Small Business Advice

Top 10 Work From Home Business Ideas You Can Start Today

Can You Make Money Online While Working From Home?

Yes, of course. Thousands of men and women do. You might have friends or family members who earn a living with a home-based online business already.

The problem is that not everyone WILL earn a living online because making money online takes a long time to learn, and most people give up since it can be tremendously frustrating.

With over 300, 000 “Work From Home Business Ideas” related searches on the internet each month, it’s safe to say that there is a lot of demand for information how to generate profit online. Unfortunately, this also means that there’s a lot of shady characters preying on this group of people.

I knew someone who was a victim for one of these scams once – they taught him how to earn a living online, and then all he did was sell workshops or training seminars – how to generate profit online. The fact that he had never actually made any money online was inappropriate… I suppose. Not surprisingly, I’m not a huge supporter of his business.

When Is the Right Time to Quit Your Day Job and Switch to Work Online From Your Own Home?

Perhaps the main piece of advice for starting an internet home business is this: Don’t expect to replace your day job’s income for the whole year (or so!). Although work from home businesses are likely to bring in earnings faster, I would personally still allow for a full year to replace your outside-the-home salary.

The Good News About the Home Based Business Market

As long as you are prepared to put in the hours (days… weeks…. a few months…..) to understand the basics, you can bootstrap your business with extremely little money, generally speaking.

Keep in mind that some home-based business ideas take more to start out than others. I have probably directly invested less than $3000 getting this blog up and operating, and today, my earnings are increasing at about a 125-140% rate every month after being in business for sixteen months.

So, where do you really start from here? Below are some general guidelines of thumb.

Online Business: Startup Rules

1. You do not have to be an expert in SEO (search engine optimization), social media marketing, website marketing, traditional marketing or sales in order to get started. On the other hand, you NEED a professional website.

2. Pre-packaged programs only work as much as you can customize it and make it unique and your own. Also, techniques that work for just one niche won’t work in all niches.

3. Be aware of any “system” that promises instant results (especially anything that seems like a get-rich-quick scheme!)

4. Business ideas are made more powerful by specializing in a tight niche. Understand your audience and keep it.

Unless you have great business ideas that makes venture capitalists drool (which means you don’t need this list), you will need to determine where your strengths are and which business structure you plan on following. I’ve run three home-based businesses in my life, all of which leveraged my current skill set as the building blocks for building the business.

Check out the following list and pick out the ones in which you have at least some experience. You most likely won’t have all of the relevant skills necessary, so don’t let that stop you! All you have to do is work hard and be willing to learn.

  1. Online Work at Home Business Idea #1: Affiliate Marketing

    What is it? Advertise other company’s products and services on your website. When a sale is made, you get a commission.
    Most important skills needed
     PPC (Pay Per Click marketing), sales copywriting, web marketing
    Best learning resources Affiliate Classroom, ShoeMoney, Rosalind Gardner
    Recommended Book Make a Fortune Promoting Other People’s Stuff Online by Rosalind Gardner

  2. Online Work at Home Business Idea #2: Blogging

    What is it? A website filled with articles, reviews, or journal-style writing. You can sell advertising or incorporate affiliate marketing on a blog to earn money. (Don’t have a blog yet? Get a professionally-designed one for $97.)
    Most important skills needed: Copywriting, social networking, affiliate marketing, web marketing
    Best resources: ProBlogger, Blogging for Dollars, Yaro Starak’s Blog Mastermind Program (highly recommended & he has a free report to download)
    Recommended Book: ProBlogger, Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse & Chris Garrett

  3. Online Work at Home Business Idea #3: eBay & Auction Selling

    What is it? Selling or reselling products via an online marketplace like eBay, Amazon Auctions, or Craigslist.
    Most important skills needed: Merchandising, sales copywriting, customer service
    Best learning resources: Ebay Learning Center, SaleHoo Training Center, JennyHow
    Recommended Book: eBay 101: Selling on eBay For Part-time or Full-time Income, Beginner to PowerSeller in 90 Days by Steve Weber

  4. Businesses Idea #4 for Online Work at Home: E-Commerce

    What is it? Selling products or a technology-based service on your own website.
    Most important skills needed: All of the above, below and then some!
    Best learning resources:’s Online Business Startup Guide
    Recommended Book: The Complete E-Commerce Book: Design, Build and Maintain a Successful Web-Based Business  by Janice Reynolds

  5. Online Work at Home Business Idea #5: Arts & Crafts

    What is it? Creating and manufacturing your own product lines and selling them online.
    Most important skills needed: Creativity, sales, e-commerce
    Best learning resources:
     Sparkplugging’s CraftBoom, Craft Business 101 Series, Barbara Brabec
    Recommended Book: The Crafts Business Answer Book: Starting, Managing, and Marketing a Homebased Arts, Crafts, or Design Business by Barbara Brabec

  6. Online Work at Home Business Idea #6: Internet Research Business

    What is it? Doing internet research for corporations, law firms and other small businesses.
    Most important skills needed: Librarian-style research skills, customer service
    Best learning resources:’s Information Consultant Startup Guide
    Recommended Book: Building & Running a Successful Research Business: A Guide for the Independent Information Professional by Mary Ellen Bates

  7. Business Idea #7 for Online Work at Home: Freelance Work

    What is it? Providing professional services such as copywriting, design, photography, illustration, and programming usually billed at an hourly rate.
    Most important skills needed: 
    Sales, customer service, trade-specific knowledge
    Best learning resources:
     Our Freelance Parent channel, FreelanceSwitch
    Recommended Book: The Business Side of Creativity: The Complete Guide to Running a Small Graphic Design or Communications Business by Cameron S. Foote

  8. Online Work at Home Business Idea #8: Recruiting

    What is it? Recruiting candidates for companies who pay a fee when a hire is made.
    Most important skills needed: Sales, relationship building, networking
    Best learning resources: 
    RecruitersNetwork, HireAbility
    Recommended Book: Start Your Own Executive Recruiting Business (Entrepreneur Magazine’s Start Up) by Entrepreneur Press

  9. Online Work at Home Business Idea #9: Consulting

    What is it? Providing your specialized industry knowledge to corporations, entrepreneurs, investors or other businesses.
    Most important skills needed: Trade-specific knowledge, sales, customer service
    Best learning resources:’s Consulting Business Startup Guide
    Recommended Book: The Business of Consulting: The Basics and Beyond (CD-ROM Included) by Elaine Biech

  10. Online Work at Home Business Idea #10: VA (Virtual Assistant)

    What is it? Providing administrative and business support to other business owners and small businesses.
    Most important skills needed: Customer service, organization
    Best learning resources:
     VirtualAssistantStartups,’s Business Support Startup Guide, VirtualPABusiness
    Recommended Book: The 2-Second Commute: Join the Exploding Ranks of Freelance Virtual Assistants by Christine Durst

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