Microsoft Excel is an extremely powerful tool. If you’ve got the chops for crunching data and tinkering with formulas, here are the best ways to get paid to make Excel spreadsheets.
Excel has over 30 million users, making it the world’s most popular spreadsheet program. The platform’s intuitive design and robust functionality have made it a corporate staple, and its fame comes as no surprise.
Microsoft Excel can run queries on massive amounts of data while being able to execute highly useful functions. So important is Excel that some businesses consider the platform their lifeblood – without it, their productions fail.
The strong demand for Microsoft Excel paved the way for experts with spreadsheet prowess. Look online and you’ll find thousands of excel jobs on Toptal, SolidGigs or FlexJobs, all looking for data analysts, automation experts, and data scrapers, among others. These are jobs that require a strong foundation in Microsoft Excel, among other skills.
If freelance Excel work isn’t for you, you’ll find other ways to monetize your spreadsheet skills, including building Excel spreadsheets and selling them to online stores, or engaging in the consulting field.
If you’re looking to monetize your knowledge in Excel, the future is bright.
We listed down five of the best ways to get paid to make Excel spreadsheets with tips on how to succeed in the field.
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1. Create spreadsheets for small businesses
Through Excel programming, you can help businesses turn large amounts of data into information they can use to make better decisions.
MS Excel helps you complete manual operations that take hours in seconds while being able to display vast amounts of data in a format that is easier to understand.
Do you know that some established businesses lack the computer systems needed to run their operations? These old-fashioned businesses are prime targets for selling spreadsheets that could streamline work processes.
You can get paid to make Excel spreadsheets by talking to business owners and pitching templates that could make their work easier. Here are some of the businesses you can target.
Landlords and rental agents. You’ll discover a lot of landlords and real estate agencies that only deal with paper, even in today’s modern age.
You can approach these people and present a sample spreadsheet that collects all of their data, including tenant name, contact details, address, move-in date, payment type, late payment reminders, and others. Attaching photos of their properties into the spreadsheet will make the presentation more convincing.
Craft shops and hobby stores. A lot of these stores have owners that are not interested in integrating technology into their business.
For these people, present an invoicing spreadsheet that could make their lives easier. An invoicing spreadsheet can help do away with loose papers and items filed away in drawers.
Used car dealerships or mechanics. These types of businesses often employ outdated filing systems and traditional processes. You can propose an Excel-based cost calculator or customer database complete with details.
2. Charge for private lessons
If you have enough knowledge about Excel, you can get paid by offering consultancy services or tutorials to businesses or individuals.
With so many robust features, Excel can be hard to study on your own. As an Excel expert, you can offer easy crash courses on Excel basics or teach more complex Excel functions.
As a consultant, you’ll have to handle your own personal branding and marketing, so make sure to have the following covered.
Master your sales pitch. You should be able to give your potential clients a convincing sales pitch that describes your business and how it would benefit them.
Create your personal website. A good website is essential for a great brand. Clients you meet and interact with will turn to your website for information about your credentials, so make sure it is up-to-date, comprehensive, and professional. The quality of your website says a lot about the quality of your work.
Become a thought leader. Establishing thought leadership can be one of the most effective marketing strategies for Excel experts who are looking into consultancy. Share tips on your website or through channels such as LinkedIn. Once people see that you’re a master in your field, you’ll be able to sell your services easily.
Once you’ve got your marketing covered, you have there are two ways to make money by selling your skills.
Target businesses or individuals. Some businesses are looking for Excel experts who can train their team in the art of making spreadsheets.
You can target businesses you know by personally reaching out to them through email, or you can get in touch with businesses looking for experts in job websites.
Of course, you can also start by reaching out to your family and friends – they may have businesses that could benefit from spreadsheets as well!
Sell a course on Udemy. Millions of people flock to Udemy to learn about solutions to their problems. You can create an Excel course in Udemy and sell them to people who are looking to learn more about spreadsheet making.
Consider creating a course about Basic Excel, Advanced Excel, formulas and functions, data analysis, and pivot tables. The sky is the limit.
See Related: How to Register as a Freelancer
3. Apply for a freelance job
Applying for a freelance job is one of the easiest ways to get paid to make Excel spreadsheets. Excel for freelancers can be extremely lucrative.
You’ll find thousands of job openings in platforms such as Upwork in Fiverr, all looking for Excel experts who could help manage large amounts of data. Here are some of the most common jobs in freelance marketplaces that require knowledge in Microsoft Excel.
Required to gather insights and recommendations from financial data, financial analysts are required to master MS Excel from the ground up.
Financial analysts are often tasked to consolidate, research, and analyze numerical data to make informed decisions that can help companies. As such, they must display spreadsheet skills to show direct costs, sales, spending, and annual revenues.
