[Updated 5th March 2020 – Added Amazon FBA Business Idea]
Starting a new business online requires much less risk than investing your dollars into a brick-and-mortar storefront or downtown office. Because your business is based online, you can reach more potential customers, work from virtually anywhere and make money online without large overheads. With some basic website and communication skills along with a little maintenance know-how, almost anyone can launch a business online and get it up and running in only days. Think you’re ready to become the next big entrepreneur online?
Here are a few great online business ideas to get you thinking in the right direction. While some of these ventures can bring in a nice passive income, some of these online money making ideas can actually create small fortunes.
Online Business Ideas You Can Start TODAY!!!
1. Start a Listicle Blog
A really simple idea that would only take up to 1 hour of your time a week and about $20 in costs. Over time it could make you quite a bit of money.
Sites like Viralnova.com and Fukarf.com create compelling content by finding funny, emotional and inspirational stories on Reddit, Facebook and Imgur, rewriting the content, adding some more detail and publishing the content on their own site.
Just to give you an idea on how successful these types of sites are, ViralNova was set up buy one guy who hired a couple of writers to rewrite successful content that was published on other sites around the web. This site sold for $100 MILLION!!! Before that, ViralNova was making $400k+ per month in ad revenue.
With a bit of promotion on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Stumbleupon and eventually organic traffic, within a couple of months you should be pulling in 30K to 50K unique vistits a month. Monetize the site with adsense to get some revenue in to cover costs of your hosting and domain name costs.
Ok, you’ll be making peanuts to start with( $10 to $50 a month), but as the traffic grows, this figure could grow to $1000 + a month. Then potentially you could flip the site for 30 times the monthly revenue. I know people who do this all the time and flip sites after 8 months for $10,000 + !
Check out my guide on How To Start A Blog, to see how you can get this business idea off the ground in less than an hour!
Or just go straight to BlueHost and get your blog live and making money!
You can get BlueHost’s basic hosting package for just $2.95 per month ( 36 months )
You can get your hands on ViralNova type themes from MyThemeShop
2. Become An Affiliate Marketer
One of the easiest ways to make a few bucks online is affiliate marketing. An affiliate is essentially someone who receives a commission for selling products for other companies, whether it’s on their own site or through another channel like eBay. The best part is that you don’t have to develop any products yourself, just sell other people’s products.
For example, Amazon affiliates can potentially rake in obscene amounts of commission dollars if they work at it. Simply sign up as an affiliate to sell a company’s products using your special referral link, and you can get a commission for each product sold without lifting a finger. Commission ranges from product to product and also goes up in stages according to how many products sales your clicks generate. The top commission tier is 8%. That adds up to some serious amounts of cash each month if you’re promoting products with that high rate of commission ( Home & Garden is one such product area with high commissions).
Also, affiliate networks like Shareasale or ClickBank offer a vast array of products to promote as well. Some of the highly contested niches such as health and gambling can make people millionaires. Being an online affiliate can be a great way to create a passive income for you and your family.
For Those Who Don’t Know Where To Start With Affiliate Marketing….
This incredibly detailed course from Merlin Holmes will show you how you can get up and running extremely quickly and with no affiliate marketing experience.
Just sign up to his FREE WEBINAR. It’s a good 90 minutes long, so make sure you have your notebook and pen ready as there’s some amazing lessons to be learned.
Merlin currently makes around $1m per month from affiliate marketing alone, has many different successful businesses and has been featured in Forbes and various other publications, so he knows exactly what he’s is talking about.
3. Start An Amazon FBA Business
Amazon will list your products on their website and when a sale comes in, they will do all the hard work of preparing it to be sent out and delivering your product to the customer. Essentially you’re leveraging the powerful distribution network and customer base of Amazon.
Amazon warehouses, fulfils your orders, and also provides customer service to your clients, so you don’t have to.
Amazon allows you to act like a major corporation, but without the headaches of actually being one. All you have to do is find and develop profitable products to then send to Amazon to sell.
To find out more about Amazon FBA, read my guide on How To Start An Amazon FBA Business.
