Are you suffering from job loss in today’s economy? Or do you want to have the freedom to set your own schedule and ditch the 9-5? Considering how many hours there are in a workweek, finding time for a side hustle may cut into your free time. Yet, if you want to make more money, these ideas will help you get started.
This post will help you find some work-from-home options you can start today and earn money in a bleak economy.
The options listed below are sustainable online work ideas that are not going away any time soon. The best part, is you don’t need any formal training to get started, although Youtube will become your new bestie.
In fact, there are literally hundreds of ways to make money online. Below you will find seven of my favorites that are also legit! No scams, MLMs, or schemes involving bugging friends and family members.
As you read this post, you will find some actionable ways to start earning money from home as a side hustle or a full-time job.
7 Ways to Make Money Online When the Economy is Dreary
Check out these ideas and start making money from home. The options listed do not require any formal education, although some online training or Youtube training will help learn your craft.
This is probably the fastest and easiest way to start making money from home. It is a high-demand side hustle that pays well.
As a ghostwriter, you will write posts, emails, or ebooks for your author. Although you will not get credit for the work, working behind the scenes has some perks. You don’t have to worry about friends and family judging your work and you can remain anonymous.
Often bloggers are looking for ghostwriters to lessen their workload.
You can write from home and set your own hours.
Think of it this way… You can work from home and forget about driving to and from work every day (one of my worst parts of working was my long drive).
You can set your own schedule and help a fellow writer get their message out there. Once you start making some decent money, you can even consider raising rates and perhaps starting your own blog, which is mentioned below.
You can start finding work by checking the following:
- blogging for hire groups
If you offer low prices in the beginning you can get work and some reviews and then raise your rates. I am in many blogs for hire groups. You can find them by searching on Facebook. You can add your pitch and prices to the group and find clients, which are often bloggers or writers that own more than one blog or work full-time and don’t have time to produce quality content.
It will also pay to invest in Grammarly and Copyscape to ensure quality writing and no plagiarism.
Here are some ideas for ghostwriting:
- technical manuals
- nonfiction and fiction books
Keep in mind, that you will need to meet deadlines and maybe work on several projects at once.
What you charge will depend on your skill level.
Hanging a shingle up or joining any community with the intention of finding work is really the same for finding clients as it is for ghostwriting.
#2 Graphic Design
Another idea to earn money online is graphic design. Graphic designers help communicate visually and designs are often used to promote a product or enhance a book or website.
When you use graphics, people are more likely to understand your brand and you can use them for things like website banners; headers, buttons, logos, and more. I recommend including graphics in your promotional materials such as eBooks or social media ads!
If you want to start making money from designing graphics, you’ll need to know about color theory. It’s important that colors contrast well with each other and that the design is appealing & understandable.
Another aspect of graphic design is color theory. It is important to understand colors that contrast well and make your design more appealing. If you use Canva, you can use their color palettes to help get you started.
You don’t need a formal education to know how to create graphics. You can teach yourself and there are tutorials online that will walk you through the process. The software you need is out there for free, too.
If you are skilled at design, this is a great way to make money online.
In fact, even if you are not, there are countless classes and videos on Youtube to help you learn certain programs such as Canva, PowerPoint, and PhotoShop.
I use Canva and started on their free version. However, if you plan to scale your business, I recommend the paid pro version – what I have now – because it is more versatile, gives you more options, and allows you to upload fonts. With the pro version, you can also save brand colors, create folders, and you have more options when it comes to graphics, fonts, and pictures.
If you want to take your business to the next level, the Canva pro version is the way to go as it is very affordable and I only pay $12.99 per month.
Yet, if you want to make the investment, you can purchase Powerpoint (or use the free version) but I find the free version clunky and hard to use or Photoshop. Yes, there are other options out there, but these are the ones I am most familiar with.
Often bloggers will pay for original graphics. You can also sell graphics and designs on sites like Etsy or Zazzle.
