This article has been contributed by Abhishek Talreja.
Hardworking and smart business owners seldom have to worry about making money. Several platforms offer online entrepreneurs a way to explore their skills to the fullest. The internet paves the way for individuals to build the right connections, provide products and services and keep earning money.
All you have to do is make the most of the right opportunities. Here are some exciting ideas to make money in 2020.
1. Become a Freelancer
Freelancing allows you to turn your passion into a profession. Whether you enjoy writing, graphic designing, coding, creating presentations or developing strategies, freelancing has great potential right now.
As a freelancer, you have the option to tap into niches like artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science. These are new verticals that have a massive shortage of skilled professionals.
Projections show that by 2020, 43% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers.
Full-time freelancers enjoy the benefits of good income along with the flexibility of working anytime, from anywhere.
Freelancers should build a website where they can showcase their portfolio and generate new business. And besides, you can work on your personal brand by publishing content on platforms like LinkedIn, Quora and Instagram.
For high paying gigs, you can choose to focus on one area of specialization. As an expert freelancer, you have the option of growing your business by hiring and mentoring other freelancers. Experienced freelancers can also opt for remote jobs.
When starting as a freelancer, look for resources to help you move forward, like those on this mammoth list of tools.
Freelancing can be a paradise for folks who are organized and disciplined – so what are you waiting for?
2. Start a Professional Blog
You may not know this, but professional bloggers can create many streams of income. But blogging for money takes quite a few dimensions other than good writing. Making money as a full-time blogger requires skills including understanding of a niche, SEO and knowledge of a CMS like WordPress.
A professional blogger’s primary goal should be to build a large audience. Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money from a blog. By becoming an affiliate, you can recommend products in your niche and get a commission when people buy those products.
Plus, you can run sponsored stories or sell courses and eBooks. Some bloggers use their blog to promote their consulting business. Here are some necessary steps to start as a professional blogger:
- Choose a niche that’s close to your heart.
- Set up your website. Make it look professional and install the essential plugins.
- Start with keyword research to create a list of topics to focus your content around.
- Give a unique voice to your blog – make sure it’s different from those that already exist in your niche.
- Make sure you’re writing and publishing content regularly.
- Create social media handles and start sharing your content via your accounts.
Making money from a blog requires patience and persistence. But if you’re able to get a large readership, you’ll be sitting on a gold mine.
3. Work as a Virtual Assistant
A great way to make money as someone who’s a jack of all trades is to find work as a virtual assistant.
As a business-helper, you can assist a small business owner with miscellaneous tasks such as booking meetings, taking notes, replying to emails or managing their social media. Becoming a virtual assistant can be a fantastic way to help an entrepreneur meet his or her goals.
You must have the necessary organisational and interpersonal skills. Other than that, you should understand the nuts and bolts of business communication. Some of the popular types of virtual assistant jobs include customer service, administrative support, managing a website, scheduling and writing posts for social media, managing finances, managing emails, writing content and doing sales and outreach.
As a virtual assistant, you can make $8 to $40 an hour. To make more, you can work on upgrading your skills. Aim at becoming a product manager or a content editor, for instance.
You can find and apply for such jobs through job boards, social media sites or by connecting with local businesses.
4. Sell Products Online
For those who have the business acumen, starting an eCommerce venture may have some brilliant prospects.
Global eCommerce sales are expected to reach $4.8 trillion by 2021. (Shopify Plus)
As an online seller, your goal should be to solve a problem. You can, for instance, choose to sell headphones that suit the needs of professional athletes or perhaps, handmade natural perfumes for those who don’t want artificial, alcohol-based fragrances.
The whole idea is to choose a unique and niche product. To make an informed choice, you must track the latest trends, audience preferences and buying behaviour.
