If you've developed valuable skill sets or certifications within your industry over the years, consider putting your skills to use in your free time by offering your consulting services to local business owners as a potentially lucrative side business idea. 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—if you can craft an effective cold email that convinces them to hire you. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant as a side business idea, from Karyn Greenstreet. When you're ready to get serious about becoming a consultant, check out all of my picks for the best online business courses to keep building your skills and learning how to land your first consulting clients. Personally, I think this is one of the best business ideas you can get started with today.
This has become a popular business model for online entrepreneurs over the past several years, and will probably just continue to grow in popularity. The best thing about selling online courses is that once you do the up-front work in creating the course and setting up your marketing strategy, you can get paid over and over again for work you do once.
Alibaba is a Chinese eCommerce store that matches Chinese suppliers with buyers all over the world. Prices are extremely cheap, providing the possibility of large profits. However, with the potential profits comes more risk. As you are dealing with suppliers in China, if the quality of the product that arrives isn’t up to standard there is little that you can do about it.

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.


Getting a raise is an excellent move because it doesn’t require you to trade more time for more money. You are putting in the same amount of time, but pulling a bigger paycheck. But, it’s always a bit tricky to ask for a raise when your company already has you at your current salary. You’ve got to make a strong argument you deserve the increase. Here are the top 10 mistakes to avoid when asking for a raise.
Signing up with Google AdSense will enable you to make money from advertising on your blog. Google AdSense will place relevant ads around your site, and if your site visitors click on these ads, you will earn a fee. Although each click only amounts to small change, if your blog has high levels of traffic and lots of page views this will quickly amount to a reasonable sum.
 @dasjung No doubt! I know this and you know this, and any other highly skilled and educated designer will also know this. But what about the customers? The people who are looking for a logo design with much consideration of price in this economy.  Knowledge and talent expect the monetary reimbursement it deserves, but unless everybody has a trained eye to recognize it, they just aren’t going to dish out the money for it. That is the point I am trying to make. It is like calling the neighborhood handyman instead of  a high cost plumber to fix a small leak.
If this is the first time you are hearing about this, though, then we actually do not recommend trying it. The average skill level of players on the Internet has improved so much over the past few years that it’s virtually guaranteed that a new player will lose money over the medium to long-term. But hey, Ben made upwards of 6 figures playing online in poker in college, so we had to list it. 🙂
Like Airbnb, becoming a ridesharing driver for companies like Uber, Lyft or Sidecar is a way to join the shared economy. And though it is not technically earning money from home,  it allows the same kind of flexibility and it is a way to use an asset you already own (i.e. your car) to make money. There are things to keep in mind, though, about driving other people such as whether your car insurance will cover you and how you pay taxes on your earnings. 

Believe it or not, it is possible to actually reach a woman named Peggy (and not a man with a Russian accent) when you call customer service. That’s because of the homeshore movement, which is trying to hire more independent contractors to work from home on customer service issues. If you’ve got a phone line and an internet connection, you can work from home as a call center rep. Median salary: $30,460.
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.
Become an Amazon Associate and then use Keyword planner to find an in-demand niche: With more than a million different products to choose from and up to 10% commission the sales you drive, Amazon’s affiliate program is a great place to get started. Browse their available products and see what connects with you. Or take it a step further and use Google’s Keyword Planner to quickly check how many people are searching for a specific term. With affiliate marketing, the more relevant traffic you can pull in, the more you’ll make off your site.
Robo-advisors are diversified investment accounts that are automatically managed by a computer algorithm (as opposed to a human money manager). If you want to invest, but don’t have the money, or don’t want to invest with a money manager, robo-advisors are for you! Robo-advisors make investing easier—and cheaper—so they’re perfect for new investors.
×