Ultimate Online Business Ideas
Some would say that big business has it made; I on the other hand believe that there will always be a special place for the little business guy. Entrepreneurs have an edge over their bigger competitors.
So while the Amazon’s of the world are struggling to break even from their multi billion-dollar overheads, the smaller Dot coms are already realizing profits. What advantages do the “little” guys have in the marketplace?
Take a moment to imagine working for yourself on a daily basis, with no one telling you what to do. You can take on projects that appeal to you the most and feel proud as you watch them grow and add value to the market. If this is a scenario sounds more interesting to you than spending your days working 9 to 5 for someone else, then you likely have an entrepreneurial spirit.
Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of being your own boss, but have feared to start your own business because you lack the time and money, and maybe you don’t feel like any of your ideas are good enough. Perhaps you’re afraid of setting out on your own because you’re afraid of putting yourself and your family at risk.
However, the good news is that it has never been easier to become an entrepreneur as it is today. The Internet has helped to reduce most of the barriers to entrepreneurship. Today, you can start building your business while still working at your regular job and only investing an hour or two a day tending to your business.
Plus, today you have access to a goldmine of information to help you succeed in the form of podcasts, books, blogs, etc. You can take advantage of others’ experiences and knowledge and use it to build your project much faster and safer than before.
The only thing you need to be successful is a deep commitment to learning and the willingness to put some effort into achieving your goals.
The cost to start and operate an online business is minimal, as is the financial risk. All you need to purchase to begin your company are a domain name and hosting service, which you can obtain for around $6 a month. For the rest, it will depend on what type of product or service you’re going to sell, but it is entirely possible to start your business with as little as $100.
With an online business, you also are able to work from anywhere you want, whether you decide to work out of your home or head to a café or co-working space.
You can choose where to live, and you have the freedom to organize your schedule almost entirely as you wish.
The best part of it all is that you won’t be stuck in a cubicle all day long, or eat lunch at the office cafeteria, or spend hours stuck in rush hour traffic. And most importantly, your salary won’t be limited to what an employer is willing to pay you.
In the early 70s, Richard Russell, a finance writer, wrote the article, The Perfect Business. According to Russell, an ideal business included the following:
Low overhead costs and capital investments
Generates passive income
Gives you more free time
Is not dependent on location
Provides you with fulfillment
If this doesn’t sound like a professional paradise to you, then maybe you should stay at your 9 – 5 job. However, if this sounds like a job you’d like to have, then an online business is right up your ally. In the 1970s it was difficult to come up with a business idea that corresponded to those criteria, but today it is entirely possible thanks to the Internet.
There are many ways in which you can make a living online:
Monetizing a blog
Offering to consult or coaching
Creating and selling online courses
Joining affiliate programs
Selling physical products through eCommerce
There are unlimited possibilities for you to find your passion and make a successful online business that provides you with passive income and that will fit your lifestyle.
Find Your Passion, Find Your Niche
While many people want to start a business and become their own boss, they are held back from taking action because they don’t know what kind of business to start.
Not knowing where to start, most people choose to remain where they are and not take the risk.
Use This Business Equation
However, if you do want to take the leap and become an online business owner, finding an idea for your business isn’t that difficult. A business idea usually is a result of the following equation:
A topic you’re interested in + people you like and want to help + a problem they have + a solution you can provide to the problem, which you’ll package into a product or service of your choosing.
If you already have a business idea, then all you will have to do before you get started is to validate your idea, which you’ll learn about in Chapter 2. However, if you haven’t found an idea yet, you’ll need to start questioning yourself. First, you need to reflect on your interests and the lifestyle that you are hoping to attain, as well as reflecting on your natural strengths and the skill set you already possess.
Determine What You Dislike About Your Current Job and Lifestyle and What You’d Like to Change
There must be one thing, or many, that you don’t like about your current situation.
Maybe you don’t like the lack of free time in your life, or perhaps it’s the commute to work that has you down or even being told what to do, or possibly the lack of a sufficient income.
It is essential to be specific when defining what it is you are trying to escape from so you can avoid recreating it in your new lifestyle. For example, if a significant issue for you is a lack of free time, then you shouldn’t opt for a business model that will require an equal amount of your time, like freelancing. Instead, you need to choose a model that will generate passive income.
What Do You Like About Your Current Situation?
Not everything is wrong with your current situation. Maybe you enjoy the relationships at your work and working in a team. You probably appreciate the fact that you don’t have to think about your work after you’ve clocked out.
It’s good for you to know what you like if you want to be able to reproduce this in your online business. For example, even if being a web entrepreneur means working by yourself most of the time, there different ways that you can add social occasions to your new entrepreneurial life.
You could share working space with other entrepreneurs and freelancers. You could also attend Meetup groups in your field and meet up with other like-minded individuals occasionally.
Figure Out Your Main Interests Are
Naturally, there will be topics and activities that are more appealing to you than others. There are probably specific conversation topics that you feel more enthusiastic about, and there are probably some subjects that you are curious to learn more about. If you are planning on creating a blog, or even if you aren’t, you’ll need to think of a topic that you could write about every day, without growing bored. To determine this, you’ll want to ask yourself the following questions:
Which section in the book store do you head to first?
