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]
17. Amazon – Have you heard of FBA? It stands for “Fulfilled by Amazon” and it’s getting pretty popular. Basically, you buy products (in bulk is best) and ship them to Amazon for them to store. When your products sell, Amazon packs them up, ships them out and sends you the money (after taking their cut). There are people making a full-time living from FBA, while others just do it for some extra money.

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.

25. Products – You can create your own product, such as an ebook or computer software. You would then use your blog as a promotion tool to get people to buy your product. As long as you create a legitimate product with a whole lot of value, you should be able to get some buyers, but like everything else with a blog, you’ll need the traffic to get the sells.


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.
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.
The average Uber driver is said to make about $19 to $21 an hour after tolls and some other expenses are factored in — although I’ve seen other numbers suggesting it’s closer to $16, and with Lyft, the average is said to be less (closer to $11). But on the plus side, you can generally get your money instantly, which wasn’t always the case with these ride-sharing businesses.
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.
Mentoring is about passing on valuable skills, knowledge and insight to a mentee with the purpose of helping them develop their abilities. While coaching is used in a variety of fields, mentoring is usually employed in organisations as a way of efficiently transferring valuable competencies from one person to another. Therefore the mentor and mentee tend to have different seniority levels.
Make the most of your spare space by listing it for short term rentals with Airbnb. If you know how to be an Airbnb host that wows their guests, you have an amazing opportunity to make money fast. By creating a wonderful experience for your guests, you’re setting yourself up for great reviews and lots of repeat guests. Check out our complete guide on getting started as an Airbnb host.
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.
Owning a “real” business means you need to think about bank loans or financing, leases, maintaining inventory, business insurance, finding staff, training staff, etc. You then need to factor in finding a prime location for your business. If you don't have enough footfall then you can expect to be shutting up shop in as little as a few months. In fact, 50% of small brick-and-mortar businesses fail within their first 3 years.

I didn’t collect an email list when I built GreenExamAcademy.com or when I started SmartPassiveIncome.com in 2008. That was a huge mistake. It does cost money to build an email list, but it’s worth every penny. I recommend using ConvertKit for this. They have really good pricing, and you pay more as you grow. By far, it’s the best service out there. On SPI TV Ep. 28, I did a full ConvertKit demo you can check out if you’re interested! [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]


If you have an idea worth pursuing, crowdfunding can be a helpful way to find the money you need to get your idea off and running. For example, you can run a Kickstarter campaign. On SPI 223, I covered this with John Lee Dumas who launched a super successful campaign. Besides John, I know a lot of companies who have started on Kickstarter. I’ve been a backer of dozens of different projects, and a lot of those projects were just ideas when the campaign started. There are ways to get paid for your ideas up front. Using Kickstarter, you can validate those ideas and start to build community at the same time, which is a great way to get a boost at the beginning stages of your online business, especially if what you’re creating takes some money to get started.
At around the time I started selling my ebook and making a living online, I had yet to even consider getting involved in outsourcing some of the work. I look back now and think that I could have potentially done that earlier to help with things like finding a webhost and creating my website. Back then I did everything myself. That’s one of the positives to first starting out. You don’t really have any overhead. It’s all about the effort you want to put in on your own time and your own terms. So, when I first started, I found my WordPress theme myself, I set it up on Bluehost with a very easy one-click install. I was able to get everything set up, and start building my audience, trust, and authority online with those who I was going to deliver my product (ebook) to down the road. I did not spend money on hiring a team until 2013, which came after having a full-time Virtual Assistant for two years, which cost me about $800 per month.
To work in customer service, it is important that you have a noise-free environment so that you can listen to customers and respond in the appropriate way. One basic requirement for this type of position is a landline phone – not VOIPs (voice over Internet phone service) or cell phones. Some companies listed will hire you as an independent contractor, so you will be responsible for your own taxes. Businesses that provide home-based customer support opportunities include Arise and LiveOps.
If can't afford to buy a website there are just as many opportunities in buying and selling domain names. The people who do this are referred to as domain flippers. The principle is the same – you buy a domain for as little as $10 and flip it for several times that amount. Do companies still pay thousands of dollars for a domain name you own but they want? Absolutely.
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.
6. IZEA – IZEA works in addition to a blog or on its own. You get paid to blog, tweet, take photos and take videos. The pay is mostly based on your following, so if you want to make money with your tweets, you’ll need to grow you Twitter following.  Likewise, if you want to make money with blogs, you’ll need substantial blog traffic (more on blogging below).
Be professional. When you submit a résumé, don’t type it in ALL CAPS and please don’t avoid the caps lock like the plague. Know how to use it without looking incompetent. Write in complete sentences with proper grammar. Of course, there will be exceptions, but even with the exceptions, you must keep it professional. You’re building their view of you.

Advertise! Whether you pay for advertising or you trade advertising with related websites and blogs, or you use free search sites, the important thing to remember is to put in the time and keep track of what works. Search out other websites and blogs with similar content and leave comments with your contact info. There are services that will do all the marketing for you for a fee, but to start out, you can do the marketing yourself. Fiverr.com will advertise your website starting at $5.
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.
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The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases. You can redeem that as straight cash, a statement credit, or as gift cards to many different merchants. Thanks to a 0% introductory APR, lack of annual fee, and sign-up bonus, Insider Picks reporter David Slotnick calls it a no-brainer and "the perfect card for just about everyone."

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As an auctioneer you are engaged in selling products by offering them up for bids, taking bids, and then selling the item to the highest bidder. The best known online auction website is eBay. As a seller, you will need to create a listing based on the site requirements, which will stay up on the platform for a certain time unless you decide to close it earlier. There can also be fees associated with listing and selling items, which will depend on the type of seller account you opt for.
To work in customer service, it is important that you have a noise-free environment so that you can listen to customers and respond in the appropriate way. One basic requirement for this type of position is a landline phone – not VOIPs (voice over Internet phone service) or cell phones. Some companies listed will hire you as an independent contractor, so you will be responsible for your own taxes. Businesses that provide home-based customer support opportunities include Arise and LiveOps.
One of the more challenging jobs in customer service this involves reaching out to clients who have unpaid bills, invoices, loan instalments or any other outstanding payments. Collections agents are responsible for creating lists of debtors and organising them based on how severe the matter is, getting in touch with customers and discussing how the debts may be collected, locate unresponsive customers using credit bureau information, perform background checks, etc.
There are a variety of online lenders out there, and if your credit is fairly good, you can apply for a personal loan online and be approved almost instantly. The money will still take a few days or even a week to hit your account, and the interest rate will be higher than, say, a home equity loan. But a personal loan from a reputable company — and be careful, for some online lenders are little more than payday loan shops online — beats credit card debt for a couple of reasons: Installment loans are better for your credit than revolving credit card balances, and even a 10% interest rate is preferable to what you’d pay for a cash advance.
How to Get It: You can apply directly through the companies, such as Stella & Dot, a jewelry company that had over $100 million in sales in 2010. A few other good ones include Avon (household and personal care), The Cocoa Exchange (chocolates and more), and Alice's Table (flowers). You can also visit the Direct Selling Association website—all the companies listed there agree to abide by a code of ethics, so they only offer legitimate opportunities. Typically reps make a small investment to get started (this is a legitimate and standard practice), and sometimes pay a fee for the merchandise being sold. After that you can work as much or as little as you want, and see profit based on how much you sell.
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