The future is digital, and it’s happening now.
You’ve already seen the transformation as we go from a world of tangible objects to intangible bits.
You already have witnessed that every day everything is going online. The things you buy, the information you consume, everything.
Heck, even technology is robbing our time offline.
Many of us, spend more time in front of screens than outdoors. This trend will only continue especially with VR and AR in place.
When everything is going online, if you are not cashing out of it, you’re missing a huge opportunity. As with everything, technology’s early adopters or first movers get a huge benefit.
We saw this in the case of the internet, cryptocurrencies, YouTube, and everything. Adapting to the changes
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5 Most Profitable Online Businesses
I’ve been researching about the prospects and future of some of the greatest profitable online businesses.
I took several factors like the influence of globalization, capitalism, and also some various technological trends to determine what online businesses are booming and will boom further considering the next few years.
If you are expecting this post to contain any strategies to get rich overnight by clicking on some ads and filling out surveys, this post is not for you.
This post is only for those who are serious about starting their business online.
Let’s dive in.
People are quickly realizing that the things they learn in their universities have nothing to do with their life.
Increasingly, they recognize that training in specific fields of interest gives them a decent living and is superior to traditional education, which has remained unchanged for centuries. Even, the degree for dignity trend is falling.
It’s time for you to dive into an industry of your interest, become an expert in it and be a trainer.
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may know that I’m also a digital marketing trainer (currently doing 1-to-1 mentoring sessions), and I’ll start creating online courses and perhaps membership sites in the future.
People are quickly realizing that life is too short to learn everything on their own. They are willing to shell out a huge amount of money on getting training from someone else’s experience.
Till now, I haven’t seen any business that can offer training better than the internet. Once you know your niche well and have developed a course in it, there will be people from all over the world who will pay for your expertise.
This is the right time for you to gain expertise in a good niche and start your training career.
In early 2016, Inc reported that the eLearning industry is worth $107 billion and still booming. The domain experts have a great scope when it comes to leveraging online courses and membership sites to take a larger pie off the industry.
You can kickstart your training business on platforms like Teachable to host your training courses. Once you set up your training course, marketing is a challenging task.
Here are some of the tips to effectively market your training courses:
- Create a funnel around your training course that consists of free offers, low-risk offers, webinars, etc to warm up your cold audience
- Get some traffic acquisitions to your funnel by creating free content on places where your target audience hang out. Maybe on YouTube, Quora, FB groups, etc.
- Provide continuous value to your course-buyers by giving them access to your member-only forum, groups, so on.
- Create an affiliate program for rewarding people who promote your training courses.
If you are a beginner and want to easily market your training courses with you focusing only on the creation part, you can join as an instructor on Udemy or Skillshare.
These platforms already have hundreds of thousands of highly motivated learners and marketing your product will be very easy – provided you tap into the right niche using their Market Insights tools.
2. Selling Digital Products
This is the next profitable business online. You can see it everywhere. People sell eBooks, informational products, WordPress plugins, themes, and also tools for productivity.
eCommerce has become a convenient way to buy products online which is growing rapidly over the years in the near future.
Reselling Whitelabel products as own products has also become a big business in the form of dropshipping
In contrast to affiliate marketing, selling your own products may pay you a huge sum depending upon the product you created and how you promote it.
While creating any product first off, 70% of your success depends upon how you research your market and your competitors. Once you are 100% sure that there’ll be hungry buyers for your product, then start creating a product.
The income you generate out of selling digital products is not all passive income.
But if you release an eBook or other informational products, then it’ll be more or less a passive income.
If you are good at programming, you may want to develop some SaaS apps. But extensive market research is very essential before developing any SaaS product.
I recommend you to browse through the most voted category on Producthunt, try out some of the products that interests you only after doing market research.
Whereas, in the case of softwares or plugins, you need to venture with a developer and outsource the development work.
For example, let’s say you are willing to release a great WordPress theme and are not willing to market it, you can join some marketplaces like Envato or Shopify Themes.
As Envato is quite saturated with many products, I would prefer you to go for any niche specific theme marketplaces like Shopify Themes.
You can design any Shopify-related themes where there is less competition than that of WordPress theme marketplaces. There is a whole lot of opportunities for theme developers in Shopify.
Depending upon the product you are selling, this will return you a long term sustainable income.
Here are some marketing strategies you can make use of:
- Hiring a full-time email outreach expert and get your app listed on some of the prominent online blogs.
