If you’re interested in solopreneur business ideas, I’m with you.
Managing and working with other people is challenging and isn’t for everyone.
And although solopreneurship isn’t easy, I think it’s a better path for some people.
If you’re one of those people, I hope this blog post gives you plenty of ideas of where to start.
Here’s a list solopreneur business ideas and opportunities.
- traditional author
- e-book author
- Medium.com writer
- online course creator
- stock content creator
- micro-SAAS creator
- social media influencer
- independent consultant
I’ll explore each in more depth below.
1. Becoming a Traditional Author
Becoming a traditional author has been one of the more popular solopreneur business ideas for a long time.
In fact, becoming an author as a strategy to pursue solopreneurship pre-dates the internet (which is rare for solopreneurship opportunities).
Plenty of authors throughout history have made a great living from their books while working with very few people.
Sure, you have a publisher, and you may need to work with others for book promotion.
But in general, becoming an author could mean working with very few people.
If you’re interested in this path but don’t know where to start, check out this case study.
The case study describes how first-time author, John Romaniello, obtained a seven-figure book advance!
Few will have the success that John experienced.
But his story should inspire you, and give you some ideas of how to get started as a solopreneur author.
2. E-Book Author Solopreneurs
If you don’t want to go the traditional publishing route, you can always write e-books.
Writing e-books doesn’t require working with any gatekeepers.
You don’t need to meet with publishers or get permission from anyone.
You can simply write an e-book and upload it to the platform of your choice or sell it on your own website.
For those interested in writing first and foremost as opposed to managing your own platform like a blog, I recommend publishing on Amazon Kindle.
In fact, I’ve made a few hundred bucks selling Kindle e-books.
And although I have since removed my books and am no longer pursuing it, I think it’s the perfect solopreneur business idea for some.
Want to learn more about this path?
Check out this podcast episode about Steven Scott who makes $40,000+ per month self-publishing e-books on Amazon.
Steven is an outlier of course.
But his inspirational story shows its certainly possible to make a living as an e-book author.
3. Solopreneurs Writing on Medium
If you would rather make a living from shorter articles than writing full-length books, Medium could be the platform for you.
For those who aren’t familiar with it, Medium is a simple blogging platform.
Unlike WordPress or other content management systems, the Medium creators designed it specifically for writers.
On Medium, you don’t have much control over the page layout and design.
However, Medium does have a paywall, publications with large fanbases, and millions of monthly readers.
So if you’re an aspiring blogger who doesn’t want the technical headache of managing your own blog, Medium is a great place to start.
My good friend Matt has made thousands publishing articles on Medium.
Although he isn’t quite making a living from it yet, there are plenty who do like this author who makes $10,000+ per month.
4. Versatile Solopreneurship with Blogging
Blogging is my favorite in this list of solopreneur business ideas.
It requires dealing with more technical details than the previously mentioned solopreneurship opportunities.
However, it also provides more monetization opportunities as well.
Having a blog is a bit like having a storefront.
Just like in a brick and mortar, you can sell almost anything you can think of on a website.
Plus, blogs allow for more customization and technical opportunities than simple prose.
For instance, you could have your readers take a quiz, complete a course, use a web application, and so much more.
Even if you don’t know what you want to sell your readers, you can monetize your readers by running display ads on your blog.
This is what we do with my wife’s travel website: Jasmine Alley, and we make over $1,000 per month in passive income!
There are countless bloggers making a living in all sorts of creative ways with blogging.
Here’s a list of bloggers who publish income reports about how much they make.
Run through that list to see how they make money and how you might be able to as well if you’re interested in this opportunity.
5. Becoming a Solopreneur with Online Courses
The online course industry is growing quickly and showing no signs of slowing down.
Plus, it’s a great business model for a solopreneur with specialized knowledge and a desire to teach.
There are plenty of places you can host a course, from your own blog to platforms like Udemy.
Anastasia has made over $15,000 in one month from the Pinterest course she sells on her blog!
And Udemy’s top course creators make millions.
Of course, it’s unlikely you will make millions creating online courses (or in any endeavor for that matter).
However, plenty of online course creators manage to make a living, and the unlimited upside is exciting.
6. Stock Content Creator
If you are a photographer, videographer, or can create some other type of media, you can make money selling that content.
