Wanting to start your own business is a smart move for a lot of reasons. But the biggest mental hurdle most of you face right now is figuring out what the best online businesses to start are. You've heard about affiliate marketing, but somebody mentioned Shopify during lunch. Plus…you've always wanted to write a book, and you’ve read stories about indie authors earning millions.
First you need to secure a domain name for your website. Then find a hosting service. You will want to create content for your website that is easily read and used by potential customers. If you have set prices for your services, it is best to be transparent about them. If your fees are individually based, then state that. Explain your expertise and success in the business on your "About" page. Be sure to have a "Contact" page with your information so clients can get in touch. Once your website is ready, all you have to do is market it.
Some of the companies on this list are those you’ll recognize. Dell, still one of the largest PC vendors in the world, regularly hires project managers, business analysts and systems engineers for remote work. Salesforce, which came in at #3 on Forbes’ list of the world’s most innovative companies this year, hires telecommuting account executives, product designers and even upper management positions like regional vice presidents. Xerox, Adobe, SAP and American Express also make the list with their own distinct sets of work from home and remote work agreements.
If you’re a website or blog owner, you can sell a portion of your page space to advertisers and earn money passively each time the ads are clicked on by your target audience or visitors to your website. While the actual placing of the ads is completely free, the earning capacity of cost-per-click (CPC) advertising is based on the level of traffic to your site and the cost per click and click-through rate, or CTR. The most popular way to earn money today through advertising clicks is through Google AdSense or similar advertisers. Other ways of effective online advertising include RSS feeds and direct banners.
Many business owners either do not understand the intricacies of using social media to build a brand and cultivate a loyal online following, or don’t even know how to use social media at all. By offering your skills as a social media consultant, you can either help businesses craft a social media game plan, or take control of their social accounts directly and post updates to various platforms.
They don’t even have to be your bottles: Plenty of people are too busy or lazy to bother returning a six-pack worth of beer or soda cans for 30 cents and simply leave them out for curbside pickup. It may not be trash day in your neighborhood, but it surely is somewhere. Fill up a 50-gallon trash bag with cast-off cans, and you can redeem them for about $12 – it’s just a start, but you can do it again and again, and all it takes is time and hustle.
It occurred to me that you’re probably interested in growing your blog. I might be able to help. I’ve done video editing (http://www.fakesamplesite.com) and PowerPoint design (http://www.anotherfakesite.com). Imagine doing a great video on using virtual assistants, then distributing it through your newsletter. I could do one for you in about 2 days if you’re interested.
Become an affiliate marketer. There are many companies and webmasters who use affiliate programs to boost their online sales, and most of these affiliate programs are free to join. When you sign up for an affiliate program, an affiliate link with a unique affiliate ID will be assigned to you. The affiliate link is used for marketing the products of your merchant. When a visitor buys an item through your affiliate link, you earn affiliate commission.
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Websites like Survey Junkie will pay you a decent chunk of change for the low-maintenance, borderline mindless task of completing surveys. Companies want to understand consumers better, and one way they do that is by compensating survey-takers (a.k.a. you). Most surveys pay between $0.50 and $1.25, and many of them take less than 5 minutes to do. You can read our full Survey Junkie review for more info.
There you have it – a  comprehensive guide to the best online businesses to start this year. We deliberately didn't cover ideas like app development or IT support because they require specialized skills. That's why we only provided you with businesses you can start with very little money. In fact, you can even start some of them with very little knowledge.
If you have a knack for creating unique images, there’s no need to fuss over your own inventory. If your creations can be easily printed onto a product, then you can make money. Upload your designs on a variety of websites like CafePress. If someone likes them, the company prints them up and ships the product. You could create unique designs for calendars, books, T-shirts, bags, hats, greeting cards, or posters and get a commission for each one sold. Some of these sites include Zazzle, Teespring and Lulu.
– Project Payday is one of those sites that has testimonials of people who have earned thousands of dollars by getting paid to get trial offers. I’m not saying you’ll earn thousands, but it is legit and you can earn some extra cash. They assume that by paying you to do a free trial, you’ll either like the product and purchase it, or forget to cancel the trial and get charged for it. If you can keep track and cancel before you get charged (if you don’t want the product), then this is a great site for making some money.
If there’s a plasma donation center in your area, you might be able to make anywhere from $25 to $50, and odds are, you’ll get paid today. Call ahead and ask, of course, but these days, many donation centers are giving money cards (similar to a debit card). Generally, it takes about 30 minutes to donate your plasma, but a first visit may take longer — up to two hours — since you’ll be filling out paperwork and taking a physical. And while it’s not a ton of money, many donors are able to sell plasma twice a week.
