When choosing the most profitable online business models, we tend to think of the ones that generate the most money without looking at the high expenses behind them. 

Knowing what business to start is not only going to depend on the benefits you can get.

It is clear that having a business is the best option (or at least a very good option). 

But if what you are looking for is to set up a profitable online business to earn money online, you have to know which internet business models the best suit your way of thinking and acting.

And once you are clear about the online business model that you are going to follow, you must choose good business ideas according to your abilities.

To consider a profitable online business not only must you look at business ideas or be inspired by other successful online businesses, but they must meet certain requirements to be considered profitable online businesses:

  • Make them  scalable internet business models . That is, that the increase in profits is not related to the increase in costs.
  • Replicables : That works for many users.
  • That they solve a demanded need .

On the internet, you can find various options to make a profitable internet business. In addition, the Internet has the advantage that it allows you to find profitable business models with little investment

So in today’s article, I am going to tell you which are the most profitable online businesses with their advantages and disadvantages.

At the end of the article, you will see my conclusions and why I consider the first 5 points less optimal.

Most Profitable Online Business Models

Most Profitable Online Business

1. Virtual Franchises

Did you know that the franchise world also has its online version?

Well, it is and it is one of the most profitable internet businesses for 2020.

As in any franchise, you will have to make an investment. 

But being all over the internet and not needing a physical establishment, it has low investment costs for what franchises are.

This makes the online version currently the most profitable franchises.

The operating rules are the same as with traditional franchises except that not need to buy or rent an establishment nor will it be necessary to hire employees.

You can also find a multitude of profitable businesses within online franchises; from online real estate to marketing companies and online stores.

That said, the arrival of the internet and its constant evolution makes virtual franchises businesses with a future. .

If you decide on virtual franchises as a profitable online business, it is important that before opting for one, you check with the companies that interest you to negotiate and see what conditions and benefits each one exposes.

Advantages :

  • Since you do not need a physical establishment or employees they are cheap franchises  compared to a traditional franchise.
  • It remains a profitable online business model in times of crisis.

Disadvantages :

  • Although investment costs are lower than in physical franchises, they are still significant.
  • You must inform yourself well before deciding on a franchise and how to choose the most suitable for you.

What kind of online franchises can I find?

There are many types of online franchises that you should consider if you want to enter the world of online business.

While it is true that there are many focused on digital marketing, you can find profitable online franchises in more topics such as:

  • Online stores
  • Estate agencies
  • Travel agency
  • Portals about a specific locality
  • Classified ad portals
  • And many more.

If there is something good about internet business, it is that they adapt to practically any subject . And as for digital franchises, it could not be otherwise.

2. Online Multilevel Business

The network marketing or multilevel marketing is a profitable business model on the Internet hierarchical that consists of selling products or services and increasing profits by creating your own network of distributors, who will report a commission for each product they sell .

The initial investment in online multilevel businesses is usually low, but the benefits take time to arrive and will be according to the level of your skills as a seller and distributor recruiter.

Currently this type of internet business has become widespread, since through web pages or blogs you can sell products and get distributors at the same time.


  • Very low investment .
  • You can increase income and even have passive income if you manage to have a wide network of distributors.


  • Run away from scams. In some cases you can find supposed profitable multilevel business models that promise low investment and abundant and immediate profits. Escape these pyramid models where you then earn nothing and investment grows.
  • It takes time and effort to get results. Much depends on your skills for sale and recruitment. It is not fast money.
  • Normally, it is not enough to try hard to sell the products, you will also need to recruit more workers, which requires a lot of time.

3. Do Surveys

Making money doing online surveys is a profitable business model focused on your free time and not to dedicate it full time.

It is about conducting market research surveys from different web pages where you will receive a small benefit for each survey carried out.


  • Zero investment . You don’t need to put money to complete the surveys.
  • It is very easy to do. You don’t need training.
  • Ideal to do in your free time.


  • The benefits per survey are very low, so you have to carry out many surveys to make it profitable .
  • It is still profitable but it requires a lot of time and discipline if you want to get great benefits.
  • Scalability depends on your time so it is better to use this model exclusively in your free time.

4. PTC and Navigation Platforms

Same as in the previous point. This business model focuses on making a profit by browsing certain pages or seeing ads.

It is not a business model that you can live on except in very specific cases, but it is still a profitable online business model if you use it in your spare time since it does not usually take long.


  • Zero investment .
  • Perfect to do in free time.
  • You have enough websites that offer this alternative to earn money.


