20 Online Business to Start in the 21st Century
A comprehensive list of online business to venture into in the 21st century
With the turn of the century, the internet has continued to change so many parts of human life. This includes how we do business, communicate, manage finances, and so on. Online businesses is one of the positive gifts the internet has brought to the 21st century public.
Some of the opportunities that the internet has brought is that it enables online businesses to function like clockwork anywhere around the world even when you’re on holiday in the Bahamas. This comes with much less risk and cost than having a physical store or office. As long as you’re connected to the internet with your mobile device or your computer.
It also has no boundaries as the number of internet users around the world continues to increase. It provides a very large market for you to sell to anyone, anywhere around the world. This number is heading towards the 5 billion mark, according to Statista
No doubt, there are so many benefits packed into doing business online. Let’s get down to the top 20 businesses you should consider if you’re contemplating starting your own online business.
1. Selling Online on an E-commerce Store
This is simply you selling a product that will normally be sold in a physical store online. It can be electronics, clothes, gadgets, household items, etc. It is more like owning your own online shop. The rate at which people buy things online is continuously increasing. This allows customers to overcome geographical barriers and gets them to purchase products anytime and from anywhere. Asides from the fact that it is a trillion-dollar industry, the physical stores, and other traditional markets have gradually started to struggle to keep up with online sales. This is because customers prefer the rise that comes with buying online and sometimes at cheaper prices.
The good thing is that you can set up your own store whether you have your own product or not. These days, you don’t necessarily need to create your own website. Platforms like Shopify, Amazon, Jumia, WooCommerce are available for you to either pack and ship your product directly to customers. They get it delivered to your customers the manufacturer or distributor when customers place an order from your platform. This frees you of the worries that come with warehousing or delivery.
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2. Start Blogging
Blogging is the art of regularly publishing information on a website about a particular subject. Subjects can bother on travels, finances, personal development, mobile devices, football, etc. It can be virtually anything that people would actually like to spend their time reading about. Good for you if it’s something you are passionate about.
When blogging, it is crucial for you to write like you truly know what you’re talking about and provide value to anyone that comes to your blog. As time goes on, you’d develop an audience of people that trust you. This is because building an audience and having good following is key for you to start earning from your blog. Once you have a good following and audience on your blog, you can then attract key advertisers (like Google AdSense) to come to advertise on your blog. And you’d get paid or get commissions for promoting other brands on your blog (affiliates). Moreso, it can be profitable to have a good level of readership by adding extra content for subscribers and charging a small monthly subscription fee as an effective way to increase your blog’s revenue.
Simply know how to start blogging. Platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Type Pad, Joomla and so on has simplified the art of blogging. They give opportunities to get started without creating your own platform that will require you to invest some cash in web hosting or purchase of a domain name for your website.
3. Social Media Consulting/Management
Social Media is one of the oils of the internet but only a few people or companies do it right – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. These days, companies and high net worth individuals prefer to outsource this function in other to focus on other things they can do better.
Consulting or managing social media accounts would involve you to work with brands or individuals. This can be achieved by helping them constantly engage, monitor, and measure their performance to build and sustain their social media presence. The whole essence of which is to continuously increase their followership, and customer loyalty. This ultimately bring in more people to know and buy their products or use their service. It’s highly recommended that you also build your own social accounts to be strong. This would serve as leverage for you to get clients in this particular online business.
Some of the tools social media managers use to carry out their tasks include; Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Sendible, Post Planner, Icon square, etc.
4. Become an an Influencer
Being a social media influencer would require you to grow your personal account on social media to such an extent that you now have so much followership, reach, and most importantly, influence to create strategic partnerships with brands to help them promote their products and services.
Companies in various industries usually use this technique in their marketing efforts to expand their reach to get new customers into their online business. start, you’ll require to find a niche such as fashion, lifestyle, health, and wellness, etc. and consistently create content and valuable engagements across all your social media channels, attend meetups and networking events – online and offline, and other events hosted by big brands in your niche.
5. Become an SEO Specialist
SEO (short for Search Engine Optimization) is a craft that will make you help companies rank at the top of searches by working on their web content and design rather than the use of paid advertising.
Asides from the use of social media, more and more online businesses and personal brands have continued to leverage websites and search engines for promoting their products or services. And they have started to understand that it’s not just about having a good looking website but also staying at the top of searches on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, etc. preferably the first page, so that they get more exposure to more people that search for things online.
Companies prefer to outsource or hire someone who can help them stay at the top of searches. Asides from this are the fact that when you become good with it, you can also earn by teaching people about optimizing websites and web content for business or personal brands. will require you to learn the basics like keywords research, how search engines work, link building, etc. With time, you should get better as you continue to work.
6. Sell Digital Products
This is you selling intangible things in digital form. It can be informational products like e-books, online courses, webinars, audio, graphical products like stock photos, fonts, and logos, website themes and plugins, website templates, etc. or software and apps. This a very lucrative online business
People are constantly looking for new things to learn about, new skills to acquire, great photos for their blogs, logos for their business, and looking to create a good website and app with great user experience.
