It wasn’t originally self sustaining business ideas I was looking for. I just wanted something I could work on as and when I wanted. Initially I started with eBay. This idea of using the internet to make money was quite attractive. You could sell anything to anyone when eBay opened its doors in 1995. Anyone can still use eBay to sell products globally. But the business model I share here wasn’t self sustaining. It was just a model to buy cheap and sell for profit.

When I bought an eBook from eBay showing me that very business model, I knew I had stumbled upon something very special. “Self sustaining business ideas” to me meant you could use the internet to sell products over and over. You didn’t need to personally be there all the time, or be continually working.

This was the next level! The eBook I bought taught a business system. But it was the eBook itself which lit up a light bulb in my mind. I knew the idea was genius! Selling a digital eBook over and over again through a single listing was amazing. It was an automated business idea which was self perpetuating. If only I could copy the model and make it work!

Self Sustaining Business Ideas

I’m not selling eBooks here. This was just the initial lightbulb moment which led on to something much bigger and better. Initially I thought I could just sell an eBook. This idea made sense. List a digital manuscript of your own eBook in PDF format. Then sell through a Paypal payment and deliver the eBook automatically on checkout! It was the perfect autopilot money making system. The product could be sold again and again through a website or single eBay listing. The problem was creating the right product and then selling it! The automation was what fascinated me!

I made a couple of attempts at writing my own eBooks and selling them. I have written a few since too, but I don’t charge for them. Here’s one I’ve written on affiliate marketing, the model I am about to get to.

self sustaining business ideas

Affiliate Marketing – Self Sustaining Business Model

After a few unsuccessful attempts at selling my own ebooks over the internet, I looked for some training on how to sell products online. This led me to affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a business model which lets anyone send customers to other people’s products to earn commissions on the sales. You can earn 40%+ commissions too on digital products in particular.

This is because, like the eBook I initially bought, once the thing is created, there’s very little costs involved. Downloading instantly from the internet means no postage costs. Once the product is created once, there’s no manufacturing costs. This means more of the profits can be shared with a third party for generating the sale. It also means anyone can run a self sustaining business model from the internet.

self sustaining business ideas

But what makes affiliate marketing self sustaining?

Self Sustaining Business Ideas – Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing rewards affiliates based on the sales they create. So they need to create sales in order to make any profit. However, if they can do this successfully, over time their previous efforts can be replicated and scaled up. For example, if you write an article (like this one), it can generate results time and time again over a long period of time. Affiliate marketing can benefit from residual sales built on previous work.

Again you need to put in the work upfront, but it’s one of the most accessible businesses which can do this. It’s a bit like royalties which are paid to artists, novelists and actors for work they have done previously. There’s other ways why affiliate marketing is self sustaining too.

Automation

how to become an online affiliate marketer

The automation of the internet means you can build content, create adverts and send website traffic to various offers and products over the web. Once this is set up it can be automated. Automation covers a website which runs 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, uninterrupted. You can also automate adverts and email auto-responders.

Email Auto-Responders

self sustaining business ideas

List building is a tool of the affiliate marketer. Affiliates build lists to generate ‘leverage’ with their online businesses. Through an automated email list, an affiliate marketer can sell and promote various products to their subscribers. As their lists grow, their sales grows too. Some affiliate marketers have lists of subscribers numbering into the tens of thousands.

By sending out a single email, they can generate multiple sales of affiliate products. Auto-responders used in conjunction with online advertising and affiliate products can be the basis of a self sustaining business. The “back-end”, or the working model of the business is taken care of completely separately. Affiliates are only concerned with the “front-end” or marketing side of the business.

Self Sustaining Affiliate Products

A single product will only earn you a single commission as an affiliate marketer. However, by choosing products from a range, you can earn considerably more as an affiliate. Each later sale can earn you a commission from a product range.

self sustaining business ideas

You only need to refer the initial sale to benefit from later sales commissions. Imagine if you could sell Apple products and earn affiliate commissions. For every sale of an Apple product to your customer, you earned a commission. Sell a iphone to a customer and earn a commission. If that customer later buys an Apple Laptop, (or any other Apple product), you still get the commission because you referred the customer to Apple.

Unfortunately Apple don’t have an affiliate program. However, there are product suites which have this model from which you can benefit from:

  • Up-sells – Products sold to your referrals after your initial sale.
  • Multi-tier sales – Products sold by your referrals bringing you a commission.
  • Monthly commissions – Products which offer memberships and ongoing value bringing you commissions.

self sustaining business ideas

Choosing an affiliate program which offer these benefits is then obviously much more self sustaining than many affiliate programs. Self sustaining business ideas in the affiliate arena should have:

  • Multiple ways of earning commissions
  • Allow for paid advertising and scaling up
  • Up-sells which bring you commissions
  • Membership sales from which you can generate ongoing commissions.
  • Automation and systems which can be built and scaled

Access an online business system, training and a product suite here.