- Offering a generous free plan for your app with some strategic features available only in paid plans, it opens the entry to your funnel wide.
- Offering a bit longer trial period for your apps – make sure you have a system in place so that users’ won’t abuse the trial.
- Offering a lifetime deal on your minimum viable apps on places like Stacksocial or AppSumo for a limited period of time.
I am a professional blogger. I surely love my profession. Blogging is one profession where you earn money for doing what you love.
The best part about blogging is, unlike creating digital products, blogging requires little investment. You just need to get a web hosting account, get a domain and install free WordPress on it. You are good to go.
However, depending upon whether you outsource the content, the investment may differ. If you personally ask me, as I’m running multiple niche blogs I usually outsource all my content to Filipino, US, or Indian writers.
In order to succeed in blogging, you also need some skills like SEO, content creation, and promotion. Although you can learn all these skills by your own, this will take years to learn and implement them.
So, I suggest you take a good training for blogging from an experienced blogger.
When it comes to blogging, there are three main ways by which you can earn money.
- Promoting your own products
- Affiliate marketing
- Advertising or using AdSense
I recommend you either stick to Affiliate Marketing or Advertising. Because success is where the focus is.
In order for blogging to give you sustainable income, patience and consistency matter. Finding a perfect niche that’s a sweet spot between your passion and profit is highly essential.
New to blogging? Start here!
- How to Start Your Blog? [In Less Than 10 Minutes]
- How to Choose a Blogging Niche? (Don’t Regret Later!)
- How to Write Great Blog Posts That People Drool Over?
- How to Earn Money Blogging? (Top 10 Ways to Easily Earn $1k+ per Month)
- 27+ Ways to Increase Blog Traffic Exponentially!
4. Freelance writing and other freelancing
In a world where people live in different time zones and do not have to commute for office work, there has been an increase in freelance writers. It’s no surprise that this industry will only grow more during our digital era!
Many people nowadays do part-time freelancing from home when they are working from home
You can join a good freelancer site like UpWork and Outsourcely, and fill out your profile with your portfolio and experiences.
In freelancing it’s very important to be in a niche.
As of now, the review writers, digital marketing writers, health care professionals, finance and law writers earn more money in the freelancing industry.
The network with popular bloggers will also be a great way to get a headstart to your freelancing career as they’ll be in need of content more often. If you are willing to learn more about freelancing, follow Elna Cain. She is damn good at what she does.
With the content bots evolving, authentic voice in a niche is essential.
Freelancers like virtual assistants, social media managers, SEO freelancers, graphic designers, programmers, and video editors have a great future. But the thing is that you need to be exceptional at what you do.
This is where the future is.
Due to fierce competition in the freelancing industry, you need to stand out with unique niche expertise. You need to strive for perfection rather than running towards shiny objects and get-rich-quick schemes.
Niche expertise is the only thing that prevents your job from being robbed by robots in the coming years ;-)
If you want to build a successful freelancing career with atleast $60K-$80K per year income, you would be better of building your agency once you get enough clients.
But do you have client-serving DNA?
The decision is totally yours.
5. Amazon FBA
Amazon FBA stands for “Fulfilled by Amazon”. In this industry, you need to buy cheap products from wholesale sellers and list those items at a much higher price on Amazon.
You need to sell white labeled products, and ship them to Amazon Fulfilment centers. Those FBA centers handle the shipping, packaging, and support for the products.
If you outsource the inventory management and keep an accountant for maintaining the Amazon seller account and updating it regularly, this is a lucrative passive business idea.
I think this business is more sustainable than drop shipping. In the case of drop shipping, there are certain risks like product damage issues or shipping issues. In the case of FBA, the challenging part of your business is handled by Amazon.
The shipping, inventory, and also returns will be handled by Amazon themselves. With this, you get plenty of time to focus on the marketing and the creative part of the hustle.
The initial costs include inventory, Amazon account registration, product photography, logos and UPC codes.
You need to find a niche in Amazon FBA too. For that, you can make use of great tools like the JungleScout Product research tool. After finding a niche, you need to find overseas private label product suppliers on sites like Alibaba.
In order for you to begin, this guide by StartupBros is a good start.
Top 5 Stable Passive Income Generation Streams
There are various streams available, through which you can earn
Blogging like any business has risks. But is definitely less risky as it involves less investment and more risk management options.
When it comes to blogging, having a diverse source of income is good. You should always have an idea of what to do in the worst-case scenario. You should have a backup plan.
