Whether you work for a company or run your own business or side hustle, working from home offers an incredible amount of freedom.
You can make your schedule, choose your space, wear what you want and only interact with the colleagues and clients you prefer.
We often take the opportunity for granted, because the internet makes working from anywhere pretty easy.
That is, if you can find your way around the internet.
But what if you’re not a social-media-obsessed digital native, or particularly fond of WordPress, Google apps, Slack or the numerous other online services that make the workday go round in the age of the internet?
Well, once upon a time, people started businesses, money-making hobbies and side hustles without the internet.
While being computer– and web-savvy are useful for self-promotion and earning money, that’s not the only way to get the job done.
Here are some tips to work for yourself, even if you barely know how to open the email app on your desktop.
1. Do Work That Doesn’t Rely on Your Internet Presence
The simplest way to get around your discomfort with online work is to avoid it altogether, so let’s start there. Earn money in a way that doesn’t require you to make a website or talk to people online.
Start a side hustle based on in-person interactions, rather than online community-building — they still exist!
Most of the jobs you worked as a kid can be turned into awesome side hustles now.
Part-time work like babysitting, pet-sitting, raking leaves and shoveling snow can bring in decent money and give you the flexibility and autonomy you’re looking for.
Teaching and Tutoring
What skills do you have that others want to improve? Depending on the subject, you often don’t need a college degree or teaching credentials to lead an adult-education class. You just need experience and expertise.
One Penny Hoarder taught Spanish and social media classes in an adult education program. She worked alongside instructors teaching everything from painting to golf.
Reach out to your local community colleges and school districts to find out how to get involved in teaching adult education classes.
If you do your research and choose companies wisely, direct sales (also, multi-level marketing) offer an opportunity to work for yourself without shouldering the burden of brand-building.
How much you can earn through direct sales correlates with how much work you’re willing to put in — and how well you can recruit others to do the same.
Your first step should be to find a product you’re truly passionate about using and promoting. Then cautiously vet the company.
Don’t believe promises of overnight success! But with hard work for the right company, this could be an awesome side gig or even turn into a full-time career.
2. Sell Things Offline
Remember when all the stores were made of brick and mortar? Those are still out there.
If you’re not comfortable competing with online sellers, don’t. Find an environment you’ll excel in.
While a website or social media presence could give you a boost, it certainly isn’t necessary. These venues let you interact face-to-face and sell directly to customers.
You can also peddle your wares at local shops. Reach out to grocery and retail stores that are locally owned and managed. The stores may not buy your stock wholesale, but could display your wares and sell on consignment.
3. Use Third-Party Sites to Facilitate Your Business
If you’re willing to dip your toes into online business, but don’t want the responsibility of building and maintaining your own website, use someone else’s.
Plenty of e-commerce sites exist to facilitate sellers of all sizes.
Open an Etsy Store
This Penny Hoarder made an easy $600 on Etsy without even crafting anything! Find your niche, and you could make some good money on the side.
Sell Physical and Digital Items Through Amazon
You can sell almost anything on Amazon. If you want to launch a full-scale business, you could flip garage sale and thrift store finds through Fulfilment by Amazon.
Here’s our guide to FBA — and how you could earn up to $1,000 a month using the site.
If you’re a writer or a particularly literate expert on your favorite subject, you could earn money with Amazon’s digital services, too.
Here’s how one Penny Hoarder earned $2,000 publishing on Kindle.
Kindle Direct Publishing walks you through each step of the publishing process, including help with formatting and cover design. So you don’t have to be tech-savvy — just write a good book!
Sell Rare Items on Ebay
If you have more rare items, consider putting them up for auction on eBay. Here’s how one side hustler made $30,000 last year flipping flea market finds on the shopping site.
Connect with Fans on Facebook
If you’re not selling online, you could maintain a simple web presence with a Facebook page. Or check out these 17 clever ways to make money on Facebook!
Start Your Side Hustle
Think you’re ready to get started?
Whether you’ll be totally offline or dabbling on the internet, read these three money tips before starting your side hustle. We also have a whole guide to starting a freelance business to answer your questions about taxes, licensing, setup and more.
You may not grow as fast without the internet’s reach, but you ought to be doing work you love!
And you can always supplement your income with small side gigs to avoid feeling the pinch.
Your Turn: Do you know any other ways to make money without the internet?
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).