Define your product or service. Starting an online business gives you the benefit of having access to millions of customers, but you also have a lot more competition. No matter what you're trying to sell, you can bet that hundreds more online retailers have a similar idea. What differentiates your product from other similar products? To help your product stand apart from the rest, you'll need to find a niche.[1]
In short, consulting usually means providing others with expert advice. Therefore, to succeed as a consultant, you often need to have a degree or some other type of professional certification from a professional body in the field of your choice. To offer your services, you can use some of the freelancer websites mentioned in the ‘Writing’ section or set up your own. Below we list the most common types of consulting services.
Yet there are plenty of companies you’ve probably never heard of, too. Appen, which tops the list, develops high-quality training data for machine learning and artificial intelligence; not surprisingly, they’re hiring web search evaluators and a slew of linguists in lesser known languages like Sudanese Arabic and Xhosa. BCD Travel, the Dutch managed travel provider, is hiring remotely for their customer service, business development and travel consultant roles. Three universities—Grand Canyon, Western Governors and Walden—make the list as well. To say there’s an abundance of work from home jobs available out there would be an understatement. For most people, there are more than they could ever imagine.
Earnest (refinance your student loans): Same idea as above but on your student loans. There is $1.4 trillion in student loan debt outstanding. When you have student loan debt, it can make it hard to get ahead, invest, or to buy a home. If this sounds familiar, refinancing the debt can not only help you pay it off more quickly, but it can save you money on interest too.
Another option is to again set up a Shopify store. But instead you have customer orders drop-shipped to them by the manufacturer, or distributor. You know those super-cheap items you see on Facebook that seem too good to be true? The catch is always that it can take 30 – 45 days for your order to arrive – that's the drop-shipping model in operation right there.
Acorns rounds up your everyday credit and debit transactions and automatically invests the spare change for you. It's only $1 a month and free for college students with an .edu address for up to four years from the date of registration. You'll barely notice the micro-investments of spare change, plus the Found Money feature invests money in your account when you shop with Acorns partners such as Macy's, Nordstrom, and Walmart.
Starting an online business is a tempting prospect – but that’s the easy part! The real challenge is to find out which opportunities are specific to your area of expertise or knowledge. To make your decision making a bit easier, we have created a list of online business ideas which shows you some specific examples of independent career paths suitable for various skill sets.

Do you love taking pictures and have a general passion for photography? If so, you could make a very nice living for yourself online selling your photos. There are countless people who are willing to pay you good money for your collection of unique images you have to offer. Today more than ever it’s super easy to submit your pics to the masses, which can provide you with a very convenient approach to creating a solid source of additional income. Several stock photo sites like Shutterstock and Fotolia offer enticing incentives for individuals to earn money passively from the photos they randomly shoot in their spare time.

If you hate the idea of writing you can always outsource that work to somebody else. But writing great content for an affiliate site really isn't that difficult. It just takes a bit of practice, and once you see those first commission checks you'll be up writing articles for your site before work, during your lunch break, and when you should be sound asleep in bed. Successful affiliate marketers can be real gluttons for punishment.

This job involves scanning text for grammar or syntax errors and correcting them. Proofreaders need to be able to identify errors such as misspellings, run-on sentences, comma splice, pronoun errors, mistakes in apostrophe usage, lack of subject/verb agreement, misplaced modifiers, incorrect sentence structure, using a wrong word, etc. There are also software programmes designed for proofreaders such as Grammarly or Ginger Software.


But, as I said, development costs money. For the Smart Podcast Player, it’s a plugin so it requires constant validation, testing, upgrades, and a solid customer support system in place, all of which costs money. If you have a plan to do something similar for your online business, you’ll need to think about this before you even get started so your processes are covered. Read about the lessons we learned in building the player and how we validated it before launch.

