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:
Offering specific online SEO services is also another online freelancer role that businesses are crying out for. If you know how to improve a website’s SEO by doing keyword research, creating content that can rank in search engines, adding metadata/schema to posts and pages, and building backlinks to a domain, to name a few tasks, then this could be a great line of work for you.
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.
Jon is the New York Times best-selling author of five books, including Do Over. He’s helped some of the biggest brands in the world tell their story, including The Home Depot, Bose and Staples. Now, he speaks to hundreds of thousands of people annually and reaches over 4 million readers on his blogs. Here's his business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business:
"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."

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.
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.
This is a great way to make extra cash if you’re always plugged in to the events around your city. It’s also a great way to deal with wanting to go to an event, but not being sure you’ll be able to make it. You can just buy the tickets, and if your plans don’t work out, sell them on StubHub for a profit! Keep in mind that StubHub takes a 15% commission on all sales, so make sure your prices are set where you want them to be!
Has anyone ever told you you have a voice for radio? Are you great at creating original characters with just your voice? There are tons of people looking to pay for quality voice overs for their corporate videos, animation series, or educational videos. Check out Fiverr and UpWork or create a profile on a specialized site like Voices.com or The Voice Realm to get started making money online doing voice overs.
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.

Formatting is used to make documents appear more professional and visually appealing for a reader. This task involves selecting an appropriate font for plain text (headings, subheadings paragraphs, etc.), choosing the colour of the font, dividing texts into paragraphs, bullet points or numbering, headers and footers, writing quotations in the right way and, if need be, adding bibliographic references.
Provide excellent customer service. Answer any questions buyers post as quickly as possible. Be professional and courteous. Positive communication builds your reputation with buyers and gets you return business. Also, package your product well and ship it out quickly. Allowing an item to become damaged or taking too long to ship can negatively affect your reputation among buyers. Wrap all items, especially fragile ones, in appropriate packaging. Commit to shipping items as soon as you receive payment.[32]
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.

"Many new CEOs are hyper-focused on making their MVP, but they don’t really have a long-term vision for how to make their companies profitable. I would recommend designating marketing and sales as a day-one priority. This will help your business earn fans before the MVP ships and ensures that what you create is truly something that a customer will want to pay for."
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.
Many startups succeed because they’ve identified a niche and have cornered that market. By discovering a service, product or feature no one else has thought of – or at least effectively pulled off – you give your company a shot at success. George Shepherd, Professor of Law at Emory University, recommends entrepreneurs “become the guru in that niche.”

Formatting is used to make documents appear more professional and visually appealing for a reader. This task involves selecting an appropriate font for plain text (headings, subheadings paragraphs, etc.), choosing the colour of the font, dividing texts into paragraphs, bullet points or numbering, headers and footers, writing quotations in the right way and, if need be, adding bibliographic references.
Running a startup requires entrepreneurs to be unbelievably resourceful. Many start-ups don’t always have the most lavish set of resources and money needed to scale up the business as they would like to. Almost 90% of the start-ups are bootstrapped, have limited access to money and resources required to perform certain tasks, or hire employees or freelancers, or even consultants; which essentially means that they have to perform most of the tasks on their own within the limited resources available at hand. This means making difficult choices, what all things to invest in, what all to not spend on.
Once you’ve had children, many parents find themselves caught in the trap of needing to work but wanting to stay home with their kids. Creating your own parenting blog can not only be a way to make some money, but it can also help you connect with other parents and make sense of those crazy sleepless early parenting years (it does get easier don’t worry!)
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.
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.

As someone who's been immersed in a number of online industries for quite some time, I know a thing or two about what it takes to succeed in this arena. However, just like you, I started at ground zero with little knowledge, but a great deal of passion. What I learned along the way were some invaluable lessons from failure that hurt at the time, but helped immensely in the grand scheme of things.
This is the best blog for the advanced world who need to think about computerized advertising what not. You gave such an incredible data, to the point that will be exceptionally valuable for who need to learn computerized advertising. I know more data profoundly about every computerized benefit. On the off chance that conceivable you can share your more blog with us. Much obliged to you for your such an incredible blog.
Of course we have to include our very own ROI Factor Blog. We take pride in our work, and we enjoy discussing a number of different topics that shape the industry in which we operate. Our digital marketing blog prompts a number of different conversations from digital trends, to marketing innovation and best practices. We balance the scale between the importance of technical and results-driven marketing, and creative campaigns, and work to highlight everything in between through our bi-weekly posts. From strategy, design, and marketing, to website and mobile app development, you can find it all here at BFM. Digital marketing blogs are a great way to stay on top of what is going on in this rapidly-changing industry. Are there any digital marketing blogs that you love that we missed on our list? Comment below or tweet us @BFMweb.
When people think about business, it’s common to boil matters down to the finances. And it certainly is possible to use numbers to measure and predict the performance of a start-up business. Net worth, gross margin, customer acquisition cost – these can all be indicators of success. But, a start-up can post impressive numbers for a while, perhaps even attract large investors, and still shut down in the end. So does this make it a failure?

