In this blog post, I write about best online businesses that I have personally tried and tested. Having an online business is a dream come true for many people. It frees you from your 9-5 job and it gives you the freedom to spend as much time as you want with your family. You can work on your business anytime it suits you and you don’t have to worry about your boss… because YOU are the boss!

There are many types of online businesses you can do and in this guide I will focus on what I personally know and have done so far.

First off, why an online business?

Well, there’s so many reasons but personally these 5 points below are the main reasons why I chose to quit my relatively well-paying job and pursue an online business instead:

1. I can work at home which means more time for family. I can sit in front of my computer when I want to work, play with my son and my dogs, and spend more time with the husband too.

2. Zero travel time. I don’t have to drive to work anymore which means I don’t have to get stuck in horrible Mactan-Mandaue-Cebu City traffic for 1-2 hours.

3. Low capital needed. There’s very, very low startup costs involved as opposed to starting a traditional business.

4. Open 24/7. You’re always open for business. That’s 24 hours every single day, 365 days a year.

5. Global Market. Your customers can come from anywhere in the world! You don’t have to be limited to people in your city or your local area.

freedom what it feels like when you finally have a profitable online business

Secondly, how much startup costs are we looking at exactly?

Here are some approximate costs for starting your own online business:

1. Domain name – $10 per year.

If you want to brand your business (which you should), then you have to buy a domain name which costs around $10 per year. The cheapest domain prices I’ve found are on NameSilo, plus they also offer FREE whois privacy which comes at an extra cost with other domain companies.

2. Web hosting – $5.95/mo 

If you buy your own domain name, then you need web hosting too. For web hosting, Bluehost is a great beginner option. I’ve written a detailed review about their service here.

3. Website design – FREE

You can get started with WordPress which is a free content platform that powers over half of the world wide web so there are a lot of excellent free themes and plugins for you to choose from.

4. Email autoresponder – FREE

Most marketers will tell you the money is ‘in the list’. Therefore you need a good email service so you can start collecting leads for your business. A good free program is Mailchimp which allows you to collect up to 2,000 email addresses and send up to 12,000 emails per month for FREE.

5. Your time – priceless

You can do everything yourself – from designing your web graphics and writing your own content to reaching out to influencers and marketing your content online to get traffic — for FREE. But this will take a very long time (we’re looking at months of hard work). OR you can invest in premium software (a.k.a. online business tools) or outsource certain tasks and spend $xxxx. Your choice.

Thirdly, what are the best online businesses you can start NOW?

There are many different types of businesses you can start but these are the 5 main categories that are perfect for beginners:

1. Affiliate marketing or selling other people’s products as an affiliate.

This is the perfect model for a beginner because you often only have to do the work once and you can start earning profits for a long time. You can do this with or without your own website.

Of course, having your own website makes it so much easier for you to control your online business, however, I know it can get pretty daunting to set up your own site at first so I wrote a detailed tutorial here on how you can promote affiliate products even if you have NO website.

Basically, this is how it works:

The affiliate marketing model - How affiliate marketing works

I promote many different affiliate products across my niche sites and the highest converting network for me is Amazon simply because it is a trusted global brand so people know when they go to Amazon that they’re not going to get scammed.

This is a screenshot of my Amazon USA earnings (I have separate earnings for Amazon Canada and UK) for July 1-18, 2017. The number of hours I worked on this site this month? ZERO. Yup, it’s purely 100% passive income!

Amazon partial income for july

Another type of affiliate marketing is ‘launch jacking’ which is basically setting up a website for an upcoming product launch (usually in the ‘making money online’ niche) so that when the launch finally happens and people search for more information about that product, they get a portion of people who land on their site and make affiliate commissions in the process. I write more about launch jacking in this blog post:

Ethical Launch Jacking 101: How To Earn Money Online Without Scamming People (plus my Super Jacker review)

For a super detailed tutorial on how you can go about promoting affiliate products even if you have no website, you should check out this post:

Affiliate Marketing Without a Website: A Step-by-Step Tutorial On How To Promote Affiliate Products Even If You Have No Website

2. Selling digital products online

Digital products can be ebooks, video tutorials, audio/podcasts, membership websites, software, online courses, etc. There are thousands of places where you can sell your own products such as Amazon, Clickbank, WarriorForum, JVZOO, Smashwords, Envato, etc.

