When you start an online business, you have different challenges and rewards than you have with a typical business that uses a storefront and capital for space. There are many upsides to having an online business, most notably that you can work from anywhere that you can get an internet connection. You will need some skills to manage the technology, basic website knowledge and an ability to communicate well, as well as some ongoing maintenance. Another upside is that you can get your business up and going in a short timeframe be on your way to a great future!
You will want to think about a number of creative outlets, so take the time to think about some of the options listed below. The nice thing about an online business is that not only can you make an income for the direct time you put into it, but you also can create a passive stream of income that will continue even when you might not be directly attending to it. The sky is the limit as far as earning potential. You can make a nice side income, or really make a fortune.
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1) Apps for smartphones
Everywhere you go you see smartphones. Literally. And with the use of smartphones comes the demand for apps for these phones. With Android and Apple iPhone marketing their phones quite heavily, the app market continues to explode in nearly any category you can dream up.
App developers are finding that the time they put into learning to make and develop apps is a possibly quite valuable way to earn money online. The apps are not something you need to keep inventory for or a storefront. They cost very little to create and there are no shipping costs! With not only the sale of the app bringing in income, there is an added benefit – ad revenue. Talk about a passive stream of income! This can be an amazing online business.
2) E-commerce stores
There are many options out there that can help you in this endeavor. Shopify and Woocommerce can easily help you start your own online store and require a limited investment of cash. With the addition of drop shipping, you can have items shipped out without ever having to touch them or keep a physical inventory. For a sales interested person, this can be a great option.
Freelancing is becoming a rapidly growing internet occupation for those striving to have more control over their work lives. Do you have knowledge in any particular area? A talent for something? You may very well be able to find online clients that need what you have to offer. There are websites where businesses and freelancers can connect. Elance and ODesk are popular sites that cover just about any freelance position out there. Graphic design, programming, and writing related freelancing are common offerings. An individual or business can post a need or a proposal, and a freelancer can make a bid, or offer on the particular job. These project-based sites are helping many people create their own workflow and control their work life. This is great online business that supports other online business. Win/Win
4) Listicle blog
This is a simple blog idea that will really only take a minimal investment to get started, just about $20 or so. Realistically, you will need to put in about an hour a week once you get it up and running. Some sites like this have made a great deal of money.
Basically, this is a site that rewrites stories from other sites, stories that are will draw a reader in because of humor, feelings or just a great feel-good story. Check out ViralNova.com, Fukarf.com to see where they have taken stories from other sites and reworked it, added some items of their own, and put it on their site.
These can be started in any location. ViralNova sold for $100 million but began with a gentleman hiring writers to rewrite interesting and fun articles and then put the content on his site. He ended up generating monthly ad revenue of over $400,000. So, his startup and work to build an interested following paid off well for him.
When you start this kind of a site, you will not make much initially, but the key is building your views. You will want to spread the word with the help of Twitter, Facebook, and other sites, but eventually, you will end up with independent views, called “organic traffic”. To get the site to pay for the hosting fees you will want to use Adsense to build actual revenue. As your traffic flow improves, your Adsense income can increase to $1000/month.
You can find ViralNova type concepts at MyThemeShop.
Another way to use this to create income is to not only build your site to a good level where you see monthly revenues but to sell the site, “flip the site”, for quite a bit more than your monthly Adsense revenues. There are people who do flip sites regularly and have found it quite profitable.
Here is a guide: How To Start A Blog to see how to get yours going! You can get this business going in less than an afternoon.
You can get your blog up and live on BlueHost. For $2.95 a month (36-month package) you get excellent hosting and a FREE domain name (valued at $15). Fast and reliable web hosting, a site builder and one-click WordPress Install with 24/7 support are all part of this package and will really assist in getting you going.
This is a special deal, it is usually a $7.99/month fee normally, so check it out very soon!
5) Another blogging idea – Expert blogger
Do you love to write? Do you have good knowledge on a particular topic? Are you passionate about something? Well, you can write your way to income by blogging. If you don’t feel like you have the technical know-how to do a blog, you can be reassured, you really don’t need a lot of technical knowledge or high-tech computer skills. But you do need to know what you are talking about on a subject. As you write, you will be putting your expertise out there and build a following. This following will get you, advertisers, get affiliate commissions (see below), and build an income. It can become a decent business for you. A great example is a mom, Dooce.com, who is passionate about her children and her daily life, blogs about both, and makes a great income.
Becoming a professional blogger is a fantastic online business that allows you the opportunity to write about topics you love!
6) Online affiliate
This is a great way to add income from your blog or website. You get paid by commission for selling other company’s products. You can do this on your own site, or even use a site like eBay to get this going. You don’t have to invest time in product development, just showcase other company’s products.
It is simple to do. You set up an affiliate link on your site, generally a very simple process, and then for every click or sale that comes from your site, you receive a commission. Amazon.com has an affiliate program that can be quite lucrative, depending on how much you work at it. Commission ranges vary and tend to get higher the more clicks you generate. At this point, the highest commission tier is eight and a half percent, which ads up rapidly.
There are networks out there such as Shareasale and Clickbank that will give you a range of products that you can give information about. There are some categories that are very popular and can really help you to make an amazing passive income! Set it up, promote some, and watch your progress!
