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How To Setup Cookie-Free Domains Properly [Updated In 2020]

We all do a website speed test to know our website loading speed and performance score. There are popular tools available like GTmetrix, Pingdom, Page-insight, Bitcatcha, etc. These tools scan our website and point out which things are good and where changes are required.

Here is an example of a report provided by GTmetrix:

gtmetrix-speedtest-report-use-cookie-free-domains

As you can see, besides the image problem and loading time most of the test was passed by that specific page. To fix the image problem you can apply this trick.

Now if we go to the ‘Yslow‘ tab next to ‘page-speed‘, you may see a warning that says to use cookie-free domains. Check this image below.

use-cookie-free-domains-warning

 

If you are getting this problem for the first time then you should know what is a cookie-free domain? Why should you use cookie-free domains? In case you already know about a cookie-free domain then skip to know “How to setup or use cookie-free domains on your WordPress site! “

Additional reading: Best Pay Per Month Web Hosting In 2019 For WordPress Website

What are cookies?

An HTTP cookie is a small piece of data sent from a specific webpage or website. These tiny data are stored on the user’s computer by the user’s web browser when he is browsing.

 

What is a cookie-free domain?

A cookie-free domain is a very simple concept. It’s actually a domain which does not send a command to visitor’s browser to store cookies from the website. Our website has some static contents such as image, javascript and CSS files. These contents don’t change so often.

That’s why they don’t need to accompanied by cookies, as there is no user interaction with these resources. So by configuring a domain that doesn’t set cookies, we can decrease the size of the total request made by visitor’s browser to our server, while trying to download page resources.

The concept behind this strategy is to reduce server latency by reducing the number of requests which can impact a little on your website performance.

You can watch the video to understand it visually.

Additional Resources: How To Make Money Online Through Affiliate Marketing Program In 2019

How to setup or use cookie-free domains

As you have understood why you should use a cookieless domain, it’s time to know how do we set up one. Setting up a cookie-free domain seems like a hard task but believe me it’s not. All you have to understand the process and do it perfectly.

There are a couple of ways to configure a cookie-free domain. Such as using a separate domain name, set up a CDN and reconfiguring WordPress site. So we will discuss these methods one by and so on.

Here, I will mention the tested methods which worked well for my blog.

 

1. Configure a cookie-free domain separately

In this technique, you will create a completely separate domain name for your website. This separate domain is going to host all the static contents without any cookie command to the browsers. So, first of all, you have to register a domain name.

If you already have then skip to the next step but if you don’t have yet buy a new one. You can also create a sub-domain in case don’t want to buy a new one. If you prefer to use sub-domain, use a static prefix so people can understand by looking at the name. For example: “www.static.rankwp.in

*Remember: If you use your root domain without www version, like rankwordpress.in then using the subdomain as the cookieless domain will not work.

Again, if you are using Adsense advertisements then cookieless domain warning will always occur because your sub-domain is a part of your root domain and Adsense set cookies for every sub-domain under one verified domain name.

Read this tutorial: set up a cookie-free domain for both WordPress and non-WordPress website.

Steps:

After creating the cookieless domain, Use your .htaccess file to configure your web server to serve static contents without cookies. Here you have to put that .htacess file into the root folder of your domain. Here’s how to find and edit the .htaccess file Once you find the .htaccess file paste the following code there.

 # Use Mod_deflate to compress static files SetOutputFilter DEFLATE # Speed up caching FileETag MTime Size # Expires ExpiresActive On ExpiresDefault "access plus 366 days" # Future Expires Headers Header set Expires "Sat, 27 Dec 2018 23:59:59 GMT"

Once you’ve set up the cookieless domain now you need to upload all of your static content to the new static sub-domain (or domain). These contents include CSS, ICOs, Javascript, text and image files. This way you can create a cookieless domain from where static content of your original website will be served.

2. Use a CDN provider to ignore cookies

Using a CDN provider is another good way to solve the cookie-free domain problem. Most of the CDN has the ability to ignore cookies and strip cookies which helps to completely prevent the browsers from receiving the Cookie response header. Since it’s hard to guess which CDN to use.

Just because every CDN has different features and functions so not every CDN is suitable for you to solve the warning to use cookie-free domains. If you are currently using Cloudflare CDN then you need to disable it to disappear the warning to use cookie-free domains.

The reason is that you can’t disable cookies served through CloudFlare CDN. Moreover, they also include their security cookie in your website header. But if you use CloudFlare with a caching plugin, you can change it to another CDN provider to solve the problem.

KeyCDN is the nicest alternative I have ever used with my websites. You can deploy keyCDN to your WordPress site by using a plugin. Just follow the steps below.

  • Go to their website KeyCDN and create an account there. They charge about 0.04$/GB traffic data and you will get one month for a free trial for a new account. Test their service and if you feel better then go for a premium account. ( You don’t have to submit your credit details. )
  • Install the CDN enabler plugin from the WordPress repository.
  • Create a new Pull-Zone inside the keyCDN dashboard and save it.
create-pull-zone-for-cookie-free-domains
create-pull-zone-in-keycdn
  • Copy the CDN URL and paste inside your WordPress plugin.
copy-pull-zone-URL-cookie-free-domain
copy-pull-zone-URL
paste-url-inside-CDN-enabler
paste-URL-inside-CDN-enabler
  • Once your setup is done, clear your website cache and wait a little time to take the effect.

On completion of your set up, you should see the improvement in your website test results on gtmetrix.

3. Re-configure your WordPress site

In this method, you will set up your subdomain’s DNS record as a CNAME pointing to your root domain with the wp-config file. To do that point your subdomain (any) to your /wp-content directory simply by editing your wp-config.php file. Add the following codes into your wp-config file.

define("WP_CONTENT_URL", "https://static.domain.com"); define("COOKIE_DOMAIN", "domain.com");

* don’t forget to replace your domain URL and domain name inside the code. Example: https://static.google.com

4. Use Cookie-Free Domains – WordPress Plugin

One more alternate method is to use a WP plugin called WP2static. You can easily install the plugin from the WordPress repository.

wp2static-plugin

 

 

wp2static-plugin

After installing the plugin activate it. Now go to the WP dashboard and select wp2static from the left bar menu. Configure the settings inside the “Deploy static website” tab. See the image below.

use-cookie-free-domains-wp2static-configuration
wp2static-configuration

Once the export process is done, visit the URL that you have set during the configuration. (https://yourdomain.com/static). Now check that URL in GTmetix. The warning to use cookie-free domains won’t be displayed inside the report.

Final Word

Using these cool tricks you can get around of that annoying cookieless domain warning on gtmetrix or Pingdom. In the comment box please share is this article helpful for you or not. Also, do share with your friends if these tricks work well with you.

 

15 Digital Marketing Strategies for Your Online Business

In this guide, we are going to give you an outline of all the basic types of digital marketing strategies you can start applying to your business right away. We are going to give you a broad outline of each of these areas so that you can dive deeper and expand your knowledge on the ones that interest you most. This article covers each of these in detail and goes beyond cursory short lists like the 7 functions of marketing.

Let’s get started with one of the most popular types of digital marketing strategies – content marketing.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a pretty popular phrase in online marketing. However it can often be confused with content writing. It can be difficult to pin down exactly what it means. It is a pretty broad term, that encompasses many different strategies related to content. In simplest terms, content marketing is making and sharing content to an online audience. Read more comparing content marketing vs content writing.

The purpose of sharing this content is to attract attention, and this attention can be used to complete a number of online marketing goals for different businesses. These goals include driving traffic to a website, generating leads, increasing sales, increasing brand awareness, and more.

Essentially, by creating and sharing free content, you attract people to your brand, and the content can actually help you to reach these goals at the same time.

How Does Content Help My Business?

Perhaps the most important question in content marketing is what type of content will help you to reach your business goals. To answer this question, you need to consider your business model, your target customer, and your buyer personas. You need to cater the content to what your target audience is searching for, and what they would enjoy consuming. Then, you fill that space with your content, and do everything you can to make that content discoverable (more on that below).

Popular types of content marketing include blogging, news sites, video, photo blogs, email newsletters, how-to guides, and podcasts. Essentially, any targeted content is content marketing, even if you don’t even realize it.

In this guide, we will focus on two crucial aspects of content marketing – keyword research and content creation.

Keyword Research

For many content marketers, the most important way to make their content discoverable is through a search engine. If people can type in a Google (or any search engine) query and your content pops up, that represents a huge potential number of eyes on your content.

It is extremely difficult to understand exactly how search engines pull up results, and their algorithms change all the time. But one of the important ways that Google returns results is through keywords. By combing content for keywords that might answer a search query, Google can return the most relevant content and answer that person’s question.

There are a few ways to discover which keywords are best to put in your content. It is best to consider all of these digital marketing strategies as a whole in order to come up with a keyword strategy. Strategies to find keywords can vary from easy to advanced.

Think of Intent

The first thing to keep in mind when writing content is to always think of your target consumer’s intent. Why do you think they would search for your content? What question does your content answer? Think of the reasons that your content is applicable to them, and try to include keywords and phrases that you think would answer their questions.

Search engines are quite smart these days, and they are capable of relating common queries and generating answers based on different contexts. So you should really just try to write content that answers a consumer’s questions. Put yourself in their shoes, and make your content relevant to what they would search to find your business, and you will have a much better chance of showing up in search results. 

Using Tools

There are also many tools you can use to get an idea of what type of keywords might be relevant. For example, Google auto-suggest can help you see many related searches to the ones that might involve your products. Type in something about your content, and you can see other relevant queries which someone might use to find your content.

Paid Tools

There are many paid online marketing tools on the market which can help you generate a list of keywords based on the queries you can expect potential customers to search. These tools will scour the web for well-performing keywords which you can plug into your content to improve your search engine ranking. Popular tools include SEMRush, Ahrefs, Wordtracker, and Authority Labs.

Many people choose to hire a digital marketing strategist or a digital marketing agency for their content marketing, which can be very useful and much easier if you’re someone who manages multiple sites and/or businesses. However, if you’re budget is limited and you have the time to put into it, using tools and some of your own effort, you can become your own digital marketing strategist. 

Content Creation

Of course, content marketing is nothing without actually creating the content! In this section, we’re going to outline how to create content that fills a need, and is consumed by your target market.

Content needs to be well written and researched. But the best content fills a hole in the market. Above we showed you how to get your content discovered with various tools and keywords. Next, we will show you how to create content that satisfies consumer’s needs and inquiries.  

If you need help with Content Creation checkout ContentRefined.com

Define Your Target Market

First things first, you need to define who you are trying to reach. Your content needs to be tailored to a certain audience, and you need to know that audience inside and out. If you don’t know who you are trying to reach, your content will appear aimless.

So before you get started in making your content, you need to decide who is most likely to respond to your content. Know who they are, what they like, and where you can find them. There are many consumer research studies and resources that you can find online to help you with this research stage.

Flip Features Into Benefits

When you are creating content that appeals to an audience, it is important to keep in mind why people should pay attention to your content. When you are creating content on a specific topic, don’t simply focus on explaining the features of your topic. Instead, think of your target market, and think about why this may benefit them. Turn the features of the product into real tangible benefits for your audience.

By explaining benefits, you are guaranteeing to capture more of their interest. If an audience understands why your content is relevant to them in a positive way, then it instantly turns into something that they can envision as having an impact on their life. 

What Type of Content?

Content comes in many shapes and forms. From video, to blogs, to articles, to tutorials, to comprehensive guides, and more! How you choose your format will depend on the message you are trying to convey. Different audiences like to consume content in different ways. Your content should match the ideal platform for conveying your message.

Start simple, with an idea of the message you are trying to get across. Then, try to decide which format would convey that message best. It will often depend on the complexity and the depth of knowledge you are trying to communicate.

Takeaways

As you can see, content marketing is no small area of marketing. Maybe the most important part of content marketing is knowing your audience and knowing how to reach them. If you have a deep knowledge of who your audience is and what they like, then you have a format which can guide all your future content creation. This simplifies your entire workload, and helps to ensure that you are constantly on the right track.

Digital Strategies for Online Business

On-Page SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a huge part of a digital marketing strategy and a great way to increase your inbound traffic. One of the main ways that anyone finds anything online is through a search engine. So as you can imagine, if your web page shows up as one of the top results, that could mean massive traffic for your website.

One of the major ways to find success with SEO is through on-page optimization techniques and avoiding common on-page SEO mistakes. What this means is that you carefully craft the content on your web page to be more discoverable by Google (or other search engines) and therefore to show up in more search results. There are numerous techniques you can use to optimize your on-page SEO, and this section will explore some of the top techniques.

In the section after, we will explore the other major part of SEO – off-page SEO. But let’s get started by looking at how to best optimize your web page for more success.

Tips for Succeeding with On-Page SEO

Here’s the thing – search engines these days are smart. If you think you can trick a search engine into displaying your result at the top, then you can think again. Search engines know the tricks and have accounted for them. To truly optimize your inbound marketing, you really have to provide a great answer to what the searcher is trying to resolve.

Google wants to return results that are relevant, trustworthy, and authoritative. Doing this is no easy task, but there are things you can do to keep improving your chances.

Tip #1: Consider Intent

As was said above, Google is very smart. It wants to give results that answer people’s questions. It wants them to be happy with what they find. And this can be a big opportunity for you.

If you provide content that fills a need, and answers a search query in an organized, trustworthy, and relevant way, then you are on the path toward climbing up the search engine results page.

If you are struggling with this, try to think of what question your content answers. What would people search for if they want to find your answers? Then, type this into Google yourself. Have a look at the types of content that come up. These are the most relevant pieces of content in this area, and can be a great starting point for you to format your content.

Tip #2: Keywords

Keywords are no longer the end all and be all to effective SEO, but they are still valuable to inbound marketing. Finding effective keywords and phrases can be tough these days. You should really start by thinking of intent. Think of what type of questions you think consumers are thinking of which are answered by your content. Then, put these phrases into your content, and within the title and headings.

There are also online tools which can help you with keyword research, like Neil Patel’s SEO Analyzer, SEMrush or Ahrefs. However, these are often paid services, but are worth considering if you are stumped.

Tip #3: Tags

Without getting too complicated, tags essentially help to describe your web page, so that Google can return it in relevant search results.

Meta Tags describe various parts of your web page. Title tags help to describe what it is your page offers, and will make it easier for people to decide whether to click it. Meta descriptions appear in the Google results as a description of your content. This can be a vital way to give readers a summation of your content, and whether it will answer their questions.

Digital Strategies for Online Business

Meta Tags are a very valuable part of describing your content and having it discoverable through search engines. It is a good habit to always consider metatags when you are creating your content.

Tip #4: Site Speed

How quickly your site loads is a very important part of on-page SEO. Not only does it make inherent sense that people prefer a site that is faster to load, Google bases its algorithm on site speed too. Google will prefer sites which have the ability to load faster.

There are many ways to increase site loading speed, including several paid services. Aside from that, delete unnecessary plugins, don’t include media files that are too big, and other space saving tricks like that. If there is more to load, it will take longer to load.

Tip #5: Content

Of course, the actual content on your page is of crucial importance. It seems obvious, but it’s no less imperative. You want to focus on creating and sharing the kind of content that your target audience desires. Know your audience inside and out, and create content that answers their questions.

On top of this, it is important to keep content fresh. An easy way to do this is to go back and update old articles with fresh info. This takes minimal time, and gives you a whole new set of information to share. You can also create evergreen content, which will stay relevant for longer without having to constantly update it.

Don’t be afraid of current trends either. Writing articles that are on-trend can be a great way to capitalize on a high amount of Google searches, just be aware that there may be increased competition as well. If you can capture a trend before it takes off, you have a much better chance of being seen. You can see trend patterns for any topic using Google Trends

Takeaways

As you can see, on-page SEO is very important in having your content discovered and consumed. While you may be tempted to think of this as “tricking” Google, it really comes down to showing your audience what they want to see.

Google wants to find and share relevant information with people. They want to provide what people want to see. So your best bet with on-page SEO is to always operate with this in mind. The tricks are great, but nothing beats quality, directed content. 

Digital Strategies for Online Business

Off-Page SEO

Above, we talked all about on-page SEO. That is, how to optimize the content on your webpage to get discovered by Google. This might seem like the “obvious” part of SEO. Of course getting your website content optimized will help. However, it’s not all there is to it, and that’s what we will be talking about here.

Off-page SEO are all the actions that you take off your web page. These are the ways that other websites and other pieces of content can actually help you get found on Google. On a basic level, Google likes to know that it’s results have authority, AKA that people can trust them.

A good way to know that is if the page is heavily mentioned, or linked to, by other sources. Because if a lot of people are talking about you, there is a better chance you are a trusted source.

