There’s never been a better time for at home business ideas. Launching my freelance writing business was a scary leap, but it’s one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done.
I’m not alone – estimates suggest that 50% of the US workforce will be freelancers by 2028. Never mind other types of business owners!
You might think you need skills, experience, or serious investment first, but I’m willing to bet there’s something on this list you could start tomorrow.
Come on, I have to put blogging at number one. What do you think I’m writing this on?
I used to feel like making money from a blog was an illusive secret. Actually, it’s surprisingly simple once you get past the jargon.
The most well-known monetization method is through adverts – but it’s not the only method. I’m writing this with an ad-blocker installed, and there’s a good chance you are too.
Instead, consider affiliate marketing: placing product links on your blog that will give you a commission if anyone who clicks them makes a purchase. Alternatively, you could sell products on your website, like courses or templates (both of which I’ll discuss further on).
But just as important as your monetization method is the niche you choose. It’s tempting to write about everything from your pet dog to your favorite TV series to your political beliefs on the same website, but this will just confuse Google and your readers.
Instead, choose one topic that interests you, there’s demand for, and to which you bring something new. For the latest tips and tricks, check out Rowan’s article about starting a successful blog.
When I tell people I’m a freelance writer, they assume I’m a journalist or some kind of lifestyle blogger. The truth is, I’m neither!
Think about it: all throughout the day, you come across written content. Website pages, sales newsletters, company white papers, scripts for adverts… guess who wrote them? Most likely, a freelance writer like me.
These types of writing fall into the following broad categories:
A huge advantage of starting a freelance writing business is that you need almost no upfront investment. Got a computer? You can probably start right now.
Depending on what type of person you are, spending your day looking for minor grammar errors in texts could either sound like a dream or a nightmare.
First, let’s clear up what proofreading is and isn’t. Whilst editors restructure whole pieces and suggest changes in content, proofreaders look out for grammar and spelling mistakes.
Once again, you won’t need much upfront investment to start a proofreading business since you can complete everything on your computer.
You might have heard transcription recommended as a good work-from-home job since you generally don’t need any particular qualifications to get started.
I won’t focus on where you can get your first transcription job, though. We’re here to talk about starting a profitable business, not earning minimum wage.
To increase your earning potential, consider branching into more lucrative specialisms, such as medical transcription and legal transcription. This will help you move toward running a serious business.
Most people regard accounting as a high-earning and safe career path. After all, businesses will always need some poor sod to go over their accounts for them. Joking – accountants are cool!
For anyone concerned with providing a stable life for their family as well as fulfilling their passions, accountancy can seem like an attractive prospect. Work from the comfort of your own home and be your own boss whilst also having a solid earning potential. Sounds ideal, right?
Of course, you can’t just become an accountant overnight – it requires training.The exact requirements depend on where you want to practice; here’s a list of requirements across US states. Luckily, you can now earn the qualifications you need online most of the time.
Okay, so I was just talking about accounting, and now I’m talking about bookkeeping? I know what you’re thinking: aren’t they the same thing? Well, not quite.
To put it simply, bookkeepers carry out more basic financial tasks, like preparing balance sheets. Accountants go one step further, analyzing financial data and advising their clients on saving money.
So, if you fancy a financial business minus the intensive accountancy training, consider starting a bookkeeping business instead.
E-commerce is a huge area within the online business world. There are so many forms!
You could make your own products and list them on a site like Etsy. Even if you’re not one for the arts and crafts, you could make digital products – even something as simple as a budgeting template has the potential to sell (calling all bookkeepers looking for a side hustle!).
Alternatively, you could resell products you bought elsewhere. Some people engage in ‘Amazon arbitrage’ by buying products at a reduced price then relisting them on Amazon at a higher price for a tidy profit.
You may also have heard of dropshipping, which involves listing products without handling the stock yourself.
If you’ve disregarded web development instantly because you don’t know how to program, then hear me out. Yes, the best web developers have an in-depth knowledge of dozens of coding languages, however this isn’t a necessity.