  • Don’t expect to get rich with this business model. The benefits per ad or page view are very low.
  • The investment in time can be high if you want to obtain great results.
  • There are many platforms considered a scam or that do not pay. Be very careful.
  • Normally you will need to get referrals to get any benefit.

My conclusion for point 3 and 4 : Be very careful with these internet business models. If you want to earn a small income in your spare time without investing anything, these may be an option, but be careful when choosing platforms. 

They are not usually a good option if you are looking for an income with which to live.

We continue with the best profitable online businesses, so if you are an entrepreneur and are looking for ways to earn extra money or get a job from home, read on.

5. Casino Games, Gambling and Investing in the Financial Markets

Although they are completely different things, I have decided to include them in the same point because they are quite similar in the advantages and disadvantages.

They can certainly be considered as the most profitable online business models but the risk is quite high.

Among these profitable businesses we can find people who live thanks to online poker portals, casinos, betting pages or investing in financial markets.

In fact we are in full boom of these types of online businesses and I am sure that you have ever come across any of these types of pages. 

It is not difficult to come across some advertising from casinos or investing in forex or binary options.

If you want to opt for these profitable internet business models, I advise you to be very careful and to invest money in training.


  • They are one of the most profitable internet businesses .
  • It does not have to carry high risk if you know what you are doing (except in betting that is more random).
  • If you are good, many platforms give away the first euros to bet. So it can become one of the best profitable online businesses without investment .
  • You can make a lot of money fast if you’re good.


  • It requires a high level of knowledge , whether in casino games such as poker, or investment.
  • Courses to have the right knowledge usually cost a lot of money and take a long time.
  • A bad game or investment can make you lose a lot of money.

6. Online Stores

With the arrival of the crisis it is inevitable to see how some stores have closed. But in return for this, many other online stores have opened and that is that online shopping is booming.

The advantages of having an online store are many that not only make it a very profitable and scalable online business , but it can also be perfectly combined with a physical store. 

Turning online stores into very good online businesses that work.

Imagine having your online store where the costs of the establishment and employees are zero. Well, this is the case of this internet business idea.


  • The investment is minimal thanks to the use of specialized platforms to create online stores or ecommerce such as the Woocommerce plugin for WordPress or Prestashop.
  • Your customers won’t focus on a specific location like a physical store. You will reach more clients .
  • It works very well with a physical store.
  • In addition, creating a blog where promoting articles greatly increases conversions.


  • You will have to send your items so you must add shipping costs to your expenses .
  • There is very high competition . If you don’t specialize your products or don’t stand out for something, it will be more difficult to make it profitable.

7. Dropshipping

The dropshipping is a profitable online business model that involves selling online products without having them directly.

As if it were an online store, you are in charge of the platform where to offer the products and promote them. 

Every time an order is placed, you pass it to the wholesaler and / or producer to distribute the merchandise to your customers.

With dropshipping you act as an intermediary between the client and the manufacturer or wholesaler.

Of course, you do not get the benefit of the entire product, but your benefit will be equal to the difference between the price of the product placed in your online store and the price of the product from the manufacturer or wholesaler.

Dropshipping is one of the booming internet businesses that is becoming the most fashionable.


  • The investment is even less than in online stores since you are not in charge of buying the product from suppliers and then selling it.
  • You only take care of the sales part so the shipping and logistics are handled by the distributors. You just have to think about what to sell online .
  • Quite scalable .
  • If you select the products and the distributors well, you will have a very profitable online business .


  • You are not in control of the entire process. This is an advantage but also a disadvantage since if there is an error in a shipment or some other problem you will not be in control.
  • You will be responsible for the customer. If there is an error, you will have to face up and solve it with the customer and the wholesaler or manufacturer.
  • If you make a bad choice of products or wholesalers, you will have many problems with customers and profitability will be reduced.

8. Affiliate Marketing

And if we curl the curl a little more we find affiliate marketing. One of the profitable online home businesses where you don’t need to offer anything of yours.

This system is one of my favorites and consists of charging commissions for each product or service you sell from third parties .

In this video you can see a summary of what affiliate marketing is:

As you will see this is highly scalable since you only have to focus on promoting these products or services.

Production and distribution are at the expense of third parties.

It is one of the most profitable Internet business models because it does not imply a cost on your part and you can promote countless products of any theme.

Of course, to be able to start an online business of this type you will need a website, a blog or an online store.

A simple example of this business model would be to create an online store offering Amazon products with its affiliate program. For each sale from a link on your website, you will get a commission.

