Demands on Your Time and Personality. Tech support is a 24/7 business. You’ll likely have some freedom to set your schedule, but you’re virtually assured to have some work shifts that don’t jibe with your lifestyle. You’ll also likely be responsible for some holiday and weekend coverage, though how much varies by employer. Finally, you’ll need to be “on” and personable at all times. If you don’t think you’re capable of maintaining a sunny disposition as you near the end of an eight-hour shift, this might not be the job for you.
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.
Buy and Host Your Domain. Your domain name should be catchy and relevant to your niche. It should also roll off the tongue and sound as similar as possible to your site’s actual name. If the domain isn’t yet registered, you can probably find it on GoDaddy or a comparable domain warehouse for less than $15 per year. Already-registered domains can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the quality of the name. Already-built sites can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on traffic, revenue, and other factors. High-performing domains are out of reach for low-budget flippers.
Here’s a good example of how lead sales can work in real life: My second website, Life Insurance by Jeff, brings in a ton of traffic from people who are searching the web to find answers to life insurance questions. While I used to have the website set up so I could sell these people life insurance myself, it was a lot of work to process all the different requests and clients. As a result, I started selling the leads I gathered instead.
Venue. When you’re first starting out, choose reputable, high-visibility venues for your classes. Don’t expect students to find their way to your personal or professional website before you’ve built a reputation for yourself. Udemy is a great option for budding at-home teachers looking to earn real money from their work. YouTube is another viable option, though you can’t directly charge people to watch your YouTube videos. You’ll need to monetize them indirectly (we explain how in Section 12.)
If you're a crafter, the internet is your showcase — and not only at auction sites like eBay. DeWitt Young of ObviousFront.etsy.com has had success turning her crafts into cash online. She has a booth at Etsy.com's Craft Mall, an amazing place where thousands of artisans and crafters offer their goods for sale. DeWitt turns salvaged parts from old TVs and VCRs into artsy necklaces, earrings, and figures. Colleen Jordan of wearableplanter uses 3D printing to create her necklaces called wearable planters.
The audiobook industry is booming, yet only 5% of books ever get made into audio format. If you’ve got a background in acting, or if people have said you’ve got a voice made for the radio, you can make extra money recording audio versions of independent and popular books. Sites like ACX connect authors with audiobook performers. So, whether you’re an author looking for more ways to sell your book, or an actor/voice actor looking to make some extra income, you can sell your services online.
Protect Yourself With Enforceable Contracts. You don’t have to be a lawyer to draft an enforceable freelance contract. You just need to find a legitimate freelance contract template and modify it for your use. It’s fine to use a client-provided contract as long as you review it thoroughly, ask piercing questions if necessary, and seek an attorney’s advice when in doubt.
Use your credit card’s cash advance feature. Some credit cards will allow you to withdraw a certain amount of cash by using it at an ATM. This can help you come up with cash in a hurry. However, the interest rates on cash advances are usually much higher than the credit card’s usual interest rate, meaning that you will eventually have to pay more.
Once you have that problem or need nailed, the next step is to validate that idea and make sure you’ve actually got customers who will pay for it. This means building a minimum viable product, getting objective feedback from real customers, incorporating updates, testing the market for demand, and getting pricing feedback to ensure there’s enough of a margin between your costs and what consumers are willing to pay.