Top 20+ Best Online Business Ideas in 2023

The picture shows different online business ideas you can start today.
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    With so many online business ideas available, starting an online business is one of the best things to do. It is highly flexible and you have a large number of customers to reach. Research by Statista estimates digital buyers to be more than 2.14 billion people within a seven-year period. This number will keep increasing as the years go by. Also, eCommerce experts estimated that revenue for online shopping will reach $8.1 trillion by 2026. There is no better time to start an online small business than now.

    This article will discuss 20+ of the best online business ideas you should start with. To assist you in making the right choice, we will discuss each idea with examples, relevant statistics, required skills, and how much you might make. 

    Key Takeaways

    • Online businesses have experienced a lot of growth and it is important that you start one now.
    • Subscription boxes are one of the new businesses that have surfaced thanks to online business innovations. The idea of a subscription box service is to deliver a particular product package to customers periodically.  
    • Social media has made business marketing easy so you won’t have any problem in starting a business today.

    Open a clothing line

    One profitable online business idea you should try is opening a clothing line. If you love to design and have time, you can open a clothing line business. Why should you start a clothing line? There are several reasons this is a good business idea. These include:

    • You are creating a product with reusable value
    • Thanks to several print-on-demand applications, designing and sending out your custom-made clothes is much easier and faster
    • The feeling of turning your designs into something profitable is not unmatched

    You can set up a Shopify or Amazon store using a product-sourcing app like Printful. This automatically links your store to clothing manufacturers and apparel printers. Starting a clothing line is highly profitable. You can earn about $2500 every month, depending on how many clothes you sell. If you need more help on how to start a clothing line, check out this guide on how to start an online T-shirt business.

      The amount earned from each online business idea is estimated based on various resources. It is not a constant figure and varies based on your location, experience, skill and marketing.

    Launch a dropshipping business

    Dropshipping business is a simple yet profitable online business ideas for beginners because of its low-risk value. It involves forming partnerships with online suppliers to help them sell their products on your platform. The supplier will focus on shipping and storing the goods, while the seller (you) will focus on marketing the products to customers.

    The average cost of opening a dropshipping website is around $150. This amount includes getting a domain name, a hosting service, and getting a membership at a supplier directory membership firm. Since the customers will not directly inspect the goods, having a successful dropshipping business relies on customers’ trust in the suppliers. Look for reputable vendors and collaborate with them to avoid problems and provide excellent customer service.

    The estimated income you can earn from dropshipping in a month is between $200 to $3000 a month. This depends on the size of your target customers and the online store. Some skills you will need to excel as a drop shipper include digital marketing and business management. If you don’t have them, you can take free courses online on Coursera and other e-learning platforms.

    Become a freelancer

    There is a massive market for freelancing today. With the rise of the gig economy, many freelancers earn more than they do with their full-time jobs. This is because many individuals prefer to hire freelancers for a job rather than a full staff. 

    As a freelancer, you can work in any industry and field as far as you have the needed skills. Some of the most in-demand jobs in freelancing include writing, graphic design, and web development. Since the freelancing market is saturated, it is important that you create a unique selling point that sets you apart from your competitors.

    Most freelancers create a portfolio website to market their services. They also sign up on several freelance marketplaces like Upwork and create a professional profile on LinkedIn to establish a social media presence.

    Depending on the niche industry you are in, you can earn as high as $50 per hour. Make sure you price your skill based on the quality of services you offer and the competitiveness of your niche. You could also charge based on the area you live in. For instance, in areas with a high cost of living, certain skills are worth more, than in areas that have low living costs.

    Start a print-on-demand business

    If you are looking for a business idea with less competition, go for print-on-demand, also known as P.O.D. This involves imprinting custom designs on products like mugs, phone cases, and shirts. One way to start this business is to create an Amazon or a Shopify store account and install a print-on-demand app like Printify. This helps to streamline the printing of the designs, as well as the packaging and shipping of the products to customers.

