Are you looking for the best online business ideas?
There are so many ways to learn how to start an online business from home. There are ideas like creating an online store, becoming a virtual assistant, and starting a dog bakery. Those are just a few of the many small online business ideas out there!
I have been running an online business for around 10 years now, and I absolutely love it.
My online business is blogging here at Making Sense of Cents. There are so many ideas you can pursue, but blogging is one of my favorites.
What I love about blogging is that I don’t have a commute, I get to be my own boss, I can decide how I earn a living, my flexible schedule, and being able to travel.
Many online business owners I talk to will tell you about benefits like the ones I just mentioned.
However, flexibility is always one of the top benefits.
You can work when and where you want, and that’s great if you want to travel, if you have kids, or if you’re looking for online business ideas to start on the side of your day job.
What’s so great about working online is that there are options for nearly everyone. There are online business ideas for beginners without any experience. There are options for creative people, people who want to leverage existing skills, for those who like to write, and so on.
Now, it will take time to establish your online business, and that’s the case for nearly every option. These are all legitimate ideas – not get-rich-quick schemes.
Still, many of the online business ideas you’re going to read about are things you can get started on today. That means if you’re ready to make extra money, have a flexible schedule, and build a business you love – you can start doing it now!
Here are 22 online business ideas.
1. Start a blog
Like I said above, my favorite online business idea is starting a blog.
This can be a great online business for beginners, as you don’t need previous experience, and the majority of bloggers are brand new to blogging anyways.
I was completely new when I started my blog many years ago, and I learned everything I know along the way through trial and error, by reading free online blogging resources, and by networking with other bloggers.
I created Making Sense of Cents in 2011, and since then, I have earned over $5,000,000 from my blog.
Blogging allows me to travel full-time, have a flexible schedule, and I earn a great income doing it.
You can learn how to start a blog in my free How To Start a Blog Course.
Here’s a quick outline of what you will learn:
- Day 1: Reasons you should start a blog
- Day 2: How to determine what to blog about
- Day 3: How to create your blog (in this lesson, you will learn how to start a blog on WordPress – my tutorial makes it very easy to start your blog)
- Day 4: How to make money blogging
- Day 5: My tips for making passive income from blogging
- Day 6: How to grow your traffic and followers
- Day 7: Miscellaneous blogging tips that will help you succeed
2. Sell items on Amazon
Another fun online business idea from home is to sell on Amazon.
Even if you have no experience selling on Amazon, you can earn money selling items such as household goods, books, electronics, and so on.
Jessica Larrew and her family started selling things on Amazon FBA without any experience, and they made over $100,000 profit in their first year! And, they were working less than 20 hours a week total.
If you want to learn more about starting an Amazon business, I recommend signing up for this free training that will teach you how to sell products on Amazon and make $100 to $500 per day.
If this is one of the online business ideas you’re interested in learning more about, I interviewed Jessica in How To Work From Home Selling On Amazon FBA, and we talked about:
- How her family started selling on Amazon
- How to choose what to buy and sell on Amazon
- How much a person can make by selling on Amazon
3. Sell printables from home
If you’re looking for online business ideas without investment, then selling printables on Etsy can be a great way to make money. It can also be quite passive because you just need to create one digital file per product, which you can then sell an unlimited number of times.
Printables are digital products that customers can download and print at home. Examples include grocery shopping checklists, gift tags, candy bar wrappers, printable quotes for wall art, and patterns.
Printables are extremely popular as they help people stay organized, decorate, and more.
You can sign up for this free ebook that helps you figure out where to start when it comes to selling printables on Etsy.
You can also learn more at How I Make Money Selling Printables On Etsy.
4. Write romance novels
My friend Yuwanda Black has found one of the most interesting online business ideas from home – she writes romance novels, and in one month, she was able to make over $3,000!
With her free Making Money Writing Romance course, she teaches you how to make money writing and self-publishing romance novels.
It is taught from first-hand experience, which Yuwanda has because she’s written and self-published 50 romance novellas since 2013.
Many of my Making Sense of Cents readers have taken her course and have gone on to make money writing romance novels.
You can learn more at How to Make Money Self-Publishing Short Romance Novels on Amazon.
5. Become a virtual assistant
Years ago, I was a virtual assistant for several online businesses. I did not have previous experience, and I simply learned skills as I worked. It allowed me to earn a great income, and I am so happy that I tried it.
