Most Profitable Online Businesses [2024] What Kind of Online Business is Most Profitable

$750,000 per year coaching online. Over $1 million per year in profits by blogging. And we all know Jimmy Donaldson AKA MrBeast who makes about $82 million per year on YouTube. 

I’ll give you examples from my real-life personal experience as well as outstanding examples of the most profitable online businesses.

According to the Pew Research Center, 93% of American adults are online1. That makes the internet a great place to do business.

Note: The other 7% of Americans are way more wholesome and only play board games by candlelight. When you ask, “Will you do it for the ‘gram?” they’ll wag their finger and say, “Get your fancy metric system out of here!”

But how exactly can you use the internet to earn money? I’ll share the most profitable online businesses. 

These aren’t crazy, unrealistic pipe dreams. They’re genuine business ideas you can pull off.

I’ve helped build audiences and revenue for two different online businesses that made millions of dollars in profit. One was a really fun travel blog.

So keep reading. Your life-changing idea could be somewhere on this page!

Most Profitable Online Businesses

What makes a business idea worth pursuing? For me, there are 2 criteria that every business idea should meet:

  1. It has high earning potential.
  2. It’s genuinely achievable – even if you’re starting from scratch.

So, which online business ideas meet those criteria? I’ve listed 10 of them below.

Blogging

How to Get Started: Choose a topic and select a web host (psst – check out our list of the best web hosting services!)

Do you enjoy reading blogs? Well, guess what? They’re as fun to create as they are to write!

And not only is blogging entertaining, allowing you to share your passion for a subject with the world, but it can also be lucrative! You just have to find a way to monetize your words of wisdom. 

Here’s a 5-step process for making money from a blog:

  • Step 1: Think of a topic. The ideal topic is a topic you know and love to stay updated on. Plus, you’ve got a unique spin on the topic. For instance, it could be a blog about new rap music from Ohio or about traveling to Europe to find delicious food.

Or a blog with raps about European food:

I'm rolling in dough like Neapolitan pizza

Rhymes smooth like gelato straight out the freeza

Leanin’ like Tower Pisa, I blow the whistle

And Flatten competition like wiener schnitzel 

Note: This is why I’ve been banned from rapping by the International Council of Music.

  • Step 2: Find web hosting. Hosting like Bluehost makes it easy to give your blog a home on the web.
  • Step 3: Customize your blog. Try to give your blog an aesthetic that matches the vibe you’re after. Also, create an “about me” page and other permanent features.
  • Step 4: Write blog posts. This is the most exciting part. 
  • Step 5: Monetize your content. This is the other most exciting part. The easiest way to earn money is by putting ads on your blog. A site I helped to monetize made $65,000 per year just by allowing ads to be shown on their articles. (There are services that will put ads on your site and pay you.)  But there are alternative methods, too – like affiliate marketing, subscription-based content, and selling products on the site. 

In addition to writing posts, you should look for ways to promote your blog. Create social media accounts. Guest post for other publications. Use SEO (search engine optimization) so you can appear at the top of Google search results.

But don’t forget the most important part of all: creating quality content. That’s how you build a base of consistent readers. 

Blogging is one of my favorite low-cost business ideas with high profit.

Affiliate Marketing

How to Get Started: Create a blog, website, social media page, or podcast.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most profitable online businesses – and it’s also one of the easiest! That makes it a great option for anyone looking to make money online. 

But what exactly is affiliate marketing, anyway?

The basic premise is simple:

  1. You create online content.
  2. Within that content, you include links to outside products and services.
  3. When a user clicks the link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

For example, you’ve seen fashion influencers on Instagram talking about outfits. Then they’re all like, check out the link in bio. Then you end up on LTK buying clothes. The influencer gets a percentage of the money you paid for the clothes. That’s affiliate marketing!

Alix Earle makes bank with affiliate marketing on Instagram:

Instagram of Influencer Alix Earle who makes money with affiliate marketing
Influencer Alix Earle encourages you to click her link in bio so she can make commission from affiliate sales when you buy products she recommends like make-up and clothes that aren’t very effective at keeping tatas warm.

