How to Start an Online Business in 2021.

How to Start an Online Business From Home in 2021

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Do you have a goal to start an online business in 2021? Starting a business comes with a certain excitement and desire to be your own boss. That excitement can be an influential propelling factor even for those desiring to start an online business from home.

Many people are fast realizing the reality behind owning online businesses. This is because the potential of creating a real and sustainable business in the digital world is no longer a secret.

The internet presents many opportunities that you can explore. Such opportunities include blogging, affiliate marketing, e-commerce, etc.

The impressive thing about starting an online business is that often, you need a low start-up investment compared to starting a physical business.

In a conventional business, you incur costs such as office rent, running costs, purchase of equipment and furniture, and employees. However, the cost of starting an online business from home is minimal and for some businesses, you need not have any money to start.  

Step-by-Step Process of How to Start an Online Business from Scratch

  1. Commit yourself to the business

For your online home business to thrive, you need to put in the effort. Often, people carry the notion that you can earn from the online business without working hard or knowing the tools and techniques that are involved in the successful running of the business. 

A Pinterest save image on how to create an online business from home
Work from Home

Just like the regular business, an online business requires your commitment in order for you to make money. As it is a business like any other, taking your business seriously and seeking training where need be will help you grow in your business. 

If you desire to start an online business, then be sure to devote and commit yourself. 

  1. Get to understand which area excites you

Discovering what you are good at and what you are passionate about is a great way to know which business to pursue. Most successful business owners earn a living from what they love to do. 

To start an online business, you need to know which area you identify with and are good at. If you are great at marketing, there are some business options you can take. For instance, you can create a blog and create content on marketing. If you don’t quite enjoy writing, then perhaps e-commerce might be a great direction for you. 

If neither works for you, you can create an online course where you teach everything marketing. Depending on what you love, there is an array of online businesses that you can partake.

  1. Understand all costs that you may incur in the online business you choose.

Traditional businesses have a lot of costs that you incur. Online businesses do not incur these costs when starting up or running the business. However, there are different costs that you may incur in your online business which are in actual terms, investments. In the online business, you not only invest time but also money which is spent on things such as training, website hosting, buying a domain, digital marketing…etc. 

These costs differ depending on the online business you choose. Nevertheless, they are geared to helping you grow your business.

 You can start an online business with little or no money, but this does not equate to how much you will earn from your business.  Therefore, knowing the costs you may incur will help you plan and avoid surprises.

  1. Training is essential.

Having already discovered the online business you would like to venture into, it is important to seek training from recognized institutions. Training gives you the opportunity to understand business in-depth.  

In the online world, there are many tech tools that can be useful and helpful in growing your business. Learning these tools will help you develop your business while understanding their use and functionality.

  1. Make a plan

Before you begin your business, draw up a plan. In physical businesses, often you draw up a detailed business plan showing how you can achieve your goals and grow in your business. This applies to online businesses too. 

Set up goals and indicate the vision you have for the business. This will help you evaluate the growth and progress of your business and when necessary, make the needful adjustments.

Before starting your online business, it is essential to have a good foundation and then grow your business. Read my detailed guide on how to start a blogging business from scratch

Summary of al steps to take when starting an online business from home
5 Online Business Steps

Businesses You Can Start Online with No Money 

Having understood how to start an online business, the next step is to learn the kinds of online businesses that you can explore.

  1. Affiliate marketing 

In online business models of today, affiliate marketing has been considered as one of the easiest ways to market products. In a physical business, some companies/business owners hire salespersons/marketers to market their products and earn a commission based on what they sell. This is the same logic that applies to affiliate marketing.  

A company partners with affiliates who have their own independent websites where they market and promote their service/product(s). When a customer clicks on the Ad/link in the affiliate’s website and makes a purchase, the company makes a sale, and the affiliate earns a commission.

Some benefits of affiliate marketing as an online business are:

  • It has a low start-up cost as no initial investment is required.
  • It gives you a lot of convenience and flexibility.
  • You choose what to sell and whom to work with
  • You can market different products/services.

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  1. Podcasting and Podcast Editing services

A podcast is a digital audio file that is made available on the internet which you can download into your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Podcasts have an exceptional ability to attract and keep an audience. It is no surprise why many would look to maximize on its popularity. Because of this, many people have discovered ways to monetize their shows. This includes advertising deals where you sell goods and services to your listeners/audience. 

Podcasts can be informative, educational, inspiring, and encouraging or for fun.  

To start a podcast, you need a podcast name, or tag line and a specific niche that you are comfortable speaking about. You also need a podcast cover image, intro and outro music, podcasting equipment such as a good mic, and software to record and edit the audio.

Aside from doing the podcasts yourself, you can offer podcast editing services where you focus on editing audio content for other podcasters.  Some podcasters procrastinate editing the audio files and often worry about how they will edit them so they can publish them.

  1. Transcription and Translation

The online world has made many services more reachable and accessible. Transcription and translation both differ in their descriptions and performance. However, these are sought after services that anyone interested in starting an online business can explore. 

Transcription is the process where you convert audio, video, or speech (either live or recorded),  into a written document.  If you are looking to become a transcriber, you can make money by offering this service and take advantage of the demand for transcription in many companies. 

To start a transcription business, you would need to gain various skills such as typing skills, plan your business, and choose your niche.

Translation, on the other hand, involves converting written texts from one language to another. This service is often paired with the interpretation service where you translate from one language to another orally. 

If you are fluent in more that one language and have the ability to translate from one language to the other, then this would be a perfect online business you can start at home.

