Did you know that you can use the internet to make extra money and not just for social media?
The internet has enabled ordinary people like you and us to improve our lives by utilizing our skills and experiences to earn an income.
People are making money online through various means. From blogging and podcasting to starting online stores and even teaching others how to be better in relationships. There is no shortage of business ideas you can implement on the internet.
If you spend time online, you’ll very likely notice that people are selling online courses, hosting webinars, doing software reviews, and perhaps one of the most popular things, freelancing.
Online businesses are nothing new. What’s new however, is the increase in the number of people embracing this type of business. If you’re not yet among those improving their lives through freedom-creating online businesses, we urge you to read this article and reconsider your position.
In this article, we discuss 10 lucrative online business ideas you can start on the side today. Read on, pick one of the ideas and get started building your own business on the internet.
Should I Start an Online Side Business?
One of the biggest reasons you should start a side business is to make more money. With a higher income, you’ll be able to do more than you currently can. Money is also the means by which you upgrade your life.
We all need some upgrades, don’t we?
If you can start and grow your side business to the point that it sustains you, you achieve a lot of freedom.
Freedom to rest when you want to. Freedom to spend as much time with your family as you need. Freedom to travel the world if you want to. Freedom to do so many other things.
To attain this freedom more quickly, don’t just start any side business. Start an online side business. Here’s why.
1. Starting an Online Business is Cost Effective
One of the biggest obstacles to starting a business is the cost. Just thinking of how much you need to get started can discourage you from starting a business.
By the time you pay for the premises you’ll operate from, buy office furniture and hire employees, your savings might have run out.
And what about commuting? What’s the cost of the time you’ll be stuck in traffic?
When you take the online path, you remove all these obstacles from your way. The expenses you have to incur are very minimal. In fact, you just need three things; two of which you already have: a house (for your home office), an internet connection and a website.
With creating a website being so easy and monthly costs being less than $3, starting an online business is quick and affordable.
2. Online Businesses Have Access to a Global Market
Doing business can be tough, especially when you consider the competition in almost every industry. When you add to this the fact that you’re just getting started, things could get scary.
But what if the number of people you could potentially reach is so big that competition isn’t such a big issue?
To be clear, even online businesses face competition. But how does the competition on the internet compare to competition in a small neighborhood where there are several businesses doing what you want to do?
An online business enjoys the opportunity to reach people beyond your neighborhood. You can reach everyone in your state, city, country and even the whole world. And with global shipping to help you ship physical products, isn’t an online business better placed to stand even in the face of competition?
3. Online Businesses Can Be Fully Automated
One of the things which set online businesses apart from the traditional ones is the ability to run on autopilot. This makes them the go-to option if you’re looking to be free from the day-to-day running of the business.
Since technology makes it easy and possible to track customer activity, gather insight into shopping behavior and even segment customers for personalized messages, things can only get better.
Think of how the manufacturing industry is automating its processes to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Now imagine that for your business—regardless of the niche.
And the beautiful thing is that you don’t have to automate your business on day one. This is something you can implement as you progress and it will not come with big inconveniences to your operations because business apps are increasingly integrating with one another.
4. Online Businesses Generate Passive Income
Many people are looking for ways of earning passive income by running a side business. The easiest and shortest route towards achieving this is to start an online business. With a well-established online business, you can make money while sleeping.
Take for instance a strategically-monetized blog providing financial independence tips and solutions. With practical and helpful content, the blog sees a consistent stream of visitors every month.
Loving the beneficial content provided, visitors are subscribing to the email list and getting nurtured through personalized messages. Some follow through to buy third-party products or services through affiliate links while others buy ebooks or e-courses.
Whereas it took the blog owner some time and resources to put all this together, he can rest easy and enjoy life as dollars come in every month.
This can apply to any niche as every online business idea has the potential of generating passive income. And with no hardware or software maintenance costs, realizing a high ROI is almost guaranteed.
5. Online Businesses Offer Job Security For Your Kids
Do you have, or plan to have kids? Have you ever wondered what their future would be like?
You obviously want them to have a bright future, be the best they can be and excel in everything. But apart from hoping, is there anything you can do to make it easier for them?
You can help your kids avoid the same path you’ve been on. They don’t need to work under unreasonable bosses, waste time commuting and still end up with less than enough income.
With economic times getting tougher, the most loving and caring thing to do as a parent is to give your kids a real boost in their lives. And the best way to do this is by starting an online business.
Best Website Ideas to Make Money on the Side
Now that we’ve got you thinking about making money online, here are some of the ways you can get started today.
1. Launch a High-End Blog
Blogging is the most popular type of online business and there are many reasons for this.
First of all, starting a blog is easy and affordable.
A web host like Bluehost will charge you less than $3 per month to host your blog. You also get the freedom to blog about anything you want, any time you want and for whatever duration you want.
And blogging is also known to be a sure money-maker if done right. With some bloggers earning over $1 million every year, it’s no wonder that many people want to start a blog.
Blogging might seem easy and fun. But if you’re not making money, blogging can easily become just like any other boring 9-5 day job. Many bloggers have been frustrated and even quit blogging because they didn’t make any money from it.
You can avoid this situation by thinking ahead and settling on the best monetization strategies for your blogging business.
Since choosing a niche is central to your blogging success, we suggest that you target a high-income audience by launching a high-end blog.
The high-end market consists of luxury products and experiences. This market segment has been registering steady growth and is projected to keep growing.
Marketing to a High-End Market
How do you reach, engage and sell to the luxury consumer?
Luxury consumers are not your typical consumers. They have different needs, just as the products and services they buy are different.
To successfully sell to a high-end audience, you need to first of all understand them. As usual, this starts with creating a buyer persona.
With a clear picture of the person you’re selling to, the other thing to understand is the definition of luxury. Whereas luxury can be quickly recognized by the high price tag, what makes it truly luxury is something different.
Every luxury product or experience boasts of excellence and exclusivity. These are what define a luxury brand.
For example, excellence in craftsmanship will automatically make the product expensive. Ensure excellence in service delivery and the cost of the experience goes up.
Then there’s the aspect of exclusivity. For it to be luxury, it has to be exclusive. There’s no way something will be luxury if everyone has it.
So how do you implement these in your marketing strategy to reach the luxury market and influence it?
Personal branding will be key here. You have to create a profile that clearly shows that you’re for nothing but luxury. From your pictures and the things you own to the places you’ve been to, everything should be consistent with luxury.
High-end Blog Example
There are many high-end bloggers focusing on different segments of the luxury market.
With knowledge of their specific industries and enough connections, these bloggers make good money while enjoying life. They get to experience the best from luxury manufacturers and service providers who want their businesses promoted to their target customers.
A good example of such a blogger is Carmen Edelson who is a full-time luxury travel influencer.
Carmen has quite a number of monetization strategies which she has implemented. These include brand ambassadorships, influencer marketing, luxury consulting, content creation, advertisements and social media campaigns.
With over 145k followers across her social media channels, her blog has even been named as one of the top luxury blogs.
