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11 Online Business Ideas

Armed with just a bit of research and some experience, you can get started building an online business today. In fact, global ecommerce sales are expected to reach 4.8 trillion by 2021. Want to get in on the action? Here are a few ideas we’ve collected, as well as some tips and tricks for you to keep in mind.

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Freelance Writer

Freelance writers spend their time writing articles, blogs, or additional forms of marketing copy. You’re the voice of a company’s creative communications. With a few clients in your portfolio, you should be able to start monetizing your writing and eventually offer consulting or featured article writing.

Blogger

As a blogger, you perform many of the same functions as a freelancer writer, but you might actually have your own blogging platform. You may need to create your own blog website, but once you’re finished you can simply write, post, and share your content. Bloggers tend to fall into specific niches, acting as part- or full-time influencers as well.

Influencer

As an influencer, you partner with brands or companies and show off their products and/or services to their audience. Contrary to popular belief, to succeed as an influencer one does not need to be famous! Find your niche, and start building a following. You can even open an online store and resell products.

Dropshipper

Got marketing chops? Consider dropshipping, a method of e-commerce. It’s perfect if you don’t have space, big budget, or can’t decide what to sell.

Photographer

You do not need specialized equipment to be a photographer! Nowadays if you are able to create compelling photos with your smartphone. If you spend some time and money getting familiar with photo-editing software, you can even market yourself as an e-commerce photographer.

Got a T-shirt idea? What about a mug? There are plenty of online print-on-demand stores that allow you to upload designs for your art. If your design is catchy, witty, or marketed correctly, it could even go viral, resulting in loads of sales.

Graphic Designer

If you have some graphic design skills, consider monetizing them by creating prints, web graphics, or even provide services to companies and agencies. To sell even more, make sure you set up an online store for physical and digital goods.

E-commerce Store Owner

An e-commerce store can be a lucrative business. Once you’ve decided which products you’d like to sell, you only need to follow a few steps in order to get a site up and running. It’s fast, easy, and we offer a free trial so you can get started right away.

Digital Marketer

Like social media, content, mobile networks and search engines? Then a digital marketing business might be for you. Digital marketing can be a great business idea, as many of the tools used are free, but it is not easy. Creating a great strategy takes time and thought, but you can learn more here.

Podcaster

Podcasters record Even if you do not have audio experience, you can invest in a microphone and some sound-buffering technology to create a decent home-recording environment. Once you’re home-studio is set up, get to work. Once you build a following, you can start to run ads as well as sell and provide goods to your listeners.

eBook Author/Consultant

If you have experiences or expertise, consider compiling your thoughts into an eBook. Or, if you are a writer, consider offering your skills to people who want to self-publish. A form of digital content, eBooks can be bought and sold on online marketplaces. Shorter-form eBook content can also be used to help companies achieve their digital marketing goals!

Put Your Research to the Test

Got an idea of what you’d like to do? Great! Now take that list and figure out which ones are the best fit. You might need to work another job or stay at your current job in order to offset the initial investment costs of your first business. Our goal is to help you learn where to go next! Here are a few questions to consider as you choose your small business.

Does this job complement my skills? Discover what you’re good at. Don’t be hard on yourself. Think generally. Make a list of everything you can think of. Then, divide the list into hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are your experience and potential technical knowledge.

Do you have a background in finance? Marketing? What about dropshipping? Can you learn something new online, and implement that into your skillset? Or, are there business ideas that require too much learning? You don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Soft skills, on the other hand, are more related to your personality traits, like leadership, communication style, and time-management. Take a good look at this list, and narrow down your list of jobs.

Does this job complement my personality? Who are you as a person? Friendly? Prefer to stay home alone? Introverted? Extroverted? Do I like spending time alone working, or do I like working with a team or reaching out to my customers?

As building a business from scratch can be difficult, you want to make sure you are not burning yourself out on tasks and a job that is the complete opposite of how you function in your daily life. Some growing pains are necessary, but building a business for yourself should feel exciting at its best.

Is the overhead too high? You don’t want to invest all your available capital into your first business. Keep your investment low. This is a learning experience! Try to estimate what it might cost to launch your business. You might need to work extra hours or take on more projects at your current job to get the initial funds.

After you have your estimate, invest some of your money and test to make sure you are seeing positive ROI. For example, if you’re investing in marketing tools or graphic design software, are these providing enough value to you and your business to take on more clients? Or will you be worried each month when that recurring payment comes through your bank account?

What are others doing? Don’t compare yourself to others, but gauge the competition effectively so you can offer something more. Do your competitors offer great customer service? How is their SEO? What about their website design? Do they have highly-engaged social media pages? Additionally, do you have friends or associates in similar verticals? What’s their take on the state of the industry?

Whatever industry you decide, do research on your competitors -- large and small -- to know what you’re really getting yourself into. Whatever your goals, there’s no better way to learn how to create an online business than by getting started today. Happy selling!