    Start a blog

    Starting a blog is one profitable online business idea you should go for. Many top entrepreneurs today started blogging about their skills (niche industry) to a small audience. Slowly, they could make a name for themselves.

    Running a successful blog is more than writing articles about something you love. There are several elements you need to note before you start. They are:

    • Niche 
    • Quality of Content
    • Visitor Size
    • Monetization
    • Niche

    A blog that focuses on one niche is more likely to succeed than one that focuses on different industries or topics. So discover which topic you are most comfortable talking about.

    • Quality of Content

    Just because you know a lot about football doesn’t mean that you can write about it. You need to create high-quality and unique content that attracts readers. The higher the quality of your blog, the more likely it will rank high on search engines.

    • Visitor’s Size

    If your blog boasts of high visitor volume, you have a better chance of getting potential partnership deals and selling products or services.

    • Monetization

    There are several ways to earn money from blogging. Some of the popular ways include Google Ads, affiliate marketing, and sponsored articles. You can choose to combine all methods to increase your earnings.

    To succeed, you need to acquire skills like content marketing, search engine optimization, and writing to succeed as a blogger. You can earn as high as $3000 a month depending on the monetization means you go for.

    Publish an eBook

    Thanks to online self-publishing websites, anyone can become an author. You can sell your books through your website or self-publishing websites like Amazon KDP. You don’t need special skills to write an eBook, you only need to have creative writing and marketing skills. If you are a blogger, you can compile existing articles into one comprehensive guide. 

    Although it seems like a good idea to use self-publishing websites, it can be hard to succeed because of the saturated market. To avoid this, smallbusinesstroubles advices that you create a website to market your eBook. If you decide to build one yourself, check out this tutorial on how to create a website from scratch.

    You can earn as high as $3000 a month on selling eBooks or based on 35%/70% royalties you earn from the eBooks if you use a self-publishing website. 

    Start an eCommerce store

    Starting an online store to sell goods is a good small business idea you should go for. You need to find an e-commerce store idea that suits you best. You can do this by researching popular products that sell well in the market. Having a niche for your store helps to streamline competition and improve growth.

    Before you kickstart your e-commerce store, calculate how much it will cost carefully. You need to include the web development costs based on the features you wish to be included. A simple e-commerce site might cost more than $9000 but you will earn more than that as your business continues to grow. Depending on the e-commerce niche, you can earn more than $100,000 in a year. 

    You should also take up some courses before you start this business. Skills like digital marketing, business management, and site maintenance are important to have when running an e-commerce store.

    Apart from your product display on your online store, consider opening marketplaces on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook. Diversifying your sales channel will drive more customers to your store and increase your ROI.

    Sell thrifted goods

    If you are looking for an affordable online business idea, sell second-hand or thrifted goods online. Search for items that are under-used and of good quality in your house or buy second-hand goods from stores and sell them. 

    The idea of selling second-hand items is to determine how much each item will go before you market them. You also need to know if repairing the goods will increase their value too. Although this is not compulsory, having basic crafting skills can raise your chances of succeeding in this business. Another important skill you need to have is the ability to negotiate deals. If you can discuss well with people and convince them to buy from you, you can make an estimate of $500 every month.

    Website flipping

    Unlike other business ideas, website flipping takes time to yield profits. This online business starts when you purchase an underperforming website with potential. Once you have gotten them, your work is to increase the site’s value and resell them.

    Increasing the site’s value takes a lot of work. You need to ensure that the website is optimized and functions properly. You will also conduct market research on popular monetization methods for the website’s niche. Then make sure the site is generating enough traffic and revenue before you sell it. People are more likely to buy the site if it is generating profits.

    Start a handmade business

    If there was any benefit from the pandemic, it would be the way it helped bring out the craftsmanship in many people. People started making handmade goods and selling them at a high price on TikTok, Instagram, and other social platforms. Unlike other generic goods, an artisan carefully creates handmade items. Therefore, they can charge well for their creations.

    You can choose to create an e-commerce store to sell your creations or advertise them on Etsy. You can make up to $30,000 a year or more depending on your skill or craftsmanship.

