How To Start An Online Business

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Making Money on the Internet

Artem Minaev
Updated: March 11th, 2024
30 min read
FirstSiteGuide is supported by our readers. When you purchase via links on our site we may earn a commission. Read More
How To Start An Online Business

Only a few decades ago, the mere idea of starting a new business seemed like an impossible task that required extensive investment and planning. It was difficult for someone with limited resources and a 9-to-5 job to even consider initiating and leading their own entrepreneurial venture.

But then came the internet, the great equalizer. Suddenly, everyone had access to the same prospects and buyers, and advertising became more affordable and effective. 

Today, anyone can build their own website, market it online, and run several online businesses at a time. One of the most significant advantages to starting an online business is that it requires little to no startup costs. As long as you have a comprehensive knowledge of the digital space and the online tools that you need for your business, you can slowly build an empire of your own.

Another significant advantage to starting a business on the web is that you can sell to anyone, anywhere in the world. 

How to start an online business in 8 easy steps 

Today, anyone can start a business via the internet to earn extra income or to create financial freedom.

However, before starting your own online business, you need to determine how your business will generate revenue. In plain words, you need to create a business model that lays out how you plan on offering value to your customers. 

A successful online business venture requires planning, practical decision-making skills, and timely execution.

This guide is a handy resource for anyone who wants to start their own internet business and succeed at it. Here we detail all of the finer points about becoming an internet entrepreneur and making money online on your own terms. 

Make sure to follow the guide step by step, and we assure you that by the end, you’ll have a working model of your future online business. 

Let’s get down to it. 

Step 1: Come up with a business idea

Successful businesses are built on unique ideas – whether you have a revolutionizing product or have discovered a way to bridge a market-gap. Having said that, coming up with a business idea is the first step towards creating a successful online business. 

Let’s take a look at how you can discover your best-fit market niche:

  • Search for a problem to solve – all of the successful businesses were created to solve a specific problem. Think of a task that you wish was easier and use this as an inspiration for your business idea. Ask your family, friends, or co-workers about any everyday tasks that frustrate them, and you can tap into even more ideas.
  • Highlight your strengths – think about what you love to do and what you are good at. Brainstorm and highlight all of your strengths and skills to create a business that can survive even against the most cutthroat competition.
  • Focus on who you want to sell to – rather than thinking about the product you want to create, think about the type of customer you want to cater to. Shifting your thinking in this way will open more opportunities for you to tap into a specific market.
  • Connect to your network – talk to your friends, family, and colleagues and ask for their opinions and ideas. Ask them what strengths and qualities they can see in you. This way, you may come across ideas that you might miss yourself.
  • Fill the gaps – you don’t have to come up with a new business idea. Focus on all of the leading businesses in a specific industry and look for any service that they miss out on. Analyze if you can fill those gaps.

Step 2: Evaluate and research the market demand 

Now, you might have several money-making ideas for your business, but not every idea can turn into a revenue-generating business. How can you determine whether your idea has the potential to turn into a profitable venture?

This is where market demand comes in. Knowing what your consumers want and the price they are willing to pay for it establishes your business’s direction.

What is market demand?

Market demand is the estimation of what your customers are inclined to spend on your products or services.

If the market demand for your product or service is relatively high, then you can safely increase its price as well. Of course, you’ll need to do some market research to know if your prospects are willing to buy what you want to sell and how much they can pay for it.

Conduct thorough market research

Market demand research evaluates if there are customers out there who would be interested in your products or services.

This involves extracting data, business statistics, and other information about a particular industry to assess what’s trending or what people are looking to buy. Multiple strategies can be employed to conduct well-planned market research. For starters, run a social media survey and learn about the needs of your target market. All of the popular social media platforms are a hub of valuable data that can offer insights into trending topics.

While you are at it, you can also carry out testing to interact with potential customers and assess their purchasing behavior towards your product or services.

Find a need and fill it

A customer’s requirements can only be fulfilled if you are aware of what they need. Take the time to understand how you can attract your target customers through strategic marketing campaigns. Once you know the spending capacity of your prospects, it’s time to give them a reason to give that money to you.

Also, assess your product or service and determine how it can help your target customers so that you can fulfill their needs.

Find a scalable business model

A scalable business model promises higher revenue streams in combination with efficient processes and lower costs. However, to accomplish this requires thorough research and immaculate planning.

To find a scalable business model, you can use the product demand matrix to check the viability of your online business idea.

The product demand matrix is really a quadrant as follows:

  • High supply and low demand – if you have a high supply volume, but the market has little demand for your products or services, your business idea has a lower chance of succeeding.
  • High supply and high demand – this quadrant means that a large supply of your product is available on the market. The product is also in high demand, which means that you have a medium chance of success with lower risks.
  • Low supply and high demand – this quadrant is for those products and services with a high demand on the market, but their supply level is low. Hence, this quadrant poses excellent chances of success for your business idea.

Step 3: Find a business (company) name 

We understand the struggle of deciding on a name for your business as it can make or break your brand image.

