47 Online Business Ideas That Are Easy To Start

Have you been thinking about starting an online business?

It seems like everyone is trying to start a side hustle these days, and many have the potential to become full-time businesses.

The internet has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for people who want to work from home and make money on their own schedule. You can be a proofreader, designer, online streamer, and more right from home!

You don’t need any special training or experience in order to run one of these businesses, just a little bit of creativity, some time, and the willingness to learn as you go along.

But it can be overwhelming to figure out what kind of business would be the best fit for your skills and interests.

That’s why we put together this list of ideas that are easy to get started with and feasible for most people.

47 Top Online Business Ideas

1. Proofreader

happy girl taking online surveys on her laptop because she needs money now

If you’re a great writer with strong grammar skills then this online business idea might be perfect for you.

Business owners hire proofreaders to edit their books, advertisements, websites, and other important documents.

There are practically no startup costs to start an online business as a proofreader. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection.

To learn about earning money as a proofreader, check out Proofread Anywhere.

2. Social Media Marketing

Probably the most accessible of all online business ideas, social media marketing is something that just about everyone can do. You don’t need a degree or any special training to set up your accounts and start reaching out to customers, just some common sense and an ability to put yourself in their shoes.

Make money by promoting companies on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, and more.

To earn money managing Facebook ads for local businesses, check out FB Side Hustle.

3. Blogging

Blogging is another business idea that requires very little in the way of startup costs. All you need to get started is a domain name and hosting platform.

You can make money blogging by creating unique content and promoting it using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.

There are many blogging resources to help you create quality content and gain blog traffic too! Stupid Simple SEO is a great course that will teach you how to write SEO-optimized articles.

If you don’t want to start a blog from scratch, buy one that’s already established and earning revenue. Then you can grow the blog’s audience and negotiate advertising, affiliate marketing, and sponsorship deals to make more money.

Two of the best resources we’ve ever used are Jarvis and Surfer SEO, which help us right quality content quicker!

4. Affiliate Marketing

affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the simplest online business ideas out there!

An affiliate marketer is someone who promotes other people’s products or online courses on their own website for a commission.

All you need to do is pick a product or service that you think your audience will like and share it with them using an affiliate link. To be successful., you’ll need a strong social media presence and a large, active following.

Learn how to drive the sales of affiliate products with Flourish with FB ads.

5. Bookkeeping

Becoming a bookkeeper is one of the best online business ideas for people who are good at math and love numbers.

Bookkeepers collect data from clients’ receipts and financial records and make sure that the records are accurate and complete.

It’s easy because you simply need a laptop and accounting software like QuickBooks to get started. You can teach yourself how to use Quickbooks by watching YouTube videos or taking a course.

Bookkeeper Launch is a course that teaches you how to launch your own bookkeeping business.

6. Freelance Writer

If you are a talented writer, then this is definitely one of the most profitable online business ideas for you! You can write on your own time and sell your articles online to clients who need content for their websites.

You’ll need to learn how to format your articles so they will be SEO-friendly. It’s also better to know how to write quickly, so you can earn a higher hourly rate and spend less time working for it!

Jarvis is an AI-assisted writing program that will 10x your writing speed and you can learn how to make more money by taking the course Earn More Writing.

7. E-Commerce

store sign saying come in we're awesome

E-commerce can be a profitable online business whether you want to create and sell your own items or sell a manufacturer’s products.

Get started with e-commerce by opening an online store on Etsy or by customizing a web storefront using Shopify.

While this business venture may require a bit more upfront capital than other online businesses when you amass inventory, you can earn plenty back in profits with the right business model and marketing tactics.

8. Artist

If you’re an artist with a lot of talent and creativity, why not create and sell your art online with Etsy or Shopify? All you need is the space for your art materials and customers willing to buy.

You could create one-of-a-kind handmade pieces or design printables or stickers that can be sold over and over again. You could even create an online store for people to request commissioned art pieces for home decorating or gifts.

9. Virtual Assistant

Becoming a virtual assistant is a great way to make money online. If you have excellent customer service skills and are very organized, this is a perfect business for you.

As a virtual assistant (VA), you can work from home and help others run their businesses more smoothly by interacting with clients over the phone or internet, scheduling appointments, making travel plans, or buying office supplies.

