Are you fed up with the 9-to-5 routine and repetitive tasks from your boss? Are you ready to leave your comfort zone and change your lifestyle? No, this isn’t a life coaching session. It’s a step-by-step guide on launching an online company with 30+ business ideas that might let some fresh air into your life!
Today you will learn:
Yes, leaving a job with a steady income and plunging into unknown reality with other rules is a risk; however, hundreds of students and successful businessmen still go online.
So, why is an online business that runs itself so attractive?
First, it requires less investment. An online dropshipping store can be launched with a smaller budget than a full-fledged brick-and-mortar storefront in downtown. A freelance web developer can also start with a minimal budget by creating and optimizing a website on his own or even joining the freelance community.
Second, self-employment implies more independence and freedom in decision-making. You specify the direction of the business. Are you ready to accept the ultimate responsibility and prove yourself? You are on the right track then!
Last but not least, having an online business is about flexibility. You can work remotely from the most beautiful places of the globe. Moreover, when you finally grow and drum up a business, you have plenty of time for a personal life, traveling, and hobbies.
Apart from the fact that it sounds awesome, it’s indeed realizable.
Now, you need a concept that:
Puzzling over this brilliant idea?
Below, you will find 30+ online business ideas for beginners with minimal investment to start bringing your online business to life ASAP. Whether you are a student, an experienced entrepreneur, or a creative person who wants to turn a hobby into a source of income, you will find something suitable.
And yes, next Monday or next year might never come. Now is the time, so let’s not waste it!
The first steps toward launching an online company are often a struggle as it’s not easy to understand where to start. So, let’s run through the key steps.
The first thing you need is a business concept. Below, you can explore more than 30 of the most profitable websites ideas. Once you decide which passion of yours can help people solve their problems and help you earn money, you can move to the technical and organizational issues of realization, such as creating an internet business plan.
The second thing is a website. It’s your office, storefront, the main marketing tool, and the channel of communication with customers – literally everything. Thus, it’s important to create a website that:
If you have never dealt with building a site, consider a ready-to-use website service from TemplateMonster. Web developers and designers with 15+ years of experience will create a website according to your needs in 5 business days.
The service covers:
The team will build a website for any business. This will save your time for more important tasks. Buying services in bulk also saves money 🙂
If using this service isn’t an option, here is a checklist of the key steps:
If you still don’t know which platform to choose for your eCommerce business, let us give you some hints.
Before moving to the most profitable website ideas, let’s explore the eCommerce platforms for running a website without hassle.
In the beginning, it’s so easy to get lost in dozens of options. How do you make a choice?
Now, we will compare three leaders of the eCommerce space – WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento. They occupy the first three positions by popularity across the entire web according to BuiltWith:
Each platform offers basic and advanced features for running a store, so let’s compare them.
|Subscription-based service||WordPress plugin (needs a server to be installed on)||Subscription-based service|
|Includes a subdomain + hosting + an opportunity to pick up a domain name||The plugin is integrated with a WordPress website and uses its hosting, subdomain, and domain name||Includes a subdomain + hosting + an opportunity to pick up a domain name|
|Offers multiple payment getaways||Offers multiple payment getaways||Offers multiple payment getaways|
|Includes basic customer management||Customer management only through third-party plugins||Includes basic customer management|
|100+ original themes + hundreds of third-party + hundreds of Shopify apps||Thousands of free and premium third-party themes||100+ original themes|
|Mobile-friendly||Mostly mobile-friendly (depends on the theme)||Mobile-friendly|
|Unlimited bandwidth||Bandwidth depends on the hosting||Unlimited bandwidth|
|Makes reports on sales and store activity||Makes reports on sales and store activity||Offers awesome analytics module, with reports, purchase funnels, abandoned carts stats|
|Includes discounts, gift cards, and coupon codes||Includes discounts and coupon codes||Includes discounts and coupon codes|
|Offers various sales channels (Point of Sale, Facebook module, simple buy button, etc.)||Offers various sales channels through thousands of extensions||Offers an opportunity to sell in person with Square, also on marketplaces and social platforms|
|Live chat, email, phone, and Twitter support||Support for paid extensions only + community help||Support via phone and email for the paid Enterprise Version|
As you see, the platforms offer more or less the same features but the devil is in the details. Each platform has unique perks that might be must-haves. For instance, Shopify has a POS system that allows selling goods “on the go” or in an offline store, which is impossible with WooCommerce. Therefore, pay attention to these subtleties.
