Online businesses are the hot topic in today’s world. Everyone wants one, but very few manage to execute their online business ideas due to fear, lack of funding, support from family and a host of other obstacles.
In addition, research shows that 98% of online businesses will fail. Maybe even more.
Whilst I’m not convinced by the validity of this statistic, it does highlight several things currently at play.
- People have bought into the idea of passive income en masse. (You don’t have to physically be working on your business to make money from it.) “Passive income” is searched 14,800 times a month on Google. (monthly average.)
- Online businesses are perceived to be more lucrative than brick-and-mortar businesses. Less overhead, lower startup costs etc. For many, all you need is a decent laptop and hosting. You don’t necessarily need Angel investors or external funding to get started.
- The internet has become littered with make-money-online charlatans who quite frankly, make money by teaching others how to make money. Very clever…
- Many people have been sold push-button software, promising them riches with very little time investment, thus are unaware of what it’s like to actually run a business. An online business is still a business. It requires no less time or effort.
These four factors coupled with inefficient business models, inaction, lack of proper research, access to inaccurate information and a lack of self-belief, has resulted in online business ideas that are doomed to fail.
Knowing this, how can you ensure your business venture becomes part of the 2% and succeeds against all odds?
Firstly, by doing your research and choosing a proven business model.
Here you’ll discover 6 growing online business ideas that have zero signs of slowing down.
There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Read through these online business ideas and pick one you feel most at home with.
1. Selling Online Courses
Online courses have grown tremendously over the last few years. Sales of ebooks have exceeded $9bn in 2015 worldwide according to Statista.
However, It’s not just ebooks dominating the headlines. According to Ambient Insight, online education is a $21.3bn industry in the United States alone.
This tells us several things:
- Online education is on the rise and is here to stay
- Digital products, goods and services are high in demand
- People love the convenience and flexibility of online learning – learning at your own pace, 24/7 tutor access, cheaper, connect with other learners, download and re-watch anytime etc.
Even for us, online courses is our business’s primary product offering and biggest profit driver.
Think of companies like Khan Academy, Udemy, Coursea and Lynda.com who pride themselves on having a platform where you can learn anything.
There’s no surprise why LinkedIn purchased Lynda.com for a whopping $1.5bn.
Online courses are growing in popularity and the data supports it.
Even Google and Udacity are taking advantage by offering nanodegrees which you complete from the comfort of your own home.
Selling online courses is a fantastic online business idea, but like everything in this list, you must do your due diligence.
In short, start learning how to think like a successful business owner.
How to get started with selling online courses
If you’re completely new to the idea of selling anything online, then you need to get an education.
What better way to learn how to sell online courses than by taking a course on how to create, promote and sell online courses?
Here are some courses we recommend. They’re comprehensive, effective and always up to date.
Next, you must choose a platform which enables you to create and sell online courses. There are hundreds on the market, each bursting with features that’ll help enrich the learner experience.
We use the Rainmaker Platform. Why? Because in addition to having a complete learning management system, it has all the tools and support you need to build a thriving digital business.
Also, when you compare the price you’ll pay with other tools that only offer a learning management system, you’d be mad not go ahead with these guys.
2. Freelance Web Designer, Marketer or Writer
There is no better time to be a freelancer than ever before. Being a freelance web designer, marketer or writer is one of the smartest online business ideas worth investing in.
Why? Because it’s an evergreen online business venture.
Anyone who has an online presence understands the impact of eye-catching design for attracting visitors and making them stay.
Whether your product cures cancer or solves every problem under the sun, you won’t make a dime if people don’t trust you. That’s why you need experienced marketers and copywriters.
Simply put, businesses can’t thrive online without them. Take a look at this chart. It highlights the biggest content marketing obstacles businesses face today.1. Lack of Time/Bandwidth to Create Content (51%) 2. Producing Enough Content Variety/Volume (50%) 3. Producing Truly Engaging Content (42%) 4. Measuring Content Effectiveness (38%) 5. Developing Consistent Content Strategy (34%)
What does this data tell you?
Most businesses are struggling to create content. Full stop.
As a freelance writer, you’re in high demand and thus can afford to charge higher rates than ever before.
How to get started as a freelance web designer, marketer or writer
“Knowledge is power. With it you can change the world, without it you are ignorant.”
In order to succeed as a freelancer or anything for that matter, you must have the following four ingredients.
A good place to start is Copyblogger.
Read all their entries on being a freelancer and map out a mini-business plan with concrete actions and deadlines to meet.
You will learn everything from how to get started to simple ways to earn repeat business.
Make sure you create accounts on several freelance websites. Doing this will help expand your reach, especially when you’re just starting out.
What you read above was just the tip of the iceberg.
Over the coming months and years, we’ll be updating this article with more information, statistics and online business ideas.
Our goal is to make this an invaluable resource for all budding entrepreneurs looking for online business ideas to bounce off with.
Here are some other online business ideas, we’ll be exploring in the future.
- Online E-Commerce store. Growth of e-commerce, crafts, jewellery, prints, clothes. What makes them successful. How to use Etsy, Ebay and Shopify as a platform to sell digital and physical goods.
- Consultancy services. Every industry has a consultant of some kind. We’ll explain how the internet makes it so simple to sell consultancy. We’ll split this up into Life Coaching, Nutritionists and Career coaching.
- Digital marketing agency. The perfect solution for businesses who need an adhoc team for content creation, website design and everything in between. You’ll learn why you don’t have to be a 12-person company at the beginning to start an agency. We’ll also highlight the benefits of building a digital marketing agency. There are thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs who need to build a powerful brand online.
- YouTube. Create content once, get paid over and over again. You’ll see statistics on how much YouTubers actually make. Also learn that you don’t need 100,000 subscribers or millions of views to make money.
I hope we’ve encouraged you to try some of these online business ideas. Keep learning and most importantly, take massive action.