The Amazon and ShopMy links from Alix Earle are examples of affiliate marketing.
When you buy something on Alix Earle’s Amazon Page or ShopMy page, Alix gets paid. That’s called affiliate marketing. She’s marketing products that other companies create and ship.

It’s easy to see why affiliate marketing is so popular. It’s a win-win-win for everyone involved. The company makes a sale. The user finds a useful product or service. And you make money!

For example, when I worked for the travel website, we earned money when someone clicked our links to book a flight or hotel.

But before you can earn money from affiliate marketing, you need to create online content that users enjoy. My recommendation is to choose a niche that matches your interest. That way, it will be easy and fun to produce kick-butt content.

Check these out for more details:

Teach an Online Course

How to Get Started: Sign up for an online teaching platform, like Teachable or Thinkific.

Got knowledge? Do you enjoy showing people how to do things? If you answered “yes” to both those questions, then teaching could be the perfect way to make money online.

Thanks to the massive demand for online education, teaching is now one of the most profitable online businesses. Nearly 100 million people are enrolled in online courses.2

Teaching is a very profitable online business because you can keep your costs low by recording and editing your own videos. And you can market your courses for free on social media. And many times that video course you recorded one time can be sold for years.

That’s exactly what one online business I worked for did. He sold the same course for nearly 5 years. That’s because the information was still relevant.

Another example is Our Rich Journey. Christina and Amar make great money by teaching a personal finance course they uploaded to Thinkific.

Everyone knows upskilling is important for career advancement. And then there are the people who just want to expand their minds. 

Whatever people’s motivations, they’re willing to pay for online classes. That means you can use your skills to build a profitable online business!

And don’t worry – you won’t have to spend months learning code or mastering technology to create an online course. There are platforms that will do that part for you!

Teachable is one great option. It’s a platform that lets you create a course from scratch, then sell it to interested users. 

You could also apply to teach for Skillshare, where some instructors earn over $100,000 a year!

And here’s an idea: Consider combining teaching with some of the other businesses on this list. For example, you could run a blog, podcast, or Youtube channel – and then charge for an online course on the side. 

That’s exactly what Our Rich Journey does. They’re crushing it on YouTube, they have a blog, and a profitable course for their fans.

Remember, the best entrepreneurs capitalize on their ideas in different ways!

Man sitting at a desk recording a podcast in an ad for Skillshare
Teachable is a great platform for creating online courses – which is one of the most profitable online businesses.
Source: Teachable 

Freelance Writing

How to Get Started: Create writing samples to share with prospective clients.

If you’re a talented writer, then here’s an obvious way to make money online: Become a freelance writer!

It might be tough to become a best-selling author or a columnist for the New York Times, but we’re actually living in a golden age for writers. Why? Because of the internet! 

Think about it: All those websites, blogs, and marketplaces are full of words, words, and more words. And who produces all of them? Often, it’s freelance writers. 

There are lots of specific writing jobs such as:

  • Social media posts
  • Product descriptions
  • Blog posts
  • Articles for websites
  • Writing video scripts
  • Ghostwritten ebooks

A fantastic perk to freelance writing is that you’ll get to do it on your schedule!

Get started by creating some written content on your own – you know, to show clients what you can do. Then, create an online presence through social media platforms like LinkedIn and start networking.

Once you get momentum, freelance writing is one of the most profitable online businesses.

I’ve made really good money as a freelance writer. And while running online businesses, I’ve paid writers anywhere from $100 to $600 to write articles for me.

I also happen to think freelance writing is one of the best business ideas for women. I’ve worked with single moms who really appreciated being able to work from home on their own schedule as a freelance writer. But the same goes for single dads or really anyone who likes to write and wants the freedom to work remotely.

Want to improve your writing skills and learn how to market yourself? Check out the Freelance Writing 101, created by a professional writer to help you improve your writing skills, build your portfolio, negotiate rates, and more. 

Buying and Selling Websites

How to Get Started: Search for available websites through an online marketplace like Empire Flippers.

Did you know there are online markets for websites, which you can buy and sell like houses? And since you can buy and sell websites, you can also “flip” them for a profit – again, just like houses. 

