Best Online Business to Start In 2024: 21 Profitable Ideas | Pennalife

Best Online Business to Start In 2024: 21 Profitable Ideas

As online shopping becomes increasingly convenient, over 2.7 billion digital buyers around the world are constantly in search of what to buy. This tells you that starting an online business is a good move. 

But with all the options available, it can be overwhelming to decide what profitable venture to start. In this guide, you’ll learn about the 21 best online businesses to start from home.

The Best Online Business Ideas to Start From Home

1. Start an Online Coaching Business

If you’re an expert at anything—yes, anything at all, whether that’s photography, marketing, fitness, or mindset—then you should consider offering personalized coaching and mentorship to individuals seeking guidance.

The best part is that becoming a coach doesn’t necessarily require a certification. You can offer different programs around whatever niche you have solid experience in. These programs can be in the form of:

  • One-on-one coaching
  • Group coaching sessions
  • Mastermind programs

As a coach, your duty is to provide the guidance and tools your clients need to achieve their desired goals. Coaching has other advantages, such as positioning you as an industry expert and community builder. 

2. Launch a Boutique Digital Marketing Agency

Every online business needs digital marketing strategies to increase their visibility, authority, and conversions. These strategies can include content creation, social media marketing, SEO strategy, blog writing services, link building, and paid advertising. 

If you’re skilled at digital marketing, consider establishing a small team to help a specific audience type—whether that’s SaaS brands, small businesses, coaches, or bloggers—with their marketing.

Your agency can be a two- or three-person team for a start, but it should be made up of people who are experts in one or more digital skills.

3. Become an Online Course Creator

A digital course is a low-cost online business idea that generates both active and passive income, depending on whether you launch it as a live or evergreen program.

Your course can be video-based, slide-based, or multi-media content. It can be a simple tutorial, specifically designed for beginners, or an advanced guide, based on the audience you want to sell to. 

While you can host your course on your website if you have one, there are specific course hosting platforms like Teachable and Thinkific that help you set up, host, and receive payments for your course.  

4. Offer Consulting Services

Woman offering consulting services, which is another best online business to start in 2024.

Consulting is something like a mini-coaching service. Basically, you provide direct solutions to the client’s problems. On the other hand, coaches assess their clients’ needs and work closely with them for a longer period of time to help their clients think deeply and come up with solutions to their problems. 

If you have expert experience in any service, you can offer a 60-minute, 2-hour, or 1-week consulting solution that addresses specific issues such as mapping out an SEO strategy, auditing their website copy, teaching them how to land their first date, or building a sales funnel. 

This online business idea can be a cash-injection that lets you make money daily or weekly, depending on how many appointments you can handle in one day. 

5. Sell Digital Products

Instead of offering “services,” you can turn your expertise into affordable, DIY digital products. For example, if you’re a website designer, you can create website templates, and if you’re a copywriter, you can create sales copy templates for your audience. 

There are other digital product options you can consider selling, such as Canva template packs, digital & printable planners, and Google Sheet templates.

To start selling digital products, you need to first open an e-commerce store. You can use a platform like Shopify, which provides all the necessary marketing tools for its users, or Etsy, which automatically promotes your store for you. Then, add your products—images, descriptions, and pricing—to your store and start selling. 

6. Create a Membership or Subscription Box

Creating a subscription-based business is such a lucrative online idea. It allows your audience to make recurring payments to be part of your paid community. 

This community can get access to digital products, networking events, or growth opportunities for other entrepreneurs. These types of subscriptions are called memberships. You can repurpose your high-ticket course into a membership program to make it more accessible to your audience.

In the same vein, people can subscribe to monthly packages of various physical products called subscription boxes. These subscription boxes can be for snacks, self-care items, or fishing gear supplies. 

7. Become an AI Marketing Expert

With the rise in the use and creation of artificial intelligence (AI) writing assistants, there’s never been a better time to offer AI marketing services than now.

The truth is: While there are many AI software tools, such as ChatGPT, many business owners “still” don’t know how to use them efficiently.

They need help learning how to use AI to streamline their processes, automate repetitive tasks, and improve their content production. With Google flagging low-quality AI-generated content, you can offer content and business solutions that help entrepreneurs grow their businesses using a quality-led AI approach.

8. Build a Blogging Business

Starting a blog—whether in the lifestyle, self-improvement, home decor, or business niche—is a great online business idea you can start.

This endeavor, however, requires a low-cost investment upfront. This includes buying a domain name and a hosting plan, and setting up your website. 
Blogging has been a big deal for years and can open doors to various income sources. Take Ryan Robinson for instance. He has been able to grow his blog to 600,000 readers every month with an average monthly income of $50,000 through different blog monetization techniques.

