Are you looking for some exclusive online business ideas for students? You have landed on the right web page. 

Starting an online business is perhaps the best way to generate passive income. You can easily make money online with short term and long term gigs. And I’m not talking about falsy click to get paid surveys, or over-hyped internet marketers claiming to make thousands of dollars for free. 

I’m talking about online business ideas for students that can generate you some serious income based on the efforts you put in. 

In this post, you are going to learn some unique (and legit) make-money-online ideas. Some of these will help you build a passive income model, while others will get easy money in little to no time. 

Let’s dive into it! 

Online business ideas for students to make money

1. Make money with affiliate marketing

The first in our list of online business ideas for students is affiliate marketing. It is simply a business model where you are paid a fixed commission for every sale made with your link. 

You can create a website and publish in-depth product reviews, or keyword-based listicles for monetizing it. There are many great affiliate platforms like ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, etc. that you can use for getting a high-commission affiliate product/service. But my personal favorite is Amazon Affiliates. 

Last year, I was able to pull up an Amazon affiliate website generating $400 per month in just five months without much work. 

All you need to do is publish high-quality content and use long-tail keywords. If you are willing to put in the hard work, you can grow your site to a high revenue model in just one year. 

2. Start an online store (dropshipping or inventory)

Starting an online store is pretty simple. You can sell products on your eCommerce products and use different marketing strategies to get sales. Use anyone of the following model for your eCommerce store:

Dropshipping – Select from a pool of dropshipping platforms and ship products directly from the wholesaler to the customer. The drop shipper will deliver the product. You don’t need to do anything except listing the products and marketing them. The best part is, dropshipping requires little to no investment. Similarly, you can also start a dropservicing business.

Print on demand – Use platforms like Printful to design custom t-shirts and mugs. This is especially good when you want to sell unique products. 

Inventory – If you have a reasonable budget, you can start an inventory-based online store. Think of it as an online brick and mortar model. 

3. Design products and get paid 

If you are creative enough, you can design t-shirts, mugs and other accessories and get paid. Many eCommerce websites offer designers an opportunity to sell their products in their stores. All you need to do is create a unique design and post it on one of these online platforms. 

You can market it on your social handles and get a fixed percentage on your product. You can even decide the price of your product. The good thing is these platforms packed with targeted traffic. 

For instance, Bonfire has over 300K unique visitors every month. Similarly, there are many other online selling platforms like Teespring, Spreadshop, Threadless, Zazzle, and more, where you can go and design your products and get paid on every sale. 

4. Write paid contributions 

There are online publications where you get paid for writing. You can write a list article with a unique angle and submit it on sites like Listverse for $100. If you are good at tutorials, you can go on Design Tuts+ and make as much as $250 per tutorial. If you like writing stories, then you can go to Glimmer Train and take part in their story competition. Hundreds of websites pay the users for writing short stories, articles, guides, and other types of high-quality contributions. 

5. Become a freelancer 

If you like short term projects, you can offer freelancing services on platforms like Upwork, PeoplePerHour, Freelancer, Toptal, and Guru. These platforms have a lot of job postings, looking to hire someone who can help with a project. You can easily find proofreading or editing, data entry, data mining, and short articles. 

6. Content writer 

If you have enough time, you can start with a content writing service. Unlike freelancing, you can get more long term gigs as a content creator. However, it does a few months to develop the necessary skills. Once you have built an online profile, you can offer your content creation services to a company. If you can create persuasive content, try copywriting. Some copywriters are charging as much as $250 per hour

7. Start a blog 

If you are bored with a 9 to 5 job and want to create a business with passive income, then starting a blog is your best bet. You can blog around anything you want. Once you have enough readers, you can start monetizing your blog. A blog will take up to a year to grow, but it can bring some high passive income with paid ads and sponsored posts. 

Create a website using WordPress and start blogging in just a few minutes. 

8. Become a graphic designer

Graphic design is one of the most underrated online business ideas for students. You don’t even need to learn anything. You can use tools like Canva for designing Infographics, graphical images, logos, and much more. 