Last but not least. If you can’t find a suitable theme whatever the platform is, you can search among third-party providers.
Finally, let’s move to the most profitable website ideas for people with various skills – from the computer genius to a designer who thinks outside of the box.
The demand for web development and design jobs will be continually growing. Digitalization is gaining momentum. Denying the fact that the world is spending more time online than 10 years ago is senseless. You can see a 75% increase in the number of internet users in just 5 years!
According to ITU, it took 16 years for the internet to get its first billion users and 6 more years to get the second billion but now it’s growing at a rate of 1 billion new users every 2.7 years.
The number of jobs available on job search resources (nearly 3,000 web developer vacancies on Indeed alone) and the continually growing wage rates confirm the fact that more and more people are diving into the digital world.
Thus, anyone with coding skills can offer services that people pay for. Plus, it allows being super flexible by doing it online.
So, which professions can a techie choose? Here are a few ideas:
Apart from the fact that you prove yourself and please your own ego by creating a splendid product that thousands of people will like (hopefully), creating an app has way more benefits.
First, it’s a lucrative way of earning money online. Apps don’t need substantial investment, shipping, or storage costs, which contributes significantly to an overall profit margin.
Second, an on-trend app that works smoothly is an important tidbit for big brands that pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for an ad. Thus, it’s possible to turn an app into a passive income source.
Don’t know where to start? Check out this hint from Forbes 🙂
Another more or less creative job for techies (sounds a bit controversial, doesn’t it?) is a video game designer. The average annual salary can be as high as $90,000.
The range of possible industries to get work is, by the way, wider than game design. Video game designers can work in such areas as big company and enterprise management, information, scientific, and technical services.
With the development of AI and VR, the demand for video game designers will only grow.
Marketing and advertising agencies, social media specialists, and web designers are striving to cooperate with creative and resourceful graphic designers and artists.
You can carry out various tasks from creating layouts for invitations, greeting cards, or books to participating in serious social media marketing campaigns. All you need is your laptop and a bit of inspiration.
To get your first clients and eventually form a client base, create a profile on Upwork or Toptal.
Monetize your HTML and CSS skills by creating out-of-the-box designs or websites. You can’t even imagine how highly valued that talented web designers are because creating a user-friendly and outstanding design is really not that easy.
Super techies with another mindset can solve technical issues for the websites of small companies that can’t afford a full-time tech support specialist. Small businesses with a limited budget often hire a freelancer and pay him per hour once a bug appears rather than hire a full-time specialist.
You can start a tech support business by helping your friends, cooperating with local businesses, offering services on Upwork first, then scaling it up gradually by involving other computer-savvy guys.
Do you have vast knowledge in a specific field? Time to share it as learning from others’ mistakes is way less painful.
In the consulting business, a couple of moments are particularly important:
Now, let’s see which niches are at their peak in popularity.
Small business owners might not even realize the importance of SEO. As an SEO consultant, you can show how processing of analytics data, strategic keywords, and content structure can generate leads and attract more organic traffic.
In the beginning, you can focus on Google Ads and Google Analytics.
Facebook advertising is quite tricky and a small business owner will understand it after entering Facebook Ads Manager. Many subtleties should be considered to create an ad that will reach a target audience.
The benefits of this idea are that Facebook advertising is something you can learn quite quickly and the cost of starting an online business is low indeed.
While well-known brands can afford to hire experienced social media specialists, small businesses are often overwhelmed with other tasks, so they tend to underestimate the role of social media and don’t pay enough attention to it.
If you know how social media works and have a passion for photography, you can help companies grow their audience, ultimately growing their business.
Focusing on one platform (e.g. Instagram) is way more effective than trying to control several of them.
As mentioned, you can use your knowledge in business to help startups avoid fatal mistakes at square one. It’s better to focus on a specific niche aspect. For instance, you can help startups make up a successful internet business plan.
Indeed resourceful and creative guys can try themselves at personal brand consulting. Since it’s becoming more and more complicated to attract a new audience, influencers, bloggers, brands, and stores need to come up with a trick, unusual style, extraordinary content, and original message.
If you think outside the box and know how social media works, you can help others create an image online.
Copywriting is an art of conveying a message, presenting information appealingly, or encouraging people to take action. If writing a blog seems overwhelming so far but you still want to indulge a writing passion, you can provide simple services people pay for. Where? Let’s see.
