The misconception that many people have of online entrepreneurship is achieving the ‘overnight success’. I don’t believe in overnight successes. Most people who are now successful spent years of trial and error to get to where they are now.
When I first heard about people making money online, I didn’t have a single bit of knowledge about starting a business. But I did have a desire to learn. I took action, I stayed persistent, and I managed to put the pieces together. If you had asked me five years ago how to start an online business, I would have faltered and responded with something entirely different to what I would say now.
One of the things that has been most valuable in my journey is the support I have had the privilege to enjoy. If you can find it, support is invaluable. In the forefront of your business, there’s you. Lurking behind all of the technical aspects of running your business, there’s your support, the people who keep you grounded, who give you feedback, who keep you accountable, and always having the best interests in your goals and aspirations.
My other half, Connie, has been my inspiration, an incredible partner who has an eye for detail and creativeness, and who is always looking for ways to make the business better and understanding my customers’ wants and needs. It is no coincidence that my business more than doubled in revenue over the course of just these last twelve months as a result of the support, encouragement and feedback that my partner has given me. At the beginning of this year, we set goals, and not just met them but exceeded them.
Together, our contributions have shaped the way the business operates to be reflected in the products created, our overall presence as a brand, in our customer support, and email messages.
However, as grateful as I am for having reached this point in my online business, it didn’t start out like this. I began by selling my unwanted goods on eBay, then learned how to build a website, sold my first-ever eBook, and went on to expand my business into even further avenues. It wasn’t a small endeavor.
My 5 Sources of Revenue
Of course, there are many different online avenues available to make a living, but let me share, here, what has been working for me, a quick breakdown of the business models that have generated cash flow for me and are continuing to do so.
What are my sources of income?
First up, a dominant 60% of my revenue comes from releasing two new products a month. What type of products am I referring to? eBooks. Books that can be read on a computer or mobile device are gaining popularity every day. And I don’t just offer a .pdf, version of an eBook. The difference is that I offer the rights to the customer to edit the eBook (includes the Word doc) as they wish and to claim authorship. This saves the customer from having to write their own eBooks.
Although there are a variety of topics in this day and age that would have a wide range of readership, the topics I usually focus on are around online business and self-improvement. With the support of a regular group of other sellers with whom I collaborate, plus my own email database, we combine each other’s followers to promote the launch. The result is an influx of sales and buzz around the product.
Once the launch ends, (usually after about five days), sales tend to slow down, as the majority would have been made during the launch period, but then, it is promoted as a ‘recommended product’ when customers purchase other eBooks of a similar topic — kind of like what Amazon does when you go through their checkout. At this stage, I then simply repeat the model for the next product.
My next source of income, making up about 15% of revenue, comes from the membership site.
Each month, members receive a new eBook on the topic of either self-improvement or online business. (I usually alternate topics each month). The same rights are included with a product launch are offered, but this membership adds the convenience of a guaranteed new product each month. The membership site that I run is NitroWealth.com. The membership fee is $10.00 a month. And now you may ask, how much maintenance is required for running a membership site like this?
All that is required is to add a new product at the beginning of each month. My team takes care of most things, from topic suggestions, designing, writing, and customer support. It’s a truly passive business that gives ‘predictable income’ because members are paying for access each month.
One of the beautiful things of an online business is that you don’t necessarily need to develop your own product to sell. You can sell other people’s products as an affiliate or referrer, and earn a commission for every sale you make. Affiliate marketing makes up about 20% of my revenue. I’ll give you an example.
When I post articles or videos on my blogs, such as UnstoppableProfits.com or AureliusTjin.com, I sometimes recommend or suggest products that can be beneficial for my readers. Check out this post, where I share a video and article about how to create an opt-in/landing page. There are two products that I am recommending in this post: OptimizePress and LeadPages.
Whenever I make a sale for either of these companies, I make a commission of anywhere from 20% to 40%. This page has made thousands of dollars for me since I first posted it on June 30th, 2006. It is getting traffic from search engines when people search for keywords like “optin page”, “how to create an optin page”, and many more.
About 4% of my revenue comes from ads that are placed on my smaller ‘niche’ websites. I don’t focus much on this model, as I’d rather focus my efforts towards product launches and growing the membership site. But there’s definitely nothing wrong with monetizing your site from ads. It makes for great pocket money. Just keep in mind that it’s important to focus on the 80/20 rule, and put your strongest efforts into the endeavors that will generate the 80%. In my case, the product launches and memberships.
Services are not a big part of my business due to the fact that my forte is in digital products and the passive side of it all. In other words, I am more interested in creating something once and allowing the website to sell and deliver my products without needing a huge amount of my focused attention. The only service that I currently offer is an installation where customers can choose to have my team edit and upload their eBook to their website.
This model currently only makes up about 1% of my revenue, but I do plan to expand on this area.
It has taken me ten years to get to this point. I’ve learned to work smarter, but there are plenty more lessons and challenges that I know I will need to go through to continue growing this business.
In 2016, I plan to put much more effort into the membership model side of things, not only because the recurring revenue is great, but because I’d also like to have a place where members can go, besides accessing my personal support, to converse with other members in the community.
As far as eBusiness Lifestyle goes… As you may realize by now, this blog is something that Connie and I started together this year because it’s something we’re both passionate about. We are committed to continue posting on this blog and on other social media, hoping to reach and connect with other active or prospective online entrepreneurs wanting to start or expand their own business.
The future is looking optimistic and it’s just a matter of keeping the momentum going and setting new milestones and goals, perhaps even some rather audacious ones, too.