However, if you're looking for realistic ways you can start earning money online now, then it really truly does boil down to seven paths you can take towards profit. Some will provide you with immediate results, helping you to address your basic monthly necessities such as rent, utilities and groceries, while others have the potential to transform your life by revolutionizing your finances in the long term.
Sell CDs and/or DVDs. Back up your collection on a computer or external hard drive, then sell the original discs. You’ll make quick cash and save space at the same time. If you have prized collections (boxed sets, limited-release editions, etc.), sell these individually for what they’re worth; otherwise, sell your discs very reasonably (remember, your potential buyers can also get the exact songs they want instantly by downloading them for buck or less apiece). Even for a mere $4 each, a sizeable collection of CDs can haul in a tidy – sum.
Proz.com is a site where you can get paid to translate all kinds of documents, including files and even conversations. The site provides you with an opportunity to list your services as a translator. They offer opportunities in Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese and other languages, and specialize in legal, medical, technical and other fields.
If you can do everything, then you can become a one-man film crew who allows a company to cut costs while still enjoying video advertisement revenue. That makes you powerful asset, because it allows the company to reduce risks and can help keep you employed full-time. So, if you’re already a pro at setting up a shot, make sure you also have mastered the software you need. If you’re a wiz on the computer, try doing some Facebook Lives, interviews and other sorts of videos to make sure you’re prepared for anything.
These endeavors aren’t without traps and challenges, though, so before we take a look at some legitimate ways to make money from your home, let’s review a few things that you should avoid. Unfortunately, if you want to earn an honest living from home, you’re also a common target of scammers, especially in these economically tough times. But if you keep these simple rules in mind, you won’t become a victim of one of the many work from home scams.
If you have a knack for organization, you can make money online as a virtual assistant helping people to keep their days in order. A virtual assistant will do everyinthing from bookkeeping to research, database entry, booking travel, and managing email. It can also be an awesome way to rub shoulders with some very important people, build up your professional network, and of course grow another stream of income. You can find great gigs on UpWork, Fiverr, Indeed, and Remote.co.
If you have a background in marketing and a passion for a particular niche, then organizing a virtual event may be just up your street. A virtual event could span across a day or longer. Individual live sessions would be run by experts in the field. And conference features would include live question and answer sessions, forums, and plenty of free giveaways. Visitors to the virtual event would pay to attend, so the more effective your promotion of the event the more money you would make.
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.
Take the hobby you love and do it for money...from home. The number of possible types of crafts you could make is endless--knitting, jewelry, scrapbook, pottery, ornaments, textiles and so on. To make this work, though, you have to not only create a quality product but you need to know how to market it. You can go the old-fashioned route and take your wares to craft shows and flea markets or use the Internet to expand your options. With online options like Etsy and eBay, your potential market is worldwide, but so is your competition.
Working as a freelancer is a great way to make money online from the comfort of your own home. The beauty of freelancing is that you can tailor it to suit your needs. You can freelance for a couple of hours a week in the evenings to help save up for a holiday or some much-needed home improvements. Or carve out a full-time job for yourself, giving you a more satisfying work-life balance and enabling you to do the simpler things in life like taking the kids to school. With so many jobs available online, freelancing is becoming more and more popular.
There are few ways to make money while you shop. You can pick up short tasks that involve shopping, like doing price checks or photographing in stores or you can go mystery shopping. Mystery shopping is definitely a real way to make money but you have to be careful because the jobs can be the bait for scams, so you have to know the signs of mystery shopping scams. But there are legitimate companies that hire mystery shoppers.
Do you enjoy fast food or going into retail shops? Many companies hire mystery shoppers to test the customer service of their stores. A common one is Subway, which hires mystery shoppers to ensure that "Sandwich Artists" are following all the franchise guidelines. If you have time and can travel to different places, this could be a good side hustle.
Suzanne lives in Texas and has been a full-time freelance writer for 20 years. She’s written for numerous business and financial publications, both online and in traditional print media. She also owns her own small business and has a passion to help others achieve their dreams of financial independence. Her goal is to eventually work from a remote island that is equipped with Wi-Fi.
Sell your stuff: Do you have boxes of books or DVDs you don’t really need? Find a used book store and sell your extra stuff. If you run out of stuff, go to some yard sales to get more or offer to help your neighbors go through and sell their extra stuff for a commission. You can also sell clothes, yard equipment, children’s toys. The list goes on and on.
Having your own site to sell gently used handbags is probably going to be a really, really difficult endeavor for what its worth. It will be hard to get enough eyeballs/visitors on those bags to generate enough sales to make you any meaningful income (it’s an incredibly small niche and almost too specific in nature). Not to deter you from the idea completely but you’ll need to commit to several years of patience to really hit a home run in that field.
Etsy is the most popular online marketplace for handmade goods and crafts. From bracelets to phone cases, rings, furniture, and more, Etsy is perfect for anyone who is creative and wants to sell their handmade creations. As long as you have the space, this can make for one of the best ways to make money online that can be started with a very limited investment. Consider these 5 steps to starting an Etsy store, from Handmadeology.
