Choosing the path of entrepreneurship, and working on your side business idea, is without a doubt riskier than being content with holding a 9-5 job. It requires way more sacrifice. However, once you’re reaping the lifestyle benefits of being your own boss and hustling your way into making significantly more money with your business idea than you ever could at your day job, the hard work will have all been worth it. So, let’s talk business ideas.
These ways of making extra money cover a wide range in terms of compensation and prestige. Check out the options to see what could work for you, keeping tabs on a projected per-hour rate so you can see what would be worth your time. The list is loosely arranged by 1. jobs requiring more skill or expertise, 2. gigs needing less and 3. things you can sell. And if you think of any good options I missed, please let me know in the comments.
How to Get It: Check out K12 (K12.com) and Connections Academy (ConnectionsAcademy.com). Both organizations offer various benefits — including health insurance, retirement savings accounts and paid time off — depending on where you live. As in any job where you work with kids, there will be a background and reference check as well as interviews. You may also need to be licensed to teach in the state where the students reside.
Affiliate marketing, a sort of product placement, will let you receive nice checks from companies in return for advocating for their goods and services. Although this might sound a bit iffy, if you truly do recommend that your readers try out these products, then it doesn’t need to come across as sales-y or insincere. Readers will understand that you need to make money somehow, and many will appreciate your recommendations if they’re accurate.
Ebates has long been one of my favorite services and they offer an awesome referral program. This service pays members cash back on their online purchases – and some in-store purchases now. When you refer your friends, you will earn $5 per person when they make their first purchase of $25 or more. They also offer some stellar bonuses if you can refer a number of people. And, they offer a $10 gift card for new members.
There are a lot of items that can be purchased very inexpensively at garage sales or thrift stores and sold for higher prices elsewhere. A few years ago I discovered that I could purchase good hardcover books at my local thrift shop for $1 or less. I realized that some of them could be sold on Amazon.com for $15-$20, which turns out to be a pretty decent profit.
Now, it’s time to start creating and uploading content. Make sure you’re using a high-enough quality camera (most smartphones will work but I’d suggest at least having a tripod so your footage isn’t shaky), but don’t worry about being perfect at first. The beauty of YouTube is that you can continue to test out different content and styles as you find what works for you. Instead, stick to a regular schedule to build up your subscriber base.
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.
A personal concierge is more than a personal assistant, and the difference is in connections. An assistant’s job is to save their boss time, too, but ask an everyday assistant to get reservations at Talulah’s Table or to book last-minute a villa in St. Barth’s, and they’ll be useless. But a concierge who’s developed a priceless personal network—well, that’s a different story.
There's a huge growing market for mobile phone accessories, and plenty of handmade sellers are raking in 6 and sometimes 7 figures from their phone case businesses. You can get your own phone case business up and running as a side business idea in a matter of days with turnkey solutions from Case Escape, my previous company, and you can now get ready-to-go kits that'll give you everything you need to start a phone case business. Once you're up and running, you can sell cases on Etsy, Amazon Handmade, and Fancy. During our first year of selling phone cases as a side business idea on our Etsy store, we made around $60,000 in revenue from that selling channel alone—not to mention additional sales from fairs, trade shows, promotional products vendors, parties, events and other online marketplaces. From there, the sales only continued growing and we graduated from side business idea to full-time company that I ran with my best friend for multiple years.
While some might think that starting a blog is an arduous effort, when you understand the precise steps you need to take, it becomes far easier. It all starts in the decision of choosing a profitable niche and picking the right domain name. From there, you need to build your offers. You can easily sell things like mini-email courses, trainings and ebooks.
What It Is: Companies like Google and Yahoo give you information to search for, and you tell them how closely their results matched what you were looking for. Does a search for Lady Antebellum turn up sites about the music group or links to pre-Civil War period information? If you are Latina, for example, you might be asked to search the way a Spanish speaker might perform a search in English.
If you're a good writer but don't have the time to write a lot of extra articles, you can try what I call the "eBay Ad Strategy." There are many high-priced items selling on eBay, such as cars, boats, and motorcycles. Many of these items have terrible descriptions and sales pages. You can contact the owners, tell them that you will write a great sales page for them, and simply ask for 1 percent of the selling price as your fee. They don't pay you anything unless the item sells. This makes the offer appealing to them and because it's a high-priced item, you can easily earn a nice chunk of change from a little bit of work.
Like just about all home-based jobs, you’ll need up-to-date technology to make money from home as a transcriptionist. That includes items like a newer computer, noise-cancelling headphones, and in many cases, a specialized transcription foot pedal. A quiet workspace and fast, highly accurate typing skills are non-negotiable requirements. Certification as a transcriptionist and familiarity with transcription programs like Express Scribe will put you ahead of the competition.

