17 min read
You’ve always dreamed of having your own ecommerce business, of being your own boss, but you’re not sure what to sell online.
There may not be a more critical business question than choosing what to sell. Sure, you have a great idea. But how you package that product is essential to your success. Here’s a quick rundown of the possibilities.
What to Sell Online: Digital Products
Born on the internet, digital products are ideal for a side business. There are no shipping hassles, you don’t have to worry about inventory, and they are relatively cheap to produce. You simply create your digital masterpiece and your ecommerce platform handles all aspects of the transaction, including sales, security, and downloading.
Online services are a great online possibility, especially in the fitness, nutrition, and business industries. These generally include some type of personal consultation along with videos, guides, or an online course.
What to Sell Online: Physical Products
Selling physical products offers new businesses with two distinct possibilities for what to sell. First, you can invent, create, build or manufacture your own product. Or you could become a wholesale distributor of someone else’s products.
While digital products are mostly informative or entertaining, people love the option of buying their favorite physical products online. In fact, Cyber Monday sales may overtake Black Friday sales in the near future because many consumers prefer the simplicity of online shopping.
Here are 20+ incredible ideas for what to sell online:
27. Sell Social Media Courses
Are you a qualified social media marketer? Do people come to you for tricks or tips on navigating the social web? If you answered yes, then you could create social media courses to sell online. Many people are looking to improve their social media skills, while others want to learn tips and tricks to help them save time.
Start by putting together 2 or 3 courses and detailing what each one involves, along with the pricing and what the client can gain from purchasing your courses. This is another niche where you need to convince your customer that they need your course to improve their business.
28. Making YouTube Videos
Obviously, YouTube is a booming platform. Influencers have popped up around the world covering an enormous range of topics and interest areas. Finding what to sell online with a niche where your skills and knowledge can stand out from the competition won’t be easy, but building a following and earning money on the side will definitely be worth the wait.
Read: How To Sell On YouTube
29. Sell Artwork
If you love to create art of any kind, you could be making a little side income with your talent. Custom one-of-a-kind paintings are popular decorations, and many people are willing to pay for unique works. Side business ideas in art are great because they take something you love (and would probably be doing anyway) and turn it into a source of income.
As you set up your online store, keep in mind that your product images will need to tell your story and draw in customers. Great photos and precise descriptions are key to selling this type of item. For 3-D pieces, i.e. sculpture or woodwork, consider using multiple images taken from different angles.
30. Become a Virtual Assistant
This position is in demand right now. If you are well-organized and a quick learner, then helping someone stay on top of their game could be the perfect side business for you.
You can set up a profile to showcase your skills, offer a rate, and work from anywhere, anytime for a nice profit. Ideally, once you’ve done stellar work for one client, they will pass your name and information on to friends and colleagues that could use similar assistance, gradually building up your client base.
31. Sell Tutoring Services
If you are good in a particular subject area and able to break down concepts for someone still in the learning process, tutoring could be a great way to cash in on your knowledge! Offer your tutoring skills and help a student achieve their goals while building yourself a side income.
Tutoring pays quite well, and many clients will refer you to others, especially if their son or daughter shows significant improvement or finishes a class with a good grade. People want to know what they are paying for, so advertise your skills by having previous clients give testimonials and providing information on your own educational background.
32. Sell Hair Accessories
Hair accessories like scrunchies and headbands are great products to sell online and can be a fun way to put a personal, creative touch on your business.
Getting started, you will need to determine whether you want to sell for all hair types or a more specific niche. Do you want to sell to all age groups, or focus on just adults or children? What to sell online – day-to-day products, or wedding and special occasion-wear?
No matter what you choose, you can always build your product line in the future. Pictures and vivid descriptions are key to getting customers interested in your hair accessories- remember that they can’t touch or try on your product, so you will need to speak to them with words and images. Selz makes this easy with great looking themes.
33. Sell Cookbooks Online
If you like to cook and are always compiling different recipes to try, then putting together a cookbook could be a great idea for a side business for you! You can sort your different recipes into categories and collect them in eBook form.
Consider different ways to categorize- breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas, snack recipes, drink recipes, etc. You can also include sections focused on vegan, vegetarian, and meat-oriented meals. There are tons of possibilities for this side business!
Looking for the hottest selling online store ideas this year? Read more here.
34. Sell Phone Accessories Online
As smartphones become more advanced and ubiquitous, accessories to protect and personalize them are in high demand. People invest a lot of time with their phones and care about keeping them in prime working condition, so side business ideas for phone accessories are taking off.
You can provide cases, chargers (both wired and wireless), screen protectors, and more. Create a great storefront to bring your customers in, then watch your profits grow.
