8 Unconventional and Fun Ways to Make Money Online

vayable guide


Working from home might seem like a pipe dream for some, but there are millions of people around the world taking advantage of the internet to do just that.

Sure, there are scams in the online realm just like anywhere else that you need to be aware of. But by doing research, educating yourself, probing your skill set and marketing yourself, there are a ton of ways to make a decent living online, whether it’s by using one of these methods, or a combination of a few.

So, we’ve probed the internet for you to bring you 8 unique ways to make money while working from home.

1. Be a Tour Guide. Do you love finding and sharing new experiences? Do you live near somewhere that people would want to visit? Do you have an attraction that would intrigue customers? Then why not get paid to share your experiences with the world?

Thanks to Vayable, you can become a tour guide for these one-of-a-kind experiences. After listing your experience on the website, Vayable connects you with travelers who are interested in your adventure. Then, after you share your experiences with the customer, Vayable pays you directly. As if that’s not great enough, you can also accept credit card payments from anywhere in the world, set your own schedule, promote and market your experience, manage reservations yourself  and much more.

2. Be a Mystery Shopper. When you think of mystery shoppers, you probably thing of scammers. That makes sense, consider many of the “opportunities” are in fact scams. But believe it or not, there are legitimate opportunities to experience free products and services as well as get additional cash just by answering minimal questions.

So how do you do it? Simple. Go to Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA), browse your city and state and see what opportunities best suit what you’re looking for. On my first visit, I had a handful to choose from in my nearest city, ranging from free haircuts to free car services to free dinners, plus additional cash ranging from $2 to $100. Companies who work through MSPA go through a stringent verification process, so if you’re working through the organization you can be confident you won’t get scammed.

3. Be a Radio Host. If you’re a thought leader, critic, expert, comedian or counselor, or anybody else with something worthwhile to say, you might want to consider launching your own internet radio show. Through a site like blogtalkradio, you can be on air in less than a half hour spouting your rhetoric to the world. Categories include essentially anything you can fathom, including comedy, fitness, politics, self-help, entertainment, paranormal and more.

Not only can you build a massive following, you’ll get more customers in front of other products and services you offer. You’ll also get money from ads and the larger your following, the more revenue you’ll get.

4. Be a CafePress Designer/Shop Owner.For those of us that cannot sew or cut in a straight line if our lives depended on it, there’s another great opportunity aside from Etsy to sell custom products. Though you’ve probably heard of it, I’d like to reintroduce CafePress.

Using the automated shop option, you can open your own custom store on the site using a pre-made template or your own HTML, then make some serious royalties off of your products. All you really have to do is set up shop, come up with the design and market the heck out of them. Products ship worldwide and CafePress manages returns, exchanges and all other customer service inquiries. Need some inspiration? Check out these shops.

5. Be an Information Consultant. If you’re the type of person who enjoys doing research, learning new things, and organizing and presenting information, then being an information consultant might pique your interest. Information consultants are needed in every industry, and you can choose which industry to specialize in based off your interests, education, experience and desired pay.

If the industry you want to work in is what you’ve been working in during your career, you’ll have easy access to your network of professionals (i.e. potential clients). For example, with a background in public relations, I might choose to consult for clients in PR, advertising, marketing and social media. If it’s not within your industry expertise, you’ll probably have to do a good deal of networking in the chosen industry first.

6. Be a Web Publisher. Have a knack for writing? A lot to say? Need to supplement your freelance services? Online publishers come in many shapes and sizes, but a good amount of them make money or get products for doing it, so why not join them? Are you a mom? Start a mom blog. Are you passionate about celebrity gossip? Start a website. Are you business savvy? Buy an existing web business, put some work into it and flip it.

There are countless ways to publish content online. The best part is that if you’re good at it, you can secure targeted advertising dollars, earn money through affiliate programs and get free products and trips. For example, check out some of the perks that mom bloggers receive in exchange for producing high quality content and building a loyal following.

7. Be an e-book Author. Think it’s too good to be true to get your book idea published? Not in today’s world! For free, thanks to Booktango, you can publish, design and sell e-books or e-pubs and receive 100% of the profits.

8. Be a, well, Skill Giver. What quirky skills or traits do have that you’d sell for $5? When you log in to fiverr, an online marketplace for small services, you’ll see that a top seller is offering to draw any object as a cartoon character. The crazy part? She has 9 orders in queue. The even crazier part? She’s already completed 362 orders. Another top participant sold 99 orders of photos of himself holding signs that read whatever the client wanted on them. So how do you do it? See below – it’s really that simple.

Making money at home doesn’t have to be something you just daydream about. Thanks to the internet, you can choose to make as much or as little money as you want while doing the things you enjoy doing. These 8 options are just the start of the limitless online avenues to explore. Consider combining traditional methods such as consulting with quirky methods such as running a CafePress shop. That way, you have a more secure income while still trying your hand at new and innovative ways of making money.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Stein owns FreelanceMom.com, is a college business professor and a mom to Gabriela and Elle. Lisa is dedicated to playing a part in helping women and moms run a business they love, help support themselves and their family and create a flexible lifestyle. You can find her online on Facebook and Twitter or at home burning something in the kitchen.