I started looking for niche online business ideas quite a while ago. There had to be a way to use the internet to make money. I started with eBay, flogging things from my house. After a while this turned into a hobby of finding items from car boots sales. I would check eBay before buying them, to see how much items were worth. I later found a better method which meant I could work from home entirely. Check it out in my article how to start a profitable ebay business.

Niche Online Business Ideas

The eBay method I used was the first of many niche online business ideas which I tried. In short I was finding misspelled items on eBay and then re-listing them. Only when I re-listed them I made sure they were correctly spelled. I also included many more keywords to get more bidders. I also started listings at a very low starting bid, to encourage a bidding war!

niche online business ideas

After using this strategy for a while I decided there must be something better out there. I wanted more time and more money. Being tied to my computer all the time was no fun! It seemed to me that there must be a better way. I knew there must be many niche online business ideas to use. The one I was using (my eBay method) seemed very limited and time consuming. Although it worked and I did made a profit on many items, I spent a lot of time on the laptop searching for items and listing them.

I wanted something else and I was about to find it!

Niche Online Business Ideas – Automation Is The Key!

The main problem with the eBay method was lack of automation. I spent far too long tied to my laptop. After downloading an eBook which I bought from eBay, I realised there was a far simpler way to sell products online. Although the eBay strategy worked and could be used from anywhere, it wasn’t very automated and it couldn’t be easily scaled up.

niche online business ideas

I’ve since realised that the main criteria for any niche online business ideas should be:

  1. Automation
  2. Global Reach
  3. Scalability

Although the eBay system had a global reach, it didn’t have scalability or automation. Well, it had some automation in that the listings would run 24 hours a day, finding bidders. But each time I sold something, I had to personally list each item individually. What struck me with the eBook I bought was that it could run continually and be sold again and again through a single listing. This is because it was a digital product. 

Niche Online Business Ideas – Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing was the business model which I eventually found. After a while of attempting to create my own ebooks, I realised affiliate marketing was the best of the many niche online business ideas I had tried. Affiliate marketing is basically a form of referral marketing on the internet.

niche online business ideas

It allows anyone to sell someone else’s products over the internet for a commission. Because you don’t need to deal with customers or handle any products personally, you can automate the process of selling. With digital products you can sell globally without needing to worry about postage, storage or manufacturing costs.

Amazon, for example, runs an affiliate program. You can choose any product from Amazon, link to it from somewhere with your own unique affiliate code, and earn commissions from sales you refer. This was the business model I was looking for.

It meant I didn’t need to fill my room with ‘bargains’ I had found online or in second hand shops. I didn’t need to deal with customers queries, and I didn’t need to even handle a product. I simply referred customers to products over the internet and earned a commission. It was all nice and neat!

Niche Online Business Ideas – What I Didn’t Know

What I didn’t know about affiliate marketing was pretty much everything! Rushing in, I started by building websites and creating content, none of which worked. I had the odd success but it was always short-lived. I persevered though, and knew there had to be a breakthrough if I stuck to it for long enough.

niche online business ideas

What I didn’t know was that there was a lot of competition out there on Google. Ranking anything on Google’s free search listings was a challenge to say the least. That left paid advertising techniques, which is risky – especially when you don’t know what you’re doing! Choosing the right products to promote as an affiliate was ultimately the key. I didn’t know what to promote or how to promote it!

I struggled for a long time and nearly quit several times over. What I eventually learned was that choosing the right products to promote, and promoting them in the right way, was ultimately the answer to many of the problems I had encountered.

Niche Business Ideas Online – Commissions On Affiliate Products

For example, Amazon pays out 3-10% commissions on its products. For low value products that means you’re earning pennies, or cents on each sale. That’s not really enough to quit your job and sail around the world! Check out some of Amazon’s commission rates for its affiliates below:

niche online business ideas

Now compare this to digital products which typically pay out 40% commission for sales of products. For what often amounts to the same amount of work, you can earn 40% of an item’s cost, just by linking to it with your affiliate link.

Commission Structures – Niche Online Business Ideas

With the right commission structures, you can earn a lot more per sale, than with the wrong kind of products. Here’s a quick example:

  • Digital products pay 40% commissions compared to 3-10% for physical products
  • Subscription products let you earn ongoing commissions from each sale.
  • Products which offer commissions from a product range, let you earn later, for previous customers.
  • Up-sells and high ticket products let you benefit from larger commissions and later sales closed by a built in sales team

So just by choosing a certain product range, you can earn from later sales closed on your behalf. High ticket products, too, allow you to earn more per sale than lower valued products. Choosing carefully which affiliate products you promote, can make all the difference with an online business.