One of my favorite things to talk about at conferences and write about on the blog is the many different ways to make money online. The internet has made it extremely easy and cost effective for anyone to start a business of their own. Not only is there really no excuse to not get started with an online business, there’s actually little-to-no investment required as well. This is especially true for anyone who just wants to test the waters and see what opportunities might be right for them.
While startups are always making news and headlines for the massive amounts of funding and investment money they are getting, this isn’t always required. In most cases, online entrepreneurs aren’t going to need to borrow money from banks, take out a small business loan or ever-present their business idea to a room of investors.
With this in mind, today I’m going to be providing you with 10 different ways to make money online and even start a personal brand or business in the process. Many of these opportunities are free, but at the most won’t cost more than $100 to get started.
Be sure to read through each of the methods below and see which ones might be of the most interest and value to you.
Start a Blog
Blogging is one of the easiest ways to get started with a website and putting your expertise to work. This is something I personally did back in 2007, and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made. Through the use of content creation and putting my expertise to use, not only has my blog turned into a business of its own and help me grow my brand into much more than it ever was, it’s also helped me teach others how to make money online in the process. Since starting the blog, millions of people have been to the site and have generated millions of dollars as a result of my free tutorials, guides, and resources.
One of the greatest things about blogging is that the majority of sites on the internet today are powered by the free WordPress CMS platform. This means all you need is a domain name and web hosting to get started with a website or blog of your own.
Estimated cost: Free domain + $100 for 3 years of hosting (with Bluehost)
I always get a little frustrated when I hear people say it’s too hard to make money online. Sure, it’s quite hard to make money online as a full-time income, but there’s always going to be ways to make money on the side. One of the easiest ways to actually start making your first few dollars online is through the use of freelance writing.
With more than a billion active websites on the internet today, there is a massive demand for content creation services and hiring freelance writers. Thanks to sites like TextBroker, anyone can join these open marketplace writing sites and simply get paid the start writing content that is being requested from other sites owners, blogs, and brands on the internet.
Best of all, there are no costs for setting this up. You can join any of the freelance marketing sites out there for free. However if you do have a hundred bucks to spend, I would recommend starting a freelance portfolio site of your own, which would fall under the same pricing as starting a blog.
Estimated cost: Free to join writing marketplaces. Improve results with a personal blog and writing portfolio.
Outsourced Expertise on Fiverr
Just like there are platforms out there for freelance writing, there are also micro job sites that allow you to create an online business for pretty much anything you can think of. One of the most popular sites out there right now is fiverr.com. On the site you will find everything from micro jobs that focus on SEO, content creation, people doing video work, pranking people with silly voices, and much more.
This is just another example of a platform and audience that is already in place and waiting for you. There is no need to start a website a blog or even a social profile, all you need is to get active on these sites and start getting a few customers and reviews. Some of the top users on Fiverr are generating over six figures per year.
Estimated cost: There are no costs to create an account or start selling through Fiverr.
Creating Courses to Sell on Udemy
As we all know, content creation and putting your expertise to use are always going to be some of the most effective ways to make money online. As we’ve seen in two of the previous examples, getting your content and expertise in front of an audience is key.
This is exactly what we are talking about in this example as well. Udemy is one of the top websites on the internet for online courses and learning. Not only are there are millions of users on the site actively taking courses and purchasing them, Udemy is also making their instructors a lot of money in the process.
If you have access to a computer, you can start creating an online course of your own. I personally like to use Screenflow or Camtasia to record my screen when doing online courses and video training, but there are free options out there as well. You can also use your computer’s microphone which will work fine for recording your audio. Once you’ve created a course, you can then throw it on Udemy and start earning 95% on all direct sales and 50% of sales generated through their organic traffic.
Estimated cost: Free to sell on Udemy. Screenflow recording software costs $129. Find a promotional or discounted copy to knock it under $100 🙂
Start a Podcast
If you already have a website or blog and looking for that next level of content creation and audience engagement, a podcast might be a good idea for you. The benefit of podcasting is that this industry is growing at a rapid pace and advertisers are throwing a ton of money at podcasters to get featured on their shows.