Make a profile on such services as Upwork, Textbroker, Helium. These platforms connect freelancers with customers, regulate their relations, and secure payments, which is an undeniable benefit.
Still, you should be ready that you won’t pass the hat around right away because it takes time to build a good name and gain a client base.
You can also try to reach bloggers and brands. Since you think that writing engaging text is not a big deal, others struggle to make up a caption for an Instagram post.
Brands and influencers entrust writing content for their social media profiles to experienced copywriters because they either have no writing skills or no time. So, may the DM to your favorite blogger become a stroke of luck 🙂
Do you have a degree in a specific field? Help other students to succeed in it as well as earn money. Such services as EssayStudio offer academic papers, resumes, and CV writing and you can contribute if you have good writing skills.
Starting a blog requires more than writing skills, so it’s a bit more overwhelming but also exciting. In the beginning, you will do it for pleasure until you gather an audience and build a good name. Then, a blog can turn into a passive source of income due to collaborations, sponsored posts, advertisements, and affiliate marketing.
In the future, you can even produce your own info products, create online courses, consult beginning bloggers, etc. The opportunities for development are promising indeed.
Ready to talk about traveling for hours on end? Have insider information about the best boulangerie in Paris? Share your insights in a blog!
Whatever your passion is, if you have an urge to write, a fascination with photography, aesthetics, and understand a bit in web design, share that knowledge in a blog. This is one of those simple website ideas for that doesn’t require a substantial investment as a beginner.
The most important thing that you need is a website and it doesn’t have to cost a lot since you know where to find an affordable WordPress theme. You don’t need a high-paid web designer or coding skills because modern page builders work on a drag-and-drop format.
This means that you can launch a blog right now, today!
If you can’t make up your mind about your passion, you can follow the lead of such websites as Viralnova and Fukarf. These guys take content from Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, and other media resources, rewrite the stories, and post them to their own websites. There, you will find plenty of listicles.
These resources don’t produce original content but they rewrite the existing ones and add some details.
A couple of words about the success of such websites–before selling Viralnova for $100 million, the platform made $400k+ per month in ad revenue!
In general, you can start earning $50 per month but a bit of magic with promotion and organic traffic and you can monetize the blog reaching up to $1000 in several months. And there is no limit from there.
Here is an incredible case of how some guys made a #1 Google ranked listicle with 7,000+ page views.
If you puzzle over creative things to do online and making money, why not consider starting a YouTube channel?
The way people consume information is changing and vloggers are only gaining momentum. With 2 billion logged-in monthly users, YouTube is the second most popular platform in the USA among adults (after Facebook, of course).
So, you still have a chance to succeed on this platform!
If your life is full of events, trips, or unusual experiences, you can create vlogs – sharing your life experience with thousands of users. It’s even better if you are an expert in a particular field. A channel with specific expertise is even more valuable. The audience might be smaller but due to a narrow theme and expertise – they are more dedicated and active.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to provide specific figures because income depends on the traffic on your channel. The good thing about it though is that there is almost no limit either in the development of the channel or in your income.
Bloggers and vloggers grow their audience, constantly improve the quality of the content, make connections with famous people, create their own shows, launch info products, promote brands, become their ambassadors, etc.
As an example, the famous YouTuber Sonya Esman with 2 million subscribers has already been on Vogue and Elle covers, became Victoria’s Secret ambassador, got Nickelodeon Kids’ and Glamour awards, and became a successful model by the age of 24–all from starting out as a YouTuber.
In theory, it’s possible to reach an income of thousands of dollars per month as 200,000 views can be equal to $400-$500. Plus, don’t forget about the income from promotion of products by advertisers.
Another good thing about such online business ideas for beginners is that you don’t need a big investment (at least in the beginning). Many YouTubers start vlogging with their smartphones or basic SLR camera (the camera lens must be high-quality).
If you don’t know where to start, another super famous vlogger and start-upper Marina Mogilko launched an ultimate course to help people succeed on YouTube. With 3 million users and 110 million views she definitely knows a couple of secrets 🙂
If you indeed have something to tell the world but feel uncomfortable putting yourself in front of the lens, then creating a podcast might be the best solution!
Becoming a podcaster has plenty of benefits.
First, it’s another easy and convenient way for people to consume information. At least, 51% of Americans who listened to podcasts each month in 2019, are likely to think so. That’s a massive jump from 44% in 2018.
