There has never been a better time to start an online business and make money from home or anywhere with an internet connection. Digital technology is increasingly accessible and affordable. This means you don’t have to be a tech-whizz to set up a successful online business. In fact, you’ll see in this guide how to make money online with practical ideas and inspirations that you could start right away.
Earning money online is relatively straightforward, if you have the right approach. The best ideas can also be very lucrative, when done right.
One reason for online businesses’s high profit potential is because digital businesses aren’t limited to a certain geographical location. In theory, anyone in the world is a prospective customer or client. This means almost limitless scalability for your company.
Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to make money online with 7 of the best online business ideas so you can start generating income from home today.
Ready to begin your online career? Here are the seven ways you can earn an income from the Internet:
1. Sell products online
When it comes to selling products online, there are two different avenues you can go down: drop shipping or direct-to-consumer. The difference lies in whether or not you are in charge of the stock. Will you maintain your own inventory or would you rather use a third-party to ship products on your behalf?
Both routes offer different online business opportunities.
– Drop shipping
With drop shipping, you sell other people’s products and keep a revenue share for each sale. You don’t keep an inventory of products but rather purchase the product from a third-party manufacturer or wholesaler after a customer makes a purchase.
By buying products at a lower price than you sell them for, you can generate a profit. Getting these price points right is essential, however, as drop shipping often has low margins.
The second e-commerce model is direct-to-consumer. This has more parallels with traditional brick-and-mortar stores. You are essentially buying goods and selling them online.
E-commerce has become a massive industry. Recent research estimates that ecommerce will make up more than 22 percent of all worldwide retail sales by 2023. That number will be even higher in developed economies in North America, Europe, and Asia.
2. Publish and monetize content online
Online publishing revolves around creating and posting quality content on your website to build up an audience that you can then monetise through advertising. There are three main different monetisation avenues you can leverage to make money from your website.
– Affiliate marketing
Companies are often looking for influential online publications to promote their products. Affiliate marketing involves promoting products on your site with links to purchase them. You earn commission every time a visitor from your website goes on to make a purchase from one of your affiliate partners.
To get started, you will first need a website or blog with quality content around your chosen niche. Then you will need to build an audience (that’s the hard part). You will then need to sign up as an affiliate to sell a company’s products and use your special referral link on your site.
– Display advertising
Digital display advertising means publishing banner ads on your website or blog. Every time someone sees or clicks on the ads, you earn some money.
Ads are sold on a cost-per-1,000 impressions or cost-per-click basis. The revenue increases as more people visit your site. Ads can be sold direct or through ad networks, such as AdThrive, Mediavine, or Google AdSense. Advertisers work with the network to create campaigns and bid to place ads on your website.
– Sponsored content
Sponsored content is the third way to earn money online from your content. It involves posts that are either written by you or brands. Advertisers will pay you to publish their stories on your site.
3. Work as a digital freelancer
Freelancers are self-employed professionals, working for themselves. Examples include:
– Copywriters: write text for magazines or marketing purposes.
– Designers: devise and execute designs.
– Virtual assistants: assist on various projects and tasks virtually via online tools.
4. Rent your assets
We’ve entered the age of the sharing economy. Peer-to-peer renting has spread into countless niches, from apartments to camera equipment. This boom has been facilitated by developments in digital technology and fuelled by eco-conscious consumers eager for alternatives to traditional consumerism.
Renting out your assets is one of the easiest ways to make money from home fast and a great way to make money online. One of the best-known examples is AirBnB, which created an explosion in the short-term rental market.
Renting out luxury clothing and accessories is another option—one that has made headlines in recent years. Luxury rental platforms seek to provide runway looks to trend-conscious customers by renting them out.
5. Self-publish your book online
Today, anyone can write and publish an ebook thanks to Amazon, the number one resource for self-publishers. The service has massively levelled the publishing playing field as you no longer have to find your way through the notorious gatekeepers of more establishment publishing houses.
By publishing your book with Amazon, not only will you have access to the customer base of the world’s largest online store, but once it’s up and running, you will start earning a passive income.
6. Teach an online class
If you’re passionate or knowledgable about any subject, you could sell your expertise in the form of an online class or course. You could teach almost anything, from yoga to French.
First, you need to choose your audience. Blogs are a great way to build a community of loyal readers who are likely to want to spend money learning more. Or you could begin by creating free YouTube videos on your phone, and monetising them through ad revenue. You could then charge students for certification.
You can also create online courses on sites like Udemy where you’ll have access to their large pool of users. Udemy will also do the marketing for you.
Another option is becoming an online tutor or teacher. For some of these you’ll need qualifications like a TEFL, which can cost money. But the income might be more consistent in the long-term.
7. Consult with clients online
Consulting involves providing expert advice to clients in a professional setting. It can take many forms, from advertising to accountancy. You could even be a spirituality consultant, providing life advice. Your job is to provide a fresh set of eyes on a problem, using your knowledge to provide client’s with constructive criticism and feedback.
With a total value of around $250 billion, the consulting sector is one of the largest global markets within the professional services industry. Online consultancies are some of the most successful online businesses.
Not only is it a potentially lucrative source of income but starting your own online consultancy also gives you freedom. You become your own boss. Your job is simply to teach others what you know. You don’t even need to offer your services in person now that Skype coaching is growing in popularity.
Contributing to platforms like LinkedIn or posting regularly on a blog will help you grow your audience and appear more trustworthy.