The top 3 online money-making options for people over 50 shared here offer great great opportunities to grow an online business.
Quite a few online opportunities out there let you get started for free. Many are under $100 and others can be less than a single month car payment. The three options here cost little or nothing to get started and can be up and running in a short period of time.
Try to match this risk-free investment level with any standard start-up costs.
Your online money-making options are limitless
Many people over the age 50 worry about handling online technology, so they never take the first step. This is important: Don’t be afraid of the phrase “online business.”
Technology has made internet marketing easier than ever in 2021. There are low cost, easy to use and effective tools to help you grow your online income. In some cases, you just need a laptop and an internet connection.
Starting an online business is something everybody should try to do. It can offer you new kinds of freedom in your life.
- Financial freedom
- Freedom with time
- Freedom to be creative
- The freedom that comes from a happier and more fulfilled life.
There are no age limitations on starting an online business. Unlike the corporate world, age never comes up with the online options shared here.
This means age 50+ folks do not have to worry about age discrimination. What a relief, right?
Of course, the flip side is it might make sense to talk about your age at times. Your personal story and background can be intriguing to your audience. It’s all up to you.
Do any of these questions sound true to you?
- Do you wake up every morning wishing you could change the course of your life?
- Are you over the age of 50 and stuck in a job that continues to sap your spirit and energy?
- Are you already retired – or nearly there – but think a part-time income source would make life sweet?
- Has COVID-19 and political turmoil given you a wake-up call about how “job security” is becoming more myth than reality?
- Did you lose or leave your job and now struggling to figure out how to make money online – and sooner is better than later?
Let’s take a look at the best online income options available for you today.
We've listed three ways to take your skills online:
1. Freelancing / Service Provider (use existing skills or learn a new one!)
2. Creating an Online Courses (online course industry is booming!)
3. Publishing Books & Low Content Books (You can publish a notebook in less than a day!)
*This post includes affiliate links where we may earn commission should you choose to purchase product we recommend. This will not cost you anything extra.
One top online money making option for 50+ is ONLINE FREELANCING.
Your first thought is probably that freelancing isn't the passive income you are dreaming about. You would be right to feel this way.
However, it is the easiest and most logical starting place online for earning money quickly. This is also how Nina got started over a decade ago, and how she still makes big part of her income.
There has never been a better time to become the captain of your own ship and start a new life as an online freelancer.
Just imagine having the freedom to live your life the way you dream about it.
Then add on having the ability to earn the money you need to support it.
The underpinning of all business is to provide a product or service for someone who desires the product or service. Help an individual or business with a problem or unmet need and you are off and running.
Freelancing is a fantastic way to start earning an income as a sole proprietor. For some people, it is a way to earn extra income while still employed. It can help you pay for long vacations, your children’s education or build a more robust retirement fund.
For others, it is a way to pay the mortgage and keep dinner on the table while looking for more “passive” forms of income.
For many, it becomes an exciting way to grow a business – your very own business! One that provides a needed service and helps you get paid well for doing it.
What is online freelancing?
At the core, online freelancing is about selling your own skills without ties to any one company.
It gives you the freedom to market yourself directly in your home area or use global online job and project marketplaces like Upwork to choose what, who, and how you want to work with your clients.
Learning how to successfully freelance online is one of the quickest ways to begin making money online.
It does not require a substantial investment or having to sell other people’s products to your friends and family. Those “multi-level-marketing” plans are so yesterday, and they rarely worked.
In addition, many people are making substantial freelancing income in areas as diverse as your imagination can take you. It’s a long list and it will continue to grow.
What we are talking about here is a way for you to take your skills as an independent business owner and market them to businesses on the global marketplace.
Online freelance money making options are diverse and worldwide.
Really… There are more than 100 marketplaces where you can offer up the skills you have to folks ready to pay for what you can provide.
To clarify, we’re talking about all kinds of freelance opportunities, including these areas:
virtual admin support
search engine optimization
video production and editing
>> READ MORE: How to Find Clients Online
Two easy to start online money-making freelance examples
Online Freelance Proofreader
Proofreading is the process of reading a document or manuscript to identify grammar and punctuation errors.
There are not any official requirements for this job. You don’t need a license or degree to become a proofreader. You are officially a proofreader once you find someone willing to pay you to proofread.
That’s about it!
You need to understand basic grammar and sentence structure. Are you quick to pick up errors and misspellings in things you read? Do you know where to insert commas and where to leave them out?
That’s basically the job description.
Take a look at this very popular course for more details by clicking the image.
The owner, Caitlin, is a savvy businesswoman and her course teaches all of the technical and important business skills. You’ll learn how much to charge, how to write contracts, how to market yourself and where to find paying clients.
Click here - or the graphic above - to go to the Proofread Anywhere course.
She has a FREE intro course you should check out. It might be the best hour you’ve ever invested in yourself.
Online Freelance Virtual Assistant
You can have the freedom, financial security and flexibility you dream about every day as a virtual assistant (VA).
