Are you ready to turn your passions into profits and start your own online business but not sure where to get started? Let's take a look at seven ways to make money online that won't require a lot of time or cut into your regular routine. Think of these options as supplemental sources of income with the potential in some cases to be a whole lot more.
Most people think that you need to have a lot money stocked away before getting started with investing in real estate, but that isn’t true. In fact, you can start with with as little as $500 by using a platform like Fundrise. Fundrise allows investors of all types (beginners and experts alike) to invest directly in a real estate portfolio that’s managed by a team of professionals.
Starting a new business online requires much less risk than investing your dollars into a brick-and-mortar storefront or downtown office. Because your business is based online, you can reach more potential customers, work from virtually anywhere and make money online without large overheads. With some basic website and communication skills along with a little maintenance know-how, almost anyone can launch a business online and get it up and running in only days. Think you’re ready to become the next big entrepreneur online?
FlexJobs is 100% legit. While it may not be necessary for everyone, if you have limited time available to dig around on the internet and vet companies for legitimacy it’s well worth the investment. They research each job lead to make sure it is truly remote or flexible and it isn’t a scam. I’ve had a membership for a very long time and find it well worth the small investment.
Diligence. In this industry, the line between scams and honest businesses is blurry, so you need to do your homework before accepting a position. Call the Better Business Bureau in your area to find out if there have been any complaints filed against the company, and do an online search on their name. Alpine Access is a well-respected company in the field, and Call Center Careers is a great place to look for legitimate call centers looking to hire.
A spin-off for web designers is to offer a landing page creation service. Well-optimized landing pages can be the difference between a successful and a failing business. And, as creating the perfect landing page isn’t easy, this is a service many businesses are prepared to pay for. I know people who are earning 6 figures per year and all they do is create landing pages for businesses. There’s serious money to be made.
Offer to watch children or pets. If you know anyone who has children or pets, you could easily begin a side gig as a babysitter or pet sitter. To let people know you’re interested, send out a group email describing your services, post an ad on Facebook, or tell friends and acquaintances about your availability in person or over the phone. You can also create a profile on a babysitting referral site like Care.com.
Normally you’ll be asked to test a few websites by visiting them and to document and record your reactions and thoughts as you go through it. It’s really easy to get set up making extra money online by testing websites. All you need to do is sign up to the following services: UserTesting.com, Userlytics, TryMyUI, Userfeel, TestingTime (UK only), or Side Income Jobs.
If you offer freelance services or have a physical services business, then creating a blog is a must. On your blog, you can write about the services you offer and how they will benefit your clients. Importantly you can add a ‘Services’ page, outlining the services you provide, what they include, and any other important information potential clients may need. This is an effective way to promote your services, generate leads, and increase your revenue.
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.
If you are a professional photographer or have a real flair for photography, then selling your images on other sites could be an idea. This could be done alongside your own photography site, as it is a good way to help get your work viewed by a wider audience. There are numerous stock image websites to contribute to, but choosing a popular high-end site like Shutterstock should ensure your photographs make you some money.
Through this experience, one thing I learned is that development, and the selling of the product you develop, takes time and money. This is a lesson I took to heart when I built another software company, SPI Labs, with my partner Matt Gartland. SPI Labs is behind the Smart Podcast Player, which was a significant undertaking that started out as a custom solution for AskPat and eventually became a successful WordPress plugin used by thousands of fellow podcasters.
Starting an online ecommerce store can be a huge undertaking and require a lot of upfront investment. Not only do you need to design a website and create product listings, but you also need to buy, store and ship the products you sell. Dropshipping stores are different, though. With a drop shipping store, you only have to do a fraction of that work. Dropshipping stores allow you to create a website and sell products, but without having to keep inventory or ship the products yourself – it’s all taken care of by a third-party wholesaler. When a customer buys a product from your website, you place an order with the third-party manufacturer or wholesaler, who then ships it directly to the customer on your behalf. Dropship stores save you time, money, and resources. Creating your website or product gallery doesn’t even have to be difficult. You can build an online store using WooCommerce or easy-to-use templates on platforms like Shopify, and apps like Oberlo. You can literally set up an online dropship store with thousands of products in just a couple of days.
Affiliate marketing presents a very low friction entry into selling products online. While you do need some type of audience to sell these products or services to, you could make a significant amount of money from home while doing it. Some products or services have very high earnings per click. That means, if you play your cards right, you could easily make a large profit on conversions by driving traffic to specific offers as long as you target the right interests.
It’s sometimes hard to comprehend just how much people love t-shirts. And with the right niche, marketing, and tools, you can create an online t-shirt business that makes you extra money online while you sleep. (Even Bloomberg and Forbes feature stories from entrepreneurs who've done just that.) Services like TeeSpring make it easier than ever to create a t-shirt drop-shipping business where they handle the sales, printing, and shipping, and you’re only responsible for design and marketing. For more tips, check out this simple guide to launching and marketing an online clothing store by my friends over at Selz.
Watch other people’s kids along with your own. There’s a good chance your friends who work outside of their homes would be thrilled to have an experienced parent watch their children while they are at the office. It can be manageable if your friend in need has only one or two kids. Plus, the new playmates will help keep your children occupied for a few hours. Pay varies widely based on where you live and the ages and number of kids you'll be watching, but babysitters and nannies typically can make up to $10 an hour in small cities and much more – even double that hourly rate – in larger cities.
This comes back to the implementation of sales funnels within an ecommerce environment. In fact, much of what people think about traditional ecommerce stores taking months or even years to build and costing a small fortune simply isn't true. Dave Woodward, co-founder of ClickFunnels, says that over one-third of their two-comma club (members who have a sales funnel making a million or more per year) are ecommerce entrepreneurs.
Writing copy for websites is another great freelancing option for those who have a way with words. Copywriting can involve writing the text for websites, press releases, promotional offline materials including leaflets and brochures, and any other professional text for businesses. While writing blog posts is well paid it won’t make you as much money as writing copy for sales pages. However, clients can be more fussy, as they want the highest quality writing for the forefront of their website or advertising campaigns. Many freelance writers offer both copywriting and blog writing amongst their services. This can be a good way to juggle regular but lower paid clients (blogging) with the higher paid but ad-hoc project based copy work.
The big thing I want to emphasize is that this process took time. It didn’t happen overnight. If I had I spent a little bit more money to hire a team earlier on, I don’t know if I would have succeeded any sooner, because I was building authority in my niche and trust with my audience—two things you can’t buy. There are indirect ways to build authority and trust, through buying exposure on Facebook, through advertisements, or other advertising platforms so that people can find you sooner, but you still have to earn that trust. You still have to provide value and actually help people in some way.
One of the easiest ways to make a few bucks online is affiliate marketing. An affiliate is essentially someone who receives a commission for selling products for other companies, whether it’s on their own site or through another channel like eBay. The best part is that you don’t have to develop any products yourself, just sell other people’s products.