First-time business persons should not be shy in seeking guidance from those who have already tasted both failures and success in their own business. The principle behind this is simple, why should you aim to reinvent the wheel? There is no reason for you to hit the road first and then personally witness the ups and downs when you can learn about it from people who have already witnessed it. Seek guidance from experienced people; learn how they made it possible, how they missed it, and what they did to come out of it. The idea is to be prepared so that you can take appropriate actions without wasting time!
If you are a professional photographer or have a real flair for photography, then selling your images on other sites could be an idea. This could be done alongside your own photography site, as it is a good way to help get your work viewed by a wider audience. There are numerous stock image websites to contribute to, but choosing a popular high-end site like Shutterstock should ensure your photographs make you some money.
There are quite literally hundreds of clever ways to make money online. From taking online surveys, to renting or selling your old clothes, flipping your iPhone to someone in a different country, and even buying low-cost products locally, just to resell them for a higher price on Amazon. There’s truly no shortage of unique ways to make money online.
Throughout your customer journey, there are bound to be moments when timely intervention on your part makes the difference between a sale and a “let me think about it.” Make sure that your marketing supports sales in finding these moments – whether it means sending automated follow-up emails to prospects that leave the road or designing new offers.
Jon is the New York Times best-selling author of five books, including Do Over. He’s helped some of the biggest brands in the world tell their story, including The Home Depot, Bose and Staples. Now, he speaks to hundreds of thousands of people annually and reaches over 4 million readers on his blogs. Here's his business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business:
This isn’t to scare you off. I simply want you to know that this guide is going to focus solely on ways to make real, sustainable extra income online. Not just a few bucks. I want to share all the mistakes I've made that got me to where I am now so that you don’t have to go through them, and can build a successful online source of income for yourself.
Not only will this multiply the money you’re bringing in in a serious way, but it protects you against any sudden changes in the market or in your business. Remember that old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket? A few hours a week committed to just one or two of the following opportunities will put you in a much stronger position to be financially safe and independent.
Widely known and highly respected throughout the social media marketing world, Buffer Social offers comprehensive insight on the latest trends in an engaging, understandable style. Earning Social Media Examiner’s #1 rank for 2016, you’d be hard-pressed to find a digital marketing blog with more consistently outstanding content and practical advice for the average user. Crafted by the innovative team behind one of the most-used social media management apps in the world, Buffer’s blog makes online marketing easier for countless followers.
When someone enters a search query into a search engine about something relevant to your company, obviously you want to be one of the first results displayed. So how do you make this happen? Essentially, you need to make your website more appealing to search engines. Do this by using keywords that are commonly searched, backlinking your site, customizing the headline and description, etc.
The Moz blog is undoubtedly one of the best to read if you're looking to stay on top of industry news related to SEO or inbound marketing initiatives. Any good digital marketer understands the importance of SEO, and how ever-changing the guidelines, rules, and regulations associated with search results can be. The Moz blog covers everything you need to know with the right amount of detail to make it comprehendible without being overwhelming. Even if you're a beginner with SEO, their content is quite digestible. Each of their posts provides real value, offering actionable insights or even "how-to" articles related to SEO. Every Friday, they post a "Whiteboard Friday" video as part of a recurring series, diving into different topics under the giant SEO umbrella. Whether it's an analysis of an announcement from Google about a recent algorithm update, or a guide for keyword planning, the MOZ blog should be a go-to for any marketers or business owners looking to deepen their knowledge of SEO and learn how they can better integrate it into their overall marketing plan (if they aren't already).
As an affiliate marketer, you are earning commission from selling someone else’s products. You might need to make an initial investment and buy a basic portfolio and marketing materials that you then resell. However, that does not always have to be the case as there are companies which will provide you with products free of charge, and only take a part of the profit. One of the most popular sites for affiliate marketers nowadays is Clickbank. Other well-known sites include Amway and Amazon Associates.
