Copyright 2006 Angela Booth
If someone were to tell you that you could create a global business, completely for free, with nothing more than the tools you already have, and the investment of your time, you’d question their sanity.
Nevertheless, it’s true. If blogging appeals to you, you can create a viable Internet business within a few months: for free.
Blogging is a new development in online businesses. Essentially, it’s instant publishing. Because entrepreneurial blogging is so new, you have a great opportunity to build your business before others copy what you’re doing, so get started now, and start building your own online empire.
Let’s look at five business models for your new Internet blogging business. These five models can be combined if you wish – there are no rules in blogging. You can change the business model of a blog at any time, to a model which generates more income.
Each of these models has the potential to earn you a six-figure income. They are:
• Affiliate blog(s)
• Web publisher blog(s)
• Sales blog(s)
• Service blog(s)
• Blog network(s)
Let’s look at these models one by one.
Many businesses develop affiliate programs, because they can recruit a sales force of thousands of people, with little expense. The appeal of affiliate programs for affiliate marketers is that you don’t need a product or service – you can start selling others’ products, on commission.
If you intend creating an affiliate blog, select the products that you’ll be selling before you create the blog. This is because you want to be sure that there is a wide range of products that you can promote. There’s nothing worse than developing a blog, and finding out that the well is dry: you’ve picked a niche where products rarely change, and in which the products are so standardized that there’s nothing new to write or podcast about.
Web publisher blog(s)
In this model, your blog is the online equivalent of a magazine. Just as a magazine has features and advertising, so does your blog. In this business model, your content is vital, because you’re counting on your content to attract advertisers.
If you choose to develop a Web publisher blog, you’ve got great models – the thousands of magazines which are published each year. Check out a couple of your favorite magazines. Usually a monthly magazine will have a theme for each monthly issue, with two or more stories devoted to this theme. The magazine publishes its editorial calendar a year in advance, so that advertisers can line up their advertising for a specific issue.
In the sales model, you devote a blog to a single product, or range of products. When offline companies start blogs, their blogs are sales blogs – they’re using their blogs to sell their products. If you have products that you want to sell, a sales blog is an excellent business model. You could sell a product that you’ve created – an ebook, a DVD, or art work – or products that you buy from others, and resell.
If you’re already running a business, you could start an entrepreneurial blog to act as the marketing arm of the business.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a business, look into having products created for you, or buy products which you can resell on your blog. Look in your local Yellow Pages for manufacturing companies: you may be able to find products that you could resell at a profit. Of course, there are many wholesaling companies online, but the benefit of dealing with a local supplier is that you can inspect the products that you’re selling, to ensure quality. Your shipping costs will also be low, resulting in more profit for you.
While the sales blog sells products, the service blog sells services. If you have a service that you sell, then you could create a blog to generate customers for your services. Or, you could sell the services of other people, via a blog.
If you’re selling a service, you know that it’s hard to differentiate yourself from the thousands of others who are selling the same service. A blog is a way to do that. If you’re a dance coach, for example, you’ve got plenty to write about. You’ll attract lots of new business, and you can bring in additional income when you solicit your equipment suppliers to advertise on your blog.
Blog networks are groups of Web publisher blogs formed into a network. There can be half a dozen, or hundreds, depending on the ambitions and interests of the owner of the network. Blog networks usually derive their income from advertising.
If you want to develop a blog network, your aims will be to: develop a mission for the network, as well as a clear idea of where and how you’ll add blogs to the network, and where and how the revenue stream will be built.
So, there you have it. Five different business models for your blog-based Internet business. Now all you need to build your new Internet business is enthusiasm, inspiration, and time.