Firstly, you have to identify a specific niche and target audience you would like to reach out to. This requires conversant with in order to see what topics or products are selling best so you can make more of those. But with any of these products, you don’t necessarily have to create the contents or product yourself as you can outsource to professionals, pay them for it and resell to other people. Places to get such professionals are freelance websites like Fiverr, Upwork, freelancer.com, etc.
You can either create your own website or online platform to sell your informational products or sell on platforms like Amazon, Udemy, Teachable, etc. that already have a large reach to potential customers. While platforms like unsplash.com, pixabay, Shutterstock, and so on. are places you can get started with selling stock photos. WordPress, Theme Forest are places to sell website themes, Letgo and Craigslist are also amongst the few places for you to get started with selling apps.
7. Website and Landing Page Design and Management
The market for managing websites is currently a big market. Although the number of websites continues to increase as the number of online businesses and digital awareness continues to increase. While a lot of online business owners, businesses, and personal brands have not yet keyed into the digital economy, many of them now understand that it’s important for them to have a website in other to expose their brands to more people but still lack the know-how to develop one talk less of managing it.
As a website designer or manager, you would most likely not be short of clients. This is because there are still millions of businesses and people out there who do not have a website and need little or no convincing to get them to use your service. While you can advertise your service on social media, you’d be required to have your website that will serve as a bait for clients. This will enable them have a feel of what you can offer and ensure it looks and feels great.
Landing pages on the other hand are stand-alone webpage that people “land on” whenever they click on a link in an email or an Ad on a search engine or social media or anywhere on the web. It’s usually for a specific purpose called to actions. Unlike the regular web pages, online businesses will hire you to help them create landing pages to enable them to acquire leads or their increased conversions.
8. Become a Professional Freelancer
Being a professional freelancer will require you to have some kind of skill that you can use to provide value to clients. Skills can be web design, content writing, logo design, video editing, proofreading, language translation, scriptwriting, and many more.
These days, online businesses prefer to work with a freelancer as its cheaper than employing someone full-time. The good thing about this is that you get to choose where you work from, when you work and how you work. The better you are at providing value, the better your potential to earn more.
Asides from banking on your personal advertising efforts, you can join freelance platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Outsourcely, and many more. They serve as platforms to connect freelancers and businesses.
9. Become a Vlogger/YouTuber
Video content is one of the effective ways of sharing content. It is increasingly becoming the best way people prefer to consume content. It’s almost certain that that you must have watched video content on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other platform in the last one week and will still watch more going forward.
Publishing on YouTube is a great online business to do as you can make lot of revenue from the contents you post especially if it goes viral. Statista has it the number of YouTube users is about 2billion – that’s about a quarter of the world’s population. YouTube has made it such that it is free to share your content. All you need is your idea (What are you passionate about talking about or willing to teach?) and a camera. As you begin to grow your number of subscribers and viewership, you can partner with brands to help promote their products and services in exchange for payment.
Just make sure to define your niche, and stay consistent. Perhaps do something to keep you unique from others in your niche.
10. Become a Graphics Designer
Being a graphics designer gives you that opportunity to explore that inner creative side of you. Graphics designers are visual communicators, constantly converting and expressing ideas with art.
As a graphics designer, you can earn by designing logos, web pages, sales pages, online and offline banners, event invites, infographics, brochures, and many more for businesses and individuals. While you will be required at some point to show your portfolio to get top paying clients, you might not necessarily need it when you join online freelance websites.
Once you are good, you can also share your skill by teaching other people online for a fee. All you need to get started online as a graphics designer is a computer and/or a smartphone. You also need the of using any of such tools as Corel draw, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop. Easy to use platforms are available too as mobile apps like Canva, Adobe Spark etc. And of course, it requires internet connection.
11. Become a Podcaster
This is making series of audio files on any topic in any niche of your choice and uploading online. It could be about comedy, movies, personal development, business, sports, health, and well-being so on.
Podcasts are continuously growing over time as it fits into the continuous hustle and bustle of the present world and they are easy to consume on-the-go. People listen to them in their cars while commuting, some in the gym, some while taking a stroll or jogging and some people are even as petty as listening to podcasts in their bathrooms. People can easily access podcasts now than ever before, via Google and Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Simple cast, and more. If you have the , this skill can turn into a very profitable online business
The key to success here is to continuously create valuable content to such an extent that you become an authority or an influencer in your niche. Once you get to that level, you can then begin to partner with individuals and businesses to promote their products and service for a fee. Else, you create your own product and market them on your podcast. Start with making your own podcast with Anchor, Speaker Studio, Audio boom, and so on.
12. Coaching and Consulting for Online Businesses
This can come in either of two ways; it’s either you are coaching people to be better with certain aspects of their personal lives. This can be on how they can better manage their time, how they can maximize their finances, and beating procrastination. You can also consult for businesses regardless of the size in order to improve certain aspects of their business like finance, management, law, etc. Simply put helping individuals and online businesses succeed.
