While many people start a home business to create or replace a full-time income, some people simply want to generate a little extra money to pay a debt, save for a rainy day, or use as mad money for small expenses, emergencies, or impulse purchases. In the past, those who wished to make extra money needed to find a second job. Fortunately, times have changed. You can use the assets you have, whether it's skills, knowledge, or unused items around the home, to make money from home, often without leaving your house.
However, with online employment comes fraudulent companies who scam job seekers into signing illegitimate offers. "There is currently a 61-to-1 scam ratio among work-at-home job leads on the internet — that is, for every legitimate job, there are 61 scams," says Christine Durst, cofounder of RatRaceRebellion.com and consultant to the FBI on internet scam.
Do you have a ton of followers on your personal Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media? You can leverage those followers into cash dollars. “Influencer Marketing” is becoming really popular these days as brands are looking for more authentic ways to connect with their target audience. Check out this (free) Step-By-Step Guide To Becoming An Influencer In Your Industry.
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 Flexjobs, SolidGigs, Contena, Upwork, Fiverr, or PeoplePerHour. Sign up, build your profile, upload some samples of your work and start making extra money by doing small freelance jobs.
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.
If you have a truck and trailer and some muscle, then put them to use by launching your own moving or hauling service. While word of mouth could get you a little business, you may want to scope out places like Ikea, where people need help moving large items from the store to their homes. In the moving and hauling business, you can even be paid extra if you will put that bookshelf-in-a-box together for the customer.
Side hustles or “side gigs” are especially popular among millennials who have latched onto the flexibility associated with setting your own hours and not having to work for someone else. Further adding to the appeal is the fact that they’re often location independent ways to make money…meaning gone are the days of getting up and actually going to work.
Having your own site to sell gently used handbags is probably going to be a really, really difficult endeavor for what its worth. It will be hard to get enough eyeballs/visitors on those bags to generate enough sales to make you any meaningful income (it’s an incredibly small niche and almost too specific in nature). Not to deter you from the idea completely but you’ll need to commit to several years of patience to really hit a home run in that field.
More than half a billion products are sold on Amazon every month, making it an incredible opportunity to make money online. But, like everything else that involves making money online, you have to do quite a bit of work to earn it. One option on Amazon is to find products that are already made and buy and sell them at a discount. For example, you could research generic products such as clocks, keychains and mugs to attach to your brand.
This is one of the simplest strategies to employ -- just answer an ad for a business that's looking for part-time help. It might be for a job waiting tables or working a cash register, but no matter how unglamorous it might be, it will turn some of your time into money. Working just two four-hour shifts a week at, say, $12 per hour will get you nearly $100 per week -- and about $5,000 per year. You might do even better than that, such as if you wait tables at a fancy eatery and collect some hefty tips.
It’s industry standard to charge anywhere from $1,000-$2,000 per month per client, and you don’t need previous website or marketing experience to get started. As you bring on more clients and build a reputation in your community for delivering outstanding results, your income can scale up quickly. It only takes a handful of clients to start building a full-time income.
Online website review companies like UserTesting allow you to review and test professional web sites from the comfort of your own home. You don't need any professional certification to do so - just be computer efficient, be diligent, take instructions well, and be good at writing up your thoughts on a given web site. Plenty of Fortune 500 companies partner with UserTesting, and regular web site reviewers can make up to $30 per hour.
Worth noting is that Postmates doesn’t even require that you deliver by vehicle — a bike will do. Better yet, there are no startup fees or time commitments with Postmates and all you’ll have to do is pass a basic background check to get started. Once Postmates verifies your identity, they’ll send you a delivery bag and a prepaid card (in the mail) that you’ll use to purchase delivery items.