Santam is passionate about supporting and developing entrepreneurs – the drivers of a new economy. Through our 1001 days series, we’ve brought you lots of insights and advice from business owners who have made it through their first three years of business. Here is a collection of 10 of our all-time best pieces of advice to help you make it as an entrepreneur.
This is similar in concept to micro-tasks, except that it is oriented toward specific services, such as cleaning services, pest inspection, handyman services, house cleaning, lawn & garden services or any of the skilled trades. It might actually be more accurate to say that it is a platform where skilled service providers can offer their services to site visitors, similar to Angie’s List.
Zappos, Sears, Way fair, and Amazon are just a few of the larger known business brands that started with drop shipping. Even without your products in stock, you can still feature and sell the items on your website. Drop shipping takes the shipping process off of your plate entirely. When people buy from you, they purchase it from a third-party seller who then sells your item to your customer.
Larry is the founder of both Mobile Monkey, a next-generation chat bot for marketers, and Wordsream, a leading provider of AdWords, Facebook and keyword tools used by over a million marketers worldwide. Larry is also a top columnist at Inc magazine, a Techstars mentor and keynote speaker for events around the world. Here's his best business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:

Creating and selling courses on your blog can be a successful way to make money online. The course itself should be relevant to your blog, and based on a topic that will benefit your audience. Although it may take time to create the course in the first instance, once completed, you can then repeatedly make money from the course each time you sell it.
Create a writer website or blog. A website not only demonstrates your technical ability, but it also creates an online hub that allows clients to connect to you. Keep the design of your website clean and uncluttered. Include examples of your work that demonstrate the kind of writing you do. Make the samples easy to find and to read, and make it easy for visitors to figure out how to contact you.[23] .
Startup costs: Freelance writing is another of those service-based businesses with very low start-up costs. There are tons of places online where you can find clients for free. At worst you can sign up for an Upwork account for $10 per month, just don't plan on staying there forever. The most lucrative writing projects are rarely found on platforms like Upwork.
What they want: SEMrush is a comprehensive toolkit for digital marketers, but they also have a popular blog where they (and many of their guest authors) write about search, PPC, digital PR, and everything digital marketing. SEMrush has pretty strict editorial guidelines, which is convenient since you don’t have to wait for clarifications to start working on a post.
If you are a confident web developer then designing your own themes is an obvious path to follow if you are looking to make money online. ThemeForest sells a wide assortment of developers themes, including themes for WordPress, Shopify, Weebly, and Tumblr, to name a few. Once you have created your theme, get it accepted onto the ThemeForest marketplace and make money each time it sells.
Instead, you’ll be following a proven strategy for maximizing views of multiple videos on a regular basis. You’ll be creating useful content…something engaging that people want to watch. And it works in many, many different niches. It could be a how-to video, a talking-head video on a topic of interest to people interested in your niche...the sky is the limit.
You know this one already. You include links to products you are promoting as an affiliate, and every time somebody buys the product, you get a commission. With a blog you can integrate advertising with content to make it even more likely you’ll get the sale. For example, you could do a product review — which is useful content — and then include a link to buy the product under an affiliate link.
Author of Unmistakable: Why Only is Better Than Best and host of the acclaimed podcast, The Unmistakable Creative, Srini has interviewed over 600 entrepreneurs, creatives and thought leaders from all walks of life. From Tim Ferriss to Seth Godin, Kevin Kelly, Ryan Holiday and more, Srini has learned from the best, what it takes to become successful in business. Here's his business advice for aspiring entrepreneur who want to start a business of their own:
Traditionally, there are a few ways to make serious money as an entrepreneur. They include business ownership; securities investment and speculation; and, perhaps the most personally rewarding, real estate entrepreneurship. Not for the faint of heart, making money in real estate is filled with potential challenges and pitfalls. But with an understanding of the various real estate entrepreneurship strategies, proper implementation, assessment, and adjustment where necessary, one can make substantial profits. The first step is understanding how to make money in real estate.
Blogging is one of the means several people all over the world are making money from the internet. Blogging is all about creating usefully and perhaps educative content for a targeted audience on the internet. If you think that you have good knowledge on a particular subject, you can make money by sharing your knowledge to a wide range of audience via your blog.
If you want to clear some space out in your house and have a big stack of books you’ve been holding onto for too long, you can make money selling your books and textbooks online. Stores like Half Priced Books and others will give you cents on the dollar for each of your current books while you can check what your book is worth by simply entering the ISBN number on Book Scouter.
Andrew French started up QuarryClothing.com at the age of 16, making wholesale deals with Nike, Oakley, New Balance, and many other MNCs. Youth business is something he’s grown to love and know. Andrew works with other small youth companies through Quarry’s Investment Initiative, where they give 25% of their profits to other young entrepreneurs in Canada to start up their own companies.
The ability to communicate effectively can be critical to landing customers, inspiring employees, and pitching to investors to raise capital. Most people are not very good at public speaking and many are even afraid of it. You must work to overcome this fear. Consider working with a public speaking or business coach to practice, get professional feedback and improve. Some of the most recognized entrepreneurs were great public speakers, such as Steve Jobs‎.
However, this only further illuminates the exponential rise of online business today. Considering that the internet is still largely in its infancy, as the modern conveniences give way to near-instant delivery of products via drones, 3D printing and other means, and as virtual and augmented reality help to improve the online shopping experience, nearly all our commerce will eventually be conducted through online channels rather than offline channels.

