Top 21 Most Profitable Online Businesses in 2024

April 25, 2024

The top most profitable online businesses in 2024 are the following.

  • Local lead generation specialist
  • Digital marketing
  • Selling collectibles online
  • Graphic design
  • App development

In addition, other worthwhile online ventures to pursue include affiliate marketing, dropshipping, print on demand, and more. Depending on your interests and talents, you can pick from all these 20 options we’ve listed below. Besides, these industries are growing and there’s definitely plenty of opportunities for your expertise if you know where to look. We’ve included helpful information and links for each business model, along with the estimated income so you know what to expect.

I’ve personally tried some of these online businesses myself and I’ve found out local lead generation is the best one for me. Compared with other businesses, lead generation has brought me the most income. I started in 2014 and I’m still in the industry many years later.  

21 most profitable online businesses in 2024

1. Local lead generation specialist

Local lead generation is profitable because there is low overhead and your profit margins are over 80% to 90%. After you rank your properties on Google, they generate leads on autopilot. You don't have to continue maintaining the site every day. Local lead generation focuses on targeting customers in a specific geographic location. As a lead generation specialist, you will help small businesses increase their search engine ranking. That way, they can gain organic traffic and have more leads - which could translate to a greater number of potential customers.

To be a lead gen expert, it’s worth investing in a good lead generation course. Learning from the experts will allow you to learn all the needed SEO knowledge and skills to succeed on your own.

For more information on the subject, go read our post on how to start a lead generation business for insane profits.

Average earning:

up to $60,000 a month

What you need to get started:

SEO expertise, marketing skills

2. Digital marketing

Digital marketing is profitable because there are over 311 million internet users in the United States. Experts are predicting the industry will reach $807 billion by 2026.  

As a professional digital marketer, you will devise and run marketing strategies for your clients. You’ll be in charge of building the brand’s credibility and visibility. To achieve that, you’ll need to perform extensive market and competitor research.

For the most part, you will be doing content marketing, email marketing, PPC advertising, video marketing, and other marketing methods.

Average earning:

$106,000 to $139,000 per year

What you need to get started:

marketing knowledge, access to various marketing software

3. Selling collectibles online

Selling collectibles is profitable because there are many people who are into collectibles. As a collectibles seller, you’re targeting a specific market: collectors willing to spend big, especially for rare and valuable items. Some popular items to sell online are listed below.

  • antique coins
  • comic books
  • fine art
  • movie posters
  • rock n’ roll memorabilia
  • sports items
  • sneakers
  • stamps
  • toys
  • trading cards
  • vintage jewelry
  • watches

Meanwhile, you can sell collectibles via ecommerce platforms shown below. 

You can also create a Facebook business page, use Facebook Marketplace, and join collector groups to promote your items.  

Average earning:

$94,000 per year

What you need to get started:

collectibles, shipping supplies (boxes, bubble wraps, tapes,  etc)

4. Graphic design

Graphic design is profitable because almost every business can benefit from a graphic designer to improve their brand's visual appearance. Graphic artists and designers can also find plenty of opportunities to earn online. For example, you can offer your services to different businesses. You can design marketing materials like brochures, calendars, business cards, flyers, newsletters, posters, social media banners, stickers, and others. 

Alternatively, you can also earn in the publishing industry by creating comic books, coloring books, magazines, and others. You can also check these passive income ideas for artists to see what else can graphic designers earn from.

Average earning:

$93,000 or more

What you need to get started:

a computer, graphic tablet, stylus

5. App development

App development is profitable because experts expect that mobile apps will generate a revenue of over $935 billion this 2024. Currently, there are over 2.87 million apps on Google Play Store and 1.96 million apps on Apple App Store.

As a developer, creating mobile apps can serve as a profitable passive income source. Your goal should be to create an app that people will want to buy and use. So make sure your app offers value, has quick loading time, and is user-friendly. Also, take time testing your app before selling it to the public.