You can even make money on Pinterest by becoming a Pinterest VA.

To make the most money online, take the Pinterest VA online course!

10. Online Courses

woman recording a video of her work

If you have knowledge or a skill that others would benefit from, create and sell your own online course. We all have something we want to learn, and that gives you plenty to make money from!

Design a curriculum to take your students from where they are to where they want to be using your unique methods and skills.

Record yourself teaching this skill and write down the process step by step and then upload your online course to platforms like Teachable or UDEMY to market it to more potential customers.

11. Tech Support

That’s right, you can get paid to help others with any tech-related problems they might have, right from the comfort of your own home.

This can be helping solve computer problems and fix error codes, to even sometimes working someone through a program with their own job.

You can work as tech support for a large business or go freelance and run your own tech support online business.

Gain clients through platforms like Fiverr, Freelancer, or Upwork- or market your business on your own custom website.

12. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In the internet age, being an SEO consultant is a great business to start because every business online needs your help!

In order to get customers and make sales, online businesses need to make sure their websites are at the top of Google’s results pages.

You can help online businesses rank higher in search engine results by auditing their websites or by developing SEO-optimized articles and pages.

Check out Surfer SEO for an easy way to write optimized content or check client content for SEO quality.

13. Market Research

woman conducting an interview with a clipboard

Market research is one of the best online business ideas you can do from home. You can get paid to research options for companies when they develop products or services.

Your job for market research could include conducting interviews (phone or in-person), creating surveys, researching competitors, and more.

You need to know people’s habits, goals, and their current wants and needs for your client to use when producing new cutting-edge products or alter their services to better serve customers.

This is similar to what companies like Survey Junkie and Swagbucks do- people take surveys on these apps for money, and all their answers are used in market research!

Other research companies connect businesses with testers to get feedback on their demos and prototypes.

14. Consulting Business

You can earn a lot of money if you take your consulting business online. You can sell online courses, offer online writing services, or create custom online marketing strategies.

If you have an impressive resume and background in the area for which you are consulting, then clients will pay you good money for your knowledge.

15. App Development

Start an online app development business and earn money by helping small businesses create their own mobile apps.

If you have coding skills, then you can develop popular smartphone apps for clients who have an idea but don’t know how to code.

The possibilities are endless for earning money online as an app developer. You can make apps about anything, from fashion to fitness or even gaming apps, which are very popular for smartphone users.

16. YouTube Channel- Streaming Online

Cosmetology and online video translation concept. Female cosmetologist blogging before breakfast, having her personal online journal in internet, making photos for it while using camera with tripod

You can create a Youtube channel where you play video games, teach cooking, test makeup or popular products, and anything else!

You can make some serious money through sponsorship deals or affiliate marketing- YouTubers who get a lot of views and subscribers can earn money through Google AdSense.

With this program, YouTube will pay you every time your video is monetized with advertising from a company looking to reach a specific audience.

All you have to do is mention them in your videos and provide a link for viewers where they can learn more about the products and purchase them.

You can even learn how to Master YouTube and earn more money on your videos!

17. Ghostwriter

Ghostwriting is selling your writing to be published under another author’s name instead of your own. People are willing to pay top dollar for good ghostwriters because it saves them time from researching and writing themselves.

Building up a writing portfolio is one of the most important marketing tasks, but this can be difficult when nothing you write is published under your own name.

Keep track of your article assignments for reference and ask your clients to refer you to other people they know who need writing help.

Learn how to scale your ghostwriting business to earn even more with Earn More Writing.

18. Web Developer

If you have web development skills, then you can earn money by using them to help clients build their websites on platforms like WordPress or Wix. You can even teach yourself web development if you want a job that’s high in demand!

This is one of the many business ideas for tech-savvy individuals who want to work from home. Market yourself by developing an attractive custom website to sell your services and get on sites like Fiverr and Flex Jobs to find clients.

19. Cybersecurity

security lock on phone

A great online business idea if you’re a security expert is to launch an information security consulting business. If you have strong computer skills and knowledge of how hackers work, then you can make a fortune helping companies protect their data from cybercriminals.

There are no costs associated with starting this online business idea but becoming qualified as a cybersecurity expert takes years of study and experience. Once you have the right skills, you can charge hundreds of dollars per hour.

