Do you love taking pictures and have a general passion for photography? If so, you could make a very nice living for yourself online selling your photos. There are countless people who are willing to pay you good money for your collection of unique images you have to offer. Today more than ever it’s super easy to submit your pics to the masses, which can provide you with a very convenient approach to creating a solid source of additional income. Several stock photo sites like Shutterstock and Fotolia offer enticing incentives for individuals to earn money passively from the photos they randomly shoot in their spare time.
Passion is a powerful thing. When dreaming up my last company, Fit Brains, I was driven by the desire to build a business that would have a strong social impact. Inspired by advancements in neuroscience and how brain training could help everyone from baby boomers and kids to people with concussions, I went all in and started a company that fused neuroscience and gamification. My team’s passion for helping people allowed us to navigate the peaks and valleys of establishing a successful product and company.
Wanting to start your own internet 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. Maybe 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.
Early on, determine what values you want your employees to have, and how you want them to fit into your larger vision of company culture. It’s crucial to surround yourself with positive people who have the same drive and passion for your business as you do. I have found that meeting with as many people as possible is essential to understanding the range of candidates and finding the best people for each role. Don’t hire someone simply because they are a friend or look good on paper, and don’t be afraid to take your time in finding the right person, either.
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).
To get started with Amazon affiliate marketing you will need to sign up with Amazon Affiliates. Then subtly market products on your site that are relevant to your niche and will be of interest to your audience. Make sure you only endorse high-quality products. If your visitors make a purchase on your recommendation but are not impressed with the item, you could quickly lose followers.
While some might think that starting a blog is an arduous effort, when you understand the precise steps you need to take, it becomes far easier. It all starts in the decision of choosing a profitable niche and picking the right domain name. From there, you need to build your offers. You can easily sell things like mini-email courses, trainings and ebooks.
Focus on the surveys and offers at the top of the list. Here’s a tip not many people know. CashCrate has a special algorithm that automatically selects the best surveys and offers and places them at the top of the list. There are several factors that go into determining which are the “best”, including payout, approval rate, and a variety of other factors. But all you need to know is that these surveys and offers are great, so you can do them in confidence!
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.
Don't let that stop you from starting a blogging business. There are lots of very successful bloggers out there – we're talking 5 and 6-figure-a-month levels of success. What you absolutely must avoid doing is starting a blog about “how to be a successful blogger.” How can you do that when you haven't achieved any success yet yourself? Faking it until you make it is not a business model we'd advise anyone to follow.
"By blogging at least twice a week, you significantly increase your website's ability to be found on search engines," adds Mike Lieberman, chief marketing scientist and president, Square 2 Marketing. "The more you blog, the more traffic your site will get from Google, Yahoo and Bing... [because] you are adding fresh content to your site [assuming your blog resides on your company website]," he says. And "if each of your blog posts includes a call to action, you might even generate some leads from your blog."
The quote above comes from a CIO article titled 8 Expert Online Marketing Tips for Small Businesses by Jennifer Lonoff Schiff. Elkins points out the strategic value of hashtag use in social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram in order to build audiences and drive traffic. Visual social media is especially valuable if you organization is selling a highly visible product or service, such as catering or fashion design.
For those with a large Twitter following, you can make money from your Tweets alone with Sponsored Tweets. You could be paid for sharing a business’s information, recommending restaurants or hotels, or tweeting pictures of you using or wearing products. As with all sponsored posts on social media, businesses will only be prepared to pay you to Tweet if you have a large following that you can influence. So work hard on building up a loyal fan base.
Do you like finding interesting ways to decorate and want to share those ideas with others? Do you sift through magazines, clipping images, sorting them into make-believe rooms in your scrapbook wanting desperately to see these rooms for real? Become an interior design consultant and have people send you pictures, ideas, and dimensions to their rooms for you to decorate digitally for them. You can use the likes of a VR tool to pick furniture from real stores and choose a color scheme that suits the owner. The sky’s the limit with this role and creativity is in full flow.
Amazon is one of the most popular affiliate programs in the world, and it’s getting more popular by the day, but it really shouldn’t be considering the commissions are so low! It’s not just Amazon that you can affiliate with; there are 1,000 affiliate programs to choose from. Although Amazon can be lucrative, there are some much better options out there, allowing affiliates to earn up to 75% commission in some cases! Work in your own time
However, if content is “king,” then some SEO experts would argue that the taxonomy of your site is “queen.” Taxonomy is the methodology guiding how your content is categorized and organized throughout your site. These are not just the broad categories, subcategories and tags that structure the content and navigation of your site; taxonomy also includes your site’s URL structure, breadcrumbs and navigation bars.
You shouldn’t notice any difference and the link will never negatively impact the product. Plus the editorial line (the things we write) is NEVER impacted by these links. We aim to look at all available products. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the top deal, it is still included in exactly the same way, just with a non-paying link. For more details, read How This Site Is Financed.
You may decide to create free videos as extra content for your blog, and not sell them at all. If this is the case then you can still make money from these videos by selling advertising space on them (in the same way as discussed for monetizing podcasts). Once you have high volumes of traffic visiting your blog, and watching your videos, you can charge businesses to advertise at the beginning of your videos. Use website’s like Izea to help you connect with companies willing to pay to advertise on your blog.