Virtual assistance is a field that is growing quickly, and there is a big demand for those on this career path.
Virtual assistant (VA) tasks may include social media management, formatting and editing content, scheduling appointments or travel, email management, and more. The list of virtual assistant tasks is endless, and there are so many different things that you could be doing.
My friend Kayla is a full-time blogger, virtual assistant, and project manager who earns over $10,000 per month while working from home. She is also the founder of $10K VA, a course where she teaches exactly how you can make a consistent $10,000 per month as a virtual assistant!
I interviewed her at How Kayla Earns $10K/Month From Home as a Virtual Assistant, and we talk about:
- How much money a new virtual assistant can make
- How to find virtual assistant jobs
- The steps to becoming a virtual assistant as a newbie
6. Help Google evaluate search engine results
A Search Engine Evaluator (also known as a Google Rater) is a person who rates websites based on their quality and usefulness.
You are rating websites to help Google improve their search engine results.
This can be a good beginner online business idea to start because you don’t need previous or technical experience. They want average people rating their sites.
And because Google operates in nearly every country, you can work on sites that are in your native language.
Learn more at How To Become a Search Engine Evaluator.
7. Sell stickers from home
Creating stickers to sell on Etsy can be a fun online business if you’re creative, and stickers are really popular right now!
Mim started with no graphic design skills, and she didn’t know how to create stickers when she first started. It’s something she learned as she went, and she has now turned this into a $100,000+ yearly business.
I interviewed her here on Making Sense of Cents and she answers questions such as:
- Do I need to be a graphic designer to make and sell stickers?
- Why do people buy stickers online?
- Do stickers sell well on Etsy?
- How much can you make selling stickers from home?
- How do I find customers to sell stickers to?
Please head to How To Make $1,000+ A Month Selling Stickers Online to learn more.
8. Get paid to share your opinion online
This isn’t exactly an online business idea, but it is a way to make extra money from your home.
Yes, you can get paid to share your opinion with paid online surveys!
Companies use surveys to find out what people think of their products and services, and it provides them with insights that help them improve their business.
The survey companies I recommend signing up for include:
- American Consumer Opinion
- Survey Junkie
- Branded Surveys
- Pinecone Research
- Prize Rebel
- Opinion Outpost
- User Interviews
- Springboard America
9. Start an online store
Yes, you can start your own online store, and you don’t need to have tons of experience or a lot of money to do so. Many people even start with no background in retail management.
I had the opportunity to interview Jenn Leach of E-commerce and Prosper, who explains how she started an online store and saw lots of success with it.
Since she started her online business, she has developed and grown three successful online e-commerce stores earning an average of $19,000 per month.
Her success is incredible considering that she spends less than 10 hours per week on her business.
You can read our interview at How Jenn Makes Over $10,000 A Month With Her Online Store In Less Than 10 Hours Per Week.
10. Become a bookkeeper for one of the best online business opportunities
A bookkeeper is someone who tracks a business’s finances, handles billing and payments, makes spreadsheets, and more. But, that doesn’t mean you need to be an accountant or have any related experience.
In fact, this is a skill that you can learn on your own.
Ben, from Bookkeeper Launch, helps people start their own bookkeeping businesses even when they don’t have any experience. Ben is a CPA who founded his business after realizing that many business owners needed better bookkeepers.
I interviewed Ben and asked:
- What a bookkeeper is
- About typical clients
- How much new bookkeepers earn
- How a person can learn how to become a bookkeeper without previous experience
You can read all of his answers and more in our interview Make Money At Home By Becoming A Bookkeeper.
Plus, you can sign up here for a free resource that will teach you more about running your own virtual bookkeeping business.
11. Find items to resell
Finding items to resell can be one of the more lucrative online business ideas on this list.
Plus, it’s something that anyone can start because we all have things in our house we could probably sell.
And, there are always things that you can buy for cheap and resell for a profit.
This is such a profitable idea that Melissa’s family earned $133,000 in one year through buy-and-sell flipping, and they were working only 10-20 hours per week.
Since then, they have turned this into an even bigger and more profitable business!
Some of the best items that they’ve flipped and sold include:
- Something they bought for $10 and flipped for $200 just 6 minutes later
- A security tower they bought for $6,200 and flipped for $25,000 just one month later
- A prosthetic leg that they bought for $30 at a flea market and sold for $1,000 on eBay the next day
You can learn more at How Melissa Made $40,000 In One Year Flipping Items.
