17 Easiest Online Businesses to Start in 2024: Your Ultimate Guide

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Easiest online businesses to start sounds too good to be true, right?

Oftentimes, business experts tell you to run a mile if you’re being promised guaranteed success without effort.

However, there are online businesses that require less skill and less complexity.

With some patience and the right mindset, you can build an online business that doesn’t require:

  • 16+ hour work days
  • $1,000s in startup costs
  • A business degree
  • Tons of (or any) customer support.

So, if you want to make money on the side or replace your salary, here’s a list of the easiest businesses to start right now.

In a rush? The Affiliate Lab will teach you everything you need to start an affiliate marketing business online, which is my top pick for beginners.

1. Affiliate Marketing

If you’re looking for easy, one-person business ideas, then affiliate marketing is for you.

Easiest online businesses to start

Affiliate marketing is easy because you don’t need:

  • Your own product
  • To deal with customers
  • Any money.

That’s because you’re promoting other businesses’ products and getting paid commission when someone buys.

All you have to do is share links to the products and get people to see these links. The more people that see your links, the more you’ll make.

There are a couple of techniques that will boost your success rate, though.

The first is to learn how to build a target audience and the second is to get good at writing compelling content.

You can learn both of these easily in The Affiliate Lab by Matt Diggity. Taking this course will make affiliate marketing a breeze.

2. Amazon Influencer Program

In recent years, the Amazon influencer program has become one of the easiest online businesses to start.

You simply post short product review videos on Amazon, which get added to Amazon’s product pages.

If people see your video before buying, you receive a commission for the sale. You don’t need to send traffic to a blog or do any sort of marketing.

You simply take advantage of the 4+ billion visits Amazon gets  on average each month.

Niche Pursuits founder Spencer Haws started the Amazon Influencer program in 2023 and hit over $6,000 in commissions in December.

Here’s a video of him explaining what happened:

To get more details, you can learn how to become an Amazon Influencer here.

The only downside is that you need a following on a social media platform to get accepted. People have tested this and found that 2,000 followers get them in.

3. Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants do a variety of jobs for businesses over the Internet. It’s probably the closest thing to a real-life job, but you choose your hours, pay rate, and the people you work with.

Easiest online businesses to start - virtual assistantEasiest online businesses to start - virtual assistant

That also means it’s possible to make a lot more money than a regular job.

There are tons of different virtual assistant jobs for beginners that you can try, including:

  • Social media tasks
  • Customer service
  • General admin tasks
  • Video or audio transcription
  • Website maintenance.

What’s even better is the tons of websites anyone can sign up to to find virtual assistant gigs.

Upwork and FlexJobs are two popular options, or there’s Fiverr, which works slightly differently.

With Upwork, you apply for jobs you’re interested in, whereas on Fiverr, you post the jobs you can do and people find them by searching for the services they need.

4. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is where you set up an eCommerce store and list products from a manufacturer at a markup or wholesale price.

You send traffic to your product pages using ads or organic sources to get people to buy.

Then, when you make a sale, you place the order with the seller, who sends the product directly to your customer.

This approach means you only buy products when someone has already bought from your store, eliminating a lot of the risk.

If you adopt the entrepreneur mindset, you can start thinking outside the box to provide a better service.

For example, using your profits to hold stock of your most sold items. That way, you’ll be able to shorten delivery times and ensure products are in perfect condition.

To make this online business idea work for you, I highly recommend learning Facebook ads or taking a dropshipping course.

If you love social media and enjoy content creation, then a social media manager might be the perfect business for you.

Easiest online businesses to start - SMMAEasiest online businesses to start - SMMA

The reason it’s an easy business to start is that it doesn’t require any formal qualifications.

Plus, there are countless resources online, such as Udemy courses or YouTube videos, where you can learn everything you need quickly.

You can start by looking at different digital marketing business ideas, which is the type of marketing strategy you’ll offer clients.

Then, choose a specific niche, such as dentists or plumbers in your local area.

Marketing to a narrow audience will make it much easier to target and differentiate yourself.

Your offer can also be specific, such as social media management for Facebook ads or organic Pinterest growth.

Start reaching out to local businesses and pitch them your services for a monthly fee.

6. Start a Paid Community

Paid community platforms have skyrocketed in recent years, and they are only increasing.

They’re also easy to set up and run, which is why starting one has made this list of the easiest online businesses to start.

It works by building a community of like-minded people, all trying to achieve the same outcome.

For example, a community for people trying to grow house plants. Or a support group for single parents.

Whatever your area of expertise or interest is, you create the community and offer tons of value and support.

Then you promote your community via social media, your website or blog, a YouTube channel, or even paid ads.  You can price it from as low as $7 to $197 per month, depending on what’s on offer.

Some platforms to launch a paid community include:

And be sure to check out the Niche Pursuits Community to get inspired and connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs!

7. Sell Digital Products

There’s never been an easier time to start a digital products business online.

Easiest online businesses to startEasiest online businesses to start

Here’s the deal:

Everyone has a unique idea they can turn into a digital product and make passive income from. Adopting a success mindset will help massively here.

First, you need some digital product ideas like these:

  • Online course teaching web design
  • An ebook teaching mindfulness
  • Productivity planners for Notion.

Then, choose a platform to sell it on, such as Thinkific for online courses or Gumroad for ebooks and planners.

For an in-depth guide, you can follow the steps in this video:

8. WordPress Web Development

If you’re interested in website creation like I am, and you like helping businesses establish an online presence, this small business is for you.

Building websites with WordPress is a lot easier than you might think. You simply register a domain name and follow a wizard to install WordPress on a hosting account.

