I had been dreaming of starting my own online business long before I quit my last job.
For me, money wasn’t the determining factor.
I was looking forward to the various types of freedom an online business brings to the table – the freedom to work according to your own values, the freedom to work when you want to and the freedom to choose the income generation model on your own.
Looking for an online business without investment ideas that capitalized on my strengths, I eventually started working as a freelance writer. In time, I also took up blogging and ebook writing. Together, these activities contribute to a nice monthly income, freeing me from having to seek a job (hopefully, I’ll never have to go back to regular employment).
Are you looking for the best online business ideas?
These are the opportunities enabling you to do something you’re passionate about. At the same time, there should be a sufficient market for the product or service you plan to offer.
To start an online business, you have to do your homework. Some online business ideas are much better than others and they’ll help you begin monetizing your efforts faster.
How to Identify the Best Online Business Ideas
Choosing the best business idea is dependent on several key considerations.
Start with a niche that you’re passionate about. It should be far from generic but don’t narrow it down too much either. If you do, you will benefit from limited monetization opportunities.
Once you know your niche, you will have to conceptualizer a product or a service. These will need to be planned carefully – you want to offer something that clients will be willing to buy time and time again.
A high profit margin is also required for successful long-term and sustainable online business establishment.
Think about the amount of money you can invest in getting started. Some of the best online business ideas require very little investment. When I got started, I had to acquire solely a good laptop, a website hosting package and a domain. Add a reliable internet connection to the mix and I was ready to embark on my online business adventure.
Eventually, I had to go through company registration (with its fees) and the selection of the right accounting company. These, however, are minor expenditures in comparison to what entrepreneurs have to put in regular rather than digital businesses.
If you don’t know what you want to do or which ideas can be monetized, I’ve compiled a list of nice online business opportunities that I believe can prove to be very successful in the long run.
Let’s start the list of the best online business ideas with app building.
The global mobile app development market is expected to register growth of over 14 percent by 2022. It will exceed 200 billion dollars by 2022.
The mobile apps market itself will grow at a CAGR of 18 percent in the period until 2023. Innovative apps like those based on augmented reality and virtual reality will lead the way.
If you have the skills to develop your own app, you can get started right away. Otherwise, you’ll have to hire a developer to execute the idea you’ve conceptualized.
Take a look at the apps that are doing well right now to see what people are looking for. A good idea will be determining for the success of your endeavors. It’s also very important to develop an entire portfolio of apps, if you want to ensure sustainable monetization.
A good income generation models will also be required. In the beginning, it’s not a particularly bright idea to start with paid apps. To build your reputation, offer apps for free. These could either feature ads or paid ad-ons.
As you get some positive reviews and you enhance your reputation, you’ll find it much easier to launch paid apps that will actually sell.
Writing and Selling Ebooks
Just like in the case of app creation, you will need a good portfolio of ebooks to ensure consistent monetization. That’s what makes the difference between the generation of some passive income and the creation of a solid business model.
I’ve been writing ebooks for some time now and these can really be turned into a successful business.
Start by looking for the right niche. Self-help and non-fiction books are easier to write if you’re not an experienced fiction creator. Also, you should opt for self-publishing opportunities like those provided by Kindle Direct Publishing.
The Amazon marketplace is definitely the largest one but it’s not the only ebook selling platform to target.
I use Draft2Digital to manage my ebooks across various marketplaces. Some of the ebook selling platforms that Draft2Digital features include Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Apple Books, Scribd, Bibliotheca, Bakers&Taylor, Playster, 24Symbols and Scribd.
Develop a Network of Online Content Platforms
To earn a lot more, however, you should consider the creation of a network of multiple blogs.
A range of niche blogs will help you target different audiences and monetize in more than one way. Through a network, for example, you can access different affiliate marketing offers that will be relevant to the respective crowd you’re targeting.
Blogs can also be monetized through display advertising, subscription-based content access, paid reviews and articles and even product sales.
Start by working on the content concept and the creation of articles following your editorial schedule.
Once you have a loyal audience established, you can start looking for the right monetization opportunities.
Blogging and affiliate marketing rank among the best online business ideas. You should definitely sign up for accounts with some of the best affiliate marketing networks – Commission Junction, Max Bounty and FlexOffers.
