12 Online Business Ideas

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From a business perspective, working from home brings all sorts of benefits, allowing you to focus without noisy office distractions. At home, there aren’t hundreds of phones ringing relentlessly, or any colleagues chatting loudly about Game of Thrones.

It’s no wonder, then, that 90% of homeworkers say they plan on working remotely for the rest of their careers. If you’re looking to join this cohort of happy remote workers, or looking for some cash on the side, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Below, we’ve assembled 12 of the best online business ideas for 2021 – covering everything from Skype coaching to resume-writing – along with details on how much you could earn and how to get started.

So, where will your next business venture take you?

1. Blogging

One of the most popular online business ideas for beginners is to start a blog. It’s fun, creative, provides value to internet users, and can earn you plenty of cash. 

According to Financial Samurai, bloggers can earn between $10 and $100 per month from 1,000 monthly visits. So, how do you start making blog money? 

First off, you need to find a topic that engages users. Whether your blog’s about Vietnam War photography or the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat, you can make money from your website as long as your blog is getting the internet traffic.

Second of all, you need a blogging platform. While we’d always recommend blogging on WordPress, there are many different blogging platforms out there that you may prefer.

Lastly, you need to decide how you’ll monetize your blog – this can be done through avenues like selling ad space or affiliate marketing (more on that below). 

To earn serious cash, though, you’ll need to get serious with your content pipeline – that is, you should aim to produce at least three valuable, high-quality articles per week. 

online business ideas blog
WordPress and its themes have all the ingredients you need to cook up a tasty-looking blog

2. Affiliate Marketing

With this type of marketing, you can earn money by promoting somebody else’s product through your own website. It’s like earning commission – the affiliate (that’d be you) receives monetary rewards from a business for each visitor you direct to the other website.

But is there a demand for it? You bet there is. 

We spoke with Hannah Strong, Head of Marketing at the global digital marketing agency Silverbean/AGY47, who says that all types of businesses can benefit from affiliate marketing: 

affiliate marketing online business idea
Hannah Strong, digital marketing expert

People often associate only vouchers and cashback sites with affiliate programmes, but it’s important to take other methods into account such as business products/services partnerships and social influencers when establishing a healthy affiliate mix. A well-considered affiliate marketing funnel will support every stage of the customer’s journey, and can boost online sales.

With a successful affiliate programme, everyone’s a winner. You get paid, while the business increases its revenue.

To get started, you need to get in contact with businesses to strike up a partnership. Alternatively, you can use Amazon’s Associates Program, where you’ll find millions of products you could write about. Aside from building your own website, you’ll also need to brush up on your SEO (search engine optimization) in order to get your website to rank higher on the search results page.

By reviewing products and driving visitors to another company’s site, you could earn up to 50% commission, but it really depends on the products you’re promoting. With Amazon’s affiliate scheme, you can earn up to 10% of the price of the product you sell.

Further reading:

Digital Marketing tipspick up the latest tricks of the trade today

3. Ecommerce Store Owner

What if we said you could build a shop quickly and easily from your armchair? That’s right – with the best ecommerce website builders, you can start selling products online within a few hours, making it one of the most fruitful online business ideas from home.

There are so many ecommerce platforms out there that it can be hard to choose one. However, you can’t really go wrong with either Wix or Shopify for easily building professional-looking online stores. If money’s on your mind, then you can save some cash by using a free online store builder instead.

shopify store online business ideas
With Shopify, you can build a stunning ecommerce website within a few hours

Building a successful online store is a relatively straightforward process, but it takes a lot of hard work. You’ll need to find a niche market, promote your business online, start accepting payments, and figure out how to deliver your sold items. But once you’ve ticked all those boxes, there’s no reason why your online store can’t turn isolation into remuneration.

No two ecommerce sites are truly the same, so the amount of revenue a store will earn will vary from business to business.

Further reading:

How to Sell Alcohol Online – Use our step-by-step guide and learn how to sell alcohol online in the US

How to Sell Car Parts Online – Our seven-step guide walks you through how to successfully showcase, sell, and ship auto parts online

4. Facebook Ad Specialist

Many businesses know that advertising on social media can bring great rewards, but they’re just not sure on the best practice. With that in mind, you could learn to become a Facebook Ad Specialist, and provide your skills to wanting businesses. This will be really easy to do if you have some digital marketing knowledge already, but it’s also easy for beginners to learn the ropes of Facebook advertising.

There are many online guides on creating Facebook ads, but you can usually learn how to create effective adverts within 24 hours. Like all crafts, though, your Facebook Ad skills will improve the more willing you are to research and learn.

online business ideas facebook ad specialist
Facebook ads are extremely valuable for businesses, yet simple to create

Further reading:

Best Online Marketing CoursesLearn how to create the perfect Facebook ad with an expertly-led online course

5. Resume Writer

Your skills as a writer could help someone land their perfect job. That means you can get paid and feel good about yourself – kerching! But is it a role worth your time?

Beautifully crafted resumes are like gold dust. What’s more, approximately 77% of hiring managers immediately disqualify resumes due to grammatical mistakes. It’s no wonder, then, that you can earn a median salary of up to $58,000 just for writing resumes – it’s no job for any old fool with a pen and paper!