I have seen bloggers, who were devastated when their AdSense account got banned. Why? It’s because they monetized all their blogs with AdSense. Many bloggers still think that Google AdSense and displaying ads is the only way to monetize their blogs. That’s wrong.
There are over a number of ways to monetize your blog.
Yes! You heard it right.
But the sad thing is that majority of bloggers tend to put their efforts on only one or two monetizing methods.
1. Start a micro-niche blog
A niche blog is something you create around a particular topic of interest. Micro-niche blog is even narrower.
I categorize it as a passive income source as micro-niches typically need less content as topical relevance will be high and also you can schedule the content ahead of time by hiring niche writers.
Like, if you start a blog on say iPhone it’s a niche blog. If it’s on particular – Cydia and Jailbreak, it’s micro-niche.
Starting a niche blog is the best way to show your expertise in a particular topic both to Google and the
Micro niche blogs rank higher for good keywords quickly. Many think micro-niche blogs need only 4-5 pages of content. Building an authority micro-niche blog for the long term can be a stable income stream, and is recommended.
Monetization methods for your micro-niche blog depend upon the content and the audience you are getting. If you are targeting more high CPC keywords and decent U.S traffic, Google AdSense would be the viable option for monetizing your blog.
If there are good products for you to promote in your micro-niche, then Amazon associates and affiliate marketing are the way to go.
Your micro-niche blog demands at least 2 posts a month depending upon the competition. This fact makes it more or less a passive income generation stream.
You are all aware of the Google Knowlege Graph and its impact on blog traffic.
Dozens of micro-niches were wiped out when Google introduced the knowledge graph.
Some examples of wiped out extinct micro-niches:
- Celebrity net worth
- Cricket scores
- Football scores
- Online converters
- Election results
and the list goes on…
Some endangered niches:
- Quotes niche
- Greetings niche
- Lyrics niche
The factual keywords that result in short clicks will be extinct soon.
If you are in a niche, where you are targeting keywords for which Google can easily show the answer in its carousels, you’re at risk.
Go for keywords where people need to visit your site for information – keywords that encourage long clicks.
With Google favoring authority long-term sites, I suggest you treat your micro-niche site as a long-term authority site.
2. Start a YouTube channel around a niche
YouTube is the third-most-visited site next to Facebook as per Alexa. Videos have the potential to create a bond with the audience. Choose a particular niche like Tech, or gadgets review, like that.
Research for some potential keywords in your YouTube niche. The keywords should have good traffic. Just Google the keyword, and make sure that the top 10 results won’t contain a single video result. By this, you can determine the best keyword to create a video upon. Here keyword research is crucial.
Do some thought about your YouTube channel. How do you want it to look like? How many videos will you upload per month? What kind of audience do you want to target?…etc.
Update your channel regularly with fresh videos. include your keywords in the video description, tags, and even subtitles. That’s YouTube SEO. Submit for AdSense for YouTube. After approval, ads begin showing up on your videos.
Once your videos get good organic traffic or go viral it is more or less a passive income stream for you.
Don’t solely depend on AdSense income for YouTube. You can do affiliate marketing with YouTubing, publish sponsored content,
Many reports suggest that video marketing is the future, as it involves almost all the senses of your audience and deeply involves them. The video content is also easier to digest because of the cognitive ease it provides you when compared to the text-based content – where you need to put in some effort to develop that “inner voice” for comprehension.
As you can see from the above statistics, the YouTube content creation has almost doubled during the period of 2016 – 2018. The average logged-in user of YouTube spends atleast an hour a day watching videos, Techcrunch reports.
Video content will continue to grow as there’s a tremendous need for video in some niches.
Many marketers are now following a multi-channel approach in marketing by repurposing their blog posts as videos and embedding them on their site; including me too.
YouTube marketing and Blogging have great potential in the coming days. Don’t miss it.
3. Start Amazon affiliate niche sites
Amazon is the leading e-commerce site in the world. Many people are making a lucrative income via the Amazon affiliate program alone.
For starting an Amazon niche site, you must first come across a high-selling potential product you want to promote.
Research a product or a category, in which there is low competition on SERPs. In which, you can easily rank.
I would advise you to try out the product before you start your blog. Treat it as an investment. By using the product beforehand, you gain an insightful view and knowledge about the product.
At the same time, don’t forget to read the product reviews on Amazon and other sites.
Share your honest opinions about the product.
