22 online business ideas:Owning and maintaining an online business gives entrepreneurs the freedom to make money from anywhere in the world. The idea is attractive, and it is more possible than ever before, but many entrepreneurs do not know where to start. The most important step in starting a profitable online business is to find a business idea that matches your skills and strengths. Compare major credit card processing providers to find a partner who can help you accept payments online.Whether you’re looking to become a full-time entrepreneur or just start a part-time business for passive income, your product or service should address a specific consumer need. We have compiled a series of profitable needs-based businesses with minimal start-up costs that you can start as soon as possible.
1. Small Business Consultant
If you have a lot of business experience and knowledge, why not start a business that helps newbie entrepreneurs succeed? As a business consultant, you can use your skills to help new business owners get off to a good start and help experienced entrepreneurs meet demand. Your chance of success is greater if your strategy focuses on a specialized aspect of business consulting. To add to your credibility, demonstrate your expertise and attract customers, it is useful to be present in the digital business community.
Note: Use your business experience and knowledge to help newbie entrepreneurs succeed.
2. Social Media Consultant
Larger businesses may hire an agency or full-time staff member to manage their social media accounts, but smaller businesses often have to manage their own social media marketing. With so many responsibilities, business owners are often too busy, overwhelmed, or undereducated about the importance of a social media presence to spend time developing and implementing a great social media strategy. As a social media consultant, you can help small businesses determine the best tactics, post schedules and content for their target audience. As their number of subscribers increases, your business will also increase.
Facebook and Twitter are still the main business networks, but businesses often tend to struggle with more visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Snapchat. All of these platforms have a huge consumer audience, but many companies are not aware of their size, how effective they are, and how to make them work for their brand. If you have a background in social media marketing and a passion for photography, focus your consulting business on a specific platform, like Instagram,
Note: Help businesses understand the importance of social media and grow their social following with your expertise.
If you know the ins and outs of search engines and have technical skills on platforms such as Google Ads, google search console, Google Analytics, or bing webmasters tools becoming an SEO consultant could be a lucrative option for you. Many small business owners don’t realize how much impact search engine optimization (SEO) can have on their business. Start your online consulting business by educating these business owners on the power of SEO to help them transform their websites and increase their conversion rates.
You can use your marketing skills to show business owners the benefits of using data analytics, strategic keywords, and content structure to get more organic web traffic. If you are unfamiliar with SEO or want to brush up on your digital marketing skills, you can refer to Udemy or youtube for training.
Keep in mind that Google’s algorithms are constantly changing, so you’ll need to continue your SEO training to stay relevant and successful in this field.
Note: Educate small businesses on the importance of SEO and help them grow their online presence.
4. Virtual Assistant
Do you have impeccable organizational skills and task management abilities? Maybe it’s time to put those skills to good use by becoming a virtual assistant. VA (Virtual Assistance) services generally consist of basic administrative tasks such as entering data, making travel arrangements and answering phone calls. Prior experience in this field is ideal but not required.
Platforms like Zirtual and TaskRabbit make it easy for AV professionals to find jobs. They allow you to create an online profile and sign up for tasks you want to perform – such as data research, virtual assistance, or basic errands – and start building a customer base.
Note: Become a virtual assistant to remotely help others with their administrative tasks.
5. Affiliate Marketer
If you enjoy leaving customer reviews on sites like Amazon, you might want to look into affiliate marketing as a source of income. Word of mouth advertising is still a huge lead generator for many businesses, and many companies are willing to share some of their profits with persuasive people who will promote their products to the public.
Affiliate programs are broken down into different levels of involvement: unattached, linked and involved. Untethered affiliate marketing is a basic pay per click campaign that requires little to no involvement with the product you are promoting. Affiliate marketing requires you to have some authority and content over the product you are marketing, but you are not personally using the product. Affiliate marketing involved is perhaps the most effective because you will be marketing a product that you actually use and enjoy.
