Choosing a niche and building a website is a great way to get started online!
But beyond that, it's important to understand the different online business models. It's important to know the various business models, so you can tell which one (or more) will work best to bring you the kind of success that you’re going for.
There are dozens of business models you can consider to earn money from your efforts, but you may want to start with one of the five most common ones – affiliate marketing, info product development, service provider, self-publishing and online coaching.
Starting Easy with Affiliate Earnings
Being an affiliate for someone else’s products is one of the best business models for newcomers to the world of online marketing. With affiliate marketing, you don’t even have to have your own site necessarily (depending on the program).
You can make money promoting to your list or on social networking sites if you don’t have your own blog to review and promote products from. It also takes a lot less effort to review products than it does to create them.
With affiliate marketing, you can recommend products from a variety of platforms, depending on your niche. Be sure to check out both tangible and digital marketplaces to see what all is available to recommend to your subscribers and blog readers.
There are many places to find products such as:
* Warrior Plus
* Commission Junction
* …and direct programs, too!
One thing you can do is type in the niche or type of product that you want to promote in a search engine and add the words affiliate program to see what comes up. There are many companies who run their own programs that aren’t listed on the above platforms.
So for instance, if you were in the survival niche, you could go to ClickBank to find an info product to review. Then you might go to JVZoo and Warrior Plus to find content or courses to promote.
For physical, tangible items, you could go to Amazon and see what all they have, but what if you wanted to promote some different MREs (meals ready to eat)? You could type this phrase into search engines and find more programs: survival food affiliate program.
As an affiliate, make sure you’re getting the proper commission (typically 50% of the sale) and take notice of how long the customer is cookied with your link to make sure that if they buy later, you get credit for the sale.
Creating Your Own Info Products
If you want to have an army of affiliates out there working for you, sending you tons of sales and subscribers, too – then consider creating your own info product and releasing it with an affiliate program.
Some new marketers get nervous about launching or doing it with affiliates, but this is the best way to brand yourself and build a quick following. It requires you to network with others and see if they will promote your product.
Decide what topic you want to create a product about. Don’t worry about competition or whether or not a subject has been covered before. Just pick something you feel people need help with in your niche.
Then figure out which method of disseminating the information would be best based on what your audience wants and what skills you possess to get the job done. Sometimes the two may not match, and that’s okay.
You might have an audience who devours video, but it’s not your forte – and in that case you can either outsource the videos, improve your skills, or simply use text and see if they’re accepting of a different media format.
If the information is good, they usually won’t care. Text and video are the two most common methods of creating courses, but a few have been done using audio podcast formats, too.
When you create your product, make sure you price it competitively. You want it to earn enough to make it worth it for the affiliate promoting and reviewing it. But you don’t want to price your audience out of their opportunity to buy it, either.
Do a comparison to see what others are charging in your niche and strategize from there. Make sure you also develop a hearty affiliate program that boosts sales and helps you build a list quickly.
Create a JV (joint venture) page that details the dates and times of the launch, how the funnel is laid out and with what price points, specifics about the course, and any other elements such as prize money or swipe files that help them promote for you.
Decide which platform you want to launch from – ClickBank, JVZoo, Warrior Plus, Udemy, Teachable, or your own system like Amember, perhaps. It’s up to you, but make sure that your affiliates are well taken care of and paid on time for both commissions and prize money, if you offer it.
As you build a list of buyers from your first launch, be working on the second in your line of info products. You can find out from your current buyers what else they’d like to see by polling them – or simply continue serving them what they need based on your initial research.
Using Your Skills as a Service Provider
Sometimes, you have no other resources or knowledge besides the talent you possess as a writer, graphics designer or customer service representative. If you don’t have the money or desire to invest in a site to launch a product from or promote as an affiliate from, you can get started working for others who already have a business online.
Many people get these jobs through word of mouth when a friend in need of a provider connects them with a person who has the skill to fulfill their job request. It might be that they need an eBook written, an eCover created, or their inbox handled with customer service requests.
They might be searching for someone to act as an affiliate manager – recruiting potential top affiliates to come on board for future launches. If you can handle any of these tasks, then you may want to start with a service providing business model.
