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Tag: business advice

How to Build Your Brand on a Budget

Many small business owners overlook the importance of building their brand. In the early days of running a business, it can be hard to find the time to get everything done that you need to, let alone spend time creating your brand. However, creating a brand is an essential part of establishing your business and creating awareness of it. The great news is that building a brand doesn’t need to be hard work or expensive. Here are some tips on building your brand on a budget:

Getting Started

Many people think of brands as merely those big household names companies that are well-established market leaders, so don’t believe that branding applies to their own more modestly sized business. The truth is that a brand is a useful asset for businesses of any size. Your brand is the personality of your products and your company; it is your logo, your website, your social media posts, your packaging, and much more besides.

Brands are often spoken about in terms of brand value. Brand value refers to the extra qualities that your brand brings to your product; it is the reason why people should choose your product over another one that does exactly the same thing. In short, your brand is what sets your business apart from your competitors, and what makes your customers want to be seen using your product or service.

Deciding on your branding doesn’t need to be complicated, it’s simply putting into place the look and feel of your business that you envisaged in those early days when you were dreaming of starting your own business. For example, it could be a diner with a retro feel, or a friendly, quirky gift shop.

Make Sure You Have a Logo

Your logo is an integral part of your branding, as you want people to see it and recognize it. Many business owners worry that getting a logo designed will be a big expense, or if they try to do it themselves it will look unprofessional. The great news is that there are logo maker tools out there to help you to design a logo that both looks great and is ideally suited for your business.

Once you’ve created your logo design, don’t forget to use it everywhere to help raise awareness of your products, business, and your brand.

Keep it Consistent

To make your brand recognizable, it is vital to keep it consistent. Keeping your website, social media pages, packaging, etc. all with the same logo, color scheme, and style is much more important than flashing the cash.

Keeping all of your branding consistent will maximize the impact of your brand and speed up the process of building awareness of your brand.

Don’t forget that the tone of voice for your content should stay consistent too, both on your website and social media posts. Keeping a consistent tone of voice will give your brand plenty of personality and will help your customers, and potential customers get to know your business.

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Finding The Best Talent For Your Firm

While some careers can often hire straight from graduation or someone with good experience in whatever field, some businesses need extremely qualified talent to try and gain the ranks they need. If you fail to do this, you can experience a true brain drain in your firm, and that’s particularly true if you’ve recently encountered a brain drain due to some aggressive head-hunting from a competitor.

While it’s always important to train the staff in your firm and provide a path upward, it’s also essential to fill out certain ranks immediately that you can’t afford to wait for. The good news is that it is possible to find talent and hire them in a timely manner. But it must be conducted in a way that’s cohesive, hopeful, and extremely clear. You must also ensure you are up to the task of offering an excellent workplace for said people because high skilled employees are often quite discerning on where they work and the lifestyle they lead. This is even truer if you expect them to move to attend your premises.

Let us consider what that all might look like:

Understand Your Needs

While top talent can often be self-justifying in terms of why you’d want them at your firm, if you hire them and apply them to jobs they aren’t specialized in, they’re likely not going to stick around for some time. This is why it’s often absolutely essential to understand your needs and exactly what you hope to bring to the table. With this in mind, you will be more confident with who you choose, how you market yourselves towards them, and how you tailor a package to best help their decision.

Use An Employee Referrals Program

Employee referrals not only allow for the most tailored employees to visit your firm and consider working there, but voices that you trust can also recommend employees to your ranks. This dual approach can help you not only find those who might wish to work for your firm, but to tailor the package to their liking as far as you are able, and potentially give a more detailed recruitment listing to those interested.


Sometimes, the only method of bringing the best talent to your firm is to ensure that you’re at the cutting edge of your product development, or that you wish to make more of a name for yourself in the industry. Setting lofty goals can often bring in people who love a challenge and wish to be part of something much more interesting than their previous workplace.

Keep Trying

Top talent doesn’t fall in your lap. In some countries and industries, there can be a real lack of highly skilled specialists. This is why it’s essential to keep trying and to keep positive. Using methods such as tailoring a presentation why someone might wish to jump to your firm, prepping headhunters and keeping a lookout for the inside industry scoop can also help you know where to begin.

With these tips, your firm is sure to be staffed appropriately.

