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27 Low Cost and Easy Online Business Ideas that Make Money

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

Starting an online business doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Whether you’re looking to earn extra income on the side or launch a full-time venture, there are plenty of affordable and straightforward options available.

Across our 16+ years of making money from blogging, selling beginner-friendly plugins, offering online services, and more, we’ve learned a lot about starting online businesses.

In this article, we’ve gathered 27 low-cost and easy online business ideas to help you make money from home. From freelancing and selling digital products to offering online courses and services, these ideas are beginner-friendly and will help set you up for success.

Proven easy to start online business ideas that make money

Why Start an Online Business?

Technology is often blamed for killing traditional businesses and jobs. However, at the same time, these new technologies are creating tons of new jobs and business opportunities ready to be taken by anyone.

Starting an online business is easier than ever. You can do it from the comfort of your home with just a computer and an internet connection. There is no need to invest huge amounts of money to get started.

Here are more reasons for starting an online business:

  • Wide Reach. The internet enables you to reach a global audience. So, you can expand your potential customer base far beyond your local area.
  • Scalability. Online businesses can grow quickly with the right marketing strategies. Digital products and services can be scaled up without significant additional costs.
  • Diverse Opportunities. The online marketplace offers countless niches and opportunities, from eCommerce and digital marketing to freelance work and online education.
  • Work-Life Balance. By working online, you can often achieve a better balance between your personal and professional life, reducing commute time and allowing for more family or leisure time.
  • Passive Income Potential. Many online business models, such as affiliate marketing or selling digital products, offer the potential for passive income, where you can earn money even when you’re not actively working.

Caution: If someone tells you that you can invest A LOT of money and take a shortcut to get rich quickly, then it’s likely a scam. Be sure to stay away from it.

The ideas we’re sharing in this article are about building legitimate online businesses, and you’ll still have to work hard to succeed.

With that in mind, here’s a quick overview of some of the proven and easy-to-start online business ideas that actually make money. If you’re interested in a particular idea, you can click the link to skip ahead in the article:

Ready? Let’s get started.

1. Start a Blog and Make Money From It

Start a blog

Blogs are one of the most successful ways to start an online business. Bloggers like Darren Rowse, John Lee Dumas, and Pat Flynn are making six-figure incomes, and they are not alone.

Our founder, Syed Balkhi, has built an eight-figure online business that started with a blog. Thousands of bloggers also run very successful blogs as their full-time online businesses.

It is very easy to start a blog, and there are tons of ways to make money from it. One of the most popular ways to monetize your blog is by displaying ads using Google AdSense.

While you can start a blog in less than 30 minutes, you will need to work on it to make it a success. You will have to offer useful, entertaining, and engaging content to your audience regularly (see our step-by-step guide on how to start a blog).

Luckily, there are tons of blog post ideas that you can use to create content and have a regular publishing schedule. As your blog grows, you will be able to monetize it using other strategies as well.

Plus, you can use your blog as a platform to launch other online businesses. Once you start to drive traffic to your blog, you’ll see that it’s one of the easiest businesses to start.

2. Become an Affiliate Marketer

Become an affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketers make sales commissions by recommending other people’s products or services. It’s the best online business to start and make money online.

Most affiliate marketers recommend these products and services by running their own blogs, websites, and email lists.

Moreover, mastering online marketing strategies like SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing is very helpful in building an audience.

There are lots of affiliate programs that you can sign up for and start recommending products. To get started, follow our ultimate affiliate marketing guide with step-by-step instructions for beginners.

You can even build an Amazon affiliate store using WordPress. Simply list products from Amazon on your website and earn a commission when someone clicks the link and completes a purchase.

3. Create and Sell Online Courses

Start an online course

If you are particularly good at something, then why not teach others and make a career out of it? Selling online courses is another popular way to start an online business.

A lot of users prefer to acquire skills and knowledge quickly by taking online courses. This is because online courses offer flexibility and often allow learners to study at their own pace.

