There is a huge range of Internet business opportunities which many people are earning a good living from. The important thing to realize is that none of these businesses are get-rich-quick schemes.
You’ll realize such opportunities require hard work, appropriate skills and a good marketing innovation strategy in order to promote your products or services. This article takes a look at the current top six hot trends.
The list is split into two sections relating to product sales and offering online services.
There is however some overlap between the two. For example, profitable business ideas like blogging for a living can also incorporate affiliate marketing. So the best Internet business opportunity for your needs really depends on your own skills you have and how they can be applied.
Internet business opportunities selling products
Internet business opportunity idea #1 | Affiliate marketing
This involves selling other people’s products in return for a commission on each sale that is made. It does require having the ability to set up your own business via a website or blog in order to host the information.
The key skills required are good copywriting skills and knowledge of search engine optimization/marketing (SEO/SEM) in order to get your website to the top of Google results. Alternatively, many people use AdSense or other guerilla marketing techniques in order to direct traffic to their sites.
Internet home business idea #2 | Using auction sites
Selling your own products (or reselling other people’s products) via eBay or other auction sites is the best Internet business opportunity for those with little or no technical skills, since setting up the shop on these auction sites is easily done (the tough part is adding all of your inventory).
The key skills needed are being able to write good sales copy to promote your product. It is also essential to be able to do your own market research into the market size and competitiveness of the niche you operate in. You can work out how to make extra money from auctions by studying the various eBay seller videos and materials.
One innovation strategy to consider is focusing on new cutting edge products entering the market in order to get ahead of contrition. For example, products relating to the iPad/iPod (protective covers, etc) were hugely profitable for a short period of time until the market got flooded with cheap options.
My post on the most profitable business ideas showed that setting up auction sites is a good starting point for testing market demand and pricing strategies before setting up your own e-commerce site.
Internet business opportunities #3 | E-commerce websites
If you have your own product to sell (e.g. software, arts & crafts, music, etc) then it is worth promoting and selling your produce. Your small business strategy could include the high maintenance option of creating your own website and setting up your own shopping basket.
Alternatively, the low maintenance option is to resort to using larger online websites to take care of product sales (see my post on how to structure an Internet marketing plan for details and what considerations regarding selling online).
The skills required can be minimum if you decide to sell your products via large vendors (e.g. selling your music via iTunes). However, you will still need some sales copywriting knowledge along with SEM knowledge to attract customers to your products.
Marketing your products is also easily done using one of the many sites offering free advertising online. The likes of Craigslist give you an instant potential audience of millions.
Long-term, you should be considering SEM techniques and multi level marketing software as key techniques and tools to really grow your websites.
Online business opportunities promoting services
Online business opportunities #4 | Blog monetization
One of the more complex online business opportunities to make money from is blogging for a living. Some bloggers have managed to make substantial amounts of money from their online blogs through advertising, product placement and selling their own products (e.g. ebooks).
The principal skills needed are the ability to write good website content that people will be interested in reading and attracted to.
You also have to be aware of web marketing skills. These are needed to promote your articles online using an effective digital marketing strategy and understanding how to do keyword research in order to pick articles which will naturally find a ready-made audience. Some of the best guerilla strategies online make strong use of viral media/content.
Internet business opportunity #5 | Freelancing services
Working as a freelancer is a very broad subject whereby you can start making money on providing online services in any skill you have that can be offered for an hourly rate. Some good examples include freelance writing, photography, programming, web design, etc.
Some of the innovative new trends in freelancing are moving more into the area of outsourcing work. Some examples include
- Internet research business: If you have good research skills, knowledge of an industry and good networking skills then you can provide freelance research capabilities to companies, law firms etc.
- Recruiting agent: You could work recruiting candidates for companies by headhunting individuals for specific roles. This can make great use of your social network of an industry if you already have a number of years experience. It is however one area that is quite competitive at the moment given the current state of the economy. The major profits can be made in sourcing strategic leadership positions.
- Consulting services: If you have extensive experience in an industry/sector (e.g. financial services, web design) then you can offer your services to entrepreneurs, corporations, etc. The key to being successful is having the trade specific knowledge in the first place and the ability to promote your own skills.
- Web technologies: If you have the skills then you can provide custom website design packages as freelance solutions to small companies or individuals.
Internet home business idea #6 | Virtual assistant
Finally, virtual assistants provides support functions to small businesses and entrepreneurs. The type of work involved can vary depending on the client’s needs. Individuals with native English skills can often demand higher rates if the work involves extensive copywriting.
The work requires good organizational skills and a high level of customer service.
See: entrepreneur.com business support guide.
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