4. Sell Your Own Brand
If you have a knack for creating unique images, there’s no need to fuss over your own inventory. If your creations can be easily printed onto a product, then you can make money. Upload your designs on a variety of websites like CafePress. If someone likes them, the company prints them up and ships the product. You could create unique designs for calendars, books, T-shirts, bags, hats, greeting cards, or posters and get a commission for each one sold. Some of these sites include Zazzle, Teespring and Lulu.
5. Build Apps
Because smartphones are everywhere, the demand for new and creative apps is increasing in popularity more than ever before. Between Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone market, people are using countless apps everyday. And, most of them are selling right and left. Taking the time to develop and sell a smartphone app may be worth your while since it’s a very lucrative way to earn money online. The apps cost almost nothing to actually develop and don’t involve any shipping or storage costs, which works to expand your overall profit margin. Well performing apps can make thousands in ad revenue each month for their creators, making them another great passive income strategy.
6. Buy and Sell Domains
Many people buy and sell domain names to earn money online since it takes very little time or investment. You can purchase a domain at its registration price or even much cheaper and then resell it for a profit. But, it always pays to do your homework first on websites like Afternic.com, domainlore.uk, Sedo.co.uk, or other domain auction websites in order to get a good idea of what’s popular in terms of domain names. An ideal way to find really good names is to check out terminated lists that offer many expired names and have made their way back into the pool for people to buy. A good site for this is expireddomains.net where you can put in your desired keyword that you want in your domain name and a long list of domain options will appear.
To learn more about Domain Flipping, head over to Domain Flipping Guide. Their course ( $39 one off fee ) teaches you how to turn $10 into $1000 by flipping domains.
7. Start Trading Stock and Forex
Some people consider joining the volatile stock and forex trading market to be a somewhat risky business idea. This is very true, but if you start out small and keep researching until you gain knowledge and experience in this area, it might just bring in the rewards you’re after.
The main thing with Forex Trading is to find someone to learn from. Gathering knowledge from people who are actual traders and have made vast amounts of money from trading currency, is the people you want to associate yourself with and to learn from them.
I find Forex Mentor Pro is a great place to start your Forex Trading education.
If you want to test the water, then head over to Forex Mentor Pro and sign up to their free 7 day trial and use their user-friendly trading network, where you can learn how to trade risk free with their trading simulators. They have plenty of resources on their to help you learn how to trade stocks, shares and currency. Most importantly, you’ll have mentors to actually guide you.
8. Create an Ecommerce Store
With solutions such as Shopify and Woocommerce it has never been easier to start your own online store for such a low investment and thanks to methods such as dropshipping you don’t even need to worry about things such as delivery or warehousing. Read my guide to starting an eCommerce website and reviews of eCommerce site builders.
9. Become A Social Media Consultant
Large corporations and business firms can easily hire a full-time staff coordinator or corresponding agency to run their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts, but smaller businesses frequently have to manage their own marketing for social media. But, because they have a great number of other responsibilities, many times business owners are too overwhelmed or busy to spend a lot of time on developing their social media approach.
As a consultant for social media, you can effectively steer them in the right direction concerning ideal tactics, implementing schedules, and posting content regarding their target audience. Therefore, as their business grows, so will yours. Check out our new Instagram Tools guide to see how you can increase your clients audience.
10. Professional Freelancer
Freelancing via the Internet is a great way for experts in their individual trades to help a variety of clients overall. Several freelancing and project-based websites let businesses that need extra help to list their projects. Small businesses and freelancers offer proposals, ideas, or bids, whereby the buyers can easily choose what they want and need. Sites like Elance or Upwork cover just about everything including writing content, creating graphic design, programming, and data entry.
11. Become An Expert Blogger
If you’re passionate about writing and feel strongly about certain subjects, type your way to riches by creating your own blog. Launching your own blog doesn’t require a great deal of technical or computer skills. It is important, however, that you do know what you’re talking about relative to the subject you’re writing on. Over time, you’ll start to develop an audience since people will trust your expertise and knowledge.
