28 best online business ideas to start in 2022
Thanks to the internet, anyone can have an online business. It's a great job opportunity for those who prefer flexible working hours and total control over their income. Not to mention that it is more resistant to sudden outbreaks, like the COVID-19 crisis. So, if you are thinking of starting a small business online, and launching online business ideas, now is the right time: e-commerce revenues are expected to reach $6.5 trillion by 2022...
This shows that the number of people who prefer to shop online is constantly increasing. This is a great opportunity for more e-commerce businesses to open online.
However, your success depends on your idea. And if you don't have one yet, don't worry. This article provides you with a list of 27 profitable online business ideas to consider.
Why start an online business?
Here are some of the reasons why people decide to start an online business:
- The popularity of buying and selling on the Internet. While online shopping has been around for years, the pandemic has made it more common.
- Flexible work hours and location. An online business owner can work from anywhere at any time. This allows you to spend more time on your personal life.
- Low set-up costs. Unlike a brick-and-mortar business, you don't need to rent a physical storefront to start an online business. As a result, ongoing expenses are generally much more affordable.
- Large audience. Online business owners don't need to cater to the local market to be successful. They can sell their products or services to customers all over the world.
- Passive income stream. Monetization methods such as affiliate marketing and online display advertising allow you to make money with minimal effort.
1. Affiliate Marketing
The first on the list is one of the most popular online business ideas. Through affiliate marketing, you can earn money by promoting other people's products or services.
This is a monetization channel for many online content creators. Tons of businesses love to have their products recommended by influencers, as word of mouth is still an effective marketing strategy.
If you like to review articles, affiliate marketing is a great idea to get started. Many people have developed this business by creating a website based on a particular niche - headphones, dog food, or mattresses.
How you get paid depends on the business. Often you will receive a commission every time someone buys a product or clicks on the affiliate link on your platform. What you need to do is:
- Promote a brand's products or services through your content
- Include a link to redirect users to the affiliate's e-commerce store.
To get started, join affiliate programs like Hostinger, Amazon, or ShareASale. You'll find hundreds of items to browse and feature on your website. Make sure you choose products that fit your niche and audience.
2. Create blogs
Today, blogging is still a profitable business. It is a great way to make money online by sharing your knowledge and interests.
However, you need to have the right strategies to have a regular income.
The key to a successful blog is to choose the right niche. Not only should it be relevant to your expertise and passion, but it should also have a large audience. Your blog is guaranteed to get traffic if people are searching for it in the first place.
In addition, the niche must have commercial potential. The main sources of income for a blog are based on various monetization options. This includes affiliate marketing, providing ad space, producing sponsored content, selling merchandise, courses, and other goods.
Once you have a blog site set up, start writing articles. Make sure they provide useful content to your audience. Also, learn some digital marketing tactics to optimize your blog and generate more traffic.
If you need help, expert bloggers like Sue Dunlevie offer courses you can use to develop your website. You can also follow the tips in this article.
3. Content creator on Patreon
Want to be an online content creator? Consider joining Patreon. This crowdfunding platform allows many people to get financial support from people who love their creations.
With Patreon, you can offer fans several membership options at different prices. In exchange for a monthly income, you'll provide exclusive content to your fans - from behind-the-scenes footage to online classes.
Many creators have used Patreon to make a sustainable living, like Humans of New York and Markus Magnusson. Not to mention, they use it to build a fanbase and connect.
To use the platform, sign up for a creative plan. Patreon will reduce some fees when you start earning money. In return, you'll get features like coaching and analytics to help you run your business.
4. Selling handicrafts online
Do you have the talent to make handmade products? Try selling them.
People are usually more willing to pay if you have unique products. Thus, you can set a higher price for your goods than the average market.
To maximize costs and profits, set up a home store and buy materials in bulk. Also, make sure you have the right target audience in mind when designing your product.
Need ideas on how to market your products? Look for small craft businesses online for inspiration - like Bario Neal. This store, in particular, thrives on catering to sustainability enthusiasts.
Today, sites like Etsy, eBay, and even Instagram can help launch any small business in no time. However, if you want complete control over your business, consider creating your online store. That way, you'll have authority over your brand and won't have to pay third-party fees.
If you need examples of artists who have successfully sold their work online, check out the homemade e-commerce store.
