10 Creative Ways to Make Money Online

Do away with the mundane — check out these 10 creative ways to bring in some extra money from home.

As the title suggests, these are 10 creative ways to make a little extra money from home. Some of these can earn you a living if done correctly, but most will likely only provide some extra spending money.

However, if you’re like me and hate doing the same thing every day, combining a few of these ideas could be enough to replace a full-time income and allow you to work from home. 

Some of these will require some offline work as well, but they aren’t commonly thought of as ways to make money from home, and the means to get started or accomplish the task can be done, at least in part, online.

These are not the usual “start a blog, niche website, or set up an eCommerce site” type of suggestions. If that’s what you’re after, I’d suggest checking out our blog on 9 Legit Online Jobs for Stay-At-Home Parents.

Let’s get down to it, shall we?

  1. Bargain Hunter and Reseller

This is kind of an interesting and fun way to make money from home. The idea is that you find goods for cheap and sell them for more than you paid for them. Not exactly a new concept, I know, but it’s a business model that’s been around for a long, long time and is tried and tested.

Years back, I actually did some work for a guy who did this for a living. It was a gig I had found on Craigslist and being a broke college student with an awkward class schedule, I decided to give it a try.

The gentleman bought storage units and sold the contents online and through swapmeets. Imagine the show Storage Wars, just not so dramatic or glamorous.

I had taken a peek at his eBay account while I was working for him and found some very interesting items that he had found and sold for a huge profit. Paintings that sold for several thousand dollars. A Pokemon card collection that sold for $5,000. Jewelry, antiques, the list goes on. He was even making a profit from basketball shorts. He was obviously doing very well.

However, he wasn’t just making money online, most of his goods he sold on the weekends at a local swapmeet. You can go either route or just pick one or the other, whatever you’re comfortable with.

Some years later, I met another gentleman who had come to purchase something I had posted on Craigslist. We got to talking and he told me that he got laid off about a year before and has been buying and reselling items through Craigslist as a source of income just to pay his mortgage.

I asked him how much he brought in per month on average; $2900 or so is the figure he gave me. Just from buying and selling on Craigslist. That obviously took a lot of time, energy, and failures to find out what sold for profit, but he managed to make it work. And he did it entirely through Craigslist.

The point is, there are people out there right now making a living doing this. Here’s how to get started:

  • Purchase a vehicle that you can haul larger items and/or a large amount of smaller items in. This can be a small pickup or a van. Hopefully, you can find something used for under $1000. You can always rent a vehicle, but that will eat into your potential profits. However, it may be worth doing until you get some sales coming in.

  • Next, you’ll want to have some upfront cash to purchase items with. The more you have, the more of a profit you can make. I would say a good ballpark for this is at least $500. Once you make that back, you can reinvest the profits into more items to sell.

  • Brainstorm and come up with a list of places you can get things on the cheap. Garage sales (which are more of a seasonal thing), local auctions (seriously, you’d be surprised at the number of goods you can get for next to nothing here), storage units, Goodwill (especially when they have sales), free or cheap items off Craigslist, and estate sales.

  • Figure out how you’re going to sell the items either online or offline. Will you deliver with an additional charge in your area? eBay? Craigslist? Swapmeets? Amazon? All are excellent choices.

  • If you’ll be shipping items around the country, you’ll need to invest in some packing materials.

  • You’ll also want a place to store the items you sell. It might take some time to offload certain items and you don’t want your living room packed with your goods.

  1. Developing and Selling MMO (massively multiplayer online) Accounts

This one is a little less obvious, but people do this all the time. If you’re really into playing games and want to make a little money on the side, this might be worth a try.

A long time ago, I played World of Warcraft extensively. I had gotten some of my characters to max level and halfway decent gear then turned around and sold the account for $600 to some guy in France. I could have gotten much more, but it was my first time trying it and I didn’t know how much to charge.

It wasn’t much, but I really enjoyed the character-building process and figured I could just do it again. In fact, many people do. Some people build several accounts at once (called multi-boxing) and sell each one off to the highest bidder or to a website.

