Online Business Ideas You Can Start Today in 2018

It’s never been easier to start an online business for your company, especially in 2018. Back in the day, a business venture will have plenty of risks you need to bear, such as needing to invest in a physical storefront or finding an office space.

With perfect online business ideas, you can eliminate a lot of those risks and have more flexibility with the way you work. Plus, with a basic website building know-how and some keen understanding of website maintenance, you can make an awesome website that will reach more potential customers with very little overhead.

But what type of online business ideas you have? Well, if you need a little help, we’ve got some suggestions that you can venture into to start earning that passive income!

Online Business Ideas You Can Start

1. Be an online blogger

The tried and true method for starting an online brand or business is through blogging. Start a blog like to share your passion and experience with the world. Just give you an idea of how much the site is earning, Pinch of Yum is a successful food blog and the site is earning $802,144.55 during a 12-month period.

If you’re passionate about writing or have the ability to write exceptionally well, a blogging website is a great way to start building your own online business.

What’s great is that you don’t even need a great deal of technical or computer skills. Platforms such as WordPress lets you create and build a blog website in no time. You can even host your website with SiteGround or iPage or look for the suitable website builders that are optimized for blogging (which is very important if you want to keep your user experience up to par).

Using a blog, you can build an extensive following for your brand, which will allow you to gain profit by partnering up with advertisers or by getting a commission from brand-sponsored content.

Note: Here a guide on how to start a travel blog or a food blog and make money from it.

2. Become an online affiliate

Affiliate marketing has been around a long time and it’s one of the easiest ways that you can make money online. Essentially, you make money by receiving a commission on products that you sold from other companies, either through their own site or through platforms such as Amazon or eBay.

Also, affiliate networks like Commission Junction, or ShareASale offer a variety of products and service. You can join these affiliate networks to widen your choices.

Besides, plenty of big brands offer affiliate programs and it’s fairly easy to get started. All you have to do is simply sign up as an affiliate and sell that company’s product or services using a special referral link, which you’ll then receive a commision for each product or service sold. The best part? You can do this without even lifting a finger!

The market for affiliate programs can be quite complex and to find the right program for you will take a bit of research. If you want to get started with affiliate marketing, here’s a handy FAQ that you can check out.

3. Build specialized Apps

It’s the age of smartphones and the demand for new and innovative apps are bigger than ever. Every day, countless apps are being downloaded and used in the Android and iOS marketplace. With that much potential customers, making an app can be a lucrative market.

Those of you who are programmers or developers, taking the time to develop and sell a smart device app will be well worth your time if you’re looking to make money online. The overhead cost of creating an app is very minimal as you don’t have to worry about things such as shipping or storage costs.

What’s more, if your app performs well, you can even entice other brands to advertise in your app for a great source of passive income.

Note: Here’s a list of platforms for making apps and building websites.

4. Open an eCommerce store

Another popular way to get started with an online business is to open an eCommerce store. In 2016, total retail eCommerce sales across the globe will reach $22.049 trillion and eMarketer estimates sales will top $27 trillion in 2020. With platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce, it’s never been easier for you to start an online store.

Not only are they easy to set up, it’s also immensely cheaper to open an eCommerce store as you don’t have worry about delivery or warehousing as you can use methods such as dropshipping to manage your inventory.

Note: Here’s our guide to starting a dropshipping with Shopify and open a WooCommerce online store with WordPress if you want to know more. 

5. Be a social media consultant

While large corporation and big brands can afford to hire a full-time staff to coordinate their social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), most small businesses tend to manage it themselves.

However, most business owners don’t have the time or capacity to handle their social media while still managing greater responsibilities for the company.

This is where you come in by offering to be a social media consultant for the smaller businesses. As a social media consultant, you can help them plan their marketing schedules, strategize content that’s relevant to their target audience, and improve their overall social media planning.

Note: If you are interested to know more social media marketing tips, check out this simple guide for beginners.

6. Freelancer for hire

Freelance work is nothing new to the online world and is a great way to make some passive income if you’re an expert in a certain field. Smaller businesses tend to look to freelancers to help them with one-time projects as it’s much more cost-effective than hiring a full-time staff.

The great thing about freelance work is that you’re don’t have to be tied to any field. Platforms such as Freelancer or Upwork offers freelancing work for all sorts of areas including written content, graphic designs, programming, to even data entry.

However, it’s important that you manage your workflow properly as taking several projects at a time can be overwhelming for some.

7. Be a WordPress theme designer

With more and more people starting up their own WordPress websites, the demand for quality WordPress themes has also increased significantly. For those who have a talent for design and HTML coding, there is a big demand for people who can create bespoke and attractive WordPress website themes.

Sites such as TemplateMonster is a great example of how you can generate a nice passive income for yourself by selling off special and unique themes for people. If you don’t want to create a website, you can even use a marketplace such as ThemeForest to sell your WordPress theme designs.

8. Use or work with advertisers

If you already have a website or a blog, then you already have a great platform that you can use to generate passive income. By selling off a portion of your page space to advertisers, you can earn money passively when your audience or visitor clicks on the ads on your website.

Using advertisers, your earning will generally be counted using the cost-per-click (CPC) and click-through- rate (CTR) method with the level of your earnings will be based on your website’s traffic. Basically, the more people click on the ads on your page, the more money you will get.

One of the more popular ways to earn money through advertising clicks is to use Google Adsense or any other similar advertisers such as RSS feeds and direct banners.

9. Offer webinars and online courses

The demand for tutors, whether it be online or offline, have always been great. If you’re an expert or knowledgeable in a specialized area, then offering online lesson or webinars can be an excellent way to generate extra income during your spare time.

Sites such as or TutorVista are great platforms for you to advertise and offer lessons in your area of expertise. You can conduct lectures, seminars, or webinars on all sorts of topics, such as digital marketing, blog writing techniques, and so forth.

If you’ve built up a good reputation online, you can even offer your services to university and college students who are more than to willing to pay for a good online tutor.

10. Offer SEO services

The ins-and-outs of search engines and platforms such as Google Analytics can be confusing for most people. Plenty of small to medium businesses often doesn’t take advantage of search engine optimization (SEO) to improve their website’s performance.

If you know your way around SEO and their practices, setting up an SEO consultant agency can be a great way to utilize your skill set. You can offer services such as interpreting and reading their analytics data the right way, structuring content to gain better traffic or to properly use keywords to improve search engine rankings.

You can look to people like AJ Ghergich for examples on how to set up your very own SEO consultant agency.

The Conclusion

We’ve only scratched the surface for few online business ideas, but the ones that we’ve mentioned above are some of the tried-and-tested ways that you can get started. If you are looking for more inspiration, here is a list of over 300 small business ideas.

The important thing to note is that, more often than not, these online businesses can be great to get some extra money on the side, but not as a steady source of income.

That’s not to say that you can’t transform it into your primary business as some entrepreneurs have done. It can be done, but it’s going to take a while before you can see substantial profits from your online business that will justify making that transition.

As with any business, if you want to see results, you just have to put time and effort into it. Before you know it, you’ll have a successful online business in your hands!