Now, here’s an online business model that has unfortunately become the butt of far too many jokes. This is because a certain segment of society (that’s you, hipster!) went around loudly telling anyone willing to listen that they were full-time bloggers. The net result of all this misplaced enthusiasm is that if you tell any of your friends or family you’re going to start a blogging business, they’ll wrinkle their collective noses at you, while coughing politely.
Blogging is still a viable online business idea, and one with as much potential as ever. Just make sure that you start a blog on something that people actually want to read about. If that happens to be something you’re passionate about that’s great. But you need to understand that it’s way easier to monetize a blog about organic dog food than it is to make money from a blog about obscure literary fiction.
Select a Template and Begin Creating Content. Deploy an agile WordPress template – which shouldn’t cost more than $99 per year – and begin populating your site with written, visual, and video content. To cut costs, you can produce some or all of this content yourself at first. But that’s likely to get too time-consuming as your attention shifts to monetizing, marketing, and selling your site. Look for high-quality, low-cost freelancers on platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, and 99designs. If your budget is higher, you can hire or contract with staff writers, editors, and multimedia producers directly.
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.”
Promotion. You don’t need to buy digital ads to promote your classes, but it’s definitely worth your while to drum up support by email – sending out targeted blasts to your professional and personal networks – and social media accounts. As you gain students, reputable platforms like Udemy will boost your visibility, doing some of the hard promotional work for you. However, you must opt into its extensive course marketing network.

Research Costs and Set Fair Starting Prices. Before setting prices for each item, research your local Craigslist website and 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 you’ll scare off first bids. Roughly 10% to 15% higher is a good rule of thumb. Consider bunching low-value items, such as old CDs, into lots of five or 10.


Take good pictures. Some of the options below don’t require you to actually take the picture and sell the product, but for the ones that do, make sure you take a clear picture that makes your product stand out from the others.  If you’re going to be taking a lot of pictures, set up a small “studio-like” area in your home with a backdrop and proper lighting to really make your pictures come across as professional. And of course, you’ll want a good camera too.
Get paid to search the Web. Zoombucks.com will pay you to use their online interface to search the web. To qualify, you need to be willing to download their search bar and use it for everyday Internet use. The only caveat that comes with this “gig” is that you might be paid in gift cards instead of cash. If you can parlay those gift cards into items you need to buy anyway – like groceries or gas – searching online can be a lucrative way to spend your free time.
The cornerstone of your affiliate business is about setting up a website that’s focused on a specific niche. You research low competition keywords for that niche, with the aim of ranking on page one of Google for those keywords. People visiting your site then click on a referral link, and if they make a purchase at the destination store, then you get paid a commission. That’s why some people call it “referral marketing”.

Often, what happens is that we run into unscrupulous Internet Marketers (IMs) who have less-than altruistic intentions of extracting money from you rather than helping you to make it. However, this isn't something new. People have been falling for networking marketing, pyramid schemes, and affiliate marketing scams since before the start of the net.

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.
I know starting a blog is a way to make extra money.  I just wish it was not take so much time it is not easy. To come up with new things to write about plus getting the traffic to your site. Just like your list here no way you just set down and wrote this all at once it took a lot of research and searching your brain.  Great info and thanks for taking the time to put it all together.
(As an example, this still happens, even now: Just recently, I spent 4 months working on a business idea with my team, spending a huge amount of time and money, until we ultimately concluded it wasn’t worth it. We shelved it away and I wrote an email to the team, telling them, “We can’t figure out how to make this work. We’ll re-look at it in 2 years.”)

