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9 online business ideas you can start now

Look into which online business could replace your 9-5.

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online seller taking a photo of an item

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.

Use video chat tools such as Zoom or alternative video conferencing software or use existing tutoring platforms that allow you to reach willing participants around the world.

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.

Compare collaboration software

We’ve compiled a collection of services to get your business started below. Explore different tabs on the table to find what you need.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Features Price starts at App Integration Tech Support
Slack
Direct messaging, Public chat channels, Video, Project management
Free, and paid plans start at $8/month
Yes
Email
Helps streamline communications across company teams and projects
U Meeting
U Meeting
Direct messaging, Video, Calendar
Free, and paid plans start at $29.99/month
Yes
Email
Meet face-to-face with anyone from anywhere around the world and experience an entirely new, frustration-free way to go about your business.
Monday.com
Direct messaging, Project management, Calendar
Free trial, and paid plans start at $49/month
Yes
Phone, Email
Connect to run projects and workflows with confidence
SentryPC
SentryPC
Project management
$59.95 per year
No
Email
A completely cloud-based computer monitoring, content filtering, and time management software wrapped into one.
Avast
Free trial, and paid plans start at $36.99/month
Yes
Phone, Email
Get award-winning free antivirus for PC, Mac & Android.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Features Price starts at App Integration Tech Support
Slack
Direct messaging, Public chat channels, Video, Project management
Free, and paid plans start at $8/month
Yes
Email
Helps streamline communications across company teams and projects
Monday.com
Direct messaging, Project management, Calendar
Free trial, and paid plans start at $49/month
Yes
Phone, Email
Connect to run projects and workflows with confidence
GoToMeeting
Direct messaging, Public chat channels, Video, Project management, Calendar
Free trial, and paid plans start at $14/month
Yes
Phone, Email, Live chat
The trusted online meeting software for millions to communicate and collaborate on any device, anywhere.
U Meeting
U Meeting
Direct messaging, Video, Calendar
Free, and paid plans start at $29.99/month
Yes
Email
Meet face-to-face with anyone from anywhere around the world and experience an entirely new, frustration-free way to go about your business.
ClickMeeting
ClickMeeting
Direct messaging, Public chat channels, Video, Project management
Free trial, and paid plans start at $30/month
Yes
Email, Live chat
A webinar software to to teach, train, coach, onboard and educate your audience.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Monthly Price Free Trial? Simultaneous Logins Crypto Payments Recommended Encryption
ExpressVPN
$12.95
Yes
5
Yes
256-bit AES
FastestVPN
FastestVPN
$10
No
10
No
256-bit AES
IBVPN
$3.08
Yes
5
Yes
256-bit Blowfish
NordVPN
$11.95
No
6
Yes
256-bit AES
TorGuard
$9.99
Yes
5
Yes
256-bit AES
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Compare up to 4 providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Price from (per month) Domain price Hosting type/s Space Bandwidth
Bluehost Web Hosting
$3.95
Free for first year
Wordpress,Cloud,Dedicated,VPS,Shared
50GB-Unmetered
Unmetered
WordPress recommended Bluehost offers a suite of web hostings options and allows users to easily develop a site that suits their specific needs.
iPage Web Hosting
$1.99
Free for first year
Wordpress,Dedicated,VPS
Unlimited
Unlimited
iPage is a user-friendly, cost-efficient, and green-certified web host.
HostGator Web Hosting
$2.75
Free for first year
Wordpress,Reseller,Cloud,Dedicated,VPS,Shared
Unmetered
Unmetered
HostGator is known for offering unlimited storage and traffic capacity, allowing for seamless site growth and development.
JustHost Web Hosting
$3.95
Free for first year
Web,Dedicated,VPS
50GB-Unmetered
Unmetered
JustHost offers shared, VPS and dedicated hosting services that are cheap and simple for businesses looking to create an online presence.
1&1 IONOS Web Hosting
$1
$1-12 for first year, $15-50 thereafter
Web,Wordpress,Cloud,Dedicated,VPS
100-500GB
100-500GB
1&1 IONOS is an established web hosting service that caters to a wide range of users worldwide.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Products Monthly fees start at Processing fees start at Hosting
BigCommerce
Payment processing, Website builder, Inventory tracking, Shopping cart software, Shipping software
$29.95/month
2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
Hosted
BigCommerce is an all-in-one e-commerce platform created to help you sell more.
Helcim
Payment processing, POS software, POS hardware, Website builder, Inventory tracking
$20/month
1.92% + $0.08 per transaction
Hosted
Conveniently packaged into three service tiers for in-person and online sales.
Square E-commerce
Payment processing, Website builder, Inventory tracking, Shopping cart software, Shipping software
None
2.9% + 10¢
Hosted
Create an online store with beautiful layouts to help drive business.
Shopify
Payment processing, Website builder, Inventory tracking, Shopping cart software, Shipping software
$29/month
2.9% + $0.30 online; 2.7% in person
Hosted
Shopify offers both e-commerce and in-person POS systems designed to help you build a new online store from the ground up.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Features Price starts at Tech Support
Avast
Free trial, and paid plans start at $36.99/month
Phone, Email
Get award-winning free antivirus for PC, Mac & Android.
McAfee
McAfee
Free trial, and paid plans start at $29.99/month
Phone
Antivirus and personal protection for your connected life.
Norton By Symantec
$39.99 per year
Phone, Live chat
Multiple layers of protection for your cyber safety.
Trend Micro
Trend Micro
37.75
Phone, Email
The world's leading security services platform for cloud builders
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Compare up to 4 providers

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