Average earning:

$83,000 to $121,000 per year

What you need to get started:

app building platforms (such as Android Studio, BuildFire, Xamarin, Xcode, etc)

6. Private tutoring

Private tutoring is profitable according to CNBC because tutors can earn between $15 to $100  per hour depending on the subject they teach. With online private tutoring, you can teach people interested in learning about your expertise or certain academic subjects. For example, you can provide coaching (entrepreneurship, physical fitness, music lessons, and others) or academic tutoring (language, mathematics, science, etc).  

Tutoring can be a profitable business idea, especially if you can accommodate a number of students in your schedule. In most cases, you will be teaching students one-on-one, although you may also accept online group classes. 

Here are some of the top sites to help you find private tutoring jobs.

Other than that, you can build a page and start advertising your tutorial services on social media to receive referrals from friends and family members.

Average earning:

$82,000 per year

What you need to get started:

good camera, stable internet connection, video conferencing app, microphone, headset, teaching module, education background and/or certification

7. Voice over jobs

Voice over jobs are profitable because your income potential is unlimited. With this business, you can use your voice talents for projects like advertisements, animation, audiobooks, documentaries, instructional videos, and more. You can start earning by signing up with the platforms listed here.

Average earning:

$81,000 per year

What you need to get started:

computer or laptop, microphone, recording software, quiet space (preferably a soundproof room)

8. Podcasting

Podcasting is profitable because there are over 460 million podcast listeners globally. When done right, podcasting can also be a good source of income. To attract sponsors and advertisers, you have to release new episodes consistently and build a community around your show. Other ideas to make money include affiliate marketing, crowdfunding, offering paid membership tiers, and selling official merchandise.

To get started, you can upload your podcast in the following platforms.

Average earning:

$73,000 a year

What you need to get started:

audio interface, audio recording and editing software, headphone, microphone, pop filter

9. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is profitable because 80% of brands use affiliate marketing programs. As an affiliate, you will promote another company’s product or service on your website, podcast, or social media posts through a referral link. You can then receive commissions with each click, lead, or sale that you bring to their business.  

Affiliate marketing is fairly low cost and low risk. There are no huge upfront costs required. All you need is a successful online presence and a reliable affiliate program. Plus it's possible to increase your earnings by accommodating ads from multiple companies.

Average earning:

$58,000 to $158,000 per year (with cash bonus, commission, and profit sharing)

What you need to get started:

a website, social media channel, and/or a podcast

10. Translation services

Translation services are profitable because, according to a study by ShareAmerica, there are between 350 and 430 different languages spoken in the United States. If you’re fluent in more than one language but don’t want to teach students, you can find work as a translator. Book publishers, international lawyers, online businesses, politicians, religious sects, and other customers are always in need of translators for written or spoken content.  Some of the top trending languages for translation services are Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Aside from language expertise, you also need to have cultural knowledge to avoid mistakes and misinterpretations in your output.  

Check out these sites for translation opportunities.

Average earning:

$57,000 to $65,000 per year

What you need to get started:

computer, communication skills, computer-assisted translation software

11. Video editing

Video editing is profitable because, according to HubSpot, 91% of businesses use video marketing to promote their products and services.

As a skilled video editor, you will find plenty of opportunities to earn as you work with local and international brands. Other than that, you can also edit videos for YouTubers, musicians, or special events. 

Average earning:

$53,000 to $66,000 per year

What you need to get started:

computer, video editing software (Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro, etc)

12. Print on demand

Print on demand is profitable because according to Gelato, the average monthly income for a print on demand company is between $4,600 and $9,800 per month. For your print on demand business, you will need to create original designs for hats, mugs, shirts, stickers, sweatshirts, tote bags, and other items. As buyers place orders, you will then forward each one to your supplier - who will handle printing and shipping of the merchandise. 

Some major print on demand companies include the following.

For the creative types who enjoy marketing their designs, this can be a rewarding way to earn passive income online.

