50 Online Business Ideas to Start in 2021

The world is growing rapidly, people’s minds and buying behaviors are continuously changing, and new markets are widely open worldwide. With that in mind, and after witnessing the catastrophes taking place in the world day after day affecting businesses and people’s income, you are absolutely thinking of how to start a small business of your own. Small business ideas 2021 are endless, but who wants to go through the hassle of hiring employees, renting a place, finding an inventory, and so on! Plus, traditional businesses and old-school companies cannot stand the rapid changes nor can they survive the major disasters the world is suffering from. So, it’s online business ideas 2021 then that proved to be efficient, successful, and market fit. But again, online business ideas are only limited by your imagination; from where can you start and what should you do?

First, think of what you can see yourself doing for the next 5 years. Ask your friends and family to tell you what your strength points are. Get a paper and write down your skills and habits; they can be anything: writing, helping others, persuasion, thinking outside of the box, etc.

Second, go online. Search for “online business ideas” or “online business ideas from home” and take notes or make a list of business ideas that could work for you. There is no such thing as good ideas or bad ideas; successful business ideas are only successful because their owners put their hearts into them. Successful online business ideas are many, you should take your time and play the odds.

Third, hold down your list of business ideas 2021 and try to match every idea with two factors: your skills and strengths and market needs in your targeted area. You would certainly figure something up and get going right away with your own small business online.
So, to answer the question “how to make money online for beginners,” you take care of listing your skills, and we got you covered with 50 small business ideas you can start with no/little experience and zero/little money.

A List of 50 Small Business Ideas 2021 to Start

1. Affiliate Marketing

We find in our first list of business ideas 2021 ,You’ve probably heard of affiliate marketing as an online business idea a lot. That’s because affiliate marketing is really a successful business idea to start with no experience and no money!
Affiliate marketing is simply how to sell other people’s products online. It includes marketing for a product on a Facebook page or a site of your own. When people click the product’s link and make a purchase, you get a commission. There are a bunch of online resources on how to become an affiliate marketer you can benefit from.
• Experience needed: none (you can read some articles online or watch free videos)
• Money needed: zero.

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• Market size: $15 billion is the global value of affiliate industry (affiliate marketing portion of total e-commerce sales is 16%)
• Expected income: $1000 to $7000 per month
• Success story: Hiey Nguyen is a famous Vietnamese affiliate marketer who builds niche site and sells them for thousands of dollars.

2. Dropshipping

If someone asks me: How to start selling online? I would say: start dropshipping. Dropshipping is a guaranteed successful business idea nowadays. All you have to do is set up your website, market for some products you love, used, or know an audience for, and the third party (for whom you are marketing the products) stores and ships the products for you. You can curate products from one or more suppliers into your own online store (bedsheets, mobile covers, fashion and bags). When a customer buys a product from you (clicks the link on your site/page), the order is sent to your supplier who fulfills it on your behalf. However, you are still responsible for your own marketing and customer service.

  • Experience needed: none
    (read a good article on the subject and you’re good to start https://bit.ly/39GxwU0 )
    • Money needed: zero (build a website for free on https://bit.ly/39BRwaf  and the stock is not yours)
    • Market size: the global dropshipping market size was valued at $102.2 billion in 2018 and is growing daily.
    • Expected income: beginners usually earn around $1000 to $2500 monthly from dropshipping .
    • Success story: Pierre Emmanuel, a French immigrant in the USA, leaped into the dropshipping market to end up with more than $1.6 million in revenue from his site.


Totally free! No credit card, No hidden fees

3. On-Demand Printing

Although it seems like a worn-out business idea, it’s still a successful business idea if thought through, studied well, and pursued smartly. Go crazy with designs for dog owners, cat lovers, or any community-related themes. Think outside of the box; print on T-shirts, mobile covers, pillowcases, posters, and the list goes on. The trick here is in the designs you offer and the customization you pamper your clients with.


T-shirt on-demand printing
T-shirt on-demand printing in 3 favorable shades

• Experience needed: a little with Photoshop or designing app (you can also hire a freelance designer)
• Money needed: zero
• Market size: the global printing industry is forecast to reach $821 billion by 2022, time to jump in and have a slice of the cake, ha? ?
• Expected income: print on demand can easily make you a passive income of $500 per month.
• Success story: a father from Georgia started an online store selling on-demand printed T-shirts and by time he was able to make up to $100,000 as a profit.