2. Start an Online Store with a Focus on Dropshipping
You can start a dropshipping business easily and run it as a side business. And it’s different from the usual online store because you don’t have to handle any inventory or logistics. All you have to do is market the products and sell them.
With the growth of e-commerce, dropshipping can only become bigger and more profitable.
Here are the steps to follow to launch your dropshipping business and increase your income levels.
1. Choose a Dropshipping Business Idea
Your dropshipping business will be defined by what you sell. So, what will you sell?
To find a profitable dropshipping idea, you have two options. The first one, which is also the easiest option, is to use a service like Oberlo. Being a dropshipping app that helps you discover items for selling, they regularly create lists of trending and profitable products.
Going through such a list will give you an idea of which products are selling fast. When you choose to sell fast-moving products, you increase your chances of making money quickly.
The other option is to come up with your own dropshipping business idea. This will involve some market research to find out what the trending products on the internet are.
Here is how you can do that:
- Use Google Trends to find out whether a niche you’re interested in is receiving traffic. Type in keywords related to your niche in the search box and look at the search trend. If the search trend is consistent and going up, that is a potentially profitable niche.
- Use SEMrush to check the search volume of the keywords you’re researching. A keyword’s search volume will tell you whether your niche is truly popular. The higher the search volume, the better. This shows you that there is a guaranteed market for your niche.
- Use Oberlo to check out products based on order volume. Within the Oberlo platform, you can check which products are popular and see the data which tells you just how popular the products are. If a product has a high order volume, then it’s a profitable one to sell.
- Check out e-commerce websites within your niche. These can give you some market insights into which products are the most popular with customers. Browse the “Trending” or “Best Selling” categories to know whether your idea is a popular one.
2. Conduct Competitor Analysis
Now that you know what to sell, the next thing to do is find out who you’ll be competing against.
Competitor analysis is easy thanks to numerous apps which enable you to do this. Here are five ways you can conduct this research easily and conveniently.
- Use Google to search for products you’ve decided to sell. Who shows up at the top of the search results? Those businesses are some of your competitors.
- Use Alexa or SimilarWeb to discover competitors who don’t rank highly on the general search results. These tools will give you a lot of information about your competitors, including their social media profiles and who their competitors are.
- Check out social media pages of the competitors you’ve identified. How big is their fan base? How engaged are their followers? You should also browse the Facebook ads within your niche. These will give you insight into your competitors’ marketing strategies.
- Use BuzzSumo to understand your competitors’ content marketing strategies. This tool will tell you the kind of content they create and what works best for them. This information will help you know what kind of content can work for you.
- Subscribe to your competitors’ email lists to know about all their promotions and other business-related updates. This gives you an insider’s view of your competition and will really put you on top of the game in your niche.
3. Find a Dropshipping Supplier
You need a supplier for the products you’ll sell.
To find a dropshipping supplier, choose one from supplier databases like Alibaba, AliExpress or Dropship Direct. Alternatively, you can use a supplier directory like Oberlo, which is integrated into Shopify.
Oberlo helps you vet suppliers so you can avoid working with suppliers who may disappoint you and with that, probably make your business fail.
Check out the product pages to know more about the supplier and their services including the product quality and shipping times.
4. Register Your Dropshipping Business
If you have a long-term vision and are serious about your dropshipping business, then you need to look at it as a proper business. This means thinking critically about the kind of business you want it to be and registering it accordingly.
There are two main business types many dropshipping entrepreneurs consider. You can either be a sole proprietor or register an LLC.
Starting and running a sole proprietorship is easy and very affordable. The disadvantage is that it offers you no personal liability protection. In case your business is sued, since your business and you are one, your personal assets can be in danger.
An LLC on the other hand separates you from the business, thus giving you full protection from any danger that may befall the business. There are however costs associated with incorporation and tax filing.
5. Build Your Dropshipping Store
Building your dropshipping store might be the most fun step of this whole process. The first thing to do is settle on the e-commerce platform you’ll use to run your online business.
There are several options you can consider here. Our top recommendation is Shopify mainly because it’s a comprehensive solution which regularly adds new features and enables you to sell in multiple currencies.
Other options you can consider include:
- WooCommerce – built specifically for WordPress, this e-commerce platform will get your dropshipping business started in minutes. Dedicated to WordPress websites, Bluehost gives you a free 2-hour call to walk you through the process so you can get started selling quickly.
- Wix – this website builder helps you create an online store with multi-channel sales which include Facebook, eBay, Instagram and Amazon shops. It will also create automatic SEO patterns for you to make your dropshipping store easily discoverable online.
- Zyro – with an easy-to-use wizard, Zyro quickly sets up your site for you and makes it mobile-friendly. It also handles the paperwork for you, including taxes, and runs tailor-made ads for you on Facebook and Google Shopping.
6. Marketing Your Dropshipping Business
With everything set up, it’s time to start looking for customers. How do you get people to know about your new dropshipping business and buy from you?
The answer is in Facebook marketing. If you have the budget, run Facebook ads and target the audience that is most likely to buy from you. You can also go into Google ads to attract traffic from the search engine.
Create SEO-based marketing content that will help nurture leads and guide them down your sales funnel. Engage influencers in your niche and also participate in online communities from where you can draw some attention to your store.
7. Analyze and Optimize
You need to keep tabs on all your marketing costs and consider the efforts you’re putting into the various channels. It’s important that you determine the metrics you want to look at as a measure of success.
With Shopify analytics, you can track the performance of your business and make any necessary adjustments. Some of the metrics you can track include conversions, profitability, shopping habits, click-through rates and abandoned carts.
Dropshipping Success Story
There are many success stories showing the profitability of the dropshipping business model. Here is Warmly, a niche dropshipping business selling home décor and furniture accessories.
Understanding the power of visuals, they heavily utilize Pinterest for their marketing and the results are impressive.
According to SaleSource, Warmly makes between $566,000 and $1,100,000 per month.
3. Become a High-Paid Freelancer or Consultant
Did you know that you can set up a global online business selling nothing but your skills?
This is the world of freelancing and in it, there are no limits. You can have clients ranging from startups to multinationals in the US and China. This is the work option many skilled workers are embracing.
The freelancing market has been growing exponentially and the projections clearly tell where things are headed.
What about consulting?
Most people believe that consulting is for experts with over 10 years experience in the field. Yes, anyone experienced in a field can be a good consultant. But that doesn’t mean that you need that level of work experience to become a consultant.
Consultancy becomes an option once you have either skills or experience, or both. And both skills and experience are anchored on knowledge.
The more knowledgeable you are about your field, the more you’re viewed as an expert. And in these days of free online courses as well as publicly-available research findings, there’s no excuse for not being knowledgeable.
Benefits of Freelancing
There are many reasons why freelancing can be the best option for you. Here are a few of them:
- Be your own boss – you get to choose who to work with, on what projects and for how long. You get the opportunity to work according to your skills and without someone else determining your progress
- Work from anywhere – freelancing gives you the freedom to work from anywhere in the world since you don’t need an office. In most cases, all you’ll need is a laptop and internet connection.
