Top 5 online business ideas you can start today

Groundbreaking digital business ideas have found their beginnings in humble garages, dorm rooms, and home offices.

Online business

Want to start an online business?

The internet has given wings to global entrepreneurial dreams.

Groundbreaking digital platforms have found their beginnings in humble garages, dorm rooms, and home offices. Think Facebook, Google, Snapchat, eBay.

Armed with no more than a vision and a computer, ambitious professionals are transforming their pioneering ideas into profitable firms.

There is no reason why you too cannot be one of those 69% of entrepreneurs who run a successful startup from the comforts of their couches.

The most bankable online businesses have high demand, a proven record of success, and long-term revenue prospects. Here are five such hot ideas that you can implement today:

a. eCommerce

Do you enjoy designing clothes, baking delicacies, crafting accessories, or building furniture? Dial E for eCommerce.

U.S. eCommerce sales topped 423 billion dollars in 2016 and is poised to enjoy “double digit growth” rates through 2020.  Mobile devices alone drives 50% of these sales in 2017.

The best part? You don’t require coding expertise to create profitable virtual establishments.

Affordable eCommerce platforms, like Shopify, have slashed the barriers of eCommerce entry by easing the process of designing moneymaking (and stunning) storefronts.

Heck, you don’t even need a physical (or digital) product to become an online merchant.

The Dropship model

Source: Oberlo

Dropshipping allows you to sell products — at desirable profit margins –without stocking them.

Simply import your preferred goods from a products marketplace like Oberlo into your online store and start selling instantly.  The suppliers take care of the logistics, and Oberlo pretty much automate your store.

The eCommerce industry is only going to get bigger and better. Grab your slice of this pie and make money sharing your incredible skills with the world.

b. Website Design

Where do prospective customers go to check out an online business? Their website.

This first impression better be the best impression.

When done right, the business’s website offers a significant competitive advantage. It can also become a small business’s most profitable marketing channel.

Marketing channels

Source: 2016 Small Business Marketing Report

Discerning users demand easy navigation, clean designs, personalized copy, mobile responsiveness, and fast loading times (A 1 sec increase in speed = 27% increase in conversions).

Websites that don’t measure up lose traffic, trust, search rankings, and sales.

Which is why businesses are eager to expand their web design budgets and pay big bucks to recruit the best in the field.

If you are an intuitive designer who knows how to create a customer-centric, clean, and high-converting website, this could be a fulfilling and fruitful full-time business.

Example: Dan Steiner of Elite Legal Marketing, a specialist in designing SEO-optimized, super-fast, user-friendly websites for law firms.

c. Freelance Content Services

More than 50 million freelancers are contributing over 700 billion dollars to the economy.

The freelance content services business, in particular, is a goldmine.

Freelance services

Source: Due

Studies indicate that prospects consume between 3-5 pieces of content, on an average, before making any decision.

Creating relevant, informative, beneficial, and credible content is critical to business success.

According to the 2017 B2B Content Marketing Benchmark, 70% of companies plan to publish more original content and 40% plan to increase their content spending over the next year.

Clearly, businesses are thirsty for – and willing to reward – freelance content providers who excel at crafting such persuasive (written or visual) material, including articles, infographics, videos, and newsletters (see below).

Content b2b marketing strategy

Source: 2017 B2B Content Marketing Benchmark Report

Outsourcing content creation results in a steady stream of unique material with half the effort for businesses. The result? Strengthened customer trust, search ranking, and revenue.

If you thrive on creativity, providing freelance content services can be your ticket to a prosperous career.

d. Business Coaching

People are different, but their desires are universal.

We all yearn for better health, less stress, more willpower, greater success, and increased happiness.

Business coaches offer an outside perspective and objective guidance to enhance “individual performance in a business context”.

They help release limiting beliefs, build leadership skills, set SMART goals,  provide clarity, manage distractions, reinforce professional relationships, and improve finances.

The most effective coaches undergo rigorous training — in some cases, 125 hours or more – to get certified in their chosen area of expertise (see below for common specialties/niches)

Global coaching study

Source: 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study

 Business coaching is a one-billion-dollar industry, with a growth rate of nearly 5% percent in the last five years. There is ever increasing demand for knowledgeable, eager, and ethical coaches.

So why not monetize your passion for helping others succeed?

Example: Sam Ovens, a renowned digital marketing consultant who assists companies with establishing a solid footing in their respective target markets.

e. Affiliate Marketing

Would you like to make a living endorsing products you love? Then set up shop as an affiliate marketer.

Affiliate marketing spend is forecasted to hit $6.8 billion by 2020, according to the 2016 Forrester Consulting study. More than 80% of surveyed advertisers use affiliate marketers to expand their visibility and boost their ad revenue.

Forrester consulting study

Source: 2016 Forrester Consulting Study

The premise is straightforward.

Advertisers provide a unique affiliate code for marketers to place on their website. When visitors to the affiliate marketer’s site click on this code, they get redirected to the advertiser’s website.

If the referral link leads to a purchase (or other desired action), the referrer gets paid. In this way, affiliate marketers secure “a piece of profit for each sale”.

You don’t need to pay upfront fees, store or ship products, or provide customer support to get started in affiliate marketing. All you need is a pertinent platform to broadcast your voice.

The key to success is selecting the right advertising partnerships. You are staking your reputation with every product you promote, so choose wisely.

Diligently research market needs and only pick products that align with your brand. Constantly test and fine-tune your campaigns to keep the money flowing into your bank.

Example: Zac Johnson, a prolific affiliate marketer who blogs about his favorite tips and tricks on his website.

This list barely grazes the surface of online business ideas. But, hopefully, it gave you a starting point to vision to fruition.

Which of these ideas resonates the best with you?

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