The German Economist Schumpeter once said that there are “no original ideas”, only new combinations of old ones. Curation of curiosity-fueling content is an intriguing and little-known business model. One of the best success stories out there is Brainpickings – a platform that describes itself as “an inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness, spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more”. The subscription-based model and successful utilisation of affiliate links have turned the blog into a self-sustaining business.
“I love being a part of [email protected] because of the flexibility of the schedule. There are way more benefits to working from home than most people realize. I save money on transportation and clothing. I save time. I have a tax write-off. And I have less anxiety. The bonus of working with TTEC is that I’ve met some great people and have learned new skills.”
There you have it – a comprehensive guide to the best online businesses to start this year. We deliberately didn't cover ideas like app development or IT support because they require specialized skills. That's why we only provided you with businesses you can start with very little money. In fact, you can even start some of them with very little knowledge.
Not quite ready to start your own blog, but still like the idea of getting paid to write? You may want to consider trying your hand at freelance writing. Many bloggers and website owners are willing to shell out some serious cash for high quality writers. In fact, Holly Johnson from ClubThrifty.com makes over $200,000 per year from freelance work! And she has a course that teaches others how to do the same.
For many of us, to work from home is the ultimate indication of freedom. It means that you own both your time and your space, that your life is firmly within your control. Yet not every job can be done from afar. Some jobs, like being a pilot or a flight attendant, must be done from a certain place at a certain time, while others, like being a security consultant or a software developer, are extremely remote-friendly.
What It Is: Transcription essentially involves you listening to audio files and typing out what you hear. Easy enough, right? Companies usually hire transcriptionists without much experience, so some job postings might only require you to have a computer and keyboard to get started. Transcription jobs can vary from transcribing a college lecture to a doctor's medical dictation, while most companies allow you to make your own schedule.
This job involves scanning text for grammar or syntax errors and correcting them. Proofreaders need to be able to identify errors such as misspellings, run-on sentences, comma splice, pronoun errors, mistakes in apostrophe usage, lack of subject/verb agreement, misplaced modifiers, incorrect sentence structure, using a wrong word, etc. There are also software programmes designed for proofreaders such as Grammarly or Ginger Software.
28. Subscription – If you think of something valuable (newsletter, online magazine, etc.) that you can consistently offer on a certain basis (weekly, monthly, etc.), you may want to offer a subscription service. This could be a fee charged each time your product is sent out or on a monthly basis. Either way, this has to be something that your customers can only get by subscribing to your website.
Create a stylish and functional website. Elegant or funky, classical or hipster, your online store should reflect what you’re selling. No matter what your style is, it's important to give off a professional air. Since you won't be able to earn people's trust in person, your website will have to do the selling for you. Your site should be engaging, and most importantly, easy for customers to use when they're ready to make a purchase.
Because smartphones are everywhere, the demand for new and creative apps is increasing in popularity more than ever before. Between Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone market, people are using countless apps everyday. And, most of them are selling right and left. Taking the time to develop and sell a smartphone app may be worth your while since it’s a very lucrative way to earn money online. The apps cost almost nothing to actually develop and don’t involve any shipping or storage costs, which works to expand your overall profit margin. Well performing apps can make thousands in ad revenue each month for their creators, making them another great passive income strategy.
To do audio-to-text transcription, you need decent transcription software, a good headset and a word processing programme (Word, OpenOffice, etc.difficult) The biggest challenge for transcribers is to make out words that are difficult to interpret for various reasons, thick accents, fast speech or background noise. Using software can make that process much easier. Examples of transcription software programmes include Express Scribe and Transcriber Pro.
Yet there are plenty of companies you’ve probably never heard of, too. Appen, which tops the list, develops high-quality training data for machine learning and artificial intelligence; not surprisingly, they’re hiring web search evaluators and a slew of linguists in lesser known languages like Sudanese Arabic and Xhosa. BCD Travel, the Dutch managed travel provider, is hiring remotely for their customer service, business development and travel consultant roles. Three universities—Grand Canyon, Western Governors and Walden—make the list as well. To say there’s an abundance of work from home jobs available out there would be an understatement. For most people, there are more than they could ever imagine.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Want to get in touch? Email us at [email protected]
It occurred to me that you’re probably interested in growing your blog. I might be able to help. I’ve done video editing (http://www.fakesamplesite.com) and PowerPoint design (http://www.anotherfakesite.com). Imagine doing a great video on using virtual assistants, then distributing it through your newsletter. I could do one for you in about 2 days if you’re interested.
Nathan Barry on bootstrapping ConvertKit: I’m a huge proponent of ConvertKit (and now an affiliate and compensated advisor). It’s user friendly, powerful, and an all-around great product. But one cherry on top is its origin story, in which Nathan Barry took it upon himself to create ConvertKit without any venture funding or any upfront capital. It’s fascinating and awesome!
Check with your local bank to see if they're giving away cash bonuses for opening up accounts. Banks run promotions like this all the time, so grab some real cash quickly if you're in need. It won't break the bank (no pun intended) but it will give you a quick $50 or $100 -- maybe even more -- when you really need it. You might need to deposit a minimum amount of cash (usually in the thousands) in order to qualify for these types of accounts (but not always).
Websites like Survey Junkie will pay you a decent chunk of change for the low-maintenance, borderline mindless task of completing surveys. Companies want to understand consumers better, and one way they do that is by compensating survey-takers (a.k.a. you). Most surveys pay between $0.50 and $1.25, and many of them take less than 5 minutes to do. You can read our full Survey Junkie review for more info.
This concept is similar to the ‘Daily deals’ sites. The difference is that daily-deal sites offer discounts on individual purchases, whereas with group-buying there is a need for several buyers to place an order to the deal. Once the deal goes live, the customers are sent discount vouchers via email. It’s also worth noting that group-buying is usually aimed at a local market. The best-known sites in this sector are Groupon and Wowcher UK.
While most of these companies advertise that you can earn upwards of $18 or so an hour, the reality is that you're not going to make that much once you figure in your gas expenses and wear and tear on your car. Also, work may not always come in consistently. I would recommend doing more than one of these if you really want to make it worth your while.