Last topic on How to Set Up an Online Business – actually doing business online. If your site sells goods or services, you need to consider how to take payments, payment security, refund policies and guarantees. Remember that people are wary of online websites, so you need to offer a strong and clear return policy. You need to decide who pays for postage, who is responsible for loss or damage in the post, and how long you are prepared to give people before they return an item.
Do you play a musical instrument well enough to teach it to others? How about taking your skills at producing music or sound design and teaching others as a service-based business idea based on your experience? Private music instructors in all disciplines charge upwards of $20-100/hr (or more depending upon skill and experience), and you don’t necessarily have to do them in person, either. This makes for a great side business idea that can channel your passion for music into profits.
Nice writing style Ben. I’m finding out very quickly that to make any money writing, you have to read, read, and then read some more, no matter how smart you feel you are on a subject, before writing your first sentence. I have always been a fan of multiple income streams and am thrilled by the ideas of proofreading, editing, blogging, freelancing and transcribing. Having spent one of my careers doing just that for a large corporation, it’s a perfect fit, but now I can get credit for my work, thanks again for a great article.
The barriers to entry into an online business are minimal and the cost to establish and operate an online store are a fraction of the traditional retail shop. All you need is a computer, an internet connection and a website complete with e-commerce functionality and you are ready to launch. Of course, the internet provides a level playing field for retailers so once you have a web page you can effectively compete with the big players in your industry and almost any business can reach a global market, quickly and economically irrespective of their size.
Similar to a YouTube vlogger, if you have a large following on Instagram then you could become an Instagram Influencer. You will be paid to promote products in your photos, from wearing certain clothes to action shots of you using particular merchandise. As your Instagram following grows, you may start out simply receiving freebies in return for a picture of you with the item in the shot. However, for those with followings running into millions, you can expect large payments to display products in your pictures. Use sites like Hype Factory to help connect you with companies prepared to pay for your influence.
If you're interested in making money but don't want to take a second job, you should consider making passive income. It's basically money you earn consistently without doing much or even anything at all. Of course, you do have to put in a lot of work in the beginning, but once you set up the passive income revenue stream, you can just sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour without lifting a finger. Here are some ideas:
If you're a person who loves leaving customer reviews on sites like Amazon, stop doing it for free. Word-of-mouth advertising is still a huge lead generator for many companies, and a lot of businesses are willing to share a portion of their profits with persuasive individuals who will promote their products to the public. If you have a personal website with a large following, this might be easier to accomplish (PR reps are always seeking out brand advocates they can send free samples to). Smart Passive Income breaks down three types of affiliate marketing and explains which one is most profitable.

If you have your own eCommerce store, social media is the perfect platform to showcase your products. Demonstrate your products in use and tell your social following why they need to buy your merchandise. Most social media channels allow you to add ‘buy’ buttons your pages, allowing your followers to easily click through to your site and make a purchase.
Alibaba is a Chinese eCommerce store that matches Chinese suppliers with buyers all over the world. Prices are extremely cheap, providing the possibility of large profits. However, with the potential profits comes more risk. As you are dealing with suppliers in China, if the quality of the product that arrives isn’t up to standard there is little that you can do about it.
Furthermore, carefully consider your likely attendees, and what schedule would be attractive to them. For example, if you’re planning on teaching a tutoring class, you obviously couldn’t schedule it during school hours. Likewise, a class aimed at mothers of young children will either have to include babysitting services or be scheduled at night, when they’re more likely to have help with the kids. Find the delicate balance of times that fit your prospective students’ schedules as well as your own.
Again, if your blog has a large reader base, then businesses may be interested in paying you to review their services or products. Not only will you get a free trial using whatever these businesses are selling, but you will also get a fee for writing them a review and posting it to your site. Paid reviews (and other paid and sponsored content) can be big money, so advertise this service on your contact page to generate business.
Cryptocurrency or digital currency is the next big thing in currency trading. It’s a digital asset that is used as a method to pay for things, that isn’t run by a government or institution. Bitcoin is the most well known digital currency and was trading at $200 per Bitcoin back in 2013. Now it is worth over $17k and is expected to be worth well over $1m in 2022.
The audiobook industry is booming, yet only 5% of books ever get made into audio format. If you’ve got a background in acting, or if people have said you’ve got a voice made for the radio, you can make extra money recording audio versions of independent and popular books. Sites like ACX connect authors with audiobook performers. So, whether you’re an author looking for more ways to sell your book, or an actor/voice actor looking to make some extra income, you can sell your services online.
One of the easiest ways to make a few bucks online is affiliate marketing. An affiliate is essentially someone who receives a commission for selling products for other companies, whether it’s on their own site or through another channel like eBay. The best part is that you don’t have to develop any products yourself, just sell other people’s products.
Everybody knows that finding (and landing) your dream job can be tough—especially when you've had the same position for a while and your resume is looking a little rusty. Before jumping in and becoming an expert resume writer, you'll have to learn how to write a resume on your own, and then practice by redoing resume's for your friends and co-workers. Next, you're ready to join a resume writers' association, continue establishing your credibility and you can eventually make your way into more hands-on career coaching opportunities.
As you start regularly putting out content, you’ll hopefully start to build a bit of an audience. But to start seeing real money from YouTube you need to market your videos elsewhere. Share your channel on Twitter and Facebook. Distribute videos anywhere else you can think of. Also, interact with comments and build a community around the videos you’re making so people will share it with their friends.
If my piece of content is so unique and valuable around hiking backpack recommendations, that other reputable outdoor websites are willing to link to it and build the page’s authority, then I’d have a very real opportunity to rank high in organic search for these search terms (meaning, my page will come up first when someone searches for hiking backpacks).

