Starting up a business is by no means an easy task. If you want to learn how to make money online, you need to have good business ideas, but you also need a great marketing plan. The good news is with a domain and hosting, alongside some basic skills, your ideas can become a reality. Each of the internet business ideas below are competitive niches, so make sure you go in with all guns blazing!
1. Become an affiliate
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.
Amazon is one of the most popular affiliate programs in the world, but it really shouldn’t be considering the commissions are so low! It’s not just Amazon that you can affiliate with; there are 1,000 affiliate programs to choose from. Although Amazon can be lucrative, there are some much better options out there, allowing affiliates to earn up to 75% commission in some cases! Work in your own time
- Build multiple sites
- Work in your own time
- Focus on product niches that you have an interest in!
Affilorama is a great resource for anyone looking at starting their journey in affiliate marketing. The email marketer’s best friend is their email list; you have to have an email list! I use Aweber to collect subscribers.
2. Start an ecommerce store
At the forefront of the internet revolution has been ecommerce stores. Nowadays you can get an easy to use, fully functional ecommerce store design for as little as £500; then you just need a domain and hosting. Of course, how much you profit depends on your methods and effectiveness of marketing which might include:
- Print media
- PPC (pay-per-click)
- SEO (search engine optimisation)
- Event sponsorship
- The list goes on…!
SaleHoo is a great resource when it comes to finding suppliers and learning how to sell online!
Example – Zappos
You might not have even heard of Zappos, an online shoe store. Well, that goes to show how big the internet really is and how big your online business could be. Maybe it might even come to close to the acquisition of Zappos by Amazon for a reported $900,000,000.
3. Earn Cash From Blogging
Starting a blog isn’t as hard as you think. All you need is hosting and a domain. To make money online from a blog you need to gain large amounts of traffic from a specific niche. See how I do it here. You can earn cash using:
- Selling banner advertisements
- Affiliating to sites such as Amazon & eBay (see #2)
- Offer premium services or member areas
Example – TechCrunch
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.
4. Sell on eBay
Selling on eBay successfully is not easy. You need to be able to able to target a niche where the profit margins are high and competition is low. If you pick the right product (particularly unbranded products) you have a chance to import items and make huge profit margins. SaleHoo is awesome for finding suppliers.
Example – Linda’s Stuff
There are some extremely large sellers on eBay. Take “Linda’s Stuff” as an example, with around 150,000 items online and nearly 350,000 confirmed sales.
5. Train and mentor
Perhaps you have a specific skill set that you could teach. There are hundreds of skills that can be taught over the internet, especially due to the fact that services like Skype are free.
You might have to offer a free service now and build a freemium model (offer free accounts with limited features, then charge for upgrades) for the future in order to make some large amounts of cash. It’s one of the good business ideas for those with extensive amounts of knowledge. You could:
- Teach a language
- Offer marketing training
- Help improve writing skills
- And more!
Example – Code Academy
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.
6. Become a drop shipper
Drop shipping is fairly similar to running an affiliate store. You act as the mediator without ever touching the product. The difference between a drop shipper and affiliate is that the sale with drop shipping websites is not completely managed. You might have to set up systems to automatically make a purchase with your drop shipping company, in order for it to be sent directly to the end consumer.
Example – iPhoneStore
There was a sale confirmed on Flippa a few years ago for iPhoneStore.com. It was producing nearly $30,000 in revenue every month and sold for $90,000.
7. Paid blogging
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.
8. Become a virtual assistant
A virtual assistant is a great job to have if you want flexibility. You’ll be able to maintain multiple clients at once which mean you can easily fill gaps in your week or work overtime if you need to. A virtual assistant will generally charge £15-20 depending on the specifics of their job role. Expect to be assisting with tasks such as blogger outreach, product listings, research and responding to emails.
Example – HM Virtual Assistant
Check out the story of a Mother that managed to fit her work around being a parent here.
