4 Online Business Ideas You Should Try in 2018

15 min read
Online Business


1. Introduction

2. What is Online Business?

3. Examples of Online Businesses

4. Pros and Cons of Online Business

Online Business

5. Online Business Ideas You Can Start ASAP

  • App Development
  • Building Websites
  • Copywriting
  • Dropshipping

6. Conclusion

Wondering what online business ideas you can try in 2018? Wonder no more. In this article I’ll be sharing 4 wonderful online business ideas you can try this year, some literally for free.

Thanks to the internet, anyone with an idea and a PC, tablet or smartphone can start making money online ASAP. Either as side hustle, full time or freelance, many have started online businesses or jobs that now put food on their tables plus money in the bank.

For some others, inertia, fear of failure, lack of funds, indecision, paralysis of analysis, etc, prevents them from pursuing entrepreneurship. I have good news but first

What Is an Online Business?

An online business is a business that is done online over the internet. It could be entirely done online or have at least one portion of its life cycle taking place online. There are tons of such businesses, some of which allow you to work remotely. Following are some

Examples of Online Businesses

There are several online businesses out there. Some examples include

  • Forex Trading
  • Content Writing
  • Social Media Management
  • Dropshipping
  • Online Courses
  • Blogging
  • Translation
  • Transcription services
  • Becoming a Virtual Assistant
  • Domain Parking/Flipping
  • Website Design
  • Affiliate Marketing, and many more

Following are some

Pros and Cons of Online Business

  • Work from your place
  • Work-life imbalance
  • Location independent
  • Technology/device dependence
  • Customize your working space
  • Can be costly
  • Work at your pace
  • Laziness, procrastination may set in
  • You’re your own Boss
  • Hard if you lack self supervision
  • No noisy, nosy co-workers
  • Loneliness
  • Earn as much as you can
  • Irregular income
  • Zero commute
  • Sedentary living
  • Never late to work
  • Unwillingness to stop working
  • Have time for other goals, projects
  • May distract from online business

1)  App Development

Since 2009 when Apple introduced in-app purchase microtransactions, mobile app development has exploded. Helpful, cool, and fun apps are threatening to transform our PCs, phones and tablets into indispensable companions.

With $88bn in global app revenue in 2016 and counting, there’s little wonder why app development holds high APPeal.

The following are some key mobile app statistics to note:

  • Global mobile app revenue from 2016 – $88 billion
  • Global mobile app revenue forecast for 2020 – $189 billion
  • Global Paid-for mobile app revenues from 2017 – $29 billion
  • Worldwide In-app purchase revenues from 2017 – $37 billion
  • US mobile app advertising revenues from 2017 – $33 billion
  • Top Grossing iOS app in 2017 – Pokemon GO (over $2 billion)

Source: Business of Apps

Gaming apps are one of the most popular categories. Below are top grossing iOS gaming apps of 2017, with Pokémon Go doing over $2bn:

Source: Statista

There are also non-gaming apps topping the apps revenue chart of Q1 2017 as follows:

Source: Sensor Tower

The key with app development is being able to turn user/customer pain to pleasure. Any app that provides unique functionalities and solves a major headache will go far.

The rise and rise of in-app purchases also means app developers can now look forward to earning a good income from app development in addition to advertising and paid-for.

Knowledge of coding is cool but not compulsory when it comes to app development, plus there are now shortcuts to app development that require zero or minimal coding and free courses that teach you how to develop mobile apps like a pro.

Some analysts argue that the app development market is nearing saturation. Truth is there are millions of apps with lots of them unsuccessful, however app developers who are creative and forward thinking can still distinguish themselves.

2) Building Websites

The internet has popularized websites. Reports indicate there are currently over 1.8b websites and counting. And why are there so many websites?

Businesses, charities, foundations, governments, individuals and different organizations require websites to help them connect and communicate effectively with their target audience globally. Websites give global exposure to new markets you may never have reached using traditional marketing methods.

These days many new businesses, individuals, or organizations require a website or two but lack the time to create one. That’s where you come in as a website developer.

Following are some interesting facts and statistics about websites:

  • The average revenue for a small business is $3.6 million, but the average revenue for a small business with a website is $5.03 million
  • 29% of small businesses do not have their own website
  • 79% of small business websites are mobile friendly
  • 67% of businesses with annual sales of $1,000,000 – $2,490,000 have websites
  • Small businesses with small revenues (earnings less than $1 million/year) have a 30% lesser chance of having a website than higher-revenue companies
  • 92% of small businesses predict that they will have a website by the end of 2018

Source: Vendesta Blog

Because websites require ongoing maintenance, you can also secure retainerships to maintain and update sites you build.

Freelance marketplaces like Fiverr, Upwork have lots of work for website designers and other freelancers. However, the competition is high and in many cases compensation can be low.

Striking out on ones own comes with benefits as well as burdens. If your reward to risk ratio is positive, then by all means begin your website creation agency.

Again, with tools like WordPress you can create amazing, responsive websites without touching a bit of code. Wix features a drag and drop website design tool to help create, organize and layout your websites.

3) Copywriting

As websites multiply across the internet so does the need for content. Without content a website is well, worthless! A well written web copy is like an effective salesperson, it is the main reason visitors click through from search, sign up and eventually buy a product or service.

Reports show that 56% of B2B marketers outsource at least one part of their content marketing efforts. As a Copywriter you’re helping such businesses attract leads and make sales by supercharging their marketing via blog posts, ebooks, white papers, case studies, direct response mails, newsletters, etc.

A good web design can bring traffic, great content keeps and converts traffic plus lowers negative user signals and bounce rates.

Following are some content marketing statistics of interest:

  • 91% of B2B marketers actively do content marketing
  • 54 percent of B2B marketers who didn’t use content marketing had plans to start in 2018.
  • Around 57 million people in the US work as freelancers.
  • 62 percent of B2C content marketers outsource at least one part of their company’s content marketing activity.

Source: Izea

Some good copywriters earn thousands of dollars each month writing.

4) Drop shipping:

Don’t write off online business just because you can’t write good copy, build apps or design websites. There are so many other good business ideas. If you’re looking for a really good business idea, then dropshipping might just be what you’ve been looking for.

Dropshipping is an ecommerce business model that enables you do retail without owning stock or inventory.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Open a webstore e.g Shopify
  2. Automatically import product images from vetted manufacturers or suppliers using automation apps like Oberlo
  3. Market products on Instagram, Facebook, your site, etc at a markup
  4. Land a sale, take your cut and forward order to supplier or manufacturer
  5. Manufacturer or supplier ships and delivers products to your customers, plus handles returns in some cases

Sounds simple, but requires some decent amount of work like any worthwhile business.

Dropshipping allows you sell to a global market without needing a warehouse, physical stock or inventory and almost for free. This low entry barrier also means competition is high. However, with the right products, suppliers and marketing strategy, success is certain.


The Internet overflows with great financial opportunities. Whether you want to go the full nine yards or just earn passive income, there’s something for everyone.

Indeed there are many other online businesses out there but no matter how many businesses you know about, without action you’ll never succeed at any. Act now and share your success story.

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