Are you a budding entrepreneur but lack ideas on what media business to start? If YES, here are 100+ best small business ideas in the media industry
Imagine a world where we didn’t have the media industry. No news updates, no weather forecasts, political news or stock market reviews. Everyone just operated blindly with no one having access to information beyond what goes on in their locality.
That doesn’t sound like a world anyone would want to be in because even in the Stone Age, our forefathers had means of communicating with each other and platforms for sending messages across. There were the town criers and the town square meetings. Information has always been important.
Information is power and the media industry does a really good job of making sure that we have access to information. Apart from the fact that we get to know about the things happening around us, we also get to expand our knowledge through reading of books, watching of movies and documentaries and even listening to music.
The media/publishing industry has continued to evolve with new innovations coming out regularly. For instance, hard cover or paper-books used to be the way to put information in print in the 80’s and early 90’s but now, with the advent of the internet and e-books; even newspapers now come in soft copies.
This is a very good innovation; one that helps to protect our environment, so we no longer have to cut down trees and use them to manufacture paper. So let’s quickly discuss the top businesses you could start in the media/publishing industry.
100+ Best Small Business ideas in the Media Industry
YouTube is the third largest video site in the world, so there’s no surprise that video is becoming one of the main communication mediums for businesses of all types and sizes. If you have video filming or editing knowledge, it won’t take you long to build your clientele.
Everything from video production workshops and video editing services to soundtrack libraries and DIY tutorials can appeal to the business world. Producing a video might be one of the most attractive media related business ideas that would give you a huge opportunity to be creative.
- Become a Website Developer
The world of media is shifting to websites and all thins online. Website development is in constant demand as businesses are always trying to upgrade and improve their websites to get more sales. This means that you can work on new and existing websites concurrently, and get to try new things all the time. If being constantly challenged is what you are looking for, website development is great media business idea for you.
- Short Stories Vending Machine
With people still loving to read, but not really having the time to read volumes of book, there must be a way to get them to read without hurling book tomes around. One of those ways is to set up a short stories vending machines in strategic locations. If you are a writer of fiction, you can write very interesting short stories and print them on little papers, which you will place in vending machines in places like train stations, cafes, etc.
Users can select the length of story they wish to read—one, three, or five minutes—but not the content itself. The machine then churns out the tale printed on receipt-like paper. If your stores are interesting, people will be willing to pay a token to get them from the vending machines.
The media industry is more often than not a writing industry, where thoughts have to be put down on paper or on graphics. If you are good with codes, you can start creating apps that can aid writers to produce better written copies. You can think out features that would be most helpful to writers and put them together. if your app is most helpful, professional writers would not mind paying for it. You can as well offer the app for free, but then ask charges for upgrades.
- Copywriting Services
You see those newsletters you get regularly from one company or the other persuading you to buy something or just generally informing you of products and services, they are usually written by copywriters. A copywriter drafts marketing letters on behalf of his or her clients and copywriters are really in hot demand.
This is yet another media related business you can start in the industry. Once you can produce a perfectly written copy that can elicit the interest of readers, you need just a few other things to start your business.
Freelance writers are basically standalone writers, in the sense that they are not under the payroll of any business. These people offer their services in several ways. They write articles for newspapers and online magazines, they write web content for website owners, write educational materials, e-books and so many other informational materials. This is a business that is really in hot demand and the good thing about it is that you get to work from home so you don’t necessarily need an office or shop space.
Desktop publishing is the creation of documents using page layout software on a personal computer. It was first used almost exclusively for print publications, but now it also assists in the creation of various forms of online content. Desktop publishing has been making money for people for a long time and it doesn’t look like it’s about to stop. With a computer, a printer and a few other equipment, you are set to start your own desktop publishing business.
If you are gifted with a more than one language but have no interest in teaching others, why don’t you try your hand on translating. Many companies need their website and collateral translated when they move into a different market. You can help them achieve it, while also keeping active in more than one language. Keep in mind the most common way of billing is cost per word so price wise to make smart money from this great online business idea.