It is important you have sound knowledge or experience in business or personal growth. After all, you can’t give what you don’t have. The best way to go is to start with small individuals or businesses in a particular niche. You can them succeed which will serve as proof for you to get high-paying clients.
13. Video Content Creator or Editor
Businesses are now seeing that people tend to relate with videos better and any other form of content. As a result, they are constantly in need of people who will create video content to enable them to engage with their customers online on social media platforms, emails, and other platforms that allow for video sharing.
Whiteboard videos, 2D and 3D videos, Product explainer Videos, Executive videos, Sizzle reel videos are just amongst the few types of videos you can add to your services.
Acquire knowledge on writing scripts for adverts so this function would not be outsourced to someone else. To start, get to know how to use a camera and tools like Adobe after effect, Adobe premiere pro, PowerPoint, and more.
This is different from copyright. It requires you to write marketing materials like sales letters, copies for online and offline adverts, contents for websites, emails, and landing pages. Others can be scripts for video adverts and promotional videos, contents for emails, whitepapers all in a bid to make customers take an action. It can be for them to buy purchase a product, visit a website, download a document, call you, or order for a product.
Big brands pay copywriters that are able to pull in customers for their online business persuasive, compelling, and engaging copies. To start, you’ll have to learn the basics of selling and the science of why people buy. You can go on to freelance websites to get connected with individuals or companies that need your service.
15. Online Advert/Promotions Manage
This is another good business to start in this century. It involves running and managing paid adverts for businesses across some of their online platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google, etc.
Businesses need to run paid adverts online in other to expand their reach and get more people to know them. Although only a few businesses get the true value for the money they spend on running adverts. A big headache for lots of businesses today.
Get yourself acquainted with the basics of how ads on various platforms work. Also get yourself to start running them. Businesses will only trust you when you truly provide value for the money, they spend on running paid adverts.
16. Lead Generation and Email Marketing Service
Lead generation is the art of getting consumers to show interest or make inquiries about a product or service in an online business.
You must have to be to a website and they tell you “sign up for our newsletter” or “fill in your details to download xxx” and you drop your details like your name, your email address, sometimes your phone number and at other times it’s a Google form you fill. You’d also most likely have your email inbox filled with emails from different companies or brands or one must have called you as regards their product. That’s simply the art.
You can help businesses get new leads that they need. This is to ensure that they continue to send emails or calls about their products and services, or self-help. This keeps them interested with the sole aim that they would one day buy.
17. Corporate Counsel for Small Online Businesses
Large corporations or big online businesses have corporate counsels that handle their cases and legal related matters. Small online businesses on the other hand, have few or no options and are most times being trampled upon.
Lots of freelancers that miss out little things in their job offer letter that later come back to haunt them. Problems usually arise between a small online business and a consultant who refused to execute a project saying he needs to be paid separately for advisory service and execution service. Many people fall prey to these kinds of things.
Moreso, you can add services like online business registration, writing agreements, company by-laws, notarizing documents, land and housing documents, tax-related services, etc. Being a legal counsel to small businesses or individuals will require you to have evidence that you are certified to provide legal services.
18. Become a Online Business Market Researcher
Market Researcher would allow you to help online businesses and individuals survey the market for a product they want to launch. And what the perception of a population towards a product that is already in the market.
This is a very valuable business that clients pay hugely for. That’s for businesses that understand that it’s best to tailor your products to the needs and wants of the people. They usually prefer to outsource this function to someone else while they handle other things they handle best.
19. Offer Online Narration or Voice Over Service
To begin, you should have knowledge of the basics of research and use of tools like Google Forms for doing surveys, Mailchimp for having a database and sending bulk emails. Data analysis with tools like Tableau and Excel and so on. You also need the knowledge of the industry you will be working on.
This is basically you putting your nice or sweet voice into use.
Companies and businesses are constantly looking out for people who have good voices that can be used for creating audiobooks, voiceovers in promotional videos. It can also sort for in an online tutorials which you can easily do from the comfort of your home.
You’d need a microphone and professional recording and editing software to get started
20. Online Writing and Editing for University Applications
The number of people who opt to continue studying after college or their first university degree continues to increase. It is now more competitive than ever.
Everyone is not necessarily skilled at writing. This set of people tend to need experts who can help them write their Statement of Purpose. It can also be Personal statements, letters of motivation, Resumes, and CVs, etc.
To start, you’ll need to have good writing skills, use of grammar. knowledge of the admission processes is also required. This simply entails what different schools really look out for in such documents.
While these online businesses are worthwhile to start in this era, success in them or how much you will earn from them boils down to how much time or how well you invest in learning those skills. Also investing on the right tools for working and marketing business is necessary.
Which one should you start? Don’t be overwhelmed by the lots of choices available. Simply start with the one that’s easiest for you. You can then move on to others to have more streams of income if you can.