Every year, hundreds of millions of documents are notarized in the United States: wills, mortgages, citizenship forms, handgun applications. While for decades, this has all been done in person, there is a budding crop of sites that allow notaries to take their services online. If you’re already a notary, you can sell your services online. Or, if you want to get started, check out the National Notary’s checklist for becoming a certified notary.
There are many ways to get people onto your list. Lead magnets are one such resource. For example, you can build ebooks, checklists and cheat sheets. But you can also do content upgrades, such as PDF versions of an article with added resources in them, four-part video training series, and more. Think about your audience and what you can offer them to better serve them, then treat them with some respect and you'll eventually reap the rewards.
You’ll also need to have some technical know-how if you want to be marketable as an online writer. You don’t need to be Bill Gates, but you should at least know how to add a link and crop a picture. You can practice some of these skills by playing around with a free WordPress site, experimenting with features and publishing a few stories. That way, you can gain experience and create a small portfolio of articles you can share with other businesses when you want to start applying to writing jobs. According to Payscale.com, the average annual salary for a writer in the U.S. is about $48,000.
Holly told me she started writing content in 2011. At the time, she still worked a full-time job but created content online part-time to supplement her income. Over time, she was able to double and triple her rates until she could quit her full-time job to write. These days, she makes bank as a freelance writer and teaches others to do the same via her online course, Earn More Writing.
Just be sure to put a lot of care into your product listings. Everything from the titles you use, to how effective the description is at convincing potential buyers your product is better than the rest, and even taking care to shoot high quality product photos can have a dramatic impact on your sales. I recommend using photo editing tools like Fotor, which gives you the ability to edit your images, create captivating graphic designs and more.
Content is what drives web traffic. Websites are always pumping out fresh, new content for their readers, and they are always looking for writers! If you aren’t quite ready to launch your own blog yet, this might be a good option to see if writing is for you. Since competition is high, we don’t recommend starting from scratch as a freelance writer. Want to see success faster? Learn from a veteran, six-figure freelance writer.
Coding – whether for developing apps or designing websites – is another big business online! It’s a pretty egalitarian business as well, since you can teach yourself to code in many languages and you can code from wherever you are. At its most basic, all you need is a computer (or laptop or tablet), an Internet connection for connecting with project files or far-flung colleagues, and a text editor. (The software involved can get more complicated than that, as you go along.) There are more small businesses wanting customized websites and startups trying to create that next great app every day, and coders can make a living along the way.
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.
Get paid for your opinions. Taking surveys online can be a relatively quick way to earn enough to afford a few extras. Harris Poll Online, for example, awards points for the completion of online surveys, which can take between five and 25 minutes to fill out. Survey takers accumulate points and can redeem them for gift cards from retailers such as Amazon and Starbucks. Other online outfits that will pay you to take surveys include SurveyClub, Global Test Market and Swagbucks. There's no cost to sign up.
Blogging is something that requires patience, persistence and discipline. It may mean writing everyday for over a year before you really start to see any money from it. There are exceptions to the rule, but from my dealings with other bloggers, it seems to be pretty common to spend one or even two years building your blog, your brand and your authority, before making any serious amount of money.
If you’d like to specialize in medical transcription, there are certification courses you can take; you can also benefit from having healthcare-related experience so you’re familiar with the terminology. The same applies for legal transcription – you can do a certification course, and it’s helpful if you know legal lingo or even have legal reference materials at home. If you’d like to do law enforcement transcription, that most often has overlapping requirements with legal transcription.
Research. You need to know what others are selling before you decide what wares you will offer. Lots of people sell handmade items, but those who work hard to make their items unique in some way are the ones who truly stand out. After you’ve decided on a product, check out the other sellers on Etsy and find what they’re offering, and then figure out how you can do it differently.
Because of the strong interest in quality of life and work-life balance issues, life coaches have become popular in recent years. Unlike the intellectual demands of becoming a technical or executive coach, life coaching can be successful if you possess common sense, a respect for family and a commitment to enjoy life to the max every day and helping others do the same.
Research individual companies in your desired niche: If possible, it’s always better to become an affiliate directly with a company (if they have an internal affiliate program), as no one else will be dipping into your commission rate. This is the preferred route for most of the prominent affiliate marketers, including Pat Flynn. Unfortunately, it’s also the most work, as you’ll have to do the research yourself to see who offers programs (they’re usually listed in the website footer).
Sponsored posts work much in the same way as paid guest posts, but they are posted by big businesses instead of individual bloggers. Therefore, the scope for fees is much higher, as businesses have larger marketing budgets than humble bloggers. Having sponsored posts by large companies will also help promote your site as reputable and as a leader in its field.
I know that in the ecommerce and physical product world, there are a lot of costs up front, which vary depending on the product. Sometimes you’re going to have to spend a significant amount of money up front to pay for a mold, like Bret Miller did with his product Brik Book, which is a physical product with a specific shape that needs to be reproduced on a large scale. The mold itself could cost up to tens of thousands of dollars. In this case, a crowdfunding campaign could be an excellent option to cover those costs. Listen to Bret talk about the story of Brik Book on SPI 217.
Cafe Press: This website allows you to create digital designs that can then be sold on the platform. You'll earn a commission for everything that sells and you'll never have to deal with printing, warehousing, customer service and so on. The site has over 2 million independent designers that have created products being sold online here. If you have some graphic design skills, then this is a great potential source for your web-based income.
