Wouldn’t you love to have your own lifestyle business that you can run from anywhere in the world?
As someone who’s been building online lifestyle busleainesses and travelling for the last 10 years, I can highly recommend it!
You may, however, be stuck for ideas and that’s why I decided to put together a mega list of 189 online lifestyle business ideas you can use for inspiration!
The world is changing fast as I’m sure you’re more than aware. Once upon a time, you would finish your education, pick a career, and in many cases, work for the same business for twenty years or more.
Nowadays opportunities are abundant! The internet has leveled the playing field as the economy transitions online. A move that’s only been accelerated by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
This post aims to equip you with a comprehensive list of solopreneur lifestyle business ideas. Ideas you can use for inspiration to set up your own lifestyle business and become master of your own destiny. Its time to become part of the new digital economy and create the lifestyle of your dreams.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into my mega-list of lifestyle business ideas.
Table of Contents
Online Service Based Businesses
One of the fastest ways to start your lifestyle business is to sell your services to others as a freelancer. Our online world makes it simple to fire up a laptop and earn money from anywhere – even in your pyjamas.
There are hundreds of roles to choose from. Roles that countless businesses worldwide use every day for short-term and project work. From writers, designers, marketers, and more. If the work can be done on a computer, you can do it as a freelancer.
You might already have skills from previous employment you can freelance with immediately, so you can hit the ground running. But, If you don’t think you have a marketable skill, you can learn one.
Once you have chosen your skill or developed a new one, you can start a new career on the freelancing sites like Upwork or Fiverr. As you build your freelance business, you may want to set up a personal website to market your services further.
The best freelancers can earn six-figures a year selling their services directly to businesses hungry for their skills.
For an in depth guide on starting your freelancing career check out my post ‘How to Start Freelancing and Create Ultimate Freedom‘
For now, let’s look at the first batch of lifestyle business ideas packed with different types of online information and service businesses you could start.
The demand for freelance writers is growing steadily. Part of the growth is due to how businesses have to play the game of digital marketing. Ranking websites in the search engines requires site-owners to publish a constant stream of quality content.
Blog posts, social media messaging, web copy, and other well-written texts all need publishing regularly. Most businesses don’t have a stable of in-house writers, so they outsource content creation to freelancers.
Freelance writing is an excellent serviced-based lifestyle business idea. It only requires a laptop and an internet connection to get started, and you won’t need an English degree to be a writer either. Writing is like any other skill – you can make a start and get better with practice.
There are lots of free resources on YouTube and plenty of books to help you become a better writer. Join Facebook Groups and subreddits too, where you can network and learn from other writers.
There are lots of different kinds of writing roles to choose from. If you discover that you like to write long pieces, then you would be suited to writing blog posts. If you are more interested in influencing behaviour with words, then you might consider copywriting or UX writing.
If you have experience in a profession, then you could earn a living as a Medical or Legal Writer.
But when you start freelancing, be prepared to write about anything and everything. If you have not previously earned money as a writer, then you need to learn the craft. This can mean writing blog posts about dog food one day and home insurance, the next.
In fact, years ago I had a writer working with me who was writing content for a soft porn site. I kid you not. For us, she was writing about kitchen products. I was amazed at how she made a kitchen spatula sound so sexy! 😂
It’s an essential apprenticeship to undertake. But as you become exposed to a variety of niches, you eventually land on a topic you have a passion for, or at least enjoy writing about. That is how you enhance your freelance writing career and broaden your horizon with more lifestyle business ideas that are right for you!
To get started I’d recommend checking out elnacain.com. Elna established a full-time income from writing in just six months. Her blog has lots of articles, tips, training courses, inspiring lifestyle business ideas, and case studies to get up and running as a Freelance Writer.
Once you have started your writing career, there are lots of specialisms you can choose. Here are some of the different types of writing disciplines you might consider as great lifestyle business ideas;
Freelance Writing Lifestyle Business Ideas
Ghostwriting – A Ghostwriter writes content, speeches, and other thought-pieces on behalf of another person who takes credit for the work as if they wrote it themselves. You won’t find fame as a Ghostwriter, but, if you’re good, will be able to charge high rates for your services.
Copywriter – Any time you read words that aim to sell something, a copywriter has written them. It’s nothing to do with intellectual property protection; it’s the art of selling with words. From full-page sales letters to a handful of words on a cereal box; these are the bread and butter of the copywriter. If you’re good, the skies the limit.
Grant Writer – Governments and organisations award money to fund services that fall outside of their usual duties. Those applying for grants often use the services of a Grant Writer to help them with the application process. Grants can involve large sums of money, so good Grant Writers can charge decent rates.
Copy Editor – A copy editor takes a piece of writing (referred to as copy) and edits the material for readability.
UX Writer – A UX writer is a more recent occupation. The UX stands for user experience. The UX writer’s job is to make website instructions and similar pieces of writing useful and easy to understand.
More freelance writing roles include:
Podcast Show Note Writer
College Admissions Essay Writer and Editor
White Paper Writer
LinkedIn Profile writer
Product Description Writer
Business Plan Writer
Social Media Manager / Marketer
Today, most companies understand that they need to have a carefully managed social media presence. From the burger-chain Wendy’s and their snippy tweets:
To the fruit smoothie maker, Innocent, announcing a dry business report:
Practically every company needs someone to help them stay on message on social media.
And the role of Social Media Manager/Marketer is one often contracted out to a specialist rather than handled in-house. So, if you have an in-depth knowledge of social media, and a knack for writing updates that engage, you could create a lifestyle business managing other business’s social media accounts.
To enter the social media management field, you’ll need to demonstrate the following:
- Intimate knowledge of all the popular platforms (or your specialist platform of choice).
- A track record of growing social media accounts organically.
- The skills to create all different content types from writing captions to creating images, video & audio clips, memes, etc.
When starting from scratch, having no track record is always a problem. So landing your first client will be the hardest. Start your work portfolio by creating a social media account about a topic you find interesting.
Learn the tricks and techniques of the pros who have built their lifestyle business in social media field, and apply them to your account. Also, take one of the many online courses to build up your knowledge.
You may choose to master a single social media platform or specialise in cross-campaigning on all. Be aware, though, that social media platforms come and go. Myspace once seemed an unstoppable force, but today is a punchline to a joke.
Social media is still in its infancy, and there aren’t many rules. Be prepared for the platform you specialise in to slowly fizzle out, as new ones develop and become the one to be seen on.
Social Media Manager Lifestyle Business Ideas
YouTube Channel Manager – YouTube is a social network. Large channels need social media specialists for content planning, comment curation, and established accounts also have a community page which works a bit like Twitter.
TikTok Influencer Marketer – Yes, this is a thing. TikTok is the newbie, and while Donald Trump still yet might bring about an end to the platform, companies use TikTok to connect with the youth cohort.
Instagram Marketer – I’m fascinated by Instagram. If you love to take and share photos and video clips, add emoji’s and comments and talk about your life every five minutes then managing an Instagram account for someone who doesn’t might just be your dream career!
Other social media lifestyle business ideas include:
Content marketing is the collective description for raising awareness of a product or service via blogs, video, social media, and other mediums. Content marketing is a dynamic and varied field.