The following are some tips about coming up with a great business name:

  • Merge relevant words – brainstorm for two or three words that describe your business or that are relevant to your services. See if they can be merged entirely or in parts to create a name. For example, Evernote is a combination of two words: forever and note.
  • Use acronyms or abbreviations – there are several businesses out there that use acronyms or abbreviations rather than keeping a full name. For example, DHL stands for Dalsey, Hillblom, and Lynn.
  • Use non-native words – play around with foreign words to create a memorable name. For example, Temaki – a rice dish of Japan, is the perfect name for a restaurant that offers Japanese food.
  • Use your nickname – does everyone in your family and friend group call you Mike? Select this as your business name as it gives a more personal touch to your brand.
  • Play around with words – get your creativity flowing and add or remove letters, change the spellings, add a suffix or prefix and combine different words. For example, Haagen-Dazs is a made-up name that was crafted to give off an artisanal feeling.

If it’s still hard for you to decide on a business name, several online business name generator tools can help.

Here is a tool you can use to help you pick the name: Business name generator  

Step 4: Choose a business model and make a plan

A business model defines how you will be offering value to your customers through the products or services and how you will be generating revenue.

To choose the best business model, you need to follow these tips:

  • Think of your customers’ requirements – your business model needs to cater to your target audience’s requirements and meet their expectations.
  • Consider the customers’ buying patterns – see if your customers are more prone to purchasing a low-end product or if they are more attracted to a subscription model approach. Analyze their buying behavior to figure out the model that is best for your business.
  • Assess your competition – observe how your competitors are earning revenue and determine the type of business model they are following.
  • Consider the value you are offering – assess what makes you stand out in your industry or gives you leverage over your competitors. Analyze your value proposition. For example, do you provide a free subscription to software when the entire market offers a paid subscription?
  • Observe your revenue streams – whether you are looking for a single or multiple revenue streams, experiment and settle on a business model that aligns with your business revenue generation strategy.

Step 5: Ten proven ideas (ways) to start an online business

Here’s a comprehensive overview of the types of business models that can easily be implemented online:

Idea #1: Creating a niche website

No online business can run successfully without a web presence. Customers who prefer to buy from online companies always go to their websites either to find information on the brand or to place an order. 

Creating an elegant yet simple website that offers all of the information about your brand in one place provides a competitive edge to you. The good news here is that you can easily select from a variety of high-quality website software available to launch your own website. 

However, before you do that, you should determine the purpose of your website and how it will serve your business. You should also establish the goals that you expect to achieve through the website.

How to find your niche

If you are struggling with finding your own niche, we can help you. 

First, determine what you are passionate about or what interests you. Once you have analyzed your inclinations, narrow down your choices by assessing the problems of your target audience and how you can solve them. Conduct a competitor analysis to recognize any opportunity that gives you an edge over your competitors in this niche.

Once you have a detailed review of your niche, learn about its profitability, and if it has the potential to generate the income that you require. Browse through the price points of your competitor’s products to get better insights.

Now that you have all of the essential information that you require about the niche of your choice, it is time to put your idea to the test.

Choose the right website platforms

Selecting the right website building platform can seem like a daunting task, especially since so many options are available. That’s why we are sharing information with you about some of the most popular website builders available.

Select one of the following platforms and you can’t go wrong:

  • is the most popular website building platform and content management system. 
  • has gained massive popularity over the years due to its easy to use website builder. 
  • is another widely-used website building platform for online businesses that offers elegant themes. 

Advantages and disadvantages of launching your niche site:


  • Having a niche website allows for higher earning potential and less competition. It creates an online presence for your brand and also plays an essential role in securing global recognition for your company.
  • If your company lasts online, you can establish excellent credibility and rank well in the search engine results pages (SERPs). 
  • You have a better chance of building a loyal audience.


  • It can take some time until you build your online audience and start selling.
  • You need to maintain your website and update it regularly with fresh content.
  • Depending on your niche, there might not be that many products that you can successfully sell.

Upfront costs

One of the most significant costs associated with building a website is the hosting cost. Here is a rundown of what some of the biggest platforms will cost you upfront:

  •* integrated with a Bluehost hosting plan starts at $2.75/month for the Premium Shared plan and $4.45/month for the Chioce Plus Shared plan. 
  • Wix offers their Pro plan for $22/month, Unlimited plan for $17/month, and the Combo plan for $13/month.
  • Squarespace offers the Personal plan for $12/month, Business plan for $18/month, Basic commerce plan for $26/month, and Advanced Commerce plan for $40/month.

* For CMS hosting services I will show the Bluehost company’s pricing plans.

Income stream

A niche site can be a consistent source of passive income. Additionally, it can be monetized with items such as affiliate links, ads, and information products. 

Turnaround time 

Realistically, it could take anywhere from 6 months to 24 months to start generating revenue from a niche site, depending on what you’re selling, of course.

How to make money with a niche website 

Niche websites offer great passive income potential but in order to tap into it, you need to invest a lot of hard work and effort to maintain the revenue stream.

Here are some ways that you can easily monetize your niche website. 

Affiliate marketing

This involves attracting and directing traffic to a website that caters to your niche. You can market their products or services through your posts by inserting a link to their website. 

So, whenever a visitor on your website clicks on that link, they are directed to their business page. And if the visitor purchases from the affiliate company’s site, you earn a certain amount of commission on each purchase. 