5. Reselling items on eBay
With thrifting becoming a trend, now is the time to start reselling used items. Not to mention, there are always people looking for a good deal.
This business requires low start-up costs. To get started, you can go to online flea markets or auction sites to find good deals on old items. These can be furniture, clothing, or toys.
Although there are thousands of e-commerce sites, eBay remains the go-to marketplace for used items. Take advantage of the platform's popularity if you want to make some quick money.
You can also use their auction model if you have a rare item - like a vintage record player or an old video game console. These items can fetch up to several hundred dollars if you attract a crowd of collectors.
If you've achieved a recurring revenue stream, try earning additional income by creating an online course to share your knowledge. Flea Market Flipper is a good example of a successful flipping business.
6. Amazon FBA
If you want to become an Amazon seller, sign up for Fulfillment by Amazon. It's a program that allows you to have the e-commerce giant manage your inventory, shipping, and customer service.
It's a great solution for new business owners who want an easy process for setting up their business.
Nevertheless, note that you will have to pay a fulfillment and storage fee to join the FBA. However, the total cost may be more affordable than if you handle these aspects yourself in the long run.
Dropshipping is one of the best online business ideas if you want to make money online from home. Unlike a traditional online store, you can run an e-commerce site without worrying about manufacturing products or managing inventory.
Instead, you will partner with wholesalers to have their products branded under your name. When someone makes a purchase, you will inform the company that they need to ship their order to the customer.
With this, dropshipping is an affordable online business to start. To set up a store, all you need is a website, a laptop, and access to wholesale supplier directories like SaleHoo and AliDropship.
Since most dropshipping stores sell similar products, be sure to distinguish your brand from the competition. Companies do this by narrowing their niche. For example, Moose Socks sticks to selling only cute socks.
With YouTube being one of the most-watched platforms on the internet, becoming a video creator can be very profitable if you do it right.
With over two billion users, there are many niche markets you can tap into - as long as they have an audience and commercial potential. From vlogs to streaming video games to music covers, the choices are endless.
The amount of revenue you get will depend on your monetization channels. Most YouTubers make money through affiliate marketing, sponsorship, merchandise, and Google AdSense. Some also offer lectures and online courses, like Jay Shetty.
To start your YouTube career, you'll need to learn editing skills and buy good video equipment.
Other than that, focus on building your subscriber base. Companies usually look to partner with influencers who have a large number of loyal subscribers...
Podcasting is booming and is one of the most promising remote business ideas on this list. The United States alone has over 140 million podcast listeners, and more and more companies are partnering with podcasters to advertise their products.
As with other content creators, it's important to choose the right niche. If you choose a popular topic, make sure your podcast stands out from the competition.
Or, choose something specific and timely. In these times, you can do a program entirely devoted to social distancing or protection from the COVID-19 virus.
Podcasters make money through affiliate marketing and sponsored content. However, those with a large number of listeners can join podcast advertising networks like Midroll.
If you want to get into podcasting, invest in some great audio equipment and an editing program, like Adobe Audition.
You can publish your podcast in two ways: by joining a podcast hosting platform or by creating your website. The latter choice gives you more control over your brand and monetization.
Once your podcast episodes are ready, publish them and add them to Spotify and Apple.
10. Online Coaching
Have particular expertise to share? Create a coaching business. As an online coach, you can find clients from all over the world.
Popular topics to cover include nutrition, personal development, spirituality, dating, business, etc. To stand out, consider choosing a specialization in your chosen field.
For example, Kate Bagoy focuses on providing coaching programs for freelancers and consultants.
To provide your services, set up private video calls or send video lessons to your clients.
In addition, consider doing a free e-book or starting an email subscription service so potential clients can get ideas on how your courses can help them.
11. Web Development
Web developers are a highly sought-after workforce that many businesses need today. Tons of companies and entrepreneurs hire them to ensure their online presence.
Platforms like Codecademy and Treehouse can help you get started. Some websites offer free coding courses.
Once you have enough skills, create a portfolio for your web development projects. A website like Matt Farley's is a good place to start if you need some inspiration.
12. Application development
Apps are always in high demand, so it's no surprise that developing them can be a great remote business idea.
Think of unique apps like Flush. This is a toilet detector that lets you know if there is a toilet nearby in case you need one.
These days, you don't need coding skills to develop apps. Software like AppyPie and AppSheet allow anyone without a technical background to create mobile apps. However, it would be helpful to become familiar with the mobile experience and user-friendly interface design.
