Online business is how I’ve made a living since 2003 and what has helped me retire early. I make over $40,000 a month through my blog. You can create your own blog here with my easy 15-minute step-by-step tutorial. You can start a blog for as little as $2.95 a month (less than a cup of coffee!). Create a blog and leverage it into affiliate sales or product endorsement deals. Consider topics like:
Choose your niche and check for demand: The golden course combination is when you can find an in-demand niche that aligns with your skills and unique experiences. A great way to do this is to use Google Trends, Google’s Keyword Planner and other key blogging tools to do keyword research and look for average monthly search volume for keywords related to your proposed course content. Are people actively looking for high-quality information about this subject? Of course, if you’re already creating content for a blog, coaching service, or a site like Medium, you can test demand this way for free just like Bryan did.
When career librarian Rachel Singer Gordon, 40, of Lombard, Illinois, quit her job in 2005 to take care of her children and pursue freelance writing, she knew she’d need to find other sources of income to supplement her writing. She dove headlong into couponing and frugality, and became a wizard at finding ways to earn money online. Soon Rachel was bringing in small amounts of income from lots of sources she calls “multiple profit centers.” “They’re the equivalent of a nice, steady part-time job,” says Rachel. In 2009, she started the blog Mashup Mom () to share all the stuff she was learning. In fewer than two years, the blog has become yet another profit center for Rachel, as has her first book, Point, Click, and Save: Mashup Mom’s Guide to Saving and Making Money Online. Tap into multiple profit centers with Rachel’s favorites.
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.
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.
Now, it’s time to plan out your show. If you’re doing an interview-style show, you’ll now want to start getting some guests involved. You can use your existing social network to reach out to people you already know or are connected with on Twitter or Facebook. You can also head to Medium or Amazon to find authors or experts on topics specific to your niche.
But don't make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you're on call whenever you have a guest and you'll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, consider offering your guests paid add-ons, like Lauren Gheysens', Royal Day Out in London, England—where she gives visitors a local's only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
Mechanical Turk: Amazon's Mechanical Turk is a resource for doing human-intelligence tasks, or as the site commonly refers to them, HITs. You get paid a very small fee for any given HIT and you'll need a good deal of volume to make a substantial amount of money. But it is a resource you can use in your spare time to generate a small income online.
Sites like Demand Studios () and Associated Content () hire experienced freelance writers, editors and filmmakers to work on projects for sites like eHow, LiveStrong.com and YouTube. At Demand Studios, assignments pay anywhere from $15 to $100; if you meet tenure and activity requirements, you can be eligible for health insurance plans. At Associated Content there are three ways to earn money: Upfront payments for content you write ($2 to $15 per article), assigned articles ($10 to $100 per article) and performance payments ($1.50 for every 1,000 page views of your article if it’s posted online).