With the immense amount of information on the Internet and users largely having the control to view exactly what they want, getting your product in front of potential customers can be challenging to say the least. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what works (and what fails terribly) when it comes to marketing online. Today, times are tough. Most companies have little room left in their tight budget when it comes to marketing. Here are 7 tips to follow to develop a successful online marketing strategy on your startups limited budget.  

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.

It’s easy to get started with Swell. You just need $50. You can invest in clean water, zero waste, disease eradication, renewable energy, and more. They don’t have any trading fees. It charges 0.75% as an annual fee, which means if you invest $500 you’ll pay about $3.75 – as a result, it’s perfect for the small investor who wants to ensure their money goes to a good cause while seeing a good return.
If you are an app developer with amazing skills why not try your hand at an internet business in app development. Apps are an amazing lucrative market so it is not surprising that more and more companies are investing in them. This means that there is a rising need for app developers to create their applications. Being an app developer is a great online business opportunity as you can work on vastly different applications on a daily basis.
Take Indique hair for example. This is one of their Facebook ads for their product of the month which is for premium hair extensions. When a customer clicks on this ad they are immediately taken to this landing page for the product of the month. Both the ad and landing page tell the customer the same or similar information and say that there is a discount.

As well as selling your eBooks, Amazon can also create paperback copies of your book. CreateSpace, an Amazon-owned company, will help you self-publish your book. A relatively straightforward process, you must upload your work to CreateSpace and submit it for review. Your book will then be displayed on Amazon, and printed on demand and shipped by CreateSpace when purchased. And you can collect up to 70% royalties for each book sold.

If you don’t mind doing other people’s chores, then TaskRabbit is a great option for making money online. Earn extra income by walking your neighbor’s dog or mowing Mr. Smith’s lawn. It might seem like not the most lucrative option, but the top taskers reportedly earn as much as $7000 a month, making this a full-time way to make money online for some.
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.

If you are an app developer with amazing skills why not try your hand at an internet business in app development. Apps are an amazing lucrative market so it is not surprising that more and more companies are investing in them. This means that there is a rising need for app developers to create their applications. Being an app developer is a great online business opportunity as you can work on vastly different applications on a daily basis.


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.


Best of all, unlike a brick-and-mortar business, you don’t need a lot of startup capital. In fact, you can get many internet businesses up and running with no money at all because so many free services facilitate the possibility. For example, you can set up a website or blog for free using WordPress. Or you can leverage a third-party site like Amazon or eBay to sell goods with no inventory costs. You use their selling platform in exchange for giving them a cut of your sales.

If you live in a country that attracts thousands of visitors / tourists, then you can look towards starting your online hotel booking business. All you need to do is to enter into partnership with hotels around you so that when people book their hotels from your website, they will pay you commission based on the agreement you have with the management of the hotel.
White labeling products involve purchasing pre-made products from a supplier and then adding your own labeling and branding. Products could range from candles to gym equipment or even tea, but all will come without labels, allowing you to create your own new range of merchandise. Most suppliers will advertise the fact they offer white labeled goods on their websites, so pick your niche and then find the right supplier and product for you. Once labeled, products can be sold via sites like eBay and Amazon, or from your own eCommerce store (discussed in a moment).
As more people want to establish their presence online no matter what their reason, the demand for WordPress themes and website templates continue to rise. Do you have a talent for designing websites and html coding? If so, you can make big bucks from creating attractive website themes. Create them and then sell them on marketplaces online like ThemeForest and TemplateMonster to generate a nice passive income for yourself depending on just how talented you are.
Travel blogging is a hard industry to break into. However, the rewards can be worth it, and let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be paid for traveling around the world! There are numerous ways to monetize a travel blog, but affiliate marketing should predominantly be your focus. On your blog, promote hotels, tours, equipment hire services, flights, and anything else travel related. Then take a cut of the proceeds as your audience books their holidays based on your recommendations.

In multi-level marketing programs, the sales force is rewarded not only for the sales they close but also for sales by people they’ve recruited to the program, though always beware pyramid schemes that are discugised as multi-level marketing programs. Generally speaking if recruitment and intiation fees are better paid/rewarded than sales it’s likely a pyriamid scheme.
Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to make money online doing something you love via a niche website. That of course, is easier said than done. Creating a profitable niche website takes time and is not intended for the faint of heart. But, if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business idea you’re thinking about is profitable, then you can begin building it and eventually monetize through advertising, affiliates, or other relevant products.
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.

The internet is the great equalizer. In business specifically, it has leveled the playing field. Anyone can start a money-making online business—anyone with a computer, that is. But here’s the thing: virtually no technical experience is needed. You don’t have to know how to build websites—no programming knowledge is required at all. Today there are plenty of tools that you can use to build an online business that makes the technical work a lot easier than it was in the past.