Programs like Amazon Associates allow you to easily link to affiliate vendors working in your niche industry. All you need to do is sign up to their platform and start integrating affiliate links into your niche website.

Incorporate ads

When it comes to placing ads on your niche website there are several notable options that you can use. The most common form of earning money through advertisements includes pay per click (PPC) ads that generate revenue with each click. Or, you can go for Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) that offers commission whenever an ad reaches a thousand impressions. 

However, you must ensure that all ads placed on your website are highly targeted for your audience base to get more clicks and in turn generate a constant income.

Idea #2: Starting a blog

Blogging is the most common example of a niche website that consists of building a loyal audience base through targeted content.

This model can be found in various niches, including finance, business, entertainment, and travel. 

What is blogging?

Blogging refers to the practice of sharing written or media content (including images and videos) that are self-published on an online blogging platform

Over the years, businesses have integrated blogs into their websites to engage their target customers with interactive content. This is why blogging holds high marketing potential in the business community.

Advantages and disadvantages of blogging on your own:


  • Blogging requires less investment than other business models since you do not need paid resources to run your blog successfully (at least at first).
  • By writing authoritative blog posts, you can position yourself as an expert in your industry.
  • Blogging offers the ultimate flexibility to work on your terms and in your own time.


  • Writing a high-quality blog takes a considerable amount of time.
  • If you struggle to write in a reader-friendly tone, you will have trouble communicating your message to your readers.
  • Some technical issues such as plugin problems, malware, and coding issues may delay your blog posts.

Upfront costs

There are minimal upfront costs involved in starting a blog. Most notable platforms offer free account creation options. But if you go with the self-hosted WordPress blog option you will have to pay a fee for web hosting services from $2 to $15 per month depending on the company of your choice.

Income Stream

After getting started on your blog through the blogging platform of your choice, you can expect to earn $1000 to $10,000 in your first year of blogging. After the initial phase, your blog will start to generate an increased revenue stream, but only if you are consistent with your blogging efforts.

Turnaround time

It takes time to rank your blog on search engines and achieve your desired results. However, with consistent effort, you can expect to see a considerable increase in online traffic within a year.

How to make money by blogging

To make money from blogging, you need to set up your blog, decide on a niche topic, and start publishing meaningful content for your audience. Also, don’t forget to engage your readers by reaching out to them and responding to their comments. 

Other ways to earn money through blogging include displaying ads on your blog site through Google AdSense, soliciting sponsorships, writing paid reviews, or generating income through affiliate marketing

Idea #3: Making a YouTube channel

YouTube is a renowned social media platform that’s famous for its video-based content. Why not use it to start your own channel, post exciting videos, get views, and build a loyal audience base?

What is a YouTube channel?

It is like having your own private channel where you can post videos for your audience. These videos are available to everyone who signs in to YouTube, and you can easily customize the background theme or add logos, images, and music to make them more appealing. 

The more viewers your videos have and the more subscribers you gain, the better off you’ll be. 

Advantages and disadvantages of having your own YouTube channel:


  • Uploading high-quality, informative and engaging videos can help you gather a large and loyal audience base.
  • Additional source of revenue.
  • A large following can make your channel attractive for businesses that will pay you to display their advertisements.
  • You don’t need technical knowledge or skills to upload videos to YouTube.


  • You have no control over who sees your content as YouTube offers viewers the videos that they want to see.
  • YouTube does not guarantee a constant revenue stream.
  • There’s no assurance that your content will be seen or attract attention.

Upfront costs

Creating a YouTube channel does not require any upfront costs and you can easily start recording videos on your phone. However, if you want to record high-quality videos, you will need to spend money on video production equipment such as a camera, microphone, light, etc. for which might cost you between $500 to $10,000 for high-quality video-making gear.

If you go for a video editing platform like Movavi Video Editor, you will need to pay $69.95 per year.  

Income stream

A YouTube channel is a perfect source of passive income that can help you to earn $18 or more when the ad views reach 1000. 

Turnaround time

You can only start earning money from YouTube if you have 4,000 hours of viewership or more on your YouTube channel in the last year. 

How to start your own YouTube channel

YouTube has made it easier than ever before to start a channel of your own.

Once you’ve signed up for a YouTube account, enter the channel’s name and description to let your viewers know what they can expect from your videos. 

Now that you have set up your channel, it’s time to record your first video and upload it onto your channel. You can even optimize your videos for SEO by adding keywords and tags in the description so that your videos have better chances of ranking well on YouTube for a given keyword. 

How to make money on YouTube

People who have gained popularity on YouTube are now some of the world’s biggest independent celebrities. Popular YouTubers are real celebrities, known for producing entertaining and engaging content that appeals to a vast viewer base. 

Some examples are Brazilian-Portuguese YouTuber Felipe Neto, Spanish YouTuber Samuel de Luque, known as Vegetta777, or American YouTube personality and vlogger Jenna Marbles.

These celebrities mainly focus on creating trail-blazing video content that serves as an example for their followers, inspiring and entertaining them at the same time.

Jenna Marbles makes entertainment videos and solely earns through the YouTube Partner Program. Marques Brownlee, an electronics reviewer, earns money by posting affiliate links.  

