Are you looking for business opportunities to make extra income or even go full time into the entrepreneur world of making money for yourself?
I’ve compiled an amazing list of the best business ideas to make money in 2020 and beyond!
This list is intended to give you a great idea of the types of businesses you can start by yourself.
It’s broken down into two types of self employment opportunities:
- Business ideas you start and build from scratch
- Business “jobs” that are already built (you simply “work” when you want)
So whether you’re looking to build a long term business asset that can make $100,000+ per year or you’re more looking for a self employment job ideas that has an existing framework to make money already, this list has you covered!
Here’s the list below (starting with my favourite home based business idea!)
1. Become a Blogger
Creating your own blog is one of the best businesses you can start today.
A blog is an amazing business to own because:
- you control 100% of it and call all all the shots
- you can earn over $100,000 per year
A blog is a type of website that focuses on a topic or a few related topics of interest. For example, this is a personal finance blog that has content on various financial topics to help every day people get the most out of their money.
The idea behind blogging for business:
The main goal of any business is to make money. Blogs aren’t any different! So how does a blog make money?
Your job (as the blogger) is to create content that HELP others solve problems. Here’s an example:
You have a travel blog and recently came back from a trip to Japan. Here are a few pieces of content you could write:
- how you found cheap accommodations around Tokyo
- how you planned your trip to Japan
- where the best budget friendly places are to eat
- the type of travel insurance best for Japan travel
In each of the article topics above, you are helping others by sharing your experience and expertise in travel. People visiting Japan need this type of information to plan their trip! You are SOLVING problems Japan visitors have (the most important thing your blog needs to do).
So how do you make money blogging?
Blogs make money in various ways. The most popular ways to make money are below.
- Affiliate Marketing
- Product Creation
Keeping with the travel example above, here’s how you could make money with your blog posts about Japan.
- You can recommend a travel insurance company and be paid a referral fee when someone reads your article, clicks your referral link, and buys insurance (around $10- $15 typically)
- You can create a “Japan travel itinerary guide” for budget travellers where you show the best budget areas to stay, restaurants to eat in, and other travel tips for budget conscious traveller (can sell this guide for $20 – $50)
- You can place ads on your website. When people visit your site, people will click the ads making you passive income
In a nutshell, here’s how you run a successful blog that makes money:
- Create content that people need (by solving problems)
- Promote your content so lots of people can see it
- Monetize your content by recommending helpful products/services, make your own products to sell, or place ads on your site to generate ad revenue
There are other ways blogs make money, however the three above are the most common and what you’ll likely use as a beginner.
You can see that the sky is the limit for making blogging income. The more people who visit your blog, the more money you’ll make.
The amount of money you make blogging comes down to how hard you want to work on it!
Blogging is one of the easiest business to start. I highly recommend it.
If you’re looking to learn more about blogging, I have a great resource on how to make money blogging.
2. Build Niche Websites and Make Money With Affiliate Marketing
A niche website is similar to a blog, however “niche” websites usually small websites that laser focus on a specific topic.
For example, a website about “Traveling England” is a big website that has many topics it can cover.
A Niche website would be a “London Travel” blog, or even a “Backpacking London” website would be even further niched down.
Niche websites have a few benefits over bigger blogs:
- They’re generally easier to run, especially if you’re already an expert in your niche, because your content only focuses on a specific area
- Your site is usually more relevant to the visitor, because it’s specifically about the topic they are searching for. This builds trust and therefore it’s easier to make money
- Because you laser focus onto a topic, you’re usually seen as more of an expert (which helps make money)
Many people make a lot of money creating small niche websites (that only contain 15-30 articles).
How do you make money with a niche website?
Affiliate marketing is the best way to make money. Affiliate marketing is when you promote a product or service and earn commissions for every thing you promote.
For example, a niche website about backpacking London, England could write an article about the best backpacker friendly hostels in London. This article would contain affiliate links to hostels. When visitors read this article, click a link to check out the hostel, and books a hostel, the website makes money!! (in this case, around $5-$10 typically).
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money with your website because your job is simply to funnel people to places they are already looking for – all while earning yourself commissions.
Is building niche websites right for you?
If you like the idea of making money with a website, it probably is. Niche websites are a great way to get your feet wet making money online. Combining it with affiliate marketing, you can make some serious cash quickly.