I personally enjoy MaxBounty and FlexOffers a lot due to the extensive range of advertisers. There are both CPA and CPL campaigns and the commissions vary. In some of the instances, you’ll have to apply for an affiliate marketing opportunity and beginners could potentially be turned down. Still, there are a lot of publicly available offers that can be featured on any kind of blog.
Ecommerce Website Development & Dropshipping
Online business opportunities that focus on the sale of physical products can work in two distinctive ways – you can sell your own products or you can opt for the dropshipping model (a dropshipping guide will be coming to the site shortly).
Whichever option you choose, you’ll have to start with ecommerce website development.
Building an online shop is easier than ever today – there are themes for WordPress you can acquire free of charge and there are various great alternatives.
BigCommerce is a specialized ecommerce website design platform that has established itself as one of the big market players.
There are numerous themes to choose among, all characterized by responsive design and clean functionality to appeal to your target audience.
If you’re happy with the outcome, you can then move on to selecting the pricing plan that’s reflective of your needs.
In case you don’t want a monthly subscription, you’ll simply have to choose a domain and a hosting plan for the purpose of building your own WordPress-based ecommerce website. WordPress has free of charge themes, as well as an array of plugins you can use for the purpose of DIY ecommerce website creation.
In terms of Hosting, BlueHost has some cool packages that are ideal for startup owners.
I’d recommend shared web hosting for a start because it is one of the most affordable options. The BlueHost shared hosting packages start at 3.95 dollars per month. You will get 50GB of storage space, a free SSL certificate, five parked domains, one main domain, and unmetered bandwidth.
Remember that a good ecommerce website covers a specific market need, it is functional and it is characterized by excellent customer support. Even if you’re doing dropshipping and somebody else is responsible for the delivery, you’ll still have to be available and ready to work with your clients in order to ensure customer loyalty and repeat business.
Course and Educational Material Creation
Numerous online business owners have made significant amounts of money through the creation of online courses and educational materials.
Do you have specialized knowledge in a field that many people are interested in? if so, you can start your own online education business empire.
Course creation may seem daunting at first but the platforms that help instructors sell their educational materials provide all of the required tools.
Udemy is one of the biggest players on the market but it’s not the only one.
Self Growth Academy is another website worth exploring.
Courses are created via the Self Growth Academy platform. They are properly optimized so that you’ll benefit from search engine traffic. Sales happen through the instructor’s account and the money is directly deposited to Stripe. Self Growth Academy also has no limitations when it comes to instructors selling their courses via other platforms.
A Social Media Management Business
Social media marketing has become one of the primary options for companies to advertise themselves.
A social media marketing, management and consulting business can thrive, especially if you offer specialized services to representatives of a certain industry.
If you already have your own website or a part-time monetization project that you promote, you know the ins and outs of social media marketing.
If this has been your occupation for some time already, you can launch your own business. You will benefit from the contacts you already have and your reputation in the respective industry.
Social media marketing is one of the most cost-efficient advertising options, hence it appeals to both big and small businesses.
Currently, 53 percent of businesses use social media advertising. Social media ad expenditure is to reach 93 billion dollars in 2019 and the number of businesses who use paid advertising will come close to seven million.
As you can see, the customer base is massive. Don’t hesitate to make your first steps in the direction of building your own online social media consulting business. You can rely on LinkedIn and websites like Upwork to seek clients.
A Translation Business
Are you bi or multi-lingual? If so, you can launch an online translation agency. The more languages you know, the bigger the pool of potential clients to work with.
You can begin offering services as a freelance professional on Upwork and specialized platforms like Unbabel.
As your customer base expands, you can start thinking of hiring other translators and increasing the scope of company activities. This is a highly scalable online business opportunity and the size of the endeavor is entirely dependent on your goals.
Build Your Cosmetics Empire
You’ve probably heard about the online business opportunities offered by companies like Avon.
In the past, being an Avon rep was about organizing cosmetic parties, showing products to friends, relatives and coworkers. While you can certainly go this route, you can also benefit from a few modernized sale generation opportunities.
You can put together a free Avon online store to increase your reach and expand your customer base.
A Crypto Trading Business
If you want to try something a bit more innovative and unusual, why not opt for a cryptocurrency trading business?
A cryptocurrency trading business could materialize itself in several forms. For a start, you can launch your own cryptocurrency exchange platform. For the purpose, check local regulations and legal requirements to ensure the smooth operation of your business. It may be a good idea to talk to an experienced corporate attorney about this opportunity and how such a business should be set up properly.
