Are you looking to start your own business online and don’t know where to start?
It can be tough to get started, especially if you don’t know exactly what type of online business you want to set up.
Think about your skills, passions, and knowledge – you may be surprised to know that whatever your background or experience, there is likely an online business option for you.
My name is AJ, and I have started and owned many different businesses over the past two decades, including a multi-seven-figure exit in 2022.
Let’s find you a great online business idea!
Blogging is a great way to get started in the online business world.
- Low initial setup costs
- No need for coding or design skills
- Ability to make money through ad revenue, sponsored posts, and affiliate marketing
- Long-term commitment and consistency is needed for success
- Monetizing a blog takes time
- Patience and perseverance are required to see results
What is Blogging?
Blogging is content marketing where you create and publish blog posts on your website.
A blog post is content usually written in an opinionated or conversational tone and can include text, images, videos, audio files, links to other websites, and more.
The goal is to attract readers, build relationships, and drive traffic to your site.
There are a lot of different niches you can blog in, from travel to health and wellness to business.
Some niches are more popular than others, so research to find the one that’s right for you.
With blogging, you must continuously produce content to keep your readers engaged and build an online presence.
Blogging is a great way to build your brand, attract customers, and make money. You can use it to showcase your expertise in a particular area or product.
You can use blogging to promote products you have created or sell from another site.
It also lets you connect with your customers, build trust, and position yourself as an expert.
Why wouldn’t readers want to keep up with your posts and return if they trust you and see you as an expert?
Some examples of successful bloggers include:
- Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income. He creates content related to making money online and other business topics.
- Neil Patel from Neil Patel Digital. He shares SEO, social media marketing, and other digital marketing content. Holly
- Hitha Palepu from The Mom Edit. She writes about fashion, beauty, motherhood, and lifestyle.
Blogging Monetization Strategies
Once you’ve built an audience, there are different ways to monetize your blog.
Affiliate marketing is when you partner with other companies to promote their products or services in exchange for a commission.
You can make money by recommending products and services your readers might be interested in or find helpful.
When someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you get a commission from the sale.
Although affiliate marketing can be lucrative, you must carefully select the products or services you choose to promote.
Ensuring the products or services you promote are relevant to your readers is essential.
Even though it doesn’t cost you anything to sign up for an affiliate program, you should still expect to invest time researching the right affiliate programs and building relationships with other companies.
You can also display ads on your site and earn money when people click on them. This is a great way to generate passive income.
Display advertising uses tracking technology to target ads that are relevant to your readers. You can control how many ads you want to be displayed on each page.
It is available through ad networks like Google Adsense, Mediavine, Ezoic, or other third-party networks.
It is an excellent option if you want to start generating income quickly.
FYI – We utilize both of these strategies on SBB! If you see links around the site that take you to some of our recommended services, we get paid!
If you are creative and have a product idea, eCommerce is a great way to make money online.
- Low overhead costs
- Ability to scale quickly and reach a broad audience
- It requires some level of digital marketing skills
- You need to have excellent customer service in place
- It takes more effort than other strategies on this list
What is eCommerce?
eCommerce is selling products or services online. It is an online store where customers can purchase goods or services.
It can range from physical products such as apparel, toys, or gadgets to digital products like e-books, online courses, or software.
No matter what you want to sell, you’ll need a website and payment processing system to start.
Why Do eCommerce?
eCommerce is an attractive way to make money because it gives you more control over your profits.
You don’t need to rely on third-party networks for sales; you can set your prices for products or services.
It also allows you to scale quickly, as you can reach customers globally with a few clicks of a button.
- Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world. It sells products from books to electronics and offers various services such as Prime Video and Music.
- Away is an online retailer of travel bags and accessories. They sell stylish and durable luggage through its website and has become a popular brand among travelers.
- Stitch Fix is a subscription service that sends customers personalized boxes of clothing based on their style preferences. You can purchase individual items or set up a subscription plan.
- Purple Mattress is an online retailer selling organic mattresses, pillows, and bedding. They offer free shipping and a 100-night trial and are known for their unique comfort levels.
eCommerce Monetization Strategies
eCommerce businesses can make money through the sale of products and services.
The most common way to make money with eCommerce is through product sales.
Whether your product is physical or digital, you must create a user-friendly website and an optimized checkout process.
You can also set your prices and offer discounts or promotions to promote sales and increase profits.
The shipping cost must also be considered when pricing your products so you can remain competitive and make a profit.
