There are so many different business models from drop shipping, affiliate marketing ecommerce sites right up to making money selling your own designed T-Shirts on CafePress, promoting your own music and even renting out websites.
Yes that is right, I did say renting out websites, a website is in many ways a virtual property. Like a bricks and mortar building in a street in a town, a website has a location. If you own a website that is similar to the best shop on the busiest street which in the cyber world means being at the top half of the first page of Google for a certain keyword, your website could be worth a lot to the right person.
Imagine that you owned a website that was at the top of the first page of Google for the keyword ‘professional plastic surgeons in Scotland’ (A random keyword I know, I couldn’t think of anything better) Someone somewhere in Scotland who was a professional plastic surgeon may not realise how much traffic that keyword was getting but when shown that they are missing out on potentially thousands of pounds worth of business, they then would see a value in paying you to add their details to your site and ‘rent’ the site and its location from you.
We have all heard of internet marketing and how people like Pat Flynn and John Chow regularly make thousands of dollars each month from blogging and recommending relevant products, with so many niches online now there are so many markets to choose from.
A keen gardener could set up a website and start selling his own eBooks from his site or even make his site a subscription based site similar to an off line magazine. Membership sites are incredible things and have made a lot of people very wealthy. People will pay to be a member of anything as long as you offer a service they need and believe is worth the value.
People will pay to access training videos for things like yoga or football, whatever ideas you come up with, the chances are there are people around the world who will happily pay for it. The world is changing; the internet has opened the world up for people who have never met to work with each other.
Twenty years ago the idea of someone like me having graphics, videos and articles created by people in countries like India and the Philippines was simply not thought of but now I can have a pick of thousands of great people around the world who are willing to do some work for me. I can also do work for others, I can write for clients around the world as long as I have an internet connection.
Teenagers today who are creative and motivated have every opportunity to travel the world funded by an online business and a small laptop or maybe even just a tablet. Cafepress.com is a website that has grown and now has several localised versions of itself like Cafepress.co.uk, Cafepress.au and many more. The great thing with the Cafepress is that they are an online printing company which allows people to upload their own designs and create a shop selling T-Shirts, Hoodies, baby clothing, notepads, mugs and the list goes on.
They have created several very successful home based businesses where young designers have been able to introduce their artwork to the world. There is no need for the designers to search out printers or buy the printing equipment themselves which would cost several thousands of pounds, they can create designs and add them to their CafePress shops, using marketing techniques they drive traffic to the shops and when a sale is made CafePress do the rest.
CafePress will print the items and they will send them to the customer on your behalf. They take out their costs for the manufacturing etc and then at the end of each month they pay you your share. You set the price of your merchandise so what you make on top of each item you design is down to you.
TuneCore.com is a similar set up to CafePress except they deal with digital music. You create the music, you pay an annual fee and they then distribute your music as digital MP3s to big sites like iTunes, Spotify & Amazon. You keep the rights to your music and you keep all 100% of the profits made.
With most people now having access to some great recording software or music software like Audacity, Sound Forge, Cake Walk and Reason, people can create and record quality music from the comfort of their home and share it with the world via sites like TuneCore.com. Again, music can be created via laptops and tablets anywhere in the world allowing the music lover to travel the globe and earn a living.
OK so it will not be as sophisticated as the equipment in big studios but laptops are far more sophisticated than the machines bands like altern8 and the Prodigy used to create legendary rave tunes back in the early 90s. There is no reason why someone cannot create a stunning album using just a laptop or a tablet these days. Electronic music pioneers like Kraftwerk would have dreamt of machines like those we have today.
I mentioned earlier the system known as drop shipping; this is another system that requires very little physical work. It is a form of affiliate marketing but you promote physical products usually based around the same niche. For example, a young skateboarder who learned about skateboarding from Free Skateshop could create a website around skateboarding, filling it with videos and pictures of his friends skateboarding he could then have several pages selling skateboards, parts, DVDs and clothing which are from other people’s companies.
He himself would not need to touch the products himself, the order is processed either by the company or he forwards on the order once it has been taken and they send out the product. The companies will send out any money earned at the end of each month or whatever the agreed time frame is that they use. (Please note I say ‘he’ just for ease, I am not saying that there are not any female skaters out there who would be entrepreneurial and open up their own drop shipping site. I am sure there are plenty.)
Using free networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube it is very easy to find a potential worldwide following of people who love the niche you’re in. Music, skateboarding and graffiti for example have followers and lovers in virtually every country you can think of.
It is the same for gardening, opera and even knitting, there are people who love their hobbies and have access to the internet, if you can get your website address in front of these people and give them excellent content and service then you increase your chances of growing a successful business.
Stop and think what you can do online, if you are good at art you could design T-Shirts like the CafePress example or you could do website graphics for people around the world. If you are good at writing you could write website content for people, do product reviews, write eBooks & reports and even become a self-published author selling your books on Amazon Kindle store.
We might be facing hard times with a global economic recession and crisis but the Hilton hotel empire was built during the great depression when Grandpa Hilton went around buying up hotels cheap that were forced to close due to lack of business.
A recession is not bad for everyone and times are changing, many of the companies that are closing these days are closing because of the change in how we shop and buy. The internet has killed of some localised businesses and created a breeding ground for thousands of newer home based global trading businesses, businesses that you and I can quite easily create and profit from.