Caroline is a writer and entrepreneur helping millennials uncover their professional purpose with stories, statistics and heart. You can find her at carolinebeaton.com, on Forbes and right here on my blog where she shares her incredible story of going from secretary to self-employed. Now, here's her best business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business the right way:
The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question, “What should budding entrepreneurs know about building a business?” is written by Michael Cole, co-founder and CEO of Picniic.

Online marketing is cost-effective, it’s easier to reach your audience and you know exactly who you’re reaching. You have the ability to optimize campaigns and websites if they are not performing the way you want them to. You can clearly see how many people have opened your emails and clicked a link. You can even target who you want to when you want to. Stop wasting time and money on traditional marketing and go digital!

Take surveys. You can earn $50 to $100 per month in cash and products by taking online surveys. Find survey sites by searching for “paid survey sites” online. Sign up for several survey sites to increase your chances of being selected for higher-paying surveys. Register with an email address, and check your email often so you can respond quickly to survey offers.
Your buyer can choose from a variety of items to have the image printed on. Your design could be put on a t-shirt, phone cover, pillow, mug and more; this greatly expands your online marketing options. Additionally, you can get into a print on demand business as the owner, or you can take advantage of this online business opportunity as a design contributor.
Many big businesses are looking for social media influencers to become long-term ambassadors for their brand. This would involve you working closely with one particular band, and promoting their clothes, products, and services. You may also be restricted from promoting other brands, so check out the small print before agreeing to any long-term agreements.
My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and build a following of hundreds of thousands for this blog and my podcast series.
If you have authentic information to share and something that’s not just regurgitated information, then you’ll gain people’s respect and confidence. Build a marketing funnel, send some Facebook traffic to a lead capture page, and sell information products. This is all possible when you email market the right way. Once you get people hooked on what you’re selling them, you will begin to see an influx of forever clients or returning customers.
Also known as Logo Geek, Ian designs logos and brand identities for startups and SMEs. He also has over 80,000 Twitter followers and runs a popular social media group where he creates valuable resources for designers. Here's his best business advice specifically for freelancers, and for more check out his episode on my podcast about how to become a freelance designer:
The first follows the startup path we outlined above: You have a disruptive idea for an app or piece of software, you validate the idea with real customers, and then raise money to hire developers or a development studio to build, launch, and scale your software. If you’ve done everything right, your software will be accepted to the Apple and Google Stores and you’ll make money every time someone downloads it or pays for a premium feature.
Lewis is the New York Times best-selling author of The School of Greatness, and host of the top-ranked podcast bearing the same name. He’s a writer, speaker, and online educator that teaches entrepreneurs how to start profitable online businesses—and he shares his story in this episode of my podcast, right here. Here's his single best piece of business advice for aspiring young entrepreneurs:
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.

If you have a propensity for writing and you can slay with your prose, consider writing an ebook. While the market has certainly become saturated as of late, books that help teach people about a technical topic still sell extremely well. This is a great source of passive income but does require a large amount of effort at the outset before any money is generated.
For my family. I live in New York City, but my grandchildren live in Rochester. Swagbucks helps pay for me to visit them every 3 weeks. I 'm also able to buy them gifts using Amazon gift cards, and help out with diapers and personal care items using CVS gift cards. I even use Target gift cards to help out with grocery shopping. Swagbucks has been a blessing and I can't live without it!
With affiliate marketing, you offer the products for sale, for example, on your blog or e-commerce website. Each product has a unique link that tracks back to your account with your affiliate partner. A prospect who clicks on the link is taken to your partner’s shopping cart for checkout. Once they buy, that purchase is recorded and you receive a commission. It varies depending on the affiliate partner, but is generally 5 percent to 25 percent, or 50 percent or more with digital information products.
Trying to determine the entrepreneurship salary must be the ultimate challenge for a statistician. There are so many variables, including investments, taxes, certifications, product purchasing, and payroll, and any of these can quickly sap the earnings of an entrepreneur. So while you may sell $2 million worth of product, that doesn’t mean you will earn $2 million.
Convince & Convert offers a variety of resources including a website, blog, podcast, books, and ebooks. They are digital marketing advisors led by Jay Baer, and it is the perfect stop to learn more about digital advertising. Each of the articles are short and simple that get to the point of what they are discussing, while still remaining insightful and informative. Their articles help you look at your own content in a new way, and think outside of the box in regards to what opportunities you could be incorporating into your own digital marketing strategies. Their content, can help your own content.
Use Google Trends to look at trending stories in your niche, after you find the trending articles take a look at the headlines that are trending. Study the headlines of trending articles and before you write your content this will give you an idea of what people are interested in. (Don’t steal headlines, but use them as a brainstorming tool for great content)
Likes, shares, and social media engagement have become ways for companies to expand into the online business world and gain followers who later on can be converted into customers. As a basic example, say you come across a post for a business in your local area. Initially, you might give it a like and then later remember, hey, I’ve been meaning to check this place out. Or maybe you give a company page a like and then later make a purchase from them.
Are you an expert in your field, or do you know more than the average person about a specific subject or skill? If you have adequate skills or knowledge pertaining to a particular topic, then you’re one or two steps ahead in answering your‘why to start’ an online business question. You can use your knowledge and skills to build people up while making some cash along the way!
A spin-off for web designers is to offer a landing page creation service. Well-optimized landing pages can be the difference between a successful and a failing business. And, as creating the perfect landing page isn’t easy, this is a service many businesses are prepared to pay for. I know people who are earning 6 figures per year and all they do is create landing pages for businesses. There’s serious money to be made.
"These days, I advise young entrepreneurs to see their current employer as an investor in their own business, while they grow their business on the side. One of my guests mentioned that a day job doesn't need to be seen as a bad thing as long as it helps you develop the skills, capital and/or network you'll need when you do decide to go out on your own. So, learn to see and appreciate the job as a means to an end."
Often, what happens is that we run into unscrupulous Internet Marketers (IMs) who have less-than altruistic intentions of extracting money from you rather than helping you to make it. However, this isn't something new. People have been falling for networking marketing, pyramid schemes, and affiliate marketing scams since before the start of the net.
Ana Hoffman is an online business owner and founder of Traffic Generation Cafe, which is a resource of great Internet marketing tips and traffic generation resources. The quote above comes from HOW TO: Create Your Own Custom Vanity URL for Branding and Traffic. A vanity URL is a short URL or link that is meant to be used in place of long, unsightly URLs. These URLs can be expertly branded in order to show which organization the information is coming from. For example, a vanity URL from the Traffic Generation Cafe would would begin with tgcafe.it, followed by a string of letters and numbers that will direct readers to the appropriate content.

