15 In-Demand Online Business Ideas for 2022

Vivien Thuri
29.12.21
12 minute read

By the end of 2021, E-commerce is expected to account for 18.1% of global retail sales and is forecasted to reach 22% by 2023

Online businesses and transactions are growing rapidly, year-on-year. In light of the Coronavirus disease, it's even more likely this trend will continue.

Having an online business gives you the freedom to make money no matter where you’re living.

If you’ve been considering making the move, then give the list below a read for some online business ideas.

Getting paid locally or in other currencies from overseas, keeping track of your transactions, managing subscriptions and controlling your cash flow - Wise Business can help you to get the most out of your online business.

Learn more about Wise Business

15 In-Demand Online business ideas for 2022


Podcasting

microphone-with-laptop-for-podcasting

In 2021, there was an estimated audience of 120 million podcast listeners in the US alone.²

This is predicted to grow to - if not exceed - 160 million by 2023. Since its beginning, podcasting has been on the rise.

With the growth of social media and the changing landscape of traditional news networks, podcasts have become a popular way for people to listen to the topics that interest them.

People like the relaxed, conversational nature of podcasts that set them apart from the more formal, bite-sized interview segments seen on traditional news networks.

Just like with online courses, there’s also such a variety of podcast topics.

What you need to start

To start a podcast, an audio recording device, laptop and internet connection are all you need.

Podcasts also come with the opportunity for massive financial gains.

With the ability to integrate adverts, sponsors and use affiliate marketing, podcasters can rake in a lot of income - the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) Podcast made $30 million in the year of 2019 alone.³


E-commerce business

online-shopping-boxes-with-laptop

E-commerce revenue in the US totaled to $431.6 billion in the year of 2021 alone - by 2025, it’s forecasted to reach $563.4 billion.⁴

Starting your own e-commerce business may seem daunting, but it’s a very profitable avenue.

An e-commerce business is simply a business that only operates online, without a physical store.

You could make your own product line, source products from other companies, or even sell your own services, such as business consulting.

Like with any retail business, the chance to scale up and make large profits is always there.

What you need to start

Starting an e-commerce business is not the cheapest or easiest move, but one that can pay-off big time.

You’ll have to first invest a lot of time in planning.

From there you have costs such as business permits and licenses, domain hosting, payment processing, inventory management software, and shipping, among many other potential costs.

Start your business plan for free with Wise. Attract investors and manage your payments across borders, saving you up to 19x compared to PayPal.

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Business management analyst

business-woman-working-on-laptop

Businesses are popping up left, right and center, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

New entrepreneurs and even seasoned businesses looking to expand are always in need of external advice - especially when it comes to management.

Business management analysts analyze the current operational practices of a given business and look for solutions to improve the efficiency of it.

Between 2020-2030, the employment of business management analysts is forecasted to grow by 14% - so the job is in demand.⁵

What you need to start

If you have an excellent track record, good testimonials and a wealth of experience, then working as a business management analyst could be your niche.

Needless to say, it has the potential to be very profitable, depending on which companies you work with and how well-known your name becomes.


Freelance Writer

woman-writing-on-laptop-looking-out-the-window

If you have a way with words, a laptop and an internet connection, then freelance writing may be the perfect match for you.

With low barriers to entry, job flexibility and a wide variety of specializations, freelance writing has a lot of benefits compared to other business ventures.

It’s also a growing industry, with ever-increasing demand for writers, and one that is relatively stable and unaffected by global events.

Freelance writing refers to any job requiring something to be written.

This can range from email marketing, copywriting, listicles and how-to guides, to writing scripts for Youtube videos.

The opportunities in this field are endless and varied, which makes it an exciting and potentially very profitable online business.

What you need to start

With the help of job boards such as Upwork and Problogger, you’ll be able to land your first contract and start getting paid.

Experience in writing and editing is always a plus, but isn’t a requirement - likewise, a degree in the field you’re wanting to specialize in is helpful but not always necessary.

