I have involved in online business for about 5 years or so. It’s not too long ago since I plunge myself into the online business world, but since I do it full-time let’s just say that I learn quite a lot.
I’ve tried many things, failed and succeed many times and let’s just say that I quite understand the ins and outs business website ownership and make money online.
I’ve done link brokerage (buying and selling website links)… I’ve done affiliate marketing (and still doing so on a lesser extent)… I am doing domain name investing… I’ve done website flipping (not full-time, though – I’ve bought and sold dozens of sites)… I do paid blogging… I do article marketing… I design templates… I build any kind of sites, as long as it’s PHP/MYSQL based… and so on.
I’m not an expert Internet Marketer, though – if you are looking for advice on Internet Marketing, sorry mate, but I can’t help you there. But when it comes to what kind of sites to start and why, I know a thing or two more than most webmasters.
Throughout my journey, I’ve seen some types of business websites have a potential to be a profitable business. Sure, Twitter and Digg are pretty cool, but as they are not typically profit-based business, I should stay away from them for one reason: I don’t have venture capitalists backing up my projects; so I need to focus on profit-making so my sites can support themselves.
Here are 3 business website types I recommend – analyzed – to help you decide with kind of business websites is the right one for you.
My favourite business website type, for one reason: It’s content based, and both people and search engines love content. So, traffic and engagement-wise, blogs, for me, are numero uno. Blogs are also superior in the choice of income stream: You can choose whatever you like – monetize via CPC like AdSense? Selling affiliate products? Selling services? Selling your own ebooks? Plenty of choices here…
If you love blogging, running a blog and make money from it is only logical. Moreover, provided you create outstanding content on regular basis and promote it on social media, blogs are great in attracting visitors – and convert them into buyers.
- Search engine loves fresh content, and blogs are made of fresh content (you need to blog regularly – with quality, of course!)
- Blogs are versatile; they can make money on themselves or you can use them as a great Inbound Marketing tool to generate leads and sales for your “main” business.
- People go to blogs for opinions and endorsement – if you are ethical and authoritative, you can generate significant income from your own/affiliate products, display ads, and so on.
- Blogs are known to be rather difficult to monetize – unless you are visited by thousands of readers a day, you won’t make significantly from your ads.
- You need to publish quality blog posts on regular basis. Without a posting schedule, your blog is losing out its growth momentum.
- Blogs often portray the bloggers’ personality – selling them in the future, it might be difficult for the new owner to earn trust of the readers, making blogs a challenging web property to own.
Well, depending on your niche, but you can realistically earn 4-figure monthly income. It’s certainly not easy but it’s possible. Please bear in mind, I’d say that 80-90% of monetized blogs earn less than $100/month. So you know blogs are certainly not easy to monetize… but once you get there, you don’t even need to write yourself anymore – expert writers will come to you (TechCrunch, anyone?)
You can shoot for 5 figures/month, but unless you are of Darren Rowse, John Chow or Yaro Starak caliber, I don’t think you have the chance to make such amount of money, realistically.
2. Micro-job sites
I bet you have heard of Fiverr. If you haven’t, it is a micro-job site allowing members to offer what they can do for $5. The micro-job site owner generates income via “commission” they take for each successful work (for Fiverr, it’s $1.) It’s in trend right now, and many Fiverr clones are popping up .
- It’s a passive income business: All you need to do is to promote your site and making sure members play by the rule.
- Your site will be visited by gazillions of visitors, as members will promote their service to their friends and family – free promotion for your business website!
- It’s easy to run: All you need is buying a Fiverr clone script, install it and there you go… jobs will be posted by YOUR members, and communications are done by YOUR members.
- New micro-job sites are established regularly, making competition stiffer than ever. You need to find your niche and unique selling proposition to differentiate yours from the rest.
- Finding “real” members are difficult (looking for signups is one thing, but having your members get active publishing jobs and ordering ones is really challenging.)
- You need to ensure that transactions are well supervised. Scams, disputes, and such are common things happening to a site with plenty of transactions.
It’s very good, really. People are constantly looking for side income, and micro-job sites actually helping them finding clients. If you, as the site owner, take $1 commission (or a percentage of orders’ dollar amount, if you like,) 100 transactions a day means $3,000/month. Your cost: Just hosting and site upkeep if you hire a tech guy. If you can serve an under-served niche, this is a goldmine for you.
3. Lead-based sites
Lead-based sites make income sending leads to companies you are partnering with. You are making a certain amount of money per lead you send, and if you can establish authority in that niche, you can get plenty from the leads.
I’ve tried travel, dating, and financial service websites, and although they are was my side business (I no longer running those as I focus on blogs) they can get you steady income, hands-free.
To give you an idea, here’s the latest site I owned – it’s a hotel-niche site selling leads to a hotel affiliate program. All you need to do is to add a script on your site and your site visitors can then fill out their traveling needs (where to go, how many nights you will stay for how many people…) I make money for every lead I send to the partner hotels.
- It’s a passive income business: All you need to do is to add a form (some partnership requires you to take prospects’ phone calls,) and from there, everything is taken care of by your partner company.
- It’s lucrative: Especially on finance lead-based program, your income per lead can be very high (a debt lead program I know pays $25/verified lead!)
- Your site visitors don’t have to buy anything, which is a strong appeal in itself; they just need to fill in their details and they are good to go. They even don’t have to buy products/use services from your partner company (it’s their responsibility, anyway – your job is strictly lead-generation.)
- Personal info is sensitive – filling in forms might be a more difficult decision to make than you might think. You need to gain your site visitors’ trust, and winning trust is really challenging.
- You need to drive laser-targeted traffic – this is complex, done via blogs, search engines and social media via carefully crafted Inbound Marketing campaign funneling.
- Just like e-commerce, if you are dealing with US prospects, you need to provide US phone numbers and address to gain trust. If you are not US-based, it’s a more difficult business to run.
In lead generation business, the sky is the limit – literally. It’s a huge business for those who are able to drive a large amount of laser-targeted traffic.
Someone I know runs a debt consolidation/management lead generation business – he makes $200,000 a year before taxes. And no, he is not a well known Internet Marketer. Just a guy next door doing online business like I do – just in a different niche.
Please bear in mind, the 3 lucrative ideas I present is not guaranteed a success. Just like in any kind of business you can think of, you need to work hard to make your business up and running – there’s no shortcut.
It’s not about talent, really… there are more talented people than you and I. What will make your business websites successful is your willingness to pay the price; to do numerous trial-and-errors and embracing failures as a great learning tool.
So, what do you think? Is any of the three above interest you? Why? Please share your opinions by leaving a comment on this post.