Opening a business from home is a great strategy for entrepreneurial-minded individuals. There are tons of ideas for home-based businesses that operate online, allowing you to create a thriving internet business from your living room couch.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Amazon affiliate business
Not many people realize that Amazon actually has a pretty cool commission program. That's right, Amazon will dish out commissions to websites that refer customers to its site. Join the Amazon Associates Program, create a website reviewing or promoting various products (with links to where users can buy the items on Amazon), and get a nice little cut if users complete an Amazon order.
Some affiliate marketers don't love working with Amazon, because the payout can be small compared with other sites. Amazon starts you off with 4 percent, but that can become as high as 8.5 percent, depending on how many orders are made through your links.
Blogging isn't just a fun online activity to feed our narcissistic tendencies-it's also a clever internet business idea. A quality blog with a loyal audience can earn decent dough by partnering with advertisers, whether through Google AdWords, affiliate partners, or through sponsored blog posts.
Monetizing a blog isn't easy by any means, but if you have the passion and are writing about a unique niche, blogging is definitely a smart online-business idea to consider.
3. Sell stuff on Etsy
If you're even a bit artistically inclined, selling products on Etsy can be a great work-from-home business. Users love checking out Etsy for unique specialty gifts, and many customers appreciate how easy it is to order custom pieces from Etsy stores. See what's selling out on Etsy and consider whether you may be able to offer something similar.
4. EBay seller
EBay seems as ancient as a dinosaur in today's fast-moving webiverse, but it's still the top online auction marketplace, where users go to order collectibles, rare goods, and other items. Building a solid reputation on eBay can take some time, as most sales go to the power sellers who have established five-star ratings. Still, if you can acquire the goods no one else has, you can make a nice income reselling items on eBay.
Scour local Goodwill stores and garage sales for antiques or high-demand niche items that can earn a decent price tag online. Pick a specific niche, research it, and become an expert so you know exactly what kinds of products to look for and what they're worth online.
5. Become a YouTube star
There are thousands of online users who work from home and make an internet living creating YouTube videos. In fact, PewDiePie, YouTube's most famous online celeb, makes millions a year with his wildly ridiculous videogame playthroughs.
All right, pick your jaw off the floor-I'll tell you how this happens. You're probably all too aware of those obnoxious video ads on YouTube that are shown before the video that you really want to watch. YouTube makes a ton of revenue from these video ad rolls, and when a user has a large enough subscriber base, he or she is invited to join YouTube's partnership program, allowing the user to grab a piece of the advertising pie.
Some YouTube stars, like makeup tutorial master Michelle Phan, make money from YouTube advertising plus sponsorship deals with various products that they recommend in their videos.
Becoming a known person of interest on YouTube is tough work, and earning views and subscribers is competitive, as more people are getting dollar-sign eyeballs when they see what the big YouTube power users make. Still, if you have something unique to bring to the table or have a great onscreen personality, YouTube could be the spot for you to make your millions (from the comfort of your own home, no less)!
6. Social media manager
Nearly all businesses understand the importance of maintaining a social media presence, but not everyone can afford to bring in a full-time social media manager. Contract yourself out as a social media manager and spend your days tweeting, posting to Facebook, and snapping Instagram pics. If social media is your second skin, this could be a great home-based business idea for you.
7. Web developer
Web developing is another specialized skill in which you can make a decent living as a freelancer. Everyone needs web assistance, and if you've got the technical know-how, you can easily start your own work-from-home web-dev online business.
8. Write an e-book
E-books have made self-publishing a real income-generating option for writers who previously may have had trouble partnering with big-name publishers. If you have in-depth knowledge about a specific topic, crafting a well-written, informative e-book and selling it online can be a great way to supplement your regular income.
If you have extensive experience in a highly valued field, consider starting your own consulting business. Outside businesses often look to consultants to help and guide them, rather than hire someone in-house. Popular consultants include those for cybersecurity, finance, accounting, and graphic design.
10. Freelance copywriter
Online businesses are becoming increasingly more dependent on content to delight and attract website visitors. However, not everyone is a born writer, which is why businesses are always looking for freelance writers and editors to help craft and polish quality online content. Often businesses are happy to work with remote freelance writers, which means you can potentially work from anywhere in the world! If you're a knowledgeable wordsmith, freelance copywriting can be a great home-business idea.
11. Grant writer
Grant writing is essential for nonprofit companies looking to gather much-needed funds. Learn all you need to know about grant writing and start taking clients! You'll be earning a living while doing good work by helping nonprofits bring in the money they need.
12. Graphic designer
Many businesses seek out freelance graphic designers for logos, custom letterheads, infographics, and web design work. With digital visual assets becoming ever more valuable online, graphic designers have plenty of opportunities to make money remotely from home.
Home-Based Businesses for Offline Activity
While there are limitless ways to start an online business from home, there are plenty of ideas for a home business you can start offline as well. We've got a few examples below.
13. Pet care
Many people consider their pets to be family, and pet owners are often more than willing to shell out some serious money for Fido or Princess Pie. Whether you want to start a pet grooming, pet sitting, pet walking, or even a pet photography business, there are plenty of profitable from-home businesses you can manage in the pet care industry. Naturally, a love of animals is mandatory!
14. Cleaning service
Everyone wants a clean house, but many people don't have the time or desire to do it themselves (most of us are just waiting for Roombas to become more affordable while we drown in dust). Starting your own housecleaning service is another great home-business idea, although of course this job requires travel and can't strictly be done from home-you'll mostly be in other people's homes.
If you've got a streak of contracting experience under your belt, you may want to consider starting a handyman service. Your assignments may vary dramatically, from installing a kitchen counter faucet to refinishing an outdoor deck. If a variety of projects sounds exciting to you, consider a future as a for-hire handyman!
16. School tutor
Many parents seek out tutors to help students with schoolwork in areas they are struggling with. Consider hiring yourself out as a math, literature, or science tutor (or whatever else the kids are learning these days). Experience with kids and with schools is a major plus here.
17. Language tutor
If you're a native English speaker, you're in luck-there are tons of foreigners looking to practice their English skills, and you can help them simply by engaging in conversation. Even foreigners with years of English lessons often are looking to develop their conversation skills. Meet at a coffee shop or even offer Skype sessions. No teaching experience required (although time in a classroom would provide a major advantage).
18. Portrait photographer
Families are looking for expert photographers to preserve memories and milestones in their lives, whether it's their baby's first Christmas or Aunt Dorothy's 80th birthday. Photographers can take clients in the comfort of their own home, provided they have the space and the studio equipment available.
19. Give music lessons
Parents are often seeking out instructors to help their children develop musical talent. Sure, some parents may be just trying to make their kids appear well rounded on college applications, but there are also plenty of students looking for a rewarding skill to last them into adulthood. If you have some musical skills, considering taking on pupils for music lessons. Since you're teaching a specialized skill, you can earn a decent hourly rate. The more specialized the instrument, the better (you can probably charge a fair bit more teaching the French horn than the piano). Consider doing home visits; you may be able to charge an even higher premium.
20. Any specialized skill
You can start a home-based business around just about any specialized skill you possess. If you have knowledge that others want, you can likely capitalize on it.
These are just a few examples of great home-business ideas you may want to consider. Remember that starting your own home business requires an organized and self-efficient individual. If that sounds like you, go for it-you'll be working from home in no time.