Want to learn how to monetize your blog, be your own boss, and live the blogging lifestyle you’ve dreamed of? ShoutMeLoud has the answers. This resource is open to anyone who owns any kind of blog or website. With nearly one million subscribers and numerous awards under its belt, ShoutMeLoud’s advice speaks for itself. We love how the mobile app complements the blog for on-the-go learning.
Mark Schaeffer’s Grow blog has been providing useful information on digital marketing and technology for years, occasionally venturing into controversial territory (most notably with the widely discussed content shock post a few years back). The blog includes a mix of general marketing advice and thought leadership pieces that analyze what’s happening now in digital marketing and what’s to come.
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.
Once you have that problem or need nailed, the next step is to validate that idea and make sure you’ve actually got customers who will pay for it. This means building a minimum viable product, getting objective feedback from real customers, incorporating updates, testing the market for demand, and getting pricing feedback to ensure there’s enough of a margin between your costs and what consumers are willing to pay.
Starting a podcast, like making a YouTube channel or blog, comes down to telling interesting stories and building an engaged audience. I’m probably sounding like a broken record by now, but you need a niche that you’re interested in and there’s already a demand for. Come up with a list of topics you’d like to talk about and then search iTunes charts, Google Trends and other podcast research sites like cast.market to see what’s currently out there and popular.
Today's consumers are used to companies fighting for their dollars and inventing comprehensive and meaningful user experiences for them. For instance, your lifeless social media accounts or the poor design of your blog can negatively impact the overall impression your brand leaves with its audience (you can check out awesome web templates here). Today's customers find it equally annoying when an offline shop does not accept credit cards or an online retailer does not respond to Twitter or Instagram comments. You want your digital presence to be seamlessly integrated into people's everyday lives, so personalize and improve your communication, offer free resources and services that are relevant to the product you are selling. Smart branding always pays off. That's one of the most proven digital marketing tips for small businesses in 2018.
Start by taking other courses you’re interested in: Not only is this important competitor and opportunity analysis, but it also gives you an idea of how a course could or should look and feel. What’s the pacing like? Is it via email, video, in-person chats? Once you understand how you want your course to look, it’s time to decide what it should include. Those same courses are a great starting place. How can you make your course better or more interesting? Do you have experience others don’t?
I know what you're thinking. How do you start a webinar business? Well, webinars are quite possibly one of the best ways that you can sell anything online. The best part? You don't even need your own product. Webinar guru, Jason Fladlien, co-founder of Rapid Crush, has grossed well north of $100 million in sales via webinars, which goes to show you the sheer power of this medium for selling.
"I recommend that first-time entrepreneurs take this as a real wake up call to avoid making excuses for not getting meaningful product validation before spending resources on development. You need at least 95% confidence that the thing you're working on will be predisposed to some initial success. There are too many other factors out there working against you when you're first starting out and are tight on resources that make the road of entrepreneurship hard enough as-is. Don't make it more difficult for yourself by building a bunch of features no one really wants to pay for."

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.”
Shopify is a great example of the freemium model. By offering some applications for free, they get exposure for their whole business. Since the company was founded in 2004, they have acquired 30,000 customers, including Pixar and the Foo Fighters. Their revolutionary “build-a-business” competitions in the past have produced over $70,000,000 in revenue for over 14,000 entrants.
The quote above comes from his article, 11 Terrific Twitter Profile Designs for Inspiration, where he emphasizes the importance of standing out. He states that “we work, play and create in a digital ecosystem that defines you by your image online,” so brands need to carefully craft what they are on their online platforms and leverage the online real estate. For example, a brand or professional can utilize a Twitter profile to announce a new product, highlight a hashtag, promote a webinar or market a new look.

