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:
If you hate the idea of writing you can always outsource that work to somebody else. But writing great content for an affiliate site really isn't that difficult. It just takes a bit of practice, and once you see those first commission checks you'll be up writing articles for your site before work, during your lunch break, and when you should be sound asleep in bed. Successful affiliate marketers can be real gluttons for punishment.
28. Subscription – If you think of something valuable (newsletter, online magazine, etc.) that you can consistently offer on a certain basis (weekly, monthly, etc.), you may want to offer a subscription service. This could be a fee charged each time your product is sent out or on a monthly basis. Either way, this has to be something that your customers can only get by subscribing to your website.
Trying to determine the entrepreneurship salary must be the ultimate challenge for a statistician. There are so many variables, including investments, taxes, certifications, product purchasing, and payroll, and any of these can quickly sap the earnings of an entrepreneur. So while you may sell $2 million worth of product, that doesn’t mean you will earn $2 million.
The best way you can launch a webinar business is to find a product you can promote and get behind. Then, build an excellent webinar. The Perfect Webinar is a formula originally developed by Fladlien but later brought to the mass market by Russell Brunson. Brunson also created a software with Jim Edwards called Funnell Scripts, which is an incredible piece of software that helps you to build your entire webinar including copy for ads and swipes.
The quote above comes from a blog article on How to Create Content to Attract Your Target Market. Porterfield says that once you know your target market well enough, creating content for them becomes surprisingly easy. This holds true whether that piece of content is a social media post, video, image or blog post. The key to great content is consistency, because it’s one of the primary ways a brand earns trust and respect. Porterfield also recommends diversifying your content (blog posts, series of images, podcast) and opening the conversation with your customers. She says you can start the conversation by identifying a commonly asked question and writing a post about it, or reviewing your three most popular social media posts in the last 6 months and finding the common thread to elaborate on.
"The most painful mistake I see entrepreneurs make is launching before learning. For example, you may decide you want to launch a marketing consulting company, so you hastily make a website, content and reach out to people, but you haven’t yet figured out who your target clientele is. What people actually need help with or what you're specifically good at. So no one bites."
Using various analytical tools the aim is to find keywords that have the highest potential to push an article on the top places in a list of search results. As 78% of users never scroll past Page 1 in search results, it is crucial for website owners to have content with keywords that rank well. Some of the tools that are used to perform keyword research are Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool and Keyword Suggestion Tool.

Case studies: Nothing grabs as much attention as a personal story. In fact, there are media that specialize on posting case studies mainly because of their high engagement potential. If it also contains a unique strategy, a new approach or angle, it has really good chances of being accepted by a prestigious blog. Personally, I hate writing about something that I’ve already read/written about before, so that’s why I often go with this option.
As well as giving opinions it’s important to guide companies on how to collect them. Research designs are, therefore, a critical component of any research process. It includes the formulation of survey texts and questions (e.g., textual, multiple choice, drop-down, Likert scale, ranking, file/image, questions, etc.). The surveys sometimes also need to be integrated with a website, database or mail marketing service provider (e.g., Mail Chimp).

Writing effective and grammatically correct resumes and cover letters is a struggle for many professionals. These type of writing services includes an analysis where clients are given guidance to determine their objectives, and define the skill set needed to achieve them. After that, the next step is selecting an appropriate format and choosing vocabulary which will appeal to a potential employer, without making the applicant sound arrogant and “too good to be true”. A good resume or cover letter needs to highlight an individual’s skills, be relevant to the position applied for and have a positive tone.

Online shoppers are getting more and more conscientious about their choices, and especially so when it comes to beauty products. Running a beauty shop that’s built on strong ethos and values that resonate with nature and animal lovers is one of the hottest online business ideas right now. Tropic Skin Care seems to be doing a great job connecting with these shoppers.


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.

No matter what method you choose to make money online, understand that you might be able to make some money fast, but for the sizable returns, you'll need significant sweat equity. However, a year from now, you'll be happy you started today. Remember, time is far more valuable than money. Focus on creating passive income streams that will free up your time so that you can quit the rat race and focus on the things that matter. 
As long as there is still the written word, there will always be editors. Freelance editing and proofreading not only pays a decent hourly wage, it also gives you the chance to read about potentially interesting topics too. What's more, pursuing freelance writing & editing as a business idea can afford you a lifestyle that lets you travel the world as a digital nomad. You can find lots of job postings from companies and individuals in need of writing, proofreading, and editing services on Contena, which makes this a high-demand opportunity to make money online.
Retain some control. If you upload photos of yourself, or friends/family with consent, it's worth going for the 'rights managed' licence option – otherwise you'll have little to no control over how your images are used (eg, you could star in an ad for haemorrhoid cream). See Alamy's page on understanding stock image licensing for more on the different types of licences.

There are many ways to get people onto your list. Lead magnets are one such resource. For example, you can build ebooks, checklists and cheat sheets. But you can also do content upgrades, such as PDF versions of an article with added resources in them, four-part video training series, and more. Think about your audience and what you can offer them to better serve them, then treat them with some respect and you'll eventually reap the rewards.

