Expanding from a physical location to an online presence has never been easier. It is truly a globalized era. Those looking to start a business from scratch, depending on the model, will most likely consider operating fully on the internet. The cost difference between a brick and mortar store and a website really makes the decision rather simple. Web hosting and domains have advanced a lot over the years with costs being very reasonable. With jobs and the economy up in the air, starting your own online business can be a feasible means of making ends meet.

Let’s take a look at five tips to start your own online business.

1. Online Surveys

You don’t always need a website of your own to make money online. There are many websites that will pay you for your input. Sites like Survey Scout, Inbox Dollars and Panda Research, just to name a few, will pay you to take surveys, read emails and more. A word of caution, though, that there are sites out there that may not be legitimate, so please do your research first before joining one of these sites.

While we feel you wouldn’t be able to completely replace your salary with this online business method, it could very well bring in a decent amount of extra cash from month to month and become a nice little side business for you. This is even something you and your significant other could do in your spare time!

2. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the concept of promoting someone else’s business, or product or service, and if you make a sale, you get paid a commission. It’s kind of like being a car salesman. The nice thing about this business method is that you can promote a wide range of products/services all at the same time.

Clickbank, for example, is ripe with products you can start promoting right now. There are many avenues to promote and advertise affiliate offers. Some are free, and some would require a fee. For example, forums are a great place to get your affiliate links out there, and many are free to join and allow you to place links in a signature file that is attached to each of your posts. Google Adwords would be an example of a service where you bid for ad placements and pay for each click you receive. While it’s not free, it could be a low-cost advertising solution.

Spending money on advertising and promoting affiliate marketing isn’t necessary, but it is a quick way to get people to your offers. If you’re short on cash and want to spend money on advertising, a small business loan may be an option. If you own a car, title loans in Tampa or other title loan companies could help you get the cash you need. If done right, paying for advertising could pay off in the long-run.

3. Social Media

Social media has evolved so much over the years and is a viable outlet to create and run your own online business. Whether you’re selling a product or a service, the various social media sites are equipped to help you make yourself, your product(s), or service(s) visible to the online masses.

A key tip here, and this applies in general, is to not be spammy. It’s important to make connections and build trust with others; this is harder to do online when no one knows you.¬† It will take time to get established, but if done right, this avenue can be very profitable.

Some of the top sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. We recommend familiarizing yourself with each site and researching how to use each site to market yourself and services.

4. Blogging

We’ll segue right in to the next tip to start your own online business… Blogging. Blogging along with social media can be a powerful combination.

Blog platforms like WordPress make it easy to link your blog with the popular social media sites. Why is this useful? When you publish a post to your blog, a snippet and/or link of that post can be automatically posted to your social media accounts. Your content is being distributed to your network and drawing people to your blog to read the full article.

The end goal with this type of business is to get people to your blog. Your blog should direct people to your product(s) or service that you’re selling. Again, you don’t want to be spammy in your tactics. Most likely they came to read the content on your blog, and if they like what they’ve read and find it useful, chances are they will browse your blog for more helpful content.

5. Website

If you’re utilizing the blogging model, there is little doubt that making your own website¬†will be a no-brainer. Hosting your own blog using WordPress, for example, will allow you to have your own custom domain name that you can direct people to.

Your domain name should be catchy and relevant to your online business. Great care should be taken in regards to your website’s theme. Navigation is also something you will want to pay attention to as you want your site visitors to easily find what they’re looking for.

Other things to consider with a website would be marketing, monetization, search engine optimization and visitor retention. We have a lot of articles right here on this blog regarding these topics, and there are many other authority sites that cover these topics in great depth. Don’t be afraid to delve into the unknown and take the time to learn and educate yourself when it comes to making money with a website.

So, there you have it… Five different ways to start an online business. Whether it’s to supplement your existing income, or you’re looking to quit your job entirely and work from home, perhaps one of these struck your fancy. Of course, there are countless other methods and business models out there to choose from. We recommend you take the time to find out what interests you and see if there is some sort of gap that you can fill or service/product you can offer that will meet people’s needs.

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