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Some Great Approaches To Solving A Range Of Business Problems

If you run a business, something that you are going to have to get used to fast is having a range of problems getting in your way. Your business is only ever going to be as successful as you can make it to the point of overcoming those problems, and for that reason, you will absolutely need to have a good sense of what you can do to try and solve any problem which might arise. You never know what kinds of issues are likely to arise, although if you carry out enough research and ask around you should be able to work it out a little. However, what you can do is ensure that you have in mind a number of approaches which you can generally take to improve things, no matter what kind of problems might actually occur. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the best approaches to solving business problems which you should absolutely try to be aware of as best as you can.

Stepping Back

Sometimes, a change in perspective is all you really need, and often the most important way to do that is to simply step back and make sure that you are viewing the problem at hand in a reasonable and enlightened way. When you get too involved in the micro issues of a problem, it is all too easy to lose sight of the bigger picture – and that generally leads to a lack of ability to deal with that problem in the most sensible way possible. For that reason, taking the time to step back is one of the most important things you can do, and it is important to remember to do so when the going gets rough.

If you find it hard to disentangle in this way, then you might want to think about trying to get the opinions of someone else to help you do so. Family, friends and business partners should encourage you to see the bigger picture, and that is absolutely something that you will want to consider. The more that you allow yourself to step back, the more likely it is that you will be able to appreciate what your best next move is – and that is something that applies to basically any problem that you might find yourself having in business.

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Seeking Advice

It is hard to go it alone for your entire business career. You might feel that you have basically got it yourself, but nobody is an island, and you need to bear that in mind if you want your business to have as much in the way of success as possible. But knowing when to seek advice is hard in itself, and something which you need to practice and work on throughout your career if you hope for your business to be truly successful. When you do feel that it is time to seek advice, then you need to be careful about who you ask, as this will ensure that you can get the kind of advice that is actually going to work out well for you. That is something that is worth looking into itself in order to appreciate what kind of advice you should really be seeking and why.

Obviously, there are people who make their living as professional business advisors, and these are the kinds of people you might want to look to first of all. You might even decide to try and find someone who can be something of a mentor to you so that you can turn to them in times of need and discover what your best next move should be. These people are invaluable to have on your side, so it’s worth networking wherever you can for this kind of reason alone if nothing else. However, they are not the only people who can help you in those times, and you might want to also seek the advice of friends and family. You might be surprised to discover some of the great wisdom you can receive from people who don’t really know that much about business, and for that reason alone it is worth speaking to them. However you do it, you should always be on the lookout for advice from people who you feel can help you along, even if you are worried about being a little embarrassed to ask.


Technology is there for a very good reason, and that is that it is there to help you succeed and overcome a range of issues in business. That is very much the reason it exists and is developed, and it’s important to always bear in mind that business challenges can be solved with IT more often than you might think. Appreciating this, and looking to understanding when that is the case and when it is not, will help you to know how you can personally make the best use of technology in your business, and in such a way that you can expect problems ot be overcome pretty easily. So what are some of the problems that you can solve with technology which you should be aware of?

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As it happens, there are a lot of kinds of problems that technology can solve, and you would find it a good idea to be open to this possibility in many instances across the board. If you have issues with staffing, there is often something you can to improve matters by looking at what HR software you are using, and how you are using it. If you have problems with the technology itself, you will find that using tech in a different way can often be the solution. If you are having trouble with product design, marketing, website design, customer relations or analysis, technology is very often the key to improving that. As you can see, technology is very much one of the main things to look into if you want to be able to solve a range of problems in your business, so make sure that you bear that in mind as best as you can.

Watching The Competition

You might already be aware of the value of watching the competition, in that it is a great way to be able to keep sight of what your rivals are doing which you are not. You will also find it helpful to keep an eye on what they are getting wrong so that you can jump in and fill the gap which customers need filling. Of course, it is also important to look into here, when you are trying to solve any kind of big problem in your business. Whatever the nature of the problem might be, you will find that it is incredibly useful if you can look to other businesses which have had similar problems in the past. Looking at how they got through it and what they did to make it easier on themselves will help you to make the right kind of decision yourself, whether that is by learning from their good deeds or their mistakes. In either case, you can expect to find new solutions you might not have otherwise discovered, and for that reason alone it is certainly something worth looking into.

