Are you looking for the best and most lucrative online business ideas to launch in 2024 and beyond? This article is the perfect guide for you.
In today’s digital age, an increasing number of people are opting to start online businesses instead of traditional brick-and-mortar ones to generate sustainable income over time.
There are many ways and ideas to earn money with the Internet. In this post, I will show you some profitable online businesses and legitimate ways to make money online in 2024 and beyond. Let’s get started!
Navigate to any section of the article by using the links in the table of contents below.
- Online business definition and its advantages
- Traditional business vs. online business
- Top 6 online business ideas of 2024 and beyond
- Other top lucrative online business ideas with low startup capital
- Conclusion & FAQs
What is an online business and why is it important to have one?
An online business idea can be defined as a valuable concept that has been extensively developed into a final product, poised for online marketing.
Online business activity usually involves promoting brands and selling products and services to customers, both locally and globally with the help of the Internet. Online businesses can be done on websites, blogs, social media, emails, video calls, and webinars.
The world is now digital, and your business should follow suit. You can transform your current traditional business into a complete online business or create a new one. There are countless opportunities to “make money online.”
Advantages or Benefits of Starting an Online Business
- Low startup costs
- Prospects and customers can reach you globally
- 24/7 availability
- Round-the-clock customer support
- Energy and time-saving (Time is money– they always say.)
- Make money online 24/7
- Flexibility and independence
- Access to both free and affordable tools and resources for effective marketing
- Work from anywhere in the world
- Multi-channel selling
- Expand your business over time
Online Business vs. Traditional Business: Which is More Lucrative And Easier To Launch?
This might be debatable, but we won’t delve too much into it. Both are good to start, but how quick and effortless is one than the other?
As an aspiring businessperson, you might want to consider starting up one before the other or rather have both running. This same method applies to 9-5 workers looking to start a small business.
Here are a few things to consider when embarking on either an offline or an online business.
To start any viable offline business, It’ll require medium to huge investment capital which covers operational costs, office rents, furnishings, long setup time, etc.
Hectic day-to-day activities will also be involved depending on the type of business. While online startups usually don’t have much physical stress, less startup capital, and quick setup time, to mention but a few.
The Top 6 Lucrative Online Business Ideas of 2024 and Beyond
If you want to earn money on the Internet, there are many different ideas on how to do that. Based on our research, here are the top five online business ideas that are currently popular.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an amazing and beginner-friendly opportunity to make money online. It’s considered one of the best and most lucrative online business ideas that have come to stay for as long as the Internet exists. All other types of online business models are hinged on affiliate marketing.
This evergreen online business idea is all about promoting people’s products and services online and getting paid a commission (up to 50%!) on each sale you bring them.
Affiliate marketing is a great opportunity because you don’t need huge capital or even an idea for a product.
To get started with Affiliate Marketing, all you need is a blog and/or a combination of other marketing channels or platforms to promote products and/or services sold by different companies, a special affiliate link, and the ability to send qualified traffic to an online offer. From there, you get a percentage of each sale you bring in.
There are hundreds of thousands of businesses offering their affiliate programs that you can apply to directly. Just look for “Affiliates” or “Partners” in their site footer. There are also notable affiliate networks and marketplaces you can consider, such as Amazon Associates, PartnerStack, and ShareASale.
How do I start Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a common practice for most websites and blogs, which has a very low startup cost.
To begin with, you need to create a marketing platform or channel to promote affiliate products while continuously growing your audience.
To ensure you are promoting the right products and services, it is advisable to focus on products that are related to your niche or field of expertise.
It’s worth noting that about 80% of all affiliate programs only accept websites and blogs for eligibility. Therefore, if you want to increase your chances of making more money with affiliate marketing, it’s wise to have a blog. You can learn to create one yourself or request a free WordPress blog setup.
To generate a consistent income over time, it’s essential to invest heavily in content marketing and SEO. Moreover, to succeed in affiliate marketing, consider the E.E.A.T (Expertise, Experience, Authority, and Trustworthiness) approach formula.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you gain expertise and authority in your niche, which will eventually help you build trust with your audience.
