I have come across so many people, who are interested in making money online and want to know more, but are afraid because, they just have no idea about what tools are required and how to get them.
I mentor/coach people in how to make those initial steps.
I now, get calls from people to visit them in person, just so that I can show them the steps I took to start with the right foundation. Sometimes it takes an hour or two for them, before they finally can grasp the whole picture.
Does this sound like you. I too was afraid at the beginning because of how daunting it all looked. I went through endless hours of surfing the web, just for that one program that will help me to get started.
I am grateful today, that I have found a program, yet it was easy for me and I only knew what to expect, after 10 years of failing miserably on my own.
All, I wanted when I first started searching, was just for, someone to guide me through, step by step on what I needed and how to look for the best programs. I wanted the guide that had no assumptions that I knew anything at all.
Therefore, now that I know how and what to do, and please, I am no guru or expert (I am still learning new things every day).
If you are an absolute beginner, and you have no idea, where to begin, then this post is for you. I have written a step by step guide, on the tools needed to make a start.
Basically, this article is: how to start an online business from scratch.
The Correct Tools
Lets just assume that you have no tools at all and only came across this by chance, on your mobile phone or an ad.
I know some people will already have some sort of device. However, I found that having both a basic PC bundle, [Personal Computer] (with lots of memory space – 250 GB or more) and a laptop (one that also has great memory space – mine has 4GB or more).
Some people are quite happy working with a mobile phone or just a tablet, but I find that at home, I can do all my main work on the PC, and when I am out for more than a few days outside of my location, the laptop becomes my secondary work station.
Here are a few great laptop and PC brands that I have personally used and recommend:
If you would like to check out a range then see these Laptops Starting At $129!
A PC bundle (monitor and hard drive, plus keyboard and mouse) is a very good place to start, if you do not have much knowledge about PCs. Check out these OptiPlex 360 Desktop + Monitor Bundles
The only other tool that I use on the go, is my mobile phone, which is not a fancy one (I use Huawei), but it has 68GB and is great when you add a voice to speech app to type while walking the dog, or sitting in the car waiting at the kid’s after school extracurricular activities. There are great affordable phones out there, and you only need to look online to find something cheap yet performs to what you need.
Now, I am not a techie, but even I know that, just getting the hardware is not enough. This will need to be listed down, as part of your ongoing annual budget. Software programs update so quickly that when you think you have just bought the top program, the computer companies go and create an upgraded version with an upgraded price.
I for one, would not worry about upgrading until you have learned to use the programs itself and to master it for your business. I also, don’t think that you should go running out the door and buy every little thing to make you look smart, without learning the basics first.
Go For Affordability Not Flash Tools
This reminds me when I was looking out the window one morning, whilst having my coffee. I was watching our new Asian neighbor, trying out his flash bicycle (which probably cost more than 4K) for the first time.
Okay, the reason I am writing about this is that, he had also, bought himself the full road cycling gear (you know the one’s that those professional cyclists wear, when on TV). Well, he looked really good, and I thought that he was a pro, as he rode his expensive bike past my ranch slider and I even stood up to watch him.
However, the next thing I knew, he fell off the bike before it got onto the curb, and a car had to swerve to miss him. I am even chuckling right now, as I remember, how he quickly got up, picked up his bike and walked back up his driveway, without any idea, that I was watching the whole thing.
Moral of the story, don’t try to be flashy until you can use the damn things.
If you are just starting out, just go cheap first first, and as long as you have the right software with the basics, then you can do a great deal of work, with it.
Here are the basic software that should be sufficient for your online business:
According to Capterra the top 10 soft wares to use are:
I don’t even use any of the above. These can be implemented later as you grow your business and your own knowledge base has developed.
I believe in starting free or with little expenses as little, when you are just launching your internet business.
I have been using the basic Windows 10 Pro programs (which I prefer) and have had no issues. I have used the Mac programs before, but I still prefer Microsoft to Apple. Everyone has their preferences, and you may like Apple better.
These are the two basic soft wares for wither Mac or Windows:
- Windows – get Microsoft Windows 7 or later (8,10), need at least 64 bits, for older versions and price range from $120USD (home version) to $200USD (Pro version).
- Mac – OS X, MacOS – go to Apple Webpage to see more information for requirements and pricing.
Once you have your hardware and your preferred software programs, I recommend that, you also get yourself a very secure antivirus program. The last thing you want is for someone to hack your ideas, your client details, payment details and even your online business website or platforms.
I was lucky to have included with my software program, a great security program (McAfee), which came with the whole PC bundle. If you can find a PC bundle or laptop that includes this with the software costs, then that is a bonus.
If you don’t have one pre-installed, then, you can surf the search engines, for something that is affordable, gives you great support and provides hardcore security.
