I can give you hundreds of ideas right away if you want to start a side business to generate a passive online income. However, you have to work hard to implement the money-generating business.
You can start while working at your full-time job. When you start making some money from your online work, you can quit your job.
When I started my online business two years ago, I was afraid of sharing my ideas with people. However, I realised that I was wrong because I can only work on two or three ideas at a time. So I decided to share all my research and ideas with you.
The only condition to being successful is that you have to dedicate between six months and a year to learning new skills. One year is a short period if a person can work hard, and even earning Rs 10,000 without leaving the full-time job is an achievement.
I spent 15 years in school to get admission in a decent college. I spent another three years in college in the hope of getting a job at the end. Although there was no guarantee of a job, I dreamt of working at a big corporate. After completing my graduation, I found a job as a software engineer that was paying me Rs 18,000 but at the cost of spending all my hours in the office.
I think spending lakhs on education is a bad idea. In the end, you will sell all of your time for money that will not last even until the end of the month. I spent one dedicated year learning writing and online marketing skills. Now I am earning more than Rs 1,00,000 from my blog, plus some additional income from providing consultancy services to startups in organic marketing.
How to select an industry for profitable business
You must select a topic and industry you are passionate about. I am passionate about credit cards, saving money using financial hacks, and growing businesses without spending money on advertisements. I started an online community to help people select the best credit card for cashbacks on shopping/fuel/travel, to enjoy long luxury travel under budget, and help people identify a passive source of income.
You should select the right channel for driving traffic to your website. There are two major ways of getting traffic to your website:
#1. Traffic from Google (+ some traffic from Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo)
#2. Traffic from Facebook (+ some traffic from Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn)
Google and Facebook dominate most of the traffic (in India). Don’t worry about the other traffic sources if your focus is the Indian audience.
Industries dominating Facebook
- Bollywood and entertainment (fun and gossip)
- Startups and marketing
- Media (news and trends)
Industries dominating Google
Industries dominating both Facebook and Google
- Fashion and beauty
- Childcare and parenting
You can create your own ideas by taking hints from what I share. I create better ideas when I work on my passion (finance, travel, and marketing).
Focusing on your passion is more important than chasing money.
Bollywood and entertainment (celebrities, fun, and gossip)
If you are the entertaining guy in your friend circle, don’t waste your talent — get into the fun and gossip industry.
Don’t be afraid. Once you start, you will automatically learn the next steps.
Idea #1 Comedy club
Comedy videos easily go viral. There are a couple of stand-up comedians like Kapil Sharma and Amit Tandon who have become celebrities now. The young talent is waiting for their turn. There are thousands of comedians who are looking out for a channel to show their talent. You can help them by building a comedy club online.
Idea #2 Funny video library
Funny videos of kids, puppies, and cats are all over YouTube and Facebook. Can you make a library where people like me can pick the right video for their content marketing needs?
You can make money by selling the licence to startups for using the video. The creator of the original video can earn money as commission.
Idea #3 Online dance classes
You don’t need an innovative idea to become successful. All you need is a viable idea that can solve someone’s problem.
If you are a dancer and would like to teach people, start online dance classes. You don’t have to be an expert — just be better than your students, who want to learn the basics of dance.
Can you make nine short videos that can teach me some simple dance steps for the upcoming family function? Sometimes, it’s just about providing a reliable, systematic source for something basic.
Idea #4 Online reality show
When reality shows are so popular on TV, why can’t they have online versions? The internet is democratising all industries, which means that individuals and organisations no longer have total control. Anyone like you and me can become the owner of an online TV show and compete with branded channels like Star TV.
Star TV and Amazon are already going head to head for online TV viewers’ market share through their apps. There is a lot of scope if you can build an audience for reality shows online.
Idea #5 Music lovers’ group
If you don’t have the capacity to make a product, you can at least make a group of music lovers online.
Caution: Don’t try to make a generic group of music. It must be a micro niche that you are passionate about. Like a group of Honey Singh music lovers, or classical Indian music, or Kishore Kumar lovers.
Facebook must be where you begin if you are going to make an Indian-audience-centric business. You must also have a website and discussion forum. At a later stage, move to a mobile app.
Idea #6 Music school
This is a no-brainer! If you have the passion for teaching music, start an online school for it. You can start with a free YouTube video channel where you upload a couple of videos to help people learn music.
YouTube is what I turn to whenever I have to learn the basics of anything, and if I like the person, I try to find his/her online presence to learn more. You can make a good business out of a music school if you deliver high-quality lessons to your audience.
Idea #7 Party organiser
There are many ways to look at this idea. You may become an organiser for children’s parties (all of the parents are your audience, more than 50 crore people), or you may choose to organise parties for the youth.
Important note: Don’t try to be everything for everyone at the same time. Most of the people don’t get it. Any experienced entrepreneur will advise you to focus on one group in the initial days rather than building something for the whole industry.
Idea #8 Low-cost viral video maker
I will be your first customer if you can help me create viral videos at a low cost. You must start making videos yourself in the initial days and later on hire good video makers.
Video demand is increasing every day, and all startups will have to create a lot of videos in the next few years. Videos are the easiest way to go viral in a short span of time, and yet most people don’t have any knowledge of it.
