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Top Online Business Models in 2022

Today, I’m going to talk about six of the top online business models in 2022 that you can use when you’re just getting started.

I want to ask you a question, are you struggling with trying to figure out what kind of online business to start?

This is a very common problem. This is something that a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs have to deal with when they’re just getting started with their business. And this is something that I really struggled with too, when I first started out as an entrepreneur.

I remember, and this was back in probably 2006 or 2007, I was just getting started. I was maybe a couple years into running my own law practice and I was first becoming exposed to the online business space. And back then, it’s like 15 years ago, it was very different than it is today.

I remember listening to a podcast. Yes, a podcast. This is basically where you had to download it from your computer onto my phone, I actually don’t know how I listened to this. But I do remember I was listening to something.

I remember I was in the car. I was in Orlando. Somebody was talking about affiliate marketing. I didn’t know what this was. I had no idea what affiliate marketing was at the time. And honestly it sounded like to me, some sort of scam, or get rich quick scheme, or something like that. It sounded like something that was a plausible business idea, just I didn’t quite understand how it was going to work.

What that podcast did for me is it peaked my interest in online business. And I spent the next several years trying to learn more and more about affiliate marketing and other types of online businesses to figure out how I could build my niche. What I could do to teach and inspire others based on what I already knew in my head.

During the next several years, I spent a lot of time reading and learning and researching everything I could about online business. And I started to learn more and more about affiliate marketing. And actually learned that this is one of the easiest and most lucrative business models for a lot of people that are just getting started in online business.

Last year, in 2021, I made $44,000 alone from just one of the affiliate products that I promote. So needless to say, I no longer think that affiliate marketing is a scam, or anything like that. It is a legitimate business opportunity. But I think it’s important to understand that when I was just getting started, back in 2006, 2007, online business was completely different than it is today. Back then it was not nearly as advanced or easy to start as it is right now.

Back then a lot of companies did not even have affiliate programs. And those that did were the types of products or services that you might see on a late night infomercial.

But fast forward to today. Right now in 2022, if you want to sell an online affiliate marketing business today, to earn a couple extra bucks each month, then it’s just a matter of really picking the niche that you want to get in, doing some research and finding a product that you can get behind and support, and promoting that product.

Then every time somebody clicks on your link, you’re going to receive a commission for that sale. That’s the good news.

So the bad news when it comes to affiliate marketing is that there is a lot of competition vying for the different products that are available to promote as an affiliate. It is much harder to get traction and to get some sales on a product than it used to be, not impossible, but it is a lot harder.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you should not start a business and you should not start by promoting other people’s products. It’s definitely an easy way to go when you’re just getting started. And you’re just starting to try and learn and figure this whole online business thing out. But there are a lot of other models out there that you can use to build your online business.

Today, what I’d like to do is talk to you about six of the top online business models that you can use when you’re just getting started. I’m really going to take these in order from the easiest to start, to the most difficult to start, in my opinion.

Now, other people may say you need to start with the sixth one that I list, even though it’s harder, it’s more lucrative. So you should start there. Other people are going to say, “No, you shouldn’t even go past the first one. You should just do everything that way.” It just depends. Every business model is a little different.


So the first model that I want to talk to you about is the advertising model.

This one’s fairly simple. You basically build a website or a blog and you take some code that can come from AdSense or it can come from one of the ad networks that promote certain products. And you take that code and you put it onto your website, and every time you post new content, you’re going to see ads. And when somebody clicks on one of those ads, you’re going to get paid a rate, whatever that rate is, that’s negotiated between you and the company that you’re using to put the ads on your website. That’s how you’re going to get paid.

Now, a lot of you see these websites, if you go to any type of website that just has the ads all over the place that are super annoying, that’s probably the model that these companies are using. And there’s a lot of different articles and click bait advertisements and things like that, that gets you to click on the article. Then you go through to the article and you’re going to see a ton of ads. They’re just all over the place.

