More and more seniors are working in retirement. Either by choice or necessity, the idea of retiring to a life of complete leisure is becoming a distant memory. As a solopreneur, working with my laptop—wherever—I appreciate the desire to learn how to make money online. With basic computer skills, the opportunity to earn from home is easier than you might think.
Even if you must work in retirement, to pay the bills, there’s a silver lining for seniors and retirees building their online businesses. The National Institute of Health claims that you’ll benefit both physically and mentally from keeping mentally and physically active in your later years.
How to earn money online – not a get rich quick scheme
If you’re looking for a make money quick article, then you can click off now. As is true with entrepreneurial endeavors, you’ll need some start up time and capital to begin earning money online. So if you need money immediately, then you probably want to sell stuff on eBay or Craigslist or sign up to work for Uber or Task Rabbit.
On the other hand, if you’re willing and interested in learning and planning, it’s possible to create a viable online business from home. Following are ways to earn money online for seniors, retirees or others.
1. Become a virtual assistant
A virtual assistant is someone who performs work online for someone else. The work varies, depending upon your skill set. Similar to an administrative assistant job, how to become a virtual assistant is straightforward.
A virtual assistant (VA) is an online office assistant who performs various tasks like a manager or an office administrator. Your duties can encompass a variety of services, such as administrative support, sales, marketing, accounting, writing, editing, proofreading, graphics design, website development, and desktop publishing services. A virtual assistant works remotely from her home-office using her own computer, licensed software applications, phone, and internet connection.
If you’re a whiz at Facebook, twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn you can market yourself as a social media manager. There’s high demand for these jobs and you won’t need to leave your couch to do your job.
2. Sell your skills through an online marketplace
Upwork, Freelancer and Fiverr are amazing portals for the solopreneur. First, look at the sites to find out what customers want. For example, check out Fiverr, where payment starts at $5 but easily goes up, depending upon the services. On Fiverr you can sell your talents in these categories:
- Graphics and design
- Digital marketing
- Writing and translation
- Video and animation
- Music and audio
- Programming and tech
- Fun and lifestyle
I peeked into the fun and lifestyle category and found folks selling in these categories; relationship advice, online classes, arts & crafts, health nutrition and fitness, family and genealogy, collectibles and more. In the health and fitness category, there were entrepreneurs with meal planning offerings and article-writing in the health and fitness area. The beauty of working through an online marketplace is that the platform and customers are already there. All you need to do is set up your compelling profile.
The most important tip for working in an online marketplace is to garner some 5-star reviews. So, when starting out you might want to keep rates low until the reviews come in and then raise rates when you have the bargaining power of higher reviews.
3. Create your own store
There are multiple ways to sell online with a store and the sales platforms for your online store are already set up. If you want to hunt down bargains on Craigslist, local garage sales or have an attic filled with collectibles you can market those treasures with a nice profit. Selling on Craigslist is as easy as posting a few pictures and waiting for the buyers to call or email. Some savvy folks take the free items from Craigslist, fix them up a bit and then resell.
Offerup, the new local sales app has everything from makeup to cars for sale on their platform. The pictures on the home page jump out and encourage buyers to pounce.
Fulfillment by Amazon has everything you need for your online store including picking, packing and shipping the orders. All you do is sell.
“You sell it, we ship it. Amazon has created one of the most advanced fulfillment networks in the world, and your business can benefit from our expertise. With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you store your products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, and we pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Best of all, FBA can help you scale your business and reach more customers.” ~Fullfillment by Amazon
4. Create a website as a springboard for your business
Once you have a website, there are multiple ways to make money. In fact, every online entrepreneur should have a website to build and promote their brand. Whether you have an online virtual store, a blog within a website, or simply a website with a portfolio of your work—to make money online, you need a website.
Your own website can be a cornerstone for your online selling business. Fortunately, it’s cheap and easy to set up your own website. There are a variety of affordable options for web hosting online.
Or you can go online and hire someone to set up a website for you. Regardless of how you proceed, search around and save the online addresses of sites that you like. That way you’ll have inspiration for your own site.
5. Sell affiliate products on your own website
You can participate in affiliate programs where you sell others products and keep a percentage of the sales price. I even have a small Wealth Store on my website, filled with Amazon books and products. The ‘Wealth Shop’ on my website earns a few bucks every month when someone shops on Amazon after clicking on one of our wealth building products.
Here are a few strategies and programs for selling affiliate products on your website:
Amazon affiliates – You can sell anything from Amazon with your own affiliate sign up link and even if someone visits Amazon to look at the product you’re selling and ends up buying another item, you get a commission. The Amazon affiliate commissions are low, although there are folks that sell in volume and make a nice income.
There are other affiliate programs that offer more generous commissions. CJ Affiliate, formerly called Commission Junction is one of the more popular affiliate sites on which to find products to sell.
In order to make money, you need to drive traffic to your website and the affiliate products. There are many ways to do this. One strategy is to write honest reviews or discuss certain products, include your own personal affiliate link and when someone buys, you get a percentage of the sales price.
When selling affiliate products, the golden rule is to promote only those items you believe in. If you sell junk then your reputation will suffer.
How to earn money online wrap up
Allow yourself some time to investigate money-making options. Choose a route that fits in with your skill set and personality. Get creative, there’s always someone that wants to learn what you know or buy what you’re selling. Find your niche, build your website and start your own online money making business.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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