10 online businesses students can start


It’s no secret that students today are strapped for cash. Between tuition, textbooks, and rent, it can be hard to find money to do much of anything else.

But what if you could make a little extra cash online in your free time?

It’s easier than you might think. There are plenty of legitimate ways to earn money online—whether you want to start your own business or just want some extra cash on the side.

Here are some ideas for how to get started:

Sell on Etsy.

Etsy is a great place to sell handmade items, vintage items, craft supplies and craft kits. Etsy charges a fee of 3.5% on each sale, so if you sell your handmade item for $20 the platform will take $0.75 from your earnings.

Being an Etsy seller requires some time investment: You’ll have to create a shop page that showcases your work and offer free shipping if you want customers to buy from you regularly. Make sure you have enough money saved up before starting this business because it could take time before sales start rolling in!

If you’re interested in selling handmade or vintage items on Etsy, here are some tips:

  • Have good photos of what it is that’s being sold so buyers can get an idea of what they’re buying and whether or not it’s worth their investment (and make sure those photos aren’t blurry!).
  • Make sure all the descriptions are accurate; if someone buys something that does not meet their expectations because there was incorrect information given about the product then this could hurt future sales as well as feedback on reviews sites such as Yelp!

Be a personal chef.

In this section, we’ll cover how you can start making money from your cooking skills.

First off, let’s go over the basics:

  • Offer to cook meals for people.
  • Create a list of dishes you can make.
  • Find clients by reaching out on social media and asking friends if they know anyone who could use your services. You could also try posting in local Facebook groups about what types of food you specialize in and what areas of town you’re willing to travel to offer them (don’t forget standard disclaimers like “I’m licensed” and “I have insurance”).
  • Charge whatever rate makes sense for your time, plus ingredients costs if applicable (you may want to estimate things like gas mileage). Do note that if there are any health code violations or sanitation issues with your kitchen area that cause problems, it’s possible that someone might sue you—so do some research first! And make sure there aren’t any legal regulations limiting the number of hours per day someone can work without overtime pay (if so then consider hiring someone else part-time) before deciding whether this business idea would be worth pursuing.[1]

Sell your own products on Amazon.

  • [Sell your own products on Amazon](https://www.amazon.com/gp/seller-account).

Amazon is the world’s largest online marketplace, which makes it a great place to sell your own products. Customers trust Amazon as a source of quality products, and they’re more likely to buy from you if they know they’ll get the same level of service as they do when buying from Amazon itself. Plus, with its huge customer base, selling on Amazon means you won’t have any trouble finding buyers for your items!

  • [Get started on Etsy](https://www.etsy.com).

Etsy is another excellent resource for selling handmade items or creative goods—and there are no upfront costs involved with setting up an account! Just register for free and then start uploading pictures of what you want to sell (or show off pictures from previous orders). You can then describe what makes each item special so potential customers know exactly what makes it worth their money.

Launch your own digital products.

As a student, you already have experience in creating things. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or someone who wants to add a new skill set to your resume, digital products are one way to make money and gain valuable experience as an independent worker.

Digital products can be anything from e-books or online courses to apps and software. The most important thing is that they be digital—and this doesn’t mean they have to be intangible! You can sell physical items like posters or t-shirts through your site as long as there’s some sort of digital component involved in providing them (such as shipping information).

The best way for students interested in launching their own digital products is probably through an eCommerce platform like Shopify. It allows anyone with little technical knowledge about websites and web design build their own store from scratch without having anyone else do it for them! They also provide all kinds of services such as hosting, payment processing, listing management tools etc that makes managing the whole process much easier so there won’t be any downtime during launch day 🙂

Become a freelance writer.

As an online business student, you can start a freelance writing business that can provide you with a flexible schedule and income. The possibilities for this type of online business are endless, and there are many markets where you can find work to do.

  • Write for blogs: Many blogs have guest writer sections where they pay writers to write posts on topics that the site’s readers would be interested in reading about. You’ll have to research these sites yourself, and pitch your ideas for articles based on what already exists on their site so that you don’t duplicate content or waste their time.
  • Write for companies: Some companies want writers who can provide quality content without having them pay as much as they would with larger agencies or firms (which could mean more money in your pocket). They may also ask that you work remotely so they don’t have to worry about paying benefits like health insurance or retirement plans since those things aren’t necessary when working remotely from home! This may not be the best option if you’re looking at starting an agency but it could help generate extra income while traveling abroad during summer break 😉

Publish an ebook on Kindle or Kobo.

If you’re looking for a way to earn a little extra cash on the side, publishing an ebook is an excellent option. While it may sound intimidating at first, it’s actually not difficult and can be done pretty quickly. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program allows users to publish their own content, while Kobo offers similar services through its self-publishing platform.

Both platforms offer a number of benefits to authors like royalty rates (70 percent with Amazon, 85 percent with Kobo), distribution in over 190 countries around the world and international reach through their websites and apps. Both also provide assistance in promoting your book through social media marketing campaigns (Facebook ads) as well as advertising on related websites such as BookBub.com or FreeBooksy​.com​ . This can help expand your audience beyond just your family members who are interested in reading about “5 easy steps” tutorials from someone who has been working online since 2002!

Become a freelance digital marketer.

  • How much you can earn
  • How to get started
  • What skills you need
  • What you need to know
  • What you need to have
  • How to market yourself and promote your services (both online and offline)
  • How to get clients and make the most of your freelancing business

Start a dropshipping store on Oberlo or Shopify.

  • Dropshipping is a great way to get started in ecommerce. You don’t need to invest in inventory, which means you can start with a small investment.
  • Dropshipping allows you to sell a variety of products without having them in stock (or even knowing what they are).
  • The opportunity for growth is limitless as long as you’ve got the traffic coming through your site and sales happening at checkout.

This is especially true if you use Oberlo or Shopify—two popular drop-ship platforms that allow sellers to purchase and import items from third-party suppliers directly from their sites.

Become a social media manager or virtual assistant.

If you enjoy writing and have an interest in social media, consider becoming a virtual assistant or social media manager. These positions are often advertised on sites like Upwork or Fiverr, where companies will post job listings for various freelance positions. Becoming a part of a team can be very exciting and rewarding as you learn how to work with people from all over the world!

  • Social Media Manager – You may find yourself wanting more independence than working for someone else, but you still enjoy writing about what’s trending on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. If this sounds like something that would suit your personality then becoming a Social Media Manager may be the perfect fit!
  • Virtual Assistant – If working from home is important to you then being a Virtual Assistant could be right up your alley! As long as there’s Wi-Fi access nearby then there shouldn’t be any problems getting work done either (within reason).

Sell your own online course or learn new skills.

If you’re an expert in a particular field (or at least have some knowledge of it), you can sell your own online course. Udemy and Skillshare are two platforms that host hundreds of thousands of courses. You could also create your own website, or even create a course on YouTube if you know how to use video effectively.

There are lots of ways to make money online that don’t involve coding

While you don’t need to be a coder to make money online, I’d like to welcome you to the world of coding. It’s fun and rewarding and it’ll help you start your own business when you learn how to code.

There are lots of ways that don’t involve coding that you can use as well. However, if you do want to get involved in coding then here are some great resources:

  • The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 by Taught by Rob Percival
  • Learn Ruby on Rails by Michael Hartl (This is also free!)


There are a lot of ideas here, but if you really want to succeed online then you need to know what options are best for your situation. If you have an idea that could be profitable, there’s a good chance someone has tried it before and failed. That’s where we can help—we’re doing the research so you don’t have to! Our team is dedicated to researching every aspect of this process until we find one that works for students who want extra cash without having too much work on their plates.

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