Monetize a hobby. While some hobbies actually cost money, others can be transformed into a profitable business venture. Ultimately, it depends on what your hobby is and how talented you are. You could turn your love of photography, for example, into a part-time gig taking family portraits and wedding photos or selling prints on Etsy or at arts fairs.
If you are a creative type, then you could make money online by designing and selling crafty products on Etsy. Etsy sells a range of beautiful and original items from independent suppliers. Categories range from jewelry, clothes, and accessories, to art, collectibles, and vintage. So if you have some stunning crafty creations, Etsy is the perfect platform from which to sell from.

The real estate market is on the rebound (for today) and people are buying and selling properties in many locations across the U.S. That means a lot of opportunities for professionals who know how to navigate the legal, financial, and commercial aspect of real estate to build up a stable of clients as a side business idea, especially if you begin to scale your sales hiring and build a team of reps working to help you close more deals. If you consider yourself an expert in the subject, it won't be a walk in the park (hehe), but you can earn significant additional side income as a home-based real estate consultant—especially if you employ one of the best CRMs for small business and know how to work magic over the phone.
As of 2012, estimates suggest that over fifty million U.S. workers (about 40% of the working population) could work from home at least part of the time,[12] but in 2008 only 2.5 million employees, excluding the self-employed, considered their home to be their primary place of business.[13] The number of employees reported to have worked from their home "on their primary job" in 2010 has been reported as 9.4 million (6.6% of the workforce), though, this number might include the self-employed.[14] As of 2017, roughly 3.7 million employees—2.8% of the workforce—work from home at least half the time, Global Analytics Workplace reports.[15] Very few companies employ large numbers of home-based full-time staff.[citation needed] The call center industry is one notable exception: several U.S. call centers employ thousands of home-based workers. For many employees, the option to work from home is available as an employee benefit but most participants only do so a fraction of the time.[16] Top paid among work-from-home sectors are home-based physicians and radiologists in which it is suspected that they earn near the $1,975 median weekly income of physicians, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, making it a six-figure job. Studies show that at-home workers are willing to earn up to 30% less and experience heightened productivity. [17]

Find work. When you first start out, you may have to accept work writing about a topic you don’t find all that interesting. You must keep an open mind and be willing to accept work that may not be in your desired field. However, as you continue to write, you not only learn about more topics, but you also build your reputation. With time, you can be choosier about assignments you want to accept.[19]

MemberPress is a feature-rich plugin that will enable you to turn your WordPress blog into a fully functional membership site. Depending on how you want to run your membership site, you could have a mixture of free and premium membership plans. Premium plans could include no adverts, free downloads, access to extra content, membership forums, and much more. However, it is important to remember that if people are going to pay to view your content then it must be high quality. Otherwise, your members won’t renew their subscriptions when the time comes.


There are plenty of compelling reasons to search around for the home business ideas that work for you. If a change in lifestyle is what you’re after, then take a close look at your skills and interests to figure out which fields fit you best. Whether it’s an online home based business or something more traditional, you’ll likely find something that resonates with you. 
If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? My friend, Mark Jackson did just that, making extra money online with his travel consulting side business. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, and then move on and create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals. Eventually you could spin this into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make their dream trip a reality.
Ever since the idea of online auctions came into existence, the online selling market has been on the rise. Many are interested, but don’t know how to get started. There are still all kinds of ways to make money by selling online, whether you’re selling what you already have or buying and selling like a store. Before we get started, here are a few general tips when selling anything online:
The 2012 Status Telework in the Federal Government features teleworking highlights from the past 18 months as well as goals for improving teleworking in the future. Reports finding that all 87 agencies participating in the Data Cell had established telework policies and 73 percent of the policies met the Telework Act Requirements. More than 684,000 federal employees were deemed eligible to telework, this represents approximately 32 percent of all federal employees. More than 144,000 federal employees had written teleworking agreements with their agencies. 27 percent of teleworkers worked remotely three or more days per week.[109] In addition to the findings, the reports examine teleworking at the Department of Defense. According to the report, there are more than 793,000 employees in the DoD and of those employees, 134,477 were deemed eligible for teleworking. Overall, the federal government seems to have embraced teleworking and is attempting to create more remote working opportunities for employees. In closing, the report listed several ways that the government could make more jobs available through telework. Suggestions include using telework as a tool to retain employees at or near retirement age and using telework to expand hiring of highly trained disabled veterans.[109]
If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as "You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech," seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.
But many people put themselves in a very similar position by starting home-based businesses without considering the profit angle. Business is about profit, and without sufficient profit, you'll never have enough income to even pay the bills, let alone generate wealth. (For more on creating a business that actually produces income, see Change Your Business Model and Watch Your Profits Soar!)
If you've developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you're an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there's likely a local business owner who's willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant from Karyn Greenstreet and then use my guide to crafting an effective cold email to convince them to hire you.

