It’s easier than ever before to start an online business even without any formal education or business experience.
If you’re looking for a list of online business ideas for beginners, I’ve got you covered.
Nah, we’re not talking about little side hustles here. Although, you can make legit money online with a side hustle.
In this post we’re diving into viable businesses that allow you to be your own boss.
I’ve marketed websites professionally since 2005. In 2013, I transitioned to full time online entrepreneurship. Over the years, I’ve learned what types of businesses work well online and those that don’t.
I currently have two affiliate businesses, a B2B ecommerce startup and I co-own a marketing agency. Though that’s where I am now, that came on the heels of failure.
In the beginning, I had a wholesale retail brand with a partner. We found that we were selling other brands at such a low price to compete that we slowly killed our profit margin. You won’t find wholesale or retail arbitrage on this list.
Without further ado, let’s jump into these businesses that anyone can start and run from home.
1. Start a Blog
Even if you don’t consider yourself a tech whiz, you can start your blog with little to no website design experience. If you know how to monetize it, you can build your blog into quite a lucrative source of income. That doesn’t mean you can build a blog and expect money to come in overnight.
You must create content consistently and develop a way to sell something through the blog, whether it be sponsored posts, coaching services, ad space through networks like Google AdSense, affiliate products, or even digital products that you make yourself.
All you need to get started is web hosting and a domain.
It’s a pretty simple business model. The more quality blog posts you produce, the more revenue you can make. As long as you are able to build links to your blog.
The most successful blogs tend to be what many call a niche blog. By focusing on one core area of content you are passionate about, you’ll be able to attract more targeted readers to your blog posts, who are likely to buy the products and services you recommend.
Take for instance my friend, Adam Enfroy. He’s a digital marketer turned blogger on pace to hit 7 figures with his blog in 2020, after launching last year.
2. Sell Feet Pics Online
It sounds weird, sure, but selling feet pics online can be a lucrative venture. You don’t have to have “pretty” feet to get started, since there are a ton of niches to work with. And you’re not limited to selling to people with foot fetishes – you can sell to stock photo sites and marketing agencies, too.
3. Start a Subscription Box
Subscription boxes are everywhere you look these days, it seems so why not take a piece of that pie for yourself? No matter what you’re interested in, chances are there is an ecommerce subscription box service out there for it. Think about Dollar Shave Club, Loot Crate, Bawdy Bookworms, and Hunt a Killer. All of these are monthly subscription services that cater to entirely different audiences.
Bawdy Bookworms launched with a quarterly box, but added a lower cost monthly option to its business model. In less than one year, Bawdy Bookworms was able to double its sales by adding a smaller, more frequent option for its customers.
To boost your earning potential even more, you can open a separate online store where you sell past boxes or items that were in past boxes. It’s a great way to get rid of overstock and capture customers who aren’t ready to commit to a full subscription.
Want a sales team out there working for you without having to pay them a dime until they make a sale? Start your own affiliate marketing program so that others can promote your products and ideas.
4. Start an Advertising Network
If you have a group of niche blogs with decent traffic, you can sell ad space. Once you have a decent number of advertisers participating, you can invite other website owners and bloggers to join your advertising network to earn money with ad revenue.
5. Affiliate Marketing
As an affiliate marketer, you earn a commission when you promote someone else’s product. You can do this with information products like ebooks, video series, membership sites, etc., you can earn up to 50% in commission sales, and there are relatively low barriers to entry. You can become an Amazon affiliate and earn with the Amazon Associates program. To be successful, you need a knowledge of SEO in copywriting, but that is relatively easy to learn with a bit of research online.
Affiliate marketers often use various marketing strategies, including SEO, social media, frequent blogging, and pay per click ads to generate traffic and sales. If you’re not familiar with any of these, it can be a good idea to hire an SEO consultant to help you as you are starting an online business. This way, you can take your time as you learn the skills yourself.
