Lately, I’ve been receiving a lot of questions from people selling a service–or thinking about selling a service–over the web, asking what you need to do differently than those people marketing a physical product.
Then once you’ve got your domain name and hosting sorted out, it’s time to pick a CMS, or Content Management System, that will let you update pages, build your blog and integrate with all the other services you need. It’s hard to go wrong with WordPress—the CMS powering close to a quarter of the internet.
And while freelancing might not be as scalable as some of the other ideas we’ve spoken about, it’s not uncommon for solopreneurs to build healthy six-figure freelance businesses for themselves. (In fact, I’ve interviewed tons of them on my podcast!)
Trust me, tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Look for open positions at top editing companies like Scribendi, Top Admit, or Essay Edge or post your services online on Craigslist and other marketplaces.
If you want to help shape products in their early stages, joining an online focus group or answering survey questions is a great way to make extra money online. They don’t pay as much as some of the other options we’ve highlighted, but you can join groups on sites like Pro Opinion, Swagbucks, and IPSOS that pay out through Amazon gift cards, check, or PayPal. You’ll be asked to provide a bit of information about your demographics (age, location, etc…), but after that you can get going making money through surveys.
Do you love the feeling of waiting for something in the mail? I know I do, and that’s why I tried out Something Store. A few years ago, I saw a piece in a popular magazine about an online store that sells mystery objects. I was intrigued. For $10 (no shipping cost), they send you a random item. It could be anything in the world. Since 2007, they’ve shipped over 50,000 “somethings” to customers who wait with anxious anticipation.
Being an online coach or consultant is a great way to make money online, as instead of giving your client ongoing deliverables (like when you’re a freelancer), you’re teaching them to be better, faster, stronger than the competition. Your expertise becomes the product you’re selling.
Do you constantly come up with witty one-liners? Do you dream of the days of Mad Men-style advertising? If you’ve got some branding chops or just come up with imaginative copy, there are lots of opportunities to make money online through company naming and slogan contests. If you think you have a knack for names check out namingforce.com and squadhelp.com. If you dream of coming up with witty copy, try coming up with company slogans on Slogan Slingers and Get a Slogan.
Frameri is a company that invented the first line of interchangeable, swappable frames and lens systems for glasses. With Frameri, you can swap your lenses into multiple different frames to rock lots of looks.
You might not have even heard of Zappos, an online shoe store. Well, that goes to show how big the internet really is and how big your online business could be. Maybe it might even come to close to the acquisition of Zappos by Amazon for a reported $900,000,000.
While YouTube recently changed its monetization program, if you’re able to hit their new minimum bar of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time in the past 12 months, it’s still an incredible place to make extra money online.
If you possess a great deal of business experience and knowledge, why not create a business that helps aspiring entrepreneurs find success? You can use your skills to help new business owners get off to a good start and help experienced entrepreneurs keep up with demand. To show off your knowledge and skills and bring in clients, you can also write articles about business on platforms like LinkedIn.
It can take time to build up your personal freelance business. Yet, there is more demand than ever for freelancers. So, if you want to kick start making money online through freelancing you can join one of the top freelance networks, such as UpWork, Fiverr, Guru, Freelancer.com, or PeoplePerHour. Sign up, build your profile, upload some samples of your work and start making extra money by doing small freelance jobs.
Podcasts are super hot right now, and for good reason. With how busy our lives are getting, more and more people are looking for passive ways to take in content. Which makes them both a great opportunity to build an audience and to make money online.
Has anyone ever told you you have a voice for radio? Are you great at creating original characters with just your voice? There are tons of people looking to pay for quality voice overs for their corporate videos, animation series, or educational videos. Check out Fiverr and UpWork or create a profile on a specialized site like Voices.com or The Voice Realm to get started making money online doing voice overs.
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.
Affilorama is a great resource for anyone looking at starting their journey in affiliate marketing. The email marketer’s best friend is their email list; you have to have an email list! I use Aweber to collect subscribers.
Websites aren’t too dissimilar to stocks. Many are junk, but some can generate serious income for you, making buying an existing website a strong potential idea for making money online (if you have an eye for spotting the diamond in the rough).
4. Now start posting content that supports your partners. For example, if you post a story on cruising the Mediterranean, partner with a cruise provider to promote a travel deal. They will have no problem throwing you a decent kickback for every verified sale.
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?
Resume writing can be one of the most difficult tasks ever. If it’s not difficult for you, consider a career in resume writing. While you may not have repeat business, you’ll get a lot of great referral traffic.
We went micro-niche with Chicken Armor poultry saddles when we were unable to find chicken saddles/aprons that were affordable and didn’t need to be laundered. Chicken saddles are worn by chickens like a vest and help to protect their backs against mating and molting injuries.
If you’re a longtime reader of Foundr, you’ll be familiar with this simple tool. If you’re not, the business model canvas is basically a worksheet that helps break down the nine essential elements of your business. It’ll allow you to take an objective look at your business idea and consider areas that you might not have thought about before.
On the other hand, with our Facebook audience, we’ve found videos to be particularly powerful in terms of bringing in new followers and engaging our existing followers. It’s also a great platform for us to promote the latest post on the Foundr blog, and the occasional motivational quote as well.