Do you love woodworking? Even without a huge workshop, you can create some of the more popular crafts and sell them.  And like most things, your success in business isn’t necessarily related to how skilled you are as a woodworker. So if you can figure out which products consumers want and just create those, you could have a good business plan.  Etsy.com and farmers’ markets are a great place to start selling.

“I love working for [email protected] I get to interact with and help others from the comfort of my own home. (Have you ever been in Houston traffic rush hour? That says it all!) Plus, they have some of the most amazing people I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. They aren’t just here to draw a paycheck. They truly care about their co-workers. I work many miles from the brick and mortar buildings, but I have a sense of security that my coworkers have my back and I’m not alone.”

What a huge, great list of ideas – bookmarked this as I know I’ll be coming back to go over it again and again. Here’s another item that could have made the list. I found a financial directory that’s useful for info on making money online. It’s http://money.madbeetech.com. What I like about it is that each directory listing includes ebooks and videos that can be instantly downloaded. All sorts of stuff for people who have their own website, and people who don’t (but still want to make money online).
Expertise is another matter, but remember that writing can take many forms—from resumes to news articles to marketing materials and even thank-you notes. (You can even write for businesstown.com, although that gig doesn’t pay … yet.) There’s probably some form of writing you’re qualified to do. Plus, if you’re good enough with grammar and punctuation, companies will pay you to be a freelance editor. One friend made good money editing posts on a popular travel site.
The technology to communicate is not advanced enough to replicate face-to-face office interactions. Room for mistakes and miscommunication can increase. According to media richness theory, face-to-face interactions provide the capacity to process rich information: ambiguous issues can be clarified, immediate feedback can be provided, and there is personalized communication (e.g. body language, tone of voice).[25] Telecommuting requires the use of various types of media to communicate, such as the telephone and email. Emails have a time lag that does not allow for immediate feedback; telephone conversations make it harder to decipher the emotions of the person or team on the phone; and both of these forms of communication do not allow one to see the other person.[26] Typical organization communication patterns are thus altered in telecommuting. For instance, teams using computer-mediated communication with computer conferencing take longer to make group decisions than face-to-face groups.[27] Workers tend to be satisfied with face-to-face interactions, phone conversations, and in-person departmental meetings to receive communications, but email and the Internet do not add to their communication satisfaction.[28] This suggests that teleworking may not have the components for “rich communication” compared to face-to-face interactions, although one study found that virtual workers in a team were more satisfied with their technology-mediated communication than their in-person office communication.[29]
Like recycling, this side business idea requires the willingness to get your hands a little dirty. If you enjoy working outdoors, then you can make a pretty good side income cleaning up litter outside retail, office and industrial properties—especially for businesses that have large parking lots that need regular cleaning. Property management companies need their properties maintained litter free and you can do so with an on-foot service using inexpensive equipment like this cheap pick-up tool and a broom. Charge for your time at $35 - $50 per hour and bill your clients the same contract price each month. For even more on how to get started with a litter removal side business idea, check out Cleanlots.
Webinars On Air is a powerful webinar tool that will enable you to create professional webinars for your viewers. Harnessing the power of Google Hangouts, this all in one solution will take care of all the technical aspects of hosting a webinar, including payments. Also have a look at our guide to the best webinar software, both free and paid options.
Once you’ve established yourself in any number of freelance verticals online, spending your time focusing just on doing inside sales (booking freelance contracts with high-value clients) and then subcontracting your work out to other freelancers can help significantly grow your client list, and revenue generating possibilities with this business idea.
Fiverr is a great place for first-time freelancers who might not have tons of experience and want to build up a portfolio of their work. You'll be able to complete simple tasks ranging from logo design, to creating animations, or even drawing a company logo on your forehead. While this side business idea likely won't be growing into a million dollar startup for you, it can still be a platform for funding your next big business idea. Want to learn more about Fiverr's history and how to get the most out of selling on the platform? Listen to my interview with Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman.
But before you can graduate from side business idea and start earning a full-time living as a graphic designer, you'll need to build your skills—I recommend starting with reading the foundational book Graphic Design School and Steal Like an Artist, the incredible book by Austin Kleon about how to become more creative. To accelerate your education in becoming a graphic designer even quicker, check out the online courses Graphic Design Fundamentals and The Graphic Design Bootcamp. Then once you're an expert at your craft, you can further your education and move up to offering  more hands-on experiences like design sprints for higher-value clients around the world.
Working from home takes a lot of self-discipline. Before you become a remote worker, make sure you have a good system for keeping yourself organized and on task. Use whatever works for you – make a bullet journal, organize your duties on Trello, keep a detailed Google Calendar with Calendly for setting meetings. Just make sure you have a self-management scheme that keeps you going. I really like the new Focused Collection from Erin Condren.