According to Trusted Antivirus Review the top ones to look for are:
Again, get an affordable yet efficient security program that won’t cost you an arm or a leg.
What Type Of Online Business Are You Looking To Start?
Now, funnily enough, the majority of people looking to start an internet business, begin off, by searching, without first knowing what they want to do.
I was like that back in 2008 I had absolutely no idea, what to look for. I had just bought me a new PC bundle and wanted to try earning from the internet, straight away without any prior knowledge or research and joined just about every shiny object just jumped on my screen.
However, I ended feeling more confused and lost.
What I found, was there were no straight forward answers, each program/platform was more interested in getting people to sign up for their own program and not interested in giving out any guidelines on the options or wonderful opportunities that the online world had to offer.
Since I joined my amazing platform Wealthy Affiliate, I have learned everything and am forever grateful to have found them. I have met more successful online entrepreneurs through this program, than in any other platform I have ever joined. Each member already successful in some form of internet business opportunity.
These members not only support my development, but are willing to share freely what they themselves use and what they do to earn.
The list that I give below, are but, only a few online business ideas that you can start in, and is just a scratch on the surface, when you look at the statistics. According to Internet Live Stats: out of 14 billion websites, there are only 20 million active. Wearsocial.com claims that there is a significant growth of 1 million a day, in the average internet user per day rate, in 2019.
Populationmatters.org‘s live stats shows more than 7,707,408,600 in the world population, and growing by the minute as newborns are registered around the globe.
Now, when you look at this, it puts everything into perspective.
More than ever, the time to build an online business is now. The astounding global market, waiting to see what you have to offer, should prompt in you a desire to be part of this world phenomenon.
Many of my dear friends who are very successful, have one regret; that they didn’t start when they were younger and take the risk, while they had the physical strength and age to accomplish things while they had the chance to do so, for their children.
Today, they are successful, but cannot enjoy their achievements with the people, that they, could have enjoyed them with; children have grown up and partners have passed away; they can not travel due to old age or illness.
If you are reading my blog right now, listen to their wisdom and go ahead, make that one decision that you will not regret, not having taken.
List Of Online Opportunities:
Surveys and paid to view activities
If you have no online business experience at all, then this would completing surveys and tasks would be the best way to ease yourself into the internet money making world. This way, you get a taste and it is suitable for over 18-retired. I find that totally inexperienced and elderly people enjoy this a more suitable way to earn as they do not have to do much.
There are many programs online that advertise these types of online survey programs. The downside, is that few will give you the sort of earnings, that will make you stop your day job. The majority are honest, although I warn you don’t fall for the ones that show large amounts of cash in their landing page or try to get you to pay them money. You should not have to pay to earn from surveys.
The real survey platforms are first of all free to join and you can start earning straight away. When I first started online, I joined some good ones that were able to give me about 100 extra a month. Some pay in online gift cards/coupons while others pay into paypal, payza and other well known online wallets.
There was one time when I couldn’t afford to buy quality basketball boots for my eldest daughter, and I did lots of surveys to earn just over $200 to get her a great pair of Nike boots online. She was stoked, because no-one in her school had them. I was happy because, it did not dent our budget, and it was all paid for, just for a few minutes of my time during the day. I still to this day, do the odd surveys, it looks nice to see some money in my Paypal account and it helps to cover advertising fees and other small business needs like logso etc.
Here are just a few that you can join also (they are my favourites):
- QuickRewards – free and very easy to join and start earning immediately, pays nice earnings, if you have a lot of time.
- Purkle – free to join and start immediately – earnings are between $20 to $50 a week, and they send you an email to say when a survey is ready.
- Swagbucks – is fun and earns you points that can be exchanged into cash, be donated to charity or paid as shop gift cards. This company gives great point rewards outside of their platform, as well.
- Clixsense – One of the oldest survey programs around and pays all its members on time. I have earned more than $200 of slow earnings from this site.
- Valued opinions – free to join and a great survey company that is hones and even pays to charities on your behalf using your earnings.
- Pureprofile – great earnings for your opinions and surveys are very short. I have earned more than $200 from this site alone.
So, what is blogging? I only found out about blogging, and if you had asked me about this a few years ago, I would have shaken my head and said go look it in a dictionary. Actually lets see what a dictionary has to say, shall we?
According to your dictionary.com, blogging is “the process of writing a blog, an online journal in which you share your thoughts about a particular subject with readers.”
That’s it then. Blogging is just that.
To be a blogger you have to own a website, that is about a passion, an interest or something that you wish to help others, know about. This is known as a niche (specific topic, aimed at a specific audience/market).
Once you have a niche and a website set up, you can pretty much write about whatever you like. Google will rank your site and content on how useful/valuable your content is. The ranking is based on how many people (traffic) visit and transact with you, in their comments.