In the last few years, content marketing has quickly become one of the most popular topics in the digital marketing world. The Content Marketing Institute was one of the first companies to start touting the value of content in digital marketing, and their blog remains one of the best resources for following content marketing trends and best practices.
Econsultancy – Listed 7 out of 20 times, brings online marketing news and analysis stories that are quoted elsewhere often. This is one of the top digital marketing blogs that covers all the aspects of internet marketing and even more specific niche industries. They offer practical advice for marketers along with innovative trends. It is also a good place to find current online marketing stats.
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.
Survey Junkie is another popular online marketing and survey site, and they’re also a great option if you’re looking for ways to make money online. Survey Junkie lets you complete offers in exchange for points which can be redeemed for awesome rewards such as cash, gift cards, and more. All you need to do is fill out some basic information and you can get started completing offers right away.
Before I talk about some of the methods for making money online, I wanted to address the role of pain versus pleasure. Every decision that we make in life is weighed on a pain-versus-pleasure scale. We will always do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure, plain and simple. However, this is also what holds us back from succeeding in any endeavor.
"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."
One of the best shortcuts to free up your time is to make use of automation tools. You can automate your social media posting and reputation monitoring, link building and analysis, meetings and appointments, marketing efforts, email lists, sales, and customer support. If you find yourself stressed out over the amount of work you have to do, consider that there is an automation tool available for it.
Jason helps entrepreneurs connect with influencers and experts to rapidly grow their business together at TheStoryTellerMarketer. He also co-hosts the Content Promotion Summit and teaches other entrepreneurs how to get more out of the content they create every day. Here's what Jason has to share with aspiring entrepreneurs who need some business advice before they start a business:

Dropshipping is the easiest option to start an ecommerce business without having to buy any products in advance. Sell a variety of products to customers across the world, while setting your own process, building and promoting your own brand, all without needing to invest in warehousing or manufacturing costs. You don’t need to pay for inventory until it’s sold to an actual customer. Check out our guide to mastering dropshipping to learn more about this great business opportunity.


The entrepreneur meaning is a bit different for Jolijt Tamanaha, Director of Marketing and Finance of Fresh Prints, who shares “Entrepreneurs make their way down a never-ending list of problems with grit, passion, and energy. While intense, being an entrepreneur means you get to live life learning an incredible amount and maximize your impact on the world because you have to tackle the hardest problems.”
More often than not, your niche will be something you have worked in for years. If you have been a carpenter for a local construction company, home remodeling and restoration may be your area. If you have worked at a restaurant for many years, you probably have a good understanding of how to run a food service business. Your current experience is a great place to starting looking for your niche.
Hiring the wrong people is one of the biggest mistakes made by entrepreneurs. You need to bring on employees who have the relevant background and experience. They need to fit into the company culture you are trying to build. They need to be hard-working and flexible, as employees in startups often have to function in multiple roles‎. You must do thorough reference checks on them. Make sure your offer letter says they are “at will” employees and can be terminated at any time. Don’t forget the old quote: “Hire slowly. Fire quickly.”
One way to stand out from the competition with a drop shipping business is to private label your products. This simply means that you are putting your own label/brand on the products that the manufacturer is creating. That way you're not selling the same product brand and just competing on price; rather you can use your own brand and face less competition. Think about when you're looking at medicine at the pharmacy; the brand names sell for higher prices and people think they are different from the generic brands even though the ingredients are exactly the same.

