Choosing an Internet Business Model

choosing an internet business modelIt’s not easy choosing an internet business model.

I can say that from experience.

It took me a very long time to decide on what kind of internet business I wanted and what kind of business model would work best for me.

I knew I wanted to use the internet to help me make money but I didn’t know how to apply the internet to a business that I actually wanted to do.

So where do you start? 

Before you do start thinking about a business model it will help to first have a topic of interest. For example, what interests do you have?

If you have an idea already, perfect. If not, this is something you need to put some careful thought into.

This could be any number of a million things. Topic ideas could be things like kids, pets, food, health, knitting, sports, finance, beauty, weddings, funerals and the list goes on.

Whatever topic of interest you have it shouldn’t be too broad. It should narrowed down into a smaller niche topic that has a more narrow focus.

For instance, the broad topic of  ‘food’ could be broken down to ‘cooking’ which could be further broken down to ‘crock pot cooking’.

An interest in health could be broken down into ‘women’s health’ which could be broken down even further to ‘pregnancy health’, ‘postpartum exercise’ or ‘women’s menopausal health’.

Any one of those ideas are great niche ideas.

See how that works?  Pick a general topic of interest and narrow it down to a specialized niche topic of interest.

Once you have a niche topic of interest the next step is to figure out how you want to make money with that niche.  There where choosing an internet business model comes in.  It’s the HOW  part of the internet business equation.

Popular Internet Business Models

There are lots of ways to take an idea and make money with it, and that’s what we’ll discuss here when we talk about choosing your internet business model.

– The Information Marketing Business Model

Creating and selling information products online is a popular yet lucrative business model.

Information products consist of e-books, courses or guides that you create and sell online.  An ebook can be anywhere from 30 to 200 pages but offers a more in-depth look at a topic than a short report.

The advantage of eBooks is that they can be priced at higher rates than short reports. Your customers can get the ebooks or guides with an immediate download which also make them very attractive to buyers.  eBooks can also be paired with supplemental reports, audios or videos depending on the niche and how many resources you want to offer your customers.

When you create your own information product you are in complete control of your own income stream.

– Affiliate Marketing Internet Business Model

Unlike creating your own info product, affiliate marketing doesn’t require having a product or service of your own.  It’s about promoting other people’s goods and services for a commission of any sales you make.

Your job as an affiliate marketer is to relate to your reader on a level that helps them make informed decisions about whether or not to buy. You do this by providing topic information, creating discussion and highlighting the reasons why someone would or possibly wouldn’t need a product.  That’s why product comparisons work so well for affiliate marketers, you’re helping readers make decisions based on what a product can deliver and how it can change their life.

An effective affiliate marketer is someone who knows how to promote affiliate products with the right affiliate marketing strategies.  In other words, if you can establish yourself as an expert in a niche by understanding your topic, products and customers, those commission checks will follow.

– Membership Sites Business Model

Membership sites are another popular, extremely profitable business model.  But it’s the consistent income potential that makes memberships sites financially appealing.  For example, with just 100 people paying $20 per month to be part of your membership site, you’re guaranteed $2K coming in automatically month after month.

Having a membership site is similar to creating an information product; the difference is your information is delivered in more comprehensive, bite size chunks, which most people prefer anyway. You can provide monthly reports on a niche topic, host a forum, or offer coaching for a flat fee each month. As an added benefit, you could even create an affiliate program for your membership site so that others can send new members your way.

The real success of a membership site is finding a good membership site script to get set up with. A good script will ensure your site is running smoothly by protecting your membership content from public eyes and by automatically processing member payments so that you can get paid each month.

Download this free guide on how to create and start a Membership Website.

– E-Commerce Store Business Model

An e-commerce business is the direct sales of goods or services on the web.  You produce the goods or services that you sell to your customers or you purchase them wholesale selling them retail.  If all goes well, your sales revenue will exceed the cost of operation and you profit.

This can be a great internet business model but it also has a lot of moving parts.  For example, there’s  inventory to stock and ship.  You’ll also need a secure order processing system and be able to handle customer support issues.