By building an extensive following, this will allow you to gain profit by attracting key advertisers or get commissions by promoting other brand products (think affiliate). Blogging is big business; just ask Heather from Dooce.com. She’s a mom that blogs daily about her children and pets and has successfully turned her daily adventures into a very lucrative business by simply making money blogging. One of my favourite ways to make money from a blog is by creating your own online course.
12. Creating WordPress Themes
As more people want to establish their presence online no matter what their reason, the demand for WordPress themes and website templates continue to rise. Do you have a talent for designing websites and html coding? If so, you can make big bucks from creating attractive website themes. Create them and then sell them on marketplaces online like ThemeForest and TemplateMonster to generate a nice passive income for yourself depending on just how talented you are.
13. Work with Advertisers
If you’re a website or blog owner, you can sell a portion of your page space to advertisers and earn money passively each time the ads are clicked on by your target audience or visitors to your website. While the actual placing of the ads is completely free, the earning capacity of cost-per-click (CPC) advertising is based on the level of traffic to your site and the cost per click and click-through rate, or CTR. The most popular way to earn money today through advertising clicks is through Google AdSense or similar advertisers.
Other ways of effective online advertising include RSS feeds and direct banners.
14. Get Paid to Write
If managing a blog seems a bit overwhelming but you still desire to indulge your writing passion, you can write for other sites or blogs like PayPerPost, Textbroker, or Helium. Also, writing an interesting e-book may also be an option for you as well. E-books do not have any printing or shipping fees, which makes them a viable investment. If you’re someone who possesses strong language skills, you could potentially become an expert copy editor that webmasters will gladly pay to read and edit articles and also correct any overlooked grammatical errors concerning web copy.
If you’re not sure what to write about then check out this massive list of 200+ freelance writing niches to help cure your writer’s block.
15. Perform Research
Can’t design, write, or code websites? No problem. Don’t let that stop you from earning money on the Internet. If you have some extra time a couple of hours a week, you can perform numerous research tasks on behalf of other people or companies who can’t spend the time to do it themselves. Many organizations and various businesses hire people to research certain subjects or to help them with online investigations everyday. You could be one of them.
16. Online Marketing
Once a site or blog is created and optimized for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes, the search engine marketing (SEM) begins. The potential for earning income in this area is literally through the roof if you know what you’re doing. An expert in SEO management is responsible for successfully marketing a website and can choose to promote it in a variety of ways.
Some of these promotion techniques may include article marketing, social bookmarking, forum posting, writing press releases, submitting your site to a number of search engines and directories, and blog posting; just to name a few. Most businesses don’t pay their own staff to perform these tasks and choose to outsource all their SEO and SEM tasks instead.
17. Sell Photos
Do you love taking pictures and have a general passion for photography? If so, you could make a very nice living for yourself online selling your photos. There are countless people who are willing to pay you good money for your collection of unique images you have to offer. Today more than ever it’s super easy to submit your pics to the masses, which can provide you with a very convenient approach to creating a solid source of additional income. Several stock photo sites like Shutterstock and Fotolia offer enticing incentives for individuals to earn money passively from the photos they randomly shoot in their spare time.
18. Become A Virtual Assistant
Virtually every small business needs help running their day-to-day administrative tasks, but they may not particularly want to pay a full-time in-house employee to do it. Virtual assistants perform a variety of tasks that a traditional assistant or secretary would normally do, including making travel arrangements, paying bills, or managing expense reimbursements. It is a truly online job and one that is growing in popularity with both employers and people wanting to have a more flexible work-life.
Virtual assistants typically work from home or wherever there’s an available Wi-Fi connection. They regularly interact with clients by phone, email, or Skype on behalf of their boss. How much can a virtual assistant actually make? It usually depends on their level of expertise and overall experience.
If you want to find out more about how to become a VA and work from home, check out Gina’s awesome guide on working as a Virtual Assistant.
19. Teach Online and Conduct Webinars
Tutors are in high demand whether it’s online or offline. Therefore, if you’ve got a brain and like helping others use theirs, become an e-teacher to earn an extra income in your spare time. The only thing you require is to be proficient in your area of expertise and be willing to give up a few hours each week to help someone else. Sites like Tutor.com and TutorVista are places you can sign up with and build a good reputation over time as a coach. If you’re really good, you can conduct lectures, seminars, or webinars that are transmitted online. University and college students are always willing to pay money to gain access into highly-respected online webinars.
