Sophie Howard says there’s five main internet businesses she’s a fan of. The first, and arguably what she’s best known for, is selling physical products via Amazon FBA. You buy in bulk from China or India or wherever, do your own branding, list ’em on Amazon, and they fulfill. Once profitable, you could always launch your own ecom store using something like Shopify. The nice thing about physical products is they almost sell themselves.
Compared to some of the other models she’ll get to, like, if someone needs a new dog leash, they need a new dog leash. The demand’s there; if you put a good dog leash in front of ’em, they’ll buy. You don’t need to be a professional copywriter or a marketing master or have some complicated five-page funnel that leads to a high pressure sales call just to get ’em to order, do ya? It’s also a very scalable business. The downsides? Super competitive, small margins, dealing with suppliers and customers.
Sophie’s second online business model is simply offering a service. Whether it’s starting your own agency and offering to run Facebook ads for local businesses or YouTube ads for consultants; there’s social media marketing, web design, video editing, reputation management, bookkeeping, you name it. A little harder to sell than physical products, but not much, especially if you can prove you’re good at that particular service. Drawbacks? Harder to scale, and you’re at the beck and call of your clients.
Third is software as a service, or SaaS for short. Think Webflow, Zoom, Zapier, Semrush, Calendly, et cetera. Incredibly scalable, massive margins, you can build up recurring income, and you could even get acquired someday for a nice multiple. But what problem can you design a software to solve? And do you have enough capital to hire top coders to create it? And the skill to manage them properly? And will you be successful taking your SaaS to market? Like will you be able to profitably acquire new users? Those are some of the obstacles.
Sophie’s fourth favorite digital business is just being an affiliate. Which, you already know the pros and cons of affiliate marketing. Fast, easy, affordable, none of the headaches that come with selling your own products and services. If you can get good at driving free or paid traffic, there’s plenty of money to be made, and you can make it semi-passively. But those advantages are a double-edged sword, right? Everyone’s trying to be a super affiliate, so it’s tough to get traction. And if you do, it’s nonstop copycats nipping at your heels.
Online business model number five that Sophie likes is search engine marketing. This could be getting small businesses ranked in Google. Or you make a website about camping and rank lots of articles that you monetize with ads or affiliate links or brand deals. Or maybe you blog about, I dunno, home remodeling, right? And then you capture leads, and sell them to remodeling companies. There are countless ways to make money if you can get pages to the top of Google. But, depending on the niche, it could be really competitive. And you’ll have to get good at the content game or hire and manage a team who is.
Although, what if there was a way to cash in on search engine marketing, as a one person show, without writing much and without being some sorta SEO nerd? What if you could make a plain-looking little site in a day or two, get it to the top of Google in a few weeks (because there’s hardly any competition), and then, when it starts getting traffic, rent it out to a business owner who can sell their services to that audience? Well, you can. Ask me how I know. (Click the link below.)