20 Ideas for Your First Online Business

Aug 8, 2020 10:41:00 PM

Whether you’re looking to switch careers or make a little extra on the side, starting an online business can be a great way to do either. We’ll show you some popular online business ideas that are a good fit for many first-time entrepreneurs.

1.) Share What You Know on a Blog

If you’re just getting your feet wet in the world of online business, building a blog that shares an interest of yours can be an easy way to do it without having to commit too much time. Going with what you know is a great way to start because you can get started without getting bogged in excessive research. And because you already know the topic, your content will immediately have the kind of authenticity that other bloggers cannot easily replicate.

Having a regularly updated blog gives you several avenues for earning an income. Even if you’re not quite ready to make an income by selling products or exclusive content, you can earn a bit on the side from Google AdSense and affiliate marketing.

2.) Build an eCommerce Store

If you already have a product on offer or have suppliers lined up, adding an ecommerce component to your real-world business may be the most straightforward way to make money online. Thankfully, building an online store these days is easy. 

Creating a store on your website is as simple as using templates or themes from Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento. If you don’t have a website and aren’t ready to create one, major social media sites such as Facebook also have simple yet powerful features for creating online stores in minutes. 

Whatever your setup, you won’t have problems logging transactions or billing customers either. You can also use PayMaya Checkout to deliver a smooth checkout process on your website or PayMaya Digital Invoice to easily bill your customers through email, SMS, or popular messenger applications. Be sure to check out other PayMaya Enterprise to find a payment solution that fits your online business’s needs.

3.) Start a Vlog or Podcast

If you’re going to share your opinions, you might as well get paid for it. Vlogs (also known as video blogs) and podcasts are the video and audio versions of traditional written blogs. Vlogs and podcasts can be about anything, from political and social commentary to cooking and video games. If you have an engaging personality and a decent video and audio setup (or even a decent smartphone), you can start your first vlog or podcast in minutes.

Vlogs and podcasts with a decent following have the potential to earn a respectable income through ads and sponsorships. If you have something you want to share with the world, a vlog or podcast can be as profitable as it is therapeutic.

4.) Be a Freelance Technical Support Expert

There are plenty of small and medium-sized businesses out there struggling with their technology investments. Very few can maximize their investments in IT, system administration, and apps — among many other things. As businesses have become more reliant on technology, more and more openings become available for tech support experts who can help them make the best use of what they have.

Because most tech support needs are intermittent rather than continuous, there is a high demand for freelance tech support specialists that can take care of various issues at the drop of a hat. If you have experience with specific tools or apps, you can make a decent living offering technical support through sites like Upwork or Freelancer. Later on, you can build a portfolio site to bag bigger clients and paychecks.

5.) Share Product Reviews

If you have a decent camera and audio equipment, you can use your website, Facebook page, or YouTube channel to do reviews of various products. You can make money off of sponsorships and advertisements and from paid reviews of products sent to you. The key is to find a strong niche and have a unique but fair take in your reviews. This will help build your authority as a reviewer and make you the person to turn to specific product categories.

6.) Do Voice-overs

As more and more businesses turn to videos to supercharge their marketing, many of them are finding out the hard way that professional voiceover work isn’t as easy as it may seem. If you have a distinct and pleasing voice or have experience doing radio voice-overs or podcasts, you can make a decent income online doing professional voice-overs for businesses. All you need to get started is a decent microphone and a quiet place to do your recordings.

7.) Create Online Courses

If you’re an expert in any field, you can earn an income simply by teaching others what you know. Well-produced and insightful online courses can have the potential for earning an income for years, thanks to the current trend of digital natives using online courses to expand their skill sets in this competitive job market. 

Compared to blogs, online courses are expected to be much more in-depth, and they should offer unique insights that students couldn’t easily find online. If you have something special to teach, creating an online course will not only help you earn an income, it can help establish you as an authority in your field.

8.) Be a Freelance Sound or Video Editor

You don’t necessarily have to work on your own content to make a decent income online. More and more businesses are now interested in hiring expert content creators to give their content a professional sheen. Video content, in particular, is getting plenty of attention, thanks to its high return on investment on social media. 

If you have above-average video editing skills, there is no shortage of small and large businesses to work with. Video and sound production freelancers with a decent portfolio will even be able to work with big brands and content creators, which means their work might get seen by millions of people. 

9.) Put Up a Photography Portfolio

The explosion of social media in the past generation would not have been possible without the democratization of photography. But as we all know by now, having a good camera doesn’t necessarily mean that you become a good photographer. 

With marketing becoming more visual than ever before, talented photographers are now in demand for events, product photos, and various other projects that need professional-looking visuals. If you already have a good DSLR or mirrorless camera as well as decent photography skills, all you need to get started is to put up your portfolio on your social media account. You may also want to upload your sample photos on your website or a third party portfolio site. To be able to do out-of-town shoots and further expand your available client pool, it helps to have access to a car as well.