You’ll love this guide on how to sell online on Instagram. Instagram redefines the concept of how to start selling online.

4. Creating Online Courses

Became an expert in life, gained an experience in a subject matter, or can help people out with your experience or learning? Idea number 4 in our list of business ideas 2021 is creating online courses where you can change people’s lives and make money out of it. Carry on the experience you gained in a specific field to the next generation. Record videos for the self-learners teaching them your area of expertise whether in marketing, programming, healthy diet, or training dogs at home.

Many platforms allow you create and sell online courses
Many platforms allow you create and sell online courses
  • Experience needed: good experience in one subject matter at least
    • Market size: according to the Zion market research, “the global massive open online course market was valued at around USD 3.61 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach approximately USD 25.33 billion by 2025.”
    • Success story: Joseph Michael created a successful coaching course, LearnScrivenerFast.com, and says “I am convinced anyone can copy what I’m doing if they learn how to create a course that solves problems. We’ve had two six-figure launches for different courses already, and these days I spend most of my time conceptualizing and selling other courses.”

5. Doing Business for A Noble Cause

You can take any idea of the listed above and associate it with a charitable work. Set aside part of the profit for a good cause you support or care about. Studies shows that consumers are very likely to switch to another brand with the same products and prices if they feel they are making a change through their purchase. Then, as part of your market, share the impact you’ve done to your cause; record videos to show your customers how part of their money is used for a good cause. Take the search engine Ecosia for example, Ecosia is gaining ground in the market because they announced that for every 45 searches a user makes, a tree is planted; there’s a real-time counter on the browser showing how many trees are planted till now!

6. Offering Services

Not just physical or digital products can be sold, your time can be sold as well. People make money online by offering their time for a particular service. Some offer to tutor students, others can be a personal assistant on the internet. Think of any skill you have or a job you are willing to accomplish and offer that online. You can either set up a website for that or offer your services on the different platforms of freelancers.

7. Flipping Domains

Flipping domains is the exact example of how to buy and sell online and make money. The process itself can be tricky, but if you have the talent and can foresee what’s going to be a big hit next, go for it. Buy a domain name you think someone would want it in the near future. Wait for the right time and resell that domain for the price you see satisfying. Everyone is buying a domain everywhere now, you got to be part of that.

Datarecovery.com was sold in 2008
Datarecovery.com was sold in 2008

8. Selling On eBay

Watch out for scammers, choose your products wisely, and ask for the right price. A little old school yes, and a traditional way  of how to sell online, but believe me people are still making good money out of selling on eBay until this day.

9. Selling Handcrafts

In my opinion, the best products to sell online 2021 are the handmade products. Whether you’re doing them yourself, or know someone who does, handmade and handcrafted goods are a big hit these days. It is a typical application of products to sell online from home. People want to possess things that are made specially for them, one of a kind that no one else has. Homemade products can be a DIY soap, a silver jewelry, or a scented candle. Build a website that sells handmade products in a certain category, or team up with your friends and neighbors and widen the range of the products: home decor, stationary, bedding, etc.

Handcrafted lanterns
Handcrafted lanterns

Success story: Etsy is one of the largest sites for selling handmade products in the world. Etsy is predicted to hit a market share of $140 to $170 billion by 2023. How exciting is that!

10. Building Niche Sites

Build a stunning website that targets a specific niche, work on it hard to rank on Google for the keywords related to that niche, and then turn that traffic to earnings through affiliate offers or by selling your own products. If you invest time and effort in such a process, expect to make a passive income starting from $500 at least monthly.

11. Creating SaaS (Software as a Service)

Brainstorm an idea for an online software that would benefit a specific category of users, meet a need, or solve a problem. Then, people will willingly pay money to use your software. Google Apps, Dropbox, and Leadpages are all Saas.

12. Generating Leads

Be the matchmaker between businesses and new leads who would convert eventually into paying customers; read this article on lead generation. Businesses are always on the lookout for ways to generate new leads.

13. Managing Social Media Accounts

Business owners do not have the time to manage all their social media accounts; that’s when you step in. It’s a profitable job to do online, and you are going to learn a lot.

14. Facebook Advertising

Luckily, learning Facebook advertising is fairly quick and available online. Once you learn the ins and outs for it, businesses are most likely to hire you to create profitable Facebook ads. Facebook is becoming the number one social media platform to buy and sell products online and make money in many parts of the world.

