One of the easiest ways to make extra money in 2023 is to start an online business.
However, not all online business ideas are made equally.
Some are easier to start and easier to carry on running even as a side hustle.
If you choose wisely, you can start an online business with a manageable time commitment but high-income potential.
Today, I want to speak to you about 5 of the easiest online business ideas to start this year.
To be super practical, I'm going to share with you:
- Why each online business idea is an easy idea to start.
- How exactly you can go about starting it.
The goal is to give you enough information to actually start these ideas yourself.
If you feel that you need more help from me or you want to join a community of others already implementing these ideas, then join our community.
Mindset For Starting An Online Business
Before sharing the 5 ideas, I want to share a bit about the mindset because it's pretty important.
For a lot of people, the whole idea of an online business or side hustle is very removed from their everyday reality.
A lot of people watch videos online or read blogs and simply consume the ideas but don't actually put what they're learning into action.
I've been there, so I know.
In order to start an online business as a side hustle, you, first of all, have to see yourself doing it.
The way you see yourself doing it is to have answers to some specific questions like:
- What could a typical day look like if I have a job and also have to run this business on the side?
- How much time have I got to put towards a side hustle online?
- In terms of money, how much do I want to make from the online business?
- Does the idea I'm considering have the potential to make me that money?
- How will that extra income change my life? e.g. Debt payoff, investing, etc.
It's not until you have those answers that the idea of starting your own online business or side hustle that actually makes you money starts to become a reality.
5 Easiest Online Business Ideas To Start In 2023
Now with a mindset out of the way let's look at these 5 ideas.
1. ONLINE COACHING
My first easy-to-start idea is coaching.
You probably hear that and say, “no way, Ken! The coaching market is saturated, so many people are already doing it.”
Here is the thing –
There are people out there right now making more money from coaching on a monthly basis than the average UK or US adult makes on an annual basis.
With coaching, you can make money from individual one-to-one coaching.
Or you can make money on a one-to-many basis like a small group coaching programme that you can create.
This second type of coaching has the potential to make you a significant income per month.
Why Coaching is Easy to Start
The first is that you don't need a qualification to offer coaching services even though it helps to have one because it gives you some legitimacy.
But that legitimacy can come in different ways e.g. from your experience or from the results you might have helped other people achieve.
People might even have approached you for coaching on the side and you might have helped them to solve a problem that offers you that legitimacy.
Note that essential skills for coaching include:
- Technical Skills,
- Active Listening,
- Growth Mindset.
The second reason this is easy to start is that you don't need an existing audience.
You can start with a word-of-mouth strategy.
Talk to people about what you have to offer. e.g. friends, family, etc.
e.g. You might post about it on LinkedIn through articles or thought leadership pieces that you write about.
On the back of that, people might approach you for coaching.
Alternatively, you could use your existing networks as a way to get the word out.
iii) Existing Skills
The third reason is that you can use it using your existing skills.
You don't have to go and learn anything new to start offering coaching services as a way to make some extra money.
How to Start Coaching
Here are 4 steps to help you get started with coaching.
Step 1: Decide what problem you're going to help people to solve using your existing skills.
I can't stress enough how important this is.
Everything should be about the person you're trying to help.
Money is a reward for helping people when you create value for them.
You can decide on what that problem looks like either by:
- Looking at problems that you already solve, e.g. at work or in your personal life
- Using Google search traffic or Chat GPT to assess demand,
- Doing a survey using Google Forms to see what people are interested in.
Alternatively, look around at what other people are offering in an area that you have an interest or expertise.
I'll use myself as an example. I offer coaching in two areas:
i. Financial Coaching – I help people create personalised plans for their financial freedom.
That's unique and it's very clear why I offer that here on a one-to-one basis.
ii. Business Coaching – I help people (in small groups) to create membership businesses that produce recurring income monthly and I help them to then invest that money tax-efficiently.
Notice that these are areas I have expertise in but what I've done is make them super specific, that way I create what's known as a Blue Ocean.
A Blue Ocean (or niche) is an area you operate in that has little competition because you've brought certain elements together to create a unique offering.
i.e. I brought together our expertise in running membership businesses with our expertise in investing and wealth building to create something unique.
What can you bring together in your existing expertise to create something unique and offer a specific type of person in order to generate some extra income?
Spend some time brainstorming some ideas 📝 by assessing your areas of passion, talent, and demand.
