With $200 and his wits, Branson started an empire. That got me thinking—with all the technology within entrepreneurs’ grasps, what’s the minimum you’d need these days, realistically, to start an online business?
Businesses of all sizes are in constant need of bringing in more customers, which is where you come in with your business idea. Start by pitching creative small business marketing ideas to local businesses and you’ll be sure to impress the first set of clients you begin working with in your area.
The first follows the startup path we outlined above: You have a disruptive idea for an app or piece of software, you validate the idea with real customers, and then raise money to hire developers or a development studio to build, launch, and scale your software. If you’ve done everything right, your software will be accepted to the Apple and Google Stores and you’ll make money every time someone downloads it or pays for a premium feature.
If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? My friend, Mark Jackson did just that, making extra money online with his travel consulting side business. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, and then move on and create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals. Eventually you could spin this into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make their dream trip a reality.
Starting a podcast, like making a YouTube channel or blog, comes down to telling interesting stories and building an engaged audience. I’m probably sounding like a broken record by now, but you need a niche that you’re interested in and there’s already a demand for. Come up with a list of topics you’d like to talk about and then search iTunes charts, Google Trends and other podcast research sites like cast.market to see what’s currently out there and popular.
You need to make it easy for your visitors to contact you. Provide an online form, your e-mail address, phone number, fax number, physical mailing address and any other relevant information (like the best times to call you). And make sure this information is highly visible and easily accessible from every page of your site. Why not invite a few honest friends to check out your site and time them to see how long it takes for them to find your contact information? What’s obvious to you may not be obvious to the rest of the world.
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.
Your favorite artist, musician, or entrepreneur often needs help maintaining their fan pages on Twitter and Facebook. If you have a bit of a background in social media you can make money online looking after these pages by looking for jobs on Fiverr.
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
With the e-commerce route, in many markets, you’ll be competing against old-school business people who may or may not have any internet marketing experience. Many of them have glitchy, out-of-date websites, which leaves you a lot of room for improvement, and you can capitalize on their shortcomings.
Since it’s safe to assume that the purchase intent on searches for hiking backpacks is pretty high, the next logical step is that a reasonable number of site visitors would click through using my affiliate links and complete a purchase, over time.
Let’s say I’m an Amazon affiliate for camping gear, and I want to write an exhaustive, in-depth blog post and review of the “50 Best Hiking Backpacks for Adventuring Outdoors.” By running a quick Keyword Planner check on the organic search volume I can see that there’s around 5,500 monthly searches for the keyword ‘hiking backpacks’ alone.
And while building, launching, and marketing an online course does take a considerable amount of upfront effort, their earning potential is through the roof (especially compared to a lot of the other online ways to make money we’re talking about).
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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.
Sure, the owner of a bed & breakfast in Seattle may be thrilled to be attracting clients from Australia’s Gold Coast. But is the landscaper in Seattle going to be equally receptive to securing a weekly hedge trimming and lawn-mowing client from Australia? Probably not.
If you’re a longtime reader of Foundr, you’ll be familiar with this simple tool. If you’re not, the business model canvas is basically a worksheet that helps break down the nine essential elements of your business. It’ll allow you to take an objective look at your business idea and consider areas that you might not have thought about before.
Is your closet bursting with clothes you’re simply not wearing anymore? Rather than take them to a local thrift or consignment store, you can make money online by renting to selling your clothes. Check out sites like Tradesy, SnapGoods.com, Loanables.com, and RentNotBuy.com.
These days, one of the main tools you need to start a business is an internet connection. There are so many different opportunities out there to start businesses online. And in some cases, you don’t even need much more than that connection in order to get your business going. Here are 50 online business ideas you can start right away.
A virtual assistant is a great job to have if you want flexibility. You’ll be able to maintain multiple clients at once which mean you can easily fill gaps in your week or work overtime if you need to. A virtual assistant will generally charge £15-20 depending on the specifics of their job role. Expect to be assisting with tasks such as blogger outreach, product listings, research and responding to emails.
To keep things simple, though, I’d recommend creating an ebook. You really can’t go wrong with the trusty ebook, as it’s a fantastic way to provide your audience with quality content, introduce them to your brand, and establish yourself as an expert in your space.
Blogging is not capital intensive, but there is a high potential for return. The best bloggers make 6 figures monthly. Even if you are just blogging as a hobby, it will teach you the basics that you need to know for an online business, such as web design, content creation, SEO, and advertising. These skills are essential for any other type of online business.
Learning how to earn money online as an affiliate isn’t easy. But there are lots of people worldwide that are making over $1,000,000 a year doing it. Most will not be a successful unless they have some formal help and training. Affiliate stores are web stores where people purchase items on a site, but through a third party.
Boat sharing creates a unique, private boating experience for everything from sunset cruises and snorkeling excursions to fishing charters or parties at the sandbar. You can own the experience, not the boat!
If you’ve developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you’re an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there’s likely a local business owner who’s willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant from Karyn Greenstreet and then use my guide to crafting an effective cold email to convince them to hire you.
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.
I’ve been a seller on Etsy since 2006 and have sold over 10,000 pieces of handmade pottery through that site. In 2014, I opened a second Etsy shop to sell my watercolor paintings…it’s a little slower but a great way to get your art out there. I live in a little tiny town up in the mountains of Colorado, so the online presence has been a wonderful way to be able to create my art in this environment and then sell it all over the world.
Nearly every company is now looking to build a website. In fact, even those companies that have a website are looking to make sure that theirs looks bigger and better than the competition. You can learn how to earn money from home with practically no investment and this is certainly one of the best business ideas for someone wanting huge amounts of flexibility.
Start by taking other courses you’re interested in: Not only is this important competitor and opportunity analysis, but it also gives you an idea of how a course could or should look and feel. What’s the pacing like? Is it via email, video, in-person chats? Once you understand how you want your course to look, it’s time to decide what it should include. Those same courses are a great starting place. How can you make your course better or more interesting? Do you have experience others don’t?
While you’ll certainly have higher levels of success if you can nail creating and marketing your own unique product, from my own experience (and that of many other entrepreneurs), I know the extremely high costs and risk associated with starting a product-based business.
My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and build a following of hundreds of thousands for this blog and my podcast series.
I’d also recommend getting a second set of eyes to go through your writing as well, just to make sure that there aren’t any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. You can simply ask a friend to do this for you, or if you don’t mind spending a little bit more then you can find a professional copy editor to do it for you.
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.
Normally Santa is only associated with the Christmas season, but with North Pole Notes, he can become a part of the family all throughout the year as he dresses in different outfits and also sends poems with news ideas on how to remain in Santa’s nice list. After all, shouldn’t we always be encouraging children to stay on the nice list?