If you’ve got an idea, chances are there is a business online already that you can use to make money with their affiliate programs. Once you get one business up and running, you might want to explore other affiliate marketing programs in different niches to increase your earning potential.
6. Ad Management
Take a look at all of the local businesses in your area. Chances are, the majority of them would love to get more customers but don’t know how to do it. You come in and help them work on Facebook Ad or Google Ad campaigns to increase their business. Many small business owners are willing to pay for help learning about and managing pay per click ads.
7. Digital Marketing
As digital content and digital marketing demand continue to grow, many businesses can’t afford a full digital marketing department. As such, they reach out to digital marketing firms. Start your own just by taking some free online courses on digital marketing.
8. Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a crucial part of bringing people to your website online. It’s what helps you rank better in search engines. In an SEO consulting business, you analyze websites and give webmasters feedback on what they can do to improve their rankings. Keep in mind, however, to be a successful SEO consultant, it’s about more than just throwing keywords in the right places.
9. Lead Generation
Businesses are always looking for new leads because they are the lifeblood of business. When you work as a lead generator, you match customers to potential companies they would like to work with to solve their problems.
10. Social Media Management
If you love Facebook, Instagram, and various other social media platforms, a social media management business may be the answer. If you’re good at creating content and engaging with your audience, you can work as a social media manager to help other businesses do the same. Thanks to scheduling tools, this business is great for scaling.
11. Become an Influencer
Whether you become an Instagram influencer or use another platform like YouTube, you can use your status to earn through sponsored posts, advertising campaigns, events, and more. Many businesses use influencer marketing to reach their ideal customers. With sites like:
You can be connected with businesses who want to spread the word about their products.
12. Start a Podcast
Like blogs, podcasts can be a great income generator. As your podcast grows, you can offer paid sponsorships as well as selling your own products and services. With podcasts, you’ll earn your listeners’ trust, which makes it more likely they will purchase whatever you’re offering.
Research shows the number of Americans listening to a podcast every week has grown 120% over the last five years. 90 million listen to a podcast monthly.
To start a podcast, you don’t need any expensive or fancy audio equipment. It helps to have the episodes transcribed for accessibility and content marketing purposes.
John Lee Dumas, creator of the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast earns more than $250,000/month podcasting.
13. Start a Podcast Network
Let’s say you liked the idea of starting a podcast, so you’ve got one now. You can expand on that business idea to create additional podcasts until you have a complete network. Invite other podcasters to join your network, too. You’ll get increased visibility and can build an income by selling ads.
14. Start a Voiceover Business
All videos and ads need voiceover work. As long as you have a decent microphone and basic sound editing skills, you can produce quality recordings. You’ll be able to find work with independent production companies, ad agencies, and more.
15. Sound Editing and Post-Production
If you can use editing software, you can build an online business helping others make music and videos that sound great. You can edit podcasts, audio tracks for videos, master music, etc.
16. Online Video Production
Videos are a great marketing tool, and if you can master that type of content creation, you’ll have no shortage of clients to work with. Combine it with social media management, and you’ll be that much more marketable.
17. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants (VAs) help with administrative tasks like managing email, scheduling appointments, and handling data entry. For companies that don’t want to hire in-house staff, VA businesses are the solution. Businesses can save as much as 78% on operational costs compared to a full-time employee.
Thinking bigger? You can also start your own virtual assistance business where you match other virtual assistants with clients. Similar to how a staffing agency works.
If you are good at managing people, this is a great small business idea for online entrepreneurs.
18. Pinterest Virtual Assistant
This is similar to a traditional VA business but focusing on helping companies strengthen their presence on Pinterest. In this role, you help build a Pinterest marketing strategy, create pinnable graphics, set up boards, scheduling pins throughout the day, etc.
19. Freelance Writing
Are you a decent writer? Are you willing to learn? Do you know a couple of different niches? You can start a freelance writing business providing content for other companies. You can use your own blog as a portfolio to help you get started.