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As you can see, there are many things you can consider if you are hoping to solve a range of problems in business, and you should absolutely make sure that you are going to consider these the next time you need to find a solution.


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Stop Being Known As A Small Business

Being known as a small business is something that you could easily carry around with you until you run your course with your business, and you either sell it or hand it down. For some, being a small business is all that they ever want to be, and to be anything but small business, you have to be prepared to put in years of hard work. But just because you’re not a small business, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to be one of the biggest either. All you have to be is big enough to have employees be making a profit of a nice amount, and for people to actually know who you are. So if this is the point that you want to get to, we’re here to help you. Here’s how we think you can stop being known as a small business, and start making your mark on the business world that you’ve been waiting to do!

Get Your Setup Sorted

So first things first, you’re going to have to think about getting your set up sorted, sot at you can have the right space to grow your business. It’s no good being somewhere that just isn’t working for you, or that wouldn’t suit an up and coming business. So all you have to do is find a property in a location that’s close to you, but a bit more upmarket than what you’re in the minute. The best place to be is where business is bustling. If you were to go somewhere crowded with business, it really wouldn’t matter. As long as it wasn’t crowded with everyone doing the same thing as you, you’re in the right place. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to make the right connections when you’re in the right place. Then, all you have to do is make sure that you have a cool office set up, on that’s going to attract hard-working employees.

Bring New Roles To The Company

Opening up new roles within your company could be the best thing that you’ve ever done. But we know that it’s not just as easy as saying you want someone to do something, you have to think logically about it. You’ll have the added expense of paying someone’s wages, so you have to be able to bring in that money, and more through the role, if you want it to be worth it. So it could be something like a marketing person, or a product developer or anything that you think is going to suit your business down to a T, and will bring in that all important money!

The Next Big Idea

If you really want to stop being known as a small business, you’re going to have to bring in that next big idea that creates the commotion, and money that you’re looking for. A bigger business is always looking for ways to bring in more products or services, or even just to better the ones that are already there. So get creative, and get thinking about what your next big idea could be!

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How To Create Recurring Income In Your Business

When you run a business, you probably started your business because you wanted to do things on your own terms and your own schedule, but unfortunately the daily running of a business – especially when you work directly with clients to deliver services to them can take up a lot of your time, so the best way to overcome this is by ensuring you create more time and money freedom in your business by creating recurring income.

Recurring income doesn’t necessarily mean passive income, though passive income is typically a recurring income, depending on the systems you have set up.

As a business owner it’s important to have multiple streams of income, which should be recurring because if you’re not creating recurring income then you’re going to be faced with a situation where you’re constantly chasing clients and always in a place of wondering where your next paycheck is coming from, and this is not an ideal situation for anyone to be in, so in this post we’re going to share with you some of our top tips on how to create various recurring income streams in your business.


Retainers are one of the very best and most common ways to create a recurring income, although they’re typically not passive since they usually involve some kind of individual service such as tax consulting, business consulting, coaching, or even things like copywriting.

How a retainer works is, for example, say you’re a copywriter who offers a package of a specific amount of content for your client each month and included in that is the ability for them to contact you as and when needed to get other things done, for this benefit to them they would pay you a monthly fee known as a retainer.

Retainers are fully customizable to your own business and there’s no set way of setting one up, so it will always depend on your own service offers and pricing structure as well as what you and your client feel comfortable with.

Digital products:

Digital products are another great way to add, not only a recurring but passive income source to your business. Passive income is where you create something once and then it generates revenue on an ongoing basis without you having to sell it each time because you’re using an automated process to do that. For example, let’s say you’re a business coach and you typically work with clients one to one, whilst this will typically generate a recurring income source for you, depending on how you have your packages set up, you’re only able to work with a certain amount of clients because this takes time. Also, private coaching is going to cost more than a course, so if you want to be able to offer your customers something to help them get started at a lower price point, then a digital product such as a workbook or an online course is a great way to do this, but that doesn’t require extra time or energy from you once you’ve set it up.