There are many things that you can do as a virtual assistant. You can manage the social media of a business, website, etc. (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and everything else), handle the newsletter, work on the website, proofread and edit, do market research, handle emails, and so on. The list is really endless. Are you interested in becoming a virtual assistant? Don't forget to also read about what exactly a virtual assistant does.
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.
If you’ve ever wanted to try real estate investing but don’t want to deal with all the stress of being a landlord, you might want to consider investing with Fundrise. Fundrise is a new platform that allows you to invest directly in a real estate portfolio that a team of professionals identifies, acquires, and manages on your behalf. With a starting investment as small as $500, you get exposure to dozens of solid, value-producing assets.
There are quite literally hundreds of clever ways to make money online. From taking online surveys, to renting or selling your old clothes, flipping your iPhone to someone in a different country, and even buying low-cost products locally, just to resell them for a higher price on Amazon. There’s truly no shortage of unique ways to make money online.

Our first overlooked opportunity is selling your knowledge. In this instance, we are talking about creating a course or eBook that you can make available for purchasing online. Because of the automation available today, you may be able to put in the work once when creating your packaged information and then enjoy those checks coming in for months or years to come.
I look for deals that have multiple other products they sell, so that if this products slows down, they can use the revenues of other products to pay back. I also look at deals that have multiple offers they’ve paid back on Kickfurther, and also for companies that have robust retail distribution partnerships in place (like they are at Target, Walmart, etc) rather than companies that are more seasonal and rely on trade shows and such, which is unpredictable and expensive.
Like birthdays, marriages happen all the time. Which means you can treat weddings as a recurring fountain of business opportunities: wedding dresses and coats, jewelers, food caterers, venue providers, photographers and videographers, performers, flower shops, travel agencies, souvenir crafts, and a host of other ventures. Now imagine if you can form a network of these service providers so you can offer engaged couples a range of hassle-free wedding packages as a turnkey business idea. The process is certainly fun (and time-consuming), but as a side business idea, the pay can be pretty great.
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And it's an ideal home business opportunity, especially as ecommerce is so easy to get into now. One of the main barriers to operating a successful e-commerce business is finding the right product or products to sell; the other is providing the kind of online environment that will make people want to buy from you rather than competitors. 8 Rules for a Successful Ecommerce Website provides information on how to do this.
While this is not technically “at home,” you can still earn great money without ever getting on the phone using your personal car, bike, or scooter to deliver food, give people rides, and even picking up groceries. The great thing about these companies is that it's also very flexible work. No one is telling you when to start and stop. You just do as much work as you can, when you can.

I see a comment made by Stella including some freelance sites. This does work. I use oDesk and it’s been a big help in bringing in a little extra money. I also agree with some of the other comments that mention people should think of or view more ideas of making extra money, because it really is possible to make extra money instead of just sitting around moping about not having money to pay the bills or buy something special.


You need to decide whether you will sell your herbs as live plants, picked or cut in bunches and packed, or dried. If you plan to market to cooks instead of gardeners, you will want to sell your herbs either fresh cut and packed in sealed bags, or dried and sold in baggies. You can also consider a "pick-your-own" arrangement; however, be aware that herbs are more delicate than most P.Y.O. products. You may save your garden a lot of strife and your plants a lot of wear and tear if you do the picking.