9. Offer web design
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.
You can learn the basics of coding on CodeAcademy and do specific online web design courses to build up your skill set. Sign up to freelance sites such as People Per Hour and start building up your portfolio! This portfolio might even lead you into a high paid job!
Example – City College Brighton
Many of the students from City College Brighton have gone on to be successful freelance web designers, and you could do the same!
10. Deal in domains
You’ve heard of antique dealers and even car dealers, but what about dealing in domains? Domains are internet real estate and like real estate they could be considered as an investment. Don’t just buy any domains, spread your risk with a portfolio and make sure you hold out for the highest price possible.
Learning how to connect with the end consumer, rather than other domain dealers, will enable you to get the highest price possible for your domains.
Example – Domaining.com
If you are not familiar with some of the prices that domains have been sold for, then the all time list here is worth looking out. Checkout hotels.com, which went for $9,500,000! One of the highest domain sales back in 2012 was silver.com which sold for $875,000.
How about setting up a business that focuses on outsourcing? Most successful service providers on the internet find that they need external help at some point. They might have a blogging client that requires logo design. They might have a guest posting service client that needs web design . Instead of actually providing the services personally, you could outsource and take a profit margin of your choice! Make sure you learn how to outsource first!
Example – Copify.com
Copify is an example of a company that uses outsourcing. They source writers and they source clients. They connect the dots to create an online business deal and take their profit margin.
12. Trade currencies
Every day, there is a huge fluctuation in FX markets. If you have a combination of technical and fundamental analytical skills and some cash flow, you can become an online currency trader. Places like www.forexfactory.com are great for learning the basics. Remember, this is leveraged cash, so if you make the right decisions, you have a chance to profit big! At the same time, the risks can be high if you don’t have a money management strategy in place.
Example – Bill Lipschutz
Bill Lipschutz is considered to be one of the best FX investors of all time.
13. Build apps
Again, CodeAcademy will give you good grounding in coding languages. Expect to train for 12 months before being able to build apps that are going to achieve lots of sales. There are a few options when it comes to building apps…
- Bespoke basis for clients
- Sell based on a fixed fee (multiple licenses)
- Charge a monthly fee
Example – Summly
Looking to hit the jackpot? Checkout this recent acquisition by Yahoo! to buyout Summly for $30,000,000…from a 17 year old!
14. Offer telemarketing
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.
Example – DM Concepts
DM Concepts is a telemarketing company that has managed to achieve some fantastic statistics. The higher quality the service you offer, the more you are going to be able to charge!
15. Create videos
UK spend on online video has seen 13.5% year on year growth, and now exceeds spend on TV advertising. (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) Hundreds of statistics like this have meant that businesses have to produce videos. Well, they don’t have to, but if they don’t, they are going to be missing out. Video platforms are just another avenue to acquire potential consumers. You can offer video packages from £50-5,000 and beyond. Select your target market and market to them effectively.
Example – Old Spice
If you can couple video production with the ability to be creative, you can make videos go viral. If you can do that, your £500 video is going to be worth £5,000 or even £50,000 to a client. Checkout the results from the Old Spice video campaign!
16. Manage social media profiles
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.
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!
Example – Clorox Bleach
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.
17. Create valuable resources
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.
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!
Example – Shopify
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.
There are over 300,000 translators in the world for a reason; they are needed. In a world where more and more companies are using outsourcing, those that speak other languages are indispensable. Whether you are negotiating deals for an import-export agent or replying to company emails, there is work out there.
There are opportunities to work part time with small companies by networking on freelance sites, or to set up professional translation services using remote call centres and Skype.
Example – Cloudwords
Cloudwords is one of the many companies that is taking advantage of the $30billion that is spent worldwide on translation related products or services.This is one of the more complex work from home ideas out there, simply because from day 1, it’s likely clients will be small to medium sized businesses trying to negotiate deals abroad. The market it is there, now you just need to find your niche.