Turn your skills and your dreams into a lucrative business with these ideas. The promise of financial security and independence offered by an online business fascinates many would-be entrepreneurs. Here are the best online small business ideas to help you start your own online business and gain freedom and flexibility. There is no need to have a physical storefront or even to offer physical products for some of these online business ideas.
Additionally, if you work from home, you have complete control over your working hours, are your own boss, and can claim tax deductions for your home office. Here are some online business ideas for beginners that you might find worthwhile if you’re interested in becoming an internet entrepreneur.
The 44 best online business ideas
With the internet’s development and technology’s advancement, everyone can discover an online business idea, no matter what their background is. If you have a laptop and an internet connection, starting an online business can be one of the quickest, easiest, and most affordable ways to start a business.
1. Social media marketing
If you’ve got a knack for getting likes, favorites, retweets, followers, shares, comments and clicks, then you might want to consider a career in social media marketing. By consulting with companies to manage their social media profiles, spread their content across the Web, keep their brands on track and respond to customer questions, you can turn your favorite hobby into your day job.
2. SEO consulting
There’s a good chance that you’re an expert in SEO, or search engine optimization. Many companies will pay handsomely for your assistance if you know how to push a website up the Google rankings and how to turn searchers into customers.
The right SEO consultant can make a big difference in how a company’s website appears to search engine users — just a few positions on Google can make a huge difference in traffic numbers — whether it’s editing metadata tags, updating the company blog regularly, or searching for smart keywords to rank highly on. The bottom line of a business can be greatly impacted by your online business idea.
3. Freelance design
Are you an aesthetic enthusiast? What kind of art school did you attend? Or did you always design posters in Photoshop or Illustrator when you had free time?
You might be interested in freelance designing if you’re looking for an online small business idea that suits your skills. Working for yourself, building an online and word-of-mouth reputation, and working on projects that interest you are some of the perks of freelancing.
To enjoy the freedom of a freelance lifestyle, check out sites such as Upwork and Behance.
4. Writing as a freelancer
A freelance writer might be more your style if you’re skilled at words. Contributing to the blog is as easy as having an internet connection and a keyboard.
Employers will know you’re qualified to speak on certain topics if you’re knowledgeable in a specific area of interest. Your writing, however, is always of the utmost importance. Do you have a good command of English? Is it important to you to make sure you understand what you’re saying? Is your message reaching the right audience? Writers will find this online business idea appealing if they have confidence in their writing skills.
5. Publishing e-books
It might be a better idea to write and publish e-books rather than company blog posts if you don’t enjoy writing. It has never been easier to self-publish than it is now thanks to Amazon and other websites. Writing e-books might be a lucrative career choice if you think you have something to say that others will find useful or interesting.
E-books eliminate the hassle of designing, printing, and shipping your work. Publish, market, and sell anywhere in the world by writing, marketing, and publishing. Also, when the e-book takes off, you’ll reap a bigger share of the profits since you’re the one publishing it. The most important thing is to learn how to format an ebook correctly, pay for editing and cover design services, and create a marketing strategy that works – and there are many examples available on the internet.
6. Transform the text into another language
We still have some easy online business ideas for you if you’re a great writer but don’t want to publish your own work. You may find translating to be the ideal job if you speak multiple languages, for instance. Once you have the text you’re translating and understand what it is intended to accomplish, you can do it wherever you like.
An editor can edit anything from marketing materials to books to academic manuscripts, from copyediting to proofreading. In case you are interested in working when and how you want, editing could be a great business idea. This is because you possess a keen eye for detail and a good grasp of grammar.
There are a variety of online business ideas that can benefit from having a blog, but a blog is not exactly a business.
Writing for a living or designing for a living? Make each post a showcase of your skills. Would you like to learn about coding, photography, video, fitness, food, or anything else that interests you? Create great articles about those topics to demonstrate your knowledge.
You can grow your business faster by blogging if your audience trusts your authority and reads more. A blog is always a good idea, no matter which of these online business ideas you choose. Starting a blog will let you establish a presence online from which you can build your business.
9. Research as a freelancer
Working as a freelance researcher online allows you to work whenever and wherever you want, on your own terms. Hard work and a conscious awareness of how to find what you need are all that is needed; you don’t have to be a gifted writer or designer.