White labeling products involve purchasing pre-made products from a supplier and then adding your own labeling and branding. Products could range from candles to gym equipment or even tea, but all will come without labels, allowing you to create your own new range of merchandise. Most suppliers will advertise the fact they offer white labeled goods on their websites, so pick your niche and then find the right supplier and product for you. Once labeled, products can be sold via sites like eBay and Amazon, or from your own eCommerce store (discussed in a moment).
Are you a highly organized multitasker who’s good at meeting deadlines? Working as a virtual assistant may be a good way to put those skills to use to help you make money from home. You may be asked to use administrative skills to assist an executive or a team with managing schedules, travel, phone calls, email, and records and accounting maintenance. You’ll need top-notch communications skills to work in this fast-growing field, and related past experience as a virtual assistant helps.
Do odd jobs around your neighborhood. Mowing lawns, babysitting, raking leaves, snow shoveling, washing cars, and bathing pets are all examples of services that many people are willing to pay someone else to do. If you can do some of these things and you have some spare time, knock on the doors of family members or neighbors you know well, and offer your services.
As far as Poker goes (at least for Texas Hold’em), I’d recommend sitting at a low stakes table (1/2 no-limit is the lowest most places have) and merely being observant/make casual conversation at the table for a while until you feel comfortable. If you’ve never played, just tell the dealer and they’ll be happy to help you out (most players will notice if you haven’t played before anyways so you’re not really at a loss there). Just play “tight” (a small range of strong starting hands) and that’s a pretty good place to start!
Set up a roadside stand. Depending on where you live, you could profit handsomely by setting up a roadside stand. If you live near a resort area, for example, you could buy cases of bottled water, put them on ice, and sell them to passers by for twice what you paid. Selling fruit and produce you grow yourself is also a smart idea in highly-traveled areas.
Become a moving advertisement. “Wrap” your car in an advertisement, go about your usual commute, and get paid monthly to do it. (Some car-wrappers in San Francisco make as much as $400 a month doing this, but of course this varies depending on how big a city you live in and when / how often you make your commute.) You can also get paid to wear a company’s logo t-shirt around (particularly if you wear it someplace conspicuous, like at your school; see ShirtsInSchools.com as one example).
If you have skills that are in demand, you can always pick up odd jobs around your neighborhood, networking in the real world to find real-world jobs. But don't stop there! There are now so many ways to use the Internet to find small jobs. Short task sites offer diverse ways to find skilled and unskilled jobs both online and in the real world--shopping and performing price checks, cleaning, repairs, writing, editing, translation, transcription, data entry, website usability testing, social media tasks, surveys, and online research.
If you’re a skilled worker in a specific niche, like marketing, design, or software development, there are specialty marketplaces that cater just to you. These are amazing places to make money online as you know that the people visiting them are looking specifically for the skills you have. Check out places like 99Designs or Dribbble for designers, Cloudpeeps for marketing and SEO professionals, and TopTal, Crew, or Gigster for high-level software developers. Once you've built up your development skills, you can begin building a brand for yourself as a higher-value consultant and start charging brands for larger projects like implementing an entire WordPress security overhaul or migrating a website from http to https.
Make and sell crafts. If you are even a little bit crafty, consider selling your goods on a site like Etsy. Though you can make more money on intricate projects (ex. an exquisitely woodburned gourd), even labor-light projects can bring in good money if you’re willing to produce them in high quantities. Who knows – if you do well, you might even be inspired to start a crafts business.
Be a mommy (or daddy) blogger. If you haven’t used your free time between changing diapers, washing clothes and shuttling kids around to hop on the blog bandwagon, it’s worth considering this potential source of income. And just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you have to write about parenting issues. In fact, given that there already are so many blogs about life as a mom (or dad), consider writing about another topic about which you are passionate. The more original, entertaining and informative you are, the more likely you’ll gain followers – and you need an online following to make money.
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.
Furthermore, carefully consider your likely attendees, and what schedule would be attractive to them. For example, if you’re planning on teaching a tutoring class, you obviously couldn’t schedule it during school hours. Likewise, a class aimed at mothers of young children will either have to include babysitting services or be scheduled at night, when they’re more likely to have help with the kids. Find the delicate balance of times that fit your prospective students’ schedules as well as your own.
You can work as a virtual assistant through dedicated websites, such as Upwork or Zirtual. All kinds of skills are needed, and compensation can vary anywhere between $10 per hour to $100 or more. Obviously, the higher pay will be to people who have more technical skills, such as web building skills and marketing. But you can find work doing administrative tasks at the lower end of the pay scale.
If you’ve got experience and expertise in a specific area of business, there are hundreds if not thousands of business owners who would love to jump on a phone call and pick your brain. This can be an easy way to make extra money online and to hone your skills to use in your consulting or freelance business. Sites like Clarity.fm let you create a profile where entrepreneurs and business owners can pre-pay to book a phone call with you for a set amount of time. Whether you’re an expert in raising money for startups, building apps, or running a restaurant, you can make extra money selling a few minutes of your time to people in need.
I think Drop shipping is the best way that can help you make money online. It is the only way that allows you to start an online business without investing capital in inventory, warehouse and to buy products individually from a wholesaler and ship them directly to your customer. Moreover, with my drop shipping experience, you will learn key strategies that you won’t learn anywhere else to help your online business grow and thrive.