I arrived at the ideas that I offer for coaching after multiple brainstorms and research for what might help people couple with what I'm good at and love doing.
Step 2: Decide on what exactly are you going to charge depending on what results you're going to help people to achieve.
If the results you're going to help people to achieve something small, then you charge something fairly small.
Are you going to achieve quite a big result for your potential client?
For example, help somebody make a lot more money, save a lot more money or time.
Then you're more likely to charge a much higher price.
What you charge will also depend on whether you're offering one-to-one or one-to-many coaching.
Step 3: Create a simple 4-page website.
Only do this once you've assessed for demand and validated the idea. i.e. You're sure that people will want to pay you as a coach.
That validation could come from creating a smaller version of your coaching offering to see if people will pay you for that.
Your website's 4 pages could simply be an:
- About Us page
- Services page
- Contact Us page
Essentially, you want a way of telling people how you can help them and how they can book you if they want to.
One very important thing to do is to ensure that your homepage is wireframed properly and tells a story.
The top part of your homepage needs to communicate in one sentence – Who you're helping, What problem you're solving for them, and Why it matters.
Follow this format – I help X to achieve Y so that Z can happen.
e.g. I help chronically disorganised mums to meal plan and budget effortlessly so that they can enjoy a happy family life.
To start your simple website, get a free domain name and cheap hosting for your website.
Step 4: The next thing you need to do is to start to market your services.
Without marketing, however great your services are, nobody will pay you for them.
Some of the most effective ways of marketing a coaching offering are:
i) Referral Marketing
Here you pay an incentive when someone refers a coaching client to you. e.g. £50 or $50 for a £500 coaching offering.
ii) Content Marketing
Here you create content that organically markets your coaching offering.
e.g. Starting a blog, Newsletter, YouTube videos, LinkedIn posts on thought leadership, etc.
iii) Social Media Marketing
Here you intentionally post on social media depending on where your ideal customer likes to hang out.
The key to success here is to post consistently. For example, on our Instagram, I like to post 3 times a week in different formats.
Recommended: Why Your Lack of Consistency Is Keeping You Poor
2. VIRTUAL ASSISTING
The next idea is to become a Virtual Assistant (VA) 💻.
A lot of people who start online and offline businesses need a lot of help with day-to-day tasks.
That help is available thanks to virtual assistants who can offer that help and get paid as a result.
This is a big opportunity for somebody who wants to acquire digital skills or just wants to earn money online in a reliable way.
You can start this way and it could then lead to other things.
It is common for VAs to move on to create a Virtual Assistant agency of other freelancers who can also do the work.
You could even create a course or a programme to teach others how to become Virtual Assistants.
The key thing is that you've got to start somewhere, learn, and use your knowledge to create new opportunities.
The responsibilities of a VA could include,
- Email management,
- Admin tasks
- Creating presentations
- Managing a community
- Providing customer service
- Helping with email marketing, etc.
What you do in reality will depend on the type of business that you're supporting as a VA.
Why Virtual Assisting is Easy to Start
i. You're likely somebody who already has skills that a VA uses day-to-day in your job right now.
ii. It's easy to apply to become a VA now and then get better on the job.
iii. The job of a VA can be done from anywhere in the world.
iv. You don't need to be a young person to do it. Our VA, for example, is in her 50s.
In short, anyone from anywhere in the world can become a VA and serve people from different parts of the world.
How to Start Virtual Assisting
Here are some simple steps that you can follow to become a VA:
Step 1: Assess the Job Description
The first thing I'd do is look up a typical job description for a VA.
Make sure you are happy with the kinds of things that you're going to be doing to earn that extra money.
Step 2: Check Your Availability
Decide how much time you've got to commit to being a VA consistently.
Would that be enough to generate the sort of income you want to make on a regular basis?
Step 3: Use a Freelancer Website
Next is to check out freelance websites.
Also, reach out to people that you might follow online and offer your services because a lot of people need help but don't know where to get the help from.
Ask within your networks, and tell them you are starting to offer VA services, and people will let you know when they need that help.
Finally, note that you can be a VA for up to 4 businesses at once depending on how much time you have.
This is great for diversifying your risk whilst giving you a variety of interesting work.
3. CONTENT CREATING AND INFLUENCING
This is a wild card idea but hear me out 😀.
Every single one of us has a level of influence day to day.
Whether you're somebody in the public eye or in private or in between.