Your primary responsibility will be attracting online traffic to all parts of the sales funnel, so you’ll need to know about marketing and the sales process.
As a content marketer, you can work for a single organisation or contract out to many at the same time. Your role will be to plan and execute a content strategy to fulfill the goals of the organisation.
Content marketing requires you to have all-round abilities. It helps if you know how to write, or at the very least have strong editing skills, and be able to co-ordinate other freelancing content creators.
Depending on the requirements of the client, you may need to know SEO, Social Media, Paid media, understand branding, and have strong research methods – all skills you can learn.
Content marketing is a growth industry as many organisations finally wake up to the need for a coherent approach to their overall digital strategy.
There are many varied roles which fall under the banner of Content Marketer, here are just a few:
Content Marketing Lifestyle Business Ideas
Email Campaign Specialist – Email marketing has the highest ROI of any digital marketing channel, so building a list of email subscribers is a high-priority task for many organisations. Specialists in this field can command excellent rates.
Lead Generation Specialist – When businesses design a sales funnel, one of the biggest tasks is attracting the initial leads. A Lead Generation Specialist is an expert at creating awareness campaigns to lure in new prospects for businesses.
Content Marketing Consultant – Brought in to advise the business owner/marketing department how to plan out and execute a content strategy. Last I heard Frank Kern was charging upward of $2000 / hour for a similar service!
Video Marketing – Perhaps you’re a specialist in video marketing and have had some solid success on youtube or other video platforms yourself. How could you help others with your skills and experiences?
Other content marketing lifestyle business ideas include:
Mobile Marketing & Advertising
Book & Ebook Marketing
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
There is an old joke in digital marketing that goes something like this:
Q. What’s the dark web?
A. Page 2 of the Google results.
It illustrates a point quite nicely that for all the searches performed on Google, nearly two-thirds of the clicks go to the websites ranked in the top three positions. If you are ranked in the tenth position, then you can expect only 2.5% of the clicks.
The businesses not on the first page of Google for their chosen keywords are practically invisible, which causes much frustration.
As someone who’s recently been studying and attempting to implement SEO strategies I can understand their frustration!
As an SEO specialist, you reduce this frustration by helping to rank web pages on page one of the Google results for a target keyword. You would use a variety of methods; keyword research, content marketing, and link building outreach to improve a website’s ranking.
There is plenty of demand for capable SEOs. (I know I’ve been through a few in the last few weeks!)
To enter this arena, you would need to demonstrate that you can rank web pages.
One route would be to build a live portfolio by setting up a webpage – a simple blog would do – then rank it for a chosen keyword.
Of course, it would need to be a short 3 or 4 phrase keyword to prove you have what it takes. But this is the benefit of these new digital roles. You don’t need a degree or have to know the right person. If you can demonstrate your capability, then you can find work.
SEO is not only a great lifestyle business idea but something everyone working in the digital world should know about and understand. If you are a total newbie to SEO, then Yoast, a popular WordPress tool, run a free course that covers the basics.
For more advanced training, if you want to enter the market as an SEO professional, the Digital Marketing Institute runs a paid course which is rated well.
There are many routes to find work as an SEO; use the freelancing job boards like Upwork and Fiverr. But for less competition, get on the phone and call local businesses. Show them your ranked pages and pitch them keywords to rank their web pages for.
SEO Lifestyle Business Ideas
SEO Manager – This is a catch-all for someone who has broad SEO experience from keyword research to writing optimised content, site structures, link building, etc. As an SEO manager, you would run the entire project (website) and would collaborate with other specialisms, such as content marketers, social media specialists, etc.
SEO Keyword Researcher – Picking the right keywords to target is crucial in SEO. Most bloggers or website owners don’t know where to start. If you understand the ins and outs of good keyword research and have the patience to sort through thousands of searches a day then this could be the role for you!
SEO Link Builder – Using specialised software to help, you’ll be responsible for identifying sites across the web that might consider linking to your clients’ content or accepting guest posts. It’s a game of numbers and you’ll need to love sending cold emails! This is a tough business and as such can command high rates.
Other SEO lifestyle business ideas include:
SEO Content Specialist
On page SEO Specialist
Shopify SEO Specialist
PPC Paid Ads Specialist
It’s not always possible to rank a website in the top three for a keyword – there is just too much competition. Alternatively, sometimes a business wants to test out a new market before committing to a long term project. In both of these situations, the company would use paid online ads.
In the example below, you can see that paid ads display above the organic search results for a keyword.
Paying for traffic can be expensive, and in the case of the above example, very expensive. Paid ads for credit cards can be as much as $10-15 per click. So paid ad campaigns have to be designed carefully and closely monitored.
To enter the Paid Ads market as a freelancer, you would first need to understand the landscape – which can prove to be tricky. Like the military, the paid ads arena is very fond of an acronym.
PPC, CPM, ROAS, and more, are all terms you will need to understand. There are lots of different places to buy ads online, and each system requires some practice to master.
The popular ones like Google and Facebook are ones you should learn, but you may find a route into the industry by mastering one of the less popular platforms like Instagram or Reddit.
Hubspot has an excellent introduction to PPC if you need a quick overview.
To get a start in the industry, it’s best to first practice with your own campaigns. A few initial PPC lifestyle business ideas include setting up a webpage promoting affiliate offers and buying some ads to understand the process.
If you think specialising in PPC could be the ideal lifestyle business idea for you, a fair start would be taking one of the PPC courses offered on Udemy.
Paid Ads Specialist Lifestyle Business Ideas
Instagram Ads Specialist – It’s not just the big brands that can make good use of advertising on Instagram. Businesses can benefit from the location and interest-targeting options to reach a local audience. And you could help them – for a fee.
FB Ads – To understand Instagram Ads, you’ll need to understand FB Ads, so the two go hand in hand. Once you get to grips with the platform, the main task is to test and measure. You’ll need to demonstrate an understanding of the market, be good at research and have the ability to create eye catching ads wth great copy.
Other lifestyle business ideas for paid ads specialists include:
Creative Service Businesses
Creativity comes easily to some people. They instinctively know when applying their artistic talents what to add in and what to take away. Although we no longer refer to these people as ‘right-brained’ (scientists have figured out artists use all the brain for creativity), a creative type exists, and there is always a demand for their skills.
The internet now provides an opportunity for creatives types of all flavours to earn a fantastic income online.
If you can draw, sing, act, or even just have a speaking voice that makes people feel warm and fuzzy, you could set up your own creative service lifestyle business.
One of the first lifestyle business ideas people have when they think about a creative business is starting a logo design service on a site like Fiverr. And while there is always a demand for this; it’s very competitive, and you should think outside the box.
How about instead creating a service that is in high demand for existing businesses?
Businesses have more money to spend than individuals working on a startup. Think pitch deck design, animated explainer videos, or real estate drone photographer instead.
Entering the creative service business sector is more about talent than qualifications. You only need to get a few high-quality pieces together for your portfolio; then you can get out there and pitch for work.
