As the world moves digital – thanks to the widespread access to the Internet, billions of people are spending more time and money online than ever before.
According to Statista, more than 2 billion people globally are expected to buy stuff online this year. That’s a huge pool of prospective customers.
Starting an online business is a great way to reach these prospects.
Besides the potential to market your products to a global audience, setting up a business online does not require a huge start-up capital since you won’t have to cover rent and other costs associated with setting up a physical shop.
Ideas for online business
Here are 15 online business ideas that you can start today.
This is easily the most popular idea for online business.
It involves buying a domain and building a website in which to share relevant information that can help improve people’s lives.
Due to the high competition for eyeballs, you need to create high quality content that is well optimized to rank high on Google search results.
This way, people searching for information will click into your site and consume the content you have created and published.
To succeed in this business, you need to produce content that educates, informs or entertains your audience to give them a reason to follow you.
You can then monetize your traffic through selling advertisements, sponsored content, e-books, digital courses, memberships, etc.
2. Affiliate Marketing
This is a style of marketing where a business shares a portion of its revenue with individuals who promote its products or services to the general public.
With a successful blog, you can apply to become an affiliate of companies that offer affiliate programs.
Once approved, you will be issued with a trackable link that can be added to your content or shared on social media to direct prospects to the vendor.
You will be paid an agreed fee for every sale generated from your referral.
Software companies, online colleges, and webhosts are some of the companies with very lucrative affiliate marketing programs.
You can also work with Commission Junction – the world’s largest and most reputable affiliate marketing network – to set up your business.
3. SEO Consultancy
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of enhancing content to rank high on search engine results pages (SERP) to attract a well-defined audience.
SEO is a task that requires technical proficiency in operating platforms such as Google Analytics, Bing Webmaster Tools, Yandex Webmaster Tools, etc.
Many small and medium businesses do not have the budget to hire a fulltime SEO expert and they often retain independent consultants to do the job.
You can start by educating business owners on the importance of SEO as a reliable lead generation strategy. Quite often, these entrepreneurs will retain your company to help grow their online presence.
4. Social Media Consultancy
Every company is looking to grow its online business through marketing on social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Social media marketing is a time-consuming venture and many businesses are often too busy to implement an effective social media strategy.
A social media consultancy can help businesses to execute great social media marketing strategies – creating and posting content for their target audiences.
5. Web Design Agency
Granted, almost every idea for online business requires a website.
Starting a website design and development agency is a great way to meet the needs of people looking to start their own online businesses.
You need to be proficient in various content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, etc to be able to set up websites for your clients.
6. Digital PR Agency
Every business is looking for innovative ways to spread the word about its products and services. One such ways is digital public relations.
Digital PR is a tactic used to increase brand awareness using internet-based strategies such as SEO, social media, content marketing, etc.
You can make money by helping businesses to start online dialogues with their prospective customers and by spreading news and information about the businesses in a faster, reliable, and cost-effective manner.
7. Technical Writing Agency
Writing easily comprehensible technical documents such as instruction manuals is a job that many people cannot do.
If you have a background in a technical subject and can write technical content, you can start an agency to offer technical writing services.
You can advertise your services on LinkedIn and freelance work platforms such as Upwork to obtain your initial customers.
8. CV Writing Agency
Many jobseekers do not have the skills to write compelling resumes or cover letters that endear them to prospective employers.
As such, you can start a CV writing agency to help jobseekers create resumes and cover letters that increase their chances of being invited for interview.
You can as well advertise your services on LinkedIn and freelance work platforms such as Upwork to draw in customers.
9. Online Shop
As stated earlier, more than 2 billion people globally are expected to buy stuff online this year. You can target these people by starting a niche online store.
To get started, register a good domain name and host it with a company that offers e-commerce software or integrated shopping cart features.
Set up your e-commerce website and market your products on social media, search engine marketing, word-of-mouth, etc to bring people to your store.
You can work with wholesalers to ship products to buyers on your behalf so as to reduce the size of inventory you need to keep onsite.
10. Virtual Assistant Services
Virtual assistance companies provide remote administrative support tasks such as data entry, answering phone calls, managing a business calendar, etc.
Basically, the role of a virtual assistant is to streamline other people’s businesses.
To succeed in this venture, you need to have some great organization skills and task management capabilities.
You can advertise your services on LinkedIn and VA professionals’ platforms such as Zirtual and TaskRabbit to obtain your initial customers.
Bonus idea for online business:
Dropshipping is an order fulfilment technique where a seller does not keep any stock.
Instead, the seller (known as dropshipper) buys inventory as needed from a third party – usually a manufacturer or wholesaler – to fulfil orders.
To get started, you need to set up an online shop from which you can take customer orders and send them to a third-party retailer for fulfilment.
By selling the products at a price higher than what you pay the retailer, you can make lots of money especially if you draw in a huge number of customers.
Do you run an online business? Comment below to share your experiences.