7 Feasible Online Business Ideas for 2021
The future is uncertain with the COVID-19 virus still spreading. To thrive, we must rise above the challenges brought by the pandemic. Even if you have undergone major setbacks, like being forced to close your business, you should still have hope. Now might be the perfect time to learn about the opportunities that technological advancements are creating.
Even before the pandemic, 14.1 percent of all retail sales were attributed to e-commerce, and 28 percent of consumers shopped online. Since the rise of lockdowns and store closures across the US, these numbers have increased, with 36 percent of consumers now reporting that they shop online every week.
This means that many eyes are online right now, making it an ideal time to start your own online business, or partner with another digital startup. With the year coming to an end, you can get a headstart on researching what type of online venture you might like to be involved in.
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Below are seven businesses that you can launch using just the Internet and a computer. They are easy to start, even with little to no investment.
Blogging is essentially writing on your own website in a journal-style. It can potentially bring in revenue from ads, and partnerships. Blogging is accessible because it uses informal language, because its goal is to engage readers and start a conversation. The content varies greatly, and can range from a casual travel or food blog to a more serious political or business themed blog.
What do you need to start blogging?
To start blogging, you must first set up your website. Determine whether you want to use a free blog hosting platform, or host your website yourself. There is a bit more work involved if you want to self-host your blog, but you should consider that free hosting websites are very limited in their scope and are not advisable if you are looking to generate an income from your blog.
To launch a self-hosted blog, you should choose a domain and hosting plan, install WordPress, buy a theme, design the blog, optimize it for SEO, and upload content. You may want to check out some tutorials that will also guide you on how to make sure your blog is secure.
How much do you need to invest?
It is possible to launch a blog for as little as $80 to $105. This will cover payments for the domain, hosting, and a premium blog theme. After the blog has been set up, most future costs will depend on your content, such as whether you need to pay for travel or food costs.
2. Content Writing
A talented writer will not run out of opportunities to make money on the Internet. Content creation is everything in the e-commerce world, and you don’t need to invest anything when offering your writing services to blogs, websites, journalists, or marketing teams.
What are the skills required to start writing?
Aside from writing skills, one of the most important skills you should have as a content writer is patience. You need to understand that you are writing for someone else, so you technically do not have a say on what you are writing about, or how it should be written. You must have patience and follow the instructions provided by your client.
Although it depends on the client, you should also be able to come up with relevant ideas that are exciting and engaging. Again, you must be patient and look for a unique approach to a subject so that your ideas are not wasted and the content will be fresh.
What types of content can you write?
There are countless topics that you may choose to write about. It largely depends on who you are writing for. It would be best to start with topics that you are most comfortable with, so that you are able to organize your thoughts naturally, in a way that will sound authentic to the audience. However, you can always do more research if you encounter a topic that is unfamiliar to you.
3. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a simple online business idea in which a blogger promotes a product through an affiliate network and earns a commission if a customer buys from your channel. Unlike in dropshipping, where you must complete the order process and carry out after-sales support, affiliate marketing is based on revenue sharing determined by how much you promote the product. The onus is on the affiliate to attract customers and convince them to buy the product.
What is required to start affiliate marketing?
There are dozens of ways you can start affiliate marketing. You can use social media, a blog, create microsites or email lists, or build your own website. Try to start with products that you are familiar with so it will be easier to integrate into your content. You can also diversify your commissions if you plan to work with several merchants to promote a range of products.
How can you reach out to people about affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is all about connecting with the right people. Look for affiliate programs that provide the most referral credits. Once you have found an affiliate partner, the next task is to start a marketing campaign that is suitable for the channel you are using. It is important that you stay on top of marketing trends to help with your conversion rates.
4. SEO Consulting
Being an expert in SEO can lead to great business opportunities as many businesses are in need of SEO consultants. SEO is constantly evolving, so companies are looking for consultants who can ensure that their business is creating SEO-rich content.
What does an SEO consultant do?