Automated webinars:

Most people who have an online business know that webinars are extremely powerful when done right for online marketing and sales, but did you know that you can take a free webinar you’ve already done and automate it so that it becomes a sellable product of its own? This is, again, a great way of boosting your monthly recurring income through products at different price points without extra work from you and still be able to deliver value to your clients. When it comes to setting up your webinar, there are lots of platforms out there to choose from, so just finding what works for you is key, but it also doesn’t have to be complicated or take weeks to finish – it’s about the value being delivered. For example, software with a Beautiful.AI lets you create the best presentations in minutes so that you’re not putting hours of work into something that you may only be selling for $20 or so.

Membership sites:

To add a pretty much guaranteed monthly recurring income to your business, then membership sites are a great way to go in achieving this. Again, you can set these at different price points, and a membership site can be set up exactly as you wish. For example, you can include live access to you through a Facebook group, or you can simply have a membership site that contains no contact with you and is just a training vault where you upload things like webinars, scripts and other digital material for a low monthly cost.

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Advanced Amazon SEO Tactics You Need to Know

Amazon has made many businesses a lot of money. Its unprecedented growth has transformed the world of eCommerce.

And yet with all this, sellers are facing more competition than ever. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to get a product on page 1, let alone becoming the top-ranking product.

This is why we are writing this article. 

Here are some of the best Amazon SEO tactics you need to know to get your products further up the SERPs.

Become familiar with how Amazon ranks in the first place

Amazon’s product ranking system is controlled by an algorithm named A9. A9 uses simple keywords as the major part of their ranking criteria.

To quote them directly:

“Customers must be able to find your products before they can buy them, and searching is the primary way they can do that.

Customers search by entering keywords, which are matched against the information (title, description, and so on) that you provide for a product. 

Factors such as degree of text match, price, availability, selection, and sales history help determine where your product appears in a customer’s search results. 

By providing relevant and complete information for your product, you can increase your product’s visibility and sales.”

So, to rank a product on Amazon, the product listing must aim to meet each of these points.

Optimize the product title

If your product title is not optimized, you are going to be losing out on a lot of sales. The product title has a big impact in terms of rankings.

Titles must include product keywords, your brand name and a brief description eg the color and size.

Keywords are by far the most important aspect of a product title. They must relevant to the product, so it appears when searched for. If you have a few short and longtail keywords, use the primary keywords for the product title.

This is where keyword research and selection become very important. You should be using an Amazon tracking software that keeps an eye on how well a keyword performs for your product.

The best product listings have their most relevant keywords at the beginning of the title. This is because customers can quickly tell that your product is what they’re after and A9 likes relevant keywords in the title as early as possible.

The more that you can satisfy what A9 wants from a product listing, the better.

Optimise the product features and descriptions

Product features play a large role in conversions. This section should focus around what the product does, rather than how it benefits the customer from using it. You should be looking to use secondary keywords in the product features section.

Another thing you need to know is that the features must be written in bullet point form. This makes it far easier for a customer to scan through and read what the product does.

Now for the descriptions.

This is the section where you say why the customer should buy your product, describing all the benefits they will get from using it. Like the features, the description is also important in terms of increasing conversions. 

If possible, try and incorporate some high-quality images of the product. These should be different from the lead product images and focus on it being used.

If applicable, include a link back to your website in this section. From an SEO perspective, this affordable link building tactic (we say affordable, it’s free!) places a link in a very authoritative site, boosting rankings in Google at the same time.

Encourage product reviews

Amazon is very much aware that people will buy products that are favored by past purchasers.  Having great product reviews are key to getting your product higher in the rankings.

Reviews are essentially social proof that you have a good product. Amazon is looking for products that have a high number of reviews because they realize it will sell more, which makes them money.

Products that have both a high number of reviews and high ratings boost conversions. 

There are several ways you can get people to leave a review, the simplest being just by asking.

Once a sale has completed leave it at least a week for before following up with the customer to leave a review.

For newer Amazon seller stores, take a look at Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program.  This is a service provided by Amazon that is aimed at getting new products reviewed.

Amazon reaches out to a random number of customers who have bought the product and asks them if they would be interested in writing a review.  They will offer a small incentive to that customer in return.

Amazon will only contact customers that have an honest record when it comes to previous reviews.  You can be sure that their opinion will be genuine.

