Online Business Ideas That Anybody Can Make Money From
There are many different businesses that anybody can start online, most of them for free, others may require a little upfront investment. Some of these online business ideas are passive and some are more ‘hands on’ so you will be sure to find a business idea to suit you.
We will list 10 online business ideas below that anybody can start today with little or no experience. Some of these ways of making money online are so simple and accessible that it is possible to engage in more than one and create yourself multiple income streams. You can find even more online business ideas in this post; 10 More Online Business Ideas.
See the different types of pricing strategies you can utilise here; Pricing Models And Strategies.
Before starting a business it may be beneficial to read the following blog post covering these 16 common business mistakes to avoid.
1. Affiliate Marketing
One of the most popular online business ideas to make money online is with affiliate marketing as it is a simple business model to understand and is easy for a beginner to get started. Affiliate marketing is where you will promote a merchant’s product or service online to potential customers using referral links.
Your job is to target potential customers and channel them to the vendor via your unique affiliate referral link. If the visitor goes on to complete a purchase then you will receive a commission fee from this purchase.
There are lots of affiliate programs available to join, some are open to anybody so are a great choice such as Fiverr whereas others require you to have your own website before you can join such as ShareASale.
Whilst you can utilise paid ads to increase sales, there are many free ways you can promote including social media, classified ads, forums and blogs. You can view more in depth information in our post; how you can make money with affiliate marketing.
Essential sales and marketing terms you need to know; Marketing Terminology.
You could consider starting your own podcast. This is an online business idea that is becoming increasingly popular. Podcasting is a huge industry and is currently growing fast. According to Forbes, 100 million people listened to a podcast each month in 2020 and this figure is expected to grow to 125 million people each month by 2022. Podcast ad spend is also estimated to rise to $1.7 billion by 2024. This is up from $800 million in 2020, so now could be the ideal time to start podcasting.
How To Start A Podcast
If you are interest in starting a podcast then Transistor is a great, intuitive podcast hosting and distibution platform to use. They give you everything you need to get started including a customizable podcast website, embeddable audio player, unlimited storage and in depth analytics. Uploading your podcast to Transistor allows you to easily distribute to Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts and more.
Unless you already have equipment such as microphones then you will need a to purchase these in order to begin recording. You can purchase all the audio recording equipment you require cheaply from Amazon. You will also require editing software. There are many but one of the best free editing tools is Audacity.
Once you are set up you will want to find ways of monetizing your podcast. This can be done in several ways including paid memberships, Patreon donations and advertising.
It can take a while to build up your podcast enough to monetize it but can be very rewarding in the future. So if you are interested in podcasting you should be in it for the long haul.
Learn more about starting a podcast in our dedicated post; How to make a profitable podcast.
3. Creating And Publishing eBooks Online
Creating and publishing eBooks is a pretty easy way to create a passive income stream. There are various ways you can sell eBooks including directly through your own website or via Amazon Kindle Publishing.
Selling your eBooks through the Amazon Kindle platform offers you great exposure. Amazon attracts millions of customers and you can earn up to 70% royalty fees on all your sales.
The great thing about eBooks is you don’t need to be a professional author and there is little cost involved. You also have many outlets online for publishing your work so don’t have to rely on a traditional print publisher.
For a quick and hassle free way of creating e-Books there is a powerful low cost software called Sqribble. It allows you to create professional and engaging eBooks in minutes. See this post for more information; Turn Kindle into a daily cash cow.
Another benefit of eBooks is that no matter which platforms you sell on, once your content is created and published you don’t need to do anything else. Each time any sale is made you will receive royalty payments. There are no other costs involved such as production or shipping costs as there are with physical products. This could potentially set you up a quality passive income stream.
4. Start A YouTube Channel
Most of us have social media accounts on one platform or another. Have you considered ways you can monetize them? YouTube is a platform that can offer great earnings potential from growing a channel. However not everybody wants to appear in front of the camera or is cut out for making their own videos.
If you prefer not to show your face on screen then there are still ways of monetizing a channel without creating your own videos. You can view more information in this free webinar; Tube Mastery and Monetization.
5. Create And Sell Stock Photos And Videos Online
You could shoot and sell your own photographs and videos. There are many websites that will purchase images directly or allow your images to be purchased by others to use as stock photography for a variety of uses such as websites and marketing materials.
One of the world’s largest marketplaces for stock photography is Shutterstock where images can be sold and purchased by users. They allow anybody to join for free so you don’t have to be a professional photographer. Your images will of course have to meet certain quality standards and be free from any copyright.
An alternative to Shutterstock is PhotoJobz, this company will purchase your photos that will then be used in books, magazines, and advertising.