You’ll be doing valuable work for your clients — whether it be putting together research documents for competitor or market research, answering tough technical questions on forums, or analyzing statistics to spot trends — and you’ll get paid well for it, with no restrictions on your work.
10. Coding and web design as a freelancer
Have you noticed a trend yet? There are a lot of jobs that can be done in a company’s office, as well as for a different company’s clients whenever and wherever you want.
Working at a startup or tech giant has a lot of perks for software engineers, but freelance coding is one of the best home-based online business ideas if you are more interested in flexibility, diversity of projects, working at your own pace and being your own boss. There shouldn’t be too much of a problem finding clients if you specialize in web design, an especially popular type of freelance coding.
Additionally, you can offer your expertise and critical eye as a software consultant without necessarily coding.
11. Developing software and apps
Are you interested in taking freelance coding to the next level? Working on your own applications, programs, extensions and add-ons is an alternative to helping clients. The money you earn will be a direct result of your efforts and ingenuity, whether you sell your work on the App Store or make money from advertising – or you hold on for the long haul and hope to get acquired by a bigger company.
The challenge here is not the same as with typical freelancing, however. Once your app is already out and selling, you will have a predictable stream of revenue, but by then you have already invested a lot of time and energy. Freelancers should, therefore, ensure that the product they’re creating is in demand and that people are willing to buy it before making a money-losing freelance mistake.
Although there are risks, the rewards are often outstanding. What makes your project unique? Does it have the potential to become the next Minecraft or Angry Birds? There is only one way to find out.
For those with photographic skills, it might as well be possible to turn their passion into a paycheck. You can fund your freedom by selling your images to stock photo sites such as Shutterstock or iStock, which will pay you a commission.
Moreover, if you’re particularly talented, you should consider selling your photos on more exclusive sites with higher commission rates – or creating an online store of your own.
13. Business coaching
As the business coaching industry grows, it’s a good time to join in. You’ll need a track record and testimonials to prove your worth. You can charge anything from under $100 to several times that, depending on your credentials and effectiveness. It’s also perfectly acceptable to coach over the phone or via video chat rather than in person.
Here’s an online business idea that could bring you money if you’re interested in fixing up other businesses.
14. Providing college consulting services
The average college coach earns $40,000 per course by advising students and their families how to get into their dream schools.
College consulting, although it’s more of a rarity than a norm, can be lucrative – and it can be done via telephone or video chat. Ideally, you should have gone to a top-tier university (to prove to your parents that you know what you’re talking about) and have good writing skills, since personal statements and essays are heavily weighted in college applications.
Financial aid planning can also be part of college consulting, which means you need to become familiar with federal grant programs, state grant policies, and possible scholarship opportunities.
You may also want to consider starting a tutoring business as an online business idea for beginners that relies on assisting clients over the phone or through video chats.
A tutor can generate a lot of money without much effort for studious entrepreneurs who have high scores on standardized tests, know how to teach the best test-taking strategies, and are knowledgeable about their subject matter. Your reputation will increase as you achieve better results, allowing you to charge more per hour, session, or package.
You’re actually helping other people achieve some of life’s biggest goals by starting these online small businesses – business coaching, college consulting, and tutoring. That’s a pretty compelling job, especially when combined with the freedom to work from anywhere.
16. Online fitness trainer
“Online fitness training” may sound absurd, but it’s actually a real industry, and it shouldn’t be underestimated by anyone interested in online business ideas.
As a fitness trainer, you could serve as a fulfilling career if you have a passion for fitness and health. Nevertheless, it is much harder to train people online than to be right next to them. You may even come across as untrustworthy to potential clients if you do not have a lot of experience as a trainer.
While you could run an entirely online business, you might not find that appealing. Instead, you can travel to clients locally. Alternatively, you might consider focusing more on nutrition education to make up for your lack of personal presence.
17. E-commerce store
Starting an online store can be easy and cheap, especially when compared to opening a brick-and-mortar business. E-commerce is one of the most popular ways to do business online.