Here are some popular platforms you can use to start selling instantly:
- Amazon – the most popular online shopping site. A large percentage of online shoppers start their search on Amazon
- Etsy – a marketplace for handmade and artistic products
- Craigslist – an online advertising platform to list new or old items for sale
- Nextdoor – an online community of neighbourhoods. Register yourself and post listings in the “For Sale and Free” section
- Poshmark – a social marketplace for fashion products
- Tradesy – a marketplace for high-end women’s fashion
Besides these platforms, you can build your eCommerce store and market your business to attract those who might be most interested in buying from you.
Online shopping is a trend that’s here to stay. Understand the pulse of your customer and you could make a fortune.
5. Start a YouTube Channel
Video is the most loved content format right now. That’s why having a YouTube media business is so profitable. Successful YouTubers are celebrities in their own right.
As a YouTube Partner, you can earn money from different channels: ads, channel memberships and super chats. To be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program, you need to have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 video watch hours on your channel in the last 12 months. Once you meet those criteria, you can make around $7.60 for every 1,000 video views.
Another way is to monetize your YouTube channel is by promoting affiliate links.
You can also earn from YouTube’s Red subscribers. These subscribers pay to use YouTube for ad-free viewing – as a content creator, you get paid for the view-time and engagement on your videos.
Raring to go? This book by Sean Cannel and Benji Travis might be your key to becoming the next video influencer.
Bigwig YouTubers make millions in brand-collaborations, product-launches and content sponsorships. If you can ideate, publish and promote some kick-ass video content, then the sky is, basically, the limit for you.
6. Become an Airbnb Host
If you have a spare property or a room in a property, there is a good chance that you can earn from it by hosting on Airbnb.
It’s widespread, nowadays, for travellers to book personalised homestays.
Make anywhere around $1,000 a month by listing your space on this unique platform. Check your potential earnings by typing your location into the Airbnb app.
Here are some tips to get started:
- Browse throughAirbnb hosts in your area, to get a fair idea of how much you need to invest in furnishing the home and the kind of price to expect.
- Create a listing by showcasing the type of property you are hosting – add high-resolution pictures to give prospective guests a sneak peek.
- Be a friendly host, spruce up your property and earn some reviews to have a regular inflow of guests visiting your place.
Airbnb also allows you to earn by hosting an experience. So, if you have in-depth knowledge of your local culture and cuisine, you can host a site-seeing tour or a food-walk or a yoga workshop.
For an in-depth understanding on how to become a five-star Airbnb host, you can check out this guidebook, by Michael James.
Airbnb is a terrific platform to connect with travelers around the globe. You get to make money by using your property or your skills – take your pick and get going!
7. Build an App
If tech is your forte, then consider building an app. But don’t forget to do a bit of market research first. Understand if your app is different from those already available. Try to give something extra to your customers, something that hastens a process, or makes a task more manageable. People are always looking for tools that save them time and manual effort.
A good tactic is to use the latest technology. For instance, most upcoming tech start-ups are focusing on technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality and Blockchain.
Intelligent startup owners save on costs by starting with a Minimum Viable Product. An MVP is an elemental version of an app that helps you market test the viability of your business idea. Put particular emphasis on the interface of your app – make sure it is user-friendly. Last but not the least keep testing for functionality bottlenecks before you put it out there.
Are you excited to build the next billion-dollar app? You might want to check out this book before you give your dream project a head start.
Building a tech product that fills a need-gap is a definitive way to make money by creating value for the end-customer.
8. Start Your Own Podcast
When I was in school, I loved listening to the radio and I think a lot of us did.
Audio content is back with a bang; podcasts are the new-age radio. Podcasting helps you to share information and entertain your audience on a given topic. It’s a great way to reach out to people while they’re on the move – driving a car or in the middle of a workout.
You can start a podcast about any topic; it could be music, dance, poetry, literature or sports. Make sure to focus on the quality of your shows which includes both content and production. You can be the scriptwriter, the voice talent and the editor, or hire specialists if you want.
As a podcaster, there are several ways you can make money: content sponsorships, product mentions and podcast subscriptions. It may take a few months to a year before you see any financial gains, but you’ll enjoy the process.
