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.
6 Workplace Design Tips to Transform Your Office Space
Being in a single space for at least nine hours a day can prove to become a little bland for your employees while working in the office. It doesn’t have to be though! Spending a little bit of time to spice up your office space for the new year can create an overall healthier work environment.
This is something home-based entrepreneurs know all too well. When first starting your side hustle or business, you will likely just be working from a desk, but over time you can customize your workspace to be a place where you actually love being in, and making it your own.
Over the years, I’ve gone through this process plenty of time — whether it be when I was just a kid running my business from a room in my parents house, to moving into our new place, rebuilding after Sandy, and all of the temporary locations in between.
Either way, if you are going to be spending a ton of time in one specific room or location, you might as well make it a fun and professional place to get work done!
To get started, take a look at these top tips to create a new workplace design for 2019.
1. Flexible and Modular Office Furniture
A big trend of 2019 is to take advantage of modular furniture that can be reorganized for group brainstorming or team meetings. Find some office tables and chairs that can be reworked into larger tables for group meetings, or can be broken up for smaller one-on-one brainstorming sessions.
You can also work with companies to build commercial fitouts to make an office space work within the dimensions of the rooms and open spaces you already have. While it might cost a little more money to get this done, it will make for a more professional look and feel over the life of your work area.
2. Focus on Activity-Based Team Projects
Make sure you have spaces for team-building activities. Try to incorporate spaces like lounges, conference rooms, and multipurpose workspaces to increase collaboration and boost productivity. There will always be a need for privacy, so be sure to try and seamlessly blend open spaces into your workplace design without leaving your employees to have to struggle to focus because their desks are right next to the busy activity areas.
3. Design for Employee Wellbeing
It has been proven time and again that our surroundings affect our wellbeing. Considering most professionals spend a good chunk of their day at the office, it is integral that these office spaces focus on human wellbeing.
Do this by ensuring your lounges and restrooms are away from individual workstations to help get your employees moving around. You can also integrate a new trend called biophilic design that combines nature into your workspaces, such as plant walls and windows.
4. Think About Visual Appeal
While functionality is great when thinking about your new workplace design, you also want to make sure the overall look is visually appealing. Millennials specifically enjoy coming to a workstation that promotes inspiration and creativity.
5. Integrate Technology
Our lives revolve around technology, and with computer systems and software playing a huge role in most workspaces, it only makes sense to try and think about creating your workplace design around the technology you will be using on a daily basis. Consider integrating wireless charging stations, interactive displays, and even tabletop touchscreens.
6. Get Your Team Involved
You know your employees best, so why not get them involved? This will allow your team to both ensure the office redesign will fit their needs as well as make them feel like their opinion is welcomed and appreciated.
Ultimately, the way you design your home office or work space is going to come down to what you want to accomplish with it. If you are going to be working in this area by yourself 95% of the time, there is no need to have additional chairs or clutter for guests who are never going to be there.
On the flip side, if you are having clients and guests in your work space quite often, you will want more of a open and free feeling.
This is where the advice and recommendations from fellow co-workers and employees can definitely bring some new ideas and direction to your working space.
What Will You Include in Your Workplace Design?
Start the new year off right with a strategic new workplace design that will offer a healthier and more productive work environment.
What trends will you incorporate into your redesign?
Don’t jump in head first. Contemplate what would work best for your team and then consider these top trends of 2019 that will create the most impact for your team. It will prove to make this year your company’s most successful year yet!
13 Side Hustles You Can Use to Fund a New Venture in 2019
A buzzword floating around for a while now has been “side hustle.” Many entrepreneurs are turning to side hustles as a way to increase income without signing onto massive commitments. This approach can potentially have more flexibility than part time work, allowing entrepreneurs to gain needed income or experience, without over-stressing their routines.
For entrepreneurs looking to fund an initial venture, side hustles may be the perfect solution. As there are a wide variety of side hustles out there, we asked entrepreneurs from YEC to share the kinds of side hustle they think are worth considering, along with how to get started. Here’s what they said:
1. Do Something Automatable
To fund my initial venture, I started selling cell phones on Amazon. I was able to do this because I could ship all of my inventory to Amazon and they would handle all the shipping and returns using their Fulfilled by Amazon service. The key is that your side hustle needs to be automatable. I found suppliers, placed orders and then shipped the inventory to Amazon and I’d call it a day.