Your day-to-day influence could be in your workplace, at home with your children, or with your spouse, etc.
The more you embrace that influence, the better.
In order to monetise your influence, you need to learn to build a community around a particular topic.
You acquire a very powerful skill if you're someone who's able to control traffic and the attention that people have in a good way.
In our case, we do Personal Finance, Wealth building, and Entrepreneurship.
Your area might be that you're into parenting, travelling, vegan food, legal services, etc.
When you are focusing and talking about specific things in that niche, what happens over time (if you done consistently) is that you build an audience.
As your audience grows, you'll start to attract opportunities.
e.g. Sponsorships, Corporate partnerships, Joint Ventures, etc.
In fact, some people have done this to the extent that it has become their full-time career.
You don't obviously have to do that.
It could just be something you do on the side.
I can hear you right now saying, “Ken, I do not want to put myself out there”.
That used to be me too! Mine was even worse because I was labelled as “shy” growing up.
The good news is that:
- You're 100% in control of what content you share,
- Doing it anonymously is possible.
The key to doing this anonymously is to make sure that you're creating top-quality content.
Why Content Creating is Easy to Start
i) You can do this in your spare time.
ii) Anyone can do it. And as I said before, you don't have to show your face.
iii) You already consume content and you realise what good content looks like.
Why not create that good content and benefit from it?
How to Start Creating Content
Here is what to do:
Step 1: Decide what you want to be known for. i.e. What topics?
In our case, as I mentioned before, it's Personal Finance, helping people create Financial Joy in their lives.
That's our area. What is yours? 🤔
Step 2: Decide on one platform you want to create on.
Just choose one. Start with where your ideal customer hangs out the most.
We, for example, started with a blog, then after 2 years, started creating on our YouTube channel.
Then, after we got used to doing that, we then started creating on Instagram and so on.
Step 3: Post two or three times a week consistently.
You'd need a content plan.
e.g. I'm gonna post Mondays, Wednesdays Fridays.
That's your plan. You'd need a format for which you are posting.
Each of the platforms has different formats e.g. Carousels, Reels, Shorts, etc.
Do it consistently for 6 to 12 months and focus on helping people through your content. You will see yourself generating an income over time.
In addition to posting content periodically, I'd recommend creating what's known as a Media Kit after 6 to 12 months of posting consistently.
It's a PDF document that tells people, companies, and sponsors, what you charge for your various posts and services. Here is a snippet from ours:
Remember: Don't let the fear of “I don't want to put myself out there” hold you back.
Find a way to do it, and enjoy doing it from a creative perspective.
Above all, do it to help people on a journey.
I can't stress this enough otherwise you'd get frustrated because your intent was only on making money.
Tools To Use
In case you're wondering what tools to use, here are some recommendations.
These are the exact tools that we use at The Humble Penny and they're cost-effective and of high quality:
Webcam set-up: Get this webcam.
You can pair this with Vimeo and all your recordings get saved directly on Vimeo.
4. NICHE ONLINE COURSES
At our 5 am Club, we recently went through a case study of a lady who made $300,000 in one year from one online course talking about her experience of becoming a beginner investor.
The course cost around $500 and sold to around 600 people.
This is a life-changing amount of money 🤯.
You don't have to make that kind of money, obviously.
But the point remains online courses are a really lucrative way to use your existing skillset and expertise to generate some extra money on an ongoing basis.
The key is not to think that this is something that only other people can do. You can too! Believe it and you will.
Why Online Course Is Easy to Start
i) Most people have smartphones or phones with cameras to record with.
ii) There are platforms that are easily available for you to host your online courses.
iii) There are platforms that you can sell your online courses on to generate some money.
E.g. Skillshare, Udemy and so on, or even your own website. Click here to see an example of ours.
This is important especially if you don't have an audience to start with.
You get to keep most of the money that you make from your online courses.
How to Start Online Courses
Here are simple steps that you can follow to start creating and selling online courses:
Step 1: Teach what you already know, provided it's in demand.
For example, we have a course called Super Simple Investing, which was created to help beginner investors gain investing confidence in only 12 days.
We created it because it was knowledge we had and it was a demand from beginner investors who wanted to learn how to invest their money.
together with the knowledge and expertise and the demand we created something that people wanted.
So you need to teach something that you know that people are interested in.
Step 2: Create an outline and film your course
I'd suggest using Google Docs, it's free as a way to outline your course.
