So you want to make money online?

So you want to make money online?

Often the Iowa Business Concierge fields questions about the legitimacy of internet, virtual and/or online home-based business opportunities.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of those which we have researched thus far have been spam in the least, clearly criminal in the worst.  Here are some real and legal ways to make money online, just in time to pad your business revenue for the holidays. & GoodSmiths

Etsy is an online marketplace for artisans to sell their handcrafted jewelry, pottery, crochet, clothing, accessories or even Mummified Amphibian Colossal Toads.  If you have an artistic talent; I recommend starting here.

GoodSmiths has a similar business model to Etsy but they focus more on cultivating selling and buying communities.  Their pricing structure is such that it is much more easy for first time online retailers of handcrafted goods to get their feet wet without being charged loads of fees.


eBay is another online marketplace, except it is more like a large, 24-hour, garage sale or auction.  You can always get rid of excess inventory you have around your store, or go pickup items you can get inexpensively and resell them here.  If you have trouble finding things to sell, reach out to your neighbors and offer to help them sell their old stuff for a small percentage cut.


Quirky is unique because you can earn money in two different ways.  First, you can submit your innovative idea and potentially have them sell it for you (sales royalty); or you can get paid to participate in the larger community of reviewers of the submitted ideas, products, and innovations.

Crowd Sourced Work

There are quite a few websites out there that will allow you submit designs, ideas, or otherwise sell your skills to potential employers- all online.  For virtually every skill you can think of (and many you cannot), there is a potential online revenue option out there.  Here are just a few to explore, use some Google searching to find a match for your abilities:

Rob Williams is a Business Analyst for the University of Northern Iowa

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