In 2017, the net worth of online business retailers is $2.290 billion and it’s predicted to grow to $4.479 billion by the year 2021. That’s just in E-commerce itself in the USA.
Whilst high streets are closing and shops are struggling, the internet has been getting increasingly popular. Not just for shopping, also for opportunities to set up in business.
How would you get started?
Read on to find out the ten ways you can start an online business.
Setting up a business at home has become increasingly popular, mainly to escape the hardships of a 9 – 5 (commuting, spending your time away from home and family, dealing with hard managers and callous company policy, etc.)
If you are one of those stuck in that rut and desire to get out, then read on for our different popular methods in creating your dream income.
Let’s look at the ten most popular online business startup ideas, which have worked.
The pros to starting up online:
- There are low start-up costs (especially with affiliate marketing or selling virtual products like e-books)
- Everyone around the world can access your content (no limit to your profits)
- Generating an online audience is much faster than from the influence of offline premises (think how quick it takes for a Viral to spread).
There is a massive array of options available, for you to build and grow a successful online business. However, it does involve a lot of time, routine maintenance, the ability to think outside the box and lots of patience.
Depending on your talents and what you want to do for your internet home business; there is always a unique way to bridge between your skills and applying it to the online world.
If your passion is writing then it makes sense to be an online writer.
The best online business today reaches all potential customers worldwide; the list is endless in what you can offer whether it’s a local cleaning business (Google local) or a global stock trader – it is a 24/7 shop window available to all your customers for whenever they want.
Let’s look at 10 ways to start an Internet Business:
1# E-commerce Store
An E-commerce store has low start-up costs which can average around $500. No wonder it has become a favorite online business to set up.
Here’s a concise guide to how you would start your new venture:
Choosing a domain and web host
The internet contains enormous numbers of web-hosting services. Spend time researching all the options available (or at least a comparison of 3 – 4 services).
Check out customer reviews in forums, and be sure you know how to use the website builder, etc. (the majority of services will offer a simple drag and drop template to build your web page, as opposed to learning HTML.)
A business plan will be helpful, and may even help you acquire a business loan.
Recommended hosting services:
A highly efficient service that is not only low in cost but also offers a selection of easy to use site builders, including WordPress.
A website host and builder platform, which offers hundreds of templates, and has many specialized tools for eCommerce companies.
You need to choose your domain name, as it helps to present a professional image to your customers.
Sales platforms are a purer form of putting your shop front online, without the hassle of creating a website and trying to market with SEO.
It is a networking site between sellers and buyers – think eBay and Amazon. However, check out these sites which are very popular.
A highly popular sales platform. It has easy to use tools and access to a vast network base.
Another site which offers a shop front builder, and the necessary tools to get your business started.
E-commerce is a highly competitive industry, so it might be wise to not directly compete with large retailers, due to them having more substantial purchasing power.
Observe companies already in your market and see what they miss. What are their customers saying online? Anything they not happy with? Something you could put right?
It may say sound daunting or impossible, but put in the research, and you’ll just never know what you can come across.
2# Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is still in the realms of selling, but it removes the need to buy products. You will be selling on behalf of other business’ and sellers instead.
The main trick is enticing people to buy products from your website. You do this by creating a banner link to the product. You earn a commission from each sale.
It’s a rewarding business financially, and if done correctly, it can be a rapid method to grow a business.
So it’s no wonder that Affiliate Marketing is a prevalent method for an Online Business Start-up.
Affiliate Marketing has much potential for the future, as its rapidly getting effective in ways to pinpoint customers.
How to get started with affiliate marketing:
You will need a Blog to write about the products you are selling. This will also connect with client’s readily available inside your network; enabling you to keep contacts connected and engaged with your company.
WordPress is highly recommended for blogging because:
- It brings your company into other like-minded networks, which creates more recognition.
- The plugin gives so much flexibility in appearance, social media interaction, structuring posts, security, SEO and other ad-hoc tasks.
- It is easy to follow.
- Very little coding needed.
Choosing your Niche Market
Choosing a niche can seem like an impossible task.
The best way to get your answer is to ask questions. Answers will develop your ideas and flag the right target audience in time to come.
Even if it’s searching on Google – it’s a good place to start!
Questions to get you started:
- What content are people typing into search engines?
- Can you find an answer that may help them?
- What’s coming up in google when you search for your topic?
- Read through forums, find out what people are asking and what they want, and if you can make any money!
Select your favorite subject, something you’ll enjoy learning. Sticking to something you are passionate about will help with your self-discipline
How to find the right affiliate program:
It depends on what you’re trying to sell and your chosen niche topic. However…
Popular Affiliate platforms:
Direct Merchant Sites
Merchants handle their products and sales.
Look at the affiliates your competitors use – then sign up for their program.
If you do love writing, selling, and learning, then Affiliate marketing can be very rewarding. The success from this will be down to how much research and legwork you put in at the beginning.
But wouldn’t it be boring if it was easy? As you would miss all the potential opportunities to learn and grow from this particular Online Business Start-up!