You may have seen the lists on online; 100 plus ways to make money quickly or how make money fast online. Most of these lists are merely affiliate link spam. I mean no disrespect to fellow bloggers, but I’m not going to add to the noise and suggest you waste your afternoon filling out surveys. To be included on this list, the option needs to be a real way to make money and have the potential to pay greater that living wage. Plus, it had to be quick because that’s why you’re here.
Do you enjoy fast food or going into retail shops? Many companies hire mystery shoppers to test the customer service of their stores. A common one is Subway, which hires mystery shoppers to ensure that "Sandwich Artists" are following all the franchise guidelines. If you have time and can travel to different places, this could be a good side hustle.
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If you don’t live in a bottle deposit state, you can still cash in on recyclables by selling scrap metal. You may not have enough soda or beer cans lying around to make this worthwhile — and steel prices are so low right now, it’s not really worth the bother to go collecting them. But if you do have a lot of aluminum cans on hand, or if you have any scrap metal with copper in it, find a local recycling center and see what you’ll get (prices vary wildly by market). Still, unless you have a lot of copper pipes lying around the garage, or bags and bags and bags of old soda cans, realistically, we’re probably talking about getting $5 to $20 back.
If you have an old smartphone and you need money today, check out ecoATM. Type in your ZIP code, and with any luck, you’ll find one of their ATMs in your area. If you do, you simply find the kiosk and place the old cell phone in the ecoATM’s test station, where the machine will examine your phone — noting the model number and condition, among other features. It then automatically scans the resale market for similar phones and offers you a price based on its value — if you agree to the price, you’ll get the money on the spot (hence the ATM in the name). They also accept MP3 players and tablets.
Logan is a CPA with a Masters Degree in Taxation from the University of Southern California. He has been featured in publications such as Debt.com. He has nearly 10 years of public accounting experience, including 5 with professional services firm Ernst & Young where he consulted with multinational companies and high net worth individuals on their tax situations. He launched Money Done Right in 2017 to communicate modern ideas on earning, saving, and investing money.

2. InboxDollars – InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks, since you’re going to be taking surveys, shopping, etc., so if you want to maximize your return, sign up with both websites. They also offer a search engine that pays you (like Swagbucks) and you get $5 just for signing up.  I won’t continue to list survey sites one after another down the list, but if you want to get paid to take surveys, also check out GlobalTestMarket, E-Poll Surveys and Survey Club.
For a deeper look into this idea, I recommend checking out the case study in Will It Fly? on Noah Kagan, who is really detailed and transparent about starting his business. He validated a beef jerky subscription company (yum!), which proved to be a unique and inspiring example of determining the costs of items before starting a business. He didn’t pay for anything up front; he was just smart about asking: how much does this cost, and how much money do I need to reach my goal? His goal was to validate his idea by making $1,000 profit in twenty-four hours, and that’s exactly what he was able to do.
But once you’re in your home office—alone, every day—you might start to miss that collegial camaraderie. Since the UPS incident, I’ve reached out more to colleagues via IM and will post cute pics of my new puppy for my colleagues to see on Yammer. And when we’re on deadline, we even (gasp!) talk on the phone. It’s helped tremendously to make the disconnect not feel so severe. It’s a good balance between having peace and quiet when you need it and much-needed interaction with others, too.
Sell scavenged valuables. If you have a metal detector, or even just a good eye, go to public places where people are likely to drop something unnoticed (such as parks, beaches, and shopping areas), and look for money, jewelry and other valuable goods. This method isn’t very reliable, but you just might get lucky and be able to find something you can sell quickly for cash.
You have to post content on a regular basis. People thirst for the new, so make sure you put up articles, videos, or whatever consistently. It could one post per day or three times per week. Whatever it is, maintain the same schedule. A scattershot posting history means losing readers. At a minimum try to aim for one new post, video, or other form of content a week.

First you need to secure a domain name for your website. Then find a hosting service. You will want to create content for your website that is easily read and used by potential customers. If you have set prices for your services, it is best to be transparent about them. If your fees are individually based, then state that. Explain your expertise and success in the business on your "About" page. Be sure to have a "Contact" page with your information so clients can get in touch. Once your website is ready, all you have to do is market it.
Noticeably absent from my list is “blogging”. I enjoy blogging and sharing with readers ways to save money, inspiring success stories and of course geek culture. However, blogging is not the path to quick money online. Despite what many bloggers and peddlers of courses may suggest, blogging is very hard work and it takes a sizable audience to make even a modest return.
What Employees Say: “VIPKID pays between $14-22 an hour, plus more in incentives some months. Most kids are fun and well behaved. You create your own schedule and work as little or much as you want. The materials are already provided, you just have to review them beforehand and plan out how you want to teach the materials and which props you want to use.” —Current ESL Teacher
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