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!
Through my years of experience and research, I’ve consistently found the following ideas have the best potential to create a steady stream of recurring revenue. They’ll take a lot of effort. But if you’re willing to put in the work, they could change your life, like they have for me.
Find a profitable market. Brainstorm some ideas, do keyword research, and try to get as specific as possible. For example, there is probably a lot of competition for selling surfboards. But if you narrow it down to surfboard racks, you may have a better chance of standing out in the market.
A lead magnet can be anything from a YouTube video, to a cheatsheet, a webinar, or even an ebook. As long as it’s filled with information that your audience wants, you can promote your lead magnet anywhere in order to get more signups to your list.
Educational content: People always want to find the quickest way to learn something new. And YouTube searches including the phrase “How to” are growing 70% year over year, making YouTube an incredible place to teach what you know.
Next, you need to set up and build your YouTube channel. Your YouTube channel is your homebase for all your content. If you already have a Google account for Gmail or Google Drive, then you can use that to log-in to YouTube and start setting up your channel. Pick a username that works for you and is memorable (if you’re using an existing Google account you’ll have to edit your username in Google+).
As long as there is still the written word, there will always be editors. Freelance editing and proofreading not only pays a decent hourly wage, it also gives you the chance to read about potentially interesting topics too. What’s more, pursuing freelance writing & editing as a business idea can afford you a lifestyle that lets you travel the world as a digital nomad. You can find lots of job postings from companies and individuals in need of writing, proofreading, and editing services on Upwork, which makes this a high-demand opportunity to make money online.
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.
Whether you’re selling your own new products or reselling other goods, you still have to consider how much stock you’re going to carry, how you’re going to fund upfront purchasing costs, and where you’re going to store your inventory. Remember, even if you avoid paying rent on a storefront, you still need to store your inventory somewhere.
Find your niche partners, collaborators, and champions: As you’re creating your course, look for notable people who are also creating content in the space. Look at how their businesses operate and incorporate that into your own plan. You can also reach out to any influencers and make them affiliates for your own course. This way, they’ll be incentivized to share your content with their own audiences (which can be a major way to generate your first sales and start building your own community!)
4. Now start posting content that supports your partners. For example, if you post a story on cruising the Mediterranean, partner with a cruise provider to promote a travel deal. They will have no problem throwing you a decent kickback for every verified sale.
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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.
Facebook continues to expand and grow. Therefore businesses are spending more on Facebook ads. But here’s the problem: a lot of old school businesses don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to Facebook ads. Even newer companies don’t have the time it takes to learn the ins and outs so that they get the most return on their Facebook ads investment.
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!
Bluehost even has a nifty domain name availability checker you can use right here to quickly find out whether or not your desired website URL is available (and if it’s not, they’ll give you suggestions on the next best idea):
Why not turn your hobby into an online business? You can monetize most hobbies multiple ways. You can create a blog about your hobby where you sell advertising. You could also write a book, create an online course, or provide training online. You could set up an ecommerce site where you sell your products. If you are ready to get started, check out our guide to start a small business.
Journalists, doctors, lawyers, academics, and researchers record interviews every single day and need someone to transcribe what’s been said. So, if you’re comfortable with listening to the same audio over and over while writing it down you can make good money online doing transcriptions.
No matter what kind of industry you’re in, you’re going to have to learn how to use social media as part of your marketing. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram, you’ll need to master at least one of these platforms.
The reason this is possible is that there has never been a better time in history to be an entrepreneur. We firmly believe that anyone can start a business today, as long as you have an idea and the hustle.
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
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.
Well, if you’re looking for legitimate ways to make some extra money online without having to first purchase an in-depth training course (which always seems to cost $97) about how to make money online, then you’re in the right place!
As you start regularly putting out content, you’ll hopefully start to build a bit of an audience. But to start seeing real money from YouTube you need to market your videos elsewhere. Share your channel on Twitter and Facebook. Distribute videos anywhere else you can think of. Also, interact with comments and build a community around the videos you’re making so people will share it with their friends.
Sure, some of them may be good for creating a few hundred or even thousand dollars in one-time revenue. But they’re not going to help you unlock financial freedom and achieve complete control of your lifestyle.
If you have experience with marketing, SEO, or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work making money online as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results.
If you want to clear some space out in your house and have a big stack of books you’ve been holding onto for too long, you can make money selling your books and textbooks online. Stores like Half Priced Books and others will give you cents on the dollar for each of your current books while you can check what your book is worth by simply entering the ISBN number on Book Scouter.
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products, tools and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement.
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.
To test these websites, you’ll be asked to visit the site in question and record your reactions and thoughts as you go through it. To get started making extra money online by testing websites, sign up for some of the most popular services like UserTesting.com, Userlytics, TryMyUI, Userfeel, TestingTime (for people outside the U.S), or Side Income Jobs.
None of the above matters if you don’t have an ecommerce store that sells your product, provides an intuitive shopping experience, and makes customers want to return. We’ll show you how to go from zero to beautiful online store in a matter of minutes using powerful ecommerce software (spoiler alert – we have a recommendation).
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.
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.
If you’re looking to build a true online business, or start a side business idea that has the potential to truly change your life (and you’re not afraid of investing months & years of work into the business), this where you should start.
There’s a variety of ways you can get in touch with influencers, or just get on their radar, which you can read about in this article: The Ultimate Guide To Finding, Reaching, And Interviewing Top Influencers
Many major retailers will pay you for promoting their businesses on your websites and social media pages. They might pay you in cash or gift cards. For example, some restaurants might give you a gift card if you check in on Facebook or Yelp.
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.
With North Pole Notes, subscribers sign up to send personalized and unique letters as Santa Claus, not just in the holiday season, but ALL year. Perfect for parents, Godparents, Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles, or just about any gift giver!
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.
Also, stay in your lane. Proclaiming you’re an expert at everything will make people trust you less. Find your niche (health, finance, small business, marketing, etc) and become a 1%-er writer in that space.
Like talking to people and helping walk them through problems? You can bring in extra income as a contract customer support superstar for companies all over the world. Due to the 24/7 nature of online businesses, companies are looking for people in different time zones to help deal with issues that their users are having. Better yet, if you have experience in service or retail you’ll be perfectly suited. Check out indeed or the other remote job boards I listed earlier to find opportunities.
If you want to help shape products in their early stages, joining an online focus group or answering survey questions is a great way to make extra money online. They don’t pay as much as some of the other options we’ve highlighted, but you can join groups on sites like Pro Opinion, Swagbucks, and IPSOS that pay out through Amazon gift cards, check, or PayPal. You’ll be asked to provide a bit of information about your demographics (age, location, etc…), but after that you can get going making money through surveys.