If your goal is to find a job that allows you greater flexibility with your schedule and keeps you from spending hours commuting in your car, then you need legitimate online business ideas from home. There has never been a better time than now to explore ideas for earning income — either as a side hustle or full-time career — right from the comfort of your own couch.
Working from home offers an enormous amount of benefits, including:
- Better work-life balance
- Schedule flexibility
- Save money on gas and eating out
- Work from anywhere you have an internet connection
This doesn’t even include the benefits of being your own boss. When you work for yourself, you’re in charge of your own destiny. You can put as much, or as little, effort into your online business idea as you want and carve the path to success for yourself.
Before you leap into an online business…
Working from home and being your own boss doesn’t mean you have access to an easy-button. It takes research, a plan, and effort to find the right business idea for you and your family.
As you’re considering various online business ideas from home, spend time asking yourself specific questions about the business to determine if you’re choosing the right one for your lifestyle. Questions such as:
- Am I experienced in this topic or do I need further training?
- How many hours a day or week is needed?
- Can work be completed at any time or do I need to be available at specific times?
- Is this a side hustle or potential full-time gig
- Can all tasks be completed from home?
- What is the income potential?
- What costs will be incurred on an ongoing basis?
- What equipment and startup costs do I need?
- How will I find customers?
Once you can answer these questions and you’re comfortable with the information, it’s time to take action. To help get you started, we’ve put together several online business ideas from home to get you earning additional income and become an entrepreneur in no time.
1. Become a Facebook ad manager
Small business owners wear many hats, from inventory and customer service, to technical support and marketing. Many owners need help, or don’t have the time, to run their own ad campaigns on social media. This is where you come in. As a Facebook Ad Manager, you can handle Facebook marketing for small businesses so they are in front of the right customers at the right time.
Putting together a successful Facebook ad campaign requires a keen attention to detail. Not only do you create ads that grab someone’s attention while they’re scrolling, but you have to review analytics and target the right audience.
But when you get the campaign right, the result can be a game-changer for a small business. No matter what the goal of the Facebook ad campaign is (increased sales, increased downloads, build an e-mail list, etc.), as the ad manager you can make it happen and get paid for it.
To get started, Facebook has several resources on advertising help. But if you want to fast track your learning curve, we highly recommend the Facebook Side Hustle Course. This course is designed to teach you everything from A to Z for running a successful campaign as a Facebook Ad manager.
2. Virtual Assistant
If the thought of working with professionals and business owners appeals to you but you’re not sure you want to specialize in Facebook ads, then a Virtual Assistant role might be right for you.
Virtual Assistants (VAs) are responsible for everything from administrative tasks and shipping, to customer service responsibilities and content management.
Like an ad manager, attention to detail is crucial. But you have the flexibility to assist anyone in the world who needs an additional set of “hands.”
As a VA, your best bet is to pick a niche and market your services to the business you’re most interested in.
For instance, if you’d like to work with bloggers and help them respond to direct messages and emails, then you could choose that as a niche.
To get started, try networking with your friends and family but branch out by networking within the business you’re targeting. You can also look for posts on job boards such as Indeed or LinkedIn to find leads.
If you want more support in launching your VA business check out Gina Horkey’s Fully Booked VA course. It walks you through everything from setting your rates to successfully working with clients.
3. Monetize an audience
If you’ve spent anytime reading a blog or watching a YouTube video, you’re probably familiar with ads and products getting sold to you. If you have a following on a social media channel or blog, there’s no reason you can’t recommend products or services, as long as you’re sincere.
An audience can come from various avenues.
- A blog
- A YouTube channel
- Your Instagram account
If you have a following, there are multiple ways you can earn additional revenue. Revenue comes from outlets such as:
- Affiliate marketing
- Brand partnerships
- Sponsored posts
- Sell display ads on your website
- Build an email list and sell directly to subscribers
- Create digital products to sell
While growing your audience is highly rewarding, it does take time. This also means it may take time for your audience to develop trust with you and purchase your products. But don’t let it stop you from pursuing this fun, creative endeavor of monetizing your audience.
