Online Business Ideas: 16 Best Low-Cost Ideas and How to Start (Part 2 of 4)| Mark Hayes

Here’s a continuation of the earlier post on same subject.

5. Teach an online course

Teaching an online course is a low-investment business idea for generating passive income. All you need to do is put together a video walkthrough explaining a subject you’re familiar with and then host it on your own personal website.

Although it requires effort up front, if you manage to design a popular, high-value video tutorial series, you would make money on an ongoing basis as people continue to enroll in your course.

To start creating your first online course, brainstorm a topic that you know well enough to teach someone how to do from scratch. This can be literally anything—music production, social media marketing, web development, you name it.

Next, you’ll want to grab a screencasting app, like ScreenFlow, to record your screen and voice while you walk your students through your tutorial. ScreenFlow also comes with a built-in video-editing suite, letting you shoot and cut your videos all on the same platform.

Why teach an online course?

  • With an online course, you can literally set it and forget it. Take a few days or weeks, depending on the complexity you’re aiming for, to build an online course, and you could be reaping the benefits for weeks.
  • You already have the knowledge, you just need to share it. Focus on teaching something that you’re already an expert at and the rest will come naturally, whether it’s building iOS apps, creating monthly budgets, or running Facebook ad campaigns.
  • Teaching someone a new skill is its own reward. While there’s definitely money to be made teaching online courses, helping other people is always a satisfying experience in itself.

6. Flip your thrift store finds

If you love hitting up thrift stores and hunting down great deals, then one great ecommerce business idea is to sell your second-hand treasures online.

Your potential customers want to buy cool stuff, but they don’t want to dig through old soccer jerseys and braided belts to get their hands on that one amazing find. Take advantage of this by positioning yourself as a trustworthy curator who can go out and uncover those great vintage pieces for others.

Why sell your thrift store finds?

  • Let’s face it, you’d be combing through thrift store racks anyway, so you might as well make some money while you do it by putting your shopping addiction to work.
  • The margins are huge. That two-dollar RadioShack ball cap you found over the weekend? You can turn it into a $40 vintage hat.
  • You’re selling something unique. Nowhere else on the web will people be able to find the vintage collections that you put together.

Want to turn your cool stuff into pizza money? Take a look at these guides to making your products look great in photos:

7. Publish your own book

It’s OK to admit it: you’ve thought about publishing your own book someday. While seeing your name on a list of bestsellers might seem like a pipe dream, it’s actually not that far out of reach.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a science-fiction novel, a marketing guide, or a children’s picture book, there are now plenty of options for successfully self-publishing your work. These include releasing your writing as an e-book with the Digital Downloads app to on-demand printing services like Blurb and CreateSpace.

To sell e-books through your online store, install the Digital Downloads app and you’ll instantly be able to stock digital files as products. Once purchased, your e-books will be sent to your customers via email or as a direct download link.

If you choose to sell physical copies of your book, you’ll just need to place an order with Blurb or CreateSpace whenever your work is purchased. They’ll custom print your book and handle the entire storage and fulfillment process.

A new revolutionary technology has JUST been launched that allows you to INSTANTLY create professional Ebooks, Reports, Guides, Lead Magnets, Whitepapers, and digital info-products AUTOMATICALLY, and “ON-DEMAND”… at a push of a button! Check out Sqribble. You can instantly create amazing eBooks & reports in just minutes without writing a single word!

Why publish a book?

  • What’s the point of writing something if there’s no one around to read it? Self-publishing is the quickest way to get your book into the hands of potential readers.
  • Printing, storage, and delivery is taken care of thanks to services like Blurb and CreateSpace.
  • Creative writing is your passion and you deserve to be able to make money while doing something you enjoy.

Ready to live out your dreams of being a published author? These resources will help you on your way to the top:

8. Start a blog

Blogging has come a long way since its inception. What was once a virtual journal has now turned into a marketing and even a monetization tool. 

Whether you make money from publishing sponsored posts, hosting third-party ads, or selling your products, a blog is a great online business idea you can start at home. 

The key to starting a successful blog is to focus on building an engaged, loyal audience. When you start with an audience-centric approach, you’ll cultivate a community that trusts you. And when you can earn trust, you can start to drive revenue.

That’s how Mr. Money Mustache started his popular personal finance blog. What began as a movement has turned into a successful business that’s earned national media coverage. 

Why start a blog?

  • Blogs have unlimited growth potential. You can expand into affiliate marketing, ecommerce, courses, and essentially any other online business venture. Some blogs even use a paid subscription model to drive revenue. 
  • A blog is a long-term play. While you won’t see overnight results, they are likely to be more sustainable. A blog lives on the internet forever—or at least until you delete it.
  • It lets you practice your writing—an essential skill to have in business and communication. Use tools like Writer or Hemmingway to improve your writing. 

For more information on getting started, check out these articles: 

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