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Online Home Business Ideas (20 Ways to Make Money for Beginners)

Discover proven strategies for creating a work-from-home career fast, even if you’re broke and clueless. Start now and make $$$$$ p/m.

The Era of the Home Business

Oh, you are so lucky to be alive right now! Because there has never been a better time to start and run a home-based business. You have a wealth of options at your disposal, and any one of them could become a big earner for you.

For most of history, running a home-based business has been a very limited option. If anything, it was a way of making a little extra cash on the side. And if your home business took off, you were forced to take the traditional route of getting premises, having staff on site...and all that regular business stuff.

Not any more. Nowadays, people are leveraging the Internet to build amazing business that can easily be run from home, or from anywhere in the world. Digital nomads are building empires while trekking up mountains and sailing to far-flung islands.

And if your business needs more staff, you can simply hire a virtual team - often at rock-bottom rates. You can have wonderful business that makes millions of dollars a year, and run it all from your laptop.

The opportunities for starting an online home business are amazing...so be sure to make the most of them!

The Pros and Cons

Before we dive into all the possibilities, let’s start by weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of starting your own business. There are a few downsides to be aware of, so let’s look at those first:

  • There is a risk that you could fail 
  • You need to put time and effort in
  • You lose the security of a day job
  • No paid vacations or sick leave 
  • No company benefits
  • It’s hard to make this work

These are issues to be aware of, for sure. And they are the reason why 99% of people will never take the risk of leaving their day job. They prefer the security of a modest salary to the opportunity to make millions and live a wonderful life.

If you feel that way, too, that’s fine. But seeing as you’ve read this far, you are most likely part of the 1% who can see past these problems to the far greater benefits.

The lifestyle and future you can create through an online home business is not just great - it’s amazing! Get this right and you can enjoy:

  • True financial security 
  • The freedom to live anywhere
  • A fun and rewarding career
  • The chance to build something amazing 
  • More time with your family and friends
  • A short working week
  • Flexible working hours
  •  Fulfillment and happiness
  • The freedom to do what you want
  • ​A chance to see the world

For me, the pros far outweigh the cons. I have been running online businesses for many years, and can’t imagine making a living any other way.

​Quick Tip: Research on YouTube


​YouTube is a goldmine of information on how start a whole range of online businesses from home. Just search for a business type that interests you, and start watching. You will get invaluable insights for free.


If you feel that you have what it takes to me a home business work, then you are already halfway to success. So let’s take a look at some of the options available to you in the world of home-based online business.

Home Business Options

In my time traveling as a digital nomad, I have met countless people running all kinds of businesses. Often they have business models I had never heard of before.

So there is no limit to what you can do. Feel free to invent a whole new of doing things and making money. But to get you started, here are the top 20 categories that most online ventures fall into.

These categories are not clearly defined. In fact, they often overlap. For example, bloggers may also do affiliate marketing and create online courses. Many sellers offer their products on Amazon, but also have separate dropshipping stores for the same products.

There is no right or wrong - do whatever works best for you and makes money. If it makes a buck, it’s a good business to be in. If it makes millions of bucks, so much the better.

Freelancing

We’ll start with freelancing because it’s the easiest and quickest way to make money online. Even if you have no money whatsoever to invest, you can find clients and start making money.

To build a freelance career, just think about the skills you can offer to potential clients. You can leverage any expertise you have in fields such as:

  • Writing and editing 
  • Web and graphic design
  • Illustration and drawing
  • Programming 
  • Link building

Getting started can be as easy as drawing up a list of potential clients, and sending them a short email outlining how you can help. A single reply is all you need to set yourself on your way to building a fantastic freelance career.

Another huge advantage of freelancing is that the income can rack up rapidly. You only require two or three clients to start making thousands of dollars a month.

Your overheads are minimal, so this is hands-down the most effective way to get an online business off the ground. There are many different ways to find freelance jobs and start the money rolling.

Consulting

Consulting is a close cousin to freelancing, but here you are providing advice and strategic help, rather than producing deliverables.

Consultants can earn very good money indeed. Even a modest consulting practice will clear over $10,000 a month, while a bigger venture could do ten times that and more.

There are many different types of consulting work, but these are the most likely options for a home-based online business:

  • Search engine optimization 
  • Online ads management
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Social media management
  • Public relations

Charge clients according to the value you offer to their businesses, rather than according to the hours you work. Be sure to ask your customers for referrals, to help you grow your business fast at minimal cost.

