Now is a good time to start an online business. Although the overall economy is in the tank advertising expenditure on the internet is constantly increasing, as the internet is drawing more and more advertising away from television and print media.


Also it is incredibly easy to start an online business as there is very little cost involved and you can get started in your spare time without leaving your job.


There is not one single model to follow when starting an internet business. A lot of people who want to get started online find that there are so many models to choose from that it is very overwhelming. Keep in mind when you do your research that there are many ways to make money online and you have to find the one that is right for you.


For those wanting to start an online business there are three different basic business models:


1. Create a product to sell yourself;
2. Provide a service;
3. Sell other people’s products.


You will notice when researching online that all business models boil down to one of these three concepts.


Physical goods are what most people think of when they think of products. You certainly can sell physical products like table cloths or your home-made candles through the internet. However, remember that when people go online they are largely looking for information so creating an information product is the fastest way to make money online.


An interesting fact is that people will pay $20 for a paperback book at the bookstore that contains 350 pages, but they will pay $47 for a 60 page e-book that they can download and print out on their own paper. That is the economic reality of the internet. Plus, instead of having a publisher who gives you a dollar or two for the product you get to keep the whole amount!


Providing a service is something you may not have considered. For example if you have good writing skills, graphic design skills or can whip up a software program with ease, then you can offer your services on the internet. Sites like elance and rentacoder are where buyers and sellers of such services meet. Another place to consider is forums, where internet marketers chat and strike up relationships with people who can help you get started and who want to use your services.


Lastly, if you want to start an online business you can sell other people’s products. This popular business model is called Affiliate Marketing and basically you are the middle man between the buyer and seller.


Whilst you can sell other people’s information products you can also sell physical products ranging from house wares to diamond jewelry as an affiliate marketer.


As Affiliate commissions range from 4% to 75% of the total sale price, many affiliate marketers begin by selling information products because many information products offer 75% of relatively high purchase prices. Clickbank.com is the largest clearing house of information products, where you will find over 10,000 products for you to sell.


Then once you have chosen a business model you can begin to learn how to market an internet business to generate sales. Jumping from one business model to another is not going to get you anywhere, so rather decide on a model that suits you and work at it. Those are the guidelines on how you start an online business in your spare time.

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