Sometimes you can’t help yourself, but to click on one of those ads, because they pop up before you even realize they’re there and you think you’re clicking on something else and you click on the ads. That is one model.

I will tell you my personal opinion, I don’t really like that model. Whenever I get to one of those articles that has all those ads, I almost universally skip away from that article because it’s just too much of a pain. And if I don’t skip away from it, I certainly go to Reader View on either Safari or Chrome has another option where you can go to Reader View. And that way I don’t see all the ads on that webpage, because they’re just distracting and annoying to me and I really hate that.

I realize these companies need to make money, but I don’t need to be the one supporting them, if they’re throwing all those ads at me.

Now, aside from the click bait articles, there’s also some people doing this successfully. There’s a lot of bloggers who are posting recipes, some of the family vlogs or blogs, they also have a lot of these ads on them.

It’s really easy. It’s low hanging fruit, but I will tell you, you’re not going to make as much money with that type of platform as you are going to be selling your own products, which is what I’m going to talk about here in a few minutes.

The other thing to understand with that too, is you have to have a lot of traffic. And when you’re just getting started, you’re not going to have that much traffic.

It might be an easy way to start, make you feel good. Think, “Oh, I’ve got some ads on my website, now I can make some money.” But in reality, if nobody’s finding your content and you don’t have that many visitors to your website, you’re not going to be making that much money anyway. And you might just be annoying the visitors that are coming to your website.

So that’s a model, not one that I recommend or teach about, but that is a model to get started with.

Affiliate Marketing

Now, the second model is affiliate marketing. I’ve already kind of talked about this, and that’s basically where you take a link from a company that you choose to promote and you put that link on your website.

It’s got a special code embedded in that link, that’s unique to you. And if somebody clicks on that link and they go through to the advertiser’s product page and they purchase a product, then you’re going to get credit for that sale. And you’re going to receive a commission. Whatever the negotiated rate is between you and the company that you’re promoting.

Now, the easiest way to get started with this is with Amazon Associates. If you sign up for an Amazon Associates account and you do something like, create a YouTube channel, which is something that I highly recommend, you can put affiliate links in your description of your YouTube channel. And if somebody clicks on one of those links, they want to support your channel and they purchase the product that you’re recommending in the video, then you’re going to get paid a commission.

Now, the commission rates with Amazon are much lower than some of the other commissions that you might be able to access out there. There are a lot of affiliate websites that you can use where you sign up with an account with them, and they’re going to give you a list of the products. They’re going to tell you how well those products are selling.

So the nice thing about joining one of these networks is that they’re going to give you statistics on every merchant that you’re thinking about promoting. And they’re going to give you statistics such as, what the average sale is when somebody clicks through to their website, what the average commission payout is per sale, what the average earnings are per click, that you get somebody to click on the link. This is really good information, because it allows you to compare different merchants to determine which one you might want to promote.

Now, the one thing I would tell you about affiliate marketing is before you just blindly go promoting the best selling affiliate, make sure you check out their product and see if it’s something that you would actually purchase from them or actually use. Because if it’s not a product that you would use or enjoy, it’s probably not something you should be promoting to your audience, because you’re going to lose a lot of credibility with them. Especially if they click on that link, they purchase that product and then they have a bad customer experience.

So you want to make sure you do a lot of research ahead of time to make sure you’re picking the right products.

Now, the way I typically do this, is as opposed to going to these merchant websites and affiliate websites and networks and trying to research different products that I might want to promote. I look at what I’m already using and then see if they have an affiliate relationship somewhere where I can sign up as an affiliate.

It’s a lot easier to promote something that I already know and use and love, than it is to promote something that I’ve never used before in my life.

E-commerce Business

The third type of online business that you could start is an e-commerce business. Now I’m not going to talk a whole lot about this, because honestly I don’t have a lot of experience with it.

I started an Amazon Store probably six or seven years ago and I made some money with it. It was okay. It was my first real foray into e-commerce and online business where I actually had some level of success, but I realized pretty quickly it wasn’t for me. So I don’t talk a whole lot about it.