- Online Journalism
If you have a degree in a communication field or in journalism but don’t want to work in a traditional newspaper or broadcasting atmosphere, you could look into online journalism. Build your portfolio with established online companies and then work your way to creating your own medium of news; be it a blog, youtube channel, social media channel, etc. Then you can add sales funnels by looking into advertising revenue.
Do you have a hobby or passion that causes people around you to constantly ask you for advice in that field or tell you that you should teach or spread your knowledge? Well, you can make a business out of that. You can start your own podcast about niche topics that you have a solid knowledge base about; the more specific the topic is, the better.
If you already have a podcast that you are running for free, you can crack some sponsorship deals to turn it into a source of income. All you need to be sure about is whether you are creating consistent, valuable and relevant content for your audience.
Many small business owners, especially ones that are foraying into the ecommerce world, like to create a basic website, usually hosted on WordPress. If you have a working knowledge of WordPress or have the time and resources to invest in learning about the platform, you could be earning hundreds of dollars just to launch a website. Investing your time in learning about WordPress will pay off in the long run as well because it is an important skill to have these days.
- Online Courses
Online courses are awesome! Whether you are learning from them or you are the one doing the teaching, there is a great opportunity here. If you are good at anything, chances are that there are people out there who would like to know how to do exactly that, no matter which field it is.
People are willing to pay big sums of money to learn things online without having to get them from traditional educational institutes such as schools and colleges because they will still be paying a lot less and they can learn at their own pace. There are several platforms such as Skillshare that you can teach such courses on.
While people still don’t think of this as a business, bloggers can be some of the highest earners on the internet as they diversify their portfolio once they have established themselves and have a sizable audience base. Your blog can be about literally anything you want and chances are that there is an audience out there for it.
If you are planning to start a blog, you need to constantly work on honing your writing skills and come up with fresh and engaging content ideas. Listen to what the audience wants and provide them with that, all the while maintaining your unique voice.
Once you learn how to perfectly straddle the line, you can get sponsors involved, use affiliate marketing and use social media channels to drive traffic to your website to monetize this process. Some bloggers are now traveling the world for free, have media empires of their own in their respective fields and are considered influencers with a high value.
With 300 hours of video being uploaded to the website per minute and 3.25 billion hours of video content being consumed each month, YouTube is currently the 2nd largest search engine and the largest video site in existence. It is relatively easy to own a YouTube space and there are loads of things yo can do with your channel to create wealth and a sustainable business for yourself.
Since YouTube is owned by Google, videos that are uploaded on YouTube rank better in the search engine results and even more so if the video and the accompanying text is keyword-rich. There is a lot of growth potential in this business if you capture the right audience and manage to monetize your channel.
- Become a Music Teacher
Are you passionate about music? Do you have a love for teaching? Do you enjoy attending theatre and plays often? If so, you could be a music teacher or consultant. You don’t necessarily have to travel for such a job as your classes and sessions can be attended over Skype.
Private music sessions can help you make anything between $20 – $200 per lesson, depending on the type of sessions and the level that you would be teaching at. This is great for any music lover as they will be able to make money doing something they are truly passionate about.
- Voiceover Services
Do you have a distinct voice or the capability of modulating it on command? Are you great with impressions or have a commanding and resonant voice? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you could be making money by literally just talking, and being creative about it. You could work with animators, movie makers, advertising gurus and even help make educational content, all while being paid really well.
- Freelance Journalist
Journalism is one business where on can flourish as a freelancer. Instead of signing up a contract with one media agency, you can decide to be on your own and become a freelance journalist, going around gathering your own news and information and selling them to media houses. If you are known to present properly investigated stories, your pay could potentially shoot up. This is one business you need to have passion for before you can do it.
- Personal Relations Consultant
Personal relations agencies are also known as image makers. They project the image of their clients in a positive way to the public. These clients could be large or small companies, musicians, actors and actresses, politicians or the government. Though it may not seem so, but this business is media related, because public relations is just an arm of the media industry.
