online businesses

Job markets around the world are changing. Entire industries are drying up as automation and artificial intelligence cut costs increase efficiencies.

Brands that have always been made in one country are being shipped offshore as globalization and cheap labor prove to be too attractive for profit-driven corporations.

And that means a lot of people who have always done one job are looking for new ways to make money to support their families. And one of the big places people are looking is online:

In this post I’m going to talk about a few online business models that are looking to be massive this decade. Hopefully it helps a few people out there who are looking for something new.

Predicting the future present

It’s quite interesting to note that a lot of the predictions that people make about the future are already well underway.

For example, we can already see huge examples of how artificial intelligence has impacted entire industries like car manufacturing, call centers, etc.

And if you are in an industry that you think is under threat, it’s important that you start thinking about what you are going to do next while the opportunities are still available.

This isn’t meant to scare anyone and, while no one knows what the economy is going to look like tomorrow, it is always wise to think about the situation you’re in and make preparations for your financial future.

That might mean learning a new skill, investing in a new business, or just experimenting with something new in order to get information that might cause a change of career.

5 online business models that are growing fast

While I am no expert on these matters, I have spent almost a decade running online businesses and blogs. In that time I’ve seen some really huge changes and trends, and there are a few jobs that I really think are going to boom in the next few years.

1. Personal brand niches

Spend five minutes using instagram and you’ll notice how many fitness and diet experts there are posting photos of their legs and dinners.

While a lot of traditional media commentators are quick to dismiss them as hacks, many of these bloggers have qualifications and, in my opinion, are just tapping in to a new medium that allows them to get new and different clients.

Some of these fitness bloggers, for example, are making millions of dollars per year by growing an audience and selling workout plans, recipe books and running training camps.

If you have a qualification and an industry that can translate to an online format through video or photography then it would be a massive mistake to miss out on these opportunities over the next few years.

Check out Chris Ducker’s new book called Rise of the Youpreneur for more details about how to make the most of this business model.

2. Video and motion graphics

As more and more of the world gets access to smartphones that are connected to high-speed broadband we’ll continue to see the explosion of video. Just take a look at this consistent trend line since 2004:

It’s very important to think of YouTube and Vimeo as search engines, just like Google. A lot of bloggers, for example, think that they are just other social networking sites, but these platforms host their own content and can grow careers just like a website.

Recently YouTube updated its algorithm to emphasize new videos which means that we’re seeing a lot more low-quality productions on the homepage. This is a bad thing in the sense that the quality of information, research and scripts are usually quite a lot lower than they used to be.

On the flip side, it presents an opportunity for two groups of people:

  1. People who can edit videos
    If you know how to film or edit videos then there is a quickly growing market for people who can sell their services. All you need to do is create a few demos and start contacting YouTube channels who might need some help keeping up with production.
  2. People who want to star in videos
    The next opportunity is for people who want to either be in videos or make their own videos for YouTube. As the quality is dropping, it’s going to be a lot easier to make some meaningful impacts in terms of traffic if you can produce something good every now and then.

Both of these opportunities are especially powerful when they are combined with something like your own WordPress blog because you can talk about why you do your videos a certain way, display feedback, attract new clients through Google and social media, and so on.

Have a look at someone like Tom Thum who is one of the world’s best beat boxers and also a brilliant video editor. He combines these skills in his latest video which will undoubtedly get him more work:

Video is absolutely not going away, and if you can jump on the news trends like VR and 360 early it’s possible that you might just find yourself pioneering in a niche that has boomed but is going to continue to boom as it reaches more developing nations, etc.

3. Content writing and editing

As more businesses around the world shift to producing online content, the demand for skilled writers and editors is going to increase and those that are good at their craft will be able to build entire businesses around this model.

It’s important to think about this somewhat laterally though. If you look at how the digital book market is growing, you’ll notice that there is a big demand for things like audio books on sites like Audible. These require voice actors and voice editors, so it’s not just the written side of content production that will grow.

If you’re a blogger with an established blog it can be a good idea to consider offering paid content writing services as a side gig. Over time you can build up some excellent client relationships and, perhaps more importantly, these often open the door to more exclusive guest posts or collaborations which can be hard to come by these days.

This leads neatly on to the next point.

4. Local digital management and outsourcing services

This is one of those areas that a lot of bloggers may not realize that they could be making an income with.

As traditional businesses transition to online sales portals, marketing and customer service, there is a huge role that bloggers can play in helping them craft these processes.

Think about all the things that you do as a blogger – web design, content writing, backups, site speed, social media, networking, email marketing, etc. – and think about a mom-and-pop business who doesn’t even know what a domain name is, let alone how to set it up.

So how do you tap in to this opportunity?

Start by making sure that your blog design is as professional and beautiful as possible because we want to make sure that any prospective clients that look at your website have a good first impression.

