Digital media has brought tons of opportunities for individuals who want to leave the constraints of a job and start something of their own. Owning and maintaining an online business gives entrepreneurs the freedom to make money anywhere in the world. The idea is enticing and more possible than ever, but many entrepreneurs don’t 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. Whether you want to become a full-time entrepreneur or just to start a part-time business for passive income, your product or service should fulfill a specific consumer need.
Here are the top 10 best online business ideas you can explore.
1. Digital marketing
Digital marketing is in high demand right now. Since the emergence of online networking, companies have changed the way they used to advertise their products. For someone with an entrepreneur mindset, this is a good opportunity to establish your agency. You don’t have to be an expert in the field. You merely need a budget to build a professional team and a social circle to get started.
Having said that, digital marketing is a vast field and consists of multiple areas. You can offer general services or choose a micro-niche; it’s entirely up to you. Most brands spend more than 80% of their marketing budget on content, SEO, social networks, email, and PPC. This may help you narrow down the field.
2. Niche consultant
If an agency is not something you can consider at the moment, you can choose online consultancy as your business as well. Consultants are niche professionals who offer expert opinions to individuals and companies. It could be anything from a tech service, strategy to general personality development. Take life coaching, for example. A life coach’s job is to guide people on how to make their life better.
This career path is one of the most rapidly growing profession in the world, and demand is still rising. Remarkably enough, one doesn’t need legal certification to become a life coach. It certainly adds credibility but is not mandatory. You only require training, experience, and good marketing to establish your setup.
Everyone is or can be an expert in any field. If you’ve worked in HR, you can offer third-party consultancy services to small companies. If you’re good at managing finances, you can provide funds management advice and charge for your services. Discover what you’re interested in, get professional expertise in the field, and start your consultancy business. This field costs relatively little and offers a high potential for profit.
Dropshipping is another budget-friendly career option for entrepreneurs with limited resources. It is an outsourcing model, where you ask your supplier to deliver the goods directly to your customer without physically involving you. You essentially become an intermediary, handling only the online side of the business and earning a part of the sale.
It’s a cost-effective method that offers a high-profit margin as compared to those who keep their stock. It also makes it a lot easier for entrepreneurs to run their businesses without worrying about product stocking. More than 30% of stores use dropshipping to sell goods online. Most giant e-commerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Shopify accept this mode of retailing and host several businesses.
4. Print on demand
Print on demand is a business venture where you offer customization to your potential customers and reach out to a printing company to complete your order. It’s an incredibly affordable option for new entrepreneurs who have abundant creativity but lack investment for mass inventory. You can now make a contract with a third-party service and immediately start selling. Your printing partner handles all the order fulfillment from the item, printing, payment to delivery, making it easier for you to focus on designs.
If you’re interested, you can start with a personalized t-shirt product line. Its market has recently bloomed significantly due to the growing interest of the public in catchy lines, making it the best choice for your first launch. You wouldn’t have much trouble finding a printing partner. There’re tons of businesses providing multiple services from design generators, creative packaging, and more.
Self-publishing is a lucrative opportunity for those who love to write and have a good head for business. Previously, authors had had a hard time getting their books published, let alone generating revenue from it, without the backing of a house. But after Amazon introduced the KDP, tons of indie writers have become self-published authors and are now making a living out of it.
You might hear mixed opinions about self-publishing since several authors believe it is an unviable channel because they fail to generate substantial income. But the problem is not the field itself. Many generally try to market their books themselves and in the process, waste a lot of money. With the help of a professional marketer, you can save unnecessary expenses and make book writing your primary source of income.
Blogging is a popular content marketing channel for 50% of marketers to boost their site traffic. But over the years, a lot of people have had to turn it into a business and generate over $50,000 per year through their content alone. This is achievable through a number of ways such as affiliate marketing and advertising. You may not be aware, but around 42% of people check their favorite blogger’s product suggestions before making a purchase. This gives bloggers an edge to earn from brand ads, affiliated product reviews, and personal recommendations.
An average blogger can make around $8,000 per month with these forms of marketing alone. If you’re a foodie or personal finance expert, you can make even more from it. Discover what you love to talk about and start your blog, today. Once you’ve established a strong following, brands will actively reach out to you for sponsored posts. The best part is, you don’t have to learn how to code to create a blog. It’s not that complex either, thanks to no-code tools. There are many platforms you can use to start your blog for free and without any complexity.
Vlogging is one of the easiest businesses you can start with no skill and little investment. Video is a top entertainment channel that generates one of the highest traffic. With quality content and an excellent marketing strategy, you can build your audience, monetize your vlog and make a comfortable income from it. A vlogger with a million subscribers can earn up to $60K per year from YouTube.
There’s no age limit, content type, or restrictive criteria to become a vlogger. You can pretty much post any content your audience would like. Vlogging has now become a lucrative business venue for both individuals and companies alike. Discover which audience you want to target and start your vlog.
8. Virtual assistance
E-commerce has no doubt opened doors for millions of entrepreneurs to try their hand at online selling and scale their business to the international market. But along with it, it has also created an opportunity for people who may not have the resources to run their own business but have the knowledge to help someone else. They are commonly recognized as virtual assistants. Virtual assistants are in high demand because they save up to 78% operating costs of companies.
Most outsource them for social media management, project communication, email marketing, Amazon store, and customer service. If you’ve worked in an administrative capacity and have hands-on experience managing operations, you can become an independent contractor and generate between $19 to $32 per hour. It’s a lucrative business idea, and people have earned more than $55,000 annually from it.
Freelancing is a contract-based business venture that allows you to work with multiple clients without committing fully to anyone. It is an excellent career if you want the independence and flexibility that comes with owning a business but lack the capital to start one. You don’t particularly have to earn a degree to become a freelancer, nor do you have to invest in anything.
All you need is a skill you believe a company or individual would be willing to pay for it. There’re several legitimate freelancing platforms available where you can find authentic clients and get paid gigs. They offer you free space and charge only for the jobs you’ve landed. Explore the platforms to see what services are on-demand right now.
But just to give you an idea, the most popular skills trending these days are ghostwriting, graphic designing, accounting, web development, translating, video editing, and voice-over. However, you don’t have to limit yourself to the abovementioned fields. Build a decent client base from third-party platforms and you can later strike out on your own.
10. Online coaching
Online coaching, like freelancing, is also part of the gig economy that has been steadily growing in the last few years and has recently turned into a major revenue-generating field. Why? Because it is an affordable solution for professionals who want to either upgrade their experience, add value to their resume, or learn a new self-development skill. 77% of companies buy courses from the e-learning platform to speed up the employee training process and save costs.
You can tap into this target market and start a coaching business on e-learning platforms. On average, you can collect up to $1,000 to $2,000 per course monthly and generate more by publishing multiple courses at once. Teachers have gained as much as $4 million from their single courses in the past. The more enrollment you receive, the more you earn.
Running your business is extremely tough. You’d have to commit endless hours, probably sacrifice some of your personal time, and pour in all your energy to make it work. But, once it begins to generate income, the sense of accomplishment and content it would be is worth the efforts.