2. Try Flipping as a Side Hustle
An entrepreneur I follow is a big proponent of flipping as a side hustle. This doesn’t mean houses, it means anything you have at home that you don’t need, what you’d find at a garage sale or anything you can make a profit on. Apps like Offer Up and others make it extremely easy to list things and sell things without having to tell everyone you know what you’re doing.
3. Do Something Related to Your Venture
You only have so many hours in the day and you want to be using as many as possible to move your life, goals and dreams forward — so don’t squander them working in a completely different direction from what you actually want! These days, you can side hustle in just about any field or industry, so pick one that is going to help get your venture off the ground and prepare you with useful skills.
4. Monetize Your Expertise
Monetizing expertise is the easiest way to build a profitable side-hustle — or even a primary hustle! Everyone is an expert at something, and expertise can be monetized. Figure out what you’re best at, then figure out who needs that skillset. Whether you consult, give speeches, create sponsored content on social media or share another way, there is an audience willing to pay for what you know.
5. Consider Which Category Works Best for You
Undertaking a side hustle can branch into two separate categories: financial reserves and learning opportunities. Paid contracting or freelancing gigs and training opportunities, combined with savings and a frugal lifestyle, help with self-funding a business. Learning opportunities are volunteering and participating in startup communities, building a network for scaling a business quickly. – Mario Peshev, DevriX
6. Rent a Room via Airbnb
Airbnb is a great side hustle for extra cash. Whether you have a room or two at your house you’d like to post on the site or invest in purchasing a house solely to rent out, you can make quite a bit of money. Type in your city or neighborhood in Airbnb and check out your competition. Which places have the most and best reviews? What can you do to differentiate?
7. Drive With Uber
Uber is a great side hustle. Anyone with a car can take advantage of. By providing just a few trips before or after your work day, you’ll have more extra cash in your bank account to put into your new business venture.
– John Turner, SeedProd LLC
8. Start an Affiliate Marketing Site
Starting a business requires a huge amount of energy and dedication. Chances are, you won’t have a lot of energy left over to do something you don’t enjoy. That’s why starting an affiliate marketing site can be such a good fit. Choose a topic you are passionate about that also has sizeable niche of consumers that are interested in it.
9. Sell Things on Facebook Marketplace
Got some stuff lying around your house that you don’t want anymore? Put it up for sale on Facebook Marketplace. You could even go hunting for some great finds at charity shops or garage sales and resell them for a profit right from the comfort of your own home.
– Blair Williams, MemberPress
10. Do Anything That Gives You Free Time
One of my side hustles was working at the front desk of a hotel. I worked the slow shifts and used all my downtime to build my business on my computer. I understood every piece of spare time was valuable to me. Even mowing lawns as a teenager I would listen to Tony Robbins’ CDs. Stay away from anything too physically or mentally intensive so you have the energy to moonlight when you get home.
11. Become an Amazon Prime Seller
It’s surprisingly easy to become an Amazon Prime seller. Considering that there are 100 million Prime members, with the right Prime product, you can make some decent cash. One trick is finding a product that is selling well and no one is selling it with a Prime tag. You will then differentiate by selling the same product with a faster delivery.
12. Start Freelancing
The ideal side hustle brings in money while providing the flexibility you need to grow your main venture. Freelancing fits the bill and you can leverage skills you already have, especially if you have technical expertise — developers are always in demand. However, make sure the side hustle is worth your time; focusing on growing your business might provide better returns in the long run.
13. Do Something You Actually Enjoy Doing
A side hustle offers people the unique opportunity to do what they’ve always dreamed of. Many people, for example, turn to blogging because writing isn’t the most lucrative career path. Whatever you choose should be something you enjoy because it will ultimately be added work. Your side hustle should embrace the cliche of doing what you love so you never have to work a day in your life.
Take these Expert Tips and Start Implementing them Today
Now that you’ve had a chance to read through some expert tips on how to start making some extra money on the side, it’s time to implement these changes into your own business and daily efforts.
Also, if you enjoyed this expert round up, I highly recommend you check out another one on BloggingTips.com which asks 83 online marketing experts the question “How Do I Start a Successful Blog?“. If you don’t already have a website or blog of your own, follow my guide to get started with one today.
9 Secret Tricks for Paying Off Your Business Debt in 2019
Running a business but fear your debt is about to pile up? This is something that happens to many entrepreneurs and marketers when running an online business. Money always seems to go out much faster that it actually comes in.
