Smoking is on the decline, but those still hooked on tobacco will pay almost anything to satisfy their nicotine habits. The same is true for drinkers of caffeinated beverages. Appealing to vanity is another lucrative business. Think of all the money spent on face creams, hair coloring, botox injections, body-slimming gyms—and all the gorgeous clothes to fit on those magnificent bodies.
Try affiliate marketing. This means promoting someone else’s products or services for pay without actually carrying an inventory. There are many ways of incorporating affiliate marketing into your website/blog/page including banner ads (which are generally ineffective, as people tend to avoid these), linked articles (which are quite successful when the article content is thoughtful and doesn’t appear spammy), and product-placement videos (which can be very successful when done by people with charisma or a good sense of humor). You can even become an affiliate marketer without a website. Basic ways of making money through of affiliate marketing include:
Just the other day, I got a ride home from a tennis buddy who works at a hedge fund. He drives a common Ford Explorer and on our way back we started talking about real estate. He mentioned he and his wife are looking for a new house having recently relocated from Florida. He mentioned his house in Florida costs just under a million, but is nicer than so many $3-4 million dollar houses in San Francisco. So then I suggested instead of spending $3-4 million on a house in San Francisco to perhaps rent for a while.
Take good pictures. Some of the options below don’t require you to actually take the picture and sell the product, but for the ones that do, make sure you take a clear picture that makes your product stand out from the others. If you’re going to be taking a lot of pictures, set up a small “studio-like” area in your home with a backdrop and proper lighting to really make your pictures come across as professional. And of course, you’ll want a good camera too.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Most of the software and apps you use on a regular basis are made by massive companies or established development studios. Well, yes. But many successful apps, particularly those in the Apple and Google stores, are created and marketed by individuals and small businesses. In fact, independent developers made $20 billion in the App Store in 2016 alone.
Operate your business. Obtain the necessary business licenses and insurance. You may need to have an adult co-sign your public liability insurance documents or other documentation if you are under 18. Make sure to hire someone to manage your accounting. It’s important to know how your business is doing financially in order to make smart investments and stay in business. Advertise your business as necessary and ask clients for referrals. Network with other business owners to leverage your market share. Ensure you keep accurate business records and file and pay your business taxes.
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Even in the age of automation, some jobs still require a human touch. Companies often outsource those jobs via services like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. These jobs can be tedious — tagging images, transcribing videos, classifying receipts — and can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Pay depends on the task, and the person requesting the work gets to approve the finished product before paying you. That can leave room for scams, so do your research and join a community like TurkNation, which can steer you away from shifty dealers. Read more about doing tasks on Mechanical Turk.
Last but not least, you can also earn money online by building an online community, although the monetization strategies you can pursue will vary a lot depending on your goals. You can build a community with a blog, for example. You can also build an online forum and charge people for membership. You could even build up a Facebook group and use your influence there to sell and promote products.