While a lot of people have considered setting up an online business, few carry their ideas to fruition because they don’t realise the different types of business opportunities that websites offer. With platforms such as WordPress, which make it easy to create business websites, setting up an online business has never been simpler. To give you some inspiration, this post will look at five types of online businesses that you can create with WordPress.
Sell your services online
If you have a skill or a service you’d like to make money from, then a WordPress website is the ideal channel to promote your business to potential customers. This is often a model used by freelancers, especially those whose work is computer or internet based, such as website developers, copywriters or video editors. However, it can be used for any type of service business from architects to zoology consultants.
These types of website will need to have separate pages for each of the services you offer, together with relevant images, portfolios of your previous work and customer testimonials. You’ll also need to have a guide to pricing and let customers know how to contact you to book your services.
Start an online niche directory
One popular type of online business is the niche directory, a website that helps people find other businesses in a relevant niche. For example, if you were to set up a specialist wedding directory, you could promote a wide range of businesses such as dress designers, shoe companies, hatters, stationery companies, honeymoon providers and so forth. You can do this in any kind of niche.
To make businesses feel there’s value to be had from paying to advertise on your site, you’ll need to provide them with a reasonable number of visitors. To do this, of course, you’ll need to publish content that is appealing and gets your site lots of traffic. You’ll have to do much more than simply listing the names, addresses and contact details of your advertisers, such as writing blog posts about them or letting them create their own, extended listings.
Luckily, there are WordPress directory themes with built-in functionality for photo galleries, videos, blog posts and discount vouchers, enabling you to create the ideal site quickly and have everything you need to start creating a powerful niche directory site.
Create an affiliate site
In order to promote themselves, many companies run affiliate programs where they pay commission to websites that help them make a sale. They give you a link to their website which you place on your own site and if a visitor clicks on that link and buys something, you get paid a commission.
While many blogs display affiliate ads to help generate additional income, some people set up websites to create affiliate marketing businesses. These sites always focus on a particular market niche and work by publishing helpful articles for readers. However, when writing those articles, they’ll also promote the products of the companies they are affiliated with.
A typical example could be someone who is a financial expert and is writing articles about mortgages, credit cards, bank accounts and loans. They may have affiliate accounts with a range of different banks and get paid every time a reader gets a mortgage or a loan.
For these sites to be successful, the posts you write have to give genuinely great advice and generate a lot of visitors. If the advice is poor, no-one will click through to the advertiser, and if you don’t get enough visitors, you won’t get enough clicks. It takes time and effort to create successful affiliate sites as you’ll need a lot of articles before you generate enough visitors and income.
Again, WordPress is ideal for affiliate sites as it is easy to create affiliate links and there are quite a few plugins to help you manage your affiliate programs.
Set up a subscription site
A subscription site is where members pay to have access to the premium content on your website. For this to work well, however, you have to have great quality free content too. If this is good enough, customers will willingly pay for the best content. However, if the free content is poor, they’re unlikely to sign up.
A typical example could be a photography website. The free part of the website provides excellent articles on how to take stunning pictures and this generates lots of return visitors eager to learn more. To make money, however, the website will have a members’ only area where users can download special guides, watch video how-tos and even take online courses. To gain access to this part of the site, users will need to pay a subscription fee.
There are numerous WordPress membership themes available with all the inbuilt functionality to create members areas, take payments and even set up different membership tiers.
Open an online shop
Perhaps the most obvious of internet businesses, online shops are ideal for those wanting to sell products online. However, whilst creating the actual shop is relatively easy when using plugins like WooCommerce, the running of an online store is more challenging than most people think.
It’s vital that owners understand the legal obligations they have to comply with; for example, there are laws which dictate how you must conduct online business, such as the Distance Selling Act.
For those who intend to sell online, WordPress offers everything you need to set up shop. WooCommerce can turn your WordPress site into a fully functioning online store and there is a range of other great plugins that can help you market your products to your customers and make your site attractive and user-friendly.
Setting up an online business comes with a lot of responsibilities but can lead to substantial rewards in the long run. Hopefully, this post will have provided an insight into the different types of business you can create using WordPress and given you ideas about which are the best for you.
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