Therefore, off-page SEO is the way that digital marketers can increase their authority off of their web page, drive their search engine results, and therefore increase their overall traffic.

Types of Links

Generating links to a website can be done in many different ways, but is typically separated into links that you create yourself, and links that other people give you voluntarily.

For example, if you share your own content, or ask people specifically to share it, those are created by link-building activities. On the other hand, if someone reads your content and shares it by their own will, or a competing blog likes your content so much that they reference it, then that link is voluntarily given.

As a general rule, a voluntary, or natural link, is more valuable. However, these are understandably harder to earn, and much of your link-building might be based on deliberate link-building. The hope is that with more and more SEO activities, eventually, your content will rank well enough for people to share it themselves without being prompted. Some people find success buying links but this should only be done if you are knowledgable of the risks.

How Do I Get Started?

This might seem like a pretty daunting area of SEO. How are you going to get mentioned when no one even knows who you are? Where do you get started?

Luckily, there are actionable tips and methods that you can take to increase your off-page SEO today. Of course, the more you grow, the more reputable you become, and the more likely you are to get shared. But there are still things that you can do as a content marketing beginner to kickstart your off-page SEO, and we will cover some of them today.

Create Content That Can Be Shared

The first thing you can do to drive your off-page SEO is simply to create content that begs to be shared! If people share your content, then you have more links which drive people to your web page. Additionally, more people can find it and share it themselves. It might become exponential, and Google will see this as your site having more authority.

As we have mentioned many times throughout this guide, you need to create content that fills a gap in your target audience’s search. If you create very high-quality content that they really enjoy, it raises the chances of them sharing it. Of course, certain content is more prone to be shared than others – such as new ideas, humorous content, and something that drives curiosity.

Read how ContentRefined does this here – Content Surge

Reach Out

A great way to help with people sharing your content is to simply ask them. Often, they might be willing to do something for you if you are willing to do something for them (like share their content). Find influencers within your niche and reach out to them. You’d be surprised at how helpful people will be if you simply ask for their help.

This helps create relationships within your space, and if you are willing to help them as well, you can have an ongoing relationship to increase authority with each other.

Here is a detailed guide on running an outreach machine

Share Your Content

There are so many digital channels to share content online. People actively seek out certain content online, and by finding and sharing within these spaces you increase your chances of being found by an interested audience.

For example, there are online forums and message boards for all sorts of topics – photography, writing, videography, nature, you get the idea. The key is to find these spaces within your niche and make it a habit to share every relevant piece of content you make.

Of course, social media is very powerful as well. Your web page doesn’t have to be the only place you share content. You can link to it on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and wherever else you are engaged. Not only does this create more links to your content, it increases the chances of others discovering it. Social media is created to be shared, so sharing it yourself might lead to others discovering it as well.

Takeaways

As you can see, on-page and off-page SEO are two ways of achieving the same goal. That goal is to get your content ranked higher on Google, which allows more people to discover your content. This in turn will drive traffic to your site, so that you can achieve the goals that you set out with your website.

Off-page SEO is an important tool in any digital marketer’s toolbox. It can help to think of it as a habit in creating and sharing your content. Make it part of your routine to interact and help others within your niche, and they will return the favor. Additionally, find the best spaces within your niche to share your content to a devoted audience. As well as regular social media sharing, you will have built a routine to increase your success in this area.

An effective digital marketing strategy is all about habits. You probably won’t see one of your posts go viral and rocket you toward success. But with good habits, and with strong and consistent SEO strategies, you can see your relevance and authority grow and grow, and you will show up in far more search results.

Digital Strategies for Online Business

Sales Funnels

Sales funnels have become one of the crucial components of an effective digital marketing strategy. No matter what you are trying to sell, or which platform you are using to drive sales, it is likely you can utilize some form of a sales funnels to achieve results. In this section, we will explain the basic concept behind a sales funnel, as well as how to structure one for success.

What is a Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel is simple in concept and complicated in execution. It is all about “funneling” consumers toward a sale. Think of this as the customer journey from when they first see or hear about your brand to the final point of purchase. You put them through a series of steps which motivates them to buy from you. As with a regular funnel, more will enter than will make a final sale, but the goal is to motivate as many people as possible to complete the funnel and make a purchase.

For example, an advertisement you see on Facebook might be the first stage of the sales funnel. If you click on this advertisement, you will likely be taken to the next stage in this process, all with the goal of getting you to make that purchase.

As you can imagine, there are various strategic and psychological strategies at play to capture your attention and motivate you to take that next step each time. While it will not work on everyone (hence the funnel becoming slimmer), the goal is to increase the rate at which it does work.

In general, a sales funnel can be broken down into 4 parts. We will explain each part in turn in the next section, so that you can understand how this funnel operates:

Sales Funnel Structure

Stage 1: Awareness

The first stage of your sales funnel is the broadest, as it is meant to reach the most people. That is awareness. You want to communicate your message to a wide variety of potential audience members, to make them aware and entice them into continuing with your offer. This is their initial stepping point into your sales funnel.

A successful awareness campaign will be directed at a target audience, and provide them with a clearly communicated offer that satisfies a need or want of theirs. There are many ways to get consumers to enter into your sales funnel through an effective awareness campaign, and your approach will differ based on what you are trying to offer. It could be joining an email list, taking an online quiz, or many other means.

Stage 2: Interest

Once a consumer has passed the awareness stage, they have shown an interest in your offering. At this point, you must work to further this interest. Successful marketers do this with a clear brand message, and communication, which helps build a relationship with the consumer. You want to continue to explain why your brand is right for them.

This communication can be done in many ways – such as an email campaign, marketing campaign, social media communications, blog posts, or more. It will all depend on how they opted to follow your brand.

Stage 3: Decision

At this point, your customer has shown a clear interest in your product, and is actually considering making a purchase. However, there is still more work to be done. At this stage, they might actually be researching your offering, or comparing offers with competitors, while deciding whether to purchase.

You can do various things to help influence this decision, such as offering testimonials, discount codes, reviews, and anything that will help make a decision that is right for them. You want to show them why you are the right choice, and why the value is there to make their purchase worthwhile.

Stage 4: Action

The final stage of the sales funnel is the consumer actually performing the intended action. Usually a purchase, but it could be a download, an opt-in, or something similar. However, even at this stage there is more you can do to drive further business.

There are steps you can take to ensure they are happy with your product, such as by sending over product tips and tricks. You can also follow-up with additional offers after the sale is made. This keeps your brand in mind, and also ensures that they are happy with their purchase and your brand.

Takeaways

As you can see, a sales funnel is a simple concept with endless methods of execution. As a marketer, you want to be constantly optimizing and tweaking your funnel based on results. You won’t get it perfectly right the first time. But with practice and persistence, you will not only convert more and more customers, but also have a better understanding of your buyer personas.

Russel Brunson puts out great content around sales funnels.

Digital Strategies for Online Business

Email Marketing

Email marketing may seem like an old school idea these days, but it really speaks to its effectiveness that it is still so popular. Email marketing is a tried and true marketing plan to reach people, and to reach the right people.

By building an email list, you have a reliable method of reaching people who have shown an interest in your product or service, and a way to market to them in a direct and personal way.

In this section, we are going to go over the basics of email marketing automation, including what makes it so effective, and the digital marketing strategies you can use for greater success.

Why Email Marketing?

Email marketing is an excellent tool for a variety of reasons. As mentioned, it is a way to reach out to consumers on a personal level. These consumers are people who have shown interest in your business before, as evidenced by opting into your email campaign. Here are some top advantages of using email marketing:

Driving Traffic and Sales: Email marketing is a great way to create a marketing funnel and drive consumers back to your website, blog, online store, or whatever you are offering. It allows you to re-engage with your consumers on a regular basis.

Direct Visibility: Email marketing is simply more direct than other forms of social media. Most platforms filter content and limit views. Email, however, is direct and always ends up in an inbox. It is a more reliable method of allowing your target audience to see your digital marketing strategy.

Building Your Audience: Perhaps the number one benefit of an email campaign is the ability to grow and maintain your audience. You can track down the people who are truly interested in your service or product, and stay in touch.

Email Marketing Tips

Service Provider: First thing first, you need to decide how you are going to go about making your email campaigns. Many people prefer to use a service provider to help manage their email campaigns. We recommend Mailchimp, Mailshake, SendGrid or Active Campaign for your marketing automation. These providers are all very simple to use for any type of marketing campaign. 

With these services, you can create lists and send an email to everyone on the list. It also helps you monitor analytics, and track the success of your campaigns, which we will examine in more detail below.

Collect Emails: One of the most crucial parts of managing an email campaign is growing your list of emails and adding them to the marketing funnel. An email campaign is nothing without a list of potential customers to send it to. Having people subscribe to your emails is no easy task, and it requires sending the right message, and having people see the benefit of regular communication from you.

Collecting emails and leads through cold outreach is one method of doing this. Using tools such as AnyMailFinder or Hunter are just a couple great tools that can help build a solid list for your email campaign. However, below we’re going to cover some of the top methods of having people opt-in to your campaign.

The ultimate guide to B2B Lead Generation goes over these strategies in detail.

Opt-In and Pop-Ups on Your Website: One of the most tried and true methods of getting subscribers is to simply put a sign-up or registration form right on your website. This is a great way to capture subscribers who have already shown an interest in your product. There are many ways to phrase these forms, and many places you can put them on your website.

Typically, websites either use a pop-up or an embedded form to capture subscribers. You can place these wherever you think consumers will be most receptive. For example, after they have made a purchase, or once they click through to the product page. You can also experiment with different options and monitor results.

Create a Campaign: Creating a campaign is one of the most important parts of email marketing. Once you have a subscriber list, you want to market to them with emails that capture their interest and motivate them to take a desired action. There are many services which can assist in creating a campaign, such as Mailshake mentioned above.

There are many options you can utilize to create a successful campaign. First, select your audience. You can send the email to your entire list, or to specific groups you think would be more responsive.

You can start your marketing campaign with a catchy subject line, a preview text, a “From” name (who they will see the email is from).

Next, the body of the email. Many service providers offer numerous options for structure, body, style, and content. It will really come down to what you are trying to achieve, and the message you are trying to communicate. You can create a more visual campaign, or a text-based email. The main key is that your consumers are persuaded to take your desired action.

Write Subject Lines: Writing an email subject line that captures attention is one of the most important parts of a successful campaign. This is the point where a consumer decides whether to engage with your marketing campaign at all.

There are many methods for success here, but the important part is to quickly and clearly communicate the benefits of your offer, and to state a sense of urgency. Consumers need to be able to quickly discern that there is a benefit to opening the email, and a time-sensitive offer makes them more likely to engage right away.

Monitor Analytics: Once you have crafted your email campaign and sent it off, the work is really just beginning. A successful email marketer will continue to monitor the success of their campaign, and make adjustments where necessary.

The first important lesson is to monitor analytics. With programs such as Mailchimp, you can actually use Google Analytics to track and monitor various aspects of your email campaign’s performance. This includes various metrics which track your campaigns success – such as the rate of consumers who open the email, average time spent in an email, conversion rate, and much more.

The key is to set goals for your campaign, to monitor the success of those goals through analytics, and optimize your campaign to improve on these metrics. What you need to change will depend on your digital marketing campaign, but you can likely gather the information you need by paying close attention to your results.

Thank you for reading our beginner’s guide on email marketing. As you can see, there is a lot of potential for you as a marketer in this area.  

Digital Strategies for Online Business

YouTube Marketing

YouTube might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to digital marketing. However, it is such a powerful video and media sharing tool that it holds many strong opportunities to share your brand and generate sales for your businesses.

In this section, we will go over how you can produce valuable content to build an audience and attract subscribers.

YouTube Marketing Plan

The main goal of YouTube marketing is, of course, to drive traffic and sales through shared media. Similar to the goal of many marketing campaigns, you want to drive users to your YouTube videos, and funnel them to your website with links in the video description. However, actually putting this into action is not always so simple. Generally, there are three main types of media which are used to drive sales.

Educational Videos: Educational videos answer a question that your target audience may have, and you can feature products within the video. People come to the video to have their questions answered, and come away exposed to your products.

Brand Storytelling: Brand storytelling is an opportunity for you to make a video that showcases your brand’s appeal. It involves people using your product while living your brand message. For example, GoPro shares videos that their consumers have taken with their video cameras.

Entertainment: These are the trickiest to make for a business. But if you can make media that actually entertains your target audience, and has them watching for enjoyment, then you can have a big edge on YouTube. For example, a popular blender company uses “Will it Blend?” videos to showcase their blenders grinding up unique objects. 

Key Considerations

Now that we have outlined the digital marketing tactics for creating and driving sales with YouTube, let’s take a look at some of the more important considerations that you will need to know to give your videos the best possible chance of success. This includes concepts that get your videos more views, but also ones which help to drive sales.

Keywords

Keywords are very important in SEO. YouTube SEO is a complicated process, and goes beyond the confinements of this guide. However, you do want to be sure to include the keyword that you are trying to rank for in the video title.

YouTube also offers the option to “tag” your media, which helps your video show up when those terms are searched for. There are various programs online which help you optimize tags. You should also write your video “Description” with various tags, and one that explains the benefits of watching your video.

As you can see, YouTube SEO is all about showing up in YouTube’s search engine. Keywords, tags, and video titles go a long way in this regard. 

Increasing Subscribers

Subscribers, the ultimate YouTube count. Subscribers are people who have notified YouTube that they want your videos to show up in their feed. Of course, your goal is to grow your subscribers, and you want to do this by allowing your videos to be seen by the largest amount of your target audience as possible.

There are many tips and tricks for growing your subscribers. Perhaps the most important is to simply create quality media and content that is targeted towards a clearly defined audience. Remember, there are millions of subscribers and companies on Youtube, so finding your niche is important to driving direct traffic to your channel.

There are also little things you can do which can drastically increase subscribers. For example, using a link to take viewers directly to an opportunity to subscribe to your videos. You can place this link in your video description, in your email marketing, or anywhere you are sharing media. The key is to make it as easy as possible for people to subscribe to your videos. 

Analytics

One of the most worthwhile parts of growing any type of marketing campaign is to monitor and optimize. With YouTube it’s no different, and YouTube even includes an analytics section where you can track your video’s success on various metrics.

These metrics are invaluable for measuring success. They are extensive, and include metrics based around things such as views, watch time, demographics of viewers, and much more. By measuring and optimizing on these variables, you can know how to improve the success of your current and future videos, and know what type of video is most successful in reaching your target audience.

Takeaways

As you can see, YouTube is a powerful tool for capturing someone’s attention. A loyal base of subscribers can help to grow your businesses in many ways. If you approach YouTube with the proper strategies for growth and success, you can execute your digital marketing plan and convert your subscribers into customers.

Digital Strategies for Online Business

Facebook Marketing

It comes as no surprise that Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform, can be a powerful marketing tool for your business. In this section, we are going to examine why growing your audience on Facebook can be so powerful.

Why Facebook Marketing?

Firstly, the major reason that Facebook marketing is so popular is due to the vast potential of the platform. There are billions of users, which gives you the opportunity to connect to just about any demographic you could imagine. Expanding on that, people build their profiles to clearly outline their personal information.

You can see, in real time, the type of people you are reaching. You can clearly define your target audience, and pursue those people. You can also clearly see which type of people are resonating with your products. Facebook has a powerful Analytics platform for businesses as well, so that you can clearly track and monitor your success.

Creating a Facebook Page

The first step in Facebook marketing is creating your own Facebook profile for your business. A business profile is your own tool for interacting with people through Facebook. They are easy and free to set up, and you can get started right away.

A Facebook profile is a great way to communicate your brand, and allow ongoing feedback and communication with consumers. With this page, you can post engaging content, and have real-time feedback.

The content you create and share will depend on your brand and mission. Often, brands use Facebook as a way to keep their followers updated on their offerings, as well as to share fun content that exemplifies their brand message.

If you can build a large following on Facebook, it gives you an audience that you can hopefully attract to buy your products or services. You have a constant group that you can reach out to, who have already shown an interest in your brand by “liking” your page.

What To Post?

Facebook offers users a lot of freedom, and one of the major parts of that freedom is deciding what to post on your Facebook page. However, this can become pretty overwhelming.

One of the main things to keep in mind here is to always think from the customer’s point of view. Why should they be interested in your page? What can you offer them?

Of course, what you should post will certainly vary based on your industry, so a great place to start is with some competitors’ pages. If you have identified your target audience and industry, you can start to look at other pages within that industry for inspiration. Often, they will share pictures from customers, news about the industry, blog posts, interesting content, and more.

Posts that create engagement are a great idea as well. For example, posts that prompt users to share for a chance at a discount or a freebie. Or posts that ask users questions about themselves.