If you have a fondness and talent for taking pictures you can make extra money online by becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like ShutterStock or iStockPhoto. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
One of my mentors/business partners sold his business to Richard Branson and has had some pretty wild success. When I asked him the single most important advice he could give me about being an entrepreneur, he said: “Your health is your most important asset. You can be the most successful person in the world, but that won’t matter if you don’t have your health.”
Better yet, you can even upload your own book to one of the world’s largest book sellers: Amazon. With Amazon self-publishing, you set the price, retain the rights to your book, and get access to Amazon’s massive audience. For every sale, you keep 70% with Amazon taking the remainder as a fee. If you want to get started, check out Leslie Samuel's great guide to selling eBooks online or follow Tara Gentile on CreativeLive as she shows you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Who knows, you might just write one of the best business books of this year!
It also doesn’t take much to get started with this type of business. Set up your blog, shoot those videos, advertise on Facebook, and build an audience. With 3.2 billion people or 40% of the global population as internet users, there’s no better reason to take advantage of these figures when you sell your informational products. Going online is indeed the way to go!
Owning a “real” business means you need to think about bank loans or financing, leases, maintaining inventory, business insurance, finding staff, training staff, etc. You then need to factor in finding a prime location for your business. If you don't have enough footfall then you can expect to be shutting up shop in as little as a few months. In fact, 50% of small brick-and-mortar businesses fail within their first 3 years.
This has become a popular business model for online entrepreneurs over the past several years, and will probably just continue to grow in popularity. The best thing about selling online courses is that once you do the up-front work in creating the course and setting up your marketing strategy, you can get paid over and over again for work you do once.

"While entrepreneurship is a continuous learning process, there still needs to be a solid foundation in order to grow the company. The amount of money you initially invest may not even be a fraction of the total amount needed, when accounting for mistakes and unforeseen events along the way. It's difficult to balance a lean environment with needing the online business tools to truly succeed. You don't want to find yourself in a bind where you can't hire the talent necessary to complete task the right way, and you definitely will not have the time to learn everything yourself."
Outsourcing is the new and dominant wave of the business world. As businesses shed employees, they increasingly turn to independent contractors to supply what in-house staff used to do. One of the ways they do this is through virtual assistants. These are people who provide certain tasks online. Businesses can use virtual assistants as much or as little as they need to. If you can make yourself available to multiple businesses, you might have plenty of work without ever leaving your house.
The digital marketer usually focuses on a different key performance indicator (KPI) for each channel so they can properly measure the company's performance across each one. A digital marketer who's in charge of SEO, for example, measures their website's "organic traffic" -- of that traffic coming from website visitors who found a page of the business's website via a Google search.
App Annie is the most trusted source for the latest in app news, data, and trends, and is cited by industry leaders worldwide. We love coming here to read what’s happening in the world of mobile apps to better understand where the money is headed next. In addition to their in-depth reports, App Annie offers free webinars on app store optimization and advice on how to be successful in the growing app economy.
As long as there is still the written word, there will always be editors. Freelance editing and proofreading not only pays a decent hourly wage, it also gives you the chance to read about potentially interesting topics too. What's more, pursuing freelance writing & editing as a business idea can afford you a lifestyle that lets you travel the world as a digital nomad. You can find lots of job postings from companies and individuals in need of writing, proofreading, and editing services on Contena, which makes this a high-demand opportunity to make money online.
"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."
One of the most beautiful and exciting qualities about blogging is that you can create a blog that deals with any subject area that you are either knowledgeable or passionate about (and preferably both!). You can write about personal finance, careers, real estate, getting into business, technology, cooking, travel, personal health, or just about any topic you choose.
This concept is similar to the ‘Daily deals’ sites. The difference is that daily-deal sites offer discounts on individual purchases, whereas with group-buying there is a need for several buyers to place an order to the deal. Once the deal goes live, the customers are sent discount vouchers via email. It’s also worth noting that group-buying is usually aimed at a local market. The best-known sites in this sector are Groupon and Wowcher UK.
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.
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?
That's where Swagbucks comes in. Marketers and brands literally pay Swagbucks users to try their products and services. In many cases, the amount of money that marketers pay will cover a portion of the cost of the product or service itself. However, there are some cases where companies reward users with more than the cost of the service. This is often the case with subscription services where advertisers want to entice consumers into an initial trial of their service with the hope that consumers will stay subscribed after the trial period.
Jim is the Founder and CEO of Owler, a crowdsourced competitive intelligence platform. Prior to Owler, Jim founded Jigsaw in 2003 and was CEO until it was acquired by Salesforce in 2010 for $175 million. Before his career in technology, Jim was owner and operator of Lookout Pass, a ski resort in Idaho, and served in the U.S. Navy as a diving and salvage officer. He's seriously the man. Here's Jim's business advice to first-time entrepreneur who want to start a business:
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.
Blogging is a great path to choose especially if you have a keen interest in a particular area and feel that you can share valuable or entertaining information with others. Building a profitable blog requires high-quality content that is regularly posted to keep audiences interested in coming back to your website. A good way of trying out this particular writing career is guest posting on other people’s blogs. This way you can not only test your skills but also build a good reputation. The most commonly used free content management platforms for blogging are WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and Hubpages.