Work from home or anywhere in the world as the owner of your very own virtual assistant business. There is a 99.9% chance you already have the skills needed to get started today.
What is a virtual assistant?
As an online virtual assistant, you’ll provide services to businesses while working from home or anywhere you find an internet connection.
There are more than 275 services you can offer as a virtual assistant – and you'll find yourself saying, "I can do that!" and "I LOVE doing that already!" much of the time.
For example, you can carry out email monitoring, project management, blog writing or supervision, managing appointments or sales calls, handling social media content, and so much more.
We believe the best course for a newbie VA is here:
The course creator, Gina Horkey, became a VA in 2014. She was able to start making $4,000/month part-time within 6 months. And this was before most people had even heard about the concept of virtual assistants.
Her program is without a doubt the most comprehensive Virtual Assistant course you can find online. You’ll learn a lot by just reading her website.
There are also monthly or annual fees for her comprehensive course, but it delivers an amazing amount of value. It will give you the confidence and training needed to succeed, make money, connect with clients and grow your business.
CREATING ONLINE COURSES - Another top online money making option
Online courses and training have become increasingly popular in the 20’s decade. It is becoming the primary way for a growing number of people to earn online income. For others it will be a portion of their complete business activities.
Creating and selling online courses can be very profitable and easy to accomplish once you have walked through your first course.
The income possibilities are wide ranging, with some people happy to earn one thousand per month to professionals reaching 6- and even 7-figure incomes.
The whole e-learning market is expected to exceed $300 Billion by 2025.
Here’s why creating courses can be ideal for people over the age of 50 and looking ahead to retirement: You have experience in life, work and play.
You might minimize this personal experience (many of us do) but we’re betting you do have knowledge that can help someone else.
You'll find Nina's current courses here.
Creating your money-making online course
There is no one way to create a course. All you need is patience and imagination. Most of all, everything will come into place if you appreciate and have a high interest in your subject.
There are easy to find and follow guidelines for how to effectively write and create content. The best place to start is to be direct and true to yourself and your audience.
There are numerous and affordable online tools and resources available to help you create a great course. Over the past decade technology advances have made it so easy for anyone to get involved in course creation.
Age and lack of experience is no longer a barrier. You will quickly learn what you need to know about what it takes to create an online course.
The length of time needed to create a course depends on a variety of factors. Most new course creators start from a blank slate and need to develop an outline, script, presentation materials and video recording/editing.
You should plan on it taking 2-4 weeks, part-time, to get your first course up and running, with some marketing actions to follow. You can reduce this time with subsequent courses. This is something you can do while still employed in a regular job.
How much does it cost to create an online course?
Your cost will largely depend on whether you have already created some of the media you will use. Generally, your course creation can cost zero (except any learning platform charges) to thousands of dollars.Unless you are looking for Hollywood-style production levels, you will be able to use your smartphone and online resources to get your course up at a very low cost.
Don’t limit your imagination when choosing online course options
You’ll find a wide range of successful courses out in the world. Some examples to put you at your ease:
- Piloting a drone
- Email marketing
- Cooking Asian food
- Bookkeeping 101
- How to play chess
- Travel writing, etc.…
Yes, there are also many classes about coding, UX, SEO, engineering, math, corporate marketing, physics and many others. They are not in the majority. Your course and topic can succeed if you know it well and know there is an interested audience out there.
Online Course Management Platforms
Learning management systems and online course marketplaces offer great environments for new course creators. You can safely learn the ropes and gain skill and confidence.
These are our recommendations for the top three options available for new course creators:
TEACHABLE (learning management system)
Teachable helps course creators grow and nurture an online audience. The platform offers various options to customize the look and feel of your course. Your online business should look like you and they help make customization easy to do.
They focus on easy-to-use features and reducing tech headaches. It is a great place to start your online course business.
THINKIFIC (learning management system)
Thinkific's website builder is one of the easiest to use. Choose the pages you want to include, add your copy, pick a theme, and you're ready to go.
Putting together your first online course can seem challenging. How many lessons should you include? Where should you add assignments and quizzes? Learning management systems like Thinkific take the guesswork out of course creation with its simple and ready-to-use templates.
UDEMY (online course marketplace)
Udemy led the way for teaching online. Today, the platform says they have over 50 million students enrolled in its courses and an instructor base topping 50,000.
All courses need at least 30 minutes of video and five lectures. You're also welcome to add quizzes, assignments, coding exercises, and discussion prompts.
Unlike the other options shared here, Udemy essentially owns the student information and data. The tradeoff is their strong branding and marketing brings potential students to the site.
Udemy limits pricing of your course within a certain range. They also consistently offer low-price sales to motivate new course purchases.
>> READ MORE: Online Course Platform Review - blog post on Nina's website.
Course creation is one of the top online money-making options for people over 50.
Whether you're passionate about teaching, want to grow your audience, or are just looking to earn an income from your courses, there's a platform to help you achieve your goals.