Here are some steps that can pave the way for starting a successful YouTube channel.

Determine your niche

The hardest part of ensuring your channel’s success is deciding on the right niche. Some of the most profitable niches include health and beauty, gaming, cooking, reviews and unboxing, and many more.

Everyone has their own set of talents and passions. It’s important to select a niche where you can offer expertise.

Start adding videos

After choosing the right niche, you need to start making high-quality videos and post them consistently to keep your viewers coming for more.

Start attracting your ideal audience

To earn money, you need to build a loyal audience base. You can achieve this by uploading videos regularly, sharing them on other digital platforms, or interacting with your followers through comments.

Enable your channel for monetization

To enable monetization on your YouTube channel, go to My Channel and click YouTube Studio. Once you have accessed YouTube studio, select the Channel menu, click on Other Features > Monetization. 

Once the Monetization window is open, select Start.

This means that you have accepted the terms of the YouTube Partner Program. Now you can add AdSense or any other account to your channel and earn money. You can change the monetization settings later if you wish.

Linking your YouTube channel to an Adsense account

This ensures that only related ads are run on your videos and selected according to the types of interactions people have with your channel.

All you need to do is sign in to YouTube, select the channel, and click Creator Studio. Select Channel displayed on the left and click Advanced. Right under “Google Ads account linking,” click “Link a Google Ads account.” 

Follow through with the instructions, select Finish, and you are good to go.

Join the Youtube Partner Program

The YouTube Partner Program requires that you have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch time hours over a year to qualify for monetization.

Also, your channel and its content should strictly adhere to the terms of service, policies, and guidelines made by the YouTube Partner Program.

If you are successful in qualifying for the YouTube Partner Program, you can have access to more resources and features offered by YouTube.

T-series ranks among the top YouTube channels by ensuring high volume and consistency in its videos. It uses the YouTube Partner Program and allows other YouTube users to place their ads on its videos to earn money. 

You can also monetize your YouTube channel by getting ad revenue, making videos that review merchandise from other brands, or choosing to show your videos for a YouTube premium subscription fee.

Idea #4: Starting a podcast

Podcasting is like audio blogging. In other words, it refers to recording audio content (typically in MP3 format) and sharing it online. This way, people can access and download your audio file on 

their smart devices and listen to the recordings.

Over the last decade, podcasting has been gaining more and more momentum. Today, there are more than 1 million podcasts out there.

Podcasting presents a good opportunity for business owners who are looking for a medium to connect with potential customers. It offers a more human touch to your customer relationships as you establish yourself as an expert in your business niche.

Also, it is the perfect way to create a positive brand image and drive traffic to your website. The most significant benefit of podcasting is that anyone can do it without any prior technical skills or knowledge.

Advantages and disadvantages of podcasting:


  • Podcasts help you to reach your audience and business prospects anywhere, anytime.
  • It is relatively easy to make a podcast. You just need a computer or a smartphone, recording software, and an internet connection to post it online.
  • Podcasts allow you freedom when it comes to the way that you want to present your content to the audience.


  • To offer the best podcasts, you need to ensure that the quality of your podcasting equipment is top-notch. 
  • For better results from podcasting, you need to be consistent in publishing episodes.
  • Making a podcast can cost you money, and securing a return on investment can take more time than other business mediums.

Upfront costs

The total cost of a podcast depends on the equipment and the software that you choose to buy before getting started. Then you have to account for the extras and additional charges like cover art design, logo design, or getting your own personalized music for intros and outros.

The estimated upfront cost of establishing a podcast, including necessities and additional fees, can be as low as $290 or as high as $3,700, depending on your choice of equipment. If you add up all of the necessary equipment, extras, and additional costs, the total price range is $705 to $5,185.

Income stream

The average annual income of a podcast host is estimated to be $87,274 in the United States of America.

Turnaround time

It can take some time to build an audience. Some podcasts start earning revenue after only 2 months, while others may take longer. 

Setting up your podcast

Launching your podcast could be the best decision that you will ever make. 

That’s because people can no longer carve out time for reading, watching long videos, or interacting with new businesses. However, they can and often do listen to podcasts while commuting to stay on top of industry news, expert opinions, and even for some light infotainment.

When podcasts are done right, you get exposure to a new audience, beat the competition, and establish mutually beneficial relationships with your listeners. If you are now convinced about the benefits of starting your own podcast, here’s a quick guide to doing it right:

Get a good microphone and additional podcast equipment

The success of your podcast depends on the quality of the equipment that you use. Also, you need to buy a microphone that offers good audio quality as the audience will not engage with a podcast that sounds distorted. 

Install audio recording and editing software

After deciding on the equipment, you also need to select and install the best podcast recording and editing software. Some of the most popular ones include Audacity and Alitu

Make a podcast recording and save the audio file

Install the podcast equipment, write a script, so that you know what you are going to talk about in the episode, and record the podcast. Save the recorded audio file to move on to the next step.

Find a podcast hosting site and upload your files

To get your podcast online, you need to look for the best podcast hosting service. Some popular options include Buzzsprout, Podbean, Transistor, and Captivate.