15. Website Developing

As long as you know HTML, CSS, a bit of JavaScript, and some of the basic programming fundamentals, then you are ready to start applying as a front-end Web Developer. You can search online, now you should make sure you are searching for the right jobs. Anything with the word “entry” or “junior” is going to be suitable for you to look at; stay away from “senior” and “experienced.”

16. Website Designing

The skills you need are html5 and CSS3, which means you need to understand the infrastructure around the languages, you don’t necessarily need to be a JavaScript programmer, this is a general-purpose type of service provider for freelancers.

17. SEO Consultant (Search Engine Optimization Consultant)

SEO consultant job, in general, sounds something like this: review, analyze, and enhance search engine performance, websites, and its incoming links, in order to provide advice and recommendations to businesses seeking better rankings in search engines (like Google) and to attract more natural traffic for increased customers and sales.

18. Graphics Designing

Sites like Fiverr, Upwork, Gigbucks, etc. make it really easy to sell your work and make some extra money number.

19. Photoshop

You can apply basic Photoshop skills to work as photo editor or color corrector or to add filters, design backgrounds, advertise products, participate in web design, and so much more

20. Logo Designing

You can work with design houses like: istockphoto, Envanto, and Getty Images. These sites not only sell photography but also sell logos, icons, and illustrations, among others.

21. Internet Marketing / Digital Marketing

Being a digital marketer includes SEO, social-media marketing, email marketing, and and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. You need literally zero dollars in your bank to get started creating a social-media marketing agency. All you need is your experience and time. You can find clients to pay you to run their adverts, and the rest depends on the word of mouth.

22. Article Writing

Here you have to choose your specific writing area. Such as, writing blogs for online store(s). There there are many websites that will pay you to write specific topics for them, like WP hub, Nutria-Inspector, and Linode.

23. Copywriting

Copywriting is one of the few creative business ideas 2021 that allow you to get paid with nothing more than your laptop. You don’t need any fancy software programs, you need empathy, creativity, and a passion for writing.

24. Content Writing

Content writing is the task of creating engagement. So think about blog posts, videos, Instagram posts, captions, images, graphics; these are all pieces of content that are used to create engagement.


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25. Ghost Writing

When you ghostwrite, you let someone else put his/her name on your work; you have to sign an NDA with the client. The client who commissions the work will own the copyright, which also means they can modify or republish the work in any way they see fit.

26. Proofreading

The first task of proofreader is to find and correct typos, spelling, part of speech, using the right word for the context, punctuation rules, quotations, hyphenation, headings and subheadings, etc.

27. Copyediting

Editing is like fine-tuning a text. It consists of content edit, line edit and technical edit, and there are many sub-edits under each category. Copyediting is all about technical editing.

28. Translation

Perhaps freelance (or online) translation is one of the most well-known among online jobs. Thus, it is easier to find a freelance translation platform, such as LinkedIn, TranslatorsCafe, and Upwork.

29. Mobile Apps

One of the best business ideas 2021, This task includes mobile apps programming and/or developing; apps can be categorized into Android Apps, Apple Apps, and apps for other operating systems.

30. 3D/2D Rendering

Rendering is a computer graphics process by which 3D models are converted into the final 2D image in a computer. To work as a freelance rendering artist, you need an efficient computer, and, of course, experience in at least one 3D software as 3D Reshaper, 3D Crafter, or FreeCad.

31. 3D/2D Animation

Animation is part of the 3D/2D Rendering process; it was –until few years ago– manually created. This (hand-sketched) animation is now obsolete. Today animators have instead a variety of computer tools and software to do the task, some of which are free, such as Blender and Daz3D.

32. 3D Modeling

Modeling is the initial step of 3D rendering, which includes the creation of a three-dimensional object by utilizing a 3D modeling software like TinkerCad, AketchUp, and Sculptris. There are variety of clients for 3D modeling like artists, engineering companies, and medical and educational institutes.

33. Software Developing

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program. They Analyze users’ needs and then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs.

34. PHP Developing (Hypertext Preprocessor Language Developing)

Depending on job function, PHP developers can be classified as software developers or web developers. Because the language is so pervasive in website development and business, PHP can be a good choice for self-employed developers.

35. Linux

Linux is the most recognized open source operating system. Over the last few years, many companies and individuals were (and still are) trying to migrate from the costly operating systems to a new version of Linux.

