5 Great Online Business Ideas

Easy, Affordable Ways to Build a Business Online

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Build an Online Business. Jan Stromme | Getty Images

March 9, 2015

The Internet has not only changed how people work and run home business, it has created entirely new income options. The Internet has made working from home easier and more affordable. That's not to say that internet-based income is automatic or doesn't require work. Instead, it provides tools that if used correctly, can have anyone making a good income from home. Here are some of the best online income opportunities.

Writing

If you can string words together, there are a host of income options available to you. Businesses are paying writers to create articles, reports, books, ads, sales letters, emails, and blog posts. You can find these jobs on freelance and writing sites. Or you can start a freelance writing business, which gives you greater control over what you charge and the project you take on.

Another option is to freelance write for online magazines. Writing for online magazines works much in the same way as writing for print magazines in that you need to pitch article ideas to the editor to get hired. These writing gigs pay a little more, but they’re one-off assignments so you’ll need to develop a system of regularly pitching ideas to multiple online magazines to make steady income.

Finally, blogging is a great way to turn your words into income. The fun part of blogging is that you can choose any topic you want as long as it’s something other people want to read about.

You can turn your hobby, passion or a success story into a blog (i.e. how you paid off debt or lost weight). The key to success with blogging is to write great content and generate traffic to your site.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a fantastic way to make money online, but many people struggle because it’s not well understood.

The basics of affiliate marketing is that you get paid to promote other businesses’ products and services. Success in affiliate marketing, as in any business, is in choosing great affiliates and the marketing. People can't use your affiliate links if they don't see them. Most successful affiliate marketers use a website or blog along with an email list to provide information and promote products in a specific niche.

Virtual Assistance

If you have good office support skills and the needed tools and equipment, virtual assistance work is a great online work option. Many businesses outsource tasks they don't want to do or don't know how to do. These tasks can include everything from email management, follow up contact with clients, scheduling, website management, ghost writing, web design, research and much more.  Some virtual assistants focus on a target market such as Realtors or authors. Others focus on providing a niche service such as blog management.

Online Storefront

The success of Amazon.com and eBay indicate that people do a significant amount of shopping online. You can take advantage of this by opening your own online store. Options include selling your home-made items, finding used items to sell, or using wholesalers who will provide you with products that you can resale for profit.

You can sell your wares at Amazon, eBay or Etsy, or create your own storefront website.

Be an Expert

People go online to find information or support and are willing to pay for products or services that provide what they need. Virtual tutoring and coaching are expanding fields. Or you can create your own informational products and training materials to sell online.

The Internet has everything you need to create a home-based income. You can find virtual work or create your own virtual business, as well as find a host of free and low-cost web-based tools and resources to make it happen.   While nothing will work overnight or run itself, working online can be simple and straightforward.

All you need is your imagination, desire, and the willingness to do the work.