If your mastery of another language is good enough to have the grammar and spelling down, translating is a great side business idea to set up for yourself and can even be done remotely. Flexjobs has literally hundreds of freelance, remote translator jobs available right now and if you're looking to land more remote work on the side of your other pursuits, check out my guide—how to get a remote job (this weekend).


If you're ready to enter the ecommerce fray, you could sell your own stuff. Of course, along with selling your own stuff on your own website comes a whole slew of both responsibilities and technical configuration and requirements. For starters, you'll need a website and a hosting account. You'll also need a merchant account like ones offered by Stripe or PayPal. Then you'll need to design that site, build a sales funnel, create a lead magnet and do some email marketing.

As internet-based businesses go, affiliate marketing has huge income potential. And as mentioned earlier, once it's set up properly the income from it can be almost 100% passive.  In fact, this is how I quit my job originally.  I built lots of little niche sites that eventually were bringing in income of over $10,000 a month!  So, I say “Adios!” to my day job and I've never looked back.
Accommodate Multiple Forms of Payment: Many deal-seekers carry cash, but you want to accommodate every potential buyer. So, in the days leading up to the event, consider purchasing a point-of-sale system that can accept credit cards. Square is a popular and relatively cost-effective option: it doesn’t cost anything upfront and bundles credit card processing fees into its own per-transaction fees, resulting in a net expense of 2.75% for most transactions (net of $97.25 for every $100 charged). This is a small price to pay to capture the ever-growing cashless consumer demographic. On the day before the sale, visit the bank and grab $100 in small bills and coin rolls to ensure you’ll have enough change for buyers who do prefer cash.
As the internet continues to evolve, mobile technology and social media continue to grow and these two innovations have changed the way people use the Internet. Social media has given people a new way to communicate while mobile technology has made the internet more accessible. These channels including blogging are cheap and let you market to existing customers and potential new customers without leaving your home.
If you can afford to set up a Pty Ltd company, it is good protection for your personal assets and can be a much better option for your protection. Any claim will then be limited to your company assets and your personal assets will be protected. Set up a Pty Ltd company as soon as you can afford to do so. It may be more protection for your personal assets than spending the money on expensive insurance policies (depending on what business services you are offering).
One of the easiest ways to make a few bucks online is affiliate marketing. An affiliate is essentially someone who receives a commission for selling products for other companies, whether it’s on their own site or through another channel like eBay. The best part is that you don’t have to develop any products yourself, just sell other people’s products.
Unless you are experienced in website design, you will probably want to commission a specialist website designer or developer. One way to do this is to look for existing sites that are in the style you want, taking into account both the look and how easy the site is to use. If the site has been carried out by an external developer, their details will often be listed on the site, usually at the bottom of the home page.
Hi Michelle, such a great post! My bread and butter is freelance writing, and I’ve used that to create a full-time income online for around seven years now. I also have an eBay reselling business, and I absolutely LOVE doing that… Working from home can be quite isolating at times, so I love scheduling thrift store trips etc into my working week. It keeps me sane, and reselling is so fun 🙂

Research. You need to know what others are selling before you decide what wares you will offer. Lots of people sell handmade items, but those who work hard to make their items unique in some way are the ones who truly stand out. After you’ve decided on a product, check out the other sellers on Etsy and find what they’re offering, and then figure out how you can do it differently.


