Online Home Based Business Ideas: Start your journey to freedom
There are 4 billion people in the world with access to high speed internet and this number is increasing. They all have problems that need solving and they find the solutions with a quick search on the Google. What if you had a business that could solve some of these problems? Well it is entirely possible and in this post I am going to give you some online home based business ideas. I will save the best until last and go through how I make it work.
Why Start An Online Home Based Business?
Control Over Your Own Time
The beauty of having an online home based business, is that you have control over your time. When you work for somebody else, you have to work to their hours. But, an online business gives you the flexibility to work when you like to make more out of your life. You may have kids to take care of, you may have a hobby or some other aspect of your life that would benefit from being able to have flexible working hours.
Personally, I started my online business to allow me to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle as much as possible. I live in the French alps and moved here to enjoy everything it has to offer, mainly snowboarding and mountain biking. I can have a couple of hours on the mountain in the morning and work in to the evening. As long as I complete my list of jobs by the end of the week I know I have been productive enough.
The earning potential is great. With a potential market of 4 billion people that don’t have to make much effort to buy something, the sky is the limit when it comes to earning money. But, I also really like the fact that the work I do can continue earning money long after I have finished it. This means that I wake up in the morning to find that more sales have been made from work I had done months ago.
Online businesses are more accessible to more people. By this I mean, an online business is much cheaper than starting a traditional business, where you need may need to buy stock and have premises to store it and work from. You just need a computer, an internet connection and the will to work hard to make it work.
Nobody Tells Me What To Do
I never have like having a boss and now I am totally free from being told what to do and when to do it. This freedom actually took me a while to get used to, as I felt very guilty when I wasn’t working, even when I completed all of my tasks for the week. However, I really love the fact I am my own boss.
The flexibility of an online business isn’t just confined to your working hours. You can do it from anywhere in the world. This is a huge thing, as it gives you the freedom to make changes in your life and isn’t just another thing that ties you to one place. For example, if you wanted to travel, you can take your laptop with you and continue to work. Another example is, that you may have a partner that has an opportunity to work somewhere different. If you have a. job or career you may be torn between moving and staying. With an online business you have the freedom to move if that is the right thing to do for both of you.
By working from home, you will reduce your travelling expenses. This is because you only need to go in to the kitchen and not sit in traffic for a couple of hours every day. This is also better for the environment, which is pretty important these days.
Anyone Can Start Something
As long as you have an internet connection and the gumption to work hard and learn something new, you can start an online home based business. There are loads of online resources to learn how to do this, but you need to be careful which ones you use, as some can be scams or just poor quality.
Disadvantages Of An Online Home Based Business
It Takes Time
Just like any business, it takes a long time to get established. This can be pretty soul destroying, but it is a process you need to go through on your way to success.
Can Feel Isolated
Depending on how you feel about working on your own, you may miss interaction with other people. To get around this, you need to make sure that you have a great social life and maybe mix things up a bit by working in cafés or where there may be other people from time to time.
Nobody Tells Me What To Do
I know I said that I am glad that I don’t have a boss, but a little guidance is a great thing. All your decisions have to be really well thought out before you take action, as nobody is saying “I want you to do this today”.
No Discipline No Money
If you are not disciplined, you will struggle to be productive enough to make your business work. I sometimes fall in to the trap of procrastination and it really impacts on productivity and it feels horrible at the end of the week when I have only achieved a fraction of what I planned to do. Being disciplined and organised is the key to productivity. I said earlier that the flexibility of having an online business is great, but you need to be realistic and say no to the fun stuff from time to time. I do have to say no to my friends who are going snowboarding often to get ensure I get enough done.
My workload has increased since starting my own business, which is something I hadn’t really thought about beforehand. The list of things to do is actually infinite and no matter how much work I do, I add more to it daily (with regards to content for my website). This is something you need to come to terms with. But, this is where time management comes in to give me a good balance. Do the tasks and enjoy life.