9. Post online video. Video is still a little cutting-edge for some, but the benefits can’t be understated. Online video is the wave of the future, and every business needs to have something on YouTube, Metacafe, etc. If you’re concerned about expense here, keep in mind there are some low-budget options that won’t damage your brand while still providing concrete benefits.
If you’re a business owner who owns a website, you’ll probably want to involve yourself in internet marketing. Otherwise, your website is practically useless. There are a lot of things that potential customers are looking for about your business – such as information, graphical representations (in layman’s term: pictures), history, reputation, and the list goes on and on. You have to satisfy the curiosity and doubts of your customer or your business will go nowhere.
Being an online freelance writer is one type of skill that you can use to make money online. But there are a wide variety of other skills that can be used in a similar manner. Every website and blog on the Internet needs technical skills. This can include graphic design, web design, search engine optimization, social media marketing and promotion, content editing, and so much more.
Facebook continues to expand and grow. Therefore businesses are spending more on Facebook ads. But here’s the problem: a lot of old school businesses don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to Facebook ads. Even newer companies don’t have the time it takes to learn the ins and outs so that they get the most return on their Facebook ads investment.

7. Conduct webinars. "Use webinars to build your list and generate leads," says Nicole Skuba, a partner at marketing firm Blue Tree Digital. "Webcast experts say some webinars see a 70 percent rebound effect comprising those who viewed the live broadcast as well as new individuals," she says. "Webinars are also more interactive and keep the attention of leads or potential clients."
The really cool thing about outsourcing these virtual jobs to say the Philippines or India is that you can spend your time during the day meeting up with clients and by the evening, you can send out your assignments to your virtual team. Because of the time differences, they can work on those assignments overnight, so you’re able to get twice as much work done with this online business model.
Sujan is a growth marketer and co-founder of the content marketing agency, Web Profits. He also runs MailShake, Narrow.io and jumps out of airplanes in his free time—but seriously, Sujan has some impressive marketing skills and he (unknowingly) taught me much of what I've learned about how to drive traffic to my website. Here's his best business advice for first-time entrepreneurs who want to start a business today:
Creating a jobs board website can be another profitable venture. The ‘jobs’ field can be quite saturated, so it is important to find a niche that is still crying out for a jobs board website. Monetize this type of site by charging businesses to list their jobs on your site. Those searching for jobs could also be charged a fee to access the higher paying job adverts.
Research other listings in your city on AirBnB and see what the going rate is for a place like yours. You could also just rent out a private room as well or even a bed in a shared room. In fact, that's how AirBnB got its start. However, you might find it hard in the beginning without reviews, but as long as you take really good care of your guests and provide a lot of value, the reviews will eventually come rolling in. 

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.
Infographics are currently an extremely popular type of media. An infographic showing information or data in an interesting and fun way can help engage an audience and generate numerous likes and shares. As infographics take more time to create than just simply uploading an image, busy website owners are prepared to pay for custom infographics. And don’t worry, an infographic can be created using simple design software such a Canva. So extensive graphic design skills are not necessary, just a creative eye.
Now that you know who your target market is and have set goals, plan your budget accordingly. The good thing about online marketing is that you can be successful even when on a tight budget. A lot of platforms are available at no charge. However, sticking solely with free forms of online marketing might not be the best strategy for your company. Carefully determine what outlets are most necessary for your product and be willing to spend some money to get results.  
Mentoring is about passing on valuable skills, knowledge and insight to a mentee with the purpose of helping them develop their abilities. While coaching is used in a variety of fields, mentoring is usually employed in organisations as a way of efficiently transferring valuable competencies from one person to another. Therefore the mentor and mentee tend to have different seniority levels.

Okay, it can be rather difficult to make a living solely from this but it’s a great place to start if you’re planning to build your own mystery shoppers’ army. Customer experience is one of the biggest obsessions of online and offline retailers, so there’s great potential here! Take a look at some of the existing platforms like Mystery Shopper and Secret Shopping.
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.
Double check yourself, before you double wreck yourself. Make sure everything you send to a company, whether a résumé, an email or a portfolio, is good to go. Double check your grammar and wording, and for God’s sake use spell check! This is especially important when it comes to the company’s name. Don’t spell their name wrong and be sure to type it how they type it (e.g. Problogger, not Pro Blogger).
To work in customer service, it is important that you have a noise-free environment so that you can listen to customers and respond in the appropriate way. One basic requirement for this type of position is a landline phone – not VOIPs (voice over Internet phone service) or cell phones. Some companies listed will hire you as an independent contractor, so you will be responsible for your own taxes. Businesses that provide home-based customer support opportunities include Arise and LiveOps.
Another way to make money blogging is through affiliate marketing (that’s where DollarSprout makes most of its revenue). Affiliate marketing means you link to a product for sale on another site and when readers click your link and buy the product, you get a cut of the profits. Amazon has an affiliate marketing program that’s easy to use and a great starting point for new bloggers.
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.
Proz.com is a site where you can get paid to translate all kinds of documents, including files and even conversations. The site provides you with an opportunity to list your services as a translator. They offer opportunities in Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese and other languages, and specialize in legal, medical, technical and other fields.
×