    Become a virtual assistant

    As a virtual assistant, your primary responsibility is to help organizations or business owners with clerical tasks like replying to emails, scheduling meetings, or writing a letter. In recent years, virtual assistants can also offer marketing services like managing a social media account, formatting newsletters, and writing a marketing campaign. A virtual assistant earns about $30 per hour and with these additional skills, up to $60.

    Become an affiliate marketer

    Being an affiliate marketer is another popular online business idea today. As an affiliate marketer, you promote a brand’s product by adding links to your content. If people buy the product through the link, you get a commission from their purchases. Many e-commerce platforms use affiliate marketing to promote their store. 

    You can search for affiliate programs online and register with them. Then write a blog post that contains links to the product you wish to sell. Since you want to get as many purchases as possible, it is important that the blog post compels people to read and take action.

    Start an online course

    If you wish to share your knowledge on a particular topic, then what other way to do so than starting an online course? Many people today seek e-learning services to improve their market value and gain new knowledge. Since the e-learning industry is saturated, choose a unique niche that has little competition. Carry out market research on whether the niche has potential customers. You can earn up to $50,000 a month depending on how well you market the course and how many students register for it.

    Teach people online

    What if creating an online course is a hassle to you, could you consider teaching people instead? Since online learning became popular, many parents are registering their children for various courses. Websites like Skooli offer online tutoring jobs that will meet your needs. How about applying for them?

    Become an app developer

    Are you planning on learning a new skill? If so, try out app development. About 78% of online buyers prefer using mobile applications over websites when accessing an e-commerce store. Hence, many online stores make sure that they have a mobile application. 

    With this increased demand for mobile app development, it is important for you to take a course on app development (if you have no experience) on e-learning platforms and improve your skills. 

    Sell website themes

    If you are a web designer, this is an excellent business idea you could go for. As the need for new websites increases, there is a demand for appealing pre-made website themes. You can test the theme on a free web hosting service, then sell it on a theme marketplace.

    Consider adding priority support and regular feature updates to improve your theme’s value. If you can, provide a theme service to customers. You can earn as high as $300 per theme depending on the quality and features included.

    Become a social media marketer

    This is an excellent business idea for everyone. You need to have social media skills like content creation, influencer marketing, and familiarity with the latest social media trends to succeed. To kickstart your social media marketing career, you need to start from your own personal account. Use this as your portfolio. Grow your social media presence, build your visibility, and increase your audience engagements. Clients are more likely to hire your services if they see how well you are marketing yours.

    Aside from promoting yourself through your social media platform, you can also create a portfolio blog or website to market your brand. You can earn about $20 per hour depending on the niche industry.

    Launch subscription boxes

    In recent years, new online business ideas have surfaced and subscription boxes are one of them. The idea of a subscription box service is to deliver a particular product package to customers periodically (bi-weekly, monthly, or annually). 

    This business has gained a lot of popularity among many lately. If you are thinking of a less saturated business to start, this is for you. You can choose a niche and curate a box with items your customer chooses. For instance, if you start a women’s care box, you can include items related to women’s hygiene and skin care in the package. 

    One benefit of a subscription box business is that it generates recurring income and fosters long-term business relationships with your customers. You can earn as high as $6,000 every month.

    Become a transcriber

    This business idea involves transcribing audio files into typed documents. You get paid for this according to your typing accuracy, speed, and niche industry; for example, medical transcribers earn more than others. However, you need to understand how to price yourself in this industry before starting. 

    Take typing classes to improve your accuracy and speed. After improving your skills, check out some transcription marketplaces for jobs.

    Become a podcaster

    If you want to go for any new online business ideas, podcasting should be the right choice. Podcasting has become very popular. There are more than 380 million podcast listeners in 2022 alone. There is no better time to start podcasting than now.

    Starting a podcast is not so hard. First, create a website to host your podcast then upload them on Apple Music and Spotify to get more listeners. Then, create a social media profile to advertise your podcast and bring in more listeners. As a first-timer, you are more likely to earn via affiliate marketing. As your audience grows, you can start getting sponsors or set up a crowdfunding page. 

