Here are some of the best home business ideas you can start to earn a bit of extra money on the side or turn into a full-time gig. Check them out, see if any of them fit your skills and needs. Once you do this, you will be farther along your path to creating multiple incomes.
1. Home Business: Online Courses
Got a teachable skill? Turn it into a profitable home business! You can create an online class on just about anything, whether it’s how to do the splits in 30 days, content marketing, or getting out of debt.
- SEO – unlock massive amounts of SEO traffic. See real results.
- Content Marketing – create epic content, because there is no room for the mediocre.
- Paid Media – effective paid strategies with clear ROI.
The top advantages of creating an online course are the lures of passive income and time freedom. You only need to record a class once and post it, and you can earn money in your sleep.
- Beginning: Identify profitable skills you have. Before diving in, do some market research to ensure there’s an audience for your product. Additionally, learn about best practices for online teaching.
- Start-up Costs: The highest upfront cost you’ll need is a hosting platform like Teachable or Kajabi for your course. Prices run between $39 to $119, depending on the provider.
- Profitability: You can sell an online course for as little as $37 to as much as $4,000 (if you have the audience and social proof).
2. Home Business: Consultant
You don’t need an MBA to start a home business there is just so much free information available on the internet, it would be unreasonable to assume that learning a new skill this way is completely possible.
You do need subject-area expertise to market yourself as an advisor in that area. Tap into what you’re good at and leverage the results you’ve achieved in your career so far.
- Beginning: You need a niche to become a successful consultant. By honing your knowledge to a particular area, it’s easier to stand out from everyone else and establish yourself as an expert.
- Start-up Costs: You don’t have any upfront costs besides a computer and access to the internet. However, it’s worthwhile to invest in yourself and continuously study your topic.
- Profitability: ZipRecruiter states the average pay for work-from-home consultants is nearly $30 per hour, with a typical range of $29,000 to $118,000 per year.
3. Home Business: Freelance Writing
Want low start-up costs for your home-based business? Start freelance writing. Once your a freelancer, you can start your own business, or just build up profits for business owners, who have already done most of the work.
Good writers are rainmakers. And they can do it all with a home-based business.
With no overheads (if you have a laptop), you can put your wordsmith skills to work right away. All you need is a stable Wi-Fi connection, a steady stream of clients, and you can work from home or anywhere in the world, because all your work is digital.
- Beginning: Decide on your freelance writing niche. Do you want to spend an afternoon typing away about digital marketing? Are you a whiz when it comes to writing sales pages for business coaches? Chances are, there’s a website needing freelancers on just about any topic. Once you know what type of writing you want to do, create a portfolio site and start pitching your services to ideal clients or responding to ads on sites like Problogger.
- Start-up Costs: All you need to start are a computer and internet connection. You can create a free portfolio website with a website builder like Wix. Alternatively, you can purchase a domain and get a hosting plan with Bluehost.
- Profitability: Freelance writers can earn as little as $20 per blog post to as much as $400. Some freelance writers, like Jorden Roper, pull in $5000+ per month from their freelance writing business—though the high rollers typically do this full-time and not as a side hustle.
4. Start a Blog
Blogging isn’t the fastest way to make money online, but it can be an excellent source of passive income when done right.
Once you’ve built up a loyal and engaged readership, leverage your audience to sell various products and services.
It’s the strategy I used to become one of the leading voices in digital marketing and grow my online agency.
- How to Get Started: The first three things you’ll need are a domain name, hosting plan, and WordPress theme. In addition to that, decide on your blog’s niche—Google prefers niche content, and it’s often the best way to become a go-to expert. From there, it’s all about writing great content frequently, choosing the right keywords, and using social media to grow your readership.
- Start-up Costs: You’ll need a computer, stable internet, a domain name, and hosting, because that’s what’s necessary to create a bond of trust with viewers.
- Profitability: Pay varies widely from blogger to blogger and depends on how you’ve set up your site to make money. Ads, affiliate marketing, and sponsored posts are some ways to monetize your website. Once they really get going, many bloggers make between $500 to $2,000 per month within their first year.
