I woke up to the trend #layoffs and thought it’s a good time to come back out of the blog closet and share some knowledge wealth for those who are leaving the workplace and want to try to make it on their own. I’ve been working on gathering info for this list for awhile now.
More and more, we are living in a world where the opportunities to work for yourself abound. We don’t have to take what the corporations are dishing out – unlivable wages through sweat and tears. There is an infinite amount of online “real estate” that can be taken up by those who want to come in and set up shop for themselves. You are welcome!
I’ve been navigating the “jobless” life for the past few years now and I’ve been dipping my fingers in every pot I can to stay afloat. I’m not gonna lie, it’s not been easy for me. My hope is to make it a little easier for the next person.
And in any case, I am here without a boss, and still living in my own apartment and feeding my little family week after week with money I make from the comfort of my home.
Below is a list of 25 real ways to make money online, through which I’ve either had or observed personal success. This will give you plenty of inspiration to jump start your self-employed mind and figure out where your passions might lie.
So, grab a pen and notebook and start taking notes about what money making opportunities you want to further dig into.
Please drop a comment at the end if you are interested in learning more about any particular line of work. I will be continuing to dig up and post information about the most popular ways to make money while I work to expand my income.
1. Start a Money-Making Blog – like this one!
If you’re going to be dipping in to some money-making activities online, you might as well benefit from recording and sharing your knowledge. Keep a diary of what works and what doesn’t, but keep it in the form of a weekly or daily blog where you might eventually get enough traffic to become an advertiser or affiliate and add to your online income.
2. Create a Lifestyle Blog
It is NEVER too late to start a blog! A few years back I started hearing this rumor that Blogging and YouTubing had been ruined and was over for the average person. I’m here to report, this is FAR from the reality. As long as people are interested in reading other people’s stories and lives, blogging can be a thing. You really just have to know how to get people to your content, and that information is available for absolutely free if you know where to look.
If you have recently been layed off, chances are someone needs your experience and skill. Freelancing is basically putting your skills up on a “message board” and letting people offer you work, or looking through a “message board” and applying to do personal jobs for people.
There are a ton of websites where you can freelance as almost anything, and it’s good to do some research to find the best one for your specific skills and talent. My personal favorites are Fivr and Upstart, both of which have quite a bit of traffic and people looking for remote online administrative help all the time.
4. Be a Virtual Assistant
Speaking of Fivr and Upstart, virtual assistants pick up work there all the time! As people are growing their businesses, they start to need people to do things like keeping track of their calendar, reminding them of appointments, managing their travel arrangements and car rides, and so on. If you have just been let go from an executive assistant job, this would be an absolute breeze for you.
5. Design Logos and Banners
With apps and websites like Canva.com, being a promo designer has never been easier. If you already have experience in marketing and design then you are basically ready to go!
There are a lot of ways you could build a business like this. My simple idea would be to sign up for Canva’s monthly pro subscription and offer to make logos and promo pieces for people. You can put up an ad for yourself on Fivr, or any public forum, Facebook, etc.
Most businesses absolutely need a logo, business cards, promotional pieces, and so on. But rather than hiring someone to do all that for them one time, or becoming skilled in doing it themselves, they can just hire you as needed!
6. Become a Social Media Promoter
If you’re on the younger side or particularly good with social media, I promise you there are thousands of people online looking for your help. I see requests for virtual assistance with social media on Twitter every day and I’m certain they’re all over the internet and not hard to find.
7. Get into Photography
Websites like Pixabay allow you to upload your photos and sell them to people online who need it for their advertisements or content. You probably have to be pretty good, and I would recommend getting into keyword research to find out the kind of things people might be looking for. Whatever people are looking up online, photos can be made to represent that and people will pay a couple dollars a pop to use it.
8. Selling Old Stuff
There are a few different ways to sell online from dropshipping items to sourcing your own products, reselling clearance items, or selling used items. I think that selling used items is particularly great because it’s planet-friendly.
If you really want to get into being an online thrift store full time, it’s generally best to list on a variety of sites such as eBay, Poshmark, Mercaria, and so on. And if you’ve already sold everything you personally own, you can pretty much source a thrift shop for free with Facebook Marketplace or local craigslist if you’re will to run all over town and sort through rubbish. The Goodwill bins, if you have them in your area, are particularly fun. It’s like being in a casino, you never know when you’ll find a jackpot item!