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.”
There are loads of stuff you can sell online. The bottom line is that you can take your groceries store online. You can engage in the sale of perfumes, electronics, tablets, smartphones, flowers, computers or any products online and people will patronize your services. All you need to do is to define the areas you are servicing and ensure that you make adequate provision for shipping.
Drop shipping is another great ‘hands-off’ way to sell products. Firstly you will need to find businesses that sell products in your niche that offer a drop shipping service. Then you will need to create a website promoting and selling the products. When you make a sale, you take the payment on your site and then the manufacturer ships the goods to the buyer. The profit comes from charging a higher rate than the manufacturer, and if you are selling a high number of products this can quickly add up to a healthy revenue.
Another option is to again set up a Shopify store. But instead, you have customer orders drop-shipped to them by the manufacturer, or distributor. You know those super-cheap items you see on Facebook that seem too good to be true? The catch is always that it can take 30 – 45 days for your order to arrive – that's the drop-shipping model in operation right there.
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.
If you have previous experience as a computer programmer or have skills in this field, then there is plenty of work you can pick up as a freelancer. If lack of confidence is holding you back, then Free Code Camp is an excellent way to get your foot in the coding door. This organization provides free courses where you will build real-life apps and programs, giving you experience and plenty to add to your CV.
"Falling blindly in love with an idea. Entrepreneurship needs passion, but love can be blinding. Many entrepreneurs believe in their idea so much that they fail to validate it. They tend to dismiss negative feedback on their products or neglect collecting some. And they end up missing product/market fit. Overcoming that requires taking some distance with the idea and applying intellectual honesty. My advice is to talk to potential customers or users from day 1 and for every day after that: never stop collecting feedback. We’re now 25 people on the team at Scoop.it, but I still answer support tickets and take sales calls because there’s nothing as real and valuable than a direct conversation with a customer."
Many people buy and sell domain names to earn money online since it takes very little time or investment. You can purchase a domain at its registration price or even much cheaper and then resell it for a profit. But, it always pays to do your homework first on websites like Afternic.com, Sedo.co.uk, or other domain auction websites in order to get a good idea of what’s popular in terms of domain names. An ideal way to find really good names is to check out terminated lists that offer many expired names and have made their way back into the pool for people to buy. A good site for this is expireddomains.net where you can put in your desired keyword that you want in your domain name and a long list of domain options will appear.
"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."
I am friends with several small- and medium-size-business owners operating in service-providing industries. One of them, Lyuda Ksenych, CEO of H2H Movers, a moving company located in Chicago, attributes a large portion of their recent growth to small yet effective changes to the company’s online marketing efforts. Here are five online marketing tips, some of which can be done at no cost, that helped Ksenych’s business and can also help you thrive in competitive industries.
26. Services – You can offer a paid service, such as life coaching, blog coaching, goal setting or financial planning. Just be sure to investigate all the legal implications and make sure you’re not claiming to be a professional if you’re not one. With a service like this, you’re basically using your blog to sell yourself. You’ll need to convince people that you’re worth buying and then be able to back up your claims once they purchase your service.
Google is the key search engine. A digital marketer cannot ignore Google while planning a marketing strategy. While designing your website, it is important to understand Google and its unique requirements. For this, you can follow Think with Google. It discusses the best practices of digital marketing. It will offer you insight into different channels and will enable you to explore the latest trends. It brings the like-minded persons together to help the beginners to understand digital marketing and its trends.