Selling your photos is a great side hustle to earn some extra money. Or you can take it further and put in a lot of effort and turn it into a full time profitable online business by combining with idea number 9 below – create online training courses.
The good thing is that it is accessible to pretty much anybody even if you only have a camera phone. You can read more information in this blog post; Can you earn money from your photos?
If you have a large social media following and have built up credibility within an industry and have the ability to influence your audiences purchasing decisions then you could consider becoming a social media influencer. Some of the most popular social media platforms that influencers operate on include TikTok, Instagram, Twitch and YouTube.
There are specialist social media influencer marketing platforms you can join such as Influencer and Tribe. Even Amazon has their own influencer program that runs alongside their affiliate marketing program. You can see in more detail in our post here; Why you should join the Amazon Associates program.
These platforms connect influencers with brands that want you to promote their products to your followers. Generally speaking the more followers you have then the more you are likely to earn per post. However you don’t need millions of followers to get started. It can depend on what niche you operate in and the influence you have over your following. For example you can earn money on Tribe with as little as 3000 followers.
There are ways to increase your followers quickly and hugely improve your channel monetization. You can learn how to build a massive following on Instagram with Instapreneur Academy.
7. Print On Demand e-Commerce Business
Print on demand marketplaces are a great way of operating an online store without any upfront cost. This makes it an ideal low risk business idea, especially if you are new to running an online business. It is a very simple business model to follow and there are many platforms top join. Some of the most popular being Spring and RedBubble.
How Does Print-On-Demand Work?
When you join one of these online platforms for free, you are provided with a storefront that you can brand and customize. The company carries a range of products including apparel, homeware, gifts and even digital products like eBooks. The range of products will differ between platforms but they all have broadly the same types of products.
You can then select as many of these products to add to your store as you wish, customizing them with your own designs. You can use the services of a freelancer on Fiverr to create product designs cheaply. All you really need to then do is market and promote your store and products. Whenever a customer purchases one of your products you receive a portion of the profits.
All the inventory, shipping and customer service is handled by the company so you never have to pay anything upfront for products and don’t have to physically receive, store or ship the products. When the customer pays, the company deducts a portion of this for their operating costs and the rest you keep as your profit.
We have a more detailed guide on how you can profit from a free print on demand store.
8. Dropshipping e-Commerce Business
Dropshipping allows you to operate an online e-commerce store without the hassle and cost of handling, storing and shipping the products yourself as this is done through a third party, saving costs as you are not required to pay for any inventory upfront, you only pay for the product once the customer pays you. This will allow you to focus your efforts on your marketing to drive customers to your store and complete purchases.
At first dropshipping may appear to have some similarities to operating one of the print on demand marketplace stores but with dropshipping you have complete control over your store and which products you sell. You also have full control over pricing and as the products are shipped direct from suppliers can make this business model much more profitable.
One of the most popular platforms that most people start with is Shopify. If you have never run a dropshipping or online store before then it is recommended to to research fully before you begin.
SaleHoo Educate have a comprehensive free guide to dropshipping and additional in depth training resources taught by e-commerce experts that will teach you all you need to know to build, launch and grow a successful online business with Shopify. Learn more about dropshipping here; 10 Dropshipping Beginner Mistakes To Avoid.
View our full guide to dropshipping here; Online Dropshipping Business – How It Works.
9. Create Online Training Courses
It doesn’t matter what type of skills, knowledge or interests you have, you can guarantee somebody else wants to learn it, and now you have the perfect online platform to monetize your passion. This could be anything you are good at from photography to coding to painting, the possibilities are endless.
You might not know it yet, but you have knowledge worth sharing. And by creating an online course, you have the opportunity to reach more people than ever (no geographical limits when your classroom is the internet) and make money doing it.
Teachable makes it easy to create and sell stunning online courses—even if you don’t have advanced tech skills. More than 150,000 creators have collectively made over $1 billion to date.
The best way to learn about Teachable and how to use it is with their free webinar: The Quickstart Guide to Selling Your Knowledge Online with Teachable. This 40-minute webinar is jam packed with need-to-know tips and strategies for creating a course on Teachable. You can find more information in this post; Earn Money By Creating Online Courses.
10. Online Freelancing
The final one of our list of online business ideas is freelancing. As with creating courses, if you have any type of knowledge or skills to offer in almost any niche, you could be monetizing them by carrying out freelancing work online.
Anything you have to offer from creative and design skills to coding and web development to copy writing and translation services can be sold on these online marketplaces.
You might also like to see how anybody can earn extra money as a freelance writer.
More Online Business Ideas
There are lots more online business ideas you could start. We cover many more of these on our website including things like website flipping.
You can find even more online business ideas in this post; 10 more online business ideas. Find more online business ideas on our blog. Please join our newsletter to get all the latest content direct to your inbox.