8 Legitimate Online Businesses That You Can Start and Make Money From

Starting an online business can be a profitable venture, but it’s not easy. You’ll need to research the perfect niche, build a fantastic website, and gain approval from the FTC to run a business online. But once you get started, the revenue potential is there for the taking.

In this article, we’ll discuss eight legitimate online businesses that you can start and make money from. We’ll hit on the basics of each business, including pricing, revenue, and profit potential before diving into how to begin successfully in each niche.

1. Affiliate Marketing

If you’re new to this, affiliate marketingis the practice of promoting a product or service from a third party (often a brand or website) and earning a commission when someone clicks a product or buys a service through your affiliate link.

There are affiliate networks (like Commission Junction and LinkShare) that connect businesses looking for affiliates with marketers looking to make a commission. Once you sign up with an affiliate network, you’ll be able to build a list of affiliate marketers who are interested in promoting your product or service.

You’ll need to decide whether you want to join an affiliate network and work with marketers who already have a following, or whether you want to go it alone and eventually connect with potential customers.

2. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is when you sell a product that you’ve never physically handled or stored in a warehouse. You don’t physically maintain the inventory yourself. Instead, you outsource the storage and fulfillment to a third party (most often a carrier like UPS or FedEx).

When a customer makes an order, you tell the third party which products to ship and how much packaging to use. When the package is delivered, you notify the customer that their order has arrived and collect the payment. There are numerous benefits to this business model, including the fact that you don’t need to keep track of inventory and you don’t have to worry about storing and safeguarding large amounts of money or property.

When choosing a niche for your dropshipping business, make sure that there’s enough demand for your product in your chosen niche. For example, if you’re choosing to sell fitness equipment, make sure that the general public finds value in what you’re offering.

3. Real Estate Investing

Real estate investing is another lucrative and relatively easy way to make money online. You buy and renovate real estate (either done-for-you or purchase-with-plan) and earn a return on your investment plus a profit.

The rent you collect each month is what you’ll use to pay for your living expenses, and the remainder is pocket change. To start the real estate investing process, visit this helpful website that provides you with an in-depth guide to getting started.

4. Start An Online Store

If you’re the creative type, you can start up an Etsy shop. Etsy is a global network of handmade sellers that was started in Brooklyn in 2006. One of the biggest draws of Etsy is that you don’t need a giant team to run a successful store. You can use the platform’s free tools to grow your store and to connect with customers. What’s more is that Etsy sellers offer truly unique and high-quality products that make their stores a one-of-a-kind shopping destination. If you sell arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, or anything else that can be made by hand, you can use Etsy to reach a global audience and to gain credibility and trust from your customers.

If you decide that running an Etsy shop is a viable option for you, make sure to check out this comprehensive guide to running a successful Etsy shop from an experienced entrepreneur. You’ll learn how to choose a profitable, yet affordable niche, gain credibility and trust with your customers, and grow your business successfully.

5. Start A Blog

Blogs are a popular choice amongst online business owners, especially when it comes to generating passive income. A blog is simply a website that publishes content regularly. Typically, you’ll write about something you’re an expert in or passionate about and utilize affiliate marketing to make money from your blog. You’ll need to get the approval of the FTC for this option so make sure you’re complying with the guidelines and restrictions set by the organization.

If you’ve decided that becoming an affiliate marketer is the right option for you, you can start a blog with a free platform like WordPress or Blogger. You’ll need to register with the FTC and ensure that you’re offering valuable information to your readers. If you decide that blogging is the right option, visit this helpful site to learn how to start a profitable blog in less than 10 minutes.

6. Create Youtube Videos

Youtube creators looking to make money online can get paid handsomely for creating funny, informative, or engaging content for websites or advertisements. What’s great about Youtube is that you can use the platform’s free tools to establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your niche and to become an authoritative source for your audience.

To get started, create a Youtube account and build a following. The more subscribers you have, the more views your videos will receive. When a viewer clicks on a link in a Youtube video, they’ll be taken to an Amazon affiliate page where they can make a purchase. If you decide that Youtube is a viable option to make money online, make sure to check out this comprehensive guide to establishing yourself as a YouTube creator.

7. Start An Online Travel Agency

If you’ve got the wheels in the right place and the desire to make money online, you can start a travel agency. Travel agencies are pretty much self-explanatory: you’ll find people who want to travel and need someone to make the arrangements. You’ll work with a travel manager who will take care of all the logistics and act as your agent for the travel package.

Travel agencies offer a variety of services that you can incorporate into your own business. You can specialize in group travel (like family reunions or business trips), or you can take individual travel requests and book the flights and hotels yourself. You can also offer package deliveries if you’re located in the US, or you can become a travel agent for a common carrier like UPS or FedEx.

If you decide that becoming a travel agent is a viable option for you, make sure to check out this helpful guide to establishing your agency and the different ways you can make money from a travel agency. 

8. Create And Sell Your Own Product

If you’ve got a knack for creating unique products that people want, you can start a product-based business. You’ll find numerous online marketplaces, like Shopify, where entrepreneurs can get started with a product in less than 10 minutes. What’s great about products is that you don’t need a huge investment to get started. You’ll simply need a table, a few chairs, and some people to test your product (usually family and friends).

Once you’ve launched your product, make sure to put up signs in your town’s best restaurants and coffee shops to get people in the mood to come and buy your products. If you’re new to this, try selling your product at first in local stores and restaurants before venturing online. You can also try making a bulk purchase and re-selling it at a markup to make a profit.

As you start to gain credibility and trust with your audience, you can move to bigger and better things. There’s a huge market for online greetings cards. You’ll find merchants that need help getting their products to customers, and you’ll be able to create custom products and designs for them. Your own product could become the base of your company. Don’t be scared to take a big risk and start something new.