Top 5 Profitable Online Businesses in 2011

Looking for ideas to start an online business that you can operate from home?

These days, it’s the norm to talk about starting an online business. The appeal of starting an online business lies in a low to small start-up capital, ease of starting an online business and lots of tools you can leverage on to build your online business.

Despite the fact that there are so many different online businesses springing up almost everyday, here’s my choice of the top 5 online businesses that can net you high returns. And the first will be…

1) Flipping a website or blog.

This method of making money applies to the online world as well. Like the flipping of a real estate property, a website or blog can be bought and sold at a higher price. There are also webmasters who purchase a website or blog that is set up but has yet to attract a huge volume of traffic. They then add to the website and enhance its value by adding more design elements, attracting more traffic and even building a subscriber base to enhance the value of the website or blog.

2) Web hosting and reselling

Everyone who has a website or intends to have one will require the needs of a web hosting account pretty soon. This is one of my favourite methods of making money online as it creates a stream of passive income if done properly. You can create a web business by setting up your own servers and sell hosting space to people who are interested in hosting their websites or act as a reseller and earn a percentage of the sale from each customer.

There are also some innovative companies such as HostGator.com which offers reseller hosting and the opportunity to create your own web hosting company for as low as $24.95 per month. What you can do is to purchase a reseller hosting account from them, divide up the web space that you are getting into smaller parts and resell them for profit.

3) Review sites

If you have the interest and knowledge of a particular area be it in terms of lifestyle issues such as childcare, choosing an apartment, credit cards to business issues such as choosing a laptop, fax machine or various office equipment, almost anything can be reviewed.

This business model works best if you have knowledge of a niche subject that can attract lots of readers. Most of these sites earn their money from selling advertising space or selling leads. Examples of successful niche review sites include sites for insurance, purchase of cards and credit cards.

4) Membership sites

The same as with a review site, if you have relevant knowledge of a particular area which people are willing to pay for your information, you can create a membership site. An example will be the personal finance site by New York Times bestselling author, Ramit Sethi. He creates lots of informative and entertaining articles on personal finance and offers them for free online. But of you are keen for niche content such as his Earn1k or more money saving tips, you will have to pay a membership fee to access the privileged information.

5) Content Writing

We all know the importance of content on the web. Since most people go online to search for information before a purchase, content is of paramount importance. The higher the quality of your research and content, the more hits you will get from readers searching for the information. You can also scale this business by outsourcing content writing when the going gets busy. Content writing can be outsourced for as little as $2 to as much as thousands of dollars for an e-book or white paper.

These five online businesses if operated successfully can offers business owners a high return on their investments. So if you are thinking of starting a side business or would like to start small from your kitchen table, give these ideas a try. After all, most start-up businesses were at one time created from someone else’s garage.