After two years of the global pandemic, political unrest, and record-breaking inflation, many people are looking for new opportunities and ways to make money – especially since so many have lost their jobs. Fortunately, you can now start a business online with very little capital. You can even create a business for free if you have the right resources and skills. Let’s take a look at the top 5 online business ideas for 2023 and how you can launch them successfully.
- Teaching Online Courses
- Affiliate Marketing
- Social Media Influencing
- Wrap-Up: Top Online Business Ideas 2023
A global economy battered by the pandemic, inflation, and probable recession has forced many companies to cut costs by hiring freelancers instead of full-time employees. As far as online business ideas goes- this is our number one. This has created a unique opportunity for talented individuals with the right skills to start their freelance businesses and earn a great living in 2023.
Forbes reported that the number of freelancers working across various platforms and marketplaces worldwide will be approximately 500 million by 2030. Venture capital firms have doubled their investment in 2021 compared to the previous year to create more user-friendly and advanced freelancing platforms.
When we talk about freelancing, it’s essential to note that freelancing is not a specific profession or business on its own. Instead, it’s a method for you to sell particular talents or services in a marketplace or off-platform clients to solve their problems; your skills are your most crucial resource.
There areas many online business ideas which freelancers can choose from. Industry analysts predict the following skills to remain high in demand throughout 2023.
- Web and Mobile Development
- Copywriting and Content Writing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Artificial Intelligence programming and engineering
- Digital and Social Media Marketing
- Sales and Business Development
- Accounting and Bookkeeping
- Data Analysis and data science
- Blockchain technologies
- Video production and editing
While improving your skill in every possible way, ensure you follow the latest technological trends.
Do you have any niche skills in demand? A niche is a particular area of expertise, and it’s important to identify yours before offering services. This way, you can make sure that your skills are up to par. Training and certification can help improve your skills in a desirable niche.
In addition to having strong skills, and professional software tools, you’ll also need an impressive portfolio when starting out as a consultant. A portfolio is simply a collection of your previous work or projects that display your capabilities. Many clients will base their decision on whether or not to work with you solely on your portfolio, so it’s important to ensure yours is up to par.
When starting out, try offering your services at a lower price to build up your portfolio and client base. Once you have some great reviews under your belt, you can start charging more for consultations or services.
Client outreach is a key part of freelancing – but it can be tough to get started. There are many freelancing platforms, such as Fiverr, Upwork, PeoplePerHour, and more that you can join. You can also look for projects on LinkedIn or contact companies directly.
Marketplaces give you access to a large pool of clients and you can get started quickly. Keep in mind, though, that there will be intense competition and high fees.
The alternative is reaching out to clients, which gives you more control over projects and fees. It does take a little more time to get started, but you will have more control over the work you do.
One of the most popular eCommerce business models is dropshipping. With dropshipping, the store owner doesn’t keep any products in stock. Instead, when a customer places an order, the store owner contacts the supplier who then ships the product directly to the customer’s doorstep.
Most people run their dropshipping businesses through eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce. As a store owner, your main task will be carrying out comprehensive digital marketing for your eCommerce website.
According to Grand View Research, the global dropshipping market will become a $558 billion industry by 2025, seeing a CAGR of 28.8% from 2019, thanks to the rapid advancement of technologies, cloud infrastructures, and an efficient supply chain.
The best thing about dropshipping is that it doesn’t require a significant investment. You can start a dropshipping business for as little as $20 – and since you don’t need to keep any products in stock, you don’t have to worry about inventory management or storage space. It’s difficult not to consider dropshipping when discussing online business ideas for 2023.
Another great thing about dropshipping is that it’s relatively easy to start. You can create a professional-looking store and start selling products in no time. Plus, online courses and YouTube videos can tell you plenty of details about dropshipping.
Now that you know the many benefits of dropshipping, let’s see how you can start your own dropshipping business today with a few steps:
Ideally, it would be best to choose a niche that you’re passionate about or have some prior knowledge in. You will find it more convenient to create content and market your store. Also, aim for a niche that isn’t too broad.
For example, “sporting goods” is an extensive niche. It would be better to narrow it down to “golfing equipment” or “tennis gear.” This will help you target a specific group and build a loyal customer base.
There are several ways to find your supplier. For instance, you can use AliExpress, a popular dropshipping platform, or contact manufacturers directly. If you’re using AliExpress or similar platforms, you can search for products you’d like to sell.
Now that you have a niche and a supplier, it’s time to choose an eCommerce platform such as Shopify or WooCommerce. Shopify is a turnkey solution, which makes it very easy to set up and use. WooCommerce is a bit more complex than Shopify, but it’s also more flexible.
The process of setting up your store will differ depending on your platform. If you’re using Shopify, you can follow their instructions to set up your store. If you’re using WooCommerce, you’ll need to install the plugin and set up your store.