Another great benefit of podcasting, is that audiences are now more interested in consuming content through audio and visual, over text content. As mentioned earlier there are now more than a billion sites on the internet and it’s becoming quite competitive to rank in the search results or even get people to your site. With podcasting still in its infancy, it’s a great way for anyone to jump into this market and grow a successful brand and following of their own.
While I have personally invested around $1,000 into my own podcasting equipment, this is not a requirement. Anyone can start a podcast by simply recording audio into their mobile device and uploading it online. However if you did have $100 to spend on a podcasting business, I would recommend you get a high quality microphone from Amazon.
Estimated cost: Spend $70 to get a high-quality Blue Yeti microphone from Amazon.
Having been successfully making money online for over 20 years now, affiliate marketing has to be my favorite method. The concept of affiliate marketing is quite simple. All you need to do is join an affiliate program and every time you sent a specific lead, sale, or action to a website, you will earn a commission. The benefit here is that you never have to hold any inventory, deal with any of the customers directly, or even process their orders. You are simply required to send the best quality of content possible while also making sure you’re advertising cost or less than the amount you are generating revenue.
When we start talking about building an online business with affiliate marketing and not spending over $100, you still have a few options to play around with. For example, if you were to create a website or blog focused on product reviews, coupons or “how to guides”, there are plenty of affiliate programs that you could join and recommend products and services through. This is a perfect example, but also one that will take some time to establish as you will need to rank in the search results and get some decent traffic to your site.
If you wanted to spend your $100 on marketing affiliate campaigns, you will need to do this at a slow and steady pace. A good way to get started with this might be through promoting dating offers or email/zip submit offers through media buying. Since these offers are pretty easy to complete and turn a commission on, it will allow you to spend a few dollars per day and split test in the process. The goal here is to not blow through your $100 in a short time. You need to make this initial investment money last so you can reach profitability and then scale the money back into the business when you are paid.
Estimated cost: Spend $5 a day on Facebook Ads and keep a close eye on your daily numbers, ad spend and conversions.
Create an Online Review Site
Another business opportunity with affiliate marketing and earning commissions in mind is to create an online review site. When someone goes to Google and searches for something, they are very interested in what the results are. This is especially true if there are looking for information to buy something, looking for coupons and definitely when searching for online reviews.
With this in mind, one could create a coupon or review site that could rank in Google for long tail keywords and start generating some decent revenue in the process. However, as with all site-building and search ranking efforts, you will need to go after a niche market that isn’t saturated and has a lower level of competition. Revenue generation for such a website could be done through affiliate marketing or simply placing Google AdSense on your site.
Since we are focusing on starting a business with just under $100, this money could be spent on a domain name and web hosting. If you are serious about growing out your site and getting visitors to keep coming back for me, you should also invest in a mailing list, which can be done through a service like ConvertKit. The rest of your time and effort would be focused on creating content and getting your site to rank in the search results.
Estimated cost: Free domain + $100 for 3 years of hosting (with Bluehost) + mailing list
How to Make Money Online… One Dollar at a Time!
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to make money online or even starting a business of your own for under $100. When I first started making money back in the mid-90s, I was actually using free AOL discs and hosting my sites through free platforms like Geocities and AOL member pages. I started to generate a few dollars per day with affiliate marketing and the Amazon Associates program, which then turned into $10 per day, then hundreds per day and eventually growing into what it is today.
The most important thing for you to take away here, is that you take action and build something today. It’s easy to read through all of this and see how many opportunities are available, but if you don’t take action someone else will, and you will miss the boat.
First Impressions and Final Words: The Importance of Business Cards in 2019
Business cards have been around since the 15th century.
They first originated in China as “visiting cards.” The Chinese visiting cards would express one person’s intention to come and meet another person.
Then in the 17th Century, the popularity of exchanging cards began in Europe. Without the right business cards, you were a failure in the eyes of the public.
