Online business ideas

The market for starting an online business is growing on a daily basis.  Like any other business it requires commitment and dedication.  If anyone promises you quick money or an exotic island work environment run away, fast.

Owning and maintaining an online business gives entrepreneurs the freedom to make money remotely from anywhere in the world. The idea is enticing, and more possible than ever, but many entrepreneurs struggle with how to get started. The most important step in starting a profitable online business is finding a business idea that matches your passion and strengths.

Whether you are looking to become a full-time entrepreneur or just to start a part-time business for passive income, your product or service should fulfil a specific consumer need. Here are a list of some ideas to consider based on your strengths and time availability.

SEO specialist

If you know the ins and outs of search engines and have technical skills in platforms like Google Ads and Google Analytics, becoming an SEO specialist can be a good option for you. Many small business owners don’t realize how much of an impact search engine optimization (SEO) can have on their business. Start your online consulting business by educating those business owners on the power of SEO to help transform their websites and increase their conversion rates.

You can use your marketing skills to show business owners the benefits of using analytics data, strategic keywords and content structure to gain more organic web traffic. If you are unfamiliar with SEO or want to brush up on your digital marketing skills, you can reference Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO. Keep in mind that Google’s algorithms are always changing, so SEO is something you will need to continue your education on to stay relevant and successful in this field.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing can be broken down into different levels of involvement: unattached, related and involved. Unattached affiliate marketing is a basic pay-per-click affiliate marketing campaign that requires little to no involvement with the product you are promoting. Related affiliate marketing requires you to have some authority and content on the product you are marketing, but you don’t personally use the product. Involved affiliate marketing is perhaps the most effective, as you’ll be marketing an affiliate product that you actually use and enjoy.

Affiliate marketing is growing rapidly and before you commit to a platform make sure you have a good understanding of how the space works.  Wealthy Affiliate is a reputable online platform and the best part about it is that you can try it for free.  Unlike other platforms that require sign up fees this one gives you access to their whole system on a free trial.  Read a comprehensive review of Wealthy Affiliate here.

Social media consultant

Larger enterprises can hire an agency or full-time staff member to run their social media accounts, but small businesses often have to handle their own social media marketing. With so many responsibilities, business owners are often too busy, overwhelmed or undereducated about the importance of a social media presence to spend time developing and implementing a great social media strategy. As a social media consultant, you can help small businesses determine the best tactics, posting schedules and content for their target audience. As their follower count grows, so will your business.

Facebook and Twitter are still the top business networks, but businesses often tend to struggle with more visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Snapchat. All of these platforms have huge consumer audiences, but many businesses don’t realize how big they really are, how effective they can be and how to make them work for their brand. If you have a background in social media marketing and a passion for photography, focusing your consulting business on one specific platform, like Instagram, can be a great way to make money while helping other businesses improve their content and achieve their business goals.

Niche market e-commerce retailer

There’s an audience for everything, even if it’s as specific as dollhouse furniture or organic dog food. With a niche e-commerce store, you can reach customers who seek your specific products. Building a business in a niche market can help you differentiate yourself from other brands and build your credibility and expertise. Look to social media or your own consumer needs to come up with a product to sell online.

To get your e-commerce business up and running, all you need is a web hosting service with an integrated shopping cart feature or e-commerce software. To simplify the shipping process, you can work with vendors to ship products to customers on your behalf. This can reduce the amount of inventory you need to keep onsite.

Web developer or Wed designer

If you are a creative, digital professional who thrives on forming the layout, visual theme, font set and color palette of a website, freelance web design may be a good path for you. If you have little to no experience in this field, you can learn the basics of web design and master the tools you’ll need for success, like Adobe XD, Chrome DevTools and text editor software.

If you are more interested in the coding side of building websites, freelance web development might be your wheelhouse. If you already know HTML, CSS or JavaScript and have a good eye for solving problems with creative solutions, you can launch a service to build attractive, easy-to-use websites for small businesses. If you need to learn the basics of web developing before launching your full-stack career, you can take a simple beginner’s course to get started.

Put your technical and creative skills to good use for business owners who want to take their online presence to the next level. Build a comprehensive portfolio, and then create your own website to show it off and attract a steady stream of clients.

Love writing, become a blogger

Having a blog may seem like an outdated business strategy, since nearly everybody already has one, but the competition should not deter you from starting this online business journey. If you love writing or have important information to share, blogging may be a profitable business for you. Starting a blog as a business is very simple with website builders like Weebly and WordPress, but the key to success is consistency and quality. To gain a steady following, you must continually write and produce high-quality content that provides value to your readers. Content that educates, informs or entertains your readers gives them a reason to follow you.

Once you’ve mastered the creation of consistent content, you can make money through your blog by selling products like online courses, digital coaching, e-books or webinars. You can also sell ad space or sponsored posts. This business strategy may take a little more time and effort to monetize, but it can be very profitable in the end.

Remote tech support

Many small businesses don’t have room in their budgets to hire a full-time IT employee, so when their systems go on the fritz, they’ll usually call a computer-savvy friend or family member. If you are tech savvy and have experience working on computers and networks, you can eliminate their need to call in a favor by offering immediate remote technical assistance.

Although some businesses may prefer you to have a technical degree, many will look to your experience and knowledge instead. You can start to build your remote tech support business by reaching out to friends, family and local business owners about their tech support needs. You can also find freelance tech support gigs on job boards like Upwork.

Mobile Application developer

Mobile applications are more popular than ever, with people willing to pay good money for ways to manage their lives from their smartphones. If you have a great new idea for an app and know how to code, you can run with it and create your app yourself. You can also become an app developer for businesses that need to create specific apps. Both options will require you to know the basic elements of software design and at least two common programming languages, such as SQL, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails or iOS.

If you have an app idea but don’t know the ins and outs of coding, there are plenty of software developers looking to collaborate with people on app creation. Depending on your situation and know-how, you may be able to make a lucrative business out of app development.

This is just a small sample of online business opportunities.  Whatever you choose remember success comes with hard work and commitment.  There is no free ride or get rich quick scheme, no matter what they try and sell you.  Put in the effort to understand the space you want to enter and learn from credible people.  All the best on your journey.

 

Edited from original article by Skye Schooley, Business News Daily

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