Josh Kraus is a Chicago-born, Denver-based writer and mediocre autobiographist who likes to make things. When he's not writing, he attends to his t-shirt business, Bird Fur. Find him at joshkra.us and birdfurtees.com. As a freelance writer by trade, I asked Josh to tailor his success tip to freelancers specifically. Here's his best business advice for new freelancers:
If you’re the type who geeks out on software design and development, then this online business model is right up your alley. Can you think of an enormous problem people face and come up with a software solution that solves their problem? People will gladly pay for your product, and this is especially true if they can’t find this solution anywhere else.
“Focus, by definition, means narrowing your field of vision and attention. It means choosing which opportunities, projects, and even customers you’re NOT going to pursue. And it’s really, really hard. When I first started online, I was trying to do it all: podcasting, writing epic guides, blogging and I wasn’t doing any of it well. I realized that each time I jumped from idea to idea, I was diluting my efforts."
The vacation rental business is booming. While the mere mention of it might make you think about billion-dollar titans like AirBnB or HomeAway, there are niche businesses like Michael Joseph's InvitedHome and Joe Poulin's Luxury Retreats and many others being carved out across a variety of markets. When it comes to vacation rental homes and vacation rental management, companies are earning anywhere between 10 percent and 40 percent on the gross rental rate depending on the location and the management level.
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.
23. Affiliates – There are many affiliate networks, such as FlexOffers and CJ Affiliate that allow you to promote other people’s products and services. You simply put a link or a banner on your page and then you get a percentage if someone clicks through and buys the product/service. You’ll want to select products that are specifically within your blog’s category.This is an effective way to earn money once you have the traffic coming to your blog.
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.
Over the past few years, we’ve had the privilege of interviewing, creating content and collaborating with literally hundreds of successful entrepreneurs from all over the world. Whether for blog posts, YouTube videos, and even online courses that we’ve created, these entrepreneurs have generously shared their insights to help our community of entrepreneurs and online course creators succeed.
Take it seriously. Yes, you’re applying for an online job. Yes, you can do the work in your underwear, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a “real job”. You must treat it as such or they aren’t going to treat you as a serious candidate. You aren’t the only one who wants to work in their underwear. In fact, the competition online is likely higher than it is in your local area.
If you’re looking for a creative online business idea, look no further. Do you enjoy taking photos, whether be of yourself or others, or just enjoy being behind the lens in general? Instagram is a great way to start an online business. If you’re savvy on social media, you’ve surely seen the “influencer” craze on Instagram. It is quickly becoming more than just a platform to check in on your friends’ updates.
Have you ever thought about writing eBooks for a living? Or as part of your online business expansion, have you considered how to write an eBook and make money? Whether you’re a writer or not, gone are the days when you had to carry a physical book around to feed your desire to read. Put technology and mobility together, and you’ll have an entire library of eBooks or digital books right in your mobile device that you can browse anytime, anywhere.
Reed McManigle: Almost anything that is non-software based, such as medical devices/biotech, energy, chemistry, materials science, is harder to commercialize. The challenges are that these technologies are generally far from being market-ready, or even market-testable, when they are no longer eligible for the basic research-oriented federal funding on which they were based. While these types of technologies have the potential for huge impacts and upsides, they require significant amounts of time and money to reduce technical and market risk.
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.
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 with no inventory costs. You use their selling platform in exchange for giving them a cut of your sales.
Online shoppers are getting more and more conscientious about their choices, and especially so when it comes to beauty products. Running a beauty shop that’s built on strong ethos and values that resonate with nature and animal lovers is one of the hottest online business ideas right now. Tropic Skin Care seems to be doing a great job connecting with these shoppers.
The quote above comes from a ConversionXL article by Tommy Walker titled How To Calculate & Increase Customer Lifetime Value. Walker states that many businesses focus on transactional customer value, and in doing so forget to invest in the post-conversion experience. He recommends determining customer lifetime value and improving customer experience by offering a better post-purchase experience. Walker says Internet marketers should view every customer interaction as an opportunity to improve loyalty, find ways to build habits around your product, make it easy for customers to connect and “incorporate customer feedback to improve everything from user experience to product features & design.”
