Starting your own online home based business is rewarding. The internet continues to open up new markets for entrepreneurs with great ideas for online business every day.
However, it is, by and large, a long term venture and requires lots of digital digging in the trenches. It’s hard work – which is partly what makes a small online business so satisfying.
If you’ve decided to take your show on the road, here are 10 Online Business Ideas for Beginners.
|1. Affiliate Marketing||6. eBay|
|2. Freelancing||7. Blogging|
|3. Writing Online||8. eCommerce|
|4. Digital Products||9. Homemade Products|
|5. Online Instructor||10. Virtual Assistant|
The list is simple and easy for both beginners and for those who have lost their way and want to get back on track in building up their online business idea. These are all tried and tested ideas for an online business that have endured the test of time.
START AN AFFILIATE MARKETING WEBSITE
Affiliate marketing can still create a nice trickle of income if you choose your products wisely and market your products carefully.
The great thing about an Affiliate marketing business is that you don’t need to carry products.
You can change the things you promote easily and there is more than enough product opportunities out there that you are bound to find something you have a passion for.
How Affiliate Marketing makes money
Affiliate marketing makes its money simply by promoting other peoples products on your site. You link to the product your talking about, convince me to buy it; I do and you get a commission from the Vendor.
The process is pretty simple. What can you write about with conviction and passion?
Affiliate success story: Pat Flynn
Meet Pat Flynn. A self-confessed dude from California.
Pat was laid off in 2008 and turned his hand to affiliate marketing full time with what is now known as Smart Passive Income. His site began to take off using Google Adsense and a few paid advertisements.
But the big shake happened when a few friends encouraged him to start publishing his own work in the form of an e-book, a study guide for the LEED exam in Microsoft Word.
What started as a trickle of income turned in to over $7,900.00 after the first month of publication.
After the success of his initial ebook, pat added to his product line by connecting with other companies and selling their own products for a commission.
Later, when Pat got going with SmartPassiveIncome.com, the majority of his income stream came from recommending products he had used and had success with himself.
Pat’s successful online business idea can be put down to a couple of things. He is approachable, consistent and was willing to work hard.
Pat continues to find new ventures and opportunities for maintaining an income with his affiliate marketing business. From write-ups about hosting companies and other affiliate products to the enormous amount of well written helps he offers on his site, Pat has gained a permanent a dedicated following.
Benefits of starting your own Affiliate Marketing website
- You get to choose the products you will work with
- Work at your own pace
- No worries about stock, inventory or payment gateways
The challenges you’ll face
- Highly competitive
- Needs heavy marketing
- Products and retail partners can come and go
One of the irritations of Affiliate marketing is that your success relies in part on the availability of the product and the reliability of the vendor.
Big brands like Reebok have pretty reliable stock but they could decide to cancel their affiliate relationships.
People have built whole sites on one product, like selling sports tickets through Ticketmaster. Then one day, Ticketmaster decided to stop their affiliate network.
Want to dig a little deeper? Go here to find out how to become an affiliate marketer.
Bye-bye income. The other issue is that the affiliate scene is highly competitive and you need to engage in some pretty heavy marketing, perhaps even paid marketing like placing ads.
If you’re venturing in with an Affiliate marketing business idea then investigating the best marketing models is a must.
Watch what the successful people are doing carefully and take their advice! That’s my advice and you should take it.” Pat Flynn
How to start your own Affiliate Website
- Decide on your niche
- Choose a platform
- Choose The Products or Services you want to Promote
Make sure you know [exactly] what you are going to promote (your niche) and investigate its profitability. Some products sell like hot cakes but commissions are stingy.
Others, like a mobile phone company, will give you $100.00 for every successful sign up that originates from your site. Not bad at all. You will need a blogging platform like WordPress, which is ideally suited to the needs of a small business web design.
Skills needed for Affiliate Marketing
- You need to know your product
- You need to know design
- You need to know how to reach your target audience
Product reviews are a great way to get going in affiliate marketing so you will need to be a confident and proficient writer. You don’t need to say a lot, you just need to say those things that will get your visitor to take action.
