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.)
Do you love getting refunds? How cool would it be to get money back on stuff you’ve already bought? Paribus is a service that lets you find out if stores you’ve shopped at online owe you a refund. It’s free to sign up. Paribus connects to your email account and checks your receipts. If they find out a retailer has dropped their price they file a price adjustment claim for you. Try out Paribus.
Every year, hundreds of millions of documents are notarized in the United States: wills, mortgages, citizenship forms, handgun applications. While for decades, this has all been done in person, there is a budding crop of sites that allow notaries to take their services online. If you’re already a notary, you can sell your services online. Or, if you want to get started, check out the National Notary’s checklist for becoming a certified notary.
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.
Now next, you’ll want to pick a WP theme from somewhere like ThemeForest, Elegant Themes, OptimizePress or grab one of my picks for the best WordPress themes. This is the barebones design of your site, which you can then customize with your own branding, copy, and images. That being said, you don’t want to cheap out. It costs less than $100 to buy a theme that will make your website look professional (and you can upgrade to a completely custom design once you get the business going). You'll also need strong marketing tools to grow your website, like HubSpot's All-in-One Marketing plugin.
Ever since the idea of online auctions came into existence, the online selling market has been on the rise. Many are interested, but don’t know how to get started. There are still all kinds of ways to make money by selling online, whether you’re selling what you already have or buying and selling like a store. Before we get started, here are a few general tips when selling anything online:
Give your opinion. At MySurvey.com, Surveyhead.com or ValuedOpinions.com, you can sign up to take surveys about products and services and get paid for it. Sites typically pay $2 to $5 per completed survey and will send you a check or deposit to your PayPal account, or gift cards or merchandise once you reach $20 in your survey account. Scam alert! There are lots of survey sites out there, but not all are trustworthy. Avoid participating in anything that charges a fee up front to participate. “I try to take three or four surveys each week while the kids are watching TV, and that brings in $20 to $30 per month,” says Rachel.
Once you’ve gathered a list, put together a template outreach email (as you’ll be doing this over and over) that’s short and clear with expectations. Tell your potential interviewee who you are, what your podcast is about, and what you’re asking of them. Do a few test interviews with friends and family to make sure everything is being recorded at the quality you want and then book your first episode.
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).