How to make money through podcasting

Not only can they drive traffic to your website and enhance your brand’s online presence, podcasts can also massively benefit you if you decide to monetize them.

Get sponsorship deals, coaching, or affiliate marketing

If you are still building up your podcast listenership, try affiliate marketing and securing sponsorship deals by getting in touch with a business whose products you could potentially advertise on your podcast. You can also make money by setting up a subscription fee that listeners will need to pay before they can download your podcast episodes.

There are several ways to monetize a podcast. Sponsorships, premium content, affiliate marketing, and coaching are some of the best ones.

You can ask for sponsors or display their ads on your podcast site, set a subscription fee to your podcast channel, or go for an affiliate program.

Idea #5: Dropshipping products  

Dropshipping is slowly gaining momentum due to its low entry barriers and lower startup costs. With a simple computer, you can easily set up your dropshipping venture.

What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is an online business model that allows you to purchase products from a merchant or supplier and ship it to your customer directly. You don’t have to manufacture products, pay overhead costs, or keep an inventory to run a dropshipping business.

Advantages and disadvantages of running your own dropshipping business:


  • Smaller upfront investment reduces the roadblock to starting your own business.
  • It saves you from keeping or maintaining an inventory.
  • A dropshipping venture is easy to scale since the real hassle falls to the merchants and suppliers.


  • Low startup costs have increased the competition in the dropshipping business sector, impacting your profit margins.
  • You trust other businesses and suppliers to run your business smoothly, increasing the risks associated with dropshipping.
  • You have no control over the many processes involved with dropshipping, especially keeping in sync with the inventory data of your suppliers.

Upfront costs

The upfront costs of a dropshipping venture depend on the online platform you choose to build your store, its paid traffic costs, and the domain name that you register. Shopify charges $29/month for its basic plan along with a 14-day free trial.

For paid traffic, start with Google Ads as they offer $100 free credit. The domain name costs depend on the service you choose. 

Income stream

A dropshipper can earn an average of $1000-$50,000 per month in revenue, while monthly profits can range widely from $100-$20,000. 

Turnaround time

It takes 6-12 months to start earning profits from your dropshipping business.

How to make money dropshipping

To start making money from a dropshipping business, you need to select the right niche market so that you can tap into a profitable venture. Also, you can move onto other niches with time.

This is how you can earn money through an online dropshipping business.

Find a dropship wholesaler or distributor

It’s essential to partner with a credible wholesaler or supplier as the wrong one can damage your business reputation. Conduct thorough research before selecting your suppliers.

Some of the most popular drop shippers are AliExpress, Wholesale2B, Spocket, and Doba.

Price your products

The dropshipping business model is based on customer acquisition regardless of the price of the product. Selecting higher-priced products will help you to earn a high profit margin.

Start selling

After setting up your dropshipping website, securing a supplier, and pricing your products, you are all set to start dropshipping. Attract customers by offering quality products and streamlined services so that you can generate revenue right from the start.

Idea #6: Selling courses and info products 

People continuously turn to the internet to find solutions to their problems. They are looking for authentic answers from experts in the industry, and you can take advantage of this opportunity by selling information products and courses to answer their questions. This is a promising online business model utilized by thousands of digital entrepreneurs with success.  

Advantages and disadvantages of selling online courses and information products:


  • To sell online courses and informational products, you don’t have to manage an inventory or pay for overhead costs.
  • You are not confined to selling to a local market only. With online courses and information products, you can reach a wider audience from all over the world.
  • With lower investment costs, this business model poses the lowest risk.


  • You need to put in a lot of effort and diligent work to create high-value courses and info products.
  • Information products, especially eBooks, have a low selling price, which means smaller profit margins for you.
  • Before selling online courses, you need to build an audience that wants to benefit from your expertise.

Upfront costs

The cost of selling your own online course depends on how much money you invest in course creation, any hidden costs including website domain names or support services, and marketing costs. 

The more features you incorporate into your online course, the more costs will be incurred.

Turnaround time

The turnaround time of your online course depends on how quickly and effectively you can build a loyal audience base. The more people that are attracted to your online course, the faster your course will start making money. 

Income stream

An online course can help you to earn anywhere from $0 to $50,000 or more per month. It all depends on your selected niche and overall sales.

How to earn money selling courses and info products

A large number of freelancers and home-based businesses sell digital information products on their websites or other online platforms. You can either make your own course or sell information products created by other people.

Pick a topic that you are experienced in

To create a value-packed course or informational product, you should have in-depth knowledge of a certain subject area. Leverage this knowledge to establish yourself as an authority on the course topic that you select.

Come up with the content

Once you have chosen your course topic, you can start creating the course. An online course is a series of videos that incorporate images, music, PDF’s, and more to make it more engaging for the students. You can sequentially explain the topic and even add quizzes to make the course more interesting.

Create your course or info product

Once you have the outline of your course established, start recording it. You can either make a video using a camera, or you can screencast the entire session where you share your screen with the students. Also, you need to invest in the right tools for ultimate video quality and clear sound.

