Starting a podcast, like making a YouTube channel or blog, comes down to telling interesting stories and building an engaged audience. I’m probably sounding like a broken record by now, but you need a niche that you’re interested in and there’s already a demand for. Come up with a list of topics you’d like to talk about and then search iTunes charts, Google Trends and other podcast research sites like cast.market to see what’s currently out there and popular.
Try Uber EATS or DoorDash. Uber EATS offers part-time work that’s similar to driving for Uber or Lyft. Instead of picking up passengers, however, you will pick up food orders and deliver them in your area. Pay works similarly, letting you earn a per-job rate plus tips. Door Dash works similarly, letting consumers order food from restaurants and connecting drivers to pick up and drop off their meals.
Upromise puts money in your kids college funds while you do your normal spending. Yes, it's another way to make extra money or to use your own money for other goals since you're not having to save as much for your kids college. Just remember to make wise decisions with your spending. You're not spending so your kids can go to college. The Upromise contribution is a side-benefit to spending on items already in your plan.
Even if you have a work at home job that more or less pays the bills, there's a lot to be said for extra cash opportunities. There are many different little “side-gigs” I've had access to over the years that have seriously come in handy for me. I've used them to help pay for Christmas, gas money, extra money for movie and a dinner out, and even just to help make ends meet week to week.
Mechanical Turk: Amazon's Mechanical Turk is a resource for doing human-intelligence tasks, or as the site commonly refers to them, HITs. You get paid a very small fee for any given HIT and you'll need a good deal of volume to make a substantial amount of money. But it is a resource you can use in your spare time to generate a small income online.
If you have experience as a personal assistant, secretary, admin assistant, or something in a similar field, then becoming an online PA may be a great role for you. Many professionals want someone to help organize their business and personal affairs. Jobs could include sending emails, managing financial affairs, booking flights and arranging day to day activities. If you are interested in this line of work there are many PA agencies that are crying out for reliable assistants.
Hold a yard sale. If you have a yard or garage and plenty of items to sell, you can have a yard sale as early as tomorrow. By advertising your sale on local Facebook pages and Craigslist, you can also skip the paid newspaper ad and keep all of the profits for yourself. If you don’t have time to price everything, try asking patrons to “make an offer” or grouping similar items on tables with an advertised price (e.g. everything on this table is $5).
Watch other people’s kids along with your own. There’s a good chance your friends who work outside of their homes would be thrilled to have an experienced parent watch their children while they are at the office. It can be manageable if your friend in need has only one or two kids. Plus, the new playmates will help keep your children occupied for a few hours. Pay varies widely based on where you live and the ages and number of kids you'll be watching, but babysitters and nannies typically can make up to $10 an hour in small cities and much more – even double that hourly rate – in larger cities.
Take it seriously. Yes, you’re applying for an online job. Yes, you can do the work in your underwear, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a “real job”. You must treat it as such or they aren’t going to treat you as a serious candidate. You aren’t the only one who wants to work in their underwear. In fact, the competition online is likely higher than it is in your local area.
I have a personal blog that I use for journaling. I became good enough that I opened my own business as a social media consultant. I’m now making a decent amount of extra money. I am also a photographer with a lot of graphics program experience, so I make a little more by doing graphic design, photography, and even digital enhancement. You don’t have to be the best at something in order for it to be profitable; you just have to put in the work and be better or cheaper than other people out there. However, it IS work.
Cafe Press: This website allows you to create digital designs that can then be sold on the platform. You'll earn a commission for everything that sells and you'll never have to deal with printing, warehousing, customer service and so on. The site has over 2 million independent designers that have created products being sold online here. If you have some graphic design skills, then this is a great potential source for your web-based income.
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.
Usability testing involves testing out websites, apps, software, etc. and sharing your feedback and/or helping developers find bugs and problems. What's great about these opportunities is that almost anyone can do them and you likely won't need any equipment you don't already have. Each site listed below pays differently, but most pay in cash — not redeemable points.
Are you skilled at a few special recipes or are your friends going crazy over your cakes? You know who you are. It might be time to take your talents to the making some extra money. People love to buy homemade goods, especially when you have a signature item or a story behind it. You can contract your items out for parties, meetings, etc. Or, consider holiday sales for local Christmas parties, birthdays and more.
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.