You will also need to have some knowledge on how to create landing pages and design a call to action – which simply means you need to know how to design a page or website so that it leads your visitor smoothly from discovery (of your article) to the purchase (taking action).
If you think you can write well, but would like a formula for being able to write good converting product reviews, let me know. I write content for a living and I can show you how to write quickly and easily on just about any product or service.
START SELLING ON EBAY
There is a reason ebay is so popular. It works. For those who’ve got the eBay bug, it’s addictive watching the bids flow in.
As far as simple ideas for online business go, eBay is hard to beat. The dollars can quickly add up, especially if you’re making your money from stuff you picked out of a second hand store.
How Ebay sellers make Money
If you’re my wife, you make money on ebay by going to garage sales, buy some old spoons for $8.00 and selling them to the highest bidder for $50.o0.
Yep, that’s where our eating out money comes from. The premise is simple. You’ve got something you don’t want or need and there is someone out there who does want it.
So you auction it off. There are also sellers who make their money by selling inventory from their business stock. And then there are those who sell new gear that belongs to a larger hobby.
I have a neighbour who turns over $250,000 a year selling nothing but replacements parts for little model cars. He sells, he packs, he sends.
Ebay success story: Matt and Amanda
Meet Australian couple, Matt and Amanda Clarkson. They went from broke to eBay millionaires in just 24months.
The couple quit their jobs and began selling on eBay in February 2006 using a $400 laptop. The first item they listed was a DVD box set called How to Make Money on the Internet.
Matt says, “We misspelt the heading and left the r out of internet, which means a lot of people wouldn’t have found it.”
Today most of their business is selling home-ware such as pots, pans and cutlery.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing is that they say they spend less than 10 hours a week managing the business, because each time an item sells, eBay automatically puts up a posting for a new one. Yes, they now have a yacht.
Benefits of selling on Ebay
- Ease of Use
- Financial transactions taken care of
- You can start with a paper clip and an old pair of shoes
If the above story does not highlight the benefits, I am not sure what will! You don’t have to own a web site, PayPal take care of your transactions and all your online records are right there in the eBay interface.
You don’t need a lot of coding or technical knowledge and you get to work from home and decide for yourself how little or how much work you will do. Sweet.
The challenges you’ll face
- Competition in your niche
- Sourcing the right products
- Learning sufficient marketing skills
Man, the competition is huge. Not only from other home based ebay sellers but now also from big companies who are finding ways to mooch in on this once homely racket.
You also have to be able to keep up supply. If your selling on stuff you picked up at the junk shop, you will need to diversify. While diversity is good to have, it usually isn’t what makes the most money on eBay.
The biggest sellers on eBay sell within a niche – a particular kind of product – and they target a particular kind of customer.
How to set yourself up on Ebay
- Decide on your product niche and go find your first product
- Open an Ebay account
- Open a Paypal account
- Learn some basic online SEO and Marketing skills
Skills needed for success on Ebay
- Good customer service
- An eye for a bargain
- An ability to write convincing product descriptions and titles
Once you have set up an eBay account and have your foundations right, the other skills can be developed over time. Do not expect to make a million in 24 months. You will have to work and you will have to be consistent.
BECOME A FREELANCER
A Freelancer is someone who hires themselves out in for a particular service. Usually, it’s a service that can be completed online.
Writing, building and fixing websites, SEO, virtual assistance and, graphic design are all good examples.
How Freelancers make Money
Freelancers make money by providing an online service which you pay for. It’s pretty simple and being based on a good, reliable business principle of supply and demand for services is a good option for someone wanting to begin earning money online.
Freelancer success story: Greenbox
Meet Simon Carter, owner and founder of Greenbox Designs.
At 23, Simon joined Elance where he was able to develop his skills as a web developer. He found the work platform perfect for strengthening his design portfolio.
It also enabled him to earning an income while travelling.
Girlfirend Emily then joined him on Elance as a graphic designer and within months the couple realised their skills were more marketable together and launched Greenbox Designs, a web development and design company.
Since joining the online workforce, Simon and Emily have lived in Thailand, Spain, Indonesia and South Africa finding work on Elance to supplement their income.
