top 10 money making ideas

1. Sell custom products 

Product development isn’t the easiest route to making money, but it’s often the most rewarding, and it may not be as hard as you expect. Making custom products is popular amongst jewelry brands, fashion brands, and home décor brands, yet it expands through virtually any industry where you make things from scratch.

Some evergreen categories you could sell in are:

  • Apparel and clothing. Clothing is one of those categories that seems to always be trendy. People look for clothes and accessories that match their style and personality, which can make fashion a fun and profitable space to sell in. The market is expected to rise above $3 trillion by 2030. 
  • Home décor. Home décor is another popular sales category. People want to add personal touches to their space to make it feel cozy and enjoyable. You can sell home décor online to anyone, anywhere, at any time, while keeping overhead at a minimum. The home décor market is forecasted to reach $202 billion in 2024.
  • Health and beauty. The beauty and personal care industry is set to reach $716 billion by 2025. You have many options in this category: you can sell skin care, cosmetics, hair care, fragrances, vegan products, and more. Grand View Research identified growing demand for men’s grooming products and anti-aging products that are expected to drive the market over the coming years.
  • Arts and entertainment. While movie box office revenue took a -66% dive last year, some interesting areas show impressive growth in this multitrillion-dollar industry. Digital newspaper revenue saw a 10% increase, video game revenue saw a 6.9% lift in sales, and consumer books saw a 3.8% increase. The esports industry continues to see healthy growth in this segment, forecasted to reach $37 billion by 2024. In short, there are a lot of innovative and exciting products you could sell in the arts and entertainment industry. 
  • Food and beverage. The food and beverage industry will never die. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the segment is projected to grow at a rate of 8.21% per year, reaching $379 billion by 2025. It’s also poised for an ecommerce breakout, with up to 20% of food and beverage industry sales to be made online by 2025, a 10-times increase from 2016.

Evaluating market demand and following trends is a great place to start when finding popular things to make and sell. Once you have a product, you’ll want to start your business and set up a Shopify store with a free trial. And just like that, you’re ready to start selling!

2. Create a print-on-demand business

Print on demand refers to working with a supplier to customize white-label products with your own designs, then selling them under your own brand. Businesses can create products like hats, t-shirts, tote bags, and more. 

The best part? You don’t have to pay for any products until after you make a sale, and the print-on-demand business is one of the most straightforward ways to make money online.

When you work with a print-on-demand company, everything from printing the item to shipping is handled by the supplier. Once you set up an online store with your designs, it takes a few minutes to fulfill an order after the customer checks out. 

Creating a print-on-demand business is a great way to make money online for the following reasons:

  • You can create products fast. After you design a product, you can put it up for sale on your website in minutes.
  • You don’t have to worry about shipping. Your supplier will handle the fulfillment process. You’re just responsible for providing good customer service after the sale.
  • It’s low risk, low investment. It’s easy to add new products to your store and test ideas, since you don’t hold any inventory. Your upfront business costs are minimal because you only need an online store to start.

A print-on-demand business also gives creators many opportunities to connect with fans through nice products, especially products sought out for their aesthetic design. Take Boba Love, for example.

Boba Love Example

For all its products, the retailer focuses on one theme: bubble tea (also referred to as “boba”), a drink that originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s. Bubble tea has become extremely popular around the world and has a dedicated fan base.

Boba Love sells shirts, totes, blankets, hats, and stickers around the idea of the drink. When a shopper orders a product from the store, the supplier creates and ships it to the customer.

3. Make a subscription box

A subscription business provides customers with products on a recurring basis. The subscription ecommerce market is expected to reach $478 billion by 2025, with more customers taking advantage of it each year. Research from McKinsey found that 15% of US consumers have signed up for one or more subscriptions to receive products regularly. 

The benefits of creating a subscription box include:

  • Predictable revenue. Businesses know how much money is coming in each month and can plan growth initiatives accordingly.
  • More cash on hand. Subscription businesses ask for full payment upfront at a discounted price, which creates regular cash flow. 
  • Lower customer acquisition costs. Customers pay you on a regular basis, so you don’t need to convince them to make additional one-time purchases in your store.