    To get listeners, it is important that you choose a niche you can speak on and have proper recording equipment to improve the quality of your podcast. As you start to earn, buy better equipment to improve your audio quality.

    Become a Youtuber

    With the rise in video content creation, many people are becoming YouTubers. Gone are the days when people felt it was difficult to succeed as a YouTuber. Today, there are several online guides on how to make money through YouTube in simple ways. You can create your content from the comfort of your home using different tools and software.

    If you start a YouTube channel, ensure that you reach a target of 1000 subscribers within a few months. This makes you eligible for the YouTube Partner Program. The YPP allows you to monetize your channel. Other monetizing options you can go for include affiliate marketing, Patreon crowdfunding, etc.

    Become a guest blogger

    Of all online business ideas for writers, being a guest blogger is an easy way to gain money from writing. Being a guest blogger allows them to earn by submitting their articles to other blog websites. The articles are ghostwritten and wouldn’t be under the writer’s name.

    There are some platforms that have openings for guest blog submissions. Choose a website in your niche and submit an article to them. You can earn from $5 to $2500 depending on the quality and length of the blog.

    Sell stock pictures

    Are you a photographer? If so, then this is one of the ways you can monetize your artistic skills. As a stock photographer, people pay you to use your images. Most times, organizations might wish to use stock pictures in their marketing campaigns. They will have to pay you before getting access to the photos.

    To become a stock photographer, you need to use a good camera and lighting material. You can also use good editing software to improve the quality of the pictures. Afterward, you can check out stock picture marketplaces where you can monetize your photographs. You can earn as much as $8000 per image or low as $1 depending on the distribution channel.

    Become an audiobook narrator

    One of the online business ideas that is common today is an audiobook narrator. The rise of audiobooks has increased the demand for narrators. As an audiobook narrator, your job is to convert digital or physical books into audio files. Narrating books requires exceptional reading skills. You need to imitate the voices of characters based on their gender and attributes.

    You must have excellent voice control to succeed as a narrator. Like podcasting, you need to have quality recording and editing materials to succeed. You can choose to take some soft skills classes on acting and narration to improve your skill. Once you have a presence in the industry, you can seek professional voiceover jobs that pay a lot of money.

    Become a Translator

    If you are a polyglot, then how about you monetize your skills? Being a translator involves being able to translate text or audio from one language to another. Apart from translation, you will also make the translated copy fit the culture of the target audience.

    Translators need to understand the language and culture of the people. They also need to have adequate research and communication skills. You can get translation gigs on several job portals. Ideally, it is wise to build a portfolio before applying for jobs. You can earn as much as $30 per hour depending on how many years of experience you have and if you are certified in translation services.


    Now, we have covered 20+ online business ideas in 2023. Each business idea is profitable so you need to consider what skills you have and how you can build your own online business with the skills. Starting an online business requires dedication, persistence, and hard work. Pick online business ideas that match what you love and your passion. This way, you enjoy what you are doing and get rewarded for it.

      The amount earned from each online business idea is estimated based on various resources. It is not a constant figure and varies based on your location, experience, skill and marketing.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How Long Will It Take to Start Making Money Online?

    It takes about two years for your business to yield profits. However, this depends on which online business ideas you chose. Some online business ideas do not take time at all, while others take as long as 3 years. 

    How Much Can I Make from an Online Business?

    Getting money from a business depends on different factors. This includes the type, the operational cost, and the marketing strategy. For instance, a blogger might make about $2500 a month from monetizing their website through ads and sponsored posts while affiliate marketers earn more than $12000 a month or more.

    How Many Hours Should I Dedicate a Day?

    If you are working on your online business part-time, you might decide to dedicate about 3 hours a day. However, if you take it up full-time, then you can choose to dedicate about 8 hours or more a day. It takes a lot of effort and time to start yielding results in your online business, so ensure that in your first few months, you invest a lot of time.