The Moz Blog is a beautiful collection of information written by SEO and online marketing experts (also known as wizards). If you’re stuck on a project, their site has the ability to filter through over 30 niche categories. You might know Moz because of their infamous MozBar (if you don’t, you’re welcome). MozBar is a free SEO toolbar that provides a collection of SEO related data from virtually any website. Peruse through their site to check out all of their invaluable resources!
Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
Reed McManigle: Historically tech transfer and entrepreneurship was seen as a distraction for a successful academic career. Strong publications and a history of successfully pursuing grant funding for research are the key metrics for advancement in an academic career. CMU has had a much more entrepreneurial history and culture than many other universities, but even here it has taken decades, multiple success stories, and long-term investment in a tech transfer and entrepreneurial support ecosystem to get to the point we are today (supported in large part by our outstanding foundation community).
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Running a business can be challenging, and it takes hard work and perseverance to achieve a high level of success. Whether you’re already in business, or looking to start a business, it pays to heed the advice of others who have walked in your shoes. I asked a few self-made millionaire entrepreneurs to share their advice for being successful in business. Here’s what they had to say:
"But if they really thought you had something brilliant, they wouldn't let you out of their sight. They're simply offering an excuse for not liking your company. Don't walk away thinking that the problem is that you just aren't a fit. You need to find out what's really wrong with your story. Don't count on investors to tell you. Get a few good, savvy mentors or advisors to tell you the truth."
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]
Another way to utilize your talent and business skills is to run corporate workshops online. Businesses are always looking for unique ways to help educate their workforce, and if you can package your talents into a day or half-day long session, you can sell that to companies all over the world to make money online. Start by building a portfolio and then reaching out on LinkedIn to influencers at relevant companies to see if they would be interested in you teaching their team.
I have 3 VAs. I couldn’t function without them. It doesn’t matter how big or how small a business is, they all need help running their day-to-day administrative tasks. Virtual assistants perform a variety of tasks that a traditional assistant or secretary would normally do, including making travel arrangements, paying bills, or managing expense reimbursements. I use them to upload content, optimize images, brief writers etc.
Eric Elkins is the CEO and chief strategist at WideFoc.us, a real time social media company that uses social media to create constellations of brand experiences. Elkins has nearly two decades of experience in writing, marketing, ePR, social media and education. He has been a teacher, scientist, content editor, new media practices manager and more, using his diverse background to excel at integrating online/real world marketing.
Derek Halpern has built a really strong personal brand. He’s the founder of a software and business training company called Social Triggers and makes a LOT of money teaching people how to sell what they know best. And what he knows best is how to sell. If you’ve got some serious expertise, start making money out of it by selling online courses or simply teaching online.
If you are, however, interested in reading about best practices on social media, SMT has two exceptionally useful categories: ‘Social Media Networks’ and ‘Social Media Business’. There is a slight different between these two, with ‘Social Media Networks’ focusing on, you guessed it, network specific updates and strategies, while the business side provides more of a look into how to utilize social media within overall business objectives. Social Media Today are notorious for being one of the first to cover any changes made to social media networks, so you’re bound to be one of the first to hear about the latest updates if you follow their blog regularly.
How about setting up a business that focuses on outsourcing? Most successful service providers on the internet find that they need external help at some point. They might have a blogging client that requires logo design. They might have a guest posting service client that needs web design . Instead of actually providing the services personally, you could outsource and take a profit margin of your choice! Make sure you learn how to outsource first!
With apps being constantly developed, competent app developers are in high demand. Again, if you have the experience or skills to create successful apps then this could be something you could end up working on as a full-time freelancer. Check out adverts for developers on Toptal, a higher paying jobs site for experienced freelancers wanting to make money online.
On-demand printing technology allows organizations to order print resources within their budget, as needed. This approach minimizes the waste of paper resources while allowing companies to update and send content to remote offices, stores, and satellite locations. Essentially, this service takes out the long wait time to receive the materials companies require for their businesses.
This site will be the perfect stop to learn more about digital advertising. The articles here are short and simple and up to the point. Yet they are informative and insightful. This will help you in looking at your own content in a different way and think outside the box regarding what opportunities to be incorporated into the digital marketing strategies.
Oleg is the co-founder and CEO of SEMrush, an all-in-one marketing toolkit for digital marketers. Oleg has grown SEMrush to 400 employees in four offices around the world and in 2016 they celebrated 1 million users (!!!) with clients in more than 100 countries. Here's Oleg's best business advice for first-time entrepreneurs looking to start a business of their own:
You might have some established persons in your network, share your plans with them and seek guidance. They would be more than happy to help you solve problems that are intrinsic to your business, suggest changes that can help you reduce overheads, and even guide you on things that can help you in scaling up your marketing efforts and sales. There is nothing like learning from someone who has firsthand experience at what you are about to do or have begun doing. Seek advice from successful entrepreneurs, do your research, check case studies and base your decision on the vital knowledge that you gain out it.
Here are my recommendations for the Financial Industry. In 2016 investors hope not to drop the ball by missing out on a big opportunity in one sector or hanging on too long in another. Here, we present 10 sectors to watch in the new year, with financial and industry authorities weighing in on the potentials, opportunities and pitfalls to consider. You may also enjoy my Free Daily Signals.