These days, there are also plenty of people who make a respectable wage from using drag-and-drop sites like Wix. These tools may be (relatively) easy to use, but they’re still incredibly fiddly and time-consuming, so some firms would rather outsource the labor.
Having said that, your earning potential will be far higher if you know your React Native from your HTML.
If you want to take your business to the next level, consider learning to code.
Similar to web development, you can become a graphic designer without being a whizz on Illustrator. Lots of businesses are looking for someone to create basic graphics for them on a site like Canva, another intuitive yet fiddly tool.
Of course, if you are a whizz on Illustrator or other design software, your graphic design business will have greater earning potential.
If you want to take things to the next level, why not combine graphic design with web development? Web design and user interface design are hugely important parts of creating a website.
Being a graphic designer that can use website builders or a web developer with knowledge of Canva could be a huge edge.
When it comes to online businesses, almost nothing is more important than ranking highly on search engines. Google, if you’re listening, you’re the best.
But search engines constantly change their algorithms, so many businesses need to hire people to ensure their website posts remain optimized. Although SEO comes into other professions, like freelance writing and web development, larger companies generally hire a dedicated SEO expert.
Since this is such a new area, you won’t need any formal qualifications to start. To learn more, there are plenty of free resources online, like those available on Moz.
Podcasts have gone from a niche interest to mainstream. They offer a great opportunity to start creating content if you prefer speaking to writing but suffer from camera shyness.
Or, if you’re feeling brave, why not combine YouTube and podcasting? Once you shoot a video you have the audio for a podcast readymade – and this gives you two places to build your audience!
If you listen to podcasts yourself, you’ve probably noticed that many creators start their episodes off by naming their sponsor. This is the main way to monetize your podcast, but it’s not the only way.
You could also consider crowdfunding your program through Patreon or a similar service.
Do you really think all those brands and celebrities are managing their own social media accounts? Of course not! Most of them hire social media managers.
Getting paid to reply to comments, Tweet, and think of Instagram captions might sound like a dream come true if you’re a social media addict.
Yet doing this effectively whilst keeping a consistent brand message and growing a platform takes skill, so you can earn good money from doing it. The social media management market reached $9 billion in 2018!
There are two main types of teaching online: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and online tutoring.
TESOL is a very accessible field for most people. There are numerous platforms that act like middlemen to connect you with clients. VIPKid is great for those with relevant experience or a degree, whereas websites like iTalk allow you to start from nothing.
To boost your chances of finding success, consider getting a TESOL certificate.
A second option is tutoring, which can be very competitive. You stand the best chance of attracting clients if you fit into one of the following groups: current students, anyone who used to be a tutor, and current or trainee teachers.Try offering your services on Chegg and Studypool as a starting point.
To avoid the commission you’ll pay to middlemen websites, why not try sourcing your clients independently via Craigslist, Gumtree, or similar?
Good at admin, customer service, social media, and more? Don’t want to just pick one? As a virtual assistant, you’ll manage admin-related responsibilities for an individual or company.
The exact tasks depend on who your client is. They could involve anything from tagging photos to organizing dates for business meetings.
Once you get a feel for the industry and your job, you could grow your business even more by outsourcing work to other virtual assistants once you grow your client base.
Voiceover work is a career path that’s rarely thought about or discussed, yet someone has to provide the voice for all those adverts and videos.
If you’re one of the rare breeds that doesn’t cringe over hearing themselves talk and gets told they have a ‘nice voice’, voiceover artistry could be a viable path for you.
Once upon a time, customer service representatives were confined to sweaty call centers. Now, they can work from home.
As well as calling customers, there are also chat agents who help customers through messages.
Similar to virtual assistants, you can upscale a customer service business by hiring more people and outsourcing some work to them.
Online coaching is a booming business, as people value professional and personal development more than ever before.
The great thing about coaching is that you can specialize in pretty much anything. Popular niches include career coaching, life coaching, and business coaching – but don’t be afraid to choose something completely new!