Price and host your content

You have the option of either hosting the course on your own or choosing an online hosting platform. If you decide to host on your own, you need to set up a website. However, with the online hosting platforms, you are just required to upload the course video and other content. Some of the best online course platforms include LearnDash, Udemy, Thinkific, and Coursera

Promote your content

There are several ways to market your course online. You can boost organic traffic by optimizing the course pages with keywords to rank higher on search engines. Also, you can generate traffic to your course through blogging, publishing course videos on YouTube, Podcasting, or posting ads on popular social media platforms such as Facebook.

Idea #7: Tutoring and teaching online  

Tutoring is an excellent way to earn extra money if you enjoy teaching. All you need is an in-depth knowledge of the subject you choose to teach, and ways to share that knowledge with your students.

Advantages and disadvantages of teaching online:


  • You get to enjoy ultimate flexibility with your time and schedule.
  • Online tutoring is highly convenient as you don’t have to waste your time commuting to reach your students.
  • You can even offer recorded sessions to students so that they can go through the lesson again if they missed anything the first time.


  • Success won’t happen if you aren’t willing to create a website, advertise extensively and build a stellar reputation.
  • It can be hard to assess a student’s progress when teaching online. 
  • It is difficult to get to know a student through online tutoring.

Upfront costs

The upfront costs of tutoring include the costs of certification and the commission fee charged by the tutoring agency that you work with.

Turnaround time

If you decide to register with a tutoring agency, you can start earning money as soon as the agency pairs you up with a student. But if you are working as a self-employed tutor, you can earn money as soon as a student gets in touch with you.

Income stream

According to a survey, the average tutor earns $20-$25/hour. However, it all depends on the subject you are teaching.

How to make money tutoring online

Online tutoring has enabled people to earn money quickly from the confines of their homes. If you are switching to a career in teaching or just want to earn extra cash, online tutoring is your best bet.

Find what you are good at

To decide on the subject you should teach online, create a list of things that you are good at or you are passionate about. It could be the language you speak fluently, work-related skills, or even your hobby. 

Find a virtual teaching platform

After deciding on the subject that you want to teach, select an online platform that allows you to easily teach your students online. Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangout are some of the most popular virtual platforms that are built to facilitate online communication.


Now that you have chosen the platform that you will use to teach the subject of your choice, you need to market your tutoring services.

Start targeting potential students with online advertisements that emphasize your unique selling points and the value that you promise.

You can advertise by creating your online presence through a website or a tutoring profile on popular platforms. Leverage social media platforms to get in touch with a vast audience more quickly than any other platform. Or you can print promotional content to share with your community or distribute at places frequently visited by parents and students.

Get your name out there

Build the reputation of your online tutoring services by creating your online presence or sharing your testimonials. This is not only a short-term tactic but a long-term strategy that can do wonders for your reputation.

Offer incentives

To attract students, you may need to offer some of your tutoring services for free. You can give them a free trial session where they can gauge your teaching style and determine how comfortable they are with you.

Or, you can offer free seminars or training sessions to your potential students through an online medium.

Ask for testimonials

To attract new students, you need to show how you teach your students and help them overcome their weaknesses in a particular subject.

Testimonials from past students can help you to establish your authority as someone who promises the best results.

Setup your website and social media pages

To get your name out there, you need to create a website for your tutoring service where you can list your services. Also, create social media accounts on all of the major platforms to get in touch with a vast audience.

Idea #8: Printing on demand products  

Printing on demand (POD) is a form of the dropshipping business model. You don’t have to worry about holding and maintaining stock, the setup costs are low and there are little to no risks involved. 

What is print on demand?

Print on demand means selling your products by printing custom designs on them. These products include mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, and other items.

Your supplier designs the products based on the number of orders you receive. So, you don’t have to pay for the items until they are sold, and this saves you from maintaining an inventory.

Advantages and disadvantages of running your print on demand business: 


  • No need to stock products or keep an inventory.
  • The entire inventory is online so that no product is printed without being ordered.
  • Fewer startup costs.


  • You have little to no control over the quality of the product, as well as the shipping process.
  • As all of the products are based on printing on demand, it can take a long time to complete online orders.
  • Your entire business depends on your suppliers. If they run out of resources, so do you.  

Upfront costs

The upfront cost for setting up a print-on-demand is associated with the material, supplies, and software that you decide to invest in.

Income stream

Printing on demand is an excellent way to earn passive income. The more products you sell, the more money you will earn.

Turnaround time

The turnaround time depends on how soon you start to sell your products or how quickly your business gets exposure and finds buyers.

How start print on demand business 

Print on demand allows you to custom design products using design software. The entire business process is relatively simple, but there can be unseen issues, especially if the printing machine goes out of order.

Pick your niche

To set up your printing on-demand business, select between a product-based or a subject-based niche. If you go for the product niche, you will have to work on the same product throughout your business duration. 

If you go for a subject-based niche, you need to come up with a trending subject and several designs that embody this niche. You need a niche that allows you to attract a wider audience. Comics, movies, eco-tourism, baseball, TV-shows, and healthy living are some examples of niches you could choose.