Not a bad way to make money online, right?

Your first step is to find a website that’s worth buying. To do that, sign up for an online marketplace like Flippa, Motion Invest, or Empire Flippers. These platforms list tons of websites for sale, and for each one, you can see key metrics like monthly revenue.

Once you’ve done your due diligence, you can buy one of these websites. From there, you have 2 options:

  1. Keep the website and use it as a source of income.
  2. Try to sell the website (for more than you paid for it, of course)

With either strategy, you should do what you can to make the website more profitable. That could involve improving the content, increasing promotion, or finding new monetization strategies. 

And if you’re successful? Then “flipping” websites could be a profitable long-term option!

A website is an example of a profitable Online Business for Sale that’s worth checking out.

Become a Reseller

How to Get Started: See our article What Flips.

A reseller is just what it sounds like: Someone who buys products from companies, then “resells” those products to consumers. 

So basically, any wholesale supplier or retail store counts as a reseller. It’s a huge part of the economy! But since this is an article on profitable online businesses, I’m going to focus on a certain kind of reselling – the kind that operates in cyberspace.

Note to self: No one says “cyberspace” any more, grandpa! I’ve left my Cybertruck blinker blinking on the information superhighway.

As an online reseller, there are two types of products you could sell:

  1. Physical products (like soap, pens, or pretty much anything you can think of!)
  2. Digital services (like web hosting and internet service).

Once you’ve decided on your basic business model, here are the steps to follow:

  • Step 1: Register your business.
  • Step 2: Find suppliers and purchase the products.
  • Step 3: Find ways to market the products.
  • Step 4: Sell the products (charging more than you paid for them, of course!).

You might also be responsible for providing services or teaching customers how to use the products – but it depends on the industry.

Ecommerce

How to Get Started: Decide what you’ll sell – and how you’ll sell it.

Ecommerce is an umbrella term that describes selling products online. And it’s now more popular than ever with an estimated $6.51 trillion in online sales last year.3

I think it’s time for you to get a piece of the action!

You can sell pretty much anything online: special shoes for people like me with digitus quintus varus, posters of cute Costa Rican sloths sleepily snoring in a tree, or candles. Everyone wants to sell candles. If you do, please make one for dudes like me that’s scented like barbecue.

There are two ways to manage an ecommerce business:

  1. Create your own ecommerce website
  2. Go through an existing platform like Shopify

Both strategies have their advantages. Running your own site gives you more freedom and creative control, while Shopify supplies you with an immediate structure and access to customers. Ultimately, the choice depends on your comfort level with running your own site.

No matter where you host your online store, you’ll have to complete a few basic tasks, including:

  • Getting products from suppliers (or making them yourself!)
  • Creating a system for shipping products to your customers
  • Marketing through social media

There’s definitely a learning curve – but you’ll get the hang of it. And when you do, you’ll enjoy one of the most profitable online businesses.

Example of a snowboard for sale on the Shopify platform
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that makes it easy to create an online store.
Source: Shopify

Extra Point: Promoting your ecommerce store is a sweet way how to make money on Pinterest.

Podcasting

How to Get Started: Pick a topic, get the equipment, and record your first episode.

There’s a huge problem facing planet Earth. There just aren’t enough podcasts.

Hahhahahaahaha. Actually, it seems like everyone and their mom’s hair stylist has a podcast. The reason there are so many podcasts is that it’s super easy to start!

That’s good news for you. But the challenge is to make a profitable online business out of your show. So you’ll need to be smart about it. I’ll reveal what all the most profitable podcasts have in common.

  • A topic where the host(s) are really knowledgeable 
  • Host(s) are often guests on other podcasts to promote their show
  • They’ve built an audience that wants to buy products or services. That way they can profit from  reading advertisements to the audience or selling their own products, services, or courses

Post your podcast on platforms like Apple Podcasts, Amazon, Spotify, and YouTube. The best podcast hosting sites actually do that part for you!

