Many companies, such as J. Crew, Express Jet, 1-800-flowers, and even the IRS, outsource customer-service operations to third-party companies who then hire home-based workers or "agents" to take calls and orders. When you call 1-800-flowers, you may be speaking with Rebecca Dooley, a retired police officer and employee of Alpine Access, a major call-center service. When you dialed the number, your call was automatically routed to Rebecca's spare bedroom in Colorado.
Thanks to the internet there’s now a wide assortment of ways to make money online. So if you are stuck in a dead-end job and would like to change your life around then this guide will provide actionable strategies to enable you to do so. Whether you are looking for ways to make a bit of extra money, a part-time job or want to create a full-time income stream, there are plenty of opportunities to do so, all online and from the comfort of your own home.
You could also opt to use existing websites for making money. These include both active income and passive income methods. For example, you could sell some used items or invest in creating some digital designs that then can be sold on merchandise. Again, devote a sizable portion of your time to passive income so that you can slowly build up earnings that will arrive on autopilot without any extra added effort.
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?
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.
"There are no particular physical attributes we're looking for," says Allene La Spina, model registrar at the School of Visual Arts (212-592-2404, schoolofvisualarts.edu). "We want someone who's comfortable being nude and who's inspiring in their poses." SVA holds auditions twice a year for the $18-an-hour job (call to put yourself on the list). The single-named Sharine has experience posing at SVA and at the National Academy (212-996-1908, nationalacademy.org), which pays $12 per hour. "They demand challenging poses that look beautiful but make your feet numb," she says, explaining that each stance lasts up to 20 minutes. Sharine also poses for artists ($25 an hour) and photographers ($150 an hour, no face shots), whom she finds through Craigslist or recs from art teachers. To make sure they're not sketchy, she meets them in public and brings someone with her to the session. "I only want to work with real artists and photographers who have studios," she says. "Not just someone who wants to see a girl naked."
A service like Paribus or Earny will help you collect refunds you're owed from stores. This is a great way to potentially put some extra earnings on autopilot because you're using an innovative tool to get a refund you deserve. When you make an on-line purchase at a Paribus monitored store (you can view the retailers they monitor here), Paribus engages with the retailer on your behalf and files a claim requesting a refund. When Paribus succeeds and a retailer issues a price adjustment, you are credited funds directly onto the original form of payment or provided the equivalent amount in store credit. It is sometimes necessary for you to call the company, or fill out a form to receive that credit in addition to Paribus reaching out. Paribus provides a convenient desktop version and an iOS app with a live feed of savings. Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.
Whether it’s an important consumer application, a specialist app to solve a particular niche problem, or even a time-wasting game you can play on your phone, you can create a massively successful business if you build software that helps people. (Look at the rise of Slack—the team communication software that went from side project to billion-dollar company in just 2 years.)
If you’ve got a way with words and expertise in a niche, there are plenty of sites that will pay for articles and content you write. Think of the sites you read regularly. What can you contribute to them that would be interesting? Research your niche and then look for ways to pitch articles. Many sites will simply have a submission or contact link in the footer. To get started, check out my full guide to becoming a freelance writer on the side and then submit your articles to places like Instash, Listverse, TopTenz, A List Apart, International Living, FundsforWriters, and Textbroker.
Know your local lore? Big Onion Walking Tours (212-209-3370, bigonion.com) offers jaunts through more than 30 Manhattan and Brooklyn enclaves and is looking for new guides, who get $50 and up per hour. "But we have extremely high standards—all our guides must have advanced degrees in history and be licensed [by the Department of Consumer Affairs]," says Seth Kamil, Big Onion's president. "And it takes four to eight weeks of pretty serious training to learn the Big Onion method."
If you have a background in marketing and a passion for a particular niche, then organizing a virtual event may be just up your street. A virtual event could span across a day or longer. Individual live sessions would be run by experts in the field. And conference features would include live question and answer sessions, forums, and plenty of free giveaways. Visitors to the virtual event would pay to attend, so the more effective your promotion of the event the more money you would make.
Sell stuff online. If you have high-quality items to sell, there are a slew of online marketplaces you can use. Just make sure you understand the fees associated with your sale before you take the plunge. Where neighborhood Facebook pages and Craigslist ads are free, many online marketplaces or consignment shops charge for ads or require you to fork over a percentage when you make a sale.
"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 have experience with marketing, SEO, or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work making money online as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results.
Not too keen on shuttling people around? We totally get it. How about dropping off a to-go order of burgers and fries instead? Driving for Uber Eats, Grubhub or Postmates is a great way to make extra money in your free time just by delivering food to hungry clients. Bonus points: Your car is going to smell amazing. We’re already kind of jealous of you, really.
Acorns works by essentially rounding up the spare change from your everyday purchases (to the nearest dollar) and then invests the difference into the stock market. If you’re clueless about how the stock market works, but still want the highest return you can possibly make on your money, this is the perfect way to start investing. You can read our full Acorns Review here.
Domain name trading has been around for the last couple decades, and while most slam-dunk names have long been sold off, there’s still plenty of others that you can get your hands on for relatively cheap and broker as a way to make money online. Before you dive in, however, beware that some experts doubt the long-term viability of this idea for making money online. However, there’s always the change you might just land on a lucrative domain name for a future billion-dollar company. To get you started, here are some tips from GoDaddy, arguably the world’s largest and most famous repository of domain names.
Here’s a good example of how lead sales can work in real life: My second website, Life Insurance by Jeff, brings in a ton of traffic from people who are searching the web to find answers to life insurance questions. While I used to have the website set up so I could sell these people life insurance myself, it was a lot of work to process all the different requests and clients. As a result, I started selling the leads I gathered instead.
Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.
Every successful business has an automated sales funnel. Yet, so many businesses are completely unaware of the power of an effective funnel. Sales funnels provide automation in the sales process. They help you build a relationship with your audience and develop a bond with the consumer. There are plenty of tools you can use to build a sales funnel, but the world's most successful businesses often create custom-coded funnels.
I’m a huge fan of blogging because I love writing and connecting with people all over the world. To give you an idea of what is possible with blogging, DollarSprout.com is part of a group of blogs that routinely brings in over $100,000 a month in revenue. While it takes time to build your blog up to that income level, you can get the initial set up done in under 30 minutes (no experience needed).