Related: How to Make Money with a Blog for Beginners
4. Create digital products
Digital products are another way to generate an online income from home. There are several digital products people purchase over and over again, and there’s no reason you can’t create your own and sell them.
Digital products come in all shapes and sizes, such as:
- Birthday party supplies
- Coloring pages
- How-to brochures
If you’ve got an idea, then explore how you could sell it and where your potential customers would be. You can sell digital products in a variety of ways, including:
- On Etsy
- Your own website
- Through an email distribution list
- Your blog
The best part about digital products is how you create the work up front, then your sales can come from potentially any part of the world during any hour of the day.
Gold City Ventures has a course that goes over how to create downloadable printables and sell them on Etsy. Printables are a great product to sell online since you create them once and can sell them over and over.
5. Teach an online course
If you like the idea of teaching a subject you’re knowledgeable or passionate about, then consider teaching an online course. Like digital products, most of the work is completed up front, then you focus on selling your completed course.
There are two avenues to creating online courses. The first route is if you already have a website, you can use an online course template. You then load your course on your site and set the price.
The other tactic is to work with an online course platform, such as Teachable, to host your course and provide marketing tools to promote it. Here’s our full Teachable review.
Not sure you know what kind of course you could teach? The beauty of online courses is you don’t have to choose a complex or complicated course, you simply need to know what you’re talking about.
Ideas for online courses range from creating a beautiful flower arrangement, teaching basic bookkeeping principles, to decorating your home or self-publishing a book. If there’s a subject you have experience in, then chances are you can create a course people would benefit from.
Related: Learn How to Create an Online Course in Just 9 Steps
6. Online freelancing services
Freelance services are needed by business owners to complete a variety of projects, both short-term and long-term. Businesses need freelancers to help out when time is short or they simply don’t have the knowledge.
You can freelance for a wide range of services, including:
- Writing (e-mails, blogs, articles, technical writing, business writing, web copywriting)
- Photo editing
- Web design
- WordPress setup
- Graphic design
- Transcription services
- Online ad management
- Social media management
- Online coaching or consulting
- Music lessons
- Travel planning
Does it seem as if there are numerous choices with freelancing? This is only scratching the surface of the opportunities available. If you have a skill, or are willing to train and pick a niche, then freelancing is a flexible way to earn money online.
Getting started is often the hardest part of any new online venture, but especially freelancing. The key is to build a portfolio as quickly as possible to showcase your work. Freelance sites such as Upwork and Fiverr are good for entry-level projects, and build your portfolio from there.
Another tactic to get started is to provide a service for free to someone you network with, then add it to your portfolio. If you have a website, or can have one created, you can put your samples and portfolio, plus information about your services.
Related: How to Start Freelance Writing with No Experience
7. Digital marketing agency
Another home-based business idea is to create a digital marketing agency. If you have a knack for marketing services a digital agency may be an exciting choice.
Digital marketing refers to online and media management for customers. And it’s a growing field, with over $120 billion in projected spend to reach customers through digital tactics.
A digital marketing agency provides multiple marketing functions for other businesses, or can specialize in one or two areas, such as:
- Search engine optimization
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Email marketing and strategy
- Social media marketing
- Content creation and marketing
- Website design and management
To get started, it’s key to have a website highlighting your services. After all, you want your potential clients to see how you can promote a business in the digital world. You can also network on LinkedIn and your social channels to advertise your new endeavor.
In addition to a website, you should have some experience with the service you’re offering, either from a previous employer or training. You should also have a willingness to learn new things, because the digital world is always changing and you want to offer your clients the latest and greatest.
Final thoughts on online business ideas from home
There are numerous ways to earn money online in 2021, and the best part is, you can earn income while wearing your favorite hoodie.
Like any other business, an online venture takes research and planning, but one of these ideas may be just what you need to achieve your dream of online entrepreneurship.
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