How Do I Start An Online Business At Home?
The list of reasons for starting an online business at home is growing all the time. You may hate your job, not have a job, want to earn some extra cash on the side or change your whole lifestyle. Whatever your reason, there is no better time than right now to start your own online business from home. In this post, I answer the question of “how do I start an online business at home?. I will give you loads of ideas and top tips of how to make sure you choose the best one for you.
Make Sure You Know What You Want From An Online Business
Before you decide on what online business you want to start, you need to make sure you are going to get out of it what you really want. Therefore, I suggest that you make a short list of things that you want your business to do for you. For example, when I was deciding what business to start, I set some prerequisites that it had to fulfil for me:
- It had to allow me to choose my own working hours
- I should be able to work from anywhere
- It had to be worth it with regards to earning potential
- There had to be reliable training resources, as I would be starting from scratch with something new
With this list, I managed to make the decision to start affiliate marketing. Of course, your list may be different to mine, which may give you different options.
Look In To Your Options
Now you have your own list of prerequisites, you can start to look in to your options. You can start to rule out the ones that are not going to give you what you want. Of course, there will probably be some compromises along the way to get the best fit for you, but you need a starting point.
Some Business Ideas For You
You can trawl the internet for some business ideas. But I am going to give you a list of business ideas you may want to look in to. These ideas are tried and tested ways of earning money online. I am not going to go in to specifics such as “you should sell reusable water bottles online”. I am going to go in to ways people make money, the specifics will be down to you, what you are interested in and your own circumstances.
1. Start Your Own Blog
Starting your own blog is actually very easy. If you do it well and properly, you can use it as a form of income, and a big one at that.
To make money from a blog, you can’t just set one up, use it as an online diary and expect loads of money to start coming in.
Your content must be consistently produced, inform, educate or entertain your intended audience. You need your content to capture the attention of your audience. You also need to monetise your blog and there are a few ways you can do this:
- Sell advertising space
- Online courses in your area of expertise
- digital products (photos, music, ebooks etc)
- Physical products
- Sell memberships
- Sell your services
- Sponsored content
- Affiliate links
It is hard work to build up a following with a blog, but if you are willing to put in the time and stick to it, you can do very well out of it. For more information on this check out my post how can I make money from a blog?
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is what I spend the majority of my time doing. This is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s products or services.
In a similar way to blogging, content is very important. With an affiliate marketing website, you create content such as:
- Buyer’s guides
- Personal experiences with a product or service
- Gift guides
Basically, your content as an affiliate marketer has to help people. This is is because people will be searching for answers to their problems online. By creating quality content that gives people the answers they are looking for, you will attract visitors to your website.
The main thing to remember with affiliate marketing, is that you need to choose a good niche to work in. This is the first thing you need to do, if you get this part wrong you are setting yourself up for failure straight away.
Check out my post on how can I make money from affiliate marketing? To learn all about affiliate marketing and how you can start.
3. Drop Shipping
Drop shipping is a great business model. It allows you to sell products online without being them first or shipping them to the customer yourself.
Drop shipping works by people buying stuff from your online store. Once an order is placed with you, you then place the order with the supplier of the product. This is when you buy it. The difference between the supplier’s price and your sales price is your profit. You just need to make sure that this covers the shipping costs and your marketing costs.
You can learn more about it in my post on how to start a drop shipping business. But the with drop shipping, is to choose a good drop shipping niche, products that inspire impulse purchasing and getting your targeted adverts right.
You attract customers to your website with paid adverts on social media. These adverts are targeted at your intended audience, based on their interests (hence the need to choose a good niche).
4. Create An Online Course
You may be qualified to provide an online course in a specialist subject. This is. a great way to monetise your expertise. You need to promote your course via your own website, a. mailing list, social media and maybe create some affiliate partnerships.
Courses should be based around your own skills and qualifications, such as:
- Martial arts
- Home mechanics
You have to become an authority in your field, so you really need to know what you are doing. You also need to learn some SEO techniques. This is to ensure that your audience finds your website.
5. Write A Book And Self Publish It
Publishing a book is much easier these days than it used to be. This is because you can self publish a book on Amazon now. If you do a good job of it, you can earn some really good money from sales.
The key to success with self publishing a book on Amazon, is to get a few hundred sales in the first week. If you can manage this, Amazon will take over and start promoting it for you. This way you can make some real money.
A common strategy for your book’s launch week in order to get over one hundred sales, goes like this:
- Set the price at 99 cents for the first week.
- Run a 99 cent promotion with sites like Buck Books and Robin Reads.
- Post a book excerpt on a relevant subreddit and link it to your book page at the end.
- Post 1-2 guest posts during the launch week that link back to your book page.
- Blast your email list multiple times.
- By the end of the week, hopefully, your book has eclipsed the top 5,000 or 10,000 overall paid ranking. From there, raise the price to $2.99, and continue raising the price $1 at a time every few days until it stops selling (then, lower it back by a dollar). This will tell you the optimal price for your book.
6. Start A Social Media Agency
Social media is very important to businesses. However, it is difficult for business owners to find the time to create regular and quality content for their channels. Therefore, they employ the services of social media agencies to do this for them.