From small, humble beginnings, Greenbox has become a strong company name in Branding and design and continues to grow.
Benefits of starting your own Freelance agency or service
Freelancing enables you to do only the things you love, at the tempo you want to do them. Start up costs will depend on your expertise. If you’re a graphic designer then you might want to invest in a computer!
- Choose your own hours
- Choose the clients you work with
- Set your own rates and workload
The challenges you’ll face
- Competition with other freelancers
- Marketing your skills to the right people
- Keeping up with your own industry expertise
The online field is always changing. New technology means you have to always be on your game. The next good writer is nipping at your toes!
You will need to know who your clients are and how to reach them. If this is your area of expertise already, this should not be hard. What is hard work is having a marketing plan to grow your business and sticking to it.
How to start Freelancing on the Web
- Decide on the service you want to offer
- Set up Your Service and pricing or,
- Start searching for Jobs on offer
You need to be very specific as a Freelancer about what you do. You don’t want to be wasting a clients time or your own on projects which are not a good fit for your skills.
Make sure tio complete your profile in full so people know who you are and what you can do for them. You may be required to have a Paypal account to access the money you make.
Skills needed for Freelancers
- You have to know how to get along with people
- You need to be reliable and contactable
- You need to stay within your skill set
You are more than likely going to come in to contact with real humans. Be contactable. Start up a Skype account. Again, be contactable. Have a real photo of yourself.
Answer enquires quickly and you will need to have good customer service skills to seal the deal in a way that does not irritate me… I mean, the client.
START YOUR OWN BLOG
Blogging is simple work but takes dedication to make money. An online blogging business idea has as many forms as there are bloggers.
It’s been around since Adam and as an online business idea, blogging is a great way to get your feet wet.
How Blogs make Money
Blogs make money in endless ways but basically, the blog is the vehicle to talk about your product or service – or the products and services of others – in the hope that your website visitors will take action of some kind.
The desired action may be to click an ad, buy a product on another site based on your review or buy a product that you are storing on your blog.
The most popular forms of making money with a blogging business idea are:
Product reviews are a good basis for a blog. Provided you can write, you can talk up the products or services in such a way that engenders user confidence and encourages them to take the desired action.
A typical product review site has links to e-commerce sites that will give you a commission if the visitor clicks through from your article to their site and buys (commonly called Affiliate Marketing). Amazon product review sites are a good example.
Paid Article or Ad Placement
Here, you are offering space to other writers or advertisers for a price. You might have a blog about a sport that also sells advertising space to sports stores or events.
Alternatively, other sports sites and stores might pay you if you will publish their article with a link back to their site. This can be a very rewarding, especially once they start coming to you and asking!
Early on in my blogging, I was approached by a gaming site. They sent me their article but it was rubbish. I had a well-written blog and wanted to maintain the standard and so I offered to re-write it for them.
It took me thirty minutes and I was paid $400.00. Not bad for 30 minutes of writing.
Selling Digital Downloads
If you find the right market this can be very lucrative. Popular choices include e-books, music (your own) and images. Do you have expertise that others will pay to read about?
How-to e-books are among the best sellers. What do you know how to do? Graphics are also a good option. If you are able to take stunning images, why not start a photography blog.
Combine that with services like wedding or kids photography and you can have a tidy list of ideas for an online business going. Imaging enterprises a lot of marketing options on the web since the web itself is a predominantly visual experience.
Placing Google Adwords or similar ads on the site and generating income from each person who clicks on your ad. Again, you need to have a subject for your blog and stick to it.
In order for this idea to work you need lots of traffic flowing to your site and they are not going to roll up out of nowhere. You have to find ways to bring them in. Good blogging on a subject your are passionate about can do that.
A Blogging success story: Crappy Pictures
Does that even sound like a blog? It is, and stay at home mum, Amber Dusick is the scribbler behind it.
Crappy Pictures features postcards from an ordinary mum tackling the ordinary day to day rough and tumble of two boys – all illustrated with very ordinary cartoons.
In terms of content, it’s pretty light on. But it’s simple, it’s a bit silly and it’s very honest.