Well, Social media is now more than just social media. With the gazillions of people flocking around social media daily, smart business owners have discovered that it’s a good way to increase awareness for their businesses or products. Social media consultants are hired to give expert advice on how to promote businesses and services on the internet via social media. This is yet another business to start in the media industry.
- Business Directory Publishing
Ever heard of the yellow pages? Or the green pages? These are popular names for business directories. Business directory publishing business involves collecting a token from business owners to have their business details published in your business directories which could be online or offline. If you are able to make your directory go viral, businesses would be willing to pay anything to be listed there.
A graphic designer designs business cards, company logos, book covers and several other similar materials. Graphic designers are an immovable part of the media industry. This is because printed pages always need to be designed, and this job is done by the graphics designer. If you have this skills, then ensure to offer your services to maybe newspaper and magazine publishers.
Floating your own record label is quite capital intensive but highly rewarding especially when you are lucky enough to sign artists that are really good at what they do. So, if you are deep-pocketed and looking to invest in the media industry, this is a good one for you. But before you start, ensure that you are quite good with music recording, or you can comfortably pay a good music producer.
- Jingles Producer
Yes, there are people who actually specialize in producing those interesting radio and television jingles that we hear everyday. If you are creative, witty and intelligent, you should really consider starting a jingles production business. This is another media related business that can be done on a freelance basis.
- Movie Production
This is another business idea for the deep pocketed investor. Producing your own movies takes time and a lot of money and then there’s the issue of piracy to deal with. Nonetheless, you can make a lot of money from it especially if it’s a blockbuster movie. To ensure you have a blockbuster, you should ensure you have great script writers and directors on your team.
Online magazines came out when people discovered how easy it is to publish on the internet. You only need to get your content together, get a great graphics designer to put it together, then you release it online on your website where people can pay to have access to them. This is a relatively untapped niche in the media industry. Instead of the regular glossy hard copy magazines, online magazines are taking the forefront. You could start your own online magazine too and make good profit from advertising.
Radio stations are our one-stop source for information and our regular companions when we are bored or driving or taking a break. Internet radio stations are in fact becoming more popular. You could start your own radio station and make money from paid jingles and sponsored programs. Starting a radio station can be quite complicated, and you may have to do a lot of work to get it into the number one slot. But if your radio station becomes popular, you can reap good profits from advertisements and sponsorship.
- Television Station
Yet another business idea for the deep-pocketed investor which could also make you a millionaire within a short time in the media industry, is starting a TV station. The process is much like that starting a radio station, but this one demands more capital, as you need a standard studio and you need to have more staff on hand.
- Billboard rentals
Billboards are signs that display adverts for business people. Starting your own billboards business is simple. Just get a permit from the government agency in charge of advertisement, construct your billboard in a strategic location and have people pay you to place advertisements on your billboards for a rental fee.
- E-book Publishing
Ebooks are very popular online as it takes the expenses out of book publishing. You can either publish your own e-books for sale or help other people write and publish their e-books on platforms like E-bay or Amazon. If you can generate the required publicity and get buyers for your books, you can generate some good income from it.
Any business that doesn’t have a website these days risks a challenge of not being taken serious by clients or seen as a shady business. With the number of new businesses popping up daily, a very good web designer really stands a chance of making a whole lot of money. If you have good creative and designing skills, you can start a web design business.
- Stock photography
Stock photography is the supply of photographs, which are often licensed for specific uses. Stock photography production and sales is another trending business idea in the media industry that you could look into. As a photographer, you can just snap really interesting pictures and put them up for sale.
A popular American family, The Kardashians makes millions of dollars just from producing their own reality TV. There are also different popular reality television shows that make a lot of profit too. Who says you cannot start your own reality TV show too? Just make sure it is interesting and makes a whole lot of sense.
- Freelance Proofreading & Editing
If writing isn’t your thing but you’re great at catching mistakes, be it grammatical or just typos, you could make a really good editor or proofreader. Almost any company that deals with content has someone who proofreads the material before it is published.
