Today, more people are starting a business than ever before.
From the comforts of their home, men and women are channelling their entrepreneurial spirit and taking advantage of the incredible opportunities available to them, no matter how small they may seem. The internet has allowed many entrepreneurs to open profitable ventures without having to put down an astronomical investment.
But just because you don’t need to have much skin in the game as you would have had 20 years ago, it doesn’t mean that you can be passive and cavalier about the whole thing. You still need to put in your eight (or more) hours a day, offer impeccable customer service and make money.
If you’re thinking about setting up your own business, but you’re not quite sure just what, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 50 online business ideas for your inspiration!
1. Start a Niche Blog
Is the blog market overcrowded? Perhaps. But if you specialise in a niche blog, then you can stand out from the crowd. A web portal that offers content on ancient astronaut theory or how to live life as a breatharian can certainly generate a healthy monthly income.
Anyone can start a blog, but not everything can turn into a money-making business.
2. Self-Publish a Book
Do you have a knack for crime noir? Are your science-fiction romance short stories compelling? Or do you enjoy writing about the history of Liechtenstein?
Whatever genre you write, you can earn a living by selling your books without an agent or a publisher. You just need to employ a hefty marketing scheme.
3. Write an eBook
This one is a bit different from self-publishing because eBook authors tend to compose micro-compositions on today’s subjects. For instance, your business may be hired to write a 45-page eBook on Dogecoin, Monica Bellucci’s beauty, or why the Pacific Ocean is superior to the Atlantic Ocean. The positive is that there is no shortage of topics or work!
4. Flip Domains for Profit
Yes, there is such a thing as domain flipping. You can think of it as housing remodelling but a lot easier and more affordable.
Here’s how it works: you buy a domain, hold onto it and then sell it at a significantly higher cost. If you bought bitcoin in 2010 and sold it a couple of years later, then you made top dollar.
5. Offer a Dropshipping Service
Dropshipping is the latest retail fulfilment method that is saving companies money and creating new opportunities for smaller players.
This consists of stores not holding onto inventories they sell. Instead, if stores sell a product using the dropshipping model, then it buys the item from a third-party source and ships it directly to the customer.
Your living room doesn’t need to be a supply room, though.
6. Create a Web Course
The internet has made it easier than ever to learn, whether it is coding or Aramaic.
The demand is immense, but what about the supply? Well, it really depends on the subject. If you can home in on a niche subject and find very little educational material out there, then this is your opportunity.
7. Get into Copywriting
Like poetry or journalism, copywriting is an artform because your aim is to appeal to consumers with money in their pockets. A copywriter will compose text you see on websites, emails, brochures, billboards, advertisements and every other medium you come across every day. The words you saw on an ad at the bus shelter was written by a human being; it didn’t magically land on the display.
What is great about this job is that no money is required to get started. You only need to put yourself out there with your skills and portfolio, and you will be discovered.
8. Become a P2P Lender
Peer-to-peer lending is when individuals lend money to their peers or businesses through online platforms that connect both parties. It eliminates the need for a bank, and the interest rate offered by some guy from Biloxi, Mississippi can often be far more competitive than that provided by a conventional financial institution.
9. Offer Lead Generation Services
It’s estimated that companies will spend, on average, $344 to generate a lead, the process of attracting and converting consumers into prospects that might be interested in a product or service.
Do you have a system of garnering leads? Whether it is through blog posts or a mailing list, lead generation services are some of the best online business ideas around, especially with businesses desperate for shoppers.
10. Manage Companies’ Social Media Pages
As the experts say, if you’re not doing social media, then you’re not trying.
Social media is integral for any business, but they often lack the resources and manpower to manage their social media.
Enter you. Your business venture is to manage firms’ Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube or Instagram accounts through content, engagement and maintenance. Just don’t mistake Acme International with your personal BoogieWoogie200 handle!
11. Become a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants are in demand, and the position is expected to balloon even more in the coming years.
