So, the age of the internet is screaming ahead, at a frenetic pace. Home working, online shopping, eLearning and the like are becoming exceedingly popular these days. The eCommerce boom is here, so how can you get your piece of the pie? I had that thought running through my mind near constantly for years; “How can I make money online?”.
Well, here are some tips…
1. What type of online business is best for you?
There are many types of online business models out there, and not every one is suited to them all. It’s not about just picking the first one you come across, but rather taking a step back and thinking about which model best suits YOU.
Do you enjoy writing, comparing products/services or enjoy getting your point across? Then blogging and/or affiliate marketing (interdependent) could be your bag, or maybe even KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).
Or maybe you really love certain products but have no desire to produce, warehouse or dispatch items – dropshipping could be right up your alley!
Even if you are in the service industry, you can still get in on the action with courses, podcasts, webinars, YouTube videos and the like. You could even sell your professional services on popular freelancing sites like Fiverr.
It’s worth noting that quite a few of these either are completely related to, or complimented by, affiliate marketing, which is why this is my go-to business model.
I’ve also written a recent article about popular online business models, so check that out too.
2. How much time do you have to dedicate to it?
We’re all busy people. Technology is great, it’s opening up so many doors, but its also clouding our lives with additional distractions and work.
If you’re a person who’s very busy with the day job and only able to dedicate an hour a day or a few hours a week, then some business models might not work for you (e.g. Amazon FBA or dropshipping). For example, Amazon FBA is probably not something you’d want to be trying; sourcing products, visiting manufacturers, dealing with customers and the like. Amazon will store, dispatch and ship your products, but you still need to find your products and get them there first.
Additionally, selling your time for money with Fiverr or UpWork would unlikely be the best option as you’d be leveraging a good chunk of your spare time for something that’s difficult to scale up. I’ve never been a fan of trading time for money (e.g. the 9-5 day job where you only get paid for the time you give up).
This is where something like blogging or YouTube could work. Creating courses or webinars also can be built in your spare time (note – very few webinars you’ve watched are actually live, they’re prerecorded and run on loop). You’re leveraging the internet!
3. How much startup capital do you have?
Almost every online business venture will require some form of outlay, even if its just buying a domain name and a hosting service to get your blog up and running.
That said, you CAN start a blog for free with Blogger on Google. They’ll provide the hosting and site, however your domain name will only be customisable to a point, but will include “.blogspot.com”. That said, it’s still a great way to start out if you would like to dip your toe into blogging with no risk or outlay. You can find it in your Google apps or here.
However, if you decide that blogging IS for you, I’d strongly suggest you get your own domain and hosting setup to give your unique brand its own identity. It also gives your brand more legitimacy.
On the other side of the equation, some online businesses will require far more capital to get started, e.g. Amazon FBA and eBay, where you’ll need to source, purchase and store (in eBay’s case) stock. You’ll first need to sample products, visit suppliers and possibly get storage space to warehouse your products it before they’re sold.
If you’d prefer to avoid this, dropshipping might be a better alternative, but it’s still advisable to sample test the product(s) in advance.
The one constant with all online businesses is that you’ll need to research and learn. There are plenty of resources around, but just be careful and use your head. If people are making claims that seem to be too good to be true, they inevitably are. Remember, the only get-rich-quick or get-rich-overnight scheme is the lottery.
That said, there ARE a lot of people out there who are looking to help you, but there are also plenty of sharks too.
Have a look at my article on starting an online business with affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is always my preferred choice; you can fit it around your time, the costs to startup are little to none and most importantly, you can literally pick almost any niche which means you can tailor your business to your passion(s).
To your success.