Today, we're going to go over seven money making ideas you can use to start your very own online business. These ideas vary in terms of what it takes to get started in them, which means some may require a decent amount of knowledge or skill in the subject before you can get started. Some may even require you to be knowledgeable about the subject. Let's talk about why you'd want to start an online business before we jump into our list of money making ideas.
Reasons to start an online business
There are many reasons to start an online business, but it mainly boils down to money, interest and the pursuit of happiness. If you've fallen on hard times or simply want extra cash to spend, you'll find a lot of these money making ideas allow you to make that extra cash in your spare time.
Some of these ideas can easily be made into hobbies rather than businesses, which takes care of the “interest” part. Lastly, starting your own business can free you from the pressure, stress and burden you may be feeling from your 9-to-5 day job. Now that you know a few different reasons that lead many to start their own online businesses, let's get to our list.
7 Money making ideas for starting your own online business
This is a varied list, as stated before. It contains a variety of different ways for you start your journey toward financial freedom, and it'll prove just how within reach it can be.
- Sell digital products
- Website flipping
- Membership sites
- Start your own media company
Let's start with the most popular option.
This is one of the most popular money making ideas in existence. Blogging has become such a lucrative business that many top-tier bloggers are generating six figures every month in revenue. So, how do you get started with your own blog and make money publishing articles online?
It's simple. Blogging, when done correctly, is more or less a service people don't pay for in the traditional sense. People face problems in every niche, and they turn to the web in search of solutions to those problems. You could research for interesting keywords and your blog could provide those answers and solutions. Still, how does that allow you to make money?
Every decent business should have multiple revenue streams, and that's exactly what a blog allows you to provide. You can try affiliate marketing by recommending products to your audience, inserting an affiliate link in the article, and collecting a small commission (at no extra cost to your reader) if your reader purchases said product using your link.
You can also feature products from specific brands through sponsorships. Some sponsorships only provide free products while others may come with monetary deals. This also goes hand in hand with advertising, a method that allows you to place ads on your site that generate revenue when they're viewed or clicked on. If you don't want to be involved, you could hire a professional advertiser which will take care of your sponsorship deals. Let's continue.
2. Sell digital products
This money making idea kind of ties into the last one, but they're not always directly related. Selling digital products has become an important part of blogging and online business in recent years. What I mean by digital products is ebooks, courses, music, apps, video games, photographs, artwork, and things like WordPress themes and plugins.
If you're a blogger, publishing your own ebook, online course or other type of digital product can become an extra revenue stream for you. You don't necessarily need a blog to release one, but it would definitely help your marketing efforts.
How you create and eventually release your digital product depends on what it is. Ebooks can be bought and sold on your website using a service like Gumroad while you can create an online course (and an entire school) with services like Teachable. You can also publish it on Udemy, but you likely won't see much revenue doing it this way. However, some Teachable instructors are making five figures per month from their online courses.
This is one of the most popular money making ideas out there, right up there with blogging. Ecommerce is one of those money making techniques that has a lot of different ways of doing it. You can go the simple route and buy and sell various items on eBay and similar marketplace sites. This is something that's been around for a while and doesn't show signs of slowing down.
You can also take things up a few notches and get into drop shipping. Drop shipping is an interesting form of ecommerce. You handle the shop (website), orders, customer complaints and returns, and you work with a wholesaler, such as Oberlo.
A wholesaler is another company who stocks and ships the items in your store for you. You typically don't need to pay much to use the service. You pay a small monthly fee and market each product at a higher price to earn a profit. This gives you the ability to start your own ecommerce business without having to pay for and store the products you want to sell upfront.
The most difficult form of ecommerce is the kind where you have to store and ship your own products. You can make these products yourself and sell them on your own website or through a site like Etsy. You can also purchase these products from a wholesaler, but this can set you back thousands of dollars. Make sure you have enough funding in order to run your online business.
Freelancing is not a new way of making money. In fact, it's been used for centuries. However, the digital era has made it much more doable for a variety of industries. Let's start with the basics.