If you have more internet bandwidth than you know what to do with offer to share with your neighbor for a small fee. Label your SSID (the name of your WiFi network) something like “Visit apartment 207 for internet.”  If you have fiber optic internet at 50 to 100 mbps you could possibly rent up to 15 people easily and still have lots of bandwidth. This is a great way to earn money fast.
As more people want to establish their presence online no matter what their reason, the demand for WordPress themes and website templates continue to rise. Do you have a talent for designing websites and html coding? If so, you can make big bucks from creating attractive website themes. Create them and then sell them on marketplaces online like ThemeForest and TemplateMonster to generate a nice passive income for yourself depending on just how talented you are.
Look, I know it’s not always realistic to pull these off; I personally wouldn’t bother trying. But if you’ve got a ton of stuff lying around — not outright junk, but stuff you don’t need, like the aforementioned DVDs and kid’s clothes — it’s worth a try. Advertise on Craigslist and put up signs in your neighborhood, then come Saturday haul a table out to your driveway (assuming you have a driveway), load it up with stuff for sale, and take whatever you can get.
However, this only further illuminates the exponential rise of online business today. Considering that the internet is still largely in its infancy, as the modern conveniences give way to near-instant delivery of products via drones, 3D printing and other means, and as virtual and augmented reality help to improve the online shopping experience, nearly all our commerce will eventually be conducted through online channels rather than offline channels.

“I first learned about TTEC from the university I was attending. I thought it would be a great idea to get a job working from home while going to school. When I first started working for the company, I was a seasonal agent. This grew into a permanent agent position. TTEC has enabled me to earn a degree, provide support to my family, gain skills in communication and technology, and meet great people from different parts of the world. What a wonderful company to work for! Every day is a great day here at TTEC!”


If you have the next Harry Potter manuscript sitting in your drawer and the publishing industry hasn’t been kind to you, try self-publishing. Using tools like Amazon’s direct publishing or working with dedicated consultants like I_Am, you not only get the satisfaction of pushing your work out there but also retain 100% of your royalties! Don’t think you can write a good novel? Then stick to what you know – self-help is a money-making genre!

In this job, consultants help clients to assess their email communication and marketing and improve it. They may also be engaged in creating and setting up email campaigns. In practical terms, it can mean advising the client on what words should be used to increase the response rate, and words that should be avoided so that an email and email newsletters are not perceived as spam. You can also give advice on how to write an effective subject line and structure the email in the correct way.
To do audio-to-text transcription, you need decent transcription software, a good headset and a word processing programme (Word, OpenOffice, etc.difficult) The biggest challenge for transcribers is to make out words that are difficult to interpret for various reasons, thick accents, fast speech or background noise. Using software can make that process much easier. Examples of transcription software programmes include Express Scribe and Transcriber Pro.
You won’t be giving advice (that’s what a consultant does); instead, you’ll help people figure out how to do it themselves. To learn more, check out this Udemy course on becoming a business, marketing or life coach, and then read this article on how to become a successful business coach (hint: it’s all about how you package yourself or your services).
Blogging is still a viable online business idea, and one with as much potential as ever. Just make sure that you start a blog on something that people actually want to read about. If that happens to be something you're passionate about that's great. But you need to understand that it's way easier to monetize a blog about organic dog food than it is to make money from a blog about obscure literary fiction.
Many people buy and sell domain names to earn money online since it takes very little time or investment. You can purchase a domain at its registration price or even much cheaper and then resell it for a profit. But, it always pays to do your homework first on websites like Afternic.com, Sedo.co.uk, or other domain auction websites in order to get a good idea of what’s popular in terms of domain names. An ideal way to find really good names is to check out terminated lists that offer many expired names and have made their way back into the pool for people to buy. A good site for this is expireddomains.net where you can put in your desired keyword that you want in your domain name and a long list of domain options will appear.
If you need money today, you don’t have credit cards to turn to, and going to a family member is out, you could go to a payday loan store in your neighborhood and ask for a loan. You generally will need proof of employment (pay stubs) and identification; call ahead and ask what they require. You’ll probably need references. And you need to be absolutely sure you can pay back the loan under the specified terms.
Companies these days are expanding their office boundaries to incorporate the idea of working from home. These work from home companies offer employees flexible working hours, better pay and freedom from office walls. Even though the internet is flooded with many online jobs, there are some that offer better pay. Here is a list of work from home firms that are willing to pay $16 per hour or more for home-based jobs.
Basically, you pick a profitable niche for your online business, and then you find an affiliate partner who has products available in that niche. Some of the most popular affiliate sites are Clickbank.com, Amazon.com, and CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction). Between them, they offer just about any digital information product (like ebooks, audio files, video files) or physical product you can think of.
The understanding and successful execution of an effective strategy is key here. You want to instill confidence in yourself, and to do that, you often need a good deal of social proof. For that reason, if you do want to launch a successful business coaching business, first, grab some customers and help them succeed. Then, get their powerful testimonials, and only then can you actually position yourself to charge high-ticket rates.
The cornerstone of your affiliate business is about setting up a website that's focused on a specific niche. You research low competition keywords for that niche, with the aim of ranking on page one of Google for those keywords. People visiting your site then click on a referral link, and if they make a purchase at the destination store, then you get paid a commission. That's why some people call it “referral marketing”.
A while ago, I argued the best company for me isn’t necessarily the best company for you. I still stand by that statement. But many of you have been pounding at my email door and practically twisting my arm asking me for my personal favorite legitimate work at home companies. I was apprehensive about revealing this information because I really want you guys to take action on any legitimate work at home opportunities. But after giving it some thought, it made sense for me to provide you with a few of the ones I do actively work with, to get your started. But keep in mind I still believe that you should make decisions based on what's best for you. So with that said, check out my latest video on one of my favorite BBB listed work at home companies. I’ve been working with this company for years and have made some great money and also acquired a lot of free gadgets such as TVs, Ipods, and much more. (The gadget thing will become a lot clearer when you watch the video.) In either case this company has consistently made me money and has a good standing among work at home seekers that are smart enough to join the company and take advantage of all the ways to earn with them. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the video and will decide to join the company I’ve recommended.