While it is scary, don’t worry too much about it. It’s normal to have debt; other than equity, you can use debt to finance your business. Go too deep in debt, however, and you could run into the risk of bankruptcy.
If you want a successful business, you need to track the key metrics to ensure it happens. But what should you do when you get into business debt? You have a lot of options to choose from.
Are you ready to learn how to get out of business debt? Read on and learn these tricks.
1. Increase Your Profits
One of the most common ways to pay off your debt is to increase your income. Do your research and try using strategies to raise your revenue. For example, you can make promotions that make interest from your local customers.
Making promotions can make people buy more from you. But this is a balancing act since doing it too much is counterproductive. Check your margins and see if you can raise your prices for more profit.
2. Get Customers to Pay Faster
When billing customers with an invoice, you might get delays from them. You need to make your customers pay faster if you need funds as soon as possible. Make sure that your payment terms are short.
If you allow 90 months to pay, shorten it by half. Most customers will make sure to pay at the very last moment. So that means you need to think about how long you’re willing to wait for their payment.
Track down some late-paying customers. Check for outstanding invoices in your business database. Remind them about the bill and send in some collection letters if it doesn’t work.
3. Cut Costs
Having small business debt means you should spend for the bare necessities. Depending on the amount of debt, you might end up spending even less. That means you need to analyze the things you really need.
Always look for opportunities to cut out things to save your money. You can either make small, minor cuts or a single large cut. Again, you might need to do both if your debt is big enough.
4. Give Your Debt Priority
Check which debts you can pay off first to get out of debt. Check the critical ones with the ability to destroy your business in its entirety. Also, consider the ones that can have a negative effect on your business relationships.
There are some debts that can damage your reputation with your vendors. You need to think about how it affects your future relationships with them. Do this while thinking about the interest rates and possible penalties like the collateral you lose.
5. Negotiate Better Terms
Ask if you can get smaller interest rates or minimum payments. Creditors will try to keep your business afloat. After all, if your business fails, they won’t get anything out of you.
That means they’re more likely to work with you. In most cases, they’ll extend their payment plans or make the debt smaller for you to pay it. They’re better off getting some money than getting nothing at all.
Always talk to your lenders. You might get a pleasant surprise on what they can do for you.
6. Ask for Friend and Family Support
Your loved ones might have the means of helping you out of a debt. They can help you pay it off and you’ll pay them back at a later time. Family members and friends can be great lenders for you.
Often, they’re more understanding and sympathetic with your situation. Most family members might offer little to no interest rates. They’re more likely to let you pay smaller amounts over a longer period of time.
7. Try Debt Consolidation
If you want to know how to dig out of debt, try consolidating your debts. You can check The Credit Review for the best debt relief companies to help you. These might help you pay off all your debts, so you only need to pay one entity for it.
Having a single debt instead of many isn’t the main strength of debt consolidation. Your goal is to take out a loan with better terms compared to the other ones. It’s only worth it if you’re paying a lower interest rate and have longer payment terms.
8. Check Your Budget
When debt piles up, you might need to revisit your company’s budget. That means you need to make a budget that fits your company’s financial situation. Ensure that the profits are enough to cover more than your usual monthly costs like utilities.
Set a portion of the remaining profit for variable costs. Once done, devote as much money as you can to pay off your debt. It’s especially important if you have credit card debt since you need to pay more than the minimum.
9. Seek Counsel
Making negotiations with your creditors are rarely a good experience. If your creditors aren’t as cooperative, you might need the help of a counseling group. These non-profit organizations often give debt-management advice to both individuals and small businesses alike.
The helpfulness of their advice depends on how worse your debt situation is. You might have some complicated debt issues to resolve. In this case, it’s better to check with a bankruptcy attorney and ask for their advice on the matter.
Get Out of Business Debt Today!
Being in debt isn’t a pleasant experience no matter how you look at it. But in some cases, you need to get into debt to ensure that your business doesn’t go under. The part most business owners have difficulty involves paying it back.
If you want to get out of business debt, try these tips. They’re not difficult to do, but it needs management skills and consistency. The process will be difficult, but the end result of being debt-free is worth all the effort.
Would you like to start a home business instead? Read this post and learn about the benefits of starting one. It’s far cheaper to run than paying rent for your business premises.
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