9 Ways to Make Money with Back-to-School Season

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Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links. I may get a commission but it's at no cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

As the back-to-school/work season sets in, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the long shopping lists and tasks to get done before September comes. This is also the time when bank accounts start shrinking! But there are ways for you to make money online with the back-to-school season!

This article has various niches and online businesses in mind. You can pick and choose based on your interests and niche.

Ready to get some ideas running and a few bucks back into your pocket?

Let’s get started!

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9 Ways to Make Bank with Back-to-School Season

Below are nine ideas to make money online with back-to-school season. For some, it would be ideal if you already have a website and social media accounts setup for business. For others, however, you can just start from scratch today.

1. Run a Back-to-school Sale on Your Services/Products

People – especially parents – become more sensitive to price tags at this time of the year. This is also the time when most people come back from vacation and realize how much they splurged over their Summer. Suddenly, it dawns on them that they need to budget and try to save up money for the holidays.

If you are running a service-based business (i.e. consulting, virtual assistant business, etc.), then the back to school season is the perfect time to run a sale on your services.

Running back-to-school sales also works great for products and even courses, especially if your products/courses are in the parenting niche.

Why not run a 20% sale on your online course? Touch on the pain points that most people are going through at this time of the year – overspending, trying to get organized, etc.

Promoting Your Sale:

Promote your back-to-school sale on your website, but also share it to the various social media channels at your disposal – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. You can use SmarterQueue to schedule your promotional social media posts for a specific period of time.

Another cost-free way to promote your sale is Pinterest. Create an awesome pinnable image with a free design tool like Canva and then pin it to Pinterest for maximum exposure.

2. Give Away a Back-to-school Freebie with an Upsell

Who doesn’t like freebies? We all do, especially the #mompreneurs out there in the world wide web who are trying to get their business in check and prep up for a new school year for their little devils.

Give away something that is meaningful to them. This can apply to any niche, really.

You can create a very simple guide or checklist with Canva to giveaway in exchange for an email address and contact name. Then, upsell with a related product of yours once the reader has signed up for your freebie. In the online world, this is often called a tripwire. In the retail world, it’s called an upsell.  

Here’s an example: create a back-to-school shopping checklist and give it away as a freebie. Then, when your customer signs up to download the checklist, you can offer a product – say, a back-to-school toolkit.

At best, they will click on the upsell and purchase your premium product. At worst, they’ll get your freebie and sign up for your newsletter, where you’ll have plenty of opportunities to upsell.

How to Create a Freebie and Add an Upsell:

  • Create Your Freebie – use a design tool to create your digital freebie. There are a few different design tools out there, but my top recommendations are Canva and PicMonkey. Canva has a free version and PicMonkey has a 7-day free trial.
  • Create an opt-in form – you will need a form to collect people’s information when they sign up for your freebie. If you already have an email marketing provider there’s no need for extra tools. ConvertKit for example, allows you to create professional and visually appealing opt-in forms, which you can add to your website.
  • Connect your freebie to your opt-in form – you will need to connect your brand-new freebie to your opt-in form so that when your reader signs up, they can download the freebie. You can set all of that up with ConvertKit in just a couple of minutes.
  • Create an upsell sales page – or tripwire page if you will. The easiest and cheapest way to create a tripwire sales page is to use Elementor to create a sales page on your WordPress website and add your premium product and buy button. You’ll need something like SendOwl to process payments for your product.
  • Connect your upsell sales page – simply redirect your new subscribers to the upsell sales page, the moment they sign up. You can do this with ConvertKit as well.

Bang! You’ve got new subscribers and possibly a few purchases too.

3. Sell Back-to-school Supplies Through Dropshipping

While it is best if you already have an e-commerce website in place, you can quickly set-up and run a small dropshipping website solely focused on the back to school/work season.

If you target parents, you may want to focus on backpacks and classroom tools. You may also want to look into lunch boxes and cool Tupperware that makes meal prep easier and almost fun.

If you want to target professionals – because after all, it is back to work season as well – then, you can focus on productivity and office items for business.

Setting up a Dropshipping Store:

  • Sign up with Oberlo – create an account with Oberlo to start selecting and adding products to your shop. Oberlo is free and gives you hundreds of products and vendors to choose from.
  • Set up a shop with Shopify setting up a shop with Shopify is super easy and intuitive and now they’re offering a 90-day free trial as part of their Go Digital Canada program.
  • Connect Oberlo with Shopify – these two work like butter on bread. From Oberlo you can connect your Shopify store and push your selected products to your new online shop.

Dropshipping is a great way to have an online store without having to pile up on inventory. Because you only purchase through your vendor once someone makes a purchase, you won’t have to invest capital on inventory either.

4. Promote Back-to-School Affiliate Products on Your Website

Say you have an affiliate website… You can use this time of the year to focus on back to school/work items and related products.

Feature and promote work/school-related items on your homepage and make sure to run a campaign to focus on those products.

