The advent of the internet has produced a ton of different types of businesses you can start strictly using the internet as a way to market and sell. That being said, as a newbie, where the heck do you begin? Which internet business models are the most profitable, require the most investment, and require the most work?

Your lucky day is here and I’m going to break it down for you. Here are the 10 most popular internet business models you can start today.


1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the first internet marketing business model we’ll be discussing. Have you heard of the website Clickbank? Clickbank is a well- known place where affiliates can find products to promote. Clickbank is by no means the only website that offers this service, but they are probably the biggest and most well known. There a many different affiliate networks in the market and they all specialize in different types of products.

Affiliate Marketing is simply referring a website visitor to a product and if they purchase, you get paid a commission. Learn more about affiliate marketing on my blog post “What is Affiliate Marketing?”.


2. Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)

Fulfillment By Amazon is a unique program that allows sellers to list products in Amazon’s marketplace and sell them to Amazon’s visitors. The key to Amazon FBA is finding products to private label and selling them for a markup in their marketplace. Amazon FBA is a great business model if done correctly. There ae some little nuances to understand how to make money with Amazon such as balancing the cost vs. sales price vs. shipping and stocking fees, but once you get the hang of it it’s a very duplicatable process and a nice income can be made from it.


3. Dropshipping

The next model that we’re going to discuss is drop shipping. Drop shipping is very similar to retail in the way that it works. You (as the retailer) buy a product for a wholesale cost, then mark it up and sell it to the consumer.

However, the difference with drop shipping from Amazon FBA is that when you are an Amazon retailer you normally have to pay for the products upfront and then hope that they sell. When you do drop shipping, you do not pay for the product until someone actually orders it.

You also do not hold any inventory. Once a customer hits your website and purchase the item, an order is created behind the scenes and sent to the manufacturer for fulfillment. At that point you would pay for the product.


4. Ecommerce Websites

Ecommerce websites should not be a mystery to anyone, since nearly everyone shops online these days. An ecommerce website is simply a website that sells products or services.

Usually, these are products that you have purchased yourself (or in many cases created) so it is different from both affiliate sites and drop shipping in that regard.

However, drop shipping sites and many affiliate sites can be considered ecommerce sites if you use the broader definition.

You can either build your own ecommerce website or there are plenty of sites like Etsy, WordPress templates, Shopify and a whole lot more to help you create a website to sell online.

Ecommerce websites do take a bit more work than some of these other models, because you have to be constantly updating your site, marketing it and fulfilling orders, but it can also be a lot more lucrative.


5. Apps

Apps never used to be included in the internet marketing model, but they have become one of the most effective ways to make money online these days. Apps are mobile programs that accomplish a specific purpose.

There are generally three types of apps out there: free apps, free apps with in-app purchases and premium apps (which also sometimes have in- purchases. In addition, there can be two kinds of premium apps – ones that you pay for just once and monthly subscription apps that you keep paying each month to use.

You don’t to be an app developer to be able to make money from this business model; you just have to have a great idea and then hire an artist and developer to create the app for you.


6. Lead Generation

How about starting a lead generation business? Lead generation is a necessary service in the internet marketing world.

People that have products and service to sell need people to sell to, and people that can gather leads for those salespeople can make a lot of money.

Lead generation can be done in several different ways. You might even classify affiliate marketing as lead generation, although generally when you gather leads you don’t have to work nearly as hard to sell the product. Instead, you are just sending the person through to another site.

You can also generate leads in the form of email addresses. If you can collect a few thousand legitimate email addresses, there are companies out there that will buy them.


7. Develop Info Products

You may also want to create your own products. There are many different digital products that someone could use to make money. You could write an eBook and promote it yourself, or even sell it on Amazon.

You could create a video presentation course on any topic you choose and sell it for a large amount of money.

You can even create audio products that people can download and listen to in their car. In addition, you can put these together to create a lucrative package.

Selling your own products is advantageous because it allows you to charge whatever you want, and you are in total control of the content.

Plus, the customer is yours; they are not just passing through like they would if you were an affiliate site.


8. Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is a new business model compared to some of the others listed here. It involves charging someone a monthly fee to use your software.

Of course, it’s a no-brainer that you first have to have some useful software to sell. But if you can create something useful that people will pay for, you will be able to make money each month from all of your customers.

Some of the biggest SaaS services out there include Microsoft Office 365, Adobe’s monthly subscription fee to use their suite of products and several others.

One of the best ways to use this business model is to provide someone something that they can use to make money online, such as a keyword research tool or product analysis tool.


9. Blogging

Blogging is something that nearly every major company does on their website and there is a really good reason for that – it works. There are several reasons that someone might start a blog for commercial products and services: first, it builds credibility.

If people read a blog post about the industry and you know what you are talking about, then they are much more apt to buy something from you. The second major advantage is that it builds the number of keywords that you’re indexed in the search engines for, which means more traffic.

Finally, it brings visitors to your blog through their own volition. If someone reads your blog and subscribes to your RSS feed, they could come and revisit whenever you create a new post.

In addition, if they commented on a post and someone responds to it, they might come back and read more content – and possibly even convert to a customer.

The thing with blogging is that it’s a very saturated marketplace. But as with any business, if you’re good and you offer a ton of value, then you can create a following of people that religiously read your stuff.

Money can be made from blogging in a variety of different ways such as through affiliate links, Google Adsense, email marketing, etc.


10. Social Media Management

These days if you don’t have a presence on social media outlets such as Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter, you are missing out on a huge audience.

Companies and small businesses will outsource their social media marketing to an expert that can help them get followers, viral engagement, and ultimately sales.

Social Media Marketing Managers can charge a monthly fee plus a setup fee for this service. It may not be a passive income stream like some of the other options for internet businesses, but it’s very lucrative and scalable if done right and you if you can develop a portfolio of happy customers.


How To Choose The Right Business Model

So, how do you choose the right one out of all of these business models? You have to decide which one appeals to you the most. You may want to actually start with your product instead.

If you know what kind of products you are going to be selling, you can choose the business model that fits them the best. Find something that you are passionate about and then find products or services that you can pour that passion into.

If you find the right one, then you will find it very easy to create content or market your products online.

People have been able to use these methods to make millions of dollars, and it is not unrealistic to think that you can have a high six-figure income in just a few years by using these methods.

But you need to pick one and get started because none of them are going to happen overnight, nor are any of them going to make money without you putting in the work required. Start today and experience the rewards of setting up your own internet business!


Randall Blinn

Randall Blinn

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