- Lower expenses – with most freelancers working from home, lots of savings are made as they avoid expenses which are no longer important. Think of the commute, ordering food for lunch, suits to match your position etc. What if you could cut down on these costs?
- Limitless earning potential – freelancers work with an average of 4.5 clients per month. This shows that freelancing gives you room to pursue more income streams, making your earning potential limitless.
- Work-life balance – with freelancing, you can achieve the ever-elusive work-life balance. A Payoneer study shows that full-time freelancers enjoy a higher pay and rate their life satisfaction at 4.1 out of 5.
High-Paying Freelancing Skills
Since freelancing is skills-based and different skills have different demand levels, how much you make depends on you.
In other words, if you want to make lots of money freelancing, all you have to do is build a skill set that is in high demand.
Here are five of the most in-demand skills for freelancers.
1. Software development
The world runs on software solutions. From the collaboration tools used by large companies to the apps we use on our smartphones, we depend a lot on software solutions.
With the need for software products comes the demand for software development skills. And the pay for this skill is among the highest.
If you love the idea of coding, or are already a programmer, launching a freelancing business in the software development niche can change your life.
Learning how to design software programs and write code is also not difficult. As long as you’re interested in the field, you can learn from home using online courses or tutorials.
2. Graphics design
Visuals are a powerful communication channel and there is a need for creating stunning visuals. Whether the project is about designing a logo, a banner or a whole website, graphic designers are needed.
The demand for this skill is what has led to the increased number of graphic design agencies as well as platforms like 99designs.
If you have the skill to design visual elements, then use it to make yourself some money through freelancing.
Social media has changed many things, from how we communicate to how we consume information.
But beside the numbers of people posting personal information on social channels, businesses are eager to use social media to achieve company goals.
Are you good in engaging people and promoting products and services using convincing language?
If the answer is yes, and you have a good grasp of how the different platforms work, then social media marketing can be a promising income source.
Although there are people who are born with marketing and selling skills, you can also learn and be good at it.
For marketing campaigns to be worth the investment, they need to make the recipients take the desired action. This can only be done through an effective copy. And writing an effective copy isn’t something everyone can do.
To succeed in copywriting, you have to learn how to write marketing messages which will elicit emotional responses. Marketing campaigns focus on emotions because marketers know that people buy emotionally then justify logically.
With businesses looking for ways to grow, they have to advertise so as to increase their revenue and be able to expand. Ad spending has been increasing over the years and will continue doing so as brands work hard to reach prospects and convert them.
As much as not everyone can write a good copy, you can learn how to do it. It can be especially easier if you love selling or are feeling up to the challenge to convince someone to buy a product or subscribe to a service.
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Businesses are competing to be listed on the first page of search engine results.
Being on page one and ranking at the top of it increases the chances of their websites or blogs being visited. And with those visits, hopefully get a sale or at least a warm lead to nurture.
How do businesses get on that coveted first page?
Through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
With consumers searching on the internet, there’s no better time to become an SEO specialist like now. And although there are some technical aspects to it, learning SEO is not entirely difficult.
SEO is a very competitive field. Working to get a business website or blog pages on the first page of Google’s search results requires skill and the skill demands a high pay.
Best freelancing platforms
The easiest way to start your freelancing business is by registering on a freelancing platform where you can practice engaging clients and working with them to build your profile.
Afterwards, armed with some experience, you can create your own website to advertise your freelancing services, pitch clients and grow your business.
One of the best freelancing platforms is Upwork.
Upwork has provided freelancers with a platform that enables them to safely work for clients and build a portfolio. It also publishes regular reports on the freelancing industry and is seen as a leader in this field.
You can also register with Fiverr, Flexjobs and Solidgigs. Feel free to try out several platforms to see which one works best for you.
High-Paid Freelancer Example
There are many freelancers out there who have made a name for themselves working with big clients and making lots of money.
Some of the biggest names and highest-earning ones also specialize in one of the most in-demand skills.
An example of such a freelancer who works on Upwork is Danny Margulies of Freelance To Win.
Danny, with no formal training or experience, managed to get his income to six-figures in his second year. His skill is copywriting and he teaches other freelancers how to succeed like he did.
Consider taking Danny’s freelancing courses to learn from him.
4. Build Your Podcasting Empire
Podcasting has been gaining popularity in recent years as a preferred entertainment and marketing.
Podcasting is growing alongside the increased use of the internet. Advancements in technology are also playing an important role in making it easier to start and run a podcast.
If you’re comfortable with the idea of speaking into a microphone to share your expertise, then podcasting can be your path to making money on the side.
How to Build Your Podcasting Empire
To build a podcasting empire, what you really need is the determination to succeed.
Here are the steps you can follow to start your podcast and make money from it.
1. Choose your podcast name and topic
The name you choose for your podcast must be unique, descriptive of your content and memorable. If you can make it catchy too, the better. Podcasting is a creative work so you can tap into your creativity.
Choosing a specific topic for your podcast will give you better results because niches attract loyal listeners who connect with the content more easily. Speaking consistently about the same topic also allows you to build your brand as an authority in the field.
When you’re perceived as an authority, your audience will be more trusting towards you, especially if they’ve seen your advice solving their problems.
2. Determine your target audience
One of the trickiest things for businesses is defining their target audience.
A target market is a well-defined market segment that you’re looking to sell your products or services to. The offering you want to sell to this segment is one which you’re sure will solve their problem. An example of a target market is women over 40 years old.
Defining your target audience requires thinking about the people who will be listening to your podcast.
Some questions to ask yourself include: how old are they? What’s their education level? Are they male or female? Are they employees or entrepreneurs? What’s their income range? What are their hobbies?
The answers to these questions will ultimately decide what kind of content you create, how you share it and even how you market your podcast.
3. Record your podcast episodes
Your podcast will be made up of episodes which you’ll be releasing periodically. How often you’ll be recording and releasing them is another question you need to answer.
Although generating content can be challenging, as long as you chose a topic you’re knowledgeable about and interested in, coming up with content shouldn’t be very difficult. You may however need to do some research to make your content more solid and practically helpful.
To record your podcast, you’ll need some equipment. These include a microphone plus the related accessories as well as a set of headphones.
To quickly get started without going through lots of technical stuff, just get a podcasting starter kit like the TONOR Pro Condenser Microphone starter kit from Amazon.
Since this starter kit doesn’t come with a set of headphones, you can grab the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x headphones.
For recording and editing your podcast, you have free and paid options. Since the free options work perfectly well and are actually used by many pros, we advise that you just go with one of them.
The most popular podcast recording software is Audacity. This works on both Mac and PC.
If you want a Mac-specific solution, then GarageBand will be your option. It’s also free.
4. Host your podcast
Your podcast needs a home from where it can be accessed. This “home” is your podcast host and choosing the right host is critical to your podcast’s success.
There are many reputable podcast hosts offering different packages. Choosing the right one requires some time to evaluate their packages.
We’ve covered this topic in our article on podcast hosting platforms which we suggest you read Of the different podcast hosts, we recommend Buzzsprout.