Your role as a virtual assistant is similar to that of a traditional assistant by providing administrative, creative and technical assistance, only from a remote position – whether it is at home, a coffee shop or on a park bench when it’s snowing outside.
12. Become a Remote Tutor
Are you an expert in medieval poetry? Do you have a degree in economics? Have you accumulated decades of experience in stamp collecting?
Well, being a remote tutor is a business idea to consider, and it might be a lucrative one, too. Why? You have the entire global market at your fingertips, not just some snotty-nosed brat down the street who can’t multiply eight by seven!
13. Take Photos
It may be counterintuitive, but a small photography business can be a great way to generate an income.
Why this is an attractive proposition is because there are many avenues to explore: weddings, stock photos, apps that pay for in-demand pictures, and the list goes on. You don’t need to only concentrate on getting a $50 fee for snapping an image of a pumpkin festival for a local bi-monthly newspaper!
14. Write Online Newsletters
Newsletters are important for businesses that want to showcase their authority and expertise.
Your online business is meant to deliver on that objective through your expertise, primarily newsletter writing and distribution. You are hired to tell a story about the brand and to utilise popular styles.
15. Start a Box Subscription Service
Box subscription services are all the rage.
This business model consists of signing up for a monthly service that involves sending you a box of random goodies every month. For instance, if you love comic book culture, then you will receive a box of comic books, T-shirts, stickers, toys and other trinkets each month. You can target a particular niche and demographics, such as pottery enthusiasts and accountants.
16. Become a Virtual Interior Designer
Do you have an eye for interior design? Well, why not take it online?
Virtual interior design is the latest innovation in the home improvement industry. It consists of receiving a layout and space plan, and it’s up to you to develop a concept board, provide recommendations for furniture and produce a custom room design. You can even hang the picture of dogs playing poker!
17. Get into Affiliate Marketing
Can you earn six figures from affiliate marketing? The longer answer is ‘yes’ with an ‘if’. The short answer is ‘no’ with a budget. If you do it right and you have a large audience, then this is certainly an effective way of generating a handsome income. This is when an online retailer pays a commission to an external website for traffic or sales created from its referrals.
18. Offer Digital Event Planning Services
Digital event planning is just another form of digital marketing. So, if you’re already excellent at social media, content marketing or email marketing, event planning could be something else to add to your arsenal. It could be in addition to your overall business or a standalone enterprise.
19. Offer Tech Support
A startup or small business may generate enough revenues to outsource tech support to a third-party provider in Indiana or India. Because of this, a company of 3, 5 or 10 might choose to hire independent contractors scattered throughout the globe at a cost of $12 per hour. You just need to be trained, familiar with the technology and possess the equipment to carry out tech support.
20. Write CVs for Clients
Writing the perfect CV is extremely difficult.
Hiring managers are inundated with dozens of CV for a single position, and it would be impossible to thoroughly read every single submission. They use various tricks that allow them to spend three to five seconds per CV.
But if you have the skills to compose a great CV, then starting a CV writing business could be for you.
21. Start a Podcast
Podcasts are all the rage these days. And why not? It’s a low-risk, high-reward venture that is also a lot of fun (except for the editing part!).
It could be difficult to become an instant success, but with enough dedication, marketing and infotainment, you can turn it into a money-making endeavour.
22. Offer Coaching Services over Skype
Online coaching is a popular service these days for consumers who may need help preparing for a job interview or getting ready to become a parent. Everyone needs help.
Whatever your expertise is, your business can focus on coaching individuals all over the world through a video application service like Skype or Duo.
23. Resell Event Tickets
Sure, you may not be the most well-liked entrepreneur by reselling tickets, but you can often turn a double-digit profit in a single evening by reselling tickets to a baseball game, opening night at the opera or watching two guys play spoons!
24. Become a Career Counsellor
Like Skype coaching, career counselling is another business venture that can be exclusively performed through video.
Career counselling is an important job, too, because so many people need help with career development, such as honing soft skills, writing cover letters or trying to earn promotions.
