Whether you’re running an ecommerce website or branding yourself as a service provider, this list contains dozens of money-making ideas that virtually anyone can try.
25 ways to make money from home
- Sell custom products
- Create a print-on-demand business
- Make a subscription box
- Sell on marketplaces
- Sell digital products
- Sell your creative work
- Monetize an audience
- Become a freelancer
- Become a virtual assistant
- Become a reseller
- Create and sell art
- Collect and sell vintage clothing
- Sell photos
- Rent your unused space
- Start a pet business
- Sell coffee
- Build and sell woodworking projects
- Test Computer Numerical Control projects
- Make candles
- Make soap
- Make bath bombs
- Make skincare products
- Start a good business
- Become a tutor
- Offer child care
1. Sell custom products
Product development isn’t the easiest route to making money online, but it’s often the most rewarding. Also, it may not be as hard as you expect. Making custom products is popular amongst jewelry brands, fashion brands, and home décor brands, but it expands through almost any industry where you can make things from scratch. Some evergreen categories you could sell in are:
- Apparel and clothing. People look for clothes and accessories that match their style and personality, which can make fashion a fun and profitable space to sell in. The global apparel market was worth more than $1.5 trillion in 2022.
- Home décor. You can sell home décor online to anyone, anywhere, at any time, while keeping overhead at a minimum. The home décor market is forecasted to reach $202 billion in 2024.
- Health and beauty. In this category, you can sell skin care, cosmetics, hair care, fragrances, vegan products, and more. There’s also growing demand for men’s grooming products and anti-aging products. Health and beautyrevenue looks set to reach $937 billion by 2030.
- Arts and entertainment. This is an online industry that continues to evolve. And with that change come opportunities to find a profitable niche. In the US, for example, podcast listeners grew 7.1% in 2022, to reach 157 million.
2. Create a print-on-demand business
Print on demand refers to working with a supplier to customize white label products with your own designs, then selling them under your own brand. Businesses can create products like hats, t-shirts, tote bags, and more.
The best part? You don’t need to pay for products until after you make a sale.
When you work with a print-on-demand company, everything from acquiring stock to shipping is handled by the supplier. Usually, it takes just minutes to fulfill an order after a customer checks out.
Creating a print-on-demand business is a great way to make money from home if you need a low-risk, low-investment project. It’s straightforward to add new products to your store and test ideas, since you don’t hold any inventory, keeping business costs down.
Print on demand also gives creators opportunities to connect with fans through niche products. Take Shopify merchant Boba Love, for example. For all its products, the retailer focuses on one theme: bubble tea (also referred to as “boba”), a drink that originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s. Bubble tea has become extremely popular around the world and has a dedicated fan base.
💡 Curious what types of products you can create? Here are the bestselling print-on-demand products this year.
3. Make a subscription box
A subscription business provides customers with products on a recurring basis, and can be a winning work-from-home strategy. Shopify research shows that 63% of founders who sold subscriptions were satisfied with business performance, compared to 55% of founders who did not sell subscriptions.
Types of subscription businesses that have thrived recently include:
With a replenishment subscription model, subscribers receive the same or similar products each cycle.
An example of this is grooming brand Harry’s. A customer purchases the Harry’s starter set, containing a handle, shaving gel, and razor cartridges. They then receive automatic gel and blade refills monthly, based on their usage and preferences.
In a membership model, subscribers get access to exclusive products or perks in exchange for monthly or yearly fees.
Clothing retailers like Rent the Runway and Dia & Co offer membership models in the form of curated product selections. Subscribers pay for in-store stylists to periodically send them items based on a survey of their preferences.
💡 Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start a subscription business.
4. Sell on marketplaces
Selling sites can be a great launchpad for many businesses, but they force entrepreneurs to comply with their rules and may charge fees. Popular marketplaces include:
- Mercado Libre
- Facebook Marketplace
Many people who begin making money from home through marketplaces later build their own websites. The big advantage of having your own store is that profits are yours: there are no fees to pay on sales.
5. Sell digital products
Digital products are media that can be sold repeatedly online. This includes streamable or downloadable files, such as PDFs, plug-ins, and templates. For example, if you’re passionate about music and have experience teaching it, you can teach lessons online through your own course.
Digital assets are becoming more popular because they have high profit margins. It will take time and money to develop them, but once the media or software is made, it’s not expensive to store or deliver to customers.
For example, Shopify merchant UX Kits sells wireflows, user personas, flowcharts, and other products to assist the design process. It has sold kits to over 10,000 designers, developers, and product managers in more than 100 countries.