Creative Services Lifestyle Business Ideas
Presentation Deck Creator – All types of businesses need to pitch their services. For part of their pitch, they’ll need to make use of creative elements like infographics or slides. Figure out how to make dry topics visually engaging using Photoshop and Video Editing tools.
Whiteboard and Animated Explainer Video Editor – Many websites have a short 1 to 2 minute animated explainer videos on their homepage. Using cartoon characters, they explain their service and how it can benefit the visitor. There is specialist software you can learn to create this type of content and a never-ending supply of potential customers who need this service.
Invitation Designer – It’s not just for Weddings and Christenings. Businesses hold fundraisers, charity events, and Christmas parties. If you’re adept at calligraphy, how about setting up a service to provide handwritten invites to corporate clients?
Drone pilot – Photography – Drones give a whole new perspective for photography. Weddings, Real Estate, and corporate videos are all now demanding talented pilot/photographers to add a new dimension to their visuals.
Landing Page Designer – Know your way around ClickFunnels? Perhaps you’re an expert in Leadpages, Thrive Themes or Elementor. Help businesses by designing their lead pages, sales pages, home pages, etc.
Other creative service lifestyle business ideas include:
Voice Over Talent
3D Graphic Design
Book Cover Designer
Podcast Cover Art
Flyer / Brochure Designer
Once a film is shot, or some audio recorded; it needs editing before publishing. It’s a role that requires technical knowledge, attention to detail, and a sprinkling of creativity too.
In today’s digital world, most businesses have to output some kind of media. So the demand for editors and producers who know how to polish recorded media is rising.
You can find plenty of work on the freelancing sites or contact businesses locally instead, for that personal touch.
Media Editing Lifestyle Business Ideas
Podcast Producer – If you’re happy to sit through and listen to all types of podcasts edting out the um’s and aah’s, catching mistakes, smoothing the audio, then this is for you. Also be prepared to write show notes and create promo clips as part of your role.
Photo Editor – I desperately need one of these! There’s nothing more laborious to me than editing all my photos in Lightroom to get them ‘Insta Ready’. But to stand out today it’s a must! Advertise yourself as a photo editor and you’ll have potential influencers lining up!
Other media service roles include:
Social Media Video Editor
A Software Developer creates the tools and applications we all use in our daily lives. While everyone is aware of major software programs like Windows or PhotoShop, there are millions of other programs and applications in use.
Some programs help people find keywords; others help entrepreneurs find opportunities for products on Amazon Marketplace. All of these need developers to design and build them. And further down the road, help companies integrate them into their business.
Development is often project-based work, so lends itself well to freelancing as a service business. Obviously to write the software you’ll need to know how to code. While a degree in software development is handy; it’s not necessary.
Coding Bootcamps that teach you how to code in around 12-20 weeks can be found in most locations. But, if there is not one near you, then there are lots online too.
If coding is not for you, then you could alternatively learn an existing application until you become an expert. The blogging platform WordPress has millions of users, yet most are unable to operate more than the basics. You could set up a service to help other businesses make their website the best it can be, plus you won’t need to learn advanced coding.
Potential Developer Lifestyle Business Ideas
WordPress Theme Developer – A WordPress theme is a visual look applied to an installation; it’s the bit a user sees when they visit a site.
Saas Developer – Software As A Service is a catch-all term for programs that do one thing, and do it well. Like help manage a todo list or run an e-commerce store. The programs are typically offered on a subscription basis, creating significant income if you are successful.
UX Designer – Before a line of code is written, a UX designer maps out every part of a software application. From the branding ideas to the individual wireframes that show how the end application will look.
Other developer roles include:
Web Design & Development
WordPress Plugin Developer
Mobile App Developer
Freelance Software Testing
At one time to enter the world of administration, you had to get a job as an office junior. On your first day, you would be introduced to the filing system, the photocopier, and most importantly, the tea kettle.
Today, the only cups of coffee you need to make are the ones for yourself. You can offer your services for administrative roles from anyplace you can boot up your laptop.
As the new digital economy develops, more and more people are starting a business working remotely. This army of entrepreneurs needs assistance with day-to-day duties, without the hassle of taking on full-time employees.
Setting up as a remote administrative assistant is easy, as many people have experience from previous employment. But, as the market is a global one, you’ll also be competing with people in countries that can afford to charge substantially less than you.
So you need to differentiate your services from other admin freelancers. You might highlight your time-zone availability, or demonstrate a level of sophistication in your communication.
If you choose the freelancing sites like Upwork and Fiverr, then you’ll compete against those who are happy earning a few dollars per hour. Don’t compete on price! Instead, position yourself as a premium service provider. Some people want to have the best and don’t mind paying for it.
Great Administrative Lifestyle Business Ideas
Virtual Assistant – This role is old enough now to be considered the classic online administrative service business. Essentially a Digital Man Friday, helping clients with many aspects of running a business; writing emails, scheduling appointments, and the many other little jobs that would otherwise reduce the time a client might spend on money-making activities.
Accounting And Bookkeeping – The thousands of small businesses set up every day all eventually need help with accounts and tax reporting. Take an accounting qualification so you can help them with this aspect of running their businesses.
Travel Assistant – Time is money for some, so wasting time hunting for the fastest plane route or the best bargains is something that they prefer others do for them. It’s not just the travelling aspect either. Once a traveller arrives at a destination, they need hotels, car hire, and maybe sightseeing trips too. If you have previously worked in a travel agency, then you will be ideally placed to enter the sector.
Data Entry – Good old fashioned typing letters and numbers into a database. It still needs to be done today, and if you are fast and accurate, it can be a method of earning your first money via the internet.
Other administration roles include:
Home Call Center
Computer Technical Support
Remote Recruitment Expert
Course Production Assistant
Amazon Sales Tax Specialist
There are many bricks and mortar businesses that have either an inferior online offering or even no web presence at all. But the pandemic of 2020 has accelerated the transition from shops to online.
The enforced work-from-home experiment makes it clear that the future is digital. Make the most of this opportunity by positioning yourself as an e-Commerce Consultant. You’ll help a store through the critical start-up phase.
Advise companies on platforms, branding, social media outreach, site layout, marketing, and more. And hold a new store owners hand, as they enter the online space.
To set up in this sector, you’ll need an excellent all-round knowledge of ecommerce, marketing, SEO, and other common digital skills. You can learn about individual e-commerce platforms via courses on Udemy. Plus there are always useful Facebook Groups for each different platform.
Ecommerce Consultant Service Lifestyle Business Ideas
Amazon FBA Consultant – Have you had experience selling products on Amazon? Help new sellers navigate their way through finding products, negotiating with suppliers and listing/promoting on Amazon.
Shopify/Magneto/Big Commerce Consultant – Perhaps you’ve spent some time building sites on Shopify or Big Commerce. Over the coming years this lifestyle business idea will be huge, as offline stores transition online. Now’s the time to position yourself as the industry expert.
Other ecommerce consultant roles include
Print on Demand Expert
You are probably more talented than you give yourself credit. You can likely do at least one thing better than 90% of everyone else. Identify that talent, or acquire some in-demand knowledge, then start teaching it to others for a fee.