Buzzsprout is very user-friendly, making it ideal for beginners. Moreover, it provides you with detailed analytics to help you understand how your podcast is performing.
After setting up your account, you’ll upload your episodes and launch your podcast. It’s always best to have at least three episodes ready for your first listeners before launching. You want them to have enough content to listen to and connect with.
5. Grow your podcast
For many podcasters, the biggest challenge comes in growing their podcasting businesses.
Before you get there and start feeling the pressure, take action early and come up with a growth strategy.
One of the best ways to grow your podcast is by creating a podcast blog. Post your shows on your blog and include show notes as well as transcripts to improve traffic from search engines.
Also collect email addresses and run email campaigns while making the most of social media.
Remember to check whether there are events in your niche. If you can attend them, good. Networking with others in your niche provides opportunities for growth.
6. Monetize your podcast
After all the hard work, it’s time money started flowing into your pockets.
There are many ways of making money through your podcast. Here we’ll focus on those which can make you the most money.
Since the amount of money you can make with your podcast depends on your audience, try and target a high-income audience. Such an audience has more money and is also willing to spend it. As long as you entertain and educate them, spending money on your podcast won’t be much of an issue.
Here are some of the best ways you can make money through your podcast:
- Sell ebooks and merchandise – you can package your expertise into ebooks, promote them through your podcast and sell them on your blog.
- Sell your podcast services – starting and running your podcast teaches you a lot. Why not sell this knowledge and experience to those who want to start their own podcasts?
- Advertisements/sponsorships – as you become popular in your niche and build an engaged audience, businesses will want to advertise on your show or sponsor it.
- Affiliate marketing – you can negotiate with manufacturers and service providers on a commission for purchases made through your recommendation.
- Donations – you can also ask your listeners to financially support your podcast. As long as they love your content and have connected well with you, they will do it. Use Patreon to collect donations.
Podcasting Empire Example
One of the most notable successes in the podcasting world is John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs on Fire.
Through his podcast, JLD has interviewed over 2,600 successful entrepreneurs, including Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk and Tim Ferriss. Starting by just refusing to settle for average, his monthly income rarely goes below $150k. You can read his story here.
5. Create and Sell Online Courses
Each year, students go to universities to acquire knowledge and prepare for their dream careers. But by the time these students graduate, not only do they have a degree, they also have a huge burden called student loan debt.
Student loan debt has been increasing over the years, keeping the average American heavily weighed down economically.
You can help students save on money by offering them cheaper, quality courses which they take online. Not only does this save them money, it also saves them a lot of time. They also get the flexibility to study from wherever and at whatever time they want.
To make money through teaching, make use of online course platforms built specifically to host an online course, allow you to interact with your students and even view analytics to see how your online school is performing.
The leading platform here is Teachable.
Teachable helps you customize your online school experience, create beautiful money-making sales pages, work with team members, create course completion certificates, gather student feedback and so much more.
Our other recommendation is Thinkific. Thinkific offers a drag and drop course builder, student engagement tools like quizzes and discussions, while also including promotional features like coupons.
With the e-learning industry set to keep growing, sharing your knowledge and expertise through an online course is a great way to make money online.
How to Create an Online Course
Creating an online course is actually as easy as just recording yourself sharing the knowledge you have.
Here are the steps you can follow to create your online course and sell it for profit.
1. Choose a topic for your online course
You can teach your online students what you’re already good at. This could be anything from how to code to how to play a guitar.
You can also go the research way to find out what skills people are looking to learn. Most of these skills are in the science and business fields.
After picking your topic, you should find out how much interest your audience has in it. Is your target audience interested in the topic enough to pay for a course? You can find out the answer to this question by carrying out a survey.
If you get positive responses, then create the course. Otherwise, look for what you should change between your target audience and the topic you chose.
2. Plan and structure your online course
It’s important that you create a course structure to guide you in the course-creation process.
Create course modules and sub-topics to enable a potential student to determine whether the course is a good fit for them. This reduces the chances of someone buying the course then realizing that it’s not about what they thought.
Such situations lead to cancellations and requests for refund; something you want to avoid.
3. Record and edit your course material
Since online courses are in video format, you need to record yourself teaching.
Your recording can take different formats. Depending on what you’re teaching, you can record yourself speaking and demonstrating your point or use screencasting tools to show something on your screen.
Whatever tools you use, make sure you deliver high-quality video and audio content.
After recording your lessons, go through them to edit out sections with long pauses, repetitions and the “uhms” which are common during recordings, especially with beginners.
4. Host your course on an online course platform
Once everything is done, just sign up with Teachable or Thinkific and buy the package which will best suit your needs. Both of these platforms give you an opportunity to test them for free.
You can be sure of a reliable service guaranteeing that your online course is up and available for students to access them from anywhere in the word.
5. Market your course
Now that your course is live and anyone can take it, you’re just one step away from making your first sale. This is the time for you to spread the word about your course and attract interested students.
To get you started, Teachable will help you create sales pages that will attract and convince potential students to take your course. Also market your course on social media and if you have the budget, run ads.
Successful Online Course Example
Our example to motivate you towards creating and selling your own e-course comes from Janine Halloran. Janine is a licensed mental health counselor who’s been working with both kids and their families for almost 20 years.
Using her knowledge and experience, Janine and her husband founded Coping Skills for Kids.
Teaching through the Teachable platform, a combination of book sales and e-commerce revenue gives them a gross income of about 10k per month.
With families seeking help with mental health counseling, this business will definitely be growing.
6. Buy and Sell Domain Names
Have you ever heard of domain flipping? If you’ve been searching online on ways people make money on the internet, you probably have.
Something related to that—probably more popular—is website flipping.
In case these words are new to you, here is a simple definition. Domain flipping is simply the business of buying and selling domains. Website flipping is doing the same thing for websites.
Do people buy and sell domains?
Yes, and it can be a very profitable side business. In fact, it can be big enough to become a full-time job.
Domain flippers are also known as domainers. These are people who have mastered the art of identifying or registering valuable domains and selling them for a profit.
Here are some of the highest figures reported for domain sales:
- carinsurance.com – sold for $49.7 million
- privatejet.com – sold for $30.18 million
- voice.com – sold at $30 million
- business.com – sold for $7.5 million
- beer.com – sold for $7 million
Does this pique your interest? If so, then read on.
How to Buy and Sell Domain Names
There are at least four steps to get started with domain flipping. Read through them to learn how to get into this business.
1. Find a valuable domain
Quite obviously, to sell a domain, you have to find one.
The first place you should look is domain marketplaces. Domain marketplaces are websites where domains are bought and sold. Domain owners list their domains on these websites to increase visibility and benefit from the systems set in place to facilitate and protect transactions.
One of the biggest domain marketplace is GoDaddy’s domain auctions.
You can also decide to buy expired domains. An expired domain is one whose previous owner failed to pay the required annual fee to maintain ownership.
One of the best places to find expired domains is ExpiredDomains.net.
You can also check out DomCop. This website provides information about listed domains to help you vet them.
One other way you can find a domain worth buying for resale is by taking the good old path of brainstorming.