6. Sell your creative work
It’s easier than ever for creators to sell their work online. Whether it’s music, videos, digital art, photography, magazines, or podcasts, you can set up a digital shop and start selling with little limitation.
While selling creative work sounds similar to digital products, the difference is that your products are more creative ventures. They are a way to express yourself online versus satisfying a buyer’s needs. Creators and artists who don’t have a network or connections with galleries and PR can now make money online doing something they love.
7. Monetize an audience
Monetizing an audience is a challenging endeavor, but the creator-to-commerce business model is becoming more accessible. Today’s bloggers and influencers don’t need to be internet celebrities to make money from home. Instead, it’s about targeting the right people and turning their attention into passive income.
Sonja Detrinidad, founder of online plant shop Partly Sunny Projects, turned one of her part-time hobbies into a full-time business through TikTok marketing. She didn’t set out to become TikTok’s favorite plant mom, but discovered by accident the possibilities of monetizing an audience.
Sonja processed more than 1,200 orders in a month at the height of the plant-shopping season. She also increased her subscription box customers four times over after becoming a TikTok sensation.
Sonja processed more than 1,200 orders in one month at the height of plant-shopping season last summer. She also increased her subscription box customers by more than four times since becoming a TikTok sensation, with over 350,000 followers on the platform.
Some ways you can monetize an audience are:
- Building your own website and selling online
- Through affiliate marketing commissions
- Using Instagram shoppable posts
- Starting a YouTube channel or other social media account and running ads
- Adding Google AdSense to an active blog
Regardless of how you go about it, monetizing an audience is a legitimate way to make money from home. It may take some time to build a targeted audience, but the investment will be well worth your time in the long run.
8. Become a freelancer
One home business idea becoming more popular is offering freelance services to clients online. Almost any role a business would hire for can potentially be filled by a freelancer:
- Graphic design
- Data entry
- Online tutoring
- Shopify store setup
Most of these services are best positioned toward business clients. Why? Because online businesses are the ones who are willing to spend. Freelancers can charge based on the outcome of their work versus the deliverable, which gives them leverage when it comes to pricing their services.
“Every freelancer eventually learns that there are desired business outcomes tied to their work,” explains Elise Dopson, co-founder of Peak Freelance. “Freelance writers, for example, are not just blogging for a company. They are creating content that increases traffic, leads, and customers for a business. The sooner you learn that, and can deliver on it, the more money you’ll make freelancing from home.”
9. Become a virtual assistant
With so many businesses moving online, the demand for virtual assistants (VAs) is growing. VAs are contractors who work with businesses and individuals on the jobs they are given. VAs work from home and help with tasks such as:
- Time management and administrative tasks, like responding to emails
- Financial tasks, like bookkeeping and client invoicing
- Team management tasks, like following up on deliverables, organizing training sessions, and creating task templates
- Social media and digital marketing tasks, like publishing and managing content
- Personal tasks, like managing investment properties, paying bills, and planning trips
- Content tasks, like video or podcast editing
Alongside client work, VAs can start a blog, sell digital products, or coach other VAs to create new revenue streams and make more money from home.
10. Become a reseller
Don’t want to worry about creating new products or about minimum purchase quantities? Not a problem. You don’t need a revolutionary product idea to make money from home. Instead, you can become a reseller.
A reseller is a person who buys products from manufacturers, liquidators, and other retailers, then sells them to their own customers. You can find suppliers to purchase items from through a number of ways:
- A dropshipping supplier like DSers
- Vintage boutiques
- Consignment shops
- Facebook Marketplace
COAL N TERRY is one retailer that sells a vintage collection in its online store. The brand sells classic clothing alongside its own proprietary brand of hoodies and other apparel, giving shoppers a variety of products to browse and buy.
11. Create and sell art
Are you an independent artist looking for ways to make money from home? Artists can fund their craft and sell work directly to fans through online channels like a store or non-fungible tokens. Try out:
- Limited or open edition prints
- Digital downloads
- Merchandise like hats or enamel pins
- Repeat prints on fabric
- Licensing work to other brands or publications
- Influencer collaborations
💡Learn how to sell art online.
12. Collect and sell vintage clothing
Got a passion for second-hand fashion? Turn it into a business by selling vintage clothing from home.
A growing market, vintage shoppers depend on store owners to curate the best items. The rise in demand for vintage clothes has led to the success of brands like ThredUp and the increase of vintage clothing sellers on marketplaces like Etsy and eBay.
Naomi Bergknoff, founder of OMNIA, has been selling vintage clothing online since 2010. Combining her love for vintage clothes and her retail expertise, she’s defined a particular style that customers appreciate.
