If you’re considering starting a side business online, now is the right time. As the ongoing pandemic continues to challenge most people in keeping a steady job, it’s best to look for other money-making alternatives.

Luckily, side businesses like freelancing are becoming more common, thereby opening up the chances for remote-working opportunities. And with 80% of purchases starting with online searches, it’s essential that your business has a website.

In this article, we’ll suggest seven website ideas for starting a side business online. By the end, you’ll understand which option suits you best.

Without further ado, let’s jump right in.

1. Create and Monetize Your Blog

Contrary to popular belief, blogging remains profitable in 2021. In fact, bloggers can earn up to $40,173 a year.

Many entrepreneurs started their online businesses through blogging. For instance, food blogger Molly Yeh jump-started her career writing articles online. Now, not only has she published a cookbook, but she also hosts a Food Network show called Girl Meets Farm.

That said, starting a side hustle as a blogger takes time. Therefore, make sure to pick a blog theme you’re passionate about to avoid burnout in the long run.

Once you’ve come up with an idea, make sure to blog consistently. Consider learning SEO and content marketing to increase your visibility online and attract more visitors to your site.

As your blog grows, you’ll need robust and reliable hosting to handle the traffic. If not, you risk losing visitors due to poor experience.

If you’re unsure of how to start, consider getting your hosting here. Hostinger offers unlimited bandwidth and scalable storage space for a great price perfect for those getting started.

2. Start an Affiliate Marketing Site

Affiliate marketing is a way to earn money by promoting a product for a commission. The more conversions you can make, the more you will earn. According to Affise, affiliate marketers can expect to collect $300 up to $10,000 a day.

One way to start this business is by creating a review site containing links to recommended products, like This is Why I’m Broke does. Another great example is Baby Gear Lab, a product review site dedicated to baby items.

To ensure success in this business, choose a niche you’re knowledgeable about. This will establish you as a credible source, so the audience feels comfortable purchasing products from your recommendations.

To start, scour the internet to find affiliate programs. Consider getting started with Amazon.com Associates, Skimlinks, or ClickBank.

3. Launch a Dropshipping Business

This business model is easy to start because there’s no need to deal with the products. Dropshipping lets you sell items without producing, storing, or shipping them.

The way it works is you partner with a supplier to sell their products on your platform. This way, you can focus on marketing, which, when done right, can be highly profitable.

Due to the nature of this business model, dropshipping requires minimal upfront costs, starting from only $150.

To get started, join wholesale supplier sites where you can look for products to sell. Popular options include AliDropship, Oberlo, and Spocket.

4. Become a Freelancer 

Freelancers typically trade their time and skill in a particular field for a price.

On average, freelancers charge $21/hour. However, the number varies depending on location, industry, and level of expertise.

According to Indeed, some of the highest paying freelancing jobs include software consultant, web developer, and copywriter.

This line of work is suitable for those who enjoy freedom. Freelancers are free to choose which projects to take and work from anywhere at whatever time they want.

Freelancing also offers schedule flexibility, allowing you to rearrange your work hours if something urgent comes up.

However, freelancers must have good time management and discipline to set themselves up for success.

The first step to start freelancing is to identify your skillset. What are you good at, and how can it bring value to potential customers?

Once you’ve figured that out, consider joining freelancing platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork to market your services.

5. Create a Digital Product

Digital products are intangible items that are available to purchase repeatedly. Examples include eBooks, apps, music samples, stock photos, and plugins.

Selling digital products can be highly profitable due to its low overhead costs, where they don’t require physical storage space or inventory management.

You can also make more sales with less effort. Customers can make purchases at any time, and you don’t have to worry about running out of stock.

Moreover, you not only save more money, but you also save time because there’s no need for packing and handling shipping. Once a customer successfully makes a purchase, the product becomes immediately accessible to them.

If you have the skills to produce digital assets, consider selling them on your website. If that feels like too much of a hassle, there are other platforms to help with the task.

For instance, you can use hosted sites built for selling digital assets such as Gumroad, Sellwire, and Simple Goods.

6. Start Podcasting

If you have an engaging voice and excellent interpersonal skills, consider starting a podcast. It’s a great way to share thoughts, ideas, and opinions while building a loyal audience on the go.

Podcasts have also become a popular form of entertainment worldwide due to their growing listenership and monetization opportunities.

That said, the market is getting saturated, and the competition is tough. Try setting yourself apart from others by coming up with an exciting program.

You can do this by understanding who your target audience is and what they would be looking for. For example, The Pen Addict focuses on stationery-related topics. Although the scope may seem limited, choosing a micro-niche only attracts the right audience, which results in a loyal group of enthusiasts.

Once your podcast generates a decent amount of listeners, it’s easier to make money. Podcasters usually generate income through sponsorships, affiliate sales, or donations through platforms like Patreon.

7. Become a Virtual Assistant

If you have great administration and organizational skills, you’re well on your way to becoming a virtual assistant and making money from home.

A virtual assistant provides clerical services such as data entry, answering emails, handling reservations, and so on. On average, a virtual assistant makes $19/hour.

In some cases, virtual assistants can even increase their hourly rate up to $60/hour. To achieve that, offer more services such as marketing support and content creation.

Virtual assistants also need to be adaptable because the job description may differ depending on the employer.

It’s also common that the client will ask virtual assistants to handle urgent matters. This can vary from booking travel arrangements to scheduling appointments and more.

To keep track of your skills and competencies, consider making an online resume. This way, potential clients can see whether you fit the bill or not.

Once you have an online resume, start applying for virtual assistant jobs from platforms such as FlexJobs and Remote.co.

There you have it – seven website ideas for starting a side business online.

As a business owner, your website will act as the salesman. It will communicate your values and skills to potential clients and show whether you’re the best fit for the job.

To keep your memory fresh, here are the seven online business ideas mentioned in this article:

  • Blogging
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Dropshipping
  • Freelancing
  • Selling digital products
  • Podcasting
  • Becoming a virtual assistant

Before committing to a business, make sure to research the industry well and see whether it suits you. Pick one that matches your budget, expertise, and interest best.

Once you’ve come to a conclusion, it’s time to create and launch a website so people can find you online.

Best of luck.

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