Luckily, creating an online course has become a lot easier with the help of LMS software. These platforms allow you to create interactive courses with easy-to-manage tools for classes, students, course material, and more.

The best part is that you don’t have to write a single line of code to build a course website. To get started, you can see our guide on how to create an online course with WordPress.

For reference, people creating membership sites and courses on MemberPress earn over $1 billion each year.

4. Build an eCommerce Store

Start an online store

Selling things online had never been easier. Anyone can easily create an online store in minutes and start selling products. These products can be physical goods (things that need shipping) or digital downloads, such as eBooks, music, software, and more.

Before getting started, you need to do some market research. Here are some tips to help you brainstorm ideas:

  • Find a niche with high demand and low competition.
  • Think of ways to make your eCommerce site stand out by doing things other eCommerce businesses are not doing.
  • Calculate the costs involved in getting products from the manufacturer to customers. Also, choose a pricing model so that your products can compete and offer great value to your customers. Last but not least, your profit margins must be reasonable enough to ensure that your business can sustain and grow in the long run.

You also need to choose a platform for your eCommerce business.

The easiest way to get started is by using WooCommerce or Shopify. They are both great platforms, but we recommend WooCommerce. We’ve created a comparison with their pros and cons (see Shopify vs WooCommerce to learn more).

To get started, see our step-by-step guide on how to create an online store in less than 30 minutes.

Once your shop is up and running, feel free to check out these brilliant eCommerce marketing ideas.

5. Build a Membership Website

Create a membership site

Membership websites earn money by selling subscriptions that provide access to premium content and community features. Instead of relying on advertising revenue, you can allow users to support your website directly with paid memberships.

There are many types of membership websites. For example, some membership websites give users access to exclusive members-only content. Others give users access to community features like a forum, Facebook group, or Slack group.

But first, you will need to find a suitable niche for your membership website. It needs to be valuable enough for users to pay for it.

There is plenty of membership software that can help you easily build any kind of online community. You can choose different subscription models, manage users, set up online payments, and more.

To learn more, you can check out our ultimate guide to building a WordPress membership website with step-by-step instructions for beginners.

6. Make a Drop Shipping Website

Dropshipping combines affiliate marketing and eCommerce. Basically, you create an online store to sell other people’s products for a commission. You will be running an online store without managing the inventory or shipping.

The biggest advantage of running a drop-shipping startup is the low barrier to entry, minimum investment, and little to no hassle. However, one disadvantage is that you will have to work hard to sell other people’s products at a lower profit margin.

Most dropshipping businesses eventually start selling their own products to diversify their business and increase their profits.

7. Make an Online Job Board

Make an online job board

Another way to make money online is to build a job-hunting website. A job board website helps connect job seekers with employers for a small fee.

There are plenty of online job search engines, which means you will need to find a particular niche to make your job board stand out. For example, you can create a job board specifically for app development, designers, content writers, or pet sitters.

You can charge a small fee for each job listing posted by employers, offer companies packages to post multiple listings, or charge job seekers to upload their online resumes.

There are plenty of job board plugins for WordPress, allowing you to efficiently run your own job board business.

8. Create a Micro-Job Website

A micro-job website lets you make money by connecting employers to freelancers and contractors. This will enable you to make money based on the overall price of the job listed. Popular micro-job posting websites like Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, UpWork, and others generate millions of dollars annually.

Basically, you will be acting as a middle-man between the employers and freelancers. You will be paid by employers for each job, and after taking your commission, you will pay the rest to the freelancers upon completion of the job.

To get started, you can read our beginner’s guide on how to start a micro-job website like Fiverr with WordPress.

9. Become an SEO Specialist

Become an SEO expert

SEO, or search engine optimization, helps website owners attract more visitors from search engines. It’s a skill that requires continuous learning and keeping up with the latest trends.

SEO specialists can run their own agencies, work as freelancers, or join a company as full-time employees.

You can become an SEO consultant by running your own successful websites or by getting certifications online. To find clients, you’ll want to explore freelancing websites like UpWork and Freelancer.com.

