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.
If you’re crafty (and I mean that in more than one way, wink wink), you’ll enjoy Etsy. Handcrafted items are the bread and butter here. Plenty of people make decent side money on the site, which is basically an EBay for crafters and artists. Set up a sellers account with Etsy, and you’ll be asked to set up your virtual storefront and put up at least 5 goods for sale.
However, like anything else truly worthwhile, apps require a significant investment of your time or money upfront. If you don't have the skills, then you have to hire someone who can assist you in creating a great app. But first you need to come up with an idea that will sell. Do the proper market research and analytics to come up with the right app.
A popular tactic to make money on social media is to pay for advertising affiliate products. Create ads for particular affiliate products that are big sellers and have a high yield. Then target these ads at specific custom audiences to ensure your ads are viewed by those who will have an interest in the product you are promoting. If viewers click through your from advert to the product page and make a purchase then you will earn an affiliate fee.
Maybe what you need is a job. It doesn’t matter which job search site you prefer using (even Craigslist) – Indeed tracks them all, and then some. You can find jobs posted on company websites, through temp agencies, and more at Indeed. If money is something you really need, Indeed is most definitely the place you want to visit to browse career opportunities.
You can work as a virtual assistant through dedicated websites, such as Upwork or Zirtual. All kinds of skills are needed, and compensation can vary anywhere between $10 per hour to $100 or more. Obviously, the higher pay will be to people who have more technical skills, such as web building skills and marketing. But you can find work doing administrative tasks at the lower end of the pay scale.
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.
If you have anything you want to sell, then EBay is the place you need to seriously consider doing it first. Personally I’m not a fan of the site because of the work it takes to build up a reputation. If you’re willing to grind through that process, you’ll be rewarded with many privileges – people have gotten rich selling books about how they got rich selling everything on EBay: Click here for a few tips from the pros.
For many years, freelance writing has been a great opportunity to earn extra cash with a flexible schedule. The latest online content need is video. If you can turn your client’s written content into professional, high-quality video, you may find yourself with no shortage of business. And these don’t necessarily need to be you in a “talking head” video. They could be PowerPoint presentations, screencasts, photo montages, animations and more. Use an optimization service like TubeBuddy to help them get even better rankings and engagement on YouTube.
Hold a yard sale. If you have a yard or garage and plenty of items to sell, you can have a yard sale as early as tomorrow. By advertising your sale on local Facebook pages and Craigslist, you can also skip the paid newspaper ad and keep all of the profits for yourself. If you don’t have time to price everything, try asking patrons to “make an offer” or grouping similar items on tables with an advertised price (e.g. everything on this table is $5).
I look for income streams that do not require significant amounts of work to maintain. If I need to drastically increase the amount of product I sell or customers I attract to make good money, and that requires more of my own time to achieve, or cannot be easily outsourced to others (it often increases your labor just to organize outsourcers, so don’t assume outsourcing is a magic solution), that’s not the method for me.
As you will see in a moment when I reveal my top ten methods, some income streams have very slim margins, which means you must push through a lot of volume in order to make significant income. While not always the case, in most situations to sell more requires more work, more resources and generally more of everything, which results in violation of my next rule…
Mow lawns or plow driveways. If you’re willing to mow yards or shovel or plow snow in the winter, you could easily start your own snow removal and lawn mowing business on the side. While you can usually find work by reaching out to your local community via word-of-mouth, flyers, or online message boards, the website Plowz & Mowz allows you to set up an online profile and reach more customers in your area.
I have 3 VAs. I couldn’t function without them. It doesn’t matter how big or how small a business is, they all need help running their day-to-day administrative tasks. Virtual assistants perform a variety of tasks that a traditional assistant or secretary would normally do, including making travel arrangements, paying bills, or managing expense reimbursements. I use them to upload content, optimize images, brief writers etc.
Become a freelance writer or editor. If you have a passion for storytelling or a background in writing or editing, it’s possible to find freelance writing or editing work online. To search available job openings, check out sites like UpWork.com and Problogger.net. You can also check traditional job sites such as Indeed.com and enter “telecommute” or “anywhere” in the location field.
Re-selling web hosting will enable you to make money hosting your own client’s websites. Large hosting companies like HostGator allow you to white label their hosting services. You could start your own hosting business or, if you are a web designer, include hosting into your web design packages. And the best of it is the hosting companies take care of the hosting for you, so all you need to worry about is selling.
This is also one work-at-home job that can be endlessly customized to work for you – you can choose subjects to specialize in, from sports or fashion to European finance or vegan motherhood. You can write articles and blog posts, or ad copy and social posts. You can ghostwrite for your clients, or build your own successful blog. You can find jobs nearly anywhere, too – from job boards or virtual assistant agencies to personal referrals and building your own site. Visit my beginner’s guide to get started freelance writing online.
If that sounds like too much technical information for you, there is an easy button – Google’s advertising platform is as simple as signing up, enabling (on Blogger) or pasting a small code on your website, and allowing the advertisements to automatically roll in. The problem with this program is that you don’t get any commissions – and you don’t get to control the ad content. This is useful for some, but powerful users will want something a little more robust.
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. 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 Instash, Listverse, TopTenz, A List Apart, International Living, FundsforWriters, and Textbroker.
Now, it’s time to start creating and uploading content. Make sure you’re using a high-enough quality camera (most smartphones will work but I’d suggest at least having a tripod so your footage isn’t shaky), but don’t worry about being perfect at first. The beauty of YouTube is that you can continue to test out different content and styles as you find what works for you. Instead, stick to a regular schedule to build up your subscriber base.
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.
Once you have this down, you’ll be a budding Etsy entrepreneur. Provide great quality to your customers, and they’ll often return. Many people are willing to pay a premium for quality handmade designs. Etsy (like EBay and Amazon) takes a cut off the top for selling items through their site. PayPal takes another cut, and you have to be careful with taxes on all income, so be diligent while building your online business.
My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and build a following of hundreds of thousands for this blog and my podcast series.
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.
Another way to utilize your talent and business skills is to run corporate workshops online. Businesses are always looking for unique ways to help educate their workforce, and if you can package your talents into a day or half-day long session, you can sell that to companies all over the world to make money online. Start by building a portfolio and then reaching out on LinkedIn to influencers at relevant companies to see if they would be interested in you teaching their team.
To do that, you have to harbor a few fundamental guiding principles in your mind. Today, if you're at all serious about generating a full-time income (and more) from your online activities, then you need to focus on passive income as opposed to active income. Sure, the active income will help you survive. That's the scarcity mentality at play. But it's the passive income ideas that will help you thrive.