Can you come up with a fixed-price video startup?
Rs 500 for a 60-second video if the client gives the concept (storyboarding), images, and text. You just have to execute. Rs 2,000 for a 60-second video if you do everything yourself. Deliver the video in 24 hours with the promise of two revisions in the next 24 hours.
If you are able to execute the idea well, you can go viral with thousands of projects in your hand. Don’t compromise on the quality and keep increasing the prices. People pay a higher price for good-quality work.
Lack of confidence? That’s the reason why most people fail. They accept failure even before starting. Success comes to those who don’t accept failure even after the actual failure.
Do you know that we lost Rs 15,00,000 in my first startup? I decided to work even harder to get the success.
There could be many business models in the entertainment industry. Depending upon your aspirations and risk-taking capacity, you can make good money from advertisements (pay-per-click and pay-per-view), selling services and affiliate products.
In the long run, your business model would be a partnership with big brands, celebrities, production houses, and TV channels.
A single guy can make about Rs 50,000–1,00,000 with a dedicated effort of one year. A team of three to four people can make more than Rs 5,00,000 in less than one year if they execute the projects with perfection.
You can have a multi-crore annual revenue if you become an influencer in the entertainment industry (like TVF).
I have not picked sports as the category because Indians love cricket, not sports. Cricket remains in the air throughout the year.
When you are starting something for a business purpose, you must start in a business where you can get customers throughout the year.
Idea #9 A cricketer’s fan club
Cricket works a lot like the entertainment industry. You pick your favourite player and make a fan club for him. Read the details of businesses to get more inspiration.
Idea #10 Regional sports club
India is a country of diverse cultures, and this a reality the IPL, with its regional teams, has cashed in on. You can take the idea forward and make an online sports club for your own region’s cricket. Yes, there is a business model if you can execute.
Idea #11 News and trends
The name explains it all. Pick the latest cricket news, curate interesting facts around the news, and become the next cricket news channel. You will get thousands of readers from Facebook (without spending any money on marketing).
Idea #12 Facts and surprises
Slightly different from the ordinary news, go for some interesting facts about the players, their lives, and the game as well. Your content can go really viral if you execute it well. If you are really passionate about cricket, then the ideas will come naturally to you.
The easiest way to make money is through Google Adsense and Facebook Instant Articles. In the cricket season, you could make a lot of money through the ads.
In the long run, you can sell cricket equipment on your website. Partnerships with sports brands can make you a real businessman in the industry. All you need is a regular flow of cricket fans on your website.
Revenue from ads will be similar to the entertainment industry. A single person can execute the whole project with a dedicated effort of one year. You can make your living comfortable by earning a handsome amount.
If you are able to make the business a big success, it will make you several crores per year.
Politics has always been a hot domain and can turn out to be a great opportunity if you love debating about it.
The Indian audience spends a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter for political discussions. BJP and AAP supporters keep rocking the internet every day.
What can you do?
You can join the madness and create a yet another Facebook page to defame one political party and give benefit to your favourite party.
Or, you can become the legitimate source of well-researched news and information. You can write your own opinions about political facts. Go and read a lot of stuff about the history of political movements to become an authority on the subject.
You can win the hearts of Indian audiences without being biased to any party.
Important note: Be prepared to face the heat from political parties if you share any fake news or try to manipulate facts. Run your business with your own responsibility. I am just sharing an idea. Execution will be at your own risk.
I don't understand political domain very well, but I still have some ideas that can be implemented to improve the political scenario in India.
Idea #13 Keeping a record of the government’s achievements
Political parties make many promises during the elections and later no one tracks the progress. You can build a platform to influence the government to fulfil its promises. You can keep track of the promises, get latest information on the progress, and keep the readers updated.
Idea #14 Curating the news
There are different types of media and everyone puts the news out in a different way. You can curate the news from different channels. The reader might be happy while looking at the opinion of all the channels and political parties in a single place.
Idea #15 App (mobile or web) to check fake news
There is too much information available on the internet. Fake news becomes a big problem for everyone. Can you come up with a system to validate if the news is genuine or fake?
Since the industry is highly volatile, you will get a lot of traffic from social media. Invest 80 percent of your time in building your Facebook page if you want to be successful. The easiest way would be to earn money through display ads. At a certain point, you will become an influencer and you can get partnerships with corporates and NGOs to sell the targeted products and services to your audience.
You can make $100 per 100,000 page views if you show ads on your page. Even a single guy can handle such a business and make around Rs 60,000–80,000 with one year of dedicated effort. A monthly traffic of one million is not difficult. At later stages, there is no limit on how much you can earn.
There could be some more ideas to build a better environment around politics, which has been considered ‘dirty’ till date. Please share your ideas and I will include them in the list.
Startups and marketing
Content marketing is the core of the success of my online business. If you have experience in startups or marketing, you can find a lot of ideas for new businesses. You can help so many entrepreneurs in starting their business, setting up marketing, increasing sales, hiring, and project management.
Idea #16 Passive income ideas and execution (I am working on this topic)
I have gone through the phase of starting one product startup from scratch, then joining a funded startup as the marketing co-founder, working on many freelance writing and marketing projects. Last year, I resigned from a job where I was heading content marketing. My online business is my primary source of income.