The best coaches have always achieved tangible success in their chosen area, so don’t become a relationship coach if your longest relationship lasted six months. But chances are you’re an expert at something already – you just might have to put some thought into it.
Much like coaching, course creation is growing exponentially. If you have any kind of skill set others might be interesting in learning – and I promise you do – then considering selling it.
Alternatively, sell directly to customers on your website if you already have a following.
The great thing about course creation is that it generates a passive income: once you’ve made a course, you can keep earning while your customer service team (see item 16) look after sales and service.
Videos are becoming increasingly important for marketing and content – have you noticed how many websites place a video on their homepage now?
That means video editors are in high demand, too.
If you’re a hobbyist, you probably already have an informal ‘portfolio’ of videos you’ve edited for fun. By uploading these videos to the web – maybe on YouTube or Vimeo – you can show your skills to potential clients and land some gigs.
For more inspiration, check out this case study.
Barely a day passes by where I don’t hear something about Instagram or Facebook ad campaigns, or PPC. Thousands of these campaigns are being carried out every day!
Master the field and you could find yourself running ad campaigns for big companies and earning impressive profits.
I know hearing about ‘digital marketing this’ and ‘web development that’ can get confusing, but bear with me here.
Generating leads can be achieved in many ways. However, to make it a sustainable business you’ll need your designer and developer (items 8 & 9) and your SEO pro (item 10) to put together an engaging, optimized website that builds trust with those who find it.
Now, this can be done in just about any industry in any city in any country where goods and services are bought and sold (i.e. everywhere!). For example, electricians in downtown Seattle, or limousine hire in Stockholm.
When your website attracts calls or emails, you can qualify these leads and sell them off to businesses who will actually provide the goods or services.
Lead generation is a great online business idea given its potential for scale and outsourcing the management of the leads coming in.
Gone are the days where we visit a travel agent in the flesh to plan holidays.
Regardless, there are plenty of people who want to find the best bargains and some help with planning a route. You could help fulfill this need by setting up a virtual travel agency.
There are already a few organizations hiring in this sector such as Travel Planners International; Nexion; Outside Agents, and Avoya. But, once you gain some experience, there’s no reason you can’t go independent.
While tourism might not be the flavor of the month when there’s a pandemic, you can bet it will be when travel restrictions are lifted. Historically speaking, it’s unlikely we’ll see another pandemic in our lifetime.
Recruitment consultancies have traditionally been brick-and-mortar establishments, but that’s no longer necessary.
Candidates can upload their details from their own houses, and you can talk to them over the phone. No wonder online recruitment agencies are springing up left, right, and center!
However, it’s not a simple process. To point you in the right direction, check out this guide to starting a recruitment business.
You’ve probably heard someone say it’s difficult to break through on YouTube these days. It’s partially true – but not if you’re creative to build up a following in alternative ways!
As well as great content, you can build up lead funnels on a website, blog, or social media channels like Instagram and TikTok. Speaking of which, fancy checking out the Love Work at Home YouTube channel?
The great thing about YouTube is that there are so many ways to monetize your channel. You can establish brand deals, generate revenue from adverts through YouTube partnership, create a Patreon – or all of them!
Grant writing involves applying for funding. It’s an essential part of business for many organizations, and a skill that needs to be done well.
Small companies especially might not have a dedicated person to write grants for them, so they often need to hire third parties. It’s not just charities that rely on grants and fundraising for revenue; for instance, technology companies often apply for R&D grants.
If you’ve ever had a role that involved fundraising or writing applications for funding, it’s worth considering starting an online business in this area.
Don’t worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed – starting a business shouldn’t be a split-second decision.
But it’s certainly a fulfilling path to take, and I wouldn’t sacrifice the control and freedom I have now for anything.
Mull over the 25 great at home business ideas above. There’s bound to be 1 or 2 in particular that spark your interest and intrigue you.
Let this article be the springboard, now take a few steps forward and dive right in!
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