This post is part one in a two part series on online business ideas for those who don’t have all the time in the world to start a business.
I believe that starting a business isn’t really much of a choice in today’s economy. I see it as a rite of passage that everyone needs to try at some point in their life. Running your own business will help you grow as a person. And let’s not forget that if you want to live comfortably, you have to do more than run the corporate rat race.
If you’re offended by that sentence and want to continue climbing the corporate ladder and play slap box with the glass ceiling, then this post isn’t for you.
If you actually want a second source of income aside from your monthly paycheck, then keep reading. Plus, if you’re a full-time student, you’re in the right place.
We’re going to be discussing the first part of a master list of 33 legitimate, scam-free, serious ideas that you can think about if you want to start earning an income online. This list has 14.
Make note of the ones that appeal to you. I’m going to be revisiting them all at some point on the blog. So make sure you’re on our mailing list to get updates on detailed ways to get started in these kinds of businesses.
If you’ve got a talent for writing, then this online business idea is something to definitely consider. A freelance writer is someone who is basically a “writer for hire.” You are contracted by individuals or businesses to write for them. It can be any kind of writing or content. The internet makes it possible for you to write for anyone, anywhere in the world!
I started out as freelance writer while I was going to college full-time. All you really need is creativity, and your laptop to get started.
Graphic Designing is another easy way to earn some extra money if you’ve got a skill for creating graphics on a computer. Individuals and businesses worldwide would use your service to design for them. With so many different needs for graphic designers, there’s literally no limit on what you could be asked to design.
For example, when I started my blog I hired a graphic designer. He made my logo, Facebook and Twitter banners, and a host of other things that I use to brand The Femme Agenda on the web. The guy that I hired to do this work for me, he’s from the United States and he does graphic design in his spare time. He goes to school and has a part-time job.
WordPress Website Building
WordPress is one of the hottest website builders around to day. Millions of websites and blogs are made with WordPress, including this one! Website building in general is a hot skill to use to make money online in your spare time, but using WordPress is one of the easier methods to learn.
I made this website myself, and although I had prior website building experience, I believe that anybody can learn how to make them.
One of my friends works full-time while doing web-design, graphic design & customized software, so it’s entirely possible for you to take a step in that direction if your heart desires.
Ghostwriting has nothing to do with apparitions, lol! It actually involves writing books for other people and they take the credit for it. A lot of the books you see written weren’t actually written by the people whose names are on the book. Basically, you write their thoughts, they pay you once and your words become theirs and they own all rights.
This online business idea is perfect for you if you love writing stories, but don’t necessarily want your name swimming around the place attached to the books you’ve written.
On the flipside, instead of writing books for other people and not getting any credit, you can write your own books and publish them! Plus, you no longer have to go through the hassle of a publishing house. You can self-publish your own ebooks through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing space.
If you’ve got an idea lurking in the back of your mind, why not spend your spare time turning it into a book and making money off it? The good thing about being an author is that you just do the work once, and you’re paid every time somebody buys your book. How cool is that?
Affiliate Marketing is kind of like a job you’d have as a sales representative. You take up the responsibility of marketing and selling other people’s products and you get a percentage of each sale.
There are numerous ways to do Affiliate Marketing, but the most common way is through becoming an Amazon.com Associate and sharing links through a website. Basically, you’re given a unique code in the form of a link. Every time somebody clicks the link and makes a purchase, you’re given a percentage of the sale.
If leveraged properly, you can make a tidy sum off Affiliate Marketing without doing anything other than the initial set up time – perfect for those who work full-time or go to school.
If you’ve got a passion for a particular topic, you can start a blog. I started this blog because I wanted to help others learn to make money on the internet, so they could start living the lives they dreamed of! However, there are a TON of other blogs that you can start.
You can start a food blog, a fashion blog, a beauty blog. Heck, if you’re a new mom you can even start a blog about that experience. The best part about blogs, is that they’re your space on the Internet to do whatever you want.
