50+ Online Business Ideas You Can Start in 2021
Have you decided to start making money online? Great! The Internet provides many opportunities to anyone willing to put some time and effort into earning, and these opportunities are worth more than just making ends meet. The number of people who exclusively work online in the US grew from 52 to 57 million from 2014 to 2019.
The best thing about this is that you don’t have to sell products. If you possess a skill or expertise in a certain domain, you can monetize that too.
However, if you don’t know anything about earning money online, beyond the fact that it is possible to do so, it could be problematic to start your online career. This is especially true if you are not really skilled at using search engines and are unable to find reliable learning resources.
Don’t worry, we got you. We have done an extensive research to identify as many online business opportunities as possible. We even went the extra mile and organized all of the business ideas into relevant categories to make it easier for you.
- Blogging business ideas
- Selling knowledge business ideas
- Websites business ideas
- Programming business ideas
- Design and visual business ideas
- Audio industry business ideas
- Marketing business ideas
- Writing business ideas
- Data business ideas
- Real estate/investment business ideas
- eCommerce business ideas
- Communication business ideas
- Other business ideas
Blogging business ideas
The blogging phenomenon started in 1994. In the beginning, blogs were predominantly online personal diary entries. Over time, blogs evolved and became two-way communication channels. People use them to communicate their ideas to a broader audience, write product or service reviews, provide step-by-step guides on various topics, you name it.
If you are skilled in conveying ideas, writing and blogging might just be the right business idea for you. You have multiple career paths in front of you. Blogging is not the only option if you are into writing. Maybe you’ll find vlogging more attractive. Let’s explore the business ideas in this category.
1. Start a profitable blog
You don’t need to be a programming guru to launch a website today. You can launch your own site faster than you can imagine and start blogging immediately. Firstsiteguide has a step-by-step guide about how to do it. There are several ways to profit from a blog – you can start with affiliate links and get paid for the ads. The more traffic you gather, the more lucrative a blog can be because the revenue scales with traffic and conversion rates.
2. Start a podcast
You don’t have to write to share your ideas and insights with the audience. If you enjoy talking, you’ll find podcasting quite interesting. You can earn cash through sponsorships, affiliate marketing, or repurpose your content and sell it as an audiobook. You can monetize your podcasts on platforms such as Spotify and Apple podcasts.
3. Instagram influencer
If you love hanging on social media, you can start earning money by building a large following. Instagram is quite a popular platform to consider if you want to become an influencer. There are plenty of non-celebrity influencers out there. You can charge for endorsing a product or service, sharing affiliate links in your bio, or become a brand ambassador.
4. Social media manager
If you feel comfortable on social media platforms and know how to leverage them to build relationships and improve reputation, social media manager might be your calling. You will be in charge of the company’s social media profile and use your skills to improve the company’s social media presence, build trust, and communicate with consumers.
5. Create a YouTube channel
YouTube is a great platform to focus on if you prefer vlogging over blogging. You can talk directly to your followers, share your insights, reviews, or provide guides. The more unique viewers you get, the more money you’ll earn. Plus, you’ll find it interesting to learn how to optimize your videos to attract more viewers.
Selling knowledge business ideas
If you pack skills, expertise, and experience into a specific niche, you can pass them onto others. People are willing to pay for quality learning materials, be it video or documents. You can sell your knowledge in a lot of creative ways. Before you choose a method, make sure to do quick research to identify areas that are not already covered.
You can also take a dive into consumers’ reviews to identify what they like and dislike. These bits of information will enable you to find out the best way to monetize your expertise, only this time not in your original profession but as a teacher.
6. Online courses
Selling online courses is the easiest way to start selling your knowledge. Many online learning platforms are popular among online learners, such as Udemy. The good thing about using an established platform is that you will have access to a large online learner pool. Plus, you have access to all of the tools you need to record and structure your courses.
Many high-school and college students struggle with specific subjects. You can monetize your knowledge of these subjects and help them overcome their challenges. Becoming an online tutor today is easy. All you have to do is register on one of the tutoring platforms, such as the conveniently named Tutor, and start tutoring students the same day.
Coaching is a fast-developing industry. If you have good people skills, you can leverage this quality to transfer your knowledge to others. You can coach in virtually any area you want – business, fitness, career, and more. There are several platforms you can use to monetize your coaching efforts, including Koach and Coachfinderonline.
