If you ask how to make money online, you’re generally going to hear one of two things. You’re going to hear people telling you that you can’t make money online. That all the good topics and business models are taken up. (That’s untrue, by the way.)
You’re also going to hear people who will promise you that you can make millions online. While that IS true for some, it’s not common. What is true about making money online is that anything is possible, and it’s quite likely that you can make a very comfortable living doing something that you love. So here’s the lowdown on how to make money online.
What Makes Money Online?
There are a few basic business models that generally achieve a good deal of success online. They include:
- Information marketing – Information is sold online, generally about a specialty topic
- Membership marketing – Profit is made by selling memberships and selling advertising space
- Service provider – Profit is made by providing a service. For example, virtual assistants provide administrative services online
- Retailer or ecommerce – Profit is made by selling a product online
- Affiliate marketing – Profit is made by promoting the products or services of others and earning a commission
There are a few things these five business models have in common. They all operate online - that’s a given because we’re talking about online business. They also all need people to visit their website in order to survive. How do they get people to their website?
Content is the unifying theme behind successful websites. People go online to be entertained, to be informed, to connect and communicate. The single unifying thread for all of these interactions is content.
Content can be read, watched, listened to and shared. It can be an article, a blog post, a report, a book, an online course, a video or an audio. Without content a website doesn’t stand a chance. Information is the reason for the internet. If a website doesn’t provide information, it has no value to online users.
Okay, so you choose your business model. You choose a business topic or specialty; this is often called a niche. A niche is a speciality topic. For example, you could decide you want to start a membership site. Great - about what? Recipes, because you love to cook and share recipes. Fantastic! Now it’s time to create the content for your website. You need to give people a reason to visit your website and become a member. The next step is to continue to provide value. What are you going to offer your members to motivate them to stay members?
What information are you going to provide as an information marketer that will motivate people to buy your books? What information can you provide clients to motivate them to hire you as a service provider?
Online, regardless of the model you choose, people want to know one thing: “What's in this for me? How will this benefit me?” Choose your topic and model wisely. Create fantastic content and provide value. That’s the core of any successful online business.