One of our most popular posts continues to be Anne Zelenka’s classic list of “10 New Ways to Make Money Online.” The ideas and strategies she suggests there are still good ones, but they’re not the only ones available. As the Web and its opportunities continue to evolve, and web workers continue to invent new niches for themselves, there are always more new ways to make money.
When you look for new revenue streams, think about what you do well. Whether you’re an expert in your field, a talented designer, a programmer, or a producer of content, there are ways to leverage your knowledge, skills and abilities, package them and provide them for a fee. And don’t forget that successful web workers are often pursuing more than one income stream at the same time. You may be able to assemble a career out of numerous smaller activities.
Read our latest list of 10 new ways to make money online after the jump.
1. Team up with Yahoo! to offer custom search services.
Yahoo! recently launched their BOSS API, which lets anyone build their own custom search engine or mashup using their search results. But you may have missed this teaser on their blog: “In the coming months, we’ll be launching a monetization platform for BOSS that will enable Yahoo! to expand its ad network and enable BOSS partners to jointly participate in the compelling economics of search.” The details of that platform aren’t out yet, but if you think you can come up with a compelling niche search offering, now’s the time to stake out your place in the market.
2. Sell freelance support.
Software and solutions like Copilot and Bomgar make it easier than ever to take over someone’s computer remotely, whether they know anything about how to let you connect or not. If you’re a whiz with solving operating systems and applications issues, why not sell your expertise to others who are less sure of themselves? At a reasonable hourly rate, you can still offer personal service that’s infinitely better than putting up with anonymous bored workers in a telecenter somewhere.
3. Create and maintain social networks.
While companies, organizations and individuals do see the value of marketing through social networks, many of them are afraid that they’ll “waste time” setting them up and maintaining them. Step in as their social network “developer” to determine the right places – MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, et. al. – to have accounts to help them achieve their goals. Then set up their pages and manage them on a regular basis. You can also submit reports that measure your clients’ online buzz and turn that in along with your monthly invoice.
4. Plan and host virtual events.
If you’re great at organizing, publicizing and managing events, why not offer your services online? Whether a live text chat on a client’s web site or a 3-dimensional avatar-based voice chat in a virtual world such as Second Life, companies and organizations could use your help developing and coordinating these events. You can even approach conferences and offer to create an online version of their event to reach a whole separate audience of people who cannot attend their offline happenings. Throw in some event hosting and moderating a la Oprah, and you’ve got yourself a global gig without having to jump on a plane.
5. Offer remote software demos and training.
So you’ve got a way with software, particularly newfangled Web-based applications. Offer your services as a Web apps trainer and hold online demos – for a fee. You can use GoToMeeting.com, Yugma, and similar services to broadcast your demos from your computer desktop to the computer screens of your audience members. Or approach the developers of these applications, show them you know their product almost better than they do, and offer to provide desktop demos to the media and to their higher dollar business customers.
6. Hold educational teleseminars.
Are you great at web design or online marketing or any other kind of Web work and have wanted to share your skills on a larger scale while getting paid to do it? If you’ve got the expertise, bottle it and sell it widely in the form of a live teleseminar where you charge a fee for participation and then archive it in your online store to generate recurring revenues. You can do simple web-based conference call coordination through Rondee or get fancier with simultaneous text chat and online documents with Calliflower.
7. Write part of Google’s encyclopedia.
Anyone can contribute to Google’s new Knol project, an encylopedic collection of knowledge in the tradition of Wikipedia. But unlike Wikipedia, Knol shows some prospect for paying its writers – because you can automatically hook up Google Ads to a Knol entry, and you’ll get a share of the take. If you’re an authority on some subject of interest, maintaining a Knol page could at least help pay for your internet usage.
8. Flip Web Sites.
Forget trying to think of a brand new hot web site to launch. The New York Times recently reported on people who are making a good living by “flipping” existing sites. The idea: find a niche site with good potential but poor execution, and buy it. Invest your own sweat equity in a site redesign and search engine optimization, then turn around and sell it to someone else who actually wants to run the site. Repeat as often as you can.
9. Sell your video footage.
We’ve covered the microstock photography market several times, but did you know that there’s a budding microstock video market too? If you’re a digital video fanatic, turn your high-quality b-roll into bucks using stock imaging sites that also carry video footage like Pond5, iStockPhoto Video and Pixelflow. Set your price, set your terms, and add this new revenue stream to your income.
10. Sell virtual goods.
From fashion to business tools to décor for virtual homes and offices, people who are avid users of virtual worlds are hungry for well-designed virtual goods. While there is a learning curve for each proprietary virtual environment such as There.com, Kaneva, Lively, and Second Life, if there is a commerce component of the world that converts to real dollars, with a keen eye for design and detail and the right building skills, you can generate income from creating products made of bits and bytes. In Second Life, for example, some of the more successful clothing designers are bringing in thousands of dollars (US) a month selling items of clothing at 75 cents to $1.50 a pop. And if you are truly an artist, your virtual goods could sell for a pretty penny.
What other new ways do you know of to make money online? We’d love to have your input – but please understand that we’re not going to allow WWD to be turned into a dubious link farm. Any links to sites that the editors consider spammy or scammy will be deleted without notice.