5 Best Online Business Ideas for 2021

Last year was rough for businesses around the world, so I’m sure many people are wondering: Is it a good idea to start an online business in 2021? What are some best online business ideas that can be launched from home?

In 2020, almost every city with high cases of covid19 had varying degrees of shelter-in-place orders and forced people to stay indoors. Businesses that were already thriving online and relied on online orders and deliveries grew steadily throughout the year. Small businesses without online presence had to adapt, bring their business online, and create other means of offering their product or services continuously. Some were successful, but others were not.

This post should be able to help you decide if it’s a good idea to launch a business from home now…or not. I’m also going to discuss some of the most profitable online businesses at the height of last year’s pandemic and the best businesses to start at home in 2021.

3 Considerations Before You Pick One from these Online Business Ideas

Even if ANYBODY can launch an online business these days, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can choose any kind of business and it will succeed no matter what. Before you decide on the type of online business you want to launch, it is important to consider these three things:

Specialization

Everybody can learn to handle the business on-the-go, but you must choose a niche or industry that:

  • you specialize in,
  • are planning to specialize in, or
  • simply just passionate about.

Going into a business, such as cryptocurrency, without any knowledge or interest in it, is risky since there’s a higher chance that you’d get bored even before you launch. If for example, you’re more interested in something like robotics or AI, then decide what kind of online business (e-commerce, consulting, content, etc.) they fit best.

Investment

Some online businesses could also require a significant amount of start-up money. For example, if you’re planning to hire a virtual assistant to help with running the business, this could be at least a $500 monthly commitment.

If you choose to build a custom online store and outsource the job, then know that it could cost between $1,000 to $50,000 depending on the complexity of the project, the platform you select (Shopify, WordPress, Magento, etc.), and other requirements. Maintenance (hosting, domain renewals, chat support agent, etc.) are also other costs you may face with this route.

Time Commitment

There are online businesses with minimal expenses, but they would require your time commitment instead. For example:

  • YouTube channel or Twitch live streaming: You would need regular videos uploaded or live streaming scheduled almost daily to make a dent in that particular online space such as makeup tutorials, Minecraft gaming, entertainment news, and so on.
  • Blogging: You can set-up a blog for as low as $30, but producing its content (the words, images, videos, etc.) would take time.
  • Vegetable gardening: Depending on the type of plant/vegetable you wish to focus on, this would require you to get down and dirty germinating seeds, taking care of seedlings, and assisting fruits/leafy veggies until they reach harvest date. For some people, this can be very calming (and could just require a couple of minutes a day), but for others, this can take a longer time.

How much time can you commit to the online business you plan to launch? How much money can you spend on this venture? And what niches are most attractive to you? Decide these three things when checking out the best online business ideas below:

5 Best Online Business Ideas You Can Follow

The following online business ideas can all be launched from the comfort of your own homes. The time commitment, cost, and niche vary, so pick based on which one would be most appropriate to your setting, finances, and personal interest.

1. Modern Agriculture & Grown-in-a-lab Food

Perfect for people who have a huge backyard or free garage, urban gardening is a good business model especially if you’re going to focus them on food. After all, food is one of human’s basic needs, so food will always be on-trend regardless of what’s happening in the world.

Aside from vertical farming (thanks to technologies like hydroponics or aquaponics), there are even lab-grown meat industries slowly creeping into the market.

  • How to get started: The cool thing about these modern agricultural concepts is that learning them is free. Join a Facebook group about any type of farm you want to venture into.
  • Outlook: The future of homegrown vegetables will always be bright. Lab-grown meat is 50/50 since there is a lot of supporters and critics.

2. Everything Cannabis-related (depending on your location)

As the legal use and growing of marijuana continue to expand across the U.S. (and even in other countries), the potential for a wide range of Cannabis-related products is now a business model for the taking. But aside from the obvious route of opening up a dispensary (which involves a TON of legalities, a brick-and-mortar storefront, and $1 million in startup money), there are other routes to take.

Examples that you could start from home include edibles, beauty products (lotion, creams, and other oil-based items), and marijuana accessories.

Got a legal or marketing background? You can even start a consulting firm or marketing agency for other people who would want to get into the cannabis industry. There is also space for affiliate marketing, app development, and online content (blogging, YouTube, influencer marketing), and so on.