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.
Are you an expert in your field, or do you know more than the average person about a specific subject or skill? If you have adequate skills or knowledge pertaining to a particular topic, then you’re one or two steps ahead in answering your‘why to start’ an online business question. You can use your knowledge and skills to build people up while making some cash along the way!

Every year, hundreds of millions of documents are notarized in the United States: wills, mortgages, citizenship forms, handgun applications. While for decades, this has all been done in person, there is a budding crop of sites that allow notaries to take their services online. If you’re already a notary, you can sell your services online. Or, if you want to get started, check out the National Notary’s checklist for becoming a certified notary.
There are a variety of tasks that you may be asked to perform. This can include delivering documents, delivering food or restaurant meals, taking pictures of a building for a real estate developer, taking pictures of a menu in an upscale restaurant, or even delivering auto-parts. If you have a good working car (or even a good bicycle), time on your hands, and a lot of energy, this can be a real opportunity to make money online.

Hubspot’s blog is awesome for learning about today’s best inbound marketing strategies. We love how they keep their content relevant by linking to the latest happenings in the digital world. Another great feature is how they consistently break down the steps needed to get your digital content just right (not to mention some of their articles make us LOL!).
Here’s the low-down: some internet domain names are more popular, sought-after, and valuable than others. Successful internet domain name flippers buy high-value domains for cheap at online auctions after lots of forethought and research, then sell to the biggest bidder for a nice profit. For example, www.hotels.com was sold for $11 million in 2001.

If you are into buying and selling, there are loads of business that you can make money from and one of them is to open an online computer and mobile phones store. Just like any other e commerce store, you would need a good shipping arrangement for this type of business. You can engage in the sale of fairly used or brand new phones and computers or both. There is a wide international market for such products.
Set yourself apart from the competition. There are thousands of companies trying to sell products on the Internet. Thus, you need to make your brand unforgettable. This begins with your website. Your domain name should be your company’s name if at all possible. If there are other companies online with names similar to yours, you may even want to consider changing your name to one that will not be easily confused with another product. Acquiring a domain name has a fee involved, but using a hosting service is very affordable even for the smallest budgets.

"My favorite place to sell my handmade jewelry is Instagram," says Mindy McCarthy, owner of MinMac. "It's the queen of virtual markets. Potential customers can scroll through your collection of pictures and see who they're supporting," she says. "They make a connection with you as a person, not just a business owner. It's very rare that I post a piece of jewelry that doesn't sell within minutes."

Every day, there is a huge fluctuation in FX markets. If you have a combination of technical and fundamental analytical skills and some cash flow, you can become an online currency trader. Places like www.forexfactory.com are great for learning the basics. Remember, this is leveraged cash, so if you make the right decisions, you have a chance to profit big! At the same time, the risks can be high if you don’t have a money management strategy in place.


