Online Business Ideas for Women
So you want to start a home based business and you’re looking at online business ideas for beginners as a place to start.
I personally think an online business is the way to go as there are so many options available and the startup costs are extremely low – in most instances. I’ll go into this below.
However, not everyone is suited to running an online business from home. Some people will be better off by running a home-based business where you interact with people in the real world.
This is definitely something to take into consideration if you haven’t already as running an online business can be pretty lonely at times.
Also just to clarify and be totally clear, I’m outlining the nine different types of online businesses you can run from your laptop.
As you’ll see in a minute, there are literally dozens of different ways to run a business online but, in my opinion, they all fall under 9 different categories.
The nine different types of online businesses:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Selling Digital Products
- Amazon Fulfillment
- Kindle Publishing
- eCommerce: Physical Shipping
- eCommerce: Dropshipping
… and separating them into the above nine different categories makes finding an online business to start that little bit easier to grasp and understand.
Oh, and one more thing…
I’ve also tried to distinguish which activity mode each online business is.
- A service-based business
- A passive income stream
- An eCommerce business
Then you break it down to this:
- Service-based > Trading your time for money.
- Passive income > Earn money while you sleep.
- eCommerce > A bit of both – see below.
I think this is very important because you need to know and understand which type of business you want to get into first before spending literally hours learning about that business (your time) and then maybe spending money on buying a course or whatever to learn more about starting and running your chosen online business.
At the end of this post I go over this in a bit more detail to try and help you choose an online business idea that is best suited to you.
So let’s get started.
9 Online Business Ideas for Beginners
1) Become an Affiliate
Type of Online Business: Passive Income
Think of Avon. The Avon rep sells Avon’s products via a catalog and when people purchase any products, then the rep will get a commission for each product sold.
Some Avon representatives are very successful, therefore making this there full-time ‘job’, although they are actually self-employed.
They are not employed by Avon, they are merely affiliated with them.
The Avon representative has made selling Avon’s products their self-employed business.
This is the offline version of affiliate marketing.
The online version is much bigger and better!
There are literally thousands of online merchants who sell products and are eager to sign-up affiliates to help promote and sell their products on their behalf.
All you would do is:
- Decide which products you want to sell
- Find a merchant who sells these products
- Sign up to their affiliate program (free)
- Begin promoting these products
2 Main Types of Products To Promote
There are two main types of affiliate products you can promote:
- Digital Products
- Physical Products
Digital Information Products
You can promote information in the form of digital products to help other marketers sell their ebooks, courses or membership programs.
Digital product affiliate commissions tend to be quite high (40-50%) because the marketer has literally no overheads, therefore using the higher commission to attract affiliate marketers to market their products for them.
You can also promote physical products to sell in just about any niche you can think of.
- Kitchen equipment
- Baby gear
- Sports stuff
- Beauty & skincare products
You can find affiliate programs for all the above by searching for them individually, or joining ad networks such as ShareaSale or Commission Junction.
2) Sell Digital Products
Type of Online Business: Passive Income.
This is where you create your own digital products to sell online.
You already have knowledge on a certain subject area in your head. You will know things that many people want to learn or to find the answer to. So you put this information into a digital product and sell it to your target market.
Your target marketing being the people who are looking for answers to the problem which you can solve for them.
There are five main modalities when it comes to packaging up your knowledge and putting it into a digital product.
- Online Course
- Membership Subscription
- Membership Site
So you have to decide which modality is the best way to present your knowledge but is also the best learning experience for your audience.
- A ‘how to’ ebook is great to solve one particular problem for your audience > ‘How To Grow Garden Roses in Five Easy Steps’.
An ebook is the best choice in this case because it answers one question in a simple format which is easy for you to write, but also easy for your customer to read. Gardeners are probably not very tech savvy, so reading an ebook is probably the easiest digital product for them to learn from.
- An online course is probably best to teach people a whole new subject area > “How To Promote Your Business With Pinterest”.
Now in this case, as online course is the best format here because what you have to teach is based across multiple
See the difference?