2. eCommerce Business Or Selling Products Online
Starting an eCommerce store or selling physical items online is one of the most profitable online business ideas that anyone aiming to make money online can venture into.
There are two ways to sell physical items online. You can either set up your own platform and sell on it, or you can sell on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram shopping, as well as on popular global e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon, Aliexpress, eBay, Jumia, Etsy, Walmart, and so on.
If you choose to set up and sell on your platform, such as WooCommerce, you will retain all your sales profits, have full access to collect customer data, and have complete control over your online store activities.
However, this is quite the opposite of when you choose to sell on popular online marketplaces. Whichever way you decide to start selling online, it is lucrative. You can sell physical items and digital products either on a B2B or B2C level.
How do I start an Online Store or E-commerce Business?
As a startup, I recommend you sell on third-party marketplaces if you have a few items to sell. Browse local or international marketplaces in your region and start on a small scale.
Then, after a while, you might consider migrating to your platform for more profitability. You can start an online store with any of these e-commerce platforms:
3. Freelancing Or Selling Your Services Online
Freelancing business is one of the most highly-engaged online businesses nowadays. You can make a consistent amount of money if you have in-demand skills such as writing, video editing, coding, marketing, designing, and lots more.
Many dream of leaping from a traditional 9-to-5 to the unpredictable world of freelancing. With freelancing, you have the flexibility to choose your own time of work, set your pricing, choose the number of clients you want to be working with, and so on.
The most popular demand is freelance writing. Whether in the form of blog posts, sales pages, email copywriting, or whitepapers, brands depend on it to attract leads before closing sales. Bottom line? you can make good money as an experienced freelance writer.
Aside from freelance writing, you can choose to scout for remote online jobs related to your niche or skill from online platforms like LinkedIn, Reddit, and some popular work marketplaces.
Just like the same approach to eCommerce, freelancing sites usually take a percentage of your work pay unlike setting up your platform to scout for online jobs.
Starting a freelancing business helps you connect with both individuals and companies directly and make more money when you set up and manage your business website.
How do I start a freelancing business?
Make sure you do perfect jobs for clients and keep to deadlines once you start getting jobs so that you can keep making unlimited money.
Once you start making money on those platforms, we recommend you get a website with a portfolio to showcase your past and recent works.
4. Podcasting Business
Do you have good communication skills? Are you good at public speaking? Can you persuade people to take some action with your voice? And you want to host your talk show? Then, podcasting is the best and most lucrative online business idea for you.
One great feature of podcasts is that they’re audio-based, so even busy people can fit it in while doing other chores, or before going to bed. These days, several people listen to podcasts. With Podcast or Podcast Hosting, you can build your brand by having a community online through each episode of the podcast you release every week.
Making money from podcasts is very realistic. You can monetize your podcasts by selling your own merch, affiliate marketing, advertising, subscriptions, donations or sponsorships. Using these modern podcast advertising methods, you are bound to rake in consistent cash as long as you produce regular content that helps your specific audience solve their problems.
How do I start a Podcast?
Anyone can start a podcast as long as what they want to offer is interesting and valuable. To start with, you will need to get some podcast recording tools and host your audio in the form of episodes on streaming platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and so on. You can achieve this and many more by using podcast hosting platforms.
The three best platforms to launch a professional podcast for free are:
- Podbean – The best podcast hosting platform to create, promote and monetize your podcast.
- Buzzsprout – Perfect podcast hosting platform for starters with remarkable customer support.
- Blubrry – A professional podcast hosting and publishing platform with AI tools for networks, businesses, & advanced creators.
These platforms also give starters free WordPress sites to showcase their podcasts.
5. Trading Forex, CFDs, Cryptos & NFTs
No matter how you make a living, trading cryptos, forex and CFDs is one of the LUCRATIVE business ideas to grow your income and wealth over the long term. You can create wealth by investing in cash-flow assets that make money while you sleep.
Wealthy individuals don’t save their earnings in the bank. They multiply it through investment portfolios. Some thriving online investment portfolios of 2022 include forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs.
