Of course, that’s a simplified version of everything it takes to build your startup. Luckily, there is now more support, education, and access to funding for budding startups than ever before. And a great place to start is with this list of 101 best free and cheap online business courses for entrepreneurs I put together.
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.
The difference between operational and successful is in mastering man’s greatest nemesis — time. Get firsthand accounts from successful entrepreneurs who have grown their home based business into online behemoths.
We went micro-niche with Chicken Armor poultry saddles when we were unable to find chicken saddles/aprons that were affordable and didn’t need to be laundered. Chicken saddles are worn by chickens like a vest and help to protect their backs against mating and molting injuries.
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!
Etsy is the most popular online marketplace for handmade goods and crafts. From bracelets to phone cases, rings, furniture, and more, Etsy is perfect for anyone who is creative and wants to sell their handmade creations. As long as you have the space, this can make for one of the best ways to make money online that can be started with a very limited investment. Consider these 5 steps to starting an Etsy store, from Handmadeology.
Believe it or not, some people have such a difficult time with dating, they don’t even want to participate in the online (or app-based) component of it. If you’re a smooth talker, you can leverage that skill into making money online as a matchmaker on sites like eFlirtExpert.
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.
Next, you need to include a list of your credentials. However, don’t just give point after point of accomplishments; be sure to state exactly how each of your credentials is going to translate into a benefit for your clients. Don’t make the critical mistake of assuming that visitors to your site can make this leap on their own. Clearly spell out the benefits you offer in your sales copy. For example, if you’re a real estate agent with certification in housing inspection, you shouldn’t just tell your visitors “I’m a certified housing inspector.” Instead you should say, “Not only can I find the best home in the best location for you and your family, but as a certified housing inspector, I can give you an accurate assessment of the home’s structural soundness and let you know about any potential problems to make sure you avoid getting stuck with costly repairs in the years to come!” Doesn’t that sound better than “I’m a certified housing inspector”? Make the benefit obvious!
If you’ve visited Amazon, you have seen products sold by third-parties with the comment “ships from Amazon.” These are sellers who send their products to Amazon fulfillment facilities, then Amazon lists the item and ships it when a buyer is found.
Your platform should give you the flexibility you need to stand out, the data orchestration you need for operational efficiency and the low total cost of ownership that lets’ you reallocate dollars to marketing spend, not technology debt.
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.
Blogging is a viable business opportunity that allows you to choose a niche that really suits you. And you can make money through advertising, affiliate links, infoproducts or any number of other avenues.
Strategy #2: Be specific about exactly what you’re offering. We’ve already talked a bit about this, but this is such a common mistake I see website owners making–whether they’re selling a service or a product–that I think it warrants further explanation.
If you can engage clients and build up attractive social media profiles, then you will be able to attract clients, which makes this a service with value. Again, these projects are posted on freelance sites such as People Per Hour and Elance on a regular basis, so you can start building up clients straight away! Check out these amazing statistics for LinkedIn!
Sites like Tutor.com and TutorVista.com will connect you with people looking for help learning a subject, and you might be in particularly high demand if you’re good with math, science or a foreign language. You have to go through an application process, and once you’re approved you can start getting paid.
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.
2. Take advantage of sites like eLance.com. Depending on the type of service you offer, professional services marketplaces like eLance.com , FreeLance.com and Daylo.com may be a great source of clients and leads. Post your qualifications and bid on posted jobs, using your website to help close the deal once you’ve entered into a one-on-one discussion with a potential client.
Videos are becoming more and more popular. From Instagram and Snapchat Stories to Facebook Live video, videos will only continue to grow. If you’ve always loved the thought of being behind the camera, now is the time you can take an advantage.
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.
For those who like to make handcrafted items, websites such as Etsy are ideal to make some money off of such hobbies. Dedicated handcrafters should check Etsy and similar sites to find the best fit for their products.
