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9 online business ideas you can start now
Look into which online business could replace your 9-5.
Updated . What changed?
With the onset of COVID-19 there has been a huge shift in the workplace dynamic. Offices closed, many companies downsized, and some employees moved into a scenario where they work remotely from a home office.
These changes could be around to stay. So with so much uncertainty, why not look into paving the way for yourself to work from home on a permanent basis? All it takes is an Internet connection, and you can start an online business — whether you aspire to become a full-time entrepreneur, or are simply looking for ways to build up a passive income.
We’ve narrowed down some more popular options along with a couple of quick wins that you could make happen starting today.
Nine online businesses you can start right now
1. Blog or online magazine
If you have a knack for writing, you could take a skill, interest or talent – whether it be DIY projects, travelling or remodeling cars – and gear it toward an audience who are interested in the same. You write, blog or vlog your know-how and earn money at the same time.
This one is potentially a slow burner since you’ll need to develop a strong following and high traffic to start making an income adequate to live on, but it’s certainly achievable if you have the right skillset. It is cheap to start a website or blog with many hosting options available.
There are a few different ways to earn money through blogging, but the main ways are through ad revenue and affiliate marketing. If you can get to 100,000 monthly page views, you could see an income between $1,000 and $10,000 per month.
2. Social media consultant/manager
If you’re savvy with social media marketing, you can help other small businesses develop a strategy, create posting schedules and create engaging content for their target audience.
Social media managers can expect to make between $35,000 and $75,000 per year.
3. E-commerce site
With a focus on selling products either through your own website or an already-established online marketplace such as eBay or Amazon, e-commerce is one of the Internet’s biggest moneymakers.
Dropshipping is similar to running an e-commerce website but without the worry of storing inventory. You take customer orders through an online store and it’s handled through a third-party retailer for fulfillment.
This is another online business that will take some time to get going and your income will depend on factors such as how well you’ve chosen your niche and the amount of traffic you generate.
4. Create a course or e-book
Share your knowledge on the Internet with people who with more time on their hands to learn something new. Whether that’s writing and self-publishing an e-book on Amazon or creating a full-fledged masterclass with interactive content and coaching sessions included.
The time it takes to develop content is the biggest challenge here as you’ll require different types of media and a variety of platforms to get your content out there.
The potential for earning is completely up to you as you can sell a short e-book for as little as $3 or $4, or market a signature course for thousands of dollars.
5. Affiliate marketer
If the sound of creating your own digital products or setting up a fully developed e-commerce store sounds overwhelming, then consider the business model of promoting other people’s products and selling them.
An affiliate marketer targets a niche and builds an audience that looks to them as that niche’s authority. From there, you can sell products to your following though an email list, social media channel or website and earn commission on the sales.
6. Online tutor
In a similar vein, online tutoring lets you take what you know and deliver it in a one-to-one setting. Tutoring opportunities include teaching English as a second language, helping with test prep or even giving piano lessons. With many schools moving to an online learning model, you could give extra support to students with learning curriculum.
Starting wage for online tutors can range between $13 and $25 hourly, whereas experienced instructors and teachers can earn upwards of $40 to $60 per hour.
7. Online coach
If you’re successful and experienced at one particular part of your life and are ready to help people figure out how to achieve similar goals, then coaching could be your ticket.
These days, it’s possible to find a coach for almost anything, including health coaches, dating coaches, business coaches or life coaches.
Startup is as simple as setting up regular phone or video calls with online chat support and you can start straight away by marketing to your current network of friends and acquaintances. You can expect to charge anywhere from $50 to $100 per session or more.
8. Technical writer
Enjoy technology and figuring out how things work? Apply your writing skills and take your tech savvy to the masses by presenting technical information in a user-friendly way.
Similar to a content writer or copywriter, technical writers create or gather information and communicate complex information simply in the form of in-software or in-app help, a website or blog. Technical writers can earn between $40,000 and $87,000 on average per year.
9. Freelancer or consultant
Chances are, you can take what you’re doing now and start offering it as an online service. Graphic designer, project manager and software developer are all roles that easily convert into online businesses.
For more hands-on roles, you might need to use your imagination a little bit but you could to find a way to translate your skills over to the Internet. Administrative assistant can check out virtual assistant roles. Second-language speakers could consider translation services.
Freelancer platforms like Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer.com are great places to start looking for work right away where you can set your own salary — but you will have to compete with other freelancers.
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We’ve compiled a collection of services to get your business started below. Explore different tabs on the table to find what you need.
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