When you get paid on Upwork in a different currency than you need - it’s best to avoid unfavorable exchange rates at conversion. Withdraw your payments from Upwork to your Wise Business multi-currency account and convert money at the mid-market exchange rate.

Open your multi-currency account today


E-book writing

man-reading-on-tablet

Everyone has a book in them. Whether you have a particular expert niche or simply want to write fiction, e-book writing and self-publishing now makes this possible.

In 2020, e-book sales grew by 22%, reaching 191 million in the US alone.⁶

One of the main benefits of self-publishing an e-book is that you receive a larger share of the profits.

The main costs of self-publishing come with marketing - it’s all on you to market your book.

But, if you have a strong social media presence, then this could be a potentially lucrative route.

What you need to start

As long as you can write, e-book publishing is always an option, with few other barriers to entry, such as investment in equipment or educational/experience requirements.


SEO Consultant

woman-search-online-seo-concept

SEO refers to Search Engine Optimization and is the process of tailoring online content to get picked up by Google’s search algorithms.

Search engines - such as Google and Yahoo - drive up to 10 times more traffic to ecommerce sites compared to social media.

On top of this, 93% of online experiences start with using a search engine.⁷

These statistics make SEO a top priority for all businesses with an online presence.

Depending on how a website’s content is written and organized, Google may favor it less or more, meaning the likelihood of turning up in Google search results is reduced or increased, respectively.

SEO is absolutely crucial for businesses with an online presence, but many businesses don’t realise this. Educating businesses on this key aspect is a lucrative venture.

What you need to start

A deep understanding of Google Analytics and its algorithms, as well as keyword usage and content formatting are required to be an SEO consultant.

From here, you’ll need to market yourself and expertise to businesses of all sizes, and show them the importance of SEO.

Depending on how you run your business, being an SEO consultant again gives you the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world.

Sites such as Moz and Ahrefs can help you get started.


Proofreading

man-correcting-text-proofreading

It’s expected that demand for proofreaders will increase over the next decade, with a projected 3,510 new jobs being filled by 2029 - that’s an annual increase of 5.92%, representing increasing demand.⁸

If you have a knack for grammar and referencing systems, proofreading could be the online business idea for you.

The market for proofreading is large and ever-present - students and businesses always need help with referencing and need to ensure their documents are grammatically sound.

This is a service that not everyone can offer - it requires expertise and knowledge. That means if you’re successful, you’ll be well compensated and in high demand.

What you need to start

You can start to look for proofreading jobs on jobs boards like Upwork. Alternatively, you can join a proofreading agency.

Some basic proofreading jobs have very little requirements; other jobs, and some agencies in particular, require university level education.


Affiliate marketing

people-holding-thought-bubbles-with-social-media-icons

Over 80% of brands have affiliate marketing programs, with America leading the market with a share of 39%.⁹

Affiliate marketing is everywhere - product reviews and endorsements are just a few examples of it.

Affiliate marketing refers to when one company pays another website to recommend their product, thereby directing traffic to the original company’s website.

At a basic level, this works simply as a pay-per-click system, in which you hyperlink the company’s products on your own website.

At the higher end, affiliate marketing can also refer to celebrity/influencer endorsement of a product.

What you need to start

Affiliate marketing usually requires you to have your own website, blog or social media channel.

Apart from this, there is little else involved to get started - all you need to do is break a deal with an affiliate marketing program.

Similarly, if you have a large social media following, this can also help you to leverage better affiliate marketing deals.


PR Consultant

two-businessman-discussing-pr

The demand for public relations specialists is forecasted to increase by 11% by 2030 - faster than the average for other occupations.¹⁰

Businesses care about their public image - this is unlikely to change anytime soon. That means that public relations (PR) consultants will always be in demand.

As a PR consultant, you’ll be advising companies on how best to present themselves across their multiple sales channels, from social media to their website.

You’ll also advise them on which trends to keep up on, which initiatives to start, marketing campaigns and many other things regarding public relations and the company image.

