Online Business

16 Lucrative Online Business & Startup Ideas that Pay Daily for Students

Studying can become tough, especially where there’s no financial help to fund miscellaneous expenses. I have passed through college and I knew how difficult it was for me, and if I could leap back in time to start an undergraduate program, I’d dip my toes into freelancing much earlier. 

Taking on side gigs, ghostwriting, and offering several online services helped me through the global pandemic. It was in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown that I started my online business – helping clients to promote their businesses and having time to invest in my personal and professional career.

But this is after I completed my undergraduate studies.

Not all students struggling through their academics will have scholarship offers or grants or qualify to receive loans therefore, some students will end up sponsoring themselves through schools – paying for tuition fees, accommodation, and other expenses.

There are several benefits to pursuing online business ideas in colleges—and it’s not too late for you to cash in on them:

Benefits of Starting an Online Business While Still Studying at College

1. Gain real-world experience in the business. Sure business school can teach you theory and formulas, but there’s nothing like doing business to learn the ropes.

2. Learn skills such as content writing, customer service, stress and time management, and affiliate marketing that you may not get to learn in the classroom.

3. Student entrepreneurs have a better chance over their graduate counterparts once they hit the job market. In a world driven by technology, the skills you acquire online can be the gate opener to reputable companies.

4. Build and expand your professional network beyond the four walls of your school.

5. Build a solid resume. Most graduates coming out of school don’t have much aside from the education section of their CV. You could stand out from the crowd with a much-experienced resume.

In fact, by running your own business no matter how small it is, you can add “CEO“ to your list of accomplishments.

6. Earn money while in the classroom. Online business opportunities open doors for financial breakthroughs such that you won’t have to depend fully on your parents or sponsors.

As your own boss or freelance self, you make the hours count by earning income even passively.

You are in total control of your time and you can decide when to take a break.

List of online business ideas that pay daily for Students

1. Start blogging

Blogging is fun and highly productive and rewarding. It’s a means many have used and still use to earn extra income online as students.

To start a blogging business, look for a niche that interests you and also has high prospects. If you’re passionate about writing, this can be your dream job even after school. Blogging is about publishing quality and relevant information online to help people find solutions to their problems.

With content management systems like WordPress, you can set up a blog in less than an hour, get a domain and hosting for as low as $50/year and just set up a WordPress site and start writing and publishing posts. 

Write quality articles that will attract shares and earn you backlinks. Good content and authority sites in your niche linking to your blog/website will earn you the top spot on Google’s first page.

Once you start getting traffic, apply for AdSense to start making money on your blog.

2. Become an affiliate or start an e-commerce business

The affiliate marketing business is booming. After creating a blog, you can superimpose affiliate programs on it as a double way to earn extra income online as a student.

As an affiliate marketer, you help companies like AliExpress, Amazon, and the rest of the e-commerce business websites by sending good and highly targeted traffic to their stores. It can be a website leveraging WooCommerce stores. By sending this traffic you get paid commission on any sale they’ve generated through the links on your blog or website that the visitors follow to buy from them.

A great example of this is tech – if you’re a bit of a geek and are strongly opinionated, start a blog writing reviews for new tech with an affiliate link to each product. If you get good traction, you can eventually get the products for yourself for free from brands in return for a review. You can then sell these products or gift them through a marketing campaign.

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3. Work as a freelancer

Nothing could have made me survive the pandemic if I didn’t develop a skill that can earn me cash online.

During the pandemic locked down, I deliver on so many freelance projects ranging from SEO to content writing, graphic designing, and web designing.

If you’re a student studying in college or university, and you’re skilled in any online discipline like design, search engine optimization, content writing and copywriting, A/B testing, software development, etc, all you have to do is set up a profile on Fiverr, UpWork or PeoplePerHour and start bidding on jobs! 

These platforms allow you to create a profile immediately and verify it. You are completely in control of your time and it won’t affect your academics in school. Your work will be review-based, so when you take on a project, you’d need to deliver on time and gain your first 20 customers to get great reviews.

Offering freelance services such as search engine optimization, content writing, WordPress designing (blogs and WooCommerce website), or even as a WordPress plugin developer can make you financially stable while still on campus.

4. Host and deliver webinars

Delivering webinars is part of tutoring, and if you’re good at one particular subject or the other, you can organize webinars to tutor people on your school campus or from other universities.

You can make participants pay a certain amount to join the webinar or charge people to download the recording afterwards.

5. Write CVs and resumés

 If you’re good at writing in a punchy tone, the business of writing is a perfect idea for you to start earning cash online with no stress.

You can start this by helping your peers in school with CVs and resumés. And then build on it and take it online as a side gig. There are many platforms where you can connect with job seekers and help them make their CV or resume look more professional.

6. Teach, mentor, or tutor

Help high school students with summer studies or younger college students prep for classes that you aced last semester.

7. Sell your handmade goods online

This business idea is about creativity and then taking your handmade materials online.

For instance, if you are good at shoemaking, you could start by making a few of them and start displaying them online; on social media, and on online stores, and marketplace.