Simply head on to freelancing platforms or job boards and apply as a designer. You can even use it for creating resumes, social media ad images, and brochures. 

9. Get paid for usability testing

Usability is about optimizing the ultimate goal of a website. Many websites pay users for performing a task. All you need to do is test products and services and share valuable feedback to help them assess their site. 

You can go to UserTesting and make $10 in just twenty minutes. Alternatively, you can also join a usability testing platform like TestingTime or Userlytics for a streamlined workflow. 

10. Be an online tutor 

Using your knowledge for making money online is one of the best business ideas. Look for the subjects that you are good at. Head on to platforms like OpenLearning to become an online tutor. You can teach anything – a language you have grasped, a subject you are good at, or online training regarding stuff like entrepreneurship, emotional coaching, and so forth. 

Alternatively, you can also find some fantastic online teaching jobs on Upwork. 

11. Sell online courses 

If you don’t want to teach online every day, you can simply create an e-course and sell it on platforms like Udemy, Teachable, or SkillShare. You can teach anything from something as simple as yoga to as complex as digital marketing. 

12. Start a vlog 

Vlog is a video blog sharing your journey via a social media platform. You can start vlogging on YouTube and build your audience. 

Although there are many niches to start vlogging, my personal favorite is travel vlogging. 

You can share your travel journeys and monetize your YouTube videos. 

13. Create animated videos 

Multinational companies are regularly looking for animated video creators to help them market their products. Start with tools like Animaker or Vyond to create fantastic marketing videos. You can start with platforms like Upwork and, after enough experience, reach out to more prominent brands. 

14. Sell stock images 

If you have excellent photography skills, you can go ahead with selling stock images. Capture high quality, unique photographs around your favorite niche. You can photograph nature, food, products, or anything else. 

Submit your digital photographs on AdobeStock (20-60% commission), ShutterStock (20-30% commission) and 500PX (60% commission), and get paid every time your photograph sells. 

Alternatively, you can also contact magazines or news publications and sell your images at a fixed price. 

15. Become an SEO expert 

Websites are regularly looking for someone to help them with on-page and off-page SEO. SEO is all about optimizing the site for search engines. You can either start an SEO agency or provide SEO consultancy individually. SEO experts are effortlessly making as much as $1000 per month. 

16. Start online trading 

Online trading is a way to make money online. There are different types of online trading, but once you know how to navigate the waters, it’ll be less complicated. If you want to buy-sell stock on an everyday basis, you can go on with intra-day trading.

The most profitable online trading is Forex. You can learn forex trading online from professionals and get started in just a few months. 

17. Buy and sell domain names

You can make as much $1000 on each domain based on how much you sell it for. Many people are simply buying and selling the domains for a profit. You can purchase brandable domain names for low prices from a reputable domain registrar. Different parts of domains (for instance, email) can be sold under one roof. 

Domain flipping is an online business idea that people are using since the start of the internet. You can use platforms like DomainWheel to look for the right domain name. Try finding a short domain name. You can start with platforms like and search for some popular domain names, and re-sale it for a reasonable price. 

18. Social media influencer 

Another exciting way to make money online is by becoming an influencer. You can select a social media platform – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform. Next, grow your authority in a particular niche, you can choose anything you like. 

Then grow your followers in that niche and start charging brands for sponsored posts and story promotions. Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for becoming an influencer. Currently, Huda Kuttan is the most popular Instagram influencer with over 42M followers. 

On average, an Instagram influencer charges as much as $10 per 1000 followers and Facebook influencers charges $25 per 1000 followers. 

19. Amazon FBA seller 

Another great concept of eCommerce is the FBA model. FBA aka fulfillment by Amazon

All you need to do is simply list your products on Amazon, and they will take care of everything else. The Amazon team will prepare your products to be sent out; Amazon warehouse will hold your products for shipment, ship it to your customers, and even provide customer support. 

Since Amazon is highly reputable, you won’t have to make much effort to get sales. Just find the right product and create your first listing. Don’t forget to optimize it for SEO. 