If you’re going to use other methods to encourage reviews, be sure to check Amazon’s Terms of Service beforehand.  The last thing you need is your account banned from selling activities, with little to no chance of successful appeals.

Back end search terms

The search terms section is only shown in the back-end of the listings. There is a lot of debate around this section, but honestly, it is something that does not need to be complicated.

Simply place your primary keywords in this section, entering only one keyword per line. 

Remember to not only input keywords people are searching, but change these if you find that, for example during your PPC campaign, some keywords convert a lot better than others. Always remember to mix the keywords up in the search terms. Do not just put the same thing but with connectors. It’s also worth considering using misspelled keywords here too. Mistakes can happen when typing so if your product has some words that can easily be entered incorrectly, include them here. This will improve the product’s visibility in search results.

Our guest author, Tom Buckland is the Founder of an organic marketing agency based in the UK. Specialising in increasing revenues on Amazon & Google, he’s the #1 ranked Amazon marketing consultant with & the owner of HQ SEO.

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Effective Procedures to Avoid Wrongful Termination Suits

Even though you can’t do anything about the post-termination emotions that your employees will feel after you terminate them from the job, you can, however, hopefully prevent a former employee from doing post-termination actions like filing for a wrongful termination suit against you, by following certain procedures.

Know what causes an employee to file a wrongful terminal lawsuit against you.

Any employee will have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit against you if they think that they were fired from the job without any good reason. So it is essential that you, as the employer, know what kind of termination actions that may lead your disgruntled employee to file a suit against you.

  • If you fired an employee in violation of the state or federal anti-discrimination laws.
  • If the employee thinks that the termination was a form of sexual harassment.
  • If you fired an employee in violation of the employment agreement.
  • If you fired an employee in violation of the labor laws.
  • If you fired an employee as retaliation for the complaint or claim he/she has made against you.

Some of these reasons may subject an employer to statutory penalties, while others will require an employer to provide back pay, reinstatement, compensatory damages, and other relief.

Know the state and federal laws regarding wrongful termination

Knowing the state and federal laws concerning wrongful termination is an important procedure in preventing wrongful termination lawsuits against you. Wrongful termination laws differ from-to-state and it’s your job to know the employment rules and regulations based on where you live.

Establish a termination policy for your employees.

You need to create or establish a termination policy before you start hiring employees.

  • Create a written termination policy and make it known to your employees before you hire them.
  • State in there the procedures that you will follow if there comes a time that you are going to let go of an employee.
  • Make sure to cite situations that could result in immediate termination of an employee such as sexual harassment and threatening behavior.


 Keep detailed accounts of your employees.

You also need to keep detailed accounts of all your employee’s disciplinary actions and performance and make your employee acknowledge that you are taking into account his/her behavior performance at work. Letting your employee know that you are meticulously monitoring his/her behavior and performance will most likely prevent them from filing a lawsuit against you if you terminate him or her later on.

 Terminate an employee after careful consideration.

You must only terminate an employee after careful consideration. Don’t terminate an employee without exhausting all measures you can think of to get him/her back on track.

  • If your employee has made an offense, you can issue him/her with a written or verbal warning.
  • In addition to that, make an improvement plan for your employee.
  • Give your employee ample time, resources, and proper training to get him/her on track.

If all of these are not enough to bring your employee up to speed, termination is your final option.

Don’t sign any contracts with your employees.

You should never sign any contracts with your employees. The only agreement that you must have with your employees is that “an employer or an employee can dissolve the employment relationship at any time for any reason”.

  • Contractual employment can lock you into a fixed relationship with an employee that can be difficult to dismiss even if you wanted to let that worker go.
  • Also, unhappy employees who are under contract can sue you if they think that their contract has been breached or violated.

 Give an employee a probationary period before terminating them.

Probationary periods can do a lot in preventing wrongful termination lawsuits after you fire an employee. Let your employee know that he/she is under probationary employment status.

  • It will be easier for you to fire an employee who is on probation.
  • When an employee knows that he/she is on probation, the employee knows that his/her employment status is in danger because things are not going too well.
  • Also, employees who know that they are on probation often leave the job on their own accord.

Having to terminate an employee is never easy. It’s a decision that will leave a big impact on an employee’s personal and professional life. So as an employer, you must be serious about terminating someone from the job. Terminations are an important conversation and should not be taken lightly; it’s one of your jobs as an employer.

