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9 online business ideas you can start now

There's no time like the present – find out which online business could replace your 9-5.

If you've got an Internet connection, you can start an online business – whether you're keen to become a full-time entrepreneur or just looking for ways to build up a passive income now that you've got the time.

The sky's the limit when it comes to businesses you can start online, but we've narrowed down some of the most popular options along with a couple of quick wins that you can make happen today.

Is the side hustle hype, or a way to make some cash fast?

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Nine online businesses you can start right now

1. Blog or online magazine

Like to write? Well, no matter what you're into, be it cars, travel or even politics, there's an audience out there that would be interested in what you have to say. You could choose to share your story, teach a skill or review products and experiences that you love.

This one is potentially a slow burner since you'll need to develop a strong following and high traffic to start making an income but if you've got the right set of skills, it's certainly achievable.

There are a few different ways to make an income through blogging, but the main ways are through ad revenue and affiliate marketing. If you can get to 100,000 monthly page views, you can expect to make between $1,000 and $10,000 per month.

2. Social media consultant/manager

If you're savvy with social media marketing, you can help other small businesses develop a strategy, create posting schedules and create engaging content for their target audience.

Social media managers can expect to make between $50,000 and $120,000 per year on average.

3. Ecommerce site

With a focus on selling products either through your own website or an already established online marketplace such as eBay or Amazon, ecommerce is one of the biggest money makers on the Internet.

Dropshipping is similar to running an ecommerce website but without the worry of having to store inventory. You take customer orders through an online store and it's handled through a third-party retailer for fulfilment.

This is another online business that will take some time to get going and your income will depend on factors such as how well you've chosen your niche and the amount of traffic you generate.

4. Create a course or ebook

Share your knowledge on the Internet with people who certainly have more time on their hands now to learn something new. Whether that's writing and self-publishing an ebook on Amazon or creating a fully-fledged masterclass with interactive content and coaching sessions included.

The time it takes to develop content is the biggest challenge here as you deal with different types of media and a variety of platforms to get your content out there.

The potential for earning is completely up to you as you can sell a short ebook for as little as $3 or $4 or market a signature course for thousands of dollars.

5. Affiliate marketer

If the sound of creating your own digital products or setting up a fully-fledged ecommerce store sounds overwhelming, then consider the business model of promoting other people's products and selling them.

Your goal as an affiliate marketer is to target a niche and build an audience of people who look to you as an authority. You can sell one or a set of products to them through an email list, social media channel or website and earn a commission when those products are sold.

6. Online tutor

In a similar vein, online tutoring lets you take what you know and deliver it in a one-on-one setting. This could be something like teaching English, helping with test prep or even giving piano lessons.

You can use video chat tools such as Zoom or Skype or use existing tutoring platforms that allow you to reach willing participants around the world.

Online tutors just starting out can expect to make between $14 and $25 an hour while more experienced tutors can make upwards of $60 an hour.

7. Online coach

If you feel like you're successful at one particular part of your life and are ready to help people figure out how to achieve their goals, then coaching could be just the ticket.

These days, it's not rare to find a coach for just about anything, including health coaches, dating coaches, business coaches or life coaches.

Startup is as simple as setting up regular phone or video calls and you can start straight away by marketing to your current network of friends and acquaintances. You can expect to charge anywhere from $100 to $1,000 per session.

8. Technical writer

Enjoy technology and figuring out how things work? Consider taking your skills to the masses with the opportunity to present technical information in a user-friendly way.

Similar to a content writer or copywriter, technical writers create or gather information and communicate complex information simply in the form of in-software or in-app help, a website or blog. Technical writers can earn between $40,000 and $130,000 on average per year.

9. Freelancer or consultant

Chances are, you can take what you're doing now and start offering it as an online service. Graphic designer, project manager and software developer are all roles that are easily converted into online businesses.

For more hands-on roles, you might need to use your imagination a little bit but you should be able to find a way to translate your skills over to the Internet. Administrative assistant? Check out virtual assistant roles. Speak a second language? Consider translation services.

Freelancer platforms like Fiverr, Upwork and are great places to start looking for work right away where you can set your own salary but you will have to compete with other freelancers.

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