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.
Then once you’ve got your domain name and hosting sorted out, it’s time to pick a CMS, or Content Management System, that will let you update pages, build your blog and integrate with all the other services you need. It’s hard to go wrong with WordPress—the CMS powering close to a quarter of the internet. Keep in mind that eventually as you start growing traffic to your blog, you’ll be wise to upgrade from your starter cheap hosting plan, shared hosting plan or free hosting plan and into something like a managed WordPress hosting setup, where all of the settings are custom-tailored and optimized to work particularly well with WordPress-powered websites.
If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? My friend, Mark Jackson did just that, making extra money online with his travel consulting side business. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, and then move on and create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals. Eventually you could spin this into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make their dream trips a reality.
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.
Some opportunities pay better and more reliably than others. Netflix reportedly pays “taggers,” who watch and categorize Netflix shows, at least $10 per hour. Individual shows or production companies occasionally advertise for similar positions, though these opportunities are becoming fewer and farther between. Competition is stiff when positions do open up.
Other common opportunities include insurance claims processing, roadside assistance routing, and customer assistance for health care consumers. LiveOps packages all of these functions, plus a healthy dose of inbound sales, under a single roof. Keep in mind that there’s a modest startup cost – less than $100 – involved, and you’re not compensated for training. So LiveOps isn’t suitable for at-home workers who need cash immediately.
Short-term rental platforms handle most of the thorny logistical considerations that keep regular homeowners from becoming landlords, including payment processing and security deposits. And after a string of highly public mishaps in their first few years, they’re increasingly safety-conscious, so the likelihood is high you’ll be able to verify the identity of every person who crashes at your place.
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.
Flipping a website is a lot like building and monetizing a personal blog. The key difference is that when you flip, you’re working toward the clearly defined short-term goal of selling the site for a tidy profit. You can and should earn money through advertising and affiliate relationships along the way, but you’re not looking to hold the site over the long term.
The customer searches Google for a product they are interested in. They land on your site and then buy the product through your website. Or, perhaps they find your product listing on an e-commerce site like eBay. Once the payment has been made, the warehouse ships the product directly to their front door. Your profit is the difference between the selling price and the manufacturer’s wholesale price.
Everyone says you're a fantastic writer, so isn't it about time you got paid? According to Durst, Good writing is in demand, especially for online content. Good freelance writing websites to find job listings include JournalismJobs.com, upwork.com, and MediaBistro.com. If you have experience as a copy editor, writer, or proofreader, go to editfast.com to find freelance opportunities in these areas. Rates average at $32, $28, and $26 an hour for remote writing, editing, and proofreading jobs, respectively.
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’re comfortable having strangers in your home and confident you’re on the right side of the law, check out these popular meal sharing options. Depending on your platform choice, guest capacity, and local market, you can expect to rake in anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars per meal after accounting for expenses. Hosting opportunities are more plentiful in major cities.
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.
Try night filling for supermarkets/large stores, supermarket/retail cashiers, vacation seasonal factory work/seasonal fruit picking, night reception in a small hotel, cleaning, gas station attendant, making crafts or artwork and selling online, YouTube video making (but it needs to be popular), dog walking, babysitting, tutoring, housesitting, etc. There are many part-time options where college students are favored because people get to pay you less than a service provider but get to know you better, so it's a friendlier arrangement.
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.
This is an especially popular way to earn quick cash during the holidays and over the summer when many families are vacationing. The requirements needed to become a house sitter are usually fairly low; you’ll need a clean criminal record and positive reference or two. If you are interested in learning more, check out our guide to making money as a housesitter.
Opportunities for Advancement. Entry-level tech support work usually pays between $10 and $20 per hour, though blue-chip employers like Apple can afford higher wages. If you’d like to do this work long-term, look for gigs that offer opportunities for advancement into the ranks of lower and middle management – preferably without an attendant shift to on-site employment.
2. InboxDollars – InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks, since you’re going to be taking surveys, shopping, etc., so if you want to maximize your return, sign up with both websites. They also offer a search engine that pays you (like Swagbucks) and you get $5 just for signing up. I won’t continue to list survey sites one after another down the list, but if you want to get paid to take surveys, also check out GlobalTestMarket, E-Poll Surveys and Survey Club.