There's an audience for everything, whether it's making dollhouse furniture or creating organic dog food. With a specialty e-commerce store, you can reach those customers who are seeking your specific products. All you need is a web-hosting service with an integrated shopping cart feature or with e-commerce software, and your business will be operational in no time. You can even work with vendors to ship products to customers on your behalf, which means you don't need to own a lot of inventory. [See Related Story: A Small Business Guide to E-Commerce Shipping]
Love ’em or hate him, Gary Vaynerchuk (a.k.a. Gary Vee) has been a pioneer in the digital marketing field since the late 90s. He’s a self-described serial entrepreneur and the CEO and co-founder of VaynerMedia, a full-service digital agency serving Fortune 500 clients across the company’s four locations. Check out the latest videos on his YouTube channel, The #AskGaryVee Show.
Stay Constant — Everything takes time, if you stop posting on Social Media you will not get results. Notice how Gary Vaynerchuk suggest for you to focus on your organic reach for an entire year… He doesn’t suggest 2 months, or a week, but a year. It’s very important to stick with social media because when you do your results will reflect your efforts.
For that reason, you're probably less likely to focus on ‘leads' in their traditional sense, and more likely to focus on building an accelerated buyer's journey, from the moment someone lands on your website, to the moment that they make a purchase. This will often mean your product features in your content higher up in the marketing funnel than it might for a B2B business, and you might need to use stronger calls-to-action (CTAs).
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. May big name companies and brands, like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc. run their affiliate programs through these third-party affiliate sites.
Heidi Cohen is the president of Riverside Marketing Strategies and founded her popular marketing blog, Heidi Cohen’s Actionable Marketing Guide. The quote above comes from her article, Internal Content Curation: What Most Marketers Miss. Cohen recommends performing internal content curation to save on content creation costs and build your audience for each piece of content. You can extend the use of your existing content by re-promoting it (via social media or other channels) or re-using it by adapting it into different formats that can be shared on different platforms.
Writing copy for websites is another great freelancing option for those who have a way with words. Copywriting can involve writing the text for websites, press releases, promotional offline materials including leaflets and brochures, and any other professional text for businesses. While writing blog posts is well paid it won’t make you as much money as writing copy for sales pages. However, clients can be more fussy, as they want the highest quality writing for the forefront of their website or advertising campaigns. Many freelance writers offer both copywriting and blog writing amongst their services. This can be a good way to juggle regular but lower paid clients (blogging) with the higher paid but ad-hoc project based copy work.
With so much content for people to read out there and so many options to choose from it is important to establish yourself as authority on what your business provides. You want people to come to your site because they believe you have the best information or the best knowledge of whatever their problems are, you want your customers to think of you as a thought leader or an expert. You can achieve this by constantly posting content on your business blog that is helpful and informative for your customers.
From an institutional perspective, it's worth noting that most universities don't break even on their tech transfer operations. Patent prosecution and skilled staff are expensive and difficult to justify solely on the basis of economic return. It can be very difficult to determine which technologies are worth pursuing at the early stage at which they are disclosed in a university environment (WAY before VCs make their decisions, with typically a 1 in 10 hit rate for big returns), but even so, many investments need to be made with low hit rates for a financially successful outcomes. Less than 1 percent of university inventions generate more than $100k in licensing revenues (per analysis done at Stanford).
Robert is a seasoned entrepreneur and investor who's built & sold several companies to major brands like AT&T. Now a leading authority on information security technology, he's also one of the most recognizable faces from ABC's award-winning show, Shark Tank where he's earned a reputation for sharing down-to-earth business advice to young entrepreneurs. Here's Robert's best business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs when it comes to pitching your idea:
One of the cool things about Google AdSense is that it's so easy to get set up. If you have a blog or website, you can sign up for a free Google AdSense Account. From there, Google will give you a unique code that you will paste onto your website. Google takes it from there, tracking your page views, traffic, and earnings on your behalf. There is no upkeep or maintenance to get this thing going, which makes it a no-brainer if you have a website already.