If you're not using internet marketing to market your business you should be. An online presence is crucial to helping potential clients and customer find your business - even if your business is small and local. (In 2017, one third of all mobile searches were local and local search was growing 50% faster than mobile searches overall.) Online is where the eyeballs are so that's where your business needs to be.
Creating a video series and selling it as a digital download on your blog, much like an eBook, can be another great seller. A video course, teaching viewers a specific skill or how to achieve a particular activity, may well resonate with your audience. If you are going to go down this route then your videos need to be as professional as possible so you should consider investing in some video and lighting equipment, as well as editing software.
Today, businesses have more ways -- and places -- than ever to market themselves. But deciding on a marketing method, particularly when you are a small or even a mid-sized business with a small budget and limited resources, can be difficult. While social media marketing is generally free, it can be time-consuming; and the same goes for blogging. But traditional print advertising, as well as digital advertising, can be expensive.
With stunning UX and an easy to navigate website, Digiday is the perfect go-to for all things marketing. Hang out on their website for a bit or sign up for their newsletter, Digiday Daily, which delivers top stories to your inbox each morning. This is my favorite option, as it pops up just in time for me to read an article or two before morning meetings. You won’t want to filter this one into your Spam folder.
If you enjoy helping people but don’t want to be stuck in a call center or office all day, become a remote customer service agent and help people from the comfort of your own home. Choose between helping people via chat, email, phone, video, or other ways and save the day for people every day. This may not make you your first million, but it feels great to help people.
These days, it seems like everyone is hoping to become an entrepreneur and come up with “the next big thing”. Who can blame them? When successful, the benefits to owning a startup are obvious: being your own boss, creating something from scratch, bringing value to the people around you and, of course, making a bit of coin along the way. But the key phrase in that equation is, “when successful.” Too often, startups fail – 75 percent of them, to be exact, says The Harvard Business Review. So what goes wrong?
Quick Sprout blog is created by Neil Patel. The creator is a recognized entrepreneur. The blog is endorsed by the Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine. The best thing about this blog is its simplicity. If you are an aspiring marketer, you are going to love the simple design and contents. The contents of this blog speak for themselves. This blog is also well organized with different categories such as all-time hit, current hit, and a guide. It covers almost everything ranging from social media engagement to email campaign.
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.
Ebay is a bellwether. It's been around since nearly the start of the online boom. But, like any other platform, success can seem fleeting if you don't know what you're doing. Selling items on eBay, professionally that is, can be an art form. Getting people interested in your auctions isn't always easy, especially when there's hefty competition and low demand for what you're selling.
If you have your own eCommerce store, social media is the perfect platform to showcase your products. Demonstrate your products in use and tell your social following why they need to buy your merchandise. Most social media channels allow you to add ‘buy’ buttons your pages, allowing your followers to easily click through to your site and make a purchase.
Also, entrepreneurs will often keep personal and work finances separated. In order to set budgets and pay yourself properly, it is recommended that entrepreneurs have separate bank accounts for money that belongs to the business and money that belongs to the person. This might seem like a trivial difference, but it can affect how you work and how you spend.
The audiobook industry is booming, yet only 5% of books ever get made into audio format. If you’ve got a background in acting, or if people have said you’ve got a voice made for the radio, you can make extra money recording audio versions of independent and popular books. Sites like ACX connect authors with audiobook performers. So, whether you’re an author looking for more ways to sell your book, or an actor/voice actor looking to make some extra income, you can sell your services online.
When you lack the luxury of time, making money on or offline can seem like an impossible task. How are you supposed to do that when you're working at a life-sucking nine-to-five job? While the stability of full-time employment might allow most to sleep well at night, it doesn't empower your creative juices to search for new income-producing strategies.
Daily Surveys can be taken one or more times per day. This is indicated in the survey description. Other targeted surveys can be taken as you see them. Be sure to complete these when you see them. Some surveys may accept a limited number of responses from people matching your demographics, and can sometimes disappear quickly. New surveys come out all the time too!
