Whether it’s an important consumer application, a specialist app to solve a particular niche problem, or even a time-wasting game you can play on your phone, you can create a massively successful business if you build software that helps people. (Look at the rise of Slack—the team communication software that went from side project to billion-dollar company in just 2 years.)
Social media is an important part of any online business. The problem? Time! Most business owners simply don’t have the time to be involved with Twitter, LinkedIn, Face Book and other sites, in a pro-active way. That is where you can help.
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.
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.
And even if you’re not a big fan of reading print books, let’s not forget that we’re in the midst of the information age, when all the information you could possibly want is at your fingertips. There are tons of information out there that you can access for free that’ll teach you everything you need to know about starting a business.
Next, you’ll need the right tools. You can be as complicated or simple as you want depending on your comfort with audio equipment, but at the minimum you’ll want a microphone and software for recording your voice. Companies like Behringer, Blue, Focusrite, and others sell studio-quality plug-and-play podcast setups that can get you recording today.
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.
Larger companies can hire an agency or full-time staff member to run their Facebook and Twitter accounts, but small businesses often have to handle their own social media marketing. With so many responsibilities, business owners are often too busy, overwhelmed or undereducated about the importance of social media to spend time developing and implementing a great social media strategy. As a consultant, you can help them determine the best tactics, posting schedules and content for their target audience. As their follower count grows, so will your business.
With over 3.2 billion people now actively using the internet, we’re well into a massive transformation in how the world does business. We’re living in an age where there’s no longer limitations on what you can achieve based on geographic location or lack of financial resources.
If you have a knack for organization, you can make money online as a virtual assistant helping people to keep their days in order. A virtual assistant will do everyinthing from bookkeeping to research, database entry, booking travel, and managing email. It can also be an awesome way to rub shoulders with some very important people, build up your professional network, and of course grow another stream of income. You can find great gigs on UpWork, Fiverr, Indeed, and Remote.co.
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.
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.
I talk a lot about how to start a blog on this website, and for good reason. In 2018, it’s easier to start a blog than ever before, and your blog can also be a big potential source of income (if you know how to monetize it).
They will ship any item from the U.S. to anywhere in the world – in the most personal, transparent, and fast way possible. There are many items, such as tech gadgets or fashion brands, that are only available in the U.S. I have used this service myself many times to get items shipped to Italy – such as the newest Jawbone UP3 fitness tracker. They are always very responsive and great!
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.
Do you have impeccable organizational skills? What about cleaning skills? Can you quickly and efficiently carry out these tasks? Maybe it’s time to put those skills to good use by becoming an online personal assistant or task manager. Companies like TaskRabbit or Zirtual allow you to sign up for tasks you want to complete — including data research, virtual assistant or running errands — and begin building clientele.
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).
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.
So, how do you go about putting together your course? One of my favorite online course success stories comes from Bryan Harris of Videofruit, who built and launched an online course in just 10 days that made him $220,750!
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.
Websites aren’t too dissimilar to stocks. Many are junk, but some can generate serious income for you, making buying an existing website a strong potential idea for making money online (if you have an eye for spotting the diamond in the rough).
Now the cost of this one might vary depending on the library near you, but in my experience, a membership to your local library is always one of the best investments you can make. And most of the time, they are free.
I don’t brag much, but I’m super proud of this. We style men monthly, and because the items are selected by a stylist who reads their profiles, we designed our interface to allow gratuities while telling a bit about the stylist. We believe we are starting something major companies will be doing in the years to come.
WebsiteSetup is a free resource site for creating websites. WebsiteSetup was founded in 2013 by Robert Mening. The main goal of this website is to provide step-by-step instructions for setting up a website, blog or e-commerce site.
The idea behind a niche website is to target a specific niche (for example, a specific kind of photography), rank on Google for the keywords related to that niche, and then turn that traffic into earnings through affiliate offers or through selling your own products.
If you can consistently provide companies with successful social media campaigns and improve their profiles, they will pay. Clorox Bleach had some huge success with one of their recent social media campaigns.
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.
Ever see a Google result and say “How the heck did that get there?” While Google and other search engines use powerful algorithms to determine what pages to show for search results, there are real people making money online by making sure the machines are doing their job correctly.
If you design a wildly popular app (which is harder than it sounds), you might be pleasantly surprised with the income they generate. Offering one or more apps at the iTunes or Android app store gives your creations wide exposure to prospects. And income can be generated by charging for the app, displaying in-app ads, or charging for in-app features and upgrades.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
The sites that hold the most value on the web hold the most valuable content. Face Book holds information about what hundreds of millions of users. YouTube possess millions of funny, educational and controversial videos. If you can create a website that focuses on offering valuable resources, then you just might be onto a winner.
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):
You’ll need to think, “growth”—both geographically and regarding services. One Concierge, operating globally and with a host of offerings, is a good role model. And judging from their membership page, business is good.
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.
Scent Trunk creates a custom perfume for you based on your preferences. How it works: for free, we’ll ship you 6 scents to test out. Once you provide feedback on those (what you love, like, and hate), we’ll send you a perfume based on your exact tastes. People love the opportunity to customize the perfect perfume for them.
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?
TechCrunch is a popular Web 2.0 blog and makes a reported $200,000 per month. Originally started by Michael Arrington, it was eventually acquired by AOL for a reported $25,000,000. There is money to be made by blogging and it’s cheap one of the cheap and easy home based businesses to get started with.
Here’s the secret sauce: If you can launch your book and get a few hundred sales in the first week, Amazon will take over and start promoting it for you. This way you can make some real money from it. It’s actually easier than it sounds, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
If you’re willing to take on some risk and have the heart of a true hustler, you can make extra money online doing commission-only sales for startups and other businesses. While you won’t be getting a regular salary, with the right sales strategies and skills as an inside sales rep, you can make decent money for each sale you bring in. And because you’ll most likely be working with startups, if you can negotiate a little equity you could profit big time if you’re pitching a solid product and the startup succeeds.
Not only is Airbnb a great way to make extra money online by renting out your spare bedroom, but you also get the benefit of meeting new people (if that’s your kind of thing). You can even rent out an entirely new apartment just to manage as an Airbnb.
While it often takes a significant amount of time and hard work to build up your affiliate income, if you have the ability to regularly publish high quality content that drives in targeted traffic to your website, this online revenue source can become quite substantial.
For example, a site that sells a product like gift baskets might include some brief “About Us” information that gives details about who the website owners are, why they started their business and how long they’ve been online.
When was the last time you went to a new restaurant without looking it up online beforehand? Or bought a product that didn’t have at least a few 5-star reviews? It seems like more and more our world is run on reviews. And you can make money online by writing them. Get started by creating accounts on sites like Vindale research, Software Judge, FameBit, CrowdTap, Influence Central, and Modern Mom. However, before you run off and start writing, be sure to check the small print on each of these sites. Writing reviews isn’t a huge source of guaranteed income and you want to make sure that it’s worth your time before you get going.
But just as someone selling a product over the web needs to make a seamless transition between their sales copy and their order form, you need to make a seamless transition between your sales copy and the point of contact.
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.
If you need to brush up on your sales skills, check out online courses like Sales Training and Prospecting on Udemy, The Guide to Pitching and Selling Clients on CreativeLive. And once you’re ready, head over to Angel List and see if there any open sales position opportunities align with your interests.