"Many people think they have a great idea and jump into launching their business without thinking through who their customers will be, or why these people should want to buy from or hire them," Desaulniers said. "Second, you need to clarify why you want to work with these customers – do you have a passion for making people's lives easier? Or enjoy creating art to bring color to their world? Identifying these answers helps clarify your mission. Third, you want to define how you will provide this value to your customer and how to communicate that value in a way that they are willing to pay."
Blogging is something that requires patience, persistence and discipline. It may mean writing everyday for over a year before you really start to see any money from it. There are exceptions to the rule, but from my dealings with other bloggers, it seems to be pretty common to spend one or even two years building your blog, your brand and your authority, before making any serious amount of money.
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products, tools and learning resources I've personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can't afford or that you're not yet ready to implement.

And while it will take time to build up a big-enough audience to attract advertisers and other ways to make extra income from your podcast, the opportunity is there. John Lee Dumas interviews entrepreneurs seven days a week for his podcast Entrepreneur on Fire and now makes more than $200,000 a month from it. In fact, John publishes all his income online and showed that he’s made almost $13 million since launching in 2012.
Jumping into the field is relatively simple. Most prospective transcriptionists start by taking an online transcription course that teaches them the skills necessary to perform common job duties. Companies, such as Transcribe Anywhere, offer classes that teach students the basics of general, medical, or legal transcription, and just as importantly, how they can go about finding clients for work.
If you have an eye for the little details, a packing service business could be your calling. When someone moves out of their home, they pay for removal services to take their belongings from their old house to their new one. But the process of packing all their belongings into boxes in the first place is extremely time-consuming. Why not offer people your time to do this for them while they are at work or busy running errands?

However, if you're looking for realistic ways you can start earning money online now, then it really truly does boil down to seven paths you can take towards profit. Some will provide you with immediate results, helping you to address your basic monthly necessities such as rent, utilities and groceries, while others have the potential to transform your life by revolutionizing your finances in the long term.


Start researching your potential rivals or partners within the market by using this guide. It breaks down the objectives you need to complete with your research and the methods you can use to do just that. For example, you can conduct interviews by telephone or face to face. You can also offer surveys or questionnaires that ask questions like “What factors do you consider when purchasing this product or service?” and “What areas would you suggest for improvement?”
Conducting thorough market research on your field and demographics of potential clientele is an important part of crafting a business plan. This involves conducting surveys, holding focus groups and researching SEO and public data. A guide to conducting market research can be found on our sister site, Business.com. It's also a good idea to consider an exit strategy as you compile your business plan. Generating some of idea of how you'll eventually exit the business forces you to look to the future.

Have you ever thought about what happens to all the old CDs and DVDs we used to use to listen to music and watch films? Well, the answer is, often nothing. For those who have only just started using the internet to download, purchase, and listen to music, their CDs are wasted. If you know how to transfer this media to a computer, you could be doing the tech-phobic and those with little time on their hands a serious favor. Offer your services on forums, social media or flyers. You may even end up with customers with more general tech needs on a long-term basis.
The first follows the startup path we outlined above: You have a disruptive idea for an app or piece of software, you validate the idea with real customers, and then raise money to hire developers or a development studio to build, launch, and scale your software. If you’ve done everything right, your software will be accepted to the Apple and Google Stores and you’ll make money every time someone downloads it or pays for a premium feature.

The Balance Sheet is a snapshot summary of the assets, liabilities, and equity of your business at a particular point in time. For a startup, this would be on the day the business opens. Note that a new business will have no accounts receivable entries on the balance sheet. Note also that the Balance Sheet is much simpler for unincorporated businesses without employees. Income tax, pensions, medical, etc. are only applicable to incorporated businesses, as are Earnings/Retained Earnings.

