21 Best Small Business Ideas to Make Money Online in 2022

Updated Aug 3, 2022.
Best Small Business Ideas to Make Money Online

One of the biggest questions most people looking to start a new business and increase their income ask themselves is “how do I come up with the best small business ideas?”

Most “experts” will tell you that coming up with great business ideas is easy. All you need to do is find a problem and come up with a solution, and voila! You have a business idea on your hands.

Anyone who has tried building a business, however, will tell you that it’s not that simple. Sometimes, no one cares about the problem you are solving. 

Other times, people might not be interested in the kind of solution you are offering. All these are things you need to think about when coming up with a business idea.

However, we are here to make it easy for you to start your new business, not to discourage you, which is why we have compiled for you a list of 21 best small business ideas to make money in 2022.

These ideas will work for everyone, regardless of your skill set, or your available capital, and the best part is that they are all online-based. Let’s check them out!

1. Best Online Business Idea: Launch A High End Blog

Blogging is the go-to idea for most people looking to start an online business. As of 2021, there are over 600 million blogs in the world, and 30 million blogs in the United States alone.

The reason why so many people start blogs is because blogging is one of the best ways to earn a passive income. Some of the most successful and highest paid bloggers earn hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions of dollars every month.

Despite the top bloggers raking in tons of money from their blogs, it’s also good to note that most of the 600 million bloggers out there do not make any significant money from their blogs. 

The main reason behind this is that most bloggers don’t think of their blog as a business.

If you want to make money from blogging, you have to approach blogging with the same seriousness you would any other business

So, the question is, what is the right way to start and run a blogging business?

Below, let’s check out the steps to follow to launch a high end blog and make good money from the blog.

Step One: Choose A Profitable Niche

15 years ago, there weren’t that many blogs around, and back then, it was possible to build a successful blog talking about any topic you wanted to.

Today, things have changed, and if you want to build a successful blog and attract a loyal audience, you have to target a specific niche. It also becomes easier to monetize your blog when your blog is focused on a specific niche.

A niche refers to a general topic or theme that the content of your blog covers. Examples of niches include technology, sports, gaming, cryptocurrency, finance, relationships, and so on.

When choosing a niche, you should go for a topic you are passionate about, and a topic you are knowledgeable in, otherwise people won’t read your blog if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Alternatively, you can pick a niche that you are in the process of learning about.

It’s good to note that some niches are more profitable than others. Below are some of the most profitable blogging niches you can choose.

Most Profitable Blog Niches
Source: Brandongaille

To increase your chances of building a loyal audience and making money, you should narrow down to a micro niche, which is a lot more specific.

For instance, instead of blogging about finance, you could blog about personal finance for people in their 30s. Similarly, instead of covering all tech, you could focus on something more specific like automotive technology.

Step Two: Pick A Name For Your Blog

Once you’ve decided on the niche you’re going to blog about, the next step is to pick a name for your blog. 

Your blog’s name is what people will see when they open your blog. For instance, the name of this blog is Founderjar. Ideally, it’s good to use your blog’s name as your domain name as well.

When choosing a name for your blog, you should go for a name that quickly gives your visitors an idea of what your blog is about. For instance, this blog’s name is Founderjar, because it helps founders to start, grow, and scale their businesses.

You should also go for a name that is short, memorable, and easy to spell. You don’t want a name that people are likely to mistype when trying to access your blog.

Step Three: Get Your Blog Online

Now that you know what you’re going to blog about and have decided on a name for your blog, it’s time to get your blog online. This step involves registering your domain name and buying a hosting plan for your blog, installing a content management system (CMS), and setting up your blog.

Domain Registration And Web Hosting

A domain refers to the name that your visitors will need to type into their browsers in order to access your website, while a web host is a company that leases out space in their servers to hold your website files and make them accessible over the internet.

While there are many web hosting providers to choose from, we recommend hosting your website with Bluehost. Bluehost is fast and reliable, offers multiple hosting plans, and the best part is that, regardless of your chosen plan, you’ll get a free domain name for one year.

Install Your Content Management System (CMS)

Once you’ve registered your domain and set up a hosting account with Bluehost, the next step is to install a CMS. A CMS is a software platform that allows you to design your blog, and create and publish your blog posts.

There are dozens of content management systems to choose from, but we recommend using WordPress. WordPress is highly reliable, flexible, and customizable, which is why it is the world’s most popular CMS, with over 455 million websites built on WordPress.

Your Bluehost hosting account comes with a one-click WordPress installer, which makes the process of installing WordPress a breeze. You can check out the instructions for installing WordPress here.

Setting Up Your Blog

With WordPress installed on your site, your blog is now live on the internet, but at this point, it still looks pretty drab. You want a good looking blog that is capable of attracting visitors, and for that, you need to install a WordPress theme.

Fortunately, the WordPress ecosystem comes with thousands of themes to choose from – some free and some premium. 

There are many good looking themes available for free, so there’s no point spending money on a theme at this point. Some nice free themes you might want to check out include Astra, Neve, and Sydney.

After you’ve selected a nice-looking theme on your blog, the next thing you need to do is to create some key pages for your blog, such as an About page and a Contact Us page. If you intend to sell your services on your blog, you can also create a Hire Me page.

Step Four: Start Creating Content For Your Blog

Your blog is now set up and waiting to receive its first visitors. Without content, however, no one will come to your blog. 

Think about it this way – if you had a TV, but no TV channels to watch on it, the TV would be useless, right? The same thing applies to your blog.

Before you start creating the first piece of content for your blog, it is always good to start by creating a content calendar. This is a plan that details the topics you are going to cover on your blog for a certain period of time (say one year), as well as when each blog post will be published.

Many people start creating content without a content plan, and after a few posts, they run out of steam and leave their blogs to die off. This is something you want to avoid.

Therefore, start by brainstorming and researching topics that your target audience is interested in, and then use a keyword research tool like SEMrush to determine whether there are any people searching for these topics.

Once you identify great topics with great search traffic, note down these topics on your content calendar, against the date when each article will be published. 

With your content calendar ready, you can now write and publish your first piece of content and start driving traffic to your blog.

Step Five: Monetize Your Blog

Since your blog is a business, you need to start generating money from the blog. Fortunately, there are several ways of making money from your blog.

Some of the ways through which you can monetize your blog include…

  • Selling your freelance services, such as writing, photography, web design, virtual assistance, and so on.
  • Placing ads on your blog
  • Creating sponsored blog posts and product reviews
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Selling digital products, such as ebooks, music, videos, apps, templates, themes and plugins, digital photos, and so on.
  • Selling physical products, such as fashion items, handcrafted items, paintings, and so on.
  • Selling online courses
  • Charging your readers for exclusive access to members only content
  • Holding virtual summits
  • Hosting a niche job board
  • Asking for donations

One mistake that a lot of people make when it comes to monetizing their blog is waiting until they have significant levels of traffic before thinking of monetization. However, you don’t have to wait before you reach 1,000 or 5,000 visitors a month before you can start making money from your blog.

Even if your blog is only attracting 100 readers, these are people who could potentially buy what you are selling. Therefore, don’t wait too long before you start monetizing your blog.

2. Offer High-Ticket Consulting Or Freelancing Services

If you have some skills and expertise in a certain field, you can easily build a lucrative business around selling these skills and expertise, either through consulting, or as a freelancer. 

Both of these options give you the freedom to choose your own clients, work on your own terms, and determine how much you want to get paid for your services.

Below, let’s take a look at how you can use each of the two options to build a business around your skills and expertise.

Starting A High-Ticket Consulting Business

People often assume that to be a consultant, you need lofty academic credentials and Fortune 500 clients. However, consulting is much simpler than that. Consulting basically involves providing a specific target group with expert advice and getting paid for it.

For instance, let’s assume that a small business is trying to attract more customers through Facebook marketing. However, they don’t know how to go about it.

If you’re highly knowledgeable in Facebook marketing, you could offer such a business tailored advice on how to use Facebook marketing to achieve the results they are looking for – attracting more customers. In such a situation, you’re actually acting as a consultant.

It is possible to build a consulting business in any field or industry – from formal industries like personal finance, business, law, to informal industries like dating and relationships, provided you have the skills and expertise to help people achieve their desired results.

Examples of popular and well-paying consulting fields that you can get into include sales consulting, solar energy consulting, leadership consulting, corporate strategy consulting, recruitment consulting, career consulting, marketing consulting, M&A consulting, and so on.

If the idea of getting paid to give people expert advice sounds like something you’d want to do, below are the steps that will help you start a high-ticket consulting business?

Step One: Evaluate Your Strengths

Remember, consulting involves offering expert advice. This means that you can only become a consultant in a field you are an expert in

It makes sense, therefore, that the first step to starting a high-ticket consulting business is to determine what you are good at.

To help you determine what your skills and strengths are, here are some questions you could ask yourself…

  • What education and training do I have?
  • In which industries have I worked in the past? In which of these did I excel?
  • What do my friends, family, and colleagues say I’m good at? What do people ask me for advice on?
  • What topics am I passionate and knowledgeable about?
  • If I was asked to stand in front of a class and teach an impromptu class about anything, what would I teach?

As you come up with answers to these questions, you’ll start identifying where your skills and strengths lie. If you came up with multiple answers, choose something that you’re highly skilled at and highly passionate about.

Step Two: Evaluate Market Needs And Pain Points

Just because you are highly skilled at something, this doesn’t automatically mean that you can build a consulting business around it. 

For you to build a successful consulting business, you need to solve a problem for people, and you need people who are willing to pay for your solutions.

The second step, therefore, is to evaluate the market and determine what problems you can help your target market solve, and whether your target market is willing to spend money to solve these problems.

For instance, let’s say you are highly skilled at content marketing, and you’ve decided that you want to become a content marketing consultant. What are some of the problems that you can help people solve as a content marketing consultant?

Some possible answers here include helping clients come up with a content strategy, helping them create editorial style guides, helping them create effective content that will help them drive desired results, and so on.

Once you have a list of problems you can help people solve, do some market research into your target market (in the above example, these would be business that use content marketing) and find out how many of them struggle with any of the above problems, and more importantly, if they would be willing to pay someone to solve these problems for them.

If you determine that a significant portion of your target market struggles with the problems you identified and are willing to pay someone to solve the problem, you have already validated your business idea and can now move to the next step.

However, if there aren’t many potential clients struggling with these problems or willing to pay someone to solve the problems, you’ll need to do more research and determine what your potential clients’ pain points are.

Step Three: Create Your Website And Service Offerings

Now that you have a clear idea of what problem you’ll be solving for your clients, it’s now time to develop the client-facing aspects of your business.