You can create book covers for authors, bookmarks, or stickers. The sky is the limit if you have a knack for graphic design.
#3 Creating and Selling Your Own Info Products
This is another work-from-home business I have dabbled in. You can check out my printable shop for this blog here and my other blog here!
Info products are an excellent way to make money and can provide you with useful information. No need to take years of training, because your current results will determine if you are qualified to write about a specific topic. That’s right, you just need some life experience to help others that are at the beginning stages of your journey.
For example, did you pay off debt? There are thousands of people out there trying to learn how to get out of debt and budget better. (Which is why I started this blog and sell budgeting printables.)
The key is to share your story and the tips and tricks you used to solve a problem.
Another idea is weight loss. This is a huge problem for many and if you have gone through a weight loss journey with success, you can share your story in an info produce. Your story will make it useful and unique.
Brainstorm some ideas for a specific target audience with specified needs. There are so many potential customers that are looking for answers to their problems.
Remember to serve your audience and you can’t go wrong. Be helpful and solve a problem.
Perhaps you can sell workbooks on budgeting or getting out of debt or how to get fit.
Share the steps you took in your ebook or class.
Other ways to deliver this information could be a members’ only forum or paid tutorials.
If you can’t think of anything to create, try brainstorming and searching the web. Type in “how-to” or “why” or “best ways to” and this will give you some ideas to begin. Look at books and magazines in your industry. Of course, don’t copy, but use these for inspiration. You can also check Google Trends to find what people are searching for at certain times of the year.
Don’t forget, that time-sensitive topics are also of interest to people. Use a sales page that is time-sensitive to create buzz and excitement.
You can also build an email list and sell your products to people that are interested. Start by offering a lead magnet or freebie from your product to get sign-ups.
Here is a freebie I use on this blog:
I use the free version of mailerlite. Give a few pages of your product or workbook for free as a lead magnet and then offer a sale on your product to your new customers.
You can also create printables and open up a printable shop with this skill. There are bloggers making a million per year just by selling printables online.
If you are thinking of creating a printable shop and don’t have the time to create products, for now, you can check out PLR content. My favorites are Becky Beach from Mom Beach. She offers commercial use rites to all of her PLR products. You can check out her shop here. PLR Beach (use code AFFILIATE25 for 25% off your first order). She also has a lot of free trainings and her pace is great for beginners.
#4 Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing or recommending products is also a great way to make money.
In short, you provide recommendations of products you love with a referral link and make a commission off the sale.
In order to do affiliate marketing successfully, you must remain helpful. It doesn’t work if you just slap a bunch of products up because they pay high commission.
The point is to be helpful and recommend products you have thoroughly researched or use and love yourself.
It helps if you have pictures of yourself using the product to gain credibility.
In fact, the PLR product I recommended above is an affiliate link. I recommend Becky’s PLR Beach products because I love her shop and she does a great job providing value. I buy and use her products, therefore I am qualified to recommend them to others.
A few things… make sure to disclose you are using affiliate links if you want to recommend things legally. At the top of this blog post, you see a disclosure policy. You must let your readers know you are an affiliate and it must be stated clearly.
Also, make sure to be helpful when recommending products. I like to use the “mom rule.” If I wouldn’t recommend something to my mom, I’m not going to recommend it.
Some people feel yucky recommending things knowing they are getting paid. Yet, as long as you are helpful and solving problems, people need certain products.
It helps to have a blog where you can write reviews, yet some only use social media and email.
It is up to you!
I took this class as a beginner and it really helped me understand affiliate marketing. Plus Michele, the author, makes over a million dollars a year on her blog, so she is someone to listen to because she knows what she is doing.
In fact, here is a free ebook she offers to get started!
Here is my favorite affiliate marketing platform:
Flex Offers – Love this one because they approve me for pretty much anything I apply for, which isn’t the case for all platforms. You can sign up here
#5 Working for Others Who Work at Home
Have you considered helping other work-at-home businesses? People that work from home often need help with tasks and need expert help. That is where you come in.
