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5 Online Business Models That Actually Work

Making money in your business should be a pretty systematic process. I always say that if making the money isn’t easy, you either have the wrong business model or you’re doing something very wrong! For me, money comes and goes like clockwork. Of course, a lot more money comes in than goes out. Point being, the money getting process should work just like everything else. It must naturally flow and if it doesn’t, you’ve probably got yourself the wrong business model.

Online Business ModelsSo, I want to give you a couple of ideas. Whether you’re looking to open up a few extra income streams or you’re seeking a brand new business. I put together a short list of online business models that have worked for me and others I know. So just open up your mind and use this article to fill in the gaps.

There are plenty of business models, online and off. I just wanted to write a quick article on some of the best online models. As I know for a fact that 25-75% of the people I talk to are in the wrong business. Also, you might pick up a couple of ideas for creating some extra cash flow. So here are just a couple of the best online business models that actually work. (By the way, they are in no particular order)

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make a living online. I do a lot of affiliate marketing and it makes me 6 figures yearly. Affiliate marketing is basically selling other people’s products for a slice of the pie. It’s a great way to get started online. With affiliate marketing, you can promote whatever you like. Digital or physical products, you choose. The great thing about being an affiliate for digital products is the huge commissions. I’m talking 50-80%+!

What’s great about this model is that everything’s done for you. The product is delivered, the customer taken care of and the entire sales process happens while you’re asleep or in my case, chilling out on a hammock in Costa Rica. It’s a really cool business model that simply works. How do you make money with this model? Well you simply choose a niche and a couple of products to promote.

Then you drive traffic to the sales pages. Of course, there’s more to it. Like sales funnels, landing pages, email lists and all of that silly stuff (but necessary)… but the concept is always the same. Someone else has a great product, a shipping system, customer service etc, and you just drive targeted traffic to the sales page. There are like a thousand ways of driving traffic online… And if you want to make any money with affiliate marketing, you need to be able to generate a lot of it.

As much as I love affiliate marketing, it’s not for everyone. Without a doubt, selling can be really tough. Unless you have people who are directly interested in what you’re selling, there’s usually a lot of convincing involved. Marketing, sales funnels, relationship building, bribes and all that crazy stuff. What I’m trying to convey through all my dumb jibber jabber is that you can’t just drive traffic to a sales page and expect the product to convert.

For example, I know people who’ve driven 10′s of thousands of visitors to a sales page and made less than 50 sales. While with the exact same product and a similar amount of traffic, I’ve made hundreds of sales. It’s all about the funnel, pre selling and top secret marketing knowledge you can only acquire over time. If you’re not ready to dive into the unknown, Affiliate Marketing is not for you.

2. Niche Websites

Building lots and lots of niche websites. This is a model that I don’t personally use, but I know people who make 6 figures with it. It involves building websites and ranking them in the search engines. It’s a cool model. Building websites, receiving free search engine traffic and making passive income. This is how the model works:

  1. Niche/Keyword Research (Identify profitable niche and keywords to target)
  2. Build Website (Add content, optimize for keywords)
  3. Search Engine Optimization (Do yourself or pay someone to rank your sites for the keywords)
  4. Receive Traffic (Pick monetization method, test and tweak until happy)
  5. Repeat Process

You simply find a niche where there’s some traffic. Then you establish a dozen or so root keywords that receive decent search volumes. Once done, you build a website or blog and start SEO. Of course, you’ll have to know about SEO or pay someone who does. I like this model. I know this one guy who runs HUNDREDS of these little niche websites that consist of around 30 pages of content.

He even has a team of 5 people who take care of all the search engine optimization. Once a site starts receiving traffic, he decides on how he’s going to monetize it. I think of this model as a way of creating some spare cash flow. It’s totally out of the ordinary, but it works!

3. Services

Offering a service of some kind is another great way to make a living online. It’s actually way easier than selling a product or business opportunity. People tend to buy into services a lot easier than actual products. It’s funny, I can hear people saying “David, I have nothing to offer”… and I can tell you that’s utter rubbish. Everyone can offer a service of some kind and I’ll bet you there are people who’d be willing to pay for it.