Running a subscription business from home is a proven winner. Our research shows that 63% of founders who sold subscriptions were satisfied with business performance, compared to 55% of founders who did not sell subscriptions. 

Two types of subscription businesses that we found thrived in the past year were:

  • Replenishment model, where subscribers receive the same or similar products each cycle. An example of this would be grooming brand Harry’s. A customer purchases the Harry’s starter set, containing a handle, shaving gel, and razor cartridges. They then receive automatic gel and blade refills monthly, based on their usage and preferences. 
  • Membership model, where subscribers get access to exclusive products and perks in exchange for a monthly or yearly fee. Freelance writing community Peak Freelance runs on a membership model. Members pay a set fee and receive access to private Slack groups, on-demand tools and content, expert interviews, strategy sessions, and more.

4. Sell on marketplaces

Sell products on online marketplaces—but beware! Selling sites can be a great launchpad for many businesses, but the current marketplaces come with a Faustian bargain: you get access to customers if you build your business on someone else’s land. Their land, their rules—and they’ll change them at any time.

Popular marketplaces include: 

  • Etsy
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Handshake
  • Mercado Libre
  • Rakuten
  • Facebook Marketplace 
  • VarageSale 

Eventually, you’ll want to diversify your business by building your own site—you don’t have to choose one or the other. The big advantage is that the profit is yours: there are no fees to pay on sales and no rules to abide by but your own.

5. Sell digital products

Digital products are intangible assets or pieces of media that can be sold repeatedly online. They come in the form of streamable or downloadable files, such as PDFs, plug-ins, and templates. For example, if you’re passionate about music and have experience teaching it, you can teach lessons online through your own course.

Digital assets are becoming more popular because they have high profit margins. Sure, it may take some time and money to develop them, but once the media or software is made, it’s not expensive to store or deliver to customers. 

There is no limit to how many products you can sell. Digital products help creators scale themselves by using their expertise to create kits, printables, files, and other assets professionals can benefit from. As your online portfolio of digital products grows, you’ll naturally be in a better position to make more money from your own online store.

UX Kits sells wireflows, user personas, flowcharts, and other products to assist the design process.

UX kits

The brand has sold kits to over 10,000 designers, developers, and product managers in more than 100 countries. It’s since expanded to sell three physical products but continues to drive sales from the digital assets created years ago. 

Digital products aren’t just for business professionals. Home fitness business Street Parking sells a variety of digital products—from workout plans to online courses—and membership subscriptions for people who need at-home workouts.

street parking

Whatever you decide to create, figure out the needs of your target audience and work backward from there. Think about the kinds of assets they need/want and create products that are in demand. This will make it easier to sell and earn more money working from home.

6. Sell your creative work

It’s easier than ever for creators to sell their work online. Whether it’s music, videos, digital art, photography, magazines, or podcasts, you can set up a digital shop and start selling with little limitation. 

While selling creative work sounds similar to digital products, the difference is that your products are more creative ventures. They are a way to express yourself online versus satisfying a buyer’s needs. Creators and artists who don’t have a network or connections with galleries and PR can now make money online doing something they love. 

What started as a cartoon on Instagram for Harry Hambley has grown into an international icon and ecommerce brand. As described in an interview with the BBC, the Ketnipz creator skipped university to draw cartoons online.


And Hambley’s strategy certainly paid off. The Ketnipz brand has over 3.2 million followers on Instagram, sells clothing and accessories online, and can even be found on murals around the world. 

Using a combination of social media and an online store, you can make money online. Start building an active presence and engaging with your audience to establish your brand and find new customers.

7. Monetize an audience

Monetizing an audience is definitely a challenging endeavor, but the creator-to-commerce business model is becoming more successful in modern times. Bloggers and influencers today don’t need to be internet celebrities to make money from home online. All they have to do is find their people on one or two platforms and they can turn their audience into passive income.