Put the Amazon affiliate links in your content. You’ll get the commission for every sale that happens via your link.
Concentrate on organic traffic, which has the highest conversion rate. With this, you’ll receive passive income as long as your blog posts are ranking in Google.
The best Amazon niches as of now are majorly outdoor, survival, and home improvement niches.
4. Start a review blog
If you are passionate about a particular niche, that has great products to promote, start a review blog.
For this, you should first be able to find a niche you are passionate about and has good products for you to promote. The competition should be low. That’s the hard thing.
You may need some investment for this. Because you need to try out the product before; to post effective, honest reviews on your blog. You need to have the necessary copywriting skills as a review blogger.
Because the sale conversions will suffer big time if you don’t know how to write a persuasive review copy.
You need to also be a
For the time being, I’ll suggest you head over to Google Trends; put your main broad keyword and click the ‘Explore topics’ tab from above the graph. It will show you all related keywords that are trending. Those topics should also be underserved.
5. Publish informational products
This is one of the easiest ways for generating passive income, without/less investment.
You simply share your valuable knowledge with people in the form of books, papers, CDs, DVDs, and audiobooks. With the prevalence of the Kindle publishing platform, you can now easily market your ebooks to a wide range of audiences.
The process of publishing an ebook on the Amazon platform takes less than 5 minutes and gets worldwide exposure within 24-48 hours.
There are many writers, who are making a living out of publishing ebooks on Amazon.
Publish an ebook preferably in the niche you are blogging in. By this, you find it easier in the writing process and promotion.
Many of the leading bloggers and marketers have presented the idea of repackaging your blog content into an e-book and publishing it.
If you’re serious about Kindle publishing, you can follow the stuff that successful Kindle publishers are doing.
You can create an email list by providing value to your existing readers on your blog and ask them to sign up for it. After they get used to getting valuable content from you, you can start sending promotional emails with links to buy your e-books in exchange for their contact information.
You need to market your books or else you won’t be able to make a living out of Kindle publishing.
They are not only ebooks, but you can also create a variety of informational products like:
- Training courses
- Email courses
- Membership sites
6. Domain investing
Domains are the real-estate of the internet.
No matter how many TLDs/extensions that ICANN comes up with to diversify the usage of TLDs, the .COM is still the king.
The time has come today where if you need to buy a good
For being a great domainer, you need to also be informed about the latest trends in the market. For example, from 2017 the cryptocurrencies are the things are
Many well-informed domain investors banked big time during the crypto period by investing huge money in buying good domain names. Because, they anticipated the emergence of thousands of ICOs all over the world.
Domaining needs huge investments in buying hundreds of domain names. If among those even one domain is sold for a few thousands of dollars, you’ll bank in huge money.
I don’t suggest this for newbies. I would suggest it to people who’ve been around in the digital marketing game for a while and need a great investment avenue for passive income. I’m just seeing a lot of very new domain investors coming in all the time and spending their hard-earned money on domains they don’t really understand, or worse yet – buying domains that don’t serve anyone any purpose.
7. Website flipping
This is one of the great passive income avenues if you do it the right way with a proper set of team members.
You need a team of content writers and also SEO specialists for this to work out.
You need to either:
- Create new sites in bulk from scratch, grow them and sell them. Like – selling ready-made websites.
- Acquire good sites making decent money, improvise by upgrading the content, design
andSEO and sell it for more money.
For this to happen, you need to be a good negotiator, have patience, and excellent intuition. You need to have good writing or SEO skills or
When you are selling the domain names, it’s the standard to sell at 20x the current monthly income.
The price that the other person pays for a website depends upon different factors like:
- Quality of the content
- Brandability of the domain name
- Social media followings
- Email subscribers
- Backlink profile
- Traffic – Diversified traffic works great
- Post-sale guidance and assistance they receive
You may need to clean up your backlink profile a bit, improve the quality of the content and also the design of the site. It increases the likelihood for you landing on a good deal.
If you want to buy websites, improvise on and then sell websites for a higher price it’s better for you to buy websites via email outreach, and sell it using domain brokers like EmpireFlippers, Flippa, FE International, etc as they have a network of big-time website buyers.
These are not the only online businesses that are profitable. But I think the above are the top ones as of now. Especially the online training will be big soon.
Once you dive into any of the above fields, you’ll come across many small blue oceans that are crystal-clear for you to be tapped.
It’s your duty to stay updated regarding the various changes happening in the drastically changing online world.
Hope you found this post helpful.
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