Sara Blakely first started her Spanx brand in 1998. She was one of the first creators of women’s leggings. Her brand specializes in shapewear and also includes bras, panties, hosiery and more. She’s also the inventor of arm tights which allows women to wear their summer clothing year round. At one point, Blakely was the youngest self made female billionaire.
8. Know what your clients really want. The purpose of business is to bring your clients a greater benefit, a greater advantage and a greater result. But if you don't know what their ultimate endpoint should be, than how can you help them? Don't assume you know the answer. Study their actions and talk with them to find out how you can become their hero.

MemberPress is a feature-rich plugin that will enable you to turn your WordPress blog into a fully functional membership site. Depending on how you want to run your membership site, you could have a mixture of free and premium membership plans. Premium plans could include no adverts, free downloads, access to extra content, membership forums, and much more. However, it is important to remember that if people are going to pay to view your content then it must be high quality. Otherwise, your members won’t renew their subscriptions when the time comes.


Not to worry—online thrift shops and consignments stores, like thredUP, are just one model you can follow to achieve that goal. There are other businesses that crawl through sites like eBay to find cool, unique, interesting objects, then present them in compelling ways. Good copywriting and a strong brand can go a long way to separating you from the crowd here.
As we kick off a brand new year and everyone heads back to work, we have tried to find a way to fill up those commuting hours once again. So we put together our list of the best digital marketing blogs that we think are informative, entertaining, and essential to the marketing community. Some light reading to help the time pass on the train. So take a look at one (or all) of them, and see if any of your favorites made the list.
So, where are we supposed to turn to make money the legitimate way online? This isn't just about generating passive income; this is also about finding ways and means to create an active income through the conveniences afforded to us by the internet that will not only help us with our debt obligations, but also empower us to save, invest and get really rich in the future.
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.
Customers love to engage with brands and they really love it when a brand reciprocates. Take Wendy’s for example and the famous case of #NuggsForCarter. Carter Wilkerson tweeted at the major fast food chain and asked how many retweets he would have to get to receive a year of free chicken nuggets. Wendy’s replied with 18 million. Your brand doesn’t have to go all out like Wendy’s did, but replying to customer questions on social media platform is a sure way to put your brand above the rest.
Consider selling in lots. A lot is a collection of similar items that is sold in a group. For example, if you have a collection of books, magazines or similar pieces of jewelry, consider selling them all at once in a lot. You many not make as much money as you would have if you sold each item separately. However, the items will likely sell more quickly in a lot than they would individually.[29]
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.
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.
Once a site or blog is created and optimized for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes, the search engine marketing (SEM) begins. The potential for earning income in this area is literally through the roof if you know what you’re doing. An expert in SEO management is responsible for successfully marketing a website and can choose to promote it in a variety of ways.
You can set up a website, gradually build up the content (articles, videos, podcasts, etc.), then eventually monetize the site through advertising, affiliate marketing, or even the direct sale of specific products or services. Even better, you can generally find whatever services and technical assistance you need online and free of charge. Later on, when your site develops a reliable cash flow, you can begin working with paid providers who can take your blog to the next level.

Create a killer course experience: With your course validated and in the works, you need to figure out how people will take it. Most course creators choose to host their courses from their own websites. This way, they get all the value of bringing customers back to their site on a regular basis. I host my own courses from a subdomain on my own site so I can easily add more. The course experience is incredibly important as well. And after trying most of the solutions, I highly recommend Teachable—an online platform designed specifically for courses.
A website called AchieveMint gives you points for engaging in healthy activities, like exercise, tracking your eating habits, or even taking health related surveys. Points can be redeemed either for cash (10,000 points are worth $10) or for Amazon Gift Cards. The app actually connects with other health apps, like Fitbit and MyFitnessPal, to track your progress.
In short, consulting usually means providing others with expert advice. Therefore, to succeed as a consultant, you often need to have a degree or some other type of professional certification from a professional body in the field of your choice. To offer your services, you can use some of the freelancer websites mentioned in the ‘Writing’ section or set up your own. Below we list the most common types of consulting services.