This could be a smart strategy if you live in an area where real estate is outrageously expensive, or you don’t want the hassle and expense of traveling all over the country visiting potential properties. Plus, if you are new to single-family real estate investing, letting a place like Roofstock guide you through the process is a great way to get your feet wet.
The sharing economy has created new opportunities for regular people to put their excess capital to work. Person-to-person (P2P) lending platforms such as LendingClub and Prosper are reputable outlets for nonaccredited individuals seeking above-average returns on investment – anywhere from 4% to more than 10% annually, after accounting for nonperforming loans and the platforms’ service charges.
Hi Nick! I was researching online successful businesses and came across your article. For the last couple months I have been thinking about starting my own online business that is geared towards online health/fitness coaching. Then I think maybe freelance writing or perhaps starting my own blog. Do you any suggestions on how to start these businesses? Where I could even begin? I have been a nurse since 2010, love fitness. However, starting a blog would be interesting as well.
Giving Assistant. Giving Assistant puts a charitable spin on online shopping discounts. Functionally, it’s similar to Qmee and Piggy, but users have the option to donate their earnings to their favorite charities. Of course, those who prefer to pocket their cash still can. You can reliably earn 5% cash back with Giving Assistant and more at select merchants.

Get paid to search the Web. Zoombucks.com will pay you to use their online interface to search the web. To qualify, you need to be willing to download their search bar and use it for everyday Internet use. The only caveat that comes with this “gig” is that you might be paid in gift cards instead of cash. If you can parlay those gift cards into items you need to buy anyway – like groceries or gas – searching online can be a lucrative way to spend your free time.

If you’re comfortable having strangers in your home and confident you’re on the right side of the law, check out these popular meal sharing options. Depending on your platform choice, guest capacity, and local market, you can expect to rake in anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars per meal after accounting for expenses. Hosting opportunities are more plentiful in major cities.

19. eBay – Of course you can’t read an article about making money online that doesn’t mention eBay. You can start an eBay store and get serious about it or you can just sell some stuff to declutter your home. Either way, I’ve made my fair share from selling on eBay and it’s still a popular way to earn money. If you decide to start an actual eBay store, you’ll want to find a drop-ship business like Doba that will store and ship items straight to your customers so you don’t have to deal with an inventory.

How it works: Simply swipe up, down, left or right to unlock your phone. If you’re interested in what you’re seeing on your lock screen, just tap the “learn more” button. In exchange for allowing S’more to rent your lock screen, the apps awards you points every day. You can redeem those points for gift cards to places like Amazon, Google Play, Starbucks, and more.
Traditional brick and mortar banks are offering historic low rates on savings accounts. So low that you’re losing money to inflation by keeping funds in them. For example, the national average savings account APY is hovering around 0.09%. The current inflation rate is above 1.2%. If your savings account doesn’t offer more than 1.2% per year, you’re losing money.
When one of your customers makes a purchase, you purchase the product from a third-party company (the drop shipper, usually a manufacturer or wholesaler) for a lower price. This process is as simple as forwarding the order from your customer, a process that can actually be completely automated. (Remember you don't have any risk here of buying inventory because the sale has already been made).
Topic and Structure. It’s not enough to select a popular vertical. You need a compelling topic and a tight structure for each class. After all, everyone wants to learn how to code, but you can’t teach every popular program language in an hour. Build your curriculum around interesting, high-demand topics within your niche. Use real-life examples, hands-on exercises, and attractive graphics (whiteboards work well) whenever possible.
According to Getaround’s estimates, car owners that routinely lend out their car can earn “$1,000s per year actively sharing your parked car”. Considering there is no effort needed by you, it’s a pretty good way to make money. That being said, your car will likely depreciate a bit faster by virtue of lending it out to other people. If you have a big car loan or are underwater on your loan, putting your car on a site like Getaround might not be a great idea.
 Thanks for your response Phil.  I see where you’re coming from with regards to sensitivity.  It DOES seem, however, that truth and clarity can be expressed with so much more civility in this world of ours where so little of that seems to exist these days.  Truth and clarity expressed elegantly and with civility will always be better received and, hence, achieve better and longer lasting results, than when expressed brashly or without regard for the experience and perspective of those who may see things a little differently.      
Mechanical Turk is Amazon's take on micro-jobs. These are small miniscule-jobs that you can do for other people, which they call HITs, or Human Intelligence Tasks. These are super simple tasks that anyone can do. Some examples are listing off some URLs with certain kinds of images for one cent, or recording a few phrases with a microphone for 6 cents.