Medium is an online community where anyone can post articles and essays and get them in front of their audience of millions of monthly readers. While it can be a great place to build your audience for your own blog or find customers for your consulting business, with Medium’s new Partner Program, you can now make money online whenever someone reads your articles. Register for free and you can choose whether your articles are freely available or only readable by those people paying $5/month for a premium Medium membership. You’ll make money based on the amount of people who read and engage with your posts each month.
Melonie Dodaro (yes that’s me) from Top Dog Social Media has earned a global reputation as a no-nonsense speaker, trainer and author in the field of LinkedIn and social selling. Her strategy is simple and step-by-step and that is to convert strangers into connections and connections into clients and advocates while building trust, authority and credibility.
The first type of education to consider is something directly related to your field. If you are looking opening an auto shop, you will obviously need some education and certifications related to car repair. If you are thinking about being a self-employed electrician, you will need the latest education and training with wiring and circuitry. If you want to run a restaurant, training in food service will be useful. Pretty obvious, right?
If every aspiring entrepreneur had the skills of Warren Buffett but lacked start-up money, they would still find themselves disadvantaged by the world in which they attempted to start their new business. In my case, I worked for the better part of 2 years on minimum wage before starting Quarry, and even that was an affordable business to start-up. I was eager to get out of the job, with my compensation simply not being enough for the work I was doing, and this is the unfortunate case for many young people with the business bug.
Provide excellent customer service. Answer any questions buyers post as quickly as possible. Be professional and courteous. Positive communication builds your reputation with buyers and gets you return business. Also, package your product well and ship it out quickly. Allowing an item to become damaged or taking too long to ship can negatively affect your reputation among buyers. Wrap all items, especially fragile ones, in appropriate packaging. Commit to shipping items as soon as you receive payment.
21. Facebook – Facebook swap shops are great for selling things locally. It’s like CraigsList, but a little easier. You simply search for swap shops in your area and ask to join the group. Once you’re in, take a picture of the item, write a quick description with the price and post it. It doesn’t get much easier than that. You can generally expect to get about what you would get at a yard sale, maybe a little more.
Are you a freelancer, and do you have ample time at your disposal? If your answer was a yes to the above questions, then you can make money as a freelance research for several organizations and individuals scattered across the world. All you need is to prove to them that you have what it takes to deliver on set targets and you will secure good paying research and report writing jobs.
The best time for posting is individual for every brand. So, if you want to create a successful online marketing strategy, you will need to refer to your social media insights. Luckily, the majority of social media platforms provide businesses with the information regarding their post views, user engagement, customers geographic, their age, as well as the time when people are the most active. Also, use Google Analytics in order to see when your content is the most popular and share publications around these times for better results. That's #13 on the list of the most effective digital marketing tips for small businesses.
Holly told me she started writing content in 2011. At the time, she still worked a full-time job but created content online part-time to supplement her income. Over time, she was able to double and triple her rates until she could quit her full-time job to write. These days, she makes bank as a freelance writer and teaches others to do the same via her online course, Earn More Writing.
Tutors are in high demand whether it’s online or offline. Therefore, if you’ve got a brain and like helping others use theirs, become an e-teacher to earn an extra income in your spare time. The only thing you require is to be proficient in your area of expertise and be willing to give up a few hours each week to help someone else. Sites like Tutor.com and TutorVista are places you can sign up with and build a good reputation over time as a coach. If you’re really good, you can conduct lectures, seminars, or webinars that are transmitted online. University and college students are always willing to pay money to gain access into highly-respected online webinars.
Another important strategy is to build a network of support, both emotional and business-related. Entrepreneurs have a lot to worry about, and taking some of these tasks off your shoulders can help you focus on running your business. Many entrepreneurs will have a support group that includes an accounting or financial expert, a marketing consultant of some type, and a mentor that can provide advice and guidance.
If I have a blog that is getting 100,000 page views a month that means that I’m probably getting at least 50,000 people to the site (most blogs will do between 1.2 to 1.4 pages per session). That means I have to try and get some small percentage of those people to buy something from me if I really want to do well. If I can’t get them to buy something then (in some cases) I have ads running on the site that will make me money anyways.
