Revenue Sources For Your Online Business

make money with your blogMaking money on the Internet is a hot topic these days but there seems to be confusion as to how to accomplish this.  There are three primary types of revenue sources you can utilize to start generating an income in your online business.

Sell Your Own Product or Services

The obvious source of revenue will come by selling your own products and services.    While there is typically a much greater potential for profit, there are plenty of obstacles you'll need to overcome.

For starters, because your selling your own products, you'll need to have some kind of payment gateway and a means to deliver what you promise.  This can include features such as a shopping cart, merchant account, and a system to track the shipping of those products.  You'll also be responsible for customer service which can be very time consuming if your systems are not in place. 

In other words, running on online eCommerce site is comparable to operating a traditional store front.  It has it's benefits and downfalls and both should be weighed in a cost – benefit analysis.  For those of you with little business knowledge, it will take some time to develop a business plan and understand business systems and how they work, particularly when reaching into the online category where shipping comes into play.  Fortunately there are plenty of software packages available to help you put these systems in place, some of them are even free.

From these first paragraph it may sound like I'm discouraging you from going this route.  On the contrary, I would highly encourage you to develop and sell your own products or services because the next two income sources rely heavily on lots and lots of traffic.  I only mean to say that this revenue source tends to come with more overhead and required business knowledge.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the means of promoting someone else's products on your website, and collecting a commission for the sales you help generate.  This has several advantages over selling your own products but the trade off is a significant reduction in the income you could receive otherwise per sale. 

With affiliate marketing, it takes all the responsibility of processing a transaction and delivering the product out of your hands.  You also do not have to deal with the consumer service side of the business which can take a significant amount of time to address incoming sale calls and customer complaints that will inevitably happen from time to time. 

In short, all you do is put a link on your website, collect a commission check, and let the originating business take care of the rest.

A typical affiliate program will pay out 15%-20% of the sales price.  So if someone bought a $100 dollar product you'll receive around $15 – $20 in commissions.  Obviously this is not a significant amount of income, but if 100 people a year purchase the product you stand to make around $2,000.  Additionally, you'll probably be promoting more than one service.  If you promoted 10 services, all at $100 a piece with a 20% commission you can start to generate a respectable income of around $20,000.

There are thousands of affiliate programs available, including one that we offer for our blog installation and set services.  A popular resource to check out is for those interested in affiliate marketing is clickbank

Sell Advertising Space

The final major source of income for you online business can come from allowing others to place ads on your website.  There are two primary forms of this. 

First, you can generate revenue from selling advertising space directly to a company.  In this scenario, you'll probably have to contact the companies themselves, much like a traditional advertising agency.   The benefit however, is that you can set the rate and determine the content of the ad.

The other source is to utilize a service like Google Adsince where you get paid each time someone clicks on an ads they place on their site.  In this situation, Google will determine the ads that are displayed and the rate you receive for each click.

The major downside to this revenue source is obviously the traffic needed to generate a reasonable size income.  If you only get a penny for a click, you'll need a thousand clicks to make $10, ten-thousand clicks to make $100, and around one-hundred-thousand clicks to earn $1,000.

Summary

In many cases, a good online marketing strategy will utilize a combination of all three revenue sources; particularly if you have multiple websites focused on different things.  Spend some time to plan out your websites and use which revenue source works best for you.

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