Are you a retiree and suddenly finding a lot of free time in your schedule? If you are wondering about new ways of making money, you have come to the right place. This post will talk about money-making opportunities for retirees. You may find at least one or more idea to be interesting and decide to try it out.
Retirees Quick Guide To Blogging For Cash
If you're a senior citizen, you might be thinking that blogging is a young person's game. Of course, the typical stereotype of blogging involves some sort of millennial sipping coffee at Starbucks, typing out a blog post and checking all sorts of gadgets.
Well, you need to look past the stereotype to discover that a lot of older people who blog make money from their activities. The great thing about blogging is that it produces passive income. To get a clear understanding of what passive income is, I want you to remember what it's like to work for a living.
Typically, you would have to show up at a physical location, punch the clock and sit your butt down for 8 hours. It doesn't matter whether you're pushing paper around or you're getting up to do physical things for work. Your time is locked in a particular space for 8 hours.
If you don't do that, you don't get paid. Welcome to the world of active income. It can simply be reduced to the simple formula of no work, no pay. It's like you're a chicken. If you don't scratch and peck on the ground, you don't eat.
It gets old quickly. Wouldn't it be great for you to work once, but earn money many times over from the stuff that you worked on a long time ago? This is called passive income. Of course, there are many different variations of passive income.
You can publish software, you can create an app, you can write a book or if you want something lower impact and more in line with your experiences, you can blog for cash.
It's very tempting to just jump into blogging. I mean, after all, how hard can it be? There are all sorts of free blogging tools like medium.com, wordpress.com and blogger.com. You don't have to spend money on a domain name, you don't have to spend dollars on a hosting account. It's free.
It is no surprise, however, that given the low barrier to entry, most bloggers fail. I don't say that to depress you. I don't share that to discourage you. But this is a reality check. If you don't know what you're doing, don't start.
What follows is a quick guide on how to do it right. The reason why people fail at blogging is that they just blog about anything that they're interested in. On a personal level, this is fine. But the problem is your blog is not a personal diary.
You're trying to make money from your blog. You're trying to turn your time into dollars. If you want to do that, then you have to have a plan.
As the old saying goes, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Given the ridiculously high 90 per cent failure rate of most blogs (whether they launched 10 minutes ago or 10 years ago), you have to have a plan coming in.
The good news is that your plan only needs to have 3 parts: niche selection, monetization plan, and content strategy. By thinking strategically and knowing these key planning elements ahead of time, you pave the way for your eventual success.
Retirees Quick Guide To Virtual Assistance Online Cash
Usually, when people hear the word “assistant”, they think of some sort of college intern. This person is very young. This person doesn't make much money. But they have all the enthusiasm in the world. Well, you may be a little bit older. But senior citizens actually make good money as virtual assistants.
You have to understand that as more and more businesses discover the power of the internet to connect with labor, a lot of them are outsourcing digital work. If you are putting up an online business, you probably would need to do research.
You can do this yourself or you can hire somebody to do it for you. If you don't have the skills to do a task, you can hire somebody through the internet to perform all sorts of tasks for you.
The best part to all of this is you don't have to pay employment taxes, you don't have to pay worker's compensation, plus you don't have to comply with all sorts of regulatory headaches in your particular state.
Please understand that in the United States, labor regulations vary from state to state. California, for example, has very restrictive labor and employment code.
Other states like Texas are more forgiving. But the good news is when you hire a virtual assistant, all that goes away because that person is your contractor.
They basically do a job for you and once the project is done, that's the end of the relationship. Compare this with an employer-employee relationship. It can easily turn into a headache. It is no surprise that a lot of seniors are hiring themselves as virtual assistants.
How Much Money Can You Make?
Virtual assistants in the United States can make upwards of $50 per hour or more. It all depends on the tasks being assigned. Obviously, you're not going to take low-skilled tasks. You're not going to take tasks that can be automated because if they can be automated, your prospective employer would not approach you in the first place.
They'd just download a piece of software, install a bot and be done with it. Instead, they're looking for virtual assistants with a specialized body of expertise. In other words, they're looking to rely on your life experience.
This is how older American VAs blow away the competition. You cannot compete against younger virtual assistants by saying, “Well I can do research, I can look for stuff on Google and I can fill out forms.”
Well, let me tell you, everybody can do that. In fact, they don't even have to be in the United States to do that. Somebody with a decent command of the English language, be they in the Philippines, India or Bangladesh, can do that.