💡 Learn more by reading this guide on how to sell vintage clothing online.
13. Sell photos
The ability to make money from home as a photographer is about harnessing your creativity and monetizing it. It can seem challenging at first, but by finding your niche and building an audience, you can create multiple streams of income over time.
Photographers have plenty of options to sell online:
- Stock marketplaces like Alamy, 500px, 123RF, and Stocksy
- Products such as prints, photobooks, and physical goods via print-on-demand services
- Services covering fashion shoots, product photography, and events
💡Start selling your photography with this guide on how to sell photos online.
14. Rent your unused space
Most people don’t think about using their empty space to make money from home. Yet it’s one of the easiest sources of passive income. From bedrooms to parking areas, you may have some space people will happily pay you to rent.
You have a wide range of options here:
- Bring on a housemate to rent a room in your house
- Rent a room on Airbnb
- Rent out storage space on SpareFoot
- Rent out your parking space
- Host a foreign exchange student
- Offer pet boarding
You don’t need tons of money or time to rent out your space. Rather than let unused space go to waste, offer it as a service to people who need it.
15. Start a pet business
Pet businesses are a fun way to make money from home (if you love animals, of course). There are many different ways to earn extra cash, like providing walking and grooming services, training, making treats, or reselling products like bowls and chew toys.
You’re not limited to dogs and cats either. Specialize in reptiles, fish, bunnies, or whatever animals you enjoy being around. Pet owners spent more than $136 billion on their fur babies in 2022, making this a profitable business opportunity for newcomers.
💡 Turn your passion for pets into profit by learning how to start a pet business.
16. Sell coffee
Coffee sellers are always in demand. According to the International Coffee Organization, coffee consumption globally grows each year. With a strong brand and marketing plan, selling coffee can be a great way to earn money from home with a strong brand and marketing plan.
Coffee is a commodity product, so it’s widely available. Customers tend to look for branding cues like design and bean origin to decide what to buy. By selling coffee, you’ll have a high volume of potential customers and many niching and expansion opportunities.
💡 Find out what it takes to launch an online cafe and sell coffee from home.
17. Build and sell woodworking projects
If you’re a woodworker, or curious about the craft, you can make money from home by building and selling woodworking products. There are products to sell for all levels, from beginner to skilled woodworkers. You just need to figure out the best project for you.
Some fun woodworking projects that sell include:
- Wooden signs
- Kitchen products
- Picture frames
💡 Check out these woodworking projects and how to sell them online.
18. Test computer numerical control (CNC) projects
A CNC router is a computer-operated cutting tool that acts as a combination panel saw, spindle molder, and boring machine. It carves complex shapes out of materials like metal, wood, plastics, and glass. CNC routers use programmable automation, similar to 3D printing, to design complex parts at scale.
Small CNC machines can cost from a few hundred dollars up to thousands, depending on the make and model. With them, you can create handcrafted, one-of-a-kind products for buyers across many markets, including:
- Home décor products
- Kitchen and barbecue tools
- Office supplies
- Custom signage
- Toys and games
There are tons of resources available online to learn about using a CNC router. There’s a very low barrier to entry. And you can test, create, and sell products with minimal upfront costs.
💡 Interested in starting a CNC business? Here’s a list of CNC projects that sell.
19. Make candles
Looking for a fun way to make money from home? Start making and selling candles to people online. It takes a little know-how and hard work, but the upside is that you can customize candles and sell them anywhere. It’s also a low-cost business to start. Common costs include equipment to make the candles, like a double-boiler, pouring pots, and containers.
A candle business can be extremely profitable, with the industry valued at over $550 million in 2022. It’s also a good way to express your creativity and build a brand. Take candle company Boy Smells, for example, which broke traditional gender norms with its business model.
💡 Build your candle-making startup with this post on how to start a candle business.
20. Make soap
Are you an avid DIYer? You may enjoy making and selling soap from home. While soap doesn’t sound like the best income stream, it’s an in-demand product that all customers need.
The COVID-19 pandemic also stimulated the industry, which is projected to reach $67 billion by 2030. It’s a great way to get creative with different scents and materials, with potential to expand your brand to other products like candles and fragrances.
💡 Want to get your hands dirty with this business idea? Here’s how to make soap to sell.
21. Make bath bombs
Bath bombs are all the rage and a great way to make money from home. The US bath bomb market is expected to grow into a $350 million industry by 2025. If you turn to Instagram, you’ll see there are millions of photos showing how these colorful balls explode when dropped in water.
If you love DIY and have a knack for crafts, learn how to start a bath bomb business from home and discover how to source ingredients, make your bath bombs, market them, and grow a business people love.
