If you’ve turned in your resignation (or are very close to doing so) and have been wondering, “What do I do now?” Good News! I’ve put together this comprehensive list of Profitable Online Business Ideas for 2021 (and beyond) just for you.

It’s important to note the ‘and beyond’ piece here because below I also explain why some online business ideas just didn’t make the cut. This is so you don’t end making the mistake so many new entrepreneurs make when they first start exploring online business.

I’ve taken the time to break this list up into (6) Categories (so as not to overwhelm you), plus I’m linking to some places I can definitely recommend for getting started. Be sure to download your Purpose to Profits Workbook to help you kickstart your journey!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can find my full disclosure page here.

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What Makes An Online Business Idea ‘Profitable’?

It was really important to me when putting this list together that I was clear on my qualifications for ‘profitable’. I’ve been doing this for a while now and I’ve seen so many women get scammed or start businesses that are not sustainable and extremely vulnerable to economic recessions.

I don’t want to see that happen to you, so I’ll be upfront in saying that certain types of businesses are just not going to be on this list such as MLM, Online Survey, Transcription, Face Mask eCommerce, etc.

Instead, this list is about sustainable businesses that can replace your Corporate Job now and in the future. If you’ve been researching ‘how to make money online’ you should always be suspect of:

  • Jobs that seem ‘too good to be true’ i.e. ‘make $100/hr taking surveys online’.
  • Jobs that require you to stock inventory that you have to sell i.e. literally all MLMs.
  • Jobs that are based on a short-term ‘trend’ i.e. selling face masks.

Legitimate and Sustainable Online Business Ideas

That being said, there are plenty of online business ideas that are not only legitimate and sustainable, but in-demand (now and in the future). Here’s why:

  1. They require you to know or learn an always in-demand skill (i.e. Coding, Marketing, Photography etc.).
  2. They don’t require extensive (or expensive) education (i.e. Certifications that usually take less than 6 mo).
  3. They allow you to have multiple streams of income (from 1:1 or Consulting to Digital Products, your in-demand skill can be monetized in many ways).
  4. They allow you to have flexibility (since you won’t have things like inventory etc. that you have to manage).
  5. They have extremely low start-up costs (most of the ideas on this list will cost less than $500 to start – especially if you already have experience from school or work).

Okay, I won’t drag on any longer (I mean really, what is this, recipe blog?…)

Read More: How To Start An Online Business

Web/Graphic Design

The difference being Web & Graphic Designers usually design the front end of websites and applications. Everything you see as ‘pretty’ on the front end, they create what are called mockups or wireframes using tools like Adobe Photoshop or XD, etc. Think of them like home decor experts, but for the internet (they make sure everything looks good and makes sense for the user).

But don’t take it lightly. I mean how many times have you clicked away from a website or deleted an app because the design was terrible or difficult to navigate?

Online Business Ideas:

  • Freelance Web Designer
  • Freelance UI/UX Designer
  • Etsy or Creative Market Seller

Getting Started: Code Academy

Web/App Development

Web Developers take what Web Designers Mockup and turn them into the actual code that either displays the designs or runs the actual website. Developers usually specialize in either Front-End Code (HTML, CSS, and Javascript) or Back-End Code (PHP, Python, Node.js, etc.). On this list I’ve broken Web Design from Web Development even though many agency owners have both Web Design Skills and Front-End Development Skills.

Also it’s worth noting that Web Development is so high in-demand that it’s unbelievably cheap to get professional certifications with many companies like Google, IBM, and more launching their own programs increase the qualified candidate pool.

Online Business Ideas:

  • Web App Developer
  • WordPress Developer
  • Full-Stack Developer

Getting Started: Coursera

Freelance Writing

This blog post takes a lot of time and energy to write. Now, while I love writing (so it’s easier for me than others) many business-owners hate it! And will pay a handsome fee to have someone with more time and skill write all of their content for them. If you worked in the marketing department, graduated with an english or marketing degree, or simply just love writing – this could be an extremely viable online business for you.

Online Business Ideas:

  • Copywriter
  • Blogger
  • Grant Writer
  • Resume Writer

Getting Started: The Write Hustle

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing has its own category exclusive of because it’s so broad. And that’s one of the things that I think makes it both amazing and overwhelming for people who are interesting in getting into the field. Technically, any skill having to do with content (i.e. text, video, audio, images, etc.) can be monetized in some way. This is why digital marketing is perfect for those who enjoy creative (less analytical) work.

Please note that when I mention Photography, this could be either work you do for a business/company or it could be digital products you sell like Stock Photography (which is also really in-demand right now).

Online Business Ideas:

  • Social Media Manager/Consultant
  • Public Relations Consultant
  • Content Marketing Manager
  • Photography, Video, or Audio Editing
  • SEO Consultant
  • Digital Advertising Consultant
  • Email Marketing Consultant

Getting Started: HubSpot Academy

Online Coaching

Arguably one of the most positive things that came out of 2020 was that everyone looked around and realized they don’t have everything together in their lives. Not even a little bit. Which is great for you if you feel called to help them do so! Coaching is another dynamic industry that is going to keep growing as people have continued seek out holistic alternatives to traditional therapy models.

And make no mistake, Coaches are not therapists! As coaches, it’s your job to help others feel empowered to make the changes in their life themselves. So if you’re the type who needs to take control, this may not be the business for you.

Online Business Ideas:

  • Mindset Coaching
  • Relationship Coaching
  • Spiritual Coaching
  • Business Coaching
  • Health Coaching
  • Money Coaching
  • Career/Leadership Coaching

Getting Started: Yes Supply, Inc.


There are a lot of moving pieces to running a small business. From Legal to Accounting, these are all necessary components but most don’t have the knowledge, skills, or time to do them. This is why Freelance Administrative Fields average between $50 – $150/hr.

If you’ve worked as an accountant, lawyer, administrative assistant, etc. in your corporate job, and genuinely love what you do but not who you do it for…then starting your own freelancing business might be the perfect solution. It’s perfect because it provides you with more variety plus flexibility over your income and time.

Online Business Ideas:

  • Small -Business Legal Advisor
  • Small-Business Accountant
  • Small Business Bookkeeper
  • SAAS Consultant
  • IT/Cybersecurity Consultant
  • Virtual Assistant

Getting Started: The Virtual Savvy

Ready To Get Started?

If something on this list has piqued your interest and you’re read to get started, you can grab a copy of my Purpose to Profits which includes a 35-Page Workbook and 45-Minute Planning Session!

this is a graphic mockup of the purpose to profits workbook and is pink with screen shots of the workbook pages


Need to get organized a create a plan to grow your online business? Then you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of this 35-Page Workbook + Planning Session. It includes everything you need to get started on your journey!

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