Forget about expensive rent and other inconveniences for setting up a new business. In 2019, everything can be done online. 4 billion out of 7.6 billion people on earth use the internet. That number translates into massive opportunities for earning money. Everyone should start turning their online business ideas into reality and start earning smart.

So what’s the first step?

You’ve landed on the right page. We’ve collected some of the best, time-tested online business ideas to turn the internet into your personal fortune. Your dream starts here!

1. Monetizing your website

If you already have a website, you should monetize it. We’ve covered this topic in great detail here. From selling Ads space, setting up a WooCommerce store, to providing online consultancy, everything is possible depending on your site’s traffic and type.

2. Growing a YouTube account

Sorry TV, YouTube is king now. Over 5 billion videos are watched daily. Suffice to say, the YouTube trend is going nowhere but up.

Everything can be turned into content. Think of ASMR. Listening to people eating on camera might sound very odd to some, but just check the SAS-ASMR channel. It has 4.5 million subscribers and 80 million monthly views on average!

Content like family vlogs, pranks, and skits are also popular. You can also be a trailblazer like Jubilee  – a YouTube-based media company which creates human-centric content. They rebranded their concept in 2017 and have been growing fast ever since.

The point is, there’s an audience for everything. Your job on YouTube is to find and grow your audience. Once your channel earns at least 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time, you can start making money through Google Adsense. Once it gets bigger, you can start offering sponsored posts or set up your own merchandise store.

jubilee example youtube channel

Jubilee Media on YouTube

3. Becoming an Instagram influencer

What would happen if a public figure, who has 100M followers on Instagram, decided to sell cosmetics and promote them through Instagram? The business would probably grow massively! The thing is, it’s all real and the public figure is Kylie Jenner. See? Instagram is indeed a powerful marketing tool.

Create a concept, post quality content, and let the number go up. Once you’re big enough, many brands will contact you for a paid-promotion. If you want to start a business, your Instagram could also be your most valuable asset.

If you don’t want to ‘exploit’ your life, you can develop a persona like Adeela – a satirical account named after Adele the singer. In less than 2 years, the Arab-based account hit 1.3 million followers on Instagram and another 800.000 on Facebook.

adeela social media influencer

Adeela: a satirical persona based in Arab countries

4. Teaching online courses on Udemy

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of having your own e-learning website, you should head to Udemy. What for? Creating a course and making thousands of dollars monthly!

You heard that number correctly. Martin Perhiniak, a graphic designer, makes $50.000 annually from his Photoshop course alone. Udemy’s top earner, Rob Percival, has made 2.8 million dollars from teaching android programming.

Starting your own course is easy. Create an account to be an instructor, follow the instructions, and you’re set. The good thing is, Udemy gives you a free course on how to create great video lessons. Many options are also available for customizing your content strategy.

You and Udemy will share the percentage of the sales depending on the business model. In general, you will earn 25% to 97% of the total sales. Considering that e-learning is on the rise, selling your expertise on Udemy is highly promising.

udemy marketplace online course

Udemy: a marketplace for e-learning materials.

5. International Dropshipping

Explore the “International Dropshipping” keyword on Youtube or Google. What you will see is people bragging about how they can afford a lavish lifestyle by doing it. What exactly is that?

Dropshipping is selling someone else’s product. First, you need to create an e-commerce website and set up a brand. You can then add products from suppliers to your website and sell them. No inventory or physical store is needed.

It’s not that easy though. You have to place ads on Facebook and Instagram to attract potential buyers – involving significant initial capital and risks. If you are up for a challenge and have some money to play with, this method is worth your investment.

WooCommerce and Shopify are the go-to online store platform for this. For the suppliers, Alibaba is the most popular choice.

6. Self-publishing Kindle e-books on Amazon

Kindle is an e-reader device designed and marketed by Amazon. Together with Amazon, the two become a powerful money-making machine. Even famous public figures like Guy Kawasaki and Seth Godin have published their books exclusively on Amazon.