Blogging is a great way to start your business, as this opens up opportunities, such as allowing sponsors to use your site for ads, or you can advertise affiliate programs, which earn you commissions.
Once you become proficient in the art of blogging, you then can venture into blogging for other companies, or website owners as, an authority in your chosen niche. This can pay you passive income, if you love to write, quality articles.
Again, I would never have found out about this online business opportunity, if I had never done the thorough training at Wealthy Affiliate.
There were members in the community, who were earning really good money, and recognition in this field, who inspired me to delve more into this.
This opportunity came by accident, because I added a company website link into my niche site. I got to experience being an internet influencer when I was asked by a popular Cooking School to do a blog to promote their school. I was quite surprised at first, but I got a free classy lunch (French wine included) for my article.
I learned that internet is cool and fun. You can add links from companies into your blogs, and sometimes, if you are sending them traffic/visitors you get a reward. Sometimes, they even send you an invitation to blog on their website, or pay you, to write more articles for them.
The sky is the limit as an internet influencer, you can pretty much get thousands of dollars worth of goodies or money. However, in order to get to this stage you will need to have a website, that has quality articles and lots of good traffic.
This is my favourite money making program. If you can find a great platform to train you, and to guide you, into choosing the best resources for your website, then you have got it made.
If you are still looking for an honest platform then I suggest Wealthy Affiliate (I know, the name sometimes puts me off – I wish they called it something else). I assure you no other platform will give you the training, or community support, for less than a cup of coffee a day.
This online business opportunity, uses other business brands/programs to advertise their programs/products on your website. You register as an associate or affiliate and for each product bought by a visitor to your site, you are paid a commission.
The most popular ones that people know of are, Amazon and EBay, however, there are thousands of retailers that offer affiliate programs, and at just about every niche you can think of, from: baby products to travel.
Internet Business Consult
Once, you have been through a good internet marketing training and a lot of experience, then you can try being a Business Consult and write your own e-books, manuals and even teaching training for both offline/online businesses.
You basically write articles and offer business solutions (pretty much what I am doing right now).
It is pretty straight forward. However, again, I cannot emphasize how important it is to get yourself a website. If you do not have one, or know where to get one, then I suggest SiteRubix. They offer in conjunction with Wealthy Affiliate two free sites to start a business on for up to 6 months trial.
This internet business opportunity, is quite straight forward. Once you gain great knowledge, and experience you can choose to become a website developer. They are very much sort after.
There are more people out there with small businesses, that have no websites, either because, they have no time to maintain one, or do not have the knowledge to create one.
These small businesses have the money and if you can offer a more affordable service, over an overly expensive program, you can make quite a bit of money on the side.
The cost to pay for a web developer:
- Initial set up: $500 to more than $5000 (depending on the size of the organization, and what they want added, in their site)
- Maintenance: $80 – $200 a month
- Additional Changes (additional updates like images and content/security/hosting) – $100-$200 an hour/per item added
This is only a summary, and will vary depending on what country currency you charge, or, on the location that you are marketing to.
Social Media Marketing
Believe it or not, those little annoying Facebook ads actually are putting money straight in to someone else’s pocket, each time you click on it. The worse is when, someone puts up a fake sad story, just to get more ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ (which means they are probably paid per click).
Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, serve to drive traffic by posting your written contents in the worldwide community – the more weird, or controversial ones, seem to get more clicks than anything else.
There are now people, making money for companies just offering to place ads or posts on the company’s behalf, on their personal social media pages.
You may find my previous article on Dan Henry interesting if you think this type of money making is more your thing.
Freelance Online Tutor/Coach
This one, is very much like the Online Business Consult. However, rather than specifically targeting small businesses, this type of online work, extends to just about anything, that you wish to be a coach on.
If you have knowledge, experience, skills or talent on a certain topic, you can be a freelance coach and charge whatever you wish for the services you offer.
This is quite a nice one, because you can create visual aids and lessons to suit the purpose. For example, you might know something about writing music, and want to teach it, you can do so, as a Freelancer.
Sometimes you can just start by advertising on your local papers, or mailbox deliveries to start of, and gain momentum by adding a website which links to your saved training videos.
YouTube and Udemy are great places to start and in conjunction with your branded website. Email marketing can further develop as you get more demand.
Earnings can range from $19 per lesson to what you want depending on your expertise.
Life Style Blogging
This seems to have, just become popular, in most recent years. The platform that uses this is Instagram. This is visual marketing, where a picture can say a million words.
You just need to add images of you or whatever you think will be attractive to the viewers and you gain traffic to your sites.
People are now earning money, advertising for other companies or websites on their own Instagram pages.