35. Sell Baby Bibs
Both new and seasoned parents love finding creative ways to dress their babies, and bibs are an important part of a good outfit. There is a growing marketplace for unique baby items that shows no signs of slowing down, so baby items lend themselves to great side business ideas.
You can design patterns for bibs, then either make them yourself or have your design screen printed on. Regardless of your production method, you will need a colorful, eye-catching storefront complete with great images.
36. Sell Watches
A popular accessory for anyone’s wardrobe, regardless of gender, selling watches is a popular side business idea. First, determine the kind of watch you want to sell and where you will get the product.
If you’re not making your own, you will want to contact different companies and learn how to become an official watch distributor. Once you have this figured out, you can create your Selz store and market the product.
Make sure to get clear close-up images of the watches from a variety of angles and provide detailed descriptions. Your prices need to be reasonable to make your store stand out from the competition, but you still need to make a profit.
37. Sell DIY Videos
If you have a talent for video and feel comfortable in front of the camera, then the sky is the limit as to what you can create and sell. Think of a particular niche, like home improvement, and build out a range of content.
In conjunction with your regular content, you can also accept customer requests for the types of videos they need. DIY side business ideas in video offer tons of freedom, so follow a range of ideas and look for the different needs you can fill.
38. Sell Skin Care Products
This is another highly profitable industry that continues to boom. Side business ideas in skincare include making your own natural products to sell online or partnering with a larger company as a consultant to get paid a commission.
You will want to include a lot of detail on the products you sell and be sure to feature reviews. Photos and descriptions are vital for giving the customer a sense of what they’re buying. With a little elbow grease, this business idea has the potential to bring in a nice side income.
39. Sell Language Lessons
Do you fluently speak a language besides your birth tongue? Side business ideas from this skill include putting together language lessons and guides for customers to purchase.
Alternately, you can earn some money by making videos out of different words and lessons on a purchase-to-view basis. Your storefront should describe your educational background to let customers know that you are a legitimate source of information on the language(s) you choose.
40. Start a Blog (That Makes Money!)
What to sell online if you enjoy writing and have a talent for words? Blogging side business ideas are right up your alley. Start by creating quality content and building up a subscriber base among your readers.
Monetize your blog by featuring advertising, adding products to sell, and setting up affiliate marketing. Between these different revenue streams, you can earn a nice profit from something you already enjoy doing. Don’t forget! You can sell directly from Blogger or WordPress with Selz.
You will need to choose a niche that you know people will want to read about, and that serves a purpose or need for the reader. You can continue to build a community around your blog– the more people you attract, the more money you will earn.
41. Sell Sports Memorabilia
To make this side business idea work you will have to acquire specific items that people will want to pay money for. This could be a signed jersey, ball, photo, etc. All of these items are very collectible, and people will put good money toward owning them.
You will have to invest money to make money. You may already have some items that you’ve collected over the years that you are willing to part with. Make sure to only invest in items that will continue to be profitable over time- ask yourself whether the things you buy will be valuable in five, ten, twenty years.
The items you are selling should have some type of certification or grade, so customers know that they are the real deal. You will want to have a professional storefront, which you can easily put together using the Selz store builder. Reviews are also very important in this line of business, so don’t hesitate to ask previous customers to drop you a line with their thoughts.
42. Become a Life Coach
Are you a positive person who is passionate about what they do? Becoming a life coach could be a great opportunity for you to help others and get paid to do what you do best.
Many of us have dreams of what we would really like to do but need some coaching and motivation to make those dreams a reality. You can guide your clients and motivate them to achieve their goals.
Having testimonials on your website is key to your credibility. You will want to have an upbeat web page that reflects you and the passion you bring to everything you do. Include a small video introducing yourself, as people will need to be able to relate to you to purchase your services. Make sure to break down the different pricing options that you have available in detail, so potential customers know exactly what they will receive for their money.
Now it’s time to build your website to sell life coaching, one of the best products to sell online. You will need your own website to showcase your life coaching plans and videos, to detail your confident, accomplished lifestyle, and to sell your products!
Use an ecommerce platform to showcase your successful lifestyle and sell life coaching plans online at the same time. Make sure to add a blog to your online store so you can build your credibility and authority with potential customers.
43. Sell Comic Books
Do you love everything to do with comics? Do you routinely use the phrase “graphic novel”? Comic books provide great side business ideas if you are trying to figure out what to sell online.
You will first need to thoroughly understand your audience. What are they looking for, and how can you best communicate with them?
You can start by selling out of your own collection, then move on to purchasing collectible comics. Consider carrying hard-to-find indie picks as well as big names. You will need to have solid branding in place on your store, so spend time choosing between layouts and color palettes to attract buyers.
You may be creating your own original comics, and you can sell those too. Offer standalone comics, or eBook editions, it’s up to you!