Unbounce – Listed 6 out of 20 times, The Unbounce blog features great content about building optimized web pages that convert site traffic. Subscribers to this blog are mainly looking to increase conversions and need genuinely helpful content. Recent posts include: (i) Get Custom Advice For Boosting Your Conversions With Unbounce’s New Landing Page Analyzer, (ii) Google Is Leaving You Clues to Help You Rank Higher – Know Where to Look, and (iii) These Are the PPC Metrics That Actually Matter.
Writing effective and grammatically correct resumes and cover letters is a struggle for many professionals. These type of writing services includes an analysis where clients are given guidance to determine their objectives, and define the skill set needed to achieve them. After that, the next step is selecting an appropriate format and choosing vocabulary which will appeal to a potential employer, without making the applicant sound arrogant and “too good to be true”. A good resume or cover letter needs to highlight an individual’s skills, be relevant to the position applied for and have a positive tone.
They don’t want a boss: Entrepreneurs often struggle with having a boss. They often feel suffocated, restricted and held back. Some entrepreneurs may feel that they have a more effective way of doing things. Others may dislike the lack of creative freedom. Ultimately, they become attracted to entrepreneurship to succeed on their own terms. Being the boss can be more fulfilling than having one. Check out 10 Obvious Signs You Should Be Working for Yourself.
Many young people feel the need to take on a long list of positions to stack their resume, when really employers are often impressed by the initiative shown by a candidate’s experiences. If you go out of your way to take on professional endeavors and perform well, the results will come. If you are not a long-term entrepreneur, and have another position in your mind for a little bit down the road, work hard now to get that position later.
Just like a website developer, a theme designer is working with websites but in a different way. Choosing theme designer as your online business idea means building new website themes for business to use for their website. This could mean researching popular themes, identifying their pain points, and creating a theme that solves these pain points while remaining true to the popularity of the previous theme. If you are an expert in a certain industry, creating themes for this industry could see you reap much success.
While I have a digital journal within my notes app on my smartphone, I also use Trello boards to visually map out my goals and see achievements to date. Being able to add pictures and see a visual display of each goal makes them feel more real. That deeper connection through visuals is inspiring when it comes time to hold yourself accountable and get them done.
The marketing automation coordinator helps choose and manage the software that allows the whole marketing team to understand their customers' behavior and measure the growth of their business. Because many of the marketing operations described above might be executed separately from one another, it's important for there to be someone who can group these digital activities into individual campaigns and track each campaign's performance.
It’s sometimes hard to comprehend just how much people love t-shirts. And with the right niche, marketing, and tools, you can create an online t-shirt business that makes you extra money online while you sleep. (Even Bloomberg and Forbes feature stories from entrepreneurs who've done just that.) Services like TeeSpring make it easier than ever to create a t-shirt drop-shipping business where they handle the sales, printing, and shipping, and you’re only responsible for design and marketing. Or you can even buy into well-established franchise businesses like Rhea Lana that sell fashionable, affordable kids clothing and get the backing of a proven organization to fuel your online sales. For more tips, check out this simple guide to launching and marketing an online clothing store by my friends over at Selz.
You should have a succinct and compelling story about what your startup does and what problem it solves. Have this ready for potential customers and investors (although you will need to tailor it to the specific audience). Keep it to 30 seconds or less. Articulate your mission and goals, and why your product or service is compelling and unique. And if an investor is interested, be prepared to follow up with an executive summary about the company or a 12-15 slide PowerPoint “deck” that dives into more detail about the company and the market opportunity.
When it comes to digital marketing, there’s always more to learn. New technology and changing trends mean that if you don’t make an effort to regularly do research, you’ll be at constant risk of falling behind. Luckily, a number of great digital marketing blogs stay on top of the most important digital marketing news and trends you should be aware of. Add these to your list of subscriptions to stay in the know.
If you’re a software engineer, the perks of working at a startup or tech giant are pretty sizable, but if you’re more invested in flexibility, diversity of projects, taking on work at your own pace, and the freedom of being your own boss, then freelance coding is one of the greatest online business ideas around. Whether you’re into web design—an especially popular freelance coding category—or another kind of software development, it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to find clients you’re interested in helping out.
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.