If you know how to teach people to build passive sources of income, then please join me in my mission of making people self-dependent (and financially independent).
Idea #17 Teach how to sell
The next big issue is selling products. If you have experience with sales, help other startups. Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge with others. I know how we struggled for a single sale in our first startup where we were selling ERP to schools.
I learned the sales process by failing at it multiple times. Some of the books and blog articles helped me. You can start your blog or startup to help people in sales.
Idea #18 Design for startups
If you observe startups closely, you will find one idea each day. I am suggesting that you become a startup for startups. Finding a great design for website and app is the third biggest challenge for startups. Can you provide high-quality design (designers) to startups at an affordable cost? If yes, then start your work today.
Idea #19 Hiring and firing
We could have saved a lot of money by avoiding hiring a bad guy (who ran away with our laptop after two months). We caught him eventually but we wasted so much time on the chase. He was a designer. He was a bad hire. We should have fired him after the very first month.
One of the rules of running a successful startup: “Hire slow but fire fast when you are in doubt.”
If you know how to find the right candidates for a startup, you can help a lot of startups who are losing value because of bad hiring processes. You can come up with your own innovative ideas to select the right candidates for the right job position.
Idea #20 Content marketing at zero cost (organic)
I learned how to do marketing without spending a single paisa on paid marketing. If you know content marketing, you can help many startups which are looking out for organic growth.
A lot of people ask me to work on their startup marketing but I have to say NO to them because I do not have that much time. There is a lot of demand for good content marketing guys in the market. You can be the next successful guy if you want to build your career in content marketing.
Idea #21 Digital marketing (paid + free)
Digital marketing is about driving traffic to your website and app through Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Content marketing is more about organic growth with the help of articles, videos, and graphics (fuelled by compelling stories).
If I can bring one lead at a cost of Rs 100, a digital marketing expert can bring one lead at Rs 50. Digital marketing is all about understanding the data and optimising the cost. You can learn digital marketing in a few months and start your own digital marketing agency.
You can get most of your initial audience from Facebook. Your content can go viral if you create value for startups. There are already so many groups dedicated to startups, marketing, blogging, and SEO. Once you have an audience, you can start selling your services to startups. Affiliate and display ad marketing will always remain an option for you.
Depending upon your skills, you can charge between Rs 20,000 and Rs 50,000 to sell your services. There are so many technical products that you can promote to make affiliate income from $10 to $100 per conversion. If you make 10 conversions of $100 per product, you can have a monthly income of Rs 65,000. This is very doable if you put your brain and heart to work.
Media (news and trends)
You can get multiple online business ideas if you look at any news portal. Let’s see what you can get from the NDTV news website.
You can make a niche media website for business, movies, cricket, food, tech, auto, apps, art, weddings, and elections.
You can become a media outlet in any domain in which you have interest.
Idea #22 Bollywood news
There might be many channels that share Bollywood news but the market is not yet saturated. You can still write movie reviews and find interesting stories of celebrities that people want to read. Your success depends on your promotion capabilities.
Idea #23 Startup news
There is enough room in the startup ecosystem to find stories from many different angles. You can take interviews of startup founders in a particular area and celebrate that topic the whole month. For example, write stories on funding in February, matching co-founders in March, acquisition in April. and so on. If you have the mind of an entrepreneur, you can be innovative at each step of your career.
Idea #24 Tech news
If you are a passionate tech lover and spend many hours reading about the latest trends, why not start an online business in the same niche? I already gave you the source for generating as many ideas as you wish.
You can go deeper into the software development technology, tools, or design tech. There are infinite opportunities if you keep your eyes open.
Idea #25 Gadget trends
Tech and gadgets are part of the same domain. You may include both on your portal or start with your niche products. If I would have to start, I would pick just one product or a range of products from a company. You can go for the expanded scope at a later stage.
You can make an exclusive news portal on Apple products only. Make sure to keep the quality so high that you become the first source of contact if I need any information about the iPhone, iPad, or MacBook.
Idea #26 Fashion trends (focus on a few celebrities)
This is a great opportunity for all the young people who are fascinated by the latest trends in the fashion market. When we say fashion, the first impression that comes to our mind is western fashion.
You can get the same success even if you are interested in Indian fashion trends. Sarees and kurtas are the all-time favourites of Indian women. Help them choosing online what’s trending in the market.
Idea #27 Stock market and business news
Although it was once my favourite domain, I stopped reading stock and business news because of all the noise surrounding it. I do not trust the so-called market gurus who advise anything for their own benefit. There are very few people who provide information that is actually useful for investors.
Here comes an opportunity for you. If you are really interested in stocks or business, then become a trusted source of information. You can make a good business only after doing remarkable work in any field.
Do not pick my ideas to add more noise on the internet.
The best way to make money from a news portal is by the display ads. However, if you are making something in a very niche segment (like Apple products), you can make a great income from affiliate marketing. You can promote paid apps from the Apple Store as well as sell apple products through Amazon and Flipkart.
Depending upon the audience profile and niche, you can start making an income after hitting a monthly traffic of 10,000 on your website. If you can achieve consistent traffic, you can make between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1,00,000 per month within a year.
