Types of business websites.
Step 2
Part 1


Before you create a business website you need to clearly define what sort of business website you are creating, as there are several types of business websites. This is a fairly common question, but its good understanding will let you more effectively to build your site in terms of its purpose, structure, and content. Not all business websites are built the same way. Each type has its own features, therefore, it is important to know what business models for websites exist.

So, you’ve decided to start making money on the Internet, knowing what great opportunities it offers. But do not be fooled from the start, aiming to make money online very quickly and easily. You’ll need to learn a lot and make a lot of work. Often, you even don’t think of the hours and you’ll only pay attention to working to make your business website successful. But once you start to achieve success and your website will be visited, you will find that this is one of the best ways to earn a living.

Of course, you first of all, are interested in what are the best ways to make money online. That’s why we start the material provision of this section with a description of the existing online business models. Each model is characterized by its purpose and complexity. Those that require more work and time, as a rule, can give more profit. The choice of the business models for websites depends on how much time and effort you want and you can invest into your project.

So, at Step 2-1 we discuss:

    • What are the Main Types of Business Models?
    • Which Business Model to Choose for Website Creation?

1. Business Models and Types of Business Websites.

1.1. Types of Business Models.

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Business model – is a method of doing business by which you receive income (or plan to receive income). Any business model is characterized by two principal components: Value of Business Proposition (what specific needs of customers the business will provide) and Revenue Model (how the business will bring profit). Of course, these components strongly influence on types of business websites that online marketers use.

The purpose of this section is to help you to identify and describe your online business model at starting steps. This is very important point, as it can help you to better understand the critical moments at your online business formation, including main sources of income and potential competitors.


The most common and successful on the Internet are the following business models for websites:

    • Advertising Model.
    • Affiliates Model.
    • Brokerage Model.
    • Merchant Model.
    • Subscription Model.
    • Information Model.
    • Community Model.

Let’s take a brief look at the main features of each of the models, which will help better understand the types of business websites at the stage of starting online business.

1. Advertising Model.

The Advertising Model is probably the most common and widely used for business websites, recently it is used for mobile phones also. Its essence is that the website owners place ads of the well-known advertising companies, such as AdSense, AdBrite, Chitika, Clicksor, etc. These third-party ad-share sites pay for advertising. Calculation of the payment can be made on the basis of: cost per click, cost per impression, and fixed cost. Each of these companies has its own rules and restrictions. We examine this question in more detail in section 3 “Ads on Business Website” of our site.

The main principle of work:
You register at ad-share site, for example, at AdSense; you create advertising campaigns using keywords; for each advertising campaign you get and copy the code for a special banner (text or graphics) and place it on your web pages. When visitors click on banners your account is updated.

The main advantage:
This model provides the easiest way to monetize the website, as you do not have to think where to find and how to get advertising for your website, and can fully concentrate on content and traffic.

The main disadvantage:
However, we must say that many marketers are not satisfied with the amount of earnings by use of this model and use it in combination with other models, for example, they place some affiliate advertising in addition.

2. Affiliates Model.

The Affiliate Model exists due to the existence of the affiliate programs on the Internet and it is the favorite model of many marketers, as it can generate a big income (read about the best affiliate programs). In this model, the website owner is rewarded every time when the visitor of his site purchase a product or service (filling the appropriate form of the buyer). For example, the company sells the product for $ 120 at affiliate commission of 50%. This means that every time the purchase will happen from your site, your affiliate account will be credited by amount of $ 60.

The main principle of work:
You register at affiliate programs like Amazon, ClickBank, etc.; you get all needed promotional material including your affiliate URL; you place ads on your web pages and provide traffic.

The main advantage:
This model can generate a big income and you are not responsible for delivery of the sold products or services (this is done by the owner of affiliate program).

The main disadvantage:
It requires the permanent and extensive work on selection of the profitable products. The original brief description (or reviews) is needed to attract attention of the website visitors. The good news is that there are many high-quality WP plugins for the major marketplaces that significantly automate the selection of products.

3. Brokerage Model.

By use of Brokerage Model marketers (brokers) bring buyers and sellers together and assist transactions. Brokers play a frequent (and sometimes permanent) role in business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), or consumer-to-consumer (C2C) transactions in different markets.

Broker charges a commission or a fee for each transaction made with his participation. For example, very often such types of business websites may encounter when buying or selling real estate.

4. Merchant Model.

You probably know a lot about this model. It is an online store, as, for example, Amazon. The merchant model is used in all online wholesale and retail sales of products and services. In some cases  the sellers exist solely online, and in other cases, sellers exist as real stores and their websites are just their advertising web storefront.

The main principle of work:
If you want to use this model you should be provided with a reliable source of products and delivery system of the products to the customers. At absence of own stores (own products), you should be able to enter into contracts with real suppliers of the products you are going to sell from your website, otherwise the model can’t work.

The main advantage:
Using this model you get complete control on profit, as you control the products. Since you have the products in your hands, you get to decide what to do with the money you earn. Also this model is of best payback, as you have control on prices.

The main disadvantage:
Itis clear that due to the fact that you own the products, you have a lot of work to make. For example, you have to support customers and to worry about the delivery of products on time. You also have a high level of risk because of investment required to start an online store.

5. Subscription Model.

The subscription business model is sort a business model where the clients must pay a subscription price to have the accessibility to the product or service (daily, monthly or annual). This model was launched by magazines and newspapers, but now is used by very many online businesses.

The main benefits of these types of business websites is that instead than to sell products individually, a subscription sells products periodically. Thus, a one-time sale can become a repeating sale and can build you a brand respect and good profits.

6. Information Model.

The business website built on this model gives the customers information and facts they are prepared to pay for. So, these business websites ordinarily sell hard-to-find information to buyers. Information can be sold in a variety of digital formats such as MP3, MP4, e-books, PDF reports, webinars, etc. Usually the money is making through direct sales from the site.

At such types of business websites the data about buyers and their consumption practices are valuable, especially when that information is properly examined and utilized to target the promotion campaigns. Individually accumulated data about producers and their products and services are beneficial to consumers when taking into consideration a purchase. Some firms operate as the information intermediaries (infomediaries) assisting buyers and sellers to understand a given market.

7. Community Model.

This model is used for business websites that build communities of users with common interests. Despite the fact that the main options of these sites may be for free, the owners of these sites can charge a small fee for certain premium options that make the website easier and more efficient to use.  For example, such websites may offer free software, but then ask for some payment for provided support, access to manuals and other documentation, etc. The number of business websites that are using this model is growing, as more and more free products appear on the Internet and these products require versatile support.

The main principle of work:
This business model is characterized by the presence of a business theme that may be interesting to many people, and this interest may incorporate people. The theme should also have some interesting paid services to generate income.

The main advantage:
These business websites are developing stable and the market for them is growing.

The main disadvantage:
Websites using this business model may require recruitment of staff from the starting steps.

1.2. Which Business Model to Choose for Website Creation. 

Here we draw attention to two aspects:

    • First, it should be noted that this is one of the most critical stages at starting any online business.  The business model selection for your business website should be done not only by considering the experience that you have or not, but rather, by considering the fact that you’ll be very interested in a chosen business topic and it’ll generate interest in permanent work. For example, if you really want to have the online store for specific products, than create a store.
    • Second, the clean use of just one type of business models for the website creation  in practice almost never occurs. Usually a combination of several types of business models is used. For example, you can have a business website created on a combination of Information Model and Affiliates Model.

1.3. What to choose, if I start from scratch?

Of course, Affiliates Model!

This model is the most