You then might want to build a short landing page that specifically addresses what services you offer, what the costs are, any past case studies and how the process works. The team over at Kick Point have a really nice example of this:


Next you simply jump on Google and start looking at the local businesses in your area and drill them down by the issues they’re having (site speed, no website at all, no blog content, etc.) and approach them offering your services. You can start by offering one freebie and then proceed based on that if you need an icebreaker.

Some professionals and web design firms/agencies will not like me suggesting that just “anyone” can do this work, but when it comes to smaller jobs that help people get started for a cheaper rate I really don’t see anything wrong with it, especially if your blogging is already pretty successful and you need some new methods to make a bit of money indirectly.

5. The ‘to be determined’

If the last few months of bitcoin madness have taught us anything it’s that the Internet can spawn new crazes that make people very rich, very quickly.

I know a couple of people who made $50,000+ from cryptocurrency in just a few weeks and, like all successful online business people, they spent a lot of time experimenting.

This is something we’ve talked about a lot here in Blog Tyrant because it is a theme that comes up again and again. All of the most brilliant innovators online are people who spend hours and days and weeks playing around with ideas, breaking things, and getting data.

If you want to be successful in the next decade you’ll need to do that too.

Don’t be afraid of new technologies and really try to embrace the changes that occur because if you can adopt them early enough it’s just possible that you might ride a trend at the front instead of the back of the curve.

A site like Gaps will give you plenty of inspiration to work from online, but the rest of the time you can study biographies and dig in to your competitors websites and businesses to see what you could do differently or better.

That’s where a lot of new careers start.

What do you think will explode this decade?

I’d really love to know your thoughts about the niches and industries that will grow over the next 10 years. Do you have any predictions or do you think that it’s just going to be too hard to tell because the technology is changing so fast?

Please leave a comment below and let me know.

© Daniel Villeneuve at Dreamstime


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  1. Ramsay, I think the school/educational arena is also ripe for some disruption and a new way of thinking.

    It’s a burden to a lot of parents and children across the world and if someone can solve this one in a proper manner it can be a lucrative solution.

    1. Yeah this is so true. I think things like Khan academy and Udemy will boom. I also found a site called Instructables last week which is similarly awesome.

      1. Instructables looks great, I just lost 3 hours visiting it.

        1. Ha! Whoops, sorry.

  2. Online education is growing, too. I and many others teach online both independently and contracted through companies. The demand in China is huge for English lessons.

    1. That is a very interesting niche. If you could do it on wechat it could be huge.

  3. Some of the success stories from personal brand niches are pretty impressive. The impact of social media is amazing. And, as you predicted, this is only going to increase in the near future.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Marc.

  4. I’m excited about the new trends available for bloggers. Thanks for bringing these to my attention so I can explore options.

    1. Hope it helps!

  5. I’m pleased that personal brand niches is No.1 on your list!

    I have several websites, but the one I really enjoy is the one I’ve started to write about my life.

    It has enabled me to challenge myself much more than I had imagined and has opened up so many more possibilities – particularly making money ones!

    But it has evolved far more than a money making venture. For anyone who doesn’t have a specific passion or skill, then a lifestyle niche could be they way to go.

    I’m loving it and pleased it’s set to grow.

    1. It’s so important to love what you do online. So many people just start something to make money and end up dropping it because they don’t care about the subject. Well done!

  6. Vishal Ostwal on February 26, 2018

    Hi Ramsay,

    You gave some precise examples of how online industry is as effective as the conventional market. Nowadays it seems like both aspects go hand in hand.

    All this seemed impractical once.

    But right now, as I look around, I notice that we’re going through a huge transition. There’s a lot more media, platforms, opportunities, and whatnot.

    At the same time, it seems baffling – because there’s content all around and most online industry is about creation of media and its distribution.

    It seems as though online industries would become more saturated due to a shift, leaving a void in the conventional market. In short, real world jobs would definitely remain valuable – for instance, healthcare or plumbing.

    Also, certain monopolies seem to be ruling the whole scenario and tightening their clasp, as more creators depend on them.

    For example, imagine how many people are dependent on YouTube. Or imagine how many jobs WordPress ended by making website development and designing easier. But while all this happened, we made some people or brands really powerful.

    So right now, it seems as if we’re standing in a line as spectators and waiting to see the whole picture unfold (which would take some more years to disclose itself).

    I don’t see a permanent stability occurring anyplace in near future, as there are going to be continuous changes – but I wish there were ways to catch up with what’s happening.

    Do you feel we could be left behind if we don’t happen to adapt to certain changes?

    What are the skills we should learn or steps we can take to remain in sync to avoid ‘developmental vulnerability’ in order to survive?

