Work from Home: An Online Business Idea Guide
January 1, 2021
When we work from home, productivity definitely decreases; however, there are some ways using which you can enhance your productivity while working from home as seeing the current scenario, working from home is the best option. According to a report from Adobe, the COVID pandemic had a huge impact on e-commerce sales in 2020. More people bought online than ever before.
Running an e-commerce store might not be your first choice for an online business idea but that’s okay — there are plenty of others to choose from. Let’s look at 10 online business ideas that you can start from your kitchen table.
1. Start a Blog
Blogs may not be the hottest topic on the internet these days but they’re still an effective way to share what you have to say and get traffic coming to your website.
Once the traffic starts coming, you can sell ads on your blog, recommend products that pay affiliate commissions, or even create your own products to sell to your audience.
2. Do Freelance Work
If you have a particular set of skills, there’s a good chance someone on the internet would pay you to do it for them. The trick is to find those people and convince them to hire you.
Websites like Freelance.com and Upwork.com help freelancers connect with people who need the services they offer. They can connect you with buyers for almost any service but some of the more popular options are writing, graphic design, search engine optimization (SEO) work, and administrative tasks.
3. Start an Online Store
It’s never been easier to start an e-commerce store. Services like Shopify and WooCommerce make it easy to set up shop on your own domain or you can become a 3rd party seller on Amazon or other marketplaces.
Some marketplaces cater to specific types of sellers. Etsy, for example, focuses on crafty and artistic products. If you make something that fits well with a more specialized marketplace, you’ll have an even better chance of connecting with the people who are most interested in what you have to offer.
Note: Always keep a knowledge base on your website to cater to customer queries.
4. Sell How-To Information
Like we mentioned in the section about freelance work, if you have better-than-average knowledge about a particular topic, there’s a good chance people would pay you for that knowledge. But some of them would rather learn how to do it for themselves rather than pay you to do it.
Creating a how-to product like an ebook or an online course lets you share that knowledge. And the advantage of this option versus doing freelance work is that you only have to create the product once.
When the product is ready, you can sell it over and over again without doing any more work.
5. Become a Secret Shopper
Grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and various other businesses pay people for feedback about the shopping experience in their stores. You can become a secret shopper for them and get paid to shop.
This idea isn’t strictly online but a lot of the prep work and administrative stuff gets done on the web. Websites like SecretShopper.com connect shoppers with companies looking for feedback. You get assignments through their site and complete your reports there once you’re done.
6. Graphic Design Work
Many people have little or no artistic ability. If you do, it can be a great way to make some extra money working from home.
Businesses are looking for all kinds of graphics:
- Website design
- Brand identities
- Social media packages
You can connect with clients through the freelance websites we mentioned above or other sites like Fiverr. Once you make that initial connection, you can turn it into an ongoing relationship for anyone who needs graphics regularly.
While the internet has replaced direct mail for many companies as their main promotional channel, the need for good copywriting has never been better.
“Copy” is the written words that sell products. It could be a multi-page sales letter, a product description on Amazon, or a 140 character message on Twitter.
If you know how to write messages and you can offer online selling tips that help businesses sell their products and services, they’ll pay you well to write for them.
8. Become a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant (VA) does the same type of work an admin assistant would do in a typical office but they do it remotely. This includes tasks like:
- Email management
- Calendar management
- Online business marketing
- Customer service
A VA can do anything that doesn’t need face-to-face contact. Almost everything else on this list could fall under VA work. The key difference is you’ll be doing more things for a smaller number of clients — maybe even a single client if they have enough to keep you busy.
9. Translation Services
If you’re fluent in more than one language, you can make good money providing translation services to businesses who want to reach people around the world.
This could mean translating content on their website, advertising, or other text-based content. Or it could mean translating audio or video content into another language.
Some languages are in higher demand than others but virtually any language you write and speak will have a market for translation services.
10. Sell Your Photography
If you’re good at taking nice pictures and you enjoy doing it, you can turn that hobby into a money-maker by selling your photos as “stock images.” Businesses can use stock photos in their marketing materials, on their website, and anywhere else they need topic-related pictures.
You can sell your photos through stock photo sites like iStock and Shutterstock. They’ll add your picture to their catalog and anytime someone buys a license to use it, you’ll get paid a commission.
And if your pictures are particularly good, you can sell them for higher commissions or make exclusive deals for certain companies to use them.
What’s Your Favorite Online Business Idea?
If an online business idea in this list caught your eye, what are you waiting for? The sooner you get started, the sooner you could be generating revenue from your new side hustle.
Check out the Digital Marketing category on our blog for more helpful articles about starting your own online business.