Just don’t fire an employee without any good reason or illegally, as it can lead to wrongful termination suits. Wrongful termination lawsuits can prove to be dangerous for your business, and you’ll never want to face the consequences that come with it.

So the next time that you fire an employee be sure to do it legally. Or, better yet have legal counsel on your side every time you terminate an employee to make it as legal as possible.

Disclaimer: This article contains general information on how to avoid wrongful termination lawsuits. For real legal advice in this matter, kindly refer to a qualified attorney.

Nicole Ferrel

Nicole Ferrel has spent more than two decades writing about law, and continues to do so writing on her next big thing. She imparts words of wisdom to the common reader with her pieces. Nicole is an avid sports fan and loves watching games if she has free time.

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Why You Should Buy Websites for Passive Income and How to Do It

The internet has changed the way we do business. This we all know. But one thing it has allowed many people to do that doesn’t receive as much attention is that it gives people the chance to earn a little bit of money on the side. If you’re like most people, the idea of a bit of extra income to boost your savings or snag a few things you couldn’t normally afford seems like a great idea.

One of the ways you can do this is to buy existing websites. But this isn’t a get rich quick scheme. There’s a process to it, and you need to know how it works so that you can make smart and profitable decisions moving forward.

Why should you buy websites?

There are a couple of reasons. First, they can offer very high rewards. If you find a site that is making only a little money, you can probably get it for cheap. Then, if you do it right, you’ll be enjoying some nice profits on the side.

Also, these things are relatively low-maintenance. You will need to spend some time on them, but you won’t need to turn it into a second full-time job. If you do, you better be making enough money so that you can ditch your other job and just do this.

It’s a flexible way of earning income. You get to choose your hours and you can work on it as much or as little as you would like. This makes it a great choice for some passive income, as you can focus on it when you have the time and energy to do so.

And lastly, there is some decent money to be made. Like we said, the internet is changing everything. This doesn’t mean every website is making a fortune, but more and more business is being done online every day. The arrow is definitely pointing up.

How to do it

Now that you see why you should be doing this, let’s take a look at how you will execute and actually generate this extra income.

Affiliate Marketing

Sometimes this strategy gets a bad reputation, largely because it is one of the few things that seems too good to be true but actually isn’t.

For those who don’t know, affiliate marketing is the process of recommending/selling products on your website and then taking a commission from what you sell. Tons of websites make money this way.

When buying a website, it is sometimes good to buy one that is not doing this and then to install an affiliate marketing program. This instantly monetizes the site. The classic example of this is a travel blog that gives you the chance to make a hotel reservation in the destination you are reading about.

You’ll have to find a niche that is less competitive than travel, as this one is pretty well played out. But there are plenty out there. Sometimes you can have success selling just one product and that will be enough to generate this passive income you seek.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the name of the game in the world of online business. It all has to do with designing your site and content so that your page appears as close to the top of Google search rankings as possible.

For you to make this work, you’ll need to find sites that have a decent following and backlink profile (the number and type of sites that link to it), and then you’ll have to try optimize the content so that your money-making pages show up in search engine results.

This can be really hard in competitive niches, but it can be surprisingly easy in not-so-competitive ones. Do your research to figure out how hard it’s going to be to rank for keywords that can make you money, then go after them.

Sell the website

Probably one of the best sources of income when dealing with websites is their resale value. Generally speaking, an online business is worth 2.5 times its yearly revenue. So if you can find a site that really isn’t making much money, buy it, and then increase its profits, you can sell it for a profit and hopefully earn yourself a nice pay day.

Sometimes you can pull this off without even having to rework the site. You could buy a decent site in a niche that isn’t competitive yet, and then when it is, you’ll be sitting on some valuable digital real estate.

When you first get started, start small. Buy inexpensive websites and practice. Read up about SEO and learn as you go. When you start to have some success, you can invest more and go after those big returns. Who knows, someday that side job might become your full-time one.

About the author: Jock is an internet entrepreneur. He has bought and sold a variety of different websites across many different niches. From his experience, he has seen how this type of work can be both profitable and rewarding. Now, he works to help other entrepreneurs find similar success working online.

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