So many successful mummy blogs at the moment are beautifully designed, with stunning photography. This Blog is just the opposite. It’s unpretentious and it’s struck the right nerve for a lot of mums out there.
Crappy Pictures came about after Dusick wrote her second illustrated post on her personal blog in June 2011. The post brought in more traffic than she had ever received in five years of blogging.
Amber’s blog suddenly began the leap from 100 subscribers to a Facebook page that now features more than 107,000 fans and a Twitter following in the tens of thousands.
Benefits of starting your own blog
- The software used for blogging is easy to use
- Very low start up costs
- A Blog is one of the easiest ideas for online business
- You can work from home at a time that suites you
The challenges you’ll face
- The Competition is big
- Rewards can be slow
- Full time income is rare
How to start your Blog
- Decide on your niche
- Choose Your Host
- Install WordPress
- Start Writing~
One of the keys to successful blogging is to stay on track. Routine is critical, and you have to avoid the endless search for the next big thing.
Avoid the Homer Simpson effect, “That dog has a puffy tail”. Define, as narrowly as you can, what it is you want to talk about. Less is more, and you can always expand into broader niches once you are mastering your main goal.
WordPress would be our recommendation for a blogging platform. You can set up your domain and install WordPress, or you can host your blog on their domain. Setting it up on your domain, with your domain name is always preferable.
It’s yours, and no one can restrict how you develop these ideas for online business.
Skills needed for Blogging
- You need to have something to say
- You need to know how to say it
This relates back to your niche – your key idea. Not only do you have to have some knowledge of your chosen subject, but you also need to know how to write about it in an engaging way.
Looking at the success story above, the key is to be authentic.
WRITE FOR OTHERS
If you love to write and you have something to say, writing for others can be a lucrative business idea. The internet moves and shakes on words first, images second, sounds third.
How Writers make Money
Establishing your this business idea opens up several options. You can write for yourself and establish an online reputation through a niche blog. You can also write for others for a fee. Many freelance writers can be found on Elance earning a steady income.
Blogging is good, but writing white papers or extended articles for online journals is worth more if you can get that kind of work.
Writing success story: Tom Ewer
Meet Tom. Tom Ewer is the creator of Paid to Blog, a complete guide to successful freelance blogging and the man behind, www.leavingworkbehind.com
Tom is also the founder of Leaving Work Behind, a blog for people who want to quit their jobs and build successful online businesses.
Tom’s first job was a blogging role for WPMU.org.
Having failed consistently in his efforts to make money online for about six months, Tom submitted a handful of pitches via the Pro Blogger Job Board. He had no samples to offer, just a few link to his blog posts. But that was all it took.
Tom has been writing as a freelancer since June 2011 in the first two years he earned over $100,000, working just a handful of hours per day. He has made (on rare occasion) more than $6,000 in a single month from freelance blogging.
Benefits of writing for others
Although having your blog and establishing yourself first is good, you don’t need to have a massive blog yourself to begin pitching your skills to others. Writing for others:
- Provides variety
- Relies less on your web maintenance skills
- Allows you to choose the topics
If your main gig is writing for others, you don’t have to worry so much about maintaining your blog. You should still have one, still keep it fresh and lively, but your success relies more on what you do for others than what you do for yourself.
The challenges you’ll face
- Finding the Clients you can work with
- Getting your own portfolio under their nose
- Separating the quality work from the el cheapo.
There are a lot of sites out there who want you best work for a few dollars. They are looking for writers because they can’t be bothered writing themselves. The pay will probably be lousy and the continuation of steady work, unlikely.
Then their are those who need a writer because their business idea is doing so well and they can’t keep up. They are the ones you want to go after. However, you have to begin somewhere. Pick your clients carefully.
You need to pitch your work, often to total strangers. That’s the hard work of freelance writing, convincing them that you can write and that your writing can benefit them.
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How to get started as a Writer
Let’s get Started. Here is what you Need to do:
- Start writing about the things you love on your own blog
- Find websites who are looking for work you can provide
- Pitch your best work to them
Jump online and go to Elance or Pro Blogger or Freelance writing gigs. Also, check out Cloud Crowd. If you don’t have a blog. Get one. Decide on your topic and start writing so that you develop a portfolio of work that you can show others.
