People often have very unique reasons for wanting to start a blog and make money from home. Some blogs, like this one (DollarSprout), are meant to be informative resources for readers. Other bloggers may opt to share personal sides of their lives. For instance, many people will start a blog to document their fitness journey and inspire others along the way.
Like creating podcasts, blogging is a way to make money that can be hit-or-miss. You'll need to offer compelling content and to reach a lot of interested readers in order to be successful. If it works out, it can be a very satisfying and even fun way to make money. The money generally comes in via advertising and/or affiliate marketing. For example, if you have a blog about travel, you might collect some advertising income from ads that run on your web pages, and you might also link to travel-related products on your blog -- perhaps even writing about them. You might write about how best to pack lightly for a trip, and then link to some great travel gear you recommend, with the links leading you to get a small percentage of every sale that occurs through the vendor (such as Amazon).
If you are an expert on a particular niche topic and can assemble some of the best resources on it from around the web, then you can create topical hubs and get paid through sites like HubPages. You'll earn even more money by creating your own niche site, though. Established topic sites have a built-in supply of traffic and tools to make content creation easier and are among the most profitable online business ideas. Once you've established yourself as an expert within your niche, you'll be able to make money from a combination of ad revenue, affiliate fees, and more creative avenues like online courses, other digital products, and one-on-one coaching fees from others who want to learn directly from your expertise.
If you're a crafter, the internet is your showcase — and not only at auction sites like eBay. DeWitt Young of ObviousFront.etsy.com has had success turning her crafts into cash online. She has a booth at Etsy.com's Craft Mall, an amazing place where thousands of artisans and crafters offer their goods for sale. DeWitt turns salvaged parts from old TVs and VCRs into artsy necklaces, earrings, and figures. Colleen Jordan of wearableplanter uses 3D printing to create her necklaces called wearable planters.
So many people dream of writing a book, but never go through with it. Yet no matter what, I’m sure you have experience and value you could give through writing a book. By packaging your skills and knowledge into a downloadable eBook that helps people learn a skill, advance their careers, or start a businesses, you can change someone’s life and even make good money online. You'll just need to employ an easy tool like Sellfy in order to quickly sell PDF files (like an eBook) to your readers.
If you can offer a place for someone to park their car, such as in your driveway, you can make some easy money -- as long as it's conveniently located. (You'll also want to make sure that it's legal to rent out parking spaces where you live.) Look into sites such as Pavemint.com and parkeasier.com. You could have customers who pay you a few hundred dollars per month if you're near their workplace or home, or you might charge $10 to $20 or more for a few hours of parking, if you're near a stadium or other place where lots of people need to park.
If you've had some success raising money through grant-writing, or if you're willing to learn how to be a successful grant-writer, you may be able to make some good money on the side by offering your services to companies needing them. It can be worthwhile to read some books on the subject or take a course in it, and consider offering your services for free at first, if you're new to the business. Once you have secured a grant or two, you can build on that success and start charging, or charging more.
Start by taking other courses you’re interested in: Not only is this important competitor and opportunity analysis, but it also gives you an idea of how a course could or should look and feel. What’s the pacing like? Is it via email, video, in-person chats? Once you understand how you want your course to look, it’s time to decide what it should include. Those same courses are a great starting place. How can you make your course better or more interesting? Do you have experience others don’t?
Just like babysitting, pet sitting can be a lucrative and enjoyable way to earn cash at home. Pet sitters are in high demand, as families who travel and business professionals who work late hours need someone to walk, fee and otherwise take care of their pets. Sites like Care.com, Rover and DogVacay can get you started. Before you know it, you can be making $20 or more hour for taking care of Fido.
Now, if you don’t know people who might want your coaching services, there are a number of online tools and communities that make it incredibly easy to find clients and teach, on just about any topic area you can think of. Community driven platforms like Clarity.fm and Coach.me provide you with a network of potential clients to interact with, as well an integrated payment solution.
Be professional. When you submit a résumé, don’t type it in ALL CAPS and please don’t avoid the caps lock like the plague. Know how to use it without looking incompetent. Write in complete sentences with proper grammar. Of course, there will be exceptions, but even with the exceptions, you must keep it professional. You’re building their view of you.
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.
Rakuten also has a generous referral program where you can refer friends to earn even more. It’s tiered so you’ll have to check out their site to learn more, but your first referral earns you a crazy $25 with $5 per referral thereafter. Your friends will also get $10 for signing up and you can earn bonuses worth several hundred (and even thousands) of dollars if you’re a frequent referrer.
Sites like Share-A-Sale and Amplifinity provide referral fees. Vendors set the referral fees they're willing to pay and for what services. When the transaction happens, you get paid by the company for introducing a new customer to them. uRefer also allows merchants to set up referral programs for introductions and meetings, in addition to any transactions made.
Mentorship. With sites like Etsy, it simply doesn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel when opening a shop. Instead, look to others who have been down the path and have learned the hard way what to do – and what not to do. Blogs like Handmadeology and EverythingEtsy.com offer hints and guidance for artists just looking to get started in this profitable home-based business.
I’m really torn here. As a writer, I sympathize with you. I’ve looked again and again into freelancing, and consistently find that the rates other people are willing to work for make it an insulting waste of my time. (Like, $10/hour is what a 15-year-old babysitter makes, not a professional writer.) On the other hand, you really can’t ask others to not compete with you. On the plus side, in my (limited) experience, you do get what you pay for most of the time. My sister had a less-expensive wedding photographer, and she was definitely less than happy with the results. So …