  • How to get started: Look into local laws, check the market for possible sub-niches, learn everything you can about the type of cannabis business you’d want to venture into.
  • Outlook: Not all states have yet to legalize marijuana planting/selling, but it is expected to spread in the coming years.

3. Social Media and Website Flipping

I talked about domain flipping in the past and discussed how you can earn from investing domain names for as little as $10. In website flipping, the difference is that you’ll be working on the domain and turning it into a real website, bringing in some revenues, then selling the entire site to places like Empire Flippers for thousands of dollars.

In social media flipping, the concept is similar. You create an Instagram account, Facebook group, Pinterest profile, Tiktok account, or other social media accounts, make the profile famous (either by getting followers or going viral), then selling the online space to another person or third-party company.

  • How to get started: Decide if you want to flip sites or social media accounts. Learn everything you can about promoting that online space. Prep it for sale.
  • Outlook: Domain flipping had been around for over a decade and it hasn’t stopped. The coronavirus proved this point when any domain that had the word “corona” shot up to $1,000+ resale value. Flipping social media accounts can be lucrative if you get updated with the platform-specific terms, trends, and niches.

4. Private Label Biz, Dropshipping & Amazon FBA

I squeezed these three best online business ideas into one entry because they are very similar: they’re scalable businesses that do not require you to invent products, manufacture products, or even store products yourself.

In a private label business, you decide on a product, find a manufacturer that sells that product, and label them with your own company’s label.

In dropshipping, you decide on a product, find a supplier that sells the product, list the product on stores like Amazon (or your own online store), then when someone buys the product, the supplier would ship the item directly to the customer.

Amazon FBA (where FBA stands for “fulfillment by Amazon”) is a warehousing and shipping service. You bring all your products to any FBA facility, list the products on Amazon, and whenever a customer buys the product, Amazon will take care of the packing and shipment for you.

  • How to get started: Decide what product you want to sell. Choose the business model and learn everything you can about your chosen route.
  • Outlook: In 2020, selling products online has been proven to withstand even pandemics. It’s probably safe to say that online shopping would be here for a long time. You just need to pick the right niche for this to work in your favor.

5. Focus on Fitness

Many people stress-ate the entire 2020 and are now focused on getting healthy. As such, what better way to take advantage of this than to get into the business of fitness. There are many ways you can do this, such as becoming a fitness coach, creating custom workout plans, selling fitness products, creating a fitness app, and writing (or talking) about fitness, among others. You can even develop a new fitness product.

  • How to get started: Match your skills with the type of business you’re most interested in. Decide if you’re going to do it by yourself, or outsourcing (for product manufacturing or app development). Become an expert at marketing.
  • Outlook: Fitness is always on-trend. Have you seen the modern jumping ropes that have been all over Tik-Tok for months? For an item that has been around for several decades, these jumping ropes still sold like hotcakes in 2020. And I think that’s very cool.

Turning Any of These Best Online Business Ideas into Reality

The best thing about these online business ideas is that they’re very scalable. You can start small, find a market, then grow big as you go.

Just make sure you do your brainstorming now, decide based on research, and start working on your business as soon as you’ve made an outline of what you have in mind. It’s never too late to become a business owner, but you do have to start somewhere, so start today.

80 Online Non-Phone Jobs to Check Out

If you’ve been on the hunt for an excellent work-from-home job, but your environment cannot support taking calls (probably because you live near a train station, you’ve got kids under 5 years old, or other similar instances), then you should be looking for online non-phone jobs.

What are online non-phone jobs exactly, you ask? Although this can easily encompass ANY job within a wide range of industries that do not require you to take calls, this post focuses only on jobs that even beginners can do and jobs done from the comforts of their own homes.

80 Types of Non Phone Jobs You Can Do From Home

1. Microtasks: Earn real money by doing simple tasks like playing online games, shopping, answering surveys, copy-pasting data, and so on.

2. Data entry: Yes, even if it’s already 2021, there will always be data required to be entered. Here’s a list of companies that offer data entry gigs.

3. Transcription: Get hired as a remote transcriptionist with these 25 resources.

4. Medical transcriptionThis is a sub-niche of transcription, but requires additional experience (in the medical field).

5. Internet researcher: This job is often available in the education and publishing industries, but can sometimes be offered by companies that require continuous research for their service or product launches.

6. Virtual assistant: Think secretary, but the tasks are mostly virtual (web-based). Being a virtual assistant (VA) could mean anything from writing to managing e-commerce stores, and any other tasks a client may require.