If you’ve ever thought about writing a book, writing an ebook is a great way to break into the market. You don’t need anything special to do it. All you have to do is convert your Word or Google Doc into a PDF, and you can list your digital product for sale through Amazon’s Kindle Direct self-publishing service. The more books you write, the more money you make.
21. Technical Writer
Ever wonder who writes instruction manuals for electronics help guides for new software? Those are technical writers. If you enjoy writing and the technical side of things, then being a technical writer may be right for you.
22. Resume Writing
People are always looking for jobs. Some of those job seekers may look to others to improve their resumes and cover letters. Your services can help them get hired for their dream job.
23. Speech Writing
A great speech is something many people need, but an art few have mastered. If you’re a writer who enjoys crafting presentations, you could build an online service business with speechwriting. You can also offer press releases (more on that below) and other public relations writing.
24. Grant Writer
Grant and proposal writers help non-profits secure the funding they need to continue operations. Grant writers convince organizations to award funds to give the money to a particular non-profit.
It’s not an easy profitable online business idea to start, though, because it can be tough to break into. If you want to learn more about it, look into some of the American Grant Writers’ Association courses.
25. Press Release Writer
Do you enjoy telling stories? Do you love the idea of telling a compelling story in a limited amount of space that follows a specific format?
Press releases are much shorter than ebooks or grants, so that means each word needs to pack a punch. But, if you’re an effective communicator, you can earn some big bucks crafting press releases.
You can offer these as part of larger content packages for businesses or as part of your public relations business.
Copywriters can earn six figures or more writing sales copy for businesses. To make those big bucks, though, you must be able to write content that attracts potential customer attention and then convinces them to buy. The higher the conversion rate you earn for your clients, the more valuable you become.
To learn more or to hone your skills, take a look at the Copyblogger blog. Within the site, there’s a place where you can find webinars and ebooks to help you improve as a writer.
27. Editing and Proofreading
As an editor and proofreader, you look for the weak points in a story or other writing pieces and help the writer improve it. If you’ve got an eye for detail, then working in an editing and proofreading business can be a lucrative source of income.
Digital transcription involves taking audio or video files and creating a written transcript of everything that’s said. Transcribing requires a bit more equipment to get started, but this could be a great business idea for you if you type fast.
29. Web Design
Do you have the knowledge and skill to create a website from scratch and customize it to your client’s needs? That’s all it takes. Of course, you do need your own killer website to market your services.
30. Web Developer
Web developers are the people working behind the scenes to write the code that designers use to build websites.
If the idea of coding for a living makes you happy, you can get started with various freelance gig websites. As you build a portfolio, you can strike out on your own to build clients.
If you don’t know anything about web development or coding but want to learn, there are plenty of online classes to help you get started.
31. Web Maintenance
Beyond website design and development, website maintenance is a huge part of running an online business. The majority of people don’t know how to handle updates, backups, server issues, and website security. It’s a great way to generate a recurring monthly income.
32. Web Hosting
If you’re in web design or development, it makes sense to offer web hosting to clients as well. Many web hosting companies like Liquid Web offer reseller plans that put you in control. If you’re not in design and development, you can partner with someone to provide a full-service solution.
33. Website Flipper
An easy way to make money is to invest in online business ideas that are already profitable. Buy an existing website, hold onto it for a bit to build it up, and sell it for a profit once it has increased in value. Flippa is a leading marketplace to connect buyers and sellers.
34. Domain Flipper
This is the same concept as flipping websites, except with this one, you’re buying domain names and selling them again to someone for a profit. There is no website to go along with it.
You can also work as a domain broker, who finds the owners of domains for interested buyers and makes a deal. You’ll earn a portion of the sale for a finder’s fee.
35. Software Testing
All software, websites, and tech products need to be tested for bugs or other issues before going public. You can create an online business based on testing others’ software to find bugs, websites to report on usability, and so on. You can start with crowd-testing platforms like Userlytics, Utest, and Testbirds. You can also start your own business for quality control.
