Startup costs: Freelance writing is another of those service-based businesses with very low start-up costs. There are tons of places online where you can find clients for free. At worst you can sign up for an Upwork account for $10 per month, just don’t plan on staying there forever. The most lucrative writing projects are rarely found on platforms like Upwork.
They often expect you to commit to working a certain number of hours per week, which is generally part-time. They will pay you an hourly salary for that work, so it is really more of an at home job situation than it is in an entrepreneurial way to make money online. Still, if you want to get involved in political activity, and you have the time and motivation, this could be a way to monetize that passion.
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.
28. Subscription – If you think of something valuable (newsletter, online magazine, etc.) that you can consistently offer on a certain basis (weekly, monthly, etc.), you may want to offer a subscription service. This could be a fee charged each time your product is sent out or on a monthly basis. Either way, this has to be something that your customers can only get by subscribing to your website.
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.
Pricing and Deals. As with any professional pursuit, you need to know how much your teaching skills are worth and price them accordingly. Unfortunately, at-home teaching is a competitive business, so you’re likely to find someone who charges less for similar work. Ways to get around this include multi-course discounts, package deals, and complimentary products or information for early sign-ups.
Truebill: Once you’re done creating a free account and connecting your bank and credit card accounts, Truebill goes to work and analyzes your finances. It will find subscriptions you may want to cancel, negotiates bills on your behalf, tracks and categorizes your spending, and automates saving to help reach your goals. The app is free to download and use, but premium features come with a price. Similar to BillShark, Truebill’s negotiation commission is 40% of savings.
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 one relatively low fee: 2.6% plus $0.10 per transaction, for a net of $97.30 for every $100 charged. It’s 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.
The basic idea behind an online drop shipping business is that, as a small business owner, you don’t have to maintain a large inventory (or any inventory whatsoever) of products or handle any delivery to your customers. That eliminates the financial cost and risk of having a warehouse full of stuff you might not sell, and the hassle of arranging to send orders all over the country or the world. In fact, you don't have to manufacture or store any products at all.
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.
Turn your photographs into cash via sites like Fine Art America, which lets you upload your images to sell as prints, t-shirts, phone cases and more. Other marketplaces for photographers include SmugMug, 500px and PhotoShelter. Some sites require a subscription but may provide features ranging from cloud storage to password-protected galleries and a customized website.
As with online teaching, to maximize your chances of success as an online tutor, stick to subjects you know well. Use a reputable and high-visibility venue, structure your sessions sensibly, price your services in line with the market, follow scheduling best practices, and promote yourself enthusiastically (or choose a platform that does so on your behalf).
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.
Cleaning and Damage. Online rental platforms let you charge cleaning fees so that you aren’t financially on the hook for the full cost of a post-tenant professional cleaning. Most cover the cost of renter-caused damage too, provided you properly document and report it. But financial redress only goes so far. You still have to deal with the inevitable investment of time and energy to fix the damage or clean up the mess.
Outsourcing is the new and dominant wave of the business world. As businesses shed employees, they increasingly turn to independent contractors to supply what in-house staff used to do. One of the ways they do this is through virtual assistants. These are people who provide certain tasks online. Businesses can use virtual assistants as much or as little as they need to. If you can make yourself available to multiple businesses, you might have plenty of work without ever leaving your house.
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.
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.
Getaround is the sharing economy's answer to rental agencies. The company allows you to rent out your car on an hourly or daily basis, starting at $5 an hour. Depending on your vehicle's market value, you set the price per hour, and Getaround takes a 40% cut to cover 24/7 roadside assistance and driver insurance. According to the Getaround, earning potential for renting your car when you're not using it is up to $1,000 a year.
If you have room to spare in your home, Airbnb could be the perfect way for you to score some extra dough. The premise is simple: see how much your space might be worth, list a single room (or the whole house) on the app, screen potential guests, get paid. Airbnb provides up to $1,000,000 worth of insurance to cover your belongings (and home) in the event something goes wrong.
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 hate the idea of writing you can always outsource that work to somebody else. But writing great content for an affiliate site really isn’t that difficult. It just takes a bit of practice, and once you see those first commission checks you’ll be up writing articles for your site before work, during your lunch break, and when you should be sound asleep in bed.