When you’re waiting at the doctor’s office, what kinds of magazines do you read?
Which TV channels do you watch the most?
What kind of news stories do you read online?
Which classes did you enjoy the most in school?
In your free time, which activities do you like to engage in?
Are there particular websites you like to browse?
Obviously, it’s essential to choose a topic that you’re interested in since it will become a part of your daily life because if you don’t, you’ll soon get bored. Over time, you might discover that your interests are slightly different than what you initially thought. Sometimes, there are activities that you enjoy more like a hobby, but not necessarily as a job.
To avoid this mistake, take some time to explore your topic and write about it for a couple of weeks to see how it feels before you choose to dedicate your time and energy into turning it into a business that you may not enjoy.
If you aren’t able to think of something that interests you, then it’s time to explore.
Go out and participate in new activities, attend events that you usually wouldn’t go to, and take some time to learn a new skill. Think about something that you have always been curious about, and talk to others who are already engaged in the activity. Also, be curious about the people you meet. Ask them about their jobs, projects, and interests. It might be a bit uncomfortable at first, but it will be something that will help you generate new ideas.
Determine Your Strengths and Talents
This isn’t about the skills you have, but rather your natural talents and strengths that aren’t things that you gained through experience and practice. These are the activities that come to you naturally and more efficiently than others. You might be good at writing and playing with words, solving problems, performing manual tasks, or analyzing concepts.
Determine Your Natural Weaknesses
It is essential that you don’t think of a weakness as a lack of skills, because you can learn skills. Your “natural” weaknesses are aspects that you feel less at ease. For instance, you may not have a well-developed sense of aesthetics, or you struggle with staying organized.
To be successful with your new online business venture, you will need to adopt a growth mindset and a desire to work on your weaknesses to improve yourself continually. However, it is still necessary to acknowledge your weaknesses, so you don’t choose a business model that will make things unnecessarily tricky in the beginning.
What Type of Personality Do You Have?
Certain aspects of your personality will determine what will bring you more fulfillment and joy, in the same way, that your talents and strengths will. An easy way to explain the role that personality plays in determining your business idea is to consider the differences between an extrovert and an introvert.
An extrovert is more likely to enjoy social gatherings and networking events than an introvert would. On the other hand, an introvert probably wouldn’t mind spending many hours working alone. A shy person may have a problem being in front of a camera, while someone who is more active might prefer to move around more, instead of sitting behind a computer several hours a day.
What Are Your Skills, Experience, and Expertise?
Other things that you need to keep in mind are your skills and expertise. These are the abilities and knowledge that you have acquired over time at work and through other activities.
It will help you move faster in the process of starting a business if you choose a topic around your current skills and expertise since you won’t have to spend time acquiring new skills and related knowledge. However, this isn’t mandatory as you can always learn.
Finding Your Niche
Once you’ve determined a topic that you are interested in pursuing, you’ll need to get more specific as to which aspect of the problem you want to cover. A niche topic is a narrower category within your topic. For instance, if you choose photography as your topic, you might select outdoor photography rather than general photography.
Picking a niche topic versus a broader topic will help to increase your chances of operating a successful business because the competition won’t be as prevalent.
Starting a business around a broad topic is a common mistake that many new entrepreneurs make. It can be challenging to compete for attention and market share with companies that are already established. By choosing a narrower, more specific topic, you will increase the likelihood of standing out and getting noticed. It will also help you build your authority in the field to generate revenue faster.
If you aren’t sure which topic to pick, you might want to consider one of these categories that have proven to be profitable.
Health and well-being
Business and finance
There will always be space to enter one of these markets since they correspond to the needs of that many people want to satisfy or common problems that they want to solve. You can choose a niche within one of these broad categories.
How to Validate Your Business Idea
Validating your business idea is a critical step that many people miss before they spend the time and energy to get their business up and to run. However, you always want to make sure your idea is a winner before you get too invested in the company.
Validating your business idea is the most critical step that you can take. Unless you take the time to test the market for your ideas, you won’t have a stable and long lasting business.
The biggest argument for idea validations is to help you avoid wasting your money on an idea that won’t be profitable. If you want your business to make money, then you have to make sure that there is a market for what you are selling. When you take the time to research your idea, you can avoid making costly mistakes.
Utilize Google Trends
Google Trends (https://trends.google.com) is a great tool that you can use to help you determine what the trends are for your particular niche, which can help you validate your idea. The tool allows you not only to see if your niche is growing or shrinking, but it can also provide you with seasonal trends.
You can use this information with Googles Keyword Planner
(https://ads.google.com) to determine the search volume specific keywords get. While this won’t tell you whether or not you’ve chosen a profitable niche, it will tell you if your niche is being searched for online. If your particular niche shows a high number of searches, it is highly likely that your niche is worth diving into. It also shows that you can build an audience through organic traffic.
Use Moz.com to Research Keywords
Keyword research is one of the most critical activities that you can do to validate your business idea. Moz.com (https://moz.com) is a software as a service (SaaS) company that sells inbound marketing an marketing analytics software subscriptions. Their Keyword Explorer tool can help you streamline and improve how you discover and prioritize the keywords that consumers might be using to search for products and services in your particular niche.
