Online business ideas for beginners
Are you looking for online business ideas? Excellent! We got a list of 15 best online business ideas for beginners. All you need is:
- a computer,
- an internet connection,
- a couple of hours a day,
- and $200 (optional)
to start any of these online businesses. Sit back and relax, I’ll give you a list of the best online business ideas and tell you about the easiest and cheapest ways to start an online business too.
Online business ideas that you can start with no money
Is it possible to start an online business without any money? The honest answer is “No”. No, you can’t start an online business without any money. There are some dodgy websites, which tell such things. But, I have been running online businesses for almost 8 years now, and I never came across any online business idea that you can start with no money.
However, I told you that “money is optional” in the first paragraph. Why, because there are plenty of legitimate ways to make money online for free. You can’t call those methods as online business ideas. They are basically online jobs. So, if you don’t have any money to start an online business, just go and make some. You can try online jobs or any side hustle ideas to find capital to start a real online business. Then, come back and go through this list of the best online business ideas.
Who am I to teach online business ideas?
As I already mentioned, I run a couple of online dropshipping stores for around eight years now. But, that is just the tip of the iceberg. During these eight years, I have started many different online businesses. Well, some of them were successful, and some were utter failures.
With that kind of experience, I firmly believe that I really know a thing or two about how to select an excellent online business idea. So, everything I wrote in this guide are derived from my experiences, trying all those different online business ideas.
15 best business ideas for you to get started
Best business ideas for dropshipping
Here are the best online business ideas to start a dropshipping business. Next, we’ll go through the details.
- Start an online phone case store
- Start an online t-shirt business
- Start an online sock store
- Sell jewellery online
- Start an online cosmetic store
- Sell water bottles online
- Start an online sportswear shop
- Sell Pet toys
- Sell posture correctors online
Best business ideas for affiliate marketing
Starting a niche website to sell affiliate products is another great online business idea. We’ll go through the details next.
- Start a baby product review site
- Start a crafts and DIY site
- Promote home security systems
- Start a lifestyle blog
- Start a gadget and gear blog
- Start promoting geeky stuff
How we came up with the above list of the best online business ideas?
Before answering that question, I need to tell you a little something about how online marketing works. We’ll try an example.
Let us think that you need to buy a t-shirt online. What would you do? Probably you’ll check up on Amazon for a t-shirt. This will be the same for anything that you want to buy online. So, how can a small online business owner sell their products? Obviously, they can’t compete with Amazon or any of those juggernauts when it comes to selling things online.
Now let’s get back to our marketing lesson.
As you could see from the above example, there is no point of trying to compete with the eCommerce giants to win the customers who are “ready to buy”. That ship has already sailed!
Therefore, you need to find a way to show your products to those people who don’t have any purchase intent and convert them into paying customers. In simple terms, you need to show your t-shirts to those who are not thinking of buying a t-shirt and influence them to buy from you.
Being “social media ready” is the main ingredient of a successful online business idea
So, the best place to find people to show your products is social media. But, people do not hang out on Facebook or Instagram for shopping. They are there to connect with their friends, see memes, watch exciting videos, etc. Basically, people spend time on social media to consume content (photos, videos, stories, etc.)
This means your new online business idea should be capable of creating content that can intrigue potential customers at first sight.
So, go through our list of the best online business ideas again. Now, you would see that all those online business ideas are capable of creating content that can attract potential customers. Here are some examples.
- Selling pet toys- Creat videos with dogs playing with toys
- Sell jewellery – Create photos featuring models
- Sell posture correctors – Create OMG videos
- Sell affiliate DIY products – Create DIY videos
What else makes it a perfect online business idea?
Now we know that your business idea should have intriguing products. But there are a few other considerations as well.
- The product size – Can it fit into a shoebox? If so, your shipping costs will be lower, and you can offer competitive prices.
- The product price – Sell things that cost less than $50. So, your customers won’t be sceptical about paying you money before getting the product.
- Popular products – Make sure your niche is trending. So, you won’t go out of business.
- No branded products – Unless you are trying affiliate marketing, never sell branded products with dropshipping. You will probably get knock-offs and will get sued.
- Easy to find suppliers – Make sure that you can find enough suppliers to get competitive prices.
Check this guide on how to find the best niche for dropshipping. There we have discussed all the above considerations in detail.
What is dropshipping and how to get started
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a simple and efficient way to deliver the products that you sold to your customers. When you dropship, your supplier will directly ship the products to your customers. So, you don’t have to worry about maintaining a stock of the products, or shipping.
Here is a simple graphic to understand the basic concept behind dropshipping.
How can you start an online business with dropshipping?
There are basically two ways to start an online dropshipping business.
- You can sell dropshipping products on your eCommerce website
- You can sell dropshipping products on popular marketplaces (i.e. eBay)
Both of these methods have advantages and disadvantages. If you are serious about starting an online dropshipping store, check this startup guide on How to start dropshipping. There we have discussed everything from A-Z about starting an online dropshipping store.