The first thing you need to do is to create a website. The website is what will help you explain what you do to potential clients, showcase the results you have achieved for previous clients, and provide people with a way of booking your services or getting in touch with you.

The second thing you need to do is to develop your service offerings. These are the different areas that you’ll be helping your clients with. 

Going with our earlier example of a content marketing consultant, some of your service offerings could be content strategy development, style and editorial guide development, and so on.

Make sure there are clear-cut packages for each service offering, as well as the pricing for each package. Alternatively, you can just have the service offerings and a provision for potential clients to provide more information and request a quote based on their specific needs.

Step Four: Market Your Business

At this point, you are ready to start taking on consulting clients, but there’s only one problem – no one knows about your consulting business yet.

If you want to attract consulting clients, you have to start marketing your business. There are several different options that you can use to market your consulting business, such as blogging, PPC campaigns, social media marketing, holding webinars, email marketing, podcasting, and so on.

The best approach when it comes to marketing your consulting business is to choose one paid marketing channel that is most effective at attracting potential clients, and then develop a well-optimized sales funnel to help convert these prospects into paying customers.

The beauty of using a paid marketing channel in conjunction with a conversion-optimized sales funnel is that it acts as a conveyor belt that provides you with a consistent supply of consulting clients.If you’re interested in starting a consulting business, check out our detailed guide on how to start a consulting business.

Selling Your Freelance Services

The second way of building a business around selling your skills and expertise is to offer freelance services to clients.

Over the last several years, technological advancements that have made remote work possible, coupled with the rise of freelance working marketplaces, have made freelancing a very popular career choice for a lot of people.

As of 2020, freelancers contributed over $1.4 trillion to the United States economy. Projections show that by 2027, just over five years from today, there will be 86.4 million freelancers in the US, accounting for more than 50% of the U.S workforce.

Numbers of Freelancers
Source: Flexiple

Freelancing is not just popular, it is lucrative as well. According to a report by freelance marketplace Upwork, 3 in 5 freelancers report making the same or more money than they’d make when employed in a permanent position. 

Freelancers Report Making
Source: Upwork

So, how do you build a business out of selling your skills as a freelancer? Below are the steps to follow to become a high ticket freelancer.

Step One: Identify Your Valuable Skill

In order to make money as a freelancer, you need to have a skill that people consider valuable enough to pay for. Fortunately, in today’s interconnected and digital world, if you are good enough at anything, there will be people willing to pay you to do it for them.

To identify your valuable skills that you can sell as a freelancer, ask yourself the following questions…

  • Is there a skill I have been paid for in the past (even in a formal employment setting)?
  • Is there a software platform or application I am very good at?
  • What are my hobbies?
  • What do my friends and colleagues come to me for help with?

As you answer these questions, write down all the skills you come up with. If there’s something you can do better than the average person, note it down.

The good thing with freelancing is that there’s no limit to the kind of skills you can sell. Examples of freelance skills that you can build a business around include…

  • Software development
  • Interior design
  • Content writing
  • Copywriting
  • Financial modeling
  • Web development
  • Accounting
  • Legal
  • Tax accounting
  • Setting up and running Facebook paid ads
  • Data analysis
  • Translation
  • Resume writing
  • Graphic design
  • Video editing
  • Transcription
  • And many more… The list is virtually endless.

Once you’ve listed down all your skills, go through the list and narrow down to the skills you’re very good at and would want to get paid for.

Step Two: Confirm That There Is A Market For Your Skill

There’ll always be someone willing to pay you for whatever skill you possess. However, you don’t want to have to wait for months after your last gig before coming across another client. 

If you want a constant supply of work, you want to freelance in a field with sufficient market demand.

Therefore, before you start freelancing, it is a good idea to do some little market research and determine whether there are people looking for the kind of skills you are selling.

A good way to do this is to go to a freelance marketplace like Upwork and search for jobs that require your chosen skill. This will allow you to quickly get a feel for the number of people searching for these services.

For instance, let’s assume that you’ve decided to become a freelance video animator. To find out whether there is market demand for your skill, search for “video animation” or “video animator” on Upwork. 

Searching for Video animator on Upwork

Searching for “video animator” on Upwork shows there are over 10,000 jobs available, which confirms that there is adequate demand for this skill.

Another way to determine whether there is adequate demand for your skill is to search for keywords related to your skill on a keyword research tool like SEMrush. This will tell you the number of people searching for the skill on Google.

For instance, if you search for “video animator” on SEMrush, you’ll see that the keyword has a global volume of 10.7k, and 67.2k keyword variations. This is a clear indicator that there is adequate demand for this skill. 

Search for  Video Animator on SEMrush

After confirming that there is adequate demand for your skill, you can now move to the next step.

Step Three: Package Your Freelance Skills As A Solution

If you want to make good money as a freelancer, you have to package your skills as a solution or a service offering. To do this, you need to think about your target market, and the problems that drive them to pay for your skill set.

For instance, let’s say you are a video animator. No one will seek your services simply because you have exceptional animation skills. Clients only seek out because they believe that your animation skills can help them achieve something they want.

Therefore, the first thing you need to do is to identify your target market. Which group of people is most likely to pay for your services? 

Going with our example above, some people who might want to hire you for your animation skills include marketers and business owners.

The next thing is to consider why these people are looking for your services. What do they want to achieve that requires your specific skill set? For a video animator, potential clients are probably looking for animated explainer videos to help them increase their conversions.

Once you have determined the people who are likely to pay for your skill set and why they are willing to hire you, it then becomes easier to package your freelance skills as a solution.

In our example above, you could frame your video animation skills as, “I create highly engaging animated explainer videos that will help you convert more customers.”

Here, you are not just selling a skill set. You are selling a solution. Video animation is the skill set, but what customers actually want are high quality animated explainer videos. 

By simply tweaking your offering this way, you’ll be able to command higher prices for your freelance services.

Step Four: Create A Portfolio

Working with freelancers presents some risk for clients. They have never worked with you before, so they don’t know whether you’ll actually deliver what they need. If you are unable to meet their expectations, you’ll have wasted both their time and money.

As a result, clients will always prefer working with an established freelancer who has a track record in order to minimize their risk. However, if you are just starting out, you might not have a track record to show. 

So, how do you get clients to trust that you’ll be able to get their work done?

What you need to do is to create a portfolio. A portfolio allows you to create trust with potential clients by showing the kind of work you are capable of delivering.

The best thing about creating a portfolio is that you can create one even if you have never worked for any other client before. You only need to create a few samples to showcase your skills. For example, as a video animator, you can create two or three animated videos of your own.

For a portfolio to be effective, it needs to showcase the specific skill you are selling. Therefore, if you are a freelance eBook writer, have a portfolio showing eBooks you’ve written. 

If you are a freelance product photographer, have a portfolio showcasing product photos you’ve taken.

Step Five: Join A Good Freelancing Platform To Find Clients Quickly And Start Making Money

It is possible to make money as a freelancer by marketing your services and gradually building your personal brand. Unfortunately, this takes time.

If you want to start earning money quickly as a freelancer, your best option is to join a freelancing platform. Freelancing platforms are online marketplaces that bring together clients with freelancers like you.

These platforms make your work easier because you already know the clients are looking for your services. You only need to convince them that you are the best person to handle their project.

Below are some of the best freelancing platforms that will allow you to find clients easily and start making money selling your skills.

  1. Upwork: Best Overall Freelancing Platform
Upwork is the Best Overall Freelancing Platform

Upwork is the world’s largest and best overall freelancing platform. 

There are millions of clients looking for freelancers on Upwork, so you can expect to find freelance projects on the platform, regardless of the kind of freelance services you offer. Even large companies such as GE, Airbnb and Microsoft use the platform to find freelancers.

Upwork is fairly easy to use, even for beginners. Once you sign up, all you need to do is search for projects related to the services you provide, and then submit your bid to the client. 

The platform also allows you to filter projects by experience level, job type, client’s budget, number of proposals submitted, client history, and so on.

  1. FlexJobs: Best For Premium Jobs
FlexJobs is the Best For Premium Jobs

FlexJobs is more of a jobs board, rather than a freelance marketplace. The site provides a curated list of freelance, part-time, and full-time jobs.

FlexJob’s greatest selling point is that all the jobs posted on the platform are vetted, which means that there’s no risk of getting scammed on the site. The downside, however, is that you have to pay a subscription to access jobs posted on the platform.

  1. Fiverr: Best For Custom Gigs
Fiverr is the Best For Custom Gigs

Fiverr is a platform that promises clients that they can get freelance services for just $5, hence the name Fiverr. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll have to sell your freelance services for just $5 in order to get clients from this site. The platform offers multiple gig tiers, allowing you to charge premium rates for your work.

The greatest downsides of using Fiverr is that they charge relatively high commissions, and their payment withdrawal process is quite lengthy.

  1. Guru: General Freelancer Marketplace
Guru is a General Freelancer Marketplace

Guru is a great platform for all kinds of freelance work. It has a considerably high number of jobs, which makes it relatively easy to find clients on the platform.

One of the best things about Guru is that the commissions they deduct from your earnings are relatively low compared to other freelancing platforms, which translates to more money for you. They also offer very flexible payment options.

  1. Toptal: Freelancing Platform For Experts
Toptal is a Freelancing Platform For Experts

Toptal prides itself for being the freelancing platform that helps companies find the best and most qualified freelancers. To keep such a brave promise, they take freelancers through a rigorous screening process to make sure that all the freelancers admitted onto the platform are the very best.

This is a great thing because it means that there’s minimal competition from low quality freelancers competing on price, and at the same time, it allows the freelancers using the platform to charge premium rates for their services.

  1. Solidgigs: Best Freelancing Platform With Training
Solidgigs is the Best Freelancing Platform With Training

Solidgigs is another jobs board that provides a regularly updated list of the best freelancing jobs available on the internet.

What makes Solidgigs such a great freelancing platform is that it provides freelancers with lots of training material and online courses that are meant to help its users become better freelancers and to help them grow their freelancing businesses.

3. Start Your Own Online Store

The last couple of years have experienced an explosion in ecommerce. Projections show that by 2024, retail ecommerce sales will hit the $6.3 trillion mark, making up about 21.8% of all global retail sales. This is almost double the $3.3 trillion value of retail ecommerce sales just 2 years ago. 

Retail Ecommerce Sales Worldwide
Source: eMarketer

With the ecommerce industry growing at such a rapid pace, starting your own online store is a great way to cash in on this growth, and at the same time build a business that will give you the freedom of working on your own terms.If you like the idea of starting your own online store, below are the steps that will help you build a profitable online store.

