So much of what’s touted around the web as opportunities to make money online ends up with the opposite effect. Whether you want to offer your services using a niche online marketplace or monetize your existing assets, the first step is to create your own website as a jumping off point. Next, we’ve done the hard part and checked the reputations of some of these alluring sites and business models to see if they’re right for you.
While maintaining a steady flow of revenue as a web worker may seem like a challenge, it’s far from impossible. In fact, as of 2013 one in five Americans said that they work from home. If you’re looking to join their number, we discovered a few online business opportunities that might be just what you’re looking for.
Sell Your Own Swag
Are you an artist, designer, illustrator or doodler? Are you working with a brand that has a strong visual identity? Do you simply have ideas for clever imagery or witty words? All you need is an image file with decent resolution, and you can easily make your creation available for purchase on the internet as a t-shirt, tote bag, mug, iPhone case or whatever else you can think of. CafePress is a great site that’ll handle the printing, processing and shipping on your behalf, but there are plenty of others that have good reputations too, including MySoti, Printfection and Zazzle.
The best part is that you don’t need to pay any fees; they only print when there’s an order, and you earn commission on every sale. So you can get creative and promote your products on your website, with ads on other sites, on social media, or wherever else you think you can generate sales.
Complete Microtasks in Your Spare Time
Do you enjoy mindlessly scrolling, finding images, clicking, evaluating data, dragging, writing five-word descriptions or copy-pasting in your spare time? Businesses often need help with these types of microtasks, and sometimes it’s cheaper or easier to crowdsource than to write bits of code to do the work.
That’s where marketplaces like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and ShortTask come into play. Here you can take on nano-jobs that pay out a few cents each but are highly scalable and generally don’t require too much attention. Each marketplace has its own stipulations, culture and lingo, though, so be prepared for a bit of a learning curve.
Become A Virtual Tutor
Are you an expert in a niche area of knowledge? Can you teach someone to play baroque concertos on the ukulele? If someone has questions about how to store their power tools, can you give good advice on the fly?
There are dedicated web platforms where you can offer your services as an authoritative coach or tutor in exchange for money. Ether allows you to book paid appointments for phone consultations, with marketing handled by you offsite.
Drop Shipping for Risk-Free eCommerce
Drop shipping is a much-praised hybrid business model somewhere between eCommerce and affiliate marketing. Essentially, it allows you to sell other people’s products on websites that you manage, but with none of the risk. The vendor handles the billing, service and order fulfillment – all you need to do is drive the orders and you make commissions.
If you’ve built your website with Wix, you can easily add the 365 DropShip Product Catalog app to your website. There are zero costs involved, and you can earn commissions by hosting a full-on eCommerce-style shop on your site with products from several manufacturers and categories.
Leverage Your Social Influence
If you’ve got lots of Twitter followers who click on links you post, you can leverage this asset to make money by sending out sponsored tweets.
There are now several marketplaces where advertisers can post offers, including PaidPerTweet and SponsoredTweets. There’s a lot of volume in these directories, so you should be able to find offers to promote products that are relevant to your community of followers and won’t kill your social media credibility.
Jump On the #SharingEconomy Bandwagon
Sharing is caring. And as it turns out, sharing can also be profitable. Many people today are choosing to do business with independent locals such as yourself – whether it’s renting your spare room for short-term stays or ridesharing (instead of renting a car), the sharing economy is growing fast.
If you live somewhere that tourists flock to, you might be able to profit from the greater economic ecosystem that comes along with a robust tourism industry. Many tourists today are looking for a more authentic experience, choosing to bypass huge, factory-like hotels for mom & pop style rentals. WixHotels provides an easy solution for both renter (that could be you!) and rentee. Best of all, it takes absolutely no commission, letting you have full control of your comfortable new business venture.
If you don’t need your car every day (because you’re working from home) you can rent it out with RelayRides. If you do regularly use your car, then you can offer people rides for money using Sidecar. You can also offer quirky special interest tours of your locale on Vayable.
And then there’s this cool new startup called Nimber. It’s a community delivery service that helps send items with someone going that way, anyway. ‘Senders’ get a great deal, and ‘Bringers’ make extra cash on every journey they make, whether it be to the office, shop, or off on a holiday. A leader in the sharing economy phenomenon, Nimber is the perfect way to use the extra space you already have in your car, case, or backpack to make extra money with simple deliveries.
Cook and Host Dinners
Along similar lines, there are plenty of people who are interested in eating out but have grown tired of the anonymous, polished corporate flavors of restaurants. If you can cook up delicious and friendly dining experiences in your own home, it’s easier than ever to reach customers interested in joining you.
Sell Your Collectibles
Are your baseball cards from the 80’s collecting dust in your attic in a box next to your childhood Star Wars action figures? Are you unlikely to ever play that Santana album you have on vinyl ever again? Some items might be obvious in their worth, but you’d be surprised to find you have plenty of things that many people would be happy to buy. If you can part with some items, you can make decent money selling them.
Offline Tasks via Online Marketplaces
People are posting one-off jobs in droves on platforms like Redbeacon and TaskRabbit, which means you can make extra money by running errands or performing handyman tasks for people in your spare time.
To pick up these gigs, you’ll need to pass a background check, so get started with building your profile with plenty of notice.
Review People’s Apps
If you’re a gadget junkie, gamer, tech tool lover or an early adopter, you’re likely to get a kick out of Review Roster or AppTaskit. Here you can get paid to try out recently launched apps and write what you think of them. Social proof is a powerful force when it comes to app marketing, so publishers are willing to pay good money for your opinion.
Ready to take your business online? Create a free website with Wix!