Many people start a niche website and later expand it to a larger website that talks about many topics. For example, a niche website about Sony Mirrorless Camera equipment can later expand to be a website about All brands of mirrorless cameras.
3. Become an Instagram Influencer
There is no better time than now to become your own brand and to base a business around yourself. Instagram is the best platform to do that.
An Instagram Influencer is simply someone who has followers. That’s it! It can be a small number like 2000-5000 followers, or a massive following of 100,000+.
The larger your Instagram following is, the more money you will make (assuming you have a real engaged following!)
Here’s how you make money as an Instagram influencer:
- Sponsorships – you post a story or post to your IG feed that features a product / service
- Affiliate Marketing – you make a story/post about a product and get a commission for every sale you make
- Sell Your Own Products – you direct people to a website where they can buy a product / service you’ve created
Again, the more people who follow you the more people will see your posts – therefore giving you more “influence” (which makes you more money).
How to become an Instagram Influencer
Here are the steps:
- Pick a niche to build a following in
- Create content that people want to see
- Promote your content to build your following
- Monetize your following when it’s appropriate
Once your following is big enough (just a few thousand is enough), you can begin making money promoting
And then it simply comes down to repeating the steps above to grow your online Instagram business to the point where you can do it full time.
You can make money in practically any niche with Instagram. I recommend choosing a topic you really enjoy and love. Creating images, writing captions, and enjoying your time building an Instagram based business is a commitment you want to enjoy!
4. Online Course Creator
One of the more difficult ways to build a business online is through creating online courses. I don’t recommend this business strategy as a beginner.
However, if you’re ambitious and are already knowledgeable about a certain topic, don’t let anyone stop you!
I can’t stress enough that you’ll really need to research your niche and understand what the market wants. You absolutely want to create a product/service that people will need and pay you for.
Here are just a few course ideas that make a lot of money:
- How to become an Instagram Influencer
- How to generate traffic to your site using Pinterest
- How to become a portrait photographer
- How to invest in the stock market
- How to lose weight using the Keto diet
Courses are created in every single niche where money can be made in.
Course creation is usually the most lucrative way to make money in a niche. Again, most people end up creating courses after they’ve already established themselves online and understand their audience and their wants.
But if you know what you’re doing, you can jump right in!
Making money with course creation
First, you’ll need to create your course!
Second, you will need to get traffic to your course.
If you already have a medium that people follow you on (blog or social media account), you will promote your course to your existing following. You will also likely want to advertise your course through various ad networks like Facebook ads or Google.
5. Start a Podcast
If you enjoy speaking your mind and simply the act of talking, I can’t think of a better business idea than starting your own podcast.
Podcasting has grown incredibly over the past few years and thought it’s been around for awhile, I consider it one of the best new business ideas in the online career world.
How do you make money podcasting?
The following are popular ways podcasters make money:
Sponsorships – Brands will want to get their products/service in front of your listeners. For example, if you podcast about healthy natural living, a natural cereal company could sponsor your podcast by paying you money to mention their cereal.
Affiliate Marketing – You will no doubt be talking about products and services throughout your podcasts. You can mention a company and be paid when your listeners buys/signs up to your recommendation. For example, if you podcast about photography, you can give your readers a discount to Adobe editing software for anyone who signs up using your referral code.
There are other ways to generate income with podcasting, however the two above are easily the most common.
Starting your own business with podcasting is like starting a business blogging or on social media. The goal is to create great content around a certain topic, attract people who are interested in your content, and then make money from your audience.
Each platform is different, but the idea of how to build a business around your medium of choice is the same.
6. Start a Youtube Channel
We’ve all seen Youtubers mention their “sponsors of today” or mention they’ve got “affiliate links in the description below”. Along with displaying ads on their videos, these three are the primary ways Youtubers are making money online.
I can’t think of a better self employment idea than being on Youtube if you’re the type of person who enjoys being in front of a camera.
I probably don’t have to explain how Youtube works to you. You’ve seen the ads, product recommendations, and sponsorship mentions in countless videos.
Is Youtube a viable place to make money in 2020?
I think it still is!
It isn’t the place to get “free money” but it’s certainly a place where money can be made.
Youtube is a very saturated place to carve your own space. It’s a very mature social media platform and virtually all the cracks and crevices have been filled by new Youtubers.
But keep this in mind: There may be 1000 other Youtubers who talk about “camera gear” already. However, there likely isn’t anyone who is “doing it” in your voice or personality.
