You know those top-down cooking or craft videos you just can’t seem to get away from these days? There are people out there making a living from them. 78% of B2C companies depend on user-generated content, like those videos, for their marketing campaigns. You can sign up as a creator on a site like Darby Smart and potentially work with brands like Nordstrom, Mattel, and BarkBox. Or, learn how to master PPC advertising and you can use the content to build your YouTube following and monetize through ads and views.
Whether it’s an important consumer application, a specialist app to solve a particular niche problem, or even a time-wasting game you can play on your phone, you can create a massively successful business if you build software that helps people. (Look at the rise of Slack—the team communication software that went from side project to billion-dollar company in just 2 years.)
Know a lot about medicine or car repairs? JustAnswer () is a paid question-and-answer site that’s growing its community of experts in the medical, legal and financial fields, as well as in other specialties like car repair and home improvement. Registered customers ask a question and then name the price they’re willing to pay (usually from $10 to $40) for an expert answer. The expert usually responds within an hour, and once the customer accepts the answer, keeps from 25 to 50 percent of what the customer pays. How much experts earn depends on how many questions they’ve had accepted by customers. Experts are vetted through a fairly grueling process, with credentials, education and background verified.
Sites like Demand Studios () and Associated Content () hire experienced freelance writers, editors and filmmakers to work on projects for sites like eHow, LiveStrong.com and YouTube. At Demand Studios, assignments pay anywhere from $15 to $100; if you meet tenure and activity requirements, you can be eligible for health insurance plans. At Associated Content there are three ways to earn money: Upfront payments for content you write ($2 to $15 per article), assigned articles ($10 to $100 per article) and performance payments ($1.50 for every 1,000 page views of your article if it’s posted online).