Word of mouth isn’t the only way you can get a job offering your services, though. There are sites such as Upwork and even Fiverr where you can set up an offer or profile to accept gigs and jobs to do work for those who want to hire you for them.
You might find an ongoing job where you’re working routinely for an established marketer, but it might be a series of one off gigs where you get hired by one client one day and another one the next.
It all depends on what you’re offering and long they need help with the task or service. If it’s for something like writing or graphics, it will often be a temporary exchange of money for the service until the job is done.
But if it’s for customer service or affiliate management, then it might be an ongoing position where you’re paid on a regular basis. With affiliate management, there might be a deal where you’re paid a set amount or one where you get a portion of the earnings.
If it’s the latter, make sure you negotiate upfront so that you’re able to get a down payment on what you’ll make. Don’t allow a marketer to promise to pay you after the fact because some unethical marketers will take the money and run.
If you’re setting up a profile on a site like UpWork, be very thorough in setting it up so that it offers a lot of information that puts the client at ease. Remember, many marketers have saved up to outsource, so they don’t want to risk paying a freelancer who disappears with their money.
If you’re offering a service like ghostwriting or graphics, make sure you fill your portfolio with a wide range of options for them to consider. For example, if you can write about almost anything, showcase articles on health, success and relationships so they can see your style.
You also might want to showcase different types of writing, too – like an articles, sales copy, email autoresponders and more. This gives the prospective client an idea of how well you can write for conversions versus simple conveying of facts and information.
If you’re on a site like Upwork, you can go out and bid on jobs rather than waiting on someone to find your profile and reach out to you. Bid carefully and don’t use canned responses to have the best success.
You’re not reliant on platforms to get jobs, either. You can set up your own website where you offer services, and charge whatever rate you want, unlike how you have to be competitive in a bidding scenario on another site.
Make sure you still offer some of the same components. They’ll want to know details such as how much you charge per page – and what do you consider a page? Is it single spaced, a certain sized font, a specific number of words?
You don’t want the client thinking they’re going to get single spaced, 12-point Arial font with at least 400 words per page if you’re using 14 point font, double spacing and giving them only 250 words per page.
Set up a portfolio of examples so they can see your work. These don’t have to be from real clients. In fact, most clients won’t want their work put up to represent your business, because ghostwriting is usually done discreetly.
The client will also want to know a little bit about you. There are many scammers online, so while you don’t have to divulge any personal details about where you live exactly, you should give them adequate details about your experience with the service you’re offering.
Make sure you also have a contact form. Some people put an order form right on their site, but you might want to be careful about doing this. It’s always good to discuss a project with a client before allowing them to buy so that you know if the two of you are a good fit to work together.
Following the Self-Publishing Route
Self-publishing is another business model that you may want to adopt for your business. With this approach, you can become a bestselling author in either the non-fiction or fiction arena, depending on where your skills lie.
Amazon and other platforms have made it easy for the average man or woman to write their own manuscript, upload it and sell it to people on a global scale. You’re paid 60 days after the sale of your books, and you get money even if they buy a digital version they can read on their gadgets!
Although you can do most of this on your own, regardless of whether you’re pursing fiction or non-fiction, there are two areas you may want to invest in. That includes having an editor to go over it and hiring someone to create a professional cover for your book.
Earning as an Online Coach
There are many niches where online coaching is a viable option as a business model for those who want to work for themselves at home. People hire coaches all the time to help them overcome personal obstacles and achieve success in something they’re passionate about.
For instance, you might want to open shop online as a life coach who helps people get through tough times, set goals and work toward them until they see them to fruition. You can use free tools like Skype to meet with customers where you can see and chat with one another on a regular weekly basis.
To make money with this, you can have individual sessions that you sell, or you can have package deals, such as buy 4 and get the 5th one free. Take a look at others who offer this type of arrangement with clients and see how it can fit into your business on the ‘net.
There are many niches where all of these elements can earn money for your business. For example, let’s take the diet niche. You can promote weight loss tangibles and digital items as an affiliate, create your own info products, publish books on the matter, ghostwrite for others, and even coach people to succeed!
There are many other business models, such as dropshipping, domaining and more – so just take your time and investigate to see what appeals to you most before committing to one of more of the approaches.