Setting up profitable online businesses and striking it big continue to lure dreamy-eyed entrepreneurs and aspiring business moguls. The success of many online ventures provides clues and templates to how we can cash in on the frictionless economy envisioned by the Internet pioneers, but these barely scratch the surface of the Web’s true potential for transforming the economy. Nevertheless, some business models have demonstrated that they can be profitable. Here are some online businesses you may want to start.

1. Targeted Ad Agency                                                                       

The outlook for traditional tri-media ad agencies has become bleaker with each passing year. Some have ventured into digital media, but if they continue to apply the same one-way mass marketing models, there’s little hope that things will improve. The core feature of the Internet is that it enables people to engage in two-way communication. For ad agencies this means taking advantage of web tools and technologies to target specific demographics and gather more feedback than was previously possible with traditional conventional advertising media. This opens up incredible and previously unexplored business models for ad agencies to employ, simply because there now exist tools and technologies to make this possible.

2. Niche Marketing

Niche marketing involves selling a product or service to a specific segment of the market. All throughout the web, companies are enjoying significant success in selling to highly targeted and very narrow segments of the market. You may have never heard of the band Phish, although they are one of the most financially successful rock groups in the U.S. Tickets to their shows and copies of their CDs were sold only to a select group of people who made it to their mailing list. They cultivated a relatively small but fiercely loyal audience. The web offers tools such as electronic mailing lists and opt-in email marketing that let you similarly cultivate targeted sales prospects.

3. Sniff Out Leads

Do you remember the disclaimers on most websites that promise they won’t sell your email address and contact information to any other third party? It turns out that doing this may actually be a profitable online business. Companies are always looking for sales prospects, and may pay you for your relevant sales leads.

4. Create Apps

Some of the hottest online business stories involve companies creating online applications such as sales management, project management, customer sales management, and even social games.

5. Online Training

The ever-increasing complexity of our tech-driven world leaves people craving for more information, more learning. Training videos have a ready market in individuals seeking to advance their skills, as well as companies seeking to beef up the competence of their personnel. Training software is also in great demand, as are systems to measure and test learning.

As we get to understand more and more of the online environment and the ways in which people interact with it, we will surely see more and more profitable online businesses emerge. These ventures will undoubtedly feature novel business models that are built upon the exciting new technologies that will find their way into the Internet mainstream.

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Filed under: Internet Marketing

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