9. Creating a YouTube Channel
Having a YouTube channel doesn’t necessarily equate to being an Influence. You can make all sorts of channels that don’t even show your face or require you to talk. You just have to get inventive. I love the channels that offer videos with hours of calming sounds to sleep to, and it’s awesome people can make simple videos like that and get paid!
10. Being an Influencer
An influencer is someone who has a large and established audience and promotes products in exchange for money and products. Sometimes influencers are other things, such as indy musicians, but mostly it’s a title given to people who share videos, photos, or posts on social media as their main function.
Being an influencer these days, requires being somewhat savvy with social media. It’s not just putting funny videos of yourself on YouTube or hot photos on Instagram anymore. These days, the biggest influencers are on TikTok. I personally have not gotten into that app because I feel a little…old, but if you’re into being an influencer you may want to dive into that.
11. Affiliate Marketing
After I got into affiliate marketing, it has become one of my biggest money-making obsessions. People want to promote their products, they need other people to get out there and promote them. It’s as simple as that.
The form of affiliate marketing I like to do is through blogs like this. I have created several, on different topics, and I get to write about things I like and share with likeminded people. Then I find companies with products that my audience would be interested in and share special links to get a commission if anyone clicks on it to buy the product.
You can also tie affiliate linking into a lot of other business practices. For example, if you have a YouTube channel, you should be sharing product links that relate to your videos.
If you’re really interested in this particular career option, check out my favorite free course on the subject. As part of the course, you get to build a free website. It’s so easy, you’ll be up and running in less than an hour.
12. Developing Websites for Small Businesses
You might think you need years of schooling to be able to build websites. That’s not really true anymore, as the real web developers have created programs that make it as easy as point and click.
As I learned how to build websites for affiliate marketing with Wealthy Affiliate, I realized I gained the ability to create websites for any purpose. When a friend mentioned that someone with a small business was looking for someone to create a website for them, I jumped at the opportunity.
I am not a web developer and have only a handful of knowledge about code (enough to recognize it when I see it), but I have been paid for several websites that I created for individuals and small businesses and it pays fairly well even at half the price.
13. Selling Items Through Online Dropshipping
Rather than keeping your own inventory and having to have a place to store it, you can set up a dropshipping program where someone orders a product online and you have it shipped directly from the factory to the consumer. You still have to buy the products in advance, but you can get discounts and deals that will then make it profitable when your items are purchased.
The dropshipping business programs I personally know of are through Shopify and the Amazon Seller Program. I have had some success selling on Amazon, although it takes some knowledge and work. I ended up doing a course for $5000 that turned into a bit of a loss, except that I learned a lot!
Learn from my mistake and read up on some better options I give you here:
Amazing Selling Machine Alternatives Learn to Sell on Amazon
14. Selling Custom Print on Demand Items
If you’re a creative type, this might be a fun way to make money. Both Shopify and Printify have programs where you can create designs, put them on products, create a store, and they will fill the orders.
If you are doing any sort of Influencer work, and have a following that might be interested, you can also simply create a store that has items with your logo or face on them. Taylor Swift creates her own products, and so can anyone!
15. Doing Freelance Proofreading
I know we already talked about Freelancing, and there are a lot of types of work that can fall under that. I just wanted to highlight this particular type of work, because it has zero start-up costs or requirements other than being able to read and understanding proofreading markings (a quick online study makes this easy). There are tons of proofreading jobs out there and the average salary for this type of work is in the $50k per year range, or $45 per hour. P
roofreadingServices.com claims to offer jobs for online proofreaders and has a following of over 2000 proofreaders, so it might be a good place to start.
16. Transcribing Audio
This one is for the typists. If you can manage at least 75 wpm (words per minute) than you can handle this job. I personally can go up to 100 wpm and find it very easy to type what I’m hearing and keep pace. If you can do that, this is a possibly very lucrative career option that you can do from anywhere.
I would recommend checking out Transcribeme.com for a great community and simple training. They cater to people who want to work for them as well as freelancers, and the pay is around $15-30 per hour average, depending on how fast and accurate you are.
16. Selling Clothing and Home Goods
There are a lot of things you can sell, but it may be helpful to specialize in a specific niche so you can build an audience and repeat customers. Clothing and Home Goods happen to be the types of items sold on Poshmark.
One of my favorite things to do is shop clearance racks at outlet stores like Ross and TJ Maxx, and then sell the items just below full price on Poshmark. I’m giving discounts on designer items to people all over the world, while making a little bit of profit. You could technically also do this through thrift stores as they allow second-hand items as well.