Owning an affiliate online business is true financial freedom, allowing you to work anywhere with a wifi connection
Since we have been talking about blogs and websites, here is another option along those lines. You can work with advertisers and earn whenever their ads on your site are clicked on. This gives an advertiser space on your page on your website, is entirely free to you, and you don’t need to do anything further. You earn based on the traffic level you generate, termed the “click-through rate” or CTR. You can also do this with banners and RSS feeds. One of the most well-known is Google AdSense, though there are other advertisers.
8) Other writing options
Perhaps you are fully overwhelmed or uninterested at the thought of an ongoing blog. That’s okay, there are other options to use your writing skills and interests. There are sites where you can write for other blogs or posts. Check out PayPerPost, Textbroker, and Helium.
Proofreading/copyediting – Do you have a knack for catching grammar and punctuation errors, or seeing how to reword an awkward sentence? There are people who will gladly pay for you to put those skills to work to improve their content.
E-books – Do you not want to deal with the upkeep of a blog, but want to share your passion or knowledge? Write your own e-book. You don’t have to worry about the cost of printing a physical book, nor shipping it out to customers. Amazon and other sites make the creation of e-books quite easy to follow.
9) Buy and sell domains
This does not take much time or money, so it is a good low-risk option. You buy a domain name at the registration cost or less, and then you can resell it at a higher price to an interested party. You will want to take a look at what domain names are popular, what names are back on the market from terminated lists, what names are now back available. Check out Afternic.com, Sedo.co.uk, and other auctions that deal with domain names.
10) WordPress theme creation
WordPress themes and templates are in high demand for people who want to start websites or blogs. If you can design a website and like HTML coding, this may be an excellent option for you. People are making good money creating website templates and WordPress themes and selling them online. You can sell them on ThemeForest and TemplateMonster. Create, put them up for sale, and you may have created another passive stream of income for yourself!
11) Social media consulting
Marketing on social media is becoming big business. Large companies are hiring agencies or their own employees to use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to market themselves. A smaller business will want to access social media to build their business, but likely are pressed for their time due to the needs of a small business, and unable to really devote much time to social media. This is where a social media consultant comes in. You can assist them in accessing social media, using schedules to maximize exposure and capture their target audience. In helping their business grow, you will grow your own business into whatever you desire. You may vary your involvement, from just guidance to actual writing of posts. It is up to you and your customer.
12) Virtual assistant
Along the lines of social media consultant, is another new profession – virtual assistant. A virtual assistant does the same basic tasks as an office assistant, but online. A small business might need an assistant, but enough to have an entire position or even a part-time position. Therefore, they may have a very real need for a virtual assistant who can work from home or any place with Wi-Fi. You will be able to have meetings with the business via the phone, emails or Skype. Pay varies according to experience and client needs.
13) Webinar, online teaching
In today’s market, many people are looking to gain in skills and learn new things. With technology, tutoring can be done online or in person and is a great way to boost your income. You will want to think about what your skills are, what you are well versed in and how much time you have available to devote to this endeavor. You can find online tutoring jobs at Tutor.com, TutorVista.com and begin working. It is a job you will need to build a reputation in, but it can be done.
If you feel that you can manage it, webinar creation is a great way to get your message and reaching out as lectures and seminars. These can even be valuable to Universities and students who value the access to online learning.
Checkout clickfunnels if you are considering starting a online business
If the thought of creating websites or building webinars sounds daunting, don’t worry, there are many more options. There are many companies and individuals who need research done online. You can choose how many hours you have available to put in per week and most likely fill that time with researching.
Here is another niche market you can make use of. A business makes its site and then is ready to see it grow. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of a site has it all prepared for the next step: Search Engine Marketing (SEM). To do this, a site is marketed through social media, blog posting, making posts on forums, marketing articles, writing press releases, and adding the site to search engine directories. A company generally hires an outside source to do these tasks for them. If you have an interest in this, why can’t it be you?
This opportunity gives you the chance to help others start their own online business while building your own!
16) Stock and Forex trading for something completely different
Do you feel that you have the knowledge or interest in stock trading? You can learn by going slowly and taking the time to carefully research as you go. It can be risky, but if you go slowly, it can be a worthwhile option. It can be possible to make a significant income, particularly in trading foreign stocks and currencies. The real trick is learning to get an idea of which items are likely to increase in value, but it can be done!
17) Create your own brand images
Do you have a talent for creating images and logos or brands? If so, you can create images that can be purchased to be printed on products. You can list your images on CafePress or other websites like that where the company will print them up and ship the product if someone wants to purchase that item. These are often calendar designs, t-shirt designs, bag designs, hat designs, posters or cards that can be purchased with whatever design you have created. It becomes another passive stream of income with a fun online business!
18) Sell your photos
Perhaps you don’t create images, but you are a fabulous and passionate photographer! There is an excellent online market for your photos. Shutterstock and Fotolia, among other sites, will provide a place for you to sell your photos and earn a passive income. Many people are very interested in buying your photos to use for their projects. Simply submit your photos to your site of choice and you are set to go!
The Internet has opened up another entire world for making income and starting an online business, in so many venues and skill sets. Generally, the Internet does not provide a primary income source, but it certainly can provide an additional source of income that will certainly be put to use. Not to say that there aren’t people out there making excellent money online, but they have certainly invested time and energy to build their businesses.
If you take the time to look into it, explore your options, and see what you can do. Perhaps you will create a passive stream of income, or find a new work endeavor to spark your interest. I hope you have found some interesting ideas and it has given you some things to think about!