There has never been a better time to start a business online. You only need a computer, an internet connection, and a domain name to turn your hobby into a money-making side hustle. Ready to jump right in? A web host like BlueHost can get you started with everything you need.
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.
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1. Become a consultant or expert
We are all really good at something and have the 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.
More 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 constructive user experience 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. Just remember: If you want to help companies improve their websites, you’ll need one of your own and it better look nice! A host like DreamHost can get you started, and they happen to be running a special deal this month!
Dig up some confidence and put yourself (and your talents) out there.
2. 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-brainer for making side income online.
3. Start a dropshipping store
Starting an online e-commerce store can be a huge undertaking and require a lot of upfront investment. Not only do you need to purchase a domain, 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 dropshipping 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. Step one is simply to choose a good domain host. SiteGround is one good option, or you can compare all of our favorite web hosts right here.
4. 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 workforce 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, and Upwork (previously ODesk) to 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.
5. 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 and Domain.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 of 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.
6. 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 hairdryers, treadmills or microphones. Niche websites have a better chance of being found by search engines like Google and Bing, and by online shoppers 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 easily online side businesses can be created due to how user-friendly 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.
Why not wake up an hour earlier tomorrow to get the ball rolling?
Next steps: See our step-by-step guide to starting a business on a budget and get set up as quickly and cheaply as possible.