If you have a personal website or social media presence with a large number of followers, affiliate programs can be a cost-effective approach for you. PR reps are always on the lookout for brand advocates and influencers to send free samples to.
Note: Those with a large number of social media followers or an online presence can channel this power to create income through affiliate marketing.
6. Remote technical support
Many small businesses don’t have room in their budget to hire a full-time IT employee, so when their systems are running, they usually call a computer-savvy friend or family member. If you’re tech-savvy and have experience working with computers and networks, you can eliminate their need to call in favor by offering immediate remote technical support.
Although some companies may prefer that you have a technical degree, many will look to your experience and knowledge instead. You can start growing your remote tech support business by reaching out to friends, family, and local business owners about their tech support needs. You can also find freelance tech support gigs on job boards like Upwork .
Note: Use your tech magic to offer remote tech support.
7. Handmade Artisan Seller
As merchants shift their sales to e-commerce, online marketplaces for handmade goods, like Etsy and ArtFire, are making it easier for artisans who can produce a steady supply of quality crafts, such as blankets, crochet or single painted glassware. If you have a unique job, selling your products on an e-commerce site is a great way to earn an income while you’re at home doing what you love.
The start-up costs for this business idea are extremely low if you purchase your crafting materials in bulk from a craft supplier. If you can create and sell your artwork quickly on an online store, you’ll be making a profit in no time. Local artisans experience greater success when promoting their businesses on social media.
Note: Use your creative genius to sell handmade crafts online.
8. Niche market e-commerce retailer
There’s an audience for everything, even if it’s as specific as dollhouse furniture or organic dog food. With a niche e-commerce site, you can reach customers who are looking for your specific products. Building a business in a niche market can help you differentiate yourself from other brands and build your credibility and expertise. Look to social media or your own consumer needs to find a product to sell on your online store.
To get your e-commerce business up and running, all you need is a web hosting service with an integrated shopping cart feature or e-commerce software. To simplify the shipping process, you can work with vendors to ship products to customers on your behalf. This can reduce the amount of inventory you need to keep on hand.
Note: If you have a niche product or service to sell, consider starting an online store.
If you want to run an e-commerce site, you might be worried about stockpiling inventory. With dropshipping, you can take customer orders on an online store and send them directly to a third-party retailer for fulfillment. As long as your business model involves selling items for more than what you will pay the third-party retailer, your dropshipping business will be poised for success.
Note: You can use dropshipping to have a third-party retailer fulfill your online commerce orders.
10. Web Designer or Web Developer
If you’re a creative, digital professional who thrives on a website’s layout, visual theme, font scheme, and color scheme, freelance web design may be a good path for you. If you have little or no experience in this field, you can learn the basics of web design and master the tools you’ll need to succeed, like Adobe XD, Chrome DevTools, and text editing software.
Put your technical and creative skills to use for business owners who want to take their online presence to the next level. Build a full portfolio, then create your own website to show it off and attract a steady stream of customers.
Note: Becoming a web designer or developer is a great option for those with technical savvy.
Blogging might seem like an outdated business strategy because almost everyone already has one, but the competition shouldn’t deter you from starting this online business journey. If you enjoy writing or have important information to share, blogging can be a profitable business for you.
Starting a blog as a business is very easy with website builders like Weebly and WordPress, but the key to success is consistency and quality. To gain a regular audience, you must continually write and produce high-quality content that provides value to your readers. Content that educates, informs, or entertains your readers gives them a reason to follow you.
Once you’ve mastered creating consistent content, you can make money from your blog by selling products such as online courses, digital coaching, ebooks, or webinars. You can also sell ad space or sponsored posts. This business strategy may take a bit more time and effort to monetize, but it can be very profitable in the end.
Note: If you are good at writing with consistent content, you can turn your blog into a business.
12. Application Developer
If you have an app idea but don’t know the ins and outs of coding, many software developers are looking to collaborate with people on app creation. Depending on your situation and your know-how, you may be able to do a lucrative business of developing applications.
Note: Create the best mobile app by becoming an app developer.
