To get started as a game tester, sign up with a reputable network such as Keywords Studio, whose Global Beta Test Network (GBTN) helps game developers push their products to the limit and ensure they go to market with as few bugs as possible. GBTN’s tests typically involve dozens to hundreds of testers around the world running simultaneous tests on different aspects of clients’ games. Most tests are time-limited, project-based affairs. Pay varies but typically ranges from $20 to $50 per hour. Diligent, skilled testers who work part-time can earn $10,000 to $20,000 per year; testers who work at or near full time can easily exceed $50,000 per year.
Craigslist. Craigslist is the scrappiest of the major online resale options. Its major perk is its enticing profit potential, thanks to the total lack of listing and selling fees for most items. The disadvantages are many and include potential safety risks and higher chances of nonpayment. If you do choose Craigslist, keep your wits about you and use the buddy system.
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.
Another way to utilize your talent and business skills is to run corporate workshops online. Businesses are always looking for unique ways to help educate their workforce, and if you can package your talents into a day or half-day long session, you can sell that to companies all over the world to make money online. Start by building a portfolio and then reaching out on LinkedIn to influencers at relevant companies to see if they would be interested in you teaching their team.
You can sell your ebooks through Amazon's Kindle program or Apple's iTunes Connect, which gives you access to a large majority of the digital-book reading market and the barriers for entry are incredibly low. You don't need to invest lots of money to make this happen, but you do need to invest lots of time, not only in writing the ebooks, but in marketing them as well.
No matter which way you do it, it’s passive income—money you earn while you sleep because you put these products up for sale on your website and a customer can buy and download them any time of day or night, automatically. All you have to do is check the sales periodically to see what topics or types of products are selling best so you can make more of those.
If managing a blog seems a bit overwhelming but you still desire to indulge your writing passion, you can write for other sites or blogs like PayPerPost, Textbroker, or Helium. Also, writing an interesting e-book may also be an option for you as well. E-books do not have any printing or shipping fees, which makes them a viable investment. If you’re someone who possesses strong language skills, you could potentially become an expert copy editor that webmasters will gladly pay to read and edit articles and also correct any overlooked grammatical errors concerning web copy.
Best of all, unlike a brick-and-mortar business, you don’t need a lot of startup capital. In fact, you can get many internet businesses up and running with no money at all because so many free services facilitate the possibility. For example, you can set up a website or blog for free using WordPress. Or you can leverage a third-party site like Amazon or eBay to sell goods with no inventory costs. You use their selling platform in exchange for giving them a cut of your sales.
My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and grow my blog to over 400,000 monthly readers and $50,000/mo in side income.
Sites like Cookening, EatWith, and MealSharing are to restaurants what Airbnb is to hotels. Sign up as a host to earn dough by cooking and serving meals to guests in your home. It's up to you what you want to cook and how many people you can accommodate. Cooks are paid directly through the site, so no cash ever changes hands. The earning potential for becoming a cooking host is $50-$100 per meal.
Are you skilled at a few special recipes or are your friends going crazy over your cakes? You know who you are. It might be time to take your talents to the making some extra money. People love to buy homemade goods, especially when you have a signature item or a story behind it. You can contract your items out for parties, meetings, etc. Or, consider holiday sales for local Christmas parties, birthdays and more.
Better yet, you can even upload your own book to one of the world’s largest book sellers: Amazon. With Amazon self-publishing, you set the price, retain the rights to your book, and get access to Amazon’s massive audience. For every sale, you keep 70% with Amazon taking the remainder as a fee. If you want to get started, check out Tara Gentile on CreativeLive as she shows you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Who knows, you might just write one of the best business books of this year!
If you hook up with a for-hire car parking service (the type hired out for fancy neighborhood parties) you can make some nice cash tips in just a few hours at night and on the weekend, when parties are held. The key here is to do a great job by showing hustle and being super friendly. This was one of the most enjoyable jobs I had during graduate school. Who doesn’t like to drive nice cars?
Refinish old furniture from thrift stores, yard sales, or online ads. Sand down the furniture to smooth out the surfaces and buff off some of the old paint or stain. If you want to restain it, use a lacquer or paint thinner to remove the stain. Then, re-stain the piece. If you plan to repaint it, apply a primer and let it dry. Next, apply at least 2 coats of paint, letting each coat dry for at least 24 hours. If necessary, add new hardware to finish the piece.