For these reasons it will be a lot easier to go with an e-commerce website like Yahoo! Stores which I personally love because they take care of all the tough, technical stuff for you like built-in secure shopping carts, order fulfillment, free domain names, handy design tools, marketing and tracking.  Yahoo! just makes it easier :-)

An even simpler e-commerce business model is wholesale dropshipping.  With this model, you by products from a wholesaler who also does drop shipping, meaning they ship the products to your customers for you.  The easy of this business model is that you don’t have to maintain inventory and there’s no packing or shipping for you to do either.

Why choosing the right internet Business Model is Important

Choosing the right business model from the beginning. It’s important because choosing the wrong business model could mean hopping from one business to another, never making any money at all, which frequently happens to internet business owners trying to become a success online.

Here’s an example of what I mean.

Let’s say you’re a stay at home mom with a couple of very young children. For you it might not be wise to choose an e-commerce business model where you’ll be required to sell and package goods day in and day out.  This would require more time and vigilance than a stay at home mom with young kids could keep up with.

On the other hand, if you had specific skills such as writing, you might be able to create an information product based on a topic of interest that you have had experience with.

This is just one example of how choosing an internet business model is an important part of creating your online business.  It has to be something you can realistically do every day. It should be something you enjoy and it should be able to earn you the kind of income you require.

So before choosing what business model that will work for you, here are a few things to consider first.

  • How much time can you devote to your online business? Is Flex time important?
  • Will you require employees or will you be working alone?
  • What kind of budget will you start with? 
  • Is your goal to simply supplement your current income or will this be a full time business?
  • How much income will you require?

In Summary…

Having a successful online business requires a lot more than just having an idea. You need to make sure your idea is one that you can make money with and also fits within your daily schedule.

Start by looking at your own strengths, experiences and preferences, then it becomes a matter of understanding what each business model will take to manage and how it will perform for you based on your lifestyle and financial goals.

What online business model are you thinking about?

Blessings,

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Comments

  1. Oliver Tausend says:

    Hi Liz,

    interesting questions.

    My single most important aspect when it comes to my home business is building it huge, building it once and getting paid all over again, not only myself but also my children and my children’s children.

    The beauty of this approach is not only the residual income, but that it also facilitates the choices available on the market dramatically – at least 90 % of the market offers available aren’t suitable for me.

    So I had to find a network marketing company that allows me to use the internet adequately without being in breach of the policies and procedures and whose policies and procedures don’t contain any ongoing training responsibilities and sales requirements – the kiss of death to residual income. That reduces the choices again.

    In addition to that, I don’t want to have to build a team with 2,000 people per every 10,000 $ I want to make per month (residual income) Less people will do.

    Of course, I don’t want to be involved in the “supply chain” between the customers and the company (order process, shipping, payments etc.) It all needs to be set up by the company.

    That’s all. I’m happy and grateful to have found this company.

    Well, basically, I don’t see myself as internet marketer. I see myself as networker marketer building relationships through the use of the internet and the telephone.

    Take care

    Oliver

  2. Liz.. this is a great post. You explained all 4 business models clearly. I think combining the information marketing model (where you create your own products) with the affiliate marketing model, you can take advantage and increase profits..

    That’s what I do.. and it’s working great
    thanks
    Hector

  3. Jerome Ratliff says:

    Hi Liz,

    Ok – as an outsider looking in. I see this business model as a great solution to bring in another source of residual income that is part of the multiple streams of income my good friend Robert Allen talks about.

    It ultimately comes done to what does the person prefer and does it allow them to fulfill their purpose.

    Talk to you later,
    Jerome Ratliff

  4. Karen Newman says:

    Liz,

    What a great overview of the various options available to people researching an Internet opportunity. It really takes the guesswork out of the decision making process. Thank you for sharing! :)

  5. Josh Garcia says:

    Hey Liz,

    I really like how you broke this down. Provides many options on how to use the internet to make multiple streams of income. Awesome Job!

    Chat with you later…
    Josh

  6. Peter Fuller MBA says:

    Hey Liz

    Four great ways to make money online.

    I am always looking for synergistic ways to combine various models to build a business online.

    Peter

  7. Joel, I like the store model too and if you can find a good niche and focus your site to what people in that niche want to buy, you can do pretty well.

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