Starting your own social media agency is something you can do from home. I go in to all the details in my post how to start a social media marketing business, but your job would be to do the following things for your clients:
- Create content strategies
- Promote your client’s brand
- Attract customers
- Analyse their competition
- Save time
If you have no proven experience in social media management, you may have to do some work for free to prove yourself. I recommend that you find a local business that you would like to work with and do an assessment of their social media efforts. This way you can approach them with some ideas on how to improve what they are doing.
It is possible to earn $1,000 per month, depending on the services you provide, per client. Therefore, you can see that there is great earning potential from doing this.
7. Become A Copywriter
Copywriting is writing content that gets people to take some form of action. The type of content a copywriter creates ranges from sales pages, to email marketing, blog content or white papers.
If you have a natural flair and a passion for writing, copywriting may be your perfect online business at home.
Copywriting is one of the best ways to have a flexible working life. This is because you can choose your working hours. Also, the skills involved lend themselves to many areas of online business (i.e. building a blog, affiliate marketing, etc. My post on how to become a copywriter with no experience goes in to all the details, but your earning potential depends on how good at self promotion you are. If you are good at marketing yourself, you can make a huge amount of money.
If you are comfortable in front of the camera, you can make a good business out of cresting videos on YouTube.
You make money from YouTube with the adverts that pop up with your videos. The more views and subscribers you have, the more money you will make.
You can also make money on YouTube with affiliate marketing. Promoting products with video reviews is a good way to make money if you have an interest in a certain type of product (e.g cameras, juicers, barbecues, drones, toys, etc).
A YouTube channel is often used to drive more traffic to websites, so if you decide to start a blog or an affiliate marketing website, A YouTube channel is a good idea to have.
YouTube videos help you tell better stories and provide more quality content to your audience
9. Become A Facebook Ads Expert
Facebook is a powerful business tool. Businesses spend a lot of money on Facebook ads, as they can target their intended audience efficiently. But many businesses don’t know how to use Facebook ads properly. Additionally, they often don’t have the time it takes to learn how to get the most out of Facebook Ads.
Therefore, they use Facebook ad specialists to take care of the job for them. This is something you can learn fairly quickly. And once you have got your head around it, you can approach businesses to offer your services.
10. Become A Google Ads Expert
Have you noticed the sponsored ads at the top of your Google search results? These are PPC (pay per click ads).
A bit like Facebook Ads, PPC is a form of internet marketing. This is when advertisers pay a fee every time one of their ads is clicked. It is a way of paying for website visitors.
PPC is a common way businesses with a marketing budget get more traffic to their websites. If you can master this skill, you can offer the service to other businesses.
11. Sell Stuff On Ebay
Believe it or not, people are still making lots of money on eBay. A common way to make money on Ebay, is to head to a local clothing or second hand store and buy some items on sale.
You can then list it on eBay at an elevated price. This is called flipping and can be very lucrative if you have a bit of hustle about you.
12. Become An App Developer
It is no secret that mobile apps are getting more and more popular. If you have an idea for an app, you may be able to make some money from it.
It is a good idea to get some coding knowledge, but it’s not an absolute necessity. There are plenty of software developers looking to collaborate with people on app creation.
Keep in mind that there are a lot of developers in the app market right now. This means that there is a lot of competition. Therefore, you need to make sure that your app is perfect before you launch it.
If this interests you, check out How to Build Your First Mobile App in 12 Steps by Forbes.
13. Blogging For Businesses
Blogs are very important for driving traffic to business’s websites. Blogs can be used to answer common questions, potential customers have. This means that when they search for answers, the blog page of a business’s website will have those answers and build trust. This attracts potential customers and encourages them to spend money.
As a blog writer, you can earn money by writing these blogs for your client’s websites. Many businesses don’t have time to write them themselves, much like when they don’t have time to post quality social media content. Therefore, you could do both and offer a full service. You can learn more in my post how can I make money blogging?
What It Takes To Start An Online Business At Home
To make an online home business successful, you need to do it in a certain way. I am now going to go through the things you need to concentrate on, to increase the likelihood of success.
It is tempting to try to get as much information on your chosen business as possible before you start. I totally agree with being prepared, but there is only so much preparation you can do before needing to bite the bullet and get on with it.
Get yourself to a point where you know the stages that you need to take to get going and make sure you have the knowledge on what work it entails. But, you need to crack on with it, as you will learn a lot more by doing. With the majority of the businesses you can start, there will be endless amounts of information. You can easily be lured in to reading it all and never get started.
This is a hard one. Working from home, means that there are lots of distractions. T.V, internet, social media, jobs to do around the house and the freedom all give you excuses to not work. But if you don’t work, your business will fail.
Therefore, you need to set a routine and a list of jobs you want to achieve. As long as you complete these jobs, you will know you are being productive.
There is no such thing as a get rich quick scheme. You are building your online business for your future. It will take months before you earn any money at all. It may take a couple of years to make anything significant. But, by putting in the time and effort, will pay off eventually.
By being consistent and working on your business every day, you will edge towards your goals. Consistency helps build trust with your audience and search engines. This means that by constantly working on your business, it will improve and will make you more money in the long run.
Don't Stop Learning
Even if you learn a small thing every day, your knowledge will grow. This means that you will be able to do much more and work better. Continuous learning will reduce the amount of mistakes you make along the way and prepare you for expanding and scaling up your business the the time comes.
That Is How To Start An Online Business At Home
Do any of these business ideas tempt you? If so, which ones take your fancy and why? Please let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.