What you need to start

To be a PR consultant, you’ll usually need prior experience in the field or in a related one, as well as a bachelor’s degree.

You can choose to either work for a PR company or simply start your own PR consulting business.


Online therapist

therapist-at-counseling-session

Mental health is a popular topic at the moment, and will likely receive even more attention in the coming years - and therapists are always in demand.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 68% of psychologists with an existing waiting list have reported that waiting time has grown longer.

Similarly, the number of psychologists receiving increased referrals almost doubled in 2021, growing from 37% in 2020 to 62%.¹¹

Many therapists and psychologists were forced to move to online work because of Covid-19, and have decided to continue in the online sector.

What you need to start

If you have training as a therapist, counselor or psychologist, then you could start providing therapy sessions online either by joining an existing agency, or by starting your own online business.

Not only can this work be highly rewarding, but it can also be highly profitable.

As the world pandemic rolls on, therapists will play a key role in helping the many millions affected.


Translation

woman-with-headphone-translating

There are currently 7,139 languages spoken in the world of today, 43% of which are considered to be endangered.

On top of this, a behavioural study in 2014 showed that 75% of consumers are more likely to purchase products from websites written in their native language, with approximately 40% of internet users saying that they would never buy products from websites written in a language other than their native one.¹²

If you speak multiple languages, then working as a translator is an online business idea to consider.

Being able to accurately translate content, without losing the nuances of the original language, is key to reaching international audiences.

Depending on the languages you speak, you could find yourself in high demand - as a rule, the more uncommon and difficult the language, the better.

What you need to start

To be a translator, prior training is useful but not always essential. As with much of the online industry, a good track record of experience is often of greater value.

If you can combine your translation skills with another speciality - such as science or business, for example - then you have an even better chance of finding well-paid work and starting a successful online business.

As a translator you may need to receive payments from all around the world. Get bank account details with Wise Business and get paid on time in 10 currencies.

Wise-bank-account-details-invoices


Online Courses

man-teaching-online-class-in-front-of-bookshelf

Do you have expert knowledge or experience in a particular niche? If so, building an online course may be the online business idea for you.

A recent survey in 2021 showed that 74% of college students believed online education was at least as effective as physical, on-campus education.¹³

Online courses are usually a series of educational videos regarding a certain subject - the more specific, the better.

What do you know or have experience of that few others do? Is there a demand for this skill? Finding your niche is key to this business.

What you need to start

Creating an online course has relatively low barriers to entry - a good camera, sound and lighting equipment when necessary, a computer, internet connection, and knowledge of a certain subject are all you need.

The first step is brainstorming what you know, in order to find your niche.

After that, you’ll need a screencasting app to record and edit your video. You may also want to design your own personal website to host your videos on.

From here, the last step is figuring out your pricing scheme.

Online courses are a great way to work from anywhere while making passive income.

In the year of 2022, with continuing uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, passive online sources of income are a great way to support yourself.


Blogging

girl-with-laptop-pink-background

With up to 31.7 million bloggers in the US alone, creating your own blog might seem like an old-school idea - who doesn’t have their own blog nowadays?

But it’s actually still a potentially lucrative business venture. 77% of people are regular readers of blogs, with 67% of bloggers who post content on a daily basis describing themselves as successful.

On top of this, 61% of internet users have bought a product or service after reading a blog post.¹⁴

All these statistics underscore the demand and power of blogging.

Blogging is low cost with very few barriers to entry. Some website creation programs charge for certain subscription deals, but others are free of charge.

What you need to start

To create your own blog, all you need is to design a website with the help of a company such as WordPress or Bluehost.

From here, the key is creating a loyal reading audience.

With a loyal audience, you can then begin to monetize your blog through third-party advertisements, pay-per-click affiliate marketing, and other various methods.


Website developer

website-developers-brainstorming-website-design

Day by day, the internet is growing and reaching new parts of the world.

In addition to this, more businesses are developing their online presence to reach a global audience.

Consequently, website developers are in demand, with the projected employment rate predicted to grow by 13% by 2030.¹⁵

Website developers simply create and manage websites, making them user-friendly and attractive, as well as testing them for faults.

