Welcome to the new era of online business. More and more entrepreneurs are empowered by the digital world around us. While in the past, business owners would need to rely on word-of-mouth referrals, in-person networking, and physical businesses to make a name for themselves, it’s now easy to get your start online.
Creating your own online business is easy and affordable. You don’t need office space or even any employees. As long as you’re willing to put in some work up front, you can make an impact online. Whether you’re hoping to launch a side-hustle or ditch your 9-5 job altogether with your own full-time business, these amazing online business ideas are for you.
1. Start a Monetized Blog
Blogging has been around since 1994, but it’s changed a lot since then. Blogging has quickly become a profitable income for those willing to treat their corner of the web as a business. While most average bloggers make around a few hundred dollars a month, the top bloggers can rake in over six-figures a year.
Blogging takes time, dedication, and marketing skills, but it’s arguably the easiest online business you can start yourself. You don’t need any tech skills or know-how thanks to platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix which make it easy to build your website in a few seconds.
So how exactly do bloggers make money? There’s a lot of confusion around how bloggers actually earn a living simply by posting content online. While some bloggers use their blogs as a way to promote other services like those we’ll outline below, here are the most common ways bloggers make money:
- Advertisements – The most well-known way bloggers make money online is by selling ad space. They might use a third-party ad service like Google Adsense or sell ad space for a flat rate.
- Affiliate Sales – Another way to make money as a blogger is with affiliate sales where the blogger receives a commission for products or services purchased through the blog.
- Sponsored Posts – With the rise of influencer marketing, bloggers are often paid by brands to promote products or services either through blog posts or social media.
- Products – Finally, many bloggers sell their own products such as online courses, ebooks, digital downloads, or physical products.
Bloggers with the right online content strategy and some social media marketing skills can take their business far. If you’ve been thinking of starting a blog for something you’re interested in, now’s the time.
2. Freelance Online to Sell Your Services
A well-known option for making money online is to start a freelancing business. According to the Freelancers Union, 35% of the United States workforce did some form of freelancing in 2016, and that number is rising more each year.
No matter your skills, you’re ready to become a freelancer. It’s easier than you think, no matter what your skill level is. This is the easiest option for professionals who already have experience working in their industry. It’s often easy to make the switch from full-time work to freelancing, and you don’t need any special training.
Unlike blogging, you don’t even need your own website to begin freelancing. While many people find gigs on marketplace websites like Fiverr and Upwork, freelancers can also pitch clients directly through LinkedIn or just via cold emails.
Whether you’re a graphic designer, business specialists, accountant, or another type of professional, you can make a living online as a freelancer. There’s nothing holding you back from getting started, and your ideal client might already be out there waiting for you.
3. Create an E-commerce Store
Buying online is big business. While it’s easy to be intimidated by big-name businesses like Amazon, there’s an emerging space for small businesses to make an impact online. E-commerce is the place to be if you’re interested in selling products or services. In 2018 alone, e-commerce sales accounted for 11.9% of all worldwide retail sales. That’s a huge percentage, and it’s only growing.
You don’t need any tech skills to build your own e-commerce website. Tools like Shopify and Woocommerce do the heavy lifting for you so you can get started in just a few clicks. Even better, you don’t need your own products to start selling. Dropshipping is the latest trend where e-commerce sellers act as a third-party to sell products directly from the supplier. The warehouse does the packaging and shipping for you so you can just focus on running your website.
While e-commerce and dropshipping takes work like any online business, it’s easy to get started and learn as you go. There are online shoppers out there looking for new products, and it’s up to you to meet this demand.
4. Start a Social Media Agency
Online social media agencies are quickly becoming the new normal. While big-name businesses often have their own dedicated marketing teams, small businesses don’t have nearly as many resources. In addition, small business owners don’t have enough time to focus on marketing their business, especially on social media.
That’s where you come in. If you have natural social media skills or you’re willing to learn, you can make good money selling your social media abilities. You’ll work by helping businesses manage their own social media profiles to attract more clients and customers. From social media ads to creating custom content, you’ll help them stretch their marketing budget further to find customers more effectively.
Thanks to different social media schedules, it’s possible to run this business on autopilot. This gives you more opportunities to work on client strategies. Do you have a knack for helping others as well as managing social media profiles? If so, you might be a great fit for this online business opportunity.
5. Build Websites for Businesses
Are you a tech-savvy person who knows his or her way around HTML and CSS? You might be able to make money designing websites. As we said about, business owners don’t always have the time to create an online presence. For many, building a website is a confusing process, even with online page builders like WordPress.
If you have the patience and design skills to create websites successfully, this is a great way to start an online business. You don’t even need to know a lot about coding. You can easily learn the basics of building a WordPress website online for free.
On the other hand, if you are a savvy coder and want to make some extra cash on autopilot, consider selling premade website themes. ThemeForest or even Etsy are great marketplaces for selling themes and website designs online. It’s as easy as setting up a shop and watching the money come in. You can earn anywhere from $10 to over $100 per theme.
6. Become a Virtual Assistant
If none of the above ideas sounds like a good fit for your skills, don’t fret. You can market your services however you choose as a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant is just what it sounds like; You work with business owners and professionals as an online assistant.
How does it work? In general, you’ll have a list of services you offer. These can be as complex as designing apps to as basic as answering the phone or responding to emails. From there, businesses or professionals will hire you either part-time or as-needed. For instance, you might work for one professional for 10 hours a week answering customer service calls.
As a virtual assistant, you set your own hours, work with the clients you choose and can make as much or as little as you want. It’s a flexible position designed for those who want to customize their own service offerings. No matter what you’re good at, you can make money as a virtual assistant while helping others.
Ultimately, there’s a world of possibilities when it comes to making money online by starting a business. There are little to no startup costs, and you’re in the driver’s seat. Many people are drawn to these ideas above because they offer a lot of freedom. You’re the boss, and you don’t have to follow anyone’s direction or a set number of hours.
While none of these will be a guaranteed success, they have unlimited potential. Work them part-time while you work at your day job, and make the switch when you’re finally financially comfortable. On the other hand, you can work any of the above as a side gig to get some extra money to put towards your debt payoff or savings.
What are you waiting for? A percentage of today’s workers already are making money online with these methods, and they’re proving to be very profitable. All you can do is put in the time and see how it turns out for you. You might discover a new passion you’ve never even thought of before. This above list should inspire you to make a real difference in your life. It’s time to achieve your entrepreneur dreams once and for all.
Digital Marketing Consultant |Blogger
Jitendra Surve is a Digital Marketing Consultant and professional blogger from Pune, India. I also love speaking in conference and panel discussion in the field of Digital Marketing.