5. Virtual Assistant
Almost every online business can benefit from a virtual assistant (VA), making it a potentially lucrative at-home business, because the world is moving at a faster rate, which means people are taking on more work, which means they need help handling it all.
Bloggers, life coaches, copywriters, even Etsy owners need help with tasks. Become a VA and help people manage their overflowing email accounts, schedule out social media posts, and help with mundane digital duties. Once you can do this well enough, you can charge even more.
- How to Get Started: You need a specialty and a website to advertise your services. Do you help creatives? Does your expertise lie in managing marketing campaigns? Once you know who you help, the next step is to network and build up your client roster.
- Start-up Costs: It depends on your niche, but for the most part, you only need a laptop and a stable internet connection.
- Profitability: Pay varies by skill set and experience but can range from about $15 per hour for entry-level work to $75 per hour for highly-specialized work.
6. Home Business: Freelance Graphic Designer
Tired of working on graphic design projects which bore you to tears? Take your skills to the freelance market.
While graphic design is a competitive industry, it’s possible to make a full-time salary if you have raving referrals, a forte making you stand out from the crowd, and a strong portfolio.
- How to Get Started: If you don’t already have graphic design skills, you can sign up for online courses. Once you’re qualified, you can help create designs for flyers, newsletters, infographics, advertisements, icons, logos, and more.
- Start-up Costs: You typically need to have taken courses in graphic design, and certifications are desirable.
- Profitability: A graphic designer with medium experience can earn between $45,000 and $55,000 in the US. Skill set, experience, and level of responsibility will affect how much you can charge your clients. Once you become comfortable with handling work and delivering quality, you can charge more.
7. Home Business: Audio or Video Editor
Brands and influencers need help creating audio and video work but don’t always have the time to perfect a high-quality episode or clip.
If you know your way around editing software, you could make a decent amount of money by starting an editing business, because nobody has time to edit their own videos, because they have more important things to do.
So there’s another way to have an at-home business.
- How to Get Started: Create a portfolio, pitch your services to brands you want to work with, and keep an eye out for job postings on sites like Upwork.
- Start-up Costs: You need a subscription to editing software like Adobe Premiere or Adobe Audition, a computer, and access to the internet.
- Profitability: Podcast and video editors make around $26 per hour or more depending on experience levels. In addition to this, video editors can arrange royalty deals for high performing video content.
Podcasting isn’t the easiest way to make money from home, but it’s possible if you’re in it for the long haul.
You can monetize your podcast in various ways, such as:
- selling ad reads
- affiliate links
- using your podcast to punt your services/products
- premium gated content
It takes a lot of time and attention to get a podcast to profitability, because you have to provide even more value with your words when you are only relying on voice, and not images and video. At at home business requires a lot, but its worth it.
- How to Get Started: Figure out your podcast’s topic and position yourself as the go-to expert. Create a content calendar to stay consistent with your uploads and use social media to grow your audience.
- Start-up Costs: You can use your computer’s microphone or invest in one for crisper sound quality. Some podcast software options are free, while others have a once-off or monthly cost.
- Profitability: New podcasters should expect to make little to nothing while building listeners. However, some popular podcasts earn as much as $100,000 per episode if they play their cards right.
9. Voiceover Artist
Voice acting is one of the only gigs you can do from the comfort of your closet, because your closet helps insulate your sound.
Use your voice to record podcast intros, online courses, or narration for audiobooks. The only catch is the investment you’ll need to make to create high-quality work.
- How to Get Started: It’s a good idea to get training, as it helps hone your craft and can result in valuable networking opportunities. You also need to create a demo showing your skills.
- Start-up Costs: Invest in a good pair of headphones to hear any unwanted sounds, an excellent microphone, recording software, and a small studio space. You can use a closet and insulated it with heavy blankets to soundproof the room if you can’t find—or afford to build—a studio.
- Profitability: You can earn between $100 to $1000 per project. Voices has an excellent resource on industry rates broken up by job type.