Music is a crucial part of early childhood development. If you have a musical background and are willing to share your talent with kids, then this might be for you. You can offer your services at kindergartens, daycares, and preschools. There might be a need for a free first performance for them to see how the students will interact with your music before hiring your services.

Research. You need to know what others are selling before you decide what wares you will offer. Lots of people sell handmade items, but those who work hard to make their items unique in some way are the ones who truly stand out. After you’ve decided on a product, check out the other sellers on Etsy and find what they’re offering, and then figure out how you can do it differently.
There are many people in their senior years who live alone in their own homes. Most of them have trouble bathing, cleaning the house, and fixing meals. Your responsibility as a home health-care service provider is to send a qualified employee to help these people perform tasks at home. This is currently a rapidly-growing business, so check the legal requirements needed to put up your own and start earning money.
Giving speeches is a terrifying experience. Giving bad speeches… Well, no one wants to be in that situation. Wordsmiths have a hugely sellable skill to win people over using nothing else but the power of well-strung sentences. If you can write, cash in on this skill by crafting speeches that make birthdays, weddings, award ceremonies, or political debates a more memorable experience.

The real estate market is on the rebound (for today) and people are buying and selling properties in many locations across the U.S. That means a lot of opportunities for professionals who know how to navigate the legal, financial, and commercial aspect of real estate to build up a stable of clients as a side business idea, especially if you begin to scale your sales hiring and build a team of reps working to help you close more deals. If you consider yourself an expert in the subject, it won't be a walk in the park (hehe), but you can earn significant additional side income as a home-based real estate consultant—especially if you employ one of the best CRMs for small business and know how to work magic over the phone.
The barriers to entry into an online business are minimal and the cost to establish and operate an online store are a fraction of the traditional retail shop. All you need is a computer, an internet connection and a website complete with e-commerce functionality and you are ready to launch. Of course, the internet provides a level playing field for retailers so once you have a web page you can effectively compete with the big players in your industry and almost any business can reach a global market, quickly and economically irrespective of their size.

Many big businesses are looking for social media influencers to become long-term ambassadors for their brand. This would involve you working closely with one particular band, and promoting their clothes, products, and services. You may also be restricted from promoting other brands, so check out the small print before agreeing to any long-term agreements.
17. Amazon – Have you heard of FBA? It stands for “Fulfilled by Amazon” and it’s getting pretty popular. Basically, you buy products (in bulk is best) and ship them to Amazon for them to store. When your products sell, Amazon packs them up, ships them out and sends you the money (after taking their cut). There are people making a full-time living from FBA, while others just do it for some extra money.
As more people want to establish their presence online no matter what their reason, the demand for WordPress themes and website templates continue to rise. Do you have a talent for designing websites and html coding? If so, you can make big bucks from creating attractive website themes. Create them and then sell them on marketplaces online like ThemeForest and TemplateMonster to generate a nice passive income for yourself depending on just how talented you are.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), it's been estimated that retail business will stay on par with a 3.7 percent to 4.2 percent growth rate. However, the NRF expects non-store sales to be anywhere from three to four times that rate of growth. However, even though brick-and-mortar sales still comprise the majority of consumer's spending, it's only expected to grow at roughly 2.8%. Clearly, what's driving much of our present ecommerce growth is the smartphone market. 
Do you love getting refunds? How cool would it be to get money back on stuff you’ve already bought? Paribus is a service that lets you find out if stores you’ve shopped at online owe you a refund.  It’s free to sign up. Paribus connects to your email account and checks your receipts.  If they find out a retailer has dropped their price they file a price adjustment claim for you.  Try out Paribus.
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