Also I will tell you, the Amazon platform has changed tremendously in the last five years or so. And so even if I did talk about it, it’d be outdated information that would not be helpful to you.

I just want you to be aware, e-commerce is there, you can start selling on either Amazon, or you could create your own store on a Shopify, or a WooCommerce type of platform. And there’s other platforms out there as well. And this is basically where you’re selling physical products.

The nice thing about selling on Amazon is, you put a product up there and there are people that are going to see your product. Now, whether they’re going to see it or not, that’s really subject to debate. There’s a lot of SEO that goes into that. Maybe you have to pay to play with Amazon by using their ad platform there’s things that you need to think about, versus a Shopify.

The nice thing about that is, it’s your own website, it’s your own storefront, but you’ve got to get your own traffic there. But you can also use Amazon to fulfill your orders, if you’re you’re putting everything on Shopify.

So those are two different platforms that you could use to get started with an e-commerce store. If that’s for you, great. This is going to be better for someone who doesn’t really want their name and persona to be the face of your brand.

Maybe, you just want to pick a product that you like to sell, like camping equipment, or something like that and you just want to sell, or create a brand under that category of products. That’s going to be better for you. If you’re more about, you want to build a personal brand online, e-commerce might not be the way to do it.

D-commerce Business

Now, very similar to e-commerce is what I would call D-commerce. And that’s basically selling digital products online. And now this is different than selling digital courses, which I’m going to get to in a minute.

By selling digital products, we’re talking about printables, people do a lot of this on Etsy, or you could be selling templates. I sell legal templates through my online legal template store, or it could be e-books that you’re selling online.

The nice thing about selling digital products in this way is there’s going to be a lower price point. So if you can get trafficked and really test out your offer, you’re more likely to get some sales pretty quickly through this type of business model.

And typically people are going to sell these products for between, I would say $1 to a $100 maybe for a high end digital product. The costs are going to be lower. The margins are lower. You don’t need to worry about restocking inventory or going through shipping problems, getting things here from China.

So from that standpoint, it’s going to be a little bit easier to create the products, but as a result, you’re going to need to create a lot of products to make your store profitable. But if you do a good job with this, and you really hit a home run with a product that really resonates with a lot of people and sell really well, it could provide you with some significant passive income for many, many months to come.

Online Courses

Now, the fifth business model that you’re going to look at is online courses. Now you’re all probably at this point, I hope familiar with what an online course is.

It’s basically where you pick a topic you want to teach on, and you create a course that teaches about that topic. And then you sell the course. And these can sell anywhere from, again they can start on the low end, $15, $20 and go all the way up to $500 or a $1,000 or even $2,000. I’ve seen some online courses go for and even more than that in some cases.

So it just really depends on how in depth your program is and how much personal touch you have in the program. So if you offer live coaching calls, for example, then that product is going to be worth more, than if it’s just a simple four module course, that’s maybe an hour long. That’s kind of how online courses work.

Now, there’s a multiple different ways to get started with online courses. You can sell on an established platform like UTMe, or Lynda.com, or something like that. Or alternatively, you can create your own online course and sell it on your own platform, using Kajabi, or Teachable, or Thinkific, or platforms such as that.

Now the downside with online courses is people that do sell online courses, they feel like they need to constantly be launching or promoting their course. And if you fall into that trap where you have to launch to make money, that can be really difficult and really stressful.

Alternatively, if you can get your course onto what’s called “Evergreen.” That basically means, where people are constantly being seen an offer to your course automatically as they go through your email funnel, or maybe they watch your videos on YouTube and then ultimately find your course that way.

So whatever it might be, if you can get it onto Evergreen, that’s going to make things a little bit easier for you. But again, you’re constantly needing to improve and build upon and relaunch those courses.

Again, online courses are a great way to get started, if you have something that you know, and love and want to teach about.