22. Make skincare products
Indie beauty brands are driving growth in a $150 billion global skin care market. If you love taking care of your skin and want to turn it into a business, now’s the time. Newcomers are jumping on trends like hybrid beauty (the combination of cosmetic and skin care), cannabis-based products, and clean beauty (products made without harming human or animal health).
The beauty of being a small brand is that you can tackle a specific problem for a specific audience. Find a market that’s underserved by current brands and create skin care products just for them. You’ll want to learn more about manufacturing and working with suppliers when running a profitable skin care business.
💡A beauty entrepreneur explains how to start a skin care line.
23. Start a food business
Everyone’s got to eat, you can’t argue with that. Which is why starting a food business is a great idea if you want to make money from home.
Outside of restaurants, there are endless high-profit-margin businesses you can run with low overhead and startup costs. The trick is cooking food you are passionate and curious about, regardless of your experience level.
Some food business ideas to start include:
- Food truck
- Catering business
- Cooking classes
- Meal kits
- Pre-packaged snacks
- Homemade jams and jellies
- Wine, beer, and spirits
💡 Want to see examples of other food businesses in action? Check out Selling Like Hotcakes: 13 Profitable Food Business Ideas for 2022 on the Shopify blog.
24. Become a tutor
Are you an expert in math, art, or another subject? You can make money from home doing online tutoring. A prerequisite for most tutoring gigs is a bachelor’s degree in your subject, depending on where you apply for the job. You can find tutoring clients on websites like Skooli and Tutor.com.
Only teach subjects that you have demonstrated expertise in. You’ll want to share skills and practical knowledge to create good learning experiences for your students. You can provide pre-recorded lectures and templates, plus meet students through Zoom. Tutoring is also inexpensive to start (if you already have that degree) and can easily earn you extra money.
25. Offer child care
If you’re a stay-at-home parent or enjoy taking care of children, you can start a child care business from home. You can offer all-day care (eight hours) for parents while they are at work, or before and after school care (one to four hours).
Look at other day care businesses in your area and see what they charge. Choose your rates wisely. Don’t undercharge just to get more business. Start with an income goal for a day, then decide how many children you can realistically watch. Divide those two numbers to see how much to charge per child, per day.
Home jobs to avoid
Now that you have a good idea of different ways to make money from home, let’s look at some jobs to avoid.
Marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork might be a way to get your first clients, but quickly can turn into a price race to the bottom. You’re forced to compete with the cheapest freelancers and have few ways to differentiate your services. Long term, you’re better off creating a freelancer website and building a business that doesn’t rely on renting digital space in a marketplace.
Online survey sites
The pay is very low from online survey sites, and you accrue no long-term value. You’re not building skills or building an asset, you’re just losing time. Trading time for extra cash is always a reasonable short-term side hustle, but if you can, it’s better to think long term.
Online survey sites include:
- Survey Junkie
Building an app
Look at most websites promoting legit ways to make money online and they’ll tell you to build an app. All new ventures are hard and most fail, but consumer apps are hyper-competitive: the average person uses only nine apps on their phone per day, most developed by major companies.
A better option? Grow your skill set by building useful, problem-solving apps for businesses via growing marketplaces like the Shopify App Store.
If you want to make a quick buck, then side gig apps like Rover or UserTesting are good options. But similar to online survey sites, you aren’t building anything valuable in the long run.
You are better off learning skills in your spare time, like running Facebook ads or starting a dropshipping store, which can make you money repeatedly, versus a one-off cash gig from Craigslist.
Anything that’s pay-to-earn
Real businesses require investment, but anything that operates in a pay-to-earn model should be treated with extreme caution. Avoid sites that promise you can win money by spending money, or multi-level marketing groups that require money beyond purchasing inventory.
💡 Discover the profitability of a product using Shopify’s free profit margin calculator.
Making money online from home
If you have an internet connection, you can make money from home. Use your time wisely and invest in building a business that’s rewarding and will keep paying out over time.
Ready to create your business? Start your free trial of Shopify—no credit card required.
Make money from home FAQ
How do I make money from home?
How do I make an extra $1000 a month?
- Sell custom products.
- Create a dropshipping business.
- Sell on online marketplaces.
- Monetize an audience.
- Sell digital products.
- Become a freelancer.
How can I make money from home with no costs?
- Become an English tutor.
- Sell stuff on eBay or Craigslist.
- Become a virtual assistant.
- Start a print on demand business.
- Sell your creative work.
- Build an audience and monetize it.
- Start an ecommerce store.