Online Business Ideas You Can Take to the Bank

Working from home allows you a great deal of flexibility as far as when you work, how many hours you put in each week, and, ultimately, the kind of income you bring home. There are many paths to a stable online income offering you the freedom to pay off debts, be home for your children every day, and leave the grind of your day job behind – eventually. Below we've written an in-depth guide on seven of the most popular online business ideas. But first, check out this infographic to figure out which type of business is the best option for you. 

Infographic: 29 Online Business Ideas to Choose From

Online Business Ideas Infographic

 

1) Microtasking

The concept is simple. You sign up with an organization like Mechanical Turk to perform microtasks. This can be anything from transcribing audio snippets to writing product descriptions, and even participating in surveys. You are paid for completing the specific tasks (though surveys often require you to complete a qualifying survey for free to see if you match their demographic preferences).

Pros

  • Opportunities to earn are abundant.
  • Many reputable organizations that pay on time.
  • No startup capital required. All you need is access to a computer and a reliable Internet connection.
  • It’s actual income coming into the family budget and proves that you can make money online.

These websites are all terrific places to begin:

Cons of Completing Microtasks

The money isn’t all that impressive. In fact, it is very difficult to make a living through microtasks, but you can earn enough to treat yourself to an afternoon coffee or to pay a small bill or two each month. There's also a ceiling on how much time you can spend microtasking, and how much you can earn as a result. 

Teach on Udemy

2) Create UDEMY Courses

UDEMY is a website devoted to facilitating learning. The site offers more than 40,000 courses. This offers entrepreneurial opportunities to you in two different ways. First, you can build credibility and boost sales on your own training platform. Second, you can create training courses and sell them directly through UDEMY.

You don’t need piles of startup capital or expensive equipment to begin. Sharpen your research skills and your existing knowledge to start earning today.

Pros

  • Allows professionals to capitalize on existing skills and knowledge.
  • Easy to monetize.

Cons

  • There is no guarantee of income. You could do all the work to create a course that no one is interested in or that fails to make money.
  • You will experience a bit of a learning curve. Once you make one successful course, rinse and repeat for an even bigger income.

3) Flipping Websites

The concept works much like the idea of flipping houses. You take an ordinary website, jazz it up to make it more attractive to readers and search engines, then you sell the site for a nice tidy profit. Some people go through the process quickly while others take their time using various monetization efforts such as Adsense, affiliate marketing (using sites like Shopify or Teespring, Clickbank links, collecting emails for newsletters, and setting up ecommerce tools before selling the site. This raises the value of the site and makes it easier to sell through Flippa and other platforms.

While this is a relatively inexpensive method to begin earning, you will need to fine-tune your website design and building skills, buy a few domain names, and go through the learning curve for SEO and affiliate marketing.

The one downside to this particular online business is that it can take a while to see any real return on investment. However, once you develop a reputation for creating or flipping quality websites, people will be lining up to buy when one of your sites goes on sale.

freelance on the internet

4) Freelancing

Turn your skills and talents into cash coming in week after week and month after month by becoming a professional freelancer. You offer your skills, such as writing, website building, computer programming, and even accounting in return for money. It costs very little to get started, unless you need to buy computer programs or software to assist.

Sites like Fiverr and UpWork (Elance and ODesk are now UpWork) are excellent places to begin looking for jobs and cost very little for what you get in return.

You may need to create an online portfolio of your work, which is easy with a website of your own. If your programming skills are a little rusty, consider using Treehouse to improve your skills.

Pros

  • Low startup costs.
  • Low learning curve.
  • Real income possibilities.
  • Flexible work hours – you can work around a regular job until you build a reliable income.

Cons

  • It may take long hours to build a reliable income.
  • Feast or famine cycles often reign supreme at first.
  • You must consistently seek new clients and business as demand from existing clients ebb and flow.

5) Become a Virtual Assistant

You have several options as a virtual girl, or guy, Friday. First, you can work for platforms like Zirtual. Second, you can go to work for brick and mortar companies in your community offering your services from home. Finally, you can hang out your virtual shingle, put up a website, and start your own business.

Startup costs are relatively low. You may need to purchase office equipment, such as a fax machine or invest in high speed Internet and a landline phone if you plan to offer any type of phone work as a service to clients. The rewards, once you build a solid reputation for delivering quality work on time can be impressive.

Freelance Writing

6) Writing eBooks

There are many ways people can choose to go with this. Once upon a time, ClickBank was the only game in town for those who wished to earn passive income from writing eBooks. Today, Kindle has blown the market wide open leaving it possible for writers to earn money from both fiction and non-fiction eBooks alike. If you have a story to tell, there very well may be a market for it.

The great thing about this type of income is that it costs very little to get started. Most people hire someone to do the cover art and formatting for their eBooks, though this can be done relatively inexpensively through Fiverr or one of the other sites mentioned above for freelancers.

This can build long-term passive income but will require care and attention beyond writing the book and throwing it out there for the world to see. Expect a bit of a learning curve.

7) Handcrafting and Selling Online

Websites, like Etsy, are ideally suited for people who have talents at creating jewelry, leather items, clothing, pottery, home goods, and countless other hand-crafted items. The bad news is that you will need extensive startup costs for materials and to cover the costs of shipping and packaging for your first few orders. Then you can reinvest in your business. What many people love about this avenue for income from home is that they get paid for doing things they already love.

Home business ideas like these can earn you real money, relatively fast, without a huge upfront investment. Savvy entrepreneurs constantly work to learn new skills and reinvest in their businesses for optimal growth in the beginning and along the way. If you’re willing to make a bigger initial investment, you might also consider starting your own FBA (fulfillment by Amazon business) in which you buy products and send them to Amazon to sell, process, and ship on your behalf. The sky is truly the limit for people who want to earn real income from home.