Technology and software
Software engineers can easily start an online business in the tech industry. If you are running short of ideas, just look at the Stack Overflow community.
If you are a techie, you must have come across Stack Overflow posts when searching for your tech queries.
You can pick topics like
- 3D printing
- Arduino, and many more
No, you don’t have to compete with the Stack Overflow community. What you need to do is focus on your niche. You can do a much better job than Stack Overflow if you create awesome content in one single area.
It is difficult for me to write all the ideas in detail. I will give you a single-line hint and you can refine ideas based on your interests and capabilities.
Idea #28 Tech startup
There can be more than 100 ideas within the tech startup domain. If you love to make software products, then a tech startup is good for you. Don’t try to hire people for building your idea from the first day. You should either find a co-founder for the technical development or learn yourself if you are good at sales/marketing.
Idea #29 Mobile app
If you have a little experience in mobile development, just move forward with the implementation of your idea. Low-cost mobiles and free internet perks have created big opportunities for the mobile app business. You can get a lot of success with mobile apps if you can go viral.
Idea #30 Online community
Communities will always remain the source of trusted information from the real users. Reddit, Stack Overflow, and Zomato are the communities of passionate people who want to help each other. You can come up with a new community in your niche.
Idea #31 Tech blog
I am not giving you ideas for tech blogs in this article as my purpose is to show you the potential of writing a blog on any technology. If you have something in mind, do your keyword research and start a blog.
Just for your information, 720 people search for the keyword “blue screen error in windows 7” every month. If you consider related keyword volume, you can find millions of people who are looking for help in fixing Windows.
Shopping, deals, and coupons
Till a few years ago, there was no opportunity in e-commerce. Now, however, now Indians are comfortable buying everything online.
I am not sure if Flipkart or Snapdeal would be able to make a profit or not, but I am sure that you can make a lot of money in e-commerce.
See, more than 10,000 people search for buying mobile phones in India.
You don’t have to compete against them in the same segment. In fact, you don’t even have to start your own e-commerce portal. My suggestion is to take advantage of the existing players who have already built a platform for shopping online.
Idea #32 Sell on online marketplaces
You can sell anything and everything online with the help of marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, and Paytm. You can start with a small quantity of a product from the market and label it with your brand in order to resale. Find easy-to-ship things like sunglasses, clothes, stationery, and fashion material.
Pick only good material stuff, or you will lose your brand even before its establishment. Once you learn how to sell and make some money (even without profit) you can negotiate with the factory to get materials at lower costs and make higher margins on bigger orders.
Idea #33 Start a deal/coupon/discount selling company
Deals and coupons are the primary motivation for Indian consumers to buy online. Although there are many players in the market who are selling online deals and coupons, you can still make good money if you know how to reach out to the right audience that is searching for deals and coupons.
Idea #34 Start shopping affiliate blog
You have to learn about starting an affiliate website and making money out of it. There is a lot of material available online if you really want to learn and grow. I can also write some articles on affiliate marketing. You can find some hints in many sections of this article as well.
Should I share the tips for finance? It’s my own domain of writing. You may become my competitor if you know more than me on the topic of finance.
Should I be afraid of competition or tell you how to build a strong online personal finance business?
Okay, I am not afraid of new competition.
- Because one day I will lose the traffic anyway.
- Nothing is permanent in the world and we should not be so possessive about our assets.
- You can build your business with your hard work even without my help. It’s better to help you and earn some good karma.
- You will be my friend if I help you. Friends are more important in life than money and traffic on a website.
If you are an expert in the field of finance, then the internet is full of opportunities for you.
Idea #35 Sell financial products
You can sell insurance, mutual funds, and home loans online like an offline agent. Banks are ready to share a commission with you if you send them leads.
As the number of options to choose from is very high, consumers get confused about which product they should buy and from where they should buy it.
Can you help people find the best health insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, investment policies, credit cards, mutual funds, personal loans, and home loans?
You can create a product comparison website which could help users select the product that best suits their needs. After you have helped the user select the product, you can even sell that financial product to your users online.
The estimated commission paid per sale
PolicyBazaar, Coverfox, and BankBazaar are running on this business model.
Idea #36 Start an income tax return filing website
Very few people understand how income tax in India is levied. Even if they understand, they don’t have the confidence to file their income tax returns (ITR) themselves.
90 percent of the people in India don’t file their ITRs, preferring to get them filed through someone else.
Now, here is the opportunity. ITR filing is mandatory for everyone, even if your income does not fall within the tax bracket. You can help people in filing income tax online. You can charge a small fee from the client for filing his ITR.
The estimated fees charged for ITR filing of a salaried individual is Rs 200–500. For business income, the ITR filing cost is Rs 5,000. You can sell more related services like company registration, GST registration, TDS returns, customised monthly packages, and startup packages.
ClearTax and H&R Block are running on this business model.
Idea #37 Blog/YouTube channel to earn through advertisements
Newspaper content is mostly written by journalists who have little knowledge about complicated financial aspects. This is one of the reasons why very few journalists write about complicated financial aspects and only cover the general news. It’s difficult to find high-quality unbiased content regarding financial management.
For the Indian audience, you can expect to earn around Rs 80–200 for 1,000 page views through a financial blog. YouTube can give you more income through advertisements.
