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Most Popular Online Business Models

The Internet has opened many new doors for aspiring entrepreneurs. Picking a model for your online business will help you determine the viability of your business ideas and ability to manage the business. Below is a list of five types of online business models to start and maintain your business online.


A website that uses the affiliate business model relies on other websites to drive traffic to itself. It does this by providing an incentive to the linking website in the form of commission from the sales that are generated through the traffic to the original website. If you choose this model, you will notice that one of the benefits of this model is that the initial costs of driving traffic to your website are shouldered by other websites. This online business model works well when it is combined with other business models.


A community-based online business model revolves around building a website that relies on user contributions. In fostering a community on your website, you are able to allow others to generate content that draws people back to the website on a regular basis. A community-based website could be supported by the donations of loyal members of the website. It may also be drawn from targeted advertisements that are based on the demographics of your website’s regular visitors.


If you are looking to sell something that you make, the manufacturer or direct business model can be ideal for you. The setup is simple; all you have to do is make a product or offer a service and interact with consumers directly online. This removes the “middleman.” It also allows consumers to easily leave you feedback on what they have purchased or leased, and this can be used to help you improve your particular product or service.


In contrast to the manufacturer model, the merchant model relies on products that other companies make. Businesses that rely on this model can use the traditional sales style, or it can generate sales using auctions. It is an online version of an average retail store. Frequently, established retail stores with physical locations will use this model when setting up their online marketplace.


If you are looking for a business model in which visitors to your website must pay a fee regularly in order to view content on the website. This fee can be paid in any interval that you deem necessary; whether it is every day, once a week, once a month, or even once a year, the choice will depend on what you think will best serve the needs of your business. Frequently, businesses using this model online will offer some content for free. However, the most valuable content will be locked away from any user without a subscription.

The beauty of managing any business that you start is that you get to decide the way in which the business operates. This allows you to have the freedom of choosing the methods that work best for you and the needs of your business. The above online business models should help you determine how you will start and maintain your small business. In addition, you should feel free to mix and match business models based on the needs and offerings of your business.
Most Popular Online Business Models