20. Travel Agent

As a travel agent, you’ll help people plan all the details of their trips and vacations. You can work from home and create a business helping people book cruises, tours, and other types of vacations.

Since this is a service-based business that requires a lot of research and communication skills to be successful, it’s one of the best online business ideas for people who already have a lot of customer service experience.

21. Image Or Video Editing

Almost everyone uses images and videos on their websites and social media accounts. This means that there’s a huge demand for people who know how to edit them.

If you have a good grasp of video or photo editing software, offer media editing services for a profit while working from home.

You can even reach out to companies and influencers on social media and offer to improve their pictures and videos!

22. Voice Acting

voice acting voice recording

Voice acting is a unique skill you can sell online, it’s one of the easiest online business ideas you can start today since all you need is your voice and a microphone.

If you have a distinctive or soothing voice, then you could make money online doing voice acting work. Some people need voice-overs for videos, while others might be looking for a unique introduction for their podcast.

If that sounds interesting to you, take a look at sites like Voices, Upwork, or Freelancer to find clients.

23. Book Narrating

Audiobooks have gained popularity over the last couple of years, and a lot of authors are looking for high-quality voice actors to bring their books to life. You can make a pretty penny with this easy online business idea by becoming a book narrator.

There are no major start-up costs to launch this type of online business. All you’ll need is a great microphone and recording software.

24. Grant Writing (Online Fundraising)  

If you have a background in grant writing or have always been interested in non-profits, then this is one of the best online business ideas for you.

You’ll need to work with people who have good ideas but are struggling to find funding to get them off the ground. Your job will be to pitch these people’s ideas to foundations and other potential funders. If you are successful, you’ll get a percentage of the grant as your fee.

25. Self-Published Author

person reading an amazon kindle e-reader

If you have a way with words and like to write, then consider publishing your own book.

As the owner of your own publishing business, you can earn up to 70% royalty on each book you sell. It’s easy to self-publish an ebook on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service.

If you want to publish paper copies it will be more complicated and expensive, but there’s nothing like holding your written work in your hands!

26. Graphic Design

If you’re creative and have an eye for design, you could start an online business as a graphic designer. You could offer your graphic design services on Fiverr to design book covers, t-shirts, logos, or billboard ads.

Make sure to develop your own unique style and brand so your work is memorable. You’ll also need to get comfortable pitching your design ideas to clients to get projects.

27. 3D Printing

If you’re proficient at creating designs, then this could be one of the most interesting online business ideas for you.

You’ll need to have a 3D printer so you can actually produce your designs, but first, design your products using computer-aided design (CAD) software.

3D printing is cost-effective for both producers and consumers, and even small businesses are looking for more cost-effective products online!

28. Technical Writing

technical writer instruction manual

If you enjoy working with words and are good at explaining technical concepts, consider making an online business as a technical writer.

Companies often need technical writers for a number of reasons, from giving easy-to-understand information about a product out to the public, to writing more detailed documentation and manuals that accompany products.

29. Resume Writing/Design

Not everyone has the skills needed to write a great resume that will get them hired, which is why this is an excellent online business idea.

You could start your own resume-writing business by offering your services on platforms like Fiverr or Elance, or you can even set up a website. You can also help job seekers develop cover letters that are specifically written for the job description they are applying for.

30. Life Coach

If you’re a compassionate and caring person, then people probably come to you for advice and guidance. You can use your skills as a life coach to help others figure out their lives and find happiness and success.

You don’t need a degree in psychology or counseling before starting a life coaching business. You will just need to have experience in setting goals and solving problems. However, you may want to pursue a life coaching certification to gain more credibility with potential clients.

31. Data Entry

Woman in home office with computer smiling

If you have exceptional attention to detail and are very organized, then working as a data entry specialist may be an excellent online business idea for you.

You simply enter different types of information in Excel spreadsheets or databases and get paid!

There aren’t any specialized skills you need to become a data entry assistant, which makes this one of the easiest online businesses to do. Plus, this is an online business with minimal startup costs that you can start today with just your laptop!

32. Illustration

If you’re a talented artist and love illustrating, then start an online business as an illustrator. The best part about making money as an illustrator is that you can work from anywhere.