Freelance writing and editing are among the most popular responses when the topic of money making ideas is brought up. This is because it's one of the lowest-skilled forms of freelancing out there, and there are a million different ways of doing it. The most profitable way of doing it would be to write for magazines where publishers pay $1/word and thousands per article. An easier though less profitable method would be to write or edit for online publications and blogs.
You can also work for what are known as “content mills”, but the pay doesn't often match the work involved and you likely won't make a living there. You can also get into copywriting and copyediting, which involves words written for sales purposes. Other forms of freelance writing include ghostwriting, transcription and proofreading services.
Creatives can get in on freelancing as well, especially graphic designers and photographers. More and more companies are producing content online and more and more startups are popping up. This means a lot of companies will be looking to freelancers in search of original graphics and images.
Web design and development is another possibility for freelancing, and there are a number of different ways of doing it. The most profitable way would be to design and build websites for corporate clients who can afford to pay you four and five-digit budgets for your services. You can also work smaller by designing websites for smaller clients, managing websites or making small tweaks here and there.
If you know enough about something and like to work with people, you can get in on coaching. There are a number of different ways to do coaching online, but it mainly involves helping someone accomplish something one on one. Popular forms of coaching include business coaching, life coaching, creative coaching, family coaching, health and fitness coaching, and more.
The last two types of freelancing we'll mention have to do with business services. You can do social media management on a freelance basis, for instance. This involves handling a company's social media strategy and posting for them. Lastly, if you know enough about a specific aspect of online business, such as SEO or content marketing, you can get in on consulting. Consultants analyze businesses, show them where they're struggling and help them strategize ways to improve.
5. Website flipping
This isn't a very popular way to make money online, but it can be profitable. We discuss how to do this in our “How to buy and sell websites online” article if you're interested. Website flipping can be compared to house flipping. You buy a pre-existing website that already has a steady flow of traffic and maybe even a bit of monthly recurring revenue (MRR). You then “fix it up” and sell it for a profit.
However, you don't always need to sell it. You'll earn money while you grow the site unlike house flipping where you won't earn a profit until you sell the house. All you need to do is find a website that's already earning revenue or has the potential to earn revenue, and take it over. You can use a service like Flippa to find “starter sites”. We mention more services in our article, however.
6. Membership sites
A membership site can be a great way to make money online, and it may incorporate a few other money making ideas on this list. A membership site is a type of subscription service where you offer some sort of product to your subscriber and they pay a monthly fee for it. The benefit of a subscription site over other forms of monetization is its ability to give you a predictable amount of monthly recurring revenue (MRR).
There are two basic types of memberships. The first uses a “drip” format where the product or service you're offering isn't available yet but will be added over time. The second type is the exact opposite where every product or service you offer is available to the subscriber as soon as their membership is approved. There's even a third type of membership that incorporates both of these.
A great example of the first type of membership site is a subscription service for an online magazine. Past issues are likely not available under the subscription model, so all the subscriber would have access to are upcoming issues. Online courses can also be a part of this model as some instructors drip their lessons rather than give them all at once. You can also blend ecommerce with this type of membership site by offering your own subscription box service.
An example of the second type would be an online school that gives you access to every course in it when you subscribe. A second example would be a community website that gives you access to every part of the website when you pay for your subscription. This is the business model many dating websites are successfully using for their online subscriptions.
An example that incorporates both types would be something like Netflix. You gain access to everything in Netflix's library when you subscribe, but you can also anticipate more titles as well as original content. Some WordPress theme clubs use this model as well as they give you access to every theme they offer while promising to release more WordPress themes throughout the year.
7. Start your own media company
This one is similar to blogging, except it uses audio and video content rather than written. It can even incorporate membership and ecommerce sites into its monetization strategy.
Media companies come in all shapes and sizes. While you likely won't be able to take your business on traditional television, you can release your own content to the world through the Internet. This can be original fictional and nonfictional video content you release on your own website or even on a YouTube channel. It can also be audio content you release as a podcast.
Final thoughts on money making ideas for online businesses
That was our list of seven money making ideas you can use to start your own online business along with a few “mini ideas” sprinkled in. There are countless ways how you can make money online. It's also very rewarding that you often can be successful while doing the things you love. If you have any experience building online businesses, be sure to fill the comments with your own ideas!