My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and build a following of hundreds of thousands for this blog and my podcast series.
Note: There are dozens of other survey sites out there. These just happen to be the more well-known ones that have a reputation for paying out in a timely manner and not having impossible standards for cashing out. As always, be careful with your personal information. I recommend using an entirely separate email address for survey sites so they don’t clutter your inbox.
If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Outsourcing is the name of the game in today's business world, but not all the work gets shipped out to Bangalore. To get matched up with a client looking for remote assistance, sign up with Solvate (solvate.com) to become a "talent member." Name your target rate (think $20--100 per hour, depending on the skill level of the work) and lend your services as an accountant, designer, virtual assistant, writer, bookkeeper or techie.
The reason this is important is because many people don’t realize that they have options. Since you need a prescription for contact lenses, many people assume that the prices are the same regardless of the store, or that they are required to purchase from their prescribed contact lenses from their optometrist. However, prices vary wildly from store to store, and it’s important to shop around.
Lynne Norris, who works out of her home in Pennsylvania (NorrisBusinessSolutions.com), says that rates for VAs run about $25 to $75 or more an hour, based on the types of services you provide. The startup costs are about $500 to $1,000, assuming you have an up-to-date computer and printer. Lynne loves the flexibility. "My children are happy that I don't miss the important things in their lives." Check out the International Virtual Assistants Association, orvirtualassistantjobs.com andteamdoubleclick.com for more.
Make money on YouTube. People who love the spotlight and have other online hustles should consider creating their own YouTube channel. If you’re interested — and interesting — you can use the platform to market affiliate products, sell products you create yourself, or receive ad revenue for your informal tutorials or entertaining videos. Once you get the ball rolling, YouTube offers a partner program that can help you monetize your business further.
Infographics are currently an extremely popular type of media. An infographic showing information or data in an interesting and fun way can help engage an audience and generate numerous likes and shares. As infographics take more time to create than just simply uploading an image, busy website owners are prepared to pay for custom infographics. And don’t worry, an infographic can be created using simple design software such a Canva. So extensive graphic design skills are not necessary, just a creative eye.
"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.
If you’ve got expertise in a certain area, package up your knowledge into an online course and sell it. This has become a very popular business model for online entrepreneurs over the past several years. The two big websites that are used to sell online courses are Udemy and Teachable. Check out this awesome article by Regina on How to Create an Online Course that Sells.
You can make $500 to $10,000 a day renting your place as a location for a movie, TV show, magazine or commercial shoot. "We get calls looking for high-end apartments that could be a rock star's in a movie," says Redhead Locations agent Michelle Churchill (redheadlocations.blogspot.com). "But we also get calls saying, 'We need a place that looks like a dump above a storefront.'?" There's no fee to list, and we help you work out the details, like making sure there's parking for production trucks, and that your co-op board or landlord is cool with it.
Answer surveys. Survey companies I recommend include American Consumer Opinion, Survey Junkie, ProOpinion, Pinecone Research, Opinion Outpost, Survey Spot, National Consumer Panel, VIP Voice, Earning Station, and Harris Poll Online. They’re free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. It’s best to sign up for as many as you can as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.
As the digital world evolves, so does our currency. What seemed like a novelty yesterday will ultimately become the preferred medium for money. In fact, studies show that non-cash payments have gone up 5.3 percent per year between 2012 through 2015 and a Gallop poll found that 10 percent of people claimed to use cash as their preferred payment method in 2016 (down from 19 percent in 2011).