Diligence. In this industry, the line between scams and honest businesses is blurry, so you need to do your homework before accepting a position. Call the Better Business Bureau in your area to find out if there have been any complaints filed against the company, and do an online search on their name. Alpine Access is a well-respected company in the field, and Call Center Careers is a great place to look for legitimate call centers looking to hire.
You might be desperate for work, but don’t necessarily jump at an opportunity that sounds too good to be true. In my article about common Craigslist scams, I wrote about fake employers who “hire” new employees, then “accidentally” send them too much pay. They’ll ask their victims to wire back the difference, but a few weeks later, when the bank discovers that the initial check is a fraud, the “employee” is on the hook for hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars. If a job offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
An LLC is a state-chartered organization with some of the advantages of a corporation combined with the tax advantage of being a pass-through entity. An LLC offers liability protection and has no ownership restrictions — in fact, an LLC can consist of a single member. It’s less formal than a corporation and requires less paperwork. LLCs can also arrange special allocations in the same way a partnership can. However, stock in the company cannot be sold.
The answer to that question is really up to you, depending on your business model, and your timeline. I started off not having to spend much money, something I remember well because I had just been laid off from my job and didn’t have a lot of money to spend. With GreenExamAcadamy.com and SmartPassiveIncome.com, I didn’t spend more than $1,000 a month for the first two years of those businesses. It wasn’t until those businesses started growing significantly that I started to spend more money, and then I had the revenue to support additional costs.
Job Boards. When you’re first starting out, you’ll have to go looking for work, and the best place to do that is on one of the online job boards. Places like Guru, Elance, Freelancer, and oDesk are today’s writers’ best friends. They allow individuals and businesses to post projects, and freelancers to bid on them. Take a look around the sites, sign up for the free access in the beginning, and then begin to place bids on the projects that interest you. It will take some trial and error to find your groove, but once you do, the jobs will start to roll in.
Build your audience on a course community: If you’re just getting started building an audience for yourself and want to leverage communities already actively looking for content you can choose to host and sell your online course on a site like Skillshare or Udemy. These are easy, cost-effective ways to build an audience and test your niche to see if there’s demand for it.
For a deeper look into this idea, I recommend checking out the case study in Will It Fly? on Noah Kagan, who is really detailed and transparent about starting his business. He validated a beef jerky subscription company (yum!), which proved to be a unique and inspiring example of determining the costs of items before starting a business. He didn’t pay for anything up front; he was just smart about asking: how much does this cost, and how much money do I need to reach my goal? His goal was to validate his idea by making $1,000 profit in twenty-four hours, and that’s exactly what he was able to do.
Acorns works by essentially rounding up the spare change from your everyday purchases (to the nearest dollar) and then invests the difference into the stock market. If you’re clueless about how the stock market works, but still want the highest return you can possibly make on your money, this is the perfect way to start investing. You can read our full Acorns Review here.
Do you need to build from scratch? Also keep in mind that depending on your particular business, it may or may not be necessary to build (or pay someone to build) a site from scratch. Especially when you’re in the early stages, options like Squarespace and Shopify simplify the process of setting up an ecommerce site by providing templates that don’t require much if any knowledge of HTML or coding.
Has anyone ever told you you have a voice for radio? Are you great at creating original characters with just your voice? There are tons of people looking to pay for quality voice overs for their corporate videos, animation series, or educational videos. Check out Fiverr and UpWork or create a profile on a specialized site like Voices.com or The Voice Realm to get started making money online doing voice overs.
If you have a background in marketing and a passion for a particular niche, then organizing a virtual event may be just up your street. A virtual event could span across a day or longer. Individual live sessions would be run by experts in the field. And conference features would include live question and answer sessions, forums, and plenty of free giveaways. Visitors to the virtual event would pay to attend, so the more effective your promotion of the event the more money you would make.
You offer the products for sale, for example, on your blog or e-commerce website. Each product has a unique link that tracks back to your account with your affiliate partner. A prospect who clicks on the link is taken to your partner’s shopping cart for checkout. Once they buy, that purchase is recorded and you receive a commission. It varies depending on the affiliate partner, but is generally 5 percent to 25 percent, or 50 percent or more with digital information products. As you can see, there’s little risk on your part and virtually no investment needed either.
The big thing I want to emphasize is that this process took time. It didn’t happen overnight. If I had I spent a little bit more money to hire a team earlier on, I don’t know if I would have succeeded any sooner, because I was building authority in my niche and trust with my audience—two things you can’t buy. There are indirect ways to build authority and trust, through buying exposure on Facebook, through advertisements, or other advertising platforms so that people can find you sooner, but you still have to earn that trust. You still have to provide value and actually help people in some way.
Using the money you already have to make more money is usually a pretty smart move. A service like Lending Club is a great way to act as a lender and earn interest on your money. Essentially, you act as the bank, which is pretty neat. Lending Club is the world’s largest online credit marketplace connecting borrowers and investors. Definitely something worth looking into!
Getting businesses to advertise on your podcast, either at the beginning or end or both is a great way to create a revenue through podcasts. Most businesses won’t be keen to advertise on your podcast until you can prove a large number of listeners. Therefore, it is unlikely you will be able to start out from the get-go with sponsors. But once you accumulate regular listeners or a high number of downloads from iTunes, you can start to sell advertising space on your podcasts.