7. Professional organizer: How would you like to organize another person’s files, documents, pictures, calendar, life, and so on? Personal organizing is actually a career that you can focus on.

8. Paralegal: Aside from other legal jobs, becoming a paralegal is also possible in a work-from-home setting.

9.  Ad postingYou may think this is simple data entry, but the job involves precision and knowing the rules of each ad platform.

10. Answering Surveys as a Career: Is it still possible to earn from answering surveys enough to match your paycheck? To answer your question, read this guide.

SOCIAL MEDIA ONLINE NON-PHONE JOBS

11. YouTuber: You’d probably take more time to get noticed on YouTube, but it is never too late to try. Here are some ways you can use YouTube to earn a full-time income online.

12. Instagram business: Are you done with the fun and games and want to use your influence to earn a sizeable income for yourself? You can if you use Instagram as a business.

13. Social media manager: The job is exactly what it sounds like: people who manage social media accounts. If you’ve been up-to-date with the features of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and other social media platforms, then this job might be the right fit for you.

14. Twitter expert: Are you on Twitter almost 24/7? Use this expertise to earn money from the platform. Here are 5 ways how.

15. Online moderator: Have you been an admin or moderator of a forum, Facebook group, or any other online community before? If you have and enjoyed your stint, know that you can become an online moderator full-time as well.

16. Pinterest Manager: Do you love everything about Pinterest? If you’ve organized, collected and pinned your way through hundreds of boards in the past, you can do this for companies or other individuals for a fee as well.

17. Livestream: You’ll be your own boss and you can talk about everything and anything under the sun. Here’s how you can make a full-time living from home via Twitch.

18. Facebook as a business: If you’re spending way too much time on Facebook, did you know there are over 10 ways to earn from Facebook? There’s no degree, formal training, or special skills needed to do this – just a TON of time learning about Facebook.

HOBBIES TURNED CAREERS

19. eSports: Whether you’re a gamer or want to become part of this exciting industry, there are plenty of home-based eSports jobs for you.

20. Gardening: Got the green thumb? Do you know that you can be a plant advisor, hydroponics teacher, or entrepreneur in the comforts of your own garden and earn money from the earth?

21. Travel consultant: There are a lot of people who are first-time travelers that would want to receive top-notch recommendations from those who have real-world tips and experience. If you fit the bill, then becoming a travel consultant could be a lucrative gig.

22.  Fitness coach: How cool is it that traditional jobs like fitness coaches can be performed completely online? If you have a love for fitness and teaching, you can be a coach for someone in need of assistance.

23. Woodworking: You’ll see a pattern with these passions-turned-careers in that you need to start with something you love before you transition into earning from it. As a woodworker, you have several ways of earning a full income from the comforts of your own home.

24. Embroidery business: Can’t get enough of embroidery? If you need funds for more threads or just want to level-up your hobby into a business, then consider this career path.

25. Photographer: There are millions of photographers out in the world creating images, but there is always a market for new photographers who can give their vision to a brand or company.

26. Brewing: Remember the time craft beer became a massive hobby? Well, those who stayed with that hobby have actually turned it into brewing beer businesses and so can you.

27. Makeup artist: You don’t need a degree here, but if you’re exceptional at doing makeup, you can actually make money with this skill.

28. BakerIt takes a lot of hit and miss to master breadmaking, so if you’re on a level that friends and families cannot wait to taste your next creation, then you’d probably have success opening an online bakeshop as well.

29. Beekeeping: In this day and age when everything can be bought online, a beekeeping business can be done completely from home. You can even handle the packaging and shipment of honey products from home.

30. ASMR expert: Some people hate the ASMR world, but a lot more people cannot get enough of it. If you’re on the latter group and would love to do ASMR videos to earn money, here’s your guide to do so.

LANGUAGE-RELATED ONLINE NON-PHONE JOBS

31.  Therapist: This general therapy job may require advanced training, but if you’re a therapist by profession and you want to work from home, it’s good to know you have this option, right?

32.  ASL: Utilize your sign language knowledge and turn it into a career. There are various ASL jobs online if you know where to look.

33. Translation: Got a language you speak or write fluently? You can use this to work as a translator from home and translate documents, books, and other types of content.

34. Closed-captioning:  Captions are made for viewers who cannot hear the audio of videos, TV shows, news, and other similar content. If you’re good with accepts and have an above-average typing speed, then this is your chance to turn closed-captioning into a home-based career.

