The first follows the startup path we outlined above: You have a disruptive idea for an app or piece of software, you validate the idea with real customers, and then raise money to hire developers or a development studio to build, launch, and scale your software. If you’ve done everything right, your software will be accepted to the Apple and Google Stores and you’ll make money every time someone downloads it or pays for a premium feature.
Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be making extra money online. Major brands, gear companies, and even startups are willing to shell out $500-$5,000+ per post to get in front of your audience. While it’s getting harder and harder to build a massive Instagram audience, if you already have a solid niche and are posting quality content regularly with a great camera for taking Instagram photos, with a few small tweaks you can make yourself an influencer. Check out this awesome article from Shopify on how to build and grow your Instagram following to get started.
If you live near a university, there are likely all sorts of research studies looking for participants. While I was an undergrad at Virginia Tech, I got paid $500 to participate in a 6-week dietary study. The study provided all my meals and paid me, but I had to eat a 5,000 calorie diet of 50% fat for 6 weeks, plus I had multiple muscle biopsies, urine/blood testing, etc.
Using Fiverr is a great way to pick up work. Once you have signed up you can advertise your services. Fiver allows you to create your own gigs, whether you are offering web design, digital marketing, writing, or something else. You can choose how much you want to charge (it can be more than a fiver) and people will then contact you if they are interested in working with you. Fiverr will not only help you get experience if you are just starting off as a freelancer, but it will also help you earn some extra cash.
Any way you slice it, this experience has been preparing you for the role of social media manager – this tends to be an independent contractor gig, but you can make a pretty penny if you can help small businesses or other professionals build buzz and their social media following. So if you can write a mean tweet (in a good way) or lay out an attractive Pinterest graphic, consider going full social: check out my post on how to become a social media manager.
Your Ads. The key to success will be in your ability to get the word out about your classes. Word of mouth will play an important role in your marketing efforts because taking classes is something that friends like to do together. Don’t just rely on friends and family, though. Post fliers in supermarkets, churches, and school bulletin boards. You’ll definitely want to have an online presence so people who are searching your area for such classes will be able to find you. You can establish one by creating a website, and then using digital media to spread your message. And don’t forget your neighborhood as a source of business. Take some time to visit your neighbors, even if you just visit one block a day, and tell them about your new business.
I know it’s not everyone’s dream to work in customer support, but getting on with a virtual call center is one of the best ways to land an employee job online. (An employee job means you’re employed with the company and not an independent contractor. Employee jobs tend to come with regular hourly pay and even benefits packages.) Customer support is also an ever-growing remote field as more and more companies shift their customer service departments to virtual call centers. If you need a regular gig with reliable pay, this is one opportunity you should seriously consider.
Tutor students. If you have an academic specialty and can squeeze in a couple of hours during the week while Junior is taking a nap or Janie is at gymnastics, share your knowledge with struggling students. Find students looking to improve their grades on your own through your kids' schools – check a site such as Craigslist.org to gauge hourly rates in your area – or sign on with an online tutoring company, such as Tutor.com. You must be available to tutor at least five hours a week and have a college degree to tutor certain subjects for Tutor.com. Tutoring is done virtually from home via a computer, not in person. Tutor.com tutors are paid an hourly rate based on the subject.
White labeling products involve purchasing pre-made products from a supplier and then adding your own labeling and branding. Products could range from candles to gym equipment or even tea, but all will come without labels, allowing you to create your own new range of merchandise. Most suppliers will advertise the fact they offer white labeled goods on their websites, so pick your niche and then find the right supplier and product for you. Once labeled, products can be sold via sites like eBay and Amazon, or from your own eCommerce store (discussed in a moment).
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 trip a reality.
Create a stylish and functional website. Elegant or funky, classical or hipster, your online store should reflect what you’re selling. No matter what your style is, it's important to give off a professional air. Since you won't be able to earn people's trust in person, your website will have to do the selling for you. Your site should be engaging, and most importantly, easy for customers to use when they're ready to make a purchase.
Teaching and tutoring English as a second language is a great way to make money online, not to mention open some doors for you to travel the world if you'd like. While full ESL (English as a Second Language) accreditation is recommended, as long as you’re a native speaker and have the ability to teach, there are people in countries such as Hong Kong or the UAE who are willing to pay upwards of $25/hr for you to tutor them English via Skype. Check out Indeed, Learn4Good and Remote.co for remote english tutoring jobs or sign up on a specialized site like VerbalPlanet or Chegg Tutors.
Did you ever guess that your obsession with Twitter or Pinterest could become a key employability skill? I know! You first start Pinterest, you think it’ll be a little harmless fun, and then you’ve got hundreds of boards with thousands of pins on DIY projects you’re never going to do and recipes you’re never going to make (sorry, real talk) – but you also understand all the lingo, know who the influencers are, and have an experienced eye for what makes an enticing Pinterest post. Maybe this same story applies, except with Facebook (you know the power of groups and how FB ads work), Twitter (you’re always up on the latest trending hashtags), or Instagram (you follow all the influencers in your niche).
Every successful business has an automated sales funnel. Yet, so many businesses are completely unaware of the power of an effective funnel. Sales funnels provide automation in the sales process. They help you build a relationship with your audience and develop a bond with the consumer. There are plenty of tools you can use to build a sales funnel, but the world's most successful businesses often create custom-coded funnels.