Online Home Based Business Ideas
Now I am going to give you a few online home based business ideas. I will go in to more detail on the last one, as this is the one I chose. You will see why when you get there, but I am not saying that there is anything wrong with the other ideas. The others may be more suited to you and your situation, so you may like one of the alternatives.
1. Drop Shipping
Drop shipping was something I was very interested in when I was looking in to starting my online business. The idea drop shipping is based on is that you sell products without the need to hold any stock whatsoever. This means that you don’t have to buy and store loads of stuff to sell. Also, you don’t need to think about shipping the goods to your customers. This is because all you do is advertise and market the products and the rest is handled by others.
- Cheap to start up
- Don’t need to hold or ship stock
- You can tap in to established markets with existing customers
- You will get the blame for your drop shipper’s mistakes and have to deal with customer service issues
- Very competitive
- You need to sell a lot for a good income
How Does It Work?
- You have a website, on which you list products for sale. For example, the products could be available at Amazon, Etsy or Ebay.
- When a customer buys a product from your website, you buy it from a third party company at a lower price. This is actually really simple to do, as it is a case of forwarding the order from your customer. It can be automated too, to make it even easier. This process means that you don’t have to buy stock before you have sold it, reducing the risk to you.
- Then the supplier ships the product to the customer.
What You Need To Know
To make sure this works properly, you need to ensure that the drop shipper you choose is reputable and reliable. This is because they are delivering the service on your behalf, if they do a bad job, it will damage your reputation and you will get the blame for it.
There is a lot of competition in drop shipping, therefore the margins are pretty tight. This means you need a lot of sales to make a reasonable amount of money. However, it is still a viable start up online business.
There is a possibility to put your brand on certain products. This helps you to stand out from the competition. Doing this means that you are not just promoting the same product and brand as your competitors.
Many drop shippers use Amazon for their business. This is because they have a drop shipping service and they are a recognised and trusted brand world wide. Once you are established, you can create your own online store.
2. Become A Freelancer
You may have existing skills or be willing to learn a skill that will allow you to work as a freelancer. Examples of freelance work you can do from home include:
- Blog writing
- Social media mangement
- Graphic design
- Business consulting
- Online teaching/training
- Web design
- Possible to leverage existing skills to earn money from anywhere
How Does It Work?
By leveraging a skill, you can offer your services to existing companies. You may already have the knowledge and experience to be a freelancer, but if you can decide on and end goal, it would be worth learning a skill that you have always had an ambition of having.
What You Need To Know
Some skills are more lucrative than others, so you have to be realistic about what you earn. You also need to have a proven track record in your field to ensure you get work. This means that it may take a while before you can get to point where companies will trust you with working for them in a freelance way.
3. Digital Products
When it comes to online home based business ideas, you don’t have to concentrate on selling physical products. Digital products are some of the easiest and and fastest ways to make money. There is a whole host of digital products you can create and sell. For example:
- Text – If you write an eBook, a set of instructions or a guide, you can sell it online.
- Video – Video can also be sold online. This could be a instructional, a how to, a webinar or even an exercise video. If it ads value to someone’s life, they are likely to buy it.
- Audio – An instructional recording, music, course or anything spoken word will be bought by someone if it solves a problem they have.
- Great potential for passive income
- Can make you lots of money quickly if the content is good
- Takes lots of time and effort to create the content
- You may need to invest some money in the beginning
How Does It Work?
By creating a digital product, you are giving people information that solves their problems. If your content is helpful enough and marketed properly, people will buy it.
What You Need To Know
By being creative, you can stand out from competitors. You really need to make sure it is engaging and useful. Digital products give you passive income, as it can continue to earn you money as customers can buy and download your digital products at any time of the day or night from anywhere in the world. You do need to keep on top of what people want, so you can create other products that they may buy.
This is a different kind of digital product. Here, I am talking about creating YouTube videos. YouTube has around 1 billion users that are watching videos 24/7. It is actually the world’s second largest search engine, as video is one of the most common ways that people get their information.
