1. Help local businesses develop an
online presence.
Local businesses are struggling. Many have websites, but
aren’t getting any results from them. Others don’t have
websites at all. You can help by learning search engine
optimization, how to set up an email list, and more, and
then implementing these for local businesses. If you
typically hang around geeks, web marketers, or the Web
2.0 crowd, you may be surprised how many business
owners are 10 years (or more) behind you! If you can
deliver results, business owners will happily pay. Find
customers by going door-to-door.
2. Learn WordPress, then offer to install
plugins and upgrade it.
I hired David from Web Geek 4 Hire to upgrade my blogs
and install new WordPress plugins. He charges $5 to
upgrade a plugin…great for him, since most plugins only
take a few minutes to upgrade, and great for me, since if
anything breaks, David gets to clean up the mess! You can
make this a full time position; there is a ton of demand
for these services. Find customers by contacting bloggers
directly. Get references from bloggers who understand
the value of outsourcing these tasks.
3. Become the go-to person for
installations of a particular piece of
Anything from Amember to Quickbooks is fair game
here. In the hosting industry, iDevAffiliate and Plesk
Billing were the pieces of software we would have paid a
lot of money to have someone else deal with. The more
niche and more complex/annoying/frustrating the
software, the better! Even if the software company offers
free installation, you can make hundreds or thousands of
dollars training business owners or their employees on
its usage. Focus on one piece of software and become the
trusted expert. Create videos and tutorials using
screencast software like Camtasia to increase your
profitability; this may also lead into a niche product that
you can sell. (Amember offers “free installation”, but it
took my boyfriend and I over 10 hours to configure it
properly. That’s definitely something I would outsource
next time!.
4. Interview other people and sell the
I experimented with this in 2008 and made over $800
from one interview. The key here is to understand a pain
point that people are experiencing, interview an expert,
and ask the expert the questions that the people
experiencing the problem are having. Then create a small
website and sell the interview. There’s more to this,
including having good copywriting skills so your website
sells the interview well, and knowing where to advertise,
so don’t expect to immediately pull in hundreds of
dollars. That said, it’s a neat way to quickly create a
product. Get the interviews transcribed, then string a few
interviews in the same industry together as a
membership site or bundle that you can sell for more

5. Sell stock photos.
iStockPhoto is just one site that allows you to sell stock
photos; there are others. Before you decide to go crazy
and upload your whole album, take note of what’s selling
well and try your hand at doing something similar.
iStockPhoto also works for those who know how to
render images; some of their most popular images were
created on a computer! Have three killer stock photos
ready for iStockPhoto’s inspection; they will want them
when you sign up.
6. Sell stuff on eBay.
Start by selling your own extra stuff. Then, once you get a
feel for selling your extra stuff, go door-to-door in nicer
neighborhoods in your town. Develop an eye for what will
sell and what won’t (old laptops, for instance, could be a
gold mine–if you know how to format them to get rid of
the previous owner’s personal data.) Sign a contract
where you take 25-30% (or more) of the gross sale. Your
customers will be happy to get cash for their old junk,
and you’ll make some good money selling other people’s
stuff. eBay
7. Become a freelance article writer.
It may not pay well, but there is a growing demand for
this. Write 200-300 word articles and submit them to
article directories. Potential clients include bloggers,
marketers, and small businesses. You can write articles in
a niche in batches and sell them as a package to one or
more clients, or you can offer your services for hire per
word or article and let your client give you direction. A
foundation of keyword research is important to succeed
at this job (unless you’re just taking direction from a
client), but keyword research is learnable.
8. Write articles for magazines or other
If you have a background in journalism, or just a passion
for it, you can try your hand at submitting articles to
publications. Don’t just randomly fire off articles,
however; have a plan and, preferably, a contact at the
publication you wish to submit to. The good news is that
there are publications in pretty much any niche you can
think of. To see some publications that are hiring, visit
Online Writing Jobs, PoeWar Freelance Jobs, and
9. Transcribe audio files.
An easy job; doesn’t pay well, but also a quick way to
make some money. Sign up on eLance or oDesk to start,
and/or advertise your services in entrepreneur forums.
Requires good hearing and a good command of the
English language. You may also want to invest in a foot
pedal if you plan to transcribe often. Make sure you know
how to transcribe interviews before you start your first
... Become a virtual assistant (VA).
There are entire books written on how to become a
virtual assistant, so this job is definitely worthy of more
research. My advice: Focus on one niche (I just hired Lisa
Morosky of VA for Bloggers, for instance.) Also, reach out
to potential customers directly and let them know what
you can do for them instead of hitting up freelance web
sites. Finally, you may want to consider resources such as
AssistU, which provides training for up-and-coming
virtual assistants.
11 Write articles on eHow.com.
If you understand the basics of keyword research, you
can make a good monthly income from eHow. eHow pays
you a percentage of the ad revenue they make from each
“How to” article you create. You can crank out a few
articles a day with relative ease. Try this for a month;
assuming your article titles match up with what people
are searching for in Google, you can make a significant
income. The great news is that you write your articles
once and get paid month after month. I’ve seen figures
of $100-$150/month for 30 articles. Make money writing
for eHow.com.
12 Do some videos to promote affiliate
Enjoy making silly videos? Even short, silly videos can sell
products online. Find an product worth promoting that
has an affiliate program, then target your video toward
potential customers of that product. In your video
summary on YouTube, place your affiliate link for the
product, and after the video, do a 30-second still frame
showing a short URL where people can buy the product.
If your video is funny, informative, or useful, you may sell
some products. Big tip: Try to promote a product that
makes you a fair amount of money for each sale, but
doesn’t cost a whole lot for the potential customer. You
can find products on Commission Junction, for one.
13. Write an ebook targeted to people
who need help.
Alexis Dawes created a product called “Desperate Buyers
Only”. I interview her for an upcoming case study on
Inspiring Innovators, where she mentions that she is able
to make up to $97 from ebooks as small as 12 pages. The
key? Finding people who are incredibly desperate for the
information you provide and then doing good research
to find a real solution to their problems. The result?
Happy customers whose problem is solved, and money
for you — a win-win situation! Caveat: It may be tough to
find a real desperate buyer niche (Alexis reveals some in
her case study). Here are some hints: When were you last
in a situation where information would have either saved
you a lot of money or a lot of pain? Has someone else
close to you been in a situation where they could have
used information to avert pain? Think legal, medical, and
financial niches.