36. Build a Membership Site
Membership sites are a typical online business idea that brings people together for a long-term perspective. Membership sites allow members to access tools, online courses, and other types of products. Running and maintaining your membership site can be a little demanding but can bring in a steady stream of recurring income.
37. Sell Your Knowledge
If you’re an expert at something, take your knowledge and turn it into digital products and services. For instance, you can create an online course or ebook.
No matter how crazy your idea may seem, do a bit of research to see if there are currently any courses out there that cover it. You’ll see what the competition is doing and how you make yours different. When you find something you feel confident in, start looking at domain names and build it out.
38. Build Apps
If you’re an app developer or willing to learn to become one, you have a virtually unlimited market for new mobile apps. You can make money developing apps for other people or partner with people to bring you ideas and marketing skills.
39. Graphic Design
If you consider yourself artistic and enjoy creating, consider graphic design. Graphic designers build sales pages, logos, web pages, and more. You don’t have to be great at drawing, and you don’t need a college degree or an expensive computer. All it takes to get started is some visual creativity and a portfolio to show to prospective clients.
40. Build WordPress Themes
WordPress has many themes out there to choose from, but there’s still plenty of room in the market for new ones. If you’re a developer, you can build a source of passive income with custom themes. If your graphic designer, you can partner with a developer to turn your design into a workable WordPress theme.
41. Build WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins are essential for WordPress websites, so if you’ve got the technical knowledge it takes to create them, you can build a business. Plus, it’s scalable since you can license the software to as many WordPress users as you want. If you can’t build it yourself, you can partner with the developer.
42. Cryptocurrency Trading
Cryptocurrency is rapidly gaining popularity because there’s a lot of money to be made. If you’re okay with taking a risk and have a little bit of starting capital, you may want to try your hand at currency trading. Because it’s a volatile market, you can make money day trading as long as you’re willing to handle the risk.
43. Stock Trading
You don’t have to be a financial pro to make money in stock trading. Whether you dabble in fractional shares or have the startup capital to make some significant investments, you can earn some extra cash. Though this can be a profitable online business, it does require a certain amount of risk tolerance. If you’re not prepared to lose the money you put in, you may want to look into another small business idea.
44. Cryptocurrency Mining
Though it’s a bit more technical, setting up an online business focused solely on cryptocurrency mining or creating the mining rig makes you a lot of money. If you know basic mining from cloud mining, you’re one step ahead.
45. Bookkeeping and Accounting
You don’t have to be a certified public accountant to offer services to businesses. If you’ve got some experience and a knack for numbers, you can build a successful online business helping keep track of books for other companies.
46. Tax Prep
If you’re an accountant or otherwise familiar with tax preparation, you can start an online business dedicated to helping others prepare their tax returns. Though you’ll be busiest during tax season, you can stay busy year-round.
47. Financial Planning
With a wide range of online investment tools, it’s an excellent time for the personal finance industry. Nearly half of the population has no plan for retirement. There’s a real need to plan for retirement and save for the future. Advisors do not need to work for large investment firms to build a financial planning business.
48. Peer to Peer Lending
Traditional loans aren’t for everyone. With peer to peer lending, you connect borrowers to individual investors who want to make competitive returns with their money. It does require some capital to start, and there is risk involved.
49. Make and Sell Candles
With a bit of wax, coloring, and essential oils, you can create candles or wax melts. Sell on Etsy, other online marketplaces, and through your own ecommerce site.
50. Make and Sell Jewelry
If you’re crafty, you can make your own jewelry and sell it on your own online store or Etsy. You can also source jewelry from manufacturers for dropshipping.
51. Soap and Lotion Making
Much like making candles and jewelry, you can make soaps, lotions, bath soaks, etc., and sell online with Etsy and other marketplaces.
52. Gift Basket Design
Gift baskets are still an option for friends, family, and coworkers. By having various supplies on hand for numerous occasions, you can put together various gift baskets and sell them. Creating several different packages to choose from gives you greater control over your profit margin.
Research shows that gifting food is becoming a widely accepted practical option during the coronavirus and beyond. The increase in food gifting is an opportunity for gift basket companies.