Truly listen and empathize with your clients. Everyone is so interested in getting their own personal message across, that no one pauses for a moment to actually listen and hear the root of the problem or pain. Believe in listening 80% of the time, clarifying 10% of the time, and responding wholeheartedly and intentionally, is the remaining 10% of the time. - Stephynie Malik, ChiqueSpeak
If you've developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you're an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there's likely a local business owner who's willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant from Karyn Greenstreet and then use my guide to crafting an effective cold email to convince them to hire you.
"It's the execution beyond the idea that really brings home the gold. So focus on getting out there and meeting as many folks as possible to join your team, give you feedback and point you in the right direction. Any successful entrepreneurial journey is the sum total of a rather large (and under-appreciated) team that came together in a magical way. Get cracking on building yours."
Mobile has transformed the way people browse the Web. Even Google has now made mobile #1 in its indexing. If your site still isn’t friendly to mobile users, odds are good your brand is quickly vanishing from the Web – at least where the Big G is concerned. It’s time to take a close look at your design and make sure your site renders beautifully when viewed on Android, iPhone, and the rest.
So which Digital Marketing Blogs are successful in providing the information you need and how can you find them? You can do a google search and search for the best Digital Marketing Blogs, but then you get hundreds of “Best of Lists” in front of you, so that doesn’t help a lot either unless you want to spend a full day going through all those lists. Well, that is exactly what we did! We searched for 50 “Best of Lists” highlighting the most recommended Digital Marketing Blogs, selected and combined the 20 most valuable “Best of Lists” and earmarked and ranked what Blogs about Digital Marketing keep up appearing on most of those recently published lists. From a total of 163 Digital Marketing Blogs compared, reviewed and ranked, here are the 20 Best Digital Marketing Blogs around.
The quote above comes from an SEO Book blog entry titled Designing for Privacy. The article talks about how important it is to be transparent with captured information. Businesses are passing around consumer behavior profiles and personal information, sometimes without consent and other times with the unknowing consent of someone who ignored the terms of service. As a result, a growing group of consumers is beginning to voice complaints. It’s up to designers and Internet marketers to address their concerns and make sure current clients don’t become former clients due to mistrust.
Aaron Lee is a social media manager and entrepreneur who has helped 500,000 people globally through his website and social media profiles. He was featured in the Huffington Post, Social Media Examiner, Mashable and was ranked #5 on Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers in 2013. He is also the Grand Master of Customer Delight at Post Planner, a platform that helps businesses gain an extra edge on Facebook.
If you can engage clients and build up attractive social media profiles, then you will be able to attract clients, which makes this a service with value. Again, these projects are posted on freelance sites such as People Per Hour and Elance on a regular basis, so you can start building up clients straight away! Check out these amazing statistics for LinkedIn!
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.
There’s an excellent chance that you have one or several musical instruments sitting in storage that haven’t been used in years. Perhaps it’s a leftover from when you were in school, or even from your days playing in a band. Whatever the reason that you have it, it’s probably worth money if you can sell it. Brand-new instruments are ridiculously expensive, so people often look to buy used equipment instead, particularly if they are novices.
There are so many websites out there. Some of them look alike, some don’t but heck why are we talking about them? Wanna know why? Because you would want to look at the successful ones and try to look like them. There must be something in their site’s design that attracts target market like no other. As my friend says “The best person to ask directions from is someone who’s already been there.”

Due to the higher levels of risk, long-lasting entrepreneurs are also frugal. Despite popular culture telling us that entrepreneurs are popping champagne and cruising on expensive yachts, most business owners are savers, not spenders. This was highlighted by the research of Dr. Thomas Stanley and published in The Millionaire Next Door (1996), which found that most millionaires in this country are owners of small businesses (not lawyers, doctors, or bankers) and they are habitual savers. 81% of them purchase their vehicles instead of leasing, and 90% of those who do purchase spent less than $45,000. The book may need updating, but it shows the ever-important need for frugal living as an entrepreneur.
There is hardly business that cannot leverage on the internet to generate more income. Online Photography is another business that you can successfully launch if you are looking for an internet based business to start. It is simple, if you are a photographer and you are good with photo editing, all you need to do is to list pictures in your archive for sale to the internet community.
Walt Disney cofounded the Walt Disney Company one of the leading motion picture studios. He was also the visionary of theme parks like Disneyland and Walt Disney World. His brand started with the creation of the Mickey Mouse character and eventually expanded to include characters like Snow White, Cinderella and more. As an entrepreneur, he had to overcome adversity with challenges such as people stealing his work, commercial failures and more. However, he kept pushing through staying committed to his vision.
Let’s say you are the richest, most skilled young person in the world. Unfortunately, you are still going to have trouble starting up a company, and this limitation to your success is by far the most frustrating. Most businesses file for incorporation, hold a business account or a credit card. Shockingly, all three of these things are illegal in many countries if you are under the age of 18, making it not only hard, but illegal to start a business.
Nathan is host of the fastest growing business podcast The Top Entrepreneurs, and CEO of Send Later, a company he recently acquired after failing to acquire Success Magazine for $5m. He founded the social giveaway SaaS startup, Heyo and is an experienced online educator at CreativeLive where he teaches Facebook Marketing for Small Business Owners. Here's his business advice for first-time entrepreneurs who want to start a business of their own:
You can sell your ebooks through Amazon's Kindle program or Apple's iTunes Connect, which gives you access to a large majority of the digital-book reading market and the barriers for entry are incredibly low. You don't need to invest lots of money to make this happen, but you do need to invest lots of time, not only in writing the ebooks, but in marketing them as well.
Teaching and tutoring English as a second language is a great way to make money online, not to mention open some doors for you to travel the world if you'd like. While full ESL (English as a Second Language) accreditation is recommended, as long as you’re a native speaker and have the ability to teach, there are people in countries such as Hong Kong or the UAE who are willing to pay upwards of $25/hr for you to tutor them English via Skype. Check out Indeed, Learn4Good and Remote.co for remote english tutoring jobs or sign up on a specialized site like VerbalPlanet or Chegg Tutors.