After you register your business, you may need to get an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS. While this is not required for sole proprietorships with no employees, you may want to apply for one anyway to keep your personal and business taxes separate, or simply to save yourself the trouble later if you decide to hire someone else. The IRS has provided a checklist to determine whether you will require an EIN to run your business. If you do need an EIN, you can register online for free.
SmartBiz offers borrowers easy business loans with rates between 7.5% and 11%—among the lowest of the providers we reviewed. However, there is also a one-time origination fee of 2% to 4% that is due from the borrower, but because of the long terms offered, it does not significantly impact your APR. With an APR of 7.5% to 11%, you can expect a daily interest cost of $2.05 to $3.00 for every $10,000 you borrow.
Write pitches. If you have located a client for whom you want to write, send pitches, which are topic ideas for articles. Write pitches that not only show your expertise, but also demonstrate your enthusiasm for the topic.[21] First, read the publication to which you are sending pitches to familiarize yourself with what they publish. If applicable, identify a specific section and send our pitch to the appropriate editor. Also, include a brief summary of who you are.[22]
Like talking to people and helping walk them through problems? You can bring in extra income as a contract customer support superstar for companies all over the world. Due to the 24/7 nature of online businesses, companies are looking for people in different time zones to help deal with issues that their users are having. Better yet, if you have experience in service or retail you’ll be perfectly suited. Check out indeed or the other remote job boards I listed earlier to find opportunities.

The licensing to become a massage therapist varies according to the state in which you reside, but if you have a passion for health-related activities, you could take a masseuse course and set up a clinic from the comforts of your home. Once you have completed your course and gained your license, you will have to invest in a massage bed as well as the appropriate oils and massage products.
Webinars are quite possibly one of the most potent ways you can make an exorbitant amount of money online. You'll need an audience to train and you'll need to know what you're talking about. Of course, this usually requires having a website and some semblance of an online presence. However, people can still do webinars without all of that. For example, you might have a sizable social media following and you train them every week on something to do with social media. But you will need a product to embed and sell at some point. Don't worry about it in the beginning. In my experience, the best webinar platform out there is GoToWebinar. 
More and more companies and startups especially are embracing remote work—where you use online collaboration and communication tools to do your work from wherever you want. And you don’t have to be a 20-something hotshot designer or coder to reap the benefits of working remotely. Many remote positions are for customer support positions or other customer-facing positions that don’t require specialized skill sets.
Although a bicycle repair service can be seasonal, there are opportunities to tap into multiple markets so that you can have an income year round. For cyclists who just use their bikes to go to and from work, offer general repairs and maybe storage facilities during the winter months. If you want to attract cycling fanatics, you can offer year-round repair services. A Saturday shop in the right location is the perfect way to gather a bit of a crowd that will surely spend hours discussing their common passion.
This process will be very different for service-focused entrepreneurs, but no less important. You have several skills that people are willing to pay you for right now, but those skills can be hard to quantify. How can you establish yourself and your abilities? You might consider creating a portfolio of your work -- create a website to show your artwork if you’re an artist, writing if you’re a writer or design if you’re a designer.

Then don’t sell YOUR product or skills for $5. Other people, your competitors, are allowed to do whatever they want. If someone makes a product and markets it for $5, while you make a product that YOU consider to be much more valued and market it for $100, the consumer still has the power of deciding what they would rather spend their money on. I’ve worked in the culinary industry for 10+ years and the saying I’ve always heard is that if you can’t handle the heat, then get out of the kitchen. Anyone can tell you if something tastes good or bad, but that doesn’t mean they can create high quality meals like I can. That being said…
Coming up with a good idea isn’t a static process; it involves a lot of trial and error. The best way I’ve found to generate ideas is to write and write often. Make lists every day of things that you might enjoy, and try to figure out how you could make money doing them. To help, here’s a list of 50 business ideas you can begin building as you continue plugging away at your 9-to-5.
"A lot of startups tend to spend money on unnecessary things," said Jean Paldan, founder and CEO of Rare Form New Media. "We worked with a startup that had two employees but spent a huge amount on office space that would fit 20 people. They also leased a professional high-end printer that was more suited for a team of 100 (it had keycards to track who was printing what and when). Spend as little as possible when you start and only on the things that are essential for the business to grow and be a success. Luxuries can come when you're established."  
Talk about an easy business to start - a vehicle and a good driving record and you're good to go. We're all familiar with the "big names" in the delivery industry, but that doesn't mean that there's no room for the little guy (or gal). If you can deliver things quickly and efficiently in your local area at a reasonable price, this may be a good business idea for you.
Find work. When you first start out, you may have to accept work writing about a topic you don’t find all that interesting. You must keep an open mind and be willing to accept work that may not be in your desired field. However, as you continue to write, you not only learn about more topics, but you also build your reputation. With time, you can be choosier about assignments you want to accept.[19]
If you need financial assistance, a commercial loan through a bank is a good starting point, although these are often difficult to secure. If you are unable to take out a bank loan, you can apply for a small business loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) or an alternative lender. [See related story: Best Alternative Small Business Loans]

