Last week, we talked about some of the most popular internet business models. This week, I describe two very common exciting internet business approaches: information marketing and blogging. There are some very cool benefits to both, and I discuss one particular example that might surprise you – an ebook about how to buy carpet. Yes, I said carpet.
Last week we talked about a bunch of different kinds of internet businesses that you might be interested in starting. We talked about selling your own products and promoting other people’s products. We talked about all kinds of things like creating content and placing ads.
One of the things we didn’t really talk about were some of the specific derivative models that are particularly popular. You can combine these things in certain ways and take special cases and make really interesting businesses. There are two of them that I wanted to talk to you about a little bit today.
One of them is this area of information marketing.
Information marketers are kind of like regular product marketers. You could imagine getting a shipment of toys in from China, a special toy, let’s call it a red fire truck. Those red fire trucks maybe shipped to you from China cost $3 apiece. You could imagine selling those toys online for $10 apiece and making $7 per sale. You could take people’s credit cards and all that kind of stuff and then you could ship those toys to people. You could charge them shipping or not. You could sell domestically or internationally, the whole thing. You can imagine that.
That can be a very lucrative business, that’s a traditional sort of brick and mortar physical products business moved to an online context. The great thing about having that store online is that you can reach a much wider audience than you could if you had a small toy shop next to your local grocery store in a strip mall down the street. And you can be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, literally, selling those toys. Those are real advantages of the internet.
The disadvantage to that kind of business comes from product costs, handling, and the kind of issues that come with quality assurance of the product, warehousing, and all of the issues that come with import and export, and all the kind of issues that come with actual physical products.
There’s a related business model that has become very popular with internet marketers called information marketing. This would be the idea that you actually create an information product; some valuable, well presented course or collection of information that people are willing to pay for. They pay you for it, they download it electronically for instant delivery, and there is no actual physical product, there’s no real cost aside from whatever initial production cost you have in creating the product. As a result, it’s a very high profit margin business.
I’ll give you an example. My neighbor one time decided he was going to buy new carpet for his house. If you’ve never purchased carpet for a large house, it’s an expensive purchase, we’re talking about thousands of dollars depending on the size of your house. And carpet is a relatively complex industry. You’ve got the carpet pad and what the carpet is made of, and the different kinds of carpet. You’re faced with this carpet salesman who you don’t really know if you can trust. Is he selling you the best carpet or is he selling you the most expensive carpet?
So my neighbor went online and found an electronic book (an ebook) all about how to buy carpet; what to look for, how to pick a pad, and so forth. He paid, I don’t know, $19.95 for this electronic book. He downloaded it, read it, and probably saved thousands of dollars from the purchase of that ebook. The information marketer, out of that $19.95 probably profited at least $17 on the sale of that ebook.
The magic is once that ebook is written and out there there’s no other work to do around maintaining that product. All of the sales and money collection and all that kind of stuff can be automated. The only work that you have to do at that point is getting the product in front of people so that they can buy it, and possibly updating it when new carpet technology comes out every five years. That’s the beauty of information marketing. That’s one of the models I wanted to mention to you.
The other model that you hear about all the time that’s worth thinking about is blogging.
Blogging as a business is kind of a hybrid of a lot of these models. Typically what’s happening with blogging is someone is writing about something that they care about and they develop a big following, a platform of thousands or tens of thousands, or in some cases hundreds of thousands of people that want to read what they have to say each and every day. The search engines recognize this and they send even more people. These things tend to grow nonlinearly as the blogger gets more and more popular.
All of that traffic can be converted to money using a lot of the methods that we’ve talked about. You can place ads on the site that pay you depending on the number of visitors. You can place ads on the site that pay you depending on the number of clicks. You can review and promote products on the site that pay you depending on the number of people that you send to the product site or the number of sales that are made. And you can create your own information products that are in the niche that you’re talking about.
For example, let’s say that you have a photography website and you become very popular about how to take photographs with children, you become one of the experts on the internet. Maybe you have an ebook that you sell about how to photograph your own children. Perhaps you sell ads on the site for some famous child photography studio session that you can sign up for.
These kinds of things are all possible with blogging and that’s why blogging is another business model that you can consider when you’re trying to figure out how to build your internet business, but it doesn’t fit neatly into one of the categories that I described in the last episode because it’s really a hybrid of all the above.
So there’s two more business models for you on the internet; information marketing and blogging. I hope that’s helpful to you.