Kit Needham: We start almost every one of our startups doing customer discovery interviews (the right way; they are not allowed to talk about their idea). Our recommended minimum is 100 stakeholders. If done correctly, pivots take place before the product/service is even developed, there is more confidence of market-market fit, knowledge of how well current solutions are working, priority of what is most important to the customers, etc. In short, they are solving the right problem, and then they go back and ensure they are solving it the right way.
I think Drop shipping is the best way that can help you make money online. It is the only way that allows you to start an online business without investing capital in inventory, warehouse and to buy products individually from a wholesaler and ship them directly to your customer. Moreover, with my drop shipping experience, you will learn key strategies that you won’t learn anywhere else to help your online business grow and thrive.
If you are a creative type, then you could make money online by designing and selling crafty products on Etsy. Etsy sells a range of beautiful and original items from independent suppliers. Categories range from jewelry, clothes, and accessories, to art, collectibles, and vintage. So if you have some stunning crafty creations, Etsy is the perfect platform from which to sell from.
The Kissmetrics blog offers analytics and testing insights on everything you'd ever need when it comes to marketing. Data-driven marketing is truly their expertise. The team at Kissmetrics regularly examines statistical trends to create reports that can better inform brand's online performance. These posts help create solutions for companies looking to improve their online marketing, and a lot of their findings can help to shape the decisions made for a lot of companies as they try to achieve their marketing goals. Arguably the best part about their insights, and their real differentiator in comparison to blogs that are seemingly similar, is that nearly all of their thoughts are backed by corresponding metrics that support and provide reasoning for the advice they're giving.
Swagbucks is one of the most popular sites to make money online. That’s why they’re our top pick in this category. The site is easy to use. Just sign up for an account and fill in some information about yourself. Then you’ll be ready to go! You can start taking surveys about products you use every day, watching videos, and even downloading and playing games to earn easy money online.

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.
Steli is the CEO of Close.io, a high-powered inside sales communication platform (and my pick as the best CRM for small business) that's powered by his years of experience driving millions of dollars in sales for hundreds of venture backed Silicon Valley startups. Here's what Steli has to share as far as business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business today:

1. Position yourself as a leader. Entrepreneurs lead the way. But positioning yourself as a leader is not just about having the right answers – odds are you won't have the right ones in every situation. It’s more about knowing where to find the answers. You’ll have to make a lot of tough decisions in your new line of duty, so you need to have confidence in the decisions you make on a day-to-day basis.


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.
In the age of online business, our brave world of new media, we’re all digital marketers. From small business to the nonprofit sector, from the newest startup to the Fortune 100, online advertising has become an imperative, integral part of public outreach. Why? Because tech-cultured consumers shop for goods and services on search engines, then shares on social media. Organizations now connect with new customers and engage current ones electronically. Having a well-formed online strategy can yield exceptional returns, making premium digital marketing blogs a source of highly sought-after advice and information.
Creating space for banner ads on your website is another way to generate a revenue from adverts. However, for this type of advertising, you will need to contact businesses directly and ask them if they would like to advertise on your website. The upside is that you can charge a set amount, or even a recurring monthly fee, to business to promote their services on your site. Using a WordPress plugin like AdSanity is an effective way to manage this type of advertising.
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]
It can take time to build up your personal freelance business. Yet, there is more demand than ever for freelancers. So, if you want to kick start making money online through freelancing you can join one of the top freelance networks, such as Flexjobs, SolidGigs, Contena, Upwork, Fiverr, or PeoplePerHour. Sign up, build your profile, upload some samples of your work and start making extra money by doing small freelance jobs.
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