Logan is a CPA with a Masters Degree in Taxation from the University of Southern California. He has been featured in publications such as CNBC, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, and HuffPost on topics ranging from paying down debt to using credit card points to saving money on taxes. After spending nearly 10 years in public accounting, including 5 with professional services firm Ernst & Young where he consulted with multinational companies and high net worth individuals on their tax situations, he launched Money Done Right in 2017 to communicate modern ideas on earning, saving, and investing money.
"The other big mistake I see entrepreneurs make is building a product for a customer they don't know well. That's why I always advise entrepreneurs to build a product for themselves--at least that way you ensure you've built something for a user you know intimately. All of the great tech companies of the past decade--Facebook, Twitter, Slack, Snapchat--were built by founders who were making products they wanted to use."
If you’re serious about making money selling things online, it’s pretty much impossible to not recommend Shopify. The platform gives you everything you need to get your online store up and running in less than a day including a custom domain, beautiful templates (so you don’t need design skills), secure payment options, and they can even take care of marketing and shipping for you. Whether you’re promoting your own products, designs, or curating other products for people in your niche, Shopify is the best option for powering your online store.
Similar to a YouTube vlogger, if you have a large following on Instagram then you could become an Instagram Influencer. You will be paid to promote products in your photos, from wearing certain clothes to action shots of you using particular merchandise. As your Instagram following grows, you may start out simply receiving freebies in return for a picture of you with the item in the shot. However, for those with followings running into millions, you can expect large payments to display products in your pictures. Use sites like Hype Factory to help connect you with companies prepared to pay for your influence.
In this field, your aim is to help clients identify their goals, assess strengths and weaknesses of their business and create a structured plan where you outline how to achieve the set goals. In practice, that means advising the client on selecting the correct web-based applications to increase their competitiveness in the market or improve communication among employees and with customers.
If you’re a software engineer, the perks of working at a startup or tech giant are pretty sizable, but if you’re more invested in flexibility, diversity of projects, taking on work at your own pace, and the freedom of being your own boss, then freelance coding is one of the greatest online business ideas around. Whether you’re into web design—an especially popular freelance coding category—or another kind of software development, it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to find clients you’re interested in helping out.

29. Videos – This could be an entire section on it’s own. Many people have made money by creating YouTube videos. Evan of EvanTube is a kid and he has made millions by creating reviews of products that other kids his age would use. It’s not easy to get views into the millions, but once you do, you’ll start seeing some cash come in. Many bloggers have completely turned to videos to get their point across by starting a video blog.
Are you a professional in a field that can help answer questions for people looking for your expertise? Websites like JustAnswer and LivePerson match you up with people looking for answers to technical or professional questions. You can make money online by simply answering these questions and providing the right information to people based on their individualistic circumstances.
Whether you have a website or are still dreaming up ideas for a blog, you can also look into affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you partner with brands and businesses within the content of your website. If you mention a product or service, you link to that produce or service using a unique affiliate code you received when you signed up for that particular affiliate program. From there, you’ll make money any time someone buys a product or service through your link.
"Pretty much anything you are going to go through, someone else has already gone through. Pretty much any feeling you are going to have, someone else has already had. Any obstacle, any roadblock, ANYTHING! Someone has come up against them and figured out a way to get around them. Tap into that. Whether it's reading a book, reaching out or shadowing someone, get help and then do it better."

Bram Kanstein is an Amsterdam-based entrepreneur and co-founder of We Are Off The Record, a digital growth agency for startups. Bram also made Startup Stash, a curated directory of 400 resources and tools to help you build your Startup that has helped more than 300k+ entrepreneurs from around the world. Here's the best business advice Bram has to impart with entrepreneurs who want to start a business for the first time:
The best time for posting is individual for every brand. So, if you want to create a successful online marketing strategy, you will need to refer to your social media insights. Luckily, the majority of social media platforms provide businesses with the information regarding their post views, user engagement, customers geographic, their age, as well as the time when people are the most active. Also, use Google Analytics in order to see when your content is the most popular and share publications around these times for better results. That's #13 on the list of the most effective digital marketing tips for small businesses.
With the rising trend of DIY-products and online marketplaces that sell home-made crafts, people who have a knack for art, or just like crafting, have an outlet to sell their products to the public. With platforms like Etsy, artists and creatives now have a place where they can sell their merchandise, and customers can shop for unique products that can’t be bought at any local superstore.
A good entrepreneur will also be focused on learning and growing, both from a personal and professional standpoint. This means getting the latest certifications if needed, taking classes to improve communication skills, or subscribing to industry publications that provide vital information for future decisions. Actively and purposefully working towards improvement, and evolving their efforts, is a common theme for successful entrepreneurs.