Once you’ve established a good readership, there are a million and one ways to make money off your blog, some of them even passively. Plus, you don’t need to spend the whole day running a blog, the content is always there and people can read it whenever they want!
Flip items on eBay
One of my favorite motivational speakers (and a guy that I so desperately want to be my mentor,) Gary Vaynerchuk has one of the most interesting ways to make money online, in your spare time using eBay. Here’s a video from his channel explaining the procedure:
Sell handmade items
You can sell handmade items in your spare time. By handmade, I don’t mean that you necessarily have to sit down and sew or do woodwork to create items. If you’ve got a cool idea for something as simple as jewelry or some kind of makeup item you can literally use the internet to sell your products.
Sites like Store Envy give you self-hosted online shops, fresh out of the box for free! And if you’d like a more functional shop you have options like Shopify and Big Cartel. A few months ago I bought jewelry from a woman who sells her designs online. She makes them in her spare time from her full-time job.
Basically, if you’ve got a passion to sell your own handmade items, then don’t let anything stop you.
Now, if you’ve got the desire to sell something online, but can’t keep stock or do your own shipping, don’t feel left out. You can drop ship! Dropshipping involves finding a company who sells the products that you want to sell online, and have them handle all orders, returns and processing for each sale. You’ll only do marketing and maintain your online store front, and they’ll take care of everything else.
Even though you don’t make as much as you would if you were creating and selling your own products, it’s still worth considering. What you lose in money, you make up for in time. E-commerce host Shopify actually has integration for dropshipping, which makes it that much simpler for you to start selling this way.
Create and sell t-shirts
Now, you can create and sell your own t-shirts in two ways. The first way involves ordering your own blank t-shirts, designing them and then marketing and selling them online. With this method, you’ll do all the shipping, accounting, refunding etc. Even though this can be a bit tedious, it’s a great option for anyone who wants to have complete autonomy over the quality of their shirts and designs. One of my friends does this – he started his own clothing line while in high school, and now he’s moved on from just t-shirts to hats, crop-tops and the works. He goes this route because he’s building a brand, not just selling items for a profit.
However, if you’re just after making a profit off selling t-shirts, then there’s a much simpler way out there. Sites like Spreadshirt allow you to just upload your t-shirt design, pick a t-shirt and sell them without actually having any on hand. It’s kind of like drop-shipping, just that you basically design your own product.
Design and sell phone cases
Just like selling t-shirts, you have two choices. You can buy blank phone cases, design them yourself and handle all the marketing, payments, shipping and refunds yourself, OR you can use a site that allows you to just upload your designs and handles all the production and shipping for you.
The website that you’d do this on is Zazzle. Zazzle allows you to upload designs for nearly anything, including phone cases. They handle all production and shipping for you, so your store can basically be on autopilot. Zazzle is a great option for you if you have designs, but neither the time now presence of mind to run a business out of your home.
If you’re currently employed as an office administrator or an executive assistant, this one is right up your street! A virtual assistant is exactly what it sounds like – you assist entrepreneurs and businesses online to keep their businesses afloat.
You’d handle tasks that range from research to data entry and posting on their social media pages. This online business idea is one relatively simple to get into, and it’s easy to build your skills as you go along. In fact, we’ve got an upcoming feature here on The Femme Agenda, so you guys can learn everything you need to know about becoming a virtual assistant! (If you’re on our mailing list, you’ll be the first to get access the interview!)
If you’ve got a knack for English (and if you’ve gotten this far in this blog post, I believe you do) then editing and proofreading is another online business idea that you can consider. This one is as straightforward as it gets. You simply make corrections to the grammar and wording of documents for individuals and businesses.
We just went through 14 online business ideas that you can think about starting while working a 9 to 5 or going to school full-time. What do you think? Do any of these ideas appeal to you?
Look out for Part 2, where I’ll give you NINETEEN more ideas!