The brainstorming process should start by choosing an industry. From there, come up with various search terms and check their search trend over a period of 12 months using Google Trends.
As an example, this is how the topic “cryptocurrency” has been trending over the past 12 months.
You can see that there is a steady and even increasing interest in the topic. Now let’s find out some more.
Our tool of choice for keyword research is SEMrush. Typing our keyword into SEMrush gives us the below results.
You can see that there are many other keywords related to cryptocurrency and they have considerable search volume. This means that there is a strong interest in this topic.
This points to the possibility that someone might soon be looking to register a domain as they target the audience in the cryptocurrency industry.
2. Determine the domain’s value
Is your domain worth buying?
The first thing to think about is the name of the domain. A domain name carries a lot of value because in the best of cases, they connect with what the business is about. A good example of this is cars.com being about cars.
Another factor you should consider is the domain name extension. A domain’s extension is the part that comes after the full stop sign. For example “.com” and “.org.” The .com extension has high demand because it offers high SEO value.
Shorter domain names are usually preferred since they’re easier to remember. Domains with pronounceable names also prove to be more valuable since a buyer would want his audience to be able to easily pronounce the name even in conversations.
If the domain was actively used and the website had traffic, you can also check the
domain’s rating using Ahrefs. This metric will tell you the “authority” of the domain based on backlinks.
You can also gauge the potential value of a domain by checking how similarly-named domains or those in the same industry/niche sold for.
As an example, here is how cryptocurrency-related domains have sold according to NameBio.
If you want a faster way of gauging a domain’s value, use a valuation tool like GoDaddy’s domain valuation and appraisal tool.
3. Buy the domain
Buying the domain is the next logical step once you’re confident that you’ve identified the right domain.
If you’re buying a new domain, you’ll just go ahead and register it with your preferred registrar. You can use the domain registration services of Bluehost.
If you’re buying an old domain, check out GoDaddy’s domain auctions for domains you can buy.
4. Sell the domain
Selling your domain is a pretty straightforward process although some domains can take time to sell.
That aside, there are two main ways you can sell your domain. The easiest would be to list it on a popular auction site like GoDaddy’s domain auction, Flippa or Sedo.
You can also sell your domain by pitching potential buyers. This will require identifying and contacting those you think could be interested in the domain. This is a hit-and-miss method and not many domainers do this as it can also be very time consuming.
You can also create a website and list all the domains you have for sale and market them on social media targeting the industry’s audience.
Domain Flipping Success Example
One domain flipping success story comes from Flippa. The domain, gomechanicalkeyboard.com, was for an Amazon Associates website which publishes mice, headsets and mechanical keyboard reviews.
Within 1 week of listing, this narrow-niched domain had generated almost 3,500 views, 95 watchers and 13 discussion threads. The sale was closed at $12,500 with the buyer having bagged a domain and website which attracts 6,000 unique visits every month, 100% from organic traffic.
7. Become a YouTube or Instagram Influencer
Influencer marketing has gone mainstream as more businesses look for people they can work with to drive interest in their products and services.
In order for a business to work with you, you have to show that you can influence people’s opinions. This is usually seen through the number of people who are loyal to your brand and the level of interaction your content generates.
If you want to make money by promoting products and have no problem putting your face (and life) out there, then become a YouTube influencer. You can also do the same thing on Instagram by becoming an Instagram influencer. You’ll build a community around your personal brand, promote businesses and get paid for it.
Let’s look at how you can become an influencer on the biggest influencer marketing platforms, YouTube and Instagram.
How to Become an Influencer on YouTube or Instagram
To become an influencer, you need to understand that you’re going to be primarily a content creator. Since you want people to like your content and engage with it, you need a strategy.
1. Pick a niche
The first thing you should consider when choosing a niche is your level of knowledge and interest in the field. You should also ask yourself how much interest your proposed topic attracts. The more the people interested in the topic, the better.
Something else to consider is the spending power of your target audience.
Imagine having a massive audience that doesn’t have the money to spend versus a small one that’s well moneyed and can buy whatever you’re promoting. Which one would you prefer?
Some of the most profitable niches on YouTube include lifestyle, technology, gaming, fashion and fitness.
On Instagram, the most profitable niches include traveling, beauty, lifestyle, photography and food.
2. Check your competition
It’s wise to check what the competition is doing. Look at what they’re doing right and wrong then use the information to craft your own strategy.
To locate your competition, use tools which can help you find influencers in your niche and see how they go about their influencer activities.
One such tool is GroupHigh.
GroupHigh will give you a list of influencers based on a niche topic, expertise, reach, social presence as well as location.Another tool you can use for the same purposes is Klear.
3. Create a content strategy
If you’re to become an influencer and sustain it, you need to work at it like a pro. Instead of creating and posting content randomly, develop a strategy.
Here are three factors to consider when creating a content strategy:
- Your content type – image, video, stories
- Content (video) length – less than 3 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hr etc
- Post frequency – how often? If daily, how many times per day? At what times?
4. Create your content
Since you’ll basically be creating videos, just focus on quality.
If for instance you’ve chosen the travel niche, you might need to invest in a professional camera. You can however get started with your smartphone as long as it takes good videos. Learn and test the different camera settings to know how to take the best shots and videos.
You can also add some music to your videos. Just make sure you use music licensed for free use in order to avoid copyright issues. Popular sources of free music for creators include Free Music Archive and MotionElements.
5. Market your channel
Growing your YouTube or Instagram channel means marketing and the metrics to check are follower/subscriber count and engagement.
How do you grow your Instagram channel?
The first thing is to make sure you’re posting as often as possible, at least once per day.
Remember to use hashtags and keep the number to between 8-10.
There are hashtag generating tools you can use for this task. Some of the best include Kicksta, Ingramer and Tailwind.
To grow your YouTube channel, start by asking your viewers to subscribe. Tell them that they’ll be notified when you release a new video. Also ask them to comment on the video so you can know what they think.
Ensure you respond to comments as much as possible. This is especially important when you’re just getting started. Interacting with your video viewers will build a connection and that means more views and even shares.
Also look for other YouTube influencers in your niche and collaborate with them. If you’re located close to each other, you can make a video together.
Monetizing Your YouTube and Instagram Channels
You can make money as an influencer on YouTube or Instagram. And the best part is that you don’t even need to have 50k followers, let alone 1 million of them.
Here are the three best strategies.
1. Affiliate marketing
One of the surest ways of making money online is through affiliate marketing. This is where you promote a brand’s products then ask your followers to buy through a special link which identifies you. You can put this link in your posts to make it easy for your audience to click and buy.
Affiliate marketing is becoming bigger by the day as more and more brands tap into its potential.
As long as you have the right audience and they trust you, they will buy through your link and you’ll get a commission.
2. Sell physical and digital products
You can also use your influence to sell products which you own.
There are many different things you can sell by leveraging both YouTube and Instagram. Popular examples include ebooks, hand-crafted items and branded merchandise.
Create a blog through which to sell these products then use your YouTube or Instagram influence to gain followers who you market to. Just remember to always provide value before selling.
