Shipping restrictions, zoning laws, and trademark considerations. These can all make or break your business. With this list, you can avoid the ecommerce landmines that derail your business before it gets off the ground.
Starting up a business is by no means an easy task. If you want to learn how to make money online, you need to have good business ideas, but you also need a great marketing plan. The good news is with a domain and hosting, alongside some basic skills, your ideas can become a reality. Each of the internet business ideas below are competitive niches, so make sure you go in with all guns blazing!
Strategy #6:Network and get listed with professional services websites. While almost all the traffic techniques used to drive visitors to product-based sites can be applied to service-based sites, I’d like to mention a couple that those of you who need local traffic will find useful.
Believe it or not, some people have such a difficult time with dating, they don’t even want to participate in the online (or app-based) component of it. If you’re a smooth talker, you can leverage that skill into making money online as a matchmaker on sites like eFlirtExpert.
Identify target customers: Write down exactly who you want as your client and then start researching those companies and making your list. You’ll want your portfolio and cold emails to align with the companies you’re reaching out to
Build your audience on a course community: If you’re just getting started building an audience for yourself and want to leverage communities already actively looking for content you can choose to host and sell your online course on a site like Skillshare or Udemy. These are easy, cost-effective ways to build an audience and test your niche to see if there’s demand for it.
Most predictions say the market for 3D printing will reach $16.2 billion by 2018 (1), and you can take a chunk of that by printing 3D blueprints, prototypes, and anything else your customers need. You’ll probably want to start by focusing on one niche, like: 3d printing for dolls, etc.
The audiobook industry is booming, yet only 5% of books ever get made into audio format. If you’ve got a background in acting, or if people have said you’ve got a voice made for the radio, you can make extra money recording audio versions of independent and popular books. Sites like ACX connect authors with audiobook performers. So, whether you’re an author looking for more ways to sell your book, or an actor/voice actor looking to make some extra income, you can sell your services online.
It works like a map app, but instead of just showing you the businesses around you, it will show you their products too. So if you want to know where the closest, cheapest snickers bar is, you can two finger tap your way there and find it within walking distance for $0.75. But you may be able to find it within 10 miles for $0.25 if you’re willing to drive.
Strategy #7: Encourage referrals and repeat customers. Always, always, always follow up with existing clients! Are they happy with the job you did for them? Is there anything else you can do for them? Do they know anyone else who might benefit from your service?
Here’s my online business idea: A website where you can enter in the name of your online date and the business will research the person for you. So let’s say you find someone on a site like Match.com that you want to set up a date with, but you want to learn more about them first. You can submit the name into this website and the business will research all of the social profiles and anything else they can find online about the potential match for a flat fee. There would also be an option for a background check.
Ask yourself, “Is the product in a growth market?” If your market has already passed its peak (i.e. the VCR market) and is on the down slope, you probably don’t want to get involved. Instead, you want to get into an industry that’s on the upswing – that’s where you’ll have the most profit and growth potential.
If it’s not clear yet, information and expertise are two of the most consistent and lucrative ways to make extra money online. If you don’t like talking on the phone, you can sign up to get paid to answer professional questions on JustAnswer. There are thousands of questions being asked every month from people looking for help from lawyers, doctors, mechanics, vets, and more. To apply, you’ll need to supply your professional verification, resume, and a form of identification.
Medium is an online community where anyone can post articles and essays and get them in front of their audience of millions of monthly readers. While it can be a great place to build your audience for your own blog or find customers for your consulting business, with Medium’s new Partner Program, you can now make money online whenever someone reads your articles. Register for free and you can choose whether your articles are freely available or only readable by those people paying $5/month for a premium Medium membership. You’ll make money based on the amount of people who read and engage with your posts each month.
If you happen to have a bit more free time, then reach out to the event organizers and see if you can volunteer or help in any way. That way you’re guaranteed a backstage pass and a higher chance of striking up a conversation with an expert one-on-one than if you just walked in through the door.