Set up your website 

Once you have decided on a specific niche, it’s time to create a website for your print on demand business. You have few options to launch a website: 

  • Start your own website using software like Shopify (you will have to buy your own domain name and pay for hosting service). 
  • Set up your website on the third-party print-on-demand stores on the platforms such as Teesprig or Merch by Amazon (your website will be hosted on these platforms, so you won’t have your own store with a custom domain but this option is absolutely free).  

If you decide to launch your own website, you will have to choose your print-on-demand provider that will complete all of your business orders. Some of the most popular print-on-demand providers include Printful, Printify, and Zazzle.

Add products to your online store

Once you have selected your print on demand provider, it is time to get your online store up and running. All you need to do is connect the store with your print on demand provider and start adding your products. 

Promote your business

To get your name out there, you need to promote your business by offering valuable content that attracts your customers. You can also engage your customers by targeting them with news about your brand using email marketing tools

Another promotion option is to create videos about your products and post them on your YouTube channel.

Idea #9: Selling handmade products 

The crafts industry has recently boomed since the inception of online craft websites that allow you to sell your home crafts quickly.

Advantages and disadvantages of selling handmade stuff on marketplaces:


  • You are your own boss. You have complete authority to work on your terms and your schedule.
  • You have complete freedom to change your product line whenever you want to.
  • There are several online marketplaces where you can sell your handmade crafts quickly.


  • To sell your handmade craft successfully, you must make sure that the product is of top-notch quality.
  • The entire process of collecting materials, creating handmade crafts, and order fulfillment can be time-consuming.
  • You may find it challenging to find a specific successful niche in the handmade crafts marketplace.

Upfront costs

If you plan to sell handmade items, you’ll need money to purchase materials, supplies, tools, a website, and also to invest in marketing activities. 

Turnaround time

The turnaround time of your handmade art business depends on how much exposure it gets, the marketplace where you sell them, and the marketing tactics you employ to attract traffic to your business. The effectiveness of all of these elements determine the time it will take for your handmade art business to take off.

Income stream

Selling handmade items and artisan products can help you to generate active as well as passive income. You can earn money by creating your own online shop and selling your handmade products, or you can offer your expertise to teach others through video tutorials or social media engagement.

How to earn money selling handmade and artisan stuff on marketplaces

If you are into knitting, sewing, making jewelry, or creating art, you can sell them online. Even if you want to sell vintage and artisanal materials, head online to dedicated groups and websites instead of going to your local flea markets in person.

You can command top dollar from those who genuinely appreciate the value of these masterpieces. 

Find the products you want to sell

If you are thinking about what kind of products you should sell, choose the kinds of things that you enjoy making or get a lot of praise and requests for. If you are into vintage items, you can buy them from flea markets, auctions, or yard sales and resell them online.

Find the marketplace to sell your goods

To start selling your homemade and artisan items online, you need to select the best online marketplace. 

Etsy is the best online marketplace for artisans to sell their hand-made products online as it allows you to reach a vast audience. You can quickly sell hundreds of products on Etsy without paying a high listing fee.

Other notable online marketplaces include ArtFire, Cratejoy, and Absolute Arts.

Idea #10: Building an eCommerce store 

eCommerce has gained traction since people now prefer to buy online from the comfort of their home instead of visiting physical stores.

Before starting to sell your products, you need to determine the profitability of the niche you have decided to cover. After that, you need to develop an eCommerce website, which might seem like a hassle, but in reality, it is a practical way of offering your products or services online.

What is eCommerce?

eCommerce is short for electronic commerce, and it refers to buying and selling products online. It also includes all of the other aspects associated with online shopping, such as internet banking, online ticket bookings, and auctions.

eCommerce works for all four market segments, including business to business, business to consumer, consumer to consumer, and consumer to business.

Advantages and disadvantages of running your own eCommerce business:


  • No need for physical stores which allows you to quickly expand your business when possible.
  • You can save a significant amount of money on rent, maintenance, and other costs associated with physical stores.
  • You have access to customers from all over the world who can purchase from you at any time. 
  • You have access to a large pool of customer data which you can use to better market your products. 
  • Digital products can be sold online with very little upfront costs.


  • In case of a site crash, you lose potential sales.
  • You need to provide shipping services for products.
  • Hard to deliver the experience of physical shopping, which is why many customers resist buying online.
  • Potential customers can easily research the price difference between you and your competitor to go with the lowest one.

Upfront costs

To start your own eCommerce store, all you need is an internet connection, a computer to manage your website, and payment software to process your online payments. 

For a simple dropshipping store, you can expect to invest approximately $100. But if you go for all of the features mentioned above and hire professionals to design your e-commerce website, expect to spend up to $3000 or more. 

Income stream

An eCommerce store helps you to earn both actively and passively. It all depends on the products that you are selling and how you decide to market them. You can either sell other people’s products through affiliate marketing (passive), practice dropshipping, or you can sell your own products (active).

Turnaround time

Depending on your chosen niche, skills, and any competition that your store might have, it can take anywhere from 3 months to a full year to start making a profit.

How to make money from eCommerce sites

Making money from an eCommerce store involves more than just selling products online and earning profit. 

If you are looking for ways to grow your eCommerce store so that it can start generating a higher revenue stream, here are your options:

Find the right products and/or services to sell online

The biggest challenge that many online business entrepreneurs face is searching for products and services that are profitable and in high demand. Remain in the loop with the latest trends to brainstorm ideas to come up with a product with a unique selling feature. 