You could also consider offering free shipping or subscription services for repeat customers. This will help increase customer loyalty and drive more sales.
Dropshipping is also a popular way to make money with eCommerce.
With drop shipping, you partner with a wholesaler or manufacturer who stores and ships products directly to your customers.
You don’t need to keep any inventory and can focus on selling instead of dealing with logistics.
However, you must carefully select the right partner to ensure quality and reliability. If you don’t, you could damage your reputation and lose customers.
Being able to focus on sales with dropshipping is a great way to make money with eCommerce, but you must be prepared for the competition.
You’ll need to create an effective marketing strategy to stand out from the crowd.
3. Influencer Marketing
You can be an influence marketing partner for brands to promote their products or services on your website or social media.
- Low risk and no overhead costs
- Opportunity to work with big brands
- It would be best if you had a large following to be successful
- You need to be knowledgeable about the products or services you promote
- You need to test each product thoroughly (most of the time)
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of marketing where brands partner with individuals who have a significant online presence.
As an influencer, you create content that promotes the brand’s products or services to their followers on social media, blogs, websites, and other platforms.
The goal is to increase brand awareness, engagement, and ultimately sales.
It can be an effective way for businesses to reach more customers without spending too much money on traditional advertising.
Why Do Influencer Marketing?
Being an influence marketing partner is a great way to make money and build relationships with brands.
You can also create engaging and shareable content to help you grow your following.
When done correctly, it can be a win-win situation for both the brand and the influencer.
The brand gets more customers and exposure, while you, the influencer, can earn money and grow your audience.
Influencer Marketing Examples
- Shawn Johnson East is an Olympic gold medalist with a large following on social media. She often partners with fitness and health brands to promote their products or services to her followers.
- The Bucket List Family partners with brands to promote travel products and services. They have over 2 million followers on Instagram and YouTube and are often featured in travel publications.
- Olivia Craynon is a fashion blogger who partners with brands to promote their clothing. She has over 300k followers on Instagram and often posts about her favorite fashion trends.
- Charli and Dixie D’Amelio are two sisters who partner with various brands, including fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. They have over 100 million followers on TikTok and are often seen promoting products they love.
These are just a few successful influencers who have used their platforms to make money by partnering with brands.
Influencer Marketing Monetization Strategies
Influencer marketing can be a great way to make money.
Brands often offer payment for each post, sponsored content, or an affiliate commission for sales generated from your link.
Sponsored content is when a brand pays you to create and post content about their products or services.
It can be in the form of a blog post, video, or social media post. The goal is to promote the brand’s products while staying authentic and not sounding like an advertisement.
It is a great way to earn passive income and build long-term relationships with brands.
However, it is essential to carefully select the right brands and create high-quality content that your audience will engage with.
Freelancing is another online business idea and a great way to make money.
- Flexibility and freedom to work from anywhere
- Ability to set your hours and rates
- Opportunity to work with clients from different industries
- Need to have specialized skills or expertise
- You may need to invest in equipment and software
What is Freelancing?
Freelancing is working as a self-employed consultant or contractor for clients.
Some examples of services you could offer are:
- Web Design
- Graphic Design
- Virtual Assistant Work
- Data Entry
- Social Media Marketing
Many other freelancing opportunities are available, so it’s essential to research before getting started.
Find something you are passionate about and offer services matching your skill set.
Why Do Freelancing?
- Freelancing can be a great way to make money while gaining valuable experience.
- Freelancers usually work on a project basis or charge an hourly rate (sometimes into the thousands of dollars an hour).
- You can do it from anywhere in the world, have the freedom to choose the type of work you do, and have flexibility over when and how much you work.
- It also allows you to develop essential communication, problem-solving, and time-management skills.
- Most importantly, freelancing gives you more control over your income and career.
Freelancing Monetization Strategies
Monetizing freelance work is relatively straightforward.
You can charge a flat fee for each project or an hourly rate. You can also offer packages or discounts for long-term work.
Selling freelance services is a great way to make money online. You can offer your services on popular freelance marketplaces such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.
After you graduate from online marketplaces, you can create your website and list your services to attract more clients.
Regardless of how you monetize your freelance work, charging a fair rate for your services is essential.
By researching and setting clear client expectations, you can ensure you get paid a fair rate for your work.
5. App Development
App development is another popular online business idea for tech-savvy people.
- Opportunity to create something unique and innovative
- Ability to reach a global audience
- Potential for long-term passive income
- High learning curve (you need to be a developer)
- Need to invest in software and equipment
What is App Development?