There’s plenty of work and clients to be found. If you know where to look. To start, you need to know if there is enough demand for your skill to make it worth the effort to go out looking for work. Start by searching freelancer job boards on UpWork, Freelancer, Guru or one of the dozens of other skill-specific freelance job boards.
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.
Do you enjoy taking surveys? Some companies will pay people to take surveys so that they can gather valuable consumer and user data. It might not be the most interesting way to make a buck, but you can find websites like CashbackResearch.com that offer cash for your opinions.
A web developer is someone who knows how to build a website from the bottom up. In order to do this, you need to learn coding, which will take time and hard work. But if you’re willing to put in the effort, it can pay quite well.
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.
How you define quality content depends on your audience and what they find valuable. At Foundr, we’ve found that our Instagram audience likes motivational quotes and updates about what’s going with the Foundr podcast.
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.
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is selling someone else’s product by referring customers to their online store. If you can create content (on a blog) or a resource so valuable to the people looking for a certain product and then send them to where they can actually buy it, you’ll receive a predetermined percentage of each sale.
Choose your niche and check for demand: The golden course combination is when you can find an in-demand niche that aligns with your skills and unique experiences. A great way to do this is to use Google Trends and Google’s Keyword Planner to look for average monthly search volume for keywords related to your proposed course content. Are people actively looking for high-quality information about this subject? Of course, if you’re already creating content for a blog, coaching service, or a site like Medium, you can test demand this way for free just like Bryan did.
Although it is only in the early stages Code Academy is going to be one of those online training centres that really stands out from the crowd. More than one investor has seen the potential that is has with the Academy getting over $12.5m in investment within the first 12 months, including investments from Richard Branson and Yuri Milner.
This short list of examples just goes to show that not all of the good business ideas are taken just yet. It seems to me that when I get one of those “genius” ideas, I’m always in the shower. By the time I get out and try to remember what was on my mind, it’s gone. I hope it is not just me that this happens to.
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.
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.
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.
Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
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.
And while freelancing might not be as scalable as some of the other ideas we’ve spoken about, it’s not uncommon for solopreneurs to build healthy six-figure freelance businesses for themselves. (In fact, I’ve interviewed tons of them on my podcast!)
Trust me, tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Look for open positions at top editing companies like Scribendi, Top Admit, or Essay Edge or post your services online on Craigslist and other marketplaces.
Shopify is a great example of the freemium model. By offering some applications for free, they get exposure for their whole business. Since the company was founded in 2004, they have acquired 30,000 customers, including Pixar and the Foo Fighters. Their revolutionary “build-a-business” competitions in the past have produced over $70,000,000 in revenue for over 14,000 entrants.
The music industry might not be as strong as it was in the 80s, but there are still plenty of ways to make money online as a musician. Sites like SoundBetter let you sell your services as a songwriter, producer, or session musician to thousands of customers a month. While Musicbed, Music Vine, Marmoset, and SongFreedom are perfect for licensing your music to TV shows, movies, and web series.
If you’re a fitness buff and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time online personal trainer can be both physically and financially rewarding. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time endeavor for you. Check out this interview with several fitness blog owners who are making a living online, from MonetizePros. As well, I’d recommend checking out this resource if you want to take this business idea seriously and get started with a business plan for your personal fitness trainer business today.
On the other hand, with our Facebook audience, we’ve found videos to be particularly powerful in terms of bringing in new followers and engaging our existing followers. It’s also a great platform for us to promote the latest post on the Foundr blog, and the occasional motivational quote as well.
Telemarketing services are great for appointment setting as well as creating warm leads. More and more companies are looking to outsource their marketing efforts and this is where you could fit in. Telemarketers charge £15-30 per hour depending on the size and type of operation.
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.
Consider building a Shopify store. Shopify is a system built for ecommerce. With some basic web knowledge, you can set up a good-looking store very quickly, with a low-cost investment and with no coding needed. Shopify has a 30-day free trial too, so you can get started without spending a dime.
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).
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.