The very beginning.
You decide you want to earn money online. Then you figure out you don’t want to be doing random jobs online.
You want to build something. You want to build an online business.
There’s only one problem.
Which type of online business do you start?
You keep asking yourself over and over, but can’t seem to come up with an idea of an online business.
In other words, you’re stuck.
Well, I’m here to get you “unstuck”. That’s the whole point of this post (and my site in general).
Without further senrenre, let’s talk about different types of online business.
What Type of Online Business Should You Start?
Now, first of all, I can’t decide which online business you should start.
One, it’s your business.
You need to decide what online business you would be willing to dedicate months and years of your life to creating. You’re going to need to be passionate about it. For that reason, I can’t pick for you.
Two, it’s your business.
You’re the one who’s going to be responsible for it- building it, working on it, etcetera shmetcetera. So it would be much better for you if you decided for yourself what kind of online business you would like to start.
That being said, what I can do is point you in the right direction. Whatever business you decide to start will fall into one of these categories:
This one is so popular it has almost become cliche.
These days, every Tom, Dick, Ekaette and Edidiong has a blog. So obviously, blogging is a very crowded area.
Blogging involves setting up a website, creating blog posts that either educate inform or entertain a particular audience.
By itself, blogging doesn’t generate $$$. However, when you combine blogging with Adsense, or Affiliate marketing or selling products or services, you can make some real money.
The main factors in play are time, your niche and consistency.
You’ll need months or years to build an audience and get a lot of traffic to your site. Blogging is not a sharp-sharp-money type of online business.
Consistency also plays a big role in the making of a successful blog. You’re going to need to put out content consistently to build a loyal following.
If you’re interested in setting up a blog, then you need to read this post.
E-commerce involves selling products online.
It includes everything from selling digital/ physical products through your blog (or your Instagram page) to selling physical products like Jumia or Konga.
E-commerce is pretty interesting because it can provide you with an immediate source of income. If somebody buys a product from you, you get the money once the person has paid.
You might not turn a profit immediately though. You’d also need to invest quite a bit into it when you start and it will take some time to break even but at least you’ll have money coming in regularly as long as you get a lot of targeted traffic to your site.
If you decide on going into e-commerce, you might want to read this post about 9 things to know before starting an e-commerce business.
Vlogger stands for video logging (I think).
The business model came into existence because of Youtube and other video sharing platforms.
The idea behind it is almost similar to blogging, except that with vlogging, the content you create is video.
Vlogging takes the rules of blogging and stretches it a bit. You need to create informative, or educative or entertaining videos that engage with your target audience.
Starting up as a vlogger is not particularly difficult.
You’d just have to make sure you have a good camera, a central story behind your vlog and some sick video editing skills!
Okay, maybe it’s a bit difficult, unless you already have those sick video editing skills.
You also need to be consistent with it to build a loyal following, and once you get a certain number of views, you can monetize your vlog easily on Youtube.
Also if you’re really funny or you have a great story, you might get noticed and get hired to create advertisements for different companies or brands. And that’s definitely another great source of income.
Check out this vlog about vlogging by Casey Neistat, the hottest vlogger in the world right now:
The businesses that fall under this category connect people.
They provide a platform where people can meet to socialize, conduct business, chat, etcetera shmetcetera.
With the right system in place, these businesses have a huge chance to be incredibly successful.
Initially though, you’ll need to put in a lot of time, money and effort. And for the first couple of years, they might not turn a profit, but when they do, the rewards are well worth the wait.
Examples of Connectors are online forums, social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc), Uber, AirBnB and Upwork.
To create a connector online business, you need to find a need a lot of people have and people who can solve that problem. Then you come up with an innovative online way to connect them.
#5. Service Based Online Businesses
The idea behind this one is a bit obvious from the title.
It involves creating an online business that solves a particular problem by providing a service.
A basic example of this is a web hosting company. These companies provide web hosting as a service and get paid for it.
Other examples include companies that process payments online like Paypal, and Payoneer. There’s also Bitcoin, Crazy Egg, Udemy, Aweber, Dropbox etc.
The idea is to find an unsolved need and solve it by providing a service online. It will take some imagination and major brainstorming on your part, but the rewards are well worth it.
#6. Online Extension of Offline Businesses
It’s almost a prerequisite for every business, offline or not, to have a website.
And with a website comes the opportunity to build an online component of your business.
Maybe you already have an offline business. You need to ask yourself, “How can I create an online component to this business? Can I create a blog and promote my products? Can I sell my products online?”
If you look hard enough, you’ll find a way to make money through the online component of your offline business.
And last I checked nobody has ever said No to more money.
Something you should note though is that some of these online businesses have important offline components.
For example, for a web hosting company, you’ll need to get some major hardware, servers and all. Also with e-commerce businesses, you have to deal with the offline aspect of packaging and shipping the products.
So that’s a basic run-through of the types of online businesses you could set up, and we’re back to the question:
What type of online business should you start?
And my answer- It depends on you.
Like I said earlier, only you can determine which online business you should start. You’ll have to analyse yourself- your skills, experiences, passions and hobbies. Then you find a need that you can fill.
And if you don’t feel like you have skills or experience that can be monetized but you have an idea that you believe will deliver value and can be monetized successfully, then by all means, go for it!
The skills and experience can be acquired along the way. Plus a good “Googling” session can solve most of your problems or confusion.
And that’s about it.
If there are any more types of online business you think I might have missed out, feel free to hit me up in the comments and we’ll talk about it..
Keeping it 500,
Author: Tomi Joshua
Tomi is a case.
A bit brash, at first blush. But ultimately, he means well. There are very few things he won’t say or do in the presence of tolerant company (especially when it could make for a good story later).
Tomi is a Doctor, writer, certified inbound marketer (Shout Out to HubSpot), Digital Hustler, and online business addict.
He is most likely to be found dancing to the beat of his own drum, even in accapella.