There are many options on Facebook for sharing content, and we think you will be best advised to share content that is in tune with your industry and target audience. However, not every business has the capacity or time required to be posting and checking their Facebook page everyday. Don’t worry! Tools like Buffer or Content Lever can help you manage and create posts to keep your content updated and relevant on a weekly basis.

Insights

One of the key tools that Facebook provides to help grow your page is Facebook Insights. These are powerful analytical tools which allow you to monitor and optimize the success of your page. Insights are analytical reports that track your success based on many metrics – including growth rate, clicks, likes, followers, conversion rates, and more.

These tools allow you to monitor the success of your page, but more importantly they allow you to identify areas of improvement. You can see which content is most successful at reaching people, and which people are more engaged with your page. This allows you to put in further targeting measures to capture the audience that is most likely to engage with your brand, and even convert with your offerings.

Insights are a powerful tool if used correctly. But the key is to stay diligent, learn to understand the meanings behind the numbers, and how to use these to optimize your page for the future.

This has been a primer on how to get started with your business page on Facebook. However, there is one other big part of Facebook marketing, and that is Facebook advertising. We will examine this next. 

Facebook Advertising

Up to now, we have mainly focused on growing a business Facebook page. However, there is one very powerful tool that you can use with Facebook, and that is advertising.

Facebook Advertising is perhaps the most powerful tool in Facebook marketing. Facebook advertisements are your opportunity to fully tailor your advertising campaign to reach the people you want.

Why Are Ads Such An Opportunity?

There are many tools for creating an ad, such as selecting text, video, pictures, and format. You can craft an ad that says exactly what you want to say.

Next are the targeting measures. As mentioned above, Facebook users voluntarily submit information about their demographics. This makes it possible to very specifically target your Facebook ads. You can target based on age, gender, interests, and more.

Let’s take a look at a few of these concepts in more detail.

Creating An Ad

Creating a successful Facebook ad is no easy task, and often will require constant tweaks to get just right. However, it is helpful to first get familiar with the general formula for creating an ad on Facebook. There are three main steps – setting an objective, choosing an audience, and creating a format.

Campaign Objective

First, you will choose an objective – this should align with your overall digital marketing campaign. Facebook offers three objectives – awareness, consideration, and conversion. With awareness, you are trying to show the ad to the maximum amount of people so that they become aware of your brand. With consideration, you are trying to generate traffic and engagement with your ad. With conversion, you are trying to drive people to meet your conversion goal (ex. a sale to your site).

These are three quite different goals, and will depend greatly on what you are trying to achieve with your ad. This is why it is so important to establish your advertising goals from the outset.

Audience Targeting

As touched upon above, Facebook is a very powerful tool because it allows you to target people so effectively based on all the information in their profiles. For the sake of simplicity, it helps to break targeting efforts into three categories – demographics, interests, and behaviour.

Each of these three aspects are easily accessible based on information in a user’s Facebook profile. While creating an ad, you can outline your target audience. You can be as specific as you want, based on what you know about your target audience.

A general rule of thumb is to start broad, and narrow in based on what is successful. Run an ad to a broader demographic, and monitor your results to see which audience members responded most to your ads. Then, target future ads at this group, optimizing as you go.

Ad Format

Finally, comes creating the actual ad. Facebook encourages you to define your objectives and your audience before this step. This allows you to get a good idea of your advertising strategy, which helps you to build the actual ad.

There are many options for formatting and structuring your ad. You can choose different picture options, video options, and even an option for an album of pictures or videos. Make sure to think about your ad size and content thoroughly before throwing up a Facebook ad campaign. Is your ad going to attract your specific niche? Does your ad have a direct message and offering?

Additionally, you can choose to run your ads in Facebook newsfeed, Facebook Messenger, or on Instagram.

Analytics

Once you have created a Facebook ad, you have the ongoing opportunity to monitor its success through analytics.

Facebook analytics are a powerful tool to evaluate your campaign’s success based on many factors such as clicks, conversions, impressions, and much more. You can further break down these metrics based on demographics. Then, you can optimize your ads in the areas they were successful, to run an even more lucrative campaign next time. 

Checking your ad analytics is arguably the most important piece to any advertising campaign. If your ads are converting or receiving clicks, you need to reassess the campaign and make changes. Are you targeting the correct demographic? Is your ad compelling? There is no perfect formula to running a successful ad campaign – you have to run it, assess results, and adjust if needed, over and over again.

ROI

Of course, the main drawback for many is that Facebook ads cost money. This is why advertisers view these as an investment. Facebook Ads allows your to monitor your ROI on the money you spend, including cost per various metrics (clicks, conversions, impressions, etc.).

Before you begin an ad campaign, I highly suggest that you map out a monthly budget. That way you can make sure you’re not overspending and also assess if your ads are making you money or pushing you further into the red. Remember: depending on the objective of your campaign, ROI will be measured differently. If you’re goal is to drive more traffic to your site or your Facebook page, then ROI won’t be based on revenue, but instead on traffic and/or followers. However, if you’re pushing people to a sales page, then you’ll want to base ROI off of sales made.

An advertisers goal should be to maximize their ad spend. With further optimization, you can continually improve your ROI to make your ad spend more lucrative.

Takeaways

As you can see, Facebook is a very powerful tool, and depending on your marketing plan you can succeed in many ways with Facebook ads. At its core, it is all about reaching the right people, and improving your chances of converting them into customers.

Facebook advertising is really about the process, not a one-off campaign. The optimization options allow you to see more success over time, as you further optimize your audience, your ad content, and ad placement.

Digital Strategies for Online Business

Twitter Marketing

Twitter is a great tool for sharing information, but how can you harness it as a great marketing tool? In this section, we will show you how it can be perfect for just that. We will show you how to drive website traffic and generate sales through Twitter.

With well crafted content and by building an engaged audience, you can grow your business with Twitter. The key with Twitter is finding a target audience and catering to them with content that also drives sales.

How to Market With Twitter

Setting Up An Account

To have a successful Twitter marketing scheme you need to start by building your account. Your account should represent your brand through your display image and your description. There is also an opportunity to provide a link to your website, or wherever you want to drive traffic from your Twitter page.

Setting up an account is easy, fast, and free.

Set Your Goals

Twitter is great for a lot of things, but you have to know what those things are for your business. Before you create an account, you should outline your business goals. What do you want from your Twitter page? Do you want to grow an audience, do you want to generate sales, or do you simply want to increase brand awareness?

These goals will always be influenced by your target audience. You need to clearly define the people you are trying to reach, so that you know the kind of content you should be sharing.

These will change based on your business and industry, but it is a great idea to set these goals from the outset.

Creating Content

Creating and sharing content, as you may have guessed, is a key factor for success in Twitter marketing. People follow Twitter accounts primarily for good content, and yours will be no exception.

One of the key factors here is that you have a clearly defined brand and audience. Once you have clearly defined your space, you can begin to look at other accounts in the same niche for inspiration. This will give you an idea of the successful accounts and how they drive engagement. Popular types of content are text posts, links, articles, and providing feedback on other posts.

Driving Followers

Once you have a solid content strategy, you need to start driving engagement to your page. One of the best ways to do this is to look at the people who follow other accounts within your niche.

Try to find people who are actively engaged in the community, and regularly comment and share posts. Then, engage with these people. Follow their page, like their tweets and comment, and hope for engagement back. By driving engagement with popular influencers within your area, you increase the chances that people take notice and begin to follow your page.

Hashtags, Analytics and More

Understanding how to monitor and optimize your analytics on Twitter is very important. You need to understand why your posts did well or why they didn’t. By constantly tracking your success, you can learn to share things with more success. This might even include optimizing your hashtags so the most people can find your content.

Find companies and people in your niche and see what hashtags they’re using. Make a giant list and use these in your posts. Managing a Twitter account for your business requires daily effort and management. If you need help automating your social posts, check out services like Content Lever that can manage and track all your social posts for you.

Twitter marketing doesn’t stop here. If this sounds like an area of business worth pursuing to you, be sure to take these basics into account before you pursue a broader marketing plan.

Digital Strategies for Online Business

Google Adwords/Ads

In this section, we’re going to tell you why advertising on Google is such a great opportunity. Google advertising is a huge industry, and there are many tips and tricks you can utilize to find success in this area. In this section, we’re going to outline advertising, and let you know how you can get started in this area to start seeing ROI on your ads.

Why Google Ads?

Before you get started, you probably want to know what the key benefits are to your business in this regard. Why Google ads? There are three main benefits we like to point out about Google Ads.

First, you get instant results. You can set up a Google ad very fast, and Google can even optimize a lot of the metrics for you. Online advertising is fast, intuitive, and gets you results.

The next big advantage is that Google ads are highly targeted. There are many options to show your ads based on very specific search terms. You can hone in your ads in many ways to reach a very specific group of people. This includes what people are searching for, where those people are located, and what their demographics are.

The third key benefit is that it is cost effective. The advertising is pay-per-click. So you only pay for your ad if someone clicks on it. If your ad isn’t effective, you won’t pay anything. This also makes it a very low-risk opportunity.

Overall, the key thing about search engine ads is the intent of people who are being targeted. Google is great if you are looking for people who are already searching for something. They have intent to look up a certain term, which might also make them more interested in your product if it fulfills that need.

Setting Up A Campaign

So, now that you know the key benefits of a Google ad campaign, let’s look at how you can actually put it into action. It would help to give a broad outline of how to set up an ad, including how to choose a campaign, how bidding works, how to target your audience, and how to create your ad.

Campaign Type

The first step to set up a campaign in Google is to choose your campaign type. There are 5 different campaign types to choose from – search, display, shopping, video, and universal app.

Digital Strategies for Online Business

A search campaign is when your ad shows up in search results across Google (shown above). Display ads are banner ads that show up on websites which are part of Google’s network. Shopping ads show up in Google’s shopping section. Video ads show up on YouTube and other video platforms. Universal App ads are for driving app installs.

Bids & Budget

Google Ads works based on an advanced system of bids. Essentially, you’re “bidding” against other advertisers for your ad to show up on a target person’s feed. Google will mostly automate this for you, but you will still have to set a budget for your ad campaign.

Your budget is how much you are willing to spend on this campaign. For a Google Ads campaign, it is a good idea to run a trial budget, and see how it fares. You can always optimize it for success based on your initial run.

Target an Audience

Targeting is one of the most powerful tools on Google adwords. You can target audiences based on demographics, keywords, interests, location, device, language, and more. One of the most helpful things you can do is to first define your target audience before you create a campaign, so that you can create a custom audience for your advertisement to succeed.

The options in targeting are quite extensive. The best thing you can do is to start very broad and optimize based on who is most responsive to your ad. Make a broad outline of your target audience, and some specific keywords, and monitor your results.

Using analytics, you can analyze who was most responsive to your ad, and then you can further narrow your targeting to include the most receptive customers.  

Create an Ad

Once you have defined your audience, you can create your ads. You really want to create an ad that grabs attention. Google even offers the option to create separate ads, so you can see which performs best.

Your ad should be closely related to your keywords, so that consumers can clearly see how your ad answers their question. Your ad should take them right to the area of your website you are trying to promote.

Your headline should grab attention, and your description should provide more information on why it would benefit them to click.

One great strategy is to search your keywords and see which similar advertisements grab your attention most. Gain inspiration from other successful ad campaigns.

Takeaways

As you can see, Google Ads is a pretty broad area for marketing. In this section, we gave you a general outline of the benefits of using Google ads, as well as the steps in creating a campaign of your own.

Overall, you need to think of this as a process. A successful Google ads manager will be constantly tweaking, optimizing, and changing their ad content, targeting, and strategy.

Digital Strategies for Online Business

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful tool for growing your business through careful analysis of website and marketing data. Google analytics is a tool that allows you to monitor many crucial benchmarks and data-sets, which are essential to the continued success in growing your business.

With Google Analytics, you can install a tracking code onto your website, and use this on the Analytics platform to monitor many behaviours on your website. This allows you to make many valuable insights. You can see who visits your site, which pages they go to, the duration they stay, and which pages are viewed most.

In this section, we are going to give you a beginner’s guide to setting up Google Analytics, and which features you should learn to really get the most out of your experience.

Setting Up Google Analytics

Google Analytics is free to use and available to anyone. You can sign up for free and once you follow the prompts to enter your information you can get going right away.

The important part is installing the tracking code to your website so you can monitor the analytics. Because the coding does vary slightly depending on the platform of your website, you will need to know where to insert the code. Google provides a tutorial in this regard which is quite intuitive.

Understanding Your Analytics

The most important part of Google Analytics is learning to understand and draw implications from the data tracked by your website. It is great to think about this in terms of goals. Think of what your website is trying to achieve, and what are the desired actions you want consumers to take. This way, you can know which factors to track, and how to optimize your website so that you can improve these metrics.

There are many metrics you could be tracking, but for the sake of simplicity we will break them down into some broad categories:

Action: It is often helpful to track the amount of consumers who take a desired action on your site. Of course, it is helpful to track things like purchases, but it can also be helpful to track less obvious metrics like clicking past the landing page, clicking for more product info, and more.

Length: Tracking the length of time the consumer spends on each page is a valuable statistic to see whether you are holding their attention. You can see areas where consumers tend to seek more info, and attempt to persuade their behaviour that way.

Destination: A destination goal is tracking when a consumer reaches a specific part of your website. These are helpful for drawing traffic in certain ways and to certain areas.

Page Views: Page views are a valuable statistic as well. You can see where consumers spend more time. You can also see how many clicks an average consumer will have on your website.

Of course, all these metrics make more sense when considered in the context of your business. You need to have a sound digital marketing plan in place for your website, with specific goals for what you want to accomplish. Then, you need to track these goals, and recognize areas for improvement. This is the basic fundamental benefit of Google Analytics.

Digital Strategies for Online Business

Instagram Marketing

Instagram is one of the more popular social media platforms today. The photo and video sharing platform has a massive user-base, and this is why it can be such a huge marketing opportunity for your business.

To understand Instagram marketing, you should have an understanding of how to set up and run a business account, as well as how to share proper content and grow your following.

Setting Up An Account

Setting up an Instagram Business Account is easy and free. Simply install the app and follow the guidelines. A business account gives you extra details you can add to your Bio, and also gives you access to certain analytics tools. There is even an option to make pictures of your products clickable, which would bring consumers directly to a purchase page.

Your bio and profile image should allow consumers to understand your business. Write your bio so it communicates what you do, and the benefit to the consumer. Then, direct them to the link in your Bio, which is where you want to direct followers (for example, an online store).

Essentially, a business account allows consumers to quickly and easily get a sense for what your business is and does, and you can link directly to your website.

Sharing Content

One of the most important parts of growing a following on Instagram is sharing the right content. First, you should have an idea of what your goals are with Instagram. How will the content you share direct people to take the desired action for your business?

A good way to get a sense of this is to check out similar accounts within your niche with a large following. See what type of content they share, and see how it spurs engagement with their followers.

Instagram is useful for sharing photos, video content, Instagram stories, and even live streaming. Finding the right type of content for keeping people engaged is key.

With Instagram, you want to aim to post about once a day. This keeps you fresh on people’s feeds and in people’s minds. People consume Instagram content so quickly that you need to post with high frequency to stand out.

You can also use hashtags to make your content more discoverable. Hashtags allow your content to be searched, and also to show up on the Instagram Explore page, which showcases different accounts.

Gaining a Following

Gaining a following on Instagram is all about engagement. Instagram is a very crowded space, so in order to make your voice heard you need to interact with people. We recommend you find similar accounts within your niche, and interact with them and with their followers. These followers have already expressed an interest in this niche, and might be willing to engage with you as well.

Remember to stay focused on this target audience. These are the people that you have identified as likely to engage with your business, and they are who you should be targeting. Find relevant accounts, engage with their followers with likes and comments, and engage in your space wherever you can.

Takeaways

Overall, your goal with Instagram is to gain a following of people within your target niche. You then want to try to persuade them to stay engaged with your content, and to become loyal to your brand. Then, by driving them to your website, you can drive sales through Instagram.

Digital Strategies for Online Business

Pinterest Marketing

Pinterest is among the popular social media platforms which you can use for marketing purposes for your business. It is another way to get in front of consumers so that you can drive traffic to your website and generate sales.

With Pinterest, you can save certain media and links to “Boards”. These Boards are specific categories – such as materials for a dream house. People seek out accounts who share and organize links that they enjoy and are interested in.

This is where the major opportunity lies in Pinterest. People are actually on the site to plan, buy, and organize things. They are looking for inspiration for something they have planned. Therefore, if they come to your page, there is a good chance you can sell them on a product if they like it.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

With a Pinterest business account, you can find and share content with followers who are engaged with your content. If you manage to capture people’s attention by sharing content that inspires them, then you may be able to sell them your own products.