There are quite literally hundreds of clever ways to make money online. From taking online surveys, to renting or selling your old clothes, flipping your iPhone to someone in a different country, and even buying low-cost products locally, just to resell them for a higher price on Amazon. There’s truly no shortage of unique ways to make money online.
Use an Incubator. If you believe you have a solid idea and a workable business plan, you may want to consider a business incubator. Upon acceptance, these programs provide funding designed specifically to financially assist a startup company. Sometimes they offer office space or shared administrative services.  Most incubation programs are sponsored by local or regional economic development organizations, and some are sponsored by colleges and universities.

If your business will have employees, you will, at a minimum, need to purchase workers' compensation and unemployment insurance. You may also need other types of coverage depending on your location and industry, but most small businesses are advised to purchase general liability (GL) insurance, or a business owner's policy. GL covers property damage, bodily injury and personal injury to yourself or a third party.


If you're thinking about starting a business, you likely already have an idea of what you want to sell, or at least the market you want to enter. Do a quick search for existing companies in your chosen industry. Learn what current brand leaders are doing and figure out how you can do it better. If you think your business can deliver something other companies don't (or deliver the same thing, but faster and cheaper), you've got a solid idea and are ready to create a business plan.

25. Products – You can create your own product, such as an ebook or computer software. You would then use your blog as a promotion tool to get people to buy your product. As long as you create a legitimate product with a whole lot of value, you should be able to get some buyers, but like everything else with a blog, you’ll need the traffic to get the sells.

Consider your expertise. If you take the time to reflect on your experiences, you will realize that you have more knowledge about which to write than you might think. Begin by listing three assets that define you, such as your profession, a special hobby or a personality trait. Next, list three things that inspire you, such as religion, education or charity. Finally, list three of your dreams, such as getting married, traveling or spending more time with your children. These three lists should give you many ideas of topics about which you can write.[13]
But don't make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you're on call whenever you have a guest and you'll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, consider offering your guests paid add-ons, like Lauren Gheysens', Royal Day Out in London, England—where she gives visitors a local's only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
If you enjoy writing, find a topic you’re passionate about and start a website dedicated to covering that topic and anything else interesting you want to talk about. All you need is a computer, some time, and some energy to consistently write. It can start as a hobby and turn into a business over time. And blog hosting can cost less than $12 per month.
Every year, hundreds of millions of documents are notarized in the United States: wills, mortgages, citizenship forms, handgun applications. While for decades, this has all been done in person, there is a budding crop of sites that allow notaries to take their services online. If you’re already a notary, you can sell your services online. Or, if you want to get started, check out the National Notary’s checklist for becoming a certified notary.

In some places, dog walking alone can be a very profitable business. Those working from 9 to 5 either do not have time to walk their dogs before leaving the house or just prefer it if someone comes in to let them out of the house for some exercise. Also, dog walking businesses that offer additional services are becoming increasingly popular. Consider also offering:
People are increasingly conscientious about the way they look, and with that comes the need for tailored clothing. One size does not fit all, and businessmen and women, in particular, want to look the part when they go into the office every day. The custom clothing industry is still relatively untapped, so starting a business now will offer you a significant potential for growth in the future. In addition to having their pieces delivered directly to their homes, you can offer customization of:
To become a caregiver, you will have to undergo professional training and acquire various certifications and health and safety diplomas. That said, if you've have cared for a parent, sibling, or friend in the past and feel this is something you want to pursue, it is a business you can set up cheaply. You can not only choose your clients but also your working hours. Daily tasks as a caregiver will vary; however, you will often be expected to:

