Creating a successful online presence for a business isn't as simple as setting up a profile and being well-versed in emoticons. The key is to start small. Build your portfolio by helping out friends who are starting businesses, running bar events or promoting their band. Then, pitch local establishments like pizza spots and Laundromats to see if they'll let you go to town on their Facebook page, shoot a promotional YouTube video for a yoga studio, or see if an author needs help setting up a Wordpress blog. You can find some gigs on Craigslist.com. as well as more techie sites like Elance.com and Odesk.com. You might start at $15 a hour, but your fee will soar with your success rate.
Take good pictures. Some of the options below don’t require you to actually take the picture and sell the product, but for the ones that do, make sure you take a clear picture that makes your product stand out from the others. If you’re going to be taking a lot of pictures, set up a small “studio-like” area in your home with a backdrop and proper lighting to really make your pictures come across as professional. And of course, you’ll want a good camera too.
Most people do not claim all of the allowances they are allowed to take, which is why they end up getting a large refund check each spring. If you regularly get a large refund, then it may be time for you to file a new W-4 with your human resources department. Your new W-4 should reflect the proper number of withholding allowances you are eligible to take.
"Fewer people want to spend a lot shopping," says pro stylist Angela Hastings (angelahastings.com). "They want to make the most of what they have." Hastings, who creates looks for magazines like Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Entertainment Weekly and comapnies like Banana Republic, started earning good money on the side seven years ago when she helped a friend of a friend with her look. "Personal styling is more about reality, and editorial styling is about fantasy," she says. "I like doing both." Hastings starts by giving clients a questionnaire to figure out exactly what they want, then she digs through their closets with them to figure out what does and doesn't work. She won't divulge her pricing, but others advertising on Craigslist charge $150 per hour to more than $1,000 a day.
Offer to watch children or pets. If you know anyone who has children or pets, you could easily begin a side gig as a babysitter or pet sitter. To let people know you’re interested, send out a group email describing your services, post an ad on Facebook, or tell friends and acquaintances about your availability in person or over the phone. You can also create a profile on a babysitting referral site like Care.com.
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Let’s be honest. Those little people grow out of their clothes faster than you can keep up. When it’s time to get rid of the clothes they’ve outgrown, you have a few options. Put them out in your standard yard sale, sell them to a consignment store, or post them on social media. Apps like Kidizen are specially designed for selling your kid’s gently used threads. And of course, you can use other sites like Poshmark, thredUp, Craigslist and eBay to sell children’s clothing too.
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.
And there is no need to be nervous about making such a change to your W-4. The withholding allowances you enter into your W-4 do not determine your tax bill, just how much you pay per paycheck. That means it’s perfectly legal to change the withholding allowances on your W-4, provided you claim the correct number of allowances on your actual tax return.
If you have a college degree and the skills to tutor students online in math, science, English or social studies, this job may fit you perfectly. Go toTutor.com—tutors who work for the company and have passed their probationary period earn $10 to $14 an hour. According to Durst, "Skype and other web interface tools are bringing English language instructors face-to-face with students from around the world." Tryispeakuspeak.com,openenglish.com to get started.
Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.
Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to make money online doing something you love via a niche website. That of course, is easier said than done. Creating a profitable niche website takes time and is not intended for the faint of heart. But, if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business idea you’re thinking about is profitable, then you can begin building it and eventually monetize through advertising, affiliates, or other relevant products.
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Websites such as Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer offer opportunities to do a variety of freelance jobs, such as writing, programming, design, marketing, data entry and being a virtual assistant. Fluent in a second language? Check sites such as Gengo or One Hour Translation, or drum up business through a site of your own. No matter what kind of freelancing you do, keep track of the going rate for the kind of work you provide so you know if you’re charging too much or too little. Learn how to get started on Upwork.
At CafePress (cafepress.com), you can create shirts, posters and bumper stickers and sell them to the site's 6.5 million users. Each item has a base price; you decide the markup. When someone buys a product, CafePress prints it and ships it, and you get a check for your total markups once a month. Tamara Remedios, whose day job is running Restaurant Week in Hoboken and Jersey City, started a popular customized T-shirt store on CafePress called Wear My Name in 2001, on which she spends about 10--15 hours a month. Her average markup is $6, and her busiest months net about 100 sales. "I put everything I make in a bank account and go on a vacation each year," she says.
Okay, so it's a Les Miz--style desperate measure. But if you've got the tresses and the desire to chop 'em off, why not make a little cash while you're at it? You post photos and a description on The Buy and Sell Hair (buyandsellhair.com), either with a listing price or an invitation to field potential buyers' offers. Recent sales include 14 inches of black hair that went for $500 and 16 inches of never-dyed strawberry blond hair that went for $800. Fantine never had it that good.
Minimize your time at bars and go to house parties instead. Going out to bars with your friends is a great way to unwind, but if you do it too often, you can rack up quite a bill. Just one fancy cocktail can cost more than an hour of hard work at your part-time job. If you do go out, try to pick cheaper bars with happy hours, or to drink a little bit before you head out (as long as you aren't driving) so you don't have to spend as much money on booze when you're there.
Have a spare bedroom — or two? Making it available on vacation rental sites can provide a lucrative side income. For example, Airbnb hosts earn an average of $924 per month, according to data from Earnest, an online lender. If you’re a renter, just make sure that everything is kosher with your rental agreement beforehand. Learn how to cash in on short-term rentals.
What does that mean for you? It means Nielsen will pay you $50 a year to keep their app on your favorite internet browsing device. The app itself collects statistics on your internet usage anonymously, so you never have to worry about any data being linked to you. And the best part is, the app takes up barely any space and doesn’t slow down your phone or tablet at all!