Step One: Pick Your Niche

Building an online store that sells everything on the planet is a very challenging endeavor, since you will be competing against big and established brands like Amazon.

If you want to build your brand quickly and start making money, you are better off focusing on a particular niche. For instance, you could only sell mountain biking equipment, fashion items for teenagers, kitchenware, and so on.

Your chosen niche will have an impact on sales figures, the amount of effort you’ll have to put into marketing, the level of customer support required, as well as your likelihood of having repeat customers.

When choosing your niche, there are three things you need to keep in mind…

  • Don’t go for niches that are dominated by household brands
  • Go for niches with steadily growing popularity
  • Go for niches that allow you to sell to the same customer multiple times.

Step Two: Decide Between Holding Your Own Inventory Vs Dropshipping

As an online store owner, you have two options – buying and selling your own inventory versus dropshipping.

Buying and selling your own inventory gives your better profit margins, better control over your customer experience, and better control over your branding.

On the flip side, however, this approach can be quite expensive, because you need lots of money to buy and store your inventory. You will also need to take care of every aspect of your business, including product packaging and shipping, which can be hectic.

The drop-shipping option allows you to outsource the fulfilment aspect of your business. You only handle sales and marketing, while your dropshipping supplier handles fulfillment for you

Dropshipping allows you to start an online store with minimal capital, since you don’t have to buy and store inventory.

The downside, however, is that with dropshipping, you have minimal control over things such as fulfilment and product returns and branding.

Step Three: Pick A Name For Your Business And Register Your Domain

Now that you know the niche you are going to focus on and your preferred business model, the next step is to come up with a name for your business and register it as a domain name.

Here are some pointers to follow when choosing a name for your online store…

  • Go for names that people can pronounce easily
  • Pick a name that gives people an idea of what your online store deals in
  • Be original. Avoid names that are close to those of other known brands.
  • Go for short and memorable names
  • If possible, pick a name that has an available .com domain
  • Avoid names that are tied to a specific product, since they could restrict you if you decide to expand your product line.

Step Four: Identify Profitable Products To Sell

Once you start your online shop, you shouldn’t just stock any products within your niche. You want products that will sell quickly, allowing you to sell more. Question is, how do you identify which products will sell better?

The secret is to look at products within your niche that are already doing well. Go to ecommerce sites like Amazon and eBay and check for the most popular products within your niche. If they are selling well on these sites, there’s a high chance they’ll do well on your store as well.

As you go through these best seller lists identifying well-performing products, go for products with a selling price of $50 – $100 (these often have better margins), products that have low shipping costs, and products that you are a bit knowledgeable about.

After identifying profitable products that you can sell, the next thing you need to do is to find suppliers who can sell you these products wholesale. Some of the places you can find suppliers include Alibaba, AliExpress and SaleHoo.

Step Five: Build Your Online Store With An Online Store Builder

Having identified products to sell and vendors to supply you with these products, you can now start building your online store.

While it is possible to build an online store from scratch, this requires lots of technical know-how, and can get pretty expensive if you choose to hire someone to do it for you. A better option is to use online store builders.

There are several reliable online store builders to choose from, but we recommend building your online store with Shopify

Shopify provides you with great functionality and customizability, while keeping things simple, even for beginners. It is also very easy to scale your Shopify store as your business grows.

To build your online store with Shopify, you need to sign up for an account, choose a theme or template for your online store, upload your products, create your store’s other pages, such as an about us page and a contact us page, and configure your store settings, such as payment and checkout options.

Step Six: Start Marketing Your Online Store

At this point, your store should be up and running. All you have to do now is start marketing your store to attract buyers and start selling.

Some of the different options you have for marketing your online store include content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, PPC advertising, email marketing, influencer marketing, and so on.

If you’ve done everything right so far, you’ll be able to attract visitors to your online store and convert them into buyers within no time.

4. Launch Your Own Podcast Show

Podcasts have been steadily growing in popularity over the last couple of years. According to Statista, the number of podcasts listeners in the US is projected to hit 100 million in 2024, up from just 46.1 million five years ago

Estimated number of podcast listeners in the United States
Source: Statista

With the popularity of podcasts in a phase of rapid growth, there has never been a better time to launch your own podcast show and turn it into a profitable business.

So, how do you start your own podcast show?

Fortunately, starting a podcast show is an easy thing to do, and does not require much in the form of capital. Below are the steps to follow when launching your own podcast show.

Step One: Identify Your Niche

While it is possible to start a podcast show that talks about everything under the sun and achieve success, there are two major problems with this approach.

First, building a loyal and consistent audience will be a lot more challenging, since your audience doesn’t know what to expect with each show. Second, it will be harder for you to monetize your podcast.

To avoid this, the best approach is to have a specific niche or theme for your podcast. Always pick a niche you’re knowledgeable about – it will be easier to attract an audience when they have something they can learn from you.

In addition, always go for a niche you are highly passionate about, since you are going to spend a lot of time talking about it. If you pick something you’re not passionate about, your audience will feel that your energy and enthusiasm is off.

Step Two: Decide On Your Podcast Format

Once you know what you are going to talk about, the next step is to decide on how your podcast will be structured. There are many podcast formats to choose from, including…

  • Solo (monologue) podcast
  • Co-hosted podcast
  • Interview podcast
  • Documentary podcast
  • Educational podcast
  • Video podcast
  • Scripted fiction podcast
  • Scripted non-fiction podcast
  • News recap podcast

The key to choosing a podcast format is to go with something you enjoy and are comfortable with. For instance, if you are comfortable and good at interviewing people, the interview podcast format would be a good choice for you.

Similarly, if you enjoy teaching people stuff and sharing information, you can go with an educational or documentary podcast format.

Step Three: Pick A Name For Your Podcast Show

Choosing a good name for your podcast show will encourage people to check out the podcast, and will also make it easier for people to find it on podcast streaming sites. 

Below are some pointers to follow when choosing a name for your podcast show…

  • Align it with your podcast theme: A good podcast name makes it easy to tell what the podcast is about, but without being too restrictive.
  • Keep it short: Shorter podcast names are easier to say out loud, and easier to remember. Shorter names are also easier to fit on your podcast cover art, and will not be truncated on podcast streaming sites and search engines.
  • Keep is searchable: How easy is it for someone who has heard about your podcast to search for it online? Searchable names are those that are spelled exactly as they are pronounced. Avoid creative misspellings, and the use of special characters.
  • Incorporate your brand name: If you have an already established brand, incorporating your brand name in your podcast title will help your audience associate the podcast to your brand and give your new podcast the credibility associated with your brand.

Step Four: Pick A Podcast Hosting Provider

For your audience to be able to find and stream your podcast, you need a podcast hosting provider who will allow you to upload your audio files into their servers and make them accessible over the internet.

There are several podcast hosting providers to pick from, but we recommend hosting your podcast on BuzzSprout. 

Some of the things that make BuzzSprout one of the best podcast hosting providers include their top-notch design and usability, simple pricing structure, impressive set of podcasting features, security and reliability, as well as their exceptional customer support.

Step Five: Get Your Podcast Recording Equipment And Software

It is possible to start recording your podcast with nothing more than your smartphone. However, if you want to create a high quality podcast, it is a good idea to invest in some basic podcast recording equipment.

Some of the basic equipment you’ll need include a microphone, some headphones, a mic stand (optional), an audio mixer (optional), a computer to edit your podcast, and a podcast editing software, such as Audacity or Adobe Audition.

Step Six: Record Your Podcast Content

Now that everything is ready, you can go ahead and start recording your podcast content. The key here is to focus on producing the highest quality content possible. It is impossible to build a successful podcast without great content.

Great podcast content is created by a combination of interesting topics that your audience will enjoy listening to, good interviewing and storytelling tactics, and high quality audio

Once you’ve recorded and edited your podcast, you can then upload it to your hosting platform and start promoting the podcast.

Step Seven: Monetize Your Podcast

Since your podcast is a business, you have to find a way of making money from it. Fortunately, once your podcast has started attracting significant audience numbers, you’ll have multiple monetization options that you can take advantage of.

Some of the monetization strategies you can use to earn an income from your podcast show include finding sponsorsfor your shows, adding commercials and ads to your shows, selling your own products and services, asking for donations, creating premium podcast episodes, engaging in affiliate marketing, and so on.

5. Best Small Business Idea: Create And Sell Online Courses

The e-learning market is one of the fastest growing industries around the world. Projections show that by 2026, the global e-learning market will be worth $388 billion, up from $185 billion in 2020.

If you have any knowledge, skills or expertise, there are people who would want to learn from you, and by turning your knowledge and expertise into an online course, you can get a share of the billions being made in the online courses industry.

Below, let’s check out what you need to do to make money creating and selling online courses.

Step One: Pick A Topic

The topic that your online course covers will have a huge impact on your chances of success

Choose a great topic that people are interested in, and you’ll have lots of students. Choose a topic no one cares about, and you’ll struggle to get even one student to pay for your course.

To come up with topics for your online course, start by identifying things you’re good at. Are you good at time management? Are you highly skilled in Adobe Photoshop? Are you good at negotiating for salary raises? All these are skills you can package into an online course.

Once you’ve identified what you are good at, the next step is to narrow down into one actionable piece of knowledge

For instance, if you are a Photoshop expert, don’t create an online course to teach all there is about Adobe Photoshop. Instead, focus on one particular thing, such as print design using Photoshop.

At this point, you already have a topic for your online course, but there is no guarantee that people will buy the course. You don’t want to invest in a course no one is willing to pay for, so you need to validate your topic.

The easiest way to tell whether there is demand for your topic is to search for the topic on Google. If there are lots of articles and videos related to the topic, this is a surefire sign that people are interested in the topic.

Step Two: Choose Your Online Course Platform

It is possible to host your online course on your own website, but getting this to work will require a lot of work and technical knowhow. A better approach is to host your course on a dedicated online course program.

There are several online course platforms to choose from, but we recommend using either Teachable or Thinkific

Both platforms are very easy to use, even for a complete beginner, they have excellent web design options, and they provide you with analytics tools to help you gain insights on how to maximize the ROI of your online course.

Step Three: Create Your Online Course

This is where you get to do most of the work. Since creating your online course is a huge step, we are going to break it into smaller steps.

1. Research

Before you start creating your online course, you need to do thorough research into the topic you want to teach.

Some of the questions you’ll want to answer during the research phase include…

  • What are the most important things that one should learn about this topic? 
  • What are the major problems people struggle with around this topic? 
  • What do other educators include in their online courses around this topic?