You want to be up front that you are a business, and create a very organized, thematic page. You want to fit within a niche, and attract consumers within that niche. By engaging within that community, you can drive followers to your page, and they will stay tuned in with your content.

You are basically making your pre-existing website content available on Pinterest, and giving interested consumers an opportunity to find and buy it.

Takeaways

The main thing with Pinterest is to find a niche, grow your following within that niche, and share things that are relevant to that niche. Find competing accounts, and engage with their customers. Hopefully, they will discover your page, and be inspired to take action on your posts.

Digital Strategies for Online Business

LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn can be quite a powerful marketing tool to generate leads and drive website traffic. A LinkedIn business account can be your key to sharing content that gets discovered and driving traffic through those posts.

LinkedIn is an extremely popular social media site, and people go to LinkedIn to discover and engage with different people and brands. Therefore, the opportunities are quite clear. If you can become an established name or brand on LinkedIn, it can drive awareness and consideration for your service offering as well. In this article, we are going to run you through the basic steps to get started with marketing on LinkedIn.

Optimizing Your Profile

A great profile is the first step to marketing on LinkedIn. You want to have a business profile that clearly and succinctly identifies what you offer, and what your competitive advantage is. People should know who you are, what you offer, and what’s in it for them.

One of your primary goals will be to drive people to your page, so the first step is making sure that your page offers something for them to be interested in. If people are wanting to stay engaged with your brand and your posts, then you have a constant audience who may also be driven to promote your brand themselves, or even make a purchase.

You should also be sure to include the profiles of employees, as well as yourself, who work for the company. People are on LinkedIn to engage with real people after all. If they know that the company is full of dedicated employees, that goes a long way.

Define Your Audience

Before you begin your marketing efforts on LinkedIn, you must define your audience. Ideally, this will have been done before you are at the point where you have begun a LinkedIn business profile, but it is never a bad idea to let your target audience guide all of your marketing efforts.

This target audience lets you know who you should be engaging with on LinkedIn. From companies within your niche, to real people who might show an interest in your brand, there are many opportunities to find relevant accounts and people who might be interested in your brand and your offering.

The main key is to define your audience clearly and concisely at the start of this process.

Generating Connections

Connections on LinkedIn are very important. The more connections you have, the more people have voluntarily shown an interest in following your posts, as well as your brand. Additionally, a higher amount of connections will generate a higher amount of perceived legitimacy for your brand.

One of the best ways to find relevant connections within your niche is with the LinkedIn search feature. Using advanced search functions, you can find people within your niche. You can choose to filter search results by “2nd degree connections”, which are connections of your connections. Connecting with these people is a great way to grow your connections, as they already see you as having a degree of legitimacy through your mutual relationship with other connections.

You can even narrow your search even further to find people within certain fields, or who hold certain positions. This is a great opportunity to reach people on LinkedIn who can help you to further your marketing goals, based on your clearly defined target audience.

Sharing Content

Sharing content on your business profile is a major way to grow your brand and increase your following on LinkedIn. The key here is to share interesting, engaging content that piques the interest of your target audience. Of course, what this is will depend on your offering, your market, and your niche.

One key message is to not simply share content intended to sell your product. People don’t visit LinkedIn to be sold to, they visit it to further their careers and grow their knowledge. Therefore, share content that helps people perform their jobs better within your niche. Things such as tips and tricks, industry updates, future plans, and more. Once you have generated interest, you can start to post the occasional update with a sales message as well.

Takeaways

The key with LinkedIn is to grow your connections within your niche, and stay engaged with this niche. Try to be interesting, and to grow relationships with your target audience. Social media is about relationships, not about simply selling to people. If you view it through this lens, you will see much more success on LinkedIn.

Digital Strategies for Online Business

Quora Marketing

Quora is a platform you might not think of as a marketing tool. Quora is an online question & answer board. Users post questions and they can be answered and ranked by people and professionals.

Because of its simplistic format, it is not often thought of as a marketing tool. However, this is also what makes it such an opportunity.

Quora Digital Marketing Tactics

One of the main tools with Quora as a marketer is the ability to provide links within your answers, as well as the ability to create a personal profile which shows people what you do.

What you want to do on Quora is search for relevant questions within your niche. If you can find people who have asked questions related to your business’s expertise, then you can provide them with a satisfactory answer, as well as pique their interest to learn more. If you are regarded as an expert within the field, they might come away with a favorable attitude toward your brand and company as well.

Additionally, you can drive traffic to your website by linking your answers to blog posts, or tutorials with more information. Firstly, be sure to answer the question fully. If you don’t answer the question fully, people will not vote on and view your answer.

However, if you do provide a full and complete answer, you can end the response by linking to a portion of your website which provides similar information, or even more in-depth information. This can be a great method to drive traffic to your website and generate brand awareness.

Takeaways

Overall, Quora is a great opportunity due to its lack of competition and opportunity to be seen. If done correctly, you can become a trusted source who is able to grow awareness and engagement with their brand as well.

App Marketing

In this section, we are going to provide a basic outline to marketing an app the right way. Marketing an app can be a complicated process, but in its simplest terms, it essentially boils down to finding a target market and reaching them the right way.

App Store Market Research & Finding An Audience

One of the most crucial parts of app marketing, as with any marketing, is finding your target audience. You need to discover a gap in the market with a certain group of people, and work to fill that with your app’s offering. Your digital marketing efforts will be concentrated on communicating to these people why your app will solve their problem.

A good way to do this is to look at consumer research on competing apps. See what type of category of users they attract, and try to market your efforts toward similar groups. If you have a well defined audience which you can cater your app toward, you are on the right track.

Roll-Out and Promotion

Marketing your app is a complicated process, and it is all about reaching the audience that you have defined above. Of course, you can utilize social media channels, such as Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, and more. Anywhere where you think your target customers might hang out is a good place to get started.

However, one of the most common ways that people learn about Apps is through the App Store itself. Paid promotion goes a very long way in advertising your app. With App Store advertising, there are many methods you can take to cater your message to a very specific audience, and work to optimize this campaign to maximize your ROI.

Takeaways

App marketing is all about understanding your audience and reaching them through proper digital channels and with a great message. If you can master this process, you are well on your way to creating a successful marketing campaign.

Digital Strategies for Online Business

Success Stories

Content Marketing

One of the most notable companies using content marketing has been Hubspot. Hubspot managed to build their brand by creation and sharing of all sorts of content, most notably through their successful blog. They also offer users the opportunity to engage and create their own content. This drove a lot of traffic to their site, and helped to create an engaged and loyal group of consumers.

Of course, content marketing is not all they do, but it was a major part of their strategy as they grew, and it worked very well.

SEO

A great example of an SEO success story comes from Papercut Interactive. They attribute their success in SEO to really knowing the ins and outs of their target market and audience. They started their strategy with effective research. By knowing what their consumers want and how they search, they were able to generate research that not only led them to effective keywords, but drove the content they created.

They were able to create intent-based content to show up in search, that answered a question and provided a real benefit to their consumers, all while driving traffic to their site.

Link Building

A really unique example of link building comes from Ivar’s Fish Bar in Seattle. Way back in 2009, they put out a fake news story that they had installed underwater billboards near Seattle, in hopes that in the future people who drive personal submarines would see them. This hoax was just crazy enough to gain traction, with many people linking to their site, and they saw sales skyrocket.

This shows how the power of link building can lead to a truly unique and shareable story. This one took it to the extremes, but it shows the general principle that if you have a story unique enough, people will listen.

Sales Funnels

An excellent example of a sales funnel actually comes from Netflix. Their homepage very clearly walks you through what you can expect from a Netflix subscription, and what’s in it for you. They explain right off the bat their offering, as well as a free-trial and that you can cancel at any time. From there, it takes you to a pricing page, and then a sign-up page, and a billing page.

The process is streamlined and communicates the benefits right off the bat, as well as why the value is there. And with Netflix, their success speaks for itself at this point.

Social Media Marketing

An excellent example of a company that grew with social media marketing was Casper, the company known for shipping a fully functioning mattress in a box. They ran advertisements across social media platforms, clearly conveying the benefits and convenience of their product, as well as the high-quality. They even partnered with many influencers for sponsored posts, to build legitimacy.

Additionally, they utilized different video social media platforms to promote a Casper Sleep Channel, in which they provided videos to help consumers sleep. This helped them reach a level of viral fame, as well as provide consumers a benefit.

Google Ads

A great example of Google Ads success comes from Trivago. The popular hotel search engine utilized Google Ads to grow their brand to what it is today.

They grew their brand with traditional search campaigns, although their overall digital marketing efforts have since expanded. By using popular search terms, they managed to show up in many search results when people were searching for hotels. They became known as a reputable source to find hotel deals across the world, and it was in no small part due to consumers discovering them through Google Ads.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading our digital marketing beginner’s guide. Our hope was to introduce you to basic concepts across all areas of marketing in order for you to create your own digital marketing strategy. As with anything, there is more to know and more to learn, but we hope this guide has spurred your interest to deepen your knowledge in many of these areas.

Amazon Restock Alerts When Does Amazon Restock Items – EssentialGoods.org

A few weeks ago as the stay at home orders were setting in we had a discussion internally about what new problem existed that we were uniquely capable of solving. From that discussion, EssentialGoods.org was born. 

As mentioned on several earlier posts I believe there has never been a time in our lives where the rate of problem creation has been greater and if you are able to solve a problem it is needed! 

TODAY – April 28, 2020 – We are live on ProductHunt and would love your feedback. Currently, we are in the top 5 trending products for the day!

Visit Us on ProductHunt Here

To better understand EssentialGoods.org here is a video I did with Conor the developer…

What is EssentialGoods? 

EssentialGoods.org provides an SMS text alert when a product you want that was out of stock comes back in stock.

  • First, if you go to Amazon to purchase some essentials (education book for your kids, bread making yeast and hair dye) – then realize they are all currently out of stock
    • You can enter a re-stock alert email from Amazon but it will be delayed
  • Signup at EssentialGoods.org and either select from a pre-screened list of common essentials like masks and sanitzer or add your custom essential product
  • Receive a text message as soon as the product comes back in stock to be able to purchase quickly 

Initially, it does this for Amazon but will be adding additional online stores in the coming week(s).  

Who is this for?

It is for anyone who is looking to purchase products on Amazon that are currently out of stock. 

From common essentials like masks and hand sanitizer to less common dietary favorites. 

We have seen people using it for trending products like airpods and nintendo switch. 

We decided to make it free during COVID-19 impact for those most at risk including frontline medical professionals and a free trial for everyone else. 

Who Built It & Why?

Conor the lead developer at adbank.network identified the opportunity and quickly built it. The team at ContentRefined.com helped with the research into products and the buyer guides

The marketing coordination was handled by the adbank marketing team and specifically Catherine. 

The entire team felt there was a need that if we could help address one small problem around the stress of finding out when a product was back in stock it would be a worthwhile activity. 

How Does it Give Back?

It was important for us to ensure that we were giving back in a meaningful way. For that reason we are doing several things with our inventory restock alert app. 

  • Free for frontline medical workers
  • Free for senior citizens
  • Free trial for everyone
  • 5% of any profits to our local hospital foundation – https://cgmhf.com/

When and How Often Does Amazon Restock Items?

The Amazon machine is constantly running unloading shipments and restocking. In addition products can be out of stock on Amazon while shipments are moving between warehouses. So products can come back into stock at any time. 

If it is an essential product sign up for an alert service like essentialgoods.org or if you are prime member and it isn’t critical then Amazon has a free inventory restock alert email. 

Can this Be Used for Popular Products?

When will Amamzon restock nintendo switch or Amazon airpods? As mentioned above this can happen at any time. 

Yes, despite essentialgoods being built for products related to COVID-19 it is being used by people to receive alerts for popular consumer products that are out of stock and sell out quickly when they are restocked, such as Nintendo Switch. 

Amazon Affiliate Earnings (April 2020 Change) – How Much Will You Make

Amazon has drastically changed their Amazon Affiliate Program payouts as of April 21, 2020 and it is not good for many of us! The net worth of people reading this has been cut by millions of dollars. Especially with all that is happening in the world this impacts a lot of people, myself included.  

See April 16th Update Below – table has been adjusted

So… what do we do?

First, we need to understand how significant a change this is to us and our own specific sites, then assess what our options are and act. This post will be a deep dive into how much you can still make as an Amazon Affiliate despite the change and look at how many affiliates are impacted by this change. Plus, what other opportunities this creates and how I am responding.

I didn’t sleep much last night as I was working on a spreadsheet that you can input your Fee-Earnings export into and it will calculate exactly how much your site would be making moving forward given the commission change. 

What is the Impact? After running several sites through the spreadsheet, it is clear that there is a large range in terms of impact from 10%-60%+ of our Amazon Affiliate earnings gone with this one change.

At the bottom I dive deep into the data on what this means in general to the industry, but for you to find out what these changes mean for your own portfolio you can use this free spreadsheet:

UPDATE APRIL 16

Originally when I created this spreadsheet yesterday I took a pessimistic view around some of the uncertainty. But, based on feedback I think the current table (fully explained below) is much more likely to be the case as of April 21st. This should be better news for some and little change for others.

There is still some uncertainty around the update but I didn’t clearly communicate some of the assumptions I made.

It is still not a good story but most sites should be forecasting a smaller impact than the original assumptions. I am sorry for any extra stress my pessimistic assumptions have caused!

We won’t know until April 21st with certainty but I have updated the table to more clearly show what categories have changed and which ones we are assuming will not change.

Impact of this Change: Under the pessimistic model we were seeing most sites clustered around a 50% loss while now we are forecasting a wider range from 10% to 70% impact with the average closer to 35%-40%.

This updated approach does have some challenges…

Challenges/Uncertainty Definitely Exists:

1. Health & Personal Care vs Health & Household – Health & Personal Care Shows up in both tables but is not present as a category in commission exports however Health & Household is present in the Amazon exports. So, do we assume health & household is being changed to 1%? In the table we do. 

2. “Other” Categories – There are product categories that show up in the export that are not present in ANY table. For example Camera, Photo & Video pays out a 4% commission right now but it is not in the old table or the new table. Does that mean it is changing to 3% or not changing? 

3. Some other categories provide uncertainty such as CDs and Vinyl where it is not shown in a table BUT it is paying out at 5% according to the exports which doesn’t line up with “other”. 

Updated Commission Table

On the spreadsheet, you can change the commission percentage if you have a different view.

Product CategoryPreviousNewComment
Amazon Fashion Private Brands4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Amazon Gift Cards0.00%0.00%unchanged
Automotive4.50%4.50%potentially unchanged
Baby & Nursery4.50%3.00%Confirmed Changed
Beauty & Grooming6.00%3.00%Confirmed Changed
Books & Textbooks4.50%4.50%potentially unchanged
Business & Industrial Supplies6.00%3.00%Confirmed Changed
Camera, Photo & Video4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Cell Phones & Accessories4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Clothing & Accessories4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Computers, Tablets & Components2.50%2.50%potentially unchanged
Electronic Components & Home Audio4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Furniture8.00%3.00%Confirmed Changed
Grocery & Gourmet Food5.00%1.00%Confirmed Changed
Health & Household4.50%1.00%Potentially Changed*
Home8.00%3.00%Confirmed Changed
Home Entertainment4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Home Improvement8.00%3.00%Confirmed Changed
Kindle Books4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Kitchen & Dining4.50%4.50%potentially unchanged
Miscellaneous4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Musical Instruments6.00%3.00%Confirmed Changed
Office & School Supplies4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Outdoor Recreation5.50%3.00%Confirmed Changed
Patio, Lawn & Garden8.00%3.00%Confirmed Changed
Pet Food & Supplies8.00%3.00%Confirmed Changed
Power & Hand Tools5.50%3.00%Confirmed Changed
Shoes, Handbags, Wallets, Sunglasses4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Sports & Fitness4.50%3.00%Confirmed Changed
Toys & Games3.00%3.00%potentially unchanged
Audible Audiobooks7.00%7.00%potentially unchanged
Blu-Ray & DVD2.50%2.50%potentially unchanged
CDs & Vinyl5.00%5.00%potentially unchanged
Handmade5.00%5.00%potentially unchanged
Jewelry4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Luggage4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Luxury Beauty10.00%10.00%potentially unchanged
Magazines4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Major Appliances4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Mobile Electronics4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Other0.00%0.00%rare but has shown up as 0
Prime Pantry8.00%1.00%Confirmed Changed
Tires & Wheels4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Video Games1.00%1.00%potentially unchanged
Watches7.00%7.00%potentially unchanged
Software Download4.00%4.00%potentially unchanged
Video On Demand: Rent or Buy2.00%2.00%potentially unchanged
any other unknown4.00%4.00%catch all if anything else didn’t change

*Health & Personal Care vs Health & Household – Health & Personal Care Shows up in both tables but is not present as a category in commission export however Health & Household is present in the Amazon exports. So, do we assume health & household is being changed to 1%?