Average earning:

$4,600 per month

What you need to get started:

original digital designs, marketing skills

13. Blogging and freelance writing

Blogging and freelance writing is profitable because the average salary for a blogger is $50,000. You have two options for this: 1) starting your own blog and/or 2) working for clients as a ghostwriter. 

Either way, your major investment here is your writing skill. As long as you can deliver quality content, people will keep reading your blog and businesses will keep hiring you. 

To start making money as a blogger, you’ll need to monetize your own blog via Google Adsense. You can also accept sponsored posts and do affiliate marketing. Some of the top blogging platforms you can use include the ones listed below.

Meanwhile, prepare a solid portfolio and determine your rate if you’re planning to offer your services to different companies. 

Average earning:

$45,000 to $53,000 per year

What you need to get started:

a laptop/desktop computer, writing tools (such as  grammar checker and keyword research software)

If you want to start a blog business and are ready to invest in a blog course, you can check my articles about My Freedom Empire and The WordPress Studio tech course. 

14. Data entry

Data entry is profitable because businesses need to have their operations organized. and streamlined. Depending on your availability, data entry can be a good side hustle or full-time business. Most of your tasks will be about organizing, tracking, and analyzing information. You will work with large corporate clients in need of data entry experts to transfer documents into digital spreadsheets. 

So is a data entry business profitable? Well, according to reports

“Profit margins of 5% or less may be typical for a startup with little experience. However, those margins can grow to over 20% if processes are streamlined.”

Average earning:

$42,000 per year

What you need to get started:

a computer, text or word processor, spreadsheet, dedicated data entry software

15. Stock photography

Selling stock photography is profitable because, according to ZipRecruiter, stock photographers are making between $25,000 and $55,000 per year. Whether you’re an amateur or a professional photographer, you can earn extra income by selling your work online. Stock photo websites accept and pay for submissions from photographers across the world.   

Shutterstock, for example, has paid out more than $1 billion to its photographers in the last 5 years. Their website allows you to “showcase your work and grow your skills by joining our international community.” 

Other popular stock photo platforms for contributors include the following.

Average earning:

$37,000 to $81,000 per year

What you need to get started:

DSLR camera, photography equipment

16. Starting a YouTube channel

YouTube is profitable because there are over 2.7 billion YouTube users in the world. To make money from YouTube, you will need video creation and editing skills. Of course, you also need to get monetized via Google Adsense. You can achieve this after your channel hits 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours. 

Take note, however, that your potential income will depend on your location and number of views. Plus it can help if you choose among YouTube’s high-paying niches. Other than that, you may also consider doing affiliate marketing or selling your own merch on your channel. 

Average earning:

around $4,600 per month

What you need to get started:

 a good camera, video editing software, a Google account

17. Offering virtual assistant services

Working as a virtual assistant is profitable because companies can save 78% of their costs by hiring VAs. A virtual assistant is a general term for a self-employed remote worker who provides administrative services to clients. Responsibilities may include answering emails or phone calls, booking travel arrangements, conducting market research, creating presentations, and scheduling meetings, among others.

You can make money working full-time or part-time as a virtual assistant. Top portals to check out for VA opportunities include the following.

Other than that, you can also form your own VA company by recruiting team members and serving several businesses.

Average earning:

$23 per hour or more

What you need to get started:

a desktop/laptop computer, good internet connection, administrative skills, time tracker, and other professional VA software

18. Teaching an online course

Teaching an online course is profitable because online learning is in high demand. According to Exploding Topics, 73% of students in the US “want to continue taking online classes after the pandemic.” Meanwhile, 90% of companies provide their employees with “some form of digital learning.”

To succeed, you’ll need to design a high-value course and produce quality teaching videos. Topics could range from digital illustration and music production, to social media marketing and web development, to fitness and budgeting, depending on your expertise.

Since you’re offering a course digitally, you’re not limited to students in your area. You can offer it to international learners as well.