25. Become a Technical Writer
Have you ever read the user manual for putting together an Ikea bookshelf and asked yourself, ‘Who wrote that?’. Well, somebody did create these guides, and it can be some of the hardest writing you can do.
But you know what? Technical writing is a lucrative business, as long as you have the patience and technical acumen to produce a manual. Of all the ideas on this list, this is likely one of the businesses to gradually help you become wealthy.
26. Create Video Ads
Video advertisements are dominating the internet marketing landscape. They are becoming a lot more prevalent (and invasive) than display or popup ads.
To ensure they are engaging, interesting and creative, marketers are working with video ad creators to get the job done. If you already own the software and equipment and you have the skills, this is a worthwhile business idea.
27. Offer Transcription Services
Are you a fast typist? Have you inherited incredible listening skills? Do you have a good memory? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then transcription may be your calling in life.
You generally have two options: establish your own transcription business or work with the many services already in existence. You might get a juicy project of a multibillion-dollar takeover!
28. Become a Translator
English to German, French to Cantonese and Afrikaans to Klingon; we live in a global economy, and international commerce requires communication between different languages.
Because Google Translate is ineffective and the technology for instant translation remains in development, you can offer professional translation services.
29. Offer Editing and Proofreading Services
Editing and proofreading are dying art forms. Because we’re in such a hurry to be first to a story or we’re just too lazy to read the 7,300 words we composed in the last 45 minutes, editing and proofreading are neglected.
Well, this is your time to shine by correcting typos, revising grammar and removing every reference to ‘Stupid Flanders!’.
30. Write Micro-Niche Fiction
Micro-niche fiction is similar to non-fiction content that focuses on topics like rooftop gardening in Toronto or loitering in front of convenience stores. Instead, micro-niche fiction offers stories pertaining to hyper-special interests.
If that sounds like your kind of thing, why not give it a go?
31. Become a Beta Tester
Before a website or mobile application goes live, the owners want someone to test it out to ensure everything is working properly ahead of its debut.
Your job as a beta tester is to essentially make certain that the user experience is impeccable, and everything is functioning as it is supposed to. You will also likely be requested to check out updates and other versions.
32. Write Product Descriptions
Yes, another writing job, but this one is slightly different. Whether you visit Amazon or check out Tommy Hilfiger’s website, you will read the product description, specification and other important elements. Your job is to compile this information and write something interesting.
33. Perform Micro Tasks
You will have to leave your office desk for this one, but micro-tasking is another digital enterprise that can allow you to make a full-time income or some extra money on the side. The job is primarily local, performing odd tasks that customers need to be done, such as furniture assembly, dog walking, or picking up the dry cleaning.
Coding is one of the most in-demand jobs around, and society is encouraging young minds to learn computer programming from a young age. You could get hired by a company for a job, but you also can create a business out of coding and specialise in certain industries.
35. Start a Paid Facebook Private Group
A great way to directly engage with your customers is erecting a paid private Facebook group. This is a community of loyal customers expecting exclusive content, coupons, temporary deals and other goodies shared with members. You can think of it like Amazon Prime or Costco memberships, except it’s on a Facebook page.
36. Launch a Digital Magazine
It takes a lot of work and resources to publish a digital magazine. But if you have a market to tap into and excellent content to deliver, then you can think about putting together a digital magazine that rests behind a paywall. In other words, to access this content that is full of unique insights into specific subjects, you pay a monthly fee.
37. Start a Publishing Service
Instead of writing eBooks and crime stories, why not publish them? Because so many authors are desperate for their work to be seen by the rest of the world and are grateful for some remuneration, you can get your hands on some admirable novels, short stories and flash fiction for a good price. But this investment requires you to sell an incredible catalogue of fiction, and that can be hard.
38. Create YouTube Videos
YouTube videos dedicated to explaining science, highlighting news of the day and directing viewers on how to assemble a TV stand from Walmart. These videos are incredibly useful, and if you produce high-quality content, then you can amass a decent following and commendable revenue clicks.
