This was the first time I found a business that met all my major criteria – except one – I really wasn’t that passionate about the industry. Initially I enjoyed being the entrepreneur, the thrill of making money and automating the business as much as I could, but after a few years my passion wained. I eventually sold the business, earning a nice payday in the process, making this one of my most personally gratifying projects.
If you’ve got a way with words and expertise in a niche, there are plenty of sites that will pay for articles and content you write. Think of the sites you read regularly. What can you contribute to them that would be interesting? Research your niche and then look for ways to pitch articles. Many sites will simply have a submission or contact link in the footer. To get started, check out my full guide to becoming a freelance writer on the side and then submit your articles to places like Instash, Listverse, TopTenz, A List Apart, International Living, FundsforWriters, and Textbroker.
Build your audience on a course community: If you’re just getting started building an audience for yourself and want to leverage communities already actively looking for content you can choose to host and sell your online course on a site like Skillshare or Udemy. These are easy, cost-effective ways to build an audience and test your niche to see if there’s demand for it.
More and more companies and startups especially are embracing remote work—where you use online collaboration and communication tools to do your work from wherever you want. And you don’t have to be a 20-something hotshot designer or coder to reap the benefits of working remotely. Many remote positions are for customer support positions or other customer-facing positions that don’t require specialized skill sets.
You can sell product from your own website store, via community sites and classifieds (like Craigslist) and of course eBay and collectively make good money. The challenge, like with any business, is defining what is your competitive advantage and can you come up with a model that meets your needs. For me selling physical product was a great proving ground, but I eventually learned that profiting from information was a preferable model if I wanted to meet my aforementioned business goals.
If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.