Visit my article on how to write online for some helpful start-up tips
Skills needed for Writers
- You need to know how to write consistently well
- You need to be reliable and contactable
- You need be flexible enough to meet your client’s deadlines
It is also to your advantage to have some SEO or marketing skills. No, how to get your writing out and noticed. This is not so hard to do, but it makes your work all the more valuable to your clients.
Writing is a broad category. Know your strengths. Is there a particular topic you have some expertise in? Are you a storyteller? Copywriter? Is your forte product descriptions, research? Make some choices, hone your skills and start pitching.
START AN e-COMMERCE WEBSITE
OK, this is where things get fun. There is nothing quite like having a product, a real life product to flog. E-commerce works because it provides tangible results.
While the skills required are higher and the infrastructure more complicated that simply being a blogger, it is also true the rewards are far, far better.
How e-Commerce sites make Money
Do I need to answer this? You sell stuff for more than what you paid for it.
eCommerce success story: Bubble and Bee
Meet Stephanie Greenwood of Bubble and Bee.
In 2005, Stephanie Greenwood had asthma. Her research led her to conclude that the chemicals in her personal care products were partly to blame. Bubble and Bee was her response.
This gave her an idea for an online business. She started making her own bath and body products in the basement of her home, using natural ingredients like beeswax, cocoa butter and coconut oil.
A few months later Bubble & Bee Organic was born. The store immediately took off, initially making $6,000 to $8,000 in sales a month. Since then, they’ve doubled their sales every year, and their products are now sold at Whole Foods, an America grocery chain for healthy living.
Benefits of starting your own e-Commerce Website
- You get to work for yourself
- You control the entire customer service experience
- The whole family can join in
We experimented with an e-commerce site for a number of years. It was one of the most satisfying projects we ever undertook. It was also one of the most successful.
We had around 40% growth every year. A good steady stream of income and we had a ball. Our kids loved it to since it was a board game site and they got to play with all the games.
The challenges you’ll face
- Requires SEO expertise and consultation
- Can be long hours
- Requires constant attention to product supply
We were fortunate to have good suppliers. bad suppliers are a nightmare, much like bad customers. We often worked late into the night packing and shipping.
The reward was that we were working with products that we were passionate about.
Because in e-commerce money is flying about everywhere, you have to be diligent in your financial management. The rewards are good, but the risks are higher.
How to start your e-Commerce Website
- Decide on your product
- Decide on your method of Supply
- Build Your Site
You will need some basic things for you online e-commerce concept. You will need software to run the shop. If you don’t want to use Shopify, then I recommend Prestashop. It’s free, its highly customisable and its fast. It’s also good looking.
There are plenty of themes you can pick up for free or even buy for a small price. There is also plenty of help in Prestahop’s community forums. For Prestashop themes try Pres Themes or Omega Themes.
Skills needed for e-Commerce and Retail Traders
- You need product knowledge and customer skills
- You need a marketing and branding strategy
- You need to ensure supply
If you like people, e-commerce is great. You get to meet all kinds of interesting folks and you get to make them happy!
E-commerce requires good marketing skills also. Choose products that you know something about. Half of your sales can come from simply showing the customer that you know your stuff.
Marketing plays a key role in any retail venture. If this is not your forte, talk to people who can help you with getting your products under peoples’ noses.
This is what we do for a living. If you want some help with marketing and branding your website, or getting your products up to the first page of major search engines (SEO – search engine optimisation). Let us know.
You will also know how to negotiate and set up a relationship with good suppliers. You’re going to be talking to them as much as your customer. Be patient with them and they will look after you.
START A DIGITAL PRODUCT STORE
A digital product store sells digital items like music, e-books, software, saas products, apps and the accompanying themes and templates. There are many successful digital stores out there offering a growing number of products.
Keeping inventory in this kind of e-commerce store is a breeze and the low cost of production means good returns for your money if you choose the right products.
