There has never been a better time to start a business online. You only need a computer and an internet connection to turn your hobby into a money making side hustle.
Starting an online business is one of the most exciting things you can do. There has never been a better time to do so than right now and right here. Here are 6 online businesses you can start today, and you don’t even have to quit your day job.
Become a consultant / expert
We are all really good at something, and have knowledge we can pass onto other people. Becoming a consultant is all about tapping into the one thing that you’re great at, and using it to help, or teach, others.
Many businesses seek experts in certain topics or fields because their staff consists of many “Jack of all trades” types. They have knowledge in many different areas, but aren’t experts at any one thing. Popular online consulting gigs are often related to promoting a business, such as social media management, search engine optimization (SEO), paid search advertising (such as with Google Adwords or Bing Ads pay per click).
If you have design skills, or know about website usability, you can reach out to businesses and provide critiques for their website or online store. People tend to be humble about the things they are really good at, but all that humbleness could be holding you back from a great side business in consulting.
Dig up some confidence and put yourself (and your talents) out there.
Sell “artistic” stuff on Etsy
Crafty people tend to shy away from technology, but Etsy is where you’ll find a happy medium.
Etsy is an online marketplace for just about anyone who wants to sell their hand-crafted goods. If you knit, paint, weld, carve, sew, mold, or shape something, you can probably sell it on Etsy. Spend ten minutes poking around different Etsy stores, and you’ll find people from all over the world, and all walks of life, selling their wares.
And you don’t have to stop at having a side hustle; there are many people who have turned their small side business on Etsy into a full-time gig. Etsy provides an easy template and lots of how-to guides, so you won’t get overwhelmed with starting the online portion of your business.
If you have even the slightest bit of creativity or artistic talent, Etsy is a no-brainier for making some side income online.
Start a drop shipping store
Starting an online ecommerce store can be a huge undertaking and require a lot of upfront investment. Not only do you need to design a website and create product listings, but you also need to buy, store and ship the products you sell.
Dropshipping stores are different, though. With a drop shipping store, you only have to do a fraction of that work. Dropshipping stores allow you to create a website and sell products, but without having to keep inventory or ship the products yourself – it’s all taken care of by a third-party wholesaler.
When a customer buys a product from your website, you place an order with the third-party manufacturer or wholesaler, who then ships it directly to the customer on your behalf. Dropship stores save you time, money, and resources.
Creating your website or product gallery doesn’t even have to be difficult. You can build an online store using WooCommerce or easy-to-use templates on platforms like Shopify, and apps like Oberlo. You can literally set up an online dropship store with thousands of products in just a couple of days.
Become a freelancer
For a long time, the term “freelancer” referred to someone who didn’t have a day job, and charged high prices for their expertise in their skill. These days, a large portion of the worldwide work force is making extra cash by freelancing from home.
If you are skilled at copywriting, online marketing, web design, or coding, you are in a prime position to find hundreds of online freelancing jobs. Websites like Fiverr, Upwork (previously ODesk) and Elance help freelancers connect with businesses all over the world.
Freelance jobs can range from one-time paid gigs, to repeat, consistent work on a weekly or monthly basis. The best part? As a freelancer, you get to choose if you want to work an extra five hours per week, or an extra 20 hours. You can seek out and apply for as many or as few projects as you like.
Buy and sell domain names
If you’ve ever thought that buying and flipping real estate seemed fun and lucrative, you’ll love the concept of buying and selling domain names.
Just like buying low and selling high with actual homes, domain name flipping has big margins that can put a lot of cash in your pocket. The most expensive domain name ever sold is insurance.com, it sold for $35.6M back in 2010. To buy a domain, you need little more than a credit card. You can purchase domains on familiar domain purchase sites like GoDaddy.com, or on domain auction sites like NameJet or Sedo.
Selling domains require a little bit of creative thinking, since you need to find the right buyer (much like selling physical real estate). Successful sellers will tell you that creating a portfolio of dozens (or even hundreds) of domains increases your chances at making sales and profits.
There are hundreds of auction sites and forums dedicated to buying and selling domain names, so you can easily find tips and tricks from people who have sold domains for tens of thousands of dollars. That said, not every domain is a diamond in the rough, so patience is the name of the game.
Build Amazon niche websites
We’ve all shopped on Amazon, and we all know that the company’s reach is far and wide. So why not get in on the action yourself? By signing up to be an Amazon Affiliate, you can earn a commission every time someone coming from your niche website purchases products on Amazon.
Amazon niche websites are different than a standard affiliate website, in that the site focuses on one single type of product, like hair dryers, treadmills or microphones. Niche websites have a better chance of being found by search engines like Google and Bing, and by ecommerce storepers who know exactly what they are looking for.
Although an Amazon niche website still requires some heavy lifting on the front end (buying a domain, setting up hosting, designing the site, link building and so on). Once it is up and running, you can easily duplicate the website and start earning passive income by selling a variety of products.
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to make extra money
Back at the beginning of this post, I mentioned how easy online side businesses can be due to how easy and accessible technology is. The truth is, there is really no excuse not to be making some side income from home via an online business. If you want to, you can.
These are just six examples; there are dozens of other ideas and online businesses that you could start tomorrow.
Why not wake up an hour earlier tomorrow to get the ball rolling?
Next steps: See our guide to starting a business on a budget for a step-by-step guide to getting started as quickly and cheaply as possible.