Under no circumstances should any information from this blog be used as replacement for professional financial advice. DollarSprout.com is owned by VTX Capital, LLC and neither are licensed by or affiliated with any third-party marks on this website and third parties do not endorse, authorize, or sponsor our content except where clearly disclosed. DollarSprout.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
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.
But don't make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you're on call whenever you have a guest and you'll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, consider offering your guests paid add-ons, like Lauren Gheysens', Royal Day Out in London, England—where she gives visitors a local's only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), it's been estimated that retail business will stay on par with a 3.7 percent to 4.2 percent growth rate. However, the NRF expects non-store sales to be anywhere from three to four times that rate of growth. However, even though brick-and-mortar sales still comprise the majority of consumer's spending, it's only expected to grow at roughly 2.8%. Clearly, what's driving much of our present ecommerce growth is the smartphone market. 
If you operate a conventional brick and mortar jewelry store, you can leverage on the internet to expand your target market and of course make more monies. All you need to do is to employ the services of a web designer to help you design an online store and then secure a good online payment software and also good shipping arrangement and before you know it, you will start attracting customers from far and wide especially if your prices are highly competitive.
A content marketer, for example, can create a series of blog posts that serve to generate leads from a new ebook the business recently created. The company's social media marketer might then help promote these blog posts through paid and organic posts on the business's social media accounts. Perhaps the email marketer creates an email campaign to send those who download the ebook more information on the company. We'll talk more about these specific digital marketers in a minute.
Double check yourself, before you double wreck yourself. Make sure everything you send to a company, whether a résumé, an email or a portfolio, is good to go. Double check your grammar and wording, and for God’s sake use spell check! This is especially important when it comes to the company’s name. Don’t spell their name wrong and be sure to type it how they type it (e.g. Problogger, not Pro Blogger).
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:
Alibaba is a Chinese eCommerce store that matches Chinese suppliers with buyers all over the world. Prices are extremely cheap, providing the possibility of large profits. However, with the potential profits comes more risk. As you are dealing with suppliers in China, if the quality of the product that arrives isn’t up to standard there is little that you can do about it.
Thanks for the tips, Jeff! I am gonna try them out and see if I can get some more extra cash. May I suggest to other fellow readers one way I have been earning. I have been earning a bit by writing snippets on QWERIFY and it had been great and I am getting paid for writing contents for others. Writing is fun but I will also try these tips when I have the time!

Video is growing like crazy. And more and more people are looking for professional help cutting their raw footage into viral-worthy content. If you have the right software and a bit of skill, you can easily make money online as a video editor. Check out these article of Fstoppers on how to become an online video editor and then look for relevant jobs on Mandy.com, Creative Cow Job Search, or ProductionHub.


What’s the point of even having a website if it doesn’t look nice on every device? 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing. If your site is not responsive, those potential customers will find another business. More and more people are making purchases through mobile devices so make sure that your website is mobile friendly.

Top Rank Marketing – Listed 6 out of 20 times, is an authoritative source and has always ranked as one of the best marketing blogs because it has been ahead of the curve and a mainstay for years. Some of their latest posts are about: (i) How B2B Brands are Getting Creative on Twitter with 280 Characters, (ii) Do You Really Need Another Blog Post? Why Content Marketing Needs More Flexibility, and (iii) Report: What Marketers Need to Know About the ‘State of Video Marketing’.
2. InboxDollars – InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks, since you’re going to be taking surveys, shopping, etc., so if you want to maximize your return, sign up with both websites. They also offer a search engine that pays you (like Swagbucks) and you get $5 just for signing up.  I won’t continue to list survey sites one after another down the list, but if you want to get paid to take surveys, also check out GlobalTestMarket, E-Poll Surveys and Survey Club.
My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

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.
To date, she has sold hundreds of these books all because they help and encourage people. Her stories and the insight that she is able to offer readers are authentic and add value. In fact, if you want to check her out on her Amazon page, here’s the link to it. So,  if you’re passionate about writing and you’ve got something to share, I highly recommend that you give eBook writing a shot!
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 love what you’re doing and it’s something you want to improve in continually, then you can have a more secure footing in your chosen business. Keep updating yourself with the latest in your online business, stay connected with your audience, expand your product offerings, and give the best customer service that you can, and it will set you apart from the others in your niche.
Digital products like workshops, courses and membership sites have become popular among entrepreneurs with strong personal brands and businesses with potent content teams. This collateral represents an opportunity to monetize marketing in ways other than moving the target audience through the company’s main sales funnel. As Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose of the aforementioned CMI have posited in their book Killing Marketing, introducing products like these to your business model gives you the opportunity to operate marketing as a profit center.
When it comes to organic search keywords, there is sheer value at the top. Considering that roughly 40 percent of people click on the first search results and that the first page accounts for some 91 percent of the search share, appear organically at the top of Google's Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is something that is lusted and longed for by the world's foremost online marketers.