There are several ways to monetize a podcast, including:

  • Advertisements
  • Subscription fees
  • Selling merchandise 

But for your podcast to be successful, you’ve got to be clever. Lots of people start podcasts as a hobby – but you’re more ambitious, right? 

Extra Point: Actually, there are hobbies to make money!

Here’s how to separate your podcast from the pack:

  • Use quality recording software and a good microphone (No it doesn’t need to be expensive.)
  • Release episodes consistently
  • Promote the heck out of your podcast by posting clips on social media and by being a guest on other podcasts
  • Stay creative to make each episode fresh – actually PREPARE for your show! Don’t just wing it, unless you’re a pro at improvisation!

Start a YouTube Channel

How to Get Started: Choose a niche and create your own YouTube channel.

I helped build a YouTube channel that had millions of views and made nearly $100,000 per year from advertising. I also helped build a non-profit YouTube channel to promote peaceful living and we reached millions of people around the world. 

You can do it, too.

Emma Chamberlain is casually eating what appears to be a banana while millions of people watch her in utter fascination, making her rich.
Emma Chamberlain makes millions of dollars per year on YouTube. She profits from affiliate marketing, advertising, and more.

The first step is to choose a compelling niche. What’s something you’re passionate about? And what sort of content would others find interesting? A good idea will give you the foundation you need to make money on YouTube.

From there, your main job is to create amazing videos. This can be a lot of fun. Find the most creative part of your personality, then set it free!

There are lots of ways to monetize a YouTube channel:

  • Channel memberships
  • Ads 
  • YouTube Premium fees
  • “Super Chats” (users pay to highlight messages)
  • “Super Thanks” (which are basically tips from users)

Extra Point: Make your YouTube channel part of your overall online business plan.

You could have a website selling retail products, a blog with ads and affiliate links – and then, your super-fun YouTube channel gets more people engaged with your brand. That’s not just an online business. It’s a full-fledged media empire! Mwu-hahahaha! 

Become a Virtual Assistant

How to Get Started: Search for positions through online job boards.

Remote work and gig work are 2 of the biggest trends today – and what do you get when you mix them together? A virtual assistant!

A virtual assistant is someone who works from home to help businesses carry out their everyday affairs. Common tasks include:

  • Data entry
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Answering emails
  • Arranging events
  • File storage
  • Social media posts
Fiverr advertisement for a virtual assistant named Celine C.
Celene C posts her availability as a Virtual Assistant on Fiverr.

Your exact to-do list will depend on the business. Ultimately, you could end up doing practically anything! So the more versatile your digital skill set, the easier it will be to find work.

I’ve hired virtual assistants to research hotels, business flights, products to buy, look up email addresses, and more.

When you’re a virtual assistant, you’re a contract worker. This is your own business. You can fire clients who annoy you. You can work whatever hours you want from wherever you want – even Tulsa. 

To find virtual assistance work, check out popular online job boards like Upwork and Fiverr. From there, you can send your resume to different companies until you land your first gig.

Common Questions About The Most Profitable Online Businesses 

What Kind of Online Business Is Most Profitable?

Affiliate marketing is one of the most profitable online businesses. You need a website, blog, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, email newsletter, etc., that attracts plenty of attention from users. Then, you can link to products and services – and you’ll receive commissions for your efforts!

What Online Business Makes Most Money?

Affiliate marketing can be a super lucrative online business. Other money-makers include podcasting, flipping websites, and running an ecommerce website.  

What Online Company Makes The Most Money?

Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, is the most profitable “online company.” At the time of this article’s publication, it had earned an incredible $72.36 billion in the previous year!4

What Is the Best Online Earning Business?

Ecommerce is definitely one of the most profitable online businesses. Just think about how massive Amazon has become! But affiliate marketing can also be super lucrative, and it might be easier for new entrepreneurs. 

Which Online Store Makes The Most Money?

Amazon is the world’s most profitable online store, selling $133.46 billion in goods in 2022.5

Online Business That Pays?

Ecommerce businesses often pay well – especially since buying things online is so popular these days. 

You could also try buying and selling websites. It’s sort of like flipping houses, but with online businesses. You buy one for cheap, improve it, and then sell it for more. Cha-ching!