It will show you monthly search volume data, give you an idea of how difficult it will be for you to rank for each keyword, provide you with an estimated click-through rate, and give you a score that represents your potential to rank in the search engines. All of this information can give you a better sense as to whether or not your idea can be profitable.
Use Buzzsumo to See Trends in Social Media
Buzzsumo (https://buzzsumo.com) is a powerful online tool that will allow you to find out what content is popular by topic or on any website. In order to validate your business idea, you need to know what people are talking about and what content is popular.
Rather than spending hours scanning the various social sites to determine this, you can utilize Buzzsumo by inputting specific search criteria and analyzing the content to find out what is already working in your niche.
Buzzsumo searches across multiple social sites to gather information on the topics that are getting the most attention. It also looks for the people that others are listening to the most and provide you with insight on who you need to follow, and on what your potential competitors are doing, which can go a long way when it comes to validating your idea.
One of the best ways to validate your business idea is by gathering feedback from potential customers. You can use sites like SurveyMonkey (https://surveymonkey.com) to gather feedback on your thoughts.
Take some time to create a survey and then share it on your social media networks, and send it out to trusted professionals and former co-workers. This will allow you to gauge the need, interest, and gaps in specific industries.
Deciding on Your Business Model
Before you get started, it is essential for you to understand that there is a difference between working on a personal project and building a business. When you are working on a personal project, you are doing something that you enjoy for yourself, without asking others what they think. Mostly, when you are working on a personal project, it’s about you.
However, when you are building a business, it is no longer about you, but instead about your target audience. It’s about serving your audience and market and responding to a need that they have expressed.
While you should always strive to do something that you love, in the case of business, however, enjoying yourself isn’t enough for you to find success. The primary responsibility of a company is to serve the market. For instance, if you create a travel blog, it wouldn’t be considered a business until you monetize the blog by adding advertising, or by selling your own or an affiliate’s products.
There are five main approaches that you can consider when it comes to creating an online business.
Physical Products With Fulfilment by Amazon
Model #1 – Blogging
Blogging is a rather engaging venture. An article titled The Billionaire Bloggers stated that there are more than 112 million people, around the world, that blog regularly, and that out of every 1,125 on the list who are true bloggers, 13 of them have reached billionaire status.
Blogging, as a profession, has proven to be a very lucrative endeavor. However, there aren’t too many people who have the understanding and knowledge to make a successful career out of blogging. While creating a successful blog isn’t an easy feat because of the competition, with the right combination of passion, talent, dedication, and good business sense, you can become successful.
If you want to be a successful blogger, then you have to possess drive, passion and have some expertise in your respective niche. However, most of the money that bloggers make doesn’t usually come from blogging alone.
For the most part, a blog serves as a platform or springboard to launch other products and services that provide an income. No method of making money online is better than the other as they all offer endless possibilities to the blogger.
What you need to do is find a combination that works for you. The key to making good money from blogging is to have multiple streams of income from your blog. For example, if you blog about traveling, then you might want to try and sell your service as a booking agent or create an affiliate partnership with travel agencies, hotels, or Airbnb.
There are several ways that you can make money from your blog. The methods listed here are just a few. Your reach and readership will be the primary determining factors on how much money you can make, as your window of opportunity are endless when your blog becomes popular.
The most popular way to create income through your blog is through Google AdSense (https://google.com/adsense). This is an ad network that is powered by Google and is probably the most popular ad network in the world. A majority of the ads that you come across when you’re surfing the web are placed there by Google AdSense.
The ads placed by Google AdSense come in various shapes and forms. Some will be images, while others will be in the way of text. They are often placed in the headers and footers of a webpage, but can also appear within the posts, or anywhere else you, as the blog owner, wish to display them. AdSense is an excellent place to start if you are new to blogging because it is relatively easy to set up. Advertisers pay money for clicks on their ads that are displayed on your blog.
The key here to reaping the benefits from Google AdSense is to create high-quality content that drives traffic to your blog. The more people who visit your blog, the higher the chances are of them clicking on the ads.
Placing sponsored posts on your blog is one of the most effective ways for making money from your blog through advertising. A sponsored post is a blog post that you are asked to make by a company or organization that is trying to reach readers of your blog. With this kind of post, you are more than likely commissioned to write about a service or product. With these types of posts, you are expected to show the product or service in an excellent light to encourage your target audience to consider buying from the company.
When you are placing sponsored posts on your blog, it is a good practice to let your readers know upfront what your relationship with the company is to help you maintain your integrity. It is also essential that you keep these kinds of posts to a minimum because they can be offensive to some readers.
The job of an affiliate marketer is to promote someone else’s product or service in a blog post or through other means. When you create links on your post to that product or service using your unique affiliate link or code, you get paid a commission when someone clicks on the link and makes a purchase.
Affiliate marketing is a popular way to monetize your blog because there are so many companies out there who are looking to advertise their products.
Sell Physical or Digital Products
Another way to monetize your blog is by selling physical or digital products to your readers. The easiest way to do this is by embedding images of the product you want to sell with a button that says “buy now.” You will want to mention the price, but only after a well-written sales copy. It is also a good idea to include “bonuses” when possible. This is mostly done when you sell digital products like eBooks and courses.
