As long as there is still the written word, there will always be editors. Freelance editing and proofreading not only pays a decent hourly wage, it also gives you the chance to read about potentially interesting topics too. What's more, pursuing freelance writing & editing as a business idea can afford you a lifestyle that lets you travel the world as a digital nomad. You can find lots of job postings from companies and individuals in need of writing, proofreading, and editing services on Upwork, which makes this a high-demand opportunity to make money online.
If you've developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you're an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there's likely a local business owner who's willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant from Karyn Greenstreet and then use my guide to crafting an effective cold email to convince them to hire you.
The term affiliate marketing has taken a bad rap over the years, primarily because people are abusing just how easy this is to do. Internet marketers are finding products they don’t even use because they come with a sweet commission, and are spamming everyone until they either buy, or unsubscribe. This is also known as the dark side of affiliate marketing.
Become a mystery shopper. This means doing business with various establishments and rating their products and services without their knowledge. It may sound like cake, but remember that it requires discreteness, a good memory for detail (ex. the name of every individual who helped or served you), and enough cash for you to be able to pay for your shopping experience up-front and then wait to be reimbursed pending the approval of your review.
Many people fancy themselves as designers. If you have a unique idea for a new product then it may be time to get it designed. This can be a long process involving prototypes, discussions with factories, package design, and much more. However, the profits once the product is on the market could be substantial. And remember, with Amazon FBA, your products can all be stored and shipped by Amazon, giving you time to think up your next invention. Learn more about Amazon FBA with my How To Start An Amazon FBA Business Guide.
If you are a fast reader and have a good grasp of grammar and language then editing may be a good freelance role for you. Editing is a great way to quickly make money online, and there are always editing jobs available on freelance job sites. And the best part? Editor’s usually get paid per word, so the faster you can check through work the more money you will make per hour.
Invest. There are no guarantees when it comes to investing, but you should always start sooner rather than later. If you are looking for a good investing platform, I recommend Motif. Motif Investing allows individuals to invest affordably. This approachable investing platform makes it easy to buy a portfolio of up to 30 stocks, bonds or ETFs for just $9.95 total commission.
I don’t point all of this out to burst anyone’s bubble, but rather because I have been an entrepreneur for long enough now (more than two decades) that I have learned that it pays to be a realist. The heart of any good business strategy is truly understanding and correctly diagnosing your situation, and the above facts are critical for anyone hoping to succeed at selling online courses.
Amazon Mechanical Turk is a service that lets you make money online through doing paid microtasks. Each task is something simple that requires human interaction like rating search results, checking for the right spelling on search terms, categorizing the tone of an article, or even basic translating. You can do these tasks from anywhere you want and make money online from the world’s largest e-retailer.
The first follows the startup path we outlined above: You have a disruptive idea for an app or piece of software, you validate the idea with real customers, and then raise money to hire developers or a development studio to build, launch, and scale your software. If you’ve done everything right, your software will be accepted to the Apple and Google Stores and you’ll make money every time someone downloads it or pays for a premium feature.
I watched an episode of Shark Tank once where I was introduced to Major Robert Dyer. Major Dyer was pitching a new energy drink called The Ruck Pack Energy Drink. It’s not like the world needs another energy drink, but he was able to convince both Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjevic, two of the investors on the show, to give him $150k in exchange for 20 percent of the company.
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.
With any business, there are ways you can get started putting a lot of money down upfront. There are also ways to start an online business that don’t cost much. With the affiliate marketing business model, the startup costs are low, but you will be relying on organic traffic. Some affiliate marketers rely too heavily on paid traffic, which will quickly eat into your profits. Put work into your search engine optimization (SEO). It will pay off in the long run.
A fitness site can have numerous revenue streams. Create healthy eating plans and recipes and lock them away as premium content. Promote and sell a fitness training course, eBook, or a series of videos. Or advertise your own personal fitness services on your site. Topfithub is a good example of a fitness site with decent video content alongside product reviews.
Running a coupons website can be very lucrative. Find a coupon niche, select a WordPress coupon theme, and then display relevant coupons on your site. When your audience uses the coupon codes or discount links, you will earn an affiliate cut, for example, you could set-up a site dedicated to iHerb Coupons or add a page to your website with Web Hosting Promo Codes. Coupon websites are quite high maintenance as they need to be constantly updated with new offers. However, if you build up an engaged audience and allow them to post coupons and discounts they have found themselves, then quite quickly your workload will reduce.
Choose your business. Once you have learned about the various types of Internet businesses, you will need to narrow down your choices. Pursue a business that you have passion about. If you choose a business that you have no real interest in and are simply "trying it out," you are likely to move on to the next big idea that comes along when you experience difficulty or get bored with your first choice.
If you’ve got a way with words and expertise in a niche, there are plenty of sites that will pay for articles and content you write. Think of the sites you read regularly. What can you contribute to them that would be interesting? Research your niche and then look for ways to pitch articles. Many sites will simply have a submission or contact link in the footer. To get started, check out my full guide to becoming a freelance writer on the side and then submit your articles to places like Instash, Listverse, TopTenz, A List Apart, International Living, FundsforWriters, and Textbroker.
Start a small business. Being passionate usually translates to a superior product and better service, which is especially sought after in the age of the anonymous, 1-minute online review. Worried that there isn’t a market for your interests? The fact is that though you may not personally know many people who want what you have to offer, thanks to the internet, there’s a huge market for niche-products (pigeon diapers, chainmail wedding dresses, you name it)… and you might just end up being a trend-setter. To create an online store, you can either make your own website or, if don’t want to self-host, you can sell on eBay or a similar site.
While customer service positions are some of the most readily available to those looking to work from home, they aren’t a good fit for many. The good news is there are some customer service positions that allow you to assist customers by way of email or chat. You should also consider alternate industries like transcription, search evaluation and writing. Learn more about those opportunities and others at:
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.