Internet Business Models - Marketing Ideas for Small Business

There are Internet business models that work, and ones that don't. Making the right choice when you plan your business will have a huge effect on whether or not your venture is successful.

There are two main factors we're going to look at here in this discussion of online business systems that work:

  • where your website visitors will come from, and
  • how you'll make money from those visitors (your monetization model)

Internet Business Models, Part 1: Traffic Sources

There are many different ways to generate traffic to your business website, but only a few are really effective in the long term. Here are three marketing ideas for small business that'll help drive traffic to your site, and their relative advantages and disadvantages.

PPC Driven Traffic

PPC stands for Pay Per Click. These are the ads that appear on advertising networks like Google and Yahoo.

With this online business system, you pay for each click to your website based on how expensive relevant keyword phrases are. This price is determined by the competition bidding on those same keyword terms, so more competitive markets are more expensive to advertise in.

PPC can help you start getting targeted traffic straight away. It's an Internet business plan which can be launched relatively quickly. The downside is it's much more expensive than the other two traffic driving methods we're about to look at.

It's also harder to make a profit – if you spend a lot of money on clicks that don't turn into buying customers, you'll end up losing money. That makes it a risky traffic-driving method for beginners in online business.

Organic Search Driven Traffic

This refers to the non-paid search results on the search engines. You can't buy your way to the top of these results – it takes more time and effort to get the good rankings you need to drive search traffic.

Most importantly, you need to have high quality, unique, keyword-focused content on your website to get lots of search engine traffic.

The major benefit? Once you get good search rankings, the traffic is totally free. It's incredibly easy to make a profit when you get plenty of search engine traffic, because you don't have to spend money to acquire new customers.

This is the traffic generation method I recommend most to ensure long-term success with a business website. It will help you get the most traffic for the least amount of money expended.

Lower costs in the long term mean better profitability and cashflow for your business.

This is also the traffic driving method behind our Ultimate Home Business Starter Package Internet business model.

Social Media Driven Traffic

Social media is the latest craze for traffic generation. There are a lot of 'hot' information products that claim to help you make money online using only social media to drive traffic.

But it's not recommended to build your entire Internet business model around this one traffic source.

Sites like Facebook and Twitter are actually better for relationship-building than for finding new site visitors. They can't produce the same traffic numbers as search engines do, and the quality of the traffic is completely different.

When someone is searching on Google, they're looking for the solution to a problem – a solution your products or services can provide. When they're on Facebook, they're just 'hanging out' – so they're much less likely to be in buying mode.

Internet Business Models, Part 2: Monetization Methods

Once you know how you're going to get qualified, targeted traffic to your website, you've got half your Internet business model sorted. Now you need to figure out how you're actually going to make money.

Let's look at some Internet business models that work for other small online business owners.

  • Affiliate Marketing – this means selling other people's goods and services for a commission. It's relatively easy to get started as an affiliate marketer because you don't need to develop your own product or service to offer, which is why it's such a popular Internet business model for home businesses. On the downside, you'll usually only be making a small percentage on each sale you make with this Internet business plan (with some digital products you can make up to 75% - check out Clickbank for more info).
  • Advertising/Information Sites – you can make money purely by letting people advertise on your site, without ever having to sell a product. This is also a fairly easy way to make money, but you need to have a lot of traffic to get decent earnings. You can either sell ad space directly to other businesses, or you can use a system like Google Adsense which lets you show Google Ad Network Pay Per Click ads and earn a percentage on each click.
  • Hard Goods – this means any solid product. The hard part here is sourcing or developing a product to sell and organizing shipping, but you can make a lot of money selling the right hard goods.
  • Electronic Goods – electronic goods are anything that can be bought and downloaded straight from your website. This could be software or an information product like an ebook. The upside with these is that because the cost of producing an extra unit is so low, profit margins are high. You also download have to worry about shipping.
  • Services – this website is a good example of a service-based business site. We monetize through online writing services. If you can offer a service, either globally or locally, you can use that as an option to make money from your site.

    On the plus side, each client can be worth a lot of money with this method (depending on the service you offer). That said, you do need to have good sales skills to get clients.

    On the downside, it requires time input to carry out the service which means your maximum earnings will be limited, unless you want to hire and manage staff.

  • Membership Sites – these can be difficult to pull off if you're new to online business, but a membership site also offers one of the best low-maintenance monetization methods for an online business. Instead of selling an ebook once for $20, you can sell a membership where the client is billed $20 every month for 12 months. The same effort to make one sale, but 12 times the earnings.
  • Brokering websites or domains – this is the business of buying and selling web businesses or domains on the behalf of others, for a commission. This is not recommended for beginners. It's high risk and you have to be confident you can sell any domain name or website you buy.
  • Auction/classifieds sites – this would cover sites like Craigslist and Ebay. These can be huge money-makers, but you need to either have a very original, high demand idea (and the only way to know that is to test it and see, which means there's a high risk involved) or you need to be prepared to spend a lot and time of money competing against the big kids in the market.

The Ultimate Home Business Starter Package

We can help you develop marketing ideas for your small business or launch your entire online business by building a website that will generate torrents of free search engine traffic. We'll combine the Organic Search Traffic Internet business model with any monetization plan you like to create a low-cost, high profit business website for you.

Our business starter package also includes a detailed, personal report on the best ways to make money from your new website. Contact us today to set the ball rolling on the web business that may become your ticket to self-employment and financial freedom.

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