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It starts as a feeling. A small inkling that you have something else to offer. A knowing instinct in your chest that people might actually be willing to pay you for what you love to do. Sound familiar? You may just have what it takes to run an online business.

But how do you start making money? Where do you get online business ideas? How do you showcase your ideas, thoughts, and services to the world?

In case you’re not sure where to begin, we’ve gathered some of the most lucrative online businesses that combine passion with conversions.

11 of the Hottest Online Business Ideas

If you’re stuck on how to make money online, here’s some food for thought.

(If you’re stuck on why it’s an awesome idea to make money online, read this first: 7 Reasons to Start an Online Business in 2022

1. Sell Your Hobby

Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life. Except you will. And you’ll love it. An entrepreneurial venture with passion at the forefront is going to bring you everything you could have hoped for.

You may think your craft is something for your eyes only - maybe suitable for a few family birthday presents. You’d be surprised to know that there is a great market out there for unique art and handmade goods.

People often mistake thinking that they need to learn a whole new skill to sell online. The way we see it is that if you’re already good at something that brings you joy, it’s time to get paid for it.

If you don’t have a website yet, check out our article: A Beginner’s Guide on How to Build a Website.

2. Become a Freelancer

So, you have a skill. Not only do you have a skill, but you also have a skill that has become increasingly needed in the digital world. Freelancing is an incredible online business opportunity for experienced copywriters, designers, UX designers, or website developers.

There are people, brands, and companies out there who need your help. Whether consulting or creating beautiful content, there will always be a market for these kinds of skills.

You can start an online freelancing business through multiple channels. You could market your services via social media like Tik Tok, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook or focus on driving traffic to your website.

There are freelance marketplaces like Fiverr, Fundi, and Upwork where you could start. These sites allow you to connect with clients across the globe to help with small, medium, or large projects.

However, if you’re hoping to make significant connections with long-term clients, we suggest building a portfolio-centric website and reaching out to brands. This way, you skip the middleman and don’t give a percentage of your payment away.

3. Influence The Masses

We all follow influencers of some kind. Perhaps you’ve found yourself thinking, “Hey, I could do that.”

Yes, you can! If you love all things social media, have an audience you engage with, and have a knack for talking about the products you love, influencer marketing may be for you.

No massive following? No problem. There’s been a surge in micro-influencers, accounts with a small but invested following.

The most significant building block to overcome once you decide to build an influencer brand is what other people think. But hey, they aren’t the ones hustling to make a thriving online business.

4. Get Blogging

Blogs aren’t just for undercover dark feelings. They’re a fantastic way to make an income online, especially if you create an interested community. If you’re a talented writer with a niche you want to share with the world, why not start a blog people cannot wait to read?

If you have a brand's target market frequently visiting your blog, chances are they’ll pay you for advertising space on your website. Blogging is a great marketing tool, and there are definitely ways to monetize from it.

Bloggers make money by hosting third-party ads, selling products on behalf of brands, or publishing sponsored posts.

5. Dropshipping

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This one is for the people who love to sell but don’t have the luxury of space. Since the ecommerce big bang, an opportunity has emerged that lets people sell without having a factory filled with inventory.

It’s called dropshipping, and it’s been a game-changer for online business owners. To start dropshipping, you need to find a product you want to sell. Oberlo is a great place to start. Once you’ve identified a product, you can begin to sell via a website, ecommerce site, or social media marketplaces.

How do the products get to your customers? None of your business. Because you’re dealing with a third-party supplier, they handle all the packaging and delivery. You facilitate the sale, send the order through your supplier and carry on sipping cocktails by the pool in Bali.

 Read this: How to Start a Business in 3 Steps

6. Put Together Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes are a beautiful way to put your heart and soul into something curated, well-thought-out and profitable.

A subscription box is a box of goodies put together to be shipped off to subscribers. This could be a weekly, monthly, or even bi-annual delivery, depending on what you offer.

Subscription boxes range from skincare to food to fandom merchandise. Plus, the products don’t even need to be your own. You could select various products from different brands that work well together, package them beautifully and send them off.

7.  Give Affiliate Marketing a Go

Affiliate marketing lies somewhere in the middle between influencer marketing and writing a blog. You can use both of these techniques to become a successful affiliate marketer, but you’re not limited to them.

You can start an affiliate marketing business by collaborating with brands that have products that need selling. How it works is that you direct customers towards their website or ecommerce shop by recommending their product through social media, email marketing, blogging, or whichever online channel works best. You get a commission for every customer that visits their website.

An appealing perk is that you don’t need to leave your 9-5 to become an affiliate marketer. You can run your business straight from your phone without putting in long hours.

8. Start a Podcast

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When you’re in a group of people, do they hang on to every word you say? Are you great at interviewing, talking for long periods, and telling captivating stories? Podcasting could be the online money-maker you’re looking for.

All you need to get started is audio recording software, call recording software, and a high-quality microphone. Of course, general editing skills are an advantage.

Podcasting has become one of the most popular ways for audiences to get information and entertainment, so why not get involved? Podcasters make money through sponsorships and paid ads. Plus, successful podcasts are more likely to branch off into other online opportunities and connections.

9. Virtually Assist

Virtual Assistants (VA’s) have become one of the most highly sought-after online businesses. Thousands of potential clients out there have their plates full and need somebody with exceptional organisational and digital skills to keep them on track.

All you need is an internet connection and a can-do attitude. You get to pick your clients and figure out what your strengths are. What you offer could range from managing marketing materials, scheduling meetings, or keeping on top of admin.

There’s massive potential for growth in the VA space. You could start on your own and slowly build your team of VA’s to pick up on any surplus work.

10. Sell Second-Hand

Everybody wants a cool leather jacket from the 1970s with an affordable price tag, but they’re not willing to sift through racks and racks of clothing the way you are. If you’re a regular thrifter, you could be using your time to make money online. Not only will you be doing a massive service to the planet, but you’ll also be able to turn over profit by selling items you can buy for a super low price.

There has been a considerable shift in the way people think about sustainable fashion. With fast fashion going on trial for human rights issues and malpractice, there has never been a better time to join the second-hand revolution.

11. Sell Online Courses

Ah, the internet. A well of knowledge, where anything and everything is at our fingertips.

Passive income is the way to go, and online courses are a sure-fire way to get there. If you have an area of expertise you would like to share, we can almost guarantee there is an audience out there willing to learn. From growing a garden to building targeted Google ads, there is nothing you can’t teach online.

Of course, you need to be willing to put in the work to create an excellent guide, video, or virtual seminar. But once that’s done, you just need to sit and wait for people to sign up.

 12. Build a Product Website

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If everything we’ve mentioned has your head spinning, an out-and-out product-based website could be the move for you. It’s by no means easy, but it has a very close model to a “normal” physical business.

Selling products online will mean you need to source, stock, sell and deliver your product. You’ll need to find a way to facilitate online payments.

 If you build your ecommerce store with WordPress and enable it with WooCommerce, you would be able to use the iKhokha Payment Gateway. The iKhokha Payment Gateway allows you to accept card payments online with no contracts, no extra costs, and no surprises.

Read all about how to get paid online here: Grow Your Online Business with the iKhokha Payment Gateway.

What Are You Waiting For?

When it comes to making money online, there’s more than enough success to go around.

We’ve been deep-diving into all things ecommerce. If any of these ideas have sparked a fire in you, make sure to check out our other free online business guides on how to make money online. You'll find it all under the business tips category on our blog

And that’s a wrap. Be brave and own your hustle - we can’t wait to see where it takes you.