Once you have your digital product ready, it’s time to choose how to automatically make the sale.
It depends on what type of digital modality you want your digital product to be as to which automated selling system you get.
- eBooks > SendOwl or similar
- Printables > SendOwl or Similar
- Courses > Teachable platform
- Memberships > WishListMember platform
Obviously there’s lots more to choose from, but the above are what I have personally used or tried in the past.
3) Blogging for Money
Type of Online Business: Passive Income
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of blogging as this is by far the most popular and extensively promoted type of online business for wannabe entrepreneurs to start.
To start a blog as an online business, you need to have it set up as a business blog.
This entails not using free web-hosting.
- Choose and buy a domain name
- Signup with a monthly web hosting plan
- Install WordPress
- Choose a theme
- Start blogging
Obviously there’s waaay more to blogging than that, but they’re the very first initial steps you need to take.
To get started, take a look at my Ultimate Blog Checklist post. It goes over the main things you need to do in all of the five major areas of blogging.
The five main areas of blogging:
- Design & Layout
As I said above, blogging is the most promoted type of online business to start for women who want to make money from home. Just about everyone and their granny are telling people to start a blog.
However blogging isn’t for everyone, for these six reasons:
- It has a massive learning curve.
- It can be technically challenging.
- It takes a lot of time to create meaningful blog posts.
- You have to work on in consistently, everyday.
- It’s not easy to drive traffic to it.
- It can be very frustrating at times.
I’m not trying to put you off, but I think you deserve the truth about running a blog as a business.
But having said that, look at me! I’ve tried just about every online and home business under sun and I’ve reverted back to blogging as that suits me best.
At the end of the day, to make $1,000+ per month from a home business, you need to put in a lot of work no matter which type of business you choose, and blogging is no exception.
Further Information: Setting Your Blog Up for Business
4) Amazon FBA Business
Type of Online Business: eCommerce
Once set up, it can also create a steady passive income for you.
FBA meaning Fulfilment By Amazon.
So in a nutshell, an Amazon FBA business is where you source a single product to sell on the Amazon marketplace. This could be absolutely anything such as a frying pan, hair straighteners, a watch or a garden bench.
You then find a supplier and make a bulk purchase of this product.
This is where it get’s interesting and exciting.
The supplier then ships the batch lot of this product direct to the Amazon Warehouse. Not your house or warehouse, but Amazons.
You then make a listing your product and maybe put up a few paid ads on Amazon to get the ball rolling.
Then Amazon’s FBA program does all the rest for you.
Once a person makes a purchase of your product on Amazon, they:
- Take the payment.
- Ship the product to the customer.
- Do returns for you.
- Do basic customer service on your behalf.
Then once a month Amazon will process all your earnings into your bank account.
So it’s about 99.9% hand-free. You might have to do some product-related customer service and some advertising if you wish.
See how this ecommerce online business is the nearest thing to passive income?
And of course, once you have one product selling successfully, and passively, on Amazon, then you can start sourcing a second product to launch and sell. And so on.
Therefore giving you multiple streams of passive income!
5) Kindle Publishing
Type of Online Business: Passive Income
Kindle publishing is basically writing an ebook to sell on the Amazon marketplace.
And no, I don’t mean fictional story books. I’m talking about ‘how to’ books or solving a problem.
I’ve actually sold six ‘how to’ books on Kindle and they give me a nice little passive income. Mine were’t bestsellers and I didn’t do any additional marketing, which is why my passive income wasn’t huge, but you can make an excellent passive income from having a few kindle books on sale.
The same advice applies from creating a digital product no. 2) above. What knowledge can you sell that other people will benefit from?
What problem can you solve? What can you teach others?
Once you’ve decided on the topic of your book, write it down in a Word or Google doc (or whatever processor you prefer) and check it thoroughly for spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting.
Set up an author account on the Kindle Publishing platform and follow the instructions to upload your ebook.
There are strategies and techniques to promote your book to get it to the highest ranking you can on Amazon, so if you choose to give Kindle publishing a go, then be sure to join forums and Facebook groups to find out selling tactics.