The problem is if that's the best you can offer, you're going to have to work for peanuts. Some VAs charge very little money. We're talking about less than $5 per hour. That is awesome in places like the Philippines and India, but completely unacceptable in the United States where monthly rents in certain areas are north of $5,000.
You have to offer highly specialized services.
Do A Skills Audit
What are you skilled in? Can you program? Can you code? Do you have a medical background? Do you have a legal background? What kind of specialized knowledge do you have? The more specialized you are, the more money you can command on an hourly basis. That's the name of the game.
Simply putting up a business is not going to cut it. Simply creating a website is not going to automatically put dollars in your pocket. You have to know how to market.
Retirees Quick Guide To Online Tutoring Success
Usually, when we think about tutoring, we think about people in an actual university or high school. We think about physical buildings, bureaucracies and some sort of chain of command. This is bureaucratic, structural and formal tutoring.
But did you know that thanks to the internet, people from all over the world can come to you to get expert tutoring help? That's right! You can turn your Skype connection or Google Hangouts access into US dollars. Welcome to the world of online tutoring.
Just like with any other kind of skills-building program, however, it all depends on how specialized the content is. Even though you are going to be helping people on a one-to-one basis using a webcam, the value of the tutoring experience still turns on the content being exchanged.
You're sharing your experience. You're teaching somebody how to do certain things. You're sharing key pieces of information with another person through the internet. But throughout all of this, the amount of money they're willing to pay depends on the perceived value of the information.
It's All About The Law Of Supply And Demand
Just like with anything else, if you are offering something that anybody can offer, then you are dealing with a commodity business. In other words, what you have to offer is not all that different from what somebody else has to offer.
It's as if you've seen one, you've pretty much seen them all. So, in that case, the only point of difference is price. This is a serious problem because if you're going to be offering tutoring services and the only people are interested in is price, it's easily going to be a race to the bottom.
People will offer cheaper and cheaper rates and before you know it, you're making less than minimum wage. I'm sure as a senior citizen, you are looking for something more lucrative. I'm sure you're looking to maximize the value of whatever spare time you want to invest in this kind of venture.
This is why it's really important to zero in on the most crucial key to success in online tutoring.
Your Key To Success: Branded Specialization
I'm not just talking about specialization. It would be great if you're a lawyer and you are helping law students quickly understand basic legal concepts. It would be awesome if you're a doctor and you're helping people get into medical school as well as helping them with their first year in that system.
But outside of that, you should also develop a brand. You may think that the information you share is specialized already. After all, you got an MBA, you got a PHD or you went through some sort of specialized training program. Big whoop.
Remember, in the United States, there are hundreds of thousands of doctors. There are more than a million lawyers. In many developing countries, there are millions of lawyers and doctors. A lot of them can speak English.
You have to look beyond just the specialized knowledge you have. Maybe it's engineering. Maybe it's computer programming. Maybe it's some sort of molecular cell biology. You have to look beyond that specialized body of knowledge and focus on branding as well.
This is where online marketing comes in. When people see that you have a specific brand associated with a specialized form of knowledge, they start preferring you. Maybe they think you explain concepts better. Maybe they think you're more approachable. Maybe they think you are more competent than the next guy.
Whatever their perception may be, in the world of online marketing, perception is reality. So when you market yourself, look to create a personal brand and this enables your online tutoring business to charge more money for every hour of service performed.
This will enable you to achieve the holy grail of any kind of freelancing. What is the holy grail? To get the most amount of money while putting in the least amount of work. That's the bottom line.
In other words, if you're going to be spending one hour doing a certain kind of work, you better insist on charging as much money for that unit of time as possible. That's how you know you have a successful online tutoring business.
Unfortunately, if your skill set is focused on stuff that is fairly generic like math, don't be surprised if you earn $5 or less per hour. It's bad enough that you're offering tutoring services that people who could speak English all over the world can offer, but your lack of a brand makes things worse.
So you have to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. You have to offer a specialized body of knowledge that's fairly rare and you have to create a brand for yourself. This way, people would seek you out and pay you top dollar.
You will get a blueprint that would help you set up a successful online marketing program. Turn your spare time into spare dollars.
Retirees Quick Guide To Online Consulting
Did you know that people are willing to pay you top dollar for your knowledge? I know it seems so hard to believe but the online consulting industry is worth billions of dollars and continues to grow year after year.
