Freelancing via the Internet is a great way for experts in their individual trades to help a variety of clients overall. Several freelancing and project-based websites let businesses that need extra help to list their projects. Small businesses and freelancers offer proposals, ideas, or bids, whereby the buyers can easily choose what they want and need. Sites like Elance or Upwork cover just about everything including writing content, creating graphic design, programming, and data entry.
You'll also need ecommerce software, fulfillment software, worry about warehousing, customer service, refunds and so on. But that's not all. You'll also need traffic. Think search engine optimization, Facebook ads, and other social media campaigns. Sound like a lot of work? Sure, it is. Especially if you do it all on your own. You could opt for Amazon's platform, which might be the easier route. But, then again, at the end of the day, this is a serious business, which could produce significant profits. So you're either all in or you're not.
Working as a freelancer is a great way to make money online from the comfort of your own home. The beauty of freelancing is that you can tailor it to suit your needs. You can freelance for a couple of hours a week in the evenings to help save up for a holiday or some much-needed home improvements. Or carve out a full-time job for yourself, giving you a more satisfying work-life balance and enabling you to do the simpler things in life like taking the kids to school. With so many jobs available online, freelancing is becoming more and more popular.
The profit margins on information products is significant, especially as you can earn money for content you created years ago. Technology makes selling information online relatively easy to automate, once you get through the learning curve. If you focus on areas you are passionate about you can build expertise and leverage that trust and credibility to make sales of your products. Best of all, all of this can happen while you sleep, once you have built the machine to do it for you.
I stopped using this method once I started my own card game site (more on this below), however I still believe niche collectables, particularly in a market that you really love, is a fantastic starting point to gain experience making money online. Like eBay you can make money selling secondhand items in community sites if you can find a way to source product at cost or below. It’s not a model that has much margin so again the challenge is to scale if you want to make significant profit.
Alibaba is a Chinese eCommerce store that matches Chinese suppliers with buyers all over the world. Prices are extremely cheap, providing the possibility of large profits. However, with the potential profits comes more risk. As you are dealing with suppliers in China, if the quality of the product that arrives isn’t up to standard there is little that you can do about it.
This is something like Experts Exchange, except that it’s more general in nature. As a professional in just about any field, you can offer your expertise on JustAnswer. They are looking for professionals in various fields who will provide answers to reader’s questions. You can make money online by answering these questions and pointing people in the right direction to get the solutions that they need.
Buy and sell domain names. If you’re good at finding popular yet undiscovered domain names, you can make some cash on the side by buying and reselling websites. Think of it as digital real estate speculation. Domains are available on GoDaddy.com for as little as $2.99 per year, but are sometimes resold at far higher prices: According to Business Insider, the site MM.com sold for $1.2 million dollars in 2014. Once you find the perfect domain name to resell, you can market it on Flippa.com for a flat fee.
If you have a keen eye for arts and crafts, consider selling those items on a site like Etsy, which is the largest handmade goods site of its kind. All types of individuals and businesses have turned to Etsy to reach a massive platform of people looking to purchase their goods. You can even sell digitally-downloadable goods here such as digital art designs and printable posters as well.
If you are an expert on a particular niche topic and can assemble some of the best resources on it from around the web, then you can create topical hubs and get paid through sites like HubPages. You'll earn even more money by creating your own niche site, though. Established topic sites have a built-in supply of traffic and tools to make content creation easier and are among the most profitable online business ideas. Once you've established yourself as an expert within your niche, you'll be able to make money from a combination of ad revenue, affiliate fees, and more creative avenues like online courses, other digital products, and one-on-one coaching fees from others who want to learn directly from your expertise.
The final point is really important to me because I know that my interest tends to fluctuate. Every five years or so I feel like moving on to something new and leaving my main project. In the case of business, I want to ensure that there is a profitable exit strategy. The better you meet the previous criteria (profit margin, automated, scaleable and passive), the more money you can make when it is time to sell.
Is there a product or service that you are particularly enthusiastic about? If you are, you may be able to develop a website that is built around selling it. You don’t have to be the actual provider of the product or service either. There are many businesses that offer these products and will allow you to sell them on an affiliate basis. For example, you may be able to sell a product on your website for a commission of 20% or 30% of the sale price.
I’ll end this article with something I only recently did – offer high end coaching to a select group of clients who had to apply to work with me. My program cost between $5,000 and $10,000 and I turned away more people than I accepted. This was deliberate as I knew working one-on-one with people is not something I can do with many people or I will use up all my time. However I was keen to help certain people who were in the right position so I could learn more about the challenges they face.
Companies are hiring individuals to not only conduct secret shopping experiments in real life, but also online by simply using their phone to call into doctors and dentists' offices, call centers and other companies in an effort to analyze the experience received. While you won't make a fortune doing this, you can earn a few extra bucks through sites like ARC and Intellicheck.
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.