Think of it like you're outlining chapters in a book.
Aim for between 6 and 12 areas or chapters that you might want to create content on.
Then you want to head off and begin to film.
Use your smartphone, and make sure you've got a good microphone.
Make sure you've got decent lighting, like natural lighting or a ring light.
I shared links to some tools earlier.
Step 3: Choose how you're going to market the course.
You can choose an existing marketplace as I mentioned earlier, e.g. Skillshare, Udemy and so on.
Or you can choose to market this course by yourself on your own platform or a combination of both.
When it comes to marketing on those other platforms, having a bit of an audience or being known in some capacity always helps and gives you a bit of an advantage.
But that should not put you off because you've got to start somewhere and without starting somewhere, there's no way you get known.
For example at the beginning of The Humble Penny, no one knew who we were.
But today, people can search for the name The Humble Penny and we come up online, but we had to start somewhere in the first place.
5. BLOG AND NEWSLETTER
The final one is to start a blog and newsletter combo.
You might or might not be aware that newsletters have become a lot more popular.
Chances are, you're probably signed up for a bunch of newsletters already.
However, note that they're also very lucrative machines when it comes to running an online business.
The reason for this is because you can speak to your ideal customers whenever you want and no algorithm can stop that.
You control and own the data when you have your own newsletter.
Some people start only newsletters and that's all that they do.
However, I would actually do it a bit differently.
I'd start a blog and a newsletter because they are amazing complements to each other.
They work phenomenally well together.
But the reason why I'd pair the newsletter with a blog is:
i) Blogging will help you become better at writing.
If it's any consolation, just know that I was terrible at writing anything. But I didn't let it stop me.
Blogging regularly helped me become better at writing, which meant that I became better at doing my newsletters.
ii) Blogging provides an environment for you to grow your newsletter.
iii) A blog helps to diversify the income that you might generate from your newsletter.
For example, where in your newsletter, you might be selling some digital products and have some affiliates.
The blog takes things to a whole new level.
E.g. you might have some ad revenue, and sponsorships, and you might then sell your own digital products as well.
Essentially, it's like creating two separate platforms that work beautifully well together.
Why Blog And Newsletter Are Easy to Start
i) There are step-by-step guides that exist to help you start.
ow, why is this an easy online business start number one direct guide online to help you?
I've written a really amazing guide for how to start a blog and a newsletter.
ii) It is cheaper than a takeaway to actually start.
You need a website domain to start a blog and some cheap hosting.
We recommend this host for a beginner because it offers a free website domain name and cheaper hosting for The Humble Penny community.
But, there are many other hosts. e.g GoDaddy, Ionos, etc. So get whichever one you want.
iii) It's easy to start it alongside your day job.
You don't even have to worry about “I don't want to put myself out there.”
Just stay consistent and you'll find yourself generating some good income in a few months' time.
How to Start a Blog and Newsletter
Here are the steps you can follow to start a blog and newsletter:
Step 1: Read the step-by-step guide
The first step is to read the step-by-step guide that I shared earlier.
Step 2: Choose an email marketing software
I'd suggest using an email marketing software called ConvertKit for your newsletter. You can sign up for free.
Again, there are other email marketing softwares out there but this is one that I have direct experience with.
Step 3: Create something of value.
Think of it as an exchange for someone to join your newsletter and learn more from you.
It really helps to give them something upfront of great value.
It could be a downloadable PDF, printable, planner, calculator, etc.
Essentially, anything that is relevant to your niche and what you're going to be talking about in your newsletter.
In conclusion, starting an online business really begins in the mind 😀.
You have to believe that this is something that is available to you and not to other people on the internet and open up your mind to some ideas.
I've given you five on this post.
There are many others I could have talked about.
Please pick one, give it a few months, run with it, and put the work in consistently.
I can pretty much guarantee that you will get the results.
If you need coaching from me or want to join our 5 am Club or want to be part of a supportive community of others implementing these ideas and more, join Financial Joy Academy.
What To Read Next For The Easiest Online Business Ideas To Start:
- How To Start An Online Business In 7-DAYS
- 50 Best Side Hustle Ideas For An Extra £1,000 a Month
- 12 Reasons Why You Must Start An Online Business Today
What To Watch Next For The Easiest Online Business Ideas To Start:
What questions do you have about starting these ideas and bringing them to life? Comment below.