So the real question becomes this: What can YOU add that is different or better than other Youtubers in your niche? If you can answer this question, then it’s very likely you can build a successful Youtube channel.
A big bonus about making self employment income on Youtube is that the platform is very mature and virtually everything is ironed out. You just need a winning plan and work your butt off with your channel!
7. Start a Drop Shipping Business
Drop shipping is a type of eCommerce website where you sell products.
The big difference here is that you don’t need to buy any inventory or even carry it. You’ll have a “drop shipping” company that will package the product, ship it, and even deal with returns and exchanges on your behalf.
Your job will be to manage your online store by generating traffic to it and converting them into customers! The actual product part of the business will be handled by a separate company (like Shopify for example).
Drop shipping has become a popular start up business for people looking to sell products without the head ache of buying inventory, shipping, and dealing with returns/exchanges.
If you want to run your own online store selling products, the drop shipping model may be right for you.
8. Start a Photography Business
Photography is one of those hobbies you can start early and continue to benefit from for the rest of your life.
We live in a visually demanding world and every person and business needs images. Photography is a skill that will never go out of style or become obsolete. If you enjoy taking photos, you should really consider starting your own photography business.
Photography is one of the best business ideas!
There are several ways a photographer can make money:
- Offer your service at live events (e.g. wedding photography, portrait photographer, event photographer, etc)
- Create content for businesses (e.g. product photography for websites,
- Create a photography website
- Create images for social media (either for yourself or for businesses/brands)
- Teach photography by creating courses
- Create images to sell on stock photo websites
Most people combine a variety of ways to make money in photography. For example, a photographer can have a website that makes ad revenue, affiliate product revenue, and sell prints online – all while doing wedding and portrait sessions.
I very highly recommend getting into the photography world if your goal is to make money doing something you love. You’ll need to work hard in the beginning to build your portfolio and personal brand. I recommend doing a lot of free work in the beginning.
Once you become a little established and you have the skills necessary to charge money, begin charging for your work. Your business will continue to grow from there and you can hopefully turn it into a full time self employment gig.
9. Make Money Coaching Others
Coaching is one of the best ways to earn a large consistent income for years down the road.
Coaching works by you offering the service of “you” in exchange for money.
A few popular coaching examples include: fitness coach, diet coach, Instagram influencer coach, success coach, blogging coach, and the list goes on and on.
A real example of an online nutrition coach I came across recently was someone who offered to help you detox using a plant based diet. Included in his coaching program was coaching calls that discussed things like nutrition and supplement advice, all tailored to the customer.
You can “coach” just about anything!
You will of course need to be very knowledgeable about the are you will be coaching in.
Coaches can charge a lot of money because your personal time and expertise is laser focused to the individual. And depending on how expert you are and how much value you can bring, your prices should reflect that.
In the blogging world, people can pay upwards of $500+ per month for personal coaching about growing their blogs and business.
To become a coach, you almost certainly need a website and at least one social media account to attract clients and show the world what you are about and why people should hire you!
10. Start a Freelance Writing Business
Freelance writing is one of the best home based jobs for people looking to make easy money doing something they’re likely already really good at.
People and businesses need writers to create content for them on an on-going basis and will pay freelancers to write this content for them.
How much money do freelance writers make?
The price you’re paid for writing will vary wildly. For example, a blogger/website could pay you $50 – $250 for each article you write.
What you earn as a freelancer writer ultimately comes down to your level of expertise in the topics you write about as well as the quality of your writing.
If you are very knowledgeable about certain topics and can create average or better content, you should absolutely be able to find writing jobs online. The demand for writers is very large, however the pool of writers looking for work is even bigger which can make finding good writing jobs difficult.
The great news is that the easiest way to find writing jobs is simply to identify websites that you have expertise and send them an email asking if they need a writer. While this is a hit and miss type of strategy and can take many hours to find a job, it’s available for you to do and it’s free. Once you find a few people/websites to write for who give you consistent work, you’ll have a phenomenal home based self employment job to make money from!
11. Become a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant is someone who helps a business/person perform tasks over the internet. It’s called “virtual” because you don’t need to “go into the office” to work. You work from home on your computer completing tasks for a business.
There are endless types of virtual assistant jobs. Many of them revolve around simple manual work like answering emails or phone calls, writing content for blogs, managing social media accounts, and performing email customer service.
How to find virtual assistant jobs
The easiest way is to reach out to businesses who could use your skillset. Ask them if they are hiring.