One such writer, Holly Johnson from ClubThrifty, makes over $200,000 per year from her freelance work. She too has a course that teaches others how to do the same. Expect to spend some money upfront in learning how to hone your writing skills and pitch clients. But in as little as a few days, you’ll be able to quickly generate positive cash flow as you build your resume of clients.
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.
Buy and Host Your Domain. Your domain name should be catchy and relevant to your niche. It should also roll off the tongue and sound as similar as possible to your site’s actual name. If the domain isn’t yet registered, you can probably find it on GoDaddy or a comparable domain warehouse for less than $15 per year. Already-registered domains can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the quality of the name. Already-built sites can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on traffic, revenue, and other factors. High-performing domains are out of reach for low-budget flippers.
The box subscription business has exploded. While it's nothing new, and it's been around for ages now, the overwhelming rise of the internet has breathed newfound life into this online business idea. What is a box subscription exactly? If you think back for a moment to one of the most viral box subscriptions businesses, you'll clearly recall the Dollar Shave Club.
Advertising and Promotion. You won’t have a huge budget to promote your at-home business, so use cost-effective outreach targeted to your most likely customers, such as fliers in local craft and clothing stores, a basic website (preferably with booking and payment portals), a referral network, and friends and family willing to sing your praises. Also, consider joining the American Sewing Guild for $50 per year. It’s a great way to meet other enthusiasts and get your name out there.
For example, Amazon affiliates can potentially rake in obscene amounts of commission dollars if they work at it. Simply sign up as an affiliate to sell a company’s products using your special referral link, and you can get a commission for each product sold without lifting a finger. Commission ranges from product to product and also goes up in stages according to how many products sales your clicks generate. The top commission tier is 8%. That adds up to some serious amounts of cash each month if you’re promoting products with that high rate of commission ( Home & Garden is one such product area with high commissions).
If you have a knack for creating unique images, there’s no need to fuss over your own inventory. If your creations can be easily printed onto a product, then you can make money. Upload your designs on a variety of websites like CafePress. If someone likes them, the company prints them up and ships the product. You could create unique designs for calendars, books, T-shirts, bags, hats, greeting cards, or posters and get a commission for each one sold. Some of these sites include Zazzle, Teespring and Lulu.
If Uber Eats or Lyft weren’t a great fit, Uber is yet another option. By driving with Uber, you have the flexibility to drive whenever you want, which means you can start making money as soon as you are approved to drive, and it’s all on your schedule. They’re currently offering a $1,050 bonus to new drivers in our area (Virginia Beach, VA) but that amount will vary based on your regional market. See their website for more details.

Create passive income. If you have money saved, you can utilize this as a nest egg to create passive income. There are many ways to create passive income, with the easiest being to open a high interest savings account, which offers a much higher return than a normal savings account. Investing in stocks can also provide you with a passive income, but requires up front research and stringent monitoring of your portfolio.


Do you know there are companies and people out there that make some pretty good money offering their cleaning services to households and companies? They’ll come in and charge you either a set fee per room or an hourly fee to clean up. They can come weekly, monthly, or whenever you think you need some extra scrubbing. What’s the point? Why not have the person they hire be you?
Get-rich-quick schemes and fad weight-loss diets are naturally popular because they satisfy the id while also attending to the super-ego. The ego's job is complete when it sees something like this. The appeal of "fast'' stems from the innate desire for instant gratification, so beware of what seems too good to be true (they often are) when you're looking to make money quickly. Be wary. Listen to the conversation deep within the confines of your mind and do your best to tame the proverbial beasts.
×