In many cases, this isn’t a formal position, but if you explain the benefits of hiring an individual to do the job and reduce the team’s workload, you may have a shot at landing a client. Create a roster of clients, startup your own consultancy and you are off to the bank. If you would like to get some experience before you start your own business, you can get some gigs on Fiverr or Upwork.
- Copywriting For Websites
Almost every website owner on the internet has, or at least has considered, hiring a copywriter at some point. Copywriters can create content for any part of their business, be it the blog posts, banners, product descriptions, landing pages or the FAQs. Even though there aren’t many high paying jobs for writing, if your content is good, you deliver the work on time and have some experience, you could look forward to launching a freelance writing career.
Ghostwriting is a profession that a lot of people don’t know about. There are quite a few extremely talented writers out there that write for a list of high-profile clients and get paid for the content they write/create. The only difference is that they don’t get credited for the work, but instead the client gets the credit – which is why it is such a well paying job. Many CEO’s use ghostwriters to write speeches, blog posts, journals, reports, etc. for them and this isn’t a new practice. Before you know it, you could have a roster of high-paying clients.
- Sell 360-Degree Cameras
Photography is such a vast and varied segment that there is a niche for almost everything. One of the newer trends in the industry is that of 360-degree cameras. Initially, photographers would take multiple high definition photos and stitch them together using software but in recent times, cameras that can actually shoot (both photo and videos) in a 360-degree landscape have become easily available. This breed of cameras also come in a variety of styles, but most use two fisheye lens cameras to get the job done.
However, it is important to note that different kinds of activities will require different cameras, therefore as a potential business person in this market, you should make sure that you stock up on different models and types (battery life and resolution differ from model to model) to ensure that you are catering to a wider audience base.
An animation studio is a company that produces animated media. Such companies conceive of products to produce, own the physical equipment for production, employ operators for that equipment, and hold a major stake in the sales or rentals of the media produced. Like any endeavor, you will probably want to start small and gradually get bigger, slowly making a name for yourself and taking on new clients as you go along, building a brand and a reputation.
If you write music and you know you are really good at it, why not take it seriously and start a business? It is a fact that not all musicians write their music, so you can step into the industry as a writer and sell your written music to performers. Writing for film and TV can be a perfect online business for musicians — and it’s easier than ever to get your music out there.
A website like TuneCore also helps songwriters get published and distributed without a record deal. And they take care of collecting and distributing royalties. That means you’ll get paid every time someone streams or purchases one of your songs through a digital platform like Spotify or Apple Music.
- Sound editing and post-production online business
If you know your way around editing software, monetize it and start an online business that’ll help everyone’s music or videos shine. You’ll find gigs for editing podcasts, audio tracks for video, mixing and mastering music, and more on freelance sites. Your first jobs will help you build up a portfolio and land regular clients.
- Write speeches
A good speech is a work of art, and many people need help with it. Writers with a flair for crafting impactful presentations can start an online service business in speechwriting. You should know that speechwriting is not just for politics — people work with writers for all kinds of corporate events and personal occasions. Start by looking at freelance sites to see what kind of gigs are in demand. You can extend this to press releases and other publicity writing, and have a booming online business.
41. Open a Theater
Theater or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, typically actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. This is another profitable business you can start in the media industry. You can feature plays, musical, performance art, etc. in your theater. There is money to be made in this media niche.
42. Produce comics
Comics are a medium used to express ideas through images, often combined with text or other visual information. Frequently, comics take the form of sequences of panels of images. Often textual devices such as speech balloons, captions, and onomatopoeia indicate dialogue, narration, sound effects, or other information. There is still a huge market for comics depending on how interesting you make them.
Streaming music, or more accurately streaming audio, is a way of delivering sound, including music, without requiring you to download files from the internet. Music services like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music use this method to provide songs that can be enjoyed on all types of devices. There is a huge market for music streaming especially if you aim the business to focus on your location, state or country. You can start off this way in a bid to gain publicity before reaching out to the world.
A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Video games are part of the media industry and this business is suited for those who can create iconic games. With eSports trending right now, the video games industry is indeed set to grow more larger.