When I started my first online business back in 2008 (GreenExamAcademy.com, formerly IntheLEED.com), the idea was to help aspiring architects pass the LEED certification exam. I hardly spent any money at all. All I did was start a blog, which at the time cost $6.95 per month for webhosting, and I used Bluehost. (As most of you know, I’m a big fan of Bluehost. And, because I have an affiliate relationship with them, you can get your business website going for much less than where I began, starting at only $2.75 per month!) [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]

Like anything else in this world, you'll either need a lot of time or a lot of money. If you have both, then clearly, you're ahead of the game. But most people have more of the former rather than the latter. But considering that time is finite and we only have a certain amount of it, using your time wisely and managing your time properly is crucial to ensure your success.

There you have it – a  comprehensive guide to the best online businesses to start this year. We deliberately didn't cover ideas like app development or IT support because they require specialized skills. That's why we only provided you with businesses you can start with very little money. In fact, you can even start some of them with very little knowledge.
A thing that needs to be ironed out for your online business is your billing service. While there are businesses that may bill their clients directly after a contract has been agreed upon and signed and these bills are paid for through checks that are deposited into the service provider's bank account, there are some clients who require a certain online billing system for them to pay for the services they have contracted. You may need to register with a billing system like PayPal for your online business to make billing and payment easier and less of a hassle to you and your clients.
Online sites like Etsy and ArtFire are platforms that make it extremely easy for crafters who can produce a steady supply of quality handmade items, like crocheted blankets or unique painted glassware. Startup costs are extremely low if you purchase your materials in bulk from a craft supplier, and if you can turn around orders quickly, you'll be making a profit in no time at all. It's even possible to turn your store into a full-time gig.
Grabbing the attention of curious browsers on the most popular crowdsourcing platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo is a tough job. If you’re inventive and know how to tap into human emotion, then this is a niche worth exploring. Many aspiring entrepreneurs look for personalised advice to carry their campaigns to the finish line, so try offering action-oriented eBooks or online courses targeted at this particular audience.
People are always looking to have their cars washed and detailed. You could be a mobile car washer and detailer with a permanent location. Reach out to people you know or make some flyers and put it in your neighbors' mailboxes. If you want to get serious about it, prop up a one-page website or give out business cards. You can make money quickly doing this.
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.
The box subscription business has exploded. While it's nothing new, and it's been around for ages now, the overwhelming rise of the internet has breathed newfound life into this online business idea. What is a box subscription exactly? If you think back for a moment to one of the most viral box subscriptions businesses, you'll clearly recall the Dollar Shave Club.

Once you have one or two samples to show prospective clients, it's then time to find some. Sites like Freelancer and Upwork are good places to start out. But you don't need to stick to the same path taken by every other freelance writer. Use some lateral thinking to find clients. Join relevant groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. Have a look for forums dedicated to web development, digital marketing or SEO – there's almost always a “writers for hire” sectio” you can use to find new clients.
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.
2. InboxDollars – InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks, since you’re going to be taking surveys, shopping, etc., so if you want to maximize your return, sign up with both websites. They also offer a search engine that pays you (like Swagbucks) and you get $5 just for signing up.  I won’t continue to list survey sites one after another down the list, but if you want to get paid to take surveys, also check out GlobalTestMarket, E-Poll Surveys and Survey Club.
The German Economist Schumpeter once said that there are “no original ideas”, only new combinations of old ones. Curation of curiosity-fueling content is an intriguing and little-known business model. One of the best success stories out there is Brainpickings – a platform that describes itself as “an inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness, spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more”. The subscription-based model and successful utilisation of affiliate links have turned the blog into a self-sustaining business.

Can’t design, write, or code websites? No problem. Don’t let that stop you from earning money on the Internet. If you have some extra time a couple of hours a week, you can perform numerous research tasks on behalf of other people or companies who can’t spend the time to do it themselves. Many organizations and various businesses hire people to research certain subjects or to help them with online investigations everyday. You could be one of them.
Websites like Survey Junkie will pay you a decent chunk of change for the low-maintenance, borderline mindless task of completing surveys. Companies want to understand consumers better, and one way they do that is by compensating survey-takers (a.k.a. you). Most surveys pay between $0.50 and $1.25, and many of them take less than 5 minutes to do. You can read our full Survey Junkie review for more info.

When I started my first online business back in 2008 (GreenExamAcademy.com, formerly IntheLEED.com), the idea was to help aspiring architects pass the LEED certification exam. I hardly spent any money at all. All I did was start a blog, which at the time cost $6.95 per month for webhosting, and I used Bluehost. (As most of you know, I’m a big fan of Bluehost. And, because I have an affiliate relationship with them, you can get your business website going for much less than where I began, starting at only $2.75 per month!) [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
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.
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).
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.
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.
Another option is to again set up a Shopify store. But instead you have customer orders drop-shipped to them by the manufacturer, or distributor. You know those super-cheap items you see on Facebook that seem too good to be true? The catch is always that it can take 30 – 45 days for your order to arrive – that's the drop-shipping model in operation right there.
Many of my readers have started proofreading from their iPads, scanning legal documents for court reporters as a result of the Proofread Anywhere eCourse I recommend. You can read some of their testimonials in the comments on this post. They offer a 7-day intro course free so you can decide if that line of work is right for you before you pursue the training.
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