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online-business-3-online-business-models-1On a recent survey, someone asked, “Which method for making money online is the easiest to follow and has the highest likelihood of success for the average person if they stick to it?”

Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer to this question. But there is a way to know which business is best for you. I wrote a series of 3 blog posts a while back called “The 3 things you need to succeed.”

If you’re searching for what’s right for you, read these posts before going any further. They will help make sure you don’t make a BIG mistake in your life.

There are 3 online business models

The truth is that there are 3 online business models. Actually, there are some others that are for larger organizations. Two examples are online marketplaces (Amazon and eBay) and brokering (Zillow or Airbnb), Some individuals make money by selling on online marketplace platforms (Amazon and eBay).

But let’s stick with online business models that you can start as a small business, maybe on your own. Here are the 3 models:

  • Service: You provide a service, such as coaching, consulting, software development, design (website, presentation, brochure, etc), or training
  • E-commerce: You sell products on your website, such as e-books and video courses. These will be products that you create or by with rights to sell as yours (private label rights=PLR). You can ask others to sell your products for you and give them a commission.
  • Ads/affiliate marketing: You sell the products of others, by placing ads on your website or promoting with an affiliate link. If you place ads, you usually get paid according to the number of times your visitors click the ads, but you might be able to charge a monthly fee. If you use an affiliate link, you get a percentage of each sale and you will probably use email to promote the products. Here are 2 places to find affiliate products: ClickBank and JVZoo, but you can sign up for affiliate programs of individuals as well. For example, you can sign up for my affiliate program here.

Each of these models is very flexible. For example:

If you sell products, people can pay for them all at once or in monthly payments. You can offer a coaching group, which is a service, and people can pay one time or monthly.

What’s important to know is that most people combine these models. For example:

  • I sell my own products and services (products are here and services are here)
  • I promote products of other people, when I know them and their work
  • I ask affiliates to sell my products for me
  • I have ads on one of my websites

How to choose the right model for you

It depends on what you’re good at and what you like to do. Do you have a lot of knowledge to share and are you good at writing or speaking? Then create your own products. One thing I’ve found is that you should start by choosing a format that is comfortable for you. (There’s plenty of time later to go beyond your comfort zone and grow into new projects!) So if you prefer to write, write. If you prefer to speak, create videos of you speaking.

Does creating your own products scare you? Then buy PLR products and modify them or promote the products of others.


Are you still confused? Leave a comment! Please share this post using the Share buttons below because you never know who will be inspired by it!

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    1 Response to "3 online business models–and which is the right one for you"

    • Andrene

      I believe I have the passion and the skill, I’m just not sure about the market…

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