No matter which industry you choose to cater to, there are two types of products that you can sell. These are:

Niche products

These products are made to cater to a specific demand. These are usually unique or handmade products, so they are often more expensive than other products as they are fulfilling a particular request in the market.

Commoditized products

Commoditized products are those products that cannot be distinguished from their competitor’s products. You can only tell them apart by their pricing range as they hold no differences in their quality or uses.

Identify or create products that solve a problem

The most effective way of finding a profitable product is to understand prospective customers’ requirements and problems and provide your product as a solution. 

Step 6: Work on pre-launch contents and materials

The entire purpose behind a pre-launch strategy is to create brand awareness and generate excitement before your brand is ready to get out into the market.

Follow the steps listed below for a successful pre-launch strategy:

  • Create social media accounts – to build your business community, it is vital to create your business’s social media profiles on different platforms. Personalize these profiles with your branding specifics such as logo, brand colors, and images.
  • Design a landing page – create a landing page that offers a glimpse of your business to your potential customers. Include an email capture box that asks for the visitors’ email so that you can grow your subscribers’ list before the launch.
  • Set up your email – sign up with an email platform to create email drip campaigns and send newsletters to your subscribers.
  • Create a press release – craft your business’s press release and create a list of people that you want to send it to.

Step 7: Define marketing and growth strategies

The success of your online business depends on a well-crafted marketing and growth strategy. They help you to set your business goals and offer an outline that specifies the actions you need to take to achieve these goals.

To create an effective marketing and growth strategy, you need to:

  • Create a unique value proposition.
  • Set your business goals.
  • Determine your marketing and business growth goals.
  • Practice in-depth research of your industry market.
  • Create your ideal customer profile.
  • Develop a set of strategies to support your marketing goals.
  • Use the right combination of the 7 Ps of marketing: product, price, promotion, place, people, process, and physical evidence.

Step 8: Launch your online business 

Now that you are all set with your online business pre-launch activities, you need to create a launch strategy.

These are all the necessary steps that you need to follow before you launch your online business:

  • Test your product or services – test your product or service and make the necessary adjustments before rolling them out to your potential customers. You can send complimentary products or services to affiliates or trusted customers to collect feedback.
  • Start networking – decide on a launch date, and once it’s set, promote your landing page and start advertising on your social media profiles and emails to get the word out. Get all of the attention you possibly can for the launch of your business.
  • Create a plan – launching your business can be an overwhelming process that makes you lose your focus. This is why you need a solid launch plan to ensure that all of the tasks are completed on their predetermined schedule. 

And now you are all set to launch your business.

Below are some of the interesting and trending business ideas of 2023. You can research these niches and find an online business opportunity in them.

  • Organ supplements business – the dietary supplement market is now worth $140.3 billion and it is predicted to grow at a rate of 8.6% between 2021 and 2028. 
  • Tattoos – the tattoo artist market is measured to be $1.2 billion in 2021, which means that a tattoo business offers a huge potential to generate revenue.
  • Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) – 2020 was the year of Accessory Dwelling Units or ADU. By investing in this easy way to offer economical housing, you can tap into a huge customer base looking for economical housing options. 
  • Work from home health – more than 80% of company leaders plan to allow working from home even after the pandemic. This offers a huge opportunity for businesses that specialize in work from home health and optimization. 
  • Religious apps – millions of people globally want to connect with their religion and integrate it into their lives. Covid-19 has disrupted everyday communal gatherings, and you can provide online services similar to VR church which is already gaining popularity on social media.
  • Sports – with sporting activities on the rise, YouTube searches for sports increase by 90% each year. This provides an opportunity for you to either revive an old niche sport or jump into an up-and-coming field. 
  • Neon lights – whether used in a bedroom or a café, neon lights are becoming increasingly popular. Their market size is expected to reach nearly $98.5 billion US by 2023, which provides a massive opportunity for you to capitalize on a business centered around them. 
  • Garage upgrade – people are always looking for solutions to upgrade their garages so consider offering services like remodeling, decorating, and organizing. To optimize this opportunity, start with a free consultation or organization for someone you know and then ask for referrals. 


Ready for a change? Want to become your own boss and work on something you are passionate about and truly enjoy? It’s time to start your own online business.

Sure, starting an online business can be challenging, but it’s also exciting and empowering. If you are ready to begin, this guide will help you decide how to get started and what steps to take.

Ensure that you stay up-to-date with your competition and how they are using the digital world’s latest trends to make your industry more competitive. You have to remain at the top of your game to remain viable as a businessperson and ensure your online business’s success.

The good news is that running your own online business has many benefits, such as working at your own pace and focusing on a niche that you are passionate about. If you do it right, chances are that you’ll be able to make more than you did working a 9-to-5 job. You can even have your spouse help you and make money online as a couple.

If you have any queries or concerns about launching your online business, feel free to get in touch with us! We would love to help you out.

2 comments on “How To Start An Online Business”

  1. Ngwobia Awa

    please I need to be notified the important issues that will help to progress in this business

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend