Once you’ve decided on starting an Internet business, your next question will probably be, “What type of business should I start?” In fact, there are many, many types of Internet-based businesses you can start. Let’s take a look at a few. Oh, and while you read the general descriptions for each, think about whether or not they appeal to you. If something resonates with you – i.e. you can see yourself doing it – that may just be the best Internet business for you to start. Even though something else may seem more lucrative, you are often more likely to succeed with something that you enjoy doing and are interested in, than with something that looks good, but is drop-dead boring!.
A popular type of Internet business is based on providing a content or information website. This type of website usually focuses on one topic of interest and contains written articles and information on that topic. You can run advertisements and promotions for affiliate products on the site and each time someone clicks on an ad or buys a product or service through your affiliate link, you will receive income. This is how you drive traffic to your website and generate sales forecast that allows you to understand the dynamics of your business over the next few years. This way you get to learn more about your internet business and what you can do to improve that.
Another type of online business is where you offer specific kinds of services. You basically offer a service – e.g. web design, article writing, business consulting or graphic and logo design – in return for a fee.
Selling products is another good type of business to start. This type of business is focused on selling products online. You can sell traditional (e.g. physical) goods that you deliver or have drop-shipped, or sell digital products (e.g. software, ebooks, etc) that customers download. In addition, you have the choice of selling products you make yourself, products you buy through a direct sales company, or the products you buy from wholesalers. The types of products you can sell are virtually limitless – you can sell everything from candles to jewelry, to books, to toys, to all sorts of other types of items.
Some other types of Internet-based businesses to consider are affiliate marketing, reseller web hosting and having an Internet storefront.
Affiliate marketing is where you generate leads for specific products or services and “pre-sell” them on such products or services. To this end, you may run a content or information website as described above or focus on building an email list to which you send various offers (all of which contain your affiliate link and direct prospects to the merchant’s product or service offer). Alternatively, you may simply run advertising that redirects prospects, via your affiliate link, to the merchant’s website.
Reseller web hosting is where you basically purchase the right to sell web hosting on behalf of a web hosting company. Different web hosting companies allow this in different ways, but typically this involves buying space on a server which you then sell to others.
Before settling on any type of Internet business, it’s a good idea to thoroughly research the opportunity and get a good grasp of what customers are looking for, as well as what other companies are providing. But don’t get stuck in “analysis paralysis” – sometimes it’s a matter of trying different things to see which business is right for you. And given the relatively low cost of starting an Internet business, you can actually try different approaches without losing too much money.