Make sure your products have great images that can be shared and pinned, so that you can get maximum reach. Also make sure that school and office items are visible and the first thing people see when they visit your website.

If you’re running a sale, promote it on Facebook through an ad campaign. Another great place to run ads is Pinterest.

Don’t have the cash to run ads? Running ads would be best, but you can also just run a social media campaign using a scheduling tool like SmarterQueue. You can set up a variety of promotional posts and have them running and recycling for a specific period of time with SmarterQueue.

If you are a blogger or have a content website of some kind, you can also link to relevant products and services to your content that could help with getting organized for school. Parenting blog niches are the most popular around this season.

Like an affiliate store owner, you can promote back-to-school on social media and Pinterest. You can also write blog posts specific for the season. Even if you’re not in the parenting niche or homeschooling niche, you could still do something – you just need to have an angle that connects to the season.

One great way to add affiliate products to your website is to add Amazon products. You need to be an affiliate with Amazon first, of course. It’s easy to sign-up to be an Amazon affiliate, just have all your and your website details ready to fill up the application form.

Then, you can add products to your resources page, your homepage and even your blog posts, like the example below:

5. Pin Back-to-School Affiliate Products

As an affiliate pinner, this is usually a great time of the year for me. With the back to school/work season, I can focus more on specific boards and pin specific items and products:

  • Meal prep and lunch boxes
  • Backpacks
  • Notebooks
  • Student agendas
  • Business printables, etc.

Affiliate pinning is simply adding an affiliate link to a pin and pinning it to Pinterest. In this case, it won’t direct people to a blog post you wrote about the product, but directly to the product itself. This blog post shows you how to do that.

If you really want to take affiliate pinning to the next level, for seasonal sales or even throughout the year, you’ll want to get Tailwind App to schedule your pins to published over time.  

Related Post: Make Money with Pinterest without a Blog

6. Sell Digital Planners & Printables

Everyone loves printables and planners, but some people have the lucky skills of being able to make them!

If that’s you, then use your amazingly good skills to create planners that are specifically tailored to parents and the back-to-school season. Make it fun and cute, but above all, make them simple and useful.

Put it up on Etsy or sell it through your website, if you have one.

Here are some ideas:

  • Mom planners
  • Homeschooling curriculum planners
  • Getting organized/Housekeeping printables

Here’s a great course that shows you exactly how to make money selling printables. You’ll learn how to create printables, what you need to create them and the strategies you need to put in place to sell them and start making a profit.

7. Write about Back to School/Work Pain Points

As a writer, you can use this time of the year to focus on the pain points that parents and professionals go through around this time.

Keep in mind that if you are pitching to third-party editorials, you need to pitch clear and exciting headlines well ahead of time. Think around July, but you might still be able to catch the editorial crunch in early August.

If you are a blogger or write for independent bloggers, then you may have more leeway in terms of timeline. In any case, you want to touch on specific pain points of the season:

  • Getting back to work mode
  • Getting organized
  • Preparing lunch meals for fussy kids
  • Meeting and connecting with new teachers
  • Back to school shopping, etc.

Promote your back-to-school content packages on Facebook, or if you have a website pin a promotional pin to Pinterest. Alternatively, you can go to UpWork or and apply to any relevant jobs there or share a gig on Fiverr.

8. Sell T-shirts on SpreadShop

Backpacks and pencils are not the only things parents buy during the back to school season. A lot of the spending money also goes for new clothes!

Design cool t-shirts that appeal to parents and kids and sell them on SpreadShop. It’s free to set up, and you only pay a commission on what sells!

They also include some other merchandise like coffee mugs and water bottles, which are also relevant for this season.

9. Sell Back-to-School Stock Photos

Stock photos are very popular right now and rightfully so. With stock photos, you can create an attractive website and add striking images to showcase your products or add on to your content.

For the Back-to-School season, you can create a collection of themed stock photos. This means including specific theme-focus elements and colours such as notebooks and desks.

You can either take your own stylized photos or use smart elements from Envato Elements and create flat lays.

Either way, keep in mind the many ways stock photos are used: social media banners and posts, Pinterest pins, website banners, product display, etc. Each of these channels has its own photo specs in terms of size, so keep that in mind.

Once you’ve created your stock photo collections, you can either add it as a product to your website using SendOwl, for instance, or you can sell it on marketplaces like Creative Market.

There you have it! Nine different ways to make bank with the Back-to-School season. What’s best is that you don’t have to set up a physical shop or go to people’s houses – it’s all online!

Wanted to SAVE not MAKE money?

Well, you can kind of do both with Swagbucks! Swagbucks allows you to earn cashback money from purchases you make online.

So, you could do all your Back-to-School shopping online (i.e. Amazon, Walmart) and collect Swagbucks towards a PayPal payout or an e-gift card to use this holiday season.

When you consider that most items are on sale during the back-to-school season, then you’re really saving money twice. You save when you pay a reduced price, and then you make cashback money on your purchase!

Who will say no to that?

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