The trick is to find a popular game that takes quite a bit of time and effort to advance in. These are the games that busy or lazy people are willing to pay money for.

World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, and Eve Online are a few of the more popular, time-consuming games that are out right now. However, more are on the horizon for 2020 and 2021, so keep an eye out.

The price you sell the account for is going to depend heavily on the current hype of the game and how well you’ve developed the account. The more challenging and time-consuming, the more likely it is that you can charge top-dollar.

After developing the account, you can sell it yourself through eBay or Craigslist, or find websites dedicated to selling online assets like epicnpc.com. If you live in the States, you’re unlikely to make a living doing this simply due to the time that needs to be invested. However, it’s definitely a way to turn a hobby into a little side-business working from home.

  1. Narrate Audiobooks

If you think you have a voice for radio with some range, you can try your hand at narrating audiobooks.

The audiobook industry grows every year and reported nearly $1 billion in sales in 2018 and continues to grow in popularity. That sales figure is up over 27% from the year before.

If you’re interested in giving this a try, find websites like acx, create an account, upload samples of your work, and start auditioning. 

Obviously, you’ll need to enjoy reading - because you’ll be doing a lot of it. You’re also going to need some recording equipment and a quiet place to work.

  1. Flip Websites

Websites are like virtual real estate. Your job is to find websites that might bring in a higher profit than they are currently by making a few tweaks. It’s a risky business, but one that could pay off dividends if you are savvy enough. 

To really be successful at this, you’re going to need a deep understanding of digital marketing, most notably online advertising and SEO.

Think of it like this: you’re an online real estate agent. You buy ugly, run-down websites and use your expertise to renovate them, then sell them for a profit once they have more “curb appeal” (profit).

eCommerce websites are very popular to flip since their profit margins can be improved dramatically with little effort (if you know what you’re doing).

Look for quick, easy wins that you can use to leapfrog the competition and bring in more sales. SEO tweaks and online ads are going to help a lot here. Once you can show an increase in profit, you can either sell the website for a nice chunk of change or use it as a source of passive income.

You can also look for sites that have a fair amount of traffic but aren’t doing all they can to monetize that traffic. You could develop products to sell to that audience or figure out how to place ads more effectively in order to monetize the site itself.

The idea here is potential. Some sites can see a huge improvement right away, others may take some time and work.

Here are some of the more popular sites to buy and sell websites:

  1. Making and Selling Products from Home

This can be another fun way to make some extra money from home. Sites like Etsy, Handmade at Amazon, and Zibbet have created a niche for handmade items and given people the ability to sell their creations directly to people who appreciate unique products.

You can even set up shops on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram and sell directly from a business page.

Anything you can think of to do out of your garage, basement, kitchen, or wherever can perform very well — if you have the skills to market the product as well.

Soaps, candles, dog treats, jewelry, paintings… all examples of handmade items that you can create with little investment and sell directly to customers.

If you already have a product that you’d like to sell, make sure you have your platform(s) picked out and have a plan to optimize later on.

Create labels and specialized packaging through sites like CustomKraftBox, Specialty Bottle, and StickerYou.

  1. Write for Medium

If you enjoy writing, but really don’t feel like creating and managing a blog, writing for Medium might be a good alternative.

After you sign up and start submitting articles, the editors at Medium will automatically distribute it not only on the website but to relevant email lists as well.

The more your content is consumed and interacted with, the more you get paid. This may take some time to build, but if there’s a topic you feel you know and write about over a long period of time, this could become a significant source of passive income, as they will pay you monthly for all of your content that’s currently published.

You can also use this as a launching platform for a blog or website you’re thinking about creating but aren’t sure of yet, as many of the subscribers to your content will naturally follow your content wherever you choose to publish it.

  1. Consult with Clarity

Do you have enough expertise in a subject that people might be willing to pay to speak to you over the phone and pick your brain about?