You won’t need to advertise your services too much since many of your clients will come via word-of-mouth referrals. And online businesses like this typically have low overhead.

33. Transcription Business

There are many opportunities for online jobs for people who type quickly, and one of them is transcription. Transcribers take audio files and type out what is said, which is a fairly easy way to get paid and a smart online business to start.

Professionals record their notes on audio files, such as doctors and lawyers, and are willing to pay top dollar to have their audio transcribed into text.

34. Accounting or Financial Services


Do you have a background in accounting or financial services? Consider starting your own online business as an accountant or financial services professional. You could provide services to clients via Skype or other online platforms.

You will likely need a college degree in accounting, finance, or economics. You will also have to get certifications in most places in order to be allowed to provide financial advice to individuals and businesses.

35. Flea Market Flipping

Do you like shopping at flea markets and thrift stores or searching through garage sales for treasures? You could take items that you buy for cheap and sell them online for a profit.

To start this business, all you need is a camera. If you plan to refurbish any of your finds to earn even more money, you will want a set of tools as well.

You will also need to get a seller’s account on eBay, PayPal, and any other online store where you plan to sell your items.

Check out Flea Market Flipper to increase your income from flipping!

36. Product Developer

Are you always thinking of ways to make life easier?

You could start an online business as a product developer!

You need money to get your products created, but you can sell your ideas for thousands of dollars- or give a pitch on Shark Tank!

You don’t need to go through many hoops to launch an online product developer business. All you have to do is come up with a few product ideas, sketch out the concept, and send your ideas to manufacturers.

37. Marketing

email marketing

If you love marketing, starting an online business as a marketing consultant might be another good idea. You don’t need any degrees in marketing to get started as a marketing business owner. You just need to be well versed in the latest technology and social media trends.

You can consult clients through email or phone calls on how to increase their business’s visibility, customers, and profits. You can run their social media accounts or set up affiliate marketing programs to sell more of their products.

Your clients could include your former employers, small businesses, and individuals who would like to increase the exposure of their websites.

38. Video Production

Do you have a passion for film and video production?

If you have this kind of creative streak, this is one of the best business ideas for you to start. Lots of people will need your video editing services such as musicians, YouTubers, wedding videographers.

You could also edit videos that help people teach their skills, by specializing in producing videos for online courses. Another option is to work on promotional videos for businesses and organizations through websites like Fiverr and Flex Jobs.

39. Tutoring Business

Start a business as a tutor online. This is another of the best business ideas for those who enjoy working with people, especially children and young adults.

You could earn money as a virtual math, science, language, or history tutor. Or, if you’re gifted with an instrument, you could teach music.

You will need to put together your own curriculum for your tutoring business and you will also have to decide on a payment plan and terms with your clients.

40. Podcaster

woman recording her podcast

Do you love talking about a specific topic, such as fashion, movies, or celebrities? You could start a podcast and start an online business based on it! All you need is a microphone and recording equipment.

Before you launch your podcast, figure out your target audience. Once you’ve figured this out, focus your topics around their interests in order to attract more listeners and gain a following.

A large following will help you attract sponsors and advertisers so you can turn your podcast into an online business.

41. Online Fitness Instructor

Many people want to work out from the comfort of their own home, and you can help them do this.

Record videos of yourself doing workout programs or offer one-on-one personalized live coaching through video chat.

You will need some exercise equipment, but just enough for your own use. This is a lot easier than starting a personal training business where you need to set up a huge home gym or meet people at the local gym.

42. Social Media Influencer

If you have a sizable audience on social media, this is one of the best business ideas for you. You can sign up as a brand ambassador to be paid by companies to promote their products and get money from affiliate marketing.

A social media influencer is an online business owner who uses their social media accounts to promote products. They are usually paid by companies to use and review the products in order to “influence” people to buy them.

43. Comedian/Entertainer

standup comedian mic

If you’re always making people laugh, have you thought to start a business earning money from cracking jokes? You could write sketches, film short funny videos, or host an online web series.

Several popular comedians have been discovered through their YouTube channels, so don’t worry about starting small.

44. Custom T-Shirts

Have you always wanted to have an online business, but can’t think of what you could sell? You should create custom t-shirts! All you need is a computer with design software and your imagination.