It takes about 10 minutes.

Then, you install a theme that can be designed differently using settings in the theme customizer or a website builder.

There’s huge demand for WordPress developers and you can charge anything from a few hundred dollars to thousands per website.

The best bit is you don’t need to learn how to code or be a wiz at technology. However, these best WordPress courses will help you gain the confidence to start a WordPress business.

9. Paid Email Newsletter

If you enjoy writing and have something interesting to talk about or something valuable to teach, a newsletter side hustle could be for you.

It’s a bit like writing articles, except you write them in a newsletter and send them to your subscribers, who pay a monthly fee.

And if you think you can’t make money with a paid newsletter, think again. This technology newsletter has grown to 400k email subscribers and $1.5 million per year.

It’s super easy to get started. You choose a newsletter platform like Substack and start posting valuable content.

Then start promoting it through social media. When your audience grows, you can start to add premium content that is only available to paid members.

10. Start a Podcast

If you have a voice and love to share your words of wisdom, then a podcast business is the way to go.

The global podcasting market share hit $24 billion+ in 2023 and is estimated to reach $131 billion+ by 2032.

So there’s no better time to start a podcast as a business if that’s your thing.

A podcast is also super easy to get started with. All you need is a decent microphone, Audacity to edit the audio, and podcast hosting such as Spotify for Podcasters (formally Anchor).

But how do you make money? You can check out our post on how to start a podcast and make money, but here are the most popular ways:

  • Sponsorships
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Promoting your own products.

11. Graphic Designer

The great thing about this list of easy online businesses to start is that even the more skillful ones don’t require years’ worth of education.

That’s why a graphic design business makes the list. More specifically because of the abundance of online resources available.

YouTube is one of the best places to learn a skill that you can turn into a business. Just type in the skill followed by “course,” and you’ll find hours of structured lessons for everything you need to know.

Here’s one by Envato Tuts+ that’s an hour-long covering the basics of graphic design:

12. Sell Physical Products

Selling physical products online has gotten a lot easier in recent years. With access to thousands of Chinese manufacturers, you can have a product created from the comfort of your home.

Sell physical productsSell physical products

If you have the money and know-how, you can even use a fulfillment center that processes everything for you if you’re selling from your own online store.

Alternatively, you can start an Amazon FBA business with little money, and you won’t even need to deal with marketing.

By leveraging the millions of customers already on Amazon, you can build a physical e-commerce brand faster and easier than ever before.

13. Monetize a Blog with Ads

It has never been easier to start a blog that you can turn into a successful online business.

There are tons of blog monetization strategies to choose from, but one of the easiest is display ads.

You can create a WordPress blog in minutes and start adding content. Then you drive traffic through SEO or growing a social media account on Facebook or Pinterest.

Then signing up to Google Adsense or Ezoic is easier than ever. Ads will show on your site and you’ll earn revenue when people visit your site.

There’s no selling products or dealing with customers. Just add content and increase blog traffic to make more money.

14. Amazon KDP

Amazon KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing. This is where you self-publish Kindle books and sell them through Amazon, the largest online retailer in the world.

This business model is a great opportunity for you if you love to write, whether fiction or non-fiction.

You can write it in a Google doc, upload it to your KDP account, and start making money.

To self-publish a book on Amazon is an easy process if you know how to write and what you want to write about.

Mainly because you’re taking advantage of the sales, marketing, and organic flow of traffic on Amazon.

15. Print-on-Demand

Print-on-demand is similar to dropshipping, but the products you list have custom designs.

The great thing about this is that you don’t own the product and don’t have to create the designs yourself.

You simply choose designs you like from places like Creative Market or even use AI to generate custom designs for you.

Then you choose a print-on-demand company that will print these designs when orders are made.

It’s super easy for you because you don’t need any inventory to deal with sales or shipping.

You just create the mockup image on a site like Canva and list the images on your store.

Lastly, you promote your designs through paid ads, social media marketing, or through SEO.

16. Start a YouTube Channel

The easiest businesses to start often help you spend money wisely. Instead of risking it on expensive business ventures, why not start a YouTube channel?

With a YouTube channel, all you need is the camera on your mobile device and a cheap tripod to stand it on.

Then, choose your YouTube niche and start posting valuable content. The easiest type of content to produce is educational or tutorials.

Once you’ve hit 4000 hours of watch time and 1000 subscribers, you can monetize with ads. 

And before that, you can promote affiliate products. 

To make it even easier on yourself, I highly recommend this book by Derral Eves called The YouTube Formula

17. Become a Freelance Writer

Freelance writing is another excellent way to make money online relatively easily. 

Although not strictly a business, you’re still working for yourself, and it offers more opportunities than employed work. 

Like others on this list, you’ll need to learn the basics of content marketing first. This makes it easy because there are so many resources to learn from online. 

This playlist is a good example. It has over 80 videos covering everything you need about content writing. Watch all this, and you’ll be a better writer than 99% of the population. 

However, you don’t need to be an expert before you get started. You can create a portfolio on your WordPress blog or a free Medium account. 

Choose a content type and niche you’re interested in and start practicing. 

You can find writing jobs on Upwork or the Pro Blogger jobs board.

Good luck! 

Easiest Online Businesses to Start in Conclusion

This list of the easiest online businesses to start are ones that require less skill and less startup costs. Many of them can be launched in less than a week and with no prior knowledge.

If I had to choose one it would be affiliate marketing. You can learn everything you need from Matt Diggity’s course The Affiliate Lab.

Whichever one you choose, the simplification comes from leveraging technology and online services that anyone can use to start an online business.



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