Styling companies are springing up across the country and need fashion stylists to work with their clients. It’s like playing dress-up, but with a paycheck. Fashion stylists usually get their start working retail or costume design, but a love of fashion is the main requirement. With personal shopping sites like Stitchfix or Nordstrom’s Trunk Club, it’s possible to be a stylist right in your living room.
No matter what method you end up using to generate an income on the web, you need to adjust your mindset to help empower you rather than discourage you. The truth? Making money online can be fraught with avoidable pitfalls. There's no shortage to the rah-rah cheers of internet marketers looking to find ways to ensure they part you from your hard-earned cash. The trick? Cancel the noise and get to the real meat and potatoes, so to speak.
I love referral and affiliate marketing. It’s where the vast majority of my income comes from these days. Even if you aren’t a blogger, you can get in on the action as well. You can get paid to refer your friends to a wide variety of legitimate services. While there are many companies like StitchFix that will give you store credit for referrals, we are focusing on those that offer cold, hard cash today. Keep in mind, you will need to be signed up for the program yourself to take advantage of the program. But, you shouldn’t be referring people to things you don’t use anyway.
Take it seriously. Yes, you’re applying for an online job. Yes, you can do the work in your underwear, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a “real job”. You must treat it as such or they aren’t going to treat you as a serious candidate. You aren’t the only one who wants to work in their underwear. In fact, the competition online is likely higher than it is in your local area.
Start by taking other courses you’re interested in: Not only is this important competitor and opportunity analysis, but it also gives you an idea of how a course could or should look and feel. What’s the pacing like? Is it via email, video, in-person chats? Once you understand how you want your course to look, it’s time to decide what it should include. Those same courses are a great starting place. How can you make your course better or more interesting? Do you have experience others don’t?
A partnership is almost the same as a sole proprietorship except for the ownership of the business is divided among multiple participants. Partners share profits and losses, and the same liabilities a sole proprietorship is subject to, although split between the owners. Partnerships can also set up special allocations, which redistribute profits and losses between members in a proportion that doesn’t necessarily match their percentage interests in the business.
Choosing a name for your business isn’t always straightforward — the name you want may be taken by a previously registered company in your state. It’s also a common (and smart) practice to name your business and choose your future website’s domain name at the same time to ensure they match, but unfortunately, your desired domain name may be taken as well. To avoid either of these situations sending you back to square one, come up with a list of possible business names rather than becoming too focused on a particular name immediately.
Fiverr: Israeli-based Fivver was started in 2010 by Shal Wininger and Micha Kaufam. It's a great resource for selling just about any service online. You can offer gigs as low as $5 but also get paid much more for upgrades and add-ons. There are plenty of providers earning 6 figures on Fiverr so it's definitely a worthwhile cause for generating a healthy income. Just ensure that you provide some serious value.
Big companies are generally (or at least should be) flexible if you want to work from home a few days a week. But if you want to do it full-time, smaller companies can be a better bet, because your working remotely can help them save on office space. You can probably find lots of startups or small businesses looking for tech help who have the resources to pay your salary, but not to relocate you or pay for additional office space.
More and more companies and startups especially are embracing remote work—where you use online collaboration and communication tools to do your work from wherever you want. And you don’t have to be a 20-something hotshot designer or coder to reap the benefits of working remotely. Many remote positions are for customer support positions or other customer-facing positions that don’t require specialized skill sets.
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Do you have impeccable organizational skills? What about cleaning skills? Can you quickly and efficiently carry out these tasks? Maybe it's time to put those skills to good use by becoming an online personal assistant or task manager. Companies like TaskRabbit or Zirtual allow you to sign up for tasks you want to complete — including data research, virtual assistant or running errands — and begin building clientele.
Next, you’ll need the right tools. You can be as complicated or simple as you want depending on your comfort with audio equipment, but at the minimum you’ll want a microphone and software for recording your voice. Companies like Behringer, Blue, Focusrite, and others sell studio-quality plug-and-play podcast setups that can get you recording today.
Do you blog? You could be making money while you sleep. It doesn't matter how big or small you think your blog and audience are, any blogger can take advantage of the many moneymaking opportunities there are for their blogs. Advertising and affiliate programs are some of the most popular ways to monetize your blog. But there are plenty of other ways to make money using your blog.
Nice writing style Ben. I’m finding out very quickly that to make any money writing, you have to read, read, and then read some more, no matter how smart you feel you are on a subject, before writing your first sentence. I have always been a fan of multiple income streams and am thrilled by the ideas of proofreading, editing, blogging, freelancing and transcribing. Having spent one of my careers doing just that for a large corporation, it’s a perfect fit, but now I can get credit for my work, thanks again for a great article.
Who doesn’t love cashback opportunities like Ebates? It’s one of my favorite ways to earn extra money with little or no extra work. But what about in-store cash back? Dosh is a newer app that offers just that. You can earn cash back on things like getting your oil changed or eating out in addition to the usual in-app and travel purchases. They give you $5 just for downloading the app and connecting your debit or credit card.
Work in grocery delivery. Instacart is a company that will pay you to pick up grocery store orders in your spare time. The entire purchase and order takes place through the Instacart app, making it easy for you to pick up the groceries your customers wants and get paid. Like other food delivery jobs on this list, Instacart lets you earn a per-trip rate plus tips. Shipt is another service that will pay you to shop for groceries and deliver them to consumers in your area, so make sure to see if they’re available where you live.
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).