Remote Tutoring

This is another job that’s easy to get started. For example, there are literally millions of people who are looking to learn English as a second language. If you are a native English speaker, you can offer to help.

You can earn a good hourly rate teaching English over Skype. The number of potential clients is endless, and there are many places where you can promote your services.

This is an online business that you can start with very minimal investment:

​Blogging

Without a doubt, blogging is one of my favorite ways to make money online. There are thousands of bloggers making a full-time living from their blogs, and there’s room for many more.

Don’t let anyone tell you this market is saturated. All worthwhile markets are competitive, but that should not stop you diving in. This is a huge and growing market, and there is every opportunity for you to carve out a profitable niche. Learn how to start a blog and the world is your oyster. 

Bloggers make money in many different ways:

  • Running ads on their blog 
  • Earning affiliate commissions
  • Selling products
  • Selling services 
  • Running sponsored posts

...and so on. Every blog is different, and many use a mix of these monetization options. Although it takes a while to get a blogging business off the ground, there is the potential to keep on growing your business until you hit substantial levels.

You can start a blog for next to nothing. Getting everything set up is easy if you use WordPress, and you can soon have the foundations of a blogging career that is fun and exciting.

Many bloggers use the freedom that blogging gives them to travel the world. They may write travel blogs to discuss their adventures, or blog about some other passion.

If you want an online home business that is fun and exciting, then is a great way to go.

Creating Online Courses

One of the most profitable ways to make money online is to leverage your skills to create and sell online courses. People have built fantastic businesses on a vast range of topics.

You can get started with free training on creating online courses, then build things out from there. If your course offers real value, you can charge anywhere from $500-$1000 for your course...or perhaps even more! So there’s no limit to your income.

One of the most popular strategies for marketing online courses is to use Facebook ads to drive people to a free webinar. The webinar offers free training which is of real value, but also offers you a chance to pitch your product.

Affiliate Marketing

As an affiliate marketer, you earn a percentage of the sale price when you refer customers to an online retailer. Your website becomes a salesperson on commission.

While many bloggers use affiliate marketing to make money, there are also lots of professional affiliates who do things differently. And some of these guys make a heck of a lot of money.

Super affiliates typically buy traffic (website clicks) in large volumes. They may use Facebook ads, native advertising or buy from any of the many traffic exchanges:

The big advantage of this approach is the opportunity to scale very quickly. Once you have found a winning campaign, you simply buy more traffic to expand your campaign and make more money.

You need a marketing budget to get this business going, but you can get a return on your investment quickly. If you want to scale up fast, this kind of affiliate marketing may be for you.

Print on Demand

Huge advances in technology have made it practical to create certain kind of products as customers order them. This is particularly true of merchandise such as:

  • T-shirts 
  • Baseball caps
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Phone cases  
  • Duvet covers

It’s now easy to get started with a print-on-demand store, and the potential in this sector is huge. The market is experiencing rapid growth as the technology improves and costs come down.

Consumers love the fact that they can get amazing custom-designed products for very affordable prices. As a result, some print-on-demand store owners are making over a million dollars a year:

If you have creative ideas, then this will be great for you. The ability to come up with fresh design ideas is what sets you apart from other store owners. The more creative you are, the more you can earn.

Dropshipping

Dropshippers act as a middle man (or woman) in the sale of products online. As a dropshipper, you will set up a store selling a range of products, and then promote your store online.

However, you never buy stock in advance. This means that you don’t have to pay upfront for a ton of stock, and you don’t have to worry about warehousing it.

When a customer places an order, you contact your supplier and pass on the details. The supplier then ships the product to the customer.

The big advantage of dropshipping is its simplicity. You can be up and running very quickly. Your store is easy to run, and the supplier does a lot of the hard work.

On the downside, you don’t have the benefit of volume discounts for placing large orders. That can erode your margins, and make it harder to turn a profit.

Amazon FBA

We all know that Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla in the world of ecommerce. The company generates billions of dollars in sales per month, and the numbers just keep on growing.

The good news is that you can leverage this enormous selling power by joining the Amazon FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) program. You ship your products to Amazon...and then Amazon sells them for you.