You can also earn affiliate commission through the sale of products on your website.
Many successful blogs like ApnaPlan, Taxguru, and Relakhs are making a decent amount this way. I also earn money through ads and affiliate marketing.
Idea #38 On-call financial advisory
People face various issues with their finances — how to invest, where to invest, how to save tax, how to set your financial goals, and retirement planning being a few of them. Instead of helping them out, Google ends up confusing them further.
Google can split up articles on a particular topic but cannot make a personalised plan for anyone. This is where the role of the financial expert comes into play.
If you are a financial advisor, provide customised financial advice to people over the phone and solve all their queries. You can charge your clients on a per-appointment basis.
Financial experts usually charge Rs 500–1,000 per appointment. The duration of the appointment is usually 15–30 minutes. This works out to Rs 1,000–2,000 per hour and Rs 10,000–20,000 per day.
People like Nitin Bhatia and Karan Batra are earning money through this business model.
Karan says, “I provide financial advisory services at Rs 700 per appointment and I’m overbooked most of the time.”
Idea #39 Sell subscription-based premium content
The content currently available for free on the internet may or may not be well researched and may also not provide detailed insights. To solve this problem, some authors do detailed research and then sell it for a small fee.
If you can conduct research on financial products, you can sell reports and e-books for Rs 50–1,000. Subscription-based content is certainly picking up around the globe and has massive potential.
Jagoinvestor and Capitalmind are running on this business model.
Idea #40 A community of finance geeks
I would love to execute this idea sometime. I am a finance geek and look for more people who want to have in-depth discussions on finance, economics, and money. If you can think beyond retirement, investments, and money generation, you can understand my point. Money has a certain power but a very few people are able to use that power for the empowerment of humanity. Write to me if you have thoughts around this area, maybe I can become a part of your community.
Idea #41 Help in accounting
You don’t have to be a CA or legal financial advisor to help people with accounting — a finance or commerce degree will suffice. There are multiple ways of helping people with managing their accounts. You can help frugal startups manage their accounts. You can easily find your initial clients if you are willing to work hard. You can get partnerships with CAs to complete the tax filing work.
Idea #42 Video blog in finance
There are a few people who publish good videos on finance-related topics. You can start your own video blog on YouTube. It’s all about the hard work, but you will love the income when your videos will be viewed by millions of people.
Idea #43 Help students clear finance exams
If you are seriously interested in starting your online business, you can find more ideas than I can think up for you. The easiest way to start something online is by sharing your knowledge. If you have studied anything in the finance field, you can start helping students in clearing their finance exams. Mathematics and finance are considered tough subjects to crack, and you can find your opportunity where people falter.
The healthcare domain is very sensitive. You must think about getting into healthcare if you are really passionate about improving people’s health.
Don’t start something just because someone said that the Indian consumer spends billions on healthcare every year. I have some ideas in this domain but they never became a priority for me. Last year, I joined a baby healthcare startup but left the job in a few months.
If you want to do something then,
Idea #44 Honest reviews for doctors
Last year, I thought of starting a company to provide genuine reviews for doctors. I was thinking of listing the successes and failures of doctors so that patients can make informed decisions. But I joined a child healthcare company as a content marketer instead. The idea is still waiting for someone to implement it.
Idea #45 Discounts on major treatments
It would be a great help to humanity if you could help people get treatments at low costs.
Idea #46 Raise money for genuine patients who cannot afford the high cost
There are so many issues in the healthcare sector, which is ready to be disrupted. If you are passionate about healthcare, help the people who cannot afford costly treatments raise money.
Idea #47 A community of patients to help each other
I am sure that a lot of patients can come forward to help each other if you take the step of building a community. A doctor can provide treatment, but there are numerous questions that need answering even before the doctor comes into the picture, and that’s where the community will help.
Idea #48 A community of people who are struggling with depression
People don’t come forward to share their issues related to depression. An online community can help each other stay motivated, get the right treatment, and provide encouragement.
Idea #49 Men's health blog
This is a very simple idea with a high Google search volume. Topics would be simple to research and write about.
Idea #50 Women’s health blog
Similar to men’s health, there is a potential to start a blog on women’s health. Don’t mix two topics. Stay focused on a single thing.
Idea #51 Pregnancy care blog
Be as specific as you can. Within the women’s health section, write a great quality article for pregnant women’s health care.
Idea #52 Baby health blog
Parents have a lot of queries about their babies’ health. Babycenter is a leader in this space, receiving a great amount of traffic every month. There is a high chance of your success if you pick baby health just from the Indian point of view.
Idea #53 Organic living blog
I spent some time online reading about the organic way of living. It’s not just about the food but the lifestyle. You can start writing about the food, clothes, and living spaces which are prepared using organic material. I am not an expert yet, but you can expect a blog on organic living from me in the future.
Idea #54 Home remedies blog
We tried the topic on the parenting segment and it went viral. People love to use home remedies for common diseases. You can start writing if you avoid using medicines for common diseases.
My first two startups were in the education field. I can share my learning with you so that you can taste success in this domain.
Before starting anything in education, you have to figure out which audience you want to target. If you are trying to make a solution for everyone, I am afraid you are cooking a recipe for your failure.
