Build a Portfolio. Unless you’re very lucky or a credentialed expert in a sought-after niche, such as law or accounting, your first freelance writing gigs probably won’t come with a byline. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add your early work to your writing portfolio with permission from your clients. The more pieces you produce, the more variety you’ll have to show clients down the line. As your portfolio grows, use a professional website or content marketing platform like Contently to present it publicly.
Monetize a hobby. While some hobbies actually cost money, others can be transformed into a profitable business venture. Ultimately, it depends on what your hobby is and how talented you are. You could turn your love of photography, for example, into a part-time gig taking family portraits and wedding photos or selling prints on Etsy or at arts fairs.
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.
Blogging is something that requires patience, persistence and discipline. It may mean writing everyday for over a year before you really start to see any money from it. There are exceptions to the rule, but from my dealings with other bloggers, it seems to be pretty common to spend one or even two years building your blog, your brand and your authority, before making any serious amount of money.
Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to make money online doing something you love via a niche website. That of course, is easier said than done. Creating a profitable niche website takes time and is not intended for the faint of heart. But, if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business idea you’re thinking about is profitable, then you can begin building it and eventually monetize through advertising, affiliates, or other relevant digital products.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. When you purchase a product using my one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps me run this blog and keep things like my 25,000 word ultimate guide to starting a blog free of charge to you. Know that I also only recommend products I personally stand behind.
Another option is to again set up a Shopify store. But instead, you have customer orders drop-shipped to them by the manufacturer, or distributor. You know those super-cheap items you see on Facebook that seem too good to be true? The catch is always that it can take 30 – 45 days for your order to arrive – that’s the drop-shipping model in operation right there.
Amazon. Many people don’t realize that Amazon is a haven for third-party sellers cleaning out their attics and garages. If you plan to sell more than 40 items per month on Amazon, consider registering as a professional seller. You’ll need to pay a roughly $40 monthly subscription fee, a referral fee that usually ranges from 6% to 20%, and a per-item closing cost for media items. You won’t pay the per-item selling fee, however. Alternatively, you can register as an individual seller. The fee schedule is the same as for professionals, except you do have to pay the selling fee and don’t have to pay the subscription fee.
You don’t have to start your own online business from scratch. Instead, you can build one (very quickly) by helping out people who already have a successful business. Every service business has a long list of past clients they’re most likely not doing a good job of keeping up with—but their neglect is your opportunity. It’s up to 5x more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to keep an existing one. By helping businesses follow-up and bring back their old customers, you’re saving them money (and making your own!). A follow-up business like this can be as simple as a series of emails you write for a client to help them bring back old customers (check out this step-by-step guide for videos and example pitches). All you need is some writing skills, time to research and craft an effective outreach campaign to prospects in a profitable niche.
Find Your Niche and Set Goals. Start by choosing a strong niche for your website. It should be a subject with which you’re personally familiar. Identify and research potential competitors’ content strategies, traffic figures, and monetization efforts. Next, set basic goals and parameters for your flip, including length, traffic target, revenue target, and target sale price.
Manage social media for businesses. If you have a knack for social media, you could potentially get paid to manage various platforms for others. Many businesses are too busy running day-to-day operations to stay on top of their Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts – and will pay someone with the knowledge and time to do it for them. To find these jobs, ask local businesses and check sites like UpWork.com and Problogger.net.
Spotting Scams. Lots of at-home voice work is legitimate, but there are plenty of scam artists too. Don’t invest any money upfront without thoroughly checking your prospective employer’s credentials. Start with the Better Business Bureau and cross-reference with first-person testimonials at watchdog sites such as Ripoff Report and career boards such as Indeed.
Worth noting is that Postmates doesn’t even require that you deliver by vehicle — a bike will do. Better yet, there are no startup fees or time commitments with Postmates and all you’ll have to do is pass a basic background check to get started. Once Postmates verifies your identity, they’ll send you a delivery bag and a prepaid card (in the mail) that you’ll use to purchase delivery items.

My local Craigslist.org is the first place I go to sell something. It’s best for items you think will appeal to everyone (therefore justifying the smaller audience) and large items that can’t be shipped. Craigslist.org is great for taking your yard sale items online for local sales. For example, a friend recently bought two fans from people that live close to him. These one-off type items do very well on Craigslist. Just remember to use common sense and be safe out there.