App development is the process of creating applications for mobile phones and other devices.
Apps can provide services, enhance user experience, or create new revenue streams.
A basic understanding of software development and user interface design can also be beneficial.
If you don’t have these skills, take online courses or find a mentor to teach you the basics.
Why Develop Apps?
App development can be a great way to make money and build an online business.
Apps are becoming increasingly popular, so there is a large potential market.
Developing an app also allows you to create something that will make people’s lives easier or more enjoyable.
Developing an app is usually long and demanding, but the result can be very rewarding.
App Development Examples
- Duolingo is a language-learning app that has been downloaded over 300 million times. It uses game-like activities to help users learn a new language in an engaging and fun way.
- Kayak is an app that helps travelers find the best flights and hotels at the lowest prices. It also provides tips and tools to help travelers organize their trips.
- Headspace is a mindfulness app that helps users relax and de-stress. It offers guided meditations, breathing exercises, and other activities to help people achieve a healthier lifestyle.
- Remind is an app that helps teachers send reminders and notifications to students and parents. It also allows teachers to track student progress and give feedback on assignments.
You can make revenue as an app developer in a few unique ways.
Build and Monetize Your Own App
There are several ways to monetize an app.
- Offer a Premium Version – this often provides additional features and content unavailable in the free version.
- Display Ads are a great way to generate revenue but should be used in moderation as too many ads can be intrusive and annoying.
- In-App Purchases are purchases made within the app, such as virtual currency or items.
- Charge a Subscription Fee – this would be a recurring fee that users would pay to access the app.
- Sell the App in an App Store – this is the most common way to monetize an app and requires you to list your app in an app store such as Google Play or Apple’s App Store.
Regardless of which monetization strategy you decide to use, ensure it is appropriate for your audience and adds value to the user experience.
Selling Your App Development Services
To avoid developing your own app, you can offer your services as an app developer on popular freelance marketplaces.
You can list your services, such as user interface design or coding in specific languages.
Include a detailed description and let potential clients know about your experience or qualifications.
Like freelancing, you can create your own website to showcase your services and attract more clients.
6. YouTube Creator
A YouTube creator creates videos and shares them on a platform owned by Google.
This type of business requires creativity, dedication, and an understanding of the YouTube platform.
- An opportunity to reach a global audience
- Potential for long-term passive income
- Ability to monetize videos with ads and sponsorships
- High learning curve
- Need to invest in software and equipment
- It may take a while to build up a large enough following to make money
What is a YouTube Creator?
YouTube creators create a variety of videos, ranging from educational to entertaining.
The content can be anything from tutorials and cooking shows to vlogs and travel diaries.
To become a successful YouTube creator, you must understand the platform, the types of content that do well, and how to optimize your videos for views.
You need to create high-quality content that appeals to your audience continuously.
Why Create a YouTube Channel?
Creating content for YouTube can be a great way to make money and build an online business.
The more views your videos get, the more money you can make from ads and sponsorships.
You can also use your channel as a platform to promote products or services. It can be a great way to reach a wider audience and build an online presence.
- Justin Escalona is a popular YouTube creator focusing on lifestyle and travel content. He has over 1 million subscribers, and his videos have garnered over 80 million views.
- Markiplier is a gaming YouTuber with over 27 million subscribers. He has one of the platform’s most-followed channels, and his videos have garnered over 5.6 billion views.
- Cody Ko is a popular YouTuber who focuses on comedy and music. He has over 12 million subscribers, and his videos have garnered over 1 billion views.
- Bertie Gregory is a wildlife photographer and filmmaker. He has over 1 million subscribers, and his videos have garnered over 20 million views.
YouTube Monetization Strategies
You can monetize your YouTube channel in several ways.
Some of those ways include ad sales, sponsored content, and affiliate marketing.
Ad sales are the most common way to make money on YouTube.
Google AdSense allows you to display video ads and get paid for each view or click they generate.
It is vital to ensure you meet YouTube’s guidelines for ad placement because ads can be distracting or intrusive.
Sponsored content is when a company pays you to create and share a video about their product or service.
Usually, the company will provide you with a script or guidelines for creating the video.
This can be a great way to make money if you have an audience that responds well to sponsored content.
7. Online Consulting/Coaching
If you are an expert in a particular field, you can offer online consulting or coaching services.
- Flexible work hours
- Opportunity to help others
- Potential for high income
- Need to invest in marketing
- Need to stay current on industry trends and best practices
- Need to develop a robust online presence
What is Online Coaching?
