If you’ve got experience and expertise in a specific area of business, there are hundreds if not thousands of business owners who would love to jump on a phone call and pick your brain. This can be an easy way to make extra money online and to hone your skills to use in your consulting or freelance business. Sites like Clarity.fm let you create a profile where entrepreneurs and business owners can pre-pay to book a phone call with you for a set amount of time. Whether you’re an expert in raising money for startups, building apps, or running a restaurant, you can make extra money selling a few minutes of your time to people in need.
Check out my Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog for my free 20,000 word tutorial to starting a blog, promoting your blog content and building it into an income-generating business today. After that and once you’re ready to take your blogging journey seriously, consider investing in your education with one of the top blogging books or blogging courses.
Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be making extra money online. Major brands, gear companies, and even startups are willing to shell out $500-$5,000+ per post to get in front of your audience. While it’s getting harder and harder to build a massive Instagram audience, if you already have a solid niche and are posting quality content regularly with a great camera for taking Instagram photos, with a few small tweaks you can make yourself an influencer. Check out this awesome article from Shopify on how to build and grow your Instagram following to get started, and as your following grows, you can start a blog to really build up your blog business plan and take things to new heights.
I’m sharing everything I’ve learned over the past decade, pulling from my own experience in learning how to start a blog that now earns a consistent $30,000/mo or more (on the side of my day job)—from online sources like affiliates, courses, freelancing, sponsorships, drop-shipping and other ways to make money online that we’re exploring in this guide.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Most of the software and apps you use on a regular basis are made by massive companies or established development studios. Well, yes. But many successful apps, particularly those in the Apple and Google stores, are created and marketed by individuals and small businesses. In fact, independent developers made $20 billion in the App Store in 2016 alone.
If you’re willing to take on some risk and have the heart of a true hustler, you can make extra money online doing commission-only sales for startups and other businesses. While you won’t be getting a regular salary, with the right sales strategies and skills as an inside sales rep, you can make decent money for each sale you bring in. And because you’ll most likely be working with startups, if you can negotiate a little equity you could profit big time if you’re pitching a solid product and the startup succeeds.
Lime, for instance, will pay you for collecting scooters around town, charging them, then returning them to a “LimeBase”, which is just a consolidated location of scooters (like in the image above). A scooter typically takes around 4-6 hours to charge. What most juicers do is collect the scooters in the evening, bring them home to charge, and then return them to LimeBase in the morning. Bird, another popular scooter company, works in a very similar way. For anyone willing to hustle, this is a great way to make money.
Assistant Editor. Assistant editors supervise copy editors, photo editors, writers, and other support staff involved in producing digital publications. Larger blogs and online-print hybrids generally have at least one assistant editor on staff. These gigs can be part- or full-time. They’re typically intermediate between copy editing and managing editing jobs.
Equipment Costs and Space. At a minimum, you’ll need a work table, a sewing machine, a rack, and storage space for raw materials. You can find a cheap but sturdy table for less than $20, and maybe for free if you’re fortunate. Used sewing machines start at under $50, but that won’t cut it for a real at-home custom sewing business. You’ll need a heavy-duty piece of equipment, preferably new. Expect to pay $2,000 or more for this. Consider financing with a low-APR credit card if your creditworthiness allows.
The most common at-home sewing pursuit is clothing alterations, a high-volume niche that’s always in demand. However, depending on your skills and interests, you can pour yourself into a slew of other opportunities: making custom curtains and draperies, repairing heirloom bedclothes and tapestries, assembling and repairing durable fabrics such as canvas bags and totes, or producing large-scale items such as boat covers.
Manuscript Editor. Looking for a longer-term engagement? The self-publishing boom has created an unprecedented demand for manuscript editors – specialists who help writers organize and sharpen book-length works before publication. Depending on your clients’ budgets, manuscript editing can be lucrative, though it’ll likely take time to build your reputation to the point that you’re working with accomplished writers. Entry-level opportunities abound on reputable freelance platforms and with niche publishing houses.
Sign up for a reputable affiliate network: Aside from Amazon, there are dozens of top affiliate programs for bloggers and even large reputable affiliate networks, such as Share-A-Sale, Clickbank, and Skimlinks, that specialize in connecting you with merchants who are looking for affiliates to sell their products. They charge relatively low commission fees for the privilege of connecting you with merchants, and the merchants on these sites tend to offer much higher commission percentages or set dollar amount payouts.
One thing I am guilty of is finding one thing I like and sticking to it without ever trying anything new. I’ve caught myself doing this with cash back apps over the past year or so. I used to exclusively use Rakuten because it was easy and usually got me cash back, but now I make a point to do a quick “comparison shop” between cash back tools to make sure I am getting the best deal available.
If you’ve got a way with words and expertise in a niche, there are plenty of sites that will pay for articles and content you write—plus guest blogging is also one of the best ways to build up the authority of your own blog over time. Think of the sites you read regularly. What can you contribute to them that would be interesting? Research your niche and then look for ways to pitch articles. Many sites will simply have a submission or contact link in the footer. To get started, check out my full guide to becoming a freelance writer on the side and then submit your articles to places like Listverse, A List Apart, International Living, FundsforWriters, and Textbroker.
Let’s say I’m an Amazon affiliate for camping gear, and I want to write an exhaustive, in-depth blog post and review of the “50 Best Hiking Backpacks for Adventuring Outdoors.” By running a quick Keyword Planner check on the organic search volume I can see that there’s around 5,500 monthly searches for the keyword ‘hiking backpacks’ alone. I’ll then start with putting together a blog post outline to highlight my unique angle and make sure I’m doing the best possible job of answering reader questions—while striving to avoid common blogging mistakes along the way.
Take it seriously. Yes, you’re applying for an online job. Yes, you can do the work in your underwear, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a “real job”. You must treat it as such or they aren’t going to treat you as a serious candidate. You aren’t the only one who wants to work in their underwear. In fact, the competition online is likely higher than it is in your local area.
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