Sonja Detrinidad, founder of Partly Sunny Projects, an online plant shop, turned one of her part-time pre-pandemic hobbies into a full-time business through TikTok marketing. She didn’t set out to become TikTok’s favorite plant mom, but discovered by accident the possibilities of monetizing an audience.

Partly Sunny Projects

Sonja processed more than 1,200 orders in one month at the height of plant-shopping season last summer. She also increased her subscription box customers by more than four times since becoming a TikTok sensation, with over 350,000 followers on the platform.

Some ways you can monetize an audience are:

  • Building your own website and selling online
  • Through affiliate marketing commissions
  • Using Instagram shoppable posts
  • Starting a YouTube channel or other social media account and running ads
  • Adding Google AdSense to an active blog

Regardless of how you go about it, monetizing an audience is a legitimate way to make money from home. It may take some time to build a targeted audience, but the investment will be well worth your time in the long run.

8. Become a freelancer

One home business idea becoming more popular is offering freelance services to clients online. Almost any role a business would hire for can potentially be filled by a freelancer:

  • Writing 
  • Graphic design
  • Marketing
  • Data entry
  • Illustration
  • Transcription 
  • Online tutoring
  • Shopify store setup

Most of these services are best positioned toward business clients. Why? Because online businesses are the ones who are willing to spend. Freelancers can charge based on the outcome of their work versus the deliverable, which gives them leverage when it comes to pricing their services.

“Every freelancer eventually learns that there are desired business outcomes tied to their work,” explains Elise Dopson, co-founder of Peak Freelance. “Freelance writers, for example, are not just blogging for a company. They are creating content that increases traffic, leads, and customers for a business. The sooner you learn that, and can deliver on it, the more money you’ll make freelancing from home.”

Elise has worked with brands such as CXL, HubSpot, Privy, and other leading B2B software-as-a-service companies to produce incredible content that gets results, which is how she broke the six-figure-income ceiling by the age of 21 all on her own schedule.

Peak Freelance homepage

If you have a passion for writing, designing, or organizing stuff, turn it into a freelance service. 

As more companies become completely remote, the opportunities to earn money from home freelancing will only become more abundant. It just takes a little know-how and determination to make it happen.

9. Become a virtual assistant

With so many businesses moving online, the demand for virtual assistants is growing. Virtual assistants (VAs) are contractors who work with businesses and individuals on the jobs they are given. 

Virtual assistants work from home and help with tasks such as:

  • Time management and administrative tasks, like responding to emails
  • Financial tasks, like bookkeeping and client invoicing 
  • Team management tasks, like following up on deliverables, organizing training sessions, and creating task templates
  • Social media and digital marketing tasks, like publishing and managing content
  • Personal tasks, like managing investment properties, paying bills, and planning trips 
  • Content tasks, like video or podcast editing

Each VA has their own speciality. I myself have worked with VAs for years in my writing business, many of whom make a full-time living as virtual assistants. 

You can make good money with a small number of clients, but once you stop working, the cash flow stops coming. VAs can start a blog, sell digital products, or coach other VAs to create new revenue streams and make more money from home.

10. Become a reseller 

Don’t want to worry about creating new products or about minimum purchase quantities? Not a problem. You don’t need a revolutionary product idea to make money from home. Instead, you can become a reseller.

A reseller is a person who buys products from manufacturers, liquidators, and other retailers, then sells them to their own customers. A reseller permit lets your purchase certain products free of sales tax:

  • Products to sell at wholesale 
  • Products to sell at retail 
  • Components to manufacture products 

You can find suppliers to purchase items from through a number of ways:

  1. A dropshipping supplier like DSers or SaleHoo
  2. Vintage boutiques 
  3. Consignment shops
  4. Facebook Marketplace

COAL N TERRY is one retailer that sells a vintage collection in its online store. The brand sells classic clothing alongside its own proprietary brand of hoodies and other apparel, giving shoppers a variety of products to browse and buy.

Coal n Terry

A reselling business can be profitable if you have niche expertise, like beauty or fashion. You can launch an ecommerce store fast when you don’t have to go through product development or building an audience from scratch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *