The internet changes so fast that one year online equals about five years in the real world. But the principles of how to start and grow a successful online business haven't changed at all. If you're just starting a small business online, stick to this sequence. If you've been online awhile, do a quick review and see if there's a step you're neglecting, or never got around to doing in the first place. You can't go wrong with the basics.
GoodFinancialCents.com has an advertising relationship with some of the offers included on this page. However, the rankings and listings of our reviews, tools and all other content are based on objective analysis. For more information, please check out our full disclaimer. GoodFinancialCents.com strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. The information in our reviews could be different from what you find when visiting a financial institution, service provider or a specific product's website. All products are presented without warranty.
Drive for Uber or Lyft: If you're in a locale where you can find Uber or Lyft (or even one of the many competitors around the world such as China's Didi), you could easily make a respectable income. The hours are flexible and you can work as you see fit, making it perfect even if you currently have full-time employment but are looking to make some money on the side. 
Imagine something simple that gives an enormous value to anything presented. That's a design mockup! Instead of spending hours using a photo editing app to create mockups, you can do this in just a few seconds in our Design Studio. Seriously, just upload the image, and the tool will make it look perfect! You'll wow your customers and boost your conversions!
It's very affordable (starting at $29/mo) and comes with every feature you need to build lists, quickly generate high-converting landing pages, set up automated emails, message subscribers, and includes numerous helpful email templates to start with. It also integrates directly with WordPress and dozens of other important tools for online business owners, so you can easily install visually appealing opt-in boxes and capture leads. If you want to take your email marketing seriously, check out ConvertKit today, it's by far my most essential online business tool.
Do you know those cool floating videos? You probably wonder if they're complicated, right? Well, it's easier than you think. Just record your message standing in front of a green screen, upload it to our Floating Videos Creator and watch the magic happen! You'll impress your visitors and boost your authority delivering powerful messages in a unique way.

You have to post content on a regular basis. People thirst for the new, so make sure you put up articles, videos, or whatever consistently. It could one post per day or three times per week. Whatever it is, maintain the same schedule. A scattershot posting history means losing readers. At a minimum try to aim for one new post, video, or other form of content a week.
Here's another great one, built by one of my favorite fellow content marketers, Sujan Patel. This online business tool is designed to help marketers be more effective at building relationships, promoting content, and growing traffic in a big way. You can build outreach lists, automate the process of sending personalized emails & follow ups, and track the effectiveness of your campaigns.
Something else I recommend is taking the free 7-lesson mini-course on general transcription offered by Janet Shaughnessy of Transcribe Anywhere. This will help you to understand if you're a good fit for a transcription career, what you can potentially earn, and also where to get started. Janet also has free legal transcription mini-course if you're more interested in going that route.
You can sell your ebooks through Amazon's Kindle program or Apple's iTunes Connect, which gives you access to a large majority of the digital-book reading market and the barriers for entry are incredibly low. You don't need to invest lots of money to make this happen, but you do need to invest lots of time, not only in writing the ebooks, but in marketing them as well.
Zapier is an awesome automation tool that helps you connect all of the various different applications, online tools and services that run your business. Once set up, the tool moves information between your web apps automatically, so you can focus more of your time and energy on your most important work (which I'm a huge proponent of). This means that all of the services that keep your business running efficiently, are able to work together harmoniously and can seamlessly & securely pass data between each other.

Virtually every small business needs help running their day-to-day administrative tasks, but they may not particularly want to pay a full-time in-house employee to do it. Virtual assistants perform a variety of tasks that a traditional assistant or secretary would normally do, including making travel arrangements, paying bills, or managing expense reimbursements.