Strategy #1: Establish your credibility. When you sell a service, you’re typically selling a relationship with yourself. And this requires spending more time and effort establishing your credibility and developing a rapport with your visitors than is typically required on a site selling a physical product.
“I have true agency over my work, because I know what I stand for and I have tools to fix the things that I encounter in my life,” Kanyi Maqubela told Fast Company about the course he took as a Student at Stanford.
Domain name trading has been around for the last couple decades, and while most slam-dunk names have long been sold off, there’s still plenty of others that you can get your hands on for relatively cheap and broker as a way to make money online. Before you dive in, however, beware that some experts doubt the long-term viability of this idea for making money online. However, there’s always the change you might just land on a lucrative domain name for a future billion-dollar company. To get you started, here are some tips from GoDaddy, arguably the world’s largest and most famous repository of domain names.
Not only will this multiply the money you’re bringing in in a serious way, but it protects you against any sudden changes in the market or in your business. Remember that old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket? A few hours a week committed to just one or two of the following opportunities will put you in a much stronger position to be financially safe and independent.
You’ll need to think, “growth”—both geographically and regarding services. One Concierge, operating globally and with a host of offerings, is a good role model. And judging from their membership page, business is good.
Teaching and tutoring English as a second language is a great way to make money online, not to mention open some doors for you to travel the world if you’d like. While full ESL (English as a Second Language) accreditation is recommended, as long as you’re a native speaker and have the ability to teach, there are people in countries such as Hong Kong or the UAE who are willing to pay upwards of $25/hr for you to tutor them English via Skype. Check out Indeed, Learn4Good and Remote.co for remote english tutoring jobs or sign up on a specialized site like VerbalPlanet or Chegg Tutors.
Every day, there is a huge fluctuation in FX markets. If you have a combination of technical and fundamental analytical skills and some cash flow, you can become an online currency trader. Places like www.forexfactory.com are great for learning the basics. Remember, this is leveraged cash, so if you make the right decisions, you have a chance to profit big! At the same time, the risks can be high if you don’t have a money management strategy in place.
If you’re willing to take on some risk and have the heart of a true hustler, you can make extra money online doing commission-only sales for startups and other businesses. While you won’t be getting a regular salary, with the right sales strategies and skills as an inside sales rep, you can make decent money for each sale you bring in. And because you’ll most likely be working with startups, if you can negotiate a little equity you could profit big time if you’re pitching a solid product and the startup succeeds.
You can optimize your videos to rank higher by experimenting with attention-grabbing descriptions and previews as well as using relevant tags. You need to stand out and make people want to click on your video.
Instead, go with a self-hosted site (like my blog here is)—this means your blog will be hosted on your own server and you’ll have full control over it. There are tons of highly reputable, affordable companies you can choose to host your website, like Bluehost, Kinsta, or A2 Hosting.
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.
Validate the book by giving a survey to friends, an email list, and/or survey sites like Pickfu. By validating your idea before you write the book, you’ll improve the odds of people willing to buy your book (and you’re not wasting your time by writing it.)
Learning how to earn money online as an affiliate isn’t easy. But there are lots of people worldwide that are making over $1,000,000 a year doing it. Most will not be a successful unless they have some formal help and training. Affiliate stores are web stores where people purchase items on a site, but through a third party.
Every year, hundreds of millions of documents are notarized in the United States: wills, mortgages, citizenship forms, handgun applications. While for decades, this has all been done in person, there is a budding crop of sites that allow notaries to take their services online. If you’re already a notary, you can sell your services online. Or, if you want to get started, check out the National Notary’s checklist for becoming a certified notary.
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.
Tracey Wallace is the Editor-in-Chief at BigCommerce, where she covers all things ecommerce: marketing, design, development, strategy, plus emerging trends, including omnichannel and cloud replatforming.She is often featured in publications, such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Mashable, and ELLE, along with leading BigCommerce partners like HubSpot and Square. She launched her career in ecommerce with Y-Combinator backed Shoptiques.
If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as “You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech,” seems like something you would want to do, you can make good money online.
Arteeni is an online gallery and marketplace for American artisans selling handmade and unique items. We curate both the artisans and their products to make sure we have the best quality items on the site. Products include fine art, jewelry, handbags, home goods, small batch foods, and much more. Also, a portion of each sale is donated to a charity chosen by the customer from our curated list, including the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Homes for Our Troops, and the Alzheimer’s Association, among others.
Medium is an online community where anyone can post articles and essays and get them in front of their audience of millions of monthly readers. While it can be a great place to build your audience for your own blog or find customers for your consulting business, with Medium’s new Partner Program, you can now make money online whenever someone reads your articles. Register for free and you can choose whether your articles are freely available or only readable by those people paying $5/month for a premium Medium membership. You’ll make money based on the amount of people who read and engage with your posts each month.
It’s still not easy by any means. It requires hard work, and you need to stand out amongst the hundreds of thousands of ecommerce websites and online stores. But by filling a unique niche and executing the right marketing techniques, you can make your ecommerce store a profitable success.
Shipping restrictions, zoning laws, and trademark considerations. These can all make or break your business. With this list, you can avoid the ecommerce landmines that derail your business before it gets off the ground.