6) Become a Freelancer
Type of Online Business: Service-Based
This is where you offer your skills for money and freelancing is probably the most largest and popular type of work there is online.
This is because it’s the easiest and quickest way to make money.
Because you use your existing skills, or carry out ‘new, easy to learn’ tasks.
Are you a bookkeeper? Offer your bookkeeping skills to other online business owners – there’s thousands of them.
Have design skills? Offer to create graphics for online small businesses or entrepreneurs.
Love social media for fun? Become a social media manager for bloggers or small businesses.
Able to string a sentence together? Become a freelance writer
You can literally start making money within two weeks by offering your freelance services.
- Join a few blogging / entrepreneurial Facebook Groups and start socializing. Let people know that you are a ____ freelancer.
- Go to freelance job sites such as Upwork.com.
- Send out cold emails to people offering your services.
- Apply for freelance job on job boards.
Yes there are literally thousands of freelancers already online, but there are also thousands upon thousands of bloggers, entrepreneurs and small businesses online too who need virtual help with tasks which they haven’t got time for or cannot do themselves.
You just need to go out and find these people. And they are willing to pay a decent hourly rate for these services.
For more information on freelancing as an online business idea for beginners see:
7) Become a Coach / Consultant
Type of Online Business: Service-Based
This is similar to freelancing; in that you’re using your existing skills to help others.
Coaches can make an exceptional income online ($10K+ per month) because they provide a very specialized service:
- Very niche and specialized subject area.
- Tailored one-to-one service.
Coaching tends to be done face-to-face via Zoom and then email communication.
You obviously need to be very confident in the service which you’re providing, and also be good at it, in order to warrant the high-end fees which go along with coaching.
There are coaches in just about every niche and subject matter you can think of.
Here are some examples:
- Self Development (confidence, self-esteem etc.)
- Holistic Health
- Weight Loss
Those are just a few because under each of the above will be sub-categories.
- Mindset > NLP / EFT
- Stress and Anxiety
- Confidence & Self-Esteem
So you would focus-in on one of the above and become an absolute expert coach in this field.
> Expert coach in confidence & self-esteem.
8) eCommerce Store: Part I
Type of Online Business: eCommerce
Ship Physical Products
Do you fancy running an online shop because you feel that it could be both fun and profitable?
This is a great online business idea for women who want to sell stuff online and get a buzz with each and every sale that comes in.
There’s two ways which women sell tangible stuff online:
- With merchandise they make themselves.
- With items they buy from wholesalers.
If you’re a hands-on creative person, then have you thought about selling your wares online?
Some ideas on DIY products to sell:
- Personalized items
- Hand-Made Party Bags
- Organic skincare products
- Scented Soaps
- Crochet/knitted items
These types of products are best sold on Etsy which is an enormous marketplace for creative online store owners.
If you’re not into DIY products, then you could buy items in bulk from wholesalers and sell these in your ecommerce store.
These items could range from:
- Wedding Favors
Years ago I read about a women who opened her own wedding favors online store, it was through Yahoo stores, and she was making a killing out of it. So much so, that she ended up renting a massive warehouse to stock all of the different varieties of wedding favors.
It did help that her husband was an experienced online marketer and he got the store on top of Google for lots of wedding favor related keywords.
It does sound fun though having a wedding favor business doesn’t it?
Another great online store platform is Shopify which is very easy to set-up and run even for beginners.
You can read their How To Start an eCommerce Business Blueprint to learn more about this type of online business.
They’re currently offering a free 90 day trial too.
But if you don’t have the room to store stock or want to rent a warehouse, there is another option… dropshipping.
9) eCommerce Store: Part II
Type of Online Business: eCommerce
Once set up, this also becomes a nice passive income stream.
Dropshipping is a bloody marvelous idea and I dabbled in it myself a few years ago with a Shopify store – but that’s a story for another day!
