While many people are in a rush to complete goals they set for themselves at the beginning of the year, I’m looking forward to new and innovative ways to add more money to my bottom line come next year. Lucky for us, there is never a shortage of new money-making apps and ideas coming online. And, working from home is becoming even more accepted and commonplace than it has been in years past.
Getting businesses to advertise on your podcast, either at the beginning or end or both is a great way to create a revenue through podcasts. Most businesses won’t be keen to advertise on your podcast until you can prove a large number of listeners. Therefore, it is unlikely you will be able to start out from the get-go with sponsors. But once you accumulate regular listeners or a high number of downloads from iTunes, you can start to sell advertising space on your podcasts.
Some subjects are much better paid than others, so although you may love the idea of writing about travel (badly paid) a better bet would be a niche like finance (much higher rates of pay). Check out the Pro Blogger job board for high paid freelance writing jobs – other places to look might be Textbroker or you can look at the “gigs” section on Craigslist.
If you’ve ever thought that buying and flipping real estate seemed fun and lucrative, you’ll love the concept of buying and selling domain names. Just like buying low and selling high with actual homes, domain name flipping has big margins that can put a lot of cash in your pocket. The most expensive domain name ever sold is insurance.com, it sold for $35.6M back in 2010. To buy a domain, you need little more than a credit card. You can purchase domains on familiar domain purchase sites like GoDaddy.com, or on domain auction sites like NameJet or Sedo. Selling domains require a little bit of creative thinking, since you need to find the right buyer (much like selling physical real estate). Successful sellers will tell you that creating a portfolio of dozens (or even hundreds) of domains increases your chances at making sales and profits. There are hundreds of auction sites and forums dedicated to buying and selling domain names, so you can easily find tips and tricks from people who have sold domains for tens of thousands of dollars. That said, not every domain is a diamond in the rough, so patience is the name of the game.
While many people start a home business to create or replace a full-time income, some people simply want to generate a little extra money to pay debt; save for a rainy day; or use as mad money, a sum of money reserved for small expenses or impulsive purchases. In the past, those who wished to make extra money needed to go out to find a second job. Fortunately, times have changed and people are thinking creatively about how to make extra money from home. They may be selling their services such as driving or shopping, skills such as writing or sales, or used items such as furniture, technology, or clothing to bring in extra income. Websites designed specifically to assist you in getting rid of unwanted items or selling your services or skills can help.
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?
But, as I said, development costs money. For the Smart Podcast Player, it’s a plugin so it requires constant validation, testing, upgrades, and a solid customer support system in place, all of which costs money. If you have a plan to do something similar for your online business, you’ll need to think about this before you even get started so your processes are covered. Read about the lessons we learned in building the player and how we validated it before launch.
The next payment I made for my business was in October 2008 when I had the idea to sell an ebook. To make this happen, I had to spend a little bit of money on a shopping cart service (e-junkie at the time; I later moved to Gumroad, as I describe in my free ebook Ebooks the Smart Way) that allowed me to deliver the ebook to the people who bought it. It was a flat fee of $5 per month. Different companies have different ways of setting up those pricing structures, but whatever the case may be, it doesn’t have to be a huge monthly fee to get going.
Drop shipping is another great ‘hands-off’ way to sell products. Firstly you will need to find businesses that sell products in your niche that offer a drop shipping service. Then you will need to create a website promoting and selling the products. When you make a sale, you take the payment on your site and then the manufacturer ships the goods to the buyer. The profit comes from charging a higher rate than the manufacturer, and if you are selling a high number of products this can quickly add up to a healthy revenue.
For a deeper look into this idea, I recommend checking out the case study in Will It Fly? on Noah Kagan, who is really detailed and transparent about starting his business. He validated a beef jerky subscription company (yum!), which proved to be a unique and inspiring example of determining the costs of items before starting a business. He didn’t pay for anything up front; he was just smart about asking: how much does this cost, and how much money do I need to reach my goal? His goal was to validate his idea by making $1,000 profit in twenty-four hours, and that’s exactly what he was able to do.
If you have experience with marketing, SEO, or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work making money online as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results.
Accommodate Multiple Forms of Payment: Many deal-seekers carry cash, but you want to accommodate every potential buyer. So, in the days leading up to the event, consider purchasing a point-of-sale system that can accept credit cards. Square is a popular and relatively cost-effective option: it doesn’t cost anything upfront and bundles credit card processing fees into its own per-transaction fees, resulting in a net expense of 2.75% for most transactions (net of $97.25 for every $100 charged). This is a small price to pay to capture the ever-growing cashless consumer demographic. On the day before the sale, visit the bank and grab $100 in small bills and coin rolls to ensure you’ll have enough change for buyers who do prefer cash.
Using the money you already have to make more money is usually a pretty smart move. A service like Lending Club is a great way to act as a lender and earn interest on your money. Essentially, you act as the bank, which is pretty neat. Lending Club is the world’s largest online credit marketplace connecting borrowers and investors. Definitely something worth looking into!
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.
A blog highlights your technical ability and showcases your ability to write blog posts. Your blog can be about different topics than those you write about for your clients. In fact, it should be on a topic that interests you. Visitors will see that you can not only write, but you can also build an online community. A good blog has the potential to earn you many referrals for more clients.