Proper research will help you create a comprehensive online course that covers everything that your students need to learn.

2. Create An Outline For Your Course

Don’t rush into creating your course material immediately after completing your research. What you should do instead is come up with an outline for your course. How many modules will your course have? How many lessons will go into each module? What will each lesson cover?

3. Create Your Lessons

Once you’re satisfied with your course outline, you can now start creating the content that will go into each lesson.

If you’re going to incorporate video in your course content (this is highly advisable), you’ll need to invest in a good camera and a microphone to ensure high quality video lessons. 

You’ll also need to create a script for your lessons, rather than recording your lessons off the top of your head.

Step Four: Market Your Online Course

Aside from your chosen topic and the quality of your course content, the other thing that determines how successful your online course is going to be is how much effort you put into marketing

You might have the best online course in your topic, but if no one knows about it, you’re not going to make any sales.

The best way to market your online course is to create an email list. Once you have a prospect’s email, you can then enter them into an automated email campaign that will move them through a well-optimized sales funnel until they convert into a paying student.

Other effective ways of marketing your online course include launching a blog to showcase your expertise and catch the attention of prospective students, and marketing your course on various social media platforms.

If you’re interested in selling online courses, check out our in-depth article on how to create and sell a wildly successful online course.

6. Run Free And Paid Webinars

Another way to make a lot of money on the internet is to host webinars, get lots of people to attend the webinars, and then come up with ways of leveraging this audience to earn an income.

You can think of webinars as seminars that are held over the internet using video conferencing technology, rather than physically. Just like a regular seminar, they are live, and have provisions for the audience to interact with the speakers.

What makes webinars such a suitable channel for making money online is the fact that webinars are very effective at generating qualified leads. In other words, it is a lot easier to convert leads generated from webinars.

So, how do you make money from running webinars? Here’s what you need to do…

Step One: Get People To Attend Your Webinar

Like many other internet based business ideas, webinars generate income by leveraging the audience that they attract. Therefore, the first step to making money with webinars is to get people to attend your webinar. To do this, you need to…

1. Choose An Interesting Webinar Topic

Imagine someone invited you to a webinar on how to boil water. Would you attend? Unless you had absolutely nothing else to do, you wouldn’t bother registering for such a webinar.

Now, nobody is going to invite you to a webinar on how to boil water, but the point here is that what attracts people to your webinar is your webinar topic

Choose an interesting topic and your webinar will have lots of attendees. Choose a boring topic and you’ll be presenting to yourself.

If you want to have an interesting webinar topic, start by researching your target audience, identify topics that they care about, and then create a webinar to address one of those topics.

2. Pick A Good Webinar Platform

Your chosen webinar platform is also going to have an impact on the number of people who will get to attend your webinar.

With a good webinar platform, it becomes very easy for people to register for your webinar. 

In addition, good webinar platforms will also make it easier for people to actually attend the webinar. For instance, many of the best webinar platforms allow people to join webinars from multiple devices, such as computers, smartphones and other mobile devices.

An unreliable webinar platform, on the other hand, will make it harder for people to register for and join your webinar, leading to lower attendance rates.

We recommend hosting your webinar using WebinarJam or Demio, which are two of the most reliable webinar platforms on the market. With these two webinar platforms, you get unparalleled ease-of-use, and a ton of webinar management tools.  

3. Promote Your Webinar In Advance

Having the most interesting webinar topic and using the most reliable webinar platform mean little if no one knows about your webinar – no one will attend.

Therefore, you need to put a lot of effort in promoting your webinar. Note, however, that webinars are live events. This means that for someone to attend, they have to leave everything else over the duration of the webinar. 

If you want people to attend, therefore, you have to let them know about the webinar in advance so that they can add it to their schedule.

Some of the strategies you can use to market your webinar include email marketing, social media marketing, having your guest speakers promote the webinar to their audiences, partnering with influencers, blogging about the webinar, and so on.

Once people have registered for your webinar, you’ll also need to send them email reminders before the webinar to make sure that they don’t forget about it or miss it for one reason or the other.

Step Two: Monetize Your Webinar

Monetizing your webinar is all about leveraging the audience attracted by the webinar. Some of the strategies you can use to monetize your webinar include…

  • Selling webinar tickets: With this strategy, you are going to be charging your webinar attendees a fee in order for them to join your webinar. For this strategy to work, however, you need to be a renowned expert within your field, and your webinar topic needs to offer so much value that people would be willing to pay for it.
  • Getting sponsors on board: If you know that your webinar is going to attract lots of attendees, you can approach brands within your industry and ask them to come on board as sponsors for the webinar. These brands will pay you to have their branding displayed prominently within the webinar.
  • Selling your products: If you already have your own products, such as online courses, coaching programs, eBooks, video series, software products, and so on, you can market them during the webinar and convert some of the attendees into buyers.
  • Affiliate marketing: If you don’t have your own products, you can still make money by promoting other people’s products. All you need to do is join their affiliate program, use an affiliate code or link to track your referrals and get paid for every referral that makes a purchase.
  • Selling ads: Finally, it is also possible to make money from webinars by advertising other people’s products on your webinar. Unlike with affiliate marketing, you’ll get paid for mentioning or showing the products, even if you don’t end up driving any sales.

7. Provide Actionable Coaching Services

A lot of people want to achieve their goals, from climbing up the career ladder to competing at the Olympics. Unfortunately, many of them don’t know what they need to do in order to achieve these goals.

Others know what they need to do, but they don’t have the discipline to do it. They need someone to hold them to account and help them get where they want.

If you have the experience and expertise needed to help people overcome their challenges and achieve their goals, you can turn this into a lucrative business by providing actionable coaching services to these people.

The best part about offering coaching services is that this business idea is applicable in a very wide range of industries

Coaches help people with all sorts of goals, from advancing their careers and growing their businesses to becoming physically fit and improving their leadership skills.

So, how do you build a business out of providing coaching services? Here’s what you need to do…

Step One: Pick Your Niche

If you try to market yourself as an all-rounded coach, you won’t attract any serious clients. Have you ever heard of a football coach switching over to coaching basketball? Definitely not.

If you want to build a career offering coaching services, you have to position yourself as an expert in one specific field

If you are good at helping people navigate their career challenges, focus on that and forget about financial coaching. If you are good at fitness training, focus on that and forget about relationship coaching.

Step Two: Define Your target Customer

Once you’ve chosen a niche, the next step is to define the target audience you want to help with your coaching services. Who are they? What problem are they struggling with? Are they willing to spend money to overcome these challenges?

Here, you want to get very specific. Let’s say you’ve decided that you want to focus on the career coaching niche. Under this niche, we have several segments, such as…

  • People who are trying to get their first job.
  • People who are stuck in middle management and are trying to make the leap to C-level management.
  • People who are tired of their careers and are trying to make a career change.

These three groups have very different challenges and are looking for very different solutions. Therefore, you have to get very specific about the exact customer segment you are targeting.

Step Three: Design Your Coaching Offer

Now that you have a clear idea of the group you are trying to help, it’s now time to craft your coaching offer; how are you going to help these people overcome their challenges?

When designing your coaching offer, you have to think in terms of results – what do you help your customers achieve? Remember, people hire you as a coach simply because they want to achieve something that they are unable to achieve on their own.

For instance, if your coaching program helps people negotiate better salaries, don’t say you’ll teach them to negotiate their salaries. Instead, give them a definite result, such as “Increase your salary by $5,000.

Step Four: Market Your Coaching Offer

Like the common saying goes, doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark – it achieves no results. If you want people to actually pay for your coaching services, you have to go out there and market your coaching business.

The best way to do this is to focus on a single paid marketing channel to generate leads, and then take these leads through your sales funnel until you convert them into buyers.

For instance, let’s say most of your target audience hangs out on Facebook. The first thing you need to do is to create a paid marketing campaign on Facebook to advertise your coaching services. If your target audience is more active on other social platforms, run your paid marketing campaign there.

Once a prospect clicks on your ad, direct them to a landing page where you’ll offer them a lead magnet in exchange for their email address. This step is what gets them into your sales funnel.

Now that you have their email address, target them with a drip email campaign that will help you showcase your expertise, gain their trust, and eventually convert them into paying customers.

8. Become A Social Media Influencer

Do you love spending time on social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and TikTok? Do you have a significant following on any of these platforms?

If you answered yes to the two questions, you have what it takes to turn your love for social media into a side business by becoming a social media influencer.

Projections by Statista show that the size of the global social media influencer market was expected to reach $13.8 billion in 2021. This is a clear indication that there is a lot of money to be made in this industry. 

Influencer marketing market size worldwide
Source: Statista

The beauty of social media influencing is that you don’t need any special skills. Anyone who knows how to use the internet and social media has everything they need to become a social media influencer.

To start making money as a social media influencer, you need to do two things…

Step One: Build An Audience

Before you can start making money as a social media influencer, you need to build an audience that regularly consumes your content. The more followers and subscribers you have, the easier it becomes for you to earn as an influencer and command better rates.

To become an influencer, you don’t need hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. You can become a micro or nano influencer with just a few thousand followers and still earn money from your social media influence.

To build your social media audience, you need to do three things…

1. Pick A Platform

There are many influencers who are big on multiple social media platforms. If you’re just starting out, however, you’ll have higher chances of success by focusing on one platform and building a following before diversifying to another platform.

2. Create Great Content

People follow you on social media because of your content. Therefore, if you want to attract a huge following on social platforms, you have to produce high quality content.

The best approach when it comes to producing content is to focus on a particular niche. This makes it easier for you to build a name for yourself and attract a loyal following, since people know what kind of content to expect from you.

To create good content, you don’t need to invest in expensive equipment. You can easily shoot high quality photos and videos using your smartphone. You just need to make sure that your content is interesting, informative, or aesthetically pleasing.

3. Engage Your Audience

Brands don’t just want someone with a huge following; they want someone with an engaged audience

As you create your content and build your audience, therefore, you need to find ways of getting your audience to interact with your content. Ask questions, run polls, encourage people to comment, and so on.

To help you manage your content and your interactions with your followers, you can use software tools such as Buffer, HootSuite, SocialPilot, Sprout Social, and so on.

Step Two: Monetize Your Influence

Having a significant number of followers who value your opinion gives you some influence over these people. Once you’ve gained this influence, all you need to do now is find ways of translating the influence into an income.

