How To Start An Online Business

Want to start an online business? Don’t yet… At least until you’ve read this article. You see, one of the most common questions I get asked is – How can I start an online business? This article is an attempt to answer some of the questions in your mind and provide you with actionable advice […]

Written By Godson

On May 22, 2024
___________ Updated June 3, 2024 @ 12:01 pm

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Want to start an online business? Don’t yet… At least until you’ve read this article.

You see, one of the most common questions I get asked is – How can I start an online business?

This article is an attempt to answer some of the questions in your mind and provide you with actionable advice

But let me be candid with you…

Starting an online business is not the easiest thing to do but it is the right thing because…

You get the assurance that you control 80% or more of your time…

You decide when you work and also where you work

The opportunities for financial growth are limitless.

I believe that’s the essence of starting any business in the first place

So let’s start by answering the big question…


What Is An Online Business?

An online business is a type of business that offers value in exchange for money, on the internet.

By this definition, we have eliminated certain activities that look like online businesses but are not.

I’ve had a hard time explaining to people that forex trading, freelancing, and remote work, are not online businesses

Online businesses are REAL businesses. The difference is that they offer their products or services online.

A good example is an e-commerce store – like Amazon

It would not be wrong to describe it as a shopping mall, whose location is online.

Their customers get a similar experience as with any other shopping mall they could visit

Of course with the added advantage of convenience and the ability to check reviews before buying

Benefits physical malls cannot offer, at least not yet.

I am not saying you should build the next Amazon since you want to start an online business

I want to emphasize that online businesses are real companies providing real value

And Amazon is popular enough to achieve my objective

As you can see, it goes beyond making money online… It is about exchanging value!

There are several ways people make money online that don’t require starting a business

I call them opportunities. They don’t last very long, so it is wise to focus on building something enduring


Because it takes the same energy to try to make quick money from opportunities, to build a real business online.

I hope by now you’ve gotten the full picture, of how an online business differs from just making money online

With that said, let’s move on to talk about…


The Different Types Of Online Businesses

There are several types of online businesses I could write about.

However, I will focus on the major ones to avoid making this article unnecessarily long.


Online Business #1. E-commerce

For obvious reasons, I have chosen to start with e-commerce.

At least we get to complete the gist we were having earlier about Amazon.

I would refer to e-commerce as “ecom” in this article.

Anytime you see ecom, know that I mean e-commerce.


What is ecom?

Wikipedia defines E-commerce as the activity of electronically buying or selling products on online services or over the Internet. Wikipedia
I won’t explain further because the definition is self-explanatory and almost everyone has interacted with an e-commerce brand at one point in their life

Instead, let me tell you about the different e-commerce business opportunities that exist today.



You can start an online distribution e-commerce business by becoming a reseller of other people’s products.

You see, distribution is a highly profitable part of the production chain because of higher profit margins

For instance, let’s assume we just discovered a new/revolutionary product that isn’t too popular yet

We negotiate terms for officially distributing this product, or we purchase several units of the same product

Then we go ahead to create an online store to resell the product at a 5X – 10X price point

We use higher price points to cover our logistics and advertising costs.

Then, we drive traffic to our new store using paid advertising

Our store then generates a lot of profit at a decent conversion rate.

To start a distribution e-commerce store, you have to source products that can sell quickly

Create an online store and advertise your products to an audience of buyers using digital marketing strategies


3rd Party Manufacturing

If you have an appetite for larger risks, you can decide to go up one step and start manufacturing your products.

Don’t get frightened. You don’t have to open a manufacturing company or buy equipment

We will talk about how this works later on, for now, the big question is…

What would you manufacture? That’s entirely up to you

Maybe you have a revolutionary electronic gadget you’d like to take to market.

Or a fancy water bottle design. It doesn’t matter.

There are dozens of companies and engineers willing to work tirelessly with you to manufacture your product.

And I will show you how to get them.

But first, you need to decide the kind of product your brand will sell.

Already have ideas, then you have to conduct market research to see if your product is viable

If you don’t have ideas, then you have to conduct product research to see what is selling very well

Get inspiration by visiting the best-sellers categories on popular websites like Amazon.

Watch product reviews on social platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

Once you have your idea, visit websites like to find a reliable manufacturer

Connect with them, negotiate terms, and secure the deal.

Once you have the product sorted, how do you manage inventory and shipping, etc?

There are service providers that will handle that for a small fee, the most popular being Amazon

You can google Amazon FBA (Fulfiled by Amazon) to learn more.

With the FBA program, Amazon does all the heavy lifting of managing inventory and delivering your products to buyers fast.

It doesn’t matter if you sell your products on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, or your online store.

Amazon will deliver your products to your buyers for you.



While I don’t advise people to start a dropshipping business today, it is still a thing

And there are many people still making a living dropshipping products.

Dropshipping refers to selling someone else’s products on a Whitelabel.

Let me paint the picture, so that it will be clear

Let’s assume I don’t have the funds to invest in manufacturing my product

Or I don’t just want the risks invovled

What do I do?

I go to someone who has already manufactured a product and arrange with him/her to drop ship their product.