- Can be made with your phone, computer or a decent camera if you have one
- Will work for any niche
- Can be time consuming
- Can take a long time to make any money unless you go viral
How Does It Work?
There is a proven strategy that allows YouTubers to maximise views. By creating regular content that is of good quality that people want to watch, you can get a great following. Pick a niche and create instructional, fun, impressive or funny videos and you can make some serious money out of it.
What You Need To Know
Money comes from the adverts you see at the start of the YouTube videos. You can also enable the monetisation settings within YouTube. This gives Google permission to drop in Adsense adverts on to your videos. When people click on the adverts you get paid.
You can also monetise your videos with paid sponsorships. If you get a big enough following, companies will pay you to promote or mention their products in your videos.
You just need to make sure that your videos are clear, engaging and something that people want to watch. These videos are also a great way of sending traffic to your website. This is when visitors will sign up to your mailing list, click on adverts or buy stuff through affiliate links.
5. Affiliate Marketing
I have saved this one for last, as I would like to go in to more detail about it. This is because affiliate marketing is my business of choice. It is similar to drop shipping, in the fact that you don’t have to have an inventory of stock and that you don’t have to do any shipping yourself.
What You Need To Know
The idea is that you choose a niche for your online home based business and promote relevant products or services within that niche. You promote the products and services with content on your website. This could be a buyer’s guide, review etc.
The products have unique affiliate links attached to them. When a customer clicks on the link, they get taken to the merchant’s website where they can buy the product. If the customer buys the product, the affiliate link tracks the purchase and you get rewarded with a percentage of the sales price.
- Great source of passive income
- Very flexible
- Don’t have to deal with customer service issues
- Huge earning potential
- Takes a long time to earn any money at all
How To Make It Work
Step 1 - Find A Market
You need to choose a niche for your website. A niche allows young target a group of people with a common interest. This is an essential part of starting an affiliate marketing business, if you get this wrong you will not make any money no matter how hard you work.
Step 2 - Build A Website
Once you have a niche, you need to build a website. If you have never done this before, it isn’t difficult. You will need to choose a domain name, get it registered and find a web host.
There is a simpler way to do this, which I will come to later.
Step 3 - Create Quality Content
Content is king! By creating content in the right way, you will convert more sales. Your primary goal for content is to help people with their problems. This is because people search for answers to their problems online. These problems may be that they are unsure what product or service to buy. This is where you write a review or buyer’s guide to give them your recommendations.
Your content needs to be relevant to people’s searches. The most relevant content to any particular search will get to the top of Google. Therefore, your content needs to be based around keywords.
Using quality keywords is one of many SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques. These techniques are not particularly complicated to learn, but using them will increase your chances of getting to the top of people’s searches. When you get tot the top, more people click on your content, which will bring in more money.
Step 4 - Monetise Your Website
You get your affiliate links through affiliate programs. If you can think of something that you can buy on the internet, there will be an affiliate program for it.
A good example of an affiliate program is Amazon Associates. This gives you the opportunity to make money by promoting anything you can find on Amazon.
Step 5 - Build A Mailing List
By building a mailing list you can send updates to your loyal audience. The people that sign up to your list are the ones that have bought in to your brand. If you give them links to click on every couple of weeks, there are likely to buy from you again.
Where Do I Learn About Affiliate Marketing?
I learned (and still am) from Wealthy Affiliate. This is a platform with a huge amount of quality training. The lessons are very comprehensive and take you from the very first steps of building an affiliate marketing business.
Wealthy Affiliate isn’t just a source of great training. It is also a domain registrar and web host, making it a one stop shop for your affiliate marketing business needs.
I started off by signing up to the fee membership. This is because I wasn’t sure if affiliate marketing was for me. But all I needed to sign up was my email address. The free membership gives you 2 free websites to play with while you go through the training. Each lesson has a number of tasks to complete before you move on to the next one. This is great, as you don’t miss out any of the essential things you need to do.
What Do You Think Of These Online Home Based Business Ideas?
Do any of these online home based business ideas tempt you? If so why? Please let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.