This has proved to be a highly-successful model, as this screenshot shows. Check out how much profit these stores are making every single month:

If you are ready to sell physical products, and want Amazon to do the marketing for you, them Amazon FBA is the business model you have been looking for.

eBook Publishing

To see the potential in the eBook publishing sector, you only need to consider that unlikely bestseller, Shades of Grey. This was first self-published as an eBook, before taking off and selling 10 million copies in one summer alone.

Thanks to Amazon’s KDP publishing platforms thousands of authors and small publishers have succeeded in turning books into a successful online business. Now you can turn a Word document into a published book in minutes, and start making money right away.

Here’s what the platform means to one successful author:

If you are an author - or aspiring author - yourself, you can use KDP to launch your books and make money. Alternatively, you can become a publisher and hire others to write the books.

Either way, you can use Amazon advertising to promote your books in the Kindle store and propel them up the bestsellers’ charts. Many people are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a month doing exactly this.

Unlike with traditional publishing platforms, Amazon pays high royalties of up to 70%, and pays you like clockwork every month. Those are very good reasons for giving DKP a try!

YouTubing

If you are looking for a fun and enjoyable business, then creating a YouTube channel needs to high on your list of options. You could even become a YouTube celebrity, famous all over the world.

This is a business you can start with practically no investment. All you need is a smartphone to get you started. Then as you start to become established, you can reinvest your profits into quality video equipment.

Get good at creating and promoting your videos, and you will be well on your way to becoming a successful YouTuber. Here’s how to make money:

Although most of your income is likely to come from the ads that run against your videos, you can earn money in other ways, too. You may be able to persuade people to sponsor your channel, or you can sell items such as merchandise through your videos.

Top YouTubers make millions of dollars a year, so there is certainly potential for you to succeed in the market. Video will continue to grow in popularity in the next few years, so the opportunity is getting bigger.

Online Coaching

How much money is in online coaching? Just ask Russ Ruffino from Clients on Demand. His company teaches coaches how to make money, and his customers make lots of it.

With coaching programs priced from $3000 to $10,000 - or sometimes much more - it’s easy to see how the numbers stack up. You only need a few customers a month for your income to go through the roof.

A great model for this business is to use ads to drive prospects to a webinar. The free webinar provides lots of value, and shows how you can help. Then you encourage people to book a call with you, where you close the sale over the phone.

Online coaching has seen phenomenal growth in recent years, and there is no sign of things slowing down. There is definitely the potential to build a multi-million dollar business in this sector.

Flipping Websites

You can run a successful online business without ever running a website yourself! There is a lot of money to be made in buying and selling websites through platforms such as Flippa.

To make a living doing this, you need to get good at understanding the true value of an online business. So you need to appreciate the quality and value of a site’s:

  • Search engine optimization 
  • Monetization methods
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Traffic sources 
  • Traffic sources

...and so on. Once you are expert at this, you are well positioned to spot websites that are being undervalued by the seller. You can snap them up at bargain prices, make a few quick changes, then sell them on for a big profit.

You don’t even have to buy and sell completed websites. Many people make an excellent living flipping just the domain names. How does $2000 a week sound to you?

The number of people buying websites is growing, and prices are going up accordingly. This means the potential for handsome profits is increasing year by year.

Podcasting

There has been an explosion in the podcasting sector in recent years, as more and more people discover how valuable podcasts are as a business tool.

Both Pat Flynn and John Lee Dumas use their podcasts as the anchor of their entire businesses, and both are making dizzying amounts of money as a result. Check out their income reports and you will see that it is normal for them to clear $150,000 plus in a single month.

Podcasting is another business you can start with minimal investment, and grow to a substantial size. A $50 microphone is good enough to get you started, and you can scale things from there.

You can even get started totally for free. Here’s how:

With tens of millions of people listening to podcasts on their smartphones, the podcasting industry is continuing to grow. So this is still a great time to carve out your niche in the podcasting world.

Selling on eBay

As one of the earliest ecommerce businesses, eBay has a long pedigree. And a couple of decades on from the start, people are still making good money on eBay.

For sure, you can use eBay to clear out your attic and make some spare cash. But the real money comes from sourcing products and selling them on eBay for profit.

With many sellers now focusing their attention on Amazon, this is a good time to explore the possibilities on eBay. The eBay economy is huge, and you can sell almost anything in this market.

Lead Generation

All around the world, millions of businesses are looking for customers. They need need a sales pipeline of leads who could turn into customers. And that has turned lead generation into a huge industry.