35. Audiobook narrator: If you want to lend your voice to narrate audiobooks or videos, you’d find this kind of work very fulfilling and lucrative.

36. Spiritual therapist: Although not for beginners, a spiritual therapist helps in bringing balance to a client’s mental and emotional health.

IT

37. App developer: Bring your programming skills to use by developing apps either for someone else or for your business.

38. Web developer: Years of programming experience are needed to set up custom payment systems for online stores, build a website from scratch, and so on. But if you’ve been a web developer for years, it’s easy to adapt to a home-based setting.

39. Data scientistCollecting and interpreting data for companies and organizations is in-demand in our present world where data is king, so if this is a career path you’re interested in, know that you can work both online and off.

40. Email marketing specialist: People skilled in email marketing have a combination of copywriting, marketing and SEO knowledge. This specialization can be learned without a degree, which is always a PLUS if you’re trying to switch careers.

42. Web testing: User-testing is actually a big deal with product launches. As a tester, you ensure bugs are fixed before actual consumers land the store or website. And this encompasses different industries as well.

GRAPHICS & VIDEO

43. T-shirt designer: Something as specific as designing a shirt can be lucrative if done the right way. If you’re interested and is looking for a job that could bring out your creative juices front and center, try designing shirts full-time.

44. Illustrator: It doesn’t matter what drawing style you know – there will always be a market that would love your work enough to pay for them. If you don’t know where to start, here’s how you can get paid to draw.

45. Logo designer: Any company, YouTuber, service provider, and any other business selling products or services would at one point need a logo. Imagine how many decide to launch a YouTube channel, blog, company every day, and that’s how much target audience you can get as a logo designer.

46. Font makers: Do you have a love for typography? If so, did you know that you can earn some cash creating custom font?

47. Video editorFrom companies to YouTubers and everyone in between creating videos day in, day out, the need for skilled video editors are high. It’s one of the most in-demand online non-phone jobs around, and it’s never too late to start.

48. Cartoonist: Share your creativity with the world! Become a cartoonist and make money full-time with commissions.

49. Photo editor: For those who are experts in Photoshop, you can simplify your career by focusing just on photo editing. Here’s how you can find photo editing jobs that can earn you up to $80k a year.

50. Drone-related jobs: Obviously, some of the jobs here require you to go out and actually operate the drones. But some drone-related jobs let you use your knowledge of drones to your advantage.

INTERNET MARKETING

51. SEO specialist: Search engine optimization jobs have been around since Google launched, but the demand has not waned even two decades later. If you’re up-to-date with the SEO world, there’s always space for specialists to make web search better.

52. PPC expert: Pay-per-click advertising is a massive industry with the need for experts who know a lot about online ads.

53. Product review writing: Some testimonials are commissioned to review writers. If you’re game to test products/services and write about them, consider this career path.

54. Lead generation specialist: Companies are always looking to attract new customers, but some of them don’t know where to start. If you’re a master of lead generation, this is a very lucrative and high-demand position.

55. SEO jobs: This general term involves numerous types of jobs from data scraping to GMB creation, and so on. You’d have to be the Jack-of-all-trades when you want to get into SEO. And if you’re up for a challenge, then this continuously-growing industry should keep you on your toes.

EDUCATION & CONSULTING

56. Lesson Creation: Books, worksheets, and other educational materials do not get made by themselves. If you can craft lesson plans, consider this path as a good way to make a living from home.

57. Tutoring: You can tutor students with specific subjects, or go with SAT tutoring. Whichever route you wish to go, there will always be students you can help.

58. ESL Teaching: ESL (English as second language) teachers help people learn to speak and write in English. You can do this job as a freelancer for ESL companies, or as an independent service provider on sites like Fiverr.

59. Online Consulting: Are you an expert on something? People are eager to learn new things, so if you have a passion for guiding people with business, finance, or other niches,  you can share your knowledge and earn from it too!

60. Test-grader: If you have some experience with grading test papers, did you know that you can do this for a living? It could take a while to start this gig, but once you do, you’ll discover how easy it can be.

WRITING & EDITING

61. Legal writing: There are technical writing sub-niches in freelance writing that only a small percentage of people focus on. One of these niches is legal writing, which involves combining the knowledge of law and crafting contracts, website terms, and other similar content.

62. Video game writing: If you love playing with words and video games, you can combine both passions and turn it into a very lucrative video game writing career. Here’s how.