The consultancy industry is quite diverse. If you are knowledgeable in business strategy, management, operations, financial, and HR areas, you can try and deliver some quality online consultancy services. This can extend to other industries such as healthcare, the public sector, and energy. One of the platforms you can use as a starting ground is Consultancy.
10. Personal trainer or wellness coach
The wellness and fitness industries are growing, allowing trainers/coaches to get paid for their knowledge in these specific areas. If you know how to personalize workout and meal plans and know how to motivate people to stick to their fitness regimen, this can easily become your main source of income. Platforms that can help you to find clients are Upwork and Fitnesstrainer.
11. Clothes shopping assistant
A clothes shopping assistant is a person who makes shopping suggestions and gives advice. This is a perfect career option for people who know the latest fashion trends but are flexible enough to personalize their suggestions according to a client’s personal style and preferences. You can kickstart your career at Freelancer or Fiverr.
12. Bookkeeping services
The time has come to dust off that bookkeeping knowledge of yours. There are thousands of small businesses and startups looking for remote bookkeepers online. If you feel confident enough to do this work remotely, you can easily find clients. Look for job postings on Freelancer or Peopleperhour.
14. Associate scientific director
To be hired as an associate scientific director, you need to be able to interpret large sets of data, carry out experiments, and efficiently communicate your findings. It requires substantial knowledge, but it is also very well paid. Consider using LinkedIn to find remote associate scientific director positions open for remote workers.
Websites business ideas
Websites are taking over, and we mean this quite literally. There are over 1.84 billion websites live on the web. If you look at websites as products, their large numbers indicate that the demand is huge. And when there is a huge demand, there are plenty of opportunities to make money. Now, you might consider skipping this section because you don’t know how to code.
You can work in the website niche without knowing how to write a single line of code. Don’t know where to start? Here are 5 great online business ideas directly tied to websites.
14. Build a niche website
You can start earning money by building a niche website. What is your main interest or passion? A niche website will help you to attract specific visitors genuinely interested in the content you have to offer. When you get more traffic, you can monetize your website via ads and affiliate links or start selling products or services.
15. Purchase a website
There are many websites for sale out there. You can start making cash by investing in an already established website. The things to look for are the domain age and history, Google penalties, website platform and technology, and domain authority rank. Flippa is a solid marketplace where you can start looking for websites for sale.
16. Buy and sell domain names
Did you know that there is money to be made in buying and selling domain names? The tricky part is to identify which cheap domain names are going to become more expensive in the future. It’s like a stock market but only reserved to domain names. If you would like to test your trading skills, you can buy and sell domains and participate in auctions at Sedo.
17. Web development
There is a lot of money in the web development industry, especially if you are a senior front or back-end developer. There is work for junior web developers too. You can monetize your knowledge in web technologies and programming languages on Upwork. Feel free to also extend your search for jobs on platforms for freelancers like Toptal, Freelancer, and Fiverr.
18. SEO services
Investing time and effort into learning the best SEO practices is a good decision. The SEO industry is flourishing, especially in niches with high competition. You can start an online SEO business to maximize this knowledge. If you don’t want to start going all in, you can see how it works as a freelancer before launching your own business. SEO freelancers are a huge thing on all major platforms for freelancers.
Programming business ideas
Software development is a very lucrative career. Developers make a median salary of $107,510. However, it is not only the potential salary that makes this career path attractive. It is freedom as well. If you are a skilled programmer, and you are not interested in the 9-5 work routine, you have a variety of opportunities.
Programmers are in high demand in various industries. You can sell your expertise and work hours to the highest bidder, create something of your own, or test other people’s apps. Here are some very interesting online business ideas for you.
19. Become a freelance programmer
A freelance programmer is a viable option. There are individuals and businesses that have needs for programmers. The best thing about it is that you can choose with whom you want to work. You can also work from anywhere you want as long as you meet the pre-set deadlines. Upwork is a solid platform to help you kickstart your freelance programmer career.
20. Develop your own app
If you always had an idea for a great app, but you couldn’t complete it due to your day job, this is your chance. Develop your own app and publish it on popular app marketplaces. You have different monetization options. If you need help, you can always hire a freelance programmer to complete it faster.
21. Create a SaaS application
Software as a service has excellent revenue potential. You can use your knowledge to build an app hundreds of users can use simultaneously. SaaS apps are great because they allow you to outline different subscription pricing plans and lock advanced features behind different paywalls. The only challenge would be to identify which service to offer and which market to target.