It is difficult to run an online business. Trust me, there are days I wish I had a team to help me. Yet, I have paid for products and help from time to time.
When things become overwhelming as an at-home-business wonder, that is where a virtual assistant comes in.
Virtual assistant, also known as VA, jobs are not only helpful but pay well and the more experience you have the more you can charge.
I know bloggers that pay people to manage social media such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.
As a business owner, you may not have time to promote on all channels and may not know the specific algorithms for each platform. A VA can help.
Learning different skills or platforms can help you get work as a VA.
This is an open market and any skill such as bookkeeping, legal skill, writing, ad copy, writing emails, managing Facebook groups, editing and more can help you earn work.
VA’s can be a project-by-project hire or you can also be hired for a monthly flat-rate fee. I’ve seen Pinterest VA’s charge $350 per month to create pins and manage someone’s Pinterest account.
If you are skilled in an area, there are people out there that will pay you. To find work, try blogging groups such as VA for hire or Upwork.
Another way to find work is to create a one-page website showcasing your skills or a Facebook business page.
#6 Writing Fiction for Kindle
Back before the Internet took over, you used to have to find a publisher to write a book. It was not an easy task and many shied away. Yet, now you can easily publish on Amazon Kindle.
In fact, I have done it myself with low-content books. You can check out one of my low-content books here and I am currently working on my own journal and ebook. (Low-content just means a notebook or daily planner with little text as opposed to a novel or informational ebook.)
The process is simple. You just have to do the work.
You can write fiction or low-content content such as journals and notebooks and publish them on KDP.
You will earn 35-70% royalties with each sale and you can set your price and see what your earnings will be before you publish.
You will need to learn a few skills such as formatting and editing your book or you can pay someone (such s a VA above) to help you.
If you choose to create a book usually 30,000 words are standard for a novel.
You can create your own cover in Canva or hire someone to create a professional cover for you.
When choosing the price for your book, you can start with a low introductory price to get some early sales and reviews. Many start at .99 per ebook and start generating buzz around the book. You can always raise the price later, which is easy to do if you edit your product and will usually only take a few hours.
Amazon KDP also offers advertising options, which I personally have not used. Some people in my KDP selling groups use it and have success and some do not. It is really something you must take the time to learn before you waste money.
More importantly, you can study keyword research on Amazon. If you get your keywords right in the title and description of your book, you can generate sales without paid advertising.
When I started selling on KDP, I watched a ton of YouTube videos to help me get started. My favorite Youtuber is Paul Marls.
This is another option I am familiar with since I run three blogs.
Blogging is not a sprint, it is more of a marathon. So if you need money quickly, one of the options above is probably better suited to making money quickly.
Yet, you can still make money blogging, it just takes time to set up your blog, write posts, and start ranking on Google.
Yes, gone are the days of getting infinite traffic from Pinterest and Stumble Upon (aging myself because Stumble doesn’t even exist anymore! haha)
Yet, if you like writing and have a passion for your blog topic, and are willing to put in the time and the work. You can make money from your blog.
This is more of an active side hustle but can become passive in the future if you set everything upright.
Some classes that helped me learn how to blog better and rank in Google can be found in the reviews below:
I recommend reading this post to get started on blogging and take these steps:
- Choose a domain name
- Choose hosting (I recommend Bluehost) or BigScoots shared hosting to start
- Install WordPress
- Start writing
You can also learn more about making money blogging in this post: 9 Types of Blog Posts that Make Money
Final Thoughts on 7 Best Online Business Ideas to Side Hustle from Home…
If you want to earn money from some, there are many options to get you started. You can use the above as a side hustle and after you start making more money, perhaps replace your past income. it is possible to work from home and if you are facing job loss due to the economy, you can keep your options open and get started today.