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10 Online Business Ideas that You Can Do from Home in Jammies

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Let’s face it: anyone that wants to get into business online is probably someone who wants to do it in the comfort of their own home, where they’re free to do as they please. Some people may doubt the viability of taking an online business idea and trying to make a living off of it, but the thousands of people that have done so are proof enough that it can be done. Yes, not everyone will be able to make money off of their online business ideas, but it isn’t impossible – it just has a substantial learning curve. Don’t expect to replace a steady job income soon either; these things take time to be profitable enough to live off of.

Basic Guidelines

Regardless of the type of online business that someone engages in, there are a few things that should be kept in mind.

1. A pre-packaged program or arrangement is only as good as how much it can be customized. This is because if people just use the program without changing it, they literally can become a dime a dozen. Find a way to use the program but still make it seem unique.

2. Be wary of any “system” that sounds too good to be true or promises quick profits. These are never good online business ideas.

3. Develop a little understanding of some fields that are useful on the Internet, since these will be useful to any online business idea. Namely, HTML, search engine optimization, social media marketing, website marketing, traditional marketing and sales techniques are all crucial.

4. Specialization can be critical, since it allows the business to tap into a niche market that might not have a lot of competition. This is particularly good if the company knows its audience and sticks with it.

Barring someone who has a brilliant online business idea that would make investors come swarming to their doorstep, even a business over the Internet would require a lot of time and effort – just that setting it up is a lot more casual. There are a number of potential businesses that someone can dip into that have already been proven to work and can be set up from home without any special preparations – or publicly acceptable attire, for that matter.

* Affiliate Marketing

What this online business idea comes down to is the promotion of another company’s products or services on someone’s website. When sales are made, the affiliate gets a commission. This means that skill in writing sales copy and web marketing are going to be crucial. Working knowledge of SEO and Pay Per Click marketing won’t hurt, either.

* Blogging

Blogs are websites that have content written in a journal-style, typically arranged in chronological order. Articles and reviews aren’t impossible to find on a blog, though. The ones who seriously use a blog for income might sell advertising or mix in affiliate marketing tricks to earn cash. Copywriting and social networking are crucial to increase readership, while web marketing can help make sure the products being pushed are pushed effectively.

* eBay & Auction Sales

This is among the more management-heavy online business ideas, since it involves selling or reselling products online using marketplace sites like eBay, Amazon Auctions or Craigslist. These are great places for selling used goods, getting them wholesale or as a drop-shipping service. A little customer service can go a long way with this one, along with good merchandising skills. Of course, sales copywriting isn’t going to hurt, either.

* e-Commerce

The basic concept for this online business idea is the same as any business: sell a product or service. The difference is that, in e-commerce, the product or service is technology-based and often only available online. This has a tough learning curve, since it is basically the same as running a typical business, but without the need for a physical location. Any and all previously mentioned skills will likely be needed and put into play at some point with this.

* Arts & Crafts

The business world doesn’t always like to market creative ideas and designs if there’s too much risk to them. A good online business idea for those with creativity and the willingness to put apply it. Make product lines and sell them online. This is not that different from e-commerce, so a lot of the skills that work there will work here. Besides that, creativity counts for a lot.

*Research Business

Corporations, law firms and other organizations are always in need of things to be researched, which make this a good online business idea for those who have the time. The basic gist of it is to find what the client wants found and deliver results within a set timeline. Obviously, this requires intensive research skills on-par with dedicated librarians, as well as some customer service skills.

* Web Design

Simple fact: as long as the Internet exists, it is a good online business idea to market the skill in designing websites. The right software, a decent computer, an Internet connection and a lot of creativity are really all that’s needed for online business ideas like this to take off. It helps to prepare a portfolio of previously designed sites to show potential clients what level of skill is on offer.

* Consultancy

It is a good online business idea to advertise one’s talents and experience in a given field, provided it sets them apart from everyone else. In the competitive business world, people will pay for the edge that superior skill and experience provide. It is also a lot more cost-effective than retaining one in-house, for the company’s side of things. Of course, this needs both good customer service skills and knowledge of the trade in question.

* Freelancing

There’s always room for an online business idea to take the form of freelancing. From graphic designer to writer, there are always companies looking for someone to do freelance work on something that they can’t do in-house. Success with this online business idea requires not only a lot of skill in the chosen trade, but also at sales and marketing – to make sure potential clients notice the services offered.

* Virtual Assistant

This is a good online business idea for those who have a lot of organizational skills. In essence, this involves administrative and business support as a service to executives or other business owners. This involves all of the skills needed to be a good assistant, minus the actual physical presence.

There are a number of good online business ideas that people can tap into, if they keep in mind that this sort of thing is not easy. The profits from these are quite slow to come, and it isn’t wise to quit the day job before the online business is stable.


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Lorna Li

Chief Evolutionary Officer at Entrepreneurs for a Change
Lorna Li is a business coach, entrepreneur and Amazon rainforest crusader, with a passion for green business, social enterprise, and indigenous wisdom. She helps changemaking entrepreneurs harness the power of the Internet to reach more people and make a bigger impact, while designing the lifestyle of their dreams. She is an Internet marketing consultant to changemakers, and works with innovative tech startups, sustainable brands, social enterprises & B-Corporations on SEO, SEM & Social Media marketing.
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  • Marvin Jack

    Out of all the business ideas that are listed the most important piece of advice from me is The money is in the List is what I saw on occasion but until I understood the dynamics of marketing and the Epiphany of Email List Building which is the foundation to success as an internet marketer that is when I took off as an online marketer. It doesn’t matter what you choose building and Email list of Customers is the Key to Success. http://listbuilding.successfulnichemarketers.com/blog/what-is-email-list-building