For example, let’s say you have graphic design skills. To find work, you could search on Pinterest for brands and companies that pin often. Reach out to them offering to create Pinterest pins for them on an on-going basis. Considering they could pay you $5-$15 per pin, you could make a nice little side income here.
12. Start Day Trading
Day trading isn’t really a “self employment” job, however it’s one of those “career” ideas that you fully work and control yourself – which is why I included it here.
Day trading is when you buy and sell stocks constantly throughout the day. You make money by taking advantage of changes in values of stocks throughout the day. That means you’ll usually be moving larger amounts of money around – which will require you to have some capital to begin with.
13. Create Information Products (ebooks)
Did you know you can write books to sell for anywhere from $10-$50+ per sale?
Information products are a hot buy and people love to buy ebooks. If you have expertise in a subject matter and enjoy writing, creating sellable ebooks could be a fantastic new business idea for you.
There are two main ways to make money selling ebooks:
- Sell them on a digital product platform like Clickbank
- Create your own website to advertise your book(s)
When you sell your book on an established digital product website (like Amazon or Clickbank), you have their marketplace infrastructure set up and ready to go for you. For this, they will take a cut of the sales you make.
If you want to keep all the profits, you’ll want to sell your books on your own website. This means you’ll have to work harder at promoting your book and set up your website yourself or hire someone to take care of the technical aspects of selling online.
Both ways are great. There isn’t a right or wrong answer here.
You can make a great deal of money selling books. For example, if you price a book at $50 and sell 6 per day, then you’ll be making a bit over $100,000 per year. Now that’s excellent business side income!
14. Social Media consultant
A consultant is anyone who helps people and businesses do what they do better. Though this examples uses “social media” as the consulting tool, you can be a consultant for just about anything.
I used social media here because virtually every business requires a social media presence and a lot of everyday people like you and me actually have decent social media skills from all the time we spend on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. We can help businesses grow their social presence by consulting them!
Whether your expertise is in social media or a different area, there are businesses out there who need your knowledge. You can “consult” for a very pretty penny. You could charge $100+ for one session and have potential for ongoing consultations.
How do you consult for money?
You’ll absolutely want to be an expert on your topic and be able to demonstrate it. Then you’ll want to reach out to businesses who would benefit from your knowledge. Start reaching out to them with your pitch on how you can help them make more money (or any other benefit).
I recommend having your own social media account to demonstrate your expertise and/or a website.
I know a person who does Instagram Account consultations where he will go through your account and teach you how to make it better. He also offers coaching services to help you grow your account and other tools to grow your influence. He makes a lot of money doing just this! You can take a similar approach with whatever consultation you want to offer.
Self Employment Job Ideas & Opportunities
The following self employment ideas are more “job” type employment work rather than “business” ideas.
These are all great ways to make money for yourself and be paid almost right away rather than starting your own business which will almost certainly require more time, money, and patience to grow.
These self employment job ideas are great if you want to make extra side income quickly and to get away from the standard 9-5 life.
Here are some of my favourite self job ideas below:
15. Tutor online
There are online platforms where you can sign up and be paid to teach students. One of the most popular platforms is tutor.com. You teach typical school subjects like math and science to all types of students. The best part about it is that you have a lot of flexibility on when you teach and how often.
16. Drive for Uber and Lyft
One of the best parts about driving others for extra cash is that it’s super easy to do and doesn’t require you to work very hard. And perhaps the second best benefit is that you can work whenever you want to work, making it a great side income idea.
Uber and Lyft are the two most popular ride sharing companies. I’ve met people who drive for both! The best times to drive is peak hours when you get premium prices for driving in high demand hours (Friday night for example).
17. Be a Personal Shopper
There’s a really cool app called Instacart where you can pick up groceries for people and be paid for it! The job is really quite simple. You’ll use your phone to manage everything, from what to shop for and where to deliver it. It’s really as simple as driving to the grocery store, picking groceries in your oder, and delivering to the doors of people and families. The pay is very acceptable too!
18. Sell Gigs on Fiverr
Fiverr is a website where people with all kinds of skills offer their work for money. For example, people make logos, write articles, proof read articles, do math homework, edit photos, etc, etc. If you have any skill, it’s likely you can offer it on Fiverr and make money selling “gigs”. If this is something you’re interested in, check out their website to see current gigs being offered to get an idea of what you could also sell!