Some businesses may be interested in adding other types of paid content to your website. This could include videos, podcasts, or any other material that would work with your site and help a business market itself. Always make sure that paid content isn’t too promotional. It needs to add value to your audience first and foremost, and not just present as an advert.
If you have a knack for organization, you can make money online as a virtual assistant helping people to keep their days in order. A virtual assistant will do everyinthing from bookkeeping to research, database entry, booking travel, and managing email. It can also be an awesome way to rub shoulders with some very important people, build up your professional network, and of course grow another stream of income. You can find great gigs on UpWork, Fiverr, Indeed, and Remote.co.
Prior to having some meaningful feedback from potential customers (or in the case of medical technologies -- some efficacy data), it's next to impossible to recruit outside entrepreneurs or to solicit investment. SBIR/STTR [Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, also known as America's Seed Fund] funding can be a bridge over this gap, but it's a slow process and requires someone (often a PhD student or post-doc) to commit to being in a startup that has scant funding, instead of pursuing a more stable job in a larger company or an academic career. SBIR/STTR funding only pays for research, so it may not be possible to involve an experienced business partner/entrepreneur with the scientific founders in the early stages of the company, which can stunt their business development efforts.
If there’s one thing to keep in mind when creating your content strategy, it’s this: The needs of your business should ultimately overlap with the needs of your target audience. By creating a website, social-media profile or other digital presence with your audience in mind, you create content that provides value to customers and brand influencers.
If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
As you navigate the process of building your own business, keep an open mind about opportunities that pop up along the way. I didn’t start Fit Brains knowing I would sell it to Rosetta Stone, or that I would eventually leave the company to pursue a new passion project. Entrepreneurship is rife with surprises and unexpected ups and downs. It’s all about being flexible, accepting help, and switching direction as you grow.
Prior to that group, they had an online community for teachers looking for lesson plans. That probably sounds pretty random, but it's crazy the type of communities you can build and rally people around. If it's something that you're passionate about yourself and you want to connect with others that have that same passion, then an online community is something you should definitely consider.
Once you have a thorough profile of your customer, determining how and where to reach them is much easier. This step may take awhile, and that’s OK. If you start marketing before you have a clear customer profile though, you will likely be wasting your dollars in places that will never reach your customer. Just because Pinterest is growing rapidly, doesn’t mean your audience is the one making it grow.
If you have a good idea for an app, and the skills to create it, then producing your own premium app can be profitable. However, with so many free apps available, it may be hard to convince people to pay. If you want to go down the premium app route, consider having a basic free version to encourage people to download the app in the first place. You can then provide the option of upgrading to a premium plan once users realize how useful the app is.
This is quite different from e–library, all you need to do is to start a book and magazine club that attracts people of similar interest. If you are creative, you can attract enough members and the money you make from such business is tied to the number of members that are registered in your book club. Membership fees and registering fees et al. One good thing about online magazine and book club is that you can admit members from any part of the world as long as they are ready to keep to the ground rules.
If if you’d love to be an SEO superstar you’ll love Moz Blog – we promise. It’s packed full of useful blog posts on how to handle every element of your SEO strategy and practice – from the technical issues like how to overcome duplicate content issues to communication tactics like content strategy and relationship building. Our favourite thing about Moz Blog is that it helps you keep track and understand the mechanics behind the latest SEO updates.
Get samples. When you first start out as a freelance writer, it can be hard to get work without any published samples. However, it is possible to get quality samples if you are willing to do some writing for free. First, you can publish content on your own blog or website. Also, you can write guest posts for someone else’s blog. Finally, you can write blog posts for free in exchange for a byline.
"The most painful mistake I see entrepreneurs make is launching before learning. For example, you may decide you want to launch a marketing consulting company, so you hastily make a website, content and reach out to people, but you haven’t yet figured out who your target clientele is. What people actually need help with or what you're specifically good at. So no one bites."