You offer Online consulting or coaching to help people reach their goals.
It can range from career advice and guidance to financial and lifestyle tips.
This could be a great way to build an online business if you have valuable knowledge or experience to share with others.
Why Do Online Coaching?
Offering consulting or coaching services can be a great way to monetize your expertise.
You can also use this service to build an online presence and reach more people. Your knowledge and expertise can be valuable to those who need it.
If you are consulting/coaching, you can offer your services hourly or per-project basis and decide when and how you work.
Online Consulting/Coaching Examples
- Strong with Sarah is a personal training and nutrition program by Sarah Fragoso. She offers online tutorials, meal plans, and coaching services for those who want to lead a healthier lifestyle.
- Financial Freedom Project is a financial consulting business launched by John Lee Dumas. He offers one-on-one consultations, online courses, and resources to help people achieve financial freedom.
- The Organizer Coach is a business founded by Demetria Miles-McDonald to help people declutter their lives and stay organized. She offers one-on-one coaching as well as online courses and resources.
- Passion for Business is a business consulting service by John Williams. He offers one-on-one coaching and online resources to help entrepreneurs reach their goals.
Online Coaching Monetization Strategies
When it comes to monetizing your consulting/coaching business, there are several options.
Selling Coaching Services
Selling services is the most common way to monetize your online consulting/coaching business.
You can offer one-on-one consultations for an hourly fee or a pre-set fee per project. Or you can provide group sessions or webinars at a set price.
Additionally, you can offer a subscription service where clients pay monthly or yearly for access to your services.
This allows you to provide access to your services for a fixed period or at a discounted rate.
You can also create and sell online courses and digital products, such as e-books and online workshops, that people can purchase. This is typically done in conjunction with coaching.
A podcast is a form of media that users can download and listen to on their phones or computers.
It has recently become popular with entrepreneurs and business owners as a way to reach their audience in a new way.
- Opportunity to reach a wider audience
- Potential for passive income
- Flexible work hours
- You need to invest in equipment
- It would be best if you were comfortable talking in front of a microphone
- You have to stay up-to-date on podcasting best practices
What is Podcasting?
A podcast is a digital audio file that users can access and listen to on their phones or computers.
Podcasts usually focus on a specific topic and feature interviews or conversations with different people.
They are usually divided into discrete episodes that listeners can download and listen to whenever they want.
Most podcasts come out weekly or consistently so listeners know when to expect new content, which can be accessed for free or through an app.
Why Create a Podcast?
Creating a podcast is a great way to reach your audience in a new way.
It allows you to share your expertise and advice in an engaging format that people can access on their own time.
Podcasts also allow you to connect with other experts and influencers who can help you reach more people and build relationships with potential customers or partners.
Having guests on the podcast can broaden the reach of your show and can help you expand your knowledge and expertise in different fields.
- Couple Things with Shawn & Andrew is a relationship podcast hosted by Shawn Johnson East and Andrew East. They provide honest advice about relationships from their own experiences.
- Lore is a podcast that explores the dark and mysterious side of history. Hosted by Aaron Mahnke, each episode covers different topics, such as myths, legends, and stories from the past.
- The Joe Rogan Experience is a podcast hosted by comedian and UFC commentator Joe Rogan. It features conversations with guests from various fields, including science, politics, and entertainment.
- Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard is a podcast hosted by actor Dax Shepard. He interviews different guests and discusses topics such as relationships, parenting, mental health, and entertainment.
Podcast Monetization Strategies
When it comes to monetizing your podcast, the most common way to do so is through sponsorships or ads.
Sponsorships and Ads
Sponsorships and ads are a great way to monetize your podcast because they allow you to profit from each episode without charging for it.
You can reach out to companies or brands interested in sponsoring your show and get them to provide you with a fee in exchange for mentioning their brand or product on the show.
You can also have ads play during the episodes, generating revenue each time someone listens to an episode with the ad.
Additionally, you can offer exclusive content, such as bonus interviews or behind-the-scenes footage, for a fee.
This allows your loyal listeners to access additional content and support your show simultaneously.
How to Start My First Online Business?
Starting your first online business can be challenging but rewarding.
Take a look at the step-by-step guide below.
1. Define Your Idea & Niche Down
The first step is to define your idea and niche down.
Consider what you are passionate about and what kind of business you want to build.
Consider the types of online businesses we discussed above and any other ideas you may have.
You don’t want to choose something too broad, so be sure to niche down and focus on a specific topic or audience.