53. Floral Arrangement
Fresh flowers are an integral part of weddings, Proms, and other events. If you’ve got an eye for design, you can start a successful business with floral arrangements. You’ll be able to make even more money if You have the option to include small gifts with the flower delivery.
54. Party/Event Planning
If you have a knack for planning parties, baby showers, weddings, etc., you can start an online business as an event planner.
To get started, pick a niche based on your skill set and market demand. For instance, you can focus on starting a business centered on weddings, birthday parties, or baby showers.
From there, build your niche website, then use social media and Facebook Ads to start spreading the word.
If you enjoy baking, you can start an online bakery. You can take custom orders for cakes, cookies, pies, and other baked goods to make money.
To supplement your income stream, you can create baking kits with everything you need to make a particular baked good -then sell those as gifts or as solutions for customers who want a from-scratch product without all the hassle.
56. T-Shirt Business
Have an idea for a cute, funny, or catchy t-shirt you think others would really enjoy? With print-on-demand services, you can launch a full ecommerce store selling t-shirts without ever carrying an inventory.
57. Phone Case Business
Along the same lines as the tshirts business, you can create a print-on-demand business for phone cases. Cover your bases with the most popular Android and iPhone products. Then, expand into tablet cases.
58. Real Estate Crowdfunding
Want to build a real estate business without a lot of capital to get started? You can invest in it with others online and generate income without the responsibility of directly owning the property.
59. Customer Service
If you enjoy working with people and have a background in customer service, you can start an online business providing customer support for other companies. Platforms like ModSquad make it easy to get started.
60. Virtual Tech Support
Similar to the customer service business, this is an ideal option for people who are savvy with technology and computers. Those who aren’t tech-savvy can come to you with issues, and you can help them solve their problems remotely. As a tech support agent, you could work for another company or go out on your own as a full-time freelancer.
61. Teaching and Tutoring
Many people, not just certified teachers, can make money teaching and tutoring online. If you’re an expert in something, you can make money by showing others how to improve their skills.
If you have a formal education in Education, you’ll be eligible to work with more sites like VIPKid, which only allows licensed teachers to teach English to students in foreign countries.
62. Language Services
If you’re fluent in more than one language, you can host classes, private tutoring sessions, and create several other products centered around teaching people a second language.
Beyond teaching another language, you could also offer your services as a translator.
63. Foreign Culture Consultant
If you’re an expert in another culture, you can provide services as a foreign culture consultant. People who are planning an international trip or hosting a foreign exchange student may be interested in your services so they can prepare ahead of time.
64. Start a YouTube Channel
Though it may seem like the market is saturated, there are still plenty of opportunities to make money on YouTube. Choose a niche you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Earn through advertising and brand sponsorships. You can also convert your YouTube videos to MP3s and promote them on other channels.
65. Start an OnlyFans or Patreon Channel
OnlyFans has a controversial reputation because there are no restrictions on the type of content you can upload (and lock behind a paywall.) While there is certainly no shortage of adult content on the platform, that doesn’t mean your OnlyFans channel has to be centered on that.
Both OnlyFans and Patreon allow content creators to earn money for the things they create.
If you have a business idea but don’t want the hassle of purchasing and storing inventory, then an online business in dropshipping may be what you’re looking for. A dropshipping business connects with wholesalers to ship the products directly to your customers. Get started with platforms like Spocket, today.
You can find a wide variety of products through platforms like Alibaba or Spocket. Sell on Shopify or another ecommerce platform. If the platform you sell through integrates with your chosen dropshipping service, you can manage everything from a central location, making it easier for you.
You can easily run more than one ecommerce business at the same time using the dropshipping business model.
67. Stock Photography Business
If you’ve got decent camera equipment and an eye for photography, then you can get paid for your photos. Many stock photography websites purchase photos from photographers like you and a percentage every time your images are used.