An SEO consultant should be able to assist with optimizing all the details on a website, even small ones like the meta tags and description tags. Published content must be high-quality, but it must also be written in a way that will achieve a high SEO ranking.
How much experience is required to start SEO consulting?
A professional SEO consultant must be armed with plenty of knowledge about how SEO affects a website’s success. There are many ways to make a site “search engine friendly,” so you should be aware of the different SEO techniques that you will need on the job.
What skills are required and where can you find clients?
Working as an SEO consultant is challenging but rewarding. It requires hard work and dedication to continue learning and improving your strategies as SEO algorithms change. You can start looking for clients by directly emailing companies, contacting marketing agencies, using social media, and by doing what you do best: SEO-proofing your content.
5. Social Media Content Creation
Most potential customers in the e-commerce industry use social media, so the platforms are a huge source of potential sales. A social media content creator can make any social media marketing campaign successful. The job requires patience, creativity, and graphic design and copywriting knowledge.
What do you need to get started?
To be an effective social media content creator, you must be insightful. You should know what the audience needs so that you can create content that will speak with them. Content is considered to be effective if it helps a company connect with their audience. It is essential that you are creative and deliver quality content as part of a strong marketing strategy.
How can you start working?
A social media content creator needs only talent and skills to get started. Excellent writing and design skills can take you places, since these are the foundations of effective content. You can find plenty of job opportunities posted directly by companies.
6. Social Media Management
The social media industry has grown so large that even the top companies are looking to harness its marketing power. Social media management involves completing tasks that add value to social media content or help a client reach their goals.
How does it work?
The main focus of a social media content manager is to grow a business’s online community. Duties include creating and scheduling posts, running ads, interacting with fans, and generating graphic designs for the page. Essentially, kyou will be developing marketing strategies relevant to your client’s business.
How can you start?
Having in-depth knowledge about how social media works is the most important skill. You must know the intricacies of the different platforms, and how to build a following. You can then identify which specific services you will offer by identifying your niche market, or the platform that you want to specialize in.
What are the challenges you might encounter?
Since social media managers do a multitude of tasks, it can be challenging to keep track of everything that needs to get done. Time is of the essence when creating meaningful content because on social media, trends don’t remain relevant for long. You also must address a variety of audiences by switching up your marketing approaches.
Authenticity is important in any business, and vlogging is a relatable and personal way to deliver a message. This is why it has the potential to be a sustainable source of income for those who have found themselves unemployed during the pandemic.
What skills are needed?
Just like with a blog, it is essential to create engaging content for a vlog. The viewers are very discerning because there are so many vloggers to choose from. Find your niche, then concentrate on creating content in that area. Since you are going to be in the video, it is important that you know the subject very well and appear confident. People will watch the video if they can see that you are indeed knowledgeable.
How can you get revenue from vlogging?
There are many ways to get paid for vlogging, depending on which platform you post your videos on. YouTube is the most popular, but you have to abide by their rules and conditions before you can start earning from your videos. If you have many followers, you can contact companies asking for marketing deals to promote products and get paid in exchange.
Vlogging is gaining popularity because it looks easy. But the truth is, it is just like any other marketing business. You must do research and be creative in presenting your content.
Look Forward to a Great Start
As you read above, it is possible to create a successful business without the need to be physically present at a workplace. Most of these online business ideas do not require any investment to start. Chances are, you already have everything you need to begin – a laptop or a smartphone, and an Internet connection.
Keep in mind that as an aspiring online entrepreneur, you must invest in your skills to succeed. If you are diligent, you will find that learning online is almost free. There are plenty of online classes and resources that will help you gain a better understanding of these different business models.
Lastly, there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the current situation where a huge chunk of the population is working from home. Don’t consider it a setback, since you know that there are plenty of possibilities for you to supplement your income from right where you are currently sitting.
About the author:
Yen is a Digital Marketing and SEO content writer. She is currently managing customer operations and public relations for Removal.AI. An automatic background remover and online photo editor software designed & developed using AI technology to simplify clients’ workflows to foster productivity, creativity, and design.