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.


Usability testing is a technique used to evaluate a product by letting users try its features for free and record the process while doing it. This usability exercise gives direct information on how real users use a system and shows if its features are user-friendly or perhaps need some work. This type of testing can be used to assess features of websites, apps or various devices.
Find your niche partners, collaborators, and champions: As you’re creating your course, look for notable people who are also creating content in the space. Look att how their businesses operate and incorporate that into your own plan. You can also reach out to any influencers and make them affiliates for your own course. This way, they’ll be incentivized to share your content with their own audiences (which can be a major way to generate your first sales—it helps if you're using one of the best CRMs for small business—and start building your own community!)
The quote above comes from a CIO article titled 8 Expert Online Marketing Tips for Small Businesses by Jennifer Lonoff Schiff. In it, Skuba states that webinars could have a 70 percent rebound effect, both from broadcast viewers and other individuals. Content-rich, relevant webinars could also potentially maintain attention because they are more interactive. Just make sure they are well-organized and hosted by an experienced speaker.
Pro tip for first-timers: Carefully consider the pay rates that are listed. Penny Hoarder Carson Kohler has used the platform to find freelance writing gigs, and she reports low rates — like $3 for 500 written words. It’s probably not worth it. (And, yes, you’ll have to scroll through a whole lot of these low-paying listings to find the good ones.)
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Most of the software and apps you use on a regular basis are made by massive companies or established development studios. Well, yes. But many successful apps, particularly those in the Apple and Google stores, are created and marketed by individuals and small businesses. In fact, independent developers made $20 billion in the App Store in 2016 alone.
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:
One approach that has worked well for me over the years is to pinpoint the best minds in the industry and follow their every move. Listen to their podcasts, read their blogs, watch their YouTube videos, and keep up to date with their social posts. The key is to find a small group of trusted thought leaders who are renowned for breaking news, challenging the status quo, and turning up day after day with great content.
You can indeed write a book on their behalf. Although your name might not appear in the book, but you are sure of being rewarded adequately for your services. It could be a pay off or on percentage based on the number of copies of the book sold within a period of time et al. All the same it is a good way of making cool cash from the connection you can make with people online.
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.
The quote above comes from a blog article on How to Create Content to Attract Your Target Market. Porterfield says that once you know your target market well enough, creating content for them becomes surprisingly easy. This holds true whether that piece of content is a social media post, video, image or blog post. The key to great content is consistency, because it’s one of the primary ways a brand earns trust and respect. Porterfield also recommends diversifying your content (blog posts, series of images, podcast) and opening the conversation with your customers. She says you can start the conversation by identifying a commonly asked question and writing a post about it, or reviewing your three most popular social media posts in the last 6 months and finding the common thread to elaborate on.
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.
If you offer freelance services or have a physical services business, then creating a blog is a must. On your blog, you can write about the services you offer and how they will benefit your clients. Importantly you can add a ‘Services’ page, outlining the services you provide, what they include, and any other important information potential clients may need. This is an effective way to promote your services, generate leads, and increase your revenue.
There are many ways to get people onto your list. Lead magnets are one such resource. For example, you can build ebooks, checklists and cheat sheets. But you can also do content upgrades, such as PDF versions of an article with added resources in them, four-part video training series, and more. Think about your audience and what you can offer them to better serve them, then treat them with some respect and you'll eventually reap the rewards.

What the entrepreneurship definition doesn’t tell you is that entrepreneurship is what people do to take their career and dreams into their hands and lead it in the direction of their own choice. It’s about building a life on your own terms. No bosses. No restricting schedules. And no one holding you back. Entrepreneurs are able to take the first step into making the world a better place, for everyone in it.


There are a variety of tasks that you may be asked to perform. This can include delivering documents, delivering food or restaurant meals, taking pictures of a building for a real estate developer, taking pictures of a menu in an upscale restaurant, or even delivering auto-parts. If you have a good working car (or even a good bicycle), time on your hands, and a lot of energy, this can be a real opportunity to make money online.

“Ask more questions, always. Assess whether “the one method” people are telling you is the only way to go, even makes sense for you and your topic or audience. I’ve found more engaged audience members and more sales waiting on the other side of ignoring traditional advice and focusing on key questions about what my audience needs than through re-creating systems that others have used. Ask more questions, always. Does it apply to you? How can you use it without the elements of it that you don’t like? What would utterly surprise your audience at this point? If you’re asking yourself “Should I do webinars or a 10-day challenge to promote my course?”, ask instead, “In a world where webinars/challenges don’t exist, how would I ideally help people and share my product with them?” – Regina Anaejionu
×