You see people make money online and you’d like to do it, too. It can’t be hard, right? Well, not if you have a great online business idea. Here are the best online business ideas from a variety of entrepreneurs, plus a few of our own tips.
A lead magnet is basically a piece of content that you give away for for free to potential customers, in order to capture their attention and convince them to hand over their contact information. Most people aren’t going to sign up to your mailing list just for the sake of it, so a lead magnet allows you to ask for something in exchange for something your audience finds valuable.
Another way to utilize your talent and business skills is to run corporate workshops online. Businesses are always looking for unique ways to help educate their workforce, and if you can package your talents into a day or half-day long session, you can sell that to companies all over the world to make money online. Start by building a portfolio and then reaching out on LinkedIn to influencers at relevant companies to see if they would be interested in you teaching their team.
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.
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.
Some sites allow you to sell your prized photos, video b-roll, original music or illustrations while giving you the option of licensing resale rights for free. This will give you royalties for each use of your photos, videos or music, resulting in longer-term residual income.
Many small businesses don’t have room in their budget for a full-time IT employee, so when their systems go on the fritz, they’ll usually call a computer-savvy friend or family member. If you have experience working on computers and networks, you can eliminate their need to call in a favor and offer immediate remote technical assistance.
The site has one more feature to leave a review for the person after you meet them. Let’s say you go out with someone on a date who seems creepy so you end it early. Then when you get home, you leave a review saying the person was creepy, and didn’t look at all like his or her profile picture. This would help other people that might be considering dating them!
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.
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.
Courses and other knowledge products like e-books, are what’s called passive income. That simply means that once the upfront time and effort is put in, with just a bit of regular upkeep and marketing you’ll be able to continue to sell and make money from them for months and years.
You’ve heard of antique dealers and even car dealers, but what about dealing in domains? Domains are internet real estate and like real estate they could be considered as an investment. Don’t just buy any domains, spread your risk with a portfolio and make sure you hold out for the highest price possible.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to getting a website to rank higher for certain “search terms” in search engines like Google. When a website ranks higher, it gets more relevant traffic and in turn, can make more revenue.
Ask yourself, “Is the product expensive?” There are costs associated with manufacturing, distribution, reselling, etc. If your product isn’t expensive (at least $50 or more), there may be no profit left by the time you sell the product.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you’re on call whenever you have a guest and you’ll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, consider offering your guests paid add-ons, like Lauren Gheysens’, Royal Day Out in London, England—where she gives visitors a local’s only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
By the end of the week, hopefully, your book has eclipsed the top 5,000 or 10,000 overall paid ranking. From there, raise the price to $2.99, and continue raising the price $1 at a time every few days until it stops selling (then, lower it back by a dollar). This will tell you the optimal price for your book.
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.
There’s nothing more off-putting than a poorly designed website, and often, it kills credibility. If you know HTML and have a good eye for design, you can launch a service to create attractive, easy-to-use websites for small businesses. Put your skills to good use for business owners who want to take their online presence to the next level. Build a comprehensive portfolio, and then create your own website to show it off and attract a steady stream of clients.
Do you love the feeling of waiting for something in the mail? I know I do, and that’s why I tried out Something Store. A few years ago, I saw a piece in a popular magazine about an online store that sells mystery objects. I was intrigued. For $10 (no shipping cost), they send you a random item. It could be anything in the world. Since 2007, they’ve shipped over 50,000 “somethings” to customers who wait with anxious anticipation.
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.
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.
Writing entertaining, interesting blog posts can generate cash for you through ads, affiliate links and other revenue options. Your blogging success will depend on your writing talent, whether your blog covers a popular subject and the popularity of the links you include (whether backlinks or pay-per-click links, like Google AdWords).
Are you a web designer? You can make serious money designing websites for individuals. If the thought of having a one-on-one client is too limiting, you can also create website templates and sell them on sites like ThemeForest or CreativeMarket. You can also sell them on your own site.
If you like learning new software or are experienced with audio editing, you can put the show together yourself. Otherwise, there are lots of services you can find that will help edit and build your show on place likes UpWork and Fiverr.
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.
Or you can instead focus on growing your own social media accounts. And if you garner enough influence within your network, you can build a business as an influencer that works with brands to promote products and services on your account.
Do you know the ins and outs of search engines and have skills in platforms like Google Analytics? The owners of a lot of smaller companies don’t realize how much of an impact search engine optimization (SEO) can have on their business. Educate those business owners on the power of SEO to help transform their websites into a more SEO-friendly property. Use your skills to show business owners how to read and use their analytics data the right way, and how to properly use keywords and structure content to get more traffic.
If you’re a crazy-good writer, you can (and should) charge crazy-good prices. Proof is the pudding, though, right? Where has your work been published? If you haven’t been published, your “perceived value” will be less.
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.
Set up a website for your business. ($30 – $60) Go to a hosting service, purchase a domain, find a nice website theme or find a designer. Setting up your first landing page is quick, easy, and most importantly, cheap. Total cost so far: $77
Taking a successful business model from someone else and building on it is no crime. In fact, it is how most leaders build businesses. It doesn’t always take a “stroke of genius” to get to the top. But when those once-in-a-lifetime ideas strike, your window to act may be small. I don’t accept the idea that all of the good ideas have been taken. These five unique businesses are proof that you can find prosperity, even in a market that may not have even existed when you first had your idea.
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.
Could you expand on the “Find a developer” part. You mention there are loads that are looking to partner up with people but from my experience most want paid a lot of money to consider developing your idea.
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1. Network with other local businesses. If you want local traffic, start making personal connections with other local business owners–preferably those with sites of their own. Look for ways to position your service and your site as a resource to their customers, and then request a link on their site or get permission to leave your business cards (printed with your URL, of course) in their lobby or next to their cash register. Even consider rewarding local business owners for sending traffic and leads your way by offering them a special gift, a discount off your service or even a portion of the profits.
Once you’ve gathered a list, put together a template outreach email (as you’ll be doing this over and over) that’s short and clear with expectations. Tell your potential interviewee who you are, what your podcast is about, and what you’re asking of them. Do a few test interviews with friends and family to make sure everything is being recorded at the quality you want and then book your first episode.
One last quick thing to note before we dive in: I’m going to be talking a lot about your niche for every way of making money online that we cover here. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, all it means is your unique topic, angle, market, audience, or voice that will make people stand up and notice your business.