September 10, 2013
rosemary published this at 8:51 am
By Ken Myers
The availability of internet access has minimized the complications that come with starting a traditional business, and it’s easier than ever to provide products and services to the public. Online businesses are subject to many of the regulations and tax laws that storefront businesses abide by, but one main advantage is that there are certain services and products you can deliver without needing to go through the formal process of incorporating. With some business idea lists reaching well over 100, the possibilities are astonishingly numerous; however, we’ve shared four ideas that anyone can do below:
Social media marketing and management, copywriting, ghostwriting, technical writing and transcription are just a few types of content management services you can do online. The first step to tackling this career goal is to validate yourself as a professional freelance writer. Businesses and employers who need your writing skills are going to be looking for a polished portfolio and examples of previously published work. The fact that you can work for a number of clients as a sole proprietor or as an independent contractor is what makes this business so attainable. If you were to really take off, you could leverage your services by expanding and outsourcing to other writers for larger projects.
One of the most popular and straightforward ways to make money off the internet is through blogging. Even hobby bloggers have started monetizing their blogs. Many bloggers host ads and get paid every time one of their visitors clicks on one. If a blog has an exceptionally high amount of traffic, you can give advertisers the option to place unique ads directly on the blog. Sites like Pay Per Post bridge the gap between bloggers who write for an audience and advertisers who want to reach those readers.
A blogger can also sell products as an affiliate. You can become an affiliate by marketing an eBook or reviewing an online service such as HootSuite or GoToMeeting, and then provide an affiliate link (be sure to properly disclose) that users can click to sign up. If you have a blog with high traffic or you’re interested in starting a niche blog, affiliate marketing can supplement your income.
If you’re looking for a business that will make you money and give you the chance to flex your marketing muscles at the same time, then you may want to invest in an MLM, or multilevel marketing company. Amway, ACN, Thirty-One, Organo Gold, Empower Network and Scentsy are among the reputable companies that you could buy into. By signing up as an independent distributor for an MLM, you save on the substantial startup costs that it would normally take to start another business. Also, much of the work has been done for you in an MLM. The most enticing benefit is the residual income that you can earn from commissions, which means you get paid on a recurring basis from a transaction that took place once.
The companies that offer services instead of products make earning residuals incredibly easy. ACN, for instance, offers cell phone and cable packages. Every time that a customer pays a bill, the sales rep who sold that package gets paid time and again. However, the MLM business model is a bit controversial and receives split reviews around the internet community. There are many individuals who see enormous results from their businesses, and there are those who stand on the other end of spectrum, struggling and failing to close enough leads to make their investment worthwhile. If you’re a natural marketer and find a company with a product or service that you believe in, consider giving it a shot. Just do your research first and use your own judgment about whether or not it fits your budget and the time you can dedicate to the business.
eCommerce and Dropshipping
As an alternative to offering creative services, you can sell your own products through your website or another eCommerce platform. Maintaining an online store is not for the faint of heart, though, especially if you plan to operate on a third party platform like Etsy, Amazon or eBay. There will be a steep learning curve because these companies make constant revisions to their websites and procedures. One benefit of using them, however, is that they do much of the marketing for you.
There are other stores for creative products similar to Etsy that feature your products to their viewers. Zazzle, Cafepress and Artfire are among them. These websites will deduct a percentage of your profit, so if you want to retain as much of your earnings as possible then you can always set up your own store. Volusion and BigCommerce are web tools that you can use to construct an online store entirely from scratch. The end result is a site that uniquely fits your own brand and allows customers to check out directly from your website.
Both eCommerce options will require a financial investment. Selling your products will not be a get-rich-quick option. In fact, none of these online business ideas will take off overnight. If you choose a line of work that best fits your interests and lifestyle, though, the overall process will be much more smooth and, hopefully, profitable.
Share Your Thoughts
What is your experience with starting an online business? Do you have any other ideas for attainable business opportunities? If so, share them in the comments!