You could help guide people along the way as a Life Coach, or teach people how to master the tricky upper range notes on the Trumpet. Whatever it is, the internet makes it easy to reach people and help them to learn and develop.
With technology like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, you can teach baking from Tahiti, or crossword-puzzle solving from Brazil.
For more traditional subjects, you can make your services available on websites like tutorhunt.com or teacherstoyourhome.co.uk. If you want to teach or consult in other areas, try superprof.co.uk, or consider setting up a consulting website. Then market your services directly to the public.
For some topics, you will obviously need some formal qualifications, but for others, you can just go for it. People will be paying you for results. So if you can teach or coach and make it both exciting and informative, then you should be able to earn a lifestyle income.
Coaching/Teaching Lifestyle Business Ideas
Small Business Marketing Consultant – Marketing today is evolving rapidly. With print ads in decline, the need to master marketing online has never been greater for Small Businesses. If you know how to research keywords and understand the basics of copywriting, then you could help small businesses win customers online.
Online Personal Fitness Trainer – This is one occupation that the Pandemic has shown you can do from anywhere. Technology means you can coach people from fat to fit – even if you are oceans apart.
Life Coach – You don’t need a formal qualification to become a life coach. However, any clients will likely want to see that you are part of an official trade association. When you start, expect to earn around $30 per hour. If you’re good and can help people achieve extraordinary results, then your earning potential can be astronomic.
Language Teacher – As the digital world facilitates greater communication across boundaries, more people are finding that they want or need to learn English. TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) is a great way to earn whilst travelling. There are opportunities to teach a class as you travel and top up your earnings with one-on-one tutoring.
Other coaching / teaching roles include:
Online Business Consulting
WordPress Website Consultant
SAT IGCSE ALevel IB Tutor
Data Analytics Consultant
Job Search and Resume Consultant
Digital Marketing Agency
A Digital Marketing Agency promotes the online presence of other businesses on their behalf. It could be managing social feeds, updating blogs, or designing email marketing campaigns. A digital marketing agency is a one-stop-shop other companies hire so that they can focus on their core business practices.
You’ll need to be an expert at least one area of Digital Marketing. It’s also a good idea to operate as a freelancer in your chosen field first so that you develop skills and experience in delivering results.
Because your clients will expect results, Digital Marketing can be an expensive undertaking – especially if they are paying for online ads. Additionally, there is an opportunity cost too, of getting Digital Marketing wrong.
It can be a good practice to operate in a single market niche. If you can become the go-to person for promoting boutique hotels, for example, you can build a reputation in the industry and be able to raise your rates accordingly.
If you think you have what it take to land new accounts, nurture client relationships, manage expectations, and most importantly deliver success, then follow my guide here – How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency (from your sofa).
SAAS Company Creator
SaaS (Software as a Service) is the term given to software products which are cloud-based and are typically sold as a monthly subscription service.
You don’t have to know how to write computer code as you can hire programmers on the popular freelancing sites. But you do have to come up with a winning idea.
You have probably already heard of some of the big SaaS products, like Salesforce and Uber, but there is also a market for so-called micro-SaaS products. Micro-SaaS programs are niche-focused solutions to aimed at a smaller market.
Super Lemon created a plugin that let Shopify store owners chat live with their website visitors over WhatsApp. It costs $9.99 per month to use and has thousands of customers paying them every month to use the plugin.
Some of the most successful micro-SaaS lifestyle businesses ideas can be implemented when the founder has a recurring problem in their daily lives and spots a gap in the market. It’s the kind of business an individual can run on their own and earn a good lifestyle income.
Who knows where your idea might take you. Jungle Scout started out in 2014 as a chrome plugin to help entrepreneurs quickly find market opportunities on Amazon. Today, Jungle Scout has tens of thousands of users, some paying $129 every month, to help them remain competitive on Amazon.
Online Information Based Businesses
So far, I have talked about service-based lifestyle business ideas you can provide to others as a freelancer. But what if you don’t want to provide a service and have to find and juggle clients? You might find information marketing is a better fit for you.
An Information Marketer builds an audience, usually in a narrow topic area, and then earns money from a variety of different methods. You could sell an info-product, a software tool, promote products to earn affiliate commissions, and more.
If you can captivate an audience, then you can leverage the relationship to create a lucrative lifestyle business.
This section gives you online lifestyle business ideas you can investigate further. Many people, including self-made millionaires, have used the ideas listed below to build a business and live life on their terms.
Can you still earn money blogging today? The answer is a resounding YES. A blog is a just type of website. And despite the increase in the use of video on the internet, there are still situations where web users prefer to read about a topic instead.
But you have to be strategic about blogging. While a few find success writing about a variety of subjects on a personal blog. The majority of personal blogs have a small readership and are unlikely to earn you a full-time income.
This is partly because of the way Google ranks websites; they favour those with authority that cluster articles about similar topics together. Another factor is trust; individuals are perhaps more reluctant to trust the information from a blogger talking about credit cards one day, and Keto diets the next.
Some people choose to blog about topics that are challenging to earn money from, like cheese making or Origami. Instead for your blog, go where the money is. Think business software or personal finance.
Make sure that the niche you choose for your blog is in an evergreen subject with good earning potential.
Lifestyle Business Ideas for Bloggers
There are several ways you can approach blogging; if you like to focus on writing and don’t really want to launch a website, you can write and earn money blogging on Medium.
Medium is a subscription website where bloggers earn money from the subscription payments its users pay for access, with the top writers making thousands of dollars per month.
But, I’d recommend hosting your own WordPress website using a host like WP Engine instead. It’s easy to get started, and if you’re not that technically minded, hire someone from Fiverr to set it up for you.
Then choose your keywords, plan content, and start writing your posts. Once you have your initial trickle of traffic, add monetisation methods to begin earning.
There are so many ways to make money from blogging. The easiest method is placing adverts on your blog from an Ad Network like Google Adsense. There are loads of Ad Networks to choose from, and you earn money when someone visits your blog then clicks on an ad.
But there are greater earnings to be made by promoting products as an affiliate instead. You can earn a commission payment when a shopper buys a product after clicking on a link to it from your website.
Adam Enfroy runs a blog and earns over $80,000 per month from affiliate earnings. He also gives you the blueprint for how you can achieve the same success yourself.
If you like talking to people to entertain, educate, or inspire, then consider launching a podcast.
Podcasting, made possible by today’s connected world, can earn significant income for entrepreneurs who get it right.
There are podcasts for literally all the topics under the sun. Some podcasts are wildly popular and grow year on year, while some are only ever listened to by a handful of people and quickly fold.
How do you launch a podcast that has a chance of success? Well, first, become an expert in what makes a good podcast. Listen to as many popular ones as you can. See what kind of content they make, and how they structure each episode.
Many podcasts follow a few common formats. There is the interview podcast, the solo monologue podcast, or the conversational podcast where the same presenters host the show each week and talk about a niche topic in detail.
So how do podcasters make money?
Often, entrepreneurs use podcasting as part of their overall outreach strategy, to build an online following for another digital asset, like a website.
However, if you build a big enough audience you can attract significant sponsorship to your podcast and build an entire business using just your podcast only.
