Make Money From Your Hobby
It depends on what your hobby is, but there might be a way to turn your hobby into income. If you make crafts or homemade goods, you can sell them through Etsy. If you enjoy photography, you can sell digital pictures online to places such as BigStockPhoto.com or GettyImages.com. If you enjoy cooking and have your own recipes, you can sell them at MyRecipeMagic.com, start a food blog, or create cooking tutorials for YouTube.
Freelance Your Skills
One of the best benefits to freelancing is the ability to work as much or as little as you want. Further, many businesses need part-time or one-off services, creating many opportunities to make money on the side. Just about any skill you have can be sold including writing, web or graphic design, bookkeeping, virtual support services, and more. The fastest and easiest way freelance on the side is to use online gig resources such as Fiverr, Task Rabbit or Mechanical Turk, and Upwork. Or, if you’d like to earn a little bit more from your effort, market yourself to businesses directly. A great way to do this is to engage your network and use resources such as LinkedIn.
Blogging, Tutorials, eCourses, Books
The Internet has made learning new things easy and affordable. Not sure how to resize a graphic in your photo editing program? Odds are there is a YouTube video that will show you how. Because online learning is so convenient, there are many opportunities to make income sharing what you know. Here are a few ways to make money teaching others:
Blogging: Starting a blog has many benefits including the ability to write about any idea you’re passionate about and complete flexibility of when you work. There are several ways to make money from a blog including ad feeds, such as Google AdSense, affiliate marketing, selling ad space, and offering your own product or service.
YouTube Videos: While these are offered for free, YouTube does offer ways to monetize your videos with advertising. Similar to ad feeds on blogs, this form of income can be significant if you’re able to get a lot of viewers.
eCourses: Online courses are popular because you don’t have to leave home to teach them, and depending on how you organize it, it can become a form of passive income once you’ve created the course. E-courses can be delivered as text through email, or you can create something more elaborate that includes videos, webinars, and homework. You can set up and deliver an e-course through your own website/blog, or use a service such as Udemy or Skillshare.
Information Products: While courses and tutorials are types of information products, so too are reports, books, and seminars. Often, creating an information product is less work than developing a course or video.
Books: If your information is imparted mostly by text, you can write a book. Self-publishing e- and print books is more affordable than ever, and it’s easy to have your books included in the largest online retailers of books including Amazon.com. The key to success in being an author is to write a book people want to read, create a quality product that includes professional editing and attractive cover, and to market.
Sell New or Used Goods Online
At one time, eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist were your only resources for selling new and used items online. Today, there are tons of online resources to sell goods. An easy way to start is to declutter your home. You can sell your sports equipment, jewelry, books, CDs, old digital devices and more. When you get a sense of what sells well, you can seek out more inventory through local thrift stores and yard sales, or wholesalers online.
Whether you want a little extra cash or want to start a part-time home business you hope will grow into a full-time income, success at making money from home requires a plan, quality work, and the ability to reach people who’ll pay. If you can manage that, you can turn the assets you have, such as your skills and knowledge, into a side income online.
Determine the Likely Profit
To start a successful home-based business, you need to consider its potential profitability. You may have a great talent for something and the skills that enable you to express it, but if people aren’t willing to pay you for the product or service, it won’t work as a business.
For each home-based business idea, you need to know:
How much are people willing to pay me for this product or service?
Can I make a sufficient income from that?
For instance, suppose that you want to start a creative business using your sewing skills to make homemade quilts. Because of the time involved, you’re only able to make two quilts per month. You discover that people are willing to pay $300 for each quilt you produce. That produces revenue of $600 per month, minus the cost of expenses related to quilt production and advertising.
If you are looking for a little extra income each month doing something you enjoy, this may be sufficient. However, if you want to make a living from your business, less than $600 per month will likely not be enough.
Most businesses need time to start generating a profit. Take this into consideration, and give yourself a window of time when you don’t expect your business to be profitable. However, you eventually need to be reliably meeting your income targets in order for your business to be successful.4
Determine what your minimum income requirements are per month and only consider business ideas that have a real chance of generating that level of profit.
Create a Business Plan
Business plans aren’t just necessary for startups seeking a business loan. The primary reason to create a business plan is to find out if your idea has a chance of becoming successful.
Once you’ve chosen a home-based business idea you’re passionate about, write a business plan, including:
An executive summary of your business idea
Research into your target market and competition5
A description of your ideal customer
Your marketing strategy
Your operating plan
The research and thinking that you do as you work through the business plan will help you refine your business idea and plan for how you will successfully launch yourself into your market without costly real-world trial and error. If your business plan shows you that your idea isn’t viable, don’t be afraid to shelve it, choose another