From sharing your home to providing services, there are dozens of ways for indiepreneurs to work for yourself and make extra income.
Platforms to Work for Yourself
Online peer-to-peer platforms and the sharing economy have made it possible for indiepreneurs to make income through highly skilled work to paid opportunities that require only time or a resource like a car or an extra room.
Ride sharing is one of the most well-known and popular platforms in the indie, peer-to-peer sharing economy. Individuals with a car (that meets specific requirements) and a clear driving and criminal background can sign up to give strangers a ride for a fee. Uber and Lyft take a small percentage of each ride fare.
Selling Creative and Artisanal Goods
Makers and creatives can open a one-stop shop to sell specialty products from clothing and jewelry to crafts and custom art through platforms like Etsy, Artfire, and Uncommon Goods. Etsy reported sales of more than $1.9 billion last year.
Selling Crafts and Custom Designs
Artists, graphic designers, photographers, makers, and manufacturers can sell their goods through Zazzle. From office products and invitations to clothing and electronics, creators can use this platform to cash in on their beautifully designed products.
If you love dogs but don’t want one of you own, you can get your fix and make some extra cash with Dog Vacay. The service connects dog owners with a line of dog sitters that are willing to open their home and pet sit for a fee.
You can perform the tasks of a personal assistant and make some extra cash with Task Rabbit. From tasks like gift wrapping and running errands to cleaning and organizing, you can make yourself available to help others with their odd jobs.
Selling Your Skills
If you have an in-demand skill, you can find clients using Upwork, a connection portal that connects businesses with skilled freelancers. From writers and designers to accountants and admin assistants, you can find a variety of professional work through this platform. Hubbul has recently entered the market in the same category.
Selling Your Skills on the Cheap
Like Upwork, you can work for yourself and sell professional freelance services on Fiverr. But because the platform is founded on paying only $5 for each service, you need to be creative about what you offer. Only sell something that you can create in batches so it will be worth your effort. Or sell a small offer for $5 and encourage customers to upgrade for a higher price.
Providing Household Services
If you have experience providing services like landscaping, handyman help, carpentry, housecleaning, etc., you can find jobs using Zaarly. The peer-to-peer platform connects service providers with those in need of help around the house.
Renting Out a Car
Unlike Uber and Lyft, these car sharing platforms don’t require a service exchange. Instead of giving a ride, you make your car available for a ride. Getaround, Just Share It, and Turo are car sharing platforms that allow car owners to rent out their car when it’s not in use. These platforms are all spawns of Zipcar.
Renting Out a Home
List your home or a single room to bring in some extra cash through Airbnb, a peer-to-peer rental website that has connected over 60,000,000 renters in more than 34,000 cities.
Creating and Selling Custom Merch
Graphic designers can bring their ideas to life on t-shirts, posters, mugs, leggings, pillows, and more on Printful and Merchify. Printful offers on-demand printing so you don’t need to print then sell. You simply upload your design, and print and ship your orders as they come in.
Creating and Selling Custom T-shirts
Turn your t-shirt designs into cash by creating and selling your product on TeeSpring. You don’t need your own store. You create a design and add it to TeeSpring’s catalog of tees. According to the site, twenty sellers made more than $1 million selling shirts on the site.
Being a Voice Actor
If anyone has ever told you that you have a voice for radio, check out VoiceBunny. The site connects voice actors with customers who need professional voice overs. The site wants professionals only so make sure you put in some practice before you sign up.
Selling Your Artwork
Artists looking for a place to sell their art can find a home on Minted.com. The stationary, home goods, and art e-commerce site prides itself on connecting buyers with talented independent artists.
Helping Invent Things
Quirky is a collaborative community that connects inventors, writers, designers, 3D modelers, etc. so they can bring their ideas to life. If your invention gets picked or you contribute to an idea that gets picked, you get a cut of the royalties once it is on the market.
Selling Instagram Photos & Photography
Photographers can make money selling their photos to stock photo and art print sites that want and need photographers to build their inventory. iStockphoto accepts professional photos and Mobile Prints accepts pro photos and Instagram shots.
Creating Subscription Boxes
You can join the growing industry of subscription boxes by joining Cratejoy. The platform enables you to create your store, connect with their audience, and manage your business. Plus, they provide helpful guidance on making sure your subscription business is a success.
Selling Original Music
Use Tune Core to publish your music to online platforms that will bring in cash for downloads. Tune Core enables you to upload your music and distribute it via iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Google Play. There is a flat distribution fee then you keep 100% of the revenue.
Make money from the old clothes you have lying around or the vintage goodies you find at flea markets. Poshmark connects fashionistas based on their style so they can find and sell designs they love.
Selling Teaching Skills
If you have a high-level of knowledge in a certain school subject, you can work for yourself and tutor students online at Tutor.com. Once you fill out an application, pass a subject exam, and perform a mock session — you can start tutoring students around the world, from home on your time.