Some of the different ways you can earn an income as an influencer include…

  • Creating sponsored posts: This is one of the most popular ways of making money as a social media influencer. With this option, a brand pays you money to create social media posts (tweets, Instagram posts, YouTube videos, and so on) that promote their products and services.
  • Affiliate marketing: This is another common way of earning money as a social media influencer. Affiliate marketing involves promoting other people’s products, using an affiliate link or code to track clicks, and then getting paid a commission whenever someone makes a purchase using your affiliate link or code.
  • Become a brand ambassador: This is one of the most lucrative ways of making money as an influencer. Under this arrangement, a brand pays you to act as the face of their brand and promote their products and services for an extended period, usually several months, or even years, rather than a one-time partnership.
  • Display advertising: With this approach, you charge brands to advertise their products or services within your content. For instance, you might charge brands advertising fees to add a product commercial in the middle of a YouTube video.
  • Sell your own products: As an influencer, you don’t always have to sell and promote other people’s products. You can also create your own products and sell them to your followers. There’s no limit to the kind of products you can create and sell, from physical products and informational products to online courses and subscriptions.

Making money as a social media influencer is that simple – just build an audience, and then figure out how to leverage this audience to earn an income.

9. Create And Sell Printables

Creating and selling printables is one of the best online business ideas for someone who wants to make money without too much investment – both in time and money. You don’t need much capital or technical know-how to start creating and selling printables. Just about anyone can do it.

Printables refer to any digital products that someone can download and print. Examples of printables you can create and sell include…

  • Inspirational sayings
  • Workbooks and worksheets
  • Calendars
  • Checklists
  • Trackers
  • Planners
  • Lesson plans
  • Templates
  • Coloring books
  • Greetings and invitation cards
  • And so on…

Below, let’s check out the steps to follow if you want to make money creating and selling printables.

Step One: Decide On The Kind Of Printables You’re Going To Sell

There are several kinds of printables that you can sell, but not all of them are going to make you money. The first step, therefore, is to determine which type of printables are likely to be profitable.

To do this, you’ll first need to think about your target market. Who do you want to sell your printables to? New moms trying to wean their babies? Employed people who are trying to manage their money better? Travel enthusiasts?

Once you figure out who you want to sell to, the next thing you need to do is to think about how you can solve their problems using printables. Remember, people don’t just buy printables for the sake of it. They buy the printable because it is useful to them in some way.

For instance, if you are targeting travel enthusiasts, you could create travel planners, maps, packing checklists, and so on.

Step Two: Create Your Printables

The best part about creating printables is that you do not need any special skills to create a printable. If you know how to use basic applications like Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, Google Sheets or Google Slides, you have everything it takes to create a printable.

If you want to create visually appealing printables, however, you are better off using design-oriented programs and applications, such as Canva, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, Visme, PicMonkey, Adobe InDesign, or Venngage.

Step Three: Determine The Pricing For Your Printable

With well-designed and practical printables, it is very easy to make money from printables. 

For instance, blogger Sarah Titus went from being homeless and $30,000 in debt to making over $3 million selling printables. She netted over $50,000 during her first month of selling printables. 

To make such money, however, you have to price your printables appropriately.

There are two major pricing strategies that you can use to come up with a price for your printables – cost based pricing and value-based pricing.

Cost-based pricing takes into consideration your investment in creating the printable – time, premium software, taxes, and your desired profit. With value-based pricing, on the other hand, you price your printables depending on the value you expect the printable to add to your customers’ lives.

Step Four: Put Your Printables Up For Sale

Having created your printable and determined the pricing, it’s now time to put them up for sale. Here, you have two options. 

The first one is to set up a shop on Etsy and upload your printables. This will allow you to take advantage of the traffic that the Etsy marketplace attracts.

The second option is to build your own ecommerce website and put your printables up for sale. While this option gives you total control over the sales process and allows you to keep 100% of your sales revenue, you’ll need to work a lot harder to drive traffic to your ecommerce website.

Once you’ve put your printables up for sale, you’ll also need to put some effort into marketing your printables if you want to make sales. You can do this by creating a conversion-optimized sales page, running social media ads, working with influencers, and so on.

10. Organize A Virtual Summit

Hosting virtual summits is another great way of making money online without investing a lot of money. Virtual summits are online conferences which bring together a group of experts – usually 20 or more – to share their expertise with an audience.

Normally, virtual summits are free to attend. However, they offer multiple monetization strategies, both during and after the summit. There are cases of entrepreneurs who have made up to $300,000 from a single virtual summit.

Below, let’s take a look at how you can make money organizing virtual summits.

Step One: Choose Your Topic

The first thing you should do once you’ve decided to host a virtual summit is to choose a topic for your summit. Your topic will in turn determine which experts you can invite to your summit, as well as the audience you’re going to attract.

Generally, it’s always a good idea to choose a topic you’re knowledgeable in. This, plus good knowledge of your target audience, will help you come up with better content and interview questions, leading to a better virtual summit experience.

Step Two: Get The Right Tools And Software

Since your virtual summit is going to take place over the internet, with each participant in a different location, you need access to a set of software tools to make the summit possible.

The first thing you need is a platform that will allow you to host the virtual summit. For this, we recommend using either Demio or WebinarJam

These two virtual event hosting platforms are easy to use, they give you access to email tools for promoting your virtual summit, they offer support for audience integration, as well as access to data and analytics about your virtual summit.

Apart from a hosting platform for your virtual summit, you’ll also need a CRM tool to manage your webinar registrants, and a payment provider to help you collect payments.

Step Three: Identify And Invite Guest Speakers

The success of your virtual summit will ride majorly on the quality of your guests. Ideally, you want to get the very best experts you can around your topic.

Bringing the best professionals as guests in your virtual summit does two things. First, it makes it easier for you to attract people to attend your virtual summit. When people know that some big names will be speaking at your summit, they’ll be more inclined to attend the summit.

Second, getting the very best increases the value of your virtual summit. The more knowledgeable your guests are, the more there is for your attendees to learn from the summit, which will make your virtual summit more valuable.

Step Four: Record The Interviews

Once you’ve gotten enough guest speakers for your virtual summit, you can now go ahead and record the interviews with your guests. 

Before this, however, you’ll need to have done some research into the topic – this will help keep your interview questions relevant and educative.

You don’t have to invest in special equipment for recording interviews for your virtual seminar. All you need is a mic, a good external camera, good lighting, and an uncluttered background.

Step Five: Promote Your Virtual Seminar

Promotion is very important if you want people to attend your virtual seminar. The first thing you need to do is to create a landing page for your virtual seminar, complete with a registration form. This is where you’ll send people who click on your promotional content.

Next, you need to write a series of sales emails aimed at promoting your virtual summit and send them to your email list. If you don’t have an email list yet, it might be a good idea to partner with other players in your industry who can market your live summit to their email lists.

Finally, if you have the budget for it, you can run some paid social media ads to create awareness about your virtual summit and get people to register.

Step Six: Monetize Your Virtual Summit

If you want people to attend your virtual summit, we recommend allowing people to attend the summit for free, but for a limited time, say 24 or 48 hours.

Once this period is over, you can then charge people for an all-access pass that will give them lifetime access to all the summit content. This is the most popular strategy for monetizing a virtual summit.

Other strategies you can use to make money from your virtual summit include promoting affiliate products during the summit, getting brands and corporates to sponsor your virtual summit, selling your own products and services during the summit, selling your coaching and consultancy services, and so on.

11. Sell Print-On-Demand Posters, Greetings Cards, and T-Shirts

Selling print-on-demand items is a great idea for a home-based business that takes very little of your time and effort and does not require much money to start.

The print-on-demand business model involves two key steps. The first one is  coming up with creative designs to be printed on items like posters, t-shirts, caps, sweatshirts, greetings cards, mugs, and so on. 

Once a customer orders an item with the design, you forward the order and artwork to your print-on-demand (POD) provider, who then prints the design on the item and ships it to your customer.

The best part about a POD business is that once you’ve created a design, it will keep earning you money, since you’ll keep selling the design multiple times.

If you love the idea of selling print-on-demand items, here’s how you can get started…

Step One: Pick Your Niche

There is a lot of competition in the POD market. If you want to set yourself apart from the competition, the best approach is to focus on a specific niche that you are both knowledgeable and passionate about.

If you love mountain biking, for instance, you could focus your designs on the mountain biking subculture. If you love basketball, you can come up with designs related to basketball.

Don’t just pick a niche because you’re passionate about it, however. Before settling on a niche, do some online research and determine whether there are other people interested in the niche. Are there any online communities around this topic? Are there any people searching for this topic on Google?

Once you’ve confirmed that there is demand for the topic, the next thing you need to do is to decide what items you’re going to focus on – mugs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, pillow cases, phone covers, and so on.

Step Two: Create Your Designs

The second step is to come up with some designs that you’re going to sell. If you have some design skills, this is something you can do by yourself. You can do this using software like Canva, Adobe Illustrator, or CorelDraw.

If you are not skilled in design, you can hire a designer to create some designs for you for cheap on freelancing websites like Upwork and Fiverr.

Step Three: Create Your Website

In order to showcase and sell your custom designs, you are going to need a website. Fortunately, you can easily set up a website within a day or two.

The first thing you need to do is register a domain name for your website, get a web hosting provider, and then set up an online store to sell your custom designs. You can easily set up a store on your website using ecommerce plugins like WooCommerce or Shopify.

Step Four: Pick Your POD Platform

As a POD seller, you’ll be outsourcing the printing and shipping aspects of your business to your POD provider. 

Therefore, you’ll need to pick a reliable POD platform that will guarantee you high quality printing on high quality products, as well as timely and well-organized shipping – you don’t want your customers complaining about wrong orders every day.

When picking your POD platform, you’ll also need to think about the products you’re selling. Some POD providers print on all kinds of products, while others only focus on one type of product, such as t-shirts, mugs, phone covers, and so on.

Some great POD platforms you might want to consider for your POD business include Printful, Printify, TeeSpring, and RedBubble.

Step Five: Market Your Designs

Once you’ve set up your store, chosen a reliable POD and put up your designs on your website, it’s now time to aggressively promote your designs and attract customers.

The best way to promote your POD business is to share your designs on social media, especially on visual-oriented social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Join online communities around your niche and start marketing in them too.

If you have the budget for it, you can also invest in paid ads on Facebook and Instagram. This will increase your reach and put your designs in front of a highly targeted audience, leading to increased sales.

12. Write And Sell eBooks

Writing and selling eBooks is one of the best low budget business ideas that can potentially earn you lots of money. 

It is possible to write and sell eBooks without spending a dime, yet selling eBooks can be a very lucrative business. It is estimated that the eBook market will be worth $28.73 billion by 2026.The best part about writing and selling eBooks is that just about anybody can do it. Below are the steps you need to follow to make money writing and selling eBooks…

The first step to making money with eBooks is to make sure that you pick interesting and popular topics to write about. Question is, how do you tell what topics are popular?

