A career in writing is interesting, varied… and a tricky one. Important things to do before starting a freelance writing career include building a portfolio, learning how to write appealing proposals and promoting your business effectively. If you are a newbie in this field, you may want to try websites for freelancers, where you can simply create a profile and start submitting your proposals to potential clients. Some of the best-known sites for freelancers are Upwork, Freelancer or Clickworker. Listed below are various types of writing work that you can do as a freelancer.

I didn’t collect an email list when I built GreenExamAcademy.com or when I started SmartPassiveIncome.com in 2008. That was a huge mistake. It does cost money to build an email list, but it’s worth every penny. I recommend using ConvertKit for this. They have really good pricing, and you pay more as you grow. By far, it’s the best service out there. On SPI TV Ep. 28, I did a full ConvertKit demo you can check out if you’re interested! [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]

Once you have one or two samples to show prospective clients, it's then time to find some. Sites like Freelancer and Upwork are good places to start out. But you don't need to stick to the same path taken by every other freelance writer. Use some lateral thinking to find clients. Join relevant groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. Have a look for forums dedicated to web development, digital marketing or SEO – there's almost always a “writers for hire” sectio” you can use to find new clients.

As more people want to establish their presence online no matter what their reason, the demand for WordPress themes and website templates continue to rise. Do you have a talent for designing websites and html coding? If so, you can make big bucks from creating attractive website themes. Create them and then sell them on marketplaces online like ThemeForest and TemplateMonster to generate a nice passive income for yourself depending on just how talented you are.


In today's hotly-competitive marketplace, if you don't understand how to drive paid traffic and optimize your conversions, you need to turn to a company that does. The truth is that paid ads can get incredibly complex. Things like re-targeting and custom audience definitions, along with understanding the ebb and flow of everything with a sales funnel, is complex and confusing to most. 
Websites like Care.com connect parents with babysitters. The company does all the background checking and other due diligence to put parents' minds at ease. Of course, you can appeal directly to people in your personal network, but if you're looking to generate recurring revenue sign up with a site marketing to parents looking for child care services.

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Honestly, however, this may not be very realistic for a lot of people. I wouldn’t count on this if you’re trying to make your rent, and you’re putting all of your eggs in one basket. First, someone has to look at your location and listing photos and say, “Sure, I’d like to stay there,” and that may or may not happen within a month. It may never happen.
Affiliate marketing. You know this one already. You include links to products you are promoting as an affiliate, and every time somebody buys the product, you get a commission. With a blog you can integrate advertising with content to make it even more likely you’ll get the sale. For example, you could do a product review — which is useful content — and then include a link to buy the product under an affiliate link.
The number of websites and blogs operating online demand a constant stream of high-quality, beautiful photographs that can help businesses attract and convert more customers. Setting up a stock photo library is a great business idea as it targets virtually every industry regardless of a company’s size. Check out sites like SmugMug, Photoshelter and iStockPhoto for more information.
A lot of people with middle-class income would like to create a robust investment portfolio to secure a financially stable future but simply have no clue where to start. If you have professional experience as an investment analyst or do a lot of investment yourself, then offering investment advice for middle-class investors is a natural move for you.

If you have an old smartphone and you need money today, check out ecoATM. Type in your ZIP code, and with any luck, you’ll find one of their ATMs in your area. If you do, you simply find the kiosk and place the old cell phone in the ecoATM’s test station, where the machine will examine your phone — noting the model number and condition, among other features. It then automatically scans the resale market for similar phones and offers you a price based on its value — if you agree to the price, you’ll get the money on the spot (hence the ATM in the name). They also accept MP3 players and tablets.


Some of these promotion techniques may include article marketing, social bookmarking, forum posting, writing press releases, submitting your site to a number of search engines and directories, and blog posting; just to name a few. Most businesses don’t pay their own staff to perform these tasks and choose to outsource all their SEO and SEM tasks instead.

“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.”

In this field, your aim is to help clients identify their goals, assess strengths and weaknesses of their business and create a structured plan where you outline how to achieve the set goals. In practice, that means advising the client on selecting the correct web-based applications to increase their competitiveness in the market or improve communication among employees and with customers.
If that approach doesn't interest you then head over to Google Trends and look for a trending topic. Ideally this will be something you find interesting, but that's not an absolute requirement here. Then create a piece of content on that same topic, sign up for a free WordPress account and post it there. Voila – you now have one “clip” for your writing portfolio.

Sell blood or donate plasma. Plasma is a component of blood, and the process of extracting it is similar to donating blood: your blood is drawn, the plasma is separated, and the red blood cells are returned to your body. Laws may not technically permit you to sell your plasma, but you can be compensated for your time spent donating. In the United States, you can make about $200 a month by registering with a plasma center near you.[10][11]


If you're a person who loves leaving customer reviews on sites like Amazon, stop doing it for free. Word-of-mouth advertising is still a huge lead generator for many companies, and a lot of businesses are willing to share a portion of their profits with persuasive individuals who will promote their products to the public. If you have a personal website with a large following, this might be easier to accomplish (PR reps are always seeking out brand advocates they can send free samples to). Smart Passive Income breaks down three types of affiliate marketing and explains which one is most profitable.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases. You can redeem that as straight cash, a statement credit, or as gift cards to many different merchants. Thanks to a 0% introductory APR, lack of annual fee, and sign-up bonus, Insider Picks reporter David Slotnick calls it a no-brainer and "the perfect card for just about everyone."