68. Sell Your Music
Do you write music? With a platform like TuneCore, songwriters can get published and distributed without a record deal. Plus, they handle royalties, so you’ll get paid every time someone purchases or streams one of your songs.
69. Build an Online Game
Online games like World of Warcraft are popular, with good reason. If you have a concept or idea for an online game, you don’t need to learn to build it yourself. You can partner with a developer to do it for you. Even if you make the game free to play, you can earn through advertising and in-game purchases.
If you want to start an online business with a game but don’t have any ideas for products, there are plenty of business opportunities out there for you. Many app developers create apps and flip them just like websites. You can purchase an existing game and then look for ways to start increasing its revenue.
70. Create Software as a Service
Known as SaaS, this is a software you build and license for a monthly fee. The software is available online from anywhere there is an internet connection. So If you can’t handle the software development yourself, you can partner with someone who can and earn with the subscription model.
71. Sell Digital Printables and Planners
If you love organization and helping people get organized, you can create a series of digital documents for planning. By selling the printables, your customers can purchase and print just what they need, and you can make recurring revenue.
Companies spend a lot of money trying to find the right employees to fill open positions. You can work as a recruiter to connect potential candidates to employers who would be interested. You earn each time one of your recruits gets hired.
73. Direct Sales
I’m not talking about joining one (or more) multi-level marketing companies like Tupperware or Colorstreet. Instead, you’ll work as a commission-based salesperson on behalf of multiple companies. You replace the need for an in-house sales team.
74. Travel Consultant
Do you enjoy making travel plans for yourself, friends, and family? Make a consulting business out of it! Specializing in a niche helps to establish authority for a particular type of travel or a specific region.
75. Data Analysis
To make informed decisions about your business, you need data. But more than the data itself, you need to know what it means. That’s where data analysis comes in. It turns all the numbers and information into actionable insights small business owners can use to guide their decisions. If you consider yourself a data nerd who loves diving into analytics, this could be the right business for you.
76. Wellness Coach/Personal Trainer
If you’re a fitness buff who understands how to build a workout and nutrition plan, you can earn an income by helping people get healthier. You can do this with a business model that includes virtual group classes, one-on-one sessions, or online courses.
You might want to consider working as a wellness or mental health coach, which is similar to life coaching but focuses on health. Certificate programs are available to help you build credibility and expertise.
77. Business Coach
Much like life coaching, business coaching means working with business owners to help them reach their goals. You don’t have to have any formal education to make it work – just results.’
78. Life Coaching
We can’t always do it all on our own. Life coaching helps people in various ways -happiness, relationships, health and wellness, finances and career, etc. To become a life coach, you don’t have to have special training, though certification helps. You can work in your local area with clients in person or expand your reach with video sessions.
Want to learn more about life coaching? Listen to the Life Coaching School Podcast.
79. Dating Coaching
As a dating coach or online dating consultant, you offer people guidance about connecting with others on various dating sites. Your ideal clients are those who spend a lot of time on the apps but come up empty or are disappointed with the results. Basically, you serve as an online matchmaker.
80. Teach a Musical Instrument
Do you play an instrument? You don’t have to be a professional level player to teach others. Whether you play the piano, guitar, or another musical instrument, you can book private lessons with students.
81. Sell Voice Lessons
This is the same as teaching a musical instrument, but in this case, the instrument is your voice.
82. Recycle Electronics
If you want to do your part for the environment and make some money, too, you can earn by recycling electronics. Starting a business repairing things that aren’t wanted or needed, then reselling them is easier than many may realize.
83. Art Lessons
Are you artistic? You can make money by teaching others your skill. Whether you do it through online courses or private lessons, there’s plenty of opportunities.
84. Online Researcher
Every day, an insane amount of content gets added to the internet. Though many of us have basic research skills, this job is more than just searching for a topic on multiple search engines.
If you love sorting through information and can tell a quality source from “fake news,” you can start an online business as a researcher. You can conduct/locate market research, help private investigators, conduct academic research, and more.