When your service is online, you can reach customers around the globe. It’s not like your running a local takeaway in some crappy location. Online, there is massive potential for exponential growth, no matter what your business. Now I’m sure with all the millions of potential clients, you can sell a service of some kind… And if you’re certain you know nothing about anything, read a few books. There are literally thousands of successful online services. To name a few there’s:

  • Web Design
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Writing
  • Copywriting
  • Graphic Design
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Customer Service

Of course, those all involve skills, but you get the idea. You can offer a service and market it the same way you’d market an affiliate product. A website, some traffic and the other key ingredients… There are also a ton of established marketplaces for online services. Sites and forums that are full of hungry buyers just waiting to hand you money. If you can do something people want or need, they’ll be willing to pay you for it. It’s as simple as that.

4. Info Products

Creating your own info products can be really profitable. Creating a quick product, setting up sales funnels and promoting them long term. It’s a great way to make a living online. You can sell info products in just about any market. I would start with what you’re interested in. If you know a lot about fish training, write an eBook about it. Create a sales page; setup a sales funnel and a delivery system.

Then you just have to drive some traffic. You can try creating little products in all kinds of weird niches. Then you just test the sales page out with some paid traffic like PPC. I know several people who do this for a living. One of them makes $10k+/month selling a fishing eBook. He’s a really smart guy too, but he knows nothing about fishing.

He outsourced the book, created a killer sales page and funnel. Next he tested out his product with a Google Adwords campaign. He soon found a couple of highly profitable keywords which now bank him $10,000/month.

Conclusion? You can make a crap load of money selling your own info products in little niche markets. Remember that guy who made a million selling a parrot training book? Well, that guy knew absolutely nothing about parrots, he didn’t even own one.

5. Network Marketing

This is as most of you know my primary business model. I love Network Marketing and it’s a great way to make a living online. Network Marketing shouldn’t really be classified as an online business model as it was originally all offline. But the Internet revolutionized the Network Marketing industry and people are making millions at home hiding behind their computer screens.

Network Marketing is usually referred to as MLM or Multi Level Marketing. You might have come across it as a pyramid scheme or pyramid selling. A lot of people automatically assume it’s all a load of crap when they hear the bold income claims floating around the web. I really hate the bad press about Network Marketing and I can assure you, it’s a legitimate business model that works like crazy.

I really don’t want to explain Network Marketing, as a lot of you will already know exactly what it’s all about. As I’m sure you’ve crossed paths with an Amway rep at one time or another. (LOL) Anyway, here’s a link to Wikipedia’s explanation of Network Marketing. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, checkout the link. Or just opt in to my email list on the right of this page. :)

Conclusion… Network Marketing rocks and it’s a business solid model that has leverage like no other!

If you’re a regular here on my blog, you’ll be thinking this is a rather strange post. To that I say yeah, it’s different. But I really wanted to get across a clear message. While at the same time I thought I’d give you a few ideas with my list of business models. Something to think about… You may well be working the wrong business model! I want you to think about what you’re doing for a minute. Are you really in the right business? If you’re giving it your best and the results aren’t showing, perhaps you’ve got the wrong model.

Then again, you can have more than one model. Plus, a good entrepreneur can make any business work. Still, I know people who run blogs, build email lists, promote affiliate products and even launch their own stuff. Why? To diversify their income streams and make more money. So take into account that you could probably make a lot more money if you diversify. When I realized exactly that, I added an extra 6 figures to my yearly income! It didn’t even take long.

In Prosperity,

David Wood

P.S. Put your name and email in the form on the right if you truly want to learn the secrets of getting massive amounts of passive income online!

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Ryan Biddulph
Ryan Biddulph

Hi Dave, A helpful breakdown here, especially for folks at a crossroads. If you chose the wrong business model you will likely fail. Even if your mindset is super positive, seek a business match. Choose a product, service, or opportunity you believe in. I prefer affiliate marketing and network marketing. As for affiliate sales, know your stuff! People buy from people who are trusted, who know what they're selling and can eloquently - or not, lol - explain how the product or service can change lives. As for network marketing, I love it. The best. Meeting new people everyday and making a difference, introducing them to a tool which can bring financial freedom, no better gig on earth. Thanks for doing what you do Dave. To Our Overflowing Wealth, Ryan

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