make money after 50

Make Money After 50

Is it just me or is all this make money from home stuff aimed at beginners? What about those of us who have been around the block a few times and know a thing or two about a thing or two?

Ok, so we might not have been able to code before we could ride a bike but we have a hell of a lot to offer the world that doesn’t involve becoming an internet marketing guru, or even [necessarily] learning any new skills at all.

With this in mind, and since I myself have been working on a more flexible way of earning a living for a few years now, I’ve put together a few of my favourite ways to make some extra cash when you have a bit of life experience under your belt and a need to make some extra cash.

At the end of this post I have listed some other posts that I have come across of late that I think are more in line with a more mature audience and are less aimed at college students or people just starting their careers.

Skill Pimping Sites (e.g. Upwork & Fiverr)

You have probably seen these on many of the make money online lists, you may have even tried them, but if you take a bit of time to understand how these platforms work and have the patience to invest some time and effort into them, the rewards can be really quite good.

So in essence; people from anywhere in the world advertise on these websites for specific tasks to be completed by anyone, anywhere. Being found by someone who appreciates your skills AND is willing to pay for them is quite a challenge.

My biggest piece of advice if you are thinking of starting to work on a freelance basis through one of these is to be VERY specific about your skill set.

Personally I have always been a generalist, put me in any business and I can turn my hand to pretty much anything. This up to now has been a positive attribute of my personality.

It doesn’t work on these platforms.

Chances are that you will need to make multiple “sub” or specialist profiles to cover your biggest skill sets.

Definitely do not just post your cv or resume like you would on linked in or through a job agency style site and hope that someone will see your worth and hire you.

They will not.

If you are skilled at writing business cases, drill down on that and offer that single skill in one profile, if you are good at customer relations, make that another….you see where I’m going with this?

The last decade or so of my working career contained a great many job titles under the guise of management consultancy, one of the most generic terms in all of business management so I had to niche down considerably.

To do this I initially started to look for the jobs that were available without trying to narrow it down too much, and I took note of how many proposals these were getting, i.e. how many people applied for the role.

I found that many of the tasks that did not rely heavily on English skills such as web development and data analyst tasks had a very high application rate, and those that needed higher level language skills aligned with specialist knowledge were getting less proposals as there are less people with those skills.

Employers will however still do try to pay as little as possible per hour regardless of your expertise in the real world and this will remain the case while you have little to no feedback score. (i.e. have not done any jobs on the platform and been rated)

As a skilled professional (that’s you btw) I would suggest that you take the following steps

  • Write out your individual skills and be as specific as you can
  • Start with hard skills such as
    • SME expertise gained from 20 years as a HR expert in engineering – (break this down)
    • Created 20 business cases for start up’s in Canada – (be specific about what they were for)
    • Completed multiple academic tasks up to master level in business (be industry / country / university specific)
    • Medical researcher, state qualification, disciplines etc.
  • Then move onto the “softer” skills you might be taking for granted
    • Fantastic telephone manner with perfect English
    • Natural proof-reader – excellent at spotting mistakes
    • Fast typist with transcribing skills
    • Very good at explaining complex subjects to beginners

I could go on but I think you get my point.

Applying for a “task” is NOT like applying for a job and whilst it absolutely takes a very different mindset to design your application, it does not necessarily need a different skillset to execute, remember that.

You might find this skill finder test useful for this exercise.

I’ve personally done this in the past by writing each skill on a small piece of paper, spreading the paper all over the floor, then grouping them together into piles of like skill “SETS”

When you have this big pile of skills sets, start to look at jobs on the platforms and see what kind of tasks people are looking for and which ones appeal to you the most.

Unless you are willing to work for free (or close to it) to start off with, which I admit might be a good ploy if you are really dedicated, filter out ones that always pay very little and those that always get LOTS of applications.

Now start to write your niche profiles to align with these and draw a direct corelation to your skill sets.

Where possible, add proof by way of downloadable documents that the prospective client can see and to add an extra string to your bow, see if you can get former colleagues or employers to leave you a review on the site.

Remember employers are making a decision on you in the first few seconds of seeing your profile, it needs to POP.

The platforms themselves do give some very useful so it is worth setting aside a day or so to really get to grips with it.

Whilst I have described my experience of Upwork, all the ones listed below are very similar.



People per hour


Share your skills as a coach or teacher

Like it or not, we are at a point in our lives where we have, in one form or another, gained a lot of experience.

This might be through long careers in industry, as parents and carers, as perennial students or a vast array of other experiences. Whatever label you put on it or how we attained them, we have skills.

In section 1 above, I went through the process of extracting skills above so as to align them with requirements on what I like to call skill pimping sites but you could also use them to teach.

There are a number of ways you can reach a potential audience these days and a wide variety of things that people are willing to pay for. It’s not just about advertising yourself as a maths teacher or SATS coach anymore, the range is HUGE.

People of all ages, genders, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds come to these platforms to learn, and you could be the one to coach or teach them.

For the past 12 months I’ve been working for a Korean company (I’m in the UK) coaching senior executives in Business English. Not exactly what I expected to do with my MBA but I really enjoy it!

These opportunities exist and they are not that hard to find, they are just not packaged in quite the same way as we are used to with a traditional job, it really is just about seeing what we can do differently and learning how to repackage ourselves.

These are some options if you are thinking that you might like to share your skills in this way. Each one has their own rules and regulations so take a little time to study them before you jump in.

Skillshare, teachable……(FULL LIST COMING SOON)

Content marketing

This is not for the faint hearted or for those who are after a quick buck but it is amazing!

This unfortunately will require the acquisition of LOTS of new skills but as this is my new found passion, I couldn’t leave it out.

The essential premise of this model is that you:

  1. Select a niche (eg. Cooking, parenting, pets, or finance etc.)
  2. Conduct a LOT of keyword research to see if it’s something people actually want to read about AND that isn’t completely dominated by large companies.
  3. Build a website
  4. Create a few hundred articles each of 1000-2000 words ( the average authority site has 500k words!)
  5. Get lots of traffic to your site (because it’s so amazing and it’s keyword optimised for SEO)
  6. Get paid to have ads on your site
  7. Get paid to sell other people’s products on your site
  8. Make many $$$$$$ per month and / or sell the final website for many more $$$$$

There is a lot more to this and it’s honestly far more complex than I ever thought it was when I started but if it is something that you think you might like, take a look at these free resources for some more information.


Service “re-selling”

I think this is especially good is you have spent a good many years in managerial positions and are particularly adept as understanding how to fulfil a need even if you yourself do not have the skills to do it.

Going back to jobs like those posted on Upwork where the employer needs a high level of English for example (let’s say that’s your skill set) but also someone who can write a WordPress site or analyse some data (maybe not your skill set).

If you can package these services together, you’re likely to get a far higher price than you would individually and you can employ someone on Upwork or Fiverr etc who possesses the skills that you don’t, to fill in the gap!

You could even take this a step further and create profiles for jobs on one platform that you know you can use your skills to package and sell whilst paying for them from another – you just keep the difference!

I have tried this a few times and it works really well.

Take a look at this video for more information – liams video)

Over 50’s side hustles – ideas for further reading

My medium post