Starting an online business has become extremely popular over the last decade or so, and the cost of starting a business online has shrunken significantly.
Many small business have started for less than $100 which is typically the cost of a domain name and web hosting service for 1 year.
If you’re thinking of starting an online business there are many different paths you can take to generate a dependable income online.
While there are a lot of strategies you can use to make money online I will discuss 3 business models that have successfully shown their ability to generate a good income when done properly over a period of time.
The best part about these business models is the fact that each one has been proven over the years to make money if you know how they work and put in the sweat equity required to become successful.
Start a Blog
Over the years blogs have seen a huge shift from being used primarily as a social platform to becoming a highly profitable business model.
Blogs generally focus on growing an audience through content marketing, building relationships with their readers and teaching others how to achieve a goal and make money by offering services or products such as how to ebooks and videos, selling affiliate products, selling software and a host of other viable income sources.
If you posses a skill that people want to learn or are willing to pay for you can make a good income with this type of business model.
If you’re a photographer you can create a blog to show off your best work and build an online portfolio which can help you get work offline or you can sell your photographs online to make some extra cash.
If you’re a software developer you can create software and sell it to your audience.
If you have a particular skill that you can teach to you can make an income online.
Blogging is about sharing your knowledge with, building relationships and growing a large dedicated following of raving fans that can’t wait to read your latest content, buy your products or services and tell all their friends about you.
Create a Niche Site
While niche sites can also be considered a form of blogging these types of sites are often much smaller micro-sites with limited content that focus on a very narrow and specific topic.
Instead of focusing on building relationships or growing a dedicated following of raving fans niche sites usually focus on getting most their traffic from the search engines through low competition keywords that rank easily in the search engines and by building content around those keywords and linking to the website using various link building strategies.
Niche sites that generate decent traffic from the search engines may make money by having google Adsense ads (or other forms of advertisements) put on the website which allows the owner to make money every time a visitor clicks on an ad.
Because ads generally have a low pay-per-click these websites often rely on topics or niches that are likely to receive a lot of clicks from their visitors.
Another way niche sites make money is by selling affiliate products.
In this case the content that is created on the niche site is often related to the affiliate products being sold on that website.
Whenever a visitor clicks on an affiliate product and makes a purchase the owner of the website makes a commission on that purchase.
Starting a niche site often requires doing lots of keyword research and looking for low competition – high traffic keywords that can rank easily in the search engines and using various link building strategies.
Build a Membership Site
Membership sites are another popular way to make money online because these types of websites can generate a monthly recurring income from their members and can be very profitable with just a small audience.
Instead of hoping and relying on many individuals to make a one time purchase on a product or service that you offer you can enjoy repeated income from your members each and every month.
Most membership sites focus on creating a solution to a particular problem and offer highly valuable information, tools, services and resources to help their members succeed.
Some offer a consistently growing library how to video’s, audio podcasts, special reports and/or detailed training aimed at helping their members improve a particular area of their lives.
While offer special mentoring programs with a step by step action plan for getting from A to Z.
And some membership sites focus on providing their members with some form of entertainment to keep them interested.
Because membership websites enjoy monthly recurring income it is important to provide your members with high quality content and/or services on a consistent basis.
Whichever path you choose to take for your online business remember that you are doing it for your audience.
They are the ones who will help you succeed.
Keep it simple, informative and entertaining and you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding online.
There are various methods and business models you can use to help you make money, but in the end it’s the audience that often determines your success.