Manage social media for businesses. If you have a knack for social media, you could potentially get paid to manage various platforms for others. Many businesses are too busy running day-to-day operations to stay on top of their Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts – and will pay someone with the knowledge and time to do it for them. To find these jobs, ask local businesses and check sites like UpWork.com and Problogger.net.

The audiobook industry is booming, yet only 5% of books ever get made into audio format. If you’ve got a background in acting, or if people have said you’ve got a voice made for the radio, you can make extra money recording audio versions of independent and popular books. Sites like ACX connect authors with audiobook performers. So, whether you’re an author looking for more ways to sell your book, or an actor/voice actor looking to make some extra income, you can sell your services online.
But first, a caveat: Meal sharing platforms operate in a legal gray area. The food service industry is heavily regulated, and many jurisdictions make it all but impossible for home cooks to profit from their passions. At a minimum, you need to make sure you comply with all local health department directives and obtain all applicable licenses before you begin inviting diners into your home.

Take advantage of the growing delivery trend and sign up for a service like Instacart, UberEats, Postmates or Amazon Flex. You get paid per delivery, in most cases, and can even earn tips. A car isn’t always required — Postmates lets you use a bike, scooter or your own two feet to make deliveries — but a background check almost always is part of the deal. Learn more about how to get started with Amazon Flex, UberEats and Instacart.
Salvage and resell. Do you love antiques or have a knack for finding valuables at flea markets or yard sales? If you do, it might be time to consider salvaging items for resale – or even scouting out antiques to sell for a profit. While you’ll need to spend quite a bit of time searching for prospects and spend some money buying upfront, you could easily turn a profit if you know what you’re doing.
These businesses may have a Facebook page, but most aren’t getting anything out of it (i.e., they aren’t getting more customers or sales). That’s where you can come in: the Facebook ads specialist. The best part about this home-based business is that learning the art and skill of Facebook ads isn’t impossible — anyone can pick it up and secure their first client within a month.
Basically, you pick a profitable niche for your online business, and then you find an affiliate partner who has products available in that niche. Some of the most popular affiliate sites are Clickbank.com, Amazon.com, and CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction). Between them, they offer just about any digital information product (like ebooks, audio files, video files) or physical product you can think of. May big name companies and brands, like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc. run their affiliate programs through these third-party affiliate sites.
According to Lynne Norris of NorrisBusinessSolutions.com, who works out of her home in Pennsylvania as a virtual assistant, the rates for VAs run about $25 to $75 or more an hour, though ZipRecruiter calculates the average hourly rate at $19. According to Norris, the startup costs of this work from home job can range from about $500 to $1,000, assuming you have an up-to-date computer and printer.
You could also opt to use existing websites for making money. These include both active income and passive income methods. For example, you could sell some used items or invest in creating some digital designs that then can be sold on merchandise. Again, devote a sizable portion of your time to passive income so that you can slowly build up earnings that will arrive on autopilot without any extra added effort. 
Put in the time and see where it leads to find out. There’s something there for everyone. Whether you want to get your hands dirty or just earn an income passively, there’s plenty there on my list of online business ideas. I hope I given you some inspiration to start something yourself! For more information why not head over to my How To Start A Business guide.
Jumping into the field is relatively simple. Most prospective transcriptionists start by taking an online transcription course that teaches them the skills necessary to perform common job duties. Companies, such as Transcribe Anywhere, offer classes that teach students the basics of general, medical, or legal transcription, and just as importantly, how they can go about finding clients for work.

The sheer facts point to continued explosive growth of online ads. And we're still in the infancy of the internet. The earlier you capitalize on this industry, the quicker you can build it into a formidable online business. Study and learn all the intricacies of advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google. Find courses, or use the free material available from a multitude of platforms to become a seasoned pro. 
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!
Zilok is free for individual members to create listings, but rental businesses have to pay fees. To list your item on Zilok, you’ll have to create a post with a description, photos and a price per day. Once a renter finds your product, Zilok takes a commission depending on the listing price. For everything under $10, the commission fee is $1. Fees range between 5% and 9% for all other price categories.
That’s where you — the Facebook ads specialist — can come in. If you learn how to effectively run campaigns and generate leads for local small businesses, you can earn anywhere from $1,000 – $2,000 per month per client. You don’t need to have a degree or prior experience in the field to get started, and as your portfolio of clients expands, you can start to up your rates and charge more.
Pets. Dogs and cats complicate short-term rental arrangements. It’s hard to give a visitor free reign over your place when you’re worried about them inadvertently letting Fido or Fluffy out when they come home in the middle of the night. At a minimum, you should disclose the fact that you have pets, lest an allergic tenant leaves a toxic review on your otherwise pristine online listing.