Other ways to monetise your podcast include; affiliate offers, selling courses, using it to talk about your physical products, networking and building relationships to get speaking gigs or publishing deals.
If you get to the top, you can charge your most adoring fans for exclusive content. And, if your lucky, land a deal with a top podcast publisher like Apple and Spotify for millions of dollars.
Webinar / Live Host
A Webinar is a seminar held over the internet. Access is by invite only and is usually delivered to a small number of people. The average webinar attendance is around 148 people.
Thanks to the Pandemic, we are now all familiar with the zoom conference, and a webinar is a private one of these, where you get to control who attends.
Most webinars last 30-45 minutes and many have a Q&A session at the end.
Webinars were one of the major ways I built my 6 figure digital online business in the early days.
So what can you do on a webinar, how do you get people to attend, and how do you make money from them?
A webinar’s purpose can be several things:
- You can offer it as a reward for purchasing one of your products.
- You could offer it for free, and promise interesting information, then pitch a product at the end.
- You can demonstrate a product or teach a new product feature.
- You can educate an audience about the specialist knowledge you have.
A webinar can be used at all stages of the customer buying cycle and be constructed to move prospects through your sales funnel. You must offer great value though. People are committing about an hour and have set aside time in their schedule.
If your webinar is poor quality or a barely disguised promo, then you could end up alienating your audience.
Most people make money from webinars by promoting a product. You have a captive audience, so if you have prepared well, you have a chance of making sales at the end. If you are an expert in a particular subject, then you may be able to charge people to access the webinar. Depending on your standing with your audience, the admission price could be in the thousands of dollars.
Affiliate marketing should be part of your money earning toolbox – whichever online lifestyle business idea you choose.
If you recommend someone else’s product to someone and they buy it, you can earn a commission for facilitating the transaction; that’s affiliate marketing.
The product owner knows you are responsible for the sale because when you register as an affiliate for a product, you get assigned a unique tracking code which identifies you.
Whichever niche you choose for your online business, there are usually plenty of related products for you to promote.
When you start a business in affiliate marketing, it is easy to become overwhelmed. There is so much information out there, some good, but plenty of bad. If you’re learning for the first time, learn from one of the pros. Pat Flynn is a respected and successful affiliate marketer. He has a website smartpassiveincome.com and many helpful videos on his YouTube Channel.
With affiliate marketing, the sky is the limit. Forget an annual six-figure income; it’s possible to achieve this amount every month.
It’s never been easier to publish your writing. No agent needed or publishing house required. You can manage the entire process from your laptop and have your book available to the world for under $100.
E. L. James, one of the most famous self-published authors, has a net worth of $150 million from her Fifty Shades trilogy, which started out as Twilight Fan-fiction. James’s success demonstrates that you don’t have to be established (or even a good writer!) to make it as an author.
That said, it helps if you give yourself a fighting chance. Innumerable authors never strike it rich writing their own fiction stories. But there are plenty of writers making a good living as authors of non-fiction books that educate and solve readers problems.
Amazon KDP is the platform that enables you to publish your manuscript and make it available to millions of Kindle e-book readers. You can set your own price, and you keep 70% of the profits.
Know all about Gardening or Yoga? Write down your guidance in a way that solves problems for readers. Kindle books are often impulse purchases, and millions are sold every year.
You don’t have to write a long book, either. Short 70 page books are common in the non-fiction categories. To make a start as a self-published author, check out my guide How to Self Publish on Amazon Kindle & Get Your Own ISBN No!
Influencers. Do we really need them? It turns out we do. Influencers now play an essential role when brands take a product to market.
And it’s not all stick-thin models pouting on a beach. If you can influence an audience into buying a product, then you could be a Welder from Rochdale or a Sushi-Chef from Singapore.
To enter this lucrative world, you’ll first need to choose a niche. Next, optimise your social profiles to cater to your desired audience, then start to create content and build up your following.
Once you can demonstrate a good following, you can approach brands and let them know that you are open to collaboration.
There are a few rules now. Influencer’s fall under the same regulations as affiliates, so you have to state your relationship with the brands you promote upfront. And it’s unlikely you’ll become successful if you haven’t used the products you are trying to promote.
You can take a course to learn the process of becoming an Instagram influencer on Udemy.
Also read my post – How to Become an Influencer (without wearing a bikini) for a step by step guide.
Anyone can set up a YouTube Channel free of charge; all you need is a Google Account.
And YouTube can be a very lucrative lifestyle business idea.
There are, of course, the stories we’ve all heard about online, about YouTubers with millions of followers earning astronomical sums of money. But there are thousands of others who make a full time living with smaller channels.
Vanessa Lau’s channel is dedicated to helping people get the most from Instagram. That’s all. She posts videos about every aspect of building a following and earning money from the Instagram platform. She has also been able to leverage her success into lucrative consulting gigs too.
YouTube is a social media platform AND a search engine. People use it for all aspects of their lives; entertainment, education, hobbies, DIY, and just about anything else you can think of.
If you set up a YouTube channel, it’s best to focus on a single niche. It can be a relatively narrow one, too, as the audience is global and vast. Some people earn a living uploading videos about one or two video game titles, and others focus solely on demonstrating nail art designs.
If the thought of showing your face on camera makes you squirm, then there are lots of different types of videos you can make instead.
- Unboxing videos
- Animated explainer videos
- Cooking videos with a top-down camera
- Screen-recording videos showing how to use software
- Motivation videos using stock footage clips
You are only limited by your imagination. Influencer Marketing Hub has an in-depth article on how to start a YouTube channel if you want to investigate further.
Video Course Creator
Sites like Udemy, Thinkific, and Teachable has seen an explosion in individuals selling access to their knowledge online. It’s now become more accessible than ever to learn nearly anything online. If you want to know how to crochet, pilot a drone, or even learn to hula-hoop, you can find a video course to help you learn.
The courses are made by everyday people and delivered on-demand to an ever-growing audience of students hungry for knowledge. The e-learning market is predicted to be worth $325 billion by 2025 – video courses are becoming so popular that even celebrities are getting in on the act with Masterclass.
Many of the courses are delivered by video as students prefer to see their teacher, so you’ll need to be comfortable on camera. Also, as an educator, you will need to demonstrate expert knowledge.
But most of us have hobbies or skills where we are at a proficiency level suitable for teaching others. So brainstorm a list of your skills, and ask yourself is this something that others might pay to learn.
It doesn’t have to be an intellectual pursuit: Growing roses, network building on LinkedIn, or making Sourdough bread are subjects where course creators are earning a living.
To get started, follow my step by step guide here How to Create a 6 Fig Online Course (that people love you for).
Membership Site Host
When you launch a membership site, you create a valuable resource online but host it behind a paywall. A membership fee is charged, usually every month, and you will be expected to release new useful information regularly to the members.
Membership sites work well in niches where there is a lot to learn, such as the example below for a membership site that teaches Rock climbing. Members get to learn route planning, climbing endurance, finger strength workouts and become part of a community of likeminded souls.
Some membership sites will be solely educational, and others might provide a resource to members every month, such as a list of hot keywords, or growing product niches on Amazon.