With a little creativity or handy work, you might be able to sell your products on sites like Etsy, Amazon, or eBay from your own home. If your niche and product are viral, getting discovered could be the biggest challenge. From pricing your work correctly to taking the best photos, there’s plenty of advice available to help you.
18. Thrifty virtual store
Are you interested in an online store even if you’re not into handicrafts? In order to accomplish this goal, you can follow a model like ThredUP, an online thrift store and consignment store. Another company crawls through eBay to find cool, unique, interesting items, then presents them to customers in an interesting way. You can differentiate yourself from the crowd with good copywriting and a strong brand.
These easy online business ideas are great for those who like curating rather than creating.
19. Affiliate marketing
Don’t be mistaken: social networking doesn’t require you to be an expert consultant.
By starting a blog, Instagram account, Twitter account, YouTube channel, or other social channel instead, you can get paid by companies to highlight their products. If you have a higher profile, you will be able to make more of an impact with your brand recommendations, and you will be able to place more products. Your social media skills can be used to benefit you with affiliate marketing, also known as influencer marketing, as long as your fans aren’t turned off by it.
The best thing about affiliate marketing is that you can be an affiliate marketer from anywhere you want, choosing your own hours and being your own boss.
20. Selling domain names on the Internet
The process of buying and selling internet domains is similar to that of real estate – except that it can be done from your computer at home. Here’s the lowdown: certain internet domain names are more popular, more valuable, and more sought after than others. Domain name flippers make money selling high-value domain names at online auctions for cheap after doing lots of research and forethought. One of the biggest Internet companies of 2001 was www.hotels.com, which sold for $11 million.
You need to devote a lot of time, energy, and attention to domain selling if you want to make a living at it. In order to avoid building websites nobody wants, you cannot just buy domain names randomly. In place of buying generic names from auctions, you must research the SEO optimization of the domain names you see, predict which companies and industries are likely to seek out new domains, and be creative with out-of-the-box names that you can buy for less and turn around quickly. You may need to be patient for some domains to fetch the right price.
This online business idea, however, has the benefit of being 100% online. It’s just you and your computer.
21. Bookkeeping or accounting
There are companies that offer these services despite the fact that entering the industry as a virtual accountant or bookkeeper can be challenging due to competition from foreign contractors. If you are already an accountant, you could offer your current clients a cost-saving option if you work remotely or from home.
In order to operate an online business, it’s necessary to be formally trained and certified. However, if you’re an experienced and dedicated accountant, then working online most (if not all) of the time shouldn’t be a problem.
22. Marketing by telephone
A virtual telemarketing business can be a great addition to an online small business plan if you’re a natural conversationalist. If you don’t mind working from home or traveling, you might find that your company outsources some of its sales and customer service staff.
23. Online personal assistant
Organizing. Efficacious. Achieving your own schedule is your goal.
Think about becoming a virtual assistant if these three things describe you. You can expect to work on everything from customer management and data entry to research, scheduling, and more, depending on your skill set, experience, and network. Of course, you can do this business from anywhere, just like all other online business ideas.
24. Data entry
In spite of the fact that data entry doesn’t pay well, you can easily work from home with this online business idea. A good place to start is data entry if you want a job that doesn’t require much attention or time. You want a career that you can do from home or while traveling.
25. Trading stocks or foreign currencies
In the same way that selling domain names on the internet can be a hobby or a career, stock trading can also be a casual hobby. In the right hands, this side hustle could become your full-time career if you’re talented at conducting deep research and predicting trends.
Trading on the foreign exchange or currency markets might be a better alternative if you aren’t comfortable maintaining $25,000 in your account at all times. This is because pattern day traders require $25,000 in their accounts at all times.
Despite these limitations, stock trading won’t provide you with the same level of flexibility as other online business ideas. If you trade stocks or foreign currency for your own account, you can work from home and be your own boss. However, it’s a high-risk job with long hours and steep learning curves. The different trading requirements, systems, and regulations you may have to deal with will require you to put in the time to understand.
If you can type quickly, transcription might be an option for you if you’re looking for an easier way to make money online. Transcribing audio files for reporters, making captions for TV shows and videos, or transcribing podcasts can all be done online.
