This article originally appeared on Money254. Money254 helps consumers and business owners to search, compare and apply for financial products in Kenya.
If anything, the pandemic has taught us the value of having more income streams. When the pandemic hit, it found many of us highly unprepared and swiftly pulled the rug out from right under our feet.
People lost their jobs, businesses made losses, and some closed down altogether. In a very short span of time, many people went from being financially stable to being hopeless.
As a result, ‘online’ quickly became a synonym for ‘viable.’ Many people started to think of the online space as a possible way to make an income – a secondary income or even to replace the day job.
And it is possible. Online is the future.
There has never been a more exciting time to start a business and watch your income grow than now. The internet has made it effortless to create and run a successful business from the comfort of your couch. For example, with the right offering and a few ads on social media, you can quickly reach your target customer and start making your own money in no time. You could also easily apply for a business loan online.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of good online business ideas. This article gives you the top 6 practical online business ideas and some tips to help you not get lost in the treacherous online currents.
Sell digital products
A digital product refers to an intangible asset or an item of media that can be sold and distributed online without the need to replenish the stock. They come in the form of downloadable or streamable digital files such as MP3s, PDFs, videos, plug-ins, templates, etc.
There is a long list of digital products that you can create and sell online. They include products such as online courses and webinars, ebooks, audiobooks, software programs, web elements like Shopify or WordPress themes, printables, membership sites, etc.
Once you have picked your product and successfully created it, there are countless online marketplaces where you can market and sell your products. For example, you can host and sell your online courses on Udemy, Coursera, or even on your Shopify website.
One of the main advantages of selling digital products is that you can get your product in front of hundreds of thousands of potential customers with just a few clicks on your mouse.
Build a one-stop resource hub
There is a reason people love malls. Malls represent the idea of getting everything you need under one roof. Then, why not use the same concept online to make yourself some money? But instead of building an online retail shop, create a one-stop resource hub that solves people’s problems.
For example, Money254 helps people compare financial products from Kenya’s trusted providers. Users do not need to visit each lender and individually request information to find a suitable financier to meet their needs. It’s all covered under one roof.
All you need to create a thriving resource hub is probably a website and an effective marketing strategy. And once you have built a good reputation and a solid client base, it can quickly turn into a sustainable source of income.
Start a freelance empire
Are you a kickass graphic designer, a compelling writer, or do you just have a knack for designing beautiful websites? Or maybe you have a skill that can help businesses hit their goals?
Well, you can work perfectly as a freelance consultant or strategist.
Selling a skill you already possess is the easiest way to make money online. There are at least three ways you can reach your potential customers when starting a freelancing business. You can leverage your professional network and get the word out through word of mouth.
Second, you can build a freelancing website and generate leads through SEO marketing, online advertisement, or even advertising on social media and networking platforms such as LinkedIn.
Third, you can leverage freelancing sites such as Fiverr, Upwork, etc.
Once you have built a client base, it is possible to create a team under you and build a successful freelancing empire.
Try affiliate marketing
How many times have you purchased a product because someone recommended it?
Word-of-mouth is a powerful advertising technique. This is the reason why established businesses are always on the hunt for influencers to promote their products.
So if you have a website or a social media site with a substantial following, you can take part in affiliate programs as a source of passive income.
You simply need to get a unique referral link from a business that is part of an affiliate program and then use the link when recommending its product to your audience. Every time someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission from the business. Easy peasy!
We have a comprehensive guide on how to make passive income through affiliate marketing which we recommend you read if you are interested in this income opportunity.
Launch an online retail shop
In this era, people buy on the go. All thanks to smartphones and the technology of mobile banking. Therefore, you can easily make a kill online by selling products through a mobile-friendly online store.
A good example of such a retail store is this natural self-care product brand that I regularly purchase from. Although they have a physical location and maybe other distributors, I have always ordered my fix through their website.
Here is a photo that shows what their website looks like.
Build an interactive tool
By definition, interactive learning is a way that allows people to learn and share knowledge through the use of technology.
By extension, an online interactive tool is a platform that allows the audience to interact with the page itself and, therefore, maximises page engagement. A tool like this provides a low-effort way to generate passive income.
For example, Gerald Lombardo launched The Word Counter in January 2020 intending to use the tool as a case study to prove his results in digital marketing. He then expertly published posts on the site after researching SEO keywords and using original data to back up his claims.
Today, The Word Counter has a massive following and ranks very high on Google SERPs. It goes without saying that the site is now a reliable source of passive income for him.
There is no limit to how much money you can make online today, thanks to the internet. The internet is just perfect for creating passive income streams. Above are some lucrative ways through which you can make a side income – or even a full primary income – on your laptop or smartphone.
Whichever online business idea you pick, good luck!
Also Read: 5 Success Metrics for African Entrepreneurs