Recording Others’ Work. If you’re a trained voice actor or narrator, or you think you have what it takes to break into the niche, you can use ACX and other outlets to find audiobook recording jobs. You’ll need to audition for each role, but once you land a gig, you’ll earn money two ways: at an agreed per-hour rate for the actual job and a shared royalty arrangement with the rights-holder and others involved in the production. If you’re a union actor (SAG-AFTRA), you’re required to charge a minimum fee (variable, but above $200) per finished hour (roughly two studio hours). On a 10-hour audiobook, that’s a minimum payday of $2,000 before royalties.

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.


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!
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.
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.

Video is growing like crazy. And more and more people are looking for professional help cutting their raw footage into viral-worthy content. If you have the right software and a bit of skill, you can easily make money online as a video editor. Check out these article of Fstoppers on how to become an online video editor and then look for relevant jobs on Mandy.com, Creative Cow Job Search, or ProductionHub.


Whether for high school students or adults, you can monetize your expertise by teaching people with less experience or knowledge than you in that subject area. You can work with an established group like Kaplan for, say, SAT tutoring, or you could try hanging out your own shingle and making your services known either to students, parents and schools in your community. If you are targeting adults, you can create your own website or list your services with adult tutoring companies.


That means that if you have extra money just sitting idle, either in a checking account or a low yield savings account, you might be better suited to put those funds into something that can grow faster. Depending on your age and how much risk you are willing to take with your investments, you should be netting around 7% growth per year with a balanced portfolio. Of course, there will be ebbs and flows (and you won’t make money every day), but investing over the long term is one of the best ways to build long-term wealth.

If you don’t mind doing other people’s chores, then TaskRabbit is a great option for making money online. Earn extra income by walking your neighbor’s dog or mowing Mr. Smith’s lawn. It might seem like not the most lucrative option, but the top taskers reportedly earn as much as $7000 a month, making this a full-time way to make money online for some.
Holly told me she started writing content in 2011. At the time, she still worked a full-time job but created content online part-time to supplement her income. Over time, she was able to double and triple her rates until she could quit her full-time job to write. These days, she makes bank as a freelance writer and teaches others to do the same via her online course, Earn More Writing.
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.
Research other listings in your city on AirBnB and see what the going rate is for a place like yours. You could also just rent out a private room as well or even a bed in a shared room. In fact, that's how AirBnB got its start. However, you might find it hard in the beginning without reviews, but as long as you take really good care of your guests and provide a lot of value, the reviews will eventually come rolling in.
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.
Monetize a hobby. While some hobbies actually cost money, others can be transformed into a profitable business venture. Ultimately, it depends on what your hobby is and how talented you are. You could turn your love of photography, for example, into a part-time gig taking family portraits and wedding photos or selling prints on Etsy or at arts fairs.
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.
If you don’t mind doing other people’s chores, then TaskRabbit is a great option for making money online. Earn extra income by walking your neighbor’s dog or mowing Mr. Smith’s lawn. It might seem like not the most lucrative option, but the top taskers reportedly earn as much as $7000 a month, making this a full-time way to make money online for some.

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Other common opportunities include insurance claims processing, roadside assistance routing, and customer assistance for health care consumers. LiveOps packages all of these functions, plus a healthy dose of inbound sales, under a single roof. Keep in mind that there’s a modest startup cost – less than $100 – involved, and you’re not compensated for training. So LiveOps isn’t suitable for at-home workers who need cash immediately.
You could easily do home organizing for people, an industry that has gained a lot of popularity since the debut of Netflix's hit series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. If you're a tidy and organized person yourself, and you're good at organizing spaces, why not offer your services to people around you? You'd be surprised at how many people, even on your own social media feed, might take you up on doing something like this.
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