Second, podcasts are an effective way to promote your blog, eCommerce store, project, whatever. For instance, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income discovered that most of his readers found out about his blog through the podcast (one of the biggest business podcasts so far).
Third, of course, in the future, you can monetize a podcast and earn from promoting or selling products, making ads, or offering sponsorships.
Yes, in the beginning, you might be overwhelmed with the organizational and technical hassle but it’s much easier than you think. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to start a podcast with minimal investment.
This is one of those simple website ideas for beginners that can help you earn without lifting a finger.
Affiliate marketing is about selling products of the company and getting a commission from every purchase made through a unique affiliate link you share on your website, social media profile, or eBay.
The commission will vary depending on the provider – it might be 8% or as high as 30%.
The best part of the deal is that you produce nothing but offer an existing product to your already existing audience. Bloggers with a large audience can quickly benefit from affiliate marketing.
Many companies offer beneficial conditions (Amazon Associates Program) but there are also large affiliate networks such as Shareasale or ClickBank that offer affiliate programs.
Indeed plenty of eCommerce business opportunities allow you to enter almost every market and start selling goods. It can be cost-effective thanks to such business models as drop shipping that allows saving money on delivery or warehousing.
Modern software and plugins such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and hundreds of others allow avoiding the technical hassle associated with building an online store.
So, if you’ve been dreaming of selling clothes online, hurry up – you can make someone really happy 🙂
This best business internet idea might be quite risky and controversial. Still, since stock and Forex traders might earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, let’s not discount this concept.
Of course, the profit depends on the size of the account. On average, traders generate about 20% a year (it’s not a rule – you can make more or less). So, with a $1000 account, it’s possible to generate around $200 per year, with a $1M account – an average of $200,000.
As you see, money is the lifeblood of this business, so count on an average of $2,000-$3,000 of the initial investment.
Another important point is training. Find an experienced trader who will teach you the basics of trading and warn about the possible risks. For instance, you can be trained by the experienced mentors through such services as ForexMentorPro. Particularly, this service offers a free 7-day trial.
As a traditional sphere of finances is super regulated, a lot of the paperwork will be done before you start trading. Cryptocurrency stock is way easier to enter and it requires less investment. For instance, you can become a cryptocurrency trader with $100 bucks in your pocket.
The crypto market remains unregulated so far – there are no global standards or clear rules. Thus, you still can become a trader relatively fast, at least without much of the paper hassle.
Another advantage of being a crypto trader is an opportunity to trade 24/7 unlike with a traditional exchange that has certain timeframes, usually with no trading activity during state holidays and weekends.
Experts in a specific field can start their blog/YouTube channel to become e-teachers and teach others from home or elsewhere with a good WiFi connection!
What do you need to become an e-teacher?
Of course, you need a skill. Teaching others while being a layman isn’t the right track to success. Detect your biggest skill and passion and master it. Next, you need to go through organizational hassle such as a lesson plan for the course, materials, equipment, legal stuff, etc.
This is one of those web services ideas that, probably, doesn’t need much investment but does need time, proper organization, and promotion.
Speaking of promotion, that’s awesome if you already have a large audience on Instagram, for instance. There, you can find people willing to join your course. With a lack of subscribers, you can buy ad space from other bloggers and influencers (best to choose people from the same field).
Showing your expertise is super important. Therefore, make sure that some achievements can confirm knowledge and professionalism.
Here are a couple of services that people will always need:
People who can’t come up with a skill to teach, or who have no teaching skills, can try themselves as virtual assistants.
In the beginning, you might not be assigned something extraordinary but as you prove yourself, you can fulfill creative projects that require responsibility.
If you are nuts about photography and search for creative things to do online, selling photos might be a nice choice. You can either sell photos to brands or anyone willing to have unique high-quality visual content or offer them to stock photos sites like Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Fotolia, etc.
Running a subscription service has a couple of benefits except for the fact that these are services people will always need. Let’s say you have an eCommerce store with beauty products or products for pets. You can create boxes and offer a subscription on a regular basis, which is convenient.
So, when a woman runs out of all her beauty products at once, what happens usually is she will get a new flow of products shipped to her. What do you get?
Hopefully, you found something suitable among these most profitable websites to start as a start-upper. If you have any other ideas, feel free to share them in the comments! And remember:
Top 50 eCommerce Business Ideas in 2020
99 Best Small Business Ideas That Work in 2020 [Updated]
How to Start an Online Business in 2020 [A Complete Guide]
Home based business Guide + free checklist
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