A Newbie Entrepreneur’s Guide To Online Business Models

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If you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur, there’s no better way to get your feet wet than by selling your products or services online. 

But first, you’ll have to figure out a suitable business model that will help you make money online. You’ll also need to understand how each model works and what it might mean for your business:

  • Pros and cons: What are the benefits of each model? What are the potential drawbacks?
  • What your audience wants: Is there something specific about one model that resonates with your target market? For example, if you’re selling a product or providing a kind of service that appeals to children, you’ll need to sell directly from an online store rather than through a marketplace.
  • What you’re good at: Are there any skills or expertise that only certain models can support? For example, if someone is looking for custom artwork by local artists but can’t afford it along with art supplies, then selling through an online marketplace will be more feasible than opening and running a brick-and-mortar store.

The following are online business models you can consider. 

  • Affiliate Marketing

As a passive income stream, affiliate marketing ranks pretty high. You can visit website or check out other helpful sources to learn more about it.

Simply put, this model involves sharing products or services on a website, a blog, or social media platforms. An affiliate program is set up, and you can sign up as an affiliate. Once you’re an affiliate, you can share the product or service on your social media accounts. If someone clicks the link in your post, they’ll be directed to that company’s site where they can buy the product or service. 

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You get paid when you make a sale. It doesn’t matter whether it’s one person or a hundred people clicking through to make a purchase. You’re paid the same commission rate for each sale. 

  • eBooks And Courses

An eBook is a digital product similar to an online course, except it’s shorter and cheaper to produce. You can write an eBook in just a few hours and sell it for as little as USD$5 on Amazon or other platforms. This makes it a great way to test the market before investing in a full-fledged video course or live event offering.

One of the best ways to use eBooks is to offer them as bonuses with purchases from your main product line. For example, if you’re selling informational products, such as courses or books, then offering an eBook version that covers the same topics is an effective way to add more value without dealing with extra expenses or higher production costs.

Another thing that makes eBooks ideal for newbie entrepreneurs is that they’re easy for customers who aren’t familiar with digital products yet—which means more sales! If someone buys one of these types of items from their favorite brand on social media platforms, like Instagram or Facebook Messenger, but doesn’t know how exactly what happens after clicking ‘Buy Now,’ then having some kind of written explanation might help ease any fears about buying into something unknown.

  •  Webinars

You can host a live webinar or a recorded one. The latter is easier to prepare and put together, but the former may be more engaging for your audience.

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In both cases, you need to have a good topic, a speaker, and an audience. Additionally, you should market your webinar before and after it takes place.

  • Membership Sites

With membership sites, you can sell a product or service, offer a course or eBook, promote someone else’s product/service, and even sell your products/services. Many times, people will pay for the privilege of having access to exclusive content or being part of an elite group that has access to special offers.

To set up a membership site, you just need some type of web hosting service so that users can check out your website. 

  •  Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a popular business model where the retailer doesn’t keep any inventory of their own. Instead, they ship orders directly from the manufacturer or distributor to customers.

You sign up as a drop shipper with an online supplier and create your e-commerce store on an online marketplace, like Amazon or eBay. When someone places an order through your site, you pay the supplier for the item and ask them to ship directly to your customer without requiring additional payment from them (aside from any taxes that might apply). You then take care of any customer service issues related to returns and exchanges should they occur later down the road. 

This process cuts several steps between purchasing and selling items, saving time and money for both sides involved.


Remember, there are various ways to make money online, but not all of them are right for your business. Start with the ones that seem most relevant to what you’re trying to do. When you’ve figured out the most suitable one, conduct thorough research, so you’ll be prepared for anything.

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