Deciding on Your

Business Model

Before you get started, it is essential for you to understand that there is a difference between working on a personal project and building a business. When you are working on a personal project, you are doing something that you enjoy for yourself, without asking others what they think. Mostly, when you are working on a personal project, it’s about you.

However, when you are building a business, it is no longer about you, but instead about your target audience. It’s about serving your audience and market and responding to a need that they have expressed.

While you should always strive to do something that you love, in the case of business, however, enjoying yourself isn’t enough for you to find success. The primary responsibility of a company is to serve the market. For instance, if you create a travel blog, it wouldn’t be considered a business until you monetize the blog by adding advertising, or by selling your own or an affiliate’s products.

There are five main approaches that you can consider when it comes to creating an online business.





Amazon FBA

Online Courses


Model #1. Blogging

Blogging is a rather engaging venture. A Forbes article titled The Billionaire Bloggers stated that there are more than 112 million people, around the world, that blog regularly, and that out of every 1,125 on the list who are true bloggers, 13 of them have reached billionaire status.

Blogging, as a profession, has proven to be a very lucrative endeavor. However, there aren’t too many people who have the understanding and knowledge to make a successful career out of blogging. While creating a successful blog isn’t an easy feat because of the competition, with the right combination of passion, talent, dedication, and good business sense, you can become successful.

If you want to be a successful blogger, then you have to possess drive, passion and have some expertise in your respective niche. However, most of the money that bloggers make doesn’t usually come from blogging alone.

For the most part, a blog serves as a platform or springboard to launch other products and services that provide an income. No method of making money online is better than the other as they all offer endless possibilities to the blogger. What you need to do is find a combination that works for you. The key to making good money from blogging is to have multiple streams of income from your blog. For example, if you blog about traveling, then you might want to try and sell your service as a booking agent or create an affiliate partnership with travel agencies, hotels, or Airbnb.

There are several ways that you can make money from your blog. The methods listed here are just a few. Your reach and readership will be the primary determining factors on how much money you can make, as your window of opportunity are endless when your blog becomes popular.

Google Ads

The most popular way to create income through your blog is through Google Ads. This is an ad network that is powered by Google and is probably the most popular ad network in the world. A majority of the ads that you come across when you’re surfing the web are placed there by Google Ads.

The ads placed by Google Ads come in various shapes and forms. Some will be images, while others will be in the way of text. They are often placed in the headers and footers of a webpage, but can also appear within the posts, or anywhere else you, as the blog owner, wish to display them. Ads is an excellent place to start if you are new to blogging because it is relatively easy to set up. Advertisers pay money for clicks on their ads that are displayed on your blog.

The key here to reaping the benefits from Google Ads is to create high-quality content that drives traffic to your blog. The more people who visit your blog, the higher the chances are of them clicking on the ads.

Sponsored Posts

Placing sponsored posts on your blog is one of the most effective ways for making money from your blog through advertising. A sponsored post is a blog post that you are asked to make by a company or organization that is trying to reach readers of your blog. With this kind of post, you are more than likely commissioned to write about a service or product. With these types of posts, you are expected to show the product or service in an excellent light to encourage your target audience to consider buying from the company.

When you are placing sponsored posts on your blog, it is a good practice to let your readers know upfront what your relationship with the company is to help you maintain your integrity. It is also essential that you keep these kinds of posts to a minimum because they can be offensive to some readers.

Affiliate Marketing

The job of an affiliate marketer is to promote someone else’s product or service in a blog post or through other means. When you create links on your post to that product or service using your unique affiliate link or code, you get paid a commission when someone clicks on the link and makes a purchase.

Affiliate marketing is a popular way to monetize your blog because there are so many companies out there who are looking to advertise their products.

Sell Physical or Digital Products

Another way to monetize your blog is by selling physical or digital products to your readers. The easiest way to do this is by embedding images of the product you want to sell with a button that says “buy now.” You will want to mention the price, but only after a well-written sales copy. It is also a good idea to include “bonuses” when possible. This is mostly done when you sell digital products like eBooks and courses.

Platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce have made it inexpensive for anybody to create an online store and sell physical products online. However, because of the various logistics involved in selling physical products, it can be difficult. You can try to find companies that offer white label or drop shipping services, which can help to free up your time for driving more sales.

If you don’t like the idea of dealing with physical products, you can choose to focus on selling digital products, like how-to-videos, training courses, or software.

Model #2. youtube

Every day nearly 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube by their 300 million viewers. As a social media platform, it is the most used video website in the world. The reasons behind YouTube’s popularity is that it provides relevant videos and covers just about every niche. It has become a greater alternative to television channels. From cooking channels to beauty hacks, movies, songs, and funny videos, you can find anything on the site to meet your needs. This has also made it a great way to earn money through advertisements.

Just like with television, YouTube channels earn money through on-screen advertisements, with a substantial share of the profits given to the person who produced the content. This is how you can utilize YouTube to make money online. You create content, upload it to YouTube, gain viewership and earn accordingly.

The best thing about YouTube is that it allows you to gain a specific audience through the nature of your work. The more engaging the content you produce, the more viewers you’ll learn whether or not you apply for a promotion. It also doesn’t require you to have a professional level of expertise or expensive equipment to make your videos. In fact, sometimes an ordinary video from your cell phone can get more attention than a highquality, professional video. This is all due to the type of content that is being produced. Like with any media outlet, you need to understand your target audience.

If you think producing YouTube videos would be an excellent fit for your business goals, here are some of the best ways to earn revenue with your videos.

Paid Through Ad Revenue

YouTube and Google are connected, which means that the video search engine works like and is just as effective as Google’s search engine. With its reasonable rates, Google has become the master of online ads, which is why so many companies utilize this service. With YouTube, the platform pays the person who produced the video based on the number of clicks it received, and by how engaged the audience is with the advertisements.

However, monetization on YouTube can’t be initiated quickly. You have to have a large enough viewership and a significant number of subscriptions on your channel before you can connect your account to the Google Ads. However, once your account has been activated with Google Ads, every advertisement will provide you with income.

There are several different ways that these advertisements will appear on your video, either as rollout ads or banner ads. The type isn’t as important as long as you have a good number of views and engagement. Generally, you need at least 30 seconds of engagement in order to get paid.

You can use YouTube as a full-time earning platform with nothing more than an active account and around a million users.

Product Placement

Other than using your YouTube channel as an advertisement platform, you can become an endorser. This method doesn’t involve using Google Ads; rather you can endorse a product directly in your video. For example, if you are running a beauty channel, you can recommend any brand or cosmetic product to your viewers. In this case, you can find a company that will pay you directly for promoting their products.

Again, the payment will depend on how much your audience engages in the process. Plus, the terms of the agreement will affect the amount that you can make. Sometimes, it can be as high as a 15 percent commission for the YouTube channel per product sale.

Red Subscription Channels on YouTube

Generally, channel subscription is free for all viewers. However, YouTube’s newest feature, red subscriptions, allow you to charge the audience or subscribing to your channel and its videos. When a channel reaches 1,000 active subscribers, YouTube Red provides a feature where you can charge per subscription. This feature is commonly used with live stream chats or educational courses.

Model #3. Amazon FBA

Amazon FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) has become extremely popular over the last several years. This business model is geared towards physical products only. The reason for its popularity might come from the fact that anyone can sell their physical products online, without having to be a business person necessarily.

Since Amazon handles all of the inventory storage, shipping, and customer service, a lot of the risk is removed. The advantage in this is that you don’t need to take the personal risk of opening a warehouse, like a traditional business. Furthermore, Amazon is extremely popular and has a ton of traffic already, making finding new customers a lot easier.

Statistics show that 44% of all eCommerce happens on Amazon. This is huge considering other favorite online stores like eBay, Target, and Wal-Mart are also trying to sell their products online.