Coming up with a good idea isn’t a static process; it involves a lot of trial and error. The best way I’ve found to generate ideas is to write and write often. Make lists every day of things that you might enjoy, and try to figure out how you could make money doing them. To help, here’s a list of 50 business ideas you can begin building as you continue plugging away at your 9-to-5.
The most trending businesses are; 1. Affiliate Marketing, 2. Facebook Page E-commerce, 3. Teaching online courses, 4. Social media consultant, & 5. eBook author: Publish your book online. Affiliate Marketing leads to be one of the strong and productive ways to make money online. There are a lot of online business ideas, but these five plans will be so obvious to start an online business without risk.
Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be making extra money online. Major brands, gear companies, and even startups are willing to shell out $500-$5,000+ per post to get in front of your audience. While it’s getting harder and harder to build a massive Instagram audience, if you already have a solid niche and are posting quality content regularly with a great camera for taking Instagram photos, with a few small tweaks you can make yourself an influencer. Check out this awesome article from Shopify on how to build and grow your Instagram following to get started.
Next, you need to set up and build your YouTube channel. Your YouTube channel is your homebase for all your content. If you already have a Google account for Gmail or Google Drive, then you can use that to log-in to YouTube and start setting up your channel. Pick a username that works for you and is memorable (if you’re using an existing Google account you’ll have to edit your username in Google+).
If you want to clear some space out in your house and have a big stack of books you’ve been holding onto for too long, you can make money selling your books and textbooks online. Stores like Half Priced Books and others will give you cents on the dollar for each of your current books while you can check what your book is worth by simply entering the ISBN number on Book Scouter.
If you need financial assistance, a commercial loan through a bank is a good starting point, although these are often difficult to secure. If you are unable to take out a bank loan, you can apply for a small business loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) or an alternative lender. [See related story: Best Alternative Small Business Loans]
BlueVine offers three financing options to borrowers, the most of any provider we reviewed. However, to qualify for invoice factoring, you need to have invoices outstanding for less than 90 days and owed by other businesses or the government. If you need a large short-term loan up to $500,000, you can work with a lender like OnDeck or LoanBuilder instead.

Fundbox offers an early repayment opportunity that can save you money. In addition, the flexibility of a credit line allows you to borrow as little as $1,000 when you need it, instead of getting a large loan upfront. You can get up to $100,000 with repayment terms up to 24 weeks and payments due weekly, one business day after applying with Fundbox.
Tutor students. Many families prefer the flexibility of using an online tutor. Depending on your background, you could be simply helping a child with homework or providing college-level support. You need to have your own computer and high speed internet. Experience required differs among companies. Some require “strong experience,” while others require a specific educational background. However, most companies do require a college degree.
And while it will take time to build up a big-enough audience to attract advertisers and other ways to make extra income from your podcast, the opportunity is there. John Lee Dumas interviews entrepreneurs seven days a week for his podcast Entrepreneur on Fire and now makes more than $200,000 a month from it. In fact, John publishes all his income online and showed that he’s made almost $13 million since launching in 2012.
A good offshoot to starting a house cleaning service is home and office organizing. It’s not as competitive and commoditized. A super cheap / beginner home organizer starts at $25/hr, but $35-$50/hr is pretty standard. Even higher if you have a specialty (hoarders, ADD/ADHD, etc), are certified, have YEARS of experience and/or are based in a large metro area. You do not have to be certified, however. Starting as a house cleaner will definitely give you an inroad (as there is more demand in terms of volume and helps with regular cash flow). That’s how I started and eventually phased the cleaning out. Offering pre-paid discounted packages (with a contract) and taking deposits from 1st time clients helps to keep problems away.
Before turning to an online lender, it’s important to consider working with your existing bank or credit union to get financing. If you already have a loan or line of credit in good standing, you can request a credit increase or an additional loan quickly. If the requirements are too high or the application process is too slow, then an easy or fast online business loan is the best choice.

First off, I’m a blogger so it seems wrong not to mention it, but more importantly, it’s a legitimate way to make money. It’s quite possibly the least straight-forward way on this list, but it’s very doable and it’s also quite possibly the funnest way on this list. I love blogging and I know hundreds of bloggers who feel the same. So let’s talk about making money blogging and what it really means.
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