    I’m not sure whether all the changes we talk about are a hype or a part of usual progress – but I feel old already, and nostalgia hits me hard.

    I seems as though my generation has grabbed some popcorn, is doing random stuff, and staring into the abyss of future at the same time.

    I’m really not sure what’s happening, but trying to fathom what makes sense.

    1. Hey man.

      Interesting comment.

      Try not to get trapped too much in the nostalgia – that happens. Don’t get worried. It’s just the brain’s way of finding something “stable” when other parts of your life don’t feel that way.

      But the past wasn’t necessarily better, we just look back on it incorrectly as if it was all perfect.

      Similarly, there isn’t actually as much drastic changes as we think. In fact, some thinkers say that nothing has really changed for 50 years. Think about it, back in 1850 it was horses and newspaper. If someone from that age time traveled to 1950 they’d see TV and airplanes and antibiotics and cars and telephones. Totally different. But if you go forward from 1950 to today it’s basically the same world, just a few different adaptations to those technologies.

      You are a lot like me – a sensitive man who overthinks things! It’s both a blessing and a curse.

      My big tip for you that I wish someone gave to me when I was in my early 20s would be to not worry so much. Worry doesn’t change the outcome, and it ruins your day. Try to find something that you find fulfilling and focus on that, even if it’s not the most profitable thing in the world. And take your time figuring out what that is. There is no rush!

      1. Vishal Ostwal on February 28, 2018

        It feels like you just peeked within my mind – I was thinking of those things. You’re the best.

        Perhaps, it might be that all people go through similar phases in life, regardless of the advancement that’s occurring – so ‘keeping up’ isn’t really an issue.

        I asked those specific questions as there has been a lot of hype about ‘learn to code or perish,’ ‘AI will replace you forever,’ and subjects such as economic instability and stuff.

        Thank you for the sensible reminder, though (we all need to be told what we somehow know already). I’ve still got a lot to learn.

  7. Freddy G. Cabrera on February 26, 2018

    Hey Ramsay!

    You are right with these industries exploding and growing exponentially as time goes by.

    I believe Vlogging is exploding now more than ever before. I’m even thinking about start vlogging to document my life and share my life’s tips with the world. I know it is also a lucrative way of earning a living.

    It helps with self-branding as well. You can grow a big following if you do everything right and with consistency.

    You are spot on here man!

    Thank you for sharing this!!

    Best regards! 😀

    1. Hey mate.

      It’s not always lucrative, it takes a lot of work and there is competition. But if you have a unique, hopeful brand then I think people these days will love it.

  8. Raai chakraborty on February 26, 2018

    It’s really a very motivating blog as I m just trying to start my pet blogging and was a bit shaky about the future of blog and content writing industry, but now I m all set to live my dream

    1. I’m so happy to hear! Best of luck!

  9. Victor Korir on February 26, 2018

    Hey Ramsay,

    I love the idea of predicting the present haha.

    Honestly speaking, I am almost certain that visual content marketing will only get bigger and bigger. As people using YouTube for business and stuff increase, the earnings from the adverts per view are likely to fall off a bit. So vloggers who are using the channel solely to earn from Google program should be thinking of something else.

    Pinterest is getting bigger day by day and so many bloggers are really cashing in by offering both Pinterest management services and premium courses to skyrocket website views using the platform.

    Well, these are just some gut-feelings-triggered predictions from my end, but of course backed up by the current trends in digital marketing world.

    Once again, thanks for the great post Ramsey. Keep them coming 🙂

    1. Yeah, Pinterest is huge. It’s so great for people with very visual brands, especially if it’s attached to a physical store.

  10. Jennifer Waddle on February 26, 2018


    This is probably a category that can fit inside any one of the 5 industries, but I think it’s worth mentioning.

    “Stories” are becoming a central focus online.

    As a story writer, I would love to figure out how to offer paid services in this niche. Any ideas moving forward?


    1. Hi Jennifer.

      I think stories are so important in today’s culture. I mean, they always have been, but perhaps more than ever as people look for new communities and ways to express important ideas in a rapidly changing world.

      I would start by approaching some companies/businesses that you care about (ie not Exxon) and seeing if they need help crafting their stories on their website. You might re-write their About page, for example, and then offer a package to do monthly writing, social media, etc.

      Hope that helps.

      1. Jennifer Waddle on February 27, 2018

        It absolutely helps. Thank you.

  11. Richard Goodall on February 26, 2018

    Hi Ramsey
    Great article. I have followed quite a few of your blogs since leaving corporate life and setting up my own business with a blog. Just done the first one so early days.

    I believe a growth area will be helping the baby boomers prepare their business for sale. All the research I have done in New Zealand shows that this is not just a NZ problem but a worldwide problem. In NZ alone our Government believes there will be 90,000 businesses coming on the market for sale in the next 10 years.