One of the best ways to identify popular eBook topics is to go to eBook platforms like Amazon Kindle Store or Payhip and look at their best selling lists. This will give you an idea about topics that are in high demand.

Examples of popular topics that tend to do well include romance and erotic fiction, self-improvement, business and finance, health, fitness, and diet, parenting and relationships, religion and spirituality, crafts and hobbies, and so on.

Step Two: Write A High Quality eBook

Once you’ve identified a popular and interesting topic, the next step is to start writing your book. 

Start by doing lots of research about the topic, come up with an outline for your eBook, and then move to the actual writing. Here, you want to come up with the most interesting and informative book possible.

If you don’t have the time or the skill to write a great eBook, you can easily find an affordable ghostwriter on freelancing sites like Upwork to write your eBook for you.

Once the initial draft of your eBook is complete, spend some time proofreading and editing it until you are confident about the quality of the book. You can use software tools like Grammarly to help you with proofreading and editing.

Step Three: Publish And Market Your eBook

With the writing and editing part complete, you can now publish your eBook on various eBook platforms and start making sales. 

Some of the best platforms for selling your eBook include Amazon Kindle Store, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, E-junkie, Selz.com, Payhip.com, and Blurb.com.

Putting up your eBook for sale on these platforms will give your eBook exposure to the millions of customers who use these platforms. However, there are many other publishers selling their eBooks on these platforms, and therefore, if you want to stand out of the crowd and make lots of sales, you have to put some effort into marketing your eBook.

Promote your eBook to your followers on social media, on your website or blog, and through automated email campaigns. If you have the budget for it, you can also promote your eBook using paid ads.

Step Four: Publish More Books

For famous people like Former President Barack Obama or Media Mogul Oprah Winfrey, making millions of dollars from a single book is very easy. 

For ordinary guys like you and me, however, this is unlikely to happen. If you want to rake in the big bucks from selling eBooks, you have to write and publish a series of eBooks.

Publishing multiple eBooks has multiple advantages. First, it cements your credibility as an author and as an authority in your industry. Second, it helps you build a loyal audience. Finally, with more eBooks to sell and more options for your audience, you are likely to make more money.

Therefore, don’t sit back after publishing your first eBook. Publish another, then another, and keep going. As your eBook portfolio keeps growing, so will your earning potential.

13. Launch An Exclusive Newsletter

Building an exclusive newsletter is a great side business idea that anyone can start. The idea behind an exclusive newsletter business is pretty simple – create great newsletter content, get people to subscribe to your newsletter, and then figure out how you can monetize this audience.

Despite its simplicity, running an exclusive newsletter can be a very lucrative way of making money online. For instance, in its first year as a premium newsletter, Advisorator earned Jared Newman, its founder, over $12,000.

There are a couple of reasons why email newsletters offer such a huge opportunity. The first one is the high level of email usage. 

There are over 3.9 billion email users (about half the world’s population), with over 306 billion emails sent every day. It is estimated that by 2025, more than 376 billion emails will be sent daily. 

Number of sent and received emails per day worldwide
Source: Statista

In addition, email delivers higher read rates and click through rates compared to other channels, including social media

When you combine these two facts, it immediately becomes clear why running an exclusive email newsletter is such a good business idea.

So, how do you launch an exclusive newsletter? Here’s what you need to do…

Step One: Pick Your Niche

If you want to build an exclusive newsletter that is capable of generating an income for you, you have to stick to a specific niche.

A general newsletter that shares random content will have a hard time attracting enough subscribers. When you stick to a specific niche, however, it becomes easier to attract people who are interested in that niche. Such people will appreciate getting regular updates about this niche, leading to more subscriptions.

Once you’ve identified your niche, the next thing you need to do is figure out how to use your newsletter to deliver value within this niche. 

You can do this by providing exclusive content that people can’t find elsewhere, sharing educational content that makes an impact on your subscribers’ lives, filling a content gap, giving a unique perspective on things, or even providing entertainment.

Step Two: Create A Landing Page

In order for people to subscribe to your newsletter, you need a page for them to collect their names and email addresses. This is known as a landing page.

A landing page is a simple web page whose sole purpose is to get people to subscribe to your newsletter. Therefore, the content on your landing page should communicate what value people will get from your newsletter. 

The landing page will also have a form for your visitors to enter their name and email addresses.

Here’s an example showing the landing page for The Hustle.

The Hustle is an example of the landing page

To build your landing page, all you need to do is get a hosting package from Bluehost, get an elegant landing page WordPress theme from ThemeForest, and set up your landing page in a matter of minutes.

Step Three: Send High Value Newsletter Content

WIth your landing page up and already collecting emails, the next step is to start sending high value content to your subscribers on a regular basis. This could be daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, and so on.

The key thing here is to make sure all your content is highly relevant to your niche, and highly valuable. Constantly providing your subscribers with valuable content will allow you to build trust with them, which will in turn make it easier for you to monetize your list.

To create beautifully designed email newsletters and distribute them to your subscribers, you’ll need an email marketing tool. For this, we recommend ConvertKit or Constant Contact, which are some of the best email marketing platforms in the market.

Step Four: Monetize Your Subscribers

Once you attract a decent number of subscribers to your exclusive newsletter, it’s now time to start monetizing your newsletter. There are several strategies you can use to monetize your exclusive newsletter. Here are a few…

  • Charging for membership: For newsletters that provide highly valuable content that is not available elsewhere, you can make money by charging people to sign up to your newsletter. This is exactly what Advisorator does.
  • Affiliate marketing: Since you already have an engaged audience, you can recommend products to this audience and earn a commission whenever someone you’ve referred makes a purchase. For this to work, however, you should always recommend high quality products that are highly relevant to your niche and your audience.
  • Selling ads: A lot of marketers and brands would be willing to pay you to put their products and services in front of your newsletter audience. All you need to do is find marketers with products that are relevant to your niche, and charge them a fee to have their products featured in your newsletter.
  • Selling your own products: If the idea of selling other people’s products doesn’t appeal to you, you can still make money selling your own products. Simply create relevant digital products like eBooks and videos and promote them to your audience. Since they already trust you and love your content, it will be quite easy getting them to purchase your products.

14. Sell Handcrafted And Homemade Goods

There are people who enjoy making things with their hands – knitting scarves, making picture frames out of scrap wood, carving animals and figurines out of wood, making decorative wine glasses, and so on.

If you’re such a person who enjoys making things with your hands, you can turn your hobby into a business and earn good money from it.

According to Statista, sellers made over $10 billion USD on Etsy – a marketplace for handmade items and crafts – in 2020, up from just $314 million in 2010. 

Annual gross merchandise sales (GMS)
Source: Statista

This shows that the demand for handcrafted goods is growing rapidly, and by turning your love for making crafts into a business, you can cash in on the trend. So, how do you make money selling handcrafted and homemade goods?

Step One: Determine What You Are Going To Sell

Generally, the best way to determine what handcrafted goods you’re going to sell is to follow your passion. What do you enjoy making? 

If you enjoy building car models out of wire, for instance, you’ll be better off selling your wire car models than trying to sell hand-woven baskets, which you have no passion for.

Before you go all in and start investing in your new handcrafted business, however, do some market research to make sure that there are people willing to buy your crafts.

Step Two: Make Your Crafts

Once you’re certain that there is a market for your handcrafted and homemade goods, you can go ahead and make a couple of your crafts. You can even start with as little as 5 to 10 pieces.

One important thing to keep in mind here is quality. Since people are going to be paying for your crafts, you should focus on making your crafts to the highest possible quality.

Step Three: Price Your Crafts Correctly

Making items by hand is not easy, and therefore, you want to make sure that your crafts are appropriately priced to warrant the effort you put into making them.

Think about the time you spend on making each item, as well as the cost of all the material used to produce the item. Once you’ve figured out the cost of producing each item, then add a markup, which is going to be your profit.

Step Four: Start Selling Your Crafts

You have two options when it comes to selling your handcrafted goods. The first is setting up your own ecommerce website. 

This will require some upfront investment to build the website, and you’ll also need to put a lot of effort into marketing your website to attract buyers.

The second option is to list your crafts on marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon Handmade. With this option, there is no upfront investment, and you benefit from the large traffic of potential customers that the marketplaces attract.

Step Five: Focus On Building A Brand

If you want to consistently make money from selling your handcrafted goods, focus on building a brand. 

Design a logo for your handcrafted goods business, come up with brand values and a brand story, label your handcrafted goods with your logo, create branded packaging for your handcrafted goods, and so on.

The idea here is to create a brand that people want to be associated with. The more you build your brand, the easier it will become for you to attract people to buy your handcrafted products.

15. Become A Virtual Assistant

Busy entrepreneurs who do not have the financial muscle to hire full-time assistants often turn to virtual assistants to help them run their businesses. 

If you have great organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills, as well as a solid understanding of the internet, you can build a successful business as a virtual assistant.

As a virtual assistant, your job is to help your clients manage the day to day running of their businesses. 

Depending on your client, some of the tasks you might be required to handle as a virtual assistant include managing your client’s social media profiles, communicating with their clients, booking flights, writing emails, and so on.

The best thing about this side business idea is that you can become a virtual assistant even if you don't have any capital. In addition, you don’t need any advanced skills and or special qualifications to become a virtual assistant.

To become a virtual assistant, you need to…

Step One: Decide What Service You’re Going To Offer

If you want to command higher rates for your virtual assistance services and get more clients, it is advisable to specialize in one or two facets of virtual assistance, rather than trying to do everything under the sun.

Some of the services you could offer as a virtual assistant include administrative support, customer service, website and blog management, social media management, finance management, online marketing, email management, and so on.

Step Two: Set Your VA Prices

After you’ve decided on the services you’re going to offer as a virtual assistant, the next step is to determine what you’re going to charge for your services. 

When setting your price, think about the kind of service you’re offering, your level of experience and expertise, as well as the value and impact of your services to your clients.

You’ll also need to keep in mind your costs, such as internet costs, website costs, software subscriptions, and so on.

Step Three: Build An Online Presence

As a virtual assistant, you’ll be working for your clients remotely, which means you’ll also be getting most of your clients over the internet. Therefore, having an online presence is very crucial – this is how your clients are going to find you.

Start by building a website to advertise your VA services, set up and optimize your LinkedIn profile, and set up professional social media profiles.

Step Four: Start Looking For Clients

With your website and social media profiles in place, you can now start marketing your services and looking for clients. 

