Define your product or service. Starting an online business gives you the benefit of having access to millions of customers, but you also have a lot more competition. No matter what you're trying to sell, you can bet that hundreds more online retailers have a similar idea. What differentiates your product from other similar products? To help your product stand apart from the rest, you'll need to find a niche.[1]
Modern technology has enabled entrepreneurs to do their work from almost anywhere. In fact, many companies operate in a wholly digital environment, lowering overhead costs and offering freedom to entrepreneurs who want to conduct business on the move. Creating an online business is simply a matter of focusing on your strengths and expanding your network. Here are 12 great online business ideas to get you started.
You can charge up to $995 for a service, but many if not most gigs still start at just $5 (of which you make $4), so the key to making money on Fiverr is either working in volume or offering custom add-on services. But it’s free, easy, and quick to get started, and payment happens fairly quickly, so if you’re able to whip up a logo or business card design without much effort, it’s not a bad way to cash in on your creative skills.
Great article, I have tried a few over the years. I had a side business cleaning offices for years. It did great, but I hated never being able to take more than 3-4 days vacation, so I eventually gave up. I tried MTurk, but if you multiplied my earnings on an hourly basis, it was a little over $6/hr. My blog is much worse, probably less than $0.25/hr.
If you have more internet bandwidth than you know what to do with offer to share with your neighbor for a small fee. Label your SSID (the name of your WiFi network) something like “Visit apartment 207 for internet.”  If you have fiber optic internet at 50 to 100 mbps you could possibly rent up to 15 people easily and still have lots of bandwidth. This is a great way to earn money fast.

You won’t be giving advice (that’s what a consultant does); instead, you’ll help people figure out how to do it themselves. To learn more, check out this Udemy course on becoming a business, marketing or life coach, and then read this article on how to become a successful business coach (hint: it’s all about how you package yourself or your services).


If you have an idea worth pursuing, crowdfunding can be a helpful way to find the money you need to get your idea off and running. For example, you can run a Kickstarter campaign. On SPI 223, I covered this with John Lee Dumas who launched a super successful campaign. Besides John, I know a lot of companies who have started on Kickstarter. I’ve been a backer of dozens of different projects, and a lot of those projects were just ideas when the campaign started. There are ways to get paid for your ideas up front. Using Kickstarter, you can validate those ideas and start to build community at the same time, which is a great way to get a boost at the beginning stages of your online business, especially if what you’re creating takes some money to get started.
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.
You offer the products for sale, for example, on your blog or e-commerce website. Each product has a unique link that tracks back to your account with your affiliate partner. A prospect who clicks on the link is taken to your partner’s shopping cart for checkout. Once they buy, that purchase is recorded and you receive a commission. It varies depending on the affiliate partner, but is generally 5 percent to 25 percent, or 50 percent or more with digital information products. As you can see, there’s little risk on your part and virtually no investment needed either.
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ – The Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ is a new Chase card that is taking the rewards world by storm! By signing up, you’ll earn a $150 signup bonus after you spend just $500 within 90 days. Plus, you’ll earn a flat 1.5% back for every dollar you spend on any type of purchase. Best of all, this card doesn’t charge an annual fee, either.

