The dramatic growth and success of eBay has spawned many competitors featuring auctions or online marketplaces for diverse items. Whether you want to clean out your closet and sell your designer clothing online, or develop a high-volume online store, you can make extra money or big dollars on sites such as Amazon.com, Etsy.com and more.
Instead, go with a self-hosted site (like my blog here is)—this means your blog will be hosted on your own server and you’ll have full control over it. There are tons of highly reputable, affordable companies you can choose to host your website, like Bluehost, Kinsta, or A2 Hosting.
Find a profitable niche: We’ve talked about this a lot. But, where are you most comfortable. What niche do your skills, values, and interests intersect? Do you have 10 years of experience as a technical writer? Do you have long-standing PR relationships that’ll be invaluable in helping startups launch a successful crowdfunding campaign? Determine what makes your value unique, and lean heavily on showcasing that strength to your potential clients.
You could travel the world with ease, create a comfortable lifestyle for yourself and your family, and achieve financial freedom. You could finally escape the constraints of the 9-5 lifestyle and own your time completely.
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.
A common mistake that many people make when it comes to validating their business idea is that they’ll need to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars developing an MVP. You actually want to spend very little at this stage.
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.
You can get a decent 3D printer these days for around $3,000 large (2), but be warned: if prices continue to drop and ease of use continues to increase, it may not be long before 3D printers reach critical mass.
Better yet, you can even upload your own book to one of the world’s largest book sellers: Amazon. With Amazon self-publishing, you set the price, retain the rights to your book, and get access to Amazon’s massive audience. For every sale, you keep 70% with Amazon taking the remainder as a fee. If you want to get started, check out Leslie Samuel’s great guide to selling eBooks online or follow Tara Gentile on CreativeLive as she shows you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Who knows, you might just write one of the best business books of this year!
Video is growing like crazy. And more and more people are looking for professional help cutting their raw footage into viral-worthy content. If you have the right software and a bit of skill, you can easily make money online as a video editor. Check out these article of Fstoppers on how to become an online video editor and then look for relevant jobs on Mandy.com, Creative Cow Job Search, or ProductionHub.
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.
There’s an audience for everything, whether it’s making dollhouse furniture or creating organic dog food. With a specialty e-commerce store, you can reach those customers who are seeking your specific products. All you need is a web-hosting service with an integrated shopping cart feature or with e-commerce software, and your business will be operational in no time. You can even work with vendors to ship products to customers on your behalf, which means you don’t need to own a lot of inventory. [See Related Story: A Small Business Guide to E-Commerce Shipping]
Maggie Aland is a staff writer for Fit Small Business and editor of the Marketing and Reviews sections. She writes on a variety of marketing topics, ranging from newspaper ads to how to market your business on Facebook. Before joining Fit Small Business, Maggie worked as a marketing associate at a niche publishing company. There she was responsible for determining the marketing plan and keeping up with the budget of 10+ B2B products. Her experience includes email, direct mail, social media, events, and more. When not editing or writing, you can find Maggie looking for the best brunch spots in NYC.
Blogs are a time tested form of online business that can always be monetized through adsense, affiliate links, advertising, and a number of other creative applications.There are two big reasons why a blog should be your first online business.
Founded in 2003, Small Business Trends is an award-winning online publication for small business owners, entrepreneurs and the people who interact with them. It is one of the most popular independent small business publications on the web.
Selling your know-how can really pay off. Even if your know-how is super nerdy and small — I created an online course that teaches people how to start a business proofreading transcripts for court reporters. Lives have been changed in the process, including mine! The course has earned me over $166,000 in profit since its launch in February, exactly four months ago today.
The most important thing you need before you do anything else is a problem. What do people need that they don’t have? What solution is currently out there that you can do better? This alone is the basis of every great startup.
Copywriting is the art and science of strategically delivering words (whether written or spoken) that get people to take some form of action. It can range from anything to sales pages, to email marketing, to even quality blog content.
Strategy #5: Get your site listed in local search directories. Current estimates say 40 percent of search engine queries are now for local businesses and services. When you combine this with research that indicates 92 percent of local searches convert later offline, you can start to see a pattern of consumer behavior.
For this, you first must brainstorm/find an online service that people are willing to pay for on an ongoing basis. Once you create it, the challenge is to maintain it, which is not an easy task. That being said, it can be quite profitable if you can make it work.
It’s still not easy by any means. It requires hard work, and you need to stand out amongst the hundreds of thousands of ecommerce websites and online stores. But by filling a unique niche and executing the right marketing techniques, you can make your ecommerce store a profitable success.
For one, you’ll want to have a high level of domain experience within the industry your startup is going to operate. This means a deep understanding of your customers, the issues they face, and an idea of potential solutions they’ll be willing to pay for. This is the minimum you need to get started.
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!
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.
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.
Building a YouTube channel is a lot like starting a blog or website, except that you’re working in video—not writing. The first step is to choose what kind of videos you’re going to create. Most successful YouTube channels fall under one of two categories:
You can optimize your videos to rank higher by experimenting with attention-grabbing descriptions and previews as well as using relevant tags. You need to stand out and make people want to click on your video.
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.
While Etsy is a great place to get in front of potential customers who wouldn’t have otherwise found you, once you’re up and running and have built a decent audience, you can move your store over to Shopify and retain a larger portion of the income you make from selling your goods.
Remember, you can offer the freemium model mentioned previously if there is no scope to achieve high advertising revenue. You could even be teaching others how to make money online, while doing exactly the same thing for yourself!
The idea is simple: a global search directory that lists the nearly 2000 crowdfunding sites, as well as the hundreds of third party sites that are designed to help those seeking to raise money (for business startups, charitable causes, political campaigns, etc).
This is where you dig even deeper to understand your ideal shopper. Who are they? What do they like? How can you tailor both your product and your website experience to appeal to your perfect shopper?
The benefit here is that you don’t have to risk buying up stock in a product and losing money if it doesn’t sell. The entry barrier is lower and you don’t have to invest nearly as much to get started.
Depending on what hosting service you decide to go with, the initial cost can potentially be as low as $5 a month. On average though, purchasing a single domain name and setting up a basic wordpress site shouldn’t cost you more than $10, leaving you with just enough to invest into your site’s design.
So many people dream of writing a book, but never go through with it. Yet no matter what, I’m sure you have experience and value you could give through writing a book. By packaging your skills and knowledge into a downloadable eBook that helps people learn a skill, advance their careers, or start a businesses, you can change someone’s life and even make good money online.
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.
Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.
Phase 4: Launch the course to his email list. The success of your course comes down to getting it in front of the right people. And your own audience, no matter how small, is usually the best place to start. That said, you need to have a clear idea of your launch plan before you put it live.
Like I said, this process can be a bit overwhelming. And that’s why I put together this free master course to help break this entire process down into easy to follow steps that’ll get your blog off the ground and generating readers in less than 1 week.
Starting a business these days is also surprisingly cheap. If you’re dying to get out there and start making money online, but you think that surely you’ll need thousands in the bank first, we’re about to prove you wrong.
Once you’ve established yourself in any of the numerous freelance verticals online, spending your time focusing just on doing inside sales (booking freelance contracts with high-value clients) and then subcontracting your work out to other freelancers can be a great way to make money online.
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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.