A few years after founding Fit Brains, it was acquired by Rosetta Stone. In the process, I learned a lot about working with a large, corporate business. When Rosetta Stone approached me, they had a larger vision of how Rosetta Stone’s products and Fit Brains could join forces, and I knew it was a positive move for Fit Brains. I was lucky—the timing was right. However, you never know if the acquisition will go through right up until the end—so many things can pop up and derail the whole deal. Proceed with caution, and always have a plan to put in place for how to move forward should the deal fall through.
What this means is that no matter how densely you pack in keywords and phrases - the biggest thing that matters when it comes to SEO and your Webpage's Google ranking happens on other people's sites, not your own. More specifically, the more incoming links to your article that are out there on the Web and Blogosphere, the higher your page will rank in Google. The lesson here is extremely valuable - create top quality content that other bloggers and Websites will want to link to.
Planning plays a crucial role in any business success. A business plan is a good place to start – defining your skills and weaknesses, what you offer, how it’s unique and how you plan on growing your offering. What’s more, try to prepare yourself mentally and practically for anything that could go wrong and how you would deal with it. For example, what happens if you get injured? What if clients pay you a month late? What if a weather disaster affects you? Or a trusted supplier goes bankrupt?
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.
I tend to be a competitive person, so it's helped me to turn my goal-setting into a competition with myself. While many people may not think they are competitive, you might be surprised once you create a competition that gives you something to beat. A good example is the 100-day challenge, often connected to fitness such as 100 days of planking or push-ups.
Arianna is a co-founder of The Huffington Post, author of the recent New York Times best-seller The Sleep Revolution and recently stepped down as Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post to pursue her new wellness startup, Thrive Global, which will offer wellness trainings and workshops on stress reduction. Here's her business advice for entrepreneurs who want to start a business for the first time:
Before I talk about some of the methods for making money online, I wanted to address the role of pain versus pleasure. Every decision that we make in life is weighed on a pain-versus-pleasure scale. We will always do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure, plain and simple. However, this is also what holds us back from succeeding in any endeavor.
Perhaps best known for their annual Social Media Marketing World gathering in San Diego, Social Media Examiner founder Michael Stelzner and his team help millions of businesses discover how to best use social media to connect with customers, drive traffic, generate awareness, and increase sales. Their weekly Social Media Marketing Podcast features success stories and expert interviews from leading social media marketing pros.
Which is why people who have eyes for details usually contract the editing of their pictures to professional photo editors as against making use of photo editing software. The nature of this type of job make it easier for people to offer photo editing jobs online. If you a skilled photo editor, all you need to do is to list your services online and you are sure going to attract high paying clients from within your country and overseas.
Now, it’s time to start creating and uploading content. Make sure you’re using a high-enough quality camera (most smartphones will work but I’d suggest at least having a tripod so your footage isn’t shaky), but don’t worry about being perfect at first. The beauty of YouTube is that you can continue to test out different content and styles as you find what works for you. Instead, stick to a regular schedule to build up your subscriber base.

Take Indique hair for example. This is one of their Facebook ads for their product of the month which is for premium hair extensions. When a customer clicks on this ad they are immediately taken to this landing page for the product of the month. Both the ad and landing page tell the customer the same or similar information and say that there is a discount.
Write pitches. If you have located a client for whom you want to write, send pitches, which are topic ideas for articles. Write pitches that not only show your expertise, but also demonstrate your enthusiasm for the topic.[21] First, read the publication to which you are sending pitches to familiarize yourself with what they publish. If applicable, identify a specific section and send our pitch to the appropriate editor. Also, include a brief summary of who you are.[22]
More than half a billion products are sold on Amazon every month, making it an incredible opportunity to make money online. But, like everything else that involves making money online, you have to do quite a bit of work to earn it. One option on Amazon is to find products that are already made and buy and sell them at a discount. For example, you could research generic products such as clocks, keychains and mugs to attach to your brand. For an incredible deep dive on how to make extra money with this strategy, check out how digital marketer Neil Patel recently did this as a public experiment right here on his blog.

The really cool thing about outsourcing these virtual jobs to say the Philippines or India is that you can spend your time during the day meeting up with clients and by the evening, you can send out your assignments to your virtual team. Because of the time differences, they can work on those assignments overnight, so you’re able to get twice as much work done with this online business model.
The quote above comes from a CIO article titled 8 Expert Online Marketing Tips for Small Businesses by Jennifer Lonoff Schiff. In it, Skuba states that webinars could have a 70 percent rebound effect, both from broadcast viewers and other individuals. Content-rich, relevant webinars could also potentially maintain attention because they are more interactive. Just make sure they are well-organized and hosted by an experienced speaker.

The face of Moz, Rand Fishkin, has left the building… He’s moved onto new adventures and left behind the SEO blog that he made his own for so many years. As the trickle effect of his famous Whiteboard Friday videos comes to an end, there is a bit of a question mark over the future of the Moz blog. But it’s still an extensive library of resources for an SEO-focused digital marketer.
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.
Instead, create more simplistic goals. These become small steps that eventually create real change in your life. Start with simple goals, such as joining a gym. Get to the gym three times a week during the first month, and then progress to five times a week in the second month. Put the weight and dress sizes on the back burner. When you start off with simplistic goals, the other accomplishments will follow.
There is no need to waste your time on the conceptualization of what kind of a web design your business site should feature. Take a look at the examples of some of the most successful businesses in your niche. What tricks and hacks do those use on their web platforms? Learn from their example and create your own design (but don't copy your competitors!).
Jen Kessler is the CEO and cofounder of Bizzy, a state-of-the-art marketing platform for eEommerce businesses. Jen studied business at Stanford and math at University of Pennsylvania. She's worked at the forefront of bringing inventive predictive modeling to portfolio management across multiple industries, and is excited to be bringing that innovation to the marketing industry. Here's her business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business:

Multi-vendor marketplaces, like ThemeForest, can be very successful. Chose a niche and create a vendor website for it. Your marketplace could be anything, from a platform for local artists to sell their work on, to an online digital product store. Once set up, invite people in that industry to sell their products on your site. You take a percentage of their profits when items sell.
×