Speaking of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) which operate on blockchain technology like Bitcoin (BTC), is one of the latest ways of making money online. You can discover, buy and sell exclusive digital collectables (from video games to art pieces, etc.) on some notable platforms while you make a substantial amount of money repeatedly.
However, this type of online business idea requires some capital to start, and therefore, newbies or novices should stay updated with what’s happening in the forex and blockchain markets before putting in their hard-earned money.
How to start trading Forex, CFDs, Cryptos and NFTs
Just like forex and CFDs, cryptocurrencies and NFTs are everywhere today. While some people are still skeptical about it, many believe in the blockchain market and its potential to revolutionize how we do business, transfer money, and more.
The content of this subsection is for informational purposes only. Forex and Crypto Trading without having extensive knowledge of them are hazardous. Kindly ensure you do your research. If possible, seek professional advice before making any decisions.
Successful online trading demands skill. If you’re looking to get into the crypto game, then you’ll want to check out these top crypto trading platforms below. They offer trading of cryptocurrencies, P2P (Peer-to-Peer) services, NFTs, and so on at lucrative deals.
Also, some of the best forex and online stock trading platforms where you get to trade gold, oil, and so on are:
6. Sell Plugins and GPTs on the ChatGPT Store
Making money through ChatGPT is an emerging online business opportunity and one of the best ideas on this list that you could explore for a lucrative income.
You can make money if you have expertise in one or two areas on the platform:
- Create custom versions of ChatGPT called GPTs.
- Develop third-party plugins for ChatGPT.
The OpenAI’s ChatGPT Store is an online marketplace where users can find and install plugins or GPTs to perform different tasks. GPTs and Plugins enhance the functionality of ChatGPT.
What are GPTs and ChatGPT Plugins?
ChatGPT Plugins are third-party developer tools designed specifically for language models with safety as a core principle and help ChatGPT access up-to-date information, run computations, or use third-party services.
GPTs are custom versions of ChatGPT that users can create to carry out various tasks or specific purposes. Canva and Zapier AI Actions are examples of brands that use GPTs.
People use ChatGPT for various everyday tasks, primarily for accessing up-to-date information online. As GPT 3.5 has limited usage for most users, GPT plugins and custom versions of ChatGPT (known as GPTs) can serve as external data to carry out advanced tasks and use cases.
How to get started
If you’re looking to make money using ChatGPT, you can create useful GPTs to assist people in solving their problems. You don’t need any coding skills to create your GPTs. You can create them for personal use or sell them to the public.
To start creating custom versions of ChatGPT known as GPTs, click here.
Also, If you are good with the creation of plugins, you can become a third-party developer and have them listed on the ChatGPT store. To join the waitlist for plugins, you can sign up here.
Please note that these money-making opportunities are only available for ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise users.
Other Top Lucrative Online Business Ideas With Low Investment To Launch In 2024
1. Become a Social Media Marketer/Manager
Social media marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves using social media platforms to promote and advertise products, services, or ideas. It aims to engage with potential customers, build brand awareness, drive website traffic, and ultimately increase sales and conversions.
There are lots of companies out there that require social media experts to manage their company’s social media handles. You can start and scale this online business first as a side hustle then take it to the next level with an agency as long as you are good with strategy development, influencer marketing, consistent content creation, paid advertisement and automation.
Some of the social media marketing tools that can help you execute this type of online business successfully are:
2. Become An Online Sales Consultant
This online business idea has been on for decades and it’s mostly practiced by popular e-commerce and real estate companies. It’s a bit similar to affiliate marketing but with a different payment model.
The process requires signing a contract as a sales agent with an e-commerce company to place orders on behalf of your customers. Once that is done, you’ll get a commission based on each product you sell.
A typical example of an eCommerce sales consultant is an operator of this Facebook page which promotes popular African e-commerce companies like Jumia.
Unlike e-commerce, becoming a real estate sales agent is not much of a work-from-home model, as you will be scheduling inspection routines with prospects.