To entice people to download your product, make it free. You can offer premium features and in-app advertising space to earn money.
13. Video game development
Since the video game industry is growing rapidly, why not make money by creating your games?
As with app development, there are tons of software that allow you to create video games without any programming knowledge; like Unity and GameMaker: Studio.
A great video game should have great behavior and a challenge that gets harder with each level. It would also be helpful to include a compelling story.
You can create simple games like Dots or more complex ones like Clash of Clans.
Today, most game creators generate revenue by making their products free while offering in-app purchases. You can create an in-game marketplace where players can access premium features to help them achieve their goals.
When your game is ready, place it on platforms like Play Store, App Store, or Steam.
14. Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant does everything an assistant can do but online. This is one of the most popular online business ideas.
In other words, the main job description would be to perform office tasks for clients - like answering emails, scheduling appointments, automating spreadsheets, etc.
Nevertheless, many virtual assistants specialize in certain areas and markets. For example, Miranda Hassen focuses her services on digital marketing for creative entrepreneurs.
Thus, there is virtually no limit to what a virtual assistant can do for businesses. Some clients may ask you to manage their online store, social media, website, etc. Therefore, if you're looking for a job with a variety of learning opportunities, this might be the right position for you.
To start, make an online resume and list it on job boards like Upwork. A website can enhance your professionalism and help you stand out to potential clients. Also, create a website to market your services, like Your Virtual Assistant.
15. Computer graphics
Do you have a talent for art and design? Consider a career as a freelance graphic designer.
Since dozens of businesses need help creating visual branding materials, there is always a need for graphic design services. You'll create work from logos, social media posts, infographics, and more.
You don't need a degree to start this business. However, you do need to hone your skills first. Try enrolling in an online course or reading books on infographics. Also invest in a good computer, a drawing tablet, and graphic design software like Adobe Creative Cloud.
The job market is very competitive, so make sure you have an outstanding visual portfolio. There are many examples you can find online - like this one by Rafael Kfouri.
To find freelance design jobs, go to websites like Dribbble and Behance. If you don't have clients, consider creating an online store to sell your original work.
16. Teach online (video courses)
For those who have experience and expertise in a certain subject, becoming an online teacher can bring you a livable income.
You can teach a variety of subjects, from academic subjects like math to extracurricular courses like music.
If you want, try tutoring for a standardized test in your country. Many parents are willing to pay a lot of money to have someone help their children prepare for these tests.
You can also teach English if you are a native speaker. Companies like EF give people from the U.S. and U.K. the opportunity to teach international students.
Sites like Teachable and Udemy have made it easy to work with students from around the world. These are great platforms to start with if you are new to online teaching.
Once you've expanded your customer base, you can create a website for your courses. This way, you will have more flexibility in your teaching methods and monetization.
17. Selling information products
Information products are digital materials that provide useful content to customers. Types of products can be e-books, webinars, and membership sites, among others. This is another great online business idea with low start-up costs.
Similar to online coaching, this business idea is recommended for people with special expertise. You can create information products on a variety of topics, from practicing Zen habits to getting a job in investment banking.
If you want your product to be profitable, make sure it addresses a problem that many people face.
Also, you'll need a strong landing page that can convert visitors into customers, like Fizzles.
18. Amazon Kindle Writer
Do you love to write? Try self-publishing a book on Amazon KDP. This is one of the best online business ideas for those who love to put their thoughts on paper.
As a self-published author, you can retain the rights to your work and price the book however you like. Plus, getting your book online on Amazon is a simple process, so you can start making money online in no time.
Note, however, that Amazon does take a portion of your royalties. So be sure to choose the royalty option that works best for you.
Once your book is published, promote it through online ads and social media. Create a landing page that explains why your book is worth reading, like this one from Tim Ferriss.
If you want to get more exposure for your work, consider joining the KDP Select program. You'll have access to more promotional tools, but you must make your book exclusive to Kindle only.
19. Online Advertising Manager
With digital ads playing a major role in a company's success, many companies have begun to exploit them. However, few know how to leverage these ads.
That's where you come in. As an online advertising manager, you'll manage your clients' advertising needs across different platforms - like Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
In addition to your marketing skills, you'll need to know PPC bidding strategies, ad pricing models, and analytics.