When picking an online platform to launch your course, consider your budget, time constraints, current online following, and earning potential.
If you're simply testing the waters, it is best to start with online course marketplace like Udemy and Skillshare.
So, there you have it. Your high-level introduction to online course creation.
WRITING & PUBLISHING BOOK(S) ON AMAZON
Most people dream of writing a book “someday.” Even people who write regularly in their day-to-day jobs worry that they aren’t good enough to write a book - but the dream rarely dies.
There has never been a better time to write your book – or better yet, a series of books. Negative feelings about self-publishing are long gone as the internet changed all the rules.
It can offer you an ideal way to work on a series of short ebooks (or longer – up to you) to gain a downstream passive income.
Amazon has turned book publishing on it’s head
The key player in the rapid growth of online authors is, of course, Amazon. There are other online places to place your book, but Amazon is the prime player with consistently more than 75% market share.
Kindle Direct Publishing (also known as self-publishing on Amazon) is one of the best online business models for beginners. Anyone can start creating and publishing their e-books online.
No matter your age, who or what you know, or where you are from, self-publishing offers a great opportunity to generate life-changing passive income.
Why Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing?
Well, it offers a wide variety of positive elements for newbie ebook writers.
- Amazon is the largest paid search engine in the world. People already have their credit cards out of their wallet or purse when heading to Amazon. Not so much on Google.
- Amazon dominates the ebook market.
- Amazon is a marketing machine. Once you start selling a certain number of copies, they will refer your book to others who have never heard of you.
- Amazon makes it easy. You can publish elsewhere, but no one else can get your book online and ready in a matter of hours.
- When you publish first to Amazon (and maybe exclusively if you sign up for the KDP Select program), your sales are in one place which can help move your book(s) up the best sellers list.
This is our book on Amazon!
The main ebook writing areas to consider
How-to books: This is the mother lode on Amazon KDP. There are thousands upon thousands of “how to” ebooks on Amazon offering guidance on making life and business better, happier and healthier and/or more profitable.
Do not be afraid of competing, as most of them are not written or marketed all that well. There is still opportunity in most niches.
People will spend money on information and guidance that will improve their lives in some way. You don’t have to go into the really, really big seller areas. You know, like “how to lose 20 pounds in one week” or “meet the love of your life tonight” unless you have something interesting and helpful to share.
You will find how-to books on quite literally every subject you can think of. Cooking sauerkraut, taking care of your baby, online marketing, changing the oil in your car, fixing your golf swing, mindset improvement, tennis for beginners, etc.
A collection of short stories: Many people have their Kindle, tablet or smartphone with them throughout the day. Short stories are perfect for those 15-30 minutes of downtime at the coffee shop, doctor’s office or on a bus or train.
Each short story usually runs between 2,000 to 6,000 words and usually don’t have complex plot lines.
Novella: A novella (15,000 to 40,000 words) is more like an elongated short story than a full-fledged novel. The idea here is to just take your story forward naturally and don’t be too concerned about the length.
Fiction: Just to give you some general ideas: some of the best-selling ebooks on Amazon include crime and legal dramas, young adult stories that touch on new experiences, international intrigue, and romance.
Non-Fiction: To be honest, some non-fiction books do quite well on Amazon, but it is the real-life story being told that captures the interest of readers. Books about Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, and John F. Kennedy have done quite well.
You could also look at writing about an unknown hero, profile the growth of an interesting industry or business, about battles won and lost (real or political), or shocking environmental changes and find an audience.
Short Business Books: The concept of promoting very short and to-the-point books is growing in popularity these days. They are created especially for people wanting a book to help promote their brand or business.
A small book (or series of books) can also help people focus on different aspects of a specific problem or opportunity. This concept isn’t for everyone, but it may work for you. Just be certain to be up front on the number of pages in your book on your Amazon sales page.
Low Content Books: As the name implies, low-content books contain little, or even no, text or images and the inside pages are usually repetitive. Some examples of books in this category include:
- Journals and diaries
- Daily planners
- Bullet journals
- Manuscript paper
- Coloring books
>> READ MORE: Learn more about Low Content Publishing: How to Make Money Selling Journals
Ebooks can get fast online visibility these days. We’re talking about all aspects, including creating and publishing the product as well as the promotion. It should be noted that you can also publish a paperback (print on demand) and audio version of your ebook on Amazon as well.
The bottom line is there has never been a better time to get a message in front of people via your writing skills and online book publishing.
Now you know all about the top 3 online money-making options for those over 50.
We set out to provide the best online business options for people over the age of 50. These opportunities are also obviously great for anyone, at any age, who is looking to take charge of their life.
These online paths come with little or no cost attached to get started. For the most part, you simply invest your time and energy with these low-risk, potentially high-reward options.
These options offer more freedom, more creativity and simply more time to live the life you dream about. There are so many proof points that show taking any one of these paths can eventually create “nearly passive” income for you.