22. WordPress website consultant
With a market share of 40.3%, WordPress is the most dominant CMS (Content Management System). Even though it is easy to use and maintain, customized WordPress websites still require skilled developers. You can offer your services as a WordPress website consultant and help businesses adopt the most feasible and cost-efficient strategy when it comes to building a website on WordPress.
23. Cloud service manager
If you are not only proficient in programming but also understand the technical aspects of cloud computing, you can work as a cloud service manager. You will be responsible for the lifecycle of a cloud service. It’s one of those niche jobs for programmers.
24. Product tester
Finally, your experience in app development projects makes you a perfect fit for a product tester career. Your technical knowledge enables you to know where to look for the bugs, but also to provide possible solutions for the identified problems. You can look for product tester job postings on all major platforms for freelancers.
Design and visual business ideas
There are many online job opportunities related to design and visuals. If you are creative and know how to use the software in a designer’s toolkit, you can start making money online. You can take on various tasks ranging from logo to website design. Plus, there are several online marketplaces where you can offer your skills to the highest bidder.
Are you lacking design skills? Don’t worry. There are other viable ways of earning money in a creative line of work. Scroll down to see the ideas that we have in store for you.
25. Web design
A website’s visual appeal has a direct impact on user experience. Many companies and individuals are looking for web designers able to deliver designs according to the latest best practices. If you know how to do this, you can easily find work on all major platforms for freelancers.
26. Graphic design
Graphic design is one of the most versatile skills one can have. There are many online business ideas that you can pursue. A straightforward one is to offer your skills as a freelancer. You can create templates and graphics and list them for sale on Creative Market or Graphic River.
27. Retoucher/Photo editor
Although photo editing software is becoming easier to use, there is still a need for professional photo editors and retouchers. It’s a niche skill to have, and there is a market for it, especially now with the explosion of eCommerce stores. You can find a lot of job offers on freelancer platforms.
28. Stock photographers
Do you find yourself often with a DSLR camera in your hands? Great. Knowing how to make great shots can potentially earn you a lot of cash, even if it is just a hobby of yours. You can take your best photos and upload them to stock photography websites such as Shutterstock and StockPhotoSecrets.
29. Stock videographers
The same applies if you like to record videos. Stock videography sites such as Storyblocks and Videvo are a real thing. Thousands of videos are sold every day. Do some quick research to find out which videos are in demand, make a set, and have fun with your camera. Some people are willing to pay extra for videos on demand.
30. Professional video editor
Video editing is not a joke. It requires experience, knowledge, as well as a good setup, software, and hardware-wise. If you have all of this, you can sell your professional video editing skills. Having a video editor on payroll is quite expensive, which is why many companies outsource their work to freelancers.
31. Interior designer
Interior designer is a viable online business idea now that you can easily communicate your ideas with attractive 3D renders. If you’re specialized in this field, you will be able to find projects easily on platforms for freelancers. Make sure to create a portfolio featuring your best work.
32. Print on demand
Print on demand is a very interesting online business model for graphic designers. You can use it to monetize your art more efficiently. You can sell your designs by having them printed on various products such as t-shirts, mugs, hats, and more. Check out Printful and Printify if you want to give print on demand a go.
Audio industry business ideas
The audio industry is quite a diverse landscape with a lot of different career paths and opportunities to make money. It can be an interesting landscape for you if you are a talented musician, voice artist, or have a keen ear for music. If this is something that you really enjoy doing, you will be happy to finally earn income from your work.
So, where do you start? Below you will find several online business ideas that you can easily pursue if you have the relevant expertise and talent.
33. Selling audio jingles
Not everyone knows how to compose attractive audio jingles, and there is a market for it. If you know how to play an instrument or how to use music software, you can sell your jingle to prospective customers on platforms such as Pond 5 and Audio Jungle.
34. Professional audio editor
Audio editing is an easy skill to monetize, especially if you are experienced and proficient in different audio editing tools. You will be able to support clients from various industries. The best way to start selling your audio editing skills would be to create accounts on major platforms for freelancers.
Whether you want to believe it or not DJ-ing is still a thing. More importantly, it can be done online. You have several options to monetize your skills as a DJ. You can do live sessions on streaming platforms. You can also record your sessions and upload them for premium users or do sessions on request for paying customers.
36. Voice-over work
Voice-over work opportunities are available to talented voice-over artists. If you can do wonders with your voice, you can work on projects in the marketing and entertainment industries. You can go with a major platform for freelancers or opt for platforms such as Voiceovers that specialize only in listing voice over jobs.