You’ll need to purchase blank T-shirts for this business idea, so there will be some upfront costs. Then, you can go around to local businesses and see if they need t-shirts with their logo on them. You could also develop original designs and launch an online store.

45. Dropshipping

As a drop shipper, you can make money anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. This can even turn into a passive income stream because you’re making money while you sleep!

You will need to find products that are popular within your niche market to resell at a higher price than you buy them.

Order products directly from manufacturers and have them shipped to your customer. This eliminates your need to store inventory because the company you purchased the product from will handle customer service and shipping for your online business.

46. Interior Designer

interior design

If you’ve always been good at designing rooms, then this is the perfect online business idea for you! As an interior designer, you can provide home decoration services to homeowners.

You can provide services online by doing video calls instead of meeting in person. You can also offer 3D floor plans and walkthroughs of the end result to give your customers a better idea of what their finished rooms will look like!

Once you’re done designing the room, simply hire contractors to make your vision come to life in your clients’ homes.

47. Translating

Start an online translating business where you can work from home! All you need is a computer and a deep understanding of a second language.

You can find translation jobs on freelancing sites like Upwork and Fiverr. These websites will put you in contact with clients looking for your help translating documents, videos, and audio clips.

How To Start An Online Business

1. Research Your Ideas

Start by searching the internet for ideas that other people have tried. This is a good first step because you can find out if similar businesses are successful or not!

Research will tell you what needs tweaking or if you need to start over with brainstorming. Reading case studies from other entrepreneurs online will give you insight into what works and what doesn’t.

Find a business model you like and emulate it. Or you may find that the idea you had is taken, or not a good money-making opportunity.

You also want to look for information on your competitors so you can develop a unique approach and make sure you’re pricing isn’t off the mark.

2. Establish Your Products/Services

bath bombs

If you’re offering a service, you’ll need to develop a portfolio before you can get any clients. Some positive testimonials are helpful too, so consider testing your services with people you know who would be willing to give you a shot.

If you’re selling a physical product, you will need to either manufacture it or find suppliers that are willing to work with your small business. Then, find a place to store your inventory and list it up online so people can start buying it.

3. Create A Business Plan & Brand

You need to be able to communicate your business idea confidently to anyone who asks. Draw up a business plan that clearly states what your mission is, how much money you will make, and how much support you need from investors.

Create an original logo for your online business that can represent your brand’s values! If possible, trademark your business name so your competitors can’t steal it from you.

4. Get Financing

empty pockets, broke dude

If you have a few thousand dollars, it can make all the difference in creating your business- many businesses can be started with $10K or less!

But running an online business can be expensive if you plan to keep inventory on hand or if you need special certifications and licenses. Simple solutions include starting a business with low costs or finding funds.

There are businesses out there that cost virtually nothing to start! And where that isn’t the case, you can try to save up money or get free money to get your business off the ground.

You can also approach your local bank or credit union with your business plan and apply for a business loan or look for local or angel investors.

5. Find Clients/Customers

One of the hardest parts of launching your own business is finding clients and customers.

If you’re offering a service, you can find clients who have job postings for your specialty. Then, send out plenty of resumes and cover letters.

If you’re selling a product, use Google Adwords campaigns or social media ads to increase your customer base.

You can create your own website with Blue Host and attract customers through ads and more, but checking for jobs on platforms like Fiverr and Flex Jobs is a must to put yourself out there for opportunities.

6. Create An Online Presence

You need to create a website where potential customers can learn more about your business. Social media is another important facet of marketing your business.

Once your brand has a presence online, you will want to develop lead generation systems to get your website and social media platforms to send you paying customers.

Key Takeaways

most profitable small businesses Cheerful asian business woman holding nameplate open and money while looking at the camera over gray background

You can start a successful online business that works for you with the right approach and strategy. Your own hobbies may even be the first step in making money!

These online business ideas range from providing services to selling physical products.

If you like working with people, consider a service like translating, freelance writing, or life coaching. For more creative types, there are options like custom t-shirt businesses, being a product developer, and 3D printing.

Whatever avenue you choose, it’s important not only to have a good idea but also to execute it well so that it will be profitable. Once you have your idea, get started launching that online business today!