39. Start Vlogging
Vlogging is different from a recommendation of producing YouTube videos. Vlogging is just showcasing your personal life for the whole world to watch. You are The Truman Show, except you’re in on the bit.
You record your everyday existence, from the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep. You can only earn a good living if you are interesting. Are you interesting? Everyone thinks so, including your mother! You, too, can be a YouTuber.
40. Become an Amazon Reseller
Reselling stuff on Amazon can start out making you a small amount of money. With time, however, you can eventually transform this passive income-generating endeavour into a full-time business. You just need to treat it like a real store by monitoring inventories, determining what sells and keeping a budget.
41. Become a Stock Trader
Are you good at picking stocks? Have you dabbled in foreign exchange markets? What about commodity futures and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)?
Your work-from-home business can solely be trading on stock markets, buying and selling a thousand shares of a stock that started the first session of the week at $9 and ended the week at $12.
42. Become a Data Scientist
It’s all about the data. The world is generating an obscene amount of data; it is the new crude oil. But what good is this data if it is not properly analysed?
That is where you step in. Through data analysis, software and perhaps a little bit of machine learning, your digital enterprise’s money is making heads and tails out of this information.
43. Offer Your Friendship Online
Despite hyper-connectivity, we have never been lonelier. What happened? This can be discussed at a later time, but online friendships are beginning to become a lot more common.
Through video calls or even text messaging, you’re paid to converse for however long you agreed (15 minutes or 3 hours). This will inevitably blossom into a huge business because millennials are not having kids and will be lonely in their old age.
44. Make and Flip Apps
In the same ballpark as domain or website flipping, you either purchase an application and renovate it, or you start one from scratch and sell it on the open market.
If you’re great at coding or you have a talent for web design, then this is a business to consider.
45. Open a Virtual Store
A virtual store of sports memorabilia, pulp fiction from the early 20th Century or ironic T-shirts. If you have the goods, you should open an online store, which is great since you have very little overhead costs and you don’t need to worry too much about foot traffic, leases and rude customers.
46. Maintain Websites
Websites are under constant attack by unscrupulous individuals who want to steal user data. Websites will hire companies who can monitor these web outlets and ensure they are safe.
Your business, which should offer impeccable web development skills, can also perform other duties that involve keeping an eye out for outages or bugs.
47. Sweep Sites
A glaring error in an article. A huge pricing error. A missing image. These are things that are all too common for websites these days.
This is why many businesses hire site sweepers, another pair of eyes that can peruse your outlet and search for these things that may perturb other visitors and damage your brand.
48. Become a Practice Specialist
Little Jimmy has the big chess tournament tomorrow, and he needs a great opponent tonight who can point out his weaknesses and flaws. Little Suzy has an exam in the morning and needs someone to test her.
Your online business consists of just practising with people, from job interviews to backgammon.
49. Organise Digital Files
Hey, there are one-man businesses out there that are hired to organise closets and filing cabinets. So, why not online files, too?
You never have to leave the comfort of your home, either, since you’ll be given access directly to the client’s computer. The job is pretty simple: organise files and folders with labels, delete what is superfluous and boost some storage.
50. Become a Voiceover Artist
Does your voice rival that of Herbert Marshall, Vin Diesel or Stone Cold Steve Austin? Chances are you would succeed in voiceover acting.
While many actors search for gigs in films, television and radio, there’s plenty of opportunity in the internet realm, from YouTube videos to voice assistance.
The internet has produced a vast ocean of opportunities. Some of them can be turned into lucrative seven-figure careers. Most of them are great at just supplementing your income.
Whatever the case, you have a whole planet to tap into, and you can succeed as long as you treat these endeavours like you would a real business. Whether it is testing websites in beta mode or publishing a digital magazine, you need to be on time, work full days and treat your work as if you were being supervised by your boss. Otherwise, your online business will flounder, and you will be stuck working for someone else again. And you don’t want that, do you?
Can you think of any other awesome online business ideas? Let us know in the comments below!