I’m often asked by professionals with offline businesses how they can extend their business so they can making money online as well. Here’s the answer I typically give them: you have two choices: 1) create an online version of what you’re already doing… just add automation, or 2) invest thousands of hours and lots of money in courses and “make money online” experts… and then come back and ask me again once that doesn’t work out for you.
When it comes to extending your business to add online income, anything is possible. But there are some things that work better than others, and that’s what we’re going to loo at in this post:
What Makes Money Online?
There are a few basic business models that generally achieve a good deal of success online. They include:
• Information marketing: Information is sold online, generally about a specialty topic.
• Membership marketing: Profit is made by selling memberships and selling advertising space.
• Service provider: Profit is made by providing a service. For example, virtual assistants provide administrative services online.
• Retailer or ecommerce: Profit is made by selling a product online.
• Affiliate marketing: Profit is made by promoting the products or services of others and earning a commission.
There are a few things these five business models have in common. They all operate online – obviously that’s a given since we’re talking about online business here. They also all need people to visit their website in order to survive. How do they get people to their website?
Content is the unifying theme behind successful websites. People go online to be entertained, to be informed, to connect, and communicate. The single unifying thread for all of these interactions is content.
Content can be read, watched, listened to, and shared. It can be an article, a blog post, a report, a book, an infographic, an online course, a video, or an audio. But without some form of content, a website doesn’t really stand a chance at creating engagement that leads to sales.
Remember… information is the reason for the internet. If a website doesn’t provide information, it has no value to online users.
Okay, so you choose your business model. Next, you need a business topic or specialty – and if you’re extending your current offline business to making money online, this part should be pretty easy.
But online you might want to focus on a narrow angle into your business. This is often called a niche, and if you can identify a subtopic that will get lots of interest and attention, you’ll do a better job standing out from the crowd.
So, let’s say you’re a couples therapist, and you want to get online. Maybe you’ve seen themes among your clients dealing with a topic like interfaith marriage or parenting issues. Starting a membership site or offering an online program specific to narrow areas like one of those two will help you connect with the right (specific) audience the fastest.
Once your niche is identified, it’s time to create the content for your website. You need to give people a reason to visit your website and become a customer.
The next step is to continue to provide value. What are you going to offer your members to motivate them to stay members?
What information are you going to provide as an information marketer that will motivate people to buy your books? What information can you provide clients to motivate them to hire you as a service provider?
Online, regardless of the model you choose, people want to know one thing:“What is in this for me? How will this benefit me?” Choose your topic and model carefully and wisely. Create fantastic content and provide value. That’s the core of any successful online business.
Want More About Making Money Online?
If this all sounds a bit too elementary, and you’d like something to help you move forward, I’ve got just the thing to help you out.
In practical terms, when it comes to an online business we want to get people’s attention and connect with them first, using the principles described above. And then you need to use that framework to drive traffic, build a list, and sell stuff. But so many of us screw these simple things up. Luckily I’ve got something to help… I’d like to invite you to take the next step with your free instant access to my Pie 24/7 Sales System and Blogging Platform.