Which Online Business Model Is Best? It Depends.

I’m asked pretty often about the best internet model: What should I be doing to make it online?

take my money

“Gibson was taken aback when someone told him over chat, ‘Shut up and take my money!’ and this happened.”


Well, this is not as simple as it seems because if there was one undisputed and obvious model for internet business that was purer to everything else in the game, everybody would do it, especially if there was one model that was less expensive, that was easier, that require no skills, you know, that model that was advertised in all those fictional WSOs. But, it is possible to narrow down a business model that is right for you.

So together, we’re going to run a few popular business models for online businesses. Outline some of their pros and their cons so that you can decide which one is going to give you the best results in the long term. After all, it’s your business and it’s about you. It’s about exploiting and leveraging your strengths, your skills, and your resources in a way that gives you the best possible results.

As we go through this guide, take out a pen and paper and write down the resources that you have a self-evaluation.

What can I offer?

Do you have a lot of free time? Write that down. It can be valuable and it’s not that hard to turn your free time into money.

Are you a good writer? Written communication is essential to your success in online business so if you’re not very good at writing, you’re going to need to either dedicate time and effort to improve at it or work with somebody who does have that talent.

How much technical skill do you have? There are plenty of solutions at every price range for people who don’t have a lot of technical skills but you bare minimum if you’re looking to run a website, manage a payment system, handle your affiliates, all of that takes a minimum of computer know-how. If you don’t have it, you will need to work with somebody who does.

There are some things that can be run almost without any effort if you’re willing to invest a few hundred dollars on your own success. If you don’t have it, you need to earn it. Sell some stuff, work some goods at the side, do whatever it takes to round up a little bit of money. It’s very hard to succeed online with zero.



Now let’s start talking about these business models:


1. Media buying

There’s media buying and PPC. Under this system, you will pick an offer, design an advertisement and get a commission that every time someone clicks through, reads the information on the page, and takes a desired action. Usually this desired action is purchasing a product but in some cases that can be filling out a form, asking for more information. This doesn’t take a lot of time but it does take a lot skill because you have to design a very effective ad. You also need to invest a lot of money because media buying is all about testing your results. That means that you’re going to be spending a lot of money on advertisements that don’t work when you are first starting out. The penalties for blowing in this arena are a mint which is why so many newbies are terrified starting in this area. Even the ones that are brave enough to try usually get discouraged after their first campaign tanks. This is definitely for the more advanced marketers.


2. Paid Gigs

If you have a real skill whether it’s graphic design, writing, coding, you can probably find someone who is willing to pay for it. The internet economy really runs on skilled workers. It’s where people with money and a lot of technical skill can make people who have their situation flip the other way around. There’s a problem with this though. People who have technical skill but are in need of steady work don’t always have the marketing know how to promote themselves in the intelligent way. That usually means that they huddle up on sites like Fiverr, oDesk, iWriter, Freelancer, and work for far less than their real value.

This totally sucks because it doesn’t take that much of a time investment to get your name and your eyeballs in front of a few people who are willing to pay more for steady quality consistent work. With that said, money is money and when you are first starting, that leverage that comes from a small check can go a long way.


3. Affiliate marketing

Let’s talk a little bit about affiliate marketing. It’s very easy to get started in affiliate marketing. Basically, the only thing you need is a squeeze page, a little bit of auto-responder content and other products to promote. I think we’re rapidly starting to leave the era of free marketing. It’s going to be harder and harder to get the kind of leverage that you need to get subscribers, to get affiliates without a superhuman amount of effort if you’re not willing to invest a little bit of money in your success whether that’s for small amounts of advertisements or for help with your content or with setting up website. With that said, if you do your affiliate marketing efforts correctly, you’re very close to the autopilot income that so many marketers hype. You have to do a little upkeep on your mailing but there’s an infrastructure for when you decide to create and promote your own products down the line.


4. Membership websites

There are also membership websites. Under a membership’s structure, you would setup a bunch of articles or videos on a topic in your niche and perhaps either have a free area that has basic information and a paid area that charges a monthly fee. You have to work very hard to get started on this especially if you’re using all original content. On a positive end, it’s recurring income and it’s also a bit predictable. Once you’ve had a steady flow of members and registrations, you’ll know how long they’ll likely to stay apart of the membership site and adjust your financial plans accordingly. This has a dark side as well because you’re going to have to keep new content continually flowing to the membership site. Otherwise, your subscriptions will drop off.


5. Product creation

Finally, there is product creation. This can be a tough one because it requires a diverse set of skills. You would think that product creation is just about writing but it also entails video, it entails little bit of production, it also involves sales writing which can be a completely different animal from creating content. So if you’re going to have to learn it, but once you do, you’ll be able to bring affiliates aboard, and leverage your products with customer, with affiliates, and with other product creators. This is hugely beneficial.


Like I said, there isn’t one perfect model for any internet business. So spend a little time, think about what you have to offer, your own skills and passions, and pick something that makes you comfortable and makes you really enjoy what you do.


  1. I am just getting into affiliate marketing and don’t know where to turn for help in getting my sites noticed. Should I hire a professional or just keep spinning my wheels until I find something that works?

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