5 Online Business Models You Can Start Right Now

If you are looking for a way to make money online, and don’t know where to start, read on, and you’ll find 5 online business models you can start right now.

online business

1. Service-Based Business

You can use the skills you already have to service those who don’t have the skills or the time. Are you good at answering calls? Make sales calls? Love administrative tasks? The possibilities are endless, as more and more business owners online as well as offline are looking to outsource tasks they don’t enjoy.

Here is a shortlist of services you can offer:

  • Article writer/eBook creator/ghostwriter
  • Web designer
  • Social media manager
  • List building
  • Customer support
  • Graphic design
  • Bookkeeping

2. Affiliate Marketing

One of the easiest and most fun types of business to start. It costs very little to get started: $10 for a domain name, $10 for hosting, and that’s about it. You can even start with nothing if you can’t afford the $20, but $20 is a very small investment for starting a business.

If you’d like to test the waters without paying anything to start affiliate marketing, you can use a Blogger or WordPress blog, or even start with Squidoo, HubPages, WetPaint, or any other platform that allows you to create pages on the web.

Now what is affiliate marketing, you ask? Wikipedia says “Affiliate marketing is using one website to drive traffic to another”. One of the easiest affiliate programs to get started with is Amazon.com’s program: their commission is not the highest (only 4% to start with), but they have a really good conversion rate which makes up for the lower commission. And if you sell only 6 items, you automatically get bumped to the next commission level, which is 6%, in line with most other programs.

Other places to find affiliate programs to promote are CJ.com and ShareASale.com, and of course, you can always go to Google and search for “niche” + “affiliate” and find opportunities that way.

3. PPC (Pay Per Click) Marketing

Often, PPC and Affiliate marketing go hand in hand, so once you become an affiliate for Amazon or another merchant you found, you can promote their products through PPC.

If you don’t have a website yet or haven’t figured out what niche you want to get into, PPC marketing is a great way to test several markets. You’ll need to do your research, as you can lose a lot of money really fast if you are not careful. But with proper setup and tracking, you can learn how to run PPC campaigns and make a very good living.

Here are a few must do’s before you start your PPC business:

  • Read as much as you can about other people’s experiences with PPC
  • Learn what mistakes other people made, so you can avoid them
  • Start with a small daily budget: you can start with as little as $5/day. Of course, your progress will be very slow, but you won’t risk losing your shirt. Set your daily budget in such a way that if you lost it all, it wouldn’t affect your daily life.
  • If you can, buy a paid guide, and study it well. One that I highly recommend is called Campaign Blasts, by Matt Levenhagen.
  • Then just do it: don’t learn so much that you get paralyzed and procrastinate. You’ll learn as you go.

4. Sell Your Own Product

You can do this in a few ways: sell physical products you create, drop-ship products from manufacturers, or sell information products. If you want to sell physical products, make sure you do your homework: there are many ways you can mess up. If you’d like to sell your own information products, start with something you know well. Or, you can hire a ghostwriter to create it for you.

But don’t get stuck on creating your own product. If you don’t know where to start, take one PLR eBook on your niche and rewrite it, add some of your own insights, add images, a video, and even an audio version of the eBook. And you’ll be ready to sell your own info product in no time.

5. List building

It’s been known that list building is very important to any online business. If you have a list of people you’ve built relationships with, and nurtured, you are not affected by Google slaps, algorithm changes, or anything else. This could be your entire business: build a responsive list, and send them excellent information, mixed in with product recommendations.

How do you build a responsive list? First of all, you need to offer potential subscribers something they must have, so they won’t mind parting with their email address. It could be a report on the “top 10 ways to…”, or “how to avoid…”, “how I accomplished….”, etc. (complete the above … with something your niche needs to know).

Be prepared when you start building your list: don’t procrastinate to create your content. You want to be able to be consistent in what you promised your subscribers. If you email them every couple of months, they may have already forgotten about you.

That wraps up the 5 business models you can start right now. You can actually combine any/all of them beautifully into one model that’s your own. Which one appeals to you the most? Do you have questions about any of the models? Post them below and let’s get you started.

Guest blogger Adriana Copaceanu writes on My Online Business Journey and suggests you learn how to write a marketing plan to help you with your new online business.

Share with friends

About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.