Here on Making Sense of Cents, I discuss how to make extra income, side hustles, side income, and how to make money online a decent amount. I believe that earning extra income can completely change your life in a positive way. A person can stop living paycheck to paycheck, they can pay off their debt, and more all by earning extra money and learning how to make extra money.
Many work-at-home companies hire you as an independent contractor as opposed to an employee. That means you are responsible for submitting your own tax payments. Taxes won't be taken out of your check like you are probably used to. It's so important that you keep good records of your income – and expenses. I highly recommend Quickbooks Self-Employed.
Take the time to develop your skills at either making your own music, or becoming a pro at mixing, and your side business idea of dj-ing local events could turn into a much bigger endeavor. Though you'll first need to command a solid knowledge of sound design, mixing and music production before expecting to land your first gig with this business idea, as developing an entirely new skill set is not for the faint of heart.
Do you see all of those articles, tutorials and guides all over the Internet? Somebody wrote every one of them! If you have decent writing ability (no, you don’t need a journalism degree!), and knowledge in a few specific topic areas, you can be one of those writers. It’s an opportunity to make money online and without ever leaving your home. It’s also the kind of venture that can start out as a small side business, but grow into a full-time career.
It’s a simple fact of life: These professionals don’t have the time they actually need to carry out all of the research necessary on a day-to-day basis. Whether it’s perusing old academic essays or case files, analyzing bibliographies, or carrying out some market research, you can be a valuable asset to a company with your research and fact-checking.
So many people dream of writing a book, but never go through with it. Yet no matter what, I’m sure you have experience and value you could give through writing a book. By packaging your skills and knowledge into a downloadable eBook that helps people learn a skill, advance their careers, or start a businesses, you can change someone’s life and even make good money online.
As you start regularly putting out content, you’ll hopefully start to build a bit of an audience. But to start seeing real money from YouTube you need to market your videos elsewhere. Share your channel on Twitter and Facebook. Distribute videos anywhere else you can think of. Also, interact with comments and build a community around the videos you’re making so people will share it with their friends.
Success Tips: Survey your proposed target market area to see what current cleaning services competitors are offering. Investigate if you can make money by supplying a smaller, related niche type of cleaning service to an untapped customer base. Offer packages of combined services like cleaning out gutters and installing covers over them ; or cleaning and selling related products.
4. Create a Kickstarter project. If you're an artsy type or a hopeful entrepreneur, Kickstarter could be the perfect way to earn more money and pursue your passion. Kickstarter is an online platform where people share their ideas for creative projects and ask the public to help fund them. There have already been a number of popular success stories. In many cases, independent movies, music albums, and even businesses wouldn't exist without the initial funding they received from the Kickstarter community. If you put together a good proposal, it is very reasonable to think that you could land $1,000 in funding. You can get more details on how the process works at Kickstarter.com.
Some firms outsource their customer service operations and many of these companies accept home-based contractors. You can start by signing up on freelancing sites such as Upwork to test the waters with this business idea first. If you’re already a CSR specialist with management skills, then you can form and lead a virtual team online and engage clients as a bona fide customer service company or, provide customer service training to such teams as well as individuals.

Writing an eBook and selling it on your blog can be a great money maker. Your eBook should be directly relevant to your blog’s content so you can sell your book to your existing audience. Creating a recipe eBook for a food blog or an eBook full of training plans to complement your fitness site are just a couple of examples that have the potential to sell.
Love dogs, but not ready to get one of your own? Get your fix by taking care of other people’s pooches — and get paid for it. If your home isn’t dog-friendly, consider becoming a dog walker. Apps like Wag! offer on-demand dog walking, so you can pick up walks when your schedule allows. If you have space (and your landlord’s permission, if you rent), offer overnight dog boarding. Dog sitters on Rover.com, the go-to site for pet-sitting, generally command $25 to $35 a night, according to the company.
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.
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