Starting a sustainable business from scratch and marketing it online isn’t that complicated. However, some people sometimes consider coming up with an idea the most challenging step. Luckily, I did the hard job for you and identified these 49 profitable online business ideas.
This article contains not just a list of fictitious ideas. In addition to explaining why these ideas are the best, based on demand and global trends, the guide shows you how you can actualize them. So, by the end of this article, you should find at least three ideas that suit you the best.
Remember, you can combine a few ideas into one, which is totally acceptable. Just don’t bite off more than you can chew. Some online business ideas require additional skills like copywriting, web design or development, and digital marketing. And you can do it!
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links, we may earn a commission, but the price on your end remains the same.
Best Online Business Ideas for Everyone
Here are some of the most promising business ideas everyone can actualize, whether students, freelancers, or artists. And make a handsome amount of money online. It doesn’t matter which part of the world you’re living in, whether in the US, UK, Canada, or Kenya.
- Start a blog or website: A website or blog for your business is one of the best, if not the best, businesses you can actualize today. For instance, you can start a blog about recipes if you’re a chef. And then market your outside catering services or even other people’s hotels.
- YouTube channel: Regardless of your niche, starting a vlog, especially on YouTube or your website, is equally important. Vlogs help you share tutorials, like how to write an essay or the best hotel deals in the US. Or even market your products or website in the process.
- Podcast: It is like an online radio where people pay a subscription fee to listen to your music or audio episodes. And this form of business applies to all people, including artists or musicians, public speakers, business coaches, online tutors, or comedians.
- Self-publishing: In this digital world, there’re many opportunities for writers. And one of the best ones is to publish a text, say an eBook or checklist, and sell it to your audience. Just make sure you understand what problem your audience faces before publishing. You can publish and sell digital documents on your website or commerce websites like Amazon.
- Create online courses: One advantage of owning a website, blog, or even a vlog or podcast is that you can publish, market, and sell your online courses. But you can still create a course in your niche and market it through social media ads or free websites like Quora.
- E-commerce website: With e-commerce sites like Jumia or Amazon, you don’t have to own the products you sell or even sell them directly. Most e-commerce stores link buyers with sellers and earn money through commissions. You can start one for free and market it online.
- Paid membership site: You can start a paid membership website like The New York Times, where people pay to access your content. The company made a net profit of US$220 million in 2021. And subscription fee is its main source of revenue, charging as little as $1 per week.
Business Ideas for Online Freelancers
Freelancing is one of the most popular ways people make money online. Some companies prefer outsourcing services like content writing instead of hiring permanent employees. If this’s an area you’d be interested in, here’re some of the profitable online business ideas for you.
- Freelancer photographer: If you’re into cameras, you can start an online business and market your photoshoot and photoshop services. You can use social media or your website to display your previous work. Then approach event organizers or clients directly for work.
- Freelancer fitness coach: Are you a gym trainer seeking to expand your opportunities? How about you start a website where people pay to access your lessons or sell fitness tools? Or be available for hire to help people with fitness goals like reducing tummy and weight loss?
- Become a video editor: If you ask many content creators, video editing can be boring. But not to all people; some are very passionate about it, despite how demanding it can be, sometimes. If you’re such a person, you can be a freelancer video editor and help creators.
- Offer Voice-over services: There’s a category of creators who, for some reason, prefers to remain anonymous. Other brands hire voiceover experts for their ads. You can opt to offer this service if you’re fluent in a particular language: just create and market your portfolio.
- Become a virtual assistant: This form of business involves offering administrative support to clients without having to be in their office, mostly on a part-time basis. You may offer features like travel or email arrangements, making phone calls, and scheduling appointments.
- Graphic design business: Are you a graphic designer or interested in the same? You can create a website or portfolio and market your services. For instance, you may help brands create logos, advertisements, images or infographics, business cards, and websites.
- Create presentations: Are you conversant with tools like PowerPoint and Canva? The good news is that you can create presentations and sell them to people seeking information on particular topics. For instance, you can create presentations about academic writing.
Opportunities for Digital Marketers
Digital marketing is an industry whose demand has increased over time as people and brands look for professionals to help them promote their products online. As a digital marketing expert, here’re some of the best business ideas you can actualize online and be self-employed.
- Digital marketing consultant: How about you start a digital marketing agency? Especially if you’re interested in areas like SEO marketing, affiliate marketing, and email marketing. Then let companies or individuals contact you for help in increasing organic reach and sales.
- Become an affiliate marketer: Affiliate marketing is the second most popular way bloggers make money online, second to Google Adsense. And you can start an affiliate blog or website, include affiliate links in your content and earn commissions, or become a coach.
