Find a profitable niche: We’ve talked about this a lot. But, where are you most comfortable? What niche do your skills, values, and interests intersect? Do you have 10 years of experience as a technical writer? Do you have long-standing PR relationships that’ll be invaluable in helping startups launch a successful crowdfunding campaign? Determine what makes your value unique, and lean heavily on showcasing that strength to your potential clients.
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.
If you’ve developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you’re an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there’s likely a local business owner who’s willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with my guide to launching a freelance (consulting) business and then use my breakdown of crafting an effective cold email to convince local small business owners to hire you. You can even get hired as a consultant by putting your work online and publishing helpful content (take my roundup of honest Bluehost reviews as an example) and prospective clients will want to hire you for more personalized help if they like what they see.
According to Getaround’s estimates, car owners that routinely lend out their car can earn “$1,000s per year actively sharing your parked car.” There’s less effort in renting out a car compared to renting out a spare room in a house. That being said, your car will likely depreciate faster by lending it out to other people. If you have a large outstanding car loan or are underwater on your auto loan, putting your car on a site like Getaround might not be a great idea.
Along the same lines as trivia, you can get paid for just using your mobile phone and allowing companies to know what you're doing on it. For example, Nielson Mobile Panel is an app that you can earn rewards on just for having it installed. It will take snapshots of what you're doing and use those for advertisers to know more about your demographic. It takes away some privacy, but you get paid for it.
17. Amazon – Have you heard of FBA? It stands for “Fulfilled by Amazon” and it’s getting pretty popular. Basically, you buy products (in bulk is best) and ship them to Amazon for them to store. When your products sell, Amazon packs them up, ships them out and sends you the money (after taking their cut). There are people making a full-time living from FBA, while others just do it for some extra money.
Know What to Charge (and When to Charge More). Setting freelance writing rates is notoriously challenging. The value of your work depends on many factors, including your writing style and quality, your niche, your subject matter strengths and professional credentials, your research skills, your production speed, and your ability to work on deadline. As a rule of thumb, licensed professionals (such as lawyers, CPAs, and physicians) can charge more than nonexperts with above-average writing skills. But don’t assume your earning potential is static. As you gain skill and familiarity within your niche or with individual clients’ needs and your professional visibility improves, you’ll become more valuable to current and future clients.
Though the niche is surprisingly varied, proofreading jobs generally fall into two broad categories: general proofreading and technical proofreading. The former covers non-technical, relatively unspecialized media like blogs and books. The latter covers transcripts and other technical materials; court reporters, for instance, are seasoned technical proofreaders. Which you choose depends on your innate strengths as a proofreader and what you’re hoping to get out of the job. Technical proofreading is harder to break into but typically pays better; general proofreading is more competitive but easier to launch.
If you’re looking to build a new career online or test your way into launching a small business, the first ten ways we just ran through are some of the best, long-term plays for making money online. However, for a lot of people (myself included), you probably want to find other, quick online business opportunities where you can start seeing a return faster.
Spotting Scams. Lots of at-home voice work is legitimate, but there are plenty of scam artists too. Don’t invest any money upfront without thoroughly checking your prospective employer’s credentials. Start with the Better Business Bureau and cross-reference with first-person testimonials at watchdog sites such as Ripoff Report and career boards such as Indeed.
Have a yard sale to sell things you no longer need. Choose a day or a couple of days to have your yard sale. Advertise it in your local paper and online, such as on social media and classified websites. Then, on the day of the sale, arrange the items on tables, blankets, shelves, or in other ways in front of your home. You can arrange the items into groups by price, or price them individually.
Other opportunities are easier to get but not nearly as lucrative. Many market research companies have video-watching verticals through which participants can earn points for each view. Swagbucks and InboxDollars are two legitimate options. You can earn points with them, which you can redeem for gift cards and occasionally cash. The hourly rates working out to less than minimum wage in most cases but aren’t bad for a few spare minutes of your time here and there.
One of the biggest and best-known at-home tech support employers is Apple, whose At Home Advisor program employs thousands of people at competitive, experience-based salaries. At Home Advisors are part- or full-time employees, not independent contractors, so there’s a measure of security here that’s often missing from work-at-home gigs. The benefits package, including Apple stock, is pretty nice too, and every At Home Advisor gets a free iMac.
And while it will take time to build up a big-enough audience to attract advertisers and other ways to make extra income from your podcast, the opportunity is there. John Lee Dumas interviews entrepreneurs seven days a week for his podcast Entrepreneur on Fire and now makes more than $200,000 a month from it. In fact, John publishes all his income online and showed that he’s made almost $13 million since launching in 2012.
There are a few different ways to make a quick $100. If you have anything of value that you can stand to get rid of, like a smartphone or a piece of jewelry, you may be able to sell it at a pawn shop for $100 or more. However, keep in mind that you’ll get a lot less than the retail value! You can also try making money online by taking surveys, but it can take time to get your payout. Another good option is to do a few odd jobs throughout the day that pay relatively well, like dog walking, yardwork, or babysitting.
Video is growing like crazy. And more and more people are looking for professional help cutting their raw footage into viral-worthy content. If you have the right software and a bit of skill, you can easily make money online as a video editor. Check out these article of Fstoppers on how to become an online video editor and then look for relevant jobs on Mandy.com, Creative Cow Job Search, or ProductionHub.
Raise your hand if you love the idea of earning extra income or ditching office life to learn how to make money at home. Well, you're not alone. According to a 2017 telecommuting report by FlexJobs, the number of U.S. employees who worked from home at least half of the time has grown 115% in twelve years, from 1.8 million employees in 2005 to 3.9 million in 2017.
Start by taking other courses you’re interested in: Not only is this important competitor and opportunity analysis, but it also gives you an idea of how a course could or should look and feel. What’s the pacing like? Is it via email, video, in-person chats? Once you understand how you want your course to look, it’s time to decide what it should include. Those same courses are a great starting place. How can you make your course better or more interesting? Do you have experience others don’t?
Take good pictures. Some of the options below don’t require you to actually take the picture and sell the product, but for the ones that do, make sure you take a clear picture that makes your product stand out from the others. If you’re going to be taking a lot of pictures, set up a small “studio-like” area in your home with a backdrop and proper lighting to really make your pictures come across as professional. And of course, you’ll want a good camera too.