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.

The music industry might not be as strong as it was in the 80s, but there are still plenty of ways to make money online as a musician. Sites like SoundBetter let you sell your services as a songwriter, producer, or session musician to thousands of customers a month. While Musicbed, Music Vine, Marmoset, and SongFreedom are perfect for licensing your music to TV shows, movies, and web series.

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.
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.

Believe it or not, we keep up with blogs by a familiar and comfortable (for me) method: email. I subscribe via email and read (or at least scan) nearly 50 blogs that way. It’s actually far more than that because several of the sources I devour are actually email aggregators that pull the best posts from many, many blogs. I find that gives me the best coverage.
Our main view is that, businesses have one of two choices, when it comes to internet marketing and growing quickly: First, they can choose to keep spending their hard-earned profit revenue into more and more expensive advertising, which often brings in minimal, below average results. Alternatively, they can simply learn many of the internet marketing methods and strategies that Professional Internet Marketers use daily themselves, to generate new business from their clients. When you don’t have to pay a high-priced marketing or advertising agency, to do things that you can easily do for your business, you get to hold onto more of your profits and save.

But that is not the case with this dispensation; with the invention of the internet and of course good and reliable software, you be somewhere in Port Harcourt, Nigeria and place a bet online from a sport betting site that is located in Las Vegas, United States, for a football match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United in United Kingdom. Distance is no longer a barrier when it comes to placing bets on any of your favorite sports. So if you love sports and you love betting, then you should consider starting your own online sport betting business.


Tony is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, philanthropist and the nation’s #1 life and business strategist. A recognized authority on the psychology of leadership, negotiations and organizational turnaround, he has served as an advisor to leaders around the world for more than 38 years. He's also the author of five internationally bestselling books, including the recent New York Times #1 best-seller MONEY: Master The Game. Tony has empowered more than 50 million people from 100 countries through his audio, video and life training programs. Here's his business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business:
Find work. When you first start out, you may have to accept work writing about a topic you don’t find all that interesting. You must keep an open mind and be willing to accept work that may not be in your desired field. However, as you continue to write, you not only learn about more topics, but you also build your reputation. With time, you can be choosier about assignments you want to accept.[19]

Blogs are one of the most successful ways to start an online business. Bloggers like Darren Rowse, John Lee Dumas and Pat Flynn are making six-figure incomes, and they are not alone. Our founder, Syed Balkhi, has built an eight-figure online business that started with a blog. There are also thousands of bloggers running very successful blogs as their full-time online business.
Occam’s Razor – Listed 5 out of 20 times. Another great blog with a slightly different approach than the other players around. Recent posts include: (i) Digital Analytics + Marketing Career Advice: Your Now, Next, Long Plan, (ii) Stop All Social Media Activity (Organic) | Solve For A Profitable Reality, (iii) Artificial Intelligence: Implications On Marketing, Analytics, And You.

He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.


Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Running a business can be challenging, and it takes hard work and perseverance to achieve a high level of success. Whether you’re already in business, or looking to start a business, it pays to heed the advice of others who have walked in your shoes. I asked a few self-made millionaire entrepreneurs to share their advice for being successful in business. Here’s what they had to say:
For budding entrepreneurs, with the business in a very nascent stage, it is often difficult to create a user base or a customer base. This is because you are fresh off the boat and not many people know about you. This is the time to leverage your personal network, seek leads, and ask for recommendations. There is nothing wrong in asking for help from friends and family. That’s how every successful business has grown out of! Your friends can refer your products or services to their friends, colleagues, peers, etc. and you will land your first set of clients or users.
"Choose the one thing that will move the needle for you and your business. When you try to be the best podcaster, blogger, author, business coach and event producer all at the same time, you end up being mediocre at all of them. Pick one (like learning how to master the art and science of cold emailing). Focus. And work it, hard. One piece of bonus advice: As a newer business owner, one of the biggest ROI's you’ll get is from investing in growing your email list. Whether you plan on offering a mastermind, writing books or producing online summits, you’ll need a powerful, engaged email list. Make that a focus from day one. If you want to hear the best advice that over 60 online experts and world-class business owners have on list building, check out the online event of the year, List Building School. It’s free, and it’s epic. Ryan here is one of our amazing speakers too!"
Find a profitable niche: We’ve talked about this a lot. But, where are you most comfortable. What niche do your skills, values, and interests intersect? Do you have 10 years of experience as a technical writer? Do you have long-standing PR relationships that’ll be invaluable in helping startups launch a successful crowdfunding campaign? Determine what makes your value unique, and lean heavily on showcasing that strength to your potential clients.