A fitness site can have numerous revenue streams. Create healthy eating plans and recipes and lock them away as premium content. Promote and sell a fitness training course, eBook, or a series of videos. Or advertise your own personal fitness services on your site. Topfithub is a good example of a fitness site with decent video content alongside product reviews.
Basically, you pick a profitable niche for your online business, and then you find an affiliate partner who has products available in that niche. Some of the most popular affiliate sites are Clickbank.com, Amazon.com, and CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction). Between them, they offer just about any digital information product (like ebooks, audio files, video files) or physical product you can think of.
Direct Sales Home Businesses – Host “parties” at your home to get discounts and a little cash, or become an independent sales rep yourself to make even more money. Many of them offer online shops that you can set up under your name. Some of the most popular ones are: Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, Thirty-One Gifts, or Pampered Chef; there are also numerous companies selling candles, jewelry, children’s books, children’s clothes, etc.)
Overall, the Internet itself is overflowing with one money making opportunity after another. While making money online for most people isn’t their primary source of income, it can net a very solid supplement stream of incoming dollars each month. There are some online entrepreneurs, however, that are managing to mine gold due to all the effort, persistence, and time they’ve invested in order to make that dream come true. Can one of these online money making options work for you?
This next category is one of my favorites. And, it applies to almost everyone looking for a good side hustle. Why? Because it is something everyone should be doing regardless of whether they are looking for a little something to earn a few pennies during commercial breaks that requires minimal effort or they are looking to create a full-time income from home.
Modern technology has enabled entrepreneurs to do their work from almost anywhere. In fact, many companies operate in a wholly digital environment, lowering overhead costs and offering freedom to entrepreneurs who want to conduct business on the move. Creating an online business is simply a matter of focusing on your strengths and expanding your network. Here are 12 great online business ideas to get you started.
Many people fancy themselves as designers. If you have a unique idea for a new product then it may be time to get it designed. This can be a long process involving prototypes, discussions with factories, package design, and much more. However, the profits once the product is on the market could be substantial. And remember, with Amazon FBA, your products can all be stored and shipped by Amazon, giving you time to think up your next invention. Learn more about Amazon FBA with my How To Start An Amazon FBA Business Guide.
Focus on the surveys and offers at the top of the list. Here's a tip not many people know. CashCrate has a special algorithm that automatically selects the best surveys and offers and places them at the top of the list. There are several factors that go into determining which are the “best”, including payout, approval rate, and a variety of other factors. But all you need to know is that these surveys and offers are great, so you can do them in confidence!
Those lucky enough to speak more than one language have the option of becoming translators. Many companies hire work-from-home representatives to answer customer or client calls in another language. Besides verbal translation, fluent readers are needed to translate documentation, another job that can done at home. Being able to fluently speak two or more languages is the main skill set. As a bilinguist, you have double the chances of finding your dream work-from-home job; search for your gig using keywords in both languages.
CIT Bank offers an interest rate of 1.85% on money market accounts — more than 15x the national average. Just like with a checking or savings account, your money is FDIC secured, there are no monthly service fees, and you can access your funds any time. All you need is $100 to open an account and start earning more money on the cash you already have.
Photographs. Because your customers won’t be able to touch or hold your items, you need to give them as much of a visual feel for the products as you can. You’ll do it with photographs – but not just any photos. They have to be pleasing to the eye and make the item look fantastic. You’ll have to learn the art of photography, and if you can’t get the hang of it, you’ll have to hire someone to do it for you. Yes, it’s that important.
If you’re selling products, either hire a freelancer to do the job right or invest in the equipment that you’ll need to take and edit high-quality photos. If you’re not sure you can afford professional images, check with local colleges to see if there are students looking to learn and build their portfolios that cost less than well-established professionals.
Experience. Whatever area you want to work in as a consultant, you must be able to show clients that you’re qualified to advise them. If there are organizations related to your field, make sure that you’re a member of them. Similarly, if you can take a course and become certified or registered in your field, do it and then add that to your credentials.
Many work-at-home companies hire you as an independent contractor as opposed to an employee. That means you are responsible for submitting your own tax payments. Taxes won't be taken out of your check like you are probably used to. It's so important that you keep good records of your income – and expenses. I highly recommend Quickbooks Self-Employed.
Provide excellent customer service. Answer any questions buyers post as quickly as possible. Be professional and courteous. Positive communication builds your reputation with buyers and gets you return business. Also, package your product well and ship it out quickly. Allowing an item to become damaged or taking too long to ship can negatively affect your reputation among buyers. Wrap all items, especially fragile ones, in appropriate packaging. Commit to shipping items as soon as you receive payment.
In fact, I wrote a book, Will It Fly?, that is uniquely designed to help people figure out if a business idea is worth pursuing. I’d recommend you read that as a guide during the discovery phase. Thousands of folks have already used Will It Fly? as a tool to help them validate and test their own business ideas before spending money they don’t need to spend. You can pick up a copy at SmartPassiveIncome.com/will-it-fly.
Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.
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.
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.
You can set up a website, gradually build up the content (articles, videos, podcasts, etc.), then eventually monetize the site through advertising, affiliate marketing, or even the direct sale of specific products or services. Even better, you can generally find whatever services and technical assistance you need online and free of charge. Later on, when your site develops a reliable cash flow, you can begin working with paid providers who can take your blog to the next level.