Reference 1 – Current (soon to be old) Table – https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/help/node/topic/GRXPHT8U84RAYDXZ

Reference 2 – Changes Coming Table – https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/help/operating/compare?ref=oa_update_change

How to Use:

  1. Create a copy of the sheet and save it as your own – confirm and adjust the category comparison table if you disagree with any of the commission %’s.
  2. Export your data for the last 12 months from Amazon – See how below
    • Tip – You will need to download your last year’s data and this year’s data to do this properly
  3. Input your data “fee-earnings” to the “Fee-Earnings-Paste” tab on your copy of this sheet
    • Tip – Make sure all rows have been pasted and the formulas in the orange columns carry all the way to the bottom on the 2 Fee-Earnings tabs
  4. Done – See comparison on IMPACT sheet

So WTF Has Happened?

We received this email… with a nice “hope you are well” before really really f’ing up Amazon Affiliates day! 

Hello Associate,

We hope you are staying well during this time. We are writing to inform you of upcoming changes to the Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement, which governs your participation in the Amazon Associates Program. All changes are effective as of April 21, 2020.

Visit the What’s Changed page to see a summary of these changes. You can also find the Operating Agreement, Program Policies, and the Fee Statement if you would like to refer to the current, pre-change versions.

Sincerely, The Amazon Associates Program

The first sentence is a real kick to the nuts while down considering everything happening in the world right now! 

ouch-pain

This is not the first time Amazon has made significant changes. Most recently in 2017 they made a significant (not as big though) change!

Why is this Happening & Why Now?

Here is my theory as to why Amazon is making these changes and why now.

Amazon has recently been making moves, that in hindsight, show they are being affected by several forces and using it to justify grabbing power they have always wanted to…

  1. their current efficiency challenges – Amazon is struggling with a spike in orders and trying to maintain shipping deadlines. They are experiencing a loss of efficiency due to COVID-19 mitigation measures at their warehouses and 100k new hires. The shipping costs (especially air freight) have skyrocketed recently. All of this must be driving up Amazons per-unit fulfillment costs. 
  2. the situation in the world – COVID-19 is reshaping the global power structure and Amazon is a part of that structure
  3. their dominant market share – Currently, they have 38% of all US e-commerce.

All of these help make and justify this as a time to grab more power. Amazon was powerful before, but appear to be using this as an opportunity to become even more dominant.

History has a long record of power grabs occurring during times of crisis, most countries income tax came in as a “temporary” war effort. Amazons power has gotten to the point of being comparable to many countries. 

A few data points show us that this is NOT a coincidence in terms of timing but Amazon being opportunistic…

First, the communication being shorter/off-tone more than usual with the tables not communicating things very clearly. 

New Table:

Very different from the old table. This new table is much harder to map/understand where some categories fall:

Second, in addition to the update above, on April 6, 2020 Amazon removed the possibility of doing Revenue Share with 3rd party vendors like SkimLinks.

Amazon is using its position of dominance to systematically grab revenue specifically from affiliates. 

Do I Blame Amazon?

My general philosophy in the world is we are all a bunch of idiots responding to incentives. Amazon had what it took and the foresight to lose money for 20 years to build an incredibly valuable business with a seemingly insurmountable e-commerce moat. Now they are using that position of power to systematically grab power back from those they gave it to (apparently temporarily) to help grow its business (affiliates). 

It is very unfortunate for all of us impacted but I don’t blame them.

It is now up to us to respond. 

Top 3 Opportunities This Change Presents:

I have been thinking a lot lately about the quote “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” (Charles Darwin)

So what opportunities does this change present when it comes to Amazon affiliate marketing? Is it time to find a different online business model? Time to switch off all affiliate links?

Opportunity 1 – Testing display advertising on Affiliate Pages

Historically the RPM of Amazon compared to display has meant it never made sense to have ads on affiliate pages that could cannibalize revenue. It is worth retesting that theory. No advertising option provides more control for testing then EZoic. Other options to consider would be AdSense or Mediavine.

Testing your options with EZoic or using MediaVine if you have the traffic can be great ways to increase your site’s earnings. What we have seen at MotionInvest.com is that a site is often VERY focused on Amazon Affiliate links and even on posts that are not buyer-focused, but get a ton of traffic from either informational intent searches or social media they only monetize with affiliate links.

We have seen the majority of smaller Amazon Affiliate sites have monetized EXCLUSIVELY with Amazon and that made sense. Now it will take more work but partial recovery should be possible overlaying and testing display advertising to minimize cannibalization of affiliate earnings while adding display. See image below for the estimated impact and hypothetical partial recovery.

  • EZoic has shown to be a very effective solution that has made more money than AdSense and should be explored ESPECIALLY for smaller sites. It really shines through in its ability to test ad layouts.

Opportunity 2 – Switch to a different affiliate program

Some typical Amazon niches, like the pet niche, have affiliate programs for sites like chewy.com, which have been reported to perform better than even Amazon.

This may be time sensitive in your niche … if there are several sites all making the move away from Amazon they will be shifting their content marketing strategy to now focus on the products/problems the new affiliate offering solves. 

Getting your article ranking for the new affiliate(s) products into Google first may provide a ranking advantage. So although the current situation sucks, it might be time to double down on content marketing focusing on your new affiliate products. 

  • If you need some help identifying potential affiliates in your niche and getting content created to rank for keywords that are a good fit for their offerings, contact the team at ContentRefined
  • If you need help finding new affiliate programs and switching over affiliate links, get in touch with Brady at BrandBuilders.io to get help making that happen.

Opportunity 3 (my favorite) Affiliate website to E-Commerce site conversion

If there is an Amazon Affiliate website that is narrowly focused on a specific product and that product can be sourced, then converting it to either an Amazon FBA business or E-Commerce niche site could result in an increase in earnings. Now that these sites will sell at a discount from before the lift you achieve from conversion would be even more significant. Similarly, if you are currently an E-commerce site owner then your cheapest option would be to add feeder traffic in the form of buying a WordPress blog monetized with Amazon associates.

  • To find Amazon Affiliate sites for sale, signup for free to monitor listings at MotionInvest.com

Opportunity 4 – Fight It

It is unlikely a giant that has shown a lot of disregard for Amazon Affiliates would change its mind, but they certainly wouldn’t if they don’t receive blowback.

  • Email Jeff (at) amazon (dot) com and any other high ranking Amazon employees you can find
  • Contact people in the media to make this a story of how Amazon has used its position of power to crush small businesses using this crisis for cover

Other People Discussing This

  • Jesse at Geni.us links has a great guide on the historical trend of affiliate earnings here.
  • Matt from AMALinksPro shares his thoughts here.
  • Richard Patey and I chatted about the changes and he shared his thoughts:

Not only have a lot of sellers’ advertising revenues dropped by 50% due to Covid-19, but now the most popular affiliate revenue has been badly hit. And this is on top of the liquidity crisis. Investors will likely be able to get aggressive bids at lower multiples accepted going forward, valuing future revenue rather than historic. 2020 truly looks to become a buyers market – and savvy active investors who know how to optimize monetization and negotiate on good deals will do very well. I believe other affiliate programs may follow suit.”

Richard Patey

I will add other peoples opinions as they are sure to come in.

Amazon Affiliate Earnings FAQ

There will be some first-timers on this post trying to understand what the Amazon Affiliate program is, what are its requirements and how much can someone make with an Amazon niche site. 

In addition, below I crunch data related to the Amazon Associates program changes showing how much of an impact it will be. 

What is an Amazon Affiliate?

An Amazon Affiliate links to Amazon with a special link that tracks the visitor and then receives a commission for each sale the person they referred to Amazon makes. Typically it is a niche site built on WordPress that relies on blog posts to attract organic traffic from search engines like Google or social media platforms like Facebook. 

  • Signup to become an Amazon Affiliate here

How to Start an Amazon Affiliate Site?

To start an amazon affiliate site you need to follow the basic process of identifying a niche (where there is a need for content and low competition, but a product that you can promote), then pick a domain, build the website, create content and market it by building links. Once your site meets the Amazon Affiliate Requirements you can apply and receive your affiliate link to direct traffic to affiliate products you recommend on Amazon. 

How Much Money Can You Make as an Amazon Affiliate?

There are many case studies online that share some of the impressive earnings. In this section I will summarize some while showing the historical earnings per visitor and how much an Amazon Affiliate site can make based on the previous commission table.  

  • How to Earn $100/day – Have an amazon affiliate site with 1,500 daily visitors and another monetization source that matches how much money you make as an affiliate.
  • How to Earn $1,000/day – Have an amazon affiliate site with 15,000 daily visitors and another monetization source that matches how much money you make as an affiliate.

Case Study 1 – NichePursuits – OwnTheYard

  • Traffic = 69,657
  • Earnings = $3,195.31
  • EPV = $0.046 (how much you make per 1 visitor)

Case Study 2 – BrandBuilders Success Story

  • Traffic = 1860
  • Earnings = $333.2
  • EPV = $0.18

Case Study 3 – NicheSiteProject

  • Traffic = 9,300
  • Earnings = $393.80
  • EPV = $0.042

Our Data at MotionInvest.com

Over a quick study of 20 Amazon Affiliate listings, the average passive income per visitor for sites we sold was $0.067 per visitor.

If you are an Amazon Affiliate site you can expect to earn $0.04-$0.2 per visitor (before). 

How Much Will an Amazon Affiliate Site Earn Now?

Using some of the data I had handy across multiple accounts, here is what we are seeing the impact will be (updated April 16):

Site 1:

  • – 32.24% impact on revenue

Site 2:

  • – 45.47% impact on revenue

Site 3:

Ignore the decline in March (that is just a data timing issue)

  • – 39.59% impact on revenue
% Change for a Sampling of Other Sites
-54.66%
-35.33%
-12.40%
-42.18%
-58.71%
-6.08%
-5.18%
-62.53%
-50.13%

Across the accounts, we see a large range from 10-60+% in earnings loss!   

Let us know in the comments below what you saw when you ran it through the free spreadsheet.

The EPMV, RPM (earnings per 1,000 visitors) of Amazon Affiliate sites should line up to be about $15-50 now while most display focused sites perform at ~$6-$30 (see case study) but can range from $2 to over $100.  

Despite this hit, earning with Amazon will still be more profitable for focused sites then display advertising. 

However, the win will not be as clear moving forward and since the choice is not clear, many affiliate sites should start looking at how to overlay display ads to maximize page RPM now.

How Many Amazon Affiliate Sites Exist on the Internet?

Just how many people did Amazon piss off?

Amazon does not seem to report this number anywhere I could find, but doing a little internet sleuthing revealed there are 694k Amazon Affiliate sites linking to Amazon. By adding URL’s that are linking to amzn.to and linking to amazon.com with “tag” in the link results in 573k + 121k = 694k Amazon Affiliate websites currently on the web. 

How Much Money Do Amazon Affiliates Make and How Much Did they Just Lose?

Some of these numbers get hard to follow (lots of assumptions) but I tried and estimate the value destroyed for affiliates and transferred to Amazon. 

Based on the imperfect data of the number of Amazon Affiliate sites, using a sampling of those sites estimated traffic from Ahrefs and the earnings per visitor we have…

  • # of Sites = 694k sites (see calculation above)
  • Average Traffic per Site = 11,000 (NOTE – some outliers through this off & I removed some of the craziest outliers from the ahrefs data)
  • Earnings Per Visitor (before – from case studies and MotionInvest data) = $0.067
  • Earnings Per Visitor (after – from spreadsheet example impact of ~50% for simplicity) = $0.034
  • Value of an affiliate site = 2-3x earnings
  • TOTAL NET WORTH LOST BY AFFILIATES = $778,668,000!

How Much Did Amazon Make?

Here is an interesting way to look at it: Was value destroyed or just transferred? Did that transfer increase the value more than it destroyed it? 

  • Affiliate sites mutliple = 3x (see how to sell a website for more details)
  • Amazon value multiple = 99.31x  (P/E ratio as of April 14)
  • Value Destroyed = $778,668,000?
  • Value Created = $25,955,600,000?
  • Value Created for Jeff Bezos at 11% owner = $2,855,116,000

This means Jeff Bezos personally could have purchased all Amazon Affiliate sites given his net worth increase just from this change.

If you look at the Amazon Stock price, it has gone up over the last 5 days by 4x the value they created by cutting Amazon’s Affiliate program in half. Their market cap expanded $99,180,000,000 over the last 5 days. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is laugh.gif

Do these numbers make you feel small? 

Where to Buy an Amazon Affiliate website?

Depending on your outlook (affiliate commission can’t go lower than 3%, right?) now could be a great time to get a strategic Amazon Affiliate website. The best place to buy Amazon Affiliate Sites making under $2k/month is at MotionInvest.com 

What will need to happen now for any new sites getting bought/sold is that the historical earnings will need to be adjusted based on the updated commission table. Those updated earnings will be what is used to calculate the fair price moving forward.

How to Export Data from Amazon

Once logged into your account, go to reports.

NOTE – I find it odd that they have MASSIVE Important Notice signs at the top of our accounts right now and then a subtle email telling us ~50% of our earnings have been wiped out. But don’t forget your FTC guidelines. 

Above the graph that shows your affiliate income, you will see a download reports button.

Next, you will choose the timeline you want to export. We will start by exporting last year’s earnings by choosing preset and then choosing last year. Once done, click apply.

You will then click generate report. If you want, you can also choose a specific tracking ID if you only want to export a specific Amazon tag.

We also want this year’s report so we will do the same thing, except under preset, we will choose this year.

Again, we will either choose a specific tracking ID as well of just leave it to all. Then we will click generate reports.

Now you will need to wait until the report(s) are done and it shows that you can download them.

Summary

So yesterday was a bloody day for a lot of my friends, my audience, and my own portfolio. 

Millions of dollars of value has been lost by you and many others. I am sorry and feel the pain! 

In whatever way you are choosing to handle this change I wish you the best of luck! 

For me, I am looking at my affiliate sites and re-evaluating the best way to maximize value in the following ways:

  1. I will accelerate the migration of a couple of sites from affiliate sites to e-commerce sites
  2. For 2 others I will be pursuing finding other affiliate programs and QUICKLY scaling content to target keywords related to those affiliates.
  3. For all sites, I will be testing out an increased mix of display advertising to maximize the earnings per visitor.

If you have any thoughts please share below.

16 Best Online Business Models (2020)

Online businesses have completely disrupted the way people make passive income over the last two decades, becoming a realistic means of commerce and revenue today. Not only has the online business niche taken over, but the variety of models used to generate recurring revenue and grow traffic to a site has increased as well. 

Some online businesses are set up as a store and built around selling a product, while other online businesses can make money simply through posts, clicks, and affiliations. The internet has truly changed the way we look at making money remotely. 

Making money online is a realistic way to earn a passive income, and you have a variety of models to choose from. However, some of those will be slow, require more effort and resources, and take expertise to be successful. 

Despite this, building an online business is much easier than creating a brick and mortar store. The capital costs are significantly lower, working remotely allows for more flexibility, the barriers to start online are far less, and depending on which model you choose the the return on investment can be very high (depending on the time and effort put in).

But what are the models that exist and which one is going to make you the most money? 

Below, we will discuss each online business model in detail and explain the pros and cons of each. At the conclusion of this article, you should leave with an understanding of the best models and business ideas that will work for you. Here is an interesting quiz created by Chris at BigHappyProfits to help you understand which business model is right for you.

1. AdSense or Other Display Ads

What are display ads?

Display ads are seen on almost all websites. Display ads are ad units that you place on your website as a way of monetizing visits and clicks. You will usually see ads at the top or side of a sites page, however they can also show up as videos or pop-ups. 

AdSense and ad networks – How does it all work?

Display ads that are placed on your website will generate revenue when a user visits your website and clicks the advertisement. There are various display advertising avenues you can choose from. The display ad you choose may depend on the ad space available on your webpage, the niche of your site, or the host of your website. 

AdSense, which is owned and managed by Google, is one of the most popular ad networks to choose from when considering display ads. You control where the ad is displayed on your website, and Google handles the rest. As AdSense is a Google program, you have to sign up for the AdSense program to receive the HTML code to paste onto your website (this code allows the ad to be displayed on your site).

