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Starter Projects

Online business opportunities – where to start?


Start with a small project until you gain your confidence.

There are a million different opportunities available online and hundreds of websites and blogs talking about them.

I can only tell you what I know from personal experience and so will only be talking about products or services I personally use.

These services below are great for people new to running an online business as they all require a minimum of money upfront or in some cases are free to set up.



1.”On demand online store” – Zazzle.com – setup costs up front $0

By “on demand online store”, I mean a store that does not require you to hold any stock whatsoever. This means you need not invest in manufacturing products and holding stock and you do not require any premises to operate from. Every time an order is placed to buy from your store, that product is “made to order” or “made on demand”.


zazzle.com is perfect for this and was my first successful venture into online passive income. With Zazzle you can create designs, upload them to zazzle.com and a few clicks later be actively selling your design on tons of great high quality products with no cost to you whatsoever! If your products don’t sell, too bad, you lost nothing. But if they do, you get paid a royalty for every sale and the best bit is you get to choose what that royalty percentage is!


Note: Be careful, too high a royalty rate will make your products expensive and reduce sales.


Once you open an account with zazzle, each member gets a free “online store” to showcase their products and designs. Along with this, all of your products will appear in the Zazzle marketplace and are searchable from zazzle.com. Once your designs are made and uploaded to your “online store” you have two options; you can sit back and let zazzle do its thing – with a bit of luck, you’ll make some sales and the checks will start coming in. Or you could spend some time optimizing your store for search results, such as building an “off site” website to promote your store and generate an extra referral bonus or creating a blog, a squidoo lens, a youtube video, a Facebook fan page, etc, the list goes on and on.


For a more detailed guide on building Zazzle stores, check out “30Something’s basic guide to building and marketing successful Zazzle stores” here.



2. Start a blog or website with WordPress. Setup costs up front $0-$50

At first glance, the idea of a blog making money doesn’t seem to be the most profitable passive income stream around. However, positioned and marketed correctly, blogs can generate loads of different income opportunities and require a minimal financial investment. If people are visiting your blog regularly, you can make money. Say you write a blog about gardening, you could join an “affiliate program” with a supplier of home improvement products. With an affiliate program, companies supply you with banner advertising and links to their websites and products to put on your blog. Every time someone from your site clicks the affiliate’s banner and makes a purchase, you get paid!


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Can’t think of products to tie into your blog? Or maybe you can’t find affiliates for your blog’s subject, no matter. With Google’s Adsense you can have Google look at your blog’s content and display relevant advertisements automatically. All you have to do is sign up for a free Adsense account at Google.


Setting up a blog or website is a much simpler process than it used to be. I studied web development back in university, but almost all of the complex coding tasks of the past can be done easily online using free “out of the box software”.


Software like WordPress is free, easy to use and very powerful. The only costs when setting up a blog is from the buying of a domain name (the cost of which depends on what you want your website name to be) and from a website “hosting” package. I personally recommend using a hosting service like bluehost.com over free blogs, as most free blogs don’t permit advertising and that’s a major way to generate income from your blog. I use bluehost.com for all my blogs as you can have multiple different blogs, all with different website addresses from one account! This is great for trying out different ideas for websites and blogs without paying for them every time.


Keep a look out for a more detailed post on “Creating your own income generating blog” in the coming weeks.



3. Write (and sell) an eBook. Setup costs upfront $0


Know something we don’t? Why not write an eBook and tell the world all about it! No one is asking you to re-write War and Peace, but a simple “How to” book or “Simple guide to XYZ” is within anyone’s capabilities. We all know something about something, so write it down, share it and make money. Once you have written your guide or book or whatever you choose, you can sell it online through your WordPress blog or website and have the whole process automated. You can even upload your book and have it converted into all the popular eBook reader formats like iPad, Kindle, etc for free. Every time a purchase is made, the customer receives a link to download the book and you get another email telling you that you just got paid.



The key to success, when generating passive income, is being prepared to fail. I tried and failed with a number of different ideas for generating income before I had my first success. So be strong, be committed to working hard and with every step forward you take, you take a step closer to passive income and financial freedom.





Image courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net