Furloughs and salary cuts are making it difficult to make ends meet. For many Americans starting their own business and becoming self-employed is now an obvious choice. Here are some very practical ideas with long term business potential. Done right, these online businesses can help you do much more than merely make a living.

Blogging

For those of us who take a result-oriented approach, blogging has proven time and again to be highly profitable. There are blogs on almost every topic under the sun. The most popular ones generate incomes in 6-7 figures every year. One notable case study is Neil Patel’s blog. This blogger is recognized by Forbes as one of the top ten digital marketers in the world. In one post he writes that his blog attracts 2.4 million unique visitors a year, and generates $380,000 in revenue per month. By hosting well-targeted, high-quality posts and monetizing your blog right it is possible to make far more than a full-time job’s income.

YouTubing

A YouTube channel is another creative business idea. Like many digital businesses the income you earn from a video channel is not proportionate to the time you spend on it. An uploaded video may be viewed millions of times. This keeps generating ad income for the channel even as the YouTuber may be away on vacation. Successful YouTubers have made fortunes with their channels. A particularly successful example is Ryan’s World. It is a children’s YouTube channel that has 22.4 million subscribers. According to Shopify the channel earned $22 million between 2017 and 2018. The most direct form of earning from your YouTube channel is advertising revenue. You can also use your channel for affiliate marketing, which involves marketing the products and services of other companies. These affiliates pay you a portion of their revenues as long as your channel generates sales for them.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a business model that involves selling physical products without owning any inventory. The dropshipper markets and sells the products of wholesalers at a profit margin. This is possible via your own dropshipping website, or over platforms such as Amazon and Alibaba. Customers send money online to pay for the goods you’re selling. The wholesaler then ships the goods to the customer. Positive customer reviews will see your business continually grow. The main benefit of this model is that the dropshipper never needs to purchase inventory. All you need is good digital marketing skills and the right channel partners. One relatively new dropshipper, Marc Chapon, was able to make $60,000 in a month through this model.

E-commerce

Nowadays it is fairly easy to create an e-commerce store to sell physical and digital products. For example, you can start an e-commerce business that sells clothing and accessories. This is possible by using established e-commerce platforms like Amazon (which is the largest digital marketplace) and eBay. You can also create an e-commerce store from scratch using website building tools such as Wix and WordPress. One example of a successful online retail company is Warby Parker, which is in the eyewear market. You can also choose to sell digital products such as e-books, online courses, and application downloads. These can be the more convenient and cheaper options than selling physical goods.

Subscription software

Cloud-based software applications allow users to download and use them on their devices. This model can be monetized in multiple ways including ad revenue, subscription fees, and so on. Software can be platform-specific (such as the Google Play Store), or cross-platform (such as Skype). A particularly noteworthy success story in this domain is a startup (and application) called Notion. It started as a note-taking app, and is currently valued at $2 billion. If you have a penchant for finding ways to make mundane digital tasks interesting, you can be a runaway success too.

Online consulting

Businesses and startups often need to consult experts on their essential but non-core areas. These could range from tax advice to regulatory compliance. With face-to-face consulting out of the picture, online consulting is the new normal. Start a new business to offer consultancy services in digital marketing, business development, financial management, taxation, publishing, technology, or wherever else your expertise lies. You can find clients by marketing on social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Expand your business by hiring employees that work remotely. Dana Mwangi is an American brand strategist who runs an online consultancy practice that she started in 2012. Another example is Daniel Siegel, who has a successful online business strategy consultancy in Germany since 2015.

About the author:- Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.