You should analyze various business models to decide which one (or a combination of two or more) will work best to utilize your personal talents and abilities to achieve the level of success that you are after.
There are multiple business models you could consider following to earn the most money possible from your online efforts, but in the beginning you will want to keep things simple and start with one of these five most common online money-making models: Affiliate Marketing, Information Product Development, Service Provider, Self-Publishing and Online Coaching.
#1: Start The Easy Way – With Affiliate Earnings
Becoming an affiliate for someone else’s products is one of the absolute best business models for newcomers to the world of online marketing. With affiliate marketing, you don’t necessarily even need to have your own website.
If you don’t have your own blog to review and promote products from, you can earn commissions by promoting offers to your own mailing list or posting on social networking sites. It 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 all that is available for you to recommend to your subscribers and blog readers.
There are many places to find products such as:
- Commission Junction
- …and direct programs, too!
One thing you can do to find products to promote is to type into a search engine the name of your niche or product and add the words ‘affiliate program’ to see what results show up.
There are several companies that run their own affiliate programs which are not listed on the above platforms. So, for instance, if you were in the survival niche, you might go to ClickBank to find an information product to review, and then go to the JVZoo and/or WarriorPlus affiliate platforms to find content or training courses to promote.
For tangible products, you might want to start your search at Amazon.com and see what all they have available. And, as an example, if you wanted to promote various MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) you could type this phrase into search engines to find even more programs: survival food affiliate program.
When you operate as an affiliate, make sure you’re receiving the full and proper commission (typically 50% of the sale). Take note of how long the customer you refer is cookied for with your link – make sure that if they buy later, you get credit for the sale.
#2: Create Your Own Info-Products
If you would like to have a large number of affiliates out there working on your behalf and sending tons of sales and subscribers to you – then consider creating your own information product and releasing it for sale with an affiliate program.
Some new marketers get nervous about launching a product or doing it with affiliates, but this is the best way to quickly brand yourself and build a large following. It does require that you network with others and see if they will promote your product.
First, decide what specific topic you want to create a product about. Don’t fret about how much competition there might be or whether or not the subject has been covered before. Just pick something you think people in your niche need help with.
Next, figure out what format would be best for disseminating the information based on what your audience wants, and what skills you possess to get the job done. Occasionally the two won’t match – but that’s okay.
Maybe you have an audience who devours video, but you have no experience making videos. If that’s the case, you can either outsource the videos, improve your skills, or simply create a text-based product and see if they will accept a different media format.
As long as the information is good, it’s likely they won’t care. Text and video are the two most common formats used for creating courses, but several have also been done using audio podcast formats.
Once your product has been created, be sure to price it competitively. You want it to earn enough to be worthwhile for the affiliates who are reviewing and promoting it. However, you don’t want to price your audience out of the opportunity to buy it from you, either.
Do a comparison to find what others are charging for similar products in your niche, and strategize from there. Be sure you also develop a lucrative affiliate program that both boosts sales and helps you to quickly build a list of buyers.
Create a JV (joint venture) page for your affiliates that details the launch dates and times, plus how the funnel is laid out and the price points for each offer in the funnel. Include specifics about the course, and any affiliate incentives or tools, such as prize money or swipe files that help them promote for you.
Decide which affiliate platform you want to launch from – ClickBank, JVZoo, WarriorPlus, Udemy, Teachable, or even your own system that you setup using a membership plugin or software. It’s your decision, but make sure that your affiliates are well taken care of and paid on time – for both commissions and prize money, if you offer any.
At the same time as you are building a list of buyers from your first launch, begin working on the second in your line of niche info-products. You can poll your current buyers to find out what else they would like to see – or simply continue providing them what you already know they need based on your initial research.
#3: Use Your Existing Skills To become A Service Provider
Some people believe they have no usable resources or knowledge, yet they possess talents as a writer, graphics designer or customer service representative. If you are one of those who 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 your start by working for others who already have a business online. Many business owners are looking to contract out jobs and tasks that they don’t have the time or talents to do themselves.
Many people find out about these jobs through word-of-mouth when a friend or acquaintance in need of a provider puts them in touch with a person who has the skill to complete the job they need done. It could be that they need an eBook written, an eCover created, or maybe have their customer service requests handled.
Some product creators might be searching for someone to act as an affiliate manager for them to recruit potential top affiliates to come on board for future launches. If you can handle any of these tasks, you may want to begin a service providing business model.
Word of mouth is not the only way you can land a job by offering your services. There are sites like Upwork.com and Fiverr.com where you can set up a profile and offer to accept jobs and gigs to do work for people who want to hire you to complete them.
You may occasionally find a long-term job where you’re working regularly on an on-going basis for an established marketer, but most often it will be a series of one-off gigs where you get hired by one client one day and another client the next day.
It usually depends on what you are offering and how long they need help with the task or service that you are performing. If the job is for something like writing or graphics, it will most often be a temporary exchange of money for your services until the job is finished.