Platforms like Shopify and Woo Commerce have made it inexpensive for anybody to create an online store and sell physical products online. However, because of the various logistics involved in selling physical products, it can be difficult. You can try to find companies that offer white label or drop shipping services, which can help to free up your time for driving more sales.
If you don’t like the idea of dealing with physical products, you can choose to focus on selling digital products, like how-to-videos, training courses, or software.
Model #2 – YouTube
Every day nearly 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube (https://youtube.com) by their 300 million viewers. As a social media platform, it is the most used video website in the world. The reasons behind YouTube’s popularity is that it provides relevant videos and covers just about every niche. It has become a greater alternative to television channels. From cooking channels to beauty hacks, movies, songs, and funny videos, you can find anything on the site to meet your needs. This has also made it a great way to earn money through advertisements.
Just like with television, YouTube channels earn money through on-screen advertisements, with a substantial share of the profits given to the person who produced the content. This is how you can utilize YouTube to make money online. You create content, upload it to YouTube, gain viewership and earn accordingly.
The best thing about YouTube is that it allows you to gain a specific audience through the nature of your work. The more engaging the content you produce, the more viewers you’ll learn whether or not you apply for a promotion.
It also doesn’t require you to have a professional level of expertise or expensive equipment to make your videos. In fact, sometimes an ordinary video from your cell phone can get more attention than a high-quality, professional video.
This is all due to the type of content that is being produced. Like with any media outlet, you need to understand your target audience.
If you think producing YouTube videos would be an excellent fit for your business goals, here are some of the best ways to earn revenue with your videos.
Paid Through Ad Revenue
YouTube and Google are connected, which means that the video search engine works like and is just as effective as Google’s search engine. With its reasonable rates, Google has become the master of online ads, which is why so many companies utilize this service.
With YouTube, the platform pays the person who produced the video based on the number of clicks it received, and by how engaged the audience is with the advertisements.
However, monetization on YouTube can’t be initiated quickly. You have to have a large enough viewership and a significant number of subscriptions on your channel before you can connect your account to the Google AdSense. However, once your account has been activated with Google AdSense, every advertisement will provide you with income.
There are several different ways that these advertisements will appear on your video, either as rollout ads or banner ads. The type isn’t as important as long as you have a good number of views and engagement. Generally, you need at least 30 seconds of engagement in order to get paid.
You can use YouTube as a full-time earning platform with nothing more than an active account and around a million users.
Other than using your YouTube channel as an advertisement platform, you can become an endorser. This method doesn’t involve using Google AdSense; rather you can endorse a product directly in your video. For example, if you are running a beauty channel, you can recommend any brand or cosmetic product to your viewers.
In this case, you can find a company that will pay you directly for promoting their products.
Again, the payment will depend on how much your audience engages in the process.
Plus, the terms of the agreement will affect the amount that you can make.
Sometimes, it can be as high as a 15 percent commission for the YouTube channel per product sale.
Red Subscription Channels on YouTube
Generally, channel subscription is free for all viewers. However, YouTube’s newest feature, red subscriptions, allow you to charge the audience or subscribing to your channel and its videos. When a channel reaches 1,000 active subscribers, YouTube Red provides a feature where you can charge per subscription. This feature is commonly used with live stream chats or educational courses.
Model #3 – Amazon FBA
Amazon FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) has become extremely popular over the last several years. This business model is geared towards physical products only. The reason for its popularity might come from the fact that anyone can sell their physical products online, without having to be a business person necessarily.
Since Amazon handles all of the inventory storage, shipping, and customer service, a lot of the risk is removed. The advantage in this is that you don’t need to take the personal risk of opening a warehouse, like a traditional business. Furthermore, Amazon is extremely popular and has a ton of traffic already, making finding new customers a lot easier.
Statistics show that 44% of all eCommerce happens on Amazon. This is huge considering other favorite online stores like eBay, Target, and Wal-Mart are also trying to sell their products online.
While not needing to find a warehouse and not having to worry about find traffic are significant advantages for this online business model, there are services fees associated with this Amazon service. The general rule of thumb is that Amazon FBA (https://services.amazon.com/fulfillment-by-amazon) will take about 1/3 of the profit for selling the product on their site. However, the fees do vary depending on how large and how heavy your product is. There are several different sizing categories:
small standard size
large standard size
Each of the dimensions of these sizes can be found on the Amazon website. There are more than three dozen physical product categories that you can choose to sell. It is important to note that Amazon is continually making changes and may add or remove a category at any time. You can find a list of the categories on their site.
There are specific “restricted” categories, and not everyone can sell their products if they belong in one of these categories. Currently, 22 restricted classes require approval from Amazon before you can sell any corresponding products on the site.
Amazon may make changes to these categories, so it is essential to double check the categories on the Amazon website before you launch a product line.
To gain access to the restricted categories, you have to go through the approval process, which often involves providing invoices and other documentation to Amazon. If you are launching a product for the first time, you may want to avoid these categories if possible.
Getting Started with Amazon FBA
There are many ways that you can sell on Amazon FBA, including retail arbitrage, online arbitrage, and private labeling. Retail arbitrage is the practice of buying cheap products from big box stores or thrift stores and selling them online under an existing Amazon listing. Online arbitrage is when you purchase products online from other websites, like eBay, and sell them on Amazon to make a profit.