Reading Recommendation: Apply for the Dangote Foundation Scholarship for African Students

8. Start a service-based business

What services can you offer in your city or town? Launch a basic website to advertise services for childcare, pet-sitting, delivery, personal shopping, maintenance, landscaping—there are endless possibilities.

9. Try dropshipping

Dropshipping services allow you to sell goods and services to customers without ever having to buy products upfront or manage inventory. Dropshipping is a good business idea, especially for people who are skilled in designing and marketing. The product’s designing and marketing – how you curate, market, and position them are more important than the product itself.

10. Monetize content or a personal brand. 

If you are an influencer, whether micro or macro influencer on a social media platform like TikTok or Instagram or even youtube you should consider leveraging your growing audience to earn cool cash online. To give you an idea, you can do sponsored content or set up an online store that sells merch to your fans.

Sell print-on-demand goods. This is another great option for starting a business on a low budget. If you have creative skills, you can sell your art or graphic design printed on anything from t-shirts to camp mugs.

11. Offer PR services

Press Releases services are a business for those who can write, and do outreach by pitching to relevant news channels both local and international. The opportunity is enormous with PR; you can team up with your university’s blog and start offering your help as a service.

12. Proofread essays

There is a thin line between writing, editing and proofreading. And Writing is just an initial stage of creating content and without proofreading a piece of content, it is very likely you roll out your content with lots of mistakes. Companies and many businesses especially, online businesses understand the need to proofread content before publishing them. they hire people to help them with the editing and proofreading part. So if you’ve got the skill, start with your friends’ assignments for a modest fee, such as a pound ($1) per 1000 words. Build a strong portfolio and start bidding for projects online. You need to scale to make money, but you’ll get faster and faster with practice.

13. Get paid to fill out surveys

Paid surveys are a lazy student’s dream. You can flick through the questions while sitting on the bus, watching TV or even while dozing off in the back of lectures.

Organizations use surveys as market research, to collect data for analysis in order to figure out the demographics of their target customers, find out what they look for in a product or service and generally create a buyer persona for their brands There are hundreds of surveys online, which will pay you for your opinion, and take only a matter of minutes to complete.

14. Start a Youtube channel

Starting a youtube channel is very easy and once you manage to have a certain amount of views and subscribers, you can then monetize yo channel to start earning money. To get started, you’ll need a camera and come up with an idea. This idea can be within what you have a passion for – could be your hobby or anything you find so easy to do.

For example, some people enjoy talking and to turn that into money, they just talk about what is happening around them. You can talk about your experiences on campus, or how you got admission into the school or anything from a pranks channel to a makeup channel or even just a day in the life of a student.

Getting people to watch your videos and subscribe to your channel takes some hard graft, but an innovative idea can take off overnight. The biggest challenge is coming up with great ideas to share with people and producing content regular – try and think of something sustainable. You can start with some funny videos that tend to go viral.

On YouTube, you can earn £5-7 in ad revenue with just 1000 views. YouTube is a nice platform where you can become a passive income earner. If you’re lucky enough to reach YouTube stardom, you can get paid partnerships with brands if you promote their product in one of your videos.

15. Test websites and apps

Companies hire students to help them test and review their products or services. This can be their websites, mobile apps, plugins or web applications, and software.

These companies usually look for user testers on sites like UserTesting, TryMyUI, and Web Usability. They recruit people to help them figure out bugs in the usability and overall user experience of their applications.

If you want to participate in this type of online business that will allow you to work while studying, sign-up, create your online profile and complete some short online training. Once your registration is confirmed you’ll be able to see businesses that are in need of people to help test their products and applications. You can choose from the list of websites and apps, you can also apply a filter and start earning.

If you want to earn a big UserTesting platform is the biggest site for website testing and you can make up to ÂŁ10 in just 20 minutes of testing some applications or products. Other platforms are also rewarding and you can earn between ÂŁ1 and ÂŁ36 per test, which is still not bad for a side hustle!

16. Fiverr gigs

Fiverr has been around for a long time not to trust the platform to deliver on your daily income expectation. It is a platform that attracts lots of visitors every day. These visitors include those who are searching for professionals who can help them deliver their projects.

If you can take a few minutes to set up your profile, and design a great Fiverr gig, your profile will become active and people searching can easily find you.

Getting started with Fiverr is very easy. The first thing you need to do is to create a profile on Fiverr and write a listing for the “gig” you’re offering. Customers will surely find you the moment your profile is approved. There is no limit to the amount of money you can earn on this platform.

However, your portfolio will determine the number of projects you can win as many people is also bidding for that project. Your portfolio can be a collection of samples of works you’ve delivered in the past or previous jobs you’ve done for clients.

Your portfolio will give prospective customers a taste of what you can deliver and the reviews and star ratings on the website will increase your chances of getting the project.

Oladoyin Falana

Oladoyin Falana, a graduate of OAU, is an SEO Specialist, and IT business developer. He is the owner and content editor of, a platform that focuses on providing information on career, recruitment updates, exams, and admission updates, including general (How-to) information.
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