3# Self-publishing on Amazon
Another way you can start up an Online Business:
Amazon has become a favorite platform for E-books! It allows you to publish in Kindle or Paperback. (removing the need for getting approved by a publisher).
Also, it has the added benefit of holding a network of prospective customers too.
Love drawing? You will have a blast at designing your front cover.
If the quality of pictures is at an amateur level, then your product may not be taken seriously.
Alternatively, you can hire a cover designer, as Amazon offers a built-in service for a small fee.
Self-publishing – what to expect:
You will need a very competitive marketing campaign. Customers can be wary if you’re not an established author because of the risk of quality.
There’s always the chance of buying a lousy quality book. But that shouldn’t put you off from trying if it’s a passion you desire.
It’s just the case of targeting your readers and building their trust.
Plus, if you score satisfactory reviews, you will start growing reputation and build sales.
For an Amazon account; you will need to create a profile.
It can offer many options; whether you are writing an e-book, selling items, or marketing their stock.
Amazon Publishing Platforms:
- You need an open state of mind
- the ability to work through lousy feedback
- adapting to your market if you’ve misjudged what they want.
That in itself is a daunting task for a self-publisher, especially when loads of authors have flooded the internet. But once your idea is ready, there are many useful methods of marketing available.
A very recommendable starting ground, especially with the benefits of being able to network with other writers and readers.
For fiction writers, you can even blog short stories, which can be designed to capture your audience’s imagination. It will build trust with your readers and encourage a growth of new customers.
Using social media platforms
Social media has spiked drastically for business, especially for shared content to pass between users (virals) quickly.
Big companies pay huge money to have a high social media presence.
Advantages are reaching out to millions of users across the world – a potential for high returns from your online investment.
It’s still quite an uncertain world. Have a supported income in place before proceeding, or, at least, mix it up with affiliate marketing or blogging.
Selling books can take time for the profits to emerge.
4# Selling homemade product/crafts
Good at drawing? Or sewing clothing? Then nothing beats being able to craft your artistic pictures or clothing line as a business.
The added advantages are low costs on manufacturing.
It will depend on what it is, how much resources cost, and the time it takes to produce.
Be less reliant on suppliers and items will be unique to the marketplace.
It will get your brand noticed by a focused market; necessary to have your well-designed webpage to act as a representation of your business. As previously mentioned earlier, there are many services available to provide this, even for an online novice.
With little start-up costs, it’s worth considering making a profile despite the charges you can incur from sales. It’s still a viral site and will help you to notice if your product is going to sell well.
Be quick and efficient when handling orders; make sure goods are posted in good time, and always be on hand to communicate with your buyers.
Feedback is displayed publically, which exposes your reputation to everyone, so make sure the majority of your feedback is excellent.
Similar to eBay, Amazon is another popular selling platform.
It’s a favorite tool for building an online shopfront, and it also provides other helpful tools.
Take note that a commission does go towards the host site for every sale. However, it could still be useful if it’s not costly to craft sellable items.
A good tip to remember…
Always link your website to a sales profile.
It is an efficient way to gain new visitors. You will lure them back to your domain and the extra links will help with your SEO too.
Other benefits include:
- Encourage repeat business.
- Get your brand recognized.
- Induce right word of mouth by loyal customers.
Create a long-term relationship with your customers, which can build trust and loyalty. This causes repeat business and right word of mouth – higher profits!
Blogging is a website offering chronologically ordered content, either by date or set categories.
Posts typically contain articles, infographics, news or video content; meaning, blogs can vary on what they use the most.
To earn money you can incorporate affiliate marketing, or sell advertising space.
Blogs are very popular because they offer a broader range of perspectives and information, which isn’t offered by mainstream media.
They opened new ways for businesses to interact with markets. Companies then learn on deeper levels what customers want and in turn, customers are happier with their experience.
What you need:
A domain and host are necessary; from providers such as Bluehost, which works alongside Word Press.
Requirements for blogging:
- Some experience of SEO, Google, and the internet.
- To have a willingness for learning.
- Being open-minded and willing to put in lots of reading and research.
6# Become an Online Freelancer
Use freelance websites to write, edit, design or any other talent for internet companies.
I’ve used Upwork for a few years, and still, have contracts going.
Upwork is the agency and handles all payments and is secure to use.
The only disadvantage is being in the UK. The pound depreciates, and it takes up to a fortnight for the money to arrive.
Also, be aware of scams (especially for drop shipping or the use of your eBay account).
I have survived a living on this platform in the past, so I only advise to be cautious. But determined too.
Other freelance websites (but not tried by me) are:
I recommend using Grammarly Premium, as it will correct grammatical errors and do a plagiarism check.
To really get your content hot, download Yoast to further tighten your SEO rank.
Be aware that:
- The workload can get big.
- Pressure may mount meeting deadlines.
- Some clients may be strict.
My experience with Upwork gave me further knowledge of blogging, internet content or SEO.
If you are a writer, then you can learn a lot too, especially for what contents prevalent in today’s market.