Amazon Mechanical Turk is a service that lets you make money online through doing paid microtasks. Each task is something simple that requires human interaction like rating search results, checking for the right spelling on search terms, categorizing the tone of an article, or even basic translating. You can do these tasks from anywhere you want and make money online from the world’s largest e-retailer.
If you’re willing to take the time to learn the development skills necessary to build high-quality software products (or even MVPs to help you get funding), there’s a growing roster of reputable online learning platforms like Treehouse, CodeAcademy, and Skillcrush to get you the skills you need.
MailChimp is by far one of the most popular choices, offering you enterprise-level marketing automations, along with features like analytics and data reports for free if you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers.
You can never assume that providing information about what you’ve done for other clients will enable visitors to your site to make that leap and picture what you’ll be able to do for their businesses. You need to be very, very specific about what you’re offering. To help you do that, look at other similar service providers and ask yourself these questions:
Once you’ve launched your blog (or niche website), the next step is figuring out which products and companies you can partner with as an affiliate to help facilitate sales of a related, helpful product for your audience of future readers.
So here, again, thorough sales copy that clearly explains how you’re willing to customize your services will be very important. Do your clients typically fall into a few different categories? Can you talk about each group and explain how you adapt and change to meet their individual needs?
With over 350,000,000 websites on the internet, there is a huge demand for content. If you have experience or skills relating to writing, offering a blog posting service could be for you. Lower paid projects might start at around £1 per 100 words, with quality focused projects being in the £2.50-10 per 100 words range. Sites like People Per Hour and Elance are great for picking up paid writing gigs, without actually having a website.
Consider building a Shopify store. Shopify is a system built for ecommerce. With some basic web knowledge, you can set up a good-looking store very quickly, with a low-cost investment and with no coding needed. Shopify has a 30-day free trial too, so you can get started without spending a dime.
eGobie handles one of life’s more important, albeit time-consuming daily errands. The company specializes in mobile car wash/detailing services and mobile oil change service. With the use of a smartphone app, customers can order these services with a few clicks of a button. Customers can register for a free account, log in, tell eGobie what service they would like to receive, when to receive it, and where to receive it.
Being a new teacher can be nerve wracking. Which is why so many people are looking to buy your old teaching plans to help them feel more comfortable in front of their first class. If you’re a teacher, you can make money online through a site like Teachers Pay Teachers, which lets you buy and sell your original teaching materials.
Resume writing can be one of the most difficult tasks ever. If it’s not difficult for you, consider a career in resume writing. While you may not have repeat business, you’ll get a lot of great referral traffic.
To be a great graphic designer, you don’t need to be great at drawing, you don’t need a college degree, and you don’t need to buy a fancy expensive computer. But you do need to be a visual thinker, you do need to specialize in something, and you definitely need a portfolio.
When Alchemy owner Eli Reich’s messenger bag was stolen, he decided that instead of buying another, he would make one himself. With plenty of bicycle inner tubes lying around, he decided to make it the primary material for his new bag. Long story short, the completed product was a huge hit at the office, and Eli began to make them on a much larger scale. Today, Alchemy products are carried in many stores across the country.
Create a killer course experience: With your course validated and in the works, you need to figure out how people will take it. Most course creators choose to host their courses from their own websites. This way, they get all the value of bringing customers back to their site on a regular basis. I host my own courses from a subdomain on my own site so I can easily add more. The course experience is incredibly important as well. And after trying most of the solutions, I highly recommend Teachable—an online platform designed specifically for courses.
For the former, do a smoke test by building a simple landing page advertising your product and what it’s all about. You don’t need a ton of bells and whistles; all you need to know is whether or not people will actually pay money for it.
Then once you’ve got your domain name and hosting sorted out, it’s time to pick a CMS, or Content Management System, that will let you update pages, build your blog and integrate with all the other services you need. It’s hard to go wrong with WordPress—the CMS powering close to a quarter of the internet.