44. Sell Music Lessons
Are you an accomplished instrumentalist or vocalist? Have you played in a band or a symphony? Even if you just play as a hobby, selling music lessons online can be a great way to help people explore their passions and make yourself some money on the side. Parents often seek out professionals to help their children learn how to play a specific instrument, and virtual music coaches are becoming more and more popular.
You can choose to teach in-person or to provide lessons via video, and also share instructive guides. When setting up your online store you can offer different packages and even show clips of what you offer. Make sure to detail your packages and programs for your customers.
45. Sell Graphic Design Tutorials
These side business ideas are a great move for you if you have design experience and want to expand into teaching. Are you an expert in fonts? Great with motion graphics? When building your online store, make sure to include previous work from your portfolio, any information about your educational background that you think will be helpful, and reviews or testimonials.
Include a short clip from one of your tutorials, along with selections from the written guide that you will provide your students when they purchase one of your graphic design tutorials. Your work needs to speak for itself in this business.
46. Sell Pottery
If you enjoy making pottery, or just love using it for creative decor, and you’re looking for side business ideas, you could turn your pottery passion into a business for yourself. First, narrow down what type of pottery you will sell. Do you want to sell functional outdoor flower pots, or decorative indoor items? Remember, you can always expand your niche later when you are more established.
Once you know what you will be selling, you can start to create. Make sure to get good quality images and write detailed descriptions of your products. To add a fun visual touch to your website, consider photographing your creative process from beginning to end. This side business idea is great to promote on your social media accounts. You can also get friends, family, and followers to spread the word about your new business.
47. Become a Virtual Yoga Coach
You will obviously need to be into yoga and good at it to make yoga side business ideas successful. You may be a teacher or just a very experienced student who hasn’t taken the leap into teaching a class yet.
Regardless of your status, you can become a virtual yoga coach. Consider offering private lessons online or even making and selling pre-recorded videos that your clients can follow at their own convenience. With so many people traveling for business or pleasure these days, this is a great way for them to stay connected with their practice, regardless of their physical location.
48. Sell Tea
Side business ideas in tea are similar to selling coffee online. You will need to research the most popular teas and decide the types you want to sell. Target a niche audience and make sure that you offer tea at a better price (or with better benefits) than your competitors.
Your customers will need a reason to buy your tea, and not your competition’s. You will need an inviting storefront to catch their eye and make them stop and check out what you have to offer. Consider offering packages of similar teas, or seasonal options- i.e. the best teas for a cold winter.
49. Sell Photography Lessons
Photography is one of the most popular side business ideas out there right now, and many photographers, both professional and amateur, are using their skills to earn an extra income.
If you are a skilled photographer or have taken classes on photography, then you can share your skills by selling virtual photography lessons. Consider offering different packages, such as one-on-one coaching, group coaching, video tutorials, and more. Create extra content like guides or eBooks to use as a supplemental product to your main offerings.
50. Sell Lightroom Presets
This idea gives you the freedom to be as wildly creative or elegantly minimalist as you choose. People love to take photos and then add their own unique flair.
Many people see photo editing as an extremely tough, involved task, and are thus willing to purchase Lightroom presets to help them along the way. You will want to showcase your previous work and have galleries of Lightroom presets that your customers can view to get a sense of your skill level and the quality of your work.
You can choose themes or have customers request specific options for their needs. The most important factor here is your own creativity.
51. Do Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate side business ideas are great if you’re looking for a source of passive income that accumulates even when you’re not directly working. You will need to have an established blog and find an affiliate that you connect to personally, something you are comfortable marketing. You can then add affiliate links within the content on your blog.
When your readers click on a link, your site will direct them to the company’s site, and you will earn a commission either from the traffic you direct or from a purchase they make on the site. Besides links, you can also put visual ads for the company in the sidebar of your page. Your job is just to continue producing original, relevant content, and you will be able to gradually establish a profitable side business while you’re working full-time.
52. Sell Dog-Training Guides
If you love dogs and have either trained your own or have trained dogs for others in the past, you can monetize this skill. Both eBook guides and video tutorials are great tools for dog owners to use.
Offer these guides and videos online as a package, or on an individual basis. You will need to make your online storefront appealing to dog owners, which should not be hard when you are a dog lover yourself.
53. Sell Socks
Believe it or not, side business ideas for socks are booming. There are tons of different socks you could sell- humorous themed socks, stylish dress socks, kid’s socks, and more. When starting out, as with other side business ideas, you’ll want to focus on just a few options and expand from there later on down the line.
It’s important to describe the materials you use to make your products and include high-quality pictures on your site.
The opportunities are just about endless here, so get creative and try new things!
It’s entirely free to try Selz, and all the features come free with your 14-day trial. You can create an account and see for yourself how quick and easy it is to start selling from your existing blog or new online store. So don’t wait, give it a go.