The flexibility of working wherever and whenever you want makes it a good place to start as a freelancer.
27. A travel planner’s guide
Are you a travel enthusiast? Is there a network of connections that you have around the world that you have developed from traveling to different places? An online travel planning business might be a good choice if you are passionate about travel. From flights to hotels to things to do, you can assist clients with everything they need for their trip. Among your services are itinerary planning, food tips, currency exchange and safety advice, as well as serving as the point of contact between your client and any international contacts.
Plus, you can work from home while traveling while running your travel planning business. The more you travel, the more opportunities you’ll have to meet new clients, make new connections, and grow your business. If you want to supplement your planning business, you might even start a travel blog or photography site.
28. IT consulting and cybersecurity
This may be a good online business idea for someone with a technical background but not specifically interested in coding. You can help companies of all sizes by evaluating their systems, running tests, and providing tips on how to improve their setup as a cybersecurity consultant.
Alternatively, if you would prefer something broader, you may consider serving as an IT consultant, offering advice and assistance to businesses and individuals regarding their technology – helping them set it up, troubleshoot any issues and answer general questions.
Your cybersecurity consulting business can be run anywhere you have a computer set up. It may also be possible for you to frequent different offices periodically to assist with system issues on-site.
29. Counseling online
As a provider of mental health services, you no longer have to have an office or your own practice to counsel patients – you can conduct it virtually with companies like TalkSpace and BetterHelp. Technology-inclined therapists who want to reach a new group of patients can easily start this online business idea without much education or credentials.
Counselors, therapists or psychologists may decide to join one of these new companies or start their own business in order to explore the online therapy space. Your patients will benefit from more freedom and flexibility by counseling online, while you also get to enjoy some of the same benefits.
30. Consultation in public relations
Become an online PR consultant if you know all the best ways for businesses to communicate with the public online and are familiar with business branding and marketing. Your expertise can include managing social media accounts, press releases, web content and more for businesses. In addition, you can provide guidance and advice on campaigns, initiatives, and overall image management.
Depending on the client you’re working for, your hours and responsibilitdiffer. However, as a freelance PR consultant, you’ll have more control over your work than if you worked for an agency or PR firm.
31. Audio podcasts
It only took ten years for podcasting to gain popularity, with newspapers, radio stations, and even normal people getting in on the trend. It may be worth your while to consider podcasting if you feel that you would be able to talk frequently about something people would enjoy.
Provided you have the right audio equipment, podcasting can be done anywhere. Social media marketing is also an option after you upload your content to various podcast apps, websites, and podcast apps.
32. Coaching for a better life
Would you like to help people in a meaningful way, offering advice and guidance without the extensive education of a medical professional? Find it here on this list of online small business ideas. What about life coaching? The freedom to find your niche and decide how you can help people through life’s ups and downs is much greater if you become a life coach.
Moreover, as a life coach, you can create your own digital brand to give your clients additional resources beyond traditional phone calls or video chats. This online business idea offers flexibility while fulfilling your desire to help others.
33. Video production
If you are creative or have a background in digital production, video is another online business idea you may find appealing. Today, video is incredibly popular on social media and other websites, so you’ll definitely want to take advantage of this trend while you can. Thus, as a video producer, you can create the perfect final product for clients in various industries by shooting, cutting, and editing videos.
Despite its technical nature, video production can also offer unique storytelling opportunities and creative exercise. In addition, if you don’t have video experience, there are plenty of online resources you can utilize to gain knowledge and experience.
34. Advertisements on the internet
Do you know about Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm and “cost per click”? You might consider starting this online business idea from home if you have experience with the inner workings of online advertising – such as websites, social media platforms, and email campaigns.
Digital advertising consultants are often hired to monetize online platforms and manage advertising campaigns for clients. Businesses have increasingly become dependent on this space, especially those who operate primarily online, even though it is constantly evolving. Providing advertising services to clients via phone or email is as convenient as working from anywhere.
35. Career coaching and resume writing
It may be a good idea to start a business writing resumes and coaching careers if you have a background in human resources. Your services can include career advice, writing resumes and cover letters, and assisting clients with their job applications. It’s a good idea to start your online business idea on LinkedIn, as it’s a great platform for professionals seeking career advice.
