How to Start an Online Business

So what is the best online business?

As I mentioned earlier, I really like the following three business models:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • E-commerce
  • Domain Investing/Flipping

The focus of this particular guide is on the first business model, AFFILIATE MARKETING. I’ll write about the other business models in separate posts.

Why affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is – by far – the easiest, fastest, and most reliable way to start an online business. For those reasons, it’s a great place to start. Also, it’s a foundational skill which is often used in other business models. So understanding this business model will help you tremendously if you decide to pursue one of the other business models.

Affiliate Marketing Definition:

Affiliate marketing is an advertising method for companies whereby, you (the affiliate) promote products/services (for a company) online (usually via a blog or via social media) using unique clickable links (provided to you by an affiliate network), and when people purchase the promoted product/service after having clicked on your link, you are rewarded with a commission.

So, for example, if you are a member of the Amazon Partner Program (Amazon’s affiliate program), then you can make money by promoting any product on the Amazon website.

Let’s say you are a photographer and you have a decent following on Instagram. Well, you could write a review of the camera that you use for your photography, publish it on your blog, and link to the review from your Instagram profile. In your review, you would use a special Amazon affiliate link that – when clicked – launches the camera product page on Amazon. Now, if someone clicks that link and then buys the camera in the subsequent 24 hour period, you will get paid a commission. And here’s the best part: even if that person does not buy the camera you recommended, you can still earn a commission… because if that person buys ANYTHING from Amazon in the next 24 hours, you will get a commission.

Here’s another – even simpler – method of affiliate marketing. Let’s say you want to promote informational products such as e-books or online courses. You could simply grab your affiliate link for the informational product you want to promote and share it on Facebook or Twitter. If anyone clicks the link and buys the product, then you will get a commission. It truly is that easy.

An added benefit of promoting digital products (vs physical products) is that commissions are much higher than commissions on physical products, often as high as 50% or more. We’ll talk more about that in a bit.

Pro Tip: Be honest with your audience when promoting products. Be sure to clearly indicate that you may receive compensation if someone purchases a product/service after clicking on your link. For example, I have affiliate partnerships in place on this website. If a visitor clicks a link on this website (to include this webpage) and then subsequently make a purchase on another website, I might receive compensation. So be sure your audience knows this.

Want to know how much you can earn through affiliate marketing? Click the “NEXT” button below to find out.


What do you think?

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