The second (and cheaper) path assumes that you have the design and dev chops yourself to build your dream software. Naturally, it’ll take more time to get your product off the ground, but being able to bootstrap the development of your software lets you retain more ownership in your business and be more in control of your path, making this a lower-cost, but higher time investment to make money selling apps.
However, with online employment comes fraudulent companies who scam job seekers into signing illegitimate offers. "There is currently a 61-to-1 scam ratio among work-at-home job leads on the internet — that is, for every legitimate job, there are 61 scams," says Christine Durst, cofounder of RatRaceRebellion.com and consultant to the FBI on internet scam.
Once you have that problem or need nailed, the next step is to validate that idea and make sure you’ve actually got customers who will pay for it. This means building a minimum viable product, getting objective feedback from real customers, incorporating updates, testing the market for demand, and getting pricing feedback to ensure there’s enough of a margin between your costs and what consumers are willing to pay.
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, domainlore.uk, 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.
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 trips a reality.
If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
City-dwellers often don’t use their cars for days or weeks at a time. That idle time can translate to money with services like Getaround and Turo, which let you rent out your car by the hour or day. Earning potential varies by car and location, but standard vehicles typically rent for $30 to $50 per day. Luxury cars and sport-utility vehicles command even more money. Just be sure you talk to your insurance provider before signing up to make sure that you don’t run afoul of the policy.
One of the biggest and best-known at-home tech support employers is Apple, whose At Home Advisor program employs thousands of people at competitive, experience-based salaries. At Home Advisors are part- or full-time employees, not independent contractors, so there’s a measure of security here that’s often missing from work-at-home gigs. The benefits package, including Apple stock, is pretty nice too, and every At Home Advisor gets a free iMac.
Walk around your neighborhood or town and I’m sure you’ll see tons of great local businesses with terrible design. However, with increasingly easy-to-use tools like Adobe Illustrator, Venngage, Stencil, and Visme, just about anyone with a creative mindset and a good amount of motivation can start making money online by being a graphic designer for local companies.
E-Commerce Portals. The best way to improve your at-home crafts business’s visibility and credibility is to launch your own website. And the best way to monetize that website is with a turnkey e-commerce portal. Shopify is a relatively cost-effective, feature-rich option for serious sellers – you can build and maintain a decent store for $15 to $20 per month. Volusion and Squarespace are worthy, comparably priced competitors.
Photo Editor/Web Editor. Photo and Web editors create or edit visuals that appear on websites and other digital media, such as white papers and corporate reports. This line of work is a great way to exercise your visual skills and become more familiar with layout and editing programs such as Quark, WordPress, and Photoshop. These gigs often require basic to intermediate coding skills, so they’re great for freelancers who want to expand their expertise beyond the written word.
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.
Become a freelance writer or editor. If you have a passion for storytelling or a background in writing or editing, it’s possible to find freelance writing or editing work online. To search available job openings, check out sites like UpWork.com and Problogger.net. You can also check traditional job sites such as Indeed.com and enter “telecommute” or “anywhere” in the location field.
If it’s not clear yet, information and expertise are two of the most consistent and lucrative ways to make extra money online. If you don’t like talking on the phone, you can sign up to get paid to answer professional questions on JustAnswer. There are thousands of questions being asked every month from people looking for help from lawyers, doctors, mechanics, vets, and more. To apply, you’ll need to supply your professional verification, resume, and a form of identification.
Become a Query Machine. Once you’ve gained confidence on freelance copywriting platforms and built a modest portfolio, look for companies that actively advertise for writers – both traditional publications and companies with obvious content needs, such as PR firms. Do some research on crafting and personalizing query letters, which is an art form in itself. Then, start sending out queries to blogs, magazines, dailies, and other content-hungry organizations that fit your writing style and knowledge base. If you’re looking for byline work, each query should include a clear pitch for a single article or article series. For behind-the-scenes gigs, such as ghostwriting ad copy or press releases, condense and communicate your value proposition. Don’t sweat nonresponses. This is a numbers game, and more queries than not will be ignored.
5. Fiverr – Fiverr is a great place to make a few bucks or spend a few bucks if you need some of the services people offer. Basically, everything is $5. You either pay $5 or charge $5. They call them “gigs.” You can offer your services however you choose. If you sell art and you’re fine selling pieces for $5 each, that’s a gig. If you’re a graphic designer and you want to offer your services for $10/hour, simply offer a 30 minute gig. If they need two hours of graphic design, they pay you $20, or $10/hour by buying four gigs.
Real estate can be a very profitable investment opportunity, but many people don’t know how or where to start. It’s also common for aspiring real estate investors to be scared off of the idea because of the upfront capital requirements. While it’s true that you do need some money to make money from real estate, technology has made it easier for investors to get up and running without much startup capital.
If you're interested in online marketing, setup email software and create a lead magnet that you can use in your sales funnel. Then, build up that list. It's often said that you can expect to earn about $1 per subscriber per month. If you have a list of 10,000 subscribers, that means you can earn roughly around $10,000 per month. You will need to deliver value and not pitch them on every email, but it is a very achievable goal in a short period.
You could try advertising more, for example, by putting up signs around the neighborhood, posting about it on social media, or having people you know spread the word. You could also try doing it in a different neighborhood that might have friendlier people, or do it in a time and place where there's likely to be a lot of people walking around the area (e.g., near a church before the end of a mass).