Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products, tools and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement.
Scent Trunk creates a custom perfume for you based on your preferences. How it works: for free, we’ll ship you 6 scents to test out. Once you provide feedback on those (what you love, like, and hate), we’ll send you a perfume based on your exact tastes. People love the opportunity to customize the perfect perfume for them.
To be a great graphic designer, you don’t need to be great at drawing, you don’t need a college degree, and you don’t need to buy a fancy expensive computer. But you do need to be a visual thinker, you do need to specialize in something, and you definitely need a portfolio.
Do you love teaching people something new? Are people always asking you to teach them how to do a specific task? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you should definitely create a course. Sites like Udemy and TutsPlus are always looking for new instructors and class ideas.
A great online business for people who want to work from home, earn a great income, and need a flexible schedule is a Homeowner Referral Network (HRN) business. HRNs pre-screen and refer painters, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and more to local homeowners. The HRN owner earns a commission for any work secured. Homeowners can go online and request a contractor and they are custom matched with a contractor from my network.
Sammi Caramela has always loved words. When she isn’t working as a Purch B2B staff writer, she’s writing (and furiously editing) her first novel, reading a YA book with a third cup of coffee, or attending local pop-punk concerts. The only time Sammi doesn’t play it safe is when she’s writing. Reach her by email, or check out her blog at sammisays.org.
My favorite online business idea is from a current client who is looking to create an online marketplace for new and/or gently used consignment items. It stems from the concept created by folks such as Thredup that allow consumers to gain some monetary return when they are done with their clothing that in many cases were quite expensive when first purchased.
Here’s the secret sauce: If you can launch your book and get a few hundred sales in the first week, Amazon will take over and start promoting it for you. This way you can make some real money from it. It’s actually easier than it sounds, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Find a profitable niche: We’ve talked about this a lot. But, where are you most comfortable. What niche do your skills, values, and interests intersect? Do you have 10 years of experience as a technical writer? Do you have long-standing PR relationships that’ll be invaluable in helping startups launch a successful crowdfunding campaign? Determine what makes your value unique, and lean heavily on showcasing that strength to your potential clients.
You probably have a pretty strong idea of what makes a good website. Is the design clean and easy to navigate? Does the content make sense? Luckily, there are plenty of people out there who want to hear your thoughts. And they’ll even pay you decent money for it (most sites pay ~$10 per 20 minutes, or ~$30 per hour!)
A lead magnet can be anything from a YouTube video, to a cheatsheet, a webinar, or even an ebook. As long as it’s filled with information that your audience wants, you can promote your lead magnet anywhere in order to get more signups to your list.
If you own a car but barely use it, you can make some easy money online by renting it out on Turo. Before you freak out, rest easy knowing there’s a $1 Million insurance policy on all cars rented on Turo, plus drivers are prescreened.
This is where you dig even deeper to understand your ideal shopper. Who are they? What do they like? How can you tailor both your product and your website experience to appeal to your perfect shopper?
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.
No matter how much free information there is out there in the world, nothing really beats learning directly from the experts themselves. But in order to do that, you’re going to need to be able to get in touch with them first.
The music industry might not be as strong as it was in the 80s, but there are still plenty of ways to make money online as a musician. Sites like SoundBetter let you sell your services as a songwriter, producer, or session musician to thousands of customers a month. While Musicbed, Music Vine, Marmoset, and SongFreedom are perfect for licensing your music to TV shows, movies, and web series.
Is your closet bursting with clothes you’re simply not wearing anymore? Rather than take them to a local thrift or consignment store, you can make money online by renting to selling your clothes. Check out sites like Tradesy, SnapGoods.com, Loanables.com, and RentNotBuy.com.
Do you love video? The bar for entry is much lower than it used to be. Now, you can create high quality videos from your smartphone. Upload those videos on a site like YouTube, and monetize it with advertisements. If you get popular enough, you can also benefit from company sponsorships.
Since it’s safe to assume that the purchase intent on searches for hiking backpacks is pretty high, the next logical step is that a reasonable number of site visitors would click through using my affiliate links and complete a purchase, over time.
Santa Mail has been around since 2003, and as far as I can tell, it was the first company of its kind. Since then, at least four sites offering the same service have popped up. Even though someone may come along and offer something better, for now, Santa Mail is at the top of its niche.
And while building, launching, and marketing an online course does take a considerable amount of upfront effort, their earning potential is through the roof (especially compared to a lot of the other online ways to make money we’re talking about).
Sure, some of them may be good for creating a few hundred or even thousand dollars in one-time revenue. But they’re not going to help you unlock financial freedom and achieve complete control of your lifestyle.
After that, you’ll need to be familiar with the other major players in the space who might be good partners or acquisition opportunities, as well as an intimate knowledge of how to raise funding, market your product, hire and manage the best talent, and keep yourself financially above water.
Once you’ve established yourself in any of the numerous freelance verticals online, spending your time focusing just on doing inside sales (booking freelance contracts with high-value clients) and then subcontracting your work out to other freelancers can be a great way to make money online.
If you need to brush up on your sales skills, check out online courses like Sales Training and Prospecting on Udemy, The Guide to Pitching and Selling Clients on CreativeLive. And once you’re ready, head over to Angel List and see if there any open sales position opportunities align with your interests.
Instead, if you can find a solid product that’s already being manufactured at a reasonable price from a marketplace like AliExpress, LightInTheBox, or DinoDirect and market it to your audience, you’ll have the start of a money-making eCommerce machine.
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 Listverse, TopTenz, A List Apart, International Living, FundsforWriters, and Textbroker.
One last quick thing to note before we dive in: I’m going to be talking a lot about your niche for every way of making money online that we cover here. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, all it means is your unique topic, angle, market, audience, or voice that will make people stand up and notice your business.
If you’re a fitness buff and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time online personal trainer can be both physically and financially rewarding. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time endeavor for you. Check out this interview with several fitness blog owners who are making a living online, from MonetizePros. As well, I’d recommend checking out this resource if you want to take this business idea seriously and get started with a business plan for your personal fitness trainer business today.
The great thing is that creating your own professional-looking social media is incredibly easy with a tool like Canva, which you can use by signing up for free. Even with their free version, you have access to thousands of templates and images.
If you like learning new software or are experienced with audio editing, you can put the show together yourself. Otherwise, there are lots of services you can find that will help edit and build your show on place likes UpWork and Fiverr.
Mobile applications are more popular than ever, and people are willing to pay good money for ways to manage their lives from their smartphones. If you have a great idea and happen to know coding, you can run with it and create your app yourself. If you just have an idea and don’t know the ins and outs of how to turn it into a reality, there are plenty of software developers looking to collaborate with people on app creation.