Etsy is the most popular online marketplace for handmade goods and crafts. From bracelets to phone cases, rings, furniture, and more, Etsy is perfect for anyone who is creative and wants to sell their handmade creations. As long as you have the space, this can make for one of the best ways to make money online that can be started with a very limited investment. Consider these 5 steps to starting an Etsy store, from Handmadeology.
Advertising and Promotion. You won’t have a huge budget to promote your at-home business, so use cost-effective outreach targeted to your most likely customers, such as fliers in local craft and clothing stores, a basic website (preferably with booking and payment portals), a referral network, and friends and family willing to sing your praises. Also, consider joining the American Sewing Guild for $50 per year. It’s a great way to meet other enthusiasts and get your name out there.
You know those top-down cooking or craft videos you just can’t seem to get away from these days? There are people out there making a living from them, especially those that also run their own food blogs or travel blogs. In fact, a whopping 78% of B2C companies depend on user-generated content (like these videos) for their marketing campaigns. You can sign up as a creator on a site like Darby Smart and potentially work with brands like Nordstrom, Mattel, and BarkBox. Or, learn how to master PPC advertising and you can use the content to build your YouTube following and monetize through ads and views.
Drive Traffic. The more traffic your site receives, the more revenue it produces and the more valuable it becomes to prospective buyers. Your traffic-driving strategy will depend on a host of factors, including your budget and target audience. But it’s likely to involve some combination of organic SEO, paid search ads, content partnerships, pay per click (PPC) advertising, and social media marketing.
Research selling prices of items similar to yours. Look up completed sales or current listings of items similar to yours. Find the high- and low-end prices, and price your object around the median price level. If you want your item to sell quickly, price it at the low end. The condition of the item also affects the price. Items in poorer condition should be priced at the lower end. Also, consider how many listings there already are of items similar to yours. If many similar items will be competing with yours, you may have to set the price lower to get the sale.
Cleaning and Damage. Online rental platforms let you charge cleaning fees so that you aren’t financially on the hook for the full cost of a post-tenant professional cleaning. Most cover the cost of renter-caused damage too, provided you properly document and report it. But financial redress only goes so far. You still have to deal with the inevitable investment of time and energy to fix the damage or clean up the mess.
Become a Query Machine. Once you’ve gained confidence on freelance copywriting platforms and built a modest portfolio, look for companies that actively advertise for writers – both traditional publications and companies with obvious content needs, such as PR firms. Do some research on crafting and personalizing query letters, which is an art form in itself. Then, start sending out queries to blogs, magazines, dailies, and other content-hungry organizations that fit your writing style and knowledge base. If you’re looking for byline work, each query should include a clear pitch for a single article or article series. For behind-the-scenes gigs, such as ghostwriting ad copy or press releases, condense and communicate your value proposition. Don’t sweat nonresponses. This is a numbers game, and more queries than not will be ignored.
Do you constantly come up with witty one-liners? Do you dream of the days of Mad Men-style advertising? If you’ve got some branding chops or just come up with imaginative copy, there are lots of opportunities to make money online through company naming and slogan contests. If you think you have a knack for names check out the Squadhelp platform where you can earn a little extra money online by naming brands, services, products, company slogans and even help out on the logo design front if you’ve got the chops.
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.
Pets. Dogs and cats complicate short-term rental arrangements. It’s hard to give a visitor free reign over your place when you’re worried about them inadvertently letting Fido or Fluffy out when they come home in the middle of the night. At a minimum, you should disclose the fact that you have pets, lest an allergic tenant leaves a toxic review on your otherwise pristine online listing.
E-Commerce Portals. The best way to improve your at-home crafts business’s visibility and credibility is to launch your own website. And the best way to monetize that website is with a turnkey e-commerce portal. Shopify is a relatively cost-effective, feature-rich option for serious sellers – you can build and maintain a decent store for $15 to $20 per month. Volusion and Squarespace are worthy, comparably priced competitors.
If you have to pay it now, you have to take out a loan, ask for an advance on your salary or borrow money from friends or family. If it can wait, the amount will accumulate interest until you pay it back. If it's just one month out of twelve, and the other eleven you always have money left over, there's not really anything to worry about. Put the left over money aside to pay this month's expenses. Other than that, there are only two things you can do: spend less, or earn more. Sell your car, move to a smaller place, get a roommate. Cut whatever expenses you need to break even. Try for a second job, a raise, or sell something you make.
Keep in mind though, you don’t need a website to do sponsored content since you can also get paid if you have a lot of social media followers. My wife has a pretty big Instagram following, and she gets all kinds of sponsorships. Not only does she get paid in cash, but we get a lot of free stuff, too. We’ve received free rugs, free lights, and free carpet cleaners. She only promotes things she loves though, so this strategy works really well for her.
Rather than making money through subscriptions, YouTube channels are based on a traditional advertising system. Meaning the more viewers you get, the more you make. Once you’re approved for the YouTube Partner Program and can start including ads on your videos, with every 1,000 views, you will make approximately $2-$4. Which might not seem like a lot, but if you have 100 videos with 5,000 views a month each, that would be $1,000–$2,000 already. Just imagine if your videos start hitting millions of views!
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.
You don’t have to find a long-term tenant to earn income from your home’s unused square footage. Apps like Airbnb, Vrbo, and HomeAway let you rent out your home to business and leisure travelers on a nightly or weekly basis. Depending on prevailing rents in your local market and your space’s size, amenities, and privacy, you could earn anywhere from $40 or $50 to $500 or more per night.
25. Products – You can create your own product, such as an ebook or computer software. You would then use your blog as a promotion tool to get people to buy your product. As long as you create a legitimate product with a whole lot of value, you should be able to get some buyers, but like everything else with a blog, you’ll need the traffic to get the sells.