I have written an in-depth article explaining audience selection for education startups.
Find what people are searching for related to exam preparation.
Students who have completed their graduation are searching the above keywords.
In a similar way, you can see that more than 10,000 people are looking for career counselling in India.
Idea #55 Learning through games for kids [5–15 years]
If you are a game developer, you can help students learn using games.
Idea #56 Career counselling [15–21 years]
Students are still confused about selecting their career path. If you have the ability to help students with their career decisions, you can make a business out of it.
Idea #57 Help in cracking competitive exams
Don’t be afraid of the competition. The market is not saturated yet. If you know how to crack competitive exams, you can still build a great startup in the domain.
Idea #58 Help in getting government jobs
Millions of people are preparing for government jobs. You will never feel the lack of an audience. You have to figure out the best way to help people clear the exams.
Idea #59 Make students employable [job training]
One of my friends, Arun, is doing a wonderful job training students who are unemployed after graduation in computer languages. Here is his story: How this serial entrepreneur is making engineering students employable
Idea #60 Review of products for schools (labs, software, activity products)
I thought of executing this idea multiple times but every time something more important came up in my life. You can start a simple blog for reviewing software products for schools. You can make a great amount of money through partnerships with software vendors.
Idea #61 Review of education products for parents
You can also start a blog to help parents pick up the right education products for their children. You will solve the distribution problem for software companies who want to sell their products to parents.
Idea #62 Review of extracurricular classes and activities
Do you know how much money parents spend on extracurricular activities? The market is expanding very fast. Tap the opportunity, provide genuine reviews on classes, and help parents select the right classes for their children.
Idea #63 Blog for relationships between teens and parents
There is plenty of stuff for the age group 0-9 but not much for teens. A child has different phases of life and demands different levels of attention at each phase. I think parents need to be educated when it is their time to deal with teenage kids.
We started some experiments with the online job section in India. The segment has a huge search volume.
The keyword “online jobs in India” has over 11,000 searches every month. Similarly, the keyword “government job” has a search volume of over 15,000.
If you go one by one, you will find keywords worth a search volume of more than 10 million.
Last year, as an experiment, we started one simple blog to share information about government jobs. In about six months, we started getting a traffic of more than 15,000 on the blog.
We recovered our invested money in a few months and decided not to invest more time into the online jobs section because I am more interested in writing about things where I can conduct research (finance and business). You should also pick something related to your passion. The blog is still making a few dollars every month without our involvement.
Since the demand is there, you can execute many ideas in this field.
Idea #64 Solution papers for major government job exams
Students are already buying books (collections of sample papers) from offline and online stores. You can take market share as the demand is very high.
Idea #65 Create a niche job portal, like jobs for content writers
So many people ask me for a content writing job but I always redirect them to freelance portals. There are very few dedicated portals for writers where they can get work quickly. A dedicated portal can solve a lot of problems for writers and publishers alike.
Idea #66 Help people improve their résumés
Résumé services will remain in demand as long as companies require good candidates and job seekers do not know how to write résumés. It’s a high-demand business if you know how to improve the résumé of a candidate.
Idea #67 Personality development and HR interview training
Our education system is focused on technical education. No one tells us how to present ourselves in the interview. There is a big market to capture if you can solve the problem.
Idea #68 News and updates about government jobs
No one wants to miss any job update if preparing for a government job. Don’t be shy to start just because so many other people are doing the same. You can always find a better way to do the same thing.
Idea #69 Tips and tricks to crack a government job exam
People don’t want to work hard on the exam preparation. You can help them by providing tips and tricks to clear the exams.
Idea #70 How to study like your class topper [ideas on productive study]
I wish someone had told me how to become better at memorising formulas when I was in school. It would be a great help for students if they could find techniques to learn more in less time. A mind map is one such technique that I use even today.
Idea #71 A support group for people who failed
Failure is not a failure until you accept it. I learned this lesson early in my life and that’s why I have survived the failure of my startups. You can build a support group for people who fail at exams.
Fashion and beauty
You know women spend a lot of money on fashion and beauty products. There is no doubt that they become fashion experts naturally as they use the products.
If you love fashion, then why not start an online business?
See how many people are searching for simple things like “beauty tips for glowing skin” — 1,900 searches every month and 2,900 searches if you can write in Hindi.
Similarly, you can find tons of keywords that people keep on searching online related to fashion. Some ideas for you to move forward:
- Indo-western dress for girls
- how to wear palazzo pants with kurta
- how to wear shawl
Top fashion bloggers Urmi Daga and Hemal Ved started WhatWearHow. These two friends started their blog in 2010 and created excellent content for their viewers. Brands have gone on to create videos with them in order to be promoted through their channel.
Idea #72 Beauty tips
Pick up some keywords as I have shown in the snapshot and start writing about beauty tips. Start Facebook and Instagram pages. You can find a business model for your business once you have a decent audience.
Idea #73 Skincare tips
Skincare is one of the most important topics for girls. You can easily find keywords to write your initial 10 articles.
Idea #74 Fashion product reviews
Once you are in the fashion industry, you can pick products and start writing your reviews.
Idea #75 Ideas for indo-western dresses
Do some basic research into what people are looking to wear at parties. If I can find ideas within a few minutes of research, you can find a lot of ideas if you spend a few hours.