The variations of material that blogs want will leave clues to where the big profits are.
When you get savvy as a freelancer, your clients will grow contracts.
Many clients have built their blog writing service through this method, with a team of writers working for them.
Many conferences take place on Skype, so is worthwhile setting up if not done so already. Get a professional profile picture, too.
I got a lot more responses from my cover letter when my pic was up. People just like to see who they are corresponding with.
7# Set-up a Poker Business
It’s a game of skill and strategy where you’re up against other human opponents, as opposed to playing against a fixed odds machine.
There’s no advantage to the poker hosts of who wins or loses. They receive a commission from every bet made regardless.
My favorite platform is Poker Stars (Trex1985) because:
- the tables are always busy.
- it’s a fun site with endless competition and tournaments.
- it has all the features to track your play statistics, and the navigation is straightforward.
I have successfully withdrawn winnings to my bank account, and there’s no problem in placing deposits.
From my experience, it’s a trusted website for handling monies.
Other Poker Platforms:
How to turn Poker into a business:
The aim is to play consistently and patiently, as you prepare to go through losing periods, but mathematically, you are still making a profit in the long term.
Roughly, you should only play games that’s worth ⅕ of your deposit.
If you deposit $50, then you should be playing no more than a $5 buy-in.
It starts off small, however, over time you’ll build a more prominent bankroll to enter the higher stake games.
This technique also works because:
- You are not blowing all your money in one game.
- If you lose then your bankroll can afford to take the hit.
- The calculations above will give you an estimated 20 buy-ins.
- You are in control with a mindset for business, rather than an ego-driven player.
Play a tight aggressive strategy, observe the playing styles of all opponents, and then adapt strategy to the flow.
This book enlightened both my play and mind for Online Poker.
It gives you instructions on poker odds, strategies, the best games to find and other useful information; in an easy to read format.
8# Cryptocurrency Trading
Mining for coins can be costly and is very hard to make back the returns – the major BitCoin miners have massive warehouses filled with computers and graphics cards.
On the other hand, trading with cryptocurrency is profitable.
You will need a lot of patience and focus on the market movements (which can dramatically change within 24 hours).
Also, be prepared for times of risks and losses.
The Main Cryptocurrencies are:
In 2009 it was launched as the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency. Recently, the value of Bitcoin has shot up dramatically against the dollar.
It’s no debate that the value has soared over the last year. Other cryptocurrencies have joined the digital market and are looking to get competitive.
First coined in 2013, it has gained a lot of new recognition in today’s media.
A feature called ‘ether’ allows users to write contracts on top of making transactions.
Trading at a minor $452 against BitCoin’s $8000, the lower value means a much less investment risk.
A riskier digital asset, as it’s under no centralized control and regulation. Currently worth around $78, the value is shallow in comparison to the others.
If you can afford to lose around $80 – $90, then it may be worth the risk!
You don’t know how your planets will align in the future.
To Summarize this one in many ways you can Start An Online Business:
Those 3 are just the prime examples, there are an estimated 1,172 digital currencies and still growing.
Trading Cryptocurrency is an online business with potential.
Mining, on the other hand, consists of high start-up costs and still risks not making your money back.
The field is still new so it’s worth keeping an eye on how cryptocurrencies will develop for the future.
It could be one of the ways you can start an online business!
9# Social Media Consultant
Many businesses, especially smaller firms, are too caught up in the day to day running to worry about their social media performance.
Consequently, this has given rise to social media consultants.
They help to brand and market their audience, through page design and creating content.
It sounds easy, but the field is competitive.
If you’ve not got experience, then keep the day job and use one or two clients as a side hustle. This way you can get the feel and won’t be too overwhelmed by the risk.
You will also need help, knowledge, and people to arrange appointments, keep on top of taxes and other ad-hoc tasks.
The necessary steps to be a social media consultant are:
- Marketing – how will clients find you?
- Sending out a proposal
- How your contracts will work.
- How will payment and invoicing work with the client?
With social media expanding quickly, this is helping markets like this to increase its demand from businesses.
Demand is definitely high to contribute a desire for much-needed services – even if it can be difficult to stand out.
You will need to win businesses around with professionalism, in-depth knowledge, and reliability.
10# App Development
As almost everyone on the planet has a Smart Phone, App Development has become big money. It’s on the same par (if not more) of creating an internet viral.
Knowledge of code and high levels of IT skills will be necessary to ensure survival in this very competitive market.
That’s not to say you should be put off by the work of learning, as there’s always a way.
To get started then download and try out different software development tools.
As you can see, there’s a wide range of options available, for starting an online business.
You don’t even have to stick to one; many will participate in three, four, if not all from the list – to be an online entrepreneur.
Not only will you reach all areas of your potential, but also you’ll be forward thinking and adaptable.
It’s very exciting to freely have access to the internet and have the power at our fingertips.
Whatever idea you’ve got for an online business – start small and routine and think big.
Minor actions and habits will grow into one large thing, over a long period of time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the 10 ways you can start an online business.
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