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.
So how do you get others to link back to your Website and Blogposts? There are lots of ways, but one of the most widely used by professional Internet marketers is known as guest blogging. Guest blogging is exactly what it sounds like, you work with another Blog in your niche (preferably one with a large following) and offer to write a Blog post for them that their (and your) audience will value. It is commonplace in guest blogging that the author will be able to get a link back to their own site, either at the beginning or end of the article, and can sometimes link to their Blog posts within the article itself, where the information is relevant. In many instances, the other Blogger will also reciprocate and guest blog on your Site, which is a Win-Win, because you now get quality content from a recognized blogger.

Moz blog is useful for the viewers who are planning to move on with a career in SEO or dream to be SEO super hero. It’s a package of all the useful blog posts on handling every element related to the SEO strategy and practice, digital marketing industry news, SEO, or inbound marketing initiatives. One thing which made me the fan of these blogs is that it helps in keeping a track and understand the mechanics behind the latest SEO updates.


Another pitfall to avoid is over-dependence on a single income source. A good entrepreneur will avoid over-dependence by not letting a single client represent more than 25% of their income. If a single client or customer represents too much of your sales, what happens when they decide to stop doing business? You lose a significant portion of your income. 
The best things about Marketing Land is that it features daily breaking news stories about all aspects of the digital marketing industry so you can get most of your digital marketing news from the one place. The writers at Marketing Land often publish practical tips and strategies you can use in your own digital marketing campaigns. However, one of our favourite things about this website is that it features specialist articles written by subject matter experts.
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.
Some subjects are much better paid than others, so although you may love the idea of writing about travel (badly paid) a better bet would be a niche like finance (much higher rates of pay). Check out the Pro Blogger job board for high paid freelance writing jobs – other places to look might be Textbroker or you can look at the “gigs” section on Craigslist.
About Blog TIS India is a creative web design & development company that is passionate about the performance. We are specialized in offering services for Digital makeover, which includes Web design, Web development, Mobile applications etc. This Digital marketing agency blog provides tips on recent website designing trends, website development, digital marketing for better exposure, user experience and branding.
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.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs think that fast, rapid growth is the sign of a successful business. However, most businesses are built slowly, over years and even decades. Whenever possible, entrepreneurs will build slowly, starting with the very first sale and crawling forward. Building slowly allows you to learn and make adjustments before plunging headfirst into the business. Dealing with new situations provides valuable on-the-job entrepreneurship training you won’t get from any formal degree. In many cases, entrepreneurs will keep their day jobs while building the business in their spare time.
Nicole Skuba is the founder and CEO of Blue Tree Digital, a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in creative marketing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses. She learned HTML in 1995 and has been involved with the digital world ever since. Her marketing strategies have helped companies increase their pay-per-click conversion rates and increase leads using SEO.
What does that mean for you? It means Nielsen will pay you $50 a year to keep their app on your favorite internet browsing device. The app itself collects statistics on your internet usage anonymously, so you never have to worry about any data being linked to you. And the best part is, the app takes up barely any space and doesn’t slow down your phone or tablet at all!
The final step to starting an online business is actually getting your first customer. You cannot have the best online business without having great customers behind you. This involves discovering how to get in front of your audience, sending out the right message to entice customers, and devising a pricing structure that works for the majority of customers to effectively give customers what they need.
It’s not easy to convert a prospect into a customer. It is, however, relatively easy to convert your prospects into list subscribers. For many businesses, the email list – which prospects land on by volunteering their contact info in exchange for content – is the best asset they have. By sending a single email, you could make thousands of dollars in one day.
Using Fiverr is a great way to pick up work. Once you have signed up you can advertise your services. Fiver allows you to create your own gigs, whether you are offering web design, digital marketing, writing, or something else. You can choose how much you want to charge (it can be more than a fiver) and people will then contact you if they are interested in working with you. Fiverr will not only help you get experience if you are just starting off as a freelancer, but it will also help you earn some extra cash.
Do you have what it takes to get through hard times? Here are the traits that help home-based business owners thrive. Regardless of your definition of success, there are, oddly enough, a great number of common characteristics that are shared by successful businesspeople. You can place a check beside each characteristic that you feel that you possess.
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.