If you’re a website or blog owner, you can sell a portion of your page space to advertisers and earn money passively each time the ads are clicked on by your target audience or visitors to your website. While the actual placing of the ads is completely free, the earning capacity of cost-per-click (CPC) advertising is based on the level of traffic to your site and the cost per click and click-through rate, or CTR. The most popular way to earn money today through advertising clicks is through Google AdSense or similar advertisers.
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.
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.)
You can generate a small side income taking online surveys — but don’t expect to be rolling in the dough. Survey sites don’t typically offer a big payoff, unless you invest a lot of time, and many sites are more useful for earning gift cards than cash. Some of the more popular survey sites include Swagbucks and Global Test Market. Read our analysis of a dozen survey sites to find out which one is best suited for you.
Don’t let that stop you from starting a blogging business. There are lots of very successful bloggers out there – we’re talking 5 and 6-figure-a-month levels of success. What you absolutely must avoid doing is starting a blog about “how to be a successful blogger.” How can you do that when you haven’t achieved any success yet yourself? Faking it until you make it is not a business model we’d advise anyone to follow.
Flexible Schedules With Long Blocks of Uninterrupted Time. Simultaneous game tests typically occur at the client’s convenience. If your game’s developer is based overseas, that could mean testing in the middle of the night. For night owls, that’s not a big deal, but 9-to-5ers may struggle. Also, tests typically take several hours, so this isn’t something you can do for 20 minutes at a time and move on.
The virtual assistant workforce is global, which means two things. First, if you’re in the U.S. or another high-cost country, you’ll likely be undercut by English- and Spanish-speaking professionals in cheaper markets. Second, you’ll need to either stick to clients in or near your time zone or be willing to work odd hours. A reasonable starting wage for North America-based VAs is $10 to $20 per hour, but competent VAs command much higher rates.
Once you have one or two samples to show prospective clients, it’s then time to find some. Sites like Freelancer and Upwork are good places to start out. But you don’t need to stick to the same path taken by every other freelance writer. Use some lateral thinking to find clients. Join relevant groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. Have a look for forums dedicated to web development, digital marketing or SEO – there’s almost always a “writers for hire” section you can use to find new clients.
While consulting with other small business owners as a business banker, Spencer finally had the desire to start his own business. He successfully built a portfolio of niche sites using SEO and online marketing that allowed him to quit his job in 2011. Since then he's been involved in dozens of online business ventures including: creating and exiting Long Tail Pro, running an Amazon FBA business for over 3 years and selling that business, founding LinkWhisper.com, and co-founding MotionInvest.com. You can learn more about Spencer here.
I personally have enjoyed working a direct sales/home based business on the side. I found a good, legitimate company with very low upfront costs/overhead. It has been a great experience. Just be sure that the company offers training and some sort of simple, step-by-step system and it helps if they are in the DSA Top 100– instantly proves their legitimacy!
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.
If you have an extra room in your house, consider listing it on Airbnb. Airbnb is a new way to travel for many people around the world. Instead of booking through expensive hotels, why not stay at someone’s house? As a guest, you can choose high end to low end, choose to stay with other people or opt for privacy. And as a host, it’s a great way to make side money, utilize unused space, and meet new people! How much you can earn depends on your area so I recommend finding out by becoming an Airbnb host yourself!
Electronics, DVDs, CDs, Video Games: Decluttr buys your old CDs, DVDs, games, books, LEGO®, and technology. Select your technology or scan the barcode on your media items for an instant valuation. Once you accept an offer, Decluttr will send you a free shipping label. All you have to do is pack a box and drop it at your nearest UPS location or schedule a pick-up.
If you want to help shape digital products in their early stages, joining an online focus group or answering survey questions is a great way to make extra money online. They don’t pay as much as some of the other options we’re highlighting in this list, but you can join groups on sites like Survey Junkie, User Interviews and InboxDollars that pay out through PayPal, check or even Amazon gift cards. You’ll be asked to provide a bit of information about your personal demographics (age, location, etc…), but after that you can get going making money online through completing surveys.
Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card and banking offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies and banks from which MoneyCrashers.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. MoneyCrashers.com does not include all banks, credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, Chase, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.
The prep work before you open up shop is more time-consuming. You need merchandise to sell, photos and descriptions to post, a name for your shop and a business plan to help you succeed. Once that’s done, you’ll still need to find customers. Depending on what you’re selling, that could take weeks, which is why you should expect the overall time for this gig to be slow.