I tried once, and only posted a picture of the sun breaking into the clouds, while having coffee, outside on my balcony one morning, and I got quite a following, just from that one image. However, I would rather focus on writing great content to help people, like I am doing right now 🙂
This can be a part of website development. If you are a creative person then this will be an attractive business opportunity for you. There are platforms where you can advertise your services right away and start earning, such as Fiiver.
Register as a freelance in Fiiver and you can set up your service fees and what you offer. It is really easy to set up and it is a global platform.
You can start earning, as soon as you are approved (they rarely disapprove).
Freelance Content Writer/Editor/Publisher
This too can be a part in parcel with any other online business you want to take up, especially if you have a website and already a blogger. The more competent you become at writing and you have developed great standing as an authority as a great writer, then you can venture into writing paid content for other people.
You can also, edit or publish as well. Aging I suggest using Fiiver, as their platform allows you to start straight away, however, you do give some evidence that you can write an article.
This way of marketing has become the most popular way of converting traffic in to money. When you have a great website and want to start converting traffic into sales, then this is the best way to do it. To do this, you get readers to subscribe for more articles and then you build their trust.
More successful marketers, like Robert Kiyoski, renowned for his famous book, “Rich dad, Poor dad” who started, more than ten years ago, will testify to how much more impact their businesses get from email marketing today.
Safelist and Online Advertising
These platforms offer lots of advertising for other businesses. These are probably the sites that you land on, when, you initially start out searching, for an online business, or make-money-from-home opportunity. I landed on these too. I got lost, it was a maze for me, some of what were being advertised, were more shiny than real, and I lost money, without earning a cent back.
However, on saying that the Safelists are legit, and only serve to advertise for you. You may have come across, a few safelists, such as Europeansafelist or Tendollarsoloads. These are just examples of solo or safe list marketing. You sign up for free and you can advertise your sites or programs on these advertising platforms, for free or for a set fee.
What happens is, that these platforms, then send your ad to all their members, who get rewarded by cash or credit points for reading your email ad. It is a fast way of getting clicks on your site, however, conversion is not so great. What it is good for, is it can teach you all about advertising and you may find that you get indexed faster with the click rate.
The real money earners are the owners of these sites/platforms. To become an owner yourself, is quite easy, you just need to join for fee and you get the duplicated system for yourself including a fully functional website like theirs.
I prefer to just use them for my ads, however, they do offer paid affiliate programs. So far, I have only earned $50 in passive income over three years, so will probably stick to my website blogs, for now.
This internet opportunity is for the budding traveler. You can create a website and while traveling to places, take images and write review on all the airlines, transport, hotels, and activities.
You can get a stream of various earnings: blogging, rewards from companies that you reviewed and of course enjoy the wonderful views of the world (who can say that is not reward enough on its own).
This is a very popular online business, attractive more to younger people, who are single. They have no responsibilities to remain at home. It would be nice to travel and do online work while traveling, but honestly as a mother and wife, I prefer to sit in my lounge and do my online work, from home.
One young man in Wealthy Affiliate is already earning more than enough by just traveling and blogging his experiences.
I recently asked my daughter if she wanted to join Wealthy Affiliate, and she got excited about what it presented for her, and she joined as my referral. She is only 19 years of age.
She only joined two months ago and was very quiet about what she was up to. She did say that the training was amazing (as I had said already, before).
A little into her first month, of joining, she contacted me with excitement and said that she was asked to be an ambassador for two upstart companies. I was curious, because this was the first time I heard of it.
She is very active on Instagram and told me that the two companies had contacted her after seeing some images that she placed on Instagram. They had posted her two of their products to trial and to wear, in her Instagram images.
If they get traffic and buyers then she gets commissions and bonus gifts/offers.
I was really impressed, and I thought that I knew everything about internet businesses; it looks like I am wrong.
Sponsor Programs/Pay Per Click
I am part of many sponsor programs, that pay me to have their ads on my website/s, by paying for every visitor who clicks on their ads. The most known ones are Google Adsense (which are the ads that you see in YouTube or websites, sometimes in the way of content) and Bing Pay Per Click Ads.
However, you can also pay as sponsor and have your adds placed into other sites, where you will pay Google or Bing for the amount of clicks you get, through those other sites.
You register with these programs, and they supply the ads for their sponsored businesses, and place them on your blogs. When a viewer clicks on those ads, you get paid a percentage rate from the sponsor.
At the beginning these may not look like much, but as your traffic grows to your site/s, the click per rate grows as well. Some of our members have made more than $200 a month on passive income from such sponsors.
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In conclusion, I would like to, first of all, wish you all the best on your search for an online opportunity. Secondly, I hope that the information that I have provided, will help to make it easier for you to decide, which online opportunity you may choose.
If you have any questions about what I have written, please leave me a comment and I will get back to you.
See you soon.