16 Online Business Ideas for the Year 2012

In this world that is already becoming flat because of the power of Internet, doing business online offers a lot of income opportunities. It is also the kind of business and entrepreneurship that you can work at home with the touch of your finger tips. “Making money online” has been a popular term over the years. There are many people who have failed, but there are also some people who became proofs of online success. If you want to start as an entrepreneur or work as your own boss in 2012, then becoming an Internet entrepreneur might just be the best for you. The world may end in 2012, but we shall do business as if the world will end tomorrow – we do business to serve and help people. Here’s a list of 16 online business ideas for the year 2012 and for the future beyond.


1. Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate marketing will still become one of the most prolific ventures on the Internet in 2012. Start earning money by promoting other people’s products online through your website, blog, email, Youtube videos forum signatures or social media accounts. You can signup with Clickbank.com, Commission Junction and Amazon.com to begin looking for the affiliate programs or products which you think are worth for promotion. You may check out Steve Scott’s comprehensive article on how to make money with affiliate marketing.


2. Internet Advertising. Pay per click (PPC) advertising model is one of the easiest ways to make money online when you have a source of crowd or traffic. Google Adsense and Infolinks are two of the most popular PPC advertising that are used by bloggers, webmasters and online publishers today. We expect that Adsense will still become one of the most chosen ways to make money online in 2012 because of its ease to implement and its higher rate of Cost Per Click (CPC) compare to its closest competitors. You may read our article on how to attract website or blog traffic and make money online with Google Adsense.


3.Website Design and Development. The services of website designers and developers will be more demanded in 2012. More and more companies will put their businesses online and maintain their own websites. Hence, if you have the skills to creating professional and corporate websites, you can offer your services to those companies who want to have an online presence for their businesses. Here’s an article about starting a web design business from SpeckyGeek.


4. Web Hosting. Websites won’t run without a web host. Thus, a web hosting business will continue to be a big hit in 2012. Setting up your own web hosting company may require a lot of money to invest in equipment, such as servers, software and manpower. However, you can choose to become a web hosting reseller where you just need to tie up with a reliable web hosting company and sell web hosting packages for profit. Check out our article on how to make money online from web host reselling.


5. Social Media Strategist. With the rise of the social media era and the giant social networking sites, like Facebook Twitter, Google Plus and Youtube, businesses have been taking advantage of this to gain more exposure for their brands and products. With 800 million active users in Facebook alone, business promotion in this top social networking site is now a priority for business owners and marketers. If you have the social media marketing skills that can outsource likes and follows for your client’s business, then this business can help you earn cold cash on the Internet.


6. SEO Services. Despite of the popularity of social media, search engines are still the top places to go when people look for information on the Internet. Therefore, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will still become one of the most in-demand services for companies who want their websites or businesses to rank higher in the search engine pages.  Search engine optimizers will be more competitive in 2012 with the major updates set out by Google, such as its Panda Update and the birth of Google Plus.  Here’s a comprehensive guide by SEOBook on starting an SEO Company.


7. Website Flipping. This is the business of buying websites and selling them for profit. This also involves creating and developing your own websites to later sell them at a good price. This is just like developing a real property and selling it for profit. If you are developing websites for your clients, you can also develop websites for sale. The online marketplace will be busier in 2012 and more Internet investors will put their money on the cyber properties. You may check out Flippa.com, one of the top marketplace or auction site for buying and selling different kinds of website (including blogs). You may also check out my story on how to make money from website flipping here.


8. eBay Seller. If you have stuff to sell or you have a wholesale supplier who can provide you goods to offer, then becoming an eBay seller might be your top choice of doing online business in 2012. People are already spending most of their time on the Internet. That is why online shopping is just getting stronger. Furthermore, people are getting more conscious with their time and money. Thus, they prefer to look for bargain prices and buy instantly online.  Check out this article on making money with eBay.


9. Domain Registration. One advantage of running an online business is that you can integrate various products and services into one place. For example, you can offer website development, web hosting, SEO, Social Media Marketing and domain registration in your business stream. You can partner with an ICANN accredited domain registrar and become a domain name reseller. Domain names will be hot web properties in 2012. However, domain names will be more valuable and marketable if they will be developed into great websites rather than just parked elsewhere.


10. Freelancing / Virtual Assistant. If you’re skilled on anything from virtual assistance, administrative support, graphic designing, programming, web designing to article writing, you can opt freelancing. Outsourcers and cloud workers will be more active in the coming year. Odesk, Elance.com and even Fiverr.com are only some of the top choices you can check to join in. The key to attract more clients is to maintain a good and positive reputation online. Hence, always do your service with quality and ensure that your clients are happy.