Writing resumes as a freelancer gives you flexibility. For example, your client may ask you to create an online resume through a website builder (which can help your work experience stand out among the competition), or produce a single resume document file.

resume writer online business ideas
You can easily set up a profile on freelance writer websites to guarantee a steady workflow

6. App Development

With so many people isolating at home, the demand for smartphone entertainment has expectedly risen. Studies show that the average American checks their phone every 12 minutes, with 90% of that mobile time spent on apps. Already adept at building apps? Then what better time to apply your know-how.

You can easily develop apps from your home, with Android and Apple’s app marketplaces offering fruitful opportunities. When selling apps, there are no shipping costs to worry about, and the apps themselves cost almost nothing to create. You can even earn thousands of dollars every month just through ad revenue if your app performs well online.

online business ideas app development
You can also build profiles on freelance app development websites to get your name out there

7. Buy and Sell Domains

You can buy domains and sell them for profit in the same way you can flip houses. Hang on, what is a domain, exactly? Simply put, it’s the name of your website – e.g. ‘websitebuilderexpert.com – and it’s what makes your website unique.

Before you start, it’s important that you understand the basic costs of domains, and that you know which domains are available. You can do this by checking out domain auction websites such as AfterNic.com, Sedo.com, and Flippa.com, which all function similarly to eBay. 

How much could you earn? Quite a lot, as it turns out. Domains such as ‘Crackers.com’ have been assigned price ranges of $25,000 to $49,999 on auction websites. And, given that internet users are constantly ‘dropping’ (deregistering) domains for a whole number of reasons, you’re guaranteed a deep pool of domain names to buy and sell from.

online business ideas for beginners domain auction website

8. Online Marketplace Vendor

Selling on eBay or Amazon could be your next full time job – provided you know how to price a product properly. Amazon ran a survey about its sellers, and discovered that four times as many sellers make a million dollars on Amazon than on eBay (something to bear in mind when choosing which marketplace to use).

However, the same survey revealed 35.3% of eBay sellers gain between $10,000 and $100,000 in revenue each year. Wherever you are in the world, it’s best to choose the most popular online marketplace in your country to give yourself the best chance of success.

online business ideas from home amazon seller
Selling via online marketplaces can expose your products to millions of potential buyers

9. Freelance Web Design

Are you creative, with a keen eye for slick layouts? Then you should consider freelance web design. You can earn money creating professional websites for businesses, artists, friends, and family, or anyone that needs an online presence. 

Learning how to design a website doesn’t need to be complicated. You can easily design sleek sites using website builders, or you can begin learning how to code through various online courses if you’d like more creative control over your websites. We need to give a quick shout out to the website builder, Duda – we believe it’s the best website builder for pro web designers.

best online business ideas duda website builder
Duda is the best website builder for pro designers, providing complex design tools and stunning templates

10. Vlogging

On mobile devices alone, YouTube reaches more 18-49 year olds than any broadcast or cable TV network. Internet users want to see more than just written content – they now prefer vlogging, the more engaging and entertaining version of blogging.

The average YouTube channel receives around $18 per 1,000 ad views, which equates to around $3 to $5 per 1,000 video views. To start making money through YouTube, all you need is a camera, a microphone, and a content topic that provides valuable, shareable information to your visitors.

Before you can switch ads on, however, you’ll need to first hit 1,000 subscribers and gain 4,000 public watch hours, so it requires some dedication at the beginning before you start earning money.

online business ideas for beginners youtube vlog
Producing popular vlogs on YouTube can generate a sizeable income

11. Skype Coaching

Sharing wisdom, advice, or skills via Skype gives you the flexibility to reach anyone in the world, at any time. If you already have life-coaching expertise, then maybe it’s time you turned to the camera to reach a wider audience.

If you’re looking to get started with your coaching career, then it pays to know how much it pays – life coaches make on average $160 per hour, while business coaches usually make up to $235 per hour.

online business ideas skype coach
Skype coaching allows you to connect with new people around the world, at any given time

12. Podcasting

According to Edison Research from June 2019, approximately 90 million Americans tuned in to a podcast in the previous month. That’s over a third of the entire population, drinking in the spoken words of podcasters – and your voice could be next. 

Such a large podcast audience means one thing. That’s right – advertising income! The average podcast advertising rates are $18 CPM (cost per 1,000 listeners) for a 30-second advert, and $25 CPM for a 60-second advert. 

Like blogging and vlogging, the key to successful podcasting is finding a niche topic (or at the very least, an interesting one). However, before you can monetize your podcast, you’ll need to build trust among your audience. You can do by consistently producing useful and interesting content, and by using one of our top podcast website templates to create a nice-looking website for your show.

best online business ideas podcasting
Sites like Anchor have made it possible for anyone to achieve their podcasting dreams

12 Best Online Business Ideas: Summary

These days, the world wide web is a land of opportunity – and we’re living in a very exciting era. There are all sorts of money-making routes you can take, but let’s recap our best suggestions from today…

The best online business ideas are:

  1. Blogging
  2. Affiliate Marketing
  3. Ecommerce Store Owner
  4. Facebook Ad Specialist
  5. Resume Writer
  6. App Development
  7. Buy and Sell Domains
  8. Online Marketplace Vendor
  9. Freelance Web Design
  10. Vlogging
  11. Skype Coaching
  12. Podcasting

There are many different ways to make money online, whether it’s a full time job or a hobby on the side – you just need to get the right resources, find the passion, and (most importantly) have fun!

Written by:

I used to think website design was just for professionals. Because maybe like you, I have no coding or design experience. But, with the help of our expert researchers (and after testing every website builder myself), I can confidently guide you through on how to get the most out of each one.

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