In addition, you can communicate with clients 24/7 by chat, email, or phone — allowing you to work from wherever and whenever you choose.
36. Online dropshipping
Consider starting a dropshipping business instead of creating your own products to sell if you don’t want that responsibility. In this type of e-commerce operation, suppliers can provide you with products that you may then sell online. Creating your own website, creating your own business process, and controlling every aspect of it is entirely up to you.
Try working directly with manufacturers and importers or browsing dropshipping marketplaces. With e-commerce growing at a rapid pace, dropshipping will be in high demand.
37. Recruitment through the Internet
Have you ever had a knack for finding the perfect candidate for a job opening? A recruiting business might be an excellent online small business idea for you if you’re a people person and have good research skills. It involves finding and screening candidates for different businesses looking to hire new employees.
There will be no shortage of need for this kind of service as much of the recruiting process has become online-based for businesses, especially smaller ones that don’t have large HR teams or the resources and time to dedicate to recruiting.
38. Marketing consulting
It’s an art to market, so if you have any skills or experience with marketing campaigns, you might be able to make money by offering consulting services. Depending on your specific expertise, you can guide businesses on a variety of marketing topics and support their campaigns and strategies.
Online businesses can cater to businesses’ marketing needs in a variety of ways, from email marketing to event planning to website branding.
39. Writing a grant or fundraising online
Are you passionate about a cause? The assistance you provide to mission-based businesses, especially non-profits, might just be what you’re passionate about. Fundraising or grant writing may be profitable business for you if either scenario applies to you. These online endeavors require you to find prospective donors, promote companies and their goals, and, ultimately, try to raise funds for clients who need help with their fundraising campaigns.
Alternatively, you could assist clients in applying for grants and work with them to research and write them if you wish to extend beyond person-to-person fundraising.
40. Teach courses online
Do you have any particular knowledge of a particular subject? History of the United States business? Forms for taxation? Creating drawings? An online course teaching business can be started with a camera and a computer. The Internet has information on practically everything, but learning a specific skill or topic can sometimes be easier when you hear someone else explain it. Providing education to your specific audience would be the benefit of your course-teaching business.
You might also be able to find a job teaching online for a major online course provider if you have an advanced degree or teaching experience.
41. A cooking tutorial online
Would you consider yourself a good cook or baker? Making money while you do something you love is possible through virtual cooking classes. Your cooking business can be structured in a variety of ways – you can offer one-to-one sessions, hold live classes, and even conduct workshops.
By using affiliate marketing, you can even create cooking blogs, e-books, cookbooks, and link to your favorite baking and cooking supplies.
42. YouTube channel
Passionate writers often find niches and readers who are interested in the content they have to offer. A YouTube channel is a great way to spread the word about your new brand, message, or service. You might be able to reach millions via YouTube if you are comfortable on camera and have a location to film.
The process of establishing your channel will take a while. You’ll probably need to network on social media sites and blogging platforms at the beginning. However, with commitment, you will be able to make a comfortable living.
43. Working in voiceovers
Getting started with your own voiceover business from home, quickly and easily, could be an interesting online business idea for you. To lend your voice to advertising firms, production companies, and anyone else seeking a voiceover, you simply need a decent microphone and some sound editing software.
Start your search for the right opportunities by signing up for a freelancing website like Voices.com. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to show future potential clients excellent clips once you get your foot in the door.
44. Organize a team
You might be ready to start your own team of freelancers, consultants, experts, etc., after freelancing or running your own company for a while.
Hire a team of freelancers to help grow your writing and editing business if you have years of experience and attract new clients quickly.
Getting out of the office is not the only benefit of these online business ideas. Most people never have the chance to manage their time, set their own goals, and take responsibility for their work as well as they should. As a result of the above, starting a business online may give you a lot of flexibility. You must work hard to find clients, market your services, and generate an income stream, however.
Online businesses aren’t suitable for everyone. There’s no better time to start any one of these online business ideas for beginners than right now. You can achieve a successful lifestyle that most people can only dream of by exploring the different possibilities. You can do this by selecting a startup idea that fits your needs, researching ahead of time, and executing an effective business plan.