SEO is a very competitive industry, and you will need to make the most out of the best SEO tools available on the market.

You would also need to learn the basic WordPress SEO techniques, keyword research tools, and content marketing tools.

10. Make a Food or Recipe Blog

Make a food blog

Food and recipe blogs are a lucrative blogging niche and a great online business opportunity.

Food and recipe-focused blogs generate revenue using various business models. Some of the most popular ones are Google AdSense, affiliate marketing, selling recipe books, or running an online store.

To improve your chance of success, you will need to be passionate about food and cooking. It is a competitive niche, so you will need to think of ways to make your food blog unique and interesting.

For more details, see our step-by-step guide to creating a food blog and start making money from your recipes.

11. Become a WordPress Developer

WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder, powering more than 43% of all websites on the internet. This means that millions of businesses around the world are using the platform.

This massive usage means there is a huge demand for WordPress developers. WordPress is open-source software, which means anyone can write code for it, create themes, and make WordPress plugins.

As a WordPress developer, you can join top WordPress companies and big-name brands using WordPress. Alternatively, you can run your own WordPress development agency.

In this field, skills in PHP, JavaScript, CSS, and HTML will be very handy. If you want to learn, there are many books, WordPress video tutorials, online courses, and WordPress tutorials that will help you get started.

12. Build an Online Marketplace

Another proven and easy-to-start business idea is to make an online marketplace website. These websites make money by allowing users to create their own mini-stores and sell products.

To attract sellers, you can choose a high-demand niche with lower competition. Make your platform unique and attractive to both sellers and customers by offering a better user experience and support.

To get started, see our step-by-step tutorial on how to make an online marketplace website using WordPress.

13. Become a Graphic Designer

Graphic designers earn money by creating images, business logos, website designs, sales pages, and more. This is a massive industry with tons of business and career opportunities.

To become a graphic designer, you’ll need to learn how to use professional design tools like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. There are also tons of vocational training schools, colleges, and universities offering graphic design courses to help you get started.

To promote your graphic design career, you can make a portfolio to showcase your work and skills.

14. Start a Fashion Blog

Create a fashion blog

Do you have an interest in the latest fashion trends and news? So why not use this interest to create a fashion blog and make money from it?

Fashion blogs attract tons of advertisers, top brands, and promoters. They not only allow you to make money, but you can also become an influencer and get other perks/benefits like free apparel, invites to exclusive shows, and more.

To get started, you can read our complete step-by-step guide on how to start a fashion blog and start making money from it.

15. Become a Content Marketer

Content marketers help businesses promote their products and services by generating useful and highly engaging content.

All businesses need content to attract customers. There is an increasing demand for content marketers, and this demand is not expected to slow down anytime soon.

Content marketers are good at writing content, but they are not just bloggers. They specialize in finding content ideas to bring more visitors and use copywriting to convert users into potential customers.

To learn more, feel free to see this ultimate content marketing guide with step-by-step instructions for beginners.

16. Become a PPC Expert

PPC, short for pay-per-click, is an advertising model where advertisers pay for their ads when users click on them. However, not all business owners know how to effectively run these campaigns to get the maximum benefit.

PPC Experts help businesses run pay-per-click advertising campaigns on platforms like Google AdWords. They help find the right keywords and attributes to maximize the ROI on ads.

You can learn PPC by running your own advertising campaigns and by reading the material available on the internet. There are online certification programs that you can take to showcase your skills, too.

To find PPC jobs, you can use popular freelancing websites where businesses actively seek PPC experts.

17. Start a Podcast

Start a podcast

A podcast is an episodic series of audio files that users can subscribe to, download, and listen to. Podcasts are a great way to make a successful online business with many opportunities for growth.

Podcasts make money through advertisements, sponsorships, partnerships, and affiliate marketing. You will need to find a topic for your podcast that is interesting and engaging so you can make your podcast unique and the right podcast plugins and tools to get started.

We have created a complete beginner’s guide on how to start a podcast with step-by-step instructions. So feel free to check it out.