Like the other solopreneurship opportunities on this list, you can sell your stock content on your own site or on several different platforms.
For instance, Ben Tissot uses his own website to sell his royalty-free stock music on bensound.com.
On the other hand, Finnish photographer and videographer Jarmo Piironen uses various stock photo platforms like Shutterstock to make a little over $100 a month selling his photography.
$100 per month doesn’t quite pay the bills, but some stock content creators do manage to make a living from it.
However, this solopreneur opportunity might best be paired with another business idea since I’ve had a hard time finding many successful stock content creators.
7. Micro-SAAS: The Dream Solopreneur Business Idea
SAAS or Software As A Service could be the ideal solopreneur business idea for you if you have the necessary skills.
Former micro-SAAS creator, Tyler Tringas, describes this type of business as, “location-independent, high margin, [and] low-risk with predictable recurring revenue.”
The characteristics that usually define a SAAS business are:
- a web or cloud-hosted application (as opposed to desktop software) with,
- customers paying monthly or annually for continued access.
Massive companies like DropBox fit into this category.
However, for the solopreneur a “micro” SAAS is likely a better solopreneur business idea.
Tringas describes the micro part of micro SAAS as:
A SaaS business targeting a niche market, run by one person or a small team, with small costs, a narrow focus, a small but dedicated user base, and no outside funding.Micro-SAAS e-book
Serial founder, Pieter Levels, makes $600,000+ on his micro SAAS businesses that he runs alone.
In other words, you can certainly make a living, and a great living at that, from micro-SAAS businesses as a solopreneur.
Check out the links mentioned above for more information about how you can build a micro-SAAS business.
8. Becoming a Solopreneur Social Media Influencer
I happen to know quite a bit about being a social media influencer because my wife, Jasmine is one.
She promotes travel-related brands and content on her Instagram.
You can read more about her journey as an Instagram influencer and how she made $36,608.22 in one year as an influencer on her income report.
Although plenty of influencers make a living as a social media influencer, it’s not my favorite business model.
Social media platforms are entirely outside the control of those who create content.
Plus, most social media platforms aren’t effective traffic drivers.
So it’s challenging to migrate your social audience to a blog or email list.
If becoming a social media influencer is your dream, by all means, go for it.
But I recommend all influencers diversify their platforms to include a blog.
9. Solopreneur Freelancers
Freelancing is my least favorite way to make money online.
However, plenty of people make an excellent living as a freelancer.
I’ve even made a few thousand dollars as a freelance web designer.
Freelancing encompasses several career paths.
There are freelance writers, videographers, web designers, software engineers, and many more.
In fact, you can provide freelancing for almost any service out there.
Of course, income and opportunities vary widely depending on the type of freelancer you are.
And like the opportunities mentioned previously, you can choose a freelancing platform like Upwork or build your own website to attract clients.
However, I’m not crazy about freelancing because it doesn’t fit very well with lifestyle entrepreneurship.
Plus, although you may be able to work alone, it doesn’t shield you from a lot of customer support issues inevitable in any service-providing industry.
And presumably, a solopreneur wants to work with few people to minimize the difficulty of working with people.
That said, freelancing certainly has its benefits.
For example, it can earn you money quickly.
You could get on a freelancing platform today.
And if you land a client quickly, you could get paid in a few days.
My favorite freelancer success story is Mike Shreeve’s who went from debt-laden homelessness to being a successful freelancer.
He’s written about how to be a successful freelancer here.
10. Solopreneurship as an Independent Consultant
As you can probably guess from the freelancer section, I’m also not crazy about independent consulting as a solopreneur business idea.
Like I mentioned above, providing services just doesn’t fit well with lifestyle entrepreneurship.
That said, I know that not all solopreneurs want to be lifestyle entrepreneurs.
Or rather, some solopreneurs’ ideal lifestyle involves providing services.
If that’s you, then by all means, go after independent consulting, and check out this guide.
It’s comprehensive and includes some interesting facts like:
- 20% of independent consultants make over $100,000 per year and,
- half of independent consultants wouldn’t go back to working for a firm for any amount of money.
I hope this guide gives you more food for thought as to which of these solopreneur business ideas is best for you.
Let me know where you are in the solopreneur process in the comments below!