There are multiple ways you can generate leads for clients. You can get good at search engine optimization and social media marketing. Or you can use Google Ads or Facebook Ads to find prospects.

Either way you can sell leads on at a high price. You can make a lot of money selling high-value leads to professionals such as:

  • Insurance brokers 
  • Lawyers
  • Mortgage brokers
  • Financial Advisers 
  • Real Estate Agents

​Selling Crafts

If you are a natural in the craft world, you can make a very good living online. The days when you could only sell your products at local craft fairs are well behind us.

Nowadays, you can sell to the whole world through platforms such as Etsy. This means you can now find markets for even the most specialized and unusual of products.

It’s not difficult to set up a crafts-type business from scratch, and you could soon be making around $1000 a day:

​App Development

With billions of smartphone users around the world, there is a huge demand for apps. And the good news is that you don’t need an expensive software development team to create them.

There are now several app development platforms which are designed to help you make useful apps at a low cost. You don’t need much in the way of technical knowledge, and you have the opportunity to create a bestseller.

The top apps in the Apple Store and on Google Play sell in the millions. Even if you only make a small profit per download, this can still add up to massive amounts of money.

Online Trading

Thanks to today’s amazing online tools, financial trading has become a business in a whole new way. You can take advantage of very sophisticated trading platforms to make money trading stocks, options and other financial instruments.

Prudence is advised here, as it’s easy to blow all your money if you take foolish risks. But if you trade sensibly, you can make an excellent return on investment, all from the comfort of your own home.

There are many different approaches to online trading as a business, including:

  • Day trading 
  • Swing trading
  • Buy and Hold
  • Options Trading 
  • Forex trading

However, you should stay well away from binary options, which are a much more dangerous form of trading. If you invest money into binary options, it’s unlikely that you will ever get any of it back.

Creating Online Marketplaces

One thing the Internet is great at is connecting people with very specific interests. Because of this, there is a real opportunity to create marketplaces in clearly-defined niches.

Here’s a great example of a company that found a niche for a new marketplace:

Cookly was founded in Bangkok by two young entrepreneurs who found it hard to locate cooking classes in South-East Asia. So they built a platform to solve that problem, and now have a fast-growing business.

Just think about what interests you - your hobbies and pastimes. What niche offers you an opportunity to build a platform to connect buyers and sellers together?

People Also Ask..


​ How do I start an online business with no money?

You can get started without spending a single cent by offering services that you can do yourself. Use email to contact potential clients free of charge, or pick up the phone and call them. It works!


What's a good online business to start?

The best online business for you is one that leverages your existing skills, knowledge and expertise. Choose a niche where you can add real value, and where you will love what you do.


What home businesses are the most profitable?

You can typically make the most money with online home businesses that offer high-ticket, high-value products. It’s much easier to make large profits when your average order value is $1000 than when it is $100.


How to Scale and Exit

So there you have it - 20 great ideas for building a successful online home business. You can use any one of these to create a fantastic business you can run from your own home.

Initially, you will probably run the business yourself, with a little help from family and friends. But as your business grows, you will need to take on additional staff to maintain growth.

Nowadays, you don’t have to have full-time employees cluttering up your home, and you don’t need to move out into office premises. Instead, you can build a virtual team that runs from anywhere in the world.

You can hire staff on any of the major freelance marketplaces, and manage them using online project management tools such as Basecamp. If you need additional funds to fuel your expansion, you can use crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter to get the money you need.

Although running an online business from home is fun, your long-term objective should be to remove yourself from the running of the business. Aim to replace yourself step-by-step, so the business relies less and less on your presence.

Eventually, you should reach the stage where you can hire someone to take on the CEO role, while you step back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You are then in a good position to exit your business, using a platform like Empire Flippers to sell your business to a willing buyer.

A few years from now, you could be lying on a beach on a tropical island, reflecting on what a great idea it was to start your own home business. So don’t delay...start the ball rolling today!


There has never been a better time to start and run a home-based business. You have a wealth of options at your disposal, and any one of them could become a big earner for you.You can have wonderful business that makes millions of dollars a year, and run it all from your laptop. The opportunities for starting an online home business are amazing...so be sure to make the most of them! Read on to find out how!
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About the author

Mandy May

I am a fanatical writer and blogger who loves being part of the worldwide online community. I write extensively about personal finance, entrepreneurship and related topics.


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