    So how are you going to make your business stand out from the rest? If you can solve this easily and cost effectively then you are onto a winner.


    1. Hi Richard. That is a massive stat! Do you have a source?

      1. Richard Goodall on February 27, 2018

        Hi Ramsey,

        Thanks for replying

        Quote: “More than 90,000 businesses are owned by people aged 55 and over. Most of them will exit from their business
        within 10 to 15 years. A recent Xero survey found 8% of all business owners are hoping to retire in the next year alone”

        NZ Succession Planning report link where I get the above quote here:

        My business has been set up to help business owners stand out from the crowded market. The Blog I have set up is an educational blog with free tips for business owners


  12. Great article! I see the online education niche go through the roof especially with accessible internet connectivity coming to the developing world. Opportunities are bound to increase.

    1. Yep, this is absolutely true.

  13. This is an interesting take on some really trending niches. I cannot agree more on personal brands and the Youpreneur, as well as outsourcing, and video content (huge Casey Neistat fan here! 🙂 )

    As for my own two cents, I’m already deep in regret that I didn’t capitalize on some of these rising waves. But hey, more opportunities are on the horizon, I guess.

    The VR industry is about to explode. I know many people who already earned big with VR headset and VR game reviews. And I know that this is a SFW and family friendly website, but it is worth mentioning that VR P0rn is about to take a huge market share from the regular variety. Some websites are already taking their share of the pie, with millions of monthly visitors (yup, I did a research 🙂 )

    Another industry that already exploded, is smartphones. While US, UK and Australia are enjoying their iPhone and Samsung devices, much of the rest of the world is buying cheap models from China. These need reviews, niche sites talking about them, etc. Many people got it right and earned big.

    Elections are always a huge deal, and I come from a country where the last US elections were covered by teenagers making hundreds of thousands of dollars. Spreading fake news and click bait content, they capitalized on western naivete. The trend is likely to repeat in the future as well.

    Cryptocurrencies are the new black nowadays, and many online venues will focus on making their buck there as well.

    I’d like to predict the rise of social media content, with platforms like Steemit. With micro-payments available thanks to blockchain technology, people will start earning from their own content. In turn, it becomes even more refined. Niche communities will bloom.

    SaaS will become even more popular, and the digital service economy might follow decentralization as well. Instead of companies like Daily Burn offering fitness on demand – how about people from your own social circle offering a less refined, but more customized version? Much like what you wrote above.

    Personal reputation will mean everything, and it’s better to start building it now.

    Exciting times ahead!

    1. Great contribution mate! Thank you. Always nice to have your take on things.

  14. Kwehangana Hamza on February 27, 2018

    Interesting read here..
    All that I understood is VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO nothing else.
    Video content is king in the next decade.
    Thanks Ramsey

    1. Well, there is a little more than that, but it helps.

  15. Welcome.

  16. Totally Agree with the Video editing. I am quickly learning how to do it with my youtube channel, but I really never thought about using it to freelance and help other youtubers for a fee. This is a great way to make quick cash.

  17. KD Forsman on March 1, 2018

    Hi Ramsay, I think you are right about the content side of things. there’s a school of thought that Micro Niches are out and large authority sites are in. It takes time to create all that content so good content writers are going to be in hot demand. Cheers, Karen.

    1. It seems that’s what Google is ranking now as well, which could be a bit sad.

  18. Hi Ramsay,

    I think the online business is the best option to earn money in this digital world…for example, the eCommerce business or online shopping has been the favorite for making money online.great post for entrepreneurs…thanks for sharing…!!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it!

  19. Thanks for the support!

  20. Jessica Lacy on March 6, 2018

    I happened to know a good business idea when I read the news lately , I think it’s really worthy for you to get to know it .
    I wonder if you know anything about “kids diy decor”, the first pioneer of no pen wall painting all over the world in home decoration industry which has aroused wide public concern worldwide since it launched to the market.
    I know a new popular product in China, it’s called “kids diy decor” ,which means you don’t need any painting skills , no need to use pen to paint the wall within 2 hours.
    One’s profit can be maximized because there is no need to open a physical shop and only a 2000USD first purchase can make you a distributor .
    But before you make up your mind , you’d better apply a free sample for test and experience it by yourself .

  21. Hi guys.Beautiful technical blogs. Thank you guys for this amazing topics.

  22. Ozment Media on March 7, 2018

    Nice to know the upcoming businesses that would survive and thrive through this artificial intelligence and automation revolution. It is obvious, lots of money is to be made through the internet marketing and content writing. So jumping to your bandwagon Ramsay would be hugely beneficial 🙂

  23. Max Greene on March 11, 2018

    What an article. Great piece as always, Ramsay.

    I think we’re heading towards exciting times – we either embrace them and get involved, or we’re fearful and play catchup.

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