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How To Create A Profitable online business With A Huge Following

Back in the day, only the privileged few could start their own businesses. Starting capital had to be significant, while outside funding was scarce (unless you had a ‘commerce-savvy family). 

Granted, in 2022 that’s no longer the case. Today anyone can start and scale an online business, regardless of their professional background or past entrepreneurial experience. 

Yet, while the entry-barrier got lower, it’s not fully gone either. You still need to come up with a viable product idea, figure out your sourcing or manufacturing strategy and then your sales model. 

But all of the above should not discourage you from starting an online business!

Reasons You Should Start an Online Business 

You may be wondering why start an online business in the first place. Why not go with a brick-and-mortar one instead? 

Because starting an online business has several advantages. 

Here are the three main ones:

1. It is fairly inexpensive to start.

A lot want to start a business but are deterred by the investment required to get it off the ground. You have to pay for a lease, purchase inventory and budget for employee salaries.

What if you invest all that money in your business but it doesn’t work out?

This can ruin you financially.

However, with an online business, all you need is:

  • Computer. You probably already have one.

  • Domain name. You can get one for less than $10/year.

  • Website builder: Monthly plans start for $29.90/mo.

  • In other words — it’s feasible to launch an online business with $100 as a starting capital.

    Of course, the more starting money you have, the more online business ideas you can pursue. 

    But the point is that you don’t need to risk your life’s savings to become a (successful) online entrepreneur.

    2. Major potential and growth.

    When you have a brick-and-mortar business, you have to deal with the limitations of the “real world.” Renting in prime locations is expensive, there may not be enough foot traffic some days and the local crowd just doesn’t need stuff all the time.

    But guess what? When you run an online business, none of these limitations apply.

    You can sell to anyone, no matter where they live. And with each passing year, your pool of potential customers expands because more people are getting comfortable with the idea of online shopping.

    By 2023, ecommerce will account for 22% of global retail sales.

    On top, the global Internet population is growing too.

    For example, between 2009 and 2020, the number of Internet users in North America alone has grown by 73.3 million people.

    But that’s nothing compared with the regions that are still developing!

    The number of Internet users in Asia went from 764.4 million to 2.5 billion, which means that an additional 1.76 billion people started using the Internet.

    More people online — more potential exposure for your online brand. Especially, if you don’t mind taking your online business across the border.

    3. Can run 24/7.

    Another advantage online businesses have over brick-and-mortar businesses is that they can stay open 24/7 (even through lockdowns and other disruptions).

    Once your online business website is online — you are always “on” to make a sale.

    Shoppers can order from you at any time.

    Since you don’t need to be physically present to make a sale, your business can generate revenue with less day-to-day involvement.

    5 Examples of Online Businesses to Test Out 

    With so many business opportunities and tons of ultimate guides out there, it can be difficult to decide which one to pursue.

    It’s understandable because you also don’t want to risk too much. 

    We did some research from you and narrowed it all down to just five online business ideas. 

    1. Start an ecommerce store. 

    Ecommerce has been around for nearly four decades, but there was never a better time to launch an online store than now.

    According to “The Future of Retail 2019” report, a third of US consumers (32%) now receive one or more Amazon packages per week.

    Meanwhile, 10% of consumers receive three or more Amazon packages per week.

    It’s probably safe to say that this reliance on Amazon also leads to people feeling more comfortable with online shopping in general.

    According to the same report, 46% of consumers say that they are more open to purchasing a big-ticket item like a car or a grill online than they were a year ago.

    Once you have decided on your product categories, select an ecommerce platform (BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, etc.), set up your online store and start driving traffic to it.

    If you intend to self-host, you can choose dedicated hosting for WooCommerce or Magento as well.

    Alternatively, you can start selling on online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy.

    While ecommerce has all three online business advantages that we have discussed earlier, you should keep in mind that online commerce profit margins can be thin for some types of products.

    2. Get into dropshipping. 

    Dropshipping is an online fulfillment method that allows you to sell physical goods without keeping inventory yourself.

    Here’s how it works:

  • The customer orders a product on your ecommerce website.

  • You forward the order to the manufacturer.

  • The manufacturer then ships the product directly to the customer.

  • Dropshipping is an attractive option for those who want to get into ecommerce without assuming the financial risk that comes with carrying an inventory.

    So no wonder that the dropshipping market is growing!

    The revenue forecast for the year 2025 is $557.9 billion.

    Although dropshipping is appealing, it has some disadvantages too.

    These include low-profit margins, slow shipping speed and lack of control over the supply chain among others.

    3. Become an affiliate.

    Affiliate marketing is worth considering if you want to start an online business but aren’t interested in creating your own products.

    It’s a popular way to make money online.

    According to the SaaS Scout, the annual affiliate marketing spending by brands is estimated at $12 billion.

    The figure is expected to grow by 10% in the next few years.

    Here’s how affiliate marketing works:

  • First, sign up for an affiliate program.

  • Then, select someone else’s product to promote to your audience. This can be any digital product (an ebook, an online course, an app, etc.) or physical goods.

  • You then get paid a commission for each sale generated through your referral link.

  • You can promote affiliate products on your blog by creating SEO content around relevant keywords and then optimizing it to get organic traffic from Google.

    Or you can promote affiliate products on social networks.

    Affiliate marketing can be extremely lucrative when done right.

    For example, Adam Enfroy made $812,718 in 2020. $601,698 was passive income from affiliate marketing.

    You can also promote affiliate products to your email list subscribers by allowing your affiliate partners to host webinars for your audience.

    Affiliate marketing is a great business model that has an extremely low startup cost.

    You only need to pay upfront for a domain name, web hosting and email marketing software.

    That being said, successful online businesses that start out selling affiliate products tend to eventually release their own goods.

    You can make much more money from the same amount of traffic that way.

    4. Offer web design services.

    You can learn the basics of web design via eLearning platforms and experimentation.

    Then create a portfolio website to start attracting clients.

    Or register with a freelance marketplace such as Upwork or 99Designs.

    By the way, you don’t have to be a full-time freelancer, but do web design as a side hustle.

    Freelancing can be challenging at times, though.

    While you benefit from location independence and a flexible schedule, you also have less predictable income and financial stability at first.

    So set up an emergency fund before you go all in.

    That being said, once you have web design skills, you can then expand into creating and selling your own products (e.g. WordPress templates).

    This can help mitigate financial instability.

    5. Create a note-worthy blog.

    Do you have a knack for writing? Then blogging might be an online business idea worth considering.

    While having a blog is not a business model in and of itself, it allows you to build an audience.

    Once you have an audience, you can sell your own products or services, promote affiliate products, run sponsored campaigns with brands, etc.

    Popular bloggers also get speaking gigs and book deals.