There were also extremely strict rules and etiquette guidelines for people handing out their cards. Failure to have the right card or follow the rules would result in a social disaster.
As we fast forward to today, people are still using business cards as networking tools. Not having a business card or having the wrong kind can ruin your business relationships.
Approximately 10 billion business cards are being printed on an annual basis. However, almost 8 out of the 10 billion cards printed are being thrown out in less than a week.
Yet, studies show that your companies sales will increase by at least 2.5% for every 2,000 cards you hand out. Even if a prospect doesn’t keep your card, they’ll still remember meeting you.
After hundreds of years, your card is still a representation of who you are and what you’re all about. Read on to find out about the importance of business cards in the 21st century.
The Importance of Business Cards
When you network you’re actively making meaningful connections. Sending out your contact information online can be somewhat effective. Many businesses successfully use affiliate marketing online to generate leads.
However, when you only rely on digital communications you’ll miss out on making a genuine connection. When you give your card to a potential client, they can put a face to the name of the company. You’ll be able to stand apart from all of the other companies they were researching online.
A computer can’t look your customer in the eye and convey authenticity, but you can. The encounter gives you a competitive edge over others in your industry.
Here are a few different online tools you can use for creating your personalized cards:
Allow yourself to be creative as you explore the different designs. Prospects will enjoy sharing your creative cards rather than boring ones. Having people share your card means your brand will reach more potential customers.
No matter what type of business cards you end up going with, consider your options on going with a cool and unique design. After all, these are going to be used for many years and will be the first impression of your own personal brand and expertise.
Effective Business Cards
Making a great impression starts with the style of your card. Many people mistakenly believe that all a business card does is give information. However, they really are tools to make wonderful first impressions.
It’s important to design a card that expresses your companies personality and brand. It can help to ask for outside advice from a friend or family member. Show them the design you are considering and ask them how it makes them feel. If the way they feel reflects your brand, you’re off to a great start.
Show Prospects You’re Ready for Anything
Have you ever asked someone for their business card and they couldn’t give it to you? Chances are you had a negative first impression of that person. Your subconscious mind is always listening, watching and making conclusions.
Even if you’re not consciously aware of it, you’ll judge someone for not having the right tools.
The same will happen to you if you’re not ready to hand over your card when asked. Even if you take the time to write your information down, chances are they won’t be calling you.
Make sure you always carry your cards on you. A simple trip to the store could end up as a networking opportunity.
When you use a business card, your information is always accessible. In today’s digital world, it’s hard to believe that anyone could ever lose access to the internet.
However, people are frequently in situations where they can’t go online. Imagine, your potential customer is camping in a remote area or staying at a cabin in the woods.
They don’t have internet access but they do have the ability to make phone calls. If they need to schedule a service or make a purchase, they’ll have to rely on their business cards.
Also, certain people don’t own digital devices or have trouble operating theirs. If your contact information is stuck in their phone, they may never access it.
Also, what happens when they lose or break their phone? A broken phone could take days to repair. Yet that doesn’t mean the customer will wait days to make purchasing decisions.
When the customer needs access to your company’s contact information, your card will be there to save the day. Giving your card means that no matter what the situation, customers can always reach you.
If your company is new it helps to have clear networking goals. When you go to different networking events you’ll bring your cards with you. Then you can set a daily goal for how many cards you need to distribute.
A good idea is to set a goal to hand out at least 50 business cards. If you’re having a difficult time, your cards will remind you to stay motivated. Make sure that as you hand out your cards you establish eye contact.
Your card will have your contact information and a brief summary of your product or service. If you’re looking for employment make sure to include a list of your skills.
The person you give your card to might not need your services. Yet, they might know someone who does need something you provide. With a list of your skills, the person with your card will know who to refer you to.
How to Make a Great First Impression from Day One
Yes, you could say that business cards are old school and not many people use them today. That might be the case, but if you are actively attending different conferences and trade show events, they will come in handy.
Just think about how many people are meeting with each other on any given day at these events. With hundreds of business cards changing hands, only the ones that stand out and leave a great first impression will be remembered.