No matter which way you do it, it’s passive income—money you earn while you sleep because you put these products up for sale on your website and a customer can buy and download them any time of day or night, automatically. All you have to do is check the sales periodically to see what topics or types of products are selling best so that you can make more of those.


Event planning is a bit like wedding planning, just on steroids. The scope of this idea is so large that it includes everything from cheesy stag and hen do parties to sophisticated product launches. Again, the entry barriers are rather low, but a flush work portfolio and a few glowing testimonials are something you need to consider to get a good head start in this field. 

Using various analytical tools the aim is to find keywords that have the highest potential to push an article on the top places in a list of search results. As 78% of users never scroll past Page 1 in search results, it is crucial for website owners to have content with keywords that rank well. Some of the tools that are used to perform keyword research are Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool and Keyword Suggestion Tool.
The stock market is the type of market in which shares of companies are issued and traded between buyers and sellers. A new trend in this area is ‘social trading’, which is a way of incorporating a social element into investing. It could also be described an online trading social network for traders. One site offering this type of trading is EToro, which brings together a community of traders who copy each other’s investment decisions to earn money. If you are looking for a more traditional approach, then companies such as Options House may be an option for you. In case you already have some experience in trading, you may be interested in such types of trading as Forex.

Double check yourself, before you double wreck yourself. Make sure everything you send to a company, whether a résumé, an email or a portfolio, is good to go. Double check your grammar and wording, and for God’s sake use spell check! This is especially important when it comes to the company’s name. Don’t spell their name wrong and be sure to type it how they type it (e.g. Problogger, not Pro Blogger).


FlexJobs, the Boulder-based remote-friendly career postings site, is cutting through the complexity of this question. Each year, they compile a list of the top 100 companies hiring remote workers. This year, though, they’ve created a special list of all the companies who have made their top 100 lists for each of the past five years. While many companies require you to clock in and out each day, the employers on this list don’t care whether you do your work from Santorini or Shanghai.
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