20. Become A Crypto Trader
Crypto currency trading is the next big thing in finance. The value of crypto has shot up in recent months with Bitcoin reaching over $18k for just one Bitcoin! You too can get a piece of the action by purchasing crypto currency from one of the bitcoin / crypto exchanges and waiting for the value to increase. I would recommend you do your research before you dive in, and don’t forget to only invest what you can afford to lose.
21. Become A Web Developer
A web developer is someone who can build a website from the ground up, start to finish. In order to be able to do this, you will need to learn how to code. Web developers can earn decent money, but to become good at it, you really need to know your stuff, and this can take time.
The great thing about being a web developer is that you can work from pretty much anywhere in the world, if you work for yourself that is. You’re not tied down to one location.
If you want to learn more about becoming a web developer, then have a read of my guide here. There’s loads of tips and advice on how to realise your dream of becoming a web developer.
22. Become A Vlogger / YouTuber
People are changing the way they search and consume content on the internet. No longer is it just text rich articles that people read from finding them on a Google search. Internet users are now getting more engaged with rich media such as videos. Because they are more engaged, Vloggers are able to leverage this to their financial gain. Vloggers can make millions of dollars a year from their audiences.
Videos are becoming insanely more popular, especially for users under 25s. There’s just so many effective video content platforms on offer such as Instagram and Snapchat Stories, Facebook Live video and Youtube. With these outlets you have the chance to push your content out to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
If you’ve always fancied yourself as an internet celebrity and like the idea of being in front of the camera, then this is the time for action.
There is so much money to be made from starting a vlog or a Youtube channel. You can potentially earn thousands of dollars a month reviewing and promoting products for companies and brands. The more traffic you build to your YouTube channel, the more ad revenue you’ll receive from YouTube and potentially, offers from third party brands.
Another great thing about starting a vlog is the relatively low set up costs. You don’t really need to go and get yourself an expensive camera. You can literally do it on your iphone or basic SLR camera. Get more tips on buying a vlogging cameras with my Vlogging Camera guide.
23. Become a Podcaster & Start a Podcast
Check out my in-depth guide on how to start a podcast. It’s a really easy way to create content that is easy for your audience to consume. Its portable, its cost-effective and can engage better with your audience than say text written content.
Once you’ve built trust with your audience through your podcasts, you can then potentially monetize your content with sponsorships and offers. Earning the trust of your listeners is vital, because if they don’t trust what you’re saying then why would they buy the things you promote?
24. Handmade Craft Seller on Etsy
The ecommerce landscape is changing, especially with the arrival of Covid-19. People are changing the way they buy. They want longevity and quality in the stuff they purchase. That’s why sites like Etsy and Artfire are thriving.
Etsy and ArtFire are great platforms for artisans who design and produce their own quality handmade products, such as fashion pieces or unique gifts. If you have a unique craft or product idea, then Esty or Artfire are the perfect places for you to sell your products on an e-commerce site, earn a good income while you’re at home.
Startup costs for this online business idea is very low. Of course you’re going to have to pay for materials, but if you buy in bulk, this will hammer down costs even more. Esty will allow you to build out your own Etsy store and sell your products quickly, making you a nice profit in no time at all.
Pro-tip: Esty and Artfire users find using social media such as Instagram and Pinterest brings in many more sales when they promote their businesses on these social media channels. Create an Instagram account and get posting images of your products.
Overall, the Internet itself is overflowing with one money making opportunity after another. While making money online for most people isn’t their primary source of income, it can net a very solid supplement stream of incoming dollars each month. There are some online entrepreneurs, however, that are managing to mine gold due to all the effort, persistence, and time they’ve invested in order to make that dream come true. Can one of these online money making options work for you?
Put in the time and see where it leads to find out. There’s something there for everyone. Whether you want to get your hands dirty or just earn an income passively, there’s plenty there on my list of online business ideas. I hope I given you some inspiration to start something yourself! For more information why not head over to my How To Start A Business guide.
All the best!