The arrangement is that I will promote the product and whenever I make sales, he will handle the shipping on my behalf

The customer will never know the product didn’t come from me. Everything will be done on my behalf.

That way, I never see the product. I don’t get involved in the inventory and delivery of the product

My only focus would be on marketing and customer service

To start this kind of e-commerce business, you’d need to create an online store and integrate it with platforms like Aliexpress or any other platform where you can find products at a very low price

Once you’ve done that, you can go ahead to promote your store online.

At this point, I hope you understand the different types of E-commerce opportunities.

Next, let’s talk about…


Online Business #2. Influencer/Audience

An Influencer in the context of an online business is someone who influences people’s opinions and choices.

In short, an influencer is someone who has an audience of people

With this audience, they can promote products, and spread good or bad feelings about anything including; brands, politicians, policies, etc.

It is not anything new. Influencers have had their place in history from the beginning of time

However, digital platforms like social media and email marketing service providers have made it easier for anyone to become one

I like to say that they have democratized access to having an audience.

Smart brands, business owners, music artists, and even politicians engage the services of influencers to promote their trade

Once you have an audience who listens to you… You have something of value to offer.

For instance, I was paid by (a thriving online community platform with millions of daily active users) to tell my audience about the platform.

That’s the power of having an audience.

If you recall, Christiano Ronaldo removing two bottles of Coke during a press conference caused Coca-Cola to lose over $4 Billion few hours.

That’s because he is an influencer.

Coca-Cola has since made a recovery, but that shows you the power of influencing.


Here Are The Top 5 Ways To Build Your Audience Today (Without Becoming An Athlete, Musician Or Actor)

  • Become a content creator or synthesizer on social platforms like Facebook, Tiktok, X, Instagram, Youtube
  • Building an Email list (I didn’t say downloading an email list. There’s a big difference)
  • Building a blog of engaged readers
  • Creating a community of like-minded people on WhatsApp, Telegram,, and Facebook
  • Starting a podcast

This is the era where personal brands are dominating.

If you are considering becoming an influencer, this is the right time to start.

You can read more about building an audience here

Well, don’t hurry to make your choice. Here is yet another online business…


Online Business #3. Consulting

Consulting is the business of selling advice.

Every now and then, businesses hire different kinds of consultants to help them achieve a goal

To understand how the business model works, you need to understand WHY businesses need consultants

Here are some of them:

  • They need a fresh perspective to solve a challenge
  • They need to get the job done, without hiring new staff permanently
  • They need an expert to help them realize their goals

But that’s just corporate consulting.

There is also personal consulting. When someone needs to achieve a goal and they need advice, they turn to consultants.

So as you can imagine, there are consultants for…

  • Diet
  • Relationships
  • Self-development
  • Education
  • Travel
  • Fitness, etc.

If people regularly turn to you for advice, then you’re in a position to start an online consulting business and profit from it.

For many types of consulting, you will not need a license or qualification to start.

But be sure to check and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.


Online Business #4. Information Business

Like consulting, information business is selling useful information that teaches someone how to do something.

One of the benefits of selling Info Products is that you can sell more units without the burden of producing more copies.

We’ve seen people sell all kinds of information online:


  • How to find a spouse
  • How to cook specific dishes or a cookbook
  • How to immigrate to a new country
  • How to overcome procrastination
  • How to start a business, etc.

Information marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry and it will continue to grow

Because people are looking for alternative sources of information.


Here Is How The Online Info Business Works

Let’s say from your experience, you know specific tips on becoming a millionaire from real estate

You can package your knowledge into an ebook or a video course and set a price. E.g. $97

Then put up an advert targeting people who are interested in the real estate industry

If you sell 1,000 copies, you’d make $100,000!

Without managing inventory, shipping, hiring staff, or any other tedious task

Meanwhile, you get to keep a huge profit margin.

If this is a business you’re interested in starting, I recommend you read my write up about it HERE


Wrapping It Up

We’ve covered different types of online businesses.

Before you decide which path to take, make sure you consider your strengths and weaknesses.

Choose a business where the activities are something you naturally enjoy doing, otherwise, it will be difficult for you to succeed doing it.

And don’t forget to do more research about it, and if possible pay for premium courses, or coaches, to fastrack your success.

if you enjoyed reading this, make me happy by leaving a comment about the online business you want to start.

That’s all for this one.

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About Godson Okorodudu

Godson is a serial entrepreneur, public speaker, and author. He teaches about business, marketing, and self-development. His work has directly impacted over 26,000 people in 85 countries



  1. Kola Afolayan

    I enjoy reading your emails and articles, they are informative and very easy to understand and implement. But I also noticed that you hardly mentioned Copywriting and Affiliate Marketing as part online business models. Do you mind to explain why?

    • Godson

      Thanks for engaging. This is a good question. Copywriting is a skill; not a business. You learn copywriting so you can write advertisement that generates response. It is a skill every business owner should have. As for Affiliate Marketing, I occasionally skip talking about it because you’re not in control of the main value being exchanged; the product. As you’d imagine, this can pose a number of challenges; the product owner might withdraw the product from the market, or might suspend your access to the platform, putting you out of business. Having to a degree, control over the product is important for it to be called a business. I’ll treat it as a fun enterprise.


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