If you’re looking to build a new career online or test your way into launching a small business, the first ten ways we just ran through are some of the best, long-term plays for making money online. However, for a lot of people (myself included), you probably want to find other, quick online business opportunities where you can start seeing a return faster.
Truebill: Once you’re done creating a free account and connecting your bank and credit card accounts, Truebill goes to work and analyzes your finances. It will find subscriptions you may want to cancel, negotiates bills on your behalf, tracks and categorizes your spending, and automates saving to help reach your goals. The app is free to download and use, but premium features come with a price. Similar to BillShark, Truebill’s negotiation commission is 40% of savings.
Have a yard sale to sell things you no longer need. Choose a day or a couple of days to have your yard sale. Advertise it in your local paper and online, such as on social media and classified websites. Then, on the day of the sale, arrange the items on tables, blankets, shelves, or in other ways in front of your home. You can arrange the items into groups by price, or price them individually.
If you know your way around a motherboard and you're adept at troubleshooting people's problems with their computers, you might find yourself in high demand. Lots of people find themselves not knowing what to do when they encounter various problems, or they simply need help accomplishing some task, such as setting up a VPN service or installing a back-up hard-drive.
When it comes to at-home income, selling your unwanted stuff is the definition of “low-hanging fruit.” Even if you’re resolutely intentional in your purchasing habits, you surely have possessions that you can do without: old kids’ clothing and toys, disused sporting goods, out-of-fashion wardrobe accessories, electronics, entertainment, valuable but non-sentimental keepsakes such as watches and jewelry, broken-in furniture, dusty tools and outdoor equipment, and perhaps even big-ticket items like a motorcycle or second car.
Better yet, you can even upload your own book to one of the world’s largest book sellers: Amazon. With Amazon self-publishing, you set the price, retain the rights to your book, and get access to Amazon’s massive audience. For every sale, you keep 70% with Amazon taking the remainder as a fee. If you want to get started, check out Tara Gentile on CreativeLive as she shows you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Who knows, you might just write one of the best business books of this year!
You might be desperate for work, but don’t necessarily jump at an opportunity that sounds too good to be true. In my article about common Craigslist scams, I wrote about fake employers who “hire” new employees, then “accidentally” send them too much pay. They’ll ask their victims to wire back the difference, but a few weeks later, when the bank discovers that the initial check is a fraud, the “employee” is on the hook for hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars. If a job offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
You get $0.15 for every 4 qualified searches you complete and an additional $0.05 each time you use the search tool 4 times in a week. You’re not going to get rich quick, but you may as well make a few extra bucks for searching the web like you normally would. You can’t game the system, apparently, they can tell when you’re searching naturally, so stick to just using it as your normal search engine and appreciate the extra dough!
Clothing: thredUp makes it easy to sell clothes online. To sell your items, order a free “Clean Out Bag” on thredUP’s website. Then send in your shoes via FedEx or USPS. Once they arrive, thredUp will inspect your items before listing. Their site says they accept less than 40% of items in the average Clean Out Bag. Make sure your items are clean, name-brand, less than five years old, and in excellent condition to increase your chances. Depending on the popularity of the clothing items you send in, you will be paid either after processing, or once your items sell.
For the thousands of you dealing with student loan debt out there, I feel your pain. I too am in the process of paying off over $100,000 of student loan debt and I’m totally over it. Fortunately, I got a great rate through a private loan I made with Discover Bank. For those of you who weren’t so lucky, it’s time to take a few minutes out of your day and refinance your student loans.
When was the last time you went to a new restaurant without looking it up online beforehand? Or bought a product that didn’t have at least a few 5-star reviews? It seems like more and more our world is run on reviews. And you can make money online by writing them. Get started by creating accounts on sites like Vindale research, Software Judge, FameBit, CrowdTap, Influence Central, and Modern Mom. However, before you run off and start writing, be sure to check the small print on each of these sites. Writing reviews isn’t a huge source of guaranteed income and you want to make sure that it’s worth your time before you get going.