20. Become a video editor 

Many video creators are looking for someone to help them with post-production. There is a lot of stuff in video editing like audio enhancing, clarity, sound quality, etc. that you can work on to provide better video content. 

I’d recommend you to get hands over tools like Filmora for video editing, and Audacity tool for working on audio. You can easily make $100-200 based on how much editing is required in the video, length, etc. Again, Upwork can land you some long term jobs on video editing. 

21. Content outsourcing 

Almost every website on the internet needs content. Content marketing is something people are using for the past twenty years, and many marketers are still calling it an excellent strategy. 

This means you can easily set up a content outsourcing firm as your long term online business plan. You can go to platforms like Freelancer to hire budget-friendly content crafters; then, you can outsource to a business website (client) for a profit. 

22. Provide a Translation/Transcription service 

If you know more than one language, you can provide translation from one word to another. Many big companies and sites are continuously looking for translators to make their website multilingual and reach out to global audiences. 

Alternatively, you can reach out to podcasters, video content creators, etc. and help them transcript the media file for a fixed price. 

23. Offer WordPress maintenance services

WordPress is an open-source content management system used by over 35% of the sites on the internet. And nearly all of them are stuck with a WordPress related problem at least once in the site lifespan. 

You can either fix individual WordPress errors or provide a complete website maintenance package. WordPress maintenance services are quickly making a high profit by giving site support services. 

24. Start a podcast 

According to HubSpot, one-third of the millennials regularly listen to podcasts. Also, podcasting is a more natural way to engage with your audience. 

You can set up a podcast the same way you set up a website. Once your website is live, add the podcasting plugin for adding the podcast functionality. People are more likely to listen (and trust) audios than a post. 

You can use a podcast to promote your product. Alternatively, sponsored products can be promoted via podcast audios. You can also add Adsense or affiliates for additional revenue. 

25. Start online streaming

You can live stream on YouTube and get paid based on factors like CPM. Online streaming is the new trend. You can promote your streams on Instagram and Facebook. 

If you don’t have any online streaming ideas, you can try – interviews, product reviews, live events, or gaming. 

26. Offer unique Fiverr gigs 

Fiverr is an online freelancing platform established ten years ago. It offers unique freelance services in 250+ individual categories. 

You can offer any service on Fiverr. The base price is usually $5, and you can add addons like if you provide an advertisement service, you can charge an additional $15 for every two minutes. 

27. Be a virtual assistant 

A virtual assistant is an individual providing administrative services to the client. This is strictly a remote-based job. You can get some high paying jobs as a virtual assistant on platforms like 

28. Social media manager 

Social media managers are responsible for handling the brand voice across different channels. SMM experts manage marketing campaigns and keep the audience on social handles engaged. 

According to Sendible, the average salary of a social media marketer is more than $5000 per month. You will be responsible for providing targeted, high ROI marketing plans and improving the brand face via social channels. 

29. Email marketer

Every online business, especially eCommerce stores, builds a list of subscribers and shares special offers, discounts, newsletters, etc. 

However, every inbox is loaded with marketing emails from different companies. And thus, these sites hire an email marketing expert. As an email marketer, your job will be to craft compelling email copies that drive sales and engagement. 

So, if you have good copy writing skills, this is one of the online business ideas for students.

Final words

There are a lot of online business ideas for students that you can use to make money online. If you have robust plans in mind, you can even go to a crowdfunding platform like Indiegogo for getting investment. 

If you have a reasonable budget, you can even buy a running business from Flippa. Many companies also want help with app development. So if you are good at web development, you can do that too. 

Should you want more entrepreneur-focused business models, your best bet will be to start an online store or a website. 

Is there an online business that I missed? Let me know in the comments section.

About the Author

Pulkit Bhardwaj

Founder & Editor

Hey! I'm Pulkit Bhardwaj - an eCommerce aficionado and Shopfiy + WordPress expert. I have been writing around eCommerce for 4+ years. If you want any help related to eCommerce, feel free to reach me out. When I'm not writing here, you can find me testing tools on

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