There are many ways to promote your store to your target customers. For example:
- Creating social media accounts for your store and then posting about your products
- Running ads on social media and search engines
- Partnering with niche influencers
- Creating YouTube Videos and infographics
You can start teaching online courses if you believe you have commendable expertise on any topic. It can be on literally anything, from cooking to web development and everything in between. You can create a free course on platforms like Udemy or Skillshare. You can also launch a paid system on your website or blog.
Here’s how you can do it in a few steps:
Creating a course is not just about dumping all your knowledge on a topic in one place. You need to have a clear structure and goals for the course. The following questions might help:
- What topics will you cover?
- What are the objectives of the course?
- How will the course be delivered- videos, articles, quizzes, etc.?
- Do you want to provide any live support? How would you do that?
You also need to create engaging and well-designed course materials. This includes the content (videos, articles, etc.), the course’s graphics, branding, and overall design.
Your course materials must be high quality if you want people to pay for and complete your course. This means that your videos must be well-shot and edited, your articles must be well-written and researched, and your quizzes and exercises must be well-thought-out.
If you’re not confident in creating high-quality content, you can hire freelance writers, editors, and videographers on platforms like Upwork to help you.
When pricing your services, you can choose to charge a one-time fee, a monthly fee, or a per-course fee. You can also offer a free trial or a discount for the first few lessons.
Decide whether you’re going to offer any live support, such as office hours or Q&A sessions. You can provide live support through Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, Facebook Group, etc.
- Launch and promote
Promote your course on your website or blog, social media, or online course platforms like Udemy or Skillshare. To start, create a landing page for your class with all the relevant information (course title, description, pricing, etc.). You can then promote your course on social media, in forums and groups, or through email marketing.
If you’re not fussed about freelancing or dropshipping and are looking for a more passive income, affiliate marketing is an excellent option. You could make money in your sleep if you have a niche audience interested in what you’re promoting.
Affiliate marketing is when you earn a commission by promoting other people’s products or services. You can find affiliate programs to join either online or by contacting the merchant directly. Once they approve you as an affiliate, they’ll provide a unique link for you to share on your blog, website or social media channels.
The way affiliate marketing works is simple: when someone clicks on your affiliate link to visit a merchant’s website and completes a purchase, you earn a commission. The amount of the commission depends on the merchant and the product or service sold.
This is a huge industry. Statista reports that affiliate marketing spending in the US could reach $8.2 billion by 2022, up from $5.4 billion in 2017.
The best affiliate marketers are those who focus on a specific niche audience with a clear interest in the products or services they promote. Try to focus on niches that are future proof or trending like products with a focus on sustainability. The best affiliate marketers are also active on social media and have a website or blog where they share their affiliate links. Here are some tips to help you succeed:
- Find a profitable niche
- Build an engaged audience around your content
- Promote high-quality products or services that offer value
- Be active and engaging on social media platforms
- Use an affiliate link cloaking tool
Social media platforms are now some of the most prominent tools in marketing. You can either use your own business ideas or promote the business ideas of others. Anyone who can build a large following on social media can become an influencer. Brands are happy to pay you to promote their products to your followers.
The Statista Research Department surveyed a vast pool of business-to-consumer (B2C) brands from Europe in 2021 and found that approximately 44% of business owners and managers indicated they would emphasize more on influencer marketing in the upcoming years.
Considering the probable upward trend of the market, taking social media influence as a profession in 2023 might be a solid bet.
Af far as online business ideas go- becoming an influencer is becoming more and more popular. It’s difficult to become an influencer without first finding your niche and building a following. Once you have a solid group of followers, you can then start approaching brands to collaborate with. You can also create an online store where you sell products that you endorse.
Here are some helpful tips for those trying to build a career as an influencer:
- Focus on content: Creating great content for your social media channels is essential. Make sure the value you’re providing is worth their time.
- Be regular: Posting regularly and consistently will help you build a strong relationship with your audience. Also, try to determine when your audience is most active.
- Engage meaningfully: Take some time to engage with your followers by replying to comments and messages. Avoid copy-pasting the same message to everyone.
- Use trends: Create content around popular topics that are relevant to your niche in order to reach a larger audience.
- Use multiple social media platforms: Using various social media sites will help you reach a wider audience and build your brand. It will also reduce your risk exposure.
- Aim to build a brand: Your branding will make you more attractive to large brands and companies. Over time, you can charge more for collaborations.
- Make a great website: Having a website makes you look more professional and is also a great platform to sell products or offer services in the future.
So, there you have it; our top five online business ideas for 2023. You can start any of these businesses with little to no money and earn a lot sustainably over time. Make sure you do your homework before jumping in, to save time and money down the road.
Damian, better known as Damo, is an entrepreneur and marketing veteran with a career spanning 17+ years and nine startups across three continents. From ad agencies in Dubai to crowd-funding platforms in Ghana, Damo has garnered his experience from around the world and now is sharing everything he knows at https://damobrennan.com/.