18. Make a Reviews Website

Making a reviews website is another good online business idea. One of the most popular review sites, TripAdvisor, is considered to be worth more than $12 billion.

However, as it is a highly competitive industry, we recommend finding a niche with low competition. You can make money through affiliate marketing, displaying ads, or publishing paid reviews.

To get started, feel free to pay our beginner’s guide on how to make a niche reviews website a visit.

19. Buy and Sell Domain Names

Domain names are required to create a website. Once you register a domain name, you can use it indefinitely. However, many entrepreneurs buy domain names to sell them later at a higher price, similar to real estate.

This online business requires investment and a lot of patience because you will be holding onto those domain names while waiting for an offer. This is a highly competitive business, and you might want to read as much about it as possible before getting in.

Here’s our comparison of the best domain name registrars to get you started.

20. Buy and Sell Niche Websites

Making websites and monetizing them has become a lot easier. This has enabled many entrepreneurs worldwide to create successful websites and sell them like you would any other business.

Websites like Flippa are a great source for buying and selling established websites. However, make sure that you do your research before making any investment. You will find tons of resources on Flippa to help you learn the basics.

Also, there are a lot of opportunities to buy an underutilized website, optimize its revenue/growth, and then resell it for a higher multiple.

21. Make an Auctions Website

Make an auction site

Creating an eBay-like auction website is another easy-to-start online business idea. Basically, you make a website that provides users a platform to buy and sell products via online auctions.

You can add products for auctions yourself or allow other vendors to run their own. You can charge vendors a flat fee or a percentage for each auction item.

To get started, you can see our step-by-step tutorial on how to build an auction site like eBay using WordPress.

22. Become an Instagram Star

If you like taking photos and making videos, then you should consider using Instagram to start a lucrative online business. Instagram influencers make significant money through sponsorships, product placements, endorsements, and more.

To get started, you will need a camera, some basic photo editing skills, and a sprinkle of creativity. In addition to that, it’s great to have a consistent strategy to post new content regularly. Mastering the art of using hashtags is also important.

You can promote your Instagram posts by sharing them on your website. This strategy helps you reach a wider audience beyond just your Instagram followers.

Now, having a website with a contact form page is handy. It allows advertisers to contact you easily about potential endorsement or collaboration.

23. Become a YouTuber

If you like making videos, then becoming a YouTuber is an excellent business opportunity.

YouTube is the world’s largest video hosting platform, the second most popular search engine, and a massive global community of content creators.

This platform allows anyone to upload videos, create channels, and earn money from advertisements, sponsorships, and deals. Some YouTubers earn millions of dollars each year, and thousands earn six-figure incomes.

You can create videos on any topic. Some ideas include uploading personal vlogs, making educational channels like WPBeginner, creating video reviews, building a cooking channel, or almost anything you can think of.

For more details, see our guide on how to create a successful YouTube channel.

24. Become a Video Editor

Video educator

If you like making videos and editing them but don’t want to start a YouTube channel, then you can still use your skills to help other businesses. Due to the immense popularity of YouTube and Facebook videos, businesses around the world need professionals who can edit their videos.

You can start by looking for gigs on freelancing websites. At first, you will be working with random clients, but shortly after, you will have a few regular clients offering you enough work to cover your time. You can then grow your business to start an agency or hire other freelancers to help out.

Don’t know how to make or edit videos? Don’t worry.

There are plenty of online resources offering free and paid tutorials and courses. You can invest some time learning the basic skills and start working right away.

To find the perfect tools, you can check out our expert picks of the best video editing software.

25. Become a Narrator

Narrators provide voice talent to video creators, filmmakers, and other digital content producers. A lot of YouTube channels are actively looking for people to narrate videos. Some basic voice training can help you easily start a profitable career.

In this field, you will need a good-quality mic (we recommend Samson Mic or Rhode Podcaster) and audio recording software to record your voice-overs. You can then send the audio files to the client so they can use them in their video.

