It's the number one question I'm asked: How can I make money from home? Whether looking for full-time opportunities or a way to supplement their income, more people than ever are eager to bring in the cash without the commute.
I've spent several years reviewing legitimate home-based opportunities like the ones I feature on my website, and I'm thrilled when I discover new ones. (In fact, if you're involved in a successful home-based opportunity that you think I should know about, share it with me at Twitter.com/ToryJohnson or Facebook.com/Tory.)
Sell Ads on Your Blog: Last year stay-at-home mom Sarah Mae wanted to supplement her husband's income, so she started writing a blog, Like a Warm Cup of Coffee, where she's developed a small, but very loyal, following of women who share her values. She approached small businesses that advertised on other blogs, asking them to buy an ad on her site. Her initial rate: just $10 a month per ad, an offer they couldn't refuse. She gradually upped it, and now less than a year later has generated $5,000 of income.
The lesson: Start now and start small -- work on it every day to build an audience and increase your rates. Too often we say, "For just $10, why bother?" But you have to think long-term.
Sell Through the Open Sky Project: Since Mae had a loyal following of women, she signed up with Open Sky, a new, free service that connects people who make interesting products (suppliers) with people who have the ability to sell those products online (sellers).
As a seller, Mae chooses which products she wants to feature and promote. Her best seller: teeny rose bud earrings, handmade of resin by another mom, Ashley Steves in Baltimore. Determined to pay off her family's credit card debt and live a cash-only lifestyle, Steves realized she needed to move from selling randomly here and there to friends -- to reaching a wider audience online through Open Sky.
With the earrings priced at $10 a pair, Steves receives the $5 wholesale price, and the profit is then split between the seller and Open Sky. Steves has made more than $1,000 by selling through Open Sky -- and that initial success has given her the confidence to invest in more materials to expand her jewelry line next month. (Mae has earned more than $400 through Open Sky by promoting the earrings to her followers.)
On Open Sky, nobody makes money, nor are there fees of any kind, unless sales are made. So if you have something to sell that's really unique and not available at big box retailers -- beauty, nutrition, cooking and fashion are particularly popular categories -- or if you have a website or even a very active following on Facebook or Twitter of people who really trust you for advice and recommendations, then Open Sky could be an ideal opportunity to make money.
Sell for Others With Style: A new entry in the online selling arena is ReFINEstyle, which is an eBay-like auction site specifically for new and gently worn designer clothing and accessories. The site recruits and trains stylists to make money on its site. With no start-up fees, it's a great platform for someone with fashion style and sales savvy.