3. Develop and sell a software solution
Businesses are racing towards running their operations from the cloud. Some of the reasons for this include cheaper infrastructure, reliability and faster scaling.
And you know what? The SaaS market is profitable and growing.
All you need to cash in on this growth is a software solution to a problem that already exists. You can either develop the software yourself or hire a developer from Upwork.
Highest-Earning YouTube and Instagram Influencers
Did you know that people are making crazy amounts of money on YouTube—including kids?
The highest-paid YouTube influencer is 9-year old Ryan Kaji who runs the Ryan’s World YouTube channel.
From YouTube alone, he made $29.5 million in 2020. His videos, mostly toy reviews and “unboxing,” usually attract millions of views.
But he’s smart enough to go beyond that. He has implemented other income streams all from his YouTube stardom, including having Ryan’s World-branded toys. These made him an estimated $200 million.
On Instagram, instead of focusing on the celebrities who earn up to $1m for a single post, here is one you can probably more easily relate with. His name is Paul Nicklen.
Widely renowned for his photography assignments for National Geographic, he has almost 7 million followers. His influencer earnings are estimated to be over $40,000 per Instagram post.
8. Launch an Exclusive Deal or Business Newsletter
For your online business, you can pursue an exclusive deal where you check the industry of your choice and pick someone worth partnering with.
Ideally, this should be someone or a brand which complements what you’re interested in.
Coming together will then create a synergy that will propel both of you to greater heights.
A good example of an exclusive deal is the one between Marijuana Business Daily and Cowen.
Marijuana Business Daily is an authoritative source of news in the marijuana industry. Cowen on the other hand is an investment bank with expertise in market research.
You can also publish a business newsletter.
There are many entrepreneurs and business leaders who would love to get business news updates as well as tips to grow their businesses. These people don’t have the time to search through the internet to get business insight.
You can get the insights from the internet, package them in an easy-to-read format, then send them to your subscribers.
How to Run a Successful Business Newsletter
Here are the steps to follow to set up a successful business newsletter.
1. Choose your niche
An easy way of choosing your niche is by starting with your interests. Interests could as well be motivated by money and not necessarily what you like.
As long as you can get yourself to love the niche and learn the language, you’re good to go.
Here are examples of niches which can work well with a business newsletter:
- Fashion for millennial women
- Luxury homes for the super rich
- Cryptocurrency investment
- Startup funding and growth
- Sports business
2. Choose a publishing schedule
How often should you publish your newsletter?
Most newsletters are published either daily or weekly. It mainly depends on how active your niche is. Take some time and study your niche as well as your target subscribers.
Look at brands in your niche, even those operating in the physical space, and check their communication strategy.
3. Create your content
Your content is what will ultimately get you subscribers and help you keep them.
As you design your newsletter, remember that most of your audience will be reading it on a mobile device. So make sure it displays well in different devices and that it loads quickly.
Design aside, you need to decide what kind of content you’ll publish in your newsletter. Some examples include industry news and highlights, industry research, industry-related events and interviews.
4. Publish and promote
To send your newsletters, you need to invest in an email marketing platform like ConvertKit.
ConvertKit gives you everything you need to stay on top of your newsletter business. With industry-leading email deliverability rates, ConvertKit will help you collect email addresses and send automated personalized emails.
Monetizing Your Business Newsletter
There are several ways of making money through your newsletter and they’re all lucrative. Here are three big income streams you can implement in your newsletter business.
The most obvious way of earning through your newsletter is through subscriptions. And just so you know, people are paying for email newsletters.
Subscriptions can be monthly or annual. You can have both options so as to provide your readers with room for making a choice.
Here is an example of a subscription pricing from Bloomberg.
Your newsletter is a communication channel and brands are always on the lookout for ways to reach their audience. With a growing and ever-loyal subscriber list, your newsletter can be the channel niche brands want to advertise on.
ConvertKit will give you the numbers on how many subscribers you have and other performance-related data which you can use to set advertising rates.
More subscribers and a high engagement rate will enable you to charge a high price for ads.
3. Affiliate marketing
You can promote products and services to your readers and as they buy, you earn a commission.
To sweeten the deal, you can even negotiate discounts for them. This creates a feel of exclusivity thereby encouraging purchases while giving you a higher income.
In case brands in your industry don’t offer affiliate marketing opportunities, you can initiate the conversation. That would make it even better for you since you’ll be making money in ways your competitors aren’t.
Successful Business Newsletter
The newsletter business has been going on for a while now. And while it started with established companies, individual creators have created room for themselves in the industry.
One of the best known newsletter successes is Ben Thompson of Stratechery.
Ben launched this tech and business strategy newsletter back in 2013. Every week, he writes one free article and three others on select days for subscribers only.
Subscription is $12 per month and although he hasn’t explicitly disclosed how much he makes, it’s estimated to be around $3m per year.
9. Run Free or Paid Webinars
Although webinars can be used for personal communication among friends and family, it’s their business application that makes them popular. One of the biggest reasons for using webinars in a business setting is lead generation.
Webinars work as a top-level filter that helps you generate high-quality leads. By the time someone goes through the registration process and attends a webinar to the end, they’re definitely interested in what you’re selling.
Here are some numbers about the use of webinars:
- 95% of webinar hosts see them as important for their strategy
- Up to 60% of webinars are created for the purpose of building customer loyalty
- Live webinars are watched for 55 minutes while on-demand webinars are watched for 42 minutes on average
- Webinars have an average of 35-45% registrant-to-attendee conversion rate
- 20-40% of webinar attendees eventually turn into qualified leads
How to Run a Webinar
It can feel scary to host your first webinar. But if you follow some standard steps, you can build confidence pretty quickly.
Here are the steps you can follow to have a smooth experience with webinars.
1. Define your goals
You can run a webinar for many different reasons. Lead generation, brand awareness and even customer support are all goals you can achieve through a webinar.
Your goals will determine almost everything else about your webinar. They will determine who you target, the kind of content you create and even the message you communicate.
It’s important to be clear on what you want to achieve. If you plan to have more than one goal for the same webinar, make sure they’re related. Don’t have something like lead generation and customer support as goals for the same webinar. That won’t work.
2. Choose your webinar platform
You can’t have a webinar without a webinar platform. Providing the technology for recording and broadcasting your content as well as features to promote interaction and analyze results, you must get this part right.
Given the different options and features it offers, WebinarJam is easily the best webinar platform.
WebinarJam allows you to host up to 5,000 attendees, with up to 5 co-hosts. It has an advanced messaging system offering automated email replies, provides detailed analytics and even has a panic button which re-creates your webinar session without losing your attendees.
The best alternative to WebinarJam is Demio. Being very user-friendly and offering both private and public chat, Demio also gives you lots of customization options.
3. Design your webinar
There are at least two things to think about here. The first is the webinar structure and the second is the slides you’ll use to deliver your webinar content.
The webinar structure is basically a guide of how your webinar will transition from one part to the next.
To create your slides, just use any computer program that can create a presentation. If you’re a Windows user, the main solution is Microsoft PowerPoint. If you’re using Mac, then Keynote is your tool.
