Planning to start an online business?
Wondering what are the best online business ideas for beginners?
Worry not. We have got you covered.
Here is a list of 6 online business ideas that you can explore without any prior experience and with little investment.
Just to get you motivated before we get started…
Did you know that Huffington Post (which was acquired by AOL for $315 million) and Deadline Hollywood (which was acquired by Mail Media Corporation for $14 million) started out as blogs?
So was TechCrunch (which was acquired by AOL for $30 million) and Ars Technica (which was acquired by Conde Nast Publications for $25 million)!
The best thing about online businesses is their scalability. We never know how big they could grow to. With a pinch of virality, your simple business could grow to a multi-million dollar business.
That being said, it’s not easy to build million-dollar businesses. I wouldn’t advise more on that as I am not a multi-millionaire businessman.
But about making a couple of thousand dollars in passive income every month?
It’s possible. It’s quite easy in fact (if you can find time and work really hard).
If you can find time to actually build any of the ideas mentioned below over the next six months to 1 year, making a couple of thousand dollars in passive income every month is a simple reality!
So, ready to get started?
1. Starting a Blog
A very obvious first choice.
The best online business idea for anyone getting started is to build a blog. This blog in fact started out as an experimental side hustle and is now an amazing source of passive income for us!
And if you are wondering, why blogging?
It’s because blogging is simple, easy to begin, needs very low investment, and is heavily profitable.
Yeah, it’s crazy profitable.
Think of this..
Your average cost of running a blog per month can range anywhere from $3 – $50 depending on your web hosting choice and traffic range.
And the earning potential?
It’s in thousands of dollars. You can easily scale your blog to earn a decent passive income from home.
Who wouldn’t mind an additional couple of thousand dollars every month right!
It’s not just about the earning potential. Starting and managing a blog isn’t rocket science either. It’s a very simple and easy process. You can have your own blog up and running in 30 minutes, if not less!
If you are new to the entire gamut of digital businesses, blogging is the best place to get started.
To reiterate the pros, it’s very easy, simple, needs very low investment, and is extremely profitable.
Want to learn how to start a blog & make money online?
We have a free step-by-step guide that will take you through the entire process of starting your blog. It hardly takes an hour of work.
Ready to get started?
You can find the guide below.
If you have a good eye to spot errors and a good grasp of any language, you can become a proofreader. As a proofreader, your job will be to find mistakes and eliminate them. Whether it be errors in punctuation marks, misspelled words, or formatting errors, you will have to find and rectify them.
Like being a transcriptionist, you will have a lot of freedom and flexibility as a proofreader. You can work at your pace, at any location, and at any time you want. You will be paid based on the hours you spent and the level of service you provide.
Caitlin Pyle, the founder of Proofread Anywhere, used to earn more than $40K every year through proofreading alone.
Being a highly successful freelance proofreader, she started Proofread Anywhere to help others learn the same and find clients.
If you want to learn how to get started as a proofreader, you can take Caitlin’s free workshop. The workshop is fully free and you can learn so much about making money as a freelance proofreader.
What’s the next best idea?
It’s to start freelancing!
In the “post-pandemic” era, freelancing has become a popular career option for millennials. Once people got to experience the freedom of working from home, in their own time, many people started switching to full-time work from home jobs and freelance careers.
And few reports even suggest that nearly a half of Americans will be freelancers by the end of this decade.
So, if you actually are planning to be your own boss and wish to work from the comfort of your home, now is the best time to get started more than ever.
And where can you find freelance jobs?
We recommend Fiverr for beginners.
With Fiverr, you can find jobs easily even as a beginner. And once you take up few projects and build a reputation, your seller level will change and you can start charging hundreds of dollars per hour for your work.
And if you are wondering if all this is true, there are many people who earn more than $100k every year freelancing on Fiverr. So yeah, it’s true and is an easy way to make money from your skills and passion.
Which freelance jobs can you do in Fiverr?
It’s up to you. You can offer any service that you are skilled at. From graphic design, web development, video making, voice-over artists, freelance writing, homework help for students to acting gigs, you can sell a variety of services.
Ready to start freelancing?
4. Starting an Online Store/Dropshipping
Another top business idea is to start an e-commerce store.
If you have some handicraft skills or you already run an offline business, taking it online is an amazing thing you can do.
You can make use of social media to promote your store. If you specifically create (or sell) art-related products, Pinterest would be a great channel to tap into.
Above all, the best thing about running an online store is its earning potential. Unlike other ideas, there is no cap to how much you can sell (or earn) through your store.
You can scale your business to unlimited heights. There are stores that go from 0 to making millions in under a year. It depends on your marketing strategy.