Niching down means focusing on a smaller, more specific area of interest.
Example: Instead of a podcast about Travel, start a podcast about traveling in Mexico.
2. Research the Competition
Once you have a clear idea of what you will do, it’s time to research the competition.
Check out other businesses in your niche and see what they are doing.
Research the following:
- Marketing Strategies
- Customer Reviews
- Gaps in the market
Get an idea of how they are doing and how successful they are.
You need to stand out from the competition, consider how your business will be different, and what you can offer that is not already available.
3. Prototype Your Business
Once you have a good idea of what the competition is doing, it’s time to prototype your business.
A prototype is a basic version of your online business that you create to test out your ideas and see if they will work.
Create mockups or wireframes of your website, product, or service. This will help you visualize how your business will look and function.
You can also create prototypes using online tools such as Figma or Invision. These tools allow you to create interactive prototypes of your business.
4. Get Customer Feedback
Getting feedback from customers is essential. It is important to know what customers think about your idea and how it can be improved.
You can get feedback by surveying current or potential customers, interviewing them, or even having them test out a prototype of your product or service.
This will give you valuable insights into what people like and don’t like about your idea and can help refine it.
5. Refine Your Idea
Once you have customer feedback, it’s time to refine your idea.
Return to the drawing board and make any changes or adjustments that customers suggested.
Ensure you focus on what customers want and need from your product or service.
Don’t just make changes for the sake of making them – focus on what will help you serve your customers better. This will help you create a successful online business.
6. Write a One Page Business Plan
Now that you have a refined idea, it’s time to write a one-page business plan.
A business plan is a roadmap for your business.
It should include information about your product or service, how you will market it, how you will make money from it, financial projections, and a timeline for reaching your goals.
Writing a one-page business plan is important because it helps you stay focused on the key aspects of your business and makes it easier to communicate your idea to potential investors.
6. Fail, Refine, Fail Again
Once your business concept is laid out, don’t be afraid to try new things and fail along the way.
You’ll be surprised at the things you thought wouldn’t work, and the things that didn’t that you thought would work.
Fail plus reflection equals progress!
What is the Most Popular Online Business?
If you are going to start an online business, the most popular are businesses that require little upfront capital.
- Dropshipping businesses allow you to sell items without having to store inventory
- Digital products include digital downloads such as music, books, or software
- Affiliate marketing involves promoting other people’s products and earning a commission for each sale
- Subscription services charge customers a recurring fee in exchange for access to premium content or products
Because they are the most popular, these online businesses typically have the most competition and require the most work.
However, they can also be the most lucrative when done correctly.
What is the Easiest Business To Start Online?
Typically, the most popular businesses to start are also the easiest. However, here is a list of the easiest businesses to start.
- Freelancing (you don’t even need a website)
- Selling Your Expert Services
These types of businesses can be easier to start because you don’t necessarily have to have a product or service ready before starting a business.
Additionally, they can be flexible and offer you the freedom to work remotely, set your hours, and more.
However, they often require specific skills and knowledge you may not have. So it’s essential to do research before starting one.
What is the Most Profitable Business to Start Online?
The most profitable online business will depend on your skills, the market you are entering, and how much time and money you are willing to invest.
Typically, service-based businesses are the most profitable because they don’t have overhead.
- Web Design Services
- SEO Services
- Digital Products (Courses)
Whichever type of business you choose, it’s important to research the competition and create a detailed business plan before getting started.
A business model that works for one person may not work for another, so finding what works best for you is crucial.
This will help make sure that your online business is successful in the long run.
What are the Best Online Business Ideas for Beginners?
When starting an online business, the best ideas for beginners are usually related to freelance services, blogging, or dropshipping companies.
These types of businesses usually require less money and time to get started and can be done from anywhere with an internet connection.
Most of these businesses require specific skills, but these usually can be acquired through online courses or tutorials.
What Online Business Ideas Can You Do From Home?
Most online businesses can be done from home!
This includes the following
- Freelance Services
- Web Design
- Content Creation
- eCommerce Stores
- Dropshipping Businesses
- Selling Digital Products
- Affiliate Marketing
- Selling Subscription Services
If working from home appeals to you, any of these online businesses can easily be done with just a computer and an internet connection.
Wrapping Things up!
We’ll leave you with this:
A successful online business starts with a great idea. However, an idea is only the start. You’ve got to have a ton of blood, sweat, and magic to make a company profitable.
Are you about to start an online business? Please let us know in the comments below!
Now let’s get your business online! Good luck!