Here are some top platforms for selling your online courses.

Average earning:

$1,000 to $10,000 per month

What you need to get started:

camera, software (screencasting, video editing), teaching skills

19. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is profitable because the industry is valued at over $197 billion. By 2027, it is estimated to reach $500 billion. Dropshipping allows you to sell products without worrying about physical inventory. Instead, you market the items to potential buyers while your partner vendor handles storing and shipping duties. You can then earn 20% to 30% of commission from each sale.

If you’re good at sales and want to start an online store without the hassles of inventory, dropshipping can be perfect for you.

Here are some dropshipping companies you should check out.

Average earning:

$1,000 to $5,000 per month

What you need to get started:

digital marketing skills, around $150 to start a dropshipping business site

20. Amazon FBA

Amazon FBA is profitable because in 2022, 89% of Amazon sellers were profitable. FBA is a service that allows sellers to simplify the fulfillment and shipment of their products.  

First, you’ll choose products to sell online and then find a vendor that can provide you with the supplies. Next, you will send the items to Amazon Fulfillment centers where they store your products while waiting for customer orders. Once the orders come in, Amazon will handle everything - from logistics and tracking, to customer inquiries and returns.  

When pursuing this online business idea, be sure to avoid committing common mistakes that lead some to lose money on Amazon FBA.

Average earning:

$1,000 per month or higher 

What you need to get started:

Amazon seller software tools (such as Helium10, Jungle Scout, Repricer, Viral Launch, etc)  

21. Recruiting

Recruiting stands as one of the topmost profitable online businesses, driven by an average of 12.4 million monthly job seekers in the U.S. during 2023. It also includes 7.5 million employed individuals actively seeking new opportunities that presents 56% of the employed population.

To leverage this opportunity, launch a recruiting platform like LinkedIn or Indeed. Then, utilize tools such as applicant tracking systems (ATS), CRM software, and AI-driven analytics to efficiently match a vast pool of job seekers with suitable employment opportunities.

Average earning:

$8,535 per month

What you need to get started:

You need a strong network, knowledge of hiring practices, and access to a reliable candidate sourcing platform such as Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, Toptal, and Guru.

What are global online business trends this 2024?

Online businesses continue to grow globally as indicated by reports on online business trends this year. Here are some interesting statistics.


  • According to estimates, there are over 26 million e-commerce sites across the world right now.
  • The top 5 countries with the most ecommerce sites are the United States (9.5 million), United Kingdom (0.85 million), Germany (0.46 million), Brazil (0.44 million), and Australia (0.39 million).
  • Experts expect that around 22% of all retail sales will be from e-commerce businesses in 2023. By 2040, it is estimated that 95% of purchases will be through ecommerce.
  • Total worldwide ecommerce sales is expected to hit $6.31 trillion in 2023 and will increase by as much as 56% to $8.14 trillion in 2026, reports Statista.
  • As of February 2023, the affiliate marketing industry is worth over $17 billion and is recognized globally.
  • Asia leads the global retail e-commerce revenue at 2.055 trillion, while the Americas has 1.137 trillion and Europe has 722.4 billion.

Social media

  • As for social media purchases, 85% of online orders are from Facebook.
  • 43% of shoppers across the world do product research via social media before making a purchase.
  • Facebook Business communities see a regular growth of about 8% per month.
  • Online stores with social media pages/accounts sell more than 32% compared with those that don’t use social platforms.

Which trends in digital marketing should we anticipate continuing into the future?

Expert forecasts and reports on digital marketing trends show how some marketing methods are expected to continue growing this year and beyond. Case in point, digital advertising spend in the US is expected to reach $297.4 billion this year. This is an increase of 13.9% compared with 2022’s $261.1 billion.

As business owners and marketers plan their campaigns, here are some important factors to keep in mind.

Affiliate marketing

According to Google Trends, online interest in affiliate marketing has been gradually increasing since 2016, peaking in January 2023.

