Online storefronts, digitized banking, and instant messaging—the internet created a whole microcosm of society where you can buy and sell anything with anyone on the planet. The biggest problem is deciding what type of business to start. As a small business owner, whether you want to expand your current operations or open a new income stream, lucrative online businesses are easier to start than ever before.
As one of Forbes’ top 10 marketers, Neil Patel understands affiliate marketing to the nth degree, and according to him, affiliate marketing is the most popular form of passive income among online businesses.
To get started, you’ll team up with other companies or merchants who offer affiliate programs for selling their products or services. You’ll then create online content recommending these items to your audience with affiliate links. When someone clicks on these links and follows through with a purchase, you receive a commission. All you need is a collection of content, which may include blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, or e-books. Once you’ve built a library of content with affiliate links, this provides you with profits via revenue sharing. You can earn passive income online while pursuing other business goals.
No matter which industry you’re currently in, you have the potential to become a consultant. Chances are you have a formal education, on the job training, industry experience, or any combination of the three. Take this expert knowledge of your field and offer consultant services to other up-and-coming business owners. With a great website on which to offer your services, you can consult through a variety of channels, such as pay-per-minute chats, video conferencing, community forums, or online courses. Paired with social media, it’s easy to spread the word about your consultation services in your niche market.
Subscription Box Business
The subscription box model is simple – you create a subscription box that offers some type of product. This could be sponsored products you receive at discounted pricing or your company’s own products. Using an online storefront, your company advertises this subscription service to consumers with boxes delivered on a weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
The types of subscription box businesses online range from Amazon’s Subscribe & Save service for Prime members to the Dollar Shave Club razor subscription that sold for $1 billion to Unilever. Subscription box services are a way to sell everything from vintage clothing and fashion jewelry to vegan snacks and bestselling fiction novels. The draw is two-fold: you get your product distributed to a wide audience, and you get free online advertising as subscription box purchasers then share their box openings on social media through videos and blog posts.
Subscription boxes are an online industry that has skyrocketed by more than 100% since 2011, bringing in $2.6 billion in sales in 2016 alone. Forbes states that the subscription e-commerce marketplace will continue to be a hot commodity in the coming years, and when you consider that 15% of online shoppers are subscribed to at least one monthly subscription box, it’s easy to see where this market is going.
Tips for Any Successful Online Businesses
Whether you choose to build one of the online businesses above, or something else entirely, social media is your strongest asset. Be on trend, up to date, and completely transparent when using social media to market your business. Consider hiring a social media manager or other support staff to help your online business thrive.