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.

Signing up with Google AdSense will enable you to make money from advertising on your blog. Google AdSense will place relevant ads around your site, and if your site visitors click on these ads, you will earn a fee. Although each click only amounts to small change, if your blog has high levels of traffic and lots of page views this will quickly amount to a reasonable sum.
About Blog Paul Writer is a B2B marketing agency that helps firms connect with current and future customers. Through our unrivalled access to senior executives in top organizations, we can deliver insight and expertise that helps enterprises reach and build meaningful relationships with their customers. We curate platforms and opportunities for the executives in our network to benefit from peer insights, structured learning, focused product knowledge, and recognition.
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.
When was the last time you went to a new restaurant without looking it up online beforehand? Or bought a product that didn’t have at least a few 5-star reviews? It seems like more and more our world is run on reviews. And you can make money online by writing them. Get started by creating accounts on sites like Vindale research, Software Judge, FameBit, CrowdTap, Influence Central, and Modern Mom. However, before you run off and start writing, be sure to check the small print on each of these sites. Writing reviews isn’t a huge source of guaranteed income and you want to make sure that it’s worth your time before you get going.
{grow} – Listed 5 out of 20 times, is a community to help businesses grow, from influencer Mark Schaefer, a renowned marketing and social media strategist and sought-after speaker at digital marketing workshops. Recent posts included: (i) The key decision in influencer outreach and why everyone is missing it, (ii) The business case for content marketing consistency, and (iii) How I make money: My 18 sources of online revenue.
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.

Vasil is a super connector for entrepreneurs. He's the CEO of Startup Socials, a global community of entrepreneurs that connects and empowers professionals working in the startup ecosystem. He's also the founder of Growth Marketing Conference, Silicon Valley's largest digital and growth marketing event. Here's his best business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business:
On this type of platform, consumers are not exposed to individual products but rather to offers each of which consists of multiple items sold by different independent sellers. The offers could be compared to a shop window where items are arranged in a creative, visually attractive way to maximise their appeal to customers. It’s no surprise that this innovative way of selling is popular with sellers of fashion and beauty products. Social shopping marketplaces provide tools to connect buyers with sellers, encourage feedback and at the same time function as an e-commerce facilitator for sellers and a shopping search engine for buyers. Popular sites in this category include Storenvy, Polyvore or Shopcade.
Instead, you’ll be following a proven strategy for maximizing views of multiple videos on a regular basis. You’ll be creating useful content…something engaging that people want to watch. And it works in many, many different niches. It could be a how-to video, a talking-head video on a topic of interest to people interested in your niche...the sky is the limit.
20. Etsy – If you like to create arts and crafts, you can sell them on Etsy.It’s completely free to open an Etsy store. You simply sign up, post pictures of your creations and starting selling. You can choose your payment option, but PayPal is generally the easiest. Etsy makes it easy to sell and keep track of your inventory. There is a small listing fee and they take 3.5% of every sale you make.
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.
John Chow was able to grow his blog from $0 revenue to more than $40,000 per month in just two years, working only two hours a day. Today, his blog is one of the biggest blogs on the Internet, welcoming more than 200,000 active daily readers and followers. His blog is ranked number 16 on the AdAge Power 150 list and number 1 in the list of the Top 50 Canadian Internet Marketing Blogs.

A good entrepreneur will also be focused on learning and growing, both from a personal and professional standpoint. This means getting the latest certifications if needed, taking classes to improve communication skills, or subscribing to industry publications that provide vital information for future decisions. Actively and purposefully working towards improvement, and evolving their efforts, is a common theme for successful entrepreneurs.
According to the U.S. Commerce Department, consumers spent $453.46 billion on the web for retail purchases in 2017, a 16.0% increase compared with $390.99 billion in 2016. That’s the highest growth rate since 2011, when online sales grew 17.5% over 2010. Forrester predicts that online sales will account for 17% of all US retail sales by 2022. And digital advertising is also growing strongly; According to Strategy Analytics, in 2017 digital advertising was up 12%, accounting for approximately 38% of overall spending on advertising, or $207.44 billion.
×