See Related: What is Freelance Work?
Data Entry Operator
Data entry operators enter customer and account data from documents within set time limits. They also need to verify, compile, and sort the information before computer entry.
Freelancers who are looking to try out data entry need to master Excel and have a penchant for reviewing data and checking for errors and deficiencies.
If you’re looking to get paid to make Excel spreadsheets, freelancing as an administrative assistant is a great choice.
This job requires performing tasks that include generating reports, minor bookkeeping, maintaining computer records, and organizing document systems, most of which require Excel knowledge to complete.
Lead generation is the process of attracting potential customers to your business. It’s all about finding unique ways to get people naturally interested in the company and leading them to the right path of purchase.
Lead generation happens within the second stage of inbound marketing – occurring right after you’ve attracted an audience and ready to convert them into leads for the sales team.
As such, lead generators are expected to know how to organize leads within MS Excel, using formulas and functions, field validation, conditional formatting, and tables.
Accountants mostly deal with specialized accounting software, but they may also be required to be proficient with Excel, especially in formatting, auditing, and using formulas to filter our sums and values.
4. Sell your templates through websites
One of the fastest ways to get paid to make Excel spreadsheets is to sell them in spreadsheet marketplaces like Spreadsheetnut or Sellfy.
These platforms allow you to sell your spreadsheets on your own terms, and they usually come with built-in online stores that display your spreadsheets for consumer purchase. Here’s what you need to know about your choices.
Spreadsheetnut is an online marketplace where you can buy or sell spreadsheets. There are two ways a spreadsheet maker can earn through this platform.
You can join as an affiliate and sell pre-made spreadsheets and get a 25% commission of each spreadsheet sold, or you can get paid to make Excel spreadsheets and get up to 70% commission on each sale. You can sell your spreadsheets on your website, on Spreadsheetnut, or any website.
Once your spreadsheet is approved by Spreadsheetnut, you can control your own price. Right after your spreadsheet is sold, it is delivered straight to the customer by Spreadsheetnut.
Do note, however, that the platform has a minimum product price of $5.
If you attempt to sell a spreadsheet for lower than $5, it may not be approved or the price will be automatically changed to meet the minimum requirement. If you sell enough it can be a great way to make an extra $500 fast.
Sellfy allows you to build an actual online business out of selling spreadsheets by letting you set up your own Sellfy online store “with zero experience” and technical background.
You can sell as many spreadsheets as you want in Sellfy and unlike Spreadsheetnut, the platform has zero transaction fees – you get 100% of everything you sell. Selling is as easy as creating an account, adding your spreadsheets, and marketing your store.
Your own website
You can also get paid to make Microsoft Excel spreadsheets through your own website. Here are a couple of things you need to keep in mind.
Your spreadsheet needs to have robust features. A great spreadsheet is one that offers more than just the basic level of development and calculation.
Do note that there are a lot of free spreadsheets on the web, most of which are easy to build. Your spreadsheet needs to offer some type of value that other spreadsheets do not.
You’ll need good marketing materials. Tutorial videos, screenshots, Youtube walkthroughs, and keyword-rich descriptive text will lead people to your spreadsheet and help communicate value.
You’ll need a good avenue for making your spreadsheet accessible. We recommend creating a website and paying for domain, hosting, and site security if you’re looking to get paid to make Excel spreadsheets online. If you’re new to creating websites, we suggest trying Bluehost as it’s easy to use and offers competitive fees.
5. Design Excel add-ins to sell in app stores
Building and selling MS Excel add-ins can be one of the most complicated ways to get paid to make Excel spreadsheets, but they can also be one of the most lucrative. If you’re an MS Excel expert and know your way around programming, this is a great way to start making money.
Excel add-ins are very similar to graphic plug-ins and smartphone apps – they are separate applications developed by independent programmers that offer enhanced capabilities to MS Excel.
Add-ins are incredibly diverse, but the main types for Excel include add-ins for data analysis, charts & graphics, financial & accounting, marketing, formulas and functions, reports and templates, reference, educational, and utilities.
Microsoft has offered a comprehensive guide on how to monetize your Office add-ins and apps, but here’s a crash course.
Review your submission
Sellers will have to submit their add-ins to the Partner Center making sure that their submissions are stable, functional, free of viruses, and offer accurate information (e.g. correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization).
Get your add-in certified
Your submission then goes through a series of automated checks to make sure it aligns with certification policies. You’ll receive a message that your certification is complete or that you need to make a couple of changes and resubmit.
Choose your monetization strategy
You can choose to go full freemium, freemium with gated features, as a one-time purchase, subscription-based, or offer a free trial. You can also choose to advertise within the app, which allows you to monetize without charging your user directly.
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