It’s the dream of many would-be entrepreneurs to start an online business, but most struggle when it comes time to decide on a product.
Luckily, there are lots of ways to start online businesses without an expensive research and development process. Even if you do have a product and prototype, it’s going to be expensive to bring it to market, and that’s outside the abilities of many new businesspeople.
So, what are the best online business ideas for entrepreneurs without a product? There are three main categories you can start with. Let’s look into them.
Affiliate marketing is essentially marketing someone else’s product for a slice of the sales. Affiliates programs exist for almost everything from clothing to online casinos to travel.
Think carefully about the product you want to market and the type of deal you want to take. For example, selling jeans or a coat might make you a $2 commission, whereas referring a player to a casino site could make you monthly revenue for months on end. Sites like https://gamblerspro.com promote online casinos and betting sites offering roulette, slots, blackjack, and other games, and get around 20% of the revenue from each player, depending on the program. This sort of deal is much more lucrative than selling single-use items.
The main types of commission earned in affiliate marketing are revenue share for subscriptions and CPA deals, which stands for cost per acquisition. Some affiliates also build their own tools to capture customer data and either rent that or sell it (with the appropriate commissions, of course).
What will it cost to get started in affiliate marketing? The cost of a WordPress website and some ads. If you’re familiar with SEO, that will greatly increase your chances of success.
Mark Zuckerberg is one of the richest men in the world, yet he doesn’t sell a physical product at all. Zuckerberg sells ads, albeit highly targeted ones, and his bottom line is helped by the fact that he both owns the ad network itself and has one of the highest traffic websites in the world.
Few entrepreneurs will ever build a website as big as Facebook, but few need to. Building a site with even a few hundred thousand monthly visitors can rake in substantial ad revenue.
Again, it’s smart to think carefully about the niche you want to publish in. Some topics are much more popular than others, but they could also be much more competitive. For example, if you try publishing news, you’re casting a much wider net, but you’re up against some massive publications with decades of experience. In this case, it might be better to go niche and publish a specific type of news for a smaller audience.
To really make a fortune in this area you have to build a tool. If you think about it, that’s what Facebook and Twitter are; they’re much more than just websites with content to consume. If you can give your users a tool and they then generate the content, it’s much easier work, and the exponential growth is much greater.
Have you ever heard the saying that to be an expert you only have to know a little bit more than the person you’re teaching? That’s true, and online education is exploding as people all over the world cash in on their knowledge.
There are a few ways to go about turning what you know into cold, hard cash. You could join an existing platform such as Udemy and create a video course, could create your own website and sign up students by running ads (for example teach your language to people looking for teachers), or you could create an app or a piece of software that teaches someone something. For example, Duolingo does this and is a multi-billion dollar business.
Remember one thing; the point of starting an online business is to free yourself. You probably don’t want to teach one-to-one lessons as that’s just exchanging time for money like a job. You want to build a system, like a video course or subscription model, and scale it up for true financial freedom.