This can be a bit daunting at first, but as you continue marketing yourself and building your personal brand, it will become easier for you to land clients.

Another easy way to land your first few VA clients is to sign up on freelancing platforms like Upwork, FlexJobs, and Zirtual and look for clients who’re searching for a virtual assistant.

16. Develop And Market WordPress Plugins

If you know your way around WordPress and have some technical know-how, you can make money developing and selling WordPress plugins. 

WordPress plugins are small bits of software that run on the WordPress ecosystem to extend the functionality of websites.

To make money developing and selling WordPress plugins, here are the steps you need to follow:

Step One: Come Up With A Good Plugin Idea

The first step to making money with WordPress plugins is to come up with ideas for a great WordPress plugin. However, not every plugin idea will work – there are lots of plugins that have never made a single sale.

If you want your plugin to make money, it needs to solve a problem for WordPress users, and it needs to be unique. If your plugin solves a problem, but there are other similar plugins solving the same problem for free, you’ll have a hard time making sales.

A good way to come up with great plugin ideas is to take a look at existing, well-performing plugins, go through their reviews to see if users have any complaints about the plugin, then develop a new, improved plugin that solves the problems of the other plugin.

Step Two: Develop Your Plugin

Having decided on the plugin you’re going to create, it’s now time to get into the actual development. 

If you have some coding skills, you can build the plugin by yourself. If you have basic PHP knowledge, you have the skills necessary to build a basic WordPress plugin.

If you don’t have any coding skills, you can still make money developing and marketing WordPress plugins. However, you’ll have to hire someone to build your plugin. You can easily find affordable developers on sites like Upwork, TopTal, Codeable, and WPHired.

Step Three: Decide On Your Business Model

There are several business models that you can use to market and sell your WordPress plugin. Your chosen business model is going to affect how much money you’re going to make from your plugin, as well as the ease with which you’ll be able to attract buyers for your plugin.

Examples of business models you can use include the freemium model (having both free and premium versions of your plugin), the premium only model, the add-on model, the membership model, the SaaS model, and so on.

Step Four: Put Your Plugin Up For Sale

At this point, you have a ready plugin, and you’ve determined the most suitable business model for selling the plugin. It’s now time to make your WordPress plugin available for people to buy. Here, you have two options.

The first option is to sell your WordPress plugin on your own website. This option gives you total control over your customer experience, and you don’t have to share your profits with anyone.

On the flipside, however, you’ll have to put a lot of effort into marketing your plugin and driving traffic to your website. This can easily get very expensive. In addition, you’ll also be responsible for software licensing for your WordPress plugin.

The second option is to use a WordPress plugins marketplace such as CodeCanyon, Mojo Marketplace, or Codester.

Marketplaces already have lots of people looking for plugins, which makes it easier for you to find buyers for your new plugin. The marketplace will also handle things like software licensing for you. The only tradeoff is that they’ll take a share of your earnings.

Step Five: Promote Your WordPress Plugin

Whether you’ve decided to sell your WordPress plugin on a marketplace or on your own website, you have to promote the plugin if you want to attract lots of buyers.

Some of the things you can do to promote your WordPress plugin include making sure that your plugin listing is well optimized for search (both on your website and on the plugin marketplace), creating YouTube videos showing people how your plugin works, promoting the plugin on social media, and so on.

17. Buy And Sell Domain Names

Buying and selling domain names is a low-budget business idea that can easily make good money for you. 

You can buy a domain name for as little as $10, and sell it for thousands of dollars, and sometimes even millions

Yes, some of the most expensive domain names sold for hundreds of millions of dollars, with the most expensive domain, business.com, reportedly sold for $345 million.

Buying and selling domain names is a very simple business, but it needs lots of research and dedication if you want to make the big bucks. Making money buying and selling domain names involves just two steps…

Step One: Find High-Value Domain Names And Buy Them

The key to making money from buying and selling domain names lies in knowing how to identify high-value domain names.

Identifying high-value domains will require lots of research, good knowledge of the industry you are targeting, and sometimes, good old fashioned luck. 

That said, there are some general rules of thumb that can help choose a high value domain. These include…

  • Go for generic domain names that describe a product, service, or industry, such as hotels.com, business.com or cars.com
  • Geographic names, such as names of countries, states, and cities often attract lots of demand from people looking to build businesses and websites centered around these locations. For instance, LasVegas.com reportedly sold for $90 million in 2005.
  • Domains featuring the names of professions, such as realtor, dentist, or advocate can be great investments, especially when coupled with a geographic name.
  • Combining time-related domain names with an event occurring within that period can also be a great investment. For instance, since the 2028 Olympics will be happening in Los Angeles, you could buy the losangeles2028.com domain in the hope of selling it as the 2028 Olympics approach.

Step Two: Sell Your High Value Domain Name

Once you’ve identified and purchased a high value domain name, the next step is to find someone to buy the domain.

Some of the ways through which you can find interested buyers for your domain include…

  • Putting up the domain for sale on domain flipping sites like Flippa
  • Reaching out directly to people who might be interested in purchasing the domain
  • Making your WhoIs information public
  • Setting up a landing page on the domain advertising that it is up for sale.

So, how do you determine how much to sell your high value domain for?

If you are confident that your domain will command high prices and are in no rush to sell the domain, you can set your price and wait for a buyer who is willing to meet your price.

If you have a domain that is attracting a lot of interest and want to get the best possible price for the domain, your best option is to hold a domain auction.

If you have what you believe is a great domain, but do not have an accurate way of determining its value, you can ask interested parties to make their offers. This works best for niche domains.

To make money buying and selling domains, you only need to make sure that your selling price is significantly higher than what you paid for the domain.

18. Start An Event Planning Business

If you have some experience in the events and meetings industry, or if you’re just good at planning and organizing events, you can turn your expertise into a lucrative event planning business. 

Projections by Statista show that the events planning industry was set to hit the $4.91 billion mark in 2021. 

Market size of the party and event planner sector in the United States
Source: Statista

If you have a passion for event planning, here’s what you can do to start your own event planning business.

Step One: Understand The Requirements Of The Job

For someone who’s never been involved in event planning before, it’s easy to assume that being an event planner is all glitz and glamour. However, there is a lot of grueling work that goes on behind the scenes.

Before starting your own event planning business, therefore, it is important to first understand what the job involves.

Some of the things you’ll be required to do as an event planner include coming up with themes for events, organizing for entertainment, booking venues, finding vendors, decorating the venue, managing and coordinating staff and subcontractors, sending out invites, and so on.

Some of the skills you need to be successful as an event planner include attention to details, exceptional organizational skills, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and a propensity for problem solving.

Step Two: Pick A Niche

If you want to quickly build your brand, attract clients and command higher prices, you’ll be better off focusing on a particular niche, instead of trying to plan and manage all sorts of events. 

By focusing on a specific niche, it becomes easier to set yourself apart from the competition and showcase your expertise.

Some of the event niches you could focus on include association events, government events, corporate events, non-profit events, private social events, and so on.

Depending on your skills and the size of the market, you can even narrow down within these niches. For instance, instead of handling all private social events, you could focus solely on weddings.

Step Three: Create A Business Plan

It is possible to wing it and go into business, but if you want to boost your chances of success, it is important to write a business plan to guide you as you start your event planning business.

Some of the things you should cover in your business plan include your services, your goals – both short term and long term, what sets your event planning business apart from the competition, your target market, how you’ll fund your business, and so on.

Step Four: Build A Network Of Staffers And Suppliers

Holding a successful event requires lots of suppliers – florists, décor agencies, caterers, entertainers, photographers, and so on.

When you are starting out, it will be very difficult to provide all these services by yourself, so it is important to take some time and build a network of suppliers you can collaborate with whenever you have an event.

Step Five: Launch And Market Your Business

By this point, with all the backend stuff sorted out, you are ready to take on your first client. What you need to do now is launch your business and go on an aggressive marketing campaign to build awareness about your new business and attract your first clients.

Some of the things you can do to market your new event planning business include building a blog and ensuring it is well optimized for search, marketing your business on social media, running paid ads on Google, networking with other suppliers and vendors within your niche, and so on.

19. Fill Out Paid Online Surveys

Another easy way to earn money online is to take paid online surveys, which pay you for sharing your opinion on various topics.

At this point, you’re probably wondering, why would anyone pay you to take online surveys?

Companies and brands often want to get the opinions of consumers regarding their products or their industry, which helps them develop new or better products and come up with better marketing strategies.

These companies and brands pay survey companies to help them get this information. The survey companies then pay you to complete the surveys and give your honest feedback.

Now, you won’t make enough from taking online surveys to quit your job or pay for your dream vacation, but taking surveys is still a great way to make some money in your spare time. 

The best part is that you don’t need any money to get started. You only need access to an internet connection. You can even take paid surveys on your phone.

Below are some of the best and legitimate online survey sites that you can join to make some money filling out paid surveys.

  • Swagbucks: This is the most popular online survey site, with legitimate surveys that pay well. The average payout per survey on Swagbucks is $0.50 to $5, while a survey takes anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes. You also get a $10 bonus on sign up. The minimum cash out amount on Swagbucks is $3.
  • InboxDollars: Just like Swagbucks, InboxDollars pays an average of $0.5 to $5 per survey, with most surveys taking between 5 to 30 minutes. InboxDollars offers a $5 sign up bonus, while the minimum cash out amount is $10.
  • MyPoints: MyPoints offers you points for completing surveys and shopping from specific stores. The points can then be converted to cash or gift cards. The average payout per survey on MyPoints is $0.25 to $3, with each survey taking about 5 to 30 minutes on average. The sign up bonus on MyPoints is $10.
  • Survey Junkie: Survey Junkie pays an average of $0.20 to $5.00 per survey, with each survey taking between 10 to 30 minutes. The sign up bonus on Survey Junkie is $0.25, which is lower than the other sites. The minimum cash out amount on Survey Junkie is $10. 
  • SurveySavvy: With an average of just $0.15 to $0.5 per survey, SurveySavvy pays a lot less compared to the other online survey sites covered in this list. SurveySavvy also doesn’t offer any signup bonus. Each survey takes about 10 to 30 minutes, while the minimum cash out amount is just $1.

20. Make Money As A Stock Photographer

If you have good photography skills, selling your photos on stock photo sites is a great way to earn some residual income. 

Making money as a stock photographer involves submitting your photos on stock photography sites and getting paid every time one of your photos is sold.

To make money as a stock photographer, you need to…

1. Understand Your Customers’ Needs

If you want people to buy your photos, you need to take photos that capture what potential customers are looking for. 