10. Airbnb Hosting
Airbnb is one of the best ways to make money at home. You can rent out the guest room in your house or even an entire property. Once you do this, you will need to take care of the property and maintain everything in between visits. This is essential because current restrictions, and efforts to flatten the curve are in full effect.
The key to a successful Airbnb listing lies in the experience. You should upload high-quality images and add in amenities like free Wi-Fi to give guests an incentive to book. The more five-star reviews you have, the higher your chances of landing on the first page of search results, because what people say about you is infinitely powerful.
- How to Get Started: Create an Airbnb Host profile and upload your listing. Once it’s approved, you can start getting bookings for your listing.
- Start-up Costs: All you need is a computer or a smartphone and a place you can list.
- Profitability: Frequent Airbnb hosts, on average, make more than $924 per month. This is three times more than many other gig economy workers.
While there are no costs to use a client’s existing furniture, many home stagers also use a repository of furniture and decor to stage homes.
11. Personal Trainer
A personal trainer is a good option if you love fitness and want the flexibility to work at home or from a local gym.
You can set up online classes from your living room, train clients in their homes, or work from a local fitness center. If you get bored of being a fitness instructor, you can use your knowledge to springboard into other things like a health writer.
- How to Get Started: Before you can start working as a personal trainer, you need a credentialed fitness organization’s qualification. From there, you can approach gyms and advertise your services online.
- Start-up Costs: Your highest costs are a training qualification, transport to and from your clients, or recording equipment for online classes.
- Profitability: There is a wide range of pay for personal training. The amount you make each month is dependent on how many clients you have on your roster and what fees you have to pay the gym.
12. Tax Preparer
Tax season is a headache for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and businesses. Most would rather pay someone else to deal with their tax returns and all that comes with them.
The downside? You’ll mostly have work during the three-month tax season and may need to find other options if you want to run a home business year-round.
- How to Get Started: The first step is applying for a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). Other requirements include a state license or an electronic filing identification number (EFIN).
- Start-up Costs: You’ll need to have a working knowledge of how to file tax returns in your state or country. Other costs include accounting software and marketing your business.
- Profitability: The amount of money you can make is dependent on the type of clients you have and how many you can handle. A first-year tax preparer can expect to make between $30,000 and $50,000.
While you need to have an accounting background, this can be a lucrative home business. You can help freelancers or businesses with income statements and other financial reports on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
- How to Get Started: After you have training and qualifications in accounting, look for work through remote job board sites or use online marketing tactics to attract clients.
- Start-up Costs: You need a qualification in accounting, a computer, internet access, and accounting software.
- Profitability: You can earn $20 to $50 per hour, with rates potentially increasing as your experience grows.
You can make money as a photographer in several ways. It’s also possible to scale your business by hiring assistants if you have enough work.
Most photographers specialize in one area like weddings or product photography. By choosing a focus, it could be easier for clients to find you and for you to demonstrate your skills.
- How to Get Started: Take photography courses to learn everything you can about the art. Ask friends and family to let you take photos for free to build up your portfolio. Once you’re confident with your skills, you can create a portfolio site and start marketing your skills.
- Start-up Costs: You will need to invest in photography courses, a professional camera, high-quality lenses, and editing software like Adobe Lightroom.
- Profitability: How much you make depends on your niche and how much time you have for client work. For example, wedding photographers can charge $1000 to $10,000 in the U.S.
15. Translation Services
If you’re fluent in two or more languages, you can turn your linguistic skills into a translation home business.
All you need to get started is a computer. You can start building your client list part-time and transition to a full-time gig as your experience and workload increases.
- How to Get Started: Although it’s not required, you can become a certified translator with the American Translators Association. Find remote work gigs on sites like Upwork and TranslatorsCafe.
- Start-up Costs: You need to have a computer and access to the internet.
- Profitability: With the world becoming a more connected place, translation services are in demand. You can earn around $60,000 per year with an $18 per hour rate if working full-time.
So now you know what it takes to have an at-home business. You can pick and choose.