The truth is businesses start all over the world and they’re looking for expert knowledge. The problem is a lot of these materials cannot be found online for a variety of reasons.
Also, people are looking for actual consultants that they can reach out to and talk to on a one-to-one basis. They feel that can easily pick the brain of somebody that they’re talking to so that the information they get is neatly tailored to whatever problems they may have.
In other words, it’s not much different from hiring somebody to visit your worksite so they can guide you through certain issues that you are struggling with.
The only difference here is that you’re doing it through Skype, Google hangouts and some sort of online platform like Whatsapp. On the other end of the equation, senior citizens can make money by offering consulting services. These companies can come from Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand and all points in-between.
The secret to making money with online consulting boils down to 2 key factors:
I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you but if your skill is possessed by most people on this planet, you probably are not going to make much money as an online consultant. Seriously, if your skill is to look stuff up on Google, anybody can do that. If your skill is to write in English, I’m sorry to report but there are many places in the world like the Philippines, Nigeria, Kenya, Bangladesh, and India, where there are millions of people, literally millions of people who speak English as their second language.
Accordingly, there is a race to the bottom as far as those skill sets are concerned. If you want to succeed in the world of online consulting, you have to offer specialized skill sets.
I’m talking about specialized programming, legal knowledge, specialized consulting, backed up by dozen years of experience, business law, a specialized type of research or medical knowledge.
Whatever the case may be, the more specialized your body of knowledge is the more dollars it's worth. It all boils down to the iron law of economics. It’s all about supply and demand – the higher the supply, the lower the demand, the lower the price.
On the other hand, if you flip the script and the supply is very tight and limited but the demand is crazy, then the price goes up astronomically. That’s never going to change nor is it going to go away. So do yourself a big favor, if you want to get into the lucrative world of online consulting, pick the right skill set.
The good news is the internet has many resources where you can pick up the skill set. If you want to learn how to code, you can go to Code Academy. If you want to learn how to do a certain type of consulting, you can go to udemy.com.
I don’t know about you, but the first time I used legal services, I was referred to a lawyer by a friend of mine. However, it turns out that the guy didn’t know what he was doing. So I was fairly frustrated with the legal services and I swore off lawyers for a long time.
Well, finally, I went to a seminar and I saw that there were these lawyers who kept talking about this attorney, who was revolutionizing a particular segment of the legal industry. This person had a tremendous reputation. So when I faced some legal issues of my own I knew who to talk to and guess what. He delivered. In fact, he over-delivered.
The reason why I raised this story with you is that it highlights the power of branding. Reputations don’t come out of nowhere. People will only develop a reputation in a particular industry because they know what they’re doing.
They can do the right things at the right time with the right people to produce the right outcome. That’s a tremendous amount of competence and we’re not just talking about being able to do the job but they can do the job consistently.
And this is why, if you want to earn top dollar as an online consultant, you have to develop that kind of reputation. The good news is it’s easier than you can realize by simply writing a lot of articles, and getting invited to speak at symposiums, conventions, and networking events. You can make your consulting brands stand out.
Make no mistake, even if you are only able to distinguish your brand a little bit from the competition that can mean a lot. It can justify charging $200 per hour or more instead of being stuck with the industry standard of $25 to $50 per hour or less.
Retirees Quick Guide to Buying and Selling Online Businesses
I’m not going to mince words here. It’s very easy to lose money on the internet. You may be thinking to yourself, “How am I losing money? I just put up a blog and I did not lose any dollars putting up a blog. I just sat down and wrote article after article and for whatever reason things didn’t work out but at least I am not out of cash. I’m not out of pocket so how am I possibly losing money with my failed blog business?”
Well, think about it this way. You can’t be in two places at once. This means that when you pick one activity and you don’t make money off of it, you missed out on the opportunity to pick another activity that makes more money. Do you see how this works?
This is called an opportunity cost and unfortunately, this is the most common way people lose money online. They simply pick the wrong enterprise to invest their time, effort and focus on. This is a tragedy because a lot of senior citizens have so much to offer.
They have a wealth of experience, they have a lot of specialized knowledge, and they want to help other people; but the problem is they end up finding themselves barking at the wrong tree. For whatever reason, they end up setting up the wrong business and they failed. To avoid this tragedy, I want you to look at one particularly powerful way of making money online.
Buying Low and Selling High: Flipping Online Businesses
Have you ever watched that home flipping shows on cable? There are lots of people in the United States who buy beat-up homes, renovate them and sell them for hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit. These are called flippers.