Along with online courses, there’s, what’s called high ticket coaching or high ticket courses. And these are typically going to be on the higher-end range. People typically will charge anywhere from $3 to $20,000 for a high ticket course.

So, I know what you’re thinking? You’re thinking, “Wow, people actually make money selling courses for $20,000.” Yeah, they really do. And there’s some good programs out there and people are ready and willing and able to spend that much money. But you don’t just go out of the gate and do that. Now, some people might try to do that, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re going to flop on your face.

The nice thing about the high ticket courses is that you don’t need as many students, obviously. If your goal is to make a hundred thousand dollars in your first year, maybe you only need five students. You just get five people to pay you $20,000 and you’ve hit your revenue goal for the year.

For a lot of people, that’s just a really hard burden. It’s not something I would recommend going into right away when you first get started. But like I said, there’s people that do it. They would say, “No, absolutely you get into high ticket as fast as you possibly can.” So it just depends on what you’re looking to do and what your goals are.

Membership Model

Now, the last type of online business model I want to talk to you about, is what’s called a membership model. And this is basically where you get people to pay you a recurring fee to be part of your program.

That recurring fee could be anywhere from, I’d say like $50 a month, sometimes a little less than that, to up to $100 or $200 a month. And sometimes even more. I know people that have paid $300 or $500 a month for courses and programs where they’re getting information that they use in their business or in their personal life every single day. And so that’s possible. It just depends on what your business model is.

The nice thing about a membership is that you are basically creating content on a regular basis, but instead of worrying about relaunching all the time, you are just feeding that content out to your subscriber base, the people that are paying you. And by doing it that way, if you get more subscribers each month than you lose.

So losing subscribers is what’s called churn, and you want to keep your churn rate as low as possible.

But if you are bringing in more subscribers than you’re loosing each month, then you’re basically giving yourself a raise each month that you bring in new subscribers. And so that’s something to think about.

The membership model is really hot right now. A lot of people are doing that. That’s the model that I use in my online business to be perfectly honest. And I love it. I love it because I have a set number of people in my community who pay me every single month and I’m able to deliver and be available to them and show up with my best self all the time to continue teaching and providing value in their lives.

Related Resourse: If you want to learn more about the Online Business Foundations Membership, click on this link.

If your goal is to replace your day job and you make somewhere in the $50 to a hundred thousand dollars range, I mean, if you think about it, if you’re charging $50 a month for your membership and you can bring in a hundred members, then you just replaced your day job.

It’s really not that hard to bring in a hundred people to your membership community, especially at that price point. If you’re charging a hundred dollars, you only need 50 people. So it is entirely doable and something I would highly recommend that you look into starting or launching, if you’re thinking about starting an online business.

Now, that you know a little bit more about how online business works and the different types of models that might be available to you, I would encourage you to leave a comment below and let me know which model are you thinking about starting. Or maybe you’re already running an online business, which model do you run?

The thing about online business is that makes it so much fun and such a wonderful type of business to start is you don’t have to just start one business with one model. You could be selling a course or a membership that is also selling affiliate products to people, that is also promoting digital templates and products of that sort.

So it doesn’t have to be a one. If I’m going to do a low end online course, I can’t do a membership. No, no, no, it doesn’t work like that. You can have a course and over time you might change that into a membership, or you might include the course as a bonus to people that join your membership program.

So it just depends on how you want to do it. There’s lots of different options available to you. My recommendation would be to pick a market that you know and love and just start posting content and seeing what happens from there. If you posted one really great piece of content every single week, think about how that might transform your life in 12 months from now.

It’s going to make a huge difference. And so I would highly recommend you just start with that. I think YouTube is the best social media platform, other people use Instagram, or Facebook, or other places, that’s fine, maybe TikTok. But just start by creating one piece of content every single week and then going from there.

And again, think about where that might take you in the next 12 months. And while you’re doing that, take a minute, here’s another video I did right here, that talks about the best ways to get started with your online business. Check that out!

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