Below are 8 practical online business ideas that have proven to be effective for many entrepreneurs. In fact, I've done all three, and made decent money from each. I'll also tell you which one will probably make you the most money and be the best long term strategy.
Money really can be made online, but it's not all the “bells and whistles” that you see guys promoting as the “game changing system” to revolutionize your bank account. The 3 strategies outlined below are simple, effective, and will still be around for decades.
Online Business Strategy #1
Amazon Product Review Website
Amazon is a great place to start in affiliate marketing because you can find everything you want there, and as a member of their affiliate program, you can promote anything on the site.
There are lots of tools to help you get Amazon products on your website, and plenty of people use this strategy, so there's lots of documentation, support, and more experienced people to learn from.
I think this is great for someone who wants to create a website about some activities they do or a ‘lifestyle' blog that you want to promote. Basically, you can add things that YOU buy and like, want to buy, or are related to an industry you are familiar with.
Like I said, you can find anything on Amazon, which means you can make commissions from anything too.
The downside is low commission rates (to begin with), and their affiliate program isn't available in some areas of the world (including some states in the US). If you are going to focus on exclusively Amazon product related websites, you want to check out the Ultimate Azon Theme (review).
Start Your First Amazon Website Here (Includes Training)
Online Business Strategy #2
Multiple Niche Sites
A ‘niche site' is a website that targets an audience in a very specific industry. It can be as specific as you like, and the case is usually the more targeted, the more effective a campaign can be.
For example, I bought a pillow recently, but I hate when pillows get hot. So I went to Google and searched for “pillows that don't get hot”. I then saw that some brands had some kind of cooling gel in their pillows, so I searched for “gel pillows that don't get hot”.
It's a pretty weird thing, but hey, I found a website that compared a few that fit the description, and bought their number one choice.
Because these are ‘niche' specific, and often have a very small audience, they might not make that much money. But these websites tend to be smaller and simpler to create, so you can put up a couple of these in a short period of time. If you get some good products, happy customers, and 5 – 10 websites doing this, you could be making some good money.
For niche site building, I recommend you check out my article on how to make money as an Amazon Affiliate. This strategy will work with any affiliate program, but using Amazon as an example is easy to understand because they offer such a broad range of products to choose from.
Online Business Strategy #3
Authority Site On A Topic You Love
This type of website is still going to be ‘niche' oriented, but not so specific. So instead of a pillow comparison website, I might make a website about getting good sleep. I could review pillows, mattresses, sell courses on meditation, promote natural light clocks, white noise machines, natural sleep apnea remedies, ebooks on how to cure insomnia, and so many more things. This is just ONE idea, and there are literally THOUSANDS of possibilities out there across all industries like health, sports, parenting, computers, cooking, traveling, and more.
The idea is that you become the source of the best, most accurate, most user-friendly information. Over time, you become an ‘authority' in Google.
It takes a while to build to this level, but once you get the ball rolling, success and money grows exponentially. You learn more about your products and the industry, and it's quite easy to become an expert in one area. If you are a trusted expert, you can make a ton of money simply being helpful and promoting good products.
Really, with one site, you could make a full time income of $100,000 or more from ONE WEBSITE. Learning how to build authority websites takes time and some dedication, but is totally worth it. You can spend a year trying to please your boss, or you can spend a year trying to make your own way in this world. I chose option 2.
The famous quote that always motivated me was from Jerry Rice
Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't
This is why I personally think this is the best strategy to aim for.
- Marketing + sales sustainable business (people will always buy stuff)
- The internet is a growth industry (more people getting online every day, more people shopping online every day)
- It helps people (find the answers and products they need)
- I get to write about things I enjoy
- I'm learning useful skills (building websites, writing, business, marketing)
I have had my best successes with building authority websites. I started out with about 40 websites in my first year and got burnt out. Now I run about 3-5 websites that really make money, and only focus daily on 2 of those.
If you would like to learn how to build Amazon, niche websites, authority websites, or just learn more about how I make money online, you can take my free 5 day affiliate marketing beginner course. I'll show you all the basics you need to know, hook you up with two free websites, some training videos and lessons, and be available for questions if you need assistance.
This post has been up a while, and I've learned a lot since it was originally written. Rather than limit it to three, I basically want to add ideas as I read about them, since I review a lot of products are some are pretty good.
B2B Niche Website
Instead of targeting consumers with your niche website, why not target businesses instead? Business owners need to spend money to keep their business running, growing, and improving. You also have a lot less competition, since most marketers are going for the consumer side of things. You could even do both! Create a consumer website as a guinea pig and as proof of concept, then show the results to your business clients.
It's a similar concept of building a niche site as discussed above, but targeting a different group of people. For example, instead of making a website for people that want to learn about organic gardening, you target businesses that want to sell products to people that want to do organic gardening. Things like business plans, tax software, buying products related to running a business are all places you can make profits through affiliate marketing.
Paid Traffic + Display Ads
My focus has always been on using free traffic, but paid traffic can be an excellent source of visitors to your site. I also don't use many display ads like Adsense. However, if you create appropriate content that gets shared a lot, you can reduce the cost of your ads, and make some really good money! Paid traffic is faster than free traffic, and if your site is monetized properly, you can use the profits to buy more and more ads, then grow your business into infinity.
Selling T-Shirt's Online
The concept is simple, but like any business, it takes some planning, strategy, and creativeness to get your business off the ground and differentiate yourself from the numerous other companies out there doing the exact same thing. There are a massive number of courses out there on how to start your own t-shirt business, but the best one I've reviewed so far is called T-Shirt Titan. You can read the details in that link which is a full review of the course, but in a nutshell it will show you how to create designs, market your products with ads, and get the product delivered to your customer.
This is a method that's growing in popularity! It's basically where you buy some inventory at wholesale price, ship it to Amazon for storage, and you can sell it on their website. You pay Amazon a fee to store and ship, but you can still profit nicely off the difference between wholesale/retail price. You can see a full list of these methods reviewed on my post on learning about selling on Amazon with FBA.
Selling on Ebay
This business model is still quite popular, but much of the “get rich” hype has died down. Also, Ebay is slowly changing from just a bidding website to an ecommerce website much like Amazon, so we may see some changes in the coming months/years to this platform. I don't have any course recommendations for this business model at the moment.
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