While not needing to find a warehouse and not having to worry about find traffic are significant advantages for this online business model, there are services fees associated with this Amazon service. The general rule of thumb is that Amazon FBA will take about 1/3 of the profit for selling the product on their site. However, the fees do vary depending on how large and how heavy your product is. There are several different sizing categories:

  • small standard size
  • large standard size
  • small oversize
  • medium oversize
  • large oversize
  • special oversize

Each of the dimensions of these sizes can be found on the Amazon website. There are more than three dozen physical product categories that you can choose to sell. It is important to note that Amazon is continually making changes and may add or remove a category at any time. You can find a list of the categories on their site.

There are specific “restricted” categories, and not everyone can sell their products if they belong in one of these categories. Currently, 22 restricted classes require approval from Amazon before you can sell any corresponding products on the site. Amazon may make changes to these categories, so it is essential to double check the categories on the Amazon website before you launch a product line.

To gain access to the restricted categories, you have to go through the approval process, which often involves providing invoices and other documentation to Amazon. If you are launching a product for the first time, you may want to avoid these categories if possible. 

Getting Started with Amazon FBA

There are many ways that you can sell on Amazon FBA, including retail arbitrage, online arbitrage, and private labeling. Retail arbitrage is the practice of buying cheap products from big box stores or thrift stores and selling them online under an existing Amazon listing. Online arbitrage is when you purchase products online from other websites, like eBay, and sell them on Amazon to make a profit.

It is important to note that Amazon has made it a lot harder for people to sell through retail and online arbitrage because it is catering more toward brands. This means you may want to avoid these two methods and go for the third option of Private Labeling.

Private Labeling requires more work but has a lot of advantages. To start, you can create your own listing for your product, since it’s for your personal brand. This provides you with leverage because other sellers can’t sell your branded products unless you permit them to do so. Next, as your brand grows, you can add more products and have a real business of your own.

Model #4. Online Courses

A great way to make money online is by creating online video courses. Anyone with some sort of skill or hobby can teach what they know. All it requires is for you to have sufficient knowledge on your subject that you can pass onto someone else who wants to learn. Whether your skills include playing an instrument, graphic design, computer programming, or do-it-yourself expertise, you may wish to explore the option of creating an online course and selling it to others.

There are always a ton of people searching the Internet for others who have real experience in completing a particular task and can help them learn. This is why they are willing to pay for the service. It is important to note the emphasis on “real experience.” Most of the content that you would be teaching is available for free online, but the idea here is that a lot of people would rather pay someone who has real experience and who can show them how to perform the tasks in simple, easy to follow steps. What will set you apart from everyone else online is the kind of experience you have and the amount of knowledge you possess on the particular skill.

This method doesn’t require you to have any teaching experience. If you do have some experience teaching others, you have an added advantage, but it is not a prerequisite for this online business model. There are a number of online marketplaces that exists where you can create your courses and publish them for students who need it. Platforms like Udemy and Skillshare are the most popular, with Udemy attracting over nine million students from 190 countries. Platforms like Teachable allow you to create your own online classroom.

Earning Potential of Online Courses

Once you’ve created and published your courses, the opportunity for making income from them is limitless. It is advisable that you create more than one course and have a broad portfolio to increase the potential revenue that you can earn from this online business model.

After you have one or more courses online, you can spend your time creating a buzz around your classes. Some of the courses that you build might require you to refresh your knowledge if you haven’t looked at them recently. Other than that, the only action that you need to be concerned with taking is marketing your courses and driving traffic. Most classes that you can find online sell for anywhere from $10 to $500. Of course, this will all depend on the volume, type of knowledge being sold, and the popularity of the instructor.

An important thing to mention is that your students will have a lot of questions. It is recommended that along with the course, you set up a specific group on Facebook, specifically for your students. This way, they can ask questions, and other members can help them if they know the answer. As you gain traction, you can increase the price of your courses and earn even more money.

Getting Started with Making Money from Online Courses

The first decision you’ll need to make is what you are going to teach and how you are going to make your videos. You’ll want to do your research and look at other successful online courses in the industry you’re targeting. This will help you to learn from the mistakes of existing instructors.

There are many different options available that you can include in your instruction, and should always use illustrations, scenarios, and examples to aid understanding. If your course involves practical steps, you might want to consider creating videos that have you practically analyzing the steps.