13. Search engine
Google and Bing are ubiquitous, but they don’t necessarily meet the needs of all users. If you’re an expert in a certain area, create your own search engine that helps people with less knowledge find what they’re looking for. Your chances of success may be higher if your search engine gives users the option to insert parameters, such as subtopics and source type, rather than just performing a general search.
Note: Build a niche search engine that can meet specific user needs.
14. Tutoring Business
Just because someone takes a course in a subject doesn’t mean they understand it well. If you’re good at explaining things to someone in a one-to-one setting and have a lot of experience and knowledge in a subject, consider starting an online tutoring business in that area. You can use video chat tools like Skype to conduct remote tutoring sessions and offer your knowledge to anyone, anytime, anywhere. Consider incorporating a budget for ads on Craigslist and Fiverr into your business model.
Note: Put your advanced knowledge in a specific subject to good use by tutoring students virtually.
15. Online courses
As with tutoring, people around the world could benefit from you sharing your expertise with them. Starting an online business that offers online courses to anyone interested in the subject can easily earn you money – you can sell prepared written materials or other downloadable content for a fee.
Note: Create and sell online courses on a familiar topic.
16. YouTube Channel
YouTube makes it particularly easy to start an online education business. Upload videos of yourself educating viewers on any topic, beginner or advanced, and use social media to spread awareness about your channel. As your viewership grows, you will be able to monetize your videos and profit from them.
Note: Use your video creation expertise to make money from visual media on YouTube.
Some people looking for one-on-one help might want something more than lessons. People who want help advancing their careers, improving their nutrition, or finding more meaning in their lives could benefit from your coaching through video chat software like Zoom or Skype. Rather than giving exercises and notes, as a telecoach your goal is to offer advice, guidelines and support to your clients. If you run a blog for your business or post regularly on LinkedIn about the topics you coach on, you’ll seem more trustworthy and knowledgeable.
Note: Offer virtual one-on-one coaching via video chat software.
18. Podcast Network
The last few years have seen an explosion in podcast availability and listening, and you can capitalize on this by starting your own podcast network. You can feed the network with all the podcasts you record, but if you give other people – be they friends or internet strangers – the ability to contribute their own podcasts, your network will probably grow faster. As your network grows, you can increase the price per podcast download.
Note: Create a podcast talking about something you are passionate about and know about.
19. Technical Writer
The internet is full of writers for hire, but only a few of those writers have the technical background to properly write an instruction manual for a large machine or properly convey scientific results. If you have a science background and can write about it, start an online business where people can hire your technical writing services. Advertise yourself on LinkedIn, Fiverr and other platforms to attract customers.
Note: Use your technical expertise to write technical documents and manuals.
20. Resume and Cover Letter Writer
Almost everyone has asked for help from other people when writing resumes or cover letters. Offer your expertise in crafting compelling resumes and cover letters to anyone who wants to hire you. Provide examples of not only resumes and cover letters from other people you’ve helped with, but also successful resumes and cover letters to increase your chances of successfully starting an online business.
Note: Help job seekers by helping them write the perfect resumes and cover letters.
21. Corporate Counsel
Businesses need lawyers to protect them in legal matters and educate them on what they can and cannot do. By starting an online consulting firm, you can offer corporate workers a way to keep their legal affairs in order without the commitment, exorbitant fees, and extensive in-person engagements of traditional lawyers. You’ll need to prove you’ve passed the bar exam to build a clientele and make it clear that your business is fully online – because when it comes time for your client to go to court, they’ll need to hire a lawyer in their area who may represent him before a judge or jury.
Note: Provide affordable legal services as corporate counsel.
22. Startup Advisor
Many of the world’s biggest tech companies started out as small startups still figuring out the right business model to succeed. As a start-up consultant, you can advise tomorrow’s businesses today. Use whatever expertise you have in corporate finance, software development, and other relevant areas to provide new businesses with the knowledge they need to succeed. As these startups succeed, your business will also succeed.