You can create a business website for your management services. Showcase it on social media accounts, ads, and job boards like Workable to gain clients.
If you've built a solid reputation, start offering consulting services and professional speaking engagements, like Kirk Williams of Zato Marketing.
20. Resell websites and domains
If you have a background in business and web development, consider reselling sites and domains for a living. You will search for undervalued sites and domains, buy them, modify them and resell them.
Many people are more interested in buying established sites than in creating their own. This is because building up domain authority and backlinks can take time and effort.
In addition, good domain names are hard to come by. If you buy one that has commercial potential, someone might be willing to pay a high price to buy it from you.
To get started, go to platforms like Empire Flippers and Flippa to find websites. Make sure the ones you want to buy are not banned, sketchy, or infected with viruses.
During the reselling process, focus on user experience and site design. Also, follow search engine optimization practices. A website with a good search engine ranking can sell quickly.
21. Self-publishing an eBook
Thanks to the internet, becoming an author no longer requires sending a manuscript to a publisher. It is now possible to sell eBooks using a personal website or self-publishing sites, like Amazon KDP.
If you're a blogger, eBooks are great for combining existing content into a comprehensive guide. This is what Elna Cain does with her long-form articles. To add value to the product, she inserts printable worksheets.
However, self-publishing sites offer the advantage of a pre-acquired audience, although you can't claim all of the revenue from the e-book. That's why many authors create a site as an additional monetization channel to maximize their income.
22. Offer social media marketing services
This is a great online business idea for those who have a strong social media presence. Many small businesses need a marketing expert to reach users in the social media landscape, especially if they are targeting a younger audience.
The job is to leverage all of the social media marketing techniques available to boost a brand's visibility, build followers, and drive audience engagement. These techniques can include content creation, social listening, and influencer marketing.
In addition to using your own social media profile, consider creating a portfolio site or blog to market your services, like Laurence Galambert of Letsrockbusiness.
23. Work as an SEO consultant
SEO has become one of the most important success factors for online businesses. It is a cost-effective way to not only increase brand awareness but also to generate quality traffic.
SEO consultants advise clients on how to optimize their websites for search engines. Since the job market is competitive, consider choosing a specialization or customer segment to target for a better online business idea. This can make you the go-to person for specific services.
Finally, don't forget to keep up with the latest Google search algorithm updates to provide the most current and relevant information to your clients.
24. Start a data entry service
Data entry is a great online business idea for those looking for a side hustle or part-time business. Many businesses need professionals to document information from various sources, such as daily sales reports or meeting notes, in an organized digital format.
The faster and more accurate your typing, the higher your hourly rate can be. As a result, consider taking typing classes before entering this field. Websites like Keybr are good places to look.
In addition, it may be a good idea to invest in a numeric keypad to increase your typing speed.
25. Offer transcription services
This is an online business idea that is similar to the previous option. The difference is that you will specialize in audio transcription into text documents.
In addition to the speed and accuracy of typing, the niche you choose can affect the number of earnings. In general, medical transcribers are the highest paid, averaging $26/hour. Be prepared to familiarize yourself with the industry if you want to aim for that rate.
26. Write a guest article
This is also one of the best online business ideas here. This is great for those who want to make money writing online without creating their blog site.
The task is to submit articles to a blog that accepts and pays guest writers. In many cases, the site owner may ask you to write the article using their name instead of yours.
Many publications, such as E-commerce nation (business and entrepreneurship) and Mon Potager Care (gardening), are open to submitting guest articles. It's best to choose ones that use a style and niche you're familiar with to ease the writing process.
27. Resume and Cover Letter Writing
As the job market becomes more and more competitive, people need someone to write the perfect application document on their behalf.
That's where you come in. This online business idea involves writing resumes and covers letters for clients looking for a new job. The key is to make their application effective and increase their chances of getting the job.
To expand your network, consider doing pro bono work for friends and family. Having a few projects to showcase in your portfolio will make it easier to convince clients to work with you.
Also, it's a good idea to have a professional certification, such as PARWCC, to build credibility and increase rates.
28. Become a technical writer
Technical writing is primarily about making industry-specific ideas easier to understand for a target audience. The writing you do will typically include user guides, white papers, and manuals.
Becoming a technical writer is a very profitable and 100% lucrative online business idea. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for these professionals is growing 7% faster than average. Many companies need a technical writer for documentation, internal communication, and marketing.