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.
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.
It’s a great way to achieve freedom in your life. Not only does copywriting allow you to work remotely, but it also allows you to control your schedule. Plus, learning the skill itself will help you in many areas of online business (i.e. building a blog, affiliate marketing, etc. – when you can write in a compelling way, all of these become much easier!)
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.
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.
In this role, consultants help the company ensure they hire the right employees for the job and provide good working conditions which will encourage them to stay. Their responsibilities may also include the implementation of talent management programmes, legal aspects of employment, promotion and giving ideas on how to create a diverse and inclusive work environment.
Best of all, unlike a brick-and-mortar business, you don’t need a lot of startup capital. In fact, you can get many internet businesses up and running with no money at all because so many free services facilitate the possibility. For example, you can set up a website or blog for free using WordPress. Or you can leverage a third-party site like Amazon or eBay to sell goods. You use their selling platform in exchange for giving them a cut of your sales.
Press releases are used to inform the public about products, services or activities of an organisation in an appealing way. They need to be newsworthy and give enough information to get people curious at the same time. The structure of the content in a press release is usually based on the inverted pyramid metaphor – used widely in media and journalism. At the very least, a press release should answer 5Ws and 1H: Who? Did What? Where? When? Why? How?
Do you spend more time packing and unpacking your luggage than most of the people you know? Then you might be onto something! Travelling is one of the greatest passions of this age – the crazier and more nomadic, the better! If you have a knack for organising memorable, authentic trips and enjoy the process of creating exciting day-to-day plans, why not do it for money? Become a travel consultant to help adventure-seekers plan their unforgettable holidays from A to Z and enjoy every second of your working day.
By building an extensive following, this will allow you to gain profit by attracting key advertisers or get commissions by promoting other brand products (think affiliate). Blogging is big business; just ask Heather from Dooce.com. She’s a mom that blogs daily about her children and pets and has successfully turned her daily adventures into a very lucrative business by simply making money blogging. One of my favourite ways to make money from a blog is by creating your own online course.
The ego is the driver making the decisions. It decides between the devil (the id) and the angel (the super-ego) on either shoulder (yes, all those cartoons you've ever seen are partly true). We have voices in our mind, and it's up to the ego to decide which one to fulfill. Its goal is to satisfy the id in some way while also attending to the super-ego.
If spending hours pinning images of gorgeous table arrangements and bouquet ideas on Pinterest is your definition of a perfect job, then you will make an exceptional wedding planner. Sharp project management skills and an eye for detail are pretty much the most important requirements for this job – no fancy diplomas to stop you from breaking into this industry! You can sell your consulting services, wedding decorations, game packages, personalised gifts – the list of possibilities is endless (well, almost).
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.
When I started my first online business back in 2008 (GreenExamAcademy.com, formerly IntheLEED.com), the idea was to help aspiring architects pass the LEED certification exam. I hardly spent any money at all. All I did was start a blog, which at the time cost $6.95 per month for webhosting, and I used Bluehost. (As most of you know, I’m a big fan of Bluehost. And, because I have an affiliate relationship with them, you can get your business website going for much less than where I began, starting at only $2.75 per month!) [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
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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.
Online and mobile dating are booming. Thousands of people around the world are looking for love online and, unfortunately, many are unsuccessful in their quest. As a dating coach you’d be responsible for helping your clients to organise and prepare for a perfect date, to refine their flirting skills and to advise on the do’s and don’ts of a dating life.
Skillshare: Want to teach people things but don’t want to make them publically for free? Skillshare is a platform that allows people to create online courses to help others and if people use your course, Skillshare will pay you. Want to learn from other creators? There isn’t a better place on the internet. Skillshare comes built-in with an audience interested in learning online.
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.
How to Get It: Begin with sites like UserTesting.com, YouEye.com and Userlytics.com. Register with multiple companies for opportunities to test as many websites as possible. Once you're in the system, you'll be emailed when testers are needed, and if you're one of the first to respond, expect to spend 15 to 20 minutes completing the test. Many sites require a microphone and/or webcam, which are built into most laptops—but if you need to buy one, they aren't expensive. The tester sites typically pay within a week or two via PayPal.
I know that in the ecommerce and physical product world, there are a lot of costs up front, which vary depending on the product. Sometimes you’re going to have to spend a significant amount of money up front to pay for a mold, like Bret Miller did with his product Brik Book, which is a physical product with a specific shape that needs to be reproduced on a large scale. The mold itself could cost up to tens of thousands of dollars. In this case, a crowdfunding campaign could be an excellent option to cover those costs. Listen to Bret talk about the story of Brik Book on SPI 217.
To avoid any confusion, I want to make it clear first that virtual assistant work is not always non-phone, but it can be. Virtual assistants tend to do a little bit of everything, just depending on their skills/expertise. So if you are good at various non-phone tasks (social media marketing/moderation, writing, graphic design, research etc.), then you may be able to do work for some of the companies below putting those non-phone skills to work.