Are you worried that podcasting is about sophisticated equipment and editing tools? This tutorial video by Pat Flynn should help clear all your doubts.
Podcasting is a terrific way to connect with a niche audience and make money online.
9. Self-Publish Books
There is no other profession that offers as much independence and freedom as publishing books. Thanks to platforms like Amazon, you can share your expertise or tell fictional stories to start a stream of passive income.
By publishing books on Amazon, you earn royalties from 35 to 70 percent of the book sales. Enrol your writing to be a part of the Kindle Unlimited library and you can make money from the number of pages of your book that Kindle subscribers read.
Publishing on Amazon, book authors can make over $1,000 a month. Your success depends on how well you’re able to establish yourself as a niche author. Depending on their popularity, Amazon ranks books for relevant searches.
Here’s a quick overview of how to get started:
- Research Amazon Kindle to understand the type of books that exist in your niche. Think of an idea that might appeal to your readers.
- Write your book and format it using a tool like Reedsy. Design a book cover that sets the expectations for your readers.
- Create an account on kdp.amazon.com and upload your book. Add the relevant keywords and choose your categories to optimise the book for Amazon Kindle searches.
- Once your book is published, you can start talking about it on your website and social media pages.
Money keeps flowing if people are buying your books and giving them five-star ratings and reviews. You need to do a bit of legwork to connect with bloggers and book reviewers to get them to write about your book.
Some writers make millions through self-publishing – some are literary hermits, while others are online geeks. If you’re passionate about writing and if you can market yourself, then self-publishing can be an incredible way to make money online.
10. Work as a Travel Advisor
With the popularity of social media and especially Instagram, the travel industry is having a ball. There’s almost no living human being who does not have a travel wishlist.
People all over the world are looking to experience new places and cultures. Travelers need consultants who can tell them all about where to go, what to do, etc.
With the online world offering many and often confusing booking options, travelers find it easier to outsource to a travel agent. And besides, a specialist can provide solutions that are more personalised to a traveler’s needs.
As a travel advisor, you get to do a variety of exciting stuff like make bookings, calculate the cost of travel, find and share travel deals and understand different cultures. Here’s a useful guide to help you learn about the steps to become a successful online travel agent.
The most exciting part of being a travel agent is that you can work online from anywhere. You don’t need to work as a traditional travel agent with a fixed workplace. It’s easy to be a remote travel advisor and make money while on the move.
If it gives you the kicks to make itineraries and offer new, unexplored experiences to customers, then becoming a travel advisor is for you. It could be the most fascinating of these online money-making prospects.
11. How About Fundraising
As a fundraiser, you don’t have to ask for money for yourself but rather for a good cause or an organisation.
Not as easy as it sounds, raising funds requires quite a few skills. For instance, to create fundraising material or for drafting grant-proposals, you need to be able to write well. To connect with donors, you need to be a natural networker.
To lead a team of volunteers and to organise events, you need to be a superb manager. Selling skills matter as well – you need to tell your donors why they must give to a specific cause.
Professional fundraisers are in demand. You can either apply for a remote job or work as a freelance fundraiser. But first, you must look at acquiring some skills and real-life experience:
- Educate yourself on the challenges in raising funds for an organisation.
- Know about the nitty-gritty of a winning fundraising campaign before you go out there and make a commitment to a client.
- Prepare yourself to answer common client questions – this will give you an idea about client expectations and how to get the results.
If you’re sensitive to social issues or love mobilising people around problems like climate change or poverty, then this might be a great way to make a living.
Over to You
Choose one of these reliable options and stick to it – follow your gut and make it work. A purpose-driven online business model promises you both a source of income and a sense of gratification. Making money online is not a quick fix but a fulfilling journey towards meeting your financial and entrepreneurial goals. A little creativity and you can do pretty well for yourself.
About the author: Abhishek Talreja is a passionate writer and an experienced content marketing expert. He has contributed to top marketing blogs and works with international companies to help them earn online visibility and reputation. He is the founder of Prolific Content Marketing.