63. Poem writing: Got a flair for words fit for a poet? How about as words to melt hearts on a greeting card? You can get a career out of this unique skill.

64. Proofreading: If you’re a perfectionist and have always put extra effort in editing your written work, then proofreading can be a full-time or part-time job you can do from home.

65. Editing: This job is almost similar to proofreading, but follows advanced formatting rules. This is definitely reserved for advanced writers with years of experience.

66. Blogging: I’ve discussed blogging as a business before (check that link if you’re interested). It is similar to consulting: if you have a lot to say that you think people would be interested in, then you’d have a higher chance of finding success as a blogger.

67. Content writing: This involves writing anything under the sun – celebrity gossip, company news, Amazon product reviews, and so on.

68. Resume writing: When I introduced 150+ ways writers can earn money online, one method is resume writing. You’d be surprised how many people fail to get hired simply because of poorly organized resumes and badly written cover letters. You can help them by offering your resume writing services.

69: Online dating writing: As a ghostwriter specifically for the online dating world, you’d be helping people write dating site profiles or communicate more effectively when talking to potential dates.

FINANCE-RELATED ONLINE NON-PHONE JOBS

70. Bookkeeper: If you love balancing spreadsheets and taking down income vs. expenses of companies and individuals, you may have a future in bookkeeping. Check our list of virtual bookkeeping jobs.

71. Tax prep: While preparing taxes may seem like just a seasonal gig, you can juggle multiple clients and prepare their taxes for a bigger and more regular paycheck.

72. Home insurance: Bring your expertise of insurance to the test with these high-paying online insurance jobs.

73. Medical billing: If you’ve had experience billing patients of doctors, dentists and other medical professionals in the past, then these medical billing jobs could be your work-from-home career.

74. Accounting: Those with accounting backgrounds who are either retired or just want to switch to a more flexible set-up, these accounting jobs should help you get started.

75. Financial advisor: Help people get out of debt, invest smartly, build up their portfolio, or simply assist in setting up the financial aspect of a business. There might be advanced requirements needed, depending on what kind of financial advisor you choose to be.

76. FOREX-trading: Not everyone can trade forex, but if you’re good at it, you can either become a trader as a profession or teach trading to other people on the side.

ONLINE NON-PHONE JOBS IN CUSTOMER CARE

In the past, we’ve compiled different types of customer service jobs you can do totally from home. The following customer support jobs only utilize live chats or emails to communicate with clients.

77. Chat agents: E-commerce and corporate websites have a continuous need for live chat agents to man their online properties 24/7.

78. Tech support: Handling the technical support of products and services is a special kind of skill. If you have the IT knowledge and good communication skills, then you can switch to a tech support job.

79. Appointment setter: This job usually includes phone tasks, but some appointment-setting jobs can be done phone-free.

80. Travel agent: Buy, sell and book tours, flights and travel packages for other people. If this feels like something you’d want to do full-time, you can do so on a larger-scale even from home.

Online Non-Phone Jobs: Freelance vs. Employed

Once you’ve found the niche best fit your passion or profession from the list of online non-phone jobs above, you have two possible routes:

PATH 1: Go Freelance

As a freelancer, you find gigs on a per-need basis. Maybe you can commit to six-month full-time work now, then followed by just part-time the rest of the year.

Income depends on how much you’re willing to work. You may follow flexible work hours if you want (or not).

The good thing about being a freelancer is that you can step up your game and turn your online non-phone jobs into a full-blown business. If you’re a freelance writer, you can become an editor and hire other writers to be part of your team, then offer your content writing services to a wide audience.

Fiverr.com is one of the best sources for freelancing jobs. If you’re still unsure what online non-phone jobs are right for you, check this list of highest-selling Fiverr gigs as inspiration.

PATH 2: Be Employed

Contrary to popular belief, people who work from home can also be employed (with benefits and all) by a real, brick-and-mortar company.

However, work hours are not as flexible compared to freelancing. You will also be bound by a contract, which usually includes clauses that prohibit you from working for the competition or any other employers.

On the upside, your income will be stable and the company usually offers career growth (promotions/increases).

Start Your Online Non-Phone Jobs Today

It is never too late to start a new career or switch to a work-from-home setting. With this many online non-phone jobs available, you don’t need to have to talk your way into a home-based profession.

I hope this list brings you the job that fits you perfectly this year. Let me know if you’re aware of other similar non-phone opportunities…