Thursday, May 23, 2024

17 Best Online Business Ideas to Start Now (no money required)

How To Start an Online Business

Starting an online business can be a rewarding experience, but it requires planning and effort. Before you begin, educating yourself on legal regulations, accounting practices, and other relevant skills is important. However, once your business takes off and starts making money, it will be well worth all of the hard work and time you invested in starting it up.

There is no one formula for starting a successful online business, but you can follow some steps to maximize your chances.

1. Choose a business idea or industry that matches your interests and abilities.

2. Find a business niche that capitalizes on unmet needs in the marketplace.

3. Research your competitors, your market, and the viability of your product.

4. Educate yourself about the laws that apply to online businesses.

5. Create your brand identity.

6. Create a marketing strategy that incorporates various promotional tactics (e.g., website, SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, etc.)

7. Begin Getting Customers.

This is just the gist of it, if you are serious about your intentions, I recommend diving into this article that explains how to start a business in-depth, and also you might want to check out 7 time-wasters to avoid when starting a business, to make sure you are on the right track. 

17 Best Online Business Ideas to Get You Started 

Our requirements for this list were pretty straightforward. It must be quick and easy to set up, low-cost, and with minimal training. Some you won’t even have to leave your full-time job for, as they’re simple enough to run as a side gig. Sounds simple enough, so let’s jump in, and check out this list of online business ideas:

1. Website Designer 

If this option curls your toes and gives you nightmares that you’ll need to learn advanced coding, relax. There are a few basic HTML courses that will teach you the basics of a good site. Combine your new skills with platforms such as Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace and you have a decent side hustle on your hands in web design. 

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist 

Hubspot and Udemy have some neat courses for those looking to get into SEO. While it may seem like a lot to know, once you know it, it’s simply a matter of keeping up to speed with the latest algorithm updates. It’s also pretty quick to set up the business, as a mere website or online profile with a portfolio of projects will suffice. As a start, you can test your SEO skills on local businesses or friends’ websites. 

3. Freelance Writer 

There are several niches to enter here: copywriter, content writer, journalist, ghostwriter, technical writer, academic writer, and more. It all depends on where your skills are and your writing preferences. It’s easy enough to create a profile and once you’ve decided on your niche, showcase your work samples on sites such as Fiverr and People Per Hour. 

Freelance writing also includes ebooks and self-publishing books on sites such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. The benefit of publishing books is the potential for passive income, especially with the right marketing. This can easily become a full-time gig when you start cranking out those novels. Check out this article on 3 unique online business ideas for writers for extra inspo. 

4. Content Strategist 

This is a new role that’s only been floating around the internet for a few years, but if you have a marketing background, this should be in your wheelhouse. You would work with content writers, copywriters, and SEO specialists to develop a content plan for your client. Best part? It can be completely remote and you can do it freelance. Content strategists are in high demand right now, so brush up on your editing skills (yes, you’ll wear many hats) and get your toes in the water. 

5. Virtual Assistant

If you’re an ace at arranging family vacations and organizing your spouse’s calendar, then you’re already halfway there to becoming a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants can work remotely and the role is mostly freelance. The rate is per hour, which means that you’ll build your earnings relatively quickly. The best part? There’s no shortage of jobs for this at the moment. With the increase in work-from-home culture, you may land a few great gigs relatively early in your search. 

6. Dropshipping 

This is a favorite and it’s because it’s as easy as cereal for breakfast. You don’t have to give it much thought, there’s no office space required or warehousing. You simply need to set up a website, find your suppliers, and list the goods. The suppliers ship from their warehouses and you earn your profit. It really is as simple as that. What you may need to take heed of, however, is that you need to suss out your suppliers as your business is only as strong as their commitment to the fulfillment process. 

7. Online Coaching 

If you’re that guy that’s constantly teaching others to do stuff then you have a marketable skill. Which could lead to a lucrative coaching career. Pay attention to what your loved ones say. You might find a certain task easier than others because you’ve devised a unique method or simply through experience. For instance, if you have a knack for starting up side hustles, you’re good at relationships, or you have a knack for organizing, those might be skills others would pay for. Package it into courses and making money online has never been easier. 