It’s sometimes hard to comprehend just how much people love t-shirts. And with the right niche, marketing, and tools, you can create an online t-shirt business that makes you extra money online while you sleep. (Even Bloomberg and Forbes feature stories from entrepreneurs who’ve done just that.) Services like TeeSpring make it easier than ever to create a t-shirt drop-shipping business where they handle the sales, printing, and shipping, and you’re only responsible for design and marketing. For more tips, check out this simple guide to launching and marketing an online clothing store by my friends over at Selz.
If you’d rather learn directly from game-changing entrepreneurs themselves, then just tune into the Foundr Podcast, where we speak with entrepreneurs like Gretta Rose van Riel on influencer marketing, or how to become a master networker like Jordan Harbinger.
Selling graphic T-shirts is big business. Customized T-shirts with clever sayings or graphics are ideal for online sales. Sites like Teespring allow you to sell customer shirts. Teespring’s unique model allows you to design the shirt and get buyers lined up to purchase it. This saves you from the initial investment in stock and the time on processing and shipping orders, though you’ll likely make a smaller profit on each shirt sold.
If you possess a great deal of business experience and knowledge, why not create a business that helps aspiring entrepreneurs find success? You can use your skills to help new business owners get off to a good start and help experienced entrepreneurs keep up with demand. To show off your knowledge and skills and bring in clients, you can also write articles about business on platforms like LinkedIn.
Every year, hundreds of millions of documents are notarized in the United States: wills, mortgages, citizenship forms, handgun applications. While for decades, this has all been done in person, there is a budding crop of sites that allow notaries to take their services online. If you’re already a notary, you can sell your services online. Or, if you want to get started, check out the National Notary’s checklist for becoming a certified notary.
There are a few different ways you can accomplish this. First, you should include a good, professional picture of yourself. And no, the picture of you in your Hawaiian-print shorts and “Kiss the Chef” hat from last year’s summer barbecue won’t do. Giving your visitors a professional image to associate you with will go a long way toward establishing your credibility.
When you sell a service, you are the product, whether you’re a real estate agent, doctor, lawyer, bed & breakfast owner, auto-mechanic, caterer, hair stylist, fitness trainer, accountant, investment advisor, childcare provider, housekeeper, dog walker, landscaper, whatever.
On the other hand, with our Facebook audience, we’ve found videos to be particularly powerful in terms of bringing in new followers and engaging our existing followers. It’s also a great platform for us to promote the latest post on the Foundr blog, and the occasional motivational quote as well.
How many postings are there for jobs similar to what you do? If there’s a decent amount and it looks like there’s steady demand, put those skills down on a shortlist and start researching the companies and industries that are hiring.
It takes time and effort, but website owners like myself and Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, have built life-changing careers through affiliate marketing. In fact, Pat even publishes his income reports online, showing how he made over $2 million in the past 12 months alone.
More and more companies and startups especially are embracing remote work—where you use online collaboration and communication tools to do your work from wherever you want. And you don’t have to be a 20-something hotshot designer or coder to reap the benefits of working remotely. Many remote positions are for customer support positions or other customer-facing positions that don’t require specialized skill sets.
People on your email list are not only more likely to be customers, but you can use the power of email to help nurture a lead by regularly sending them quality content through something like a newsletter.
It can take time to build up your personal freelance business. Yet, there is more demand than ever for freelancers. So, if you want to kick start making money online through freelancing you can join one of the top freelance networks, such as UpWork, Fiverr, Guru, Freelancer.com, or PeoplePerHour. Sign up, build your profile, upload some samples of your work and start making extra money by doing small freelance jobs.
This isn’t to scare you off. I simply want you to know that this guide is going to focus solely on ways to make real, sustainable extra income online. Not just a few bucks. I want to share all the mistakes I’ve made that got me to where I am now so that you don’t have to go through them, and can build a successful online source of income for yourself.
“I always tell podcasters to use as many streams as possible. Don’t just sell ads on your show. Don’t just sell T-shirts. Don’t just do crowdfunding. Do all of it. Combine it and find the right mix, and together it adds up to something that’s stronger and more dependable.”
You know you have the right product, who your customer is, and how to set up your business. It’s time to get the physical product. We’ll walk you through different ways to source your product and how to avoid common pitfalls.