We talked about drop shipping and how it works. But fulfillment by Amazon, (FBA) works in the opposite way. Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) lets you sell your products on Amazon. You can leverage this company’s popularity to get your products out there, and they’ll do the rest for you. Amazon will handle storage, pickup, packing, shipping, and even customer service!
All of my accomplishments to date related to professional and personal development have come from setting specific short- and long-term goals. Without formalizing them, it's easy to let the daily routine and unexpected take over. Then, before you know it, years have passed without achieving the goals you had in mind. Here are four tips that I've used that might be helpful to other entrepreneurs who want to see their goals through.

If you live in an area where Uber or Lyft operate, why not become a driver? If you're looking to make some short-term cash, you can definitely rake it in by working for one of these popular car-hire apps. As long as your vehicle fits within the specifications of their program, and you have a clean license, you could do this on the side, especially if you're in a crunch for cash.
Running and charging for webinars can be a great way to build a following in your niche, demonstrate that you are an expert in your field, and make a profit. Hosting a webinar can be hard work. They need to first be promoted, provide original and valuable information, and include interactive elements so your audience can ask questions and engage with your topic. However, once you have built up a large blog following, each webinar can be extremely profitable.
If you know how to design website, you should not restrict the marketing of your website design services to people you can see and visit within your location. There is a large market within the online community waiting to be tapped. All you need to do is to list your services online and if you are good, you will attract clients from all over the world.
It’s not the sort of online money making opportunity that’s covered in glory, but everyone needs a set of eyes to make sure the numbers add up at the end of the year. Every business and most individuals need someone to help prepare tax returns, especially time or resource-strapped small business owners. The Income Tax School provides an array of training programs that'll certify you with tax prep in as little as 10 weeks, and once tax season rolls around you'll be able to charge an average of $229 per return as a freelance tax preparer with this side business idea, reports CNBC.
Also, entrepreneurs will often keep personal and work finances separated. In order to set budgets and pay yourself properly, it is recommended that entrepreneurs have separate bank accounts for money that belongs to the business and money that belongs to the person. This might seem like a trivial difference, but it can affect how you work and how you spend.

There are quite literally hundreds of clever ways to make money online. From taking online surveys, to renting or selling your old clothes, flipping your iPhone to someone in a different country, and even buying low-cost products locally, just to resell them for a higher price on Amazon. There’s truly no shortage of unique ways to make money online.