12. Become an online writer
Online writing is a business idea that doesn’t require a background in writing or a degree in English or creative writing. Some people are naturally good writers, but you can also develop the skills to become one.
A freelance writer is someone who writes for a number of different clients, such as websites, blogs, magazines, advertising companies, books, and more. They don’t work for one specific company, rather they work for themselves and contract out their writing.
My friend Holly from EarnMoreWriting.com is a very successful freelance writer and has earned over $200,000 writing online in a single year!
You can learn more about becoming a freelance writer at How I Earn $200,000+ Writing Online Content.
13. Transcribe audio or video files into text
Transcription is when you turn audio or video content into a text document.
There are many businesses looking for transcriptionists too – since general transcriptionists convert audio and video to text for virtually any industry, there really isn’t a typical client. Some examples of clients include marketers, authors, filmmakers, academics, speakers, and conferences of all types.
Beginning transcriptionists earn around $15 an hour to start, and many jobs don’t require any previous experience.
You can learn more about becoming a transcriptionist in the interview Make Money At Home By Becoming A Transcriptionist. The interview covers topics such as:
- The steps to become a transcriptionist
- How much money you can expect to make
- The type of training you need to become a transcriptionist
14. Become a proofreader
Proofreading is a job that is in high demand, making it one one of the best online business ideas if you’re good at catching writing errors.
To become a proofreader, you simply need a laptop or tablet, an internet connection, and the skill to proofread.
Proofreaders look for punctuation mistakes, misspelled words, lack of consistency, and formatting errors. They will edit blog posts, articles, website copy, advertising, books, academic papers, emails, and more.
In one year, my friend Caitlin made a little over $43,000 by being a freelance proofreader.
I interviewed Caitlin on what it takes to become a proofreader, and she explained:
- What a proofreader does
- The amount of money a proofreader makes
- The steps to become a proofreader
You can learn more at How To Become A Proofreader And Work From Anywhere.
Also, Caitlin created a FREE 76-minute workshop, where she answers all of the most common questions about becoming a proofreader, and she even shows you how to use the most popular tools used by proofreaders around the world. You can sign up for free here.
15. Sell Canva templates from home
Creating Canva templates can be a great way to make extra money because you just need to create them once, and you can sell them an unlimited amount of times.
Working just a few hours a week, Maliha is able to earn $2,000 each month from selling Canva templates online.
I interviewed Maliha about this topic and we cover questions such as:
- What exactly is a Canva template? What is Canva?
- How do I sell my designs on Canva?
- Who buys Canva templates?
- Can someone with no tech skills make a Canva template?
You can learn more at How I Make $2,000+ Monthly Selling Canva Templates.
16. Assist on podcasts
Currently, there’s a big demand for podcast virtual assistants.
There are over 800,000 podcasts out there, and that number just continues to grow. Podcasts are still a pretty new area, and that opens the door for lots of new entry level work from home jobs helping with all of these new podcasts.
While the podcast host can record themselves, other tasks like editing and publication take time, so many podcasters outsource their work to virtual assistants. Also, some podcasters may not know how to do those things, or they may choose to focus their time on other areas of their business.
Some of the different services you could provide as a podcast virtual assistant include:
- Audio editing
- Marketing and promotion
- Show note creation
If this is one of the online business ideas you’re interested in, learn more at How I Make $1,500 A Month As A Podcast Virtual Assistant.
17. Work as a freelancer
Freelancers own their business and contract out their services to other business owners or individuals. A business may hire you for one-time gigs, or you may get a long-term job with a company.
In addition to some of the freelance jobs I’ve already mentioned (writing, proofreading, transcribing, and bookkeeping) there are even more online business ideas in freelancing. Here are a few you can start by leveraging existing skills, like:
- Graphic design
- Web design and development
- Video editing
- Sound design
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
This is one of the best work from home jobs because you can use a skill you already have and start finding work on job platforms like UpWork and Fiverr.
18. Become a voice over actor
A voice over actor is the person you hear but rarely see on YouTube videos, radio ads, explainer videos, corporate narration, documentaries, e-learning courses, audiobooks, TV commercials, video games, movies, and cartoons.
This job doesn’t require previous experience or special skills – you just need to have the voice the company is looking for.
In 2014, Carrie replaced her salaried day job to become a full-time voice over actor. People are constantly asking her how she got her start and how they can too.
