Online Business Ideas: Find Yours Using 4 Free Methods.

By 7min read
online business ideas

There are many different ways to find online business ideas. I have enjoyed helping many people find a niche that they can build a business in. The crucial thing to start with is a business idea that’s going to work. Many people jump in and think “I’ll give this go” without doing the research beforehand.

Others, overanalyze, and never actually get started.

I wrote this article to show how to go about getting an online business idea together in the first instance.

I’m going to use an example so that it can all be put into context. The principles are the same, whatever area you’re involved with. By going to each tool, you can test to find out what your market might be seeking for.

Some of you might be industry. Others may be working from home. It might be that you are looking after children or you may just be wanting to earn some extra money.

Whatever your background is, I hope you find this article about how to determine online business ideas helpful.

Let’s say you’re a practical person, and you want to make use of your talents. Let’s say that you are particularly good in the kitchen. As an example for this article, you’ve provided cakes for the local deli down the road. They really like your cakes that you have been selling them for the last few months. You’ve decided you’re going to build on your experience of cake making and make it into a business, which seems very logical.

Example: Online Business Ideas for Cake Making

The first thing you need to do is to understand your market. Although the deli may be one customer, things can change. Will one customer be sufficient? I suspect that you will want to have more than one. Usually, people want more than one!

Now, your market may be rural or you may live in a city. And
wherever you are there, it is highly likely that other people will be there who can make cakes as well.

So that’s the first thing you need to adjust to. Other people do what you do. This is the same for any industry unless you are genius enough to come up with a totally brand new idea.

However, there is good news. Other people are not you in the way that you do things. That is the crucial difference with any business. Even more so when you’re online.

What’s your competition?

So you worked out that you want to work with cakes. You know that you can use Instagram and you can use Facebook to show pictures of your cakes. However, you need to attract people to buy your cakes. You need to appear in front of those people who are your ideal customers who are online, searching for a solution. Also, bear in mind that only 60% of people are online and so there is also a huge market offline that might be interested to hear from you.

It is important therefore, to actually work out if you’re selling the right thing. Are your online business ideas going to work?

Business Ideas are Easy To Find

Going back to our exaple, my experience is that a cake is not just a cake. There are all sorts of cakes, wedding cakes, birthday cakes, christening cakes, all sorts of cakes. You either get very good at one sort of cake or develop your own style. Alternatively, you can find out what people are really looking for and see if you can provide them with a solution.

Firstly, look at your competition. Look at what they provide for their customers. What you can leverage from them and what is their particular style? Your style may be different from theirs, possibly quite unique. You may have more of an artisan style, you may have more of a relaxed approach. You may have incredible detail in the way you ice your cakes. You need to find something that’s different, that’s going to set you apart to the rest of your competitors.

These free methods are going to help you find clarification.

Google Trends

I use a free tool called Google Trends. This is often overlooked because there are so many tools around for you to be able to research your “cake making”. Google Trends helps to identify those associated factors, to your search term that may be of interest to people in general. I find it actually gives you straightforward information.

Google Trends is run by Google, you put in your keywords. Using our example of “cake making”, it will show a graph indicating the interest for cake making over a given time. The normal default is the United States, but you can change that to any country in the world along with the period of time and the categories of search.

You can also change the period of time that you are interested in. Here we see that there is an upward trend for cake making which is all good news. Pretty graphs are interesting but if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, there is a section called listing related ideas.

I’ve obtained so many ideas from this bottom section. What you’ll find is
some related topics will show up with a term “breakout” next to them. This means there’s an incredible demand for that new emerging niche that people are really interested in, or a very steady demand for an older niche.

Today I find that it lists “making cake pops” and “cake making classes near me”, which is quite interesting. So cake pops could be something that you could bring into the aspects of your business. You could research that locally in your market, find out if your competitors are selling cake pops.

There you have a possible business idea.

So you’ve got your business idea of making cake pops, you could then go back to Google and enter “making cake pops” and see which people come up with adverts for that. It may be that you need to test your market with “buy cake pops” to get a clearer idea.

If people are advertising using the term “cake pops”, that means there’s a market for which they are receiving money for the effort. That means that it is a possible profitable market. It may be something you could look into as part of your new business.

Social Media

Facebook is a search engine. If you add “cake making” to the search bar and see which pages come up, you then have the opportunity to look at what other “cake makers” are doing with respect to their advertising strategy – if they have one. By going down to the “info and ads” section on the left hand side you will be able to examine, legitimately, of all the adverts.

These ads will show you which ads are working for them, the copy, the types of pictures and any offers that they may also be having. All really really useful information. Keep notes of what you find as this information might be needed.


Facebook groups are also an excellent source of information. Try and join a few and become a member of those communities. Answer questions and find out what people really want. Not only will you build friendships and trust, but also learn invaluable, free information to assist you with your business idea.


LinkedIn is also a search engine and it is possible to set up a business page and promote your business there. There will always be somebody who wants to buy cake! A brief search for the purposes of this article identified a few people who are cake makers and some LinkedIn cake making groups. These work in the same way as Facebook but in a more business-like manner, still providing invaluable information for your online business ideas.

It’s always useful to have a good profile everywhere. You could also explore places like Etsy, see what and what handcrafted items that being sold to go in connection with cake making. They may help show you an aspect of your cake making world that you may not have throught about before.


This is a free tool designed by Neil Patel, a online marketing expert. He has ensured that not only does it provide information about keywords, but also it gives details about who is ranking for the keyword that you search on. It also shows the likelihood that a keyword will rank high on google and what the competition will be.

Here we can see that “cake pops recipe” has 4,400 searches a month. I would immediately propose writing a really informative article providing the best cake pops recipe. There would be a high chance that it would reach number one. I see that there is also little competition either, so you may receive the bulk of those searches every month.

We also know from this that cake pops are popular with over 12000 searches a month. That’s a healthy demand and someone needs to provide those poor people with cake pops!

Answer The Public

Possibly one of the best free tools ever. There is also a pro version but I have never needed to use that. Here you can add your search term “cake making” or “cake pops”. Answer The Public throws out all types of questions asked.

These questions or statements found inthis amazing tool can provide much-needed assistance in identifying possible niches. For example, there are many related search terms about different cake pops. I love to spend some time here investigating search terms. If you find anything interesting, keep lots of notes.

From here, you are in the excellent position of being able to narrow down your niche. Alternatively, you can add something that you never thought possible. Or, at the very least, work towards something that is exciting, thought-provoking and likely to be profitable.

Give the people what they want and they will come.


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