That’s exactly the platform that Clarity put together.

This site is mainly built around business topics. Things like Sales, digital marketing, management, startups, funding, etc…

However, if you command enough knowledge in these areas, you can set up a profile and have people schedule calls with you where they pay by the minute to speak with you. 

The price you command is going to vary largely by your depth of knowledge and track record. You’ll likely start out fairly low, like $1 or $2 a minute, but with enough calls and positive reviews, you can quickly start demanding $8, $12, or even $20 per minute.

This is also a great way to build up a consulting business and work from home if that sort of idea is appealing to you, or you find enough success from consulting with Clarity that it makes financial sense to do away with the platform start your own business without going through a 3rd party.

If you do choose to create a consulting business, make sure to do your due diligence and think ahead, or as Stephen Covey called it — beginning with the end in mind.

Keep track of your successes and get detailed testimonials from clients, then set yourself up with a portfolio site in order to showcase your knowledge and abilities.

  1. Transcribe Audio Files

This is one that’s been around for a while and shows no signs of slowing down, especially as technology advances.

Obviously, you’ll be listening to audio files and transcribing them into text format. Not exactly a difficult job. Or is it?

You don’t need exceptional typing skills or a lot of fancy equipment, but the job itself can be demanding and challenging in a different sort of way.

You may have to transcribe audio files of poor quality or try to listen very carefully to broken or improper English (or any other language if you are fluent).

Don’t get fooled by the “we pay $40 an hour” because what that really means is that you will get paid $40 per hour of audio transcribed - not per hour that you worked (which can be several hours more than each hour of audio transcribed). However, it’s still a very viable, flexible way to make some extra cash from home.

If you do a quick search, you can find certifications and tests online that you can use to get a foot in the door.

If you’re interested, check out sites like:

Once you get some experience under your belt, you can try your hand at setting up your own freelance transcriptionist business.

Here are the top industries you can target if you think you might want to go that route:

  • Law

  • Healthcare

  • Lecturers

  • Podcasts

  • Keynote Speakers

There are lots more, but these are the most popular. If you haven’t yet, check out our article on creating your niche and see if you can’t become specialized in a specific industry and demand top-dollar for your efforts.

  1. Odd Jobs and Errands with TaskRabbit

People are busy and some are willing to pay to have other people run errands and complete certain tasks in order to make their lives more manageable.

Enter TaskRabbit.

Obviously, this option works better if you’re in a major metro area or close enough to one that you can spend the day there without too much of a commute. The bigger the population, the more opportunity there is.

This website is for tasks that people just really hate doing themselves. Things like yard work, moving, painting, grocery shopping, or handyman services.

How much you get paid is going to vary by project, some of the top-earners are commanding nearly $100 an hour - so don’t discount it.

  1.  Online Mock Juror

You probably never thought of getting paid to participate in mock juries online… isn’t the internet a wonderful place? Well, it’s possible with sites like eJury and OnlineVerdict.

You’re definitely not going to get rich or even come close to making a living by participating in mock juries online, but you might make enough to pay your cell phone or internet bill.

$5-$10 is probably what you’re looking to get paid per case. So while not exactly breaking the bank, it can be a fun and interesting way to make a little extra money from home.

These sites have some specific criteria you have to meet, so make sure you’re eligible before signing up.

If you’ve found any success with these opportunities or would like to expand the list, feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts. VBO Nation is a community built by freelancers, for freelancers, so we want to hear from you.

Hopefully, this list (and its resources) help you bring in a little extra cash or quite possibly create a living from the comfort of your home in a more creative manner.

Chantel Baul

I’m a skilled communicator with more than four years’ experience in digital and print content creation, who has a keen ability to adapt messages for diverse audiences. I have demonstrated proficiency in editorial writing conventions, social media strategy, brand reputation management, and interdisciplinary collaboration. I’m a driven and progressive researcher with an aptitude for storytelling. I'm also a proud Public Affairs Officer in the United States Army Reserve.

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