In this job, consultants help clients to assess their email communication and marketing and improve it. They may also be engaged in creating and setting up email campaigns. In practical terms, it can mean advising the client on what words should be used to increase the response rate, and words that should be avoided so that an email and email newsletters are not perceived as spam. You can also give advice on how to write an effective subject line and structure the email in the correct way.
Derek Halpern has built a really strong personal brand. He’s the founder of a software and business training company called Social Triggers and makes a LOT of money teaching people how to sell what they know best. And what he knows best is how to sell. If you’ve got some serious expertise, start making money out of it by selling online courses or simply teaching online.
To make money fast, have a yard sale or sell things online that you don’t need anymore, like books, electronics, video games, jewelry, CDs, or DVDs. Start a dog-walking or pet-sitting service, or mow lawns and do yardwork for your neighbors. If you like kids, try babysitting for adult friends, or find work through a babysitting service. Look on the app store for quick gigs like scanning grocery products or completing online surveys, or sign up to drive for a company like Uber or Lyft.
How to Get It: Check out K12 (K12.com) and Connections Academy (ConnectionsAcademy.com). Both organizations offer various benefits—including health insurance, retirement savings accounts and paid time off—depending on where you live. As in any job where you work with kids, there will be a background and reference check as well as interviews. You may also need to be licensed to teach in the state where the students reside.
How to Get It: Sylvan Learning (Tutoring.SylvanLearning.com), Tutor.com, TutorVista.com and Tutorzilla (Tutorzilla.com) all offer a good cross section of the kinds of remote-based tutoring jobs out there, and they all have great reputations with students and teachers. Since you will be working with children, you can expect a background check before you are hired.
Logan is a CPA with a Masters Degree in Taxation from the University of Southern California. He has been featured in publications such as Debt.com. He has nearly 10 years of public accounting experience, including 5 with professional services firm Ernst & Young where he consulted with multinational companies and high net worth individuals on their tax situations. He launched Money Done Right in 2017 to communicate modern ideas on earning, saving, and investing money.
The trend of healthy eating is here to say. Yet with so much contradictory advice online about what is good for us and what is not, more and more people turn to professional nutritionists for specialist tips and guidance. You can easily find free online courses to learn the fundamentals of this profession and start offering personalised nutrition plans online.
Make the most of your spare space by listing it for short term rentals with Airbnb. If you know how to be an Airbnb host that wows their guests, you have an amazing opportunity to make money fast. By creating a wonderful experience for your guests, you’re setting yourself up for great reviews and lots of repeat guests. Check out our complete guide on getting started as an Airbnb host.
The stock market is the type of market in which shares of companies are issued and traded between buyers and sellers. A new trend in this area is ‘social trading’, which is a way of incorporating a social element into investing. It could also be described an online trading social network for traders. One site offering this type of trading is EToro, which brings together a community of traders who copy each other’s investment decisions to earn money. If you are looking for a more traditional approach, then companies such as Options House may be an option for you. In case you already have some experience in trading, you may be interested in such types of trading as Forex.
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).
What will also help your earning potential is to specialize in one style of writing, and maybe even one particular subject. You see, writing on the same subject for hundreds of hours each year makes you an expert on it. To paraphrase Cal Newport, “…you'll build up a lot of career capital through deliberate practice.” It’s how you become so good that clients can’t ignore you.

As an affiliate marketer, you are earning commission from selling someone else’s products. You might need to make an initial investment and buy a basic portfolio and marketing materials that you then resell. However, that does not always have to be the case as there are companies which will provide you with products free of charge, and only take a part of the profit. One of the most popular sites for affiliate marketers nowadays is Clickbank. Other well-known sites include Amway and Amazon Associates.


Do you spend more time packing and unpacking your luggage than most of the people you know? Then you might be onto something! Travelling is one of the greatest passions of this age – the crazier and more nomadic, the better! If you have a knack for organising memorable, authentic trips and enjoy the process of creating exciting day-to-day plans, why not do it for money? Become a travel consultant to help adventure-seekers plan their unforgettable holidays from A to Z and enjoy every second of your working day.
18. CraigsList – Some things don’t ship very well. Other things may make you feel uncomfortable to sell to someone across the country. Anytime you’re selling a large item or something you just don’t want to ship, Craigslist is a great place to go. It’s simple to list your item (again, take good pictures!). If you don’t like the idea of putting your phone number out there, the interested individual can send you a message to your inbox without even getting your email address.
Example, Local farmers in my area love 275 Gallon Caged IBC Tote’s, used ones sell for 150 dollars in the area. I found a person on Craigslist who sells them for 75 dollars a piece about an hour drive from me. After, a little on the phone negotiating I was able to pick up 15 totes for 50 dollars apiece.  It took the Mrs. and I less than three hours to pick up the totes and return. We kept a few totes for ourselves to harvest rain water and sold the rest off for a nice profit.
Basically, you pick a profitable niche for your online business, and then you find an affiliate partner who has products available in that niche. Some of the most popular affiliate sites are Clickbank.com, Amazon.com, and CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction). Between them, they offer just about any digital information product (like ebooks, audio files, video files) or physical product you can think of.
If there’s a plasma donation center in your area, you might be able to make anywhere from $25 to $50, and odds are, you’ll get paid today. Call ahead and ask, of course, but these days, many donation centers are giving money cards (similar to a debit card). Generally, it takes about 30 minutes to donate your plasma, but a first visit may take longer — up to two hours — since you’ll be filling out paperwork and taking a physical. And while it’s not a ton of money, many donors are able to sell plasma twice a week.
I already know what you’re thinking when you read that title, ‘Here comes another one of those get rich quick scams. I don’t blame you. Most titles that begin the way tend to lead to some ebook or sales page. But what I’m about to reveal to you is totally legitimate and involves nothing more than speaking your mind. No I haven’t lost mine! Just be patient.
Use a credit card’s cash advance feature.[33] Some credit cards will allow you to withdraw a certain amount of cash by using it at an ATM. This can help you come up with cash in a hurry. However, the interest rates on cash advances are usually much higher than the credit card’s usual interest rate, meaning that you will eventually have to pay more.
Owning a “real” business means you need to think about bank loans or financing, leases, maintaining inventory, business insurance, finding staff, training staff, etc. You then need to factor in finding a prime location for your business. If you don't have enough footfall then you can expect to be shutting up shop in as little as a few months. In fact, 50% of small brick-and-mortar businesses fail within their first 3 years.
Double check yourself, before you double wreck yourself. Make sure everything you send to a company, whether a résumé, an email or a portfolio, is good to go. Double check your grammar and wording, and for God’s sake use spell check! This is especially important when it comes to the company’s name. Don’t spell their name wrong and be sure to type it how they type it (e.g. Problogger, not Pro Blogger).
I surprisingly get a lot of people asking to detail their car. I never intend to make a business of it, but I love doing it to my cars and people ask me to do it to theirs. All it takes is a cheap orbital buffer (mines a used craftsman) and a shop vac. I normally get easily $100 for a basic wash/wax/vac, or $200 to remove scratches and polish then wax the car.