The great thing about Posh is that they advertise and have their own web traffic so you will absolutely make sales once you build up your store a bit.
17. Teaching English or Tutoring
I was prepared to do a review for VIPKid, which was an amazing program that allowed me to remotely do special English classes with young kids in China. The program is no longer available, but I have learned that there are a ton of students online looking for English tutoring.
Preply is one of the best websites I’ve found for access to English tutoring community and job listings. They have an application process that will test you, but it’s quite simple. They do all their own advertising and have their own steady traffic of students. It’s just a matter of being good at English and tutoring.
18. Writing and Publishing eBooks
If you have book ideas or even fully written books that have just been sitting there waiting for your attention, now is the time. It has never been simpler to self-publish a book, and if you do it as an eBook then it’s completely FREE! You simply receive a commission for your sales. My personal favorite is Amazon Direct Publisher because they really walk you through every step and have all the resources you need to turn your book into an eBook.
19. Creating and Delivering Online Courses
If you have any particular skill set you would like to share, it is super easy to create and deliver online courses through Teachable. Whether you’re a successful entrepreneur, an artist, or even a homemaker and parent, you could have information that others would find truly valuable in their own journeys. Teachable has the resources to help you turn that into a deliverable online course, AND they have the traffic to get you students who are interested in your topic. If you want to do it entirely on your own, you can also walk through the Shopify program which has some excellent resources as well.
20. Writing Articles for Vocal Media
This is another place to put your writing content, and they will pay you for clicks and views. I have only written a few articles for them, some cannabis recipes, but I’ve earned hundreds of dollars without having to promote anything. A full-time writer, or a book author releasing one chapter at a time, could easily turn this into a full-time job, and it’s a bit easier than having a blog because they do all the web work and have their own audience, you just contribute content.
Here’s my review: My Vocal Media Review as a Paid Subscriber
21. Selling Collectible Cards and Comics
My friend has been collecting Magic the Gathering cards for over a decade and amassed a pretty huge collection. He found a website called tcgplay.com and found out it’s super easy to list there. You don’t have to take pictures, you just have to mark the item from their inventory and note the quality. He started making sales the same day he started listing and made a few hundred dollars in less than a week. He then used that money to buy a newer set in bulk and made double back a few weeks later. He’s started to source comics and other collectible game cards, and has basically established a profitable business within a couple months of beginning.
22. Answering Questions Online
Did you even know you can get paid just to answer people’s questions? justanswer.com needs people to answer questions in various fields of expertise – home improvement, computers, medical, pets, wellness…and more. Their experts earn an average of $2000 to $7000 per month while answering questions from the comfort of home, or basically anywhere you can take a phone.
23. Reviewing Websites and Apps
I have recently discovered that there are a ton of websites that will pay you to test out apps, websites, and games, then write your review on them. I’m in the process of going through them to see what it’s like. I’m thinking that this is the new “surveys and marketing” thing. You basically would have to have a list of sites that you work for in order to test and then just spend all day jumping from site to site for new opportunities. It sounds hectic to me, but I could see it working well if that’s your only focus.
24. Buying and Selling Domain Names
A domain or domain name is basically a website. You can buy the website name and not build anything on it, then turn around and sell that website name to someone else for their website. If you have a little bit of money to invest (you can get some domains for as little as $10) and you think you might be clever or creative enough (but not too creative), then this could be a great job for you.
I have sold a couple of domains at a profit, simply because I had bought them and ended up not needing them and they were generic enough that others found them useful for their projects. I sold mine through Go Daddy and it was fairly simple. They will even help you determine the value of your domain and get it seen by their buyers. I’ll be writing more specifics on how this went for me in another blog post.
25. Selling Retail Arbitrage
This is a little different than browsing clearance racks or thrift stores, because it involves buying things online in bulk at much, much lower prices. Bulq.com and other similar websites offer crates (boxes) and pallets (lots of boxes) of return items from large retailers, and they even give an inventory list of what comes in each box. These are great items to sell through an Amazon store if you want to have them house your inventory, but if you’re starting out small you could also go with the typical eBay, Poshmark, etc.
Anytime I get a little extra money I will go shopping for arbitrage. It’s as rewarding and fun as any other shopping. I’ve gotten computers and ipads for as little as $30, along with tons of designer clothing pieces (with tags on) for a few dollars an item. This is one of my favorite ways to make money just because I love to shop!
What are some of your favorite things to do that can be turned into a home business? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!