Depending on the initial state of the home that needs renovation; they can stand to make quite a bit of money. This is a very lucrative business to be in.
Of course, the downside of flipping is you have to have a lot of cash coming in. You have to understand in the United States you have to put up 20% of the home’s value to get the bank to loan you the rest. That’s how most homes are bought in the United States. Accordingly, flipping is a capital-intensive business.
Did you know that you can do the same online without spending as much cash? This is called online business flipping. There are many blogs out there that are already making money. Maybe they are making a hundred dollars a month. Maybe they are pulling in five hundred or sometimes even several thousand dollars.
For whatever reasons, their owners are selling them. Now with much less cash, than buying a physical home, you can buy these online businesses, renovate them and make some strategic changes to increase their effectiveness. Once you have whipped them into shape, you can then sell them at a big profit.
Personally speaking, I’ve seen flippers buy a website that was making $10 a month for 500 bucks and then turn it into a website that’s generating $500 or even thousands of dollars a month and sell it for $25,000. In other words, you get the massive returns of home flipping without the gigantic front capital costs. Excited yet? You should be. This is a very lucrative business.
The Secret To Buying and Selling Online Businesses
The secret to this game is developing the ability to pick the right properties to buy. Pass the bottom line. Because there are many professional builders out there. These people just build one website after the other. They’re just cranking out all these websites like their commodities.
You need to avoid those people. Those people will ask for top dollar upfront. And often they set up their websites in such a flimsy way that you have to pour a lot of resources to make that website generate real money.
The better approach is to look for websites that are not advertised on flipping sites. These are websites that are not actively being sold by their owners but you can tell that these websites are floundering. The content is not being updated. When you look at their SEO backlinks, they’re not getting much traction from the rest of the internet. When you look at their traffic ranking on Alexa, they’re struggling.
Approach these businesses and offer a fair price for the website. Usually, in many cases, $500 should do the trick. You see a lot of these websites are barely staying alive. It’s as if the owner is just hanging on to them for purely emotional reasons but those reasons are getting weaker and weaker every time they have to pay for hosting costs and domain renewal fees.
If you come up and ask to buy a website for $500 bucks, you’d be surprised as to the quality of the site that you are getting. Everything is organic, the person didn’t use software to build the site and generate backlinks. All you need to do is employ basic SEO, and social media marketing to build up its traffic base. Maybe you can change its affiliate product so it can make more money with its ads.
Whatever you need to do, do it to level up the effectiveness and conversion value of that website. After it’s generating far more than its normal monthly revenue sells it through affiliate marketing forums. This is the key. Don’t sell it to professional exchangers like Flippa.
You’re going to get eaten alive because a lot of those people are professional buyers. They know how to lowball their sellers.
Instead, sell it through affiliate marketing platforms where people who make money are hanging out. You’d be surprised and pleased to discover that a website that you bought for $500, can be flipped for $25,000 or more. That’s how lucrative it can be.
Retirees Quick Guide to Graphic Design Success
There’s a common misconception on the internet regarding graphic design. The idea is that, since people from low-wage countries can crank out high-quality graphics then American graphic designers or Western European graphics designers are basically out of luck.
The idea is that these skills are somehow commodities. The assumption is just because somebody can do a particular type of work in a low-wage country, this means that the value of this type of work in a developed country like the United States necessarily has to go down.
I can see why people think this way. They think that this is a simple case of buying commodities. Well, unfortunately, there’s a big difference between buying corn or rice in a market and buying graphic design. You see, you can talk to 2 different graphic designers and tell them to come up with a vector graphic of a coffee cup.
Let me tell you, the resulting work product can be different like day and night. It all boils down to creativity, experience and yes, cultural awareness. You see, Americans have a cultural preconception regarding graphic design just like Filipinos, Indians, Canadians, the French, or the Chinese. You name it. And a lot of people who say that graphic design is a commodity are completely clueless about this.
This is why they overlooked the fact that there are still graphics designers in Canada who make north of a hundred thousand dollars a year. There are still senior citizen graphics designers in the United States who make 6 figures.
All of this is happening although there is this misconception that somehow, some way graphic design is some sort of a dead-end vocation. It isn’t. It all boils down to cultural sensitivity, experience and yes, personal creativity.
Make no mistake. Just because somebody is a graphics designer, it doesn’t mean that he/she will produce the kind of graphics you’re looking for. If they are lousy, if they have no imagination, they don’t have passion for what they are doing, you can bet that their output will be disappointing.