10.) Be a Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistant services are one of the fastest-growing online industries in the Philippines. Virtual assistants (VAs) provide a wide range of technical, administrative, and creative services, usually for individuals or small teams. While some virtual assistants have clearly-defined responsibilities, others may function as general-purpose assistants.  

The best thing about becoming a VA or starting your own virtual assistant agency is that very few special skills are required. VA’s may be tasked to do any of a number of things from doing transcriptions to paying bills and checking emails. VA’s with advanced knowledge of popular office apps such as Excel can also stand to earn much more.

11.) Offer a Meal Plan or Meal Delivery Service

Urban Filipinos these days are simultaneously getting busier and more health-conscious. Unfortunately, busy lifestyles leave little room to plan and make nutritious meals. This is even harder if you’re on a special diet. This is where meal plan services have started to step in.

Meal planners create custom meals for clients, which are then delivered at specified times. All you need to get started is to know how to cook big batches of nutritious custom meals and a website or social media page. Meal planners that know how to prep vegan, keto, halal, and other special meals can even capture a niche market in their neighborhood.

12.) Try Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is when a business pays another business to direct customers or site visitors to them. If you have a blog or a website, you can look for affiliate programs by checking out affiliate directories or by reaching out to different businesses directly. The beauty of being part of an affiliate program is that it can generate passive income for your website even if your main business does something else entirely. 

13.) Be a Marketing Consultant

Not everyone who starts a new venture has marketing as their forte. If you’ve got marketing experience and if you know how to use some of the most popular apps and marketing automation systems, you can make some pretty good cash doing consultancy work for businesses and nonprofit groups. The good thing about consultancy work is that you can do this on a part-time or full-time basis, depending on what suits you.

14.) Offer Bookkeeping Services

Bookkeeping services are now on the leading edge of trends in outsourcing. Unlike many other types of outsourced jobs, bookkeeping gigs are fairly easy to get into even if you work alone. If you’re a certified accountant, even more lucrative contracts may be in store for you. To expand your potential client pool, consider getting an account on a freelancing platform such as Upwork and Freelancer.

15.) Be an SEO expert

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of making changes to an online asset such as a website, social media page, or a product listing to make it easily found through search engines. Websites and online product listings that follow good SEO principles can potentially get more search engine traffic without the need for expensive paid advertisements.

Contrary to popular belief, SEO isn’t just about making websites easy to find on Google. All major ecommerce sites will typically have an internal search engine as well. Given the rapid growth of online commerce, there’s plenty of room for more SEO experts specializing in different areas.

Being an SEO specialist is something that anyone can get into. Even if you don’t end up becoming extremely proficient in SEO, the basic ideas will continue to be useful for any future online businesses you want to get into.

16.) Start a Dropshipping Store

Dropshipping is an increasingly common practice where online retailers do not keep items in stock. Rather, they take a customer’s orders and have them fulfilled by a different party, usually a wholesaler. The profit is made on the difference between retail and wholesale prices. Large online wholesalers such as Alibaba and ecommerce businesses such as Shopify will often have resources available for prospective dropshippers to get started. 

17.) Sell Your Awesome Ukay Finds

If you like thrifting at ukays and other secondhand shops, you probably already know that you can score incredible deals on items that would cost several times more elsewhere. If you have an especially good eye for secondhand finds, you can select and collect the very best ones and sell them for a profit at your online store. All you need to get started is a social media account and a smartphone, but you can also consider building an ecommerce website for better visibility as well.

18.) Be a Freelance Writer or Editor

If you have decent writing and editing skills, it will be quite easy to find a job online. A lot of businesses are now going big on content marketing and SEO, two areas where great writing is essential. Businesses with online stores also need writers to create their various product descriptions. Various publications are also constantly looking for talented writers to tackle a range of different topics. Best of all, writers and editors can get by with low-end or obsolete computers, making these online jobs some of the easiest kinds to start with.

19.) Build or QA apps

With the demand for different types of apps exploding, app development is increasingly being done by 3rd party businesses and freelancers to reduce costs and to streamline processes. Virtually every stage of app development, from conceptualization to testing, is an opportunity to earn an income online. If you have basic knowledge of app development and a fairly new and relatively powerful computer, there are thousands of opportunities to be had in app development. If you’re new to app development, there are also hundreds of online courses that can help you expand your skills and get a foot in the door in this growing industry.

20.) Create Custom Items 

If you know how to decorate cakes, make custom furniture, or do mods for certain hobbies, that special knack might turn out to be quite profitable. All you need to get started is a smartphone with a decent camera and a social media page. Learning the basics of product photography will also help you put your work in its best light, helping to grow your business’s social media following.


These are just some of the ways you can make money online. Whatever your first online business is, PayMaya is ready to help. PayMaya Enterprise delivers a range of no-nonsense payment solutions that ensure you’ll get paid, no matter how small your online presence is.

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