Whichever you choose, you will need to deliver a quality product and look after your members continually. You can provide webinars, interviews, and other bespoke content that your members can’t find elsewhere. Frequently, membership sites have a method for the members to communicate too, like a Facebook Group or an online forum.
See my guide here – How to Create a 6 Figure Membership Site (the easy way)
Stock Photo Photographer
Here is a great lifestyle business idea that anyone can start as long as you have a smartphone with a good camera. According to Forrest McCall of Don’t Work Another Day, “selling photos online can be a tremendous way to earn passive income.”
However, it’s not quite as simple as finding a few landscapes or dog pictures on your laptop and putting them for sale on a website.
There are millions of stock photos available to choose from now, so to stand apart, you’ll need to take amazing pictures and make them available on the stock photography websites with the right keyword tags for people to find them.
Running a Stock Photography business requires you to study the market and fulfil a need. You will need to anticipate the kind of pictures people will want to use to illustrate stories, adverts, and other media.
For example, the Pandemic of 2020 has seen a stock photography niche created in just a few months. Facemask pictures and virus protests have become essential images for news outlets and other content creators.
There is, of course, evergreen stock photo categories too, like office workers, food and drink, and health and fitness. If you can shoot good images of well-composed scenes, then you have a chance of earning an income in this field.
But it won’t be a story of overnight success. It takes time to upload your photos to the stock photography websites properly. Shotkit.com reckons that if you can do a hundred or so every month, then in 3 to 5 years you could be earning a passive income of $4-500 per month.
Here’s a great video from a professional photographer, videographer, and YouTuber Peter McKinnon;
Every teenager’s dream; earning money for playing video games! While it’s tempting to have a chuckle at what seems to be a pie-in-the-sky concept, pro-gaming is big business.
E-sports (as pro-gaming is known) has prize money pools as big as any other mainstream sport. With the 2019 Fortnite champion winner pocketing $3 million in prize money.
So how do you become a pro-gamer? Well to borrow the punchline of an old joke about Carnegie Hall – practice, practice, practice.
You’ll have to dedicate months of play to a single game, and enter smaller online competitions before advancing to larger competitions with a prize pool.
You can earn an income from other revenue streams as well. Once you have a following, gaming equipment manufactures may sponsor you to use their equipment. Another potential income stream is setting up a YouTube channel.
Some of the biggest channels on YouTube are run by gamers, with the best in the business earning the equivalent of an excellent annual salary monthly.
As lifestyle business ideas go, an information marketing business is something anyone from any walk of life can start today with nothing more than an idea and a laptop.
ECommerce Based Businesses
This section covers a more traditional method of commerce; the selling of physical products. The internet has revolutionized retail. We are currently in the transition period where decades-old retail giants are filing for bankruptcy protection, to be replaced by new online businesses like Amazon, Etsy & Alibaba.
This has brought e-commerce to the forefront as a totally viable lifestyle business idea that can be launched and grown from the comfort of your own home or as I like to say a beach in Fiji if you prefer!
Statista says that e-commerce will be a $4.2 trillion channel in 2020 and a $6.5 trillion one by 2023.
Entering a growing market is always a smart move, so next, we’ll look at the different types of e-commerce businesses you could set up to sell physical products directly to consumers.
I have a detailed step-by-step post on starting an ecommerce business, which will give you plenty of ecommerce lifestyle business ideas. So, if you want a more comprehensive introduction to e-commerce, make sure to check out that article.
Retail Arbitrage is merely capitalizing on the price difference of a product between two existing retail stores.
For example, if you spot a product at the supermarket, which is on sale for $8, but you know online stores are selling it for $21. You can buy that product at $8, then sell it via an online marketplace like eBay or Amazon for the market value of $21 and pocket the difference.
Of course, you will have a few costs in making the sale possible. But if you can find a large enough gap in product prices, and can find a sufficient volume of products, then you can create an excellent lifestyle income for yourself.
Nikki Kirk from Your Selling Guide is an expert in retail arbitrage if you want to investigate this lifestyle business idea further.
Quite possibly one of the most successful lifestyle business ideas of modern times, as in, over the last few years selling private label products on Amazon has produced more location independant 6 & 7 figure lifestyle entrepreneurs than any other business model I’ve witnessed!
Private label is a business model where you retain a manufacturer to produce a product for you that you sell under your brand name.
It’s how lots of businesses operate today, including many household named brands. China and other similar countries offer low-cost manufacturing bases where it is possible to have a product made for a few dollars which you can then sell on with a significant markup.
The internet has made outsourced manufacturing, warehousing, and delivery direct to the consumer possible. You can even manage the whole process from your laptop without laying a finger on any of the finished goods.
The e-commerce giant Alibaba is an excellent resource for finding Private Label manufacturers. The process of finding a good, reliable manufacturer can pose problems, though, especially considering the language barrier.
So, before you retain anyone as a manufacturer for your product idea, make sure to obtain samples and research the company as thoroughly as you can before you go ahead.
You can read about our journey selling private label products on Amazon here – How We Built a 7 Figure Amazon FBA Business in 12 Months.
Manufacturing Your Own Products
Websites like Etsy and eBay means it’s never been easier to earn a living from artisanal products you handmake yourself.
Popular products to make include soaps, leather goods, and jewellery. You can create a lifestyle business using only a small workshop you set up at home.
Some products require a certain level of craftsmanship, so it helps if you already have a hobby that lends itself to an online venture. There are many courses available for learning crafts on Skillshare, or you can find individuals selling courses, like this one on soapmaking.
Dropshipping is a business model where a manufacturer or warehouser of goods agrees to deliver products directly to the consumer for any sales you make.
The main benefit is that you have no upfront overheads for manufacturing items or holding stock.
So you can set up an e-commerce store, pack it full of products, then pocket the difference between your sale price and the price charged by the dropshipper to deliver the item to the customer.
Dropshipping is a business model with a low barrier to entry. You can set up a business quickly and for little up-front cost, though the challenge comes from competition. Dropshipping is a competitive space, compounded by that low barrier to entry; it’s likely your e-commerce store will be one of thousands selling the same products.
You will need to find a fresh angle to market your store. You could choose a low-cost method of promotion, like content marketing. But this takes time to see results.
Alternatively, you could use paid ads to promote your store like Google Adwords or Facebook Advertising. You will need to pay close attention to your campaigns, though, to keep on the right side of profitability.
Dropshipping has made millionaires out of some people, though for every one person that succeeds, there are many whose stores fold without making any profit.
There is always the middle path, and you can choose to have products drop-shipped as an additional revenue stream to add to another e-commerce business model.
To find out more about dropshipping, I highly recommend signing up for Nick Peroni’s free dropshipping course here.
Print on Demand
Print on Demand (POD) is an ecommerce model that is fast to set up, has low overheads, and requires no inventory.
You create a store which sells everyday products like t-shirts, caps, mugs, and posters that are then printed on (with your design) by a third party and shipped directly to a consumer after they buy it.
Read about my print on demand e-commerce journey here.
There are a growing number of suppliers that operate in this sector that you can partner with to launch your own POD business.