Opinion polls are usually online questionnaires which cover a variety of topics and sometimes include videos or images to comment. There are numerous opinion poll websites which use points-based systems. Each survey is awarded a specific number of points and users can claim financial or material rewards after collecting a certain number of these points. Some survey companies with rewards programs are Toluna, Your Opinion Counts or Opinion Outpost.
There's an audience for everything, whether it's making dollhouse furniture or creating organic dog food. With a specialty e-commerce store, you can reach those customers who are seeking your specific products. All you need is a web-hosting service with an integrated shopping cart feature or with e-commerce software, and your business will be operational in no time. You can even work with vendors to ship products to customers on your behalf, which means you don't need to own a lot of inventory. [See Related Story: A Small Business Guide to E-Commerce Shipping]
This awesome online video and animation maker gives you all the tools you need to create professional intro videos, explainer videos, animations, slideshows and more—think of it as an easy-to-use DIY alternative to hiring a video maker or animator on Upwork. If creating and promoting YouTube videos is a component of your marketing strategy, Renderforest's video template library will help you hit the ground running from day one. Even better, it's free to sign up and give it a try 🙂
If you're new to the world of SEO and link building, then signing up for a free Ahrefs account and keeping track of your website's ranking metrics with this online business tool is the best place to start. Ahrefs tracks a large number of website metrics including how many backlinks are pointing to your website (and where they link to) which builds your site's authority and ability to rank well on Google, your traffic rankings, best performing content, and much more.
Opinion polls are usually online questionnaires which cover a variety of topics and sometimes include videos or images to comment. There are numerous opinion poll websites which use points-based systems. Each survey is awarded a specific number of points and users can claim financial or material rewards after collecting a certain number of these points. Some survey companies with rewards programs are Toluna, Your Opinion Counts or Opinion Outpost.
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend tools I've used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can't afford or that you're not yet ready to implement.
This managed cloud hosting platform is at the top of their game when it comes to hosting choice, simplicity and most of all—performance. Their WooCommerce hosting service in particular is extremely useful for bloggers and online business owners that need a reliable solution for facilitating online transactions. All of their plans are backed by an expert support team, so that you can stay focused on what you do best—growing your business.
How to Get It: Visit companies such as DarwinsData.com, PineconeResearch.com and PaidViewpoint.com. (Search "surveys" on RealWaystoEarnMoneyOnline.com for more options.) Then sign up with as many sites as you can. The sites will contact you when surveys that fit your demographic pop up, and you take them right away. A word to the wise: Do not register anywhere that has a membership fee, asks for your Social Security number or bank information, or is vague about payment.
The music industry might not be as strong as it was in the 80s, but there are still plenty of ways to make money online as a musician. Sites like SoundBetter let you sell your services as a songwriter, producer, or session musician to thousands of customers a month. While Musicbed, Music Vine, Marmoset, and SongFreedom are perfect for licensing your music to TV shows, movies, and web series.
This awesome online video and animation maker gives you all the tools you need to create professional intro videos, explainer videos, animations, slideshows and more—think of it as an easy-to-use DIY alternative to hiring a video maker or animator on Upwork. If creating and promoting YouTube videos is a component of your marketing strategy, Renderforest's video template library will help you hit the ground running from day one. Even better, it's free to sign up and give it a try 🙂

Affiliate marketing. You know this one already. You include links to products you are promoting as an affiliate, and every time somebody buys the product, you get a commission. With a blog you can integrate advertising with content to make it even more likely you’ll get the sale. For example, you could do a product review — which is useful content — and then include a link to buy the product under an affiliate link.
My 10-year-old son brought home a book from our park’s free library box. It was a biology textbook – teachers edition. He said it looked interesting and hey, it was free (having no idea you could sell it). I scanned it in my Amazon seller app and realized it was worth around $150. He was so excited. We listed it for sale for $130 and it sold! Going to tell him, he just made $130!
If you have a fondness and talent for taking pictures you can make extra money online by becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like ShutterStock or iStockPhoto. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
Again, if your blog has a large reader base, then businesses may be interested in paying you to review their services or products. Not only will you get a free trial using whatever these businesses are selling, you will also get a fee for writing them a review and posting it to your site. Paid reviews (and other paid and sponsored content) can be big money, so advertise this service on your contact page to generate business.
Use our animated video editor to share your message. Create explanatory videos or letters of professional sale (VSL) on video with this amazing tool. Create your own avatar or use the various characters available to you. Use this tool unlimitedly to build your sales strategy. Then download the created videos and publish them on the channels you want.
Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be making extra money online. Major brands, gear companies, and even startups are willing to shell out $500-$5,000+ per post to get in front of your audience. While it’s getting harder and harder to build a massive Instagram audience, if you already have a solid niche and are posting quality content regularly, with a few small tweaks you can make yourself an influencer. Check out this awesome article from Shopify on how to build and grow your Instagram following to get started.
A popular tactic to make money on social media is to pay for advertising affiliate products. Create ads for particular affiliate products that are big sellers and have a high yield. Then target these ads at specific custom audiences to ensure your ads are viewed by those who will have an interest in the product you are promoting. If viewers click through your from advert to the product page and make a purchase then you will earn an affiliate fee.

"BuilderAll is the best business decision I've made. It has all the tools you need to run a successful business, plus more for under $30! That's not a typo. I would pay the fee just to have access to the people in the group and Alex and Erick's mentoring. This company listens to what us and then takes action and creates it or fixes it if there is a bug. The app creator and Facebook Leads Capture are my latest favorite tools! Wow... I can have fun, make money, help others and have approachable and ethical leaders that care!"
×