8. Start a YouTube Channel 

While you’ll need to know which market you’re going to tap into, starting a YouTube channel can be a lucrative source of income. (Don’t have to take my word for it, just check out these crazy amounts that YouTubers are earning) You don’t have to sit around and wait for sponsorship deals either. Income streams on YouTube can include ad revenue, merchandise, and revenue from YouTube Premium. In terms of gear, many start out with a good smartphone and an external microphone until their channel can pay for better gear. 

9. Become a culinary wunderkind… Even if you’re not 

Want to know what Rachael Ray’s claim to fame is? She helped working parents make meals in 30 minutes or less. This made her an invaluable resource on daytime television and it wasn’t long before she blossomed into a celebrity chef. So if you have skills in the kitchen that simplify your life, create better recipes, or allow your foodies to go down that “smells like my Nana’s” road, then you might just have a sellable skill. In fact, my very own mom made $1,773 from an online cooking class teaching people how to cook Indian food. 

There are several ways to promote this skill too, from that YouTube channel to a recipe book and everything in between. Before you know it, you have the perfect recipe for a home business. 

10. Music production 

Software such as Logic and Ableton allow everyone to have a go at music production. The best part is that music production is a highly lucrative industry as there is quite a high demand for clips, jingles, backing tracks, samples, and full tracks. Platforms like Soundcloud make it even easier to market and sell your music. 

11. Fitness anyone? 

Let’s face it. We want to look good (and be healthy) but get there with as little effort as possible. You have a market if you have a history of fitness and can incorporate it into online classes or exercise plans. You may even tap into certain niches, for instance, developing plans for certain sports disciplines. Add a diet plan to the mix and you’re good to go. As long as you have all the right disclaimers in place, that is. 

12. Tap into coffee culture 

Coffee is great. Not only does it make interactions with other humans more bearable, but it also happens to be the gift that keeps giving. Become a reseller of coffee paraphernalia such as pour-over equipment, ground coffee, coffee beans, specialty gear, and the work. At the very least, you’ll be your own best customer. 

13. Sell on Amazon 

We love this topic so much that we’ve decided to do a deep dive and offer you an in-depth look at how to make money on Amazon. You can sell your own products, products on arbitrage, or even wholesale items. Then of course there’s the no-stock option which allows you to earn an income from affiliate marketing where you earn a fee in promoting products on Amazon. 

Amazon also allows you to sell professional services through its Amazon Services platform. These services include business services, events, and home maintenance. 

14. Become a tutor 

This is where you harness your inner Pythagoras or Ernest Hemingway and offer tutoring services. The more credentials you have, the more you can charge. Also, it’s worth knowing that if you have skills in a niche topic, you may get away with charging a little extra. 

15. Secondhand books dealer 

It’s time to appease all the bibliophiles in your community and source books with the aim of reselling them. You may need to sacrifice some space on the dining room table to keep your stock, but as your skills improve, you start developing n eye for rare and pricey books. This is typical of a weekend hobby turning into a lucrative online store. 

16. Create an online marketplace for local sellers 

Local artisans and crafters often need markets to sell their wares. These markets aren’t pandemic or weatherproof which can result in a dent in their earnings. By creating a local marketplace online, the merchants have a marketplace and you have products you don’t have to manufacture. 

17. Your professional skills 

Graphic designers are a great example of a professional skill that can easily turn into a very lucrative online business. There is no end to clients, platforms, and marketplaces you can penetrate. It also happens to be a skill set that’s easy to learn if you happen to have the right artsy background. If you have a knack for fine arts, for instance, you can also tap into illustration.

Another skill that translates well online is accounting. Whether you’re an up-and-coming accountant for a corporation or a bookkeeper for a small business your skills are valuable to others.

This might seem like a spreadsheet and ledgers game,  but there are several accounting software packages that can make this an entirely online business. However, online accounting might be regional only, as there are different accounting and bookkeeping practices across states or countries. 

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