When it comes to creating new business and partnerships, this simple one-up over the competition can equate to something huge in the long run.
If you are still using the same old traditional business card that gets scanned over for second and tossed away… rethink your marketing strategy and invest in yourself and your business today with a new design and business card. It’s one of the most important, yet cost-effective, investments you can make!
Loans vs. Line of Credit: Which is Better For Your Business?
When your business grows or goes through a short-term cash drought, you need an influx of cash. The bank is the best place to start. They give you two options a loan or a line of credit. It can be hard for a business to decide loans vs. line of credit.
They both can give you the cash you need, but each is different on how the cash gets to you and how you pay it back. As a business owner, you don’t want to make a rash decision that can impact your business for years.
We’ve broken them down and given you plenty of information to determine which is best for you.
Line of Credit Basics
A line of credit isn’t a loan. It’s like a credit card with a limit. When you apply for a line of credit, the bank gives you a set amount that you can have access to. You don’t need to take a penny of it. It can sit there ready to use when needed.
When you decide to take it, you don’t need to take the entire amount. For example, if you had a run on a popular product, but don’t have the cash flow to order more, then you can access your line of credit.
You have a $10,000 line of credit, but only need $200 to cover the costs of the product. You take the money out and then you agree to pay back that amount plus any interest.
In the meantime, your accessible line of credit is $9,800 until the money is paid back. You then have access to the full $10,000 again.
It’s rare for a business to take out a full amount and instead to take out small amounts when needed.
Benefits of Line of Credit
Financially, the biggest benefit is you don’t need to pay anything until you take the money out. You’re not locked into a monthly payment and you only need to pay the money back that you took out with a little interest.
These are geared more as a short-term loan that is paid back in a few months rather than a multi-year loan. They are commonly referred to as a revolving loan and have lower interest rates than a term loan of similar size.
If you are late on payments, then that rate can increase dramatically, and you can incur fees.
It’s also great to save for an emergency such as a sudden building repair or an increase in product price. Lines of credit are popular with small business that can’t come up the cash fast when a new opportunity arises.
A standard business loan is like a standard loan. You visit the bank and request to borrow a specific amount of money. There is a purpose associated with the loan such as the purchase of a building, fleet of cars, expansion, etc.
The bank examines your credit and balances the risks and benefits before determining to allow the loan. Once approved, you work on the length of the loan, interest, payment amount and are given a lump sum of money.
For example, your current building isn’t large enough for your burgeoning and growing business.
You can get a term loan to pay for a new larger facility and moving expenses. It can also go for equipment such as a new oven for a cookie company or new equipment that you use to create a new product.
You pay it back monthly at a set interest rate until loan agreement is fulfilled. They are traditionally used for more long-term investments.
Benefits of Term Loans
The biggest benefit of a term loan is predictability. You know each month you’ll owe the bank a set amount. There’re no worries about that amount changing or the amount owe going up or down. The rate of interest is the same for the life of the loan.
The biggest downside is you likely provided some type of collateral on the loan. If you can’t pay back the loan, then the bank can take that collateral. Keep that in mind when you’re determining your monthly payment amount.
If you pay more, then you can pay towards the principal and lessen the amount of term of the loan. You can do with what you want with the money as soon as you receive it.
Loan vs. Line of Credit
So, you know what the differences are between the two, but which one is the best for your business. It all depends on what you want to do with it.
Lines of credit aren’t meant to be long-term loans. They’re there for an emergency or small thing that didn’t fit into the budget. You need $3,000 for a new furnace or the refrigerators for your produce died. This is something that would probably be better applied to, or paid with credit cards.
It’s not meant for something large like a new building. It can be used for payroll, off-season costs, and restocking inventory. If you use for money-making ventures, then it can end up paying for itself.
Businesses use lines of credit for small purchases a little at a time. Don’t take one out and grab the whole amount at once. You likely need a business loan. It’s easy to learn why if you carefully examine the pros and cons of each method.
