James Bachini

Online Business Ideas For 2021

online business ideas

Here are 8 online business ideas to generate passive income in 2021.

  1. 8 Online Business Ideas [Video]
  2. Teach an Online Course
  3. Domaining
  4. Print on Demand
  5. Building/Flipping Websites
  6. Remote Consultant
  7. Shopify Store
  8. Affiliate Marketing
  9. Content Creator / Influencer
  10. Conclusion

8 Online Business Ideas [Video]

James On YouTube

Teach an Online Course

Everyone has something to share, a skill or knowledge that they could teach others. It could be a hobby or a work thing, picking something that interests you is key.

This is because creating an online course takes a lot of work upfront. In 2021 people expect paid courses to include written content, graphics, video. While you can simply create an eBook and sell it on Gumroad you wont be able to charge as much as if you create a full video based modular course.

There are sites which have an established audience looking for content such as Skillshare and Udemy but for the greatest success entrepreneurial teachers should mix a strong free content strategy promoting their brand with paid premium content. When combined with personal branding and a little seeding with paid ads this can be extremely effective.

Explore online business ideas at skillshare


Domaining is the process of registering domain names and then reselling them over time with a mark up. Every familiar .com domain name is already taken so there are three approaches to being successful with domaining in 2021.

  1. Hand register .com’s for new trending topics and emerging technology. If you are at the forefront of a particular field then you’ll have insights that most competing domainers wont have.
  2. Approach existing owners with failed sites and make bids. This is a numbers game most of the time as most site owners will overvalue their own domains.
  3. Look at second tier TLD’s like .ca .io .co.uk
    I know someone that makes a full time living just trading .io domain names. These appeal to developers and techy type projects.

With domaining the normal rules of branding apply. Look for domains that are short, memorable and easy to type in. Domains that convey a corporate or professional brand image tend to be valued more highly. Could a startup pitch their project to VC’s using this domain without getting laughed at?

Print on demand is something that should appeal to creative entrepreneurs and anyone with some design skills. You can create a PoD account at places like Merch by Amazon, Redbubble and TeeSpring. Then create designs around trending topics are fashions which are printed on to T shirts, hoodies, mugs only once orders are received earning the designer a commission.

People like to wear clothes that associate them with a particular social group. “People like us wear things like these”.

Building/Flipping Websites

If you can create a WordPress site or something more advanced then this is a great place to start developing a portfolio of revenue generating assets. Websites can be created from scratch or bought and sold on marketplaces such as Flippa.

If you can add value through marketing and monetisation then there are even more opportunities as you can develop and optimise the revenue streams beyond just creating content.

Slide from “How to monetise your website” module

Always consider how much work is involved in maintaining a website and what requirements there are for updates and fresh content.

Remote Consultant

Consultancy isn’t really a passive income because you are still trading your time for money. However since Coronavirus disrupted how we work there’s a lot of opportunities for consultants to work remotely and still enjoy some freedom.

At the low end of the scale there are websites like Upwork and Fiverr where you can get an idea of the different types of online jobs that are in demand. These tend to be more for gig type economies where as high earning consultants will usually earn business through networking, personal branding and client recommendations.

If you have a very niche skill set that is in demand from corporate enterprises then it can be very lucrative to position yourself as a market leader in that field.

Shopify Store

It’s easier than ever to get started in E-commerce. Shopify is like WordPress for online stores. For $29/month you can get a highly optimised, modern e-commerce platform to list and sell your products. Things like merchant processing can all be handled within the app and you don’t need to code to be able to get it setup.

The last few years have seen a lot of online entrepreneurs setup Shopify stores for drop shipped products. This effectively means ordering something from AliExpress and getting it delivered direct to the customer from China.

This is has become quite competitive now but there are still plenty of opportunities in high cost niche products and low cost single product, well branded stores.

No one is going to find your Shopify store without promoting it so budget for paid advertising on platforms like Facebook Ads and Google Ads.

Shopify business ideas

Affiliate Marketing

Every year I hear someone pronounce that “affiliate marketing is dead”. Sure campaigns die and affiliates burn out but the business just evolves. People have earned commission for sales for hundreds of years and this practice isn’t going to go away.

Paid advertising and SEO have become more and more competitive now for mainstream affiliate offers. This has pushed a lot of affiliates to turn to greyhat techniques for promotions, earning the industry a bad name.

It’s much easier to promote an unsaturated offer and time spent looking for unique offers can make the chances of finding a successful pocket of traffic to run to that campaign much better.

Direct offers with new startups and venture backed projects tend to do particularly well. By the time the offer finds it’s way to all the CPA networks the competition will be so great that margins are eroded and traffic sources are saturated, sometimes.

Content Creator / Influencer

The dream of posting a few pretty photos to Instagram with your pets and raking in millions isn’t how being an influencer works in reality. While celebrities have a pre-engaged audience, new influencers will have to work hard to attract attention and provide valuable content to increase engagement.

Being an influencer or content creator can be very rewarding but it can also become a full time job with cameras, lights, editing, upload schedules and events. In 2021 the most successful influencers will build their networks much like any other online business dedicating a lot effort and creative energy at the start to earn rewards later on.

There is also the consideration of creating a fine balance between monetising an audience while still being authentic to yourself and the brand image you are creating.


This just touches on some of the more common approaches to creating business ideas in 2021. Hopefully this will provide inspiration for someone out there to get started building passive income streams.

If you have nothing better to do today then grab a pen and paper, write down sixty terrible business ideas in the next hour. It doesn’t matter if they are unfeasible or even legal just jot down a whole load of dumb ideas as fast as they come to you. At the end of the hour you’ll have a big list of ideas to go through, maybe develop and a better understanding of what possibilities there are in online business.

If you are interested in learning more about performance marketing then check out the free digital marketing course.

If you’ve enjoyed these resources could you help share this content on social media and send it to anyone who you think might benefit from it.

Thank you.

James Bachini

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Thank you.

James Bachini

Disclaimer: Not a financial advisor, not financial advice. The content I create is to document my journey and for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not under any circumstances investment advice. I am not an investment or trading professional and am learning myself while still making plenty of mistakes along the way. Any code published is experimental and not production ready to be used for financial transactions. Do your own research and do not play with funds you do not want to lose.



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