You can explore job opportunities on freelancing websites and very quickly build a steady stream of clients.

26. Offer Technical Support

Offer technical support

Do you like helping people on tech forums? If so, you can explore opportunities to get paid for that.

Many online businesses are actively looking for technical support providers to help their customers. Before you can start answering questions, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the product.

Many companies use live chat or a support ticketing system to answer customer questions. Often, these jobs are remote, which means you can work from your own home.

27. Become a Lead Generation Expert

Lead generation experts help businesses find potential new customers or leads.

They use professional tools like OptinMonster to capture leads or boost conversion rates. The process can involve creating compelling opt-in forms, optimizing landing pages, and using targeted marketing campaigns.

To get started and master the necessary skills, check out our beginner’s guide on how to do lead generation in WordPress like a pro.

We hope this article has helped you find the perfect, easy-to-start online business idea that actually makes money. Next, you may also want to see our step-by-step guide on how to make a small business website and our expert tips for how to grow your business online.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us. Here's our editorial process.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

42 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
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  2. Mrteesurez says

    Thanks for sharing this.
    It has opened my eyes to different types of blogs and website I can create that are in-demand.

    Although, becoming a WordPress developer is my goal but to start as a Technical Support specialist, which skill do I needs to possess apart from having know about WordPress ??

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Other than knowledge it would be helpful to understand how to communicate to your users to help them understand the solution.

      Admin

    • Jiří Vaněk says

      I have been working in technical support for 17 years. The most important quality is mainly communication. Being able to calm down a person who is dealing with a technical problem that may cost him some money at that moment, or make it impossible for him to work at that moment. Offer a solution and if you don’t have the solution at that moment, reassure him that you and your colleagues will try to find it as soon as possible. Communication with people is the basis and you will very often learn technical things in the position you will perform. More experienced colleagues will help you with this.

      • Mrteesurez says

        Thanks, Jiří Vaněk.
        I appreciate your response for sharing your experience and I found it helpful.
        Communication is the key.

  3. Brian Carter says

    I am indeed very impressed with the wide variety of possibilities I found here! Thank you so much for providing such a comprehensive and informative service. I am hoping to select one or two of these business ventures to begin my journey toward greater self sufficiency, particularly during these unprecedented times. Again, thank you.

  4. Kihana says

    For real, this is the most insightful site I’ve come across since my search for an online business. It made everything easy. Thank you so much. Please don’t stop doing what you do. It helped alot, answered literally all my questions. Thank you.

  5. Marry says

    As a beginner, there are amazing ways that we can use for starting business and make money. I like your all ideas. thanks for sharing these wonderful thoughts.

  6. Ruthy Price says

    Thanks so much for your article! It broke everything down enough that any beginner could easily understand and learn from it. I love how you referred readers on to subtopics in their particular areas of interest, making it a breeze to take the next step. Learning new things can be daunting, but you took what can be overwhelming and really simplified it for me. I got a lot out of this, and it’s going to help me be more successful in business. I appreciate that so very much.

  7. Jenelyn says

    Wow, thanks for this very valuable blog. Just in time for my research on what to put in my e-book. You’re an angel….. Thanks again for sharing. God bless.

  8. Bruce says

    It’s amazing, just this morning I asked God to send me a way to go about helping me go about learning ways to make money.
    Your website info blog is so meaning full and easy to understand that I will share your w/s with so many people that need this information.
    Thank you in advance concerning this matter.
    BWP

  9. Okechukwu says

    I want to make money so how can I make money with this site please tell me and also give me the connection am a good business person someone should tell me about the business

  10. Harish Kumar says

    Wow… It’s a great way. although I like the online one’s the best for Start up business. Love to be able to work from a laptop in any part of the world. Thank You!

  11. Vidyadhar Marballi says

    Excellent guidance!
    You have for sure kindled my desire to choose a business model soon!!

  12. bigby says

    please wp, I wanna know ho you guys make money from this site. cause I have noticed that there are no ads o your site, so how do you make money?

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