What you need to start

To work as a website developer, you’ll need a good knowledge of how websites work and how to create and run them.

Depending on the type of job, you may need a bachelor's degree.

On the other hand, website development is another industry in which a good track record of experience is often more useful than the qualifications you have.


Virtual Personal Assistant

man-working-on-computer-with-headset

Do you live and breathe organization? If so, becoming an online virtual personal assistant (PA) may be your calling.

Recent data shows that companies can save up to 78% in costs per year by hiring a virtual personal assistant.

In addition, over 80% of companies are looking to make their workforce more flexible, with the amount of permanent remote workers expected to increase by 34.4% by the end of 2021.¹⁶

Personal assistants complete basic administrative tasks from answering phone calls and entering data, to making travel arrangements.

Exactly what you’ll do depends on who you work for. And as long as businesses and entrepreneurs still exist, there’ll always be demand for PAs.

What you need to start

Prior experience as a PA is always helpful but not required. What’s important is creating a great profile and landing your first job.

With the help of job boards, such as TaskRabbit, this process is made easier.


How to start a successful online business?

Starting any business - whether online or physical - follows a similar process. The first step is to identify your passion and area of expertise.

From here you can:

1. Decide the industry you want to enter - consider your skill set and interests, as well as the health and profitability of different industries. From here, you can decide what’s best for you

2. Find a name for your business - a name can make or break a business.

Deciding on a good name for your business is one of the first steps in the process of creating a solid enterprise

3. Look for gaps in the market, or the specific niche you want to specialize in - do your research and find out what’s missing in the market, and what is in high demand.

From here, you can see where your relevant skills and experience can come in

4. Research what is required to succeed by looking at your future competitors and current market leaders - analyzing your competitors and market leaders is key to understanding the industry you’re involved in, as well as your consumers.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to tailor your business accordingly

5. Formulate a business plan and invest in the necessary capital - creating a strong business plan simplifies your work, and allows you to invest your money in only what is necessary to your success.

6. Formulate a detailed marketing plan - a detailed marketing plan is one of the last steps in the process, but an equally important one.

In the world of today, a strong, well-planned marketing campaign is absolutely crucial to your business’s success

Manage your online business locally, and internationally with Wise

Wise-illustration-briefcase

Online businesses can operate on a global scale from the outset. But there’ll still be some costs along the way. This is where Wise can help out.

With Wise, you can use your multi-currency business account to hold over 50 currencies all in one place, making multi-currency cash flow management simpler.

You can also use local account details - such as routing number and IBANs - so customers and contractors can pay you in their own currency, making it easier for both parties.

On top of this, Wise gives you the mid-market exchange rate for international transfers, saving you money when paying suppliers abroad.

Help your online business
Use the Wise Business account

Sources:

  1. Oberlo - 19 Powerful e-commerce statistics that will guide your strategy in 2021
  2. Statista - Number of monthly podcast listeners in the United States from 2014 to 2023
  3. Forbes - Podcast Giant Joe Rogan Inks Exclusive Deal With Spotify
  4. Statista - Retail e-commerce revenue in the United States from 2017 to 2025
  5. Bureau of Labor Statistics - Management Analysts
  6. Toner Buzz - Paper Books vs eBooks Statistics, Trends and Facts 2021
  7. 99 Firms - SEO statistics
  8. Recruiter - Career Outlook for Proofreaders and Copy Markers
  9. True List - Affiliate marketing statistics
  10. Bureau of Labor Statistics - Public Relations Specialists
  11. American Psychological Association - Demand for mental health treatment continues to increase
  12. Redokun - 2021 Translation Industry Trends and Stats
  13. EdScoop - Online education gets positive reviews in recent college survey
  14. First Site Guide - Blogging Statistics 2021
  15. Bureau of Labor Statistics - Web Developers and Digital Designers
  16. 99 Firms - Virtual Assistant Statistics

All sources checked 29 December 2021


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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