In my case, I wrote a 5,000-word ebook a few months ago and used it as a FREE ‘lead magnet’ for my site users BUT I also sold it on Smashwords.com and its network of retailed sites such as Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Scribd, etc for $0.99 (cheap I know but I wasn’t really looking to sell it).

I am not actively promoting that ebook BUT I’ve earned a few dollars this year. So you can just imagine the potential if I went all out selling it for $5.99 or more and promoted it in many different places! Which really gets me thinking… I should do this… 🙂

Smashwords very tiny passive income

3. Selling physical products

I know this post deals with online businesses so why am I talking about selling physical products? Well, it’s because you can just set up an online store using your own website or an online ecommerce platform like ebay or amazon, and it will be considered an online business. 🙂

Selling physical products yourself, however, is not ideal because unlike digital products, you have to consider the following factors:

1. Manufacturing costs – this includes the equipment and labor used in creating the product

2. Shipping costs – depending on how heavy your product is and where you are going to ship, this can get quite expensive

As you can see there’s quite a lot of upfront costs which you have to consider. One way that savvy marketers are overcoming these costs is by using dropshipping. This means they set up a website where they sell products (an e-commerce store) and when people order from their website, they then purchase that product from their supplier at a lesser fee. The supplier then ships the product to the customer.

Here’s an illustration:

Dropshipping model

The store owner (from whom the customer bought the product) then gets to keep the difference between the amount he paid to the supplier and the amount the customer paid. So, for example, he is selling fidget spinners on his e-store for $15 and he buys it from his supplier in China for only $3, then it means he gets to keep $12 as profit!

Aside from dropshipping, you can also consider going into the T-shirt design business. Teespring is a great place to start! You can just upload your designs to your Teespring store and then all you have to do is get traffic to your store. Facebook and Instagram are perfect for selling these types of merchandise. 🙂

4. Selling advertisement space on your website or blog

Have you heard of Google Adsense? It’s a really popular monetization method for bloggers and website owners who sell advertising space on their websites. Once you are approved to the network, you can start putting up banners and text ads on your website. This is how it looks like:

sample adsense ads

Note, however, that you have to follow a lot of guidelines if you don’t want to get kicked out of the program. Check this page for more information on Adsense: How Adsense Works.

Of course, there are many other networks like Adsense so don’t worry if you don’t get approved straight away. There’s InfoLinks, Chitika, PopCash, PopAds, Media.net, etc. so you’ve got plenty of networks to choose from.

Also, if you get a lot of traffic to your website, you can even sell banner space yourself. For example, if you have a blog on ‘how to raise chicken’, you can contact the biggest chicken supply stores and ask them to advertise on your blog for $xxx/mo. That’s an additional passive income stream for you!

5. Selling your services

There are many popular platforms online where you can sell your services. The ones that come to mind easily are Fiverr, Upwork, PeoplePerHour, Konker, and so much more. If you’ve got a skill that can help people no matter where they are in the world, then you can market these skills!

Here are the most popular services that people are paying for online:

  • Web design and web development
  • App development
  • Graphic design such as logo creation, web banners, social media images, etc.
  • Online marketing
  • Virtual Assistant services
  • Writing and translation
  • Video and animation
  • Music and audio
  • Advertising
  • Social media management

On a personal note, we offer a web design and app development service on our service website, IrvingLabs. But we only take a limited number of clients per month as we also manage quite a number of websites so if you want us to check if we can work with you, please click on this link: Contact IrvingLabs.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of ways to earn money online but the 5 tips we have presented here are perfect for anyone just starting out in the online marketplace.

Once you start getting some experience, you will be able to see for yourself just how unlimited the opportunities are in the online world and how much better it is compared to staying in a boring job! Of course, it’s a different story if you enjoy your job. 🙂

Just know there are plenty of opportunities everywhere — you just need to know where to look!

I hope you learned something from this free guide. Now, the next thing for you to do is to TAKE MASSIVE ACTION SO YOU CAN START SEEING RESULTS IN A FEW DAYS OR WEEKS FROM NOW!

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