It is an exciting time to be alive. The boom of the internet, particularly web 2.0, has disrupted how the world does business. With the growth of personal computing, more and more people are turning to cost and (more often) time saving benefits of internet shopping. Rather than the time-consuming task of browsing numerous stores in person, a large portion of the world now has access to thousands of different options to select the product, and ultimately company, best suited to their needs, desires, and vision. This isn’t limited to products; expanding your vision on the definition of “what is an online business?” may shift your paradigm, and ultimately, your next steps.
All too often, we hear about people that “can’t stand their bosses,” “hate their jobs,” or are “exhausted of their toxic work environment.” This truly begs the question: what are these people doing about it? After all, we live in the day and age where self-employment and business ownership are more accessible than they have ever been, requiring little to no startup capital. If some of these people hustled as hard as they griped, they may remove themselves from the very situations they claim to have utter disdain for.
When thinking of an “online business,” many will think of traditional physical products. This is most certainly not the case: an online business is analogous to other forms of employment. As one of quite many examples, a strong parallel would be envisioning dozens of “normal” jobs: a firefighter isn’t inherently providing you a product, but a service. The same bodes true for many online businesses: they may not ship you anything. Put as simply as possible, an ecommerce store which ships physical products is only a slice of the possibilities to consider when launching an online business: a service provider, such as one that creates revenue via a membership site, is a great method to consider, in particular due to lower startup and maintenance costs.
In fact, this observation regarding online businesses and products (or lack of a need thereof) goes even further: many of these online businesses don’t even need to sell you a service. Many individuals that run online businesses are self-employed in fields such as content creation – and are often compensated via ad revenue or other passive means of income generated through the viewing and use of their created content. In essence, this enables you to have the job of which many dream of: you simply talk about (or write about) your passions, educating and inspiring others, and receive compensation.
As some examples of content creators making a profession of an online business through content creation a reality (besides the obvious, such as YouTube ad revenue,) a service that went viral last year, Steem, compensates content creators for high quality posts and comments directly through their platform via a blockchain-based asset. This decentralization of compensation for content creators has been in demand in a growing industry, where more and more content creators are seeking the optimal methodology to bolster their visibility while simultaneously optimizing their revenue, as many platforms take what is considered a highly disproportionate percentile of the overall profit.
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