Top Ten Online Businesses?

Here are 10 of the most profitable online businesses:

  • Blogging – host your blog through SiteGround
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Online teaching
  • Freelance writing – learn how here and find jobs on Upwork
  • Buying and selling websites using Empire Flippers
  • Reselling – here’s what flips
  • Ecommerce
  • Podcasting – host it on RSS.com
  • Running a YouTube channel
  • Working as a virtual assistant – find clients on Upwork

Most Profitable Online Businesses to Start?

An ecommerce business could be one of the most profitable online businesses to launch. You could start small, and then add more products to your online store over time. As your customer base grows, so will your profits!

Fastest Growing Online Businesses?

An affiliate marketing business could grow quickly if you play your cards right. Imagine: You create amazing content, attract tons of users, and get serious money from affiliates. That allows you to pay for even more content, which brings more users, and more profits– and so the cycle continues!

Successful Online Businesses?

There are all sorts of online businesses that can prove successful. One option is to “flip” websites – buying them for cheap, making them more profitable, and then selling them for more. You could also get creative with a blog, podcast, or Youtube channel.

Online Business Examples?

Here are some examples of profitable online businesses:

Online Business From Home?

You can absolutely run an online business from home. I’ve run online businesses from home for over a decade! That’s one of the main advantages of using the internet to run your business! As for profitable online business ideas, you could try ecommerce, affiliate marketing, blogging, or freelance writing. All those businesses let you work from home in your pajamas! 

Note: I keep it professional. I do wear pajamas. But only the top. Awwww, no!! Bad visual! Just kidding, of course. I wear pajama bottoms with the feet and a tuxedo shirt.

Online Business Ideas for Beginners?

If you’re looking for a profitable online business and you’re new to the game, here are some business ideas to consider:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Blogging – host your blog on SiteGround
  • Podcasting – host your pod on RSS.com
  • Freelance writing – learn how here
  • Working as a virtual assistant – find clients on Upwork
  • Starting a Youtube channel
  • Ecommerce
  • Reselling – here’s what flips
  • Teaching an online course
  • Buying and selling websites using Empire Flippers

Most Profitable Online Businesses Reddit?

I found a Reddit thread where someone asked successful online entrepreneurs to share their experiences.

A screenshot of a Reddit user asking how to turn money online.
Someone on Reddit asks how entrepreneurs have made 6 figures online.
Source: Reddit 

One person described earning 750K per year by coaching on Zoom.

Screenshot of Reddit user responding they make $750k per year online coaching
A Redditor describes making $750,000 per year through online coaching. 
Source: Reddit

Another entrepreneur made millions selling toys and outdoor gear.

Screenshot of Reddit user explaining how they sell their own brand of outdoor gear to make money online. 
In a Reddit post, someone explains how they made millions with an ecommerce business.
Source: Reddit

And one person made a lot of money from playground equipment before getting “sick of it” and selling the business for 240K. 

Screenshot of Reddit user explaining how they sold commercial playground equipment and then eventually sold the business.
A Redditor says they’ve made lots of money selling playground equipment, but the business also created headaches.
Source: Reddit

So there are plenty of routes to success with online businesses. You just have to combine creativity with perseverance and hard work!

Sources:

1 – https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/internet-broadband/#:~:text=Today%2C%2093%25%20of%20American%20adults%20use%20the%20internet

2 – https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/01/online-learning-courses-reskill-skills-gap/

3 – https://www.devry.edu/blog/ecommerce-trends.html 

4 – https://www.investopedia.com/the-world-s-10-most-profitable-companies-4694526 

5 – https://www.statista.com/forecasts/860716/top-online-stores-global-ecommercedb#:~:text=Top%20online%20stores%20worldwide%202022%2C%20by%20net%20sales&text=Amazon.com%20leads%20the%20global,com%20at%20133.4%20billion%20dollars

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About Scott Lieberman

Scott Lieberman is founder of Touchdown Money. Scott has been making money online for over 20 years. It's allowed him to travel the world while working remotely. Scott is an expert in online business, digital marketing, credit card reward programs, and content marketing strategies.

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