How do I become an online sales consultant?
First and foremost, you will need to research the companies you would like to sell to and approach them via email. Sometimes these companies scout for interested sales consultants on their websites. Also, make use of some of these online marketing channels to help you sell better.
3. Sell Digital Products
Digital products can come in the form of ebooks, audio & video, etc. Selling digital products can be a lucrative business idea as long as the products are valuable. With this, people are willing to buy consistently and even refer more buyers.
Creators, influencers, and bloggers are more predominant in this field of online business.
How do I start selling digital products?
There are several platforms through which you can sell digital products. If you have a WordPress site, we recommend Easy Digital Downloads for selling digital files. It’s relatively easy to use and includes all the features you need to create your online store.
If you don’t have a website yet, you can create a Storefront with a Paystack merchant account for free and list your digital products for sale. The selling of Digital Products is enabled for all Paystack merchants by default. However, this is only for Africans.
For example, take a look at the TemydeeDigital Shop on Paystack which sells both fictional and non-fictional ebooks and some other digital products and services. You can sell, PDFs, MP3s, Videos, and even webinar sessions with the Paystack digital storefront.
4. Start a Membership Website
Starting a membership website easily lets you monetize your content in various ways. This online business idea can generate either a one-time or recurring revenue depending on how you schedule your membership access.
How do I start a membership website?
Starting a membership website is one of the best lucrative online business ideas to monetize your expertise or provide exclusive content to a niche audience. Here are some steps to get started:
- Choose your niche: You need to identify your target audience and choose a niche that you are passionate about and knowledgeable about. This will help you create content that your audience will find valuable and will be willing to pay for.
- Create a membership site with WordPress: Sign up with a WordPress hosting company like Bluehost to create a website or a blog and add necessary pages like Home, About Us, Contact Us, etc.
- Choose a WordPress membership plugin: You will need a WordPress plugin to host your membership website. Many plugins are available in the WordPress repository, such as MemberPress, Restrict Content Pro, and SureMembers. Research each plugin’s features and pricing to determine which is the best fit for your needs.
- Create your membership levels: Determine the types of membership levels you want to offer. This could include a free membership level, a paid membership level, and a premium membership level with additional perks and benefits.
- Develop your content: Your content is the reason why people will join your membership website. Create content that provides value to your audience, such as exclusive courses, tutorials, webinars, or e-books.
- Set up payment and billing: You will need to set up a payment and billing system to collect membership fees. This could include a one-time fee or a recurring subscription model.
- Promote your website: Once your website is set up, you will need to promote it to attract members. Use social media, email marketing, and other advertising channels to reach your target audience.
Starting a membership website can be a challenging task, but with the right strategy and dedication, you can build a successful business that provides value to your audience while generating revenue.
5. Sell Online Courses
Do you have a passion for teaching people? Teaching courses online can be a lucrative source of passive income. You can establish a recurring income by running an e-learning business.
Did you know it is very easy to create, market, and sell your knowledge and expertise? Yes, it’s very possible and you can make a good amount of money doing this online business.
If you want to go beyond consulting, tutoring, or selling ebooks, you can package what you know into a course and sell it online. As long as it’s beneficial and worth the value, you’ll constantly get more patronage and referrals from your targeted audience.
How do I begin selling online courses?
The fastest and quickest way to sell and grow your courses online is through webinars as people these days prefer learning through videos.
- Use webinar tools like EasyWebinar to start and scale your video courses.
- Also, If you prefer your courses to be managed for you, try to sell on popular third-party platforms like Payhip, Fiverr, or Teachable.
- Create, sell and manage courses on your WordPress website by using self-hosted WordPress tools like MemberPress or LearnDash.
All these options are good and lucrative methods to start an online course business. Having your e-learning website with WordPress pays more because you’ll keep 100% profits to yourself.
6. Sell Coaching Services and Programs
The online coaching industry is a profitable business for modern entrepreneurs, providing coach professionals with an easy way to create recurring revenue streams and expand their services globally. If you have several coaching business ideas that can generate steady income, you should pursue them.
