A lot of people ask me questions like, “What online business can I start as a newbie?” or “What is the best online business to earn money?” Well, to be precise, there is no one size fits all answer to this.
Everyone is different. Everybody’s personality is different. You just have to find a business model that suits your personality and you can work on it for a long time without getting bored.
It also depends on how much money you can invest in your business. Depending on that, you will have to decide whether you are going free traffic or the paid traffic route. So when somebody asks me “what kind of online business can I do to make a lot of money?”, my answer would be different depending on the person and his financial condition.
Remember, traffic is the most important thing for an online business. If you have a website for your business but it has zero traffic, then your business doesn’t exist. You can bring traffic to your website via both free and paid methods. In free methods, you need to invest your time.
There are different types of businesses you can start online. I am only going to talk about the three most common business models in this article which one among them I think is the best for beginners.
One of the best online business models for beginners is the “Affiliate marketing” model. In short, affiliate marketing is when you sell other people’s products for a commission. When people go through your affiliate link and buys a product, you get a commission. The product could be both digital or physical.
To start with, at first, you need to sign up for an affiliate network. Some of the popular Affiliate networks are
JVZoo (digital product)
Amazon Associates( Amazon’s own affiliate program)
Rakuten Advertising( Formerly known as LinkShare)
Market Health(Health-related products)
You can even directly search for affiliate programs from a particular brand or product on google. For example, you have a website where you write reviews of different wearable technologies from companies like Fitbit. Now if you want to check if Fitbit has an affiliate program, just search for “ Fitbit affiliate program” on google.
Or if you are already signed up for Amazon Associates, you can check if the product is available for sale on Amazon. Sometimes, for some products, you get a better deal if you go directly to the company’s site.
There are different methods through which you can promote affiliate offers. Some of the common methods are-
Creating a blog or Niche Website and using SEO(Search engine optimization)
Create a blog or Niche Website. Rank it on search engines like Google or Bing(using SEO) and thus getting free traffic. You can promote your affiliate links to your audience. You can even earn from showing ads to your website visitors. For this method, you need to have in-depth knowledge of SEO
Creating Youtube videos
Yes, you can also promote your affiliate links by becoming a Youtuber. It is not necessary to show your face to create a youtube video. You can create a review video or even a tutorial video and upload it to Youtube or Vimeo. Don’t forget to put your affiliate link in the description.
Using Paid Ads
Paid ads are one very common method of promoting affiliate offers. Some common forms of paid ads are Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Media Buying, etc. You cannot send traffic directly to the affiliate offer on Google and Facebook ads. You need to create a landing page and link it to the affiliate offer.
You can collect their Email on the Landing page and message them later about your affiliate offer. You need to provide value to your audience. For example, you are promoting an autoresponder like Aweber(which is a digital marketing tool), you could create a course around how to use Aweber, send it to your audience for free along with an Aweber affiliate link.
I will keep on writing about affiliate marketing here. So stay tuned.
Dropshipping is a business model. More specifically, you can say it’s a specific order fulfillment method. In dropshipping, you sell traditional e-commerce products but you don’t keep Inventory with yourselves.
It works like this. You build an online e-commerce store. Promote it to get customers. And when someone orders a product from your store, you pass the customer info to a wholesaler or the manufacturer of the product, and then they fulfill the order. You don’t have to take any headaches. You don’t need a warehouse. You don’t need to do packaging and shipping. You just need to do the marketing of the product and make a sale.
The benefit of this model over traditional e-commerce is that it requires much less capital. You can run a dropshipping store on a“Home-based business” model requiring only a laptop and an internet connection to run this business. You don’t even have to purchase inventory before the customer purchases a product.
One of the common dropshipping methods is the Aliexpress method. When someone orders a product on your store, you just go to Aliexpress (which is an e-commerce store based in China), place an order on Aliexpress, and put the address of the customer so that they could send the product to your customer.
Please keep in mind that Aliexpress is not even a wholesale website. It’s a retail e-commerce store. People doing this business are just doing retail arbitrage, buying the product at a very low price from China(Aliexpress) and selling at a much higher price(3 to 4 times) to American or European customers.
Dropshipping is not a passive business like Affiliate Marketing as you need to provide customer support and take care of the returns.
As you know that more than half of sales on Amazon come from third-party sellers and not from Amazon directly. What’s interesting is that Amazon has a program called FBA(Fulfillment by Amazon) where Amazon takes care of your inventory and shipping.
You just send your products to Amazon and they store it in their warehouse. Every time someone orders it,
Amazon packs and ships the product and provides customer support.
You need to pay a small fee to Amazon for this but your job as a seller becomes much easier. It is a beginner-friendly business model as you don’t have to provide customer care or have to have a warehouse to store products.
Pretty much like dropshipping but you sell products on Amazon instead of your own store. You also need to purchase products in bulk and send it to Amazon.
what do I need to start an online business?
What do I need to start my own online business? The most important thing one needs is a website.No, don’t get scared. You don’t need to know any programming language.
If you are thinking of starting an E-commerce or dropshipping store, you can use Shopify. Also, get a premium theme.
On the other hand, if you want to start with your affiliate marketing business, you need a website. You need to first buy a domain and also hosting. You also need a professional theme if you want your website to look good. But you can start with a free theme too. It’s not a big deal.
For buying domain names, I mainly use Namecheap. For hosting, you can go to Bluehost or Stablehost and get a shared hosting plan to start with. Shared hosting starts from $2-$3 per month. If your budget is a little bigger, you can choose WPX hosting which starts from $20.83 per month.
what online business can I start with no money?
This is a pretty common question many people ask. How to make money if you are broke? If you are broke or a student and don’t have a single penny to start, I would suggest you learn a skill, like graphic designing or SEO(search engine optimization), and sell a service. It is known as freelancing. Freelancing is also a business that is service-based. Here, you sell your service for money.
To learn a new skill, you don’t need to go to college. There are plenty of free tutorials available on youtube on every possible topic. Or you can sign up for websites like Coursera and Edx.
If you don’t like to sell a service or you think it would take a long time to learn a new skill, you can even start your affiliate marketing business without any money. Back in the day, there was a method known as Bum Marketing. It involved writing spammy articles and publish them on various article directories. As article directories used to rank pretty well on google at that time, people got lots of traffic and sales. This method didn’t cost any money.
But then, a lot of people misused this method and google had to update their algorithm. As a result, many articles lost their ranking and this method somehow died down. But what I want to say to you is that you can still start with free methods. Sure submitting articles on article directories does not work anymore, but there are other options.
You can start publishing content on sites like Medium.com with your affiliate links. They let users put an affiliate link on their articles.
I personally think affiliate marketing is the best way to start earning money online if you ask me how to make money from the comfort of your home. It is also a passive income method and you don’t have to handle any customer support. Do you agree with it? Please let me know in the comments section.