So, she created a six-week online class, and it sold out. Several of her students booked voice acting jobs before the class was even over!
You can read my interview with her at How To Become A Voice Over Actor And Work From Anywhere.
19. Manage Facebook advertising for small businesses
By managing Facebook ads, you are helping small businesses expand their market and find new customers.
Plus, this is one of the online business ideas you can learn how to do.
Companies spend tons of money every day on Facebook advertising. But, most small business owners don’t really know how to create Facebook ads.
This is where you come in.
My blogging friend Bobby Hoyt knows a lot about this topic. Bobby is a former high school teacher who paid off $40,000 of student loan debt in a year and a half. He learned how to run Facebook ads on his own to earn extra money. Bobby now runs the personal finance blog Millennial Money Man full-time, as well as a digital marketing agency for local businesses that he started in 2015.
I interviewed Bobby about running Facebook ads for small businesses, and in our interview, you will learn:
- How he started earning income through running Facebook ads
- Why small businesses want Facebook ads
- How a person can find their first Facebook ads client
- How much you can make doing this type of work – the average is around $1,000 extra a month per client
Also, Bobby has a free webinar on this topic (you can sign up here), which will teach you how to start this business even if you’re brand new, how to find paying clients, and more.
20. Become a scopist
Scoping is when you are editing legal documents for court reporters. This is different from proofreading for court reporters.
I interviewed an expert on the topic – Linda from Internet Scoping School. She has been scoping for over 35 years and has taught scoping online for around 20 years.
She also has a free course that will introduce you to scoping so that you can decide if it’s one of the online business ideas you want to pursue. You can find the free course by clicking here.
Scopists who are working with an average court reporter tend to make around $30,000 to $45,000 per year working pretty much full-time.
You can learn more at How To Become A Scopist.
21. Start a home dog bakery
Buying fancy baked goods for dogs is extremely popular right now, and that will most likely continue. Everyone loves to treat their pets, right?!
This could be a fun one to try out, especially if you love pets and enjoy baking.
You can learn more at How I Earned Up to $4,000 Per Month Baking Dog Treats (With Zero Baking Experience!).
22. Become a food photographer
You can make money from home by becoming a food photographer, such as for bloggers.
Bloggers hire food photographers to recreate recipes and take pictures of them, so that the pictures can be shared on their blog.
Many food photographers are making $50,000 a year, and even over $100,000 each year, by working for bloggers.
You can learn more at How To Become a Food Blog Photographer And Earn Over $50,000 Each Year.
How do you brainstorm online business ideas?
To brainstorm online business ideas, there are many things you can do. You can take a look at the ideas above, make a list of things you are interested in and see if any business ideas pop up, and so on.
What is the best online business to start now?
The best online business to start right now really depends on the person. My favorite is blogging, but someone else may say starting an online store.
Make a list of a few of the online business ideas that you’re most interested in, and then create a pros and cons list for each.
What are the best online business ideas for students?
Luckily, there are more and more online jobs that are available to college students.
I wish this was more of an option back when I was a college student as the flexibility and lack of commute would have been a life saver.
Please head to 16 Best Online Jobs For College Students to read about the different options for college students.
What kind of online business is most profitable?
Blogging can be one of the most profitable online business ideas.
In fact, I’ve made over $5,000,000 from this blog in the past 10 years. Not every blogger will make that kind of money, and it takes a lot of work and time, but I can’t imagine my life without blogging.
How can I start an online business?
Once you’ve found an idea you like, make a list of the steps you need to take to get started. This may begin with taking a course or doing more research.
What I love about online business ideas is many of them can be started on the side of your day job. That means you can get your business up and running and see if it’s profitable before you give up your full-time job.
How do I start an online business for free?
Many of the businesses on this list can be started for free, assuming you have a computer and internet connection.
Freelancing is a great idea to start because you can leverage existing skills so you’re not paying for training or spending lots of time learning something new.
What else can I do to make extra money?
There are many different things that you can do to make extra money, in case you are wanting something other than to start an online business.
Some of the different ways to make extra money include:
- 12 Passive Income Ideas That Will Let You Enjoy Life More
- 17 Best Online Jobs To Make $1,000+ A Month
- How To Make $100 A Day
- 16 Free Work From Home Courses & Resources
- Ways To Make An Extra $1,000 A Month
Are you interested in any of the online business ideas above? What do you do to make extra money?