Nowadays, starting an online business or side hustle can be incredibly lucrative!
It’s helped thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs quit their 9-5 jobs and do something they’re SUPER passionate about.
I know for myself, being able to run my blog and eCommerce stores has absolutely changed my life!
But what businesses can you actually start online?
And what businesses are actually lucrative?
By the way, if you’re interested in starting a new business and becoming an entrepreneur, sign up for the free masterclass below!
Let's look at 10 online businesses you can start TODAY.
Hopefully this get you excited to start thinking about how you can build and grow an online empire for yourself!
Of course I have to mention blogging on this list! I’ve been a blogger since 2015 and I absolutely LOVE it!
If you love writing and would like an opportunity to build your own creative outlet, blogging is an awesome choice.
How can people actually make money blogging? I wrote a whole post about that here!
But in a nutshell, people make money on their blog through:
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored posts
- Guest posts
- Selling their own digital products and services
There are tons of ways bloggers can make money using their website, but there is a drawback to blogging as a side hustle: it takes TIME.
Growing a successful blog takes patience, time, and a crapload of consistency. You have to think of it as an investment in your future.
Building up a website and blog is basically like grabbing your piece of digital real estate.
Even though it may take months to start seeing decent traffic, you WILL build up momentum and your blog posts will eventually start ranking on Google and social media organically.
2. Online/retail arbitrage
You may have heard people talk about online and retail arbitrage before thanks to the popularity of Amazon!
Arbitrage is basically buying a product online (or in a store) and turning around and selling it for a higher price on Amazon, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or your own website/e-commerce platform.
I’ve known people who have built businesses around buying clearance items at big box stores and reselling them for a higher price on eBay!
A more popular method of arbitrage is using Amazon and Amazon FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) services.
Basically, after you purchase your products, you send them into Amazon to be held in their warehouse and shipped out to the customer when they’re ordered.
In exchange for the storage, shipping and handling, Amazon takes a monthly fee ($39.99) and a commission on every product sold. You only pay for the product and the shipping to get your products to the Amazon warehouse.
When I was doing retail arbitrage on-and-off, the profit margin was normally around 25-35%.
Arbitrage is awesome because, if you do your research and get the tools you need, you can find huge profits. Plus, it’s fun to bargain hunt the clearance sections!
The main drawback to getting into arbitrage is that you always have to be sourcing products.
Unlike private labeling or manufacturing your own products, you won’t often find multiples of the same product so you’ll always have to be on the hunt replenishing inventory!
3. Private label
If you're more adventurous (and you have a little more cash) private label is an awesome business strategy!
Basically, you order goods in bulk from either AliExpress, Alibaba, or any other "manufacturer" and you have them made to your specifications with all your own branding and packaging.
Then, you turn around and sell those good at a higher price, taking the profit!
As you probably guessed, private labelling takes more money since you need to pay for your inventory upfront. Usually there are minimum order quantities of 500-1000 units to factor into your budget!
You can store your inventory at home or in warehouse/store, OR you can use Amazon.
Many people have their private label goods shipped directly to Amazon to be sold, stored, and shipped to the customer which can eliminate a ton of headaches!
4. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a really easy way to start making money online quickly.
As an affiliate marketer, you advertise someone else's product or service for a commission.
This means you don't have to spend time creating your OWN services and waiting to build an audience. Instead, you can use an already successful product to sell.
You also don't have to take care of any customer service complaints or refunds! You simply collect your commission cheque and move on.
Being an affiliate marketer is really simple to start, but if you don't have an audience to "sell" to (either through social media or an email list) you need to be prepared to spend money on ads.
Dropshipping has been gaining in popularity and it's a GREAT option for people who don't have much money to start an online business.
Like private label, you find a manufacturer for a product who will put your own logo and branding on the packaging BUT, they also handle the storage and shipping from their location.
So every time a customer orders your product, they pay you the retail price, then you turn around and pay the manufacture a discounted price to fulfill the order and ship the product directly to the customer.
This way, you don't have to hold ANY inventory! And, you only pay once a customer buys the product, so there's way less financial risk!
You act as the "middleman" just doing the advertising, marketing, and branding.
6. Print on demand
I'm kind of in LOVE with print on demand, and if you're creative or artistic, you'll love it too!
Print on demand is basically the same as dropshipping: you create the website or sale page for the product, and once a customer orders it, a separate company is responsible for fulfilling the order and shipping it to the customer.
The best part?!
You get to design all your own graphics that get them printed on whatever you want!
Fulfillment companies will print your designs on t-shirts, mugs, sweaters, bags, hats, canvas prints, and more! You don't have to do any printing or hold any inventory!
You can check out one of my print on demand stores here.
You can open a print on demand store through Shopify and get started right away using one of their partners (like Printful or Printify).
7. Kindle publishing
Have you ever dreamt about becoming a published author? Well now you can! And it's actually pretty darn easy.
If you have any ideas for a book, it's easier than ever to get it published either as an eBook or through traditional publishing.
You can write the book yourself (or have it written for you by a ghost writer) and self publish on Kindle!
Kindle will host your eBook an take care of all the purchases. You're responsible for doing the sales and marketing.
If you'd like to gave hard copies of you book, you can easily self-publish and have the book sent to Amazon to be fulfilled by Amazon!
The great thing about writing books is that you end up launching as many as you want and they'll continue to generate passive income for YEARS to come!
8. Virtual assistant
Do you wish you cold work from anywhere in the world and become a digital nomad?
Being a virtual assistant could be the perfect job for you!
As a VA, you help marketers, bloggers or companies with different elements of their online business. You may handle web development, social media, client outreach, ghost writing, or graphic design.
There are a ton of in-demand jobs a VA can do to support businesses!
The Bucketlist Bombshells have an amazing course about how to start your career as a Virtual Assistant!
9. Social Media Manager OR Influencer
Are you savy with social media?
Maybe you don't know EVERY platform, but do you know a few really well?
You have some options if you're a social media guru!
First, if you have a decent amount of followers, you can start reaching out to brands to promote their products.
But think outside the box!
It doesn't have to be brands like Nike or Monster, you can advertise for small companies also!
Small apparel companies, makeup and skincare startups, or even online coaches might be really interested in getting in front of your audience!
Don't have a huge following? No big deal!
You can offer your services as a social media manager.
As long as you know a lot about the platform, how to engage, and how to communicate with an audience, you can help people build their social media accounts.
I worked as a Pinterest manager earlier this year and I found a ton of clients by putting up a $10 ad on Pinterest!
Don't be afraid to reach out to people, brands, and companies to advertise your services!
10. Open an Online "Shop" (Etsy store/Fiverr/Upwork)
If you have any special skills, opening up an online "shop" is a great idea!
If you know how to build or create something tangible (like a product) than Etsy is the place to be!
If you're better with online services (editing, graphic design, illustrations, ghost writing, etc.) than I definitely recommenced looking into something like Fiverr where you can offer your services to a HUGE base of qualified customers!
Hopefully this gives you a little inspiration to start your own online business!
Have you tried any of these businesses? If you have any questions about any of these, leave a comment below.