What will make you stand out from the competition is your unique designs, so it helps if you have talent in this arena. If you are not artistically inclined, then you can always hire designers on the freelancing websites like Fiverr or Blankpalette.
The best POD suppliers provide product feeds to help you populate your e-commerce store, so you can quickly set up a website. Then you will have to use your Digital Marketing skills to promote your store.
Blogging is a cheap method for attracting traffic to your store, and the visual nature of your products also lends itself to social media promotion on Instagram or Twitter.
You can also partner with influencers in your chosen niche to give your sales a boost.
Read my post – How Not to Run an Ecommerce Business, followed by – How to Start an Ecommerce Business and Sell Stuff You Love! – for a more comprehensive overview.
Start a Pearl Party Business
Remember the old days of Tupperware parties?
The host would invite all their friends and neighbors over to eat sandwiches and drink tea or wine and then they’d present the latest innovations in Tupperware.
The attendees would all gasp in awe at the incredible new microwaveable plastic, or how long it could store food and line up to buy packs of the stuff.
The host acting as the middleman between the manufacturer and the buyer would retain the profit made from buying the Tupperware at cost and selling at RRP.
Hosting a pearl party is similar albeit these days you can do it all online and host a live stream party instead!
Your job would be to source and ship the oysters, get people to your online party, and then sell the pearls for attendees to have embedded in jewelry or do with as they please.
Here’s a great step-by-step article for you to learn how to start your own Pearl Party Business.
There are more than 100 platforms on which you could choose to build your e-commerce business. And the most suitable platform for your business will depend on the type of e-commerce business you decide to launch.
Some platforms work best for everyday retail products. Others do well for vintage goods. So let’s take a look at some of the platforms available, and the products you might choose to sell on them.
Lifestyle Business Ideas for Marketplace Platforms
If you want to source products to sell from a third-party manufacturer (or maybe hand-make your own), then you likely want to sell on a marketplace platform.
Established online marketplaces have the benefit of plenty of web traffic, but the competition on them can be fierce. If you sell products which are similar to others, then you will need to compete on price, or by improving the product with additional features.
The worlds largest online marketplace is the one provided by Amazon. You can start selling on Amazon in two ways;
Amazon FBA – FBA stands for Fulfilment By Amazon. You can source products to sell, send them to be stored in the Amazon warehouse, then Amazon will ship them to the customer when they are sold.
Amazon FBM – FBM stands for Fulfilment By Merchant. You can list products for sale on the Amazon Marketplace, but you warehouse your stock and ship to the consumer when you make a sale.
Many favour the Amazon FBA business model over FBM. With FBA, you only have to concentrate on sourcing products, rather than dealing with the more tedious logistics duties that come with warehousing your own stock.
Amazon takes a bigger slice of your profits for providing the FBA logistics. But for most, it makes sense. Unless you are selling large and heavy products – Amazon logistics costs increase dramatically as products increase in size and weight.
Typically, people using the Private Label e-commerce model source products which are small, light, and retail above the $20 mark, leaving enough room for profitability.
Several competing platforms are trying to cut into Amazon’s marketplace dominance. Some attempt to match Amazon’s aim to sell everything from A to Z and others focus on a particular market segment.
Walmart Marketplace – Amazon alternative
Sears Marketplace – Amazon alternative
Newegg – Tech marketplace
Wish – Online marketplace favoured by Chinese manufacturers
Brisksale – Totally free online marketplace
Lazada – Far Eastern marketplace (a platform I regularly shop on here in Thailand)
Auction and Second-Hand Platforms
You can’t talk about auction and second-hand e-commerce platforms without starting with eBay. Launched around the same time as Amazon in the mid-1990s, eBay is still one of the biggest online marketplaces in the world.
Its popularity is in part due to the ease of listing products for everyday people to sell unwanted second-hand items. The online auction model popularised by eBay has been copied by many, but never bettered.
eBay is a platform you can use in a variety of ways. Some use the platform to raise initial capital for a business by selling a few unneeded things. Others run a lifestyle business reselling second-hand items purchased from thrift stores and charity shops.
You can sell new items on eBay too, in much the same way as Amazon. And the competition for some products is as tough as Amazon. Currently, you need to warehouse the items you sell on eBay, but they are looking to compete with the Amazon FBA model in 2022, with their new Managed Delivery service.
From a handful of craft beads to a Gulfstream II Jet for $4.9 million; you can sell anything on eBay – for an individual making a start in e-commerce, eBay cannot be beaten.
There are alternative consumer selling platforms available, though none as famous as eBay. On the plus side you’ll have less competition, but on the negative side, less traffic to your items for sale. Some of the alternatives are;
Bonanza – eBay/Amazon alternative.
Mercari – eBay style marketplace for the US and Japan
Poshmark – Clothes marketplace for the US and Canada
eBid – Worldwide marketplace.
eCrater – US, UK and Australian marketplace.
Tradesy – High-end clothing and accessories.
Etsy says on its website that it is ‘the global marketplace for unique and creative goods’. Launched in 2005, it positioned itself brilliantly, and as a result, dominates the hand-made sector.
If you are considering a business in artisanal soap-making or can throw a mean plate on the potter’s wheel, then Etsy is the platform for you.
I’ve always loved this article from Mrs Money Moustache on how she built her soap business on Etsy.
Alongside hand-made items, Etsy is also a place for vintage and collectables. You don’t necessarily have to make the items you sell on Etsy. You could buy in stock to resell and warehouse it at home.
Also, check out my good friend Brooks Conkle’s article on The Top Things to Sell on Etsy to Make Money.
Etsy is King in the craft and vintage sector, but there are a handful of alternatives;
Artfire – Etsy alternative
StoreEnvy – Etsy alternative
Ruby Lane – Vintage marketplace
The final platforms don’t easily fit into any of the platform categories above. And are, in some way, an evolution of newspaper classified ads.
Craigslist came first in 1995, and it still ranks in the top 20 most visited websites in the US. It’s free to list on and is ideal for bulky items that you want to sell locally.
Building a lifestyle business solely on Craigslist could be tricky, though, and there are more modern alternatives you can use instead.
Facebook Marketplace launched in 2016 and has 800 million monthly visitors. It’s free to list an item, and you can use an app that you probably already have installed on your smartphone. Snap a picture, add a few details, and you could be chatting to potential buyers in Facebook Messenger within moments.
Facebook Marketplace is best for local sales. It’s a place where many of the transactions are completed offline in cash, though a checkout system is in the works. So at the moment, it is another platform where you could sell unwanted items to raise capital.
Some people are selling new products as a dropshipper or using a print on demand service. But at the moment, to ship to someone, you have to use a third-party payment system like Paypal.
Taking payment outside of the marketplace increases the chance of a transaction going awry, and there is no formal system in place to adjudicate on any problems with a sale. However, local online-sales legislation may provide some protection for buyers and sellers.
Another Facebook company, Instagram, offers a platform for Social Media online sales.
Instagram is the app to use for attracting traffic with high-quality visuals. Now you can also make sales of products you highlight in with Instagram Shop.