Idea #76 Shopping places for fashion products
If you are a fashion expert, people would like you to tell them where they can buy trending products from. Depending on your audience, you can suggest budget shopping or premium shopping locations.
I am not a fashion expert, but I can suggest some tips based on my research. You can come up with a better idea if you are passionate about fashion.
Blogging tips for success in fashion and beauty
- Know your audience and dress accordingly
- Give fashion and styling tips
- Fashion is all about glamour, so make sure your images are absolutely fantastic
- Dull images are a complete put-off
- Maintain a healthy Instagram channel/account
- Give honest reviews about products, sizes, and styling
If you have a good number of followers on Instagram, companies will give you free clothes and money just to tag your handle on their post. The money would depend directly on your Instagram following.
Childcare and parenting
I was reluctant to add this topic.
Unlike other topics, childcare and parenting must be handled with utmost responsibility and love. You cannot create content for the sake of making it viral. Remember, one wrong piece of advice can have a negative impact on the health of the mother or the baby.
If you are a parent and you wish to share your parenting advice with others, you can start something on Facebook.
Most mothers can find an opportunity to work on Facebook.
Neha started her Facebook page Being Happy Mom in July 2016 and grew to 1,00,000 likes in January 2017 without any paid marketing.
Being Happy Mom is a blog on parenting and childcare. Although it started with zero traffic last year, it now has more than 20,000 mothers reading articles on it every month.
All the work and growth is organic. The page is highly engaged. On an average, her posts receive 500 shares. I get inspired to see that level of dedication in work.
If you genuinely want to help the parenting community, then I have a couple of ideas for you.
Idea #77 Care during pregnancy
Pregnant women need a lot of care during pregnancy. There could be some complicated cases where special care is required (including food, exercise, and other daily activities). Thousands of women are looking out for help in the pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy stages.
Idea #78 Care of the newborn baby
A mother forgets about herself once the baby is in her hands. Her entire focus shifts to the newborn baby. There is an equal opportunity to do great work by helping mothers in the critical stage. Start with one segment of parenting where you have the most interest, make some business, and expand the scope of your business.
Idea #79 Home remedies for children
I loved this idea because I am a believer of using home remedies for common diseases. We don’t use or recommend chemical-based treatment unless it becomes the only option. We even observed that our immune system became stronger since we stopped the unnecessary use of medicines.
Caution: Conduct in-depth research before writing any home remedy. Try it with your own baby before recommending to others.
Idea #80 Breastfeeding help
We (including Neha) have seen some Facebook groups where mothers discuss issues related to breastfeeding only. I loved the idea of staying in a niche within an industry. If you (as a mother) experienced issues with breastfeeding, you can come up with a support group for the other mothers.
Idea #81 Help to come out of postnatal depression
This is another niche to be explored within the parenting domain. There could be many different ways to start your venture to help mothers come out of postnatal depression. Some mothers face the issue severely while some come out of the depression phase easily. But, almost every mother faces mood swings after pregnancy.
Idea #82 Help mothers find part-time work
Pregnancy and motherhood are the most beautiful phases of one’s life. In my personal opinion, no mother should work during this phase and rather enjoy her life with her baby and family. After a few years, when the child starts going to school, a woman feels a need to express herself through work. There might be a monetary need but most of the time it’s the need to feel the inner completeness and self-satisfaction.
Some startups are already helping women in getting jobs and starting ventures. The market is big enough for yours to be the next successful venture.
Idea #83 Online TV on childcare, games, and activities
The idea revolves around the consumption of video content. Last year, one of our videos had gone viral and has since been viewed by more than four million people. That’s the power of videos. Just one viral video can make you popular in your industry. There is such a requirement for quality content in childcare and activities.
Some companies in the parenting domain got funded last year. Their business model is simple — get the parents on their app, show them engaging content, and make money from partnerships with the baby care brands and hospitals. You can decide to sell the baby products on your own website.
If you don’t want to raise money from VCs for your venture, stay bootstrapped like me. Build great content and make money from advertisements and affiliate marketing.
Don’t depend on money from advertisements. Search for partnerships and affiliates and once you have a monthly traffic of more than 10,000 on your website, you can start earning Rs 5,000–10,000 as you grow your traffic. If you find the right partners for your business, you can make more than Rs 1,00,000 just by sending a few leads to hospitals or you can charge Rs 25,000 for reviewing newly launched products by big brands like Johnson & Johnson, Dove, or Himalaya. All this depends on your own hustle and the quality of traffic you have on your website.
Do you know how many groups related to food exist on Facebook with more than 10,000 memberships? More than 100 groups.
Every group is unique in itself, with millions of people who are interested in sharing recipes, cooking techniques, and nutritional information.
Do you how many people search for ‘recipes’ every month in India alone? More than 90,000 people.
Here is the snapshot that will show you the search volume of different combinations of recipes.
You should not randomly start doing something in the food segment. Instead, pick one niche topic where you can make interesting combinations.
It can be baking, Italian, paneer, snacks, or just mushroom recipes.
Do you want to see what else people are searching for related to mushroom recipes?
