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Top 12 Most Profitable Online Businesses: From Online Surveys To Affiliate Advertising

Category: Financial News

obThe advent of Internet and e-commerce ushered in a new way people do business. Almost every product and service can now be bought or sold online. This fact led to the proliferation of online businesses and looking at today’s market, there is no end to the rising number of people who are now leaving their office jobs to become online merchants for various reasons.

One, they can be their own boss who controls their own time and are finally free from the boring hums and drums of the corporate environment. Two, many people envision themselves as successful and running an online business provides them that particular avenue. Three, there is indeed real money in running your own online business if you hit it right.

So what are the most profitable online businesses? There are quite a few to be honest but this article lists 12 that have proven to be financially booming and rewarding for those who are brave enough to venture out.

1. Affiliate Marketing


What you basically do is sell other people’s stuff online by posting their advertising materials on your own website (a personal blog or a professional product guide, etc). As you do not need to peddle your own products and services, many find affiliate marketing to be the fastest way to earn online moolah. That said, affiliate marketing requires hard work, research, and lots of luck. Affiliate marketing is a hit or miss, but if you get it right, it brings tons of money in. Most prominent people who struck gold in the business are John Chow and Seth Godin.

2. Sell Your Own Products


Become an online merchant. Many people who take this path to financial success are artists, musicians, writers, and other professionals who have something to offer. Do you have a painting you want to sell? Or an album of songs no record label is interested in? Sell them online.

That said, it is not easy. You need to consider a lot of things. You have to have your own online store. After that you need to address some questions. Are you selling tangible goods? Then you may need an inventory and accounting software as well as adequate space for storage. There are numerous things you need to cover prior to you starting your online business.

3. Build a Membership Site


Are you an instructor who loves to share information in modules? Maybe you are a story teller who can dish out interesting series of stories. Or a photographer who wishes to share your images with people for profit? Then perhaps you can monetize your skills by building a membership site.

With a membership site, people have to sign up and pay a fee to receive regular content, updates, fresh information, and more. And if you have something they really, really want, they will always come back and ask for more. Understand that people pay for exclusivity and they will only dish out the money if what you offer them makes them feel a cut above the rest.

4. Sell Your Services


Are you a plumber? A carpet cleaner? A swimming pool technician? Professionals in the service industry have found that many people contact them through online channels, such as social media and email, which is why having an online presence is important. Peddling your services online is one sure way to make you accessible to your clients. You may even reach out to a wide group of potential clients with services such as HouseCall Pro.

5. Buy and Sell Websites


A job fit for web designers, buying and selling websites is akin to flipping houses. Web designers buy poorly crafted websites, tweak them, add a few attractive elements, and features and then put them back to the market for a higher price. It can be time consuming, but the money it brings can rack up to six figures if the changes are really, really good.

6. Dropshipping


Dropshipping is a lucrative online business where the seller accepts payments for products advertised on his or her websites and the customer receives the product directly from the manufacturer. The arrangement is that once an order is requested, the seller forwards the order to the manufacturer, who then ships the product to the buyer.

7. Become a Reseller


Online resellers can be found by the thousands, mainly because it is one of the quickest way to earn money. That said, buying resale rights can be quite expensive so it is prudent that you take your time to really understand how reselling works.

In a nutshell, what you do is you purchase resale rights to a product, say a software, and then sell them at full price without the manufacturer getting their cuts. You get the whole profit and after a few successful sales, you will regain the money used for the resale license plus significant profits.

8. Online Surveys


Surveys are an important element in how businesses operate and many corporations pay online survey companies huge sums of money to administer surveys. The goal here is to gather people opinion and information for market participating in surveys as a respondent, which can net you up to $150 per participation. Or you can start your own survey company. But that would be quite expensive and difficult to achieve if you don’t have the finances and the manpower.

9. Sell at Online Auctions


Got a rare item that you have stashed for decades? How about historical memorabilia that remained hidden in your basement? Many people are willing to part ways with their cash for trinkets and posters that you may find useless. Some of them are even willing to shell out humongous amounts of money.

Participating in online auctions can be a lucrative business too. You don’t need to set up a website and most auctions offer free membership. Listing your items only costs pennies, which is basically nothing to the amount you will probably get once you sell your grandfather’s old WW2 rifle.

10. Buy and Sell Domain Names


Like flipping houses, buying and selling domain names is a very rewarding online endeavor. All you have to do is purchase domain names that someone may want later and sell it to them for a steeper price.

11. Freelance Writing


If you got some serious writing chops, then you may find the Internet your next gold mine. Thousands of companies and startups require professional writing skills for their content supply, marketing strategies, and more. Some people would even pay top dollar for high grade essays and speeches. All you need to have is a stable internet, a reliable laptop or PC, and top rated writing skills to start your own freelance endeavor.

12. Virtual Assistance


Virtual assistants are basically online secretaries. They set sechedules for their bosses, filter their emails, and pretty much do any other adminstrative and office work. Many individuals who have started out as virtual assistants ended up forming their own VA firms.

Louie Andre

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. From pitch deck to exit strategy, he is no stranger to project business hiccups and essentials. He has been involved in a few internet startups including a digital route planner for a triple A affiliate. His advice to vendors and users alike? "Think of benefits, not features."

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