Looking for profitable internet business ideas for your start-up business? Learn ways to generate profitable business ideas and then choose the best one for your online business.

Are you still employed elsewhere and are aspiring to be an entrepreneur? Just start a side business while keeping your full-time job. Who knows the once part-time making extra money efforts can grow into a full-time business.

Unfortunately, most people are careless with their ideas, and I was one of them. When I started my business I didn’t validate my ideas with my target audience until I found that was a failure.

I wasted my money and years of efforts because of executing a half-baked business idea.

For that reason, I would recommend you to check your idea before committing to it. And here are some steps for you to avoid making that same mistake.

Formulating Your Internet Business Ideas

A great business concept often starts with a simple idea. This is especially true if it comes from work issues related to your industry.

In fact your most natural path is to start with the industry you’re currently in. Why? Because it will be easier to start with your existing skills and experiences than doing the something in another industry you know nothing about.

Let’s say it’s an issue related to knowledge and skills. Are there online courses or training that can fill the gap? If so, how good they are. Can you offer better services than the provider(s)?

That is an example for online training idea development. If you know the subject well you will be able to offer unique services.

Now, take a look at some internet business ideas and examples below.

Types of Internet Business Ideas with Examples

1. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate business is all about promoting other people’s products. To make it work you will need to drive traffic to your merchant site and you’ll get commission when a sale is made.

There are merchants with a variety of affiliate programs to choose from. They range from Amazon that pays 4% of sales to Clickbank that offers up to 75% commissions. Products offered also vary. They start from one-time-purchase physical goods to repeat-purchase online services.

Building a niche site is the common approach and choosing a niche is critical. Although this business idea is very popular it is not as easy as it looks. If you’re just starting out you will need some solid training to succeed.

Example – A niche site that helps people get a job in a specific industry. Promoted affiliate products are related to resume writing, job interviews, pre-employment tests and many others.

2. Selling goods

These are a classic example of profit-making ideas for both offline and online businesses. The internet business ideas vary widely. You can sell physical and/or digital products on your own e-commerce site, at an auction site or in an online mall.

If you sell an e-book your buyer can download it from your website. For a physical good, you’ll have to ship it to your customer address by yourself or via a drop shipping business partner. But you can also sell both the digital and physical goods on third-party sites like e-Bay or Amazon.

Example – An e-commerce site that sells hand-made jewelry. You can specialize on types and styles (like necklaces and personalized jewelry), materials used (such as silver and gold) and a combination of the two. Just research Etsy.com to learn about pricing, ordering system and fulfillment procedure.

3. Offering services

This idea is one of the best internet business ideas for aspiring entrepreneurs. No need a huge upfront start-up capital. You need nothing but skills and ability to serve your audience. If packaged creatively this revenue model may offer you more sustainable revenues than other ideas.

Pure online services like web hosting or internet marketing related are one of the ways to give your services to consumers. But you can also offer internet friendly services such as copy writing, resume writing or web design.

Any idea related to providing repeat and uninterruptible services is always a good idea. If you offer web hosting services, for example, chances are you will get recurring sales from the same customers.

Example – An online photography course site that offers access to paid members. If you’re a professional wedding photographer you can offer wedding photography courses with video instructions. Just go to creativelive.com to learn how to design your business systems.

4. Hybrid ideas

This is a great way to maximize your revenue potentials. Many big and small businesses test every business idea for that purpose.

Take a look at ecommerce giants like Amazon. The company was initially a book store. They set up an affiliate program to market books and for branding. Today Amazon not only sell all things that you need but also offer “space” that allows other merchants to sell goods on the e-store. But that’s not all. They also sell their infrastructure like Amazon Web Services and Amazon Webstore, as a service, to different target market.

As a small business owner it’s possible for you to combine your service offering with physical goods and become an affiliate to relevant merchants. But that’s not the key point.

Being a customer centric business, your focus is customers. The better you know them the better your chance to make them happy. In other words, using the above ideas to satisfy your customer needs are more important than anything else.

Criteria for Picking the Best Internet Business Idea

Got a list of ideas? How do you know which one is right for you?

To narrow down your ideas you may want to set criteria for evaluating your options. Below is a list of criteria for you to get an idea that works for you:

  1. Solve a real problem. Faster, cheaper and better are three commercial solutions to common problems. Does your idea offer one of them? Make sure you seek a solution that answers your target audience’s most pressing problems.
  2. Find a niche market. Look for a market with proven demands and lots of competitors where you can still find a niche. This way helps you focus on a special advantage to leverage.
  3. Use a proven business concept. Since the internet existence many products and services come and go. But there are some that stand the test of time. Discover a proven old concept that still works but find a way to execute it in a new way.
  4. Offer something initially built for your needs. This is especially good for ideas related to software. You can offer the software, initially built for yourself and you’re really happy with the outcome, as Software as a Service (SaaS).

The Best Online Business Idea for You

Now that you have a list of internet business ideas and criteria for picking the best one, is it easy for you to go with one of them? If you’re still undecided these questions can help.

Does the subject excite you and you know a lot about it? Do you want to dedicate the time and effort required to turn your idea into a profitable business? Can you improve what your competitions have to offer? Is there a niche where your personal strength can help differentiate your products from the competitions? Finally, will your target audience value your unique offerings?

Overall, you want a business idea that drives you. The best internet business ideas should motivate you to create a simple, realistic plan. It also creates a burning desire inside yourself so you want to act on it and deal with hurdles as they arise.

What to Do Next?

Learn how to start an internet business to make sure you don’t leave something behind.