If you are a novice and you are looking for easy and profitable businesses online, this could be a good role model.


  • Very scalable and replicable .
  • You don’t have any kind of expenses ; neither production, nor logistics, nor after-sales … nothing at all.
  • Profitable investment that also allows to automate the sale process.
  • Commissions are usually high.
  • Very useful to combine with other business models on the internet.
  • Highly recommended to start in the world of profitable online business.


  • To get great benefits you will need a good amount of web traffic .
  • You have to know how to promote the product or service, you will have to make a good review and build trust with your readers.

It is one of the best online businesses since you can combine it with another model and it is very easy to implement for bloggers and online stores.

9. Advertising

Advertising is everywhere so why not take advantage of it?

This online business model is very broad and can be applied to virtually any platform you can think of.

In fact, it is one of the most used options for those who decide to create a free blog despite the limitations it has. 

The return they get this way is insignificant since, as you will see in the drawbacks, you will need a lot of web traffic to make it really profitable.

Your income will come from every click or every thousand impressions of an ad on your website or blog.

Examples where online advertising is most often used as a profitable internet business model are:

  • Youtube channels with many views and subscribers.
  • Blogs and recognized websites with thousands of visits a day.
  • Niche web pages with direct advertising of products and services of its theme.


  • Very scalable .
  • It integrates easily on any platform.
  • It is an online business model without investment .
  • It can be combined with other business models .


  • You need to have very high web traffic to have a decent income.
  • You have to know how to place your ads in the right places. Not all ad locations have the same CTR (Click-Through-Rate).
  • Most people know how to spot the ads and don’t usually click on them.
  • It is very convenient to have SEO knowledge to know how to position your website and get more visits.

10. Sale of Products and / or Services

If you are a company or an independent professional who wants to  earn a living with a profitable internet business, this option is yours.

Basically it consists of selling your products or services through a website or blog. It is not necessary to have an online store (it will depend on the amount of products you sell).

Having a website with a blog is the ideal way to reach your customers and the products or services are the same that you can offer with a traditional business.


  • It does not differ so much from the traditional business model so if you are new you will not take long to adapt.
  • It is perfectly combined with a traditional business that wants to attract more customers.


  • It is not highly scalable. The time and costs of making the product and / or service do not vary.
  • If you do not work on your company brand or personal brand, you will not have visits or clients.
  • It takes a long period for it to start working.

11. Infoproducts

A variant to the previous point where the products are not something physical, but are digital so the costs are much lower .

An infoproduct is any digital product that you can repeatedly sell on your website or blog .

It is one of my favorite profitable internet business systems because you can practically make infoproducts of what you want and the sales are completely scalable and automatable .

Examples of infoproducts are Ebooks, PDF guides, video courses, selling software, applications …


  • Scalable, replicable and automatable . An infoproduct can be sold countless times fully automatically without being in front of the computer.
  • You will not waste your time and money in doing the same infoproduct again.
  • You can create your own affiliate program for others to promote your info product.
  • It can be implemented with any other online business model.


  • You need a lot of work and effort to make a good info product.
  • You must know how to sell it or contact the right people to promote it.

Conclusions to start profitable online businesses in 2020

If you have come this far it is clear that you have an entrepreneurial spirit.

So if your goal is to start a business and work from home online  you can see that there are different profitable online business models that can perfectly adapt to your goals and skills. You just have to choose the profitable business ideas that best suit you and the mar

ket situation.

In addition, with these 11  internet business models you have been able to see that, although some are more profitable than others, the internet practically allows us to combine many of these models.

The Internet offers us business opportunities that have never occurred before in history. 

Almost now anyone can create an online business by following any of these profitable business models from home and earn money. And many of them with a really low investment.

As I told you at the beginning of the article, the online business models that I have numbered from 1 to 5 are less advisable from my point of view for various reasons: initial investment, high risk, possibility of fraud, etc. 

You can use them to have an extra a month but it will not be a business that you can dedicate to earn money online and live on it.

But if you know how to choose the best internet business models, the chances of success will rise far above a traditional business. 

And much more even if you combine it with social media marketing promotions.

In my case, combining some of these internet businesses is the best way to develop profitable online businesses such as Online Marketing Blogger and Web Designer with WordPress. The ones I combine are:

  • Sale of services.
  • Membership.
  • Advertising.
  • Infoproducts.

And you? Are you looking for business opportunities? Are you still thinking of profitable online business ideas or do you already have a role model?

Tell me in the comments.

We read each other!