- Market research for brands: Market research is very important for brands. First, it helps them understand how their products are fairing in the market, and second, they know the offers or products they should launch next. You can start a market research agency.
- Email marketing consultant: Are you conversant with email marketing, including pitching, email automation, or verification? You can offer this service and help clients build an email list and send email copies that convert. Tools like Weebly and Sender can be very helpful.
- Create Ads For Small Businesses: Most medium & large companies have a complete digital marketing department, with a team specializing in creating Ads. But some small businesses may not have such resources. And you can offer to create ads for them.
- Social media influencer: When it comes to digital marketing, numbers matter. So if you have a significant social following, whether on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram, you can approach brands or individuals and offer to market their brand on your social profiles. Or help them increase their social following and boost income from social media.
- Data analysis services: Firms collect a large amount of data daily. But without an expert to interpret them, such data is valueless. So you can offer to help clients collect relevant data, like through online surveys, analyze it, and facilitate them to make data-based decisions.
Content Writing Online Business Ideas
Freelancing writing is yet another most-sought service online. Business businesses and individuals seek to outsource roles like website content writing and blogging instead of hiring permanent staff. That’s why writing agencies like SmartWrite or freelance marketplaces like Fiver and Upwork are doing so well. Check out 39 ways you can get freelance writing jobs.
- Article writing: Not everyone who owns a website wants to write articles or update their content actively. So, if you’re interested in this area, you can learn how to write awesome articles. Then pitch for job opportunities online, and offer writing services.
- Academic writing: If you’re passionate about students, or academic writing like essays, thesis or dissertations, or research papers, you can earn a living by offering writing assistance. You can charge around $30 per page, depending on your target audience’s budget.
- Resume writing: Job seekers look for people to write or polish their resumes to increase their chances of appealing the recruiters. Students hire the same services when seeking admission to universities. So, this is an area you can specialize in and offer great services.
- Technical writing business: As a technical writer, you can charge much more than an academic, blog, or resume writer. Your business would involve preparing technical stuff like product recalls, white papers, proposals, manuals, or visual communication for clients.
- Business plan writing: Not everyone who owns a business started it from scratch. Some bought established ones, while others bought ideas. You can help clients identify, describe and analyze business opportunities, establishing their economic and technical feasibility.
- Offer proofreading services: Proofreading, a process of checking and removing errors in a test before publishing, is a very important and profitable business you can offer online. So you can offer your services in a particular niche like marketing or writing like books.
- Become an online editor: Unlike proofreaders, editing isn’t just about correcting errors in a text. It also involves restructuring it and changing details. But like proofreaders, you can opt to specialize in a specific niche or offer online services to a particular audience, like students.
Online Business Ideas for Consultants
Consultation involves offering professional or expert advice in a specific field or business to an organization or an individual. Since fewer constraints exist, anyone can wake up and decide to adopt the title ‘consultant.’ But I want you to offer advice in the area of your expertise.
- Become a business coach: One area you can focus on is offering support, guidance, and motivation to business owners in diverse fields. For instance, you can specialize in providing marketing advice. Or giving mothers ideas on how to start and grow an online business.
- Therapy consultations: If and only if you’re an expert in mental health or even a medical practitioner, you can offer therapy sessions to clients experiencing problems like depression and drug misuse. You can opt for teletherapy, videoconferencing, or text-based-chats.
- Online teaching: Many students seek academic writing, editing, or proofreading services. But others would rather be trained to write or be coached rather than be helped to prepare their assignments. You can target the latter by teaching different subjects online.
- Become a trading trainer: Maybe you’re passionate about trading, be it forex or bonds trading, cryptocurrency trading, or stock trading. In that case, you can help people seeking knowledge in this field and help them understand what trading is and how it works.
- College consulting: College students seek many help services, from hiring writers to prepare their reports to seeking professional advice. So you can help this type of audience to solve different problems they’re experiencing, like what subjects or careers to choose.
- Travel assistant: I love traveling. And in an unfamiliar place, I better choose an agency to plan for my trip and advise me on the places to visit. That saves me confusion and money, and I’m not alone. So, you can build an online traveling site and be a freelancer guide.
- Management Consultant: In business management, some decisions, especially concerning policies and strategies, are very critical. Some have the potential to change the direction the company takes. And for this reason, some business owners or managers prefer to seek professional advice before making vital decisions, and you can come to their aid.
Most Suitable Ideas for Developers
If you’re an expert in developing websites, apps, or software, I expect you to have a platform where clients can access all your services and previous projects. How can you be a developer, but you don’t own a website? Come on; this is a great opportunity for you, don’t sleep on it.
- Web development: If you’re an expert in coding, you can set up an agency or consultant website where people seeking to create, update or audit their site can reach out to you. But if you’re not an expert yet, you can enroll in online courses on creating a website.