It is important to note that Amazon has made it a lot harder for people to sell through retail and online arbitrage because it is catering more toward brands. This means you may want to avoid these two methods and go for the third option of Private Labeling.
Private Labeling requires more work but has a lot of advantages. To start, you can create your own listing for your product, since it’s for your personal brand. This provides you with leverage because other sellers can’t sell your branded products unless you permit them to do so. Next, as your brand grows, you can add more products and have a real business of your own.
Model #4 – Online Courses
A great way to make money online is by creating online video courses. Anyone with some sort of skill or hobby can teach what they know. All it requires is for you to have sufficient knowledge on your subject that you can pass onto someone else who wants to learn. Whether your skills include playing an instrument, graphic design, computer programming, or do-it-yourself expertise, you may wish to explore the option of creating an online course and selling it to others.
There are always a ton of people searching the Internet for others who have real experience in completing a particular task and can help them learn. This is why they are willing to pay for the service. It is important to note the emphasis on “real experience.”
Most of the content that you would be teaching is available for free online, but the idea here is that a lot of people would rather pay someone who has real experience and who can show them how to perform the tasks in simple, easy to follow steps.
What will set you apart from everyone else online is the kind of experience you have and the amount of knowledge you possess on the particular skill.
This method doesn’t require you to have any teaching experience. If you do have some experience teaching others, you have an added advantage, but it is not a prerequisite for this online business model. There are a number of online marketplaces that exists where you can create your courses and publish them for students who need it. Platforms like Udemy (https://udemy.com) and Skillshare (https://join.skillshare.com) are the most popular, with Udemy attracting over nine million students from 190 countries. Platforms like Teachable allow you to create your own online classroom.
Earning Potential of Online Courses
Once you’ve created and published your courses, the opportunity for making income from them is limitless. It is advisable that you create more than one course and have a broad portfolio to increase the potential revenue that you can earn from this online business model.
After you have one or more courses online, you can spend your time creating a buzz around your classes. Some of the courses that you build might require you to refresh your knowledge if you haven’t looked at them recently. Other than that, the only action that you need to be concerned with taking is marketing your courses and driving traffic.
Most classes that you can find online sell for anywhere from $10 to $500. Of course, this will all depend on the volume, type of knowledge being sold, and the popularity of the instructor.
An important thing to mention is that your students will have a lot of questions. It is recommended that along with the course, you set up a specific group on Facebook, specifically for your students. This way, they can ask questions, and other members can help them if they know the answer. As you gain traction, you can increase the price of your courses and earn even more money.
Getting Started with Making Money from Online Courses
The first decision you’ll need to make is what you are going to teach and how you are going to make your videos. You’ll want to do your research and look at other successful online courses in the industry you’re targeting. This will help you to learn from the mistakes of existing instructors.
There are many different options available that you can include in your instruction, and should always use illustrations, scenarios, and examples to aid understanding. If your course involves practical steps, you might want to consider creating videos that have you practically analyzing the steps.
Promoting Your Course
Udemy and Skillshare are online marketplaces that help you promote courses through their platform. You still have to do the marketing for your course on your own since you can’t solely rely on their algorithms. If they make a change to their algorithms, you may not show up for a specific search result. This is why you will still need to diversify your marketing and sources of traffic.
To successfully promote and market your course, you’ll want to utilize the various social media platforms. One platform that has proven to be extremely useful is YouTube.
Having free videos on YouTube that add value can help convert viewers to customers. Your YouTube channel should be an excellent platform for advertising your course. Your videos should be no more than three minutes long and should highlight the crucial part of your course outline, and it should invite the viewer to enroll on any of the online course marketplaces that host your course.
You can apply this same strategy to Facebook and Instagram, though you can only do a one minute video on Instagram. Being active and answering questions on forums like quora.com can also help you build a following and spread your reach.
Creating online courses can be very lucrative. Once you’ve overcome the major hurdle of designing the course, you can register and upload it to any of the online marketplaces and start earning income.
Model #5 – Freelancing
Working as a freelancer is great because you can make a living doing what you love.
Thanks to the Internet and a host of freelancing websites, freelancing has become a viable online business model that millions of people are taking advantage of currently. However, if you are looking for a more passive online business where you have to put in minimal effort, this online business model might not be for you.
Freelancing websites like Upwork and Fiverr, act as a platform where freelancers and businesses can interact with one another and work for each other in a safe environment. They work to maintain trust and confidence for both parties, and in return, they charge a small fee for each project completed on the site.
Here are some of the most commonly used websites that you can use to get your freelance business started.
A freelance service platform, Fiverr (https://fiverr.com) is specifically designed to assist entrepreneurs in their quest to find viable, online work. It provides special features and tools that can help businesses find talent in the massive community of online freelancers. The site allows people to work both for a long-term contract, as well as short-term and one time contracts.
Whether a business needs a graphic designer, writer, programmer, advertiser, or other talents, they can search the site quickly and hire a suitable candidate that has the required experience and expertise that is needed for the particular project.