Some examples of themes and concepts that stock photography buyers commonly look for include trust, teamwork, happiness, health and fitness, family, performance, work, reliability, quality, and so on.

Fortunately, most stock photo sites have regularly updated lists explaining the most requested photo content on these sites. Checking these lists can help you come up with the right kind of photos that are more likely to attract buyers. 

Examples of such lists include GettyImages’ Creative Insights, and Shutterstock’s Shot List.

2. Take High Quality Photos

There are a lot of photographers submitting their photos to stock photo sites. Therefore, if you want your photos to stand out, you have to make sure that they are of exceptionally good quality. Actually, most stock photo sites will not accept low quality photos.

To achieve the high photo quality required for success on stock photo sites, make sure your main subject is in sharp focus, make sure the photos are correctly exposed, and most importantly, make sure they are well composed.

3. Edit And Catalogue Your Photos

After taking your photos, you’ll also need to enhance the photos and further improve their quality through editing. Editing can be done using photo editors like Adobe Lightroom, Skylum Luminar, and Affinity Photo.

4. Submit Your Photos To Stock Photography Sites

Once you’re confident that your photos look amazing, you can then go ahead and submit them to a stock photography platform of your choice. 

Examples of good stock photography sites include Dreamstime, Shutterstock, GettyImages, Alamy, Adobe Stock, and DepositPhotos.

When submitting your photos, make sure to use appropriate titles with the right keywords that aptly describe what the photo is about, as well as the right captions. These will make your photos easier to find, translating to higher chances of selling.

While selling photos on stock photography will not make you rich, it is a great way to earn money passively and supplement your income.

21. Rent Apartments On Airbnb

Today, more and more people are opting to stay in Airbnb apartments when travelling, compared to staying in hotels, which can be expensive, or hostels, which can be very uncomfortable. You can cash in on this trend and increase your passive income streams by renting out apartments on Airbnb.

To start earning money by renting out apartments on Airbnb, here’s what you need to do…

Step One: Find A Space To Rent Out

If you have extra space in your house, or if you spend a lot of time traveling, you can easily make money by allowing Airbnb guests to stay in your house.

Even if you don’t have extra space in your house, it is still possible to make money on Airbnb. 

All you need to do is find an apartment to rent in a suitable place and furnish it with all the furniture and appliances necessary for a comfortable stay, as well as some nice decorations to make the space appealing to potential guests.

Step Two: Create An Eye-Catching Airbnb Listing

Once you’ve gotten a space to rent out and prepared it for guests, the next step is to list your space on Airbnb. 

It’s good to note that there are lots of other people listing their apartments on Airbnb, and therefore, if you want to catch the attention of potential guests, you have to make sure that your listing is powerful and eye-catching.

To optimize your Airbnb listing and ensure your apartment stands out from the crowd, you’ll need to…

  • Create a captivating headline that will quickly grab the attention of potential guests and entice them to check out your apartment.
  • Take high quality photos that showcase the best aspects of your Airbnb apartment.
  • Come up with a detailed description of your apartment, including all the amenities and other features that make your apartment attractive.

Step Three: Set Great Prices

How you price your Airbnb apartment will have a huge impact on your ability to make money. 

If your prices are too expensive, you’ll push away guests. If your prices are too low, on the other hand, you might not be able to make any significant profits.

When setting your prices, it is important to think about your operating costs, such as the Airbnb host fees, apartment maintenance fees, turn fees for provisions like toilet paper and soap, insurance fees, taxes, regulatory licensing fees, and so on.

It is also a good idea to research your competitors and make sure that your apartment is reasonably priced compared to other apartments with similar features and amenities. You should also keep in mind the occupancy rate, since your apartment won’t be occupied at all times.

Step Four: Become An Airbnb Superhost

If you want to make good money renting apartments on Airbnb, you have to work on becoming an Airbnb Superhost. 

The beauty of being designated as a Superhost is that your apartment will be given more visibility on the Airbnb platform.

Some of the things you need to do to become an Airbnb Superhost include…

  • Make sure your apartment is booked for more than 100 nights in a calendar year
  • Keep your cancellation rate below 1%
  • Maintain a response rate of at least 90%. This means that you need to respond to most guest messages within 24 hours.
  • Work on getting as many five-star reviews as you can

After you become listed as Airbnb Superhost, your Airbnb apartment will attract more bookings, leading to more money for you. 

Once you start making good money with your first Airbnb apartment, you can then find another apartment to rent out, repeat the whole process, and make even more money.

Small Business Ideas Checklist

We have provided you with an extensive list of small business ideas, but not all of them will be suitable for you. To determine whether a small business idea is suitable for you, you need to ask yourself the following questions…

Does the small business idea match your skills?

Most small businesses will require direct personal involvement, so it is important to make sure that the business you want to start matches your skill set. 

For instance, if you want to start a podcast, but you are not an engaging conversationalist, it will be very difficult for you to build a successful podcast.

If you’re greatly interested in starting a specific small business, but you don’t have the skills required to succeed in this line of business, spend some time acquiring the skill first before starting the business.

Take some online courses, or have someone who’s already in that line of business take you under their wing as an apprentice until you have more than basic mastery of the skill. Only then should you consider starting your own business in that field.

Is the business a good fit for your personality?

Your personality plays a huge role in determining your chances of success in business. Fortunately, different businesses are suited for people with different types of personalities.

If you want to achieve success with your new business, it is important to make sure that the business you want to start is a good fit for your personality type.

For instance, an event planning business is best for people with an outgoing personality, people who love to interact with others, and people who know how to keep things running in high pressure situations. 

If you’re an introvert who shudders at the thought of interacting with people, this might not be the best small business for you.

We therefore recommend taking the time to evaluate the needs and requirements of the small business idea you have in mind and determining whether they will bode well with your personality. If not, you’re better off finding another business idea.

Are startup costs within your budget?

While many of the business ideas we’ve shared in this article are low budget business ideas, some of them will require some amount of capital.

For instance, if you want to develop and market WordPress plugins, but do not have the technical expertise to build plugins by yourself, you’ll need money to hire a developer. On top of that, you might also need money to run paid ads for your plugin. Do you have the budget for this?

Even if you do not have the capital costs to start your dream small business, it is still possible to start your business using borrowed money.

Note, however, that a new business will sometimes take months before it becomes profitable. Will you be able to pay back the borrowed money if your new business takes a while to become profitable? If not, it might not be a good idea to go ahead with the business.

Can you offer a superior value proposition?

Your value proposition is what sets your business apart from the competition; it is your competitive edge, the unique value that customers can only get from your business.

Before starting a new business, ask yourself what your value proposition is, and whether it is superior to what your competitors are offering. If not, you stand no chance against the competition.

If your business does not offer a superior value proposition, don’t launch the business. Instead, go back to your business plan, refine it, and figure out what you can do better than your competition.

Do you know who your target customers are?

Even more important than your product and services are your target customers. You might have what you think are the greatest products, but if they are not solving a problem for your target customers, no one will pay for them.

Before launching your business, therefore, before you even define your product or service offering, take the time to understand your target customers. 

Who are they? What is the best way of reaching out to them? What are the biggest problems they are facing? What is the best way of solving their problems? Are they willing to pay for your solution, and can they afford your solution?

Once you have a thorough understanding of who you’re selling to, it becomes a lot easier to build a successful business, because you know exactly what your customers need, as well as the best way to market to them.

Best Small Business Ideas FAQ

What are the most lucrative home based business ideas?

Some of the most lucrative home based business ideas include creating and selling online courses, launching a high end blog, starting an online store, running free and paid webinars, providing actionable coaching services, organizing virtual summits, offering high ticket consulting and freelancing services, becoming a virtual assistant, and launching a high end newsletter.

What are the best side businesses to start?

The best side business to start will vary from one person to the next. Generally, a good side business should be one in a field you have some knowledge and skills in or can learn quickly, one that does not take too much of your time (allowing you to do it on the side), one that you are passionate about, and one that brings in enough additional income to warrant spending time on it.

Some examples of good side businesses you can start include starting a blog, starting an online store, writing and selling eBooks, launching your own podcast show, becoming a social media influencer, creating and selling printables, buying and selling domains, and so on.

Which small business ideas earn me passive income?

There are several small business ideas that can help you earn passive income, such as blogging, creating and selling online courses, selling print-on-demand posters, t-shirts, and greetings cards, selling stock photography, renting apartments on Airbnb, developing and marketing WordPress plugins, writing and selling eBooks, and so on.

Which small business ideas help me earn money fast?

While many businesses take a while before you can start earning money, there are some small business ideas that allow you to start earning money fast, sometimes within a day of getting started.

Examples of such small business ideas include offering high-ticket freelancing services, starting your own online store, becoming a social media influencer, creating and selling print on demand items, becoming a virtual assistant, filling out paid surveys, and so on.

What are the best startup ideas?

The best startup ideas are those that do not require a lot of capital, those that are highly scalable, and those that allow you to continue earning money long after you’ve done the work.

Examples of such businesses include running your own high end blog, launching your online store, becoming a high ticket freelancer or consultant, launching your own podcast show, selling printables, selling online courses, providing actionable coaching advice, writing and selling eBooks, launching an exclusive newsletter, becoming a virtual assistant, and so on.

What side hustles don’t require any technical skills?

There are several side hustles that just anyone can start, without the need for any technical skills and expertise.

Examples of such side hustles include creating and selling online courses, selling eBooks, selling virtual assistant services, running an online store, running a podcast, organizing live summits, hosting free and paid webinars, selling your coaching services, creating and selling printables, running an exclusive newsletter, flipping domains, filling out paid surveys, renting apartments on Airbnb, and so on.

Read To Start Your Own Lucrative Small Business With Less Than $500?

Starting your own lucrative small businesses doesn’t need thousands of dollars in capital or fancy business certificates and qualifications. 

In this article, we’ve taken you through 21 small business ideas that anyone can start in 2021 and make money with – even if you have less than $500 to invest in the business.

All you need to do now is to identify which of these businesses works best for you based on your skills, personality, and budget and start building your business. The most important thing is to start taking action today.

All the best as you set out to build your own small business, and be sure to check out our list of the 104 best business books for entrepreneurs.

Martin Luenendonk

Editor at FounderJar

Martin loves entrepreneurship and has helped dozens of entrepreneurs by validating the business idea, finding scalable customer acquisition channels, and building a data-driven organization. During his time working in investment banking, tech startups, and industry-leading companies he gained extensive knowledge in using different software tools to optimize business processes.

This insights and his love for researching SaaS products enables him to provide in-depth, fact-based software reviews to enable software buyers make better decisions.