To sell on Instagram, you’ll need to have an online shop set up elsewhere first. There are a few steps you need to take first to list your products on Instagram. Products highlighted for sale on Instagram are pulled through from listings on a linked Facebook Store.
Now, it may be that you already have an existing e-commerce store using a platform like Shopify, and don’t want to have to manage another store on Facebook. There is a workaround. You can use a Shopify plugin to populate your Facebook Store, then hide the listings on your Facebook page but still use the Instagram Shop feature to win more sales.
To understand how you can use one of the most popular social media platforms to make more sales, read this article from oberlo.co.uk.
Print On Demand Platforms
You may have seen a stall in a shopping mall where you give them an image which they print for you on a smartphone case. This is called Print On Demand (POD).
There are lots of companies available that can help you set up your own online store selling POD products.
It’s not just phone cases though; today you can get any design you like printed on a whole range of products: T-shirts, reusable water bottles, notebooks, bags – the list is endless.
It’s an excellent lifestyle business to start if you don’t have much initial working capital. All you need to do is to pick a niche and create some designs.
Some POD services already have traffic to their online stores, but for others, you’ll need to find an audience to promote your products to. Registering with a POD service provider is usually free as well.
The POD business model is a win for the service providers. The design is only printed on a product after a sale is made. So the POD service provider just has to keep a stock of blank items ready for printing.
Merch by Amazon is perhaps the most well-known POD service provider. They can leverage the enormous traffic of the Amazon Marketplace to sell a wide range of products. Joining the Merch by Amazon program isn’t straightforward, though. There is an application process, and you aren’t guaranteed to be accepted.
If you get accepted, competition is keen too. POD is a business model with one of the lowest barriers to entry. Success is usually found in one of two ways.
The first is by creating and uploading thousands of designs to maximise sales (including different colours, and captions for the same core design). The second is having an existing audience willing to buy products with your branded slogans or artwork on them.
Amazon is not the only game in town, however. Below is a list of reputable POD service providers grouped by business model and product type.
POD Service Providers
Upload your designs, and the products are sold on the same website (similar to Merch By Amazon).
Redbubble – Nearly everything you can think of.
Zazzle – Nearly everything you can think of.
Teespring – T-shirts and hoodies.
Spreadshirt – T-shirts, mugs, posters, pins, and face masks.
Threadless – Mainly clothes and mugs.
Bonfire – T-shirts only.
Society6 – Nearly everything you can think of.
Teepublic – T-shirts, mugs, posters, pins, and face masks.
Teefury – T-shirts, mugs, posters, pins, and face masks.
Sunfrog – T-shirts only.
The following POD services work differently. These service providers enable you to populate your e-commerce site with a range of products. They all integrate with the more popular platforms like Shopify. Some of them also integrate with Etsy, eBay, and even Amazon.
Once you make a sale, the order is transferred, manufactured, and shipped directly to the customer. Making it possible to run an e-commerce store with hundreds of products from anywhere in the world. All you need is a laptop and a WiFi connection,
Printful – Clothing, accessories, and home furnishings.
Printify – Clothing, accessories, and home furnishings. Has an Eco range too.
Gooten – Clothing, accessories, stationery, and home furnishings.
Glamour – Your very own make up line! I have just started building a make up business using this app with my 14 year old daughter.
Podify Dynamic Print on Demand is a Shopify POD product which works in a slightly different way than those previously mentioned. The app allows the customers on your own Shopify web store to personalise a range of products.
Blurb – This website allows you to launch your own picture book. Once written and formatted, you can print 1 or 1000 at a time.
Lulu Xpress – Another POD bookseller. With a broader selection of book formats to choose from. Can provide notebooks and calendars too.
If you can get your pricing right for this, print on demand is a very exciting lifestyle business idea and makes the barrier to entry almost non existent.
Be sure to read my story about starting a print on demand ecommerce business and learn from my mistakes!
Your Own Store
Another great lifestyle business idea is of course launching your own store.
There are risks associated with launching a business on a platform like Amazon or Zazzle. If the platform shuts down, or you inadvertently break their terms of service, you can lose your entire income overnight.
For some, who prefer to minimise business continuity risks, you might instead choose to register a web address yourself and set up an e-commerce store.
And if it’s your store, it’s your rules. You can sell one item or ten thousand. Combine dog treats and glitter balls if you like (I wouldn’t recommend it). The point is, some people prefer to have more control over their business.
It is a more challenging route to take. The benefit of the marketplace platforms is a steady stream of visitors. With your own store, you would need to attract web traffic, which means either paying for ads, investing in content marketing, or building a social media following.
All traffic options cost money, either as a direct cost for advertising or in time to build up organic traffic. But the rewards can be significant. You can achieve a good lifestyle income, or even create a major international brand, like Sunday Somewhere.
There are literally hundreds of e-commerce platforms to choose from and install on your own website address. The one most often recommended today is Shopify. It’s even used by many big-names brands like Hasbro, The BBC, and KKW Beauty.
There are built-in features to help with marketing, customer checkout, and tools to import product details quickly. There is also an application marketplace, which is a bit like the app store you get on an iPhone.
You can add in additional functionality to your store with plugins provided by a third-party. There are numerous categories with apps to help with tasks like email marketing, inventory management, and live-chat customer support.
Shopify starts at $29 per month. Which, when you consider the cost of setting up a brick and mortar store, helps to understand why many of the high-street shops are falling into bankruptcy.
While Shopify is the most popular e-commerce platform, there are others available. Here is a selection of alternatives.
Big Commerce – An alternative to Shopify. Some large enterprise stores favour it.
Woo Commerce – WordPress e-commerce plugin. Useful if your store is only part of your business.
Magento Open Source – Free alternative.
Weird & Wonderful Ecommerce Stores
What I love about the e-commerce model is that if you can imagine it, the chances are you can sell it!
You could have the strangest hobby that you’d love to turn into an online lifestyle business and your store might focus on the smallest of niches, yet the beauty of reaching a global audience online means you’re likely to still have sufficient reach to earn you a full-time income.
Here are a few examples of weird and wonderful stores from around the globe achieving just that.
Yolele just sells an ancient African super-grain called Fonio. The website is pretty cool too.
Keychron sells a range of keyboards that use the old-school clacky keys which some people still swear by.
Ventana sell surfboards. But only specialised hand-made hollow wooden ones.
Dryrobe takes a micro-niche product and owns it. All they sell are towel robes for use in outdoor activities.
I do hope this huge list of fantastic lifestyle business ideas has inspired you to investigate this business model further.
The world of work and earning a living with your own business is forever changed, thanks to the internet. The first work from home jobs were created in medieval times. People made yarn on spinning wheels or hammered out horseshoes in a home-forge.
Today, the internet has opened up a cornucopia of possibilities to make a living at home, or from anywhere in the world. You can start a lifestyle business providing services as a freelancer in hundreds of different skill-sets. Or you can create and sell information and education to nearly anyone in the world.
If you prefer to sell physical products, you can do that too. The global marketplace means that even the smallest of micro-niches can provide a rich source of income.
And we’re not talking about scraping a living either. It’s never been easier to create a business that can provide a very comfortable lifestyle income. Isn’t it time you joined in?
Thanks for reading!
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