You can get 2,900 monthly visitors for mushroom gravy recipes alone. Let me give you one more insight — the data is a pure estimation of traffic. The real traffic will be a lot more with all sorts of different combinations of mushroom recipes.
This much research should give you enough confidence to start your own online food business.
A lot of startups are already into food delivery and restaurant discovery like Zomato. Don’t follow them. Follow your inner self for building a great business.
Idea #84 Platform to sell homemade food
You can start selling homemade food in your city. You can find people who are ready to sell home-cooked food and list their food on your website. Then find the buyers who can place orders on your website.
Idea #85 Discovery of regional food
You can start a company that helps people discover regional food in the area. I can find a South Indian restaurant in my area but it is difficult for me to find which restaurant or person makes the best dosa. It would be a food discovery platform.
Idea #86 Meetups for food lovers
There are many meetup groups for food lovers but not many dedicated platforms. Food has created a lot of opportunities for people to do business. You can certainly find a niche within food lovers’ groups.
Idea #87 Community of one particular food lover (say tea lovers)
Meetups are limited to a local area while the community can accommodate people from anywhere in the world. You can find millions of people even if you start a community on a single topic of food.
Idea #88 Organic food seller
People are becoming organic food sellers but I don’t know where the food is coming from. I don’t buy organic food from big stores or brands because I cannot trust them. I found one website, EarthBaby, which provides all the details of the source of the organic produce they stock. They sell organic material for mothers and babies. You can also become an authentic source of organic food.
Idea #89 Sharing recipes in very selective niche, for example, mushroom recipes
Pick your strong area and do some basic keyword research. You can come up a lot of ideas like I came up with the mushroom recipes idea. Write all recipes on one topic rather than one recipe on many topics.
Idea #90 Sharing tips to grow organic food
People have a passion for growing organic food. If you are one of them, you can start writing tips and tricks to manage a kitchen garden or organic farm.
Idea #91 Baking techniques
If you love baking, write tips and tricks on baking along with the recipes. People will remember you for your techniques rather than just recipes.
Idea #92 How to get the best nutrition
Nutrition and health are evergreen topics. You will never go out of business if you have a strong presence in the nutrition domain.
Idea #93 Reduce weight without dieting
This is what everyone suffering from obesity dreams of. You have a big market to serve if you are a person with knowledge about weight reduction tips.
Idea #94 Recipes for children
It’s difficult to feed children, but one of the strategies is to make new recipes every day to keep children excited about the food. If you have ideas, you must start your blog today.
Travel is one of the top priorities of my life. I want to see the world before I become too old to enjoy travelling.
Travel is the one industry where you cannot go wrong. There is hardly any scope of failure. Just a few years old, Airbnb became a multi-billion-dollar startup without owning any hotels.
I am not sure if you would like to create another startup like Airbnb, but you can definitely make something to generate a regular income of Rs 1,00,000 per month, or at least enjoy free travel like us.
Idea #95 Find local guides
I can share this idea from my own experience. It was difficult to find a good guide within a budget at popular travel destinations. What if we could book a local guide like we book cabs? This would be a great opportunity for you to explore.
Idea #96 Help people discover travel deals
I still have to spend more than one hour to discover deals when I plan my long-term travel. There is a lot of scope to start a portal that helps discover top deals within a few minutes.
Idea #97 Connect like-minded people who want to travel along
I have seen this question many times in travel groups. There is an opportunity to start a venture that connects people who are travelling for vacation and looking for companions. It will save them a lot of money on resource sharing.
Idea #98 Review of high-end luxury hotels.
We prefer to stay with friends when we travel but there are a lot of people who want to stay at luxury hotels only. You can write reviews of branded hotels and get a commission when someone books a hotel through your website.
Idea #99 Which tools, gadgets, and apps are useful while travelling
We searched for what we should carry when we were travelling in jungles, deserts, and mountains. You can become a true source of information if you have travelled to different places.
Idea #100 How to enjoy the luxury of travel without spending a lot of money
If, like me, you love frugal living, you can start sharing your idea and hacks to enjoying luxury travel within budget. If you want to learn then I can help you.
Idea #101 Finding lesser-known places at popular travel destinations
People want to explore lesser-known places but you find only popular places in the Google search results. If you love to explore places, you can write your experiences on a blog.
Idea #102 Adventurous trip ideas and planning
I never went on an adventurous trip because I love to sit in one place and enjoy the vacation. If you love adventures, then start sharing on your blog.
Idea #103 Road trip ideas, challenges, and planning
We were not sure if we would be able to drive 6,000 km because we were travelling with a four-year-old baby. We have a lot of things to share with travellers like us but we don’t have time. The opportunity is open for you.
My article is useless without your participation. I took me an entire month to complete the article. I spent more than 50 hours on research and taking feedback from people.
All my efforts will be a complete waste if you don’t take any action. Seriously, no one can help you in becoming successful. It’s all in your own hands. Here is a step-by-step process to start your website or blog under a budget of Rs 3,000. I can even provide you with the exact content marketing templates and strategies if you wish.
As Morpheus says to Neo in the movie The Matrix, “I can show you the path, you have to walk on it.”
Don’t waste your time thinking without taking action. I am available to help you out.
A different version of this article was originally published on Cash Overflow.
(Images credit: Shutterstock)