Marketing business ideas
Heavily disrupted by digital technologies and customer behavior, marketing has shifted from old to new digital methods. As a skilled digital marketer, you will be able to find a lot of work online. You can even start your own online marketing business.
Given that the industry is quite diverse, you will be able to find projects that work with your unique marketing skills. Here are some of the online marketing business ideas you can pursue today.
37. Setting up ad campaigns
Online ad platforms include search engines and social media platforms. Do you know how to set up Facebook ad campaigns? Great, because many companies run seasonal marketing efforts. You can sell your knowledge and help businesses reach their target audience across different platforms. Get a website up and running and launch your own marketing brand specializing in paid ads.
38. Freelance content marketing
Good content marketers are hard to find. It’s mainly because one has to know how to create, plan, and share valuable content. But, since you know how to do it, you can start selling this valuable skill. You can find a lot of relevant job offers on Upwork, Freelancer, and Peopleperhour.
39. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a great online business model, especially if you have an established online presence. All you have to do is get affiliate links and start earning money passively every time someone from your audience clicks one and completes a purchase. Here are over 40 places where you can find all sorts of affiliate programs.
Writing business ideas
Many people think that their writing skills are obsolete in this day and age. The truth is quite the opposite. If you know how to capture readers’ attention and convey a message in a specific voice and tone, you can easily sell your craft. There are many companies and marketing agencies that outsource writing to freelance writers.
What is it that you can do? You can become a writer for a hire, focus on blog posts, or write eBooks. Here is a more detailed overlook of online business ideas reserved for writers.
40. Freelance copywriter
If you have good writing skills in general and enjoy researching online resources then you should really consider a career as a freelance copywriter. You will be able to expand your knowledge on various subjects and work hand in hand with marketers from different industries. Look for work at some of the leading platforms for freelancers.
41. Freelance eBook writing
While freelance copywriters are focused on delivering blog articles, freelance eBook writers specialize in writing eBooks. Don’t worry; most of the projects come with clear instructions including eBook topics, chapters, and links for inspiration. If you feel you are ready to produce eBooks, create an account on Upwork and start looking for jobs.
A ghostwriter is a specific niche. If you don’t mind your work being published under someone else’s name, you will enjoy working as a ghostwriter. You will often produce articles, SEO content, and eBooks. You can either try a freelance option or launch your own online ghostwriting services business.
43. Online translator
There is a huge demand for online translators. Being bilingual is a great perk, and you can easily monetize it. The opportunities are spread across different industries. You can work as an online subtitle translator for platforms such as Rev, or look for freelance gigs to translate technical documents, guides, and instructions.
Data business ideas
With more and more industries becoming data-driven, data has started to be seen as one of the most important business assets. This is great news for you if you are in love with data, especially if you have some skills with computer and data analytics tools.
However, when it comes to online business opportunities related to data, we could only find two credible options. Let’s take a look at the ideas we have discovered for you.
44. Home data entry
You don’t mind sitting in front of a computer for a couple of hours filling out spreadsheets? Great. Home data entry is a repetitive task and not everyone is cut out for doing it. This is where you can come in and do your thing. There are dozens of data entry tasks posted on a daily basis on Upwork and Freelancer.
45. Data analysis
All that time that you spent learning how to use the features in your favorite data analysis tools will now pay off. Data analysts are highly sought after in virtually every industry. Making use of raw data is an exceptional skill, and you will be able to sell it for big bucks. While you can also turn to Upwork for some short-term projects, LinkedIn might be a better platform to use if you want long-term engagements.
Real estate/investment business ideas
Is there any disposable money in your accounts? Some online business ideas revolve around investing some of your cash. Investing your money in a smart way can help to create a new revenue stream and keep you occupied.
If you find it interesting, you might even decide to make this your primary source of income. There are many investment opportunities out there. The real estate industry is also quite dynamic if you don’t find investing cash attractive.
46. Invest your money
If you are sitting on some extra cash, you can try to make your money work for you. You can look at some online broker reviews to find the best broker to use when investing in stocks. Or, you can look for beginner-friendly trading platforms. Cryptocurrency is attractive to some people. Feel free to research it as well to be able to decide what you personally find more appealing.