85. College Admissions Consultant
As a college admissions consultant, also known as an independent education counselor, you’ll work with parents and students to determine the schools they should apply to. You’ll also help with the application and essay writing process. To further your consulting business, you can also offer financial aid guidance, help with scholarship applications and essays, SAT/ACT test prep, course selection advice, and more.
86. Public Relations
If you have experience with marketing strategies and connections in the press, instead start an online business doing public relations work for other companies. This includes online reputation management, influencer outreach, and more.
87. Crowdfunding Consultant
If you’re starting a new business but looking for capital support to make your product or service come to life, then you may turn to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. But, without the right planning and execution, the campaign is sure to fall flat.
For companies who want to make the most of their crowdfunding efforts, crowdfunding consultants step in to help plan and execute the campaign – from all the assets to advertising and rewards.
88. 3D Printed Products
3-D printers are no longer unattainable for the average consumer. With a few hundred dollars, you can start a profitable online business selling your own 3-D printed products.
Though the startup costs for an ecommerce business like this one can be a bit higher than a dropshipping business, for instance, the sky’s the limit. You can build your ecommerce website selling whatever 3D printed product you want to make.
89. Content Curator
Content curators sort through data online and collect the most relevant content to share on social media, blogs, and websites.
Businesses who frequently share promotional content online will have trouble keeping their audience engaged. That’s where sharing content from other sources but still has value to their target audience comes into play.
You can start a content curation business, collecting relevant content for other small businesses. Expand upon that business by adding social media management services and social media marketing.
90. Meal Planner
Plenty of people want to save money and eat healthier by cooking more of their meals at home. However, they don’t take the time to plan their meals either because they don’t know how or they don’t have time. That’s where you come in.
More than one business model works here. You can:
- Create a series of meal plans for the most popular diets out there to sell online.
- Offer personalized meal plans based on one on one consultation.
- Use a subscription model to provide meal plans to paid members every week.
- Create online courses or other products that teach people how to plan their meals on their own.
- Use a hybrid approach combining one or more business models.
Take a look at how Once a Month Meals does it. It’s a membership site full of freezer cooking meal plans. Paid members get access to everything they need (shopping lists, labels, recipes, directions, etc.) to create customized meal plans. Free members get limited resources.
91. Project Manager
If you’re experienced with platforms like Trello, Asana, or Wrike, you can help other small business owners and bloggers stay organized. As an expert, you can help them manage projects or train them on the platforms’ finer points to make it easier for them to handle things themselves.
92. Branding Consultant
As a branding consultant or branding strategist, you’ll help companies determine what customers want and how they can provide it. You essentially serve as a one-person marketing team.
93. College Prep Tutor
Many high school students need an extra boost in getting ready for the SAT or ACT. You can easily run an online business aimed at helping students get a better score.
94. Design Email Newsletter Templates
Online entrepreneurs need multiple ways to reach their audience. Email newsletters are a popular way to stay in touch with customers. You can design templates for other online business owners to use with their email lists.
As long as you have some basic knowledge of design and marketing skills, you’ll be good to go. After you create a few pre-designed templates, you can sell them to blog owners and entrepreneurs. You can make templates that work with multiple email marketing platforms or choose one to specialize in.
95. Data Mining
Data mining is what companies use to convert their raw data into useful information. If you’re into programming languages like Python and R, you can quickly learn data mining software suites and start a business offering data mining to other small businesses.
96. Content Strategist
As a content strategist, you’ll plan, write, and edit content for businesses. You’ll use marketing strategies to distribute the content across social media platforms and the web. You’ll keep the content on-brand message and work to help businesses reach their goals with the content you create.
Love to draw? You can provide your services as an illustrator to authors for books, web design, product tutorials, and more. Build a portfolio and ask people for referrals. You can also cold email businesses to see if they are interested in your services.
98. Sell Slogans
If you like coming up with catchy slogans, you can start a small business selling them for other companies to use. It’s an excellent way to break into the advertising business, too. Slogan Slingers is a good place to start.