However, if the job is for customer service or affiliate management, it might be a longer-term position where you get paid on a regular basis. With affiliate management, there could be a deal where you get paid a set amount of money, or one where you earn a percentage of the earnings. If it’s the latter, make sure you negotiate all the details upfront so you can collect a down payment on what you’ll make. Don’t accept a marketer’s promise to pay you after the fact, because there are a few unethical marketers who will take the money and run.
If you’re setting up a profile on a site like Upwork.com, be very thorough and detailed so you offer enough information to put potential clients at ease. Remember that many marketers looking to pay for your services have saved up their money to hire outsourcers. They certainly don’t want to risk paying some freelancer who ends up disappearing with their money.
If you are offering services like ghostwriting or graphics design, be sure to fill your online portfolio with a wide range of options for them to consider. For example, if you can write about almost anything, showcase your previously written articles on health, success, and relationships, so they can see your writing style and range of knowledge.
You might also want to showcase a few different styles of writing as well – like blog or social media posts, sales copy, email autoresponders, etc. This will give prospective clients an idea of how well you can write for sales conversions in addition to simply conveying facts and information.
When you’re on a site like Upwork.com, you can take the initiative and reach out to bid on jobs instead of just waiting for someone to find your profile and contact you. Bid carefully to have the best success, and don’t use canned responses.
You don’t have to be reliant on platforms to get jobs either. You can set up your own website to offer your services from – and charge whatever rate you want – unlike how you are required to operate in a competitive bidding scenario on another site.
Make sure you provide potential clients with specific and complete information on the components of your offers. They’ll need to know exact details such as how much you charge per page – and just what do you consider to be a ‘page’? Is it single spaced or double spaced, a certain sized font, a specific number of words?
You don’t want to end up with an unhappy client who thought they would be getting single spaced, 12-point Arial font with at least 400 words per page when what you’re offering is a 14-point font with double spacing and only 250 words per page.
Set up a portfolio with examples so clients can see your work. These don’t have to be from real clients. In fact, most clients won’t want the work you did for them to be posted to represent your business, because ghostwriting is usually done discreetly.
The client will also want to know a little bit about your background, experience, and work ethic. With so many scammers online these days you need to provide clients with adequate details about yourself and the services you are offering. Just don’t divulge any personal details, like exactly where you live.
Also, make sure you have a contact form. Some people put an order form right on their page, but you might want to be careful about doing that. It’s always best to discuss a project with a client before you allow them to buy, so you know if the two of you are a good fit to work together.
#4: Follow The Self-Publishing Route
Self-publishing is yet another online business model you should consider adopting for your business. Following this path, it is possible that you could become a bestselling author – in either the non-fiction or fiction genre, depending on where your skills lie of course.
It has been the dream of many people all around the world to publish their own manuscript. Seeing your name in print on the cover of a book is extremely exciting and quite rewarding. However, it too often happens that the dream of being an author never comes to fruition. The good news is that it is easier now than ever before to make this dream come true by self-publishing your own book (or even several books).
Things have changed for the better. These days there are many options available for authors to self-publish their own books. 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 will be 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 electronic devices!
There are websites like CreateSpace.com that even allow you to get your books printed on demand. There is no longer any need for you to have to fork out huge sums of money to a publishing company just to self-publish your masterpiece. There is absolutely no need for a large print run, and you will not end up with hundreds of books lying around with no one to buy them.
Even though you can handle most of this on your own, there are two areas you should consider investing in. Number one is finding someone to act as an editor to review your writing, and number two is hiring someone to create a professional cover for your book. This applies regardless of whether you are pursing fiction or non-fiction.
#5: Earn As An Online Coach
There are numerous niches in which online coaching is an in-demand service that would be a viable option as a business model for anyone who wants to work for themselves from home. People hire coaches all the time to help them overcome personal obstacles, learn new skills, and achieve success doing something they are passionate about.
As an example, you might want to open an online training site where you operate as a ‘life coach’ who helps people get through tough times, set goals and work toward achieving them from beginning to completion. You can use free internet tools, like Skype, to meet with your customers and chat with one another on a regularly scheduled basis.
To earn money from this, you can hold individual sessions that you sell for a one-time fee, or you can offer package deals, such as buy 3 and get the 4th one free. Take a look at how others who offer similar types of services interact with their clients and figure out how you can setup your business to provide your customers with the most valuable results possible.
There are a myriad of niches where many different elements can be used to earn money for your business. For example, let’s take a look at the diet niche. You could promote tangible weight loss products or digital items as an affiliate, create your own information products, publish books on the subject, ghostwrite for others, and even personally coach people to succeed!
There are many other business models you might want to consider, such as dropshipping, domaining and more… just take your time and investigate thoroughly to find what most appeals to you before you commit to one of more of these approaches.