Being an online freelance writer is one type of skill that you can use to make money online. But there are a wide variety of other skills that can be used in a similar manner. Every website and blog on the Internet needs technical skills. This can include graphic design, web design, search engine optimization, social media marketing and promotion, content editing, and so much more.

Simon Slade, CEO and co-founder of Affilorama has experienced first hand the benefits of having remote workers at his company, “By allowing employees to work remotely," he says, "you can hire the best of the best while not limiting yourself by geographical restrictions. At Doubledot Media, 19 of our 28 employees work remotely, and I have seen no difference in job satisfaction or work performance. If anything, my remote employees' production rate is higher because they are better equipped to avoid distractions.” The benefits also extend to his bottom line, “telecommuting saves me money because they pay for their own computer, electricity and other utilities.”


Of the more than three million web entries resulting from a search on the phrase "work at home", more than 95% of the results were scams, links to scams, or other dead ends. Work at home scams earn their perpetrators more than $500 million per year, and home business scams account for another $250 million per year. Even the sites that claim to be scam-free often feature ads that link to scams.[98] According to Christine Durst, CEO of Staffcentrix, there is a 48-to-1 ratio of scams to legitimate offerings among work-at-home job leads on the Internet.[99]
How to Get It: Begin with sites like UserTesting.com, YouEye.com and Userlytics.com. Register with multiple companies for opportunities to test as many websites as possible. Once you're in the system, you'll be emailed when testers are needed, and if you're one of the first to respond, expect to spend 15 to 20 minutes completing the test. Many sites require a microphone and/or webcam, which are built into most laptops—but if you need to buy one, they aren't expensive. The tester sites typically pay within a week or two via PayPal.
Real security begins with security policy. The Information Security professional must ensure that the security policy covers telecommuting/teleworking and who may telework, services available to teleworkers, information restrictions, identification/authentication/authorization, equipment and software specifications, integrity and confidentiality, maintenance guidelines, and robust user education."[115]
Someone out there is remodeling their kitchen and needs to know which shade of granite will match best with mahogany flooring. That someone will often be happy to pay you for your advice, especially if you’re the kind of person that subscribes to websites like Contemporist and you have the motivation to turn this business idea into a money-making enterprise.
The roots of telecommuting are found in early 1970s technology that linked satellite offices to downtown mainframes through dumb terminals using telephone lines as a network bridge. The ongoing and exponential decreases in cost along with the increases in performance and usability of personal computers, forged the way for moving the office to the home. By the early 1980s, branch offices and home workers were able to connect to organizational mainframes using personal computers and terminal emulation. Telework is facilitated by tools such as groupware, virtual private networks, conference calling, videoconferencing, virtual call centre, Voice over IP (VOIP), and by the decreasing cost of good quality laptop computers. It can be efficient and useful for companies since it allows workers to communicate over long distances, saving significant amounts of travel time and cost. As broadband Internet connections become more commonplace, more and more workers have adequate bandwidth at home to use these tools to link their home to their corporate intranet and internal phone networks.
“I first learned about TTEC from the university I was attending. I thought it would be a great idea to get a job working from home while going to school. When I first started working for the company, I was a seasonal agent. This grew into a permanent agent position. TTEC has enabled me to earn a degree, provide support to my family, gain skills in communication and technology, and meet great people from different parts of the world. What a wonderful company to work for! Every day is a great day here at TTEC!”
If you have never been self-employed before you need to do some further self-assessment to determine whether you have the right personality to be an entrepreneur. Starting a business is not for everyone. (See 6 Traits You Need to Be Self-Employed.) Common traits for successful business owners are motivation, self-reliance, perseverance, initiative, and the ability to deal with uncertainty.