How Digital Download sites make Money
A digital store makes its money like an e-commerce store. People come to your site and pay for items which they can then download or else have them emailed direct to them. Costs are low with this online business idea because your major financial layout is time and website, plus nothing.
Digital success story: Post Scriptum
Meet Nemo (aka, Fabio Porta) from Randazzo, Italy.
Fabio has a background in website coding. He began his online journey offering help and support as a freelancer for Prestashop’s e-commerce platform.
Since 2012, Fabio has developed his freelancing business, Nemo’s Post Scriptum into a fully fledged (and beautifully built) online digital store.
All of the products have been developed by him and the number of useful e-commerce products continues to grow. One of the reasons for his success is the high level of customer support.
We’ve hired Fabio ourselves and know of his success story first hand.
Benefits of starting your own Digital Download Store
- You can create or purchase your own products
- No physical inventory
- Easily managed store
Digital downloads can make some great money. Your Business idea may not happen overnight and you will need some marketing talent to put your products under just the right noses, but it is worth a look.
You don’t have to carry stock, which means your overheads can be kept very low. You pay for hosting the domain, you put in plenty of time to make your product look awesome and you hire outside help only when you need it.
The challenges you’ll face
- Higher technical knowledge
- website and landing page design skills
So what? Your selling an e-book. Why should I buy it? This is the challenge in the digital product market. There are 10’s of thousands of digital books out there, why would I buy yours?
This kind of e-commerce requires greater technical and marketing skills. It also requires design skills.
You are going to be creating a website that has clear navigation and very compelling calls to action (Elements like colour, layout and instructions to your customer that encourage them to buy)
The fact is that most people don’t need your digital product. So your task is to create a website that directs the customer at every level to engage with your product and buy. And that will all take time.
How to start your Digital Download Store
- Do thorough research in to your chosen market
- Choose a platform that combines e-Commerce and Digital product downloads
- Decide on the kinds of products you can produce digitally
What can you do digitally? What can you do better than what is already available? Where are your customers hanging out? What is the competition in your niche like?
In other words, setting up an iTunes store probably won’t work. Apple has already done it and you are not likely to be able to compete.
You will need to choose a platform. Drupal, Joomla or WordPress are all worthy options. It will need to have an e-commerce component. WordPress has one particularly good one, Easy Digital Download and it’s free.
Skills needed for a Digital Download Entrepreneur
- You need the requisite technical skills to produce the product
- You need a marketing and branding strategy
- You need patience!
HOME MADE PRODUCTS
Don’t have technical skills for digital downloads? Perhaps you can make it with your own god-given hands. Ever heard of Etsy? Yes, it can be done. What can you make? Cupcakes? Chess boards?
How People with Cooking and Craft skills make money
They make their products. Either they make them to order, or they are making them often enough to keep a regular inventory. This is more true of crafts and hobbies.
But, depending on which direction go with product , you can also be manufacturing your own food supply lines.
Cooking success story: Foiled Cupcakes
Meet Mari Luangrath of Foiled Cupcakes. The first two lines of Foiled Cupcakes’ “About Us” page provides a telling clue to why this business idea has been so successful on Twitter,
“At foiled, we believe one thing: Our customers are our friends.”
Foiled Cupcakes began in 2009. But it nearly didn’t the day before the big launch it was discovered that their website had some serious errors and would require a complete 6 week redesign.
What did Mari do? she got on Twitter for six weeks to see if there was any way she could generate some interest in her online business idea in the meantime.
The strategy was simple. Mari followed people in her target demographic and began to talk about the things that they were interested in.
Before long, those followers were spreading the word about Foiled Cupcakes to their followers. By the time of the launch, Mari had over 2,200 engaged followers who felt like they were already part of the cupcake community.
This strategy of hyper-engagement — without a hard sell — paid off for Foiled Cupcakes. The initial sales target, based on her original marketing plan was surpassed six times over.
Mari credits this success to the pent-up demand generated on Twitter and the efforts of her followers to spread the word about her business.
