I may as well start with something I know well. When I started out as a freelance writer 20 years ago, things were very different. I wrote mostly for magazines, and I had to rely on snail mail to send out drafts and queries. I’d wait weeks for a response from my editors. Not many people had the patience for it, and few stuck around long enough to ever start earning a real income from it.
If you love children and want a career in childcare from your home, then a home daycare center could be right for you. Starting a home daycare center, like any home business, takes a lot of work, research, start-up costs and networking to get it going. Every state has different regulations, which could require physical improvements to your home. Learn more about starting a home daycare.
Serve as an online juror. Some attorneys use large panels of online mock jurors to get feedback on their cases before they go to trial. However, the mock jurors must live in the county or federal district where the case will be tried. You can sign up at a couple of sites and receive e-mail notifications if a case is posted in your area. EJury.com pays $5 to $10 per case via the online payment system PayPal. You can't be an attorney, paralegal or legal assistant – or even related to an attorney – to participate. EJury says you're likely to have better luck getting picked if you live in a large metropolitan area, where more cases are tried, rather than a rural area. The average case takes about 35 minutes to review. At OnlineVerdict.com, where cases typically take between 20 minutes and one hour to review, fees range from $20 to $60. Payment is made by check.
GoodFinancialCents.com has an advertising relationship with some of the offers included on this page. However, the rankings and listings of our reviews, tools and all other content are based on objective analysis. For more information, please check out our full disclaimer. GoodFinancialCents.com strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. The information in our reviews could be different from what you find when visiting a financial institution, service provider or a specific product's website. All products are presented without warranty.
Run virtual errands. If you have a computer with Internet connection and are good at searching the Web and communicating with others, you can become a virtual personal assistant with Fancy Hands. The service hires assistants, who set their own hours, to help its users tackle tasks such as making calls to service providers, scheduling appointments, and finding the best prices for services and products. You get paid per task, starting at between $3 and $7.
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.
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.
This is the classic work-at-home mom gig, but it's for a lot more people than just moms! Selling stuff you love can be a great way to make extra money from home, even if you work in an office most of the day. Direct selling is scalable to your own lifestyle, ambition, and talents. You can keep it casual and mostly sell to friends and acquaintances. Or, if you really get to networking online and in person, you can build a client base outside your existing circles.
(The best part is not wearing a suit and tie.) Sales agents make cold calls to businesses or customers, explaining a product or service, and leading the client through purchasing. Nearly every industry has a need for sales agents, so it takes some digging to find your work from home niche. Try adding the search keyword “telecommute” or “work from home” to your sales searches.
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.
Research Pricing (And Set Fair Starting Prices): Before setting prices for each item, research your local Craigslist website and (if possible) nearby yard sales to get a sense of how to price them. Remember that many buyers will try to haggle – so set prices a bit higher than your bottom dollar, but not so high that you’ll scare off first bids. 10% to 15% is a good rule of thumb. Consider bunching low-value items, such as old CDs, into lots of five or 10, or offer x-for-$y deals.
Have an extra room in the house? Try renting it out on Airbnb.com. According to Smart Asset, you can pay up to 81% of your rent by listing one room in a two-bedroom home. If you're really looking to ring in the cash, renting out a private home or apartment is the way to go. According to Smart Asset's findings, rates for full apartments are significantly higher than those for just rooms, with annual profits ranging from $15,000 to $31,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.
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.
Many people buy and sell domain names to earn money online since it takes very little time or investment. You can purchase a domain at its registration price or even much cheaper and then resell it for a profit. But, it always pays to do your homework first on websites like Afternic.com, Sedo.co.uk, or other domain auction websites in order to get a good idea of what’s popular in terms of domain names. An ideal way to find really good names is to check out terminated lists that offer many expired names and have made their way back into the pool for people to buy. A good site for this is expireddomains.net where you can put in your desired keyword that you want in your domain name and a long list of domain options will appear.
However, if you're looking for realistic ways you can start earning money online now, then it really truly does boil down to seven paths you can take towards profit. Some will provide you with immediate results, helping you to address your basic monthly necessities such as rent, utilities and groceries, while others have the potential to transform your life by revolutionizing your finances in the long term.
Open an Etsy store. If you have a creative talent or skill – whether it’s creating art, sewing clothes, or making keepsakes – you can open an online store on Etsy.com and sell your wares for some quick cash. With your own Etsy store, you’re left in charge of pricing and, ultimately, how much you make. See our detailed primer, “How to Make Money on Etsy.”
If you have an idea worth pursuing, crowdfunding can be a helpful way to find the money you need to get your idea off and running. For example, you can run a Kickstarter campaign. On SPI 223, I covered this with John Lee Dumas who launched a super successful campaign. Besides John, I know a lot of companies who have started on Kickstarter. I’ve been a backer of dozens of different projects, and a lot of those projects were just ideas when the campaign started. There are ways to get paid for your ideas up front. Using Kickstarter, you can validate those ideas and start to build community at the same time, which is a great way to get a boost at the beginning stages of your online business, especially if what you’re creating takes some money to get started.
To get started with Amazon affiliate marketing you will need to sign up with Amazon Affiliates. Then subtly market products on your site that are relevant to your niche and will be of interest to your audience. Make sure you only endorse high-quality products. If your visitors make a purchase on your recommendation but are not impressed with the item, you could quickly lose followers.
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.
Become a proofreader. All kinds of businesses hire professional proofreaders to look over their copy and content for errors before they publish. This side hustle is one that could work for nearly anyone since you can work from home provided you have a computer and an internet connection. You can find online proofreading jobs through websites like Indeed.com and FlexJobs.com
Sure, there are plenty of businesses offering social media consulting services, but you can stand out from the crowd by focusing primarily on networks that are still gathering steam with businesses. Facebook and Twitter are still the top networks, but businesses tend to struggle the most with more visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Snapchat. All of these platforms have huge audiences, but many businesses don't realize how big they really are, how effective they can be and how to make them work for their niche. Snapchat has more than 158 million users per day, according to Business Insider. Instagram has more than 500 million daily active users, according to Statista, and Pinterest has more than 200 million.
We all sign up for subscriptions that we eventually don’t want. As I’m sure you have found out, sometimes cancellation isn’t so easy. What I love about Trim is that they will identify these recurring charges in your bank account, let you know what you are being charged for and then give you the option to have them cancel them. They can send an email, make a phone call or even send a certified letter if that’s what the company requires. This service is currently free. Trim can also negotiate things like your cable bill. For that service, they charge you a percentage of your annual savings. Sign up here.
Online savings accounts usually come with crazy good interest rates to help you grow your money faster (regular in-person banks can’t offer rates as high). We’re fans of CIT Bank and Discover Bank (among others) because their interest rates are often over 25 times the national average. That means the money in your savings account will grow 25 times faster than the pace it’s most likely growing at now. Really, though, you can’t go wrong with pretty much any online savings account that offers over 1.50% APY 🙂