Once the code is applied to your website, Google does all the work and keeps track of page visits and ad clicks. You can view all of these analytics through a Google AdSense account. AdSense will add your revenue to your AdSense account, where it will need to meet a minimum requirement of $100 for you to receive a cheque from Google.

If you want to find out more on how to set up AdSense, including a step-by-step process,check out the Google AdSense Get Started page.

If your site is set up using a free WordPress account, you will have to use WordAds, a display ad program for free WordPress users. You have to have a WordPress account to sign up for WordAds and add it to your site. WordAds will share a portion of the earnings with you, while WordPress keeps a portion for themselves.

WordAds’ earnings are calculated by impressions only. This means that you earn a portion of the revenue when a user visits your website, rather than clicks on a link. WordAds are paid on a monthly basis when your balance is greater than $100. 

Depending on the niche of your site, there are a host of niche-specific ad networks available for site owners to earn revenue through. Most of them work in a similar fashion to Adsense and WordAds – you simply set up a code on your site and the network keeps track of all the analytics for you, paying you out monthly based on a certain threshold. 

How much money can I make?

Display ads can turn a substantial amount of impressions and clicks to money in your pocket, but it doesn’t happen immediately or even overnight. Especially if you have a new website that has yet to attract a large number of daily visitors. For this reason, generating substantial passive income with AdSense can be slow. However, there are ways to speed up the process.

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You will need to make sure that traffic is directed to your website so that you can get as many impressions, visitors, and page clicks as possible. The more impressions and clicks, the more AdSense will pay.

Alternatively, you can purchase a website with AdSense ads that has already begun to generate traffic. We’ll touch more on this below.

Monetizing your blog or website with Google AdSense on a site that is new and has just begun to create a following will only make around $100 monthly. And remember, you need to meet the minimum threshold of $100 for Google to send you a cheque. This means that it may take months to receive your first payment depending on the quantity and quality of traffic to your site. 

Websites with moderate followings and high volume traffic will likely make between $500 and $1,000 each month, if not more.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who has created an online empire and attracts millions of visitors each month, you can create a substantial income with Google AdSense and display ads. These websites can generate tens of thousands of dollars in ad revenue per month.

Examples of websites that use display ads

The low-end potential for income by using display ads will be websites like personal blogs, niche websites, and topic-specific websites. These are websites that tally a few hundred visitors each month because of the specificity of the website.

The high-end potential for income by using display ads are websites like Daily Mail and eHow. These websites cover a variety of topics and have millions of daily page views.

Where can you buy these websites and how can you increase traffic to your website?

Display ads are only successful if there are visitors on your website to click the ads. This means you need people visiting your site. As we mentioned above, you can purchase websites that are already set up with display ads and have an established following. If you already have a site, then you will need to focus on getting more traffic to your site, which is best done by focusing on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and various link building strategies like this one.

If you’re in the market to purchase a site, online vendors like Flippa, MotionInvest, EmpireFlippers, and FE International are constantly selling websites that specialize in monetization through display ads. You can search the many websites they have listed to find what works for you. These websites can be niche-specific, such as a website dedicated to recipes and cooking, or they can cover a broad range of topics, such as a website dedicated to reviewing various products.

If you have created your own website and need to increase the web traffic so that you can maximize the earnings of your display ads, you need to create content that will attract visitors and rank on the search engine results page through SEO.

SEO means creating content on your website through posts or landing pages that include keywords (long-tail and short-tail keywords) for the search engine to “read” and rank your website on the first page of the results.

Pros:

  • Easy to Use: Display ads are very user-friendly with the idea that you need to spend less time creating ads and more time creating content to bring visitors (and keep visitors) on your website. 
  • Free: With a Google or WordPress account, you can use AdSense or WordAds on your website or blog for free. 
  • Good income potential: If you have a site with high traffic volume, all you have to do is sit back and watch the revenue roll in. 
  • Analytics: You have the ability to view how well your display ads are doing by examining the analytics. You can see how many average impressions and clicks are calculated on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This allows you to make necessary adjustments as needed to maximize the monetization of the display ads. 

Cons:

  • Revenue Threshold: AdSense, WordAds and most other ad networks require you to reach a certain threshold before you can receive your money. Because monetization from display ads can be a slow process, it may take months to reach that threshold, especially if your website is in its infancy.
  • Low & Slow: Piggybacking on the idea above, the amount of revenue you receive in the beginning is not likely to provide a full-time passive income. This doesn’t mean that the potential isn’t there. It is just a slow process with low levels of income in the beginning.

Who is this model right for?

Display ads (AdSense, WordAds) are best for websites and blogs that offer interesting content that will attract a large number of visitors each day. These can be niche websites, content-specific websites, or general blogs/sites that may have a little something for everyone.

2. Amazon Associate

What is the Amazon Associate program?

The Amazon associate program is also known as the Amazon affiliate program. When you post an Amazon link to a product, you can receive up to 10% in advertising fees when that product is purchased. 

How does the Amazon Associate program work?

When you sign up to be an Amazon associate, you have access to the many products that are sold on Amazon. Amazon will have a specific link that you will need to share on your website or blog. When a user clicks the link and makes a purchase, you receive a percentage in advertising fees. 

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How much money can you make as an Amazon Associate?

Your earnings depend on the product you have linked to sell. The maximum earning is 10% of the advertising price. You do not receive any earnings from gift cards, subscription products, alcoholic beverages, food preparations, or Prime wardrobe services.

To explain how it works, let’s use an example. Let’s say you have a niche-specific website that specializes in video games. As an Amazon associate, you can list products related to video games, such as video games and consoles themselves, or video game accessories, like gaming headsets and gaming chairs.

In this niche, the fee you would receive from Amazon for selling video games and video game consoles is only 1%. Video game accessories will likely receive the fee related to the product category (i.e. furniture is 8% and headphones are 6%).

This niche is specific to a certain audience and therefore you’ll have to target those types of people to increase your affiliate sales. Due to this niche being so specific and it’s affiliate marketing fees being low, the video game niche may fall on the low-end for potential income.

On the other hand, a website related to an online marketplace with a higher demand or a website that has a little bit of everything to offer visitors has the potential to make a larger amount of money.

Here is the Amazon fee schedule at a glimpse:

As you can see, the largest fee is for luxury beauty and Amazon coins, and the schedule tiers down from there.

How do you get started as an Amazon Associate?

You will need to set up a website or purchase an Amazon affiliate website that has already been created in order to host Amazon affiliate products. You will also have to create an account to become an Amazon affiliate. It is free, and you have access to over a million products that are offered on Amazon.

Once you have created an account and developed (or purchased) a website, you are ready to link products and earn money.

Where can you buy this type of business?

In addition to Flippa, you can also purchase Amazon affiliate websites at MotionInvest, EmpireFlippers, and FE International. These types of vendors allow you to search for sites, view their total monthly revenue, and offer a variety of different niches to choose from. There are many different sites to choose from, so it is important to keep in mind that the niche you choose may have an impact on your overall potential income.

Pros:

  • Free to start: There’s no fee to get started as an Amazon Associate. Just build your site, set up an account through Amazon, and get your links. 
  • Lots of products to choose from: Amazon is one of the largest online vendors and affiliate marketing programs in the world, so no matter what your niche is, you can probably find products related to it on Amazon. 
  • Reliable: Amazon is one of the largest ecommerce platforms in the world so there’s no need to worry about affiliate payments being made on time or links not working. 
  • Customizable ads: Banner, text, text and image, and social media sharing are all available through the Amazon Associate program.

Cons:

  • Affiliate links: Users must click the link you provide and make a purchase for you to get credit.
  • Reliant on traffic: Because the program is based on affiliate links, your revenue is tied to not only the amount of traffic you get to your site, but also the quality of the traffic. 
  • Low rates: While 10% is the most you can earn on specific items, the average rate for most Amazon Associates is between 2% and 6%.

Who is the Amazon Associate model right for?

The Amazon Associate program is best for bloggers and website owners that focus on a specific niche. When a visitor arrives to your site, they are likely interested in what your website is centered around. For example, if you have a website that is all about camping, you will attract visitors to your website who are interested in camping gear, equipment, and information. Linking an Amazon product related to your website will increase the chances that the product is purchased. 

3. Affiliate Programs

What is an affiliate program?

An affiliate marketing program is a reward (usually in the form of revenue) that you earn from the business you are marketing. Rewards will vary between businesses.

How does an affiliate program work?

The stipulations will vary between businesses, but the concept is the same. When a user purchases a product from an affiliate link you provided, you will receive a reward. As the reward will vary between businesses, you will need to familiarize yourself with the incentives that are offered from each business.

Each business will also offer a specific cookie duration with their affiliate links. When a user clicks the link you have provided, they have enabled a cookie on their browser. This cookie remains active for a period of time that the affiliate marketing program has allowed.

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For example, if a user clicks the link and does not make the purchase immediately, but returns to buy the product at a later time, you will still receive the reward as long as the cookie duration has not ended. You will need to know the cookie duration for the affiliate program you are interested in. 

What are some of the best affiliate programs?

There is an affiliate marketing program for every area of business. Shopping, traveling, sporting equipment, and web-building. Below are some examples of affiliate programs for all of these areas. 

Shopify store – Top and trusted e-commerce platform that makes buying easy for users. Earn 200% commission with 30-day cookies.

TripAdvisor – The world’s largest trusted travel company. Earn 50% commission with 14-day cookies.

Dick’s Sporting Goods – Top sporting goods retailer. Earn 5% commission with 10-day cookies.

Wix– The website builder for over 109 million users. Earn $100 per each sale with unlimited referrals. 

How much money can you make as an affiliate?

As you have seen in the section above, it depends on the business and its incentives. Some businesses offer larger commissions and rewards than others. For example, with TripAdvisor, you can earn 50% commission, whereas Dick’s Sporting Goods only offers a 5% commission. The more traffic you have on your website, the greater the opportunity you have to maximize your earnings.

However, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one affiliate program to link on your website. To maximize your earnings, you will want one website that will link to many different affiliate programs.

For example, a website dedicated to all things good might offer recipes and cooking tips for people to browse through. A site like this could use affiliate links to various cooking products and kitchenware in order to generate recurring revenue. The only problem is that it can take time to go business-to-business asking to become an affiliate or searching a site to find the appropriate affiliate program information. This is where affiliate programs like ClickBank come into play. ClickBank is a website dedicated to affiliate marketing websites and affiliate programs. In the ClickBank Marketplace, simply choose the category of your website and select which affiliates you want to feature on your website.

With a website that promotes many different affiliates, you can easily earn $300/day, and it will likely grow. This is the moderate to high-end potential for income, and the more traffic you generate to your website, the more this number will grow.

Where can you buy an affiliate website?

Websites like Flippa, MotionInvest, and FE International are great places to search for websites that are available to purchase immediately. Once purchased, you can take the website that has already been created and add additional affiliate links so that you can maximize your earnings.

Pros:

  • Free and easy to use: Affiliate programs are free to use and generally pretty easy to set up and get a link from. Affiliate programs are a great starting point for beginners.
  • Grab a link and go: Links are created by the business making it easy for you to just copy and paste to your website or blog.
  • Flexibility: Links may also be shared via social media for additional marketing.
  • High rates: Earnings will vary anywhere from 5% to 200% depending on the affiliate program.
  • High potential: One website can include many different affiliate links, maximizing your potential earnings.

Cons:

  • Cookie limits: Rewards are only issued through cookies. If the cookie expires, you are not rewarded.
  • Reliant on traffic: Affiliate programs, like most, rely on the quality of your traffic being good. If you’re just starting out as a new website, it can take some time to grow your traffic volume. 

Who are affiliate programs right for?

Anyone who has a website or blog can benefit from an affiliate program. Links are created by the affiliate program for easy copy-and-pasting to your website or blog. If you’re a beginner or just getting started with a new site or blog, setting up some affiliate links is an easy way to start generating revenue and dip your toes into the online business game. 

4. Lead Gen Sites

What are lead gen sites?

Lead gen is short for lead generation. Lead gen sites are websites that find quality leads for a specific business. These leads will need to have the potential and meet certain criteria in order to be acceptable. Businesses will want quality leads that they will likely be able to turn into a customer.

How do lead gen sites work?

A lead gen website will have a call-to-action (CTA) link that will ask users to provide their information when they click it. The CTA will obtain the user’s information and provide it to the business. The business will then take the lead and attempt to turn it into a new customer.

How do you make money with a lead gen site?

The company will need to purchase the leads from you in order for you to make money. Otherwise, you are gaining information on customers for no real reason. You may set up a website that is already linked to a business that will purchase your leads from you, or you may need to obtain leads in the hopes of finding a business that will buy them. Either way, the concept is the same. The business will have to buy the leads. 

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What are some examples of lead gen sites?

To give you an idea of what a lead gen site is and how it looks like, here are examples of some of the top performing lead gen sites: 

What are some examples of generating leads?

As we mentioned above, you should include a call-to-action (CTA) on your website that will ask users to give their information (name, email address, phone number), so it is important to know how to ask for this information.

1.   Subscribe/Email Updates: Asking users to provide their information so that they can be the first to receive the latest information on the product or service you are providing will increase the chances that a user provides their information. 

2.   Free Trials: If the business is selling a product or service, you can obtain information from leads by giving them a free trial if they provide you with their information.

3.   Social Media Ads: Integrating your website with a social media call-to-action ad can increase the number of leads you generate.

4.   Coupon/Promo/Discount Offer: Create a pop-up call-to-action that will offer the visitor a coupon, discount, or promotional code if they provide you with their information.

How much money can lead gen sites make?

The amount of money you can make from lead generation depends on how much you sell the leads for. Leads can be sold for anywhere between $5 and $50 each. The more leads you sell, the more money you will make.

Pros:

  • High potential: The potential to make large amounts of money is very high with a lead gen site, however requires a lot of work on the backend.
  • Multiple paths to success: There are various ways to obtain lead information
  • High demand: Many businesses’ sole purpose is to buy leads in order to generate recurring revenue, so the demand for in this niche is high. 

Cons:

  • Effort and expertise required: Some businesses may require you to have a phone conversation with the lead prior to purchasing leads from you. 
  • Inconsistent revenue: Income may be inconsistent ($5 per lead from one business up to $50 per lead from another business). Many businesses will use lead gen tools once or twice and then stop, so this model is reliant on a high churn rate. 
  • High quality leads: Because businesses are purchasing something from you, you’ll have to make sure that the leads you’re selling are high quality, otherwise your business will suffer. 

Where can you buy a lead gen site?

If you want to purchase a lead gen site that is specifically designed with a niche or market in mind, you can find what you’re looking for on websites such as Sir Links a Lot. Websites like Sir Links a Lot will create a lead gen website that’s SEO optimized, has a unique layout, and a personalized logo. 

5. Apps

What are apps and how are they related to online business models?

The world is ruled by smartphones, and businesses know this. That is why they have begun taking advantage of the convenience of smartphones by building and providing apps. Apps, short for applications, are programs that can be downloaded to electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and PC notebooks. 

When a user downloads your app, they have access to content that you have provided. You decide what content the user can view and how much control the user has within the app. 

How do apps make money?

Apps make money in a variety of ways. 

1.     In-app advertising. Your app makes money by running ads. Your app is free for users to download, but ads will run as it is used.

2.     Paid app. Your app is only available to download if users pay for it.

3.     In-app purchases. Your app is free, but there are purchases within the app that the user can make.

4.     Premium content. You offer both a free version and a premium version for users to download. The free version is free for users but does not include some of the added content and features that the premium (paid) version offers. 

How much money can apps make?

The possibilities are endless, so it is hard to nail down an exact figure you can expect to make from an app.

Is your app only available on Apple or Android devices? Will you offer a free app with advertisements? Will your app make money through paid downloads? Will you offer purchases for users to make within the app? Will there be free and premium versions for users to download?

All of these play a key role in determining just how much money your app can make. If you offer a free app that does not run advertisements or offer in-app purchases, your app will not make money. You will need to create an app that can generate recurring revenue based on paid content or advertisements that users will download from your app. 

For example, Candy Crush makes $800,000 per day through in-app purchases. This can be by purchasing an ad-free version or downloading advertisements within the app. 

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While your app may not make $800,000 per day, you can earn a few hundred or even thousand dollars per month if your app has a lot of downloads and users. Similar to the affiliate model, an app relies heavily on traffic and users. 

Pros:

  • Low maintenance: Create your app, set parameters for how it will earn money, and sit back and watch the revenue come in. 
  • High potential: Most people have smartphones, tablets, or smart TVs, which they can download and access at the click (or tap) of a button. The potential for downloads and success for an app is very high. 
  • Creativity: There’s no limits on what you can create with your app!  