Benefits of selling your own Cooking skills and Crafts online
- You get to do something you love
- You get to do something you are good at
- You get to work from home
These are all basic but significant reasons to put your online idea in to action. Not every business is a multi-million dollar affair. Some are just the well built, well loved and well admired business aspirations of people do ordinary things really, really well,
What can you do well? Home spun websites, made right and focusing on only a few great things tend to become great.
The challenges you’ll face
Such ideas for online business require organisation skills and planning. You need to be willing to sit down with a pencil and sketch your entire plan.
Its not enough to bang a few bits of wood together. There are supplies, customer demands, timing – especially with food – which all have to be highly tuned and highly co-ordinated.
And while all of that exciting industry is going on around you, you need to keep one eye on the clock and another on the budget.
many great ideas go up the chimney because the expenses got out of hand. You can avoid that problem by sitting down with a cool head and doing your homework and planning before you begin your production.
How to start your online Cooking or Craft business
- Make sure you can meet supply
- Choose a platform to show off your hand made productions
- Determine the limits of your product range
If its a cooking or craft venture, decide now on the extend of your range. You can always add more, but it’s hard to take away. Look up at Mari. She can probably cook 50 things well. But she sells one thing excellently. Cupcakes.
In addition to all of the usual e-commerce tools mentioned already, you will need some basic planning tools and resources. If your’e making craft items you will need additional work areas outside the office.
Ask yourself: What are people looking for? What can I make really well? Is it easily reproduced and am I willing to reproduce it over and over.
Will you accept custom orders? have you costed the price of materials in to your final asking price?
The project can seem daunting. If needed, help is not far away. We offer help in working through each of these issues. Give us a call and we will set up a live online consultation.
Skills needed for an online Cooking or Craft enterprise
- You need to be good at what you do
- You need to be willing to reproduce it again, and again, and again!
- You will need to have good interpersonal skills
With video help outs and Skype available the opportunity to teach your craft to a live audience is growing. have you considered taking your talents live and teaching other people what you know?
The possibilities are endless.
How online Instructors and Tutors make money
if using video as your medium, you simply need to book your client or student in and arrange a payment method at sometimes in the process. Paypal makes this easy. if you are offering extended lessons you can charge an up front fee for a certain number of lessons. You could also opt for a membership model.
An online Teacher success story: Joe Amato
Meet Joe Amato. Joe is an online guitar teacher and founder of the music site HV Guitar Lessons.
In addition to the 100 students Joe gives private lessons to, Joe has established himself online teaching guitar via live video – and it rocks. The video testimonials on his site speak for themselves (literally).
Joe’s client base continues to grow with new subscribers via his youtube channel, website and Facebook. The keys to his success lie in part to his sociable and likeable nature (a must for anything using live video) – not to mention his ability to teach and play incredibly good guitar.
Benefits of becoming an Instructor or Tutor online
If you know something, and you know how to teach it well, ideas for an online business abound and can be very fulfilling – and profitable.
- Choose your hours.
- Choose your clients
- Choose your rate
The availability of online video has made it all the more enjoyable. You can choose your working hours, your clients and the amount of teaching or online coaching your prepared to do.
If you set your prices within reach of your target audience you can make a tidy living online.
The challenges you’ll face
- You need to be personable (not always possible)
- You need to be presentable
- You need to market yourself carefully.
A creep behind a keyboard is one thing. A creep staring you down through a webcam is something else altogether. You need to be a personable, tidy looking person if you are going to appear online.
We are hear to make the world kissable! In online coaching , ‘you’ are the brand, there is no where to hide. Some days you won’t feel so presentable. Some days you will have a head ache or a hang over.
Before you jump in to an online business venture giving live online instruction, take a close look at your lifestyle. Also take a look at the competition. You need to pitch your rates at a height that your target market can reach.
Check out Google Helpouts. It’s a fairly new platform with some promising opportunities for those who want to do live consultation. You can charge for the service and Google offers a money back guarantee to your clients!
How to start your online Instructor or Tutoring business
- Make sure you have the talent and experience
- Choose a platform like Udemy to show present your Tutorials or Teaching
- Determine the limits of your Instruction
Half an our sitting in front of a web cam is probably enough for most – if you use your time well. 45 minutes is good. An hour and we all start to get sore and weary.
