For some, starting a business is a pipe dream that comes after retirement. Other people
see starting a business as something that you do on the side of a stable career for
some extra cash. Both of these can be true. Although, in the digital era, starting a
business has never been easier, or at least in theory.
Many courses, guides and influencers will have you believe that starting an online business is as simple as purchasing a domain name, building a modern-looking website
and enjoy the fruits of your labor with free products and brand endorsements.
However, like all aspects of life, if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. Not
impossible, just not as easy as some may have you believe. Starting an online business
is not the difficult part, all that requires is $12 and the ability to use a drag-and-drop
web-design interface. The part which most people find difficult is gaining traction and
marketing their business. In this article we look at the types of online businesses out
there that people can create and if they are worth the time to do so.
It may be wise to enlist a digital marketing agency that can help you get your business
off the ground instead of learning marketing skills yourself, which would take more
Types of online business
The main type of online business that we see come in the form of ecommerce websites,
this relates to selling products through a website and generating revenue from product
sales. The second type of online business that is slightly more popular is blogging. The
reason blogging is so popular is because it is more passive and requires less expertise
and initial investment to start. Not to mention, many successful bloggers promote the
benefits of blogging and highlight the lavish life that can come as a result of running a
Which one is better for me?
Depending on your skill set and initial investment, one of these types of online business
may suit you more than the other. Starting an ecommerce website means that you will
be spending more money at the start to get it off the ground. These costs are a result
of further web-design that is needed to launch an ecommerce site and marketing costs.
Blogging costs are low at the start as all you need to purchase is a domain and webhosting. If you are looking to get your blog more traffic in a short space of time, you
will also need to publish content more frequently and supplement that content with
marketing efforts. It is incredibly difficult to get your blog popular without a strong
marketing campaign, but it is possible. Many bloggers have been seen to publish
content consistently and gain traction organically, but it can take years to see any
financial return in this case. If you are not enthusiastic when it comes to writing, then
blogging may not be for you.
Blogging vs eCommerce revenue
There are many ways in which blogs can generate revenue, this include ad revenue,
sponsored posts, affiliate content and more. In ecommerce businesses, the main
revenue channel comes from product sales directly.
eCommerce sites can generate revenue fairly quickly if the products on sale are
appealing to consumers. Blogging can take longer to generate revenue, as it can take
months or even years for a blog to become popular and generate the required traffic to
bring in revenue. Ad networks such as adSense and media.net require you to generate
$50 in ad revenue before they issue a payout. In short, if you are looking for revenue in
under 6-months, then you should look at starting an ecommerce site. These are some
other advantages to creating an ecommerce website.
What’s your selling point?
Because it is so cheap to start an online business, it may seem like all sectors are
saturated and grasping any market share is next to impossible. Without a huge
marketing budget, marketing your business can be challenging. So you must make your
brand something that is different than what’s out there already.. which is easier said
than done. There are around 1.3 million ecommerce companies active in North America,
which seemingly cover every possible product that a person could want to buy. This
means that to separate your product from the ones available, your image and
marketing must stand out. Of course this costs money, takes time and requires
resources. If you are not able to expend these requirements, then you may find
yourself stuck with a nifty website, catchy domain name and still be a drop in the
ocean. One of the best ways to market your business online comes in the form of SEO
(search engine optimization), this is when you rank your webpages on search engines
to drive traffic. Around 90 percent of all online businesses fail within the first 120 days,
which is astoundingly high. So before you embark on your digital journey and rush into
starting an online business, forecast your costs and plan ahead.. well at least for the
next four months.
To conclude, starting an online business doesn’t require much initial capital, but to
ensure its success you may need to spend more than you think, with no guarantee of
sales or advertising revenue.