The way we work has changed forever. The pandemic 2020/21 has made people think about how they can future proof their income. Having a 9 to 5 job to support you and your family might not be enough. Adding another income stream (side hustle) is a must to cushion yourself against future negative economic events.
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 and business models 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.
1. Start a Blog and Monetize it
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, Linkedin, Reddit and eventually organic traffic, within 12 months you should be pulling in 30K to 50K unique visits 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 your own website making money!
You can get BlueHost’s basic hosting package for just $2.95 per month ( 36 months )
2. Become An Affiliate Marketer
One of the easiest business models to set up and to make a few bucks online with 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 Awin 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
Due to the rise in smartphones usage worldwide, 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. App development is certainly still in its infancy.
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 ( $29 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 eToro is a great place to start your Forex Trading education.
In fact, once you get the hang of it you can potentially earn a decent profit from exchanging foreign currencies and stocks. The goal of any successful trader is to recognize which currencies and stocks are more likely to increase or decrease in terms of value. The more you learn these strategies and principles, the more money you will inevitably earn.
If you want to test the water, then head over to Etoro and sign up to their free and user-friendly social 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.
65% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Etoro. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
8. Become A Crypto Trader
Crypto currency trading is the next big thing in finance. The value of crypto has shot up (AGAIN) in recent months with Bitcoin reaching over $40k 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. I use Binance for all my crypto trading.
9. 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.
Set Up an eCommerce Website
There’s no denying that eCommerce is a lucrative business avenue. By the end of 2021, eCommerce sales are expected to total around $4.9 trillion! In the United States, roughly 10 percent of all sales occur online, and that figure is expected to rise exponentially in the coming years.
It’s not just big-name selling platforms that are making a profit. Smaller eCommerce sites are raking in cash, too. To get a piece of the pie, you have to create your own site. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to get started.
Starting an eCommerce Site
There are several platforms to choose from. All of them have their pros and cons. More importantly, all platforms are pretty easy for a single person to manage.
It can take some time to learn the ins and outs of a platform. But once you know how to make listings, set prices, and customize the content, you’re all set.
Of course, there are a lot of other factors to consider. You must master the art of marketing and earn some traffic to make sales. Plus, you have to figure out what you’re going to sell!
Finding a Profitable Niche
What market you’re catering to can make all the difference. Take your time in researching profitable niches. Think about the demand your potential products have and what kind of growth you can expect in the future.
You don’t want to choose a niche that nobody cares about. Avoid obsolete products or goods that your audience can get at the local corner store.
Another thing you’ll want to consider is the costs associated with getting products to your customers. How much will you make after you factor in supplier fees, manufacturing, shipping, and distribution?
You don’t have to sell custom products. Dropshipping platforms make it easy to sell in-demand goods without ever holding a product in your hands. But if you want to have ultimate control over your business and profit margin, you might have to get more creative with your market.
Ultimately, starting an eCommerce store has endless possibilities. There are so many ways to go about your eCommerce business. No matter what you sell or how your shop evolves, having access to online shoppers is a fantastic start.
10. 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, LinkedIn 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. Become An Influencer
Influencers have taken the marketing industry by storm in the last two decades. Before the dawn of social media, the concept was unheard of. Back then, the only person brands could get to endorse their products were big-name celebrities. But today, influencers and social media stars are celebrities in their own right!
An Influencer is a person who connects with an audience and inspires them to try products or services. The term came to be around the late 2000s when YouTube became a huge hit. Personalities started to amass millions of followers, and companies began to notice.
Before long, YouTubers and Instagram stars were raking in millions of dollars. They’re a go-to for many companies because of the intimate and direct connections they have with followers.
Why Become an Influencer?
Influencers have a bit of a reputation for being vapid. But in reality, they are cunning business people. No matter the niche, influencers have the unique opportunity to make money just from being themselves. It’s a lucrative and enticing business opportunity!
At its core, social media influencing is all about marketing. You must market yourself to attract an audience before you get brand deals to market products. It’s like a crash course in the world of advertising. Many influencers have a successful career doing the same thing for years. Others transition to other business ventures. Either way, that experience in marketing can prove to be very useful!
Another big perk of becoming an influencer is that you have complete control over your job. Brands may have their own advertising guidelines you have to follow. But other than that, you’re free to set your path. Choose your business fees and market products that you believe in!
Influencers get the chance to discover new products and services all the time! If you’re in high-demand, you get to pick and choose which goods you endorse. It’s the ultimate “be your own boss” opportunity!
Is Being an Influencer Difficult?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not hard to become an influencer. In the past, getting those lucrative brand deals was tough. You needed millions of followers across all social media channels for brands to even consider you! But, things have changed a lot recently.
Big-name influencers got into some trouble for dishonest marketing techniques. As a result, brands started shifting the focus towards smaller influencers. Often dubbed “Micro-Influencers,” these individuals have a smaller following. But more often than not, their followers are more engaged.
You don’t have to be a social media superstar to start your business. All it takes is some loyal and dedicated fans!
14. Create WordPress Themes and Sell Them
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.
15. 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.