Screenshot of Ryan Robinson’s blog to show that blogging is another best online business to start in 2024.

Now, with the rise of more online businesses and shoppers, it’s an even bigger deal because more people are looking for insights, honest reviews, and answers to their questions. 

9. Start UGC Content Creation

Recently, content creators are shifting towards a high-paying business idea within their niches—user-generated content (UGC). 

Basically, you create content for a brand using their products and get paid for it depending on your agreed rate. You can use a platform like Brand Meet Creators to start sourcing for businesses that are open to collaborations.

The best part about this is that creators with small audience sizes are generating thousands of dollars monthly. And that’s because it’s not like “influencing,” where you receive brand deals based on the size of the audience you have.  Companies pay them to create product content for them in their unique style based on their content creation skills. 

10. Become a Freelancer

As an expert writer, website designer, or editor, you can become a freelancer and start making money online with little or no investment upfront. 

You can freely work with different companies and projects depending on your interests and skills. As a freelancer, you can choose the kind of projects you apply to and the time you are active for work.

While you can create a simple portfolio and look for clients on your own, which may be a tough route, you can join a freelancing marketplace like Fiverr and Upwork. On these platforms, clients might reach out to you or upload freelance gigs you can pitch to. Essentially, you put up a detailed profile highlighting your skills, experience, portfolio samples, and pricing.

11. Build a Pinterest Marketing Business

More businesses—especially small business owners and bloggers—are discovering Pinterest marketing. That’s why more than 518 million users frequent this platform in search of insights.

If you understand how to increase online visibility and drive traffic through Pinterest marketing strategies, you may want to turn it into a business. 

As a Pinterest specialist, you could offer services such as a full-funnel Pinterest solution,  profile revamp and optimization, pin design, growth strategy, and content scheduling to help businesses attract and engage their target audience on the platform.

12. Flip Websites

If you know how to turn a mere website into a hot “digital asset”—I mean, if you can blog and drive high volumes of traffic—then try flipping websites. 

People are flipping websites for $50,000, $180,000, and as high as $400,000. The duo at Authority Hackers started a new blog, grew its traffic within 18 months, and sold it for half a million. 

There are various websites where people can buy and sell sites in any niche, such as Flippa, Niche Investor, and The Website Flip.

13. Start a Paid Newsletter

Email marketing has an average return on investment (ROI) of 4400%, which is incredible, and that is why it’s a great online business idea. So, when starting an email newsletter as an expert in your niche, you can either make it free or paid. 

Free newsletters are more common and are used to grow and nurture an email list and, ultimately, improve conversions and sales. For a free newsletter, you can promote your product within your emails and offer sponsorship and advertisement slots to make money from it.

Paid newsletters require a recurring (mostly monthly) subscription for subscribers to get access to your content. The paid newsletter model works when you already have an audience—on your free list, social media page, or blog—who appreciate the level of insights in your free content. For example, Chris Orzechowski, who is a successful e-commerce copywriter, has a paid newsletter named Make It Rain. 

Screenshot of Chris Orzechowski’s blog to show that paid newsletter is another best online business to start in 2024.

14. Create a YouTube Channel

YouTube has been around for a while and that might make you wonder if starting a YT channel is still a profitable online business today. Yes, it is. With over 2.70 billion active monthly users, YouTube stands as the largest video-content platform in the world.

It’s free to set up a YouTube channel. All you need to do is sign up with your Google account. It requires low-cost investment because you can get started with your phone, a free video editing app such as CapCut, a tripod, and a ring light. 

You can create content on any topic, whether it’s lifestyle, yoga, business, gaming, dating, or reality shows. You can monetize your channel through sponsorships, YouTube commissions, and affiliate links.

15. Sell Sewing Patterns

If you have a knack for creating fashionable clothes or luxury bags, you can start selling sewing patterns for them. 

Let’s say you get a custom order for a bag. Instead of creating the bag and getting paid for it once, you can create a PDF pattern that other people can buy to make theirs. This can be a source of both active (during your live launches) and passive income for you.

You can create your own online pattern store or use an e-commerce platform like Shopify to help you launch this business idea.

16. Curate Group Trips and Retreats

Whether you’re a successful travel creator, business coach, or lifestyle enthusiast, curating group trips and retreats can be a way to:

  • make money 
  • build meaningful connections
  • Tick those dream destinations off your bucket list. 

Depending on your audience and expertise, you can organize and host group travel experiences and generate revenue through the excesses from each slot you sell. 