- Buy and sell websites: You can also create websites (or buy) or scripts and display them on your website for selling. Check out these amazing professional WordPress themes and website templates for sale. Creating a great portfolio can help push your products online.
- Build a tool: Tools are very profitable in marketing. So you can create one, include it on your website, and let people use it for free, but sign up for additional features. But you don’t have to create one from scratch. You can buy a script from the website above and edit it.
- Create an extension: Chrome extensions help people access different features more efficiently, which is why I love them. And you can specialize in creating mobile apps, websites, or chrome extensions for yourself or your clients and make money online as a developer.
- Travel booking app: You can also create a booking app for travel agencies or one for your business and charge businesses commissions to have their companies listed on your app. If you’re interested in a traveling agency, create one and let people book service online.
- Build software: Like Apps and tools, a software is essential and profitable to create. You can buy a script, edit it, or create one from scratch, earning from it as people pay subscription fees. Then you build a sustainable software company like Microsoft.
- Auditing or updating websites: Some website owners prefer to create their websites or have a team. But others prefer someone to review or audit their websites to report on issues like SEO and rankings, technical SEO and crawlability problems, and user experience.
Online Business Ideas for Artists
Often, artists are forgotten when it comes to ideas on how to start and promote their hustle online. Some even rely on one source of income. But that’s not the case with me. I have some of the best businesses artists can start online and increase their exposure and income potential.
- Create and Sell handmade items: Are you an expert in drawing, sewing, woodwork, jewelry, or creating decoration items? These skills require passion and patience to learn, and you don’t have to limit your business to people around you. You can start a local online shop and have people order your services or products on Etsy or, most importantly, your site.
- Women’s clothing line: I’m not a biased person. But let’s be honest here; it’s no secret that women are more into fashion and clothing than men. You can start an online shop where people see and buy or hire different clothes for different locations or stick to Instagram.
- Outside Catering services: Some chefs are just chefs, and others are artists, as they discover and test new techniques to create new ingredients or use the existing ones differently to create completely new flavors. If that’s the artist you are, take a photo of your food, create an online recipe book, market your services on your website or social media, and earn.
- Create and sell recipes: If you’re a creative chef, you can prepare and sell recipes online. And you could end up in catering schools (even your school) teaching students how to be creative while cooking. And have people buy your recipe books and make some cash.
- Produce and sell your music: Most musicians over-rely on shows and YouTube to turn their music into money. But that doesn’t always be the case. Not that you should stop doing it, but you can earn even more money by letting people buy or rent your music online.
- Become an event organizer: Artists, including comedians, have seen opportunities in event organizing. And you can, too, as long as this is an area you’re interested in and love. As an organizer, your role includes finding and booking event venues for your clients.
- Sell or rent your videos: You can also rent or sell your videos and earn from them on YouTube or your website. For instance, you can shoot a specific event or training session and have people pay to access or download your content in SD, HD, and 4K.
FAQs on Online Business Ideas
Here’re some of the most frequently asked questions about online business ideas.
Creating a website for your business and having your products and services available for ordering is one of the most sustainable ways to succeed online and make money. But you can also venture into affiliate marketing and creating sponsored posts on your blog.
The best online businesses you can start today include business training or coaching, selling digital products, blogging, or even freelance or academic writing.
There are unlimited online businesses you can start online, including starting a professional blog or e-commerce shop. We just gave you the 49 promising business ideas for 2022.
You can start a blog for free and monetize it through selling products or services, Google Adsense, or affiliate marketing. Or even promote your online courses or eBooks.
Get an idea, research and do competitive analysis, stick to a particular niche and fill a particular gap in the market, start a blog or a vlog and create great content. And market your business through digital marketing strategies like email marketing and SEO.
You can sell ebooks, your courses, or digital tools. But if you’re an artist, you can also offer your music and videos for purchasing, renting, or being an event organizer.
Clothing and fashion items are among the most, if not the most, sold items worldwide. So you can sell men’s and women’s suits, hats, t-shirts, accessories or pieces of jewelry, or transgender ones. People love their clothes, and fashion isn’t going anywhere!
We just outlined 49 unique ideas you can turn into successful and sustainable online businesses. And you may have noticed that most of them involve creating your website. So I want you to identify at least three ideas that interest you. Or combine a few into one big idea.
Then after starting your business, of course, you’ll need to market it online. And you can use different digital marketing strategies, for that matter, like SEO and Email marketing.
One advantage of starting an online business is getting clients from all over the world. And for items that can’t be delivered online, like handmade items, you can have them available for ordering. And then deliver them to clients or hire a shipping agent.
Let me know which of the 49 ideas you would rather turn into e-business and why.