With dropshipping you have to decide what type of store you want to open and what items to sell. Then you do a lot of research and source a supplier who stocks these items and will ship them directly to your customer on your behalf every time you make a sale.
With a dropshipping business you have:
- No stock
- No inventory
- No packaging
- No shipping
How flipping amazing is that!
There are four steps to how a dropshipping business works:
- Your customer places an order from your online store.
- Your store automatically sends the order to your dropshipping supplier.
- This supplier prepares your customer’s order.
- The supplier ships the order direct to your customer.
This is all hands free for you.
All you would be left do do is customer service via email.
So if you wanted to run a wedding favor business, as discussed above, then all you would have to do is find a wedding favor dropshipping supplier!
Shopify is the best platform by far to start a dropshipping business. Read their free guides on how to start your own dropshipping business.
They also offer a free 90 day trial with your own online Shopify store.
Marketing Your Online Store
Setting up your own online store is the easy part. The hard part is getting lots of visitors to your store so you can make sales daily.
Here are some ways you can market and promote your new shiny store:
- Google SEO
- Facebook Groups
- Facebook Ads
You have to know where your target market hang out the most and then focus your marketing efforts on that platform the most.
If you don’t know how to market your online store, or not have the inclination to do so, you can easily outsource this to a Virtual Assistant or some other online service provider who specializes in online marketing.
Which Online Business Suits You?
So those are the main nine online business ideas for beginners or women who want to start a business working from home.
What do you think?
Which one is best suited to you?
Here are some tips to help you choose.
This is where you trade all of your time for money.
If you don’t work, you don’t get paid.
This type of work is quite time-consuming because you’re obviously using your time by providing a service.
But not only that you’ll also have to spend a lot of time marketing and promoting your services too. This could mean spending time in Facebook groups, creating blog posts and new pins for Pinterest or writing Instagram stories.
But as I said above, it is the easiest and quickest way to make money online and you don’t have to do this forever to make money.
After a while a lot of service providers start looking into ways to introduce passive income streams into their business to give them a passive cash-flow.
Passive income is when you make money while not being present when the sale is made.
So for example, you’ve spent hours in creating an ebook. You’ve wrote a few blog posts on the same subject and have created a few dozen Pinterest pins which are starting to circulate on Pinterest. Eventually, with all things being equal, you start making sales automatically because your Pinterest pins are bringing customers to your blog posts and they see your ebook on your blog.
They make a purchase without you being present. It’s all automated.
These sales can happen when you’re watching the TV, are in the bath or you’re asleep.
This is passive income.
Passive income is not 100% passive because you still have to market and promote your business and passive income streams on a continuous basis, but you still make sales automatically without the need to be present.
This is why I love affiliate marketing so much, because all you need to do in pop your affiliate link in a blog post and the rest is done for you.
But I would still recommend creating your own little digital products so you have your own passive income asset, and not rely totally on a third party for your passive income.
As you’ve read above, an ecommerce store can be a bit of a mixture of providing a service and having a passive income. It depends on what type of ecommerce store you want to run.
If you go down the dropshipping route then this is an excellent passive income stream. You could however also do a mixture of the two.
You could sell your own tangible products from your store, either made by yourself or with inventory from a wholesalers, alongside a few items supplied by a dropshipper.
This way you have the best of both worlds and this opens up your profit margins significantly.
As I’ve said in the title of this blog post; that these are nine extremely profitable online business ideas for beginners, and they are.
Each of these online businesses has the potential to be a massive money earner for you. You just have to be 100% dedicated to your new online business and have the drive and determination to make it succeed.
Just because it’s an online business it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to work hard at it in order to make it successful. You do.
But with any of these businesses, you can earn much more than a full-time income from any 9-5 job. Guaranteed.
Hard Work Pays Off!
After all, it’s a business which you’re starting and you have to treat it with the same respect as you would if you were starting a business offline.
Good luck and let me know how you get on!
Claire is a work from home mother to two teenage sons. Claire has been creating passive income with digital products & automation since 2007 when she created her first ebook. Claire now helps other women create passive income cash-flows.