Selling Wasted Time
You probably won’t make enough money to support yourself with these two sites, but you can use them to turn your wasted time into cash. iPoll and Swagbucks pay out cash and gift cards in exchange for you to do small tasks in your free time like take surveys and watch online videos.
Selling Online Courses
Take your unique knowledge and package it up into an online course that you can distribute through platforms like Skillshare and Udemy. This requires a bit of upfront work, but it can pay off down the line if you create a useful course on a unique topic.
Indie Income Opportunities
In addition to platforms that connect indiepreneurs with ways to bring in extra income, there are many ways that you can work for yourself and make money online through your own platform.
If you build a popular platform, you can add advertisements to monetize the traffic.
- Blogs — Ads can be placed on blogs through Google’s ad platform Adsense and the content distributor Outbrain.
- Videos — YouTube enables you to add advertisements at the beginning of or during your video.
- Podcasts — Mindroll connects podcasters with advertisers that are interested in promoting their brand during podcast episodes.
If you have a big following online and a loyal audience, you can usher them into paid membership communities where users pay a reoccurring fee to access premium content. Sites that support paid communities include Memberful, Wishlist Member, and the Rainmaker Platform by Copyblogger.
An interested online audience can also help you make money through affiliate sales. In an affiliate relationship, a publisher and a brand come together to promote the brand’s product or service. The publisher gets a cut for every sales that is generated through their promotional link. Popular affiliate sites include Shareasale and Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction).
Ebook and Self-publishing Sales
You don’t need a publisher to get your book out there. Through Kindle Direct Publishing by Amazon, you can put your ebook on Amazon and start making sales yourself.
Ecommerce Website Sales
If you want to sell products without a third party, it’s easy to set up an ecommerce website that includes a shopping cart and secure merchant account to process payments. There are all-in-one store options like GoDaddy Online Store Builder and Shopify. Or you can install WooCommerce on a WordPress theme to add a store to your website.
Coders and developers can tap into the extremely lucrative market that is app sales. But this opportunity is not just for experienced coders. Indiepreneurs with a good idea for an app can hire someone to create it for them and then sell it in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
For indiepreneurs that have an idea they want to get off the ground but lack the funds to launch, there are crowdfunding sites. Platforms like, Indie Go Go, Kickstarter, and Go Fund Me, allow indiepreneurs to ask their peers to donate to the project, freeing them from needing traditional start-up money.
Types of Indie Careers
If you want to work for yourself, consider one of these careers. Many indiepreneurs are also out there on their own starting careers where they will be in the driver’s seat. These people often leverage their unique knowledge to start and run a business that focuses on sharing their skills.
Providing a specialized service based off a unique talent or expertise through freelancing is a prime way that indiepreneurs support themselves. The types of freelance jobs are almost endless. Services range from skills that are acquired through practice and experience to jobs that are highly regulated and require certifications or a high-level of education. Some examples of freelancing jobs include the following:
- Audio Production
- Auto Mechanic
- Bookkeeping & Tax Planning
- Career Counseling
- Catering / Personal Chef
- Customer Service
- Data Entry
- Fashion Stylist
- Gardening & Landscaping
- Grant Writing
- Graphic Design
- Health and Nutrition Planning
- Home Cleaning
- House Painting
- Interior Design
- Mental Health Counseling
- Personal Assistant
- Personal Trainer
- Pet Care
- Photography / Photo Editing
- Project Management
- QA Testing
- Resume Writing
- Social Media (Specialize in one platform to be more effective.)
- Web Development
Industry Experts & Consultants
Industry expert is a term that includes those who know so much about a particular topic or industry that they are seen as an authority. This group can leverage their authority to get speaking engagements and consulting work. As with freelancers, individuals in this group can come from practically any industry and may include people from marketers and therapists to gardeners and fitness trainers.
Through network marketing, an individual purchases a product kit or package that provides them with the resources to sell a product to their “network.” This type of micro-business is the model for popular programs like Avon, Stella & Dot, and Beachbody. But network marketers beware: If an organization is providing a sales program to sell the sales program to your network, this is a pyramid scheme and not a legitimate and sustainable business opportunity.
A growing number of people are using the internet to grow a professional coaching business. These people work with others who need advice, support, and encouragement to get their business, finances, health, or some other element of their life on track. Evercoach is a popular training program that helps people find success as coaches.
Virtual assistants help clients perform admin tasks from managing inboxes and scheduling meetings to paying bills and booking travel. Individuals with strong organization and communication skills can provide virtual assistance to businesses around the world, and find clients using sites like Zirtual and Priority VA.
What other jobs, incomes streams, or platforms are missing from the list? What other tools help you work for yourself?
Let me know in the comments below.
Want to learn more about creating an independent career?
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