If your need is high cost and can take years to pay back, a business loan works best. You get a large lump sum to purchase a new building or other major expense like equipment and pay it back over time.
Which is Best for You?
Ultimately, you need to decide which one is the best for your business needs. Loans vs. line of credit can be a difficult decision, but hopefully, we’ve made it easier for you to choose.
Loans are best for long-term high-cost expenses, but lines of credit are best for short-term expenses and emergencies. What is your business looking for?
If you’re interested in learning more about money and how you can improve your business, then please explore our site.
6 Great Ways to Accept Online Payments on Your eCommerce Site
When it comes to running a successful online business, one of the most important things site owners, drop shippers, and brands need to think about is how to best accept payments online, while also minimizing payment fraud. As wonderful as it is to accept credit cards online, your business is responsible for making sure every transaction is secure and authentic.
Did you know that 42% of customers making online purchases use credit cards as a payment method? In fact, it’s the leading payment method. Electronic payment is running at second with 39% of customers using it.
As years go by, people are shifting towards cashless methods of payment.
But which method works best for your business? What are the different ways to receive payment for online businesses? This is something that you should consider for your business.
Here are some ways you can receive payments on your online business.
1. Receive Payments via Credit Cards
One of the options to help you accept payments online is by credit card. It’s a widely-used method on a global scale, especially in countries like the United States, Canada, Mexico, Korea, China, and most of Western Europe.
Credit cards are also among the most popular payment methods. Payments from these cards go through the use of payment gateways like PayPal and Due, or through merchant accounts.
If you wish to set up a merchant account for your website, be sure to learn more before proceeding.
Another way for you to receive payments online is through the use of e-wallets. There are many online platforms that offer this service. Especially with small online businesses in mind.
Using e-wallets tends to be effortless and easy on both sides. This speeds up the transaction process.
PayPal and AliPay are prominent in offering such options. This makes PayPal popular in the US and AliPay with China.
3. Direct Carrier Payments
There are some services and products that bill customers through their telephone or utility carriers. This is an interesting option for customers to pay for services or products. One such example is with Google’s Play Store, which offers this payment option.
This is a safe option for customers to pick. Direct carrier payment streamlines the process without redirecting them to a different site.
This is also helpful for merchants carrying this service. Not only does it offer a secure method but it’s also fast and seamless.
4. Bank Transfers
Another method that you can use to accept online payments is through bank transfers. This is one of the oldest and more traditional methods available.
Some merchants offer instructions for customers to send their payments towards a bank account. This method often employs the use of an IBAN number.
Keep in mind that bank transfers aren’t immediate. For some banks, it may take 2-3 business days before the deposited amount reflects in the receiver’s account.
It is also possible for customers to send their payments using cash. In fact, other countries like Russia, India, and Romania make use of cash payments for their online businesses.
There are some ways to use this method as factors such as location and reach towards customers come to play.
One of the methods that you can use is through cash-on-delivery (COD). This service allows the courier to send the product. Then collect the payment upon arrival to the customer’s location.
FedEx offers this service and is a preferable choice. Other courier companies only accept checks and money orders.
In addition to using a credit card, Paypal is one of the most used and accepted forms of payment in the world today.
While it is possible to use a credit card to make payment through Paypal, many users are also connecting their accounts to their bank accounts as well. This simply makes it one of the easiest methods of payment processing for millions of users around the world.
Another reason why Paypal is perfect for both customers and eCommerce platforms is that it’s usually simply a matter of clicking a few buttons and providing API account information to integrate it within an online shopping cart or payment solution.
An extra added benefit to accepting payment through Paypal is that businesses can grow their account history and also take advantage of loan programs like Paypal Working Capital.
Pick A Payment Method That Matches Your Business Today!
Knowing and choosing the right payment method for your online business is crucial. This is the lifeblood that keeps your business flowing. Having an efficient, fast, and secure channel to receive payments lets you gain profit while the customer gains satisfaction.
Did you find this post helpful? We have a variety of topics that you can explore to help you with your business ventures. Check this one out about maximizing both time and money as an entrepreneur.
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