7 Online Business Ideas | Low-Risk & High Return for 2019

Go back 28 Oct 2019

1. Create an online course

If you are knowledgeable about a certain topic and you feel others would benefit from your knowledge, consider creating an online course. People who have written and published books often consider transferring it to an online resource (especially if the book sold hundreds or thousands of copies).

online resource business idea

Online courses are becoming increasingly popular because not only are more and more people now online but platforms like YouTube and Vimeo are now the go-tos for tutorials, how-tos and workshops.

While your knowledge on your chosen topic is the most important factor, you will still need to utilise advertising, website design and course materials.

Online courses are easily accessible and allows you to demonstrate your knowledge across another media channel, reaching a wider audience for zero cost. You could also host live tutorials/lessons if you chose to.

Some popular and successful tutorials include:

  • How to Make a Basic Box Steve Ramsey – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vFGrNjT4P4
  • How to Grow a Small BusinessJack Ma – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7tF-cY2M9o

You may also want to consider creating a forum or group for people to talk and discuss the videos (they can also do this in the YouTube comments). This promotes brand awareness and encourages customer engagement.

2. Start a podcast

podcast business idea

Podcasts have been around since 2004 and have been increasing in popularity since. Podcasts are ideal for people who don’t have time to sit and watch or read. Whether you’re cooking dinner or driving to work, podcasts are perfect for people on the move.

The biggest benefit of podcasts is how accessible they are, you can record on anything that has a recording feature, including your phone. You can invest in a better microphone and recording equipment but this is entirely up to you.

Podcasts can also be added to your website and can be tailored to whichever format best fits your blog. For example, if your blog is centered around news or politics, then you might want to invite someone with a background on politics for an interview, if you’re talking about Bake Off, invite a group of chefs to share their opinions. Inviting guests who are educated on the topic you’re discussing helps add authenticity and validation to your podcasts.

3. Create an online ecommerce business

ecommerce business idea

While starting an online store may not be as simple as starting a blog, the extra time and effort that goes into it can see huge returns if your store succeeds. In our article How to Start an Online Business | 4 Simple Ideas to Get Your Business Making Money Online, I discuss four separate and simple ideas for businesses just starting out.

However, if you’re looking to run a fully-integrated online store, be prepared to manage the shipping, packaging inventory and storage costs (even if they’re outsourced to third parties). It’s the same principle as starting a physical store, the only difference being people visit online and pay via ecommerce.

Safe and secure shipping and transport need to be on your list of priorities as damaged and/or lost products will reflect negatively on your online reviews and make your business less trustworthy. Postage, packing and other costs must also be considered alongside this.

The Delivery Group make this side of the business easy by managing all of your transport and delivery costs via our range of services. Whether you’re sending a few parcels sporadically or hundreds or thousands weekly, we can tailor a cost-effective delivery plan to your exact requirements.

Consider a low-risk alternative when starting out

If you are looking for an alternative, low-risk investment, try starting your own store on Amazon, Etsy or eBay. This way, your product will still be promoted to a huge audience without having to build an online reputation. Building a following takes time and you need to understand the basics of SEO and to some degree, Google Ads.

4. Affiliate Marketing

affiliate marketing business idea

For those who are unable to offer their own products to consumers, it is also possible to earn a commission by promoting products sold by a third party. This is affiliate marketing, with two principal methods being employed when people choose to start.

The first method involves promoting information on products such as ebooks, video series and membership sites, among others, as none of these are difficult to come by. It is considered very easy for beginners to start their own online business ideas this way. This is because it gives them free experience in the field while potentially incorporating other online business activities, such as using their blogs, web channels and other social media as platforms for promotion.

Many who choose affiliate marketing for their own product stock have found success through partnering with Amazon. As there is a much greater variety of products to choose from on this site, it can be profitable to advertise what you sell online, earning you money in advertising fees when you join their free service. There is also the potential to maximise your revenue through their site’s conversion rates.

It must be noted that when you choose affiliate marketing in order to start or promote your small online business ideas, it is highly recommended that you have at least a basic knowledge of SEO, copywriting and sales funnels. Understanding these will give you the proficiency needed to make a success of your endeavoured business.

5. Start a YouTube channel

youtube marketing idea

Starting your own video channel and becoming a “vlogger” is an increasingly popular way of obtaining revenue. As audiences now tend to seek more engagement from the media they consume, creating content such as videos is more likely to drive up your traffic. When a larger audience feels involved, there is a greater potential to increase your profits.

With videos growing in marketability, especially if you are intending to target audiences under the age of 25, it is worth the time and effort needed to create and maintain a video blog. If you stream your content across several platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat as well as YouTube, you have the opportunity to broadcast your product to millions of people around the world.

It is possible to earn thousands every month from a video posted to YouTube that promotes or reviews products for different brands and companies. The greater the amount of traffic your video receives, the greater the ad revenue will be from YouTube as a result. You may also receive third party offers from different companies who wish for you to promote their brands.

The reason this is often considered one of the best small online business ideas is because it does not require expensive equipment. If the camera on your phone is of good or high quality, it will be possible for you to create videos to stream to audiences and potentially start earning revenue. It can also lead to other opportunities, such as speaking gigs and the chance to branch out into further online businesses.

6. Create a blog

blog business idea

In the modern age, it is easier than ever to create and run a blog that can also be a source of income when monetised. Advertising physical and digital products, selling your website or ad space and making money through donations are all viable options for starting your online business.

Two choices present themselves for the content you may wish to write about on your blog. It is possible to emulate blogs that you already enjoy and give you inspiration, or you can choose to create original content. It is important that whichever decision you make, you are writing about something which interests you.

It is also important that you create your content consistently, as well as ensuring that your audiences are kept engaged. This is usually achieved through entertaining them, educating them or informing them. Keeping posts scheduled on a blog site that allows you to upload content and have it posted at a later date will help you to maintain consistency.
This type of online business idea allows for a lot of creative freedom, but you must be willing to work hard for it, and know the subject you are writing about. If you are knowledgeable in the subject you have chosen, you will be able to share your expertise and eventually come to be regarded as an authority. The more highly you are regarded, the greater your potential for traffic and key advertisers, thereby increasing your potential for profit.

There is an optimum word count for blog posts, if you are intending to build confidence in your business. As of 2019, Google’s algorithms put the ideal length of a blog at 1,705 words and prefer blog posts of over 1,000 words in length, with keywords added to optimise the content. This number is in comparison to the minimum of 300 words allowed in a single post.

7. Become a freelancer

freelance business idea

You may have the opportunity to use your skills for others by becoming a freelancer. This will involve clients outsourcing their work projects to you, without even having to meet you in person. They will instead contact you online through your profile and can set you the work they would like completed.

Most areas of business can be outsourced to a freelancer now, so whether you are a marketer, graphic designer or an accountant, it is possible for you to earn revenue from helping a client. Sites such as Peopleperhour and Upwork can help you to get in contact with people who require your services, no matter which sector you work in. Creating a freelancer website with a link to your online portfolio may also help you to draw in higher paying clients.

Freelancing is often suggested as an online business idea for a beginner because you are able to start on many freelancing sites for free, you can work from anywhere and you will start by choosing your own clients instead of being assigned them on a specific date. This will allow you to build your portfolio and gain a good reputation as a reliable freelancer, either in your chosen field or across however many sectors you choose to work in.

It also means that you will be paid more quickly by your client than if you were to work full time. Payments will normally be taken and processed via a service such as Paypal, with a cut being given to the platform after you have completed your job. The longer you work and the more clients you gain, the more you will earn and be able to charge for your freelancing.

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