Cons:

  • Requires expertise: Developing an app requires a highly skilled developer in order to create it from scratch. This can be outsourced but will cost you money and you may have to sacrifice quality. 
  • Money = downloads: The amount of revenue you generate is directly tied to how many downloads and users you have, so ensuring you have a popular app is important.
  • Competition: With the amount of apps available in today’s app store’s, creating the next big app is not an easy thing to do. 

Where can I buy apps?

If you want to purchase already-made apps, use a website like Flippa. Flippa allows you to look through thousands of apps that are for sale. On the flip side, if you are an app developer who wants to sell the app you have created, Flippa allows you to sell apps as well.

6. Web Browser Extensions

What is a web browser extension?

A web browser extension is also known as a browser plug-in. It is a feature you download to add to your current web browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari) to perform different functions. 

How does a web browser extension work?

The web browser extension will be downloaded to your browser as an add-on. When you open your web browser, the extension will perform a function. For example, Grammarly is a tool that was developed to check spelling and grammar in a document. Grammarly then expanded and developed a web browser extension to check spelling and grammar within any tab that was open in the browser. When the Grammarly web browser extension is downloaded and added to your browser, it will continuously check all spelling and grammar that you are typing within the browser. 

How do web browser extensions make money?

Similar to an app, your extension will have to either be a paid extension or have some sort of paid model or purchases within it. The web browser you create the extension for will determine how you can make money. In this example, we are going to use Google Chrome.

Google Chrome allows you to provide web browser extensions to download for free or at a price. The free model means that the web browser extension is free to download, but there may be additional goods, services, or content they can purchase within the extension. 

The paid model means that users will have to pay for the web browser extension if they want to add it to their browser. 

How much money can you make with web browser extensions?

You will need to require some form of payment with the web browser for it to make money. You will advertise the web browser extension on the web browser store for users to download. 

How much you decide to charge is up to you. Naturally, if you offer a free web extension, you will need users to make purchases within the extension if you want to make money. 

Web browser extensions can make thousands in days if you have the right tools for the job. Users may not stumble upon your web extension by chance, so you need to come up with a way to reach potential customers.

Designing a call-to-action on your website where users will provide their email addresses will allow you to send out an email blast to promote your web browser extensions. The more people you reach, the more likely you are to convert those leads into customers.

Backlinking can be a great strategy to get more eyes on your extension. Backlinks occur when another website links to your business (in this case, web extension) on their website. Backlinks are a huge tool in SEO, because search engines read backlinks as part of ranking on the search engine results page. This means that if Google is backlinking your website or browser extension on their website, your ranking on search engine results pages immediately goes up.

How many times do you click past page 1 or 2 on the search engine results page? Typically, if the results aren’t in the first two pages, we assume we need to retype our keyword phrase. Your web extension may rank low without a website like Google backlinking to your website and Google Chrome web extension.

Pros:

  • Low maintenance: Browsers offer a low maintenance model for generating revenue. The initial process of creating an extension can be tedious but once you’re done, it’s much easier. 
  • Massive audience: There is an endless market of potential users as everyone uses some type of web browser.
  • Niche-targeted: Perfect for businesses that sell or specialize in providing a service-based business.

Cons:

  • Requires special skills: Requires developer skills and you will have to pay someone to create the extension if you can’t do it yourself.
  • Difficult to get started: You need a large following in order to maximize income so simply creating an app and putting it on an browser app store isn’t going to lead to instant success.

Who is the web browser extensions model right for?

If you have a large audience and hundreds of new visitors per day on your website or blog, you can capitalize on these numbers by creating a web browser extension they can download. Web browser extensions are ideal for businesses that provide a service.

As we mentioned, Grammarly offers a web browser extension that constantly scans your content and suggests corrections, as necessary. Users are willing to pay for a web browser extension that helps them achieve a goal, such as properly-written content. 

7. SAAS

What is SAAS?

SAAS stands for Software as a Service. SAAS is a subscription-based software that users can download directly from the web. SAAS is also known as web-based software because users gain access to the software through the web. SAAS software is commonly used for payroll, messaging, accounting, and many other office services. 

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How does SAAS work?

Software as a service works by giving users the ability to download the software from a website. The software is hosted online and requires no physical copy, disc, or file to possess. Simply download the software from the web-host and begin. 

How do you make money with SAAS?

You will need to incorporate some form of payment with a SAAS. This may be through in-software advertising, sponsored posts, web advertising, in-software purchases, or premium (paid) versions. The method you choose may depend on the type of SAAS you are offering or how big of an audience your software will target.

Regardless, your SAAS will need to create recurring revenue through ads or purchases. 

Should you buy a SAAS or create one myself?

Unless you are a skilled software developer or have a team of developers to create the software for you, you should buy a SAAS. Software is always changing and updating, so even if you develop the software yourself, you will need to dedicate time for troubleshooting, support, and updates. 

For this reason alone, we recommend buying SAAS if you don’t have the skills or team to create and manage it. You can find SAAS businesses for sale at Flippa, FE International and Biz Buy and Sell

How much money can you make with SAAS?

The downside to SAAS is that it may take a while for your investment to pay for itself. SAAS can be expensive to purchase or develop, and it may be a slow process to make money. 

The upside to SAAS is that if you have a product that’s in demand, growth and revenue can occur quickly. Some of the most popular SAAS companies are Microsoft Office 365 (cloud-based), Amazon Web Services, DocuSign, and DropBox. If you create a successful SAAS, people will spread the word and be more likely to download your software.

The most reliable means of income will be through recurring monthly subscriptions. The exact amount of money you will make with SAAS is determined by many factors. The investment to return ratio will be extremely low if the startup cost of the software is high.

It will take a few months, at best, to make your startup cost back. Keep this in mind when considering a SAAS online business model for your online business. The money will come; it just may take a while.

This is where you will need to know a couple of terms and what they mean so that you will know what to expect and how to navigate your way through the process.

Churn Rate – the rate that customers drop off each month.

LTV – lifetime value; the value that the SAAS accrues over time.

CAC – customer acquisition cost; the amount it will cost to acquire new customers

LTV to CAC Ratio – the lifetime value of your business divided by the cost to acquire the customers will give you this ratio; the higher the number, the larger the success

Remember: many factors will go into your total cost, such as development costs, payroll, operations, etc. So if you have a low customer acquisition cost, you can still lose money if you have hefty overhead costs.

Pros:

  • High Ceiling: SAAS businesses with a great idea behind them can be extremely successful.
  • ROI: Return on investment can be high if the software is in demand and if you have the team and resources behind you to grow the business.
  • Customer-friendly: The software can be downloaded directly from a web-host (no physical item to send a customer).

Cons:

  • High start-up costs: Start-up costs can be expensive due to the skill and effort required to develop the software and maintain it, along with the business. 
  • Resources required: You may need to offer support to customers along with other updates and development efforts.
  • Requires marketing: Will require marketing, advertising, and word-of-mouth for the greatest success.

Who is the SAAS business model right for?

Businesses that already have a large following and reliable reputation will be highly successful with SAAS. This is why Microsoft Office 365 online, DropBox, and DocuSign are so successful at SAAS. They are reputable companies with a large customer base. 

Keep in mind that there will be a period of time when your business hits a hyper-growth stage. You will be obtaining customers quicker than you can plan and it may make you feel like you need to alter the cost of the service you are selling.

We suggest that you don’t make any adjustments during this time, as hyper-growth will typically level out. Once you see business beginning to level out is when you should look at making any adjustments, if necessary.

Where can you buy a SAAS website?

SAAS websites are highly successful, especially if the CAC/LTV ratio is calculated correctly, so you may want to skip the stage of creating a website and get straight to work. You can do this by purchasing readily available SAAS websites from Flippa, Acquisition Station, and BizBuySell. These websites have SAAS sites that are built and ready to use once purchased.

8. Info Products

What are info products and what is the info products online business model?

Info products provide detailed information about a specific product, concept, business idea, or service. As an online business model, info products are designed to bring traffic to your website in order to sell customers something. 

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How does an info product business make money?

To make money with an info product, you need to provide quality informational material to your audience in order to make them want to keep coming back for more. The possibilities are truly endless when you are selling an info product.

You can set up subscriptions, offer webinars, send weekly newsletters, or provide consultations and support, among many other things. 

You decide how much to charge for the product you are selling, as well as the method in which your paying customers will receive their content.

How much money can you make using the info products model?

The low-end of the income spectrum will be what you sell the product for. If you have a low ranking site with minimal traffic, chances are you aren’t making more than 1 or 2 sales a month and are likely still in the red. You will need to create a product that people will not only share, but that will rank on search engine results pages so that your product can be easily found.

When you have a product that users will want to purchase, your info products site can make well over $1,000 a day. Over time, this can turn into thousands, which is the high-end potential and ultimately the number you want to be aiming for (depending on what your profit margins are and what the product is you’re selling).

Who is the info product business model right for?

Anyone who has a website or blog can sell an info product to monetize their website. You decide the product you are selling, and how to sell it.

If you plan to move into the info product model, you will want to make sure you are knowledgeable about the product you are selling. If someone does not believe in the product you are selling, they likely won’t stick around to buy any additional information from you. 

For example, if you’re providing a paid webinar to your audience, you’ll need to be an expert on the topic you’re discussing. This is not only important during your webinar, but also when promoting it to your audience. People will only want to tune in if they know that the information being shared is coming from an expert or professional in that industry. 

Types of info products to sell

You can create an online business to sell website designs, search engine optimization resources, marketing advice, organize travel plans and itineraries, printables to download, or personal training videos, tips, tricks, and routines. 

If you have an area that you are passionate about and would like to turn that passion into money, the info product business model is the right one for you. 

Pros:

  • Variety of Options: When it comes to info products, the options to choose from are endless. As long as you’re an expert in that field and have knowledge to share, you can turn that information into a sellable product. 
  • High success rate: Providing an expert-level service/product to your audience is highly successful because people will keep coming back to purchase more. 
  • Low start-up costs: Because info products only require a website and your own knowledge/expertise, the cost to start selling your info product is fairly low-cost and easy to start. As your business grows, you’ll need to scale. 
  • Easy to maintain: Keep your website maintained, your audience/email list up-to-date with new info, and continue providing new products to your customers.  

Cons:

  • Requires creativity: With the vast amount of info products on the market today, you will need an info product that stands apart from the rest.
  • Relies on traffic: The more followers and traffic you have, the more successful your business will be. This will define your success or failure in this business model. 

Where can you buy an info product website?

You can purchase info product websites on platforms like Flippa, MotionInvest, EmpireFlippers, and FE International. Here, there will be ready-made websites for you to purchase and promote the info product the website has included. However, because this model requires your own knowledge and expertise, creating your own site and developing a business around your info product is your best bet to be successful. 

9. Membership Sites

What is a membership site?

In the section above, we described info products as creating a website that focuses on a product and sells information pertaining to that product in a variety of ways.

A membership site follows this same concept; the only difference is the way a customer receives their information, service, and content is through a membership.

A membership site is a business model that makes money by offering specialized content to users through a paid membership. 

How does a membership site work?

A membership site works by asking users to sign up and pay for the content or services they will be receiving. Your membership site may offer one plan for everyone, or you may break it up into tiers or categories. 

When a new member signs up, they will receive the information, content or service as specified in your membership agreement. This may be immediate access to an online community or social media group, personalized content, 24/7 support, or weekly email updates. 

How does a membership site make money?

Membership sites make money by offering users premium or specialized content in return for a paid membership. As we mentioned above, the membership can be a uniform membership plan that fits everyone, or you may want to break it up into tier or categories.

For example, let’s say you are offering a membership site for health and wellness. You may want to have a membership that offers different benefits depending on the membership a user chooses. For example:

Membership $19.99/monthMembership $29.99/monthMembership
$39.99/month
· Weekly workout routines and videos via email
· Meal planning ideas
· Access to Facebook group & online community
· Weekly workout routines and videos via email
· Meal planning ideas and recipes emailed weekly
· Access to Facebook group & online community
· 24/7 support 
·  Discounts to (gyms, retailers, etc.)
· Weekly workout routines and videos designed specifically for your goals
· Meal planning ideas and recipes emailed daily
· Access to Facebook group, online community, and online message boards
· 24/7 support
·  Discounts to (gyms, retailers, etc.)
· Personal trainer assigned to you

How much money can a membership site make?

How much money your membership site makes depends on the type of site you have created, what type of membership you are offering, and how many customers subscribe to the membership each month.

Similar to the info products business model, if you only sell one membership a month, your business will likely remain in the red. You want to ensure your membership site is selling multiple memberships a month, receiving renewals on a consistent basis, and your profit margins are high enough in order to have a profitable online business with this model. 

On the low-end of the income spectrum, you may only make $100/month, if that. To maximize your earnings and be profitable, you will need a membership site that will attract visitors and turn potential leads into customers. You can turn leads into customers by gathering email addresses and sending monthly emails reminding users to sign up for your membership site. With a large following, you can easily make thousands each month with a membership site.

Examples of membership sites

Peloton is one of the fastest growing membership sites for fitness and training. Members do not need a Peloton bike or treadmill to participate in a monthly digital membership. The digital membership is $12.99/month and includes live classes, personalized training sessions, and a music playlist.

Peloton has gained over a million members in just a few short years, with most of the attention coming in 2019. One million members at $12.99/month is $12.9 million in memberships alone.

Pros:

  • Reusable content: Once you create your content or service, you can reuse it and sell it to hundreds if not thousands or people. 
  • Automation potential: After your membership service is created, you can automate everything and watch the sales roll in without much work and minimal maintenance.
  • Wide variety: Depending on the knowledge or expertise in your industry, the potential for where you take your membership site allows for a lot of variety – health and wellness, cosmetics, web design, online training, etc.
  • Steady & predictable income: Once you’ve established your niche and built an audience, maintaining your memberships is pretty simple and ensures a stable income on a monthly basis.
  • Upselling is available: Once people are locked in to your membership, adding some upsell features allows for scale. Ex. “For just $5/more per month, you can receive XZY and have access to ABC”.

Cons: 

  • Renewals: You will need to keep members coming back each month or find ways to recruit new members to keep the income steady.
  • Creativity: You will need to come up with new, quality content each month for members.

Where to buy membership sites online?

Websites like Buy Website and Flippa offer readily made membership websites that you can purchase and put to use immediately. Otherwise, you can make a website of your own to offer a membership based on a product or expertise you already have in your industry.

10. Productized Service 

What is a productized service?

A productized service is when you offer a product that is centralized around providing a service or services. There will be a package of services that are offered as a product with many different elements that go into the productized service.

Some examples of a productized service:

  • Marketing/SEO services
  • Writing services
  • Graphic design services
  • Consultation/coaching services
  • Travel services
  • Website design and maintenance services
  • Health and Fitness services

How does a productized service work and how does it make money?

A productized service works by providing your audience with a specific list of services that you will perform when they purchase the product package. You provide a list of services that you will perform, your customers purchase the product, and you perform the services. 

A productized service makes money when a client purchases the product package. There is no guesswork that goes into what the client will receive and no guesswork for the amount of money you will make. The price is set, the productized service is set, and each side knows exactly what they will receive.

How much money can a productized service make?

This is similar to a membership site in that it depends on how much you are charging for a productized service and how many productized services you sell each month. A prime example of a productized service would be an online fitness instructor.

Image result for personal trainer simpsons gif

While personal trainers and fitness instructors may offer one-on-one training or small classes, an online fitness instructor can reach the masses that they may otherwise not be able to reach due to their location or the space available. With a productized service, an online fitness instructor can bundle their services into one product and sell the product to customers all across the globe.

The potential income on the low-end of a productized service will only make $100-$200/month, if that. With an online fitness instructor productized service website, like iBodyFit, you can make thousands each month through various monthly service plans you sell to your customers. Websites like iBodyFit fall on the high-end of potential income for a productized service website.

Pros:

  • No guesswork: The client receives what they order, and you receive the amount you advertise for the service. It’s as simple as that. 
  • Predictable income: Managing a successful productized service provides income that is steady and predictable to the site owner on a monthly basis with minimal work. 
  • Flexibility: Productized service sites allow you to design the package of services you want to provide to your customers and change those services as needed based on the demand. 
  • Scale and simplicity: the majority of your clients can receive the same product. For example, if you are offering consultation for a new startup business, you can design the same product for many clients, leaving you with more time and energy to spend on other business ventures

Cons:

  • Reliant on margins: Make sure the time and resources it takes to put into the productized service are properly assessed when the productized service is sold to a client
  • Tough competition: With the growing amount of services available today, creating your own productized service can be difficult to do in the current climate. On top of that, building and maintaining your audience requires a lot of effort and SEO management by the site owner. 

Who is the productized service business model right for? 