47. Real estate broker
If you find pitching sales comes naturally to you, and have great communication skills, becoming an online real estate broker is a viable business idea for you. Having your own real estate website is a definitive plus. Keep in mind that in some countries you need to obtain a real estate broker license before you can start working in the real estate industry.
eCommerce business ideas
eCommerce is a rapidly growing industry. In 2020, eCommerce generated $4.24 trillion in revenue and its revenues are projected to grow to $5.4 trillion by 2022. Markets are far from being saturated which leaves you with plenty of space to maneuver and get your own slice of the market.
Most importantly, eCommerce is a very diverse industry and you have several options to make money online. Let’s start with the most common online business model – sell your own products.
48. Sell your own products
If you have a hobby and know how to make things that can either be used or enhance the visual experience of people’s homes, you can monetize it. You don’t even have to launch your own website. You can use various sites and apps to sell your stuff online. Join Shopify to immediately enter the market and start selling your own products.
Dropshipping is one of the most popular methods to make money in the eCommerce industry. It refers to selling products to customers while outsourcing storage, packaging, and shipping to other companies. Your job is to choose a market and identify the products that are in high demand. The rest you can sort out with platforms such as Shopify.
50. Setting up eCommerce stores
If this is not your first eCommerce rodeo, then you can sell your experience and knowledge. You can set up eCommerce stores for other people and companies. You don’t have to build sites from scratch. Using WordPress with WooCommerce, for instance, will enable you to get a shop up and running in a couple of days.
51. Making product reviews
Doing product reviews is a real thing. In some eCommerce markets, the competition is beyond hard. Some companies are willing to order product reviews. If you know how to write product reviews, you can make some cash. Most of the job offers in this category can be found on Upwork and Jooble.
Communication business ideas
For some people, communication skills are their strongest suit. Do you fit this description? If you do, then you should consider some of the online business ideas related to communication.
Yes, it does sound strange that you would be making money by just talking to people. Some job positions revolve around being able to efficiently communicate within defined boundaries.
52. Contract customer service (CSR)
You can work as an online customer service agent under a contract. With technologies such as VoIP softphones and live chat, you will be able to answer customer questions and resolve their issues from the convenience of your home. You do need some customer service skills though. The best platform to use for research is Indeed.
53. Virtual call center representative
Acall center’s primary purpose is to handle customer inquiries. Many call centers look to hire remote workers to help them address the large volume of calls they receive. If you think you have the skills to work as a support agent, then this is a viable online business idea.
54. Technical support associates
Technical support associates are often people who have some technical knowledge or background. They are in charge of maintaining and repairing information technology systems. Installing and upgrading software and resolving software issues also fall into a tech support associate job description. If you think you can do it, look for job postings on freelancer platforms.
55. Online recruiter
Being experienced in the HR industry makes you eligible to become an online recruiter. Thanks to social media platforms and company websites, you can easily source the best candidates for any given job position. LinkedIn is a great platform to look for online recruiter job openings.
Other business ideas
Has nothing we’ve shared with you resonate with your personal preferences or reflect your skillset? Finding and pursuing an online business idea is not an easy task. This is why we have 4 bonus online business ideas that you should consider.
56. Online surveys
Paid online surveys are a real thing. Website such as Branded Surveys, is an opinion website where you can take surveys and get paid for your time and effort. The pay is not great, but you will still be able to earn some extra cash in your free time.
The definition of a spokesperson is simple – it is a person engaged or hired to speak on behalf of someone else. That someone else can be an individual or a company. If you are verbally equipped to carry out such a responsible task, feel free to hit up LinkedIn and Indeed to find job postings.
58. Coupon clipping
Do you enjoy tracking coupons, clipping them, and sorting them into relevant categories? If you do, you can sell this unique skill of yours. The coupon clipping service is well-paid. You will be in charge of clipping coupons and sending them to your clients. The best thing about it is that you can do everything online thanks to platforms such as Dailycouponclippers.
59. Virtual assistant
Are you skilled at administrative tasks? If you are, you can become a virtual assistant and offer your administrative services to clients from a remote location – your home. A virtual assistant’s job is not any different from a regular assistant’s job, except you get to do it via online communication channels. There are many job postings in this category on Upwork, Peopleperhour, and Remote.
There you have it. 59 online business ideas that you can consider. While we managed to pull together 59 viable ways for you to earn money online, the internet is a huge place and we are sure there are some business ideas that we’ve missed.
You don’t have to rush your decision. Narrow down your options while considering your skills and personal preferences. Follow up with extensive research to find out more about the ideas that you find interesting. We hope that you will find something that works for you and helps you to start making cash online.