Email marketing

Revenue in email marketing will be crossing the $10-billion milestone in 2023

Mobile advertising

According to App Annie, worldwide mobile ad spending is set to grow by 7.5% and hit $362 this year.

Social media advertising

On a worldwide scale, social media ad spending is anticipated to reach $268.7 billion in 2023, reports Statista.

Video advertising

Statista likewise reports that video advertising spending is expected to hit $210.2 billion in 2023

Usage of long-tail keywords

Over 70% of all web searches use long-tail keywords, according to Search Engine Watch. Given that long-tail keywords generate a 35% conversion rate, it’s definitely an important factor in a successful digital marketing campaign.   

To illustrate, check out the SEM Rush graphic below: 

The advantages of an online business vs. an offline business

Running an online business has several distinct advantages over an offline business. Consider the following factors.

Online business

Lower overhead costs. Can be run entirely from home.

Flexible working hours. Not limited to regular opening hours. Can operate 24/7.

Global market reach. Can accommodate both local and international customers.

Offline business

Higher overhead costs. Requires renting a physical store, along with purchasing office equipment and furniture.

Fixed working hours. In most cases, offline businesses have to operate 9 to 5. 

Local market. Usually limited to local customers.

Depending on their business model, online entrepreneurs may also earn passive income. This can lead to greater profits since they make money even in their sleep.

Of course, one key to success is to build your online venture around your passion. Doing so will motivate you to keep going during challenging times. It can also be more rewarding in the long run. But, if you already have a business and you are having a hard time reaching a wide audience, Ranking Academy may help you. 

What online business is ideal for beginners?

The ideal online business for a beginner depends on their passion, skill, and amount of money they’re willing to invest. I would, however, recommend local lead generation as a business model.   

Besides, local lead generation requires no educational or professional background to get you started. As long as you have the needed SEO knowledge and skills to rank websites and deliver organic traffic, you can earn passive income.

In fact, I’m speaking from personal experience when I say this. I’ve been in the industry for years after trying different business models online. Eventually, I focused on lead generation as it has helped me earn more than other businesses. 

We have a coaching program where we can show you how to make websites, rank them on Google Search, and then offer it to local businesses as a digital real estate for rent. Today, I have over 50 lead generation websites I rent out to businesses that pay me anywhere from $500 to $2,500 per month. And they willingly keep paying since I bring them organic search engine traffic - which translates to leads and sales - for their brands.  

Final thoughts: Why local lead generation can be the best online business for you

Local lead generation can be the best online business because it’s practical, easy to learn, and can generate you passive income. 

I’ve been working from home on my laptop since 2014 and lead generation has taken my life to a whole new level. Years ago, I was working in an office with a monthly salary of $2,500. I’ve since tried different online businesses (affiliate marketing, Amazon FBA, Dropshipping, etc)  and lead generation has helped me earn the most. In fact, I’m now making $60,000 each month.   

Today, our lead generation coaching program has provided instruction to more than 7,000 students. We’ve taught students interested to learn lead generation and also entrepreneurs who want to rank their own websites. 

They’ve seen how lead gen business is something they can do without expensive overhead costs. Plus it’s possible to grow earnings as they rank and rent multiple websites for different local businesses.

In addition, ranking a local business website is relatively easy since you’re just targeting keywords in a specific area. You’re not competing with thousands of companies but only around 10 to 20 local businesses. Once you achieve the top spot on Google results, you can then rent out your website to interested business owners. This strategy attracts brands better than other digital marketing techniques since you already prove you can deliver leads for them. They’d be glad to pay you top money so they can get a continuous stream of organic search engine traffic.

If this sounds interesting to you, then let’s talk. We’d be glad to help you start your own lead gen journey. You’d be surprised how you can achieve amazing results in a matter of months.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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  1. I am looking to start an online business and my research shows me Lead Generation has potential, but I honestly do not understand how it works. Please explain (lead generation for dummies..LOL)

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