You could also offer bitcoin trading consultancy services, portfolio management and investment advice.
While such businesses provide tremendous monetization options, you carry a lot of responsibility. You should be entering the realm solely if you are confident in your knowledge and you can deliver on your promises. A solid contract with your clients that outlines all aspects of the interaction will also be needed.
If you’re making your first steps in the cryptocurrency realm, you may want to dedicate some time to educating yourself.
Apps like Blox enable simple cryptocurrency portfolio asset management.
The app is free of charge and it allows for the creation of multiple cryptocurrency portfolios. You can also track the performance of cryptocurrency markets, get personalized cryptocurrency alerts and build your own multi-asset wallet.
Sufficient website development knowledge can be put to good use for the realization of your own projects but you can also offer services to clients.
Even if a company choose a template for their website, this template will need some tweaking and enhancement to gain originality and to address the needs of the respective audience.
The demand for developers is expected to increase exponentially in the coming decade, Forbes reports. Almost every single industry will be dependent on people who know how to create code. Hence, launching your own web development agency right now will give you a change to enjoy massive growth opportunities in the near future.
Vlogging and YouTube Channel Creation
The worlds of vlogging and YouTube video creation are already crowded but the monetization opportunities are too good to ignore.
A YouTube video channel is typically monetized through advertisement display. You can also use the channel to promote your other projects and products. Many famous YouTubrs feature affiliate links, they sell ebooks and some have even launched their own successful lines of physical products.
While YouTubing definitely ranks among the best online business ideas, it’s not an opportunity you can monetize immediately.
To earn enough, you will have to grow your audience. You’ll also need to identify an audience that advertisers will want to reach. Hence, you may want to consider doing something else to earn money while you are developing your YouTube channel. If you’re consistent and ready to work hard, you can eventually quit your day job and dedicate all of your time to being a successful YouTuber.
According to Entrepreneur.com, launching an SEO agency is one of the most profitable online business opportunities.
Search engine optimization, just like social media marketing, will be in high demand in the years to come.
To start an online business in this realm, you’ll need to learn how search engines work and what it takes to improve the online positioning of clients. Customers will be anticipating measurable results, which is why educating yourself and acquiring the necessary SEO knowledge in advance will be vitally important.
Domain Flipping Business
Domain flipping is somewhat of a speculative business that I am skeptical about. Still, people have been making money this way and if you have the right intuition, you could eventually be successful with this model.
Anyone looking for an online business without investment opportunity should avoid domain flipping.
The term refers to buying lucrative domains affordably and eventually selling them at a much higher price.
For the purpose, however, you will need to do a ton of research about domain names that are currently available and that could eventually be monetized because a big company will want them in the near future.
Finding a buyer is one of the trickiest parts here and one of the reasons I believe domain flipping is not the right option for everyone.
A Consulting Business
Consulting businesses are similar to the creation of online educational materials. You have knowledge in a certain area that people are interested in. you consult your clients how to achieve a specific goal and you get paid for it.
The best aspect of launching a consulting business is that you can choose among dozens of niches.
There are business consultants, HR consultants, hi-tech consultancies, social media consultancies, personal development consultants, health and wellbeing consultants, etc.
Once again, you will have to identify fields popular and in-demand right now.
Developing your reputation before getting started with the business idea is essential – you should be considered the go-to authority in the field. The goal can be achieved through the development of your website or blog, a YouTube channel and even a social media profile or community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
A Vacation Rental Business
Our list of the best online business ideas will end with vacation rental businesses.
While there is a real-world element (the acquisition and maintenance of properties), you can use internet to reach clients.
The vacation rental business is currently booming and it will continue to grow. Airbnb provides opportunities to those who own properties in attractive locations. HomeAway is another suitable platform you can use to grow your popularity and your customer base.
This is a business that requires some equity. It’s not an effortless no-investment opportunity. The monetization potential is huge, however, and you should definitely give some thought to the idea.
Starting your online business is not impossible, even if you think that your mindset isn’t sufficiently entrepreneurial. While some risk is always present, the potential for financial losses is much more limited in the digital realm.
Take some time to examine different ideas and to identify the one you like the most. Do market research, size up the competition. Would it be possible to attract a sufficiently large customer base? Answering these questions will give you some idea about the growth potential of the business concept and the possibility for sustainable revenue generation year after year.