A lot of people with middle-class income would like to create a robust investment portfolio to secure a financially stable future but simply have no clue where to start. If you have professional experience as an investment analyst or do a lot of investment yourself, then offering investment advice for middle-class investors is a natural move for you.


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!)

This is one of those online marketing tips that should be a given but some businesses still don’t have a Google My Business account. When you search for your favorite restaurant on Google there’s a bunch of information that comes up on the right hand side of the search results page. It displays the businesses’ address, phone number, hours of operation, photos, questions and answers, and even customer reviews.


The quote above was taken from one of Baer’s presentations, Youtility, which talks about how marketing isn’t just competing for attention against other products, but other life elements around your target audience (such as family and friends). Companies shouldn’t be thinking about how they can become more exciting, but how they can help their target audience better.
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.
Quality content on different topics and industry news is the special highlight of this digital marketing blog. Their posts are informative, relevant and specifically showcases the new features on social media platforms, updates in Content Management Systems. This blog lets us interact with the industry leaders providing the audience with educational and engaging content.

"A local restaurant, for instance, can promote just to the zip codes where it draws from. It can even target specific age groups and sex," Bentz says. "Best of all, you can target those customers during the time that they are most likely to buy; for instance, you can display your ads just before and during the lunch and dinner hours." And if your Facebook campaign isn't getting the desired results, "there's no long-term commitment. You can cancel at any time."


Seth Godin – Listed 6 out of 20 times, Seth Godin is the best-selling author and marketing expert who writes on marketing, leadership, change, and spreading new ideas. His blog features short, highly digestible posts, frequently diving into marketing life lessons that would benefit marketers of any age or skill level. He takes a very different approach than the rest of the field and the only way to find out what that approach is is by just visiting his site.
The Hubspot blog is a must-read source of digital marketing news and analysis for any B2B company. Separated into 3 categories (marketing, sales, and agency) with an immense volume of insightful content, Hubspot sets the standard for inbound advertising content. If you market or sell to other businesses, add them to your RSS feed now or subscribe to receive email updates in your inbox daily, weekly, or monthly!
18. CraigsList – Some things don’t ship very well. Other things may make you feel uncomfortable to sell to someone across the country. Anytime you’re selling a large item or something you just don’t want to ship, Craigslist is a great place to go. It’s simple to list your item (again, take good pictures!). If you don’t like the idea of putting your phone number out there, the interested individual can send you a message to your inbox without even getting your email address.
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.
Nearly every company is now looking to build a website. In fact, even those companies that have a website are looking to make sure that theirs looks bigger and better than the competition. You can learn how to earn money from home with practically no investment and this is certainly one of the best business ideas for someone wanting huge amounts of flexibility.
If you have experience as a personal assistant, secretary, admin assistant, or something in a similar field, then becoming an online PA may be a great role for you. Many professionals want someone to help organize their business and personal affairs. Jobs could include sending emails, managing financial affairs, booking flights and arranging day-to-day activities. If you are interested in this line of work there are many PA agencies that are crying out for reliable assistants.

Be professional. When you submit a résumé, don’t type it in ALL CAPS and please don’t avoid the caps lock like the plague. Know how to use it without looking incompetent. Write in complete sentences with proper grammar. Of course, there will be exceptions, but even with the exceptions, you must keep it professional. You’re building their view of you.

What will also help your earning potential is to specialize in one style of writing, and maybe even one particular subject. You see, writing on the same subject for hundreds of hours each year makes you an expert on it. To paraphrase Cal Newport, “…you'll build up a lot of career capital through deliberate practice.” It’s how you become so good that clients can’t ignore you.