If your business is offering a list of services in order to make money, then you should use the productized service business model. The productized service business model means that you will offer a set list of services as one packaged product for a set price. 

The best types of businesses that will benefit from a productized service are any of the following:

  • Website designers
  • Graphic designers
  • Accountants
  • Writers
  • Coaches/consultants
  • Travel agents/event planners

Where can you buy a productized service website?

Bizbroker24, Flippa, and BuyWebsite are just a few of the websites you can search and find productized service websites to purchase and get started immediately.

11. Coaching and Consulting

What is online coaching and consulting?

Coaching and consulting is an online business model that helps a client achieve a particular goal they have created. While coaching and consulting are similar, they have specific definitions that distinguish them from one another, and we feel they are worth defining.

An online coach is someone who helps push a client to reach his or her goals. They will provide them with tips and tricks to help them achieve a goal, but they don’t pave the way for the client. An online coach puts the client in the driver’s seat and gives them most of the responsibility in achieving their goal.

An online consultant will give their client the exact tools they will need to achieve their goal. The consultant knows that they are only successful if their clients are successful, so they make sure their clients are equipped with everything they need to achieve their goal. 

How do online coaching and consulting business models work?

Online coaching and consulting works by providing a client with certain resources to help them reach a goal. Online coaching and consulting businesses will be specific to a niche or market so that the client knows which coach or consultant to choose for the goal they have set. 

How do online coaching and consulting businesses make money?

You will need to charge your clients for the services you are providing. This is rule #1 for making money as a coach or consultant. 

Here are some tips for maximizing your business as an online coach or consultant:

1.   Be positive: Clients do not want a coach or consultant who does not make them feel excited about the goals they have in mind.

2.   Be personable: Make your clients feel welcome and that you are easy to talk to about any concern or question they may have about their goals.

3.   Be an expert: A client will not recommend you to friends (and also will be unlikely to continue working with you) if you don’t know what you’re talking about. To be the best coach or consultant, you need to be an expert in the field you are coaching and consulting.

How much money can a coaching and consultant business make?

Ultimately, how much you charge is up to you, but there is a range of income that coaches and consultants make. On the low end, coaches and consultants make around $10/hour. With only a few clients, this means you may make only a few hundred each month.

On the flip side, the high end of the income spectrum coaches and consultants can make around $100/hour. This means that you can easily make $100,000 per year with the right amount of clients and pricing schedule.

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Where can you buy an online coaching or consulting website?

The best website to buy online coaching and consulting sites is Flippa. The websites available for you to choose from include healthy living consulting/coaching, Amazon consulting, ecommerce and monetization consulting, and drop shipping consulting.

Pros:

  • Create your own schedule: You are in charge of your schedule, the content you create, and when to send the client their content.
  • Anyone can do it: An online consulting business is easy to start, maintain, and manage as long as you have a site and a plan. 
  • Client growth leads to revenue: Money can be steady with a constant stream of clients and revenue on a monthly basis because most consulting models are based on a monthly subscription.
  • Use social networks to grow: Online consultants rely on client revenue so growing their popularity through social media and network marketing will help increase your clientele and revenue on a monthly basis.

Cons:

  • No clients = no income: Consulting models are 100% reliant on building your client base and growing client revenue. If you aren’t able to create an offering for your consulting business, clients won’t purchase the product and you won’t make any money.
  • Resources are required: Depending on your niche, your business may require webchats, webinars, and/or phone calls with clients as well as be highly dependent on lead generation. 

Who is best suited to have an online coaching or consulting business?

If you are an expert in an area with services to offer that others cannot, then being an online coach or consultant is right for you. 

The best online coach or consultant is highly motivated and knowledgeable in the area they are offering help. They will be able to offer services that will help clients achieve goals quickly and efficiently. 

All you need to get started is knowledge, motivation, and a website to promote your business. 

12. Influencer (YouTube, Instagram, or Podcast)

What is an influencer?

An influencer, also referred to as a social media influencer, is someone with a large presence or following online who influences someone to purchase a product or service (hence the name influencer.) Influencers can be public figures, celebrities, athletes, bloggers, authors, fashionistas, or other content marketing creators.

Image result for influencer gif

What does it mean to be an influencer or work with an influencer?

Being an influencer means that you post products on your social media site that you endorse. It may be a brand of clothing, a dietary supplement, a cosmetics brand, a skin product, or any other service or product that is looking to grow their brand via social media marketing. 

Generally, influencers value and importance is determined by their content, engagement and the amount of followers they have. Mega influencers have over 1 million followers and are considered your “A-list” influencers. These influencers will make the most money.

Macro influencers have between 100,000 and 1 million followers.

Micro-influencers have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. 

Nano influencers have less than 1,000 followers and are considered typical everyday people on social media. 

Why is this important?

An influencer’s value is determined by their following, so as an influencer, you need to know where you rank on the list. Alternatively, as someone who will work with an influencer, you need to know what type of influencer you are looking to work with.

How to make money from influencing (and how much money can you make)?

If you are an influencer yourself, you can charge pretty steep amounts depending on your following.

  • Mega influencers charge nearly $200,000 for a YouTube video, around $75,000 for an Instagram post, and around $30,000 for a Twitter post
  • Macro and micro-influencers charge around $2,500 for a YouTube video, $1,000 for an Instagram post, and around $400 for a Twitter post
  • Nano influencers typically negotiate their rates between the company asking for the promotion and themselves

If you are going to use an influencer to promote your business, you will likely see your business gain followers, impressions, and a boost in sales. 

One thing that is important to keep in mind when choosing an influencer to promote your business is that micro-influencers have a following of real people who are genuinely interested in their content. Therefore, page clicks and sales are likely to be higher than if you use a macro or mega influencer for your post. While the number of followers is lower with micro-influencers, their followers are real people who are interested in the content that the influencer shares. 

Pros:

  • Easy marketing for businesses: Influencers are able to create quality and unique material for businesses to share to their social media platforms
  • Low start-up costs: As an influencer, all you need is a YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, or other social media account with followers to become an influencer. These are all free programs, so there are no upfront costs to get started
  • Popularity = revenue: As an influencer, the more products you promote, the more you will be recognized, and others may seek your services

Cons:

  • Judgemental business: As an influencer, followers may feel you are “hawking” a product just for money.
  • Know your morals: As an influencer there may be times that you are asked to promote a product you don’t believe in so knowing what your morals are and where your expertise is in the industry is important.  
  • Vetting process: As a business, you may have to vet your influencer to make sure there are no controversial issues in the social media community. 

Who is the influencer business model right for?

If you are a figure on social media who has thousands of followers, you should be an influencer. You can create material that can be shared on podcasts, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms of social media. 

Another consideration of this business model is if you have a product that you want someone reputable to promote, you can hire an influencer to advertise the product and bring traffic to your website.

Otherwise, you can create an influencer agency website for both influencers and brands to use your website to link up with one another. You can list influencers for brands to choose from, as well as list brands for influencers to choose from.

There are many options that the influencer business model has to offer. Think about where you fall in the influencer market; are you an influencer yourself, do you have a product you want an influencer to promote, or do you want to have an influencer agency website that will provide the link between the two? There are different options you can choose from with the influencer business model.

13. Dropshipping

What is dropshipping?

Let’s say you have an online shoe store where you sell hundreds of shoes for consumers to purchase. Instead of keeping all of this inventory at your house to package and ship to a consumer every time a purchase is made, you use a third-party that has the product and ships it to your customers when you tell them to. 

This is dropshipping.

You sell a product that you don’t physically have by purchasing the product from a third-party and sending it directly to the customer who bought it from you.

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How does dropshipping make money?

First of all, you are already in the green with drop shipping because you haven’t spent any money on inventory or paid any storage costs for holding the inventory. But we’re not here to tell you how to save money, we’re here to tell you how to make money.

Making money with drop shipping is an easy process, but you may have to finagle your way through some stipulations.

First, you will need to make sure you mark-up the product you are selling so that you make money. If your third-party vendor is selling a pair of shoes for $50, you will have to charge more than $50 to make a profit. On the flip side, an online customer is likely going to shop around before making a purchase, so they may find your vendor and order directly from them.

This is where you may need to find a wholesale distributor to provide a product at wholesale costs, but be careful – wholesale distributors often require a federal employer identification number to prove that you are a business and not an individual. Therefore, you may need to apply for a business license in your jurisdiction to be able to purchase goods.

How much money can a dropshipping site make?

The low-end of income potential may mean you only make $1,000 a month. But the cost, time, and energy to set up your drop shipping website is relatively low, so this is a realistic number you can expect to make in the beginning.

The middle ground of drop shipping income falls around $10,000 per month. With this kind of income, you’ll have likely had to hire additional employees to help with your business to keep up with the demand.

The highest income potential will be $100,000 per month, but this will require a lot more work. You will have to hire many employees to help run your business and manage the finances and day-to-day operations of drop shipping.

Pros:

  • Low startup costs: Once you’ve found a wholesaler and product to sell, drop shipping only requires a website and some SEO work to drive traffic to your product. 
  • High opportunity: The variety and amount of products you can sell are endless. Just make sure to do your research and find the right wholesalers before getting started. 
  • Easy concept and operation: Most of the work is done on the wholesalers end. All you need to do is make sure traffic is being driven to your site and the demand stays high. 
  • Can be done remotely: The beauty of online businesses means that you can create and build your drop shipping business from almost anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. 

Cons:

  • FEI requirement: May require a Federal Employer Identification number and/or business license in order to work with a wholesaler.
  • Price management: Products will need to be marked up in order to create a successful and profitable online business model.
  • Scaling can be expensive: As your drop shipping business grows, so will your employees and operations costs. 

Example of a dropshipping site

One of the most popular drop shipping sites is Amazon. Amazon allows users to buy items from third-party vendors that are not fulfilled by Amazon or Amazon Services. Essentially, Amazon will list the item for sale, but they do not hold the item in their fulfillment center, nor do they ship the item. They fill the order and submit the order to the third-party site for fulfillment and shipping. 

14. Ecommerce

What is ecommerce?

Have you ever purchased something online from an online retailer? That is ecommerce.

Image result for online shopping gif

ecommerce is selling a product or good that you physically keep in a warehouse that you have set up. ecommerce is similar to drop shipping, with the main difference being in the ownership of the product before it is sold. With ecommerce, you are the owner of the item, product, or inventory before you sell it to a buyer, whereas drop shipping uses a third-party vendor to hold the item and ship it when an order is placed.

How does ecommerce make money?

ecommerce makes money like any other brick-and-mortar retailer. The only difference is the buying and selling are done online rather than in person or at a store. This means you are responsible for finding the product, buying the product, holding the product, marking up the product to be profitable, selling the product, and shipping the product. 

In all of these elements, you make your money in the profit margin, so you need to remember to mark up the price of the product to make it larger than the cost you paid. 

Some of the more popular ecommerce sites are: 

Who is ecommerce right for?

Anyone who wants to sell a product online can create an ecommerce website. You will need to be organized and understand purchasing inventory, markups, and have a way to ship the items to your customers. 

Where can you buy ecommerce websites?

The good news is that out of all the websites there are to purchase, ecommerce may be the leader of the pack. Websites like Flippa, FE International, BuyWebsite, and BizBroker24 all have many ecommerce websites to purchase that are ready to go.

Pros:

  • High demand: Online shopping has become one of the fastest growing models in today’s society, making ecommerce a very popular platform for online business owners.
  • Online alternative: An ecommerce business allows you to sell your products with lower costs than starting a physical retail store and gives your customers 24/7 availability to shop online anytime from anywhere.
  • Become a brand: ecommerce platforms allow you to build a all-around business model, including products, branding, messaging, etc. While this sounds like a lot of work to some, creating your own brand is attractive to many. 

Cons:

  • Very tough competition: You are a little fish in a big pond with many well-established competitors so establishing yourself in this industry can be very tough. 
  • Scalability and start-up: ecommerce businesses require in-depth logistics and moving parts to build, including purchasing inventory, web development, fulfilling orders, marking up prices, and much more. 

15. Amazon FBA

What is Amazon FBA?

Amazon FBA stands for Amazon Fulfillment by Amazon. This means that you are the seller, and Amazon is who holds the item and fulfills the order when it is placed.

Things to know:

1.     You purchase a product from a factory/supplier

2.     The product ships to an Amazon Fulfillment Center

3.     You are the seller of the product and Amazon takes care of the rest

How does Amazon FBA make money in terms of being a business model?

Simple. As long as the product is in stock at an Amazon Fulfillment Center, the buyer purchases the product, and you get the profit. Amazon is simply there to fulfill the order and make sure it is shipped to the customer. 

How much money does the Amazon FBA business model make?

The low-end of the income potential spectrum will likely only make you about $1,000 month. The middle ground offers a little more per month at around $3,000 per month. The high-end of the income potential spectrum will pay between $8,000 and $10,000 per month.

Pros:

  • Amazon is reliable: As arguably the top ecommerce platform in the world, Amazon is always going to provide results and help when you need it. 
  • Easy set-up: Amazon provides you all the tools and information you need to get started once you have an idea and your site set up. 
  • Double up: Amazon FBA can be combined with the Amazon Affiliate program to double your exposure and revenue.

Cons:

  • Expertise required: Requires knowledge of finding a product and entering into an agreement to ship and store at an Amazon Fulfillment Center
  • Competitive market: You will need to find a product that sets yours apart from the rest as the Amazon FBA niche has become a lot more competitive in recent years. 

Who is the Amazon FBA business model best for?

Our opinion is that if you are an Amazon Affiliate or have linked up with an Amazon Affiliate, you can get more exposure, more traffic, and more interest in the product you are selling. 

16. Kindle Publishing Business

What is the Kindle publishing business model?

You write a book that is uploaded on Amazon Kindle, and you get paid.

Well, it’s a little more detailed than that, but you catch our drift. To be successful at Kindle Publishing, you will need to write a book, make the book appealing, and submit the book to Kindle to publish. You will earn money when the book is downloaded, but we will break that down below.

How does the Kindle publishing business model work?

First, you will need to write a book. Once the book is complete, you will need to create a visually-appealing cover for the book. Something that will catch a reader’s eye and intrigue them to read your book. 

Next, you will upload the book to the Kindle Publishing Business platform for approval. Approval usually takes up to 48 hours. Once approved, Kindle will release the book to be published on Amazon for immediate download. When the user buys your book, they will receive a digital copy to download directly onto their device. 

How does the Kindle publishing business model make money?

This is where a thing called royalties come in. Every time your book is purchased, Amazon takes a portion of the earnings and gives you the rest as royalties. Royalties are a designated sum of money that is paid to an author, composer, or performer of a work of art when their piece is sold. 

With the Kindle Publishing Business model, the royalty fee is applied in one of two ways:

1.   You can earn 70% royalties if your book is purchased in Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and India.

2.   Otherwise, you earn the standard 35% royalties.

The only stipulation you need to know about 70% royalties is that your book must cost $9.99 or less to qualify.

How much money can I expect to make from Kindle publishing?

Once you have begun publishing books through Kindle Publishing, you can expect to make anywhere between $1,000 to $10,000. This is the low-end potential for income.

On the higher end, authors can make tens of thousands each month, with a year-end income into the millions. This will likely require multiple books to be published and it is common to see a spike in revenue when a new book is released. Keep the books coming, and you can easily become a well-known author on Amazon.

Who is the Kindle publishing business model right for?

The obvious answer is writers. If you enjoy writing in any capacity, you can publish a book using Kindle Publishing Business and automatically receive 35% royalties whenever the book is purchased and downloaded.

Pros:

  • Free to use: Unlike many of the other business models, getting set up on Kindle publishing is free and a lot of the initial start-up tasks are done for you.  
  • Generous royalty schedule: Kindle is trustworthy and offers a very fair and generous royalty schedule to all its publishers, making it easier for you to publish your content.
  • Multiple platforms: Available to users who use smartphones, tablets, Kindles, and e-readers giving publishers the opportunity to expand to multiple platforms. 
  • No website required: Do not need a website; just upload and go!

Cons:

  • Competitive: With digital e-readers becoming more and more popular, the demand is growing but so is the competition, so you’ll need to make sure you have a great concept before choosing this model. 
  • Thinner profit margins: Selling price is generally lower for e-books than physical books.

What are some examples of a Kindle publishing business?

You can take advantage of the Kindle Publishing Business one of two ways.

1.   You are the author. You create the content, publish the book, and make the money. This is ideal if writing is your passion, and you want to turn your passion into dollars.

2.   You hire the authors. You simply want to run a successful online business that will make you money, so you hire freelance writers to create the content, and you handle the rest.

With these two options, you decide how you want to make your money using Kindle Publishing.