Promoting Your Course

Udemy and Skillshare are online marketplaces that help you promote courses through their platform. You still have to do the marketing for your course on your own since you can’t solely rely on their algorithms. If they make a change to their algorithms, you may not show up for a specific search result. This is why you will still need to diversify your marketing and sources of traffic.

To successfully promote and market your course, you’ll want to utilize the various social media platforms. One platform that has proven to be extremely useful is YouTube. Having free videos on YouTube that add value can help convert viewers to customers. Your YouTube channel should be an excellent platform for advertising your course. Your videos should be no more than three minutes long and should highlight the crucial part of your course outline, and it should invite the viewer to enroll on any of the online course marketplaces that host your course. You can apply this same strategy to Facebook and Instagram, though you can only do a one minute video on Instagram. Being active and answering questions on forums like quora.com can also help you build a following and spread your reach.

Creating online courses can be very lucrative. Once you’ve overcome the major hurdle of designing the course, you can register and upload it to any of the online marketplaces and start earning income.

Model #5. Freelancing

Working as a freelancer is great because you can make a living doing what you love. Thanks to the Internet and a host of freelancing websites, freelancing has become a viable online business model that millions of people are taking advantage of currently. However, if you are looking for a more passive online business where you have to put in minimal effort, this online business model might not be for you.

Freelancing websites like Upwork and Fiverr, act as a platform where freelancers and businesses can interact with one another and work for each other in a safe environment. They work to maintain trust and confidence for both parties, and in return, they charge a small fee for each project completed on the site. Here are some of the most commonly used websites that you can use to get your freelance business started.

A freelance service platform, Fiverr is specifically designed to assist entrepreneurs in their quest to find viable, online work. It provides special features and tools that can help businesses find talent in the massive community of online freelancers. The site allows people to work both for a long-term contract, as well as short-term and one time contracts. Whether a business needs a graphic designer, writer, programmer, advertiser, or other talents, they can search the site quickly and hire a suitable candidate that has the required experience and expertise that is needed for the particular project.

The great thing about Fiverr is that you don’t have to pay any money to join. All you need to do is sign up for an account and start working. Building a good reputation and dealing with clients is up to you. The more effort you put in and the harder you work, the more you will succeed. The site only charges a fee to make sure that both parties comply with the agreement set forth. If you want to have access to some of the other features, you can sign up for a premium package.

Currently, Upwork has the largest pool of employers and freelancers out of all the freelancing websites. It is great for businesses of all sizes with projects ranging from small to large. The site has made the hiring process easier by merely listing the talent based on the level of skills and the type of niche. The site has the abilities to detect fake profiles and fake workers and works to eliminate these factors. The site is free for general use but costs a bit more if you want to gain access to additional features. The features include customized reporting, hiring assistance, and funding and consolidated pricing plans.

Upwork features a hassle-free screening system for employers. With the impersonal nature of working as a freelancer, it can be challenging to maintain mutual trust, which is a prerequisite for good performance. Upwork provides chat scheduling and a profile browsing system which helps to create a personal connection between both parties. It allows the buyers to interview the seller first and interact with them before they set the first milestone.

Another easy to use, freelancing website is Freelancer.com, which is a marketplace with a crowdsourcing system. The site can connect you with millions of buyers that are located in over 247 countries around the world. It offers specific plans to use all the basic and premium tools. The website has gained the trust of the professionals working in creative, technical, and professional spheres. The site allows you to easily place a bid on offers related to accounting, writing, marketing, data entry, engineering, or software development. The recruitment process is fuss-free which provides a solution to the problems that are often associated with hiring clients. Sellers can search the site and browse the employer portfolios and place bids on the project if it seems like a fit for your particular skills. The site also guarantees a secure payment method, which is protected by the site. Once the employee is satisfied with the work, the payment is immediately released in favor of the freelancer.

Next: How to promote your business online



Hi, I'm Mark. Welcome to my blog!

I've been working online since 2014, and in that time, I've learned a thing or two.

In this blog, I've tried to explain affiliate marketing in simple words. These articles are aimed to the beginner, but sometimes even the experience marketer can find a useful tip. As online marketers, we are always learning.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you find something to help you along the way.