The great thing about Fiverr is that you don’t have to pay any money to join. All you need to do is sign up for an account and start working. Building a good reputation and dealing with clients is up to you. The more effort you put in and the harder you work, the more you will succeed. The site only charges a fee to make sure that both parties comply with the agreement set forth. If you want to have access to some of the other features, you can sign up for a premium package.
Currently, Upwork (https://upwork.com) has the largest pool of employers and freelancers out of all the freelancing websites. It is great for businesses of all sizes with projects ranging from small to large. The site has made the hiring process easier by merely listing the talent based on the level of skills and the type of niche.
The site has the abilities to detect fake profiles and fake workers and works to eliminate these factors. The site is free for general use but costs a bit more if you want to gain access to additional features. The features include customized reporting, hiring assistance, and funding and consolidated pricing plans.
Upwork features a hassle-free screening system for employers. With the impersonal nature of working as a freelancer, it can be challenging to maintain mutual trust, which is a prerequisite for good performance. Upwork provides chat scheduling and a profile browsing system which helps to create a personal connection between both parties. It allows the buyers to interview the seller first and interact with them before they set the first milestone.
Another easy to use, freelancing website is Freelancer.com (https://freelancer.com), which is a marketplace with a crowdsourcing system. The site can connect you with millions of buyers that are located in over 247 countries around the world. It offers specific plans to use all the basic and premium tools. The website has gained the trust of the professionals working in creative, technical, and professional spheres.
The site allows you to easily place a bid on offers related to accounting, writing, marketing, data entry, engineering, or software development. The recruitment process is fuss-free which provides a solution to the problems that are often associated with hiring clients.
Sellers can search the site and browse the employer portfolios and place bids on the project if it seems like a fit for your particular skills. The site also guarantees a secure payment method, which is protected by the site. Once the employee is satisfied with the work, the payment is immediately released in favor of the freelancer.
How to Promote Your Business Online
Once you’ve determined the online business model that will work best with your lifestyle, you’ll need to start to promote your business online. There are several ways that you can do this, from advertising with Google and Facebook, to utilizing social media, to collaborating with others.
Driving traffic to your new business website can often seem like the most significant roadblock in your online business journey. However, once you’ve managed to get through this, things will get easier. With millions of sites online today, it has become increasingly more difficult for businesses to appear on the first page of search engine results.
Which means, you can’t solely rely on search engine traffic when you are just starting out. You have to find other ways to drive potential customers to your site.
Google advertising is a great marketing strategy for new and small businesses. You can show an ad for your company to people who are searching for your type of business at that exact moment and who are looking for businesses in your area.
When a consumer searches for a term or phrase, Google will show them relevant ads that are based on the keywords used in the search. Companies that want their ads to show up at the top of the results page bid on the keywords they believe people will use when they are looking for their type of business.
Depending on how much you bid, compared to other relevant businesses in your area, your ad may show up on the results page when people search for the particular terms that you have bid on. Along with how much you bid, Google also takes into account the quality and relevance of your ad, as well as your website.
So, even if you are the highest bidder for a particular keyword, your ad won’t appear on the search page if someone searches for a business that isn’t relevant to your business.
One of the most compelling reasons for you to utilize Google Ads when promoting your business is that you only have to pay for the advertisement when someone clicks on the link. You are able to set how much you are willing to pay per click, and set a maximum daily budget.
Google AdWords has revolutionized the way advertising works by only requiring you to pay when someone takes action and clicks on the link to view your site.
With more than 2.2 billion users, Facebook has become an essential marketing platform for businesses. However, the site’s ever-changing algorithm can make it more difficult to connect with the right target audience. Fortunately, you can utilize Facebook ads to help you reach your target audience based on location, demographics, interests, and even behaviors.
They make it possible to get your message in front of the people who are more likely to need your products or services. Before you dive in and start using Facebook ads, it is essential for you to understand the different types of ads to get the best results.
Photo Ads – Photo ads are a great way to get started with Facebook advertising. You can quickly create one with just a few clicks by boosting an existing post with a photo from your Facebook page.
Video Ads – You can show your team or product in action with video ads, or you can use them to merely be aspirational.
Carousel Ads – you can use up to ten photos to showcase your product or service. These types of ads can be used to highlight the different benefits of a single product or a number of products.
Slideshow Ads – these kinds of ads offer an easy way to create short video ads with a collection of still photos or video clips. Like videos, they have eye-catching motion without using a ton of bandwidth, allowing them to load fast even for people who have slow internet connections.
Collection Ads – These ads are only offered on mobile devices and allow you to showcase one or more products that customers can click to buy without having to leave Facebook.
Instant Experience Ads – a full-screen ad format, that loads 15 times faster than a mobile site outside of Facebook, and allow consumers to purchase your product or service without ever leaving the site.
Lead Ads – these Facebook ads are only available on mobile devices because they are meant to make it easier for consumers to provide you with their contact information without a ton of typing. They are perfect types of ads for collecting newsletter subscriptions, allowing people to ask you questions, or signing someone up for a trial of your product.
Dynamic Ads – these ads allow you to promote targeted products to potential customers that are likely to be interested in them. For example, if a customer has visited your site and left a product in the shopping cart, an ad for that precise product will appear on their Facebook feed, reminding them to complete their purchase.
Advertising your online business with Facebook ads is an easy and effective way to drive more traffic to your site and increase sales.