Become a dog walker if you live in an area where they are in demand. You can walk dogs for people who own dogs but who are too busy to walk them. However, this can be a demanding job, especially if you end up walking a few dogs at once or if you are walking dogs throughout the day, so ensure that you have the physical stamina for this type of job.
During my high school days, I was a pretty decent golfer (about a 2-3 handicap, for you other golfers out there). I was asked by my local club professional if I would help him teach his junior golf clinics that summer. If you have specialized skill in any sport, there are definitely opportunities out there for teaching others the fundamentals (and getting paid).
One should think about their skills, hobbies and basic daily habits as well. Do you like to cook? Be a personal cook or dinner parties. Baking? Make wedding cakes or cupcakes for weddings/special events. Do you enjoy cleaning? Trying going to banks/repo companies and ask if they are in need of a repo cleaner or market yourself as a all-around cleaner. Know how to mow a lawn? Get paid to do it in your neighborhood. Sell products from large companies – Jewelry in a candle, Sentsy, Health and home products – etc.
Hi Ryan, your blog and advice is so helpful, thank you. I am planning to start a blog and podcast around personal development, that I have found a niche in, that can hopefully help many people. Should I start with the blog or podcast, as both will be a learning curve for me as a beginner. Also, may I please ask you if there is a chance for a brain storming chat with you via email or is that not something you offer. I would so appreciate being able to run my idea past an expert. Thank you
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.
Remember the Fuller Brush Girls of yore, selling brushes door to door? They're still around, and you can join their ranks. You might also sign up with a direct-selling company such as Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, and The Pampered Chef, which will also have you selling their wares to friends, family, and all the customers you can find. Each company has a different compensation structure, and varying start-up costs. Do some digging online, such as by Googling the term "direct selling companies," to find a bunch of contenders, and focus on the kinds of products that you connect with the most. Some additional companies to look into include Rodan + Fields, Scentsy, doTERRA, Pure Romance, Red Rock Traditions, Stella & Dot, Traveling Vineyard, Thirty-One, Beach Body, Jamberry or Color Street Nails, Kids Bee Happy, Monat, and It Works! You'll often make the most money by enrolling others as salespeople.
Believe it or not, everyone has something they can teach to someone else. It could be anything from guitar lessons to how to speak English to a workout regimen at the local gym. In some cases, you may be able to do this from the comfort of your home, but you can also do it at a local business, such as a music shop, or remotely through sites like Tutor.com.
Research Pricing (And Set Fair Starting Prices): Before setting prices for each item, research your local Craigslist website and (if possible) nearby yard sales to get a sense of how to price them. Remember that many buyers will try to haggle – so set prices a bit higher than your bottom dollar, but not so high that you’ll scare off first bids. 10% to 15% is a good rule of thumb. Consider bunching low-value items, such as old CDs, into lots of five or 10, or offer x-for-$y deals.
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.
Do you love getting refunds? How cool would it be to get money back on stuff you’ve already bought? Paribus is a service that lets you find out if stores you’ve shopped at online owe you a refund. It’s free to sign up. Paribus connects to your email account and checks your receipts. If they find out a retailer has dropped their price they file a price adjustment claim for you. Try out Paribus.
If Uber Eats or Lyft weren’t a great fit, Uber is yet another option. By driving with Uber, you have the flexibility to drive whenever you want, which means you can start making money as soon as you are approved to drive, and it’s all on your own schedule. They’re currently offering a $1,050 bonus to new drivers in our area (Virginia Beach, VA) but that amount will vary based on your regional market. See their website for more details.
If you need to make money really quickly, your best bet might be to sell something of value. For example, you can sell a piece of jewelry at a pawn shop or jewelry store. If you have an old smart phone or tablet lying around, you may be able to get instant cash for it from an ecoATM kiosk. Keep in mind that while these methods are easy and super quick, they won’t get you the best value for your goods.