You will have to create an Amazon account and sign in to kdp.amazon.com. Once inside, getting the whole process done is a walk in the park. The biggest focus should be your book. Make sure that your content is interesting and compatible with the Kindle format. For formatting, you can use a program called Calibre.

Once the book is ready, don’t publish it just yet. Tell your family and friends to read it and try collecting favorable reviews along the way. This serves as social proof for your book, which will then increase your book’s marketability. Publish it and support the publication with marketing tricks – discounts, free giveaways, posting on online forums.

If your sale is doing well, Amazon will start promoting your book to its users.

7. Social Media Consultant

The number of social media users in 2018 is 3.196 billion –  up 13 percent from the previous year. That number often drives companies crazy. They know that social media is critical but don’t know how to cultivate it properly. Big companies eagerly recruit Social Media Specialists. However, others might not have thought about it in the first place.

If you are good at content strategy, this is your chance. You can advise companies on how to use social media not only for engagement but for lead generation as well. Being a consultant also gives you flexibility – working for multiple clients. You earn more financially and grow faster professionally.

You can use the built-in social media analytics tools provided by each channel. If you want to boost your credential, we recommend subscribing to premium service. Some of the best brands are Sprout Social, Iconosquare, and Buzzsumo.

social media metrics sprout social

Measuring social media metrics with Sprout Social.

8. SEO Consultant

Content Marketing is a hot field. Companies would like to educate potential buyers and generate leads at the same time. However, not all content can do this. They have to be SEO-friendly, not just informative and easy to read.

Similar to social media, not all companies have an in-house specialist. If you have proven records of understanding SEO practices, take this opportunity. Create a website, equip yourself with premium SEO tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush, and start offering your service!

The perks are basically the same with everything we have described on point seven. In fact, think of your own skills. If you’re an expert in a particular field, make yourself a consultant. It doesn’t have to be technology-related. It could be anything.

To build trust, you can offer a free service to several clients at first and ask them for feedback. Once you have enough portfolio entries, start promoting actively.

semrush content marketing metrics

Measuring content marketing metrics with SEMRush.

9. Daily Email Newsletter

People prefer getting their news in different ways. Instead of having to open your web page manually, a daily newsletter sends the news directly to your email – making everything quick and easy.

The concept may sound simple, but promising nonetheless. Have you ever heard of The Hustle? The tech newsletter was founded by 2 people in 2015. Now, it’s followed by more than 1 million followers and funded by influential investors. MarketSnacks, a daily newsletter that simplifies Wall Street publication, also has a similar story. Even the 2 founders were named Forbes 30 under 30 in 2018.

Start your newsletter with a team of three or even less and grow it consistently. Once you have a sizeable following, you can start offering ad placement or pitching your own products. If you already have a blog with decent traffic, RSS Feed is what you need for further growth.

the hustle subscription page

The Hustle’s subscription page

10. Customer Support agency

The e-commerce share of total global retail sales is projected to hit 17.5% in 2021. This means that more people are moving their business online. We can expect the rise in numbers for e-commerce platforms too. If we look closer, this leads to an increasing demand for skilled customer support officers.

For big companies, recruiting an army of CS officers might not be a big deal. For smaller companies, this practice is crucial but too expensive. You can serve this niche by providing an outsourcing agency for CS. In Indonesia, home to 250M+ people, a website called Kampung Marketer is specifically designed for this. Guess what? They’re doing really well. The government has also given an award to the founder.

If you start this business now, you will have established your brand quite well in the upcoming 2 or 3 years – driving more profit and growth. Start with a team of 4 or 5 and let the business grow organically.

Wrap Up

Some methods shown above require skills, others don’t. Regardless, they require hard work and persistence. People need to understand that internet money isn’t easy money. Like in any business model, you have to grow your business from scratch. This could mean you have to wait for a while before finally generating money.

As cliche as it sounds, you’ll never know unless you try. We have provided you with some actionable tips on how you can seize the internet. The best time to start is now.

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