Live video may not be necessary for your work. You could also record your tutorials and offer them as a digital download.
You also need to take a look at the experience and talent of the competition and know where you stand. Don’t try and fake it. if you want to run a cooking class for beginners, great. If you think you can master a 14 course French menu – go for it. But know your limits.
Skills needed for an online Instructor or Teacher
- You need to be good at what you do
- You will want to have some technical skills
- You will need to have good interpersonal skills and know where to find your customers
Video requires additional technical skills. You may well be the best Barista in the world but if I can’t see or hear you because your camera keeps falling on the floor, who cares. Know how to handle your video software before you start charging a price.
There is plenty of scope in this idea. Secretarial services, email publishing, answering online questions for businesses. Social Media marketing and more.
Again, as always, the question is, what do you like to do, and can you do it well? If you can answer those two questions you can almost certainly find an avenue online for a great small business.
How Virtual Assistants make money
There are countless services you can provide and charge a suitable fee for. Ghost-writing, graphic design, researching, editing, desktop publishing, audio/video/photo editing, bookkeeping, copywriter and data entry come to mind.
If you have a website, great. But there are also Virtual assistant services you can plug in to to find work. Virtual Co-worker is one a place you can go to see a huge number of opportunities.
V. Assistant success story: Michelle Mangen
Meet Michelle. Michelle started her Virtual Assistant Journey after reading a romance novel on holiday back in 2008. With a background in Book-keeping, Michelle started to offer her services online.
Today, Michelle runs Your Virtual Assistant, a network of supportive Virtual Assistants all sourcing work for a more independent lifestyle.
In addition to her Virtual recruiting services, Michelle trains other Assistants and helps them to source work. her work has reached the attention of Forbes, Fox Business and Open Forum.
Her outsourcing enterprise attracts those who want to become Assistants as well as those outsourcing work. It’s a great match, a thriving gig… and all because of a sloppy romance novel!
Benefits of becoming a Virtual Assistant
- Not location dependant
- Choose workload
- Good Earning opportunity
The potential for online Virtual Assistance is a growing one as more and more larger firms outsource their work. This has led to more specialised tasks and hire earnings for Assistants.
The challenges you’ll face
- You need to meet deadlines
- Not every “boss” is a nice one
- You won’t always get the jobs you want
While working from home might be a nice idea, deadlines still exist everywhere else. Once you contract to do the task, you are under a deadline (usually). When starting out, you may not be able to pick and choose your projects.
You won’t be able to pick and choose your boss for the day either. Sometimes you will have to put up with whiners and wingers.
That said, as you persist in the work and develop a portfolio of experience, you can get as fussy as you like.
How to start your own Virtual Assistant business
- Develop a very, very clear resume of your skills
- Choose your industry carefully
- Start small
Elance is another place you can go to market your virtual abilities. Its a simple pathway. Don’t over extend or make promises you can’t keep. That just makes everyone miserable.
Go after a few kinds of work first. As your portfolio grows you will soon learn which jobs are better value and more satisfying. From there you can develop your own website and take that portfolio you built up so nicely on Elance.
Now you are doing your own thing! Again, if you have a website, make it clear and simple. WordPress have a number of free themes that are designed for portfolio work (your reading this article on one of those themes right now.
Whether it’s photography, administrative tasks or marketing, once you have a solid foundation, you can build up a larger network and even engage other freelancers in to your profile.
Did I mention you should start small? You should. Get a good handle on the scope of this kind of work. You will want to take breaks, learn new skills and constantly be repositioning yourself in the work force to maximise your success and your satisfaction in working online.
Skills needed for a successful Virtual Assistant
- You need to be good at what you do
- You need to be reliable and have great interpersonal skills/li>
- You need to be able to motivate yourself
As I suggested above. A Virtual Assistant has the luxury of being able to morph. Today you can be a graphic designer, tomorrow you could be to media marketing for Facebook. or, you can sit in front of the TV twittering things for an oversized food chain.
Whatever way you take the work, enjoy it, do it well and let me know how you get on in the comments below.