Benefits of transcription and translation online business.

  • It is manageable with very limited time
  • You work at your own pace and according to your own schedule.
  • You can earn as much based on your skill level and expertise. 
  • You have a broad market 
  • Low start-up costs.
  1. Freelance writing

Freelance writing is an online business that you can start at the comfort of your home. This is a business that involves writing different types of works. As a freelance writer, you are your own boss and earn from your writing. 

As a freelance writer, there are many services that you can offer. Such as Article writing, content writing, blogging, social media content creation, editing, and proofreading, etc. 

To be a freelance writer, you need to know what you are good at or areas where you have passion in. Writing in an area where you are passionate about gives you an upper hand in helping you grow your online business.

Benefits of freelance writing as an online business are :

  • Flexibility in your working hours.
  • You are your own boss.
  • Freelance writing offers you the opportunity to work with whoever you desire.
  • Limitless income as you determine how much you earn. 
  • Growth in your craft. The more you write and research on this business, the more you find ways of honing your craft.

Learn more about freelance writing here.

  1. Captioning/ Subtitling

Among the many online businesses that one can start is Captioning. It is a special kind of transcription and takes a high skill typist to do this work. 

Captioning involves converting audio content of a television broadcast, video, DVD, CD-ROM, or any other kinds of productions into texts. There are two kinds of captions.

  • Open captions are the kind of captions that automatically appear on the screen.
  • Closed captions are captions that are selected as desired by turning on/off the caption’s function. 

Captions depict speech, sound effects and also identify various speakers. Thus, they should be accurate. As a captioner, you can provide offline captioning services or realtime captioning services. 

Offline captioning involves providing captions for shows /movies that have been recorded before and are not aired live. Real-time captioning involves putting captions on live videos.

  1. Selling Digital Info products

One of the online businesses that you can start at the comfort of your home is selling digital information products. Information products provide information to meet a specific purpose. 

Like the name suggests, digital information products are structured in a way that they give guidance to the reader, educate, or instruct.

The written, audio, and video formats vary. In the current digital the world, demand for information is growing.

Some of the common types of digital information products are ebooks, online courses, membership subscriptions, webinars.

Advantages of selling digital information products. 

  • They are easy and cheap to create. 
  • It is easy to store these as they only occupy space in your server or cloud.

Read more on how to make money selling digital information products online

  1. Creating marketing videos

Visuals are often used in businesses to capture and communicate with the potential customer.

This is because they make a brand easily recognizable and communicate with the customer better by creating an interactive aspect to feeling the product/service. 

Video marketing means taking advantage of the impact that visuals have in promoting and marketing of products and services.

They are also helpful in educating customers, and have the potential to reach a greater audience within different demographies.

With video, you can review products and services, or educate your viewers.

When creating videos for the purposes of marketing,  it is important to keep the message short, give a catchy title, ensure it communicates the message clearly, and has a great script.

Benefits of venturing into marketing videos as an online business are: 

  • You can be as creative as possible, depending on the product and target market.
  • You can choose the niche and audience that you would like to target.
  • Using video can boost your conversion rates even in other ventures.

Benefits of Creating an Online Work from Home Business

Working online from home comes with a pack of advantages. Here are some of them.

  1. Creating an online business provides you with unlimited freedom

From the ability to work from any location, and choosing your own working hours, online businesses offer you a chance to enjoy your work.

Think about it. The time you would take to get to your workplace is reduced. You can even determine which days to commit to your online business or when to go on vacation.

As great as this is, it is key to ensure that you understand how to navigate freedom and use it as motivation. This should compel you to work even harder in your business. 

  1. You have unlimited income potential

Online businesses in most cases, give you the freedom to earn as much as you can since you determine your pay.

With the vast number of businesses that you can pursue, you can grow your income from one business to several businesses.  For instance, you can work as a freelance writer and still do affiliate marketing.

  1. It is easy to kick off your online business with little costs involved

Unlike physical businesses where you need a lot of start-up capital, online businesses require minimal start-up capital.

Depending on the business you would like to begin, you might incur some costs such as training, software, web hosting, and domains that are necessary to get the work started.

  1. You have the ability to reach a global customer audience

As your business is based online, you have the potential to reach customers globally. This creates a wider market that you can explore and take advantage of in your business.

  1. Create an income while doing something you love

Starting your own online business from home gives you a chance to earn money from doing things you are passionate about.

It allows you to explore creativity, and grow in your areas of interest while earning.

If you are passionate about fashion and know a lot about it, you can explore writing to create information on fashion trends.

You can also create online courses for teaching people how to dress fashionably or market fashion products as an affiliate. 

  1. Your business runs 24 hours for 7 days

Since your business is based online, the services that you offer can be available anytime, all the time.

For instance, if you are doing business based on digital information products such as membership subscriptions, your clients and customers can access your content any day of the week without worrying that you will close shop for the weekend. 

  1. Leverage the power of outsourcing

As the business grows you can choose to outsource some services based on your needs.

This is beneficial for many small businesses that don’t have the capacity to hire an employee.

You also get the chance to outsource to professional experts who have built their own online businesses to complement your needs.


Starting an online business can be a great venture for anyone who desires to be their own boss and work in the area where they are most passionate. It also gives you an opportunity to determine your income and how much you earn.

There are many paths that you can follow on how to start an online business from home. Most online businesses have low start-up risks and costs. With the proper guidance and information, it is possible to start an online business and begin to reap from it in no time and at the comfort of your home. Working online is also a great piece of pie for anyone willing to explore the opportunities that come your way.