On the other hand, if you know that somebody knows their stuff and they have a tracker for producing really beautiful graphics that are engaging and will withstand the test of time, there will always be demand for their work. In this case, there is such a thing as inelasticity.
This is an economics concept saying that the demand for a certain item doesn’t turn on the price. It turns on competence. It turns on intangibles.
If you establish a reputation for yourself, as a graphics designer that can come up with something new or something that truly hits the spot every time you produce, your reputation will sooner or later precede you.
In other words, people will pay a premium just for your graphics. This is why it’s a good idea for senior citizens looking into getting into outsourcing graphics design to wrap their minds around these 2 factors. Don’t let common misconceptions about online graphics design services scare you off.
You don’t have to automatically get depressed and conclude that your skill set is essentially worthless or you just wasted years of your life becoming a top-notch graphic designer. It all boils down to building a brand. It all boils down to marketing.
It all boils down to getting your brand in front of the right eyeballs at the right time to produce the right kind of contracts. In other words, it’s about visibility and not just technical proficiency or having the right skills.
Senior citizens can and do earn a good living from online graphic design work. However, for this to happen, they have to have a system and a plan. You have to be able to do it systematically and methodically.
Retirees Quick Guide to Online Freelancer Income
Many American and European businesses are turning to the internet to find specialized labor. It's not like they can't find this labor locally. The problem is when they hire locally, they bite off more than they can chew.
Not only do you have to pay a person a full-time income, but you also have to pay all sorts of statutory costs. We are, of course, talking about health care, insurance and other additional costs.
All these costs add up and it's no surprise that more and more employers in the United States, whether they be startups or long-established companies, are turning to the internet to find freelancers.
The great thing about freelancers is that you pay them a fixed negotiated rate and once the project is over, they stop doing work for you. It's quick, it's easy and there is no administrative or bookkeeping mess to deal with. That's not the case with an actual employee in your physical business.
Also, there are many different types of freelancers out there. The main point of distinction is their skill sets and skill levels.
Senior Citizens Can Make Good Money As Online Freelancers
If you're a senior citizen and you're looking to make money off the internet, you can be a freelancer. It all boils down to how you do it. If you want to be a freelancer offering services that most people who can speak English can offer, it can get depressing quickly.
If you just want to fill out forms or if you want to be some sort of general all-around virtual assistant, it can easily become a race to the bottom. Please understand that these tasks can be performed by a big population of people and they can be performed anywhere on the planet.
Accordingly, people from the Philippines, India and developing countries charge less than $5 per hour for that type of freelance work. If you live in the United States, you cannot compete. You should at least charge $35 to $50 per hour.
So the key here is not pricing. If you try to compete based on price, you will lose again and again. Don't even get started. That is a non-starter.
How To Compete Online As A Freelancer
The key to success is skill specialization. The more specialized the skill and the more high value the skill is, the more money you stand to make. Do you have a legal background? You can write legal articles.
Normal articles that are used for search engine optimization fetch as low as $5 or less per 1000 words. Legal articles written by people with an actual legal background fetch $100 or less per 1000 words. Which would you rather write? Which rate does a better job of compensating for your time? It's a no-brainer.
The same applies to medical information. If you're a nurse and you know how to write, you can command a pre-significant premium for medical information. There's a huge demand for these materials. But you have to have the right skills.
The more specialized your skills, the more money you stand to make. That's the bottom line when it comes to online freelancing. This applies to graphics, this applies to writing, this applies to marketing and this applies to research. So you have to have the right skill sets.
What If You Don't Have The Skills?
The great thing about the internet is even if you don't have the skills, you can easily learn them. How? You can go to Udemy or even YouTube. There are all sorts of free coaching programs or low-cost coaching programs.
You can learn the information you need through the right courses so you can get the skills people are willing to pay top dollar for. You can also sign up for an online university. You can get an online law degree or even an online MBA. It's all up to you.
Make no mistake, thanks to the internet, you can make quite a bit of income online. You just have to have the right plan, method and strategy.
About the Author
Mandy Fard is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW, CMRW) and Recruiter with decades of experience in assisting job seekers, working directly with employers in multiple industries, and writing proven-effective resumes.
Mandy Fard is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW, CMRW) and Recruiter with decades of experience in assisting job seekers, working directly with employers in multiple industries, and writing proven-effective resumes.