Fortunately, anyone can start an online coaching business using a simple tool called MemberPress CoachKit. This non-techy tool works with self-hosted WordPress.
By integrating the plugin into your new or existing WordPress site, you can offer coaching services and programs to your audience. Learn more about this amazing tool here.
7. Offer Online Consultation/Booking Appointment Services
A consultation is a one-on-one audio/video meeting with a client. They can ask you questions, share their scope, and get your expert advice. By doing this, you are selling your expertise.
If your knowledge is valuable, prospective and existing clients may want to seek out your subject-matter expertise for developing their projects. Now you can get paid to share your knowledge by creating a consultation service platform.
With an online consultation service, you can:
- Increase your earnings.
- Set your rates and availability.
- Build your client network for potential longer-term work.
- Have clients book time on your calendar directly from your website.
- Get paid for your time by offering paid appointments.
Just choose when you’re available to meet, set your rate, and let clients come to you for guidance. If this is what you know you are good at, then, We’ll encourage you to start offering consultations right away. Online consulting service is one of the best and most lucrative online business ideas one can venture into now and last a lifetime.
Here’s a potent appointment booking calendar solution you can use on your WordPress site to make consistent income. Trust me, it is what small business owners and busy web entreprenuers use on a day-to-day basis.
8. Offer Graphic Design Services
Any online business requires appealing images to help merchants sell better.
Business owners and content creators are always using graphics for EVERYTHING they do online. Be it for eCommerce product images, landing pages, website copies, blog posts, YouTube videos, infographics, social media posts, etc.
So you’re going to have to learn how to become a professional graphic designer if you want to start and make money from this lucrative business. Some merchants hire graphic designers for their e-commerce businesses, presentations, email newsletters and so on. You too can get hired in no time.
How do I Become a Professional Graphic Designer?
Graphics is one of THE biggest challenges for small business owners when it comes to selling online. Presentation is everything and it’s the FIRST thing prospective buyers see when they land on sellers’ websites or social media platforms.
With this in mind, you can position yourself to be hired and make a steady income regularly by helping people create logos, flyers, banners, Instagram stories, advertisements and so on.
You can become a professional graphics designer by learning with Canva or Adobe Express. These two popular platforms allow anyone, no matter their skill level, to create great-looking graphics for free without the headaches or knowledge of hard-to-use programs.
How Do I Get Customers To Patronize My Graphic Design Services?
This is one of the top lucrative online business ideas that has liberated entrepreneurs financially for many years. Once you are done learning and you are ready to start trading your design skills for money, visit any of the following freelancing websites below to sign up as a freelancer:
For complete independence, you can create your own graphics design website and showcase your portfolios inside it to attract new customers.
Summary of the Most Lucrative Business Ideas To Make Money Online in 2024
All the above-mentioned online business ideas are well-proven by thousands of people and they are still viable today.
Online businesses can be as lucrative as any traditional business if one puts in the effort to always learn. The more you learn new ideas and take the right action steps, the more you earn!
To be successful in any online business venture, we strongly advise not to dwell on too many of them simultaneously. Conquer one at a time and move on to the next. And before you know it, you already own an online business empire.
Above all, make sure to always offer quality products and services that will retain customers and earn you more referrals.
If you’re still having difficulty deciding what type of online business to start, consider bookmarking this guide to use as inspiration as we’ll be regularly adding more. Most of these online businesses have relatively low costs and are easy to start.
Lastly, Smart entrepreneurs know it’s almost impossible to grow their businesses on someone else’s website. Hence, we encourage you to get your WordPress website. Learn to create one for yourself or let us help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
In general, the profitability of an online business idea depends on the amount of time, resources, and strategies invested in it. A crucial factor to consider is whether the idea can generate recurring revenue.
There are numerous online business opportunities available. In addition to the profitable online business ideas mentioned in this article, other options worth considering include web and app development services, social media management consultancy, dropshipping, content creation services, SEO management and consultancy, and tech support services.
Disclosure: We get commissions for purchases made through referral links in this post.