In today’s wireless world it’s becoming easier and easier to launch a business online from anywhere on the planet. And it’s also easier to cater to local, national and even International customers no matter where you are. I have a friend for example who successfully runs a classifieds web site specific to Windsor, Ontario, Canada and surrounding areas but he has been living abroad for years.
Below are 10 business ideas that one could run from the comfort of their home (or hotel lobby, hotel room, coffee shop, park bench, and so on).
1) Affiliate Marketing
I talk a lot about affiliate marketing and it is one area that makes me a considerable amount of money. If you are someone that uses products and services, regardless of what they are, and are excited to tell people about your experiences with them, affiliate marketing may be for you.
As an affiliate, you essentially refer people to other people’s products and get commissions when a sale (or lead) results from your referral. This could involve writing up a review in the form of a blog post and linking to the product on review. You may also review multiple products in the same arena and pick your favorite.
There are many places online that will accept affiliates to market their products. Amazon and eBay are popular choices. Clickbank is a decent source for digital products.
2) Internet Writing
Writing online is another way to earn an income. There are plenty of ways to find writing gigs. I’ll share a couple of my recommendations here. There are webmaster forums online like Warrior Forum and Digital Point Forum where web site owners are actively seeking writers for their sites and other web properties.
Consider replying to an ad in the “wanted” section or advertise your skills in your own thread. There are a couple of ways to do it. First, you can say “I will write on any topic for your web site for $2/100 words.” That might get some action but the more preferred way may be to say something like:
“I am passionate about natural health and healthy living. In particular I am well read in the areas of wild food and the raw food diet. On a daily basis I live the wild foods and raw foods lifestyles. I talk the talk and walk the walk.”
“I am looking for a well respected online column to write for on an ongoing basis. I am interested in writing news, reviews, and feature and benefits type articles.”
“I have a great understanding of SEO concepts and best practices that I will put into my work. Beyond writing, I will also take a unique picture for each article that you could have exclusive rights to. I will also include the HTML within the article that fits within your needs. Proof read work and error free content will be of top priority for me.”
“My rates are $7 per 100 words. This included publishing the content at a schedule that you set forth. Please link me to your site and I will write a free sample piece of content that fits within the needs of your site. I look foward to working with you.”
You get the idea 🙂 Oh, you can check freelance sites for writing work as well.
3) Development Work
There is a great demand for development work online. You can check out any freelance site, eLance is a great example, and browse through the jobs to see what people are looking for.
Options include but are not limited to: ASP.net/PHP/etc. developers, mobile app development, WordPress (and other CMS) theme and plugin development, and so on.
4) Graphics Design
Check out 99Designs and some freelance sites to see some ways to get yourself out there as a graphics developer if you have such skills.
5) Translation Services
eLance and other freelance sites, and even Fiverr provide ways for bilingual or multi-lingual people to find work translating texts.
A lot of times you could find work translating books, advertisements, web pages, articles, emails, and entire web sites among other things.
6) Virtual Assistant Work
It used to be that a virtual assistant behaved as more of a receptionist and this is still the case a lot of the time now. This person would be available during set hours and fulfill tasks as they are sent in by the “boss” man or lady.
These tasks might involve sending a loved one a birthday present, setting up appointments, publishing content and so on.
Virtual Assistants might not be on the clock though. They could be sent requests that are to be completed with a certain time frame. It might be that they are requested to import some Pay Per Click ads, setup a WordPress blog, run some ‘media buy’ ads or what have you.
7) Form Fillers
This type of job isn’t nearly as popular these days but I still see requests for it. A lot of times it is lumped with other “virtual work” type jobs but often it’s best to have one person on one task. It’s just much easier to keep them focused.
An example of what this involves would be for when someone wants to submit their web site to a handful of directories. In general there are about 5 or 6 different platforms that are widely used on directory sites.
The form filler will fill the forms for each directory type and save the form contents in a tool like RoboForm. Then, when they encounter the same form again with the same fields they could autofill it using RoboForm. Likely they will have several renditions of the title and description fields to prevent too much “sameness” across the web.
These jobs are still available, for what they are worth. RoboForm is still valuable as a password management tool either way.
8) Proof Reader
There is a lot of people that are sitting on a lot of content that is yet to be published online. That content must be proof read and corrected before it hits the masses. Find these jobs on freelance sites and Fiverr, and even webmaster forums.
9) Transcription for Audio and Video to Text
A lot of people create audio and video presentations that they later want converted to text. A transcriptionist will listen through the content and type out what is being said.
There are tools that automate this but they don’t nearly do as good a job as a human at this time. Don’t put all your eggs in this basket though because like form filling (and probably even translation for that matter) I’m afraid it’s a dying business. Transcription and translation still have some good years left though I am guessing.
10) Song Creation
People are always looking for clever and unique ways to promote their business and web site. Look to Fiverr to see what people are willing to do for a business to help fit that need. Then look how many satisifed customers there are for each one.
I personally have hired a rap artist to record rap songs to provide unique content to my niche.
11) Run Your Own Site
OK, so I am adding a bonus Internet business idea into the “list of 10.” Most of the ideas above involve working for someone else in a sense. You don’t generally have a boss, you usually have clients but still, some people like to run their own ship and have customers rather than clients. I know, they are generally defined the same (clients and customers), but when working online, a customer could come and go in a “passive” sense and you could earn money from them. Tip: Get them on a mailing list either way. Separate visitors from buyers if your list provider provides a way to do so.
Anyway, you could start your own site on any topic that you are passionate about. It could start as a blog recommending other people’s products as an affiliate (briefly discussed above). Then you could branch off and launch a store from the same site. Then you can sell your own stuff. Well, maybe not your own necessarily, but you could get wholesale pricing and a warehouse (i.e. basement or garage) or setup some dropshipping deals. Look to Amazon to see how you could work with their warehouse. There are interesting opportunites there.
What about running a service? How about a classifieds web site for a very specific category? You could man the site and take “orders” by fax, email, or phone for those who still don’t like to “type” but still see value in the web. There are sites that will let you advertise in newspapers across the globe. Prove your toll-free number and start taking orders.
Some people have the gift of entertainment. They may record videos, write stories, or anything similar and share the content on their sites. There are many many ways to monetize a site once the traffic arrives: selling ad space, running your own ads, etc.
Eventually you could start being on the other side of the freelancing… the hiring side. Then you could help others get their start online.