Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to make money online doing something you love via a niche website. That of course, is easier said than done. Creating a profitable niche website takes time and is not intended for the faint of heart. But, if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business idea you’re thinking about is profitable, then you can begin building it and eventually monetize through advertising, affiliates, or other relevant digital products.
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.
When it comes to at-home income, selling your unwanted stuff is the definition of low-hanging fruit. Even if you’re intentional in your purchasing habits, you likely have possessions you can do without. Examples include old kids’ clothing and toys, sporting goods you no longer use, out-of-fashion wardrobe accessories, electronics, valuable but nonsentimental keepsakes such as watches and jewelry, old furniture, dusty tools and outdoor equipment, and perhaps even big-ticket items like a motorcycle or second car.
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.
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.
Then, if my piece of content is so unique and valuable around hiking backpack recommendations, that other reputable outdoor websites are willing to link to it (as a result of a blogger outreach campaign) and build the page’s authority, then I’d have a very real opportunity to rank high in organic search for these search terms (meaning, my page will come up first when someone searches for hiking backpacks).
If you’d rather sell locally, ask around at non-franchised cafes and restaurants near you if they’d be willing to display your art for sale in their dining area. If the owner or manager likes your work, most will gladly say yes. You’ll probably still end up paying a commission on any sales, but at least your art will be enjoyed by patrons in the meantime instead of sitting in your home.
There’s plenty of work and clients to be found. If you know where to look. To start, you need to know if there is enough demand for your skill to make it worth the effort to go out looking for work. Start by searching for freelance postings on sites like Flexjobs, SolidGigs, Contena or one of the dozens of other blogging jobs sites and skill-specific freelance job boards.
Sites like Cookening, EatWith, and MealSharing are to restaurants what Airbnb is to hotels. Sign up as a host to earn dough by cooking and serving meals to guests in your home. It's up to you what you want to cook and how many people you can accommodate. Cooks are paid directly through the site, so no cash ever changes hands. The earning potential for becoming a cooking host is $50-$100 per meal.
Build your audience on a course community: If you’re just getting started building an audience for yourself and want to leverage communities already actively looking for content you can choose to host and sell your online course on a site like Skillshare or Udemy. These are easy, cost-effective ways to build an audience and test your niche to see if there’s demand for it.
Like talking to people and helping walk them through problems? You can bring in extra income as a contract customer support superstar for companies all over the world. Due to the 24/7 nature of online businesses, companies are looking for people in different time zones to help deal with issues that their users are having. Better yet, if you have experience in service or retail you’ll be perfectly suited. Check out indeed or the other remote job boards I listed earlier to find opportunities.
Write pitches. If you have located a client for whom you want to write, send pitches, which are topic ideas for articles. Write pitches that not only show your expertise but also demonstrate your enthusiasm for the topic. First, read the publication to which you are sending pitches to familiarize yourself with what they publish. If applicable, identify a specific section and send our pitch to the appropriate editor. Also, include a brief summary of who you are.
Check with your local bank to see if they're giving away cash bonuses for opening up accounts. Banks run promotions like this all the time, so grab some real cash quickly if you're in need. It won't break the bank (no pun intended) but it will give you a quick $50 or $100 -- maybe even more -- when you really need it. You might need to deposit a minimum amount of cash (usually in the thousands) in order to qualify for these types of accounts (but not always).
Companies will pay you to virtually sit on mock juries to give attorneys and other jury consultants feedback on cases they are currently handling. Think of these as focus groups. The cases are real, but your verdict will do little more than give those involved a prediction of how things might go when it's time to go to court. You can earn fees ranging from $5 to $60. Be sure to read all the disclaimers and details. If this sounds interesting go to eJury.com or OnlineVerdict.com to find a case.
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.
Build a Portfolio. Unless you’re very lucky or a credentialed expert in a sought-after niche, such as law or accounting, your first freelance writing gigs probably won’t come with a byline. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add your early work to your writing portfolio with permission from your clients. The more pieces you produce, the more variety you’ll have to show clients down the line. As your portfolio grows, use a professional website or content marketing platform like Contently to present it publicly.
If you love kids, sign up for Care.com or SitterCity to spend a few hours a week babysitting. These websites verify both babysitters and those seeking sitters with background checks, so you can ensure you're conversing with a reliable source. Babysitting rates vary based on years of experience, number of children, and hours per week. According to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly rate for a babysitter is $28. Use Care.com's calculator to plug in your experience and find out how much your should be making an hour as a babysitter.
ProTranslating. ProTranslating is a boutique agency with a sophisticated digital presence and an in-house marketing apparatus that adds value to its core services: translation and transcreation (the science of adapting prose into a second language without altering its meaning). ProTranslating focuses on expert-level content at the upper end of the market, so if you’re a professional translator with verifiable subject matter expertise, you can do very well. Beginners may want to start with Gengo or another entry-level platform before applying here.
If you have a fondness and talent for taking pictures you can make extra money online by becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like ShutterStock or iStockPhoto. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
Tutor students. Many families prefer the flexibility of using an online tutor. Depending on your background, you could be simply helping a child with homework or providing college-level support. You need to have your own computer and high speed internet. Experience required differs among companies. Some require “strong experience,” while others require a specific educational background. However, most companies do require a college degree.
Getaround is the sharing economy's answer to rental agencies. The company allows you to rent out your car on an hourly or daily basis, starting at $5 an hour. Depending on your vehicle's market value, you set the price per hour, and Getaround takes a 40% cut to cover 24/7 roadside assistance and driver insurance. According to the Getaround, earning potential for renting your car when you're not using it is up to $1,000 a year.
The best places to find online tutoring jobs are platforms that focus specifically on tutoring, such as Education First, VIPKid, and Chegg. Both pay set hourly or per-session rates based on tutors’ chosen subjects – for instance, computer science tutors generally earn more than English tutors. Chegg starts tutors at $20 per hour and claims prolific tutors can earn upward of $1,000 per month. Before you sign up, make sure your computer meets your chosen platform’s system requirements – you’ll need a reasonably fast processor and real-time video-chatting capabilities. In most cases, you’ll also need to earn a TEFL certification which can be done through Premier TEFL.
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.