If you’re already working on the next revolutionary startup, backed by a team of developers, and sponsored by investor capital, then read no further – you’re in no need of this article! However, in the absence of founding Uber or SpaceX, here are 5 simple ways to earn using your current talents, that require little to zero capital to get started.
Register to an online marketplace as a service provider
Whatever professional skills you possess, online marketplaces give you the chance to put these to good use, freelancing for clients worldwide. Platforms such as UpWork or Fiverr allow hiring a wide range of professionals, be it for personal or business needs.
UpWork seems to host more “office-type” services such as accounting, development, marketing, and translation, whereas Fiverr leans more toward the creative side such as graphic design and video production. There are also more specialized sites like SoundBetter that focus exclusively on music and audio.
Registering as a provider on these sites is easy. As an unknown, you’ll inevitably start slow, since most clients will naturally lean toward the more established, well-reviewed pros. However, after breaking the ice of the first few jobs (which can be done by temporarily under-charging), you should see an exponential growth in demand and visibility, as more and more people begin to trust in what you do. You can then resume at your normal rates.
So, whether you’re a bookkeeper, social media expert, or have a secret talent for editing podcasts, it’s easy to make yourself known to the world. It’s possible to earn a second salary or even permanently move to self-employment through these sites.
Prop trading (proprietary trading) is a new cost-efficient way to trade. Unlike regular forex trading that necessitates risking personal funds, this route offers traders the opportunity to operate using third-party funds – and considerably larger sums than what they could usually afford. Of course, prop trading is not a complete freeroll, otherwise, firms would quickly go broke. However, the fee to apply is minimal compared to the self-funded equivalent.
The required fee is to participate in an evaluation and the trick to passing is quite simply to be good at trading. Prop firms such as Ultimate Traders provide funded trading accounts ranging from $10,000 to $400,000, for fees ranging from $99 to $1,799. The main objective of the evaluation is to show the firm that you can generate up to 10% profit on a simulated account without exceeding a maximum drawdown. Meeting these objectives with success will qualify you for prop trading, starting with an 80/20 split in your favor. There is also an option to increase this to 90/10.
So, if you have a talent for trading but don’t wish to risk tens of thousands to realize this potential, prop trading is certainly an option to consider.
Become an affiliate
Referrals are critical to every industry, so much so that the business of referrals is an industry in itself. Companies are willing to reward generous commissions for helping them to sell, even just for advertising or driving traffic towards their product.
Have you ever been scrolling through a website and clicked on a link to a seemingly unrelated product of interest? By redirecting you to the product website, there’s a high chance that the original website owner earned some kind of commission. Did you go on to buy the product? You can be certain that the initial website owner earned a commission!
The product could have been anything – a book on Amazon, a chair from Ikea, a Netflix subscription, a trading account – no matter what, the link you clicked will have been digitally tracked, notifying both the target website and the affiliate where your custom originated from, rewarding the referrer accordingly.
There’s no official qualification required to apply to an affiliate program. Your main asset will be to have a level of outreach through an existing platform or network of your own. So, if you own a website, blog, well-followed social media account, or similar, consider using your influence to generate additional revenue for very little additional effort.
Become a musical playlist curator
Yes, this is a thing! The number of aspiring musicians and bands worldwide, striving to make a mark in an industry where even brilliant artists are often drowned out by larger budgets, means that they are constantly looking for alternative, cost-effective marketing strategies to be heard – including placement in Spotify playlists.
They don’t care who owns the playlist, or why, only that it has sufficiently large listeners for their music to spread. As such, dedicated curator platforms exist, such as SubmitHub and Groover.io, where anyone can register to be paid to listen to songs, and ultimately decide if they’d like to share to their audience through a playlist, or other medium.
Other mediums include blogs, social media accounts, and websites. For every song, you’ll be required to listen for a minimum number of seconds and provide written feedback to justify your decision. It’s a pleasant way to make some extra pocket money whilst discovering and promoting new music.
Sell or resell on an e-commerce platform
Selling on Amazon and eBay remains just as profitable in 2024 as it ever was. In fact, post-pandemic, the habit and hence demand for online shopping has increased. Therefore, using one of these platforms to sell out of your own home remains a savvy alternative to the overheads and fixed costs associated with opening a physical shop.