Adaptive structuration theory studies variations in organizations as new technologies are introduced[54] Adaptive structural theory proposes that structures (general rules and resources offered by the technology) can differ from structuration (how people actually use these rules and resources).[44] There is an interplay between the intended use of technology and the way that people use the technology. Telecommuting provides a social structure that enables and constrains certain interactions.[55] For instance, in office settings, the norm may be to interact with others face-to-face. To accomplish interpersonal exchange in telecommuting, other forms of interaction need to be used. AST suggests that when technologies are used over time, the rules and resources for social interactions will change.[54] Teleworking may alter traditional work practices,[44] such as switching from primarily face-to-face communication to electronic communication.


Many people start home-based businesses in the hopes of setting their own work schedules and increasing their free time, but few people realize the careful planning that is required to achieve these goals. In fact, time management is one of the more important challenges a home-based business owner may face. Experts recommend that home-based business owners set up a workable schedule immediately upon starting their ventures in order to establish good habits. In many cases, the limited amount of work available in the early stages of a home-based business's existence may cause the entrepreneur to establish a pattern of running personal errands or watching television during work time. In this way, lethargy and unproductive use of time become ingrained and perpetuate themselves. Instead, downtime that has been reserved for working should be used to market and promote the business.
Telecommuting has long been promoted as a way to substantially increase employee productivity. A working-from-home-related experiment conducted using 242 employees of a large Chinese travel agency by professors at Stanford and Beijing University found that employees randomly assigned to work at home for 9 months increased their output by 13.5% versus the office-based control group. This improvement in output arose from working 9% more hours from saved commuting time and from 3.5% improved efficiency from quieter working conditions. The study also found that home-workers reported significantly higher job-satisfaction scores and their quit rates fell by almost 50%. However, home workers' promotion rates dropped by half due to apparent performance declines, indicating a potential career cost of home-working.[69]
Monetize a hobby. While some hobbies actually cost money, others can be transformed into a profitable business venture. Ultimately, it depends on what your hobby is and how talented you are. You could turn your love of photography, for example, into a part-time gig taking family portraits and wedding photos or selling prints on Etsy or at arts fairs.
This is not an enterprise for the lazy. eBay sellers need to respond to customers quickly and politely, and ship items promptly. A seller’s success is in eBay users’ hands after all; a negative seller rating can sink an eBay business before it even gets started. Sellers also need to familiarize themselves with eBay’s return policies, which tend to focus on making the overall experience better for buyers but not necessarily for sellers.

Fiverr is a great place for first-time freelancers who might not have tons of experience and want to build up a portfolio of their work. You'll be able to complete simple tasks ranging from logo design, to creating animations, or even drawing a company logo on your forehead. While this side business idea likely won't be growing into a million dollar startup for you, it can still be a platform for funding your next big business idea. Want to learn more about Fiverr's history and how to get the most out of selling on the platform? Listen to my interview with Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman.

Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to monetize something you love via a niche website as a side business idea. That of course, is easier said than done, something not intended for the faint of heart. Prepare to invest a lot of your time, 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.
Last but not least, you can also earn money online by building an online community, although the monetization strategies you can pursue will vary a lot depending on your goals. You can build a community with a blog, for example. You can also build an online forum and charge people for membership. You could even build up a Facebook group and use your influence there to sell and promote products.
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