You can also hire a presentation designer from Upwork or Fiverr.
4. Promote your webinar
Since webinars are not limited by geography, you should work towards reaching as many of your target audience as possible.
Create a blog through Bluehost and design a sales funnel to move visitors on any of your blog pages to the webinar landing page. Once people start registering for your webinar, email marketing should take over.
If you have social media followers, get the word out to them first. After that, design an effective ad and run it in the platforms your target audience uses.
5. Run your webinar
Running your webinar is mainly about your presentation. If you’ve never presented to an audience, do some tests and have someone watch then give feedback which you can learn from. Just practice being comfortable before the camera.
Being comfortable will inspire trust and increase the chances of your audience taking the action you want them to take.
In case you want to make some sales during the webinar, avoid rushing through the webinar so as to pitch. If your audience feels rushed to be asked to buy, they won’t do it.
6. Analyze and follow-up
Did you achieve your goals? If yes, how much success did you register? If no, what prevented you from reaching your goals? What can you learn to make the next webinar better?
If this is your first webinar and it doesn’t go as well as you hoped, don’t be too hard on yourself. The lack of experience and probably some anxiety too might have caused you to fall short on achieving your goals. Don’t worry much about; just focus on improvement.
Ask yourself questions like how many people registered? Of those, how many attended? Of the attendees, how many watched to the end of the webinar?
The answers to these questions will help you figure out where you need to put more effort next time.
Webinar Success Story
One webinar pro who is currently helping others host successful webinars is Daniel Waas.
Daniel has been in marketing for a while. Between then and now as a consultant, he has hosted over 500 webinars and analyzed data from over half a million more.
The most interesting thing? Despite the success, he still feels nervous when hosting a webinar. He has however learned how to overcome those feelings and he always shares his tips.
10. Organize an Online Conference
More and more people are turning to online conferences and one of the biggest reasons is lower costs.
As an organizer, you save a lot of money by simply not booking venues and encourage attendance since attendees don’t spend money in transport to the venue.
Are online conferences worth organizing?
- 63% of organizations are moving to digital conferences or events
- 80.2% of event organizers have reached a wider audience using virtual events
- 93% of event professionals plan to invest in virtual events
If you consider how in-person conferences work, you might wonder how much of that can be pulled off virtually. Although some aspects of the in-person experience cannot be fully achieved with an online conference, these are usually compensated for through innovation.
For instance, online conference platforms can allow for attendee interactions, private chats, breakout rooms and even virtual vendor booths.
How to Organize an Online Conference
Organizing an online conference can be overwhelming. But knowing what to do can help you plan and execute your plans without issues.
Let’s look at how you can organize a successful virtual conference.
1. Define your goals
As with everything else, it’s important to know what you’re hoping to achieve with a virtual conference.
Defining your goals helps you know what exactly your success will look like since you’re able to measure it.
For example, if you intend to improve brand awareness, you can measure the number of leads, referrals and how much the event and your brand are being talked about on social media.
2. Create a budget
Organizing your online event will cost you money. Sure, it’s less than it would have been if you were planning for a physical event, but there’s a cost anyway.
For an online conference, there are a few costs you’ll have to take care of:
- Organizing team or agency – will you be organizing the event with your own team or will you hire an agency? Whichever option you use, there will be money spent in organizing the virtual event.
- Web conferencing platform – you’ll need a web conferencing platform for your event. There are many options here and they all come with different features. Your goals and overall budget will determine the choice you make.
- Speaker fees – your speakers are a key part of your online conference. The more popular they are as experts in your field, the better. But that means they’re more expensive. When negotiating, sell benefits like leads for their consultant business so as to reduce your expenses.
- Participant freebies – attendees may need an incentive to attend your event. This is more important if you’re charging for the conference. You can either give them freebies during registration, in the course of the conference or after.
- Marketing – spreading the word about your online conference will come at a cost. This will mostly be in the form of paid ads. If working with an agency, these costs might be covered in the contract. Just remember to negotiate.
- Miscellaneous – rarely will any event—physical or virtual—fit the budget perfectly. Some surprise costs will usually come up and you’ll have to take care of them. It’s wise to plan for these and have some extra cash just in case.
3. Pick a date
When will your conference take place? Which days and at what times?
As you pick a date for your online conference, keep in mind that there are many things that can keep potential attendees away.
The biggest things to look out for are holidays and other events which could affect your conference’s success. If someone or a company in your niche is hosting an event on the days you have in mind, you’ll be better off picking a different date.
Once you settle on the date, let the marketing team go ahead and start communicating. Even if speakers and other details are yet to be finalized, just get the word out so that people start marking their calendars.
4. Choose your online conference platform
Online events are made possible and easy thanks to technology.
There are several capable online conference platforms you can choose from. One of the best, even crowned market leader by G2 Crowd, is Bizzabo.
Bizzabo is a very intuitive platform which offers everything you might need to run your virtual conference. It will help you with ticketing, promo codes, one-to-one messaging, cross-event analytics, unlimited attendees, multilingual support and many other things.
Some of Bizzabo’s customers include Adobe, Forbes and Uber.
Another great option is Intrado.
Intrado is big on customization, giving you a lot of branding opportunities. This platform is great if you’re hosting a big event which includes sponsors with virtual booths. Virtual booths can be custom designed and even include chat functionality.
After choosing your preferred platform, make sure you do a test run together with your speakers and support team.
5. Find speakers
One big influence over the success of your virtual conference is your speakers. Depending on your budget and what you want to achieve, you might go with industry thought leaders or your in-house experts.
Even if you have well-known experts in your company, it’s best to collaborate with one or more well-known speakers from your niche. This partnership will not only open the door for more partnerships down the road but will also add to your brand authority.
Try and get virtual keynote speakers who can draw the attention of your target audience.
6. Find partners and sponsors
Collaborations are the way to go and there are many businesses that can agree to work with you. As long as you can show them how they will benefit and it makes sense, they will come on board.
Getting partnerships and sponsors can make things easier when they chip in financially. Keep in mind however that conference features like virtual vendor booths increase the complexity of your online conference.
Sponsors can also offer attendees goody bags as a way of promoting their brands, have their banners displayed during different conference sessions or in the breakout rooms. Check to ensure that your web conferencing platform offers this level of customization.
7. Market your online conference
The success of your online conference depends a lot on your marketing efforts.
Here is how different virtual event marketers drive registrations for their online events.
If you already have subscribers either from your blog or other sources, start sending them emails. If you’re just getting started with your online business and have no subscribers yet, your first option should be paid ads on social media.
You’ll also have to create a website or blog to promote your upcoming conference. This is where your paid ads will be leading interested attendees for registration or more information.
How to Make Money Using Online Conferences
Organizing an online conference can be a real income source if you know how to make money through it. Although 80% of virtual event registrations are free, you can apply the below strategies to earn from your virtual conference.
- Sell VIP experiences – there will always be people willing to pay more for some extra treat. Capitalize on this and create tickets which include admission to the after-party or limited-capacity sessions with keynote speakers.
