Student loans suck.
If you’re currently in college, chances are you have a student loan hanging over your head, and you want to get a head start on repaying that massive debt.
If you’re one of the lucky ones who don’t need student loans to get a college degree, you’re probably still looking for a way to earn some side cash for other expenses.
But it’s hard to find the time to do a side hustle. Attending classes, doing homework, participating in extracurricular activities, and trying to have at least a semblance of social life can take up much of your time.
Fortunately, there’s a way you can make some money by doing something you have to do anyway: taking notes.
In today’s blog post, I discuss how to sell college notes: why you should do it, how to effectively take notes, and where to sell them.
Why Sell Your Notes?
There are plenty of ways you can make some side cash, but why sell your study notes?
First, if you’re taking a course that is in demand, you can certainly help plenty of students, not only in your school but even around the world.
Also, as I’ve already mentioned, you’re going to take notes anyway, so you might as well make money from it.
In addition, you get to learn how to be a good entrepreneur, as you become better at sales and marketing.
Lastly, in the process of trying to earn money, you get to be a better note-taker and you might even get a higher GPA because of your excellent notes.
How To Take Excellent Course Notes
When you’re looking to sell a product that you make, it’s on you to make sure that they’re high-quality.
Here are some tips on how to take college notes that you’d be proud to sell.
1. Go to class.
Seems obvious, but this needs emphasis.
The only way you’re going to earn money from taking notes is if you’re actually in class to take them in the first place.
2. Choose to take digital notes if possible.
Digital notes on your laptop are easier to restructure in terms of layout, format, and chronological order, plus they’re easier to upload.
However, there are some subjects that will require handwritten notes, especially those that deal with graphs and illustrations. Do your best to scan these handwritten notes.
Or better yet, invest in a digital notebook so you can convert them to digital files and upload them to the cloud.
3. Focus on the most important concepts.
Information overload is real, even for notes.
Students learn better when key terms and concepts are emphasized, such as names, dates, thesis statements, and definitions.
4. Make your notes as readable as possible.
The most important aspect of your notes should be the content, for sure, but it helps if your content is aesthetically pleasing as well.
If you’re typing, use fonts that are easy to read and non-distracting. On the other hand, if you’re handwriting your notes, make sure your handwriting is legible and you use a pen thick enough to show up clearly on scans.
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Another technique you can use is to have a color-coded system to highlight the key concepts.
Perhaps most importantly, format your notes such that topics are organized under headers and subheaders so that they’re easier to scan.
5. Don’t sell something that you didn’t make.
Never, ever offer up copies of your teacher’s, professor’s, or classmates’ homework, presentations, or course handouts. Earning money from others’ hard work is unethical and illegal, and will lead to you being blocked from selling them.
On that note, most websites don’t accept essays that you’ve submitted, because the moment you submit them, they become property of the college or university; it’s no longer yours.
7 Places To Sell College Notes
Now that you have some premium notes to offer, here are some websites where you can upload and sell college notes.
1. Oxbridge Notes
Official site: Publish Your Notes | Oxbridge Notes
Pay: 50% commission after fees (e.g. taxes and PayPal)
UK-based Oxbridge Notes only accepts the best of the best notes, so if you’ve got what it takes and pass their application process, this website is for you.
They will only take digital documents, such as Word and PDF, so if you only have scans of handwritten notes, this site isn’t for you.
But you barely have to do anything once you’ve uploaded your notes; just wait for the monthly payments to be credited to your account.
Note that they only accept notes from the following countries:
- United Kingdom
- United States
- New Zealand
Official site: Official Notetaker – OneClass
Pay: As much as $470 per course per semester for elite notetakers; 25 OneClass credits per document for casual participants.
OneClass is a community of university students sharing course content, such as lecture notes, textbook notes, chapter summaries, and study guides.
They accept both digital documents and scans of handwritten notes in exchange for OneClass credits that you can swap for other course content posted by others.
They also offer a service called Homework Help, which provides unlimited access to a library of real questions and answers from students and allows students to ask one question a month, all for a subscription fee.
If you want to earn actual cash, apply to be an official note-taker, which earns you up to $470 per course per semester.
OneClass accepts notes from the following countries:
- United States
- New Zealand
Official site: Stuvia Upload
Pay: Pricing is up to you; minimum price per document is $2.50; earnings per download is automatically calculated by Stuvia when you upload files.
Stuvia allows you to upload your digital files, determine your own pricing for it, and earn money every time someone downloads your notes.
They accept summaries, lecture notes, study guides, flashcards, as well as bundles of these materials.
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Although they accept notes from students all over the world, most of their students are from the following countries:
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
Official site: Become an Author | Notesgen
Pay: Depends on length and quality of your notes.
Notesgen considers itself the number one online platform for various kinds of online study material.
To become a Notesgen Author, upload your notes in a digital format, whether they’re digital documents or scans of handwritten notes, price your notes according to the Notesgen pricing policy, and start earning from your notes.
Notesgen also has a mobile app that makes it accessible to its users.
They are based in India, but they accept notes from 143 countries worldwide.
Official site: Apply to be an Elite Notetaker | StudySoup
Pay: As much as $500 per course per semester for elite note takers
StudySoup is a peer-to-peer learning marketplace providing subscribers with class notes, study guides, and solution guides for important textbooks.
Applying as an elite notetaker allows you to sell these college notes to students who subscribe to StudySoup.
StudySoup accepts both digital and scanned handwritten notes in any of the common digital file formats, though they strongly recommend the PDF format.
6. Nexus Notes
Official site: Nexus Notes
Pay: Notes sell for $35 a set; you get 50% commission
Nexus Notes accepts high-quality notes, templates or course guides, regardless of your grades.
They accept both digital and scanned handwritten notes in PDF format, and they serve students from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
Official site: StudentVIP
Pay: 25% commission
StudentVIP caters to half a million student members in Australia and is a great place to sell your notes if you’re studying in Australia.
Only members are allowed to sell their notes on the platform, but membership is free and also gives you access to other students’ notes.
Bonus: How To Become A Top Note Seller
Here are some tips on how to sell the heck out of your college notes and become a top seller on your chosen platform.
Offer a sample of your notes or a mini-study guide for free.
Free samples are hard for students to pass up. Students who get free samples of your notes are more likely to buy your notes and are more likely to leave positive reviews.
Keep your prices affordable.
Free samples are great, but students won’t end up buying your notes if your prices are too expensive.
Don’t sell yourself short, but bear in mind that college students don’t have much to spend. Strive to price your work product such that you’re compensated for your hard work while still allowing college students to afford it.
Advertise to your network.
No matter where you sell your college notes, make sure that you let your target market know that you’re selling.
Chances are your school would have a digital noticeboard or forum where you can post the link to where you’re selling your study notes.
Advertise on social media and your website as well. If you don’t have a website yet, it’s the perfect time to get one set up, not only for this side cash endeavor but for all of your future online businesses or endeavors.
Observe what other top sellers are doing.
Learn from other people who are successfully selling their own notes.
Find out what strategies other top sellers are doing and see if you can implement it or a version of it that fits with the other techniques that you’re doing.
Start Selling Your College Notes Today!
The main challenge of making side money as a college student is finding the time to do the work.
Luckily, there’s a way you can earn money by doing what you normally do as a student, and that’s by selling your college notes.
Start taking high-quality notes and selling them today!
Other Ways You Can Make Money
There are other ways you can make some side cash aside from selling your notes. The most popular is to become an online tutor.
Or you can go through this list of online jobs for college students.