Quora has been around since 2009 and has more than 200 million unique visitors every month, but not a lot of people know about the platform and how it can help them promote their business. Quora is a question-and-answer website, where community members can ask questions and have them answered by experts on the site.
Many of the answers that are provided on Quora end up on search engine results pages as individual web pages.
Sometimes they even outrank the biggest of brands.
This means that you can potentially receive hundreds, or even thousands of views for your answers every month.
This makes it great for businesses to stay in the public eye and drive referral traffic to your site daily without having to spend time re-posting your content.
This is because you are dealing with a targeted audience of people who are already interested in the topics that are directly or indirectly related to your business.
Quora has an ‘upvote’ system that allows the members of the community to vote for specific answers, which ensures that only the best of the answers will be shown on the page.
While not all of your answers will be upvoted, if you focus on providing high-quality responses, you’ll increase the likelihood that they do. The great thing about using Quora to promote your business is you don’t have to put in a ton of time or energy for it to be effective.
Collaborating with other companies on marketing initiatives can be extremely beneficial for your new company. Along with increasing your exposure, partnerships can result in more leads and greater overall success for your business than if you were to work on the same initiative alone.
Choosing the right business to collaborate with is key to ensuring high-quality content is created from the joint efforts. You want to partner with brands that you respect and who are active with their own marketing efforts.
Companies that are able to market themselves effectively are more likely to co-market effectively. There are many ways to you can advantage of a collaborative partnership with another business, including:
Creating an eBook or webinar
Offer discounts and special offers for referrals
Run a contest together
Collaborating can help your business make the most out of your content marketing efforts and widen your audience while cutting marketing costs and producing more compelling content.
Even when you are running an online business, you shouldn’t discount the effectiveness of face-to-face marketing. While online marketing through social media and SEO have become the favorite way for many companies to promote their businesses, there are also several offline methods that can be extremely effective in getting the word out about the products or service you sell without costing you a ton of money.
The easiest way to do this is by handing out your business cards to everyone that you have a conversation with during the day. While it doesn’t take much effort, it can also have mixed results, which is why you should combine it with a few other tactics.
Consider joining a local Meetup (https://meetup.com) group. Meetup has been around for 12 years but is hugely underrated as a social networking site. There are two ways that you can utilize the site to promote your business.
The first way is by seeking out groups that have already been established in your area of interest and attending the events that they organize. This will give you a chance to network with like-minded individuals and develop a relationship with them as you promote your business.
The second way to go about utilizing Meetup is by starting your own group and hosting your own live events to meet people who might be interested in what you’re selling. While there is a small fee involved for starting a group on the site, there are a number of payment options to help you with the cost.
If you’re not into starting or attending a regular Meetup group, you can also promote your business by attending local conferences. By attending conferences on a regular basis, you can position yourself as a thought leader in your industry and build trust with your potential customers.
Conferences provide you with the opportunity to speak one-on-one with individuals in your industry and those who have the same interests as you.
Scaling Your Business So You Can Work Less
Now that you have your business up and running, you may be wondering how you can scale your business so you can work less, because we all hope that one day our business will be self-sufficient, thriving, and generating more than enough money to live comfortably.
Luckily, you can scale your business without having to take on additional hours of work.
A lot of the scaling strategies out there today involve you having to devote a ton more time to the growth of your company, which is a bit impractical for a majority of business owners. Fortunately, there are a few strategies that can help you scale your business without having to put in a lot of time or effort.
Increase Your Prices
The simplest, most passive way that you can scale your business is by charging more for your product or service. This helps you earn more per sale, without having to devote any more time to marketing. While you may worry that raising prices will cause your sales to decrease, it has been shown that while you may lose a few sales, you’re still making more income from the higher prices.
Create a Sales Funnel
An effective sales funnel will allow you to get the people at the top of the funnel down to the bottom of the funnel in a passive way. Building a funnel and making sales a passive activity will not only save you time, but it will effectively increase sales. Here is a basic formula for creating an effective sales funnel:
Create a lead magnet
Promote it on your website, using SEO optimization to help it rank
Promote it on evergreen sites, like Quora so that it can be found months down the road
Set up an automated email sequence that goes out to people who sign up for your lead magnet promoting your product or services
Create an Affiliate Program
Set up an affiliate program that pays people a commission for promoting your business. While the idea of giving affiliates a commission might give you pause, the majority of the sales that you make because of the affiliates, you probably wouldn’t have made otherwise.
Create Free or Paid Downloads Based on Blog Posts You’ve Created
If you create a lot of long-form content, you can repurpose those blog posts into downloadable eBooks, and guides. The process is simple, all you need to do is take your text and images and put them into a design program like InDesign and offer it as a freebie on your site to help you build your email list. Or you can sell it to them for cheap.
While it might not seem like it would be worth the time or effort to sell a product for $10 or under, there is a psychological trigger that gets tipped when someone buys from you. Once they’ve bought just once, they are more likely to purchase from you in the future because you’ve already established trust.
These are some of the easiest and most effective ways that you can scale your business without working more. Once you’ve implemented some of these strategies, you’ll start to see a noticeable increase in your profits.