For example, if you’re a mindset coach, you can curate a wellness retreat for professionals who want to heal from burnout and sell slots for others to partake in the event. As a business coach, you can organize a 3-day in-person conference in a dream destination.

17. Offer Paid Ads Services

If you understand how paid marketing works on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google, you can offer paid advertising services to help businesses reach more people and drive conversions. 

Many business owners are running paid ads to their online stores, websites, digital courses, and ebooks. But how many of these ads are actually profitable?

In a bid to maximize their advertising ROI, some entrepreneurs are burning their monthly ad budget in a day. You can come in and help these businesses get meaningful results for their marketing efforts through effective audience targeting, ad copywriting, and ad optimization. 

18. Create a Software Tool

The software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry is ever-booming because everyone needs a tool for something.

Think: HubSpot, Asana, Clickup, Notion, Trello, Zapier, Tailwind, MailerLite, and Quickbooks, amongst others. They are all SaaS tools, but for distinct purposes.

For software businesses, you’ll need some upfront investment to build something worthwhile—whether you’re looking to hire a software developer or you’re one yourself.

Also, while it’s lucrative, it can be difficult to get off the ground during the launch/marketing phase. But, if you can make it work (aka acquire a high volume of paid users), the ROI is well worth it since most SaaS use a subscription business model.

19. Become an Online Personal Shopper

You can use trend insights, customer reviews, your shopping experience, and knowledge of product quality to curate custom shopping lists that align with the style and interests of your clients.

Personalized shopping services is a great offer for people seeking convenience, style, and expertise. You can be a generalist virtual personal shopper or you can specialize in distinct niches such as fashion, home decor, or food. 

20. Start Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing involves the promotion of different products or services through affiliate links and earning commissions every time someone purchases through your links.

Whether you create content in the beauty, lifestyle, marketing, or technology niches, there are different affiliate programs you can partake in as a way to monetize your content. 

You can promote affiliate links through your blog posts, social media profile, YouTube, or email list. But, when choosing affiliate programs, ensure they match your interests, audience needs, and brand.

21. Sell Your Art & Photos on Marketplaces

If you’re a digital illustrator, painter, or photographer, you can showcase and sell your artwork and prints on online marketplaces and stock photo sites. 

  • You can sell your artwork on marketplaces like Etsy, Redbubble, or Society6. You can use different mockups to showcase what a piece of art would look like as a framed poster, canvas, or print. 
  • For your photographs, you can sell them on stock photo platforms like Foap, Alamy, and Deposit Photos. 

Selling your art allows you to showcase your talent, make money, get custom orders, and establish a steady revenue-generating online business.

Man trying to sell is art in an online marketplace | Best online business to start in 2024.

Why The Online Business Model Is The Best

Starting an online business offers a great deal of opportunities and advantages in the current business world compared to a brick-and-mortar business. 

Global Reach

Unlike conventional brick-and-mortar businesses, online businesses are not confined by geographical limitations. With the internet at your fingertips, you can reach people anywhere in the world. Your potential customer base is virtually limitless.

Note: Even if you’re currently running a physical business, it’s advisable to have an online side to it because shoppers search online when looking for physical businesses like restaurants and hotels.

Low Overhead Costs

Starting an online business typically requires minimal upfront investment compared to offline models. You don’t need to worry about expensive rent, inventory storage, or utilities. What you need to start the majority of these online business ideas above is a computer or smartphone and an internet connection.

Scalability & Diverse Revenue Streams

With the right strategies in place, you can start and scale your online business operations to accommodate diverse revenue sources. For instance, you can become a coach -> create a course -> launch a shop to sell other digital products -> start a blog -> make money from affiliate links.

Flexibility and Freedom

One of the perks of running an online business is the flexibility to work from anywhere. You can work from home, your favorite coffee shop, or a beach house in Bali. As a remote entrepreneur, you have the freedom to set your own schedule depending on your most productive times, allowing for a better work-life balance.

Access to Data and Analytics

Online businesses, depending on the platform you use, provide access to analytics so you can evaluate your marketing strategies and see what’s working. You can track and analyze your website, audience insights, content performance, and customer behavior to discover patterns and gain insights to optimize your business. 

Final Thoughts: 21 Best Online Business Ideas to Start in 2024

There are a plethora of online business ideas you can start from home or anywhere else remotely. By taking up any of these 21 ideas, whether that’s coaching, creating digital products, or offering specialized ad services, you can establish a profitable business.

It’s time to leverage your skills, experience, and creativity. You can turn a creative hobby into a successful online business, thus, bringing your entrepreneurial dreams into reality.

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