It may be foolhardy to attempt to start a career as a writer without a computer--and we don't exactly advise it--but it has been done before. Blogging is a good place to start: A variety of iPhone apps exist for the major blog platforms (including WordPress and Tumblr) to expedite mobile posts, and many other platforms (such as TypePad) have mobile services built right in. But there's no need to stop at blogging. In Japan it's becoming popular to write and distribute entire novels via cell phone, specifically text message--in 2007, five of the top ten bestselling novels in Japan were "cellphone novels" written specifically for the medium. Are we ready for such a thing on our shores? Only one way to find out.
In the old days, a documentarian, filmmaker, or other video-production professional used to have to fill a van with equipment and haul it from location to location--along with a sizable crew--in order to get a day's worth of shots. Now that pocket video cameras have reached HD quality, it's possible to forgo all of that. If you're brave, you can even shoot with a high-end cell phone, and handsets such as the iPhone 4 and the Samsung Instinct line include basic video-editing features right in the phone. If you're shooting custom video for clients, you can distribute footage directly to them while you're still on location, or upload it to YouTube with little more than a click and a swipe.
5. Mystery Shopper
One perennially popular scam of the spam world--'Mystery shoppers wanted in your area!'--is actually a legit business for many people, and can bring in real money with a minimum of up-front effort. The important part is doing it right. E-mail come-ons are not the way to start a genuine business. Rather, do your research into legitimate mystery-shopping clearinghouses such as Corporate Research International (where mystery shoppers are called "auditors"), which handles major clients ranging from Chili's to Sears. Don't expect to make a ton of cash--busy shoppers often earn five figures annually in cash and schwag--but if you have lots of time to kill and enjoy shopping, it's worth a look.
6. Auction Maven