One way to get money off of your slogans without selling them directly to others is to sell products with your slogans on them. You might want to offer potential customers the choice of product with a platform like Printify.
99. Charisma and Confidence Training
This is one of my favorite online business ideas. Charisma and confidence are two skills that make life more comfortable, and yet, it’s an area where lots of people struggle.
Even if you’re not an authority in the field, you can teach people confidence, social skills, and charisma based on what you’ve learned through trial and error in your own life. You can start a blog and YouTube channel to build authority in the industry, without any formal education or expertise.
100. Start a Clothing Line
With a bit of creativity and a flair for fashion, you can start your own clothing line, without ever having to sew a thing. Start out by selling a single product, and expand to offer other clothing items, just like Black Milk Clothing.
What Makes Online Businesses Successful
Starting an online business is not easy. Just because there are so many business ideas for beginners out there doesn’t mean you don’t have to work to get it profitable.
While there are many ways to start a great online business, you still have to work hard. Low barriers to entry and little startup costs often mean that lots of people jump in, so there can be a considerable amount of competition. Running an online business is about more than finding an idea you like and running with it. So before I send you off to get started building one of these small business ideas, I wanted to talk about some of the things that make a successful online business.
Looking at the Big Picture
When you start an online business, you have to have a plan, but you also need long term goals. What do you want your business to look like a year from now? What do you want it to look like five years from now?
The most successful entrepreneurs know how to look ahead while also focusing on what’s in front of them. Failure to see the big picture can stifle growth.
Using Tools and Automation
In the beginning, you may be continuing to work your full-time job while starting your online business. Even if you were a stay-at-home parent before, there’s only going to be a limited amount of time to focus on getting the company up and running. With limited capital, it may be difficult to hire any kind of contractor or employee to help you grow faster.
With social media marketing tools, scheduling tools, and automation, it is now easier for one person to get more things done than they used to. Though the initial setup process does take some time, creating a series of automated processes to handle tedious tasks such as invoicing can help save time that entrepreneurs then use for more critical tasks.
Outsourcing Where Necessary
Online businesses need social media marketing, paper click advertising, content marketing, and a website to succeed. However, if you’re not an expert in any of these things, it can be far more effective to hire someone who does understand these things.
Though you take the time to learn new skills yourself, it may mean losing money or letting your business suffer while you do. Outsourcing does cost time and money but often makes it easier for you to grow faster since you can focus your efforts on the skills that are your strongest.
The idea that once you start a business, you know all there is to know is plain silly. Regardless of industry, things change, and in certain industries, they change quite rapidly. The best entrepreneurs know they need to learn more. They continuously look for new information and stay on top of industry news and trends.
Differentiating from the Competition
Even if there isn’t a lot of competition in your industry, having something that sets you apart and makes you different from the others in your market goes a great way toward reaching your target audience. If people can’t tell you from your number one competitor, you’ll have a hard time captivating potential customers and staying at the top of their minds.
Knowing their Value Proposition
One of the best ways to stand out from the competition is to know and understand your value proposition. Without that, your core messaging and your overall brand will suffer. When those are not as clear as possible, your conversion rates will also be lower.
The great thing about being an online entrepreneur is that you can run multiple successful online businesses. The best online business to start isn’t the same for everyone. What works for one business owner may be an idea that terrifies another. No matter what kind of online business you want to start, the key to success is taking your time and researching your target market and competition.
All that said, as an aspiring entrepreneur and small business owner, it’s crucial to do your homework on the business side of things. You can start an online business as a sole proprietor. You may need a business license, depending on where you’re operating your business. However, as you grow, it may be more advantageous to consider forming an LLC or other company entities. Before starting an online business, make sure you abide by all local, state, and federal laws. For help with this, you can turn to an attorney and a tax professional. If you don’t have a lot of capital for startup costs, there are services available online to help you.
I hope you enjoyed this list of ideas for beginners. Starting an online business isn’t for the faint of heart, but it is easier now than ever before.