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.
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.
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.
Together, Project Olympus and CTTEC have helped students and faculty launch dozens of businesses, including Safaba, which was acquired by Amazon, Qeexo, whose touchscreen upgrade is widely deployed by Huawei, Oppo, and others, BossaNova Robotics, which is deploying shelf-scanning robots for Walmart and others, and DuoLingo, which is valued above $700M.
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.
Being an online freelance writer is one type of skill that you can use to make money online. But there are a wide variety of other skills that can be used in a similar manner. Every website and blog on the Internet needs technical skills. This can include graphic design, web design, search engine optimization, social media marketing and promotion, content editing, and so much more.
If you’ve got a knack for getting likes, favorites, recommends, retweets, Insta-hearts, followers, reblogs, shares, plus-ones, upvotes, comments, and clicks, then you might want to consider a career in social media marketing. By consulting with companies to manage their social media profiles, spread their content across the Web, keep their brands on track, and respond to customer questions, you can turn your favorite hobby into your day job.
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.

Rather than making money through subscriptions, YouTube channels are based on a traditional advertising system. Meaning the more viewers you get, the more you make. Once you’re approved for the YouTube Partner Program and can start including ads on your videos, with every 1,000 views, you will make approximately $2-$4. Which might not seem like a lot, but if you have 100 videos with 5,000 views a month each, that would be $1,000–$2,000 already. Just imagine if your videos start hitting millions of views!


If you're ready to enter the ecommerce fray, you could sell your own stuff. Of course, along with selling your own stuff on your own website comes a whole slew of both responsibilities and technical configuration and requirements. For starters, you'll need a website and a hosting account. You'll also need a merchant account like ones offered by Stripe or PayPal. Then you'll need to design that site, build a sales funnel, create a lead magnet and do some email marketing.

CMU has great and well recognized strengths in these areas, which sometimes overshadows the great but less recognized strengths we have in energy, materials, chemistry, medical devices, healthcare IT, etc. As mentioned above, many of these sectors need more time and money to get to a first customer, which makes it more difficult for a researcher to be a 'scrappy entrepreneur' on his/her own. We try to help them find outside, experienced entrepreneurs to partner with to form a scrappy entrepreneurial *team*.


DeMers recommends researching competitor link strategy in order to see where they are building links and the type of links being used. Likewise, you can research competitors’ social following in order to mirror it, or even engage directly with competitors online. DeMers states that you can gain SEO momentum by watching what your competitors do, seeing what works and doesn’t, then using that as inspiration. For example, look at their content strategy and see what kind of topics they are writing about, which ones get the most comments or social shares, and how readers are reacting to the content.
Even if every single class I’ve ever taken applied to entrepreneurship, which I can assure you is not the case, it’s hard to take what we learn in a classroom and apply it to the world around us. I learned more in my first week of trying to come up with a business idea than I did in at least half of the classes that I took throughout my high school career – for many young people this is the case.
Charles Gaudet’s controversial marketing insight has earned him the title of “The Entrepreneur’s Marketing Champion” by both his clients and Insiders for his ability to help them out-compete, out-market and out-earn their competition. As the founder of PredictableProfits.com, and author of "The Predictable Profits Playbook", he’s an expert at helping entrepreneurs radically improve their profits through a series of effective marketing strategies.
Tara Banda is a brand-builder, copywriter, and social media marketer in Dallas, TX. She has worked with businesses of all sizes — from Fortune 500 companies to local non-profits to startups — to define their voice, promote their brand online through digital marketing, and build lasting relationships with fans and advocates.  Tara is a currently a Content Marketing Manager at ReachLocal. In her spare time, she is obsessed with learning recipes for international cuisines. You can learn more about her on LinkedIn or Twitter.
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.
MoneySupermarket.com Financial Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 303190). The registered office address of both MoneySupermarket.com Group PLC and MoneySupermarket.com Financial Group Limited (registered in England No. 3157344) is MoneySupermarket House, St. David's Park, Ewloe, Chester, CH5 3UZ. MoneySavingExpert.com Limited is an appointed representative of MoneySupermarket.com Financial Group Limited.
"The way we’ve gotten around that is to always work with somebody on a project before we start handing over significant equity stakes or large sums of money. If the trial project goes well, then talk about expanding the scope of the relationship. Sam Altman from Y-Combinator once said something to the equivalent of 'a bad hire in the first few employees can be detrimental to a startup.' I've really taken that to heart in my business."
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