Top 10 Online Business Ideas

Everybody knows the stories: brilliant minds create companies like Google, Facebook and Ebay, grow them from tiny start-ups to massive conglomerates, often by pulling 80 hour weeks and refusing to take days off for the first few years. Others become astronomically successful by self-publishing books online or creating video courses. If you spend a lot of time reading online media, it seems like online billionaires must be everywhere, but you’ve probably never met one yourself. And frankly, it seems ridiculous.

All right, so these seemingly-mythical billionaires do exist, but you’re right about one thing: they aren’t everywhere. Oh, and you probably won’t end up in their ranks. But you can start an online business and see some success. In fact, 1 in 10 Australians is already earning money through an online business.

Why create an online business?

While some businesses simply have to be operated in brick-and-mortar locations, online businesses have several advantages in many industries. Here are the top 5:

Freedom to make as much money as you want. When you run your own business, you are in complete control of how much money you make. Often you’ll have to work harder initially to start making good money, but once you do, the work gets easier. Many online business models also feature passive income, meaning you can make money even while you’re on vacation.

The ability to control your own hours. You might have to be up and “at work” during daylight hours to have meetings with clients, but for the most part, you get to control your own hours when you run an online business. In the vast majority of online businesses you can even work in your PJs, although many entrepreneurs find it easier to stay focused if they dress up in their work clothes.

Low overhead costs and little risk. Most online businesses require very little financial outlay and only a small amount of risk. Many website building platforms such as WordPress make it easy to build an attractive website and even come with cheap (under $100) pre-made designs that can really help your website stand out. If you’re running a service based business such as a freelance writing business you don’t even need to worry about purchasing massive amounts of stock or shipping products.

There are endless options. These days you can start almost any kind of business online with ease. You can make money at any time or day of night and sell directly to customers in any part of the world. You can even use one website to make money in several different ways, many of which require a minimal amount of skill to set up even if they require a significant time investment.

It’s easy to find an affordable training program. There are training programs to help you get started in every kind of business, often found at every price range. The pros who started making money online ten, twenty years ago are now teaching people of all kinds how to start their own dream businesses—and odds are pretty high that you can find one in your niche.

Potential online businesses

  1. Affiliate marketing – Typically done through a website although it can be done via email as well, affiliate marketing involves linking a particular product with an interested customer. This is often done through ads placed on your website or links added to blog posts.
  2. Paid consultant – If you’ve been successful at anything in your life, you can probably find people willing to pay for help reaching that same level of success. This is particularly true if you’ve had a successful career in something unusual or creative. You can start by selling half hour phone sessions.
  3. Freelance Writer – Can you write well? Do you enjoy working with words? Freelance writing can be an extremely lucrative career. The highest paying clients are often rather difficult to acquire, but it’s entirely possible to get clients in the middle range within the first few months of your freelance writing career.
  4. Social Media Management – Are you extremely comfortable with a range of social networks? Have you worked in social media before? Many small businesses hire part-time social media managers who work either primarily or entirely from home. If you don’t already have the experience there are many courses run by social media professionals and many companies offering internships.
  5. Ebay Reseller – Do you have a lot of stuff you never use? Do you love hunting through thrift stores and garage sales to find gems, but hate filling your house with junk? Well, it turns out, a lot of that stuff can be re-sold for more money. If you have a good eye for what will sell—or you do the research to find out—you can make quite a lot of money buying low in the real world and selling high on Ebay.
  6. Website Designer – These days website building is so simple you can learn how to do it well enough to sell your services in just a few weeks. There are hundreds of courses available, many of which cost little to nothing. As you gain experience and build a portfolio this can easily become a full time gig.
  7. Freelance Editor – Everybody’s writing can improve with the help of a good editor and some people really, really need it. If you have a good eye for spelling and grammar and you enjoy reading critically, this might be the gig for you. Volunteer to edit a small business’s website or some friends’ school papers to build a portfolio so you can find editing work.
  8. Ecommerce – Are you a crafty person? Do you knit, sew, weave or work with wood, metal or wire to create nifty things for your home or beautiful gifts? You can also create crafts of all kinds and sell them online. Visually appealing crafts that also serve some kind of purpose around the home are often a big hit.
  9. Sponsored blog posts – This only really works once you’ve created a blog with a strong community, but if you make a point of ranting about or reviewing awesome products online, you might be able to get paid for it. Companies regularly sponsor blog posts on well-read blogs to establish themselves in the customer’s mind.
  10. Bookkeeping – Many small businesses only need a part time book keeper, and most of this work can generally be done from home or online. With some businesses it’s possible to do this work entirely online, and it can be quite a lucrative business. Small business owners rarely have time to work on this themselves or the knowledge to do it well and are often quite happy to pay you well for this service.

With online business, the possibilities are endless. You can sell almost any skill and certainly any product online, and more people are turning to the internet for their purchases every day. As the younger generations who have grown up surrounded with technology gain purchasing power you can bet the success of online businesses will only continue to grow.

Still, make sure to research opportunities before you try to start any online business. Each one has its own advantages and drawbacks, and some require you to get a professional certification of some kind before you complete them. Make sure you truly want to commit to something before you spend any money on training. You’ll thank yourself later.

About the Author Julie Aish

Hi, I'm Julie. I absolutely love the network marketing industry and through experience in a handful of traditional business, franchising, network marketing and direct selling business over the past 20 years, I've decided to start Network Marketing Watch to help you find the perfect business opportunity for you.