And in case you are wondering if running a store is hectic, no it’s not. If you feel that managing inventory and shipping are headaches that you do not want to take up, you can try dropshipping.
Dropshipping means that a third party will take up the logistics and inventory part out of your store. This essentially means all you have to do is to manage your store, promote it, and get sales. Rest everything will be managed by the dropshipping partner.
But even to get started with dropshipping, you first need a store where you can list the products.
And where can you start your store?
We recommend BigCommerce. You will receive a whole suite of advanced features that you could dream of.
5. Starting a YouTube Channel
Another obvious choice, huh!
Starting a YouTube channel is another easy business idea that you can explore.
But the YouTube ecosystem has become competitive now. Unlike the early 2010s, you cannot just upload average videos and expect to get millions of viewers and subscribers.
The quality of videos has improved manifolds and you really have to put in some effort in order to outrank your competitors now. But that doesn’t mean YouTube isn’t as powerful as it used to be for beginners.
It’s still a great medium to explore. Above all, it’s free.
You do not have to make any financial investment for starting a YouTube channel. But this comes with cons as well. You will face serious competition and will have to work twice as hard as running a blog.
If you already have a successful blog or social media channels with a loyal audience, you can start a YouTube channel and make that a new source of passive income as well.
There are many niches where you can start a YouTube channel and provide expert information on.
The only thing that you have to keep in mind is the quality requirements. You have to upload great videos (picking up video editing skills would do wonders for you) in order to keep up with your competition.
6. Selling Self-Published Books
Love reading books?
How about writing one!
Writing and publishing a book has never been easier than today. You do not need the handholding of an established publisher to sell your books.
Amazon completely changed the publishing industry with the introduction of Kindle. Self-publishing has become a viable business model now.
In fact, self-publishing has become a very profitable activity indeed.
With Kindle, you now have access to unlimited buyers all for free.
The only hard thing you have to do is to actually write a book. Even though producing a high-quality book requires some effort and time, it’s totally worth it. Because it’s one of the best eternal sources of passive income.
You make it once and it will pay you back forever! (Only if you have a great book though. Else like millions of other books, it will stay on the shelf)
In fact, if you check the top hundred most sold lists on Kindle, you will notice that a fair share of them will be self-published authors.
The most important point here is that publishing a book has never been easier. And if you are wondering if your writing skills are up to mark, you can make use of free tools like Grammarly.
Grammarly is a writing assistant tool that will help you identify and correct grammatical errors and improve your writing. Be it a book or blog, Grammarly is a must-have tool. And it’s free too!
With Kindle Direct Publishing, you are not restricted to publishing e-books alone, you can publish paperback versions of your book as well.
Ana from The She Approach has created the course “Ebook Bestseller Bootcamp” to help people publish their own e-books. She has published not one, but three best sellers, ranked on top of amazon categories and consistently makes between $500 to $3500 every month from her books.
You can explore this course if you want to learn in-depth about how to publish your own e-book and generate income passively for the years to come.
7. Becoming a Transcriptionist
A transcriptionist is someone who listens and converts recorded or live audio files to text format. By being a transcriptionist, you can work at your own pace, and at your own time, all at the comfort of your home.
You can perform transcriptionist services for bloggers, YouTubers, and podcasters, or for legal and medical services as well.
Transcribe Anywhere offers a free General Transcription Mini-Course to jumpstart your transcription career. This free course will teach you all about transcription and how to find high-paying work easily. If you are new to the entire gamut of digital businesses, this course is a good place to get started.
Bonus Method: Surveys!
I know it’s not fair to add surveys with the above six business ideas.
But surveys are such a great way to add some extra dollars to your pocket every month.
If you are a college-going student, getting a couple of hundred dollars every month for spending a few minutes filling surveys is a great idea.
Who wouldn’t want a few hundred dollars every month for free right! (It’s literally for free!)
And that’s why I have added surveys to this list.
Looking for sites that pay you for filling surveys?
In fact, there are several websites that payout millions of dollars every year to their users. Insane right!
Wanna start filling surveys?
There are many other online business ideas that you can start. But these are few ideas that we believe are the best for beginners.
You do not need any experience or knowledge of the digital business landscape to get started with these ideas.
Few other advanced ideas include selling your own products, starting a newsletter (and email marketing), etc.
If you are half-hearted of starting a business or are wondering why you should start one, it’s because an online business will help you build a new source of passive income.
No one ever got rich by saving. You actually have to earn more in order to achieve financial freedom.
And these are few simple business ideas that you can explore.
But some of these are extremely scalable business models. Do give them a try. It could change your life!
If you are unsure of which idea to get started with, I recommend starting a blog.