36. Data Entry

Like typists, data entry clerk is one of the most common (and needed) jobs at almost all facilities (private or governmental). To work in data entry, you need nothing but a computer, and you should be fast and meticulous.

37. Data Processing

Data is useless and meaningless without adequate sorting, filtering, linking, graphing, etc. to extract meaningful information. Again, to work as data processing technician, all you need is an efficient computer and a free database software such as MySQL.

38. Software Architect

It refers to the most significant part of the software internal design. A software architect creates representations of desired products and writes the product specifications that will guide software engineers. Next, requirements are forwarded to the development team, and when work is complete, software architects check if software meets client requirements and approve software before launch.

39. Banner Designing

Banner designing falls under graphic designing. You don’t need money at all to start working online as freelancer banner designer. There are free banner tools, banner makers, stock photos, templates, and online software.

40. Accounting

Accountants/Auditors are one of the most wanted personnel in companies. You can offer bookkeeping services to companies through an online communication system in exchange for agreed on fees.

41. Finance

Finance involves three primary areas, namely, business finance, public finance, and personal finance. Finance also includes saving and lending money. Like accounting jobs, freelance finance experts can work through platforms as, LinkedIn, Freelance.com, Wuzzuf, Upwork, and others.

42. Legal Advisor

The legal advisor can provide council and guidance in matters related to employment, human resource and labor law, among other fields. A freelance legal advisor can find clients on websites as LinkedIn or Upwork.

43. Excel Expert

Excel experts are highly needed by companies, whether in-house or on a freelance bases. you can work as an excel expert through websites like Workana, peopleperhour, and truelancer.

44. Research Writing

Like the freelance technical writer, the research writer is usually a writer who is more specialized in scientific or academic fields. The research writer pays attention to field specific terminology and strictly conforms to the academic style in his/her writing.

45. Blogging

Blogging is a big potential source of income (if you know how to monetize it). You should start by creating a blog of course (easier than ever nowadays), consistently adding content (educational, informative, or entertaining content) that attracts audience to your blog, and eventually selling something there (ad space, products, sponsored posts, eBooks, etc.)
• Experience needed: none
• Money needed: zero
• Expected income: you can earn anywhere between $20 and $5000 for a sponsored post for example.
• Success story: starting as a simple blog in 2005, the “Lifehacker” blog is said to be earning around $110,000 monthly. Lifehacker tips and tricks for life in general (lifehacks).

46. Renting Vacation Homes Online

If you could manage to have a software solution to keep things organized as bookings ramp up, then you are good to start a vacation rental business. Find unique places in your country that people would love to visit and stay at, market for them smartly, and provide a good customer service experience. There are very successful niche of business ideas 2021 in vacation rental homes and management competing with titans like AirBnB or HomeAway.

47. YouTubing

2021 is a great time to start making your first video. Videos are growing more popular every day, whether on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, or other platforms. You can use your channel to recommend products to your audience (for a commission of course), sell your own products, or drive more traffic to your website. Get behind your smartphone (you don’t even have to buy an expensive camera) and hit “record” now!

48. Business Coaching

If you’re an expert in business or have a deep understanding of the market forces of what drive purchases, then becoming a business coach could mean financial freedom. Start by offering an incredible amount of value upfront; afterwards, people will pay you for execution.

49. Travel Consultant

You can work online to help individuals or groups to find the best deals out there, book flights and accommodation, and enjoy the vacation of their dreams.

50. Link Building

At the end our business ideas 2021 list, Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. Link building specialists help increase their company’s internet profile by making sure that many other websites link to its site.

Best Products to Sell Online 2021

  1. Athleisure: activewear worn as a regular everyday-wear, and not to work out
  2. Shapewear: a bodysuit that helps to create a slimming silhouette
  3. Wireless phone chargers
  4. Keto-diet supplements
  5. Bluetooth speakers
  6. Beard oil: oil that’s used for men’s beards to improve the texture, enhance the growth, and improve the overall look
  7. Car phone holders


Here you go, a list of 50 ideas for businesses to do yourself, some of them are online business ideas from home and ideas for products to sell online from home for anyone to start. You can jump to the affiliate business and learn how to sell other people’s products online. As you see, how to make money online for beginners is not a dilemma, once you know all the skills and dig deep into your own skills and interests.

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