If you have selected an online business idea related to dropshipping, here are the steps to get started.
- Make sure that your business idea is suitable for dropshipping
- Create an initial budget
- Start an online store, or list your products on popular marketplaces
- Start marketing
It looks easy, right? In fact, starting an online dropshipping business is not a complicated process. However, many startups go out of business within just a few months!!!
Then, how come dropshipping is an excellent online business idea?
Well, starting an online dropshipping store is easy. So, anyone can start dropshipping. However, most of them think that they will start getting sales magically right after going online. Unfortunately, it won’t work that way.
There is no point in having the world’s best online business idea unless you know how to market it. The internet is filled with noises. So, without a proper marketing strategy, no one will ever know about your online business. That is why most of the dropshipping startups fail within the first few months.
However, if you follow the right marketing strategies, an online dropshipping store can be a gold mine. For example, both of my dropshipping stores are run by virtual assistants, and I make profits without even having to lift a finger. (BTW, my life was not that easy when I first started! I woke up at 3.00 AM for almost every single day for more than two years to make them successful).
My point is, once done, an online dropshipping store can help you to create a reliable extra income. So, it is definitely an excellent online business idea.
What is affiliate marketing and how to get started
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning commissions by promoting other’s products (or services). For example, if you check my wealth-building book store, you will see that I have handpicked the #1 bestsellers on wealth building and listed them on my website. So, if you guys purchase any of these books, I get a commission from Amazon for selling that book. And, that’s how affiliate marketing works.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best online business ideas
Apparently, you are selling ‘kind of’ virtual products with affiliate marketing. I mean they can be real products, but your business scope is just to drive sales to some online product listing. So, you don’t have to worry about maintaining an inventory, packing, shipping, and even customer care. Wouldn’t you count that as a great online business idea?
Here is how you can start an online business with affiliate marketing?
Now you know that the basic idea of affiliate marketing is to drive sales (or traffic) to someone else’s product listing. To do this, you need to have a good source of traffic too. This means you need to have an audience to promote those affiliated products. Below I have added the basic steps to start an online business with affiliate marketing. Check it out.
Step 1: Decide your niche
Every online business idea should be wrapped around a niche. And, with affiliate marketing, your main objective is to build an audience around this niche. So, to build an audience, you would need to create content regularly. Therefore, when you select a niche, you have to make sure that you are comfortable with creating content around that niche.
For example, I run this blog because I have hands-on experience in doing online businesses. Therefore I can write articles without much effort.
Btw, if you are not good at writing, you can always purchase content from professional content creators under $10. So, that can save a ton of your time, and let you focus on more important aspects of your business.
Step 2: Build an audience
Building an audience is not an easy task. But it is totally doable. You can build an audience around a Facebook page, an Instagram account, a Blog, or a YouTube channel. Those are the most common places to build audiences for your new online business.
The first step of audience building is that you need to identify your target audience and start creating content to please that audience. For example, if your online business idea is to sell affiliated DIY kits, you need to create either videos or blog posts targeting DIY hobbits.
Audience building is the most important part of starting a successful affiliate marketing online business. If you don’t have enough content or a significant audience, you won’t be able to make much from affiliate marketing. So, you will get discouraged and give up on this amazing online business idea. Don’t let that happen. Build a substantial audience before getting started.
Step 3: Apply for affiliate marketing programs
Once you have a significant amount of followership, you can start looking for the affiliate marketing programs to partner with. Here we have a list of the 8 best affiliate programs for you to try.
Step 4: Make money from your audience
Once you got selected for any of those affiliate programs, you can monetise your audience through this amazing online business idea. Check below examples of how others sell affiliated products on their channels.
thisiswhyiambroke.com is one of the most popular affiliate marketing sites. They run it as an eCommerce store.
Wirecutter is another popular product review site. While they create content by reviewing products, they promote affiliated products to make money.
You have selected an online business idea; What’s next?
The next step is to get traffic to your channel. It doesn’t matter which channel you use. It can be an eCommerce store, a product listing, a niche blog, a YouTube channel, or even a Facebook page, but you need a way to bring in more traffic to your business. That is the only way to make more money from your online business.
There are two basic ways to build traffic to your online business channel. Those are called paid traffic and organic traffic. Of course, in the beginning, you will have to rely a lot on paid ads to bring in more traffic to your site. However, in the long run, you also have to develop your organic reach strategies.
Additional read: The best social networks for eCommerce advertising
What about building organic reach? – Let’s grow together
EB blog is a fairly a new site, and we don’t get much traffic too. By now, we are getting only around 400 unique visitors a day from Google organic search (We don’t run paid ads). Therefore, we are extensively researching and trying out new ways to build organic traffic. And, we frequently update our followers about our strategies too. So, if you have decided which online business idea to select, maybe it is a good idea to follow us on Facebook and stay in touch with our process.