How to Work Less and Still Grow Your Business
As your business grows, you’ll start to see your workload get heavier. If you want to avoid becoming overwhelmed and burning out, then you’ll need to utilize strategies that will allow you to continue to grow your business, while working less. To do this, you’ll need to start delegating your tasks, which can be done through outsourcing.
There are two main benefits to outsourcing some of your activities as your business grows, 1) to help you avoid becoming overwhelmed, and 2) to increase your income.
As your business starts to generate revenue, it can be helpful to hire a virtual assistant to help you with some of the simple, but time-consuming tasks, even if it is only for a few hours a day. This will allow you to concentrate your energy on more valuable aspects of your business.
You may be worried about the cost of outsourcing some of your work, but you have to remember that by outsourcing some of the more menial daily tasks, it frees up more of your time to work on those activities that will bring you even more income.
Thanks to today’s technology, outsourcing is a lot easier and will allow them to hire people without having to provide them with an office, which can also reduce your overhead costs. Here are some of the commonly outsourced business functions and how they can help you grow your business.
IT and Tech Support
Software programmers, network administrators, application developers, and even website designers can all be outsourced. Everything they can do can be accomplished from a computer with an internet connection. By off-loading IT tasks and issues to an outside freelancer or firm will free up your time.
Business administration is a critical component of every company, yet it is incredibly time consuming and financially costly. Fortunately, administrative services are some of the easiest to be outsourced. There are a ton of highly-qualified freelancers that can help your business run more smoothly.
The activities that can be outsourced to freelancers are those tasks that are crucial to the normal function of your business but are also the most time consuming and costly.
Most businesses that fail tend to go under because of poor cash flow management, so your financials aren’t something that you can take lightly. The financial services of your business include bookkeeping, payroll processing, accountants, and analysts.
Along with saving money, outsourcing your financial services can help to improve the accuracy of your records and identify more growth opportunities.
Without proper marketing, it can be challenging to have a successful business.
Marketing is what helps you to establish your brand and generate more leads. Using an outside individual or firm can help you gain an outside perspective of your brand.
A marketing professional can take a look at your business the way your target audience does and help you make your marketing efforts more effective.
The real value in outsourcing your marketing comes from the expertise that it provides. The field of marketing is constantly changing, and you can’t expect to keep up with the latest trends, while still trying to run your business. Freelancers can help you develop high-quality, tailored marketing content that can have a significant impact on your business.
Outsourcing many of your tasks aren’t the only way you can grow your business while working less. With online business systemization, you can automate many of your daily processes so you can free up more of your time.
Benefits of Systemizing Your Business
Online business systemization is about combining your vision with the practicalities of the business world to become successful. Many online business owners believe that when they systemize their business, they’ll be thrown into an endless array of meetings that will create a ton of action items that they’ll have to follow up on so that even more action items can be created.
Having a systemized business, however, doesn’t mean that you’ll be caught up in so many policies and procedures that you’ll lose your ability to work on anything productive. Systemizing your business is not about creating a machine and being dominated by that machine. Systemizing your business doesn’t have to be complicated.
True business systemization is about creating a stable functioning procedure that knows what needs to be done, has a way to do it, and gets the job done. When you have a truly systemized business, you free up more of your time to focus on more important aspects of your business. When your company is correctly systemized, the procedures make sense and always have a purpose. There are many benefits that your business can gain by systemizing.
Managing your email inbox or reading through piles of mail isn’t the most efficient use of your time. Your time, as the business owner, would be better spent analyzing new business opportunities or developing new product lines. Delegating these day to day tasks that are needed to run your business, can free up your time, but without clearly documented business procedures, you won’t be able to delegate those tasks.
Documenting your procedures will allow you to discover any unnecessary steps that you may be taking. When you record your systems, you provide yourself with the opportunity to improve the process, which can result in cutting costs and freeing up your valuable time to grow your business.
When a business lacks procedures, they often have employees that have their own way of handling tasks. This can lead to inefficiencies. Not having documented procedures can lead your team to complete the same function in different ways. Recording the best way to perform the task will allow everyone to become more efficient in his or her job and improve their performance.
One of the largest killers of time and profit in a business is miscommunication. When there are no documented procedures in place, internal and external communication can become a huge issue. When you have clearly written procedures, there are fewer arguments over how things should be done.
Free Up More of Your Time
When your business is systematic in its operation and function, it frees up your time so you can focus on those activities that will help you grow your business. Instead of spending the afternoon responding to emails, you can work on your marketing efforts or promote your business at local events. Business systemization provides you with the opportunity to spend your time on those endeavors without having to worry that your company operations have stopped because you’re away from the office.
When it comes to running a successful company, it’s important to remember that your business, as well as the markets you serve, are not static, but are in a constant state of flux. This means that you’ll need to redesign and refine your systems and controls.
The Internet is full of opportunities, from something as abstract as an idea to a concrete product, you can sell anything. The only thing that is required in the process is your level of understanding on how to get started and maintain your business.
How well you contemplate your skills and expertise and to which extent you are willing to invest in your online business. You just have to provide your services to start earning an income.
Once you create your identity on a single platform, it is much easier for you to reach millions of people. This is why finding a way to make income online has become so popular. It opens up the realm of options in front of you. It is up to you which path you hold on to achieve your goal.
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