Press releases are used to inform the public about products, services or activities of an organisation in an appealing way. They need to be newsworthy and give enough information to get people curious at the same time. The structure of the content in a press release is usually based on the inverted pyramid metaphor – used widely in media and journalism. At the very least, a press release should answer 5Ws and 1H: Who? Did What? Where? When? Why? How?
While the obvious purpose of internet marketing is to sell goods, services or advertising over the internet, it's not the only purpose a business using internet marketing may have; a company may be marketing online to communicate a message about itself (building its brand) or to conduct research. Online marketing can be a very effective way to identify a target market or discover a marketing segment's wants and needs. (Learn more about conducting market research).
These days, it seems like everyone is hoping to become an entrepreneur and come up with “the next big thing”. Who can blame them? When successful, the benefits to owning a startup are obvious: being your own boss, creating something from scratch, bringing value to the people around you and, of course, making a bit of coin along the way. But the key phrase in that equation is, “when successful.” Too often, startups fail – 75 percent of them, to be exact, says The Harvard Business Review. So what goes wrong?
Different online income streams to begin your online business could be ebooks and online courses, niche websites, membership programs, software development, consultation programs and packaging existing content to sell as a bundle. Ducker says “It all comes down to knowing who you’re helping, what their problems are, and most importantly – creating a solution to a problem that they will happily part with a little hard earned cash for.”
Our main view is that, businesses have one of two choices, when it comes to internet marketing and growing quickly: First, they can choose to keep spending their hard-earned profit revenue into more and more expensive advertising, which often brings in minimal, below average results. Alternatively, they can simply learn many of the internet marketing methods and strategies that Professional Internet Marketers use daily themselves, to generate new business from their clients. When you don’t have to pay a high-priced marketing or advertising agency, to do things that you can easily do for your business, you get to hold onto more of your profits and save.
If before now you are discouraged about starting your own Bible school because of the cost of renting facility and acquiring furniture et al, then you don’t need to be discouraged anymore because with the internet, you will spend far less starting an online Bible School compared to what you will spend when setting up a brick and mortar Bible School.
Michelle is an entrepreneur and blogger that runs the personal finance and lifestyle blog, Making Sense of Cents. Since 2011, she’s been using her background in finance to write great content and grow her blog business to over $70,000 in revenue per month. Here's her business advice for new entrepreneurs who want to start a business and become gainfully self-employed:
How much will you make? I think my best month with Google AdSense was almost $5,000 over the last ten years. That amazing month blew my mind since it was actually near the beginning of my blogging journey. When you go from making zero to $5,000 in a month, that will rock your world. For me, it also got me even more excited because I knew there were other ways to monetize.
Marketing for small businesses is difficult. Knowing what to do or where to start can be overwhelming and confusing. What works for one business may not work for another. What you as a business owner have to do is find out what works for your business. There are different types of marketing strategies when it comes to internet marketing, but these five tips should help you to see success no matter which tool or platform you use.
They can’t get a job: Many stumble into entrepreneurship when they can’t get a job. Getting fired, a lack of experience or a criminal record can prevent the average person from getting a job when they’re desperate. Instead of being defeated by their situation, they create new opportunities for themselves. A new graduate might start an online store the summer after graduation to build up their resume. A parent who is seasonally laid off each winter might start a business to ensure they can continue feeding their family while keeping a roof over their heads.

"To prevent disasters like this, I recommend taking a 50% upfront payment before you even start, then taking the final 50% before any final files are provided. Any client not willing to work this way is unlikely to ever pay and should be avoided. I also strongly advise freelancers to have a written freelance contract, signed by the client, detailing what’s been agreed upon and what will happen in various different circumstances. This will give you ammo should your client be unreasonable, and will also add a level of professionalism and credibility to your service."

The quote above was taken from a Search Engine Watch article by Raehsler titled 5 AdWords Optimization Checkpoints You May Be Missing. Negative keywords help ensure your message only appears to interested audiences, and this added level of control can increase click-through rate and decrease average cost-per-click. For example, if your company sells wall calendars, your negative keywords could be “Mayan” and “do it yourself.” This would keep your ads from appearing to anyone searching for “Mayan calendars” or “do it yourself calendars.”


“Our Facebook Group is not just a group, it’s a community and we have organically grown it to over 20,000 members in a little over a year. I help promote other people, we celebrate other women often, and truly practice collaboration over competition. I think that I have grown such a strong following not only because I create good, logical, content, but I have created a trusted brand that is uplifting, but also fun.” – Dana Malstaff
Have you ever thought about writing eBooks for a living? Or as part of your online business expansion, have you considered how to write an eBook and make money? Whether you’re a writer or not, gone are the days when you had to carry a physical book around to feed your desire to read. Put technology and mobility together, and you’ll have an entire library of eBooks or digital books right in your mobile device that you can browse anytime, anywhere.

Backlinks can make a huge difference for your website’s SEO. A backlink is when another website links to a page on your site. When you get a backlink from a site that has a higher domain authority than you do, it sends a signal to Google that your site is credible which can improve your rankings. Think of it like one of your superiors at a previous job writing a recommendation letter for you. That’s how the search engines see it. The more recommendations or backlinks you have, the more likely you are to move up in search rankings!


Throughout your customer journey, there are bound to be moments when timely intervention on your part makes the difference between a sale and a “let me think about it.” Make sure that your marketing supports sales in finding these moments – whether it means sending automated follow-up emails to prospects that leave the road or designing new offers.
Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik contains a whole host of blog posts on every aspect of Google Analytics. You’ll find in-depth how-to guides and information on a wide range of topics, including qualitative analysis, competitive intelligence analysis, analytics tips, web metrics and more. Author of two bestselling books (‘Web Analytics 2.0’ and ‘Web Analytics: An Hour a Day’), Avinash Kaushik is one of the world’s leading experts on Google Analytics – we’d take his advice.
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