours on a post, revising it 50 times before publishing it. But over time, I got better, faster.

Eventually, I ran across, submitted a piece and, lo and behold, it got accepted! And this leads me to my first idea for you:

1 | Write articles for cash

Today, you can sit down, write an article, and make money. All you need is a basic understanding of grammar and a personal story about your parenting struggles, joys, or thoughts.

For example, I struggled with whether I should put my kids in piano lessons. Should I force it? Do the benefits outweigh the cost? So I researched a bit a la Google and wrote about it. And you know what? It helped me figure it out. Plus, I got paid!

Here’s a site that lists a whole bunch of paid writing opportunities.

2 | Monetize your hobby

I know “monetizing your hobby” sounds like a cop-out, but it’s not. Writing for extra cash has enabled me to become a better writer all while getting paid.

Once you’ve gotten your hobby to a decent skill level, all you need to do is find a paying audience. If you’re the creative type, Etsy is a great place to do just that. Maybe you can draw a picture of someone’s childhood home like I recently paid someone to do. Or maybe you’re great at photography and you can offer to take family photos of your friends.

3 | Ask for a discount on your bills

No, seriously.

When our family went down to one income, I called all of our utility providers and told them we were going down to a single income. I was shocked by how much they were willing to work with us in order to keep our business. Our pest control company alone reduced our bill by over half.

You can also cut those unused gym memberships, switch to one of those bulk-food membership clubs, and find other ways to cut your bills in order to free up cash.

4 | Google ideas you’re well suited for

Did you know you can get paid to be a virtual assistant or to watch other people’s pets? Finding the right job can be as easy as browsing a site that compiles a number of them, like this one.

5 | Ask for a raise

If you work outside the home, one of the best ways you can make extra cash is by asking for a raise. Of course, you have to know how to ask for a raise if you want to make it effective.

Get your kids ready for Disney World because you’re about to have some extra cash coming in the door.