11. eBook Writing. Expect more eBooks to circulate in 2012. Amazon’s Kindle eReader, Apple iPad, Android tablets and other PC tablets will make book reading more convenient and more mobile in the coming years. If you are passionate in writing, researching and teaching people how to do things, then writing eBooks can be your scheme of earning bucks online. Check this nice article on how to make money by writing an eBook.


12. Apps Developer. If you’re a programmer, developing applications or apps for Facebook can become a good source of business income. Facebook has been a haven for advertisers recently, and it will continue to be like that in 2012. Thus, companies need apps developers to attract more customers on Facebook. Apps are also the things that make smart phones, such as Apple iPhone, iPads, and Google’s Android operated mobile devices more exciting to use.  Check out this article on “how to create your first iPhone application”.


13.Blogging. People will continue blogging in 2012, and companies will still use the power of blogging to promote their businesses and brand online. If you have the passion to write and provide quality blog posts that help people, then blogging can be just the right online business for you. Blogs can also be photo blogs, video blogs or podcast blogs. There are lots of income opportunities waiting for a hardworking and passionate blogger. A successful blog or network of blogs which drive great amounts of traffic can be a good source of income from affiliate programs, private advertisements, Google Adsense and sales from your own products or services.  Further, 2012 is a year full of events which you can blog, such as the Olympics in London, the Doomsday Prophecies and the upcoming US Presidential Elections. Check out our article on how to make money online from blogging.


14. Editing Service. Are you good at grammar and at fixing the writings of people? Help writers come up with the best articles, news, marketing phrases, press releases and even books by providing them proofreading and editing services. The knowledge and information industry will not slowdown anytime and in any year, thus proofreading and editing business will continue to flourish in 2012. You can also do it at home as long as you have the computer, Internet connection, editing software and of course the talent and skills to edit. Check out this book titled “Copyediting and Proofreading for Dummies”.


15. Video Editing. If pictures can deliver a thousand words, then moving pictures, digital films or videos can do more than just delivering a thousand messages. Videos are everywhere in the Internet from Youtube to Facebook. They possess the marketing power that can go viral. That is why a video become one of the most favorite forms of media used by marketers to convince customers and promote their brands. Video editing requires special skills and experience. But with a good plan, patience, diligence, persistence and good client service, this kind of business has its good rewards. Start utilizing your talent and creativity by providing video editing services to various clients, including marketing agencies and individual Internet marketers. Check out this book titled “Cut by Cut: Editing Your Film or Video”.


16. Infographics. It seems like an ancient type of media and communication will be more popular in 2012. I’m talking about Information graphics or infographics. Infographics are graphic visual representations of data or information presented in a simpler and more appealing design. Unlike articles or phrases, infographics presents complex information in a more efficient and interesting manner. This type of media was already demonstrated in the prehistoric era in cave paintings and later in the maps. Now, more and more online marketers are already using infographics to convey information and capture more customers or visitors to their websites. If you love art and design, you can start an infographic design business to cater the needs of many business owners who want to spread their message more effectively and efficiently. Check out these “Tips, tricks and resources to make your own gorgeous infographics”.


Do you have any online business idea for 2012? Feel free to share and make a comment below.

Victorino Abrugar is a retired CPA practitioner, a blogger, speaker, and an entrepreneur. He's the President of Optixor, Inc., a digital marketing company based in the Philippines. Follow him on Twitter at @viclogic.


  1. says

    There is some really legit stuff here, I have actually dabbled in a few of these things before. I can say that the ones that I have can definitely make you some money.

  2. says

    Your business ideas cover everything including low start up costs and good return on your investment on the latest online avenues. I agree with you that infographics has evolved as one of the best methods of sharing information with the online audience.I have found a lot of online tools to create an infographic, but I wonder if I can find the actual criteria that is followed to create one.:-)

  3. says

    Hi Vic, thanks for this post which is very comprehensive and detailed, as always.

    Indeed, there are a lot of options for Filipinos who want to start an online business. Most of these tips they can learn on their own.

    Forgive me, however, for disagreeing with you if I say that joining Odesk, Elance.com is not a good idea.

    Filipinos can be more than freelancers. If they learn to manage their own online business, and with proper marketing efforts, they can become online entrepreneurs. They can earn more if they directly deal with their clients rather than working for service providers like Odesk and Elance.com

    Filipinos have the talent. They need not work for anybody else.

    Will constantly follow your blog. Its a great source for information for those starting their online business

    • says

      Hi Stephen thank you for having the time for reading our blog posts. Thank you for your insights. I agree, I also don’t like becoming a corporate slave. But anyway, I just give these ideas. I know some Filipinos, who are very successful in Odesk, and the like. Perhaps, it depends on each of our unique qualities. It seems that we have the same attributes anyway. :)

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