The internet allows you plenty of different ways to profit from an online business. It’s possible to earn extra money that requires minimal effort while you focus on your day job. Some online businesses can be automated while others that require more human attention can involve outsourcing. Here are 30 ideas for starting a realistic online business with an e-commerce solution.
1- Domain Name Marketplace
Some people have made a living buying and selling domain names. You can also develop small websites to go along with the domains to make them more attractive to business owners that want turnkey solutions. The key is finding domain names that are in demand due to their relevance and simplicity.
2- Online Business Consultant
All you really need to be a business consultant besides a business background is Office software. Much of the business involves sharing information with other business leaders, typically by phone or through email.
3- Freelance Writer
Due to the need for website owners to develop fresh content, there is a demand for freelance writers to write blogs and articles. If a blog is viewed as authoritative by Google it can get high search rankings and drive new traffic to a website, helping the business increase earnings.
4- Digital Marketer
A digital marketer helps website owners in various ways, depending on experience and expertise. Some digital marketers handle a wide array of online marketing activities such as content creation, social media interaction and contacting sales leads. It’s common for digital marketers to offer blogging services and pay-per-click (PPC) campaign management.
5- Virtual Assistant
One of the key ways to save money on overhead is to replace an office manager or receptionist with a virtual assistant. In fact, almost every task imaginable that is redundant and doesn’t require confidentiality can be assigned to a virtual assistant. Even work that involves sensitive information can be done by a virtual assistant if you find someone you can trust who promises not to make information available to others.
6- Web Designer
While the internet is flooded with web designers of all skill levels, you can stand out by showcasing your skills on your own website that attracts clients. One of the keys to developing a loyal clientele is to create a portfolio of websites that prospects can view, so that they know you’re a professional designer.
7- Graphic Artist
You may not know any graphic artists in your neighborhood, but you can find plenty online who are willing to negotiate deals. Graphic artists who can do high level work for large corporations still command high pay. It takes many years of experience working with programs such as PhotoShop and Illustrator to gain the credibility of a quality graphic artist.
8- Apps Developer
The mobile revolution has led to an increasing demand for companies to offer apps to their customers. It takes about six months to a year to learn how to become an apps developer. You can speed up the process by outsourcing to apps developers as work comes in. One way to enter this business with plenty of free mentoring is to join Salesforce for Startups.
9- Online Retailer
Amazon and eBay have made it possible for almost anyone to start their own online retail business. Through these platforms you can sell your own products or resell products from manufacturers and wholesalers. Just use the tools they provide to build an online store then promote your products through blogs and social media.
10- Referral Service
If you want to help certain businesses increase leads in areas of your expertise, you can start a referral service that adds names to your marketing list. You can promote your service as a customized solution for connecting consumers with the right vendors.
11- Information Resource
Bringing a wealth of data together in one website creates a valuable resource that earns money various ways. You can sell ebooks directly from the site. Another way to monetize the site if it develops a significant following is to run banner ads, either from your own clients or from a display ad network that pays publishers, such as Google AdSense.
12- Virtual Trainer
Creating a video series of “how to” episodes will allow you to train people without being in their physical presence. If you want to teach singing lessons, for example, you can produce a series of videos that can only be accessed with a username and password.
13- Help Desk Service
Every company that deals directly with customers can use a help desk service at one time or another. The service is designed to help any business with customer service or tech support. Many companies outsource IT to help desk services to provide customers with support at any time.
14- Game Developer
Businesses can gain a competitive edge by offering customers free downloadable games. If the game relates to your business, you may be able to brand it as your own. As fun as a digital game may sound, it can serve as an important brand building business marketing tool.
15- Media Production Library
There is a demand for audio sound effects and visuals for production work in media (such as video producers, podcasts creators). Even though this is a competitive field, you may find unique sounds that are unavailable through other online production services.
16- Transcription Services
Transcriptions are needed for legal depositions by law firms. Media companies outsource transcribers to document interviews and other events. This industry requires accuracy and fast turnaround times.
17- Translation Services
Global businesses need transcribers who can translate from one language to another. Translation services are also hired by law firms and companies that market videos.
18- Online Jeweler
Even if you don’t have a background in jewelry, you can open up an online jewelry store as a reseller. All you need are industry tools that connect your users with the jewelry they are looking for.
Accountants do all their work on computers with accounting software, making them strong candidates for outsourcing. You can make excellent income by working from home as an independent accountant for various businesses.
Any type of bookkeeping work can be promoted as a data entry service. There are plenty of businesses that can save money on overhead by hiring temporary or long-term bookkeeping services.
21- Sell Digital Products
Even though you will be competing with countless others, selling digital products is a way to make automated cash. You need either a proprietary e-commerce solution or join existing platforms such as Sellfy that allow you to sell digital products such as eBooks, music, and videos.
22- Write Reviews
Reviews are what sell products online these days. If you have expertise in an area you can share with others, you can establish yourself as a credible reviewer whose opinion is valuable.
23- Social Media Services
Businesses are learning that social media can just as serious of a marketing platform as it is a fun connection with friends platform. These days social media can be used for real-time customer service and market research.
24- Escrow Payment Services
To help facilitate money exchanges, you can launch an escrow payment service for online buyers and sellers. Offer a payment method that makes sense to your marketplace.
25- Food Delivery Service
A food delivery service may work with vendors or be directly hired by customers. All you need is a web application for taking orders, then you buy the items at restaurants and get reimbursed with tips from the customer.
26- Computer Consultant
Managed services providers sometimes market themselves as computer consultants. If you have a deep knowledge in computers or outsource to professionals who do, you can earn high income as a computer consultant.
27- Online Rental Business
Perhaps you own valuable equipment that you don’t need most of the time. You can rent it out to people who do need to use it. Perhaps you have a bunch of designer clothes. The items could end up paying for themselves several times over.
28- Software Testing Services
Plenty of software companies need testers to make sure their products work before they are placed on the market. You don’t necessarily have to be an expert in any kind of software to be a tester.
29- Market Research Services
Web sites generate a lot of data, even if they don’t get much traffic. Businesses will hire market research analysts to make sense of their data and give them recommendations on how to increase leads and conversions.
30- Expert Blogging
Bloggers can earn significant income by sharing their expertise through blogs and attracting sponsors. The bigger following of a niche market you command; the most opportunities you have to monetize your expertise.
Running a business these days doesn’t require a physical office. You can run a business from home and outsource to partners who do work that satisfies your customers. Consider investing in a virtual business that allows you to earn extra or even full-time income while you concentrate on other interests.