- Sell digital products – do you have ebooks or e-courses you’re selling? Offer them at a discount and communicate this before, during and after the event. You can also bundle these digital products in a VIP ticket.
- Affiliate marketing – are there brands or partners who sell products or services relevant to your attendees? Strike a deal with them for a percentage of the sales when your attendees make a purchase.
- Sponsorships – attract sponsors by showing them exactly how they will benefit. For example, tell them that their logo will be part of an email campaign reaching 3,000 prospects or that they will have at least 100 prospects visit their virtual booth.
Online Conference Success Story
As an inspiration, consider the success of Jon Schumacher who launched the Webinar Mastery Summit.
Jon’s online conference aimed at empowering webinar hosts to advance their skills. Featuring 25 experts, he achieved 7,000 new email subscribers as well as over $55k in revenue.
As technology improves and people increasingly prefer convenience, virtual events will continue growing in popularity. Take this opportunity and establish yourself early in this market.
How to Create Your Website and Bring Your Online Business Idea to Life
Whatever online business idea you’ve chosen to run with, the starting point is a website. Depending on your specific idea, you can either go for a website plus blog or a blog only. The most important thing is that you have a blog for content publishing.
In these tech-driven days, creating a website is a breeze. You can easily create your website yourself and launch your online business in minutes.
Here’s how to do it.
1. Choose Your Website Host
If your website is to be accessible on the internet, it has to be hosted somewhere.
To distinguish between web hosts, consider factors like up time and customer support.
A server’s uptime is the measure of it’s availability on the internet. Another way of looking at this is how often the server goes down in a given period of time. This is crucial because you don’t want to spend time and money pushing prospects to your site only for them to find it offline.
Don’t choose a web host with a record of anything less than 99.99% uptime. Whether the packages are cheaper or they come with many extras, that’s a bad deal for your business.
The web host who ticks all the boxes is Bluehost and that’s why we recommend them.
Bluehost’s packages are also very competitively-priced. Given all that they offer, plus their helpful and always-available customer support, it’s not difficult to see why most bloggers recommend them.
You’ll also need a domain name. If you go to a domain registrar for a domain name, you will incur an unnecessary cost. Buy one of the Bluehost packages offering free domain name and save on that cost.
2. Build Your Website
There are website builders you can use to easily create a website. Some popular ones include Squarespace, Wix and Weebly.
The best way to build a website is however through WordPress. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) which uses themes to create websites. WordPress gives you a lot of control over the look of your website and since it’s open source, almost all web hosts support it.
Once you’ve purchased your hosting package, you will have the option of either creating your own website or installing WordPress for the same purpose. With Bluehost, installing WordPress is just a click away. Bluehost works so well with WordPress that WordPress actually recommends them.
After you install WordPress, configure your settings, paying special attention to your admin login credentials.
3. Customize Your Website
Your website now needs some beautification and the way to do this is using themes.
A website theme is what provides it with its look and feel. From colors and design to fonts, your theme of choice will help attract and keep visitors on your site.
There are many WordPress themes available from the WordPress theme directory. Just choose one and install it.
You can also install themes from outside the WordPress theme directory. One of the most popular sources of beautiful WordPress themes is ThemeForest.
After installing your theme, take some time to make it look and feel as you like. Note that some free themes may not be fully customizable.
If you want to create a vibrant and interactive website, you’ll need to install more than the theme you’ve chosen. To increase the functionality of your website, choose widgets and plugins which your online business will need to perform at its best.
Here are three of the most common and important plugins you should install:
- Akismet – important to keep your blog comments section spam-free. It filters comments and alerts you of any suspicious spam. There is a free and premium version.
- Wordfence – the security of your website is key. Although your hosting plan may come with an SSL certificate for secure connections, your site needs protection from actual hacking. You can choose between the free and premium versions of this plugin.
- ConvertKit – your online business can’t be complete without an email marketing solution. Download and install the ConvertKit plugin and link it to your website account to start collecting insights on your web visitors and manage your email marketing campaigns.
4. Publish Your Content
After creating your website, it’s time to publish some content. Start by creating at least three web pages: your homepage, a product/service page and an About page. These will tell your visitors about you, your business and what you want to achieve.
Depending on your business, you can have more pages than these. For example, if you’re starting a dropshipping business, you might have your product categories being the main part of your website.
Decide on the format your blog posts will have as well as a schedule for posting your articles. This will help you have consistency so that your readers know what to expect and when to expect it.
5. Grow Your Online Business
In many cases, getting started is the most difficult part. Many would-be entrepreneurs remain potential entrepreneurs since they never took the first step to get started.
If you go ahead and start your online business, congratulations. Note however that getting started isn’t everything. You’ll have to make an effort to build and grow your business.
One of the biggest factors which will drive your business growth is website/blog traffic. Checking the Bluehost analytics reports will help you understand your website’s performance.
How many people have visited your blog in the past week or month? Is the number increasing or reducing? Which pages are they visiting? Are they reading the whole post? Are they responding to your CTAs?
Also work on mastering SEO as you’ll need that to rank higher on search engine results pages.
Online Business Ideas FAQ
Here are some common questions people ask about online business ideas. If you have a question other than these, just ask in the comments section and we’ll answer it.
There are two main factors you should consider when choosing your website idea for an online business.
The first is your confidence to operate in that niche. This will be determined by your understanding of the market as well as the problem faced by the audience in that niche and the solution you’re providing.
The other factor is the spending power of the audience in that niche. Can they buy your offering? Are they willing to? If you can find a niche you’re comfortable in and the audience can buy your offering, then go with that.
Bluehost is undoubtedly the cheapest hosting service you’ll find. Starting at $3.95/month, providing 99.99% uptime, having an ever-available and helpful customer support and the many features they provide, Bluehost becomes the best you can find.
Most web hosts offer free domains when you buy a hosting package from them. Bluehost also does this. The free domain is usually a form of discount they give you for becoming their customer. But if you just want a domain without hosting, you’ll be charged for it.
If you want to start a business which will seem and feel credible to customers, get a “.com” domain. Because of their demand, these domains are usually expensive. But if you buy hosting from Bluehost, they’ll give you a free domain as a welcome gift.
It’s very difficult to give a number here since all businesses are different and the people running them are different too.
Some ideas like the SaaS business idea, can make you big money quite quickly. But it also depends on the solution you’re providing and the marketing you do.
If you are however like many people who try out online businesses as a side hustle, then it can take some time. All the same, if you follow the guides we provide in this blog, you should be making something within your first year.
Ready to Make Money Online with Your Website?
Making money online is a reality. There are many people living very comfortable lives simply because they took the step to start an online business.
To join this group of people, all you have to do is pick a website idea you can monetize. Conduct search volume research using SEMrush to determine the popularity of the topic then head over to Bluehost to create your website.
With your website ready, come up with a content marketing strategy which you’ll use to attract visitors to your blog. Build your email list using ConvertKit and together with social media marketing, start selling your offering to your target audience for a profit.
The internet has leveled the playing field so anyone can start an online business and grow it. Financial freedom is within reach. Will you reach out and grab it?