Larger companies can hire an agency or full-time staff member to run their Facebook and Twitter accounts, but small businesses often have to handle their own social media marketing. With so many responsibilities, business owners are often too busy, overwhelmed or undereducated about the importance of social media to spend time developing and implementing a great social media strategy. As a consultant, you can help them determine the best tactics, posting schedules and content for their target audience. As their follower count grows, so will your business.
No matter which way you do it, it’s passive income—money you earn while you sleep because you put these products up for sale on your website and a customer can buy and download them any time of day or night, automatically. All you have to do is check the sales periodically to see what topics or types of products are selling best so that you can make more of those.

Wanting to start your own business is a smart move for a lot of reasons. But the biggest mental hurdle most of you face right now is figuring out what the best online businesses to start are. You've heard about affiliate marketing, but somebody mentioned Shopify during lunch. Plus…you've always wanted to write a book, and you’ve read stories about indie authors earning millions.

By building an extensive following, this will allow you to gain profit by attracting key advertisers or get commissions by promoting other brand products (think affiliate). Blogging is big business; just ask Heather from Dooce.com. She’s a mom that blogs daily about her children and pets and has successfully turned her daily adventures into a very lucrative business by simply making money blogging. One of my favourite ways to make money from a blog is by creating your own online course.

Reduce monthly debt payments: Not all of us are in such a dire situation that we can just have our debt forgiven. However, you can cut your payments by up to 80% by refinancing. Most credit cards have interest rates above 25% and Even Financial’s listed loans are as low as 5%. It wont change the amount of your debt, but it can reduce your monthly payment significantly.

Lots of successful makeup artists started their career on YouTube. All you need is a strong portfolio and a professional-looking website to get this gig going. Offer a couple of free makeup sessions to build your reputation and use content marketing to spread the word online. When you feel that you’ve got enough momentum going, start selling makeup tutorials, makeup products and personalised tips. 


Many business owners either do not understand the intricacies of using social media to build a brand and cultivate a loyal online following, or don’t even know how to use social media at all. By offering your skills as a social media consultant, you can either help businesses craft a social media game plan, or take control of their social accounts directly and post updates to various platforms.
Best of all, unlike a brick-and-mortar business, you don’t need a lot of startup capital. In fact, you can get many internet businesses up and running with no money at all because so many free services facilitate the possibility. For example, you can set up a website or blog for free using WordPress. Or you can leverage a third-party site like Amazon or eBay to sell goods. You use their selling platform in exchange for giving them a cut of your sales.

The stock market is the type of market in which shares of companies are issued and traded between buyers and sellers. A new trend in this area is ‘social trading’, which is a way of incorporating a social element into investing. It could also be described an online trading social network for traders. One site offering this type of trading is EToro, which brings together a community of traders who copy each other’s investment decisions to earn money. If you are looking for a more traditional approach, then companies such as Options House may be an option for you. In case you already have some experience in trading, you may be interested in such types of trading as Forex.
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Starting a new business online requires much less risk than investing your dollars into a brick-and-mortar storefront or downtown office. Because your business is based online, you can reach more potential customers, work from virtually anywhere and make money online without large overheads. With some basic website and communication skills along with a little maintenance know-how, almost anyone can launch a business online and get it up and running in only days. Think you’re ready to become the next big entrepreneur online?
One of the online world’s hottest professions at the moment, this business is a gold mine for the tech-savvy entrepreneurs. While everyone’s slightly obsessed with getting their sites SEO optimized, not many people can actually wrap their heads around this topic. If you decide to go into this field, you can think about offering link building, content creation, on-page SEO optimization and similar one-off packages. 

21. Facebook – Facebook swap shops are great for selling things locally. It’s like CraigsList, but a little easier. You simply search for swap shops in your area and ask to join the group. Once you’re in, take a picture of the item, write a quick description with the price and post it. It doesn’t get much easier than that. You can generally expect to get about what you would get at a yard sale, maybe a little more.


Seek a payday loan or title loan as a last resort. Companies that offer payday and title loan services are commonly available, and can be a way of making quick cash. However, these typically offer extremely high interest rates (sometimes with percentages in the hundreds). If you cannot pay the loan and any interest back within the stated timeline, you risk even higher interest costs or, in the case of a title loan, the loss of your car. Avoid these types of loans in all but the most dire circumstances, unless you are certain you will be able to pay the loan back.
If you have an eye for quirky stuff, maybe running a mystery object shop could help you combine the thirst for curious things with a steady source of income. TheSomethingStore and Muddy Creatures are nailing the concept of a surprise purchase that taps into the explorer instinct many of us possess. There’s no exact science or skill fueling this business idea – let your imagination go wild…
Look, I know it’s not always realistic to pull these off; I personally wouldn’t bother trying. But if you’ve got a ton of stuff lying around — not outright junk, but stuff you don’t need, like the aforementioned DVDs and kid’s clothes — it’s worth a try. Advertise on Craigslist and put up signs in your neighborhood, then come Saturday haul a table out to your driveway (assuming you have a driveway), load it up with stuff for sale, and take whatever you can get.
18. CraigsList – Some things don’t ship very well. Other things may make you feel uncomfortable to sell to someone across the country. Anytime you’re selling a large item or something you just don’t want to ship, Craigslist is a great place to go. It’s simple to list your item (again, take good pictures!). If you don’t like the idea of putting your phone number out there, the interested individual can send you a message to your inbox without even getting your email address.
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.
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.
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