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?
Launching and building a vacation rental business might require some sweat equity along with the right turnkey software solution to help you keep things organized as bookings ramp up, but if you have an acute attention to detail, then this is by far one of the best businesses you can start online. Of course, this does operate in the real world, but your web presence and marketing skills are really what define this business and helps it to succeed.
This is a job with much potential, in part because the title description covers many things. “You can fit your offerings to what you know how to do,” says Stephanie Foster, a former medical transcriptionist who runs the website HomeWithTheKids.com. One can own a virtual assistant business or work from home for a company that makes you available to other employers or clients. HomeWithTheKids.com, for example, currently features several such companies.
There's an audience for everything, whether it's making dollhouse furniture or creating organic dog food. With a specialty e-commerce store, you can reach those customers who are seeking your specific products. All you need is a web-hosting service with an integrated shopping cart feature or with e-commerce software, and your business will be operational in no time. You can even work with vendors to ship products to customers on your behalf, which means you don't need to own a lot of inventory. [See Related Story: A Small Business Guide to E-Commerce Shipping]
A career in writing is interesting, varied… and a tricky one. Important things to do before starting a freelance writing career include building a portfolio, learning how to write appealing proposals and promoting your business effectively. If you are a newbie in this field, you may want to try websites for freelancers, where you can simply create a profile and start submitting your proposals to potential clients. Some of the best-known sites for freelancers are Upwork, Freelancer or Clickworker. Listed below are various types of writing work that you can do as a freelancer.
It wasn’t until 2010, two full years after my initial small investments, when I spent a bit more money for one of the best investments you can make in your business: building an email list. The Email Service Provider (ESP) I used at  the time was Aweber, which cost me $194 per year to start (that’s only about $16 per month). Once my email list grew though, the costs increased based on the number of subscribers I had: 26,000 subscribers cost me $181 per month. Aside from the costs, which actually are pretty standard, Aweber didn’t have some of the features I wanted, so I moved on.
The next payment I made for my business was in October 2008 when I had the idea to sell an ebook. To make this happen, I had to spend a little bit of money on a shopping cart service (e-junkie at the time; I later moved to Gumroad, as I describe in my free ebook Ebooks the Smart Way) that allowed me to deliver the ebook to the people who bought it. It was a flat fee of $5 per month. Different companies have different ways of setting up those pricing structures, but whatever the case may be, it doesn’t have to be a huge monthly fee to get going.
How to Get It: You can apply directly through the companies, such as Stella & Dot, a jewelry company that had over $100 million in sales in 2010. A few other good ones include Avon (household and personal care), The Cocoa Exchange (chocolates and more), and Alice's Table (flowers). You can also visit the Direct Selling Association website—all the companies listed there agree to abide by a code of ethics, so they only offer legitimate opportunities. Typically reps make a small investment to get started (this is a legitimate and standard practice), and sometimes pay a fee for the merchandise being sold. After that you can work as much or as little as you want, and see profit based on how much you sell.
×