OK, so you’ve started your online business. You’ve put together some catchy content for your blog and have been working with an SEO expert to start getting some traffic.
You seem to be developing an audience and are finally selling products.
But what next?
Is your sales volume going to sustain you? Or are you worrying that you might not last the year? If it’s the latter; don’t panic.
With an online business, there are multiple income streams to consider. Some might fit your business; others won’t. But all of them are valid ideas for making the most out of your online presence. Here are a few ideas for you to get started.
If you don’t mind ads on your site, this should be your first step. It’s not for everyone, of course – and you’ll need to make sure your traffic doesn’t take a hit once those ads are installed. But if you want to set up an easy way of making money from your visitors, it’s the best place to start.
Check out Google Adsense – it’s easy to grasp, set up, and get going. You get paid every time someone clicks on one of their display ads, which will be targeted towards the content on your site. Of course, it takes a lot of visitors even to start making a little money with Adsense. But the point is, you don’t have to try too hard to start winning – just make sure you keep pumping out that high-quality content.
2. Create an e-book
Fancy yourself as an authority figure in your industry? If you are getting a lot of visitors to your site, then I don’t blame you!
Look into your most visited blog posts and find out what your audience is reading and responding to. Now take a look around on Amazon and take a look at the e-books available that follow similar subjects.
Can you spot a gap in the market? If so, get writing – and fill that gap. You don’t even have to create entirely fresh material.
You can pull together all your most popular blog posts of all time and reappropriate them, so they are suitable for the e-book format.
Publish it, make sure you drive interest to the sales page, and with a little luck, you will be amongst the best sellers for your category. Book sales normally peak after a while, before settling down to a more regular income stream.
3. License a software program
Once you run a successful website or blog, you are privy to a lot of information. You will know what people are looking for, and where their pain points lie. You will understand their frustrations about other products or services. And you have a unique opportunity to come up with something that works better. And the great news is, you don’t even have to know a thing about coding.
All you need is the kernels of an idea for a piece of software or mobile app that will help your audience. Then, it’s a case of handing over the reigns to a custom software development company and working with them to create the perfect app. There’s a little investment involved, of course. But it can be a great way to develop an income stream – and yet more income streams within the app itself.
4. Create a training program
Are people always referencing you for your knowledge and industry nous? If so, why not create a training program? The Internet is packed full of people wanting success, and many will buy into a training proposition if you have the proof you are amongst the best. And the great thing about creating a course is that once it is complete, it takes little work to keep up to date. Most of your efforts, though, will go into marketing your course. Unless, of course, you can get others to do it for you – which we’re going to take a look at now.
5. Put together an affiliate program
OK, so let’s say you have come up with a fantastic range of products, services and training course. There’s a lot of marketing you need to do, but it is possible to start an affiliate scheme. You find other people in your industry that want to make a little extra cash and get them to sell your products. They do a lot of advertising and content around your product, and when they make a sale, you pay them. It’s as simple as that – and there’s very little risk. As long as you are confident in your products, it’s a great way of spreading your name around, and it can create exponential growth. All those industry bloggers talking about your products will have a huge – and positive – impact on your sales.
6. Become an affiliate
Of course, nothing is stopping you from becoming an affiliate, either. Choose complementary businesses to your own and rave about the high-quality course you sell.
The one thing to remember here is that quality is vital. You don’t want to put your name to anything that people won’t like or rips people off. Recommending inferior products to your audience could take your business down. Always make sure you affiliate for high-quality, respected people.
7. Look into starting a membership club
If people are looking to you for inspiration, why not charge them for it? You can set up an exclusive members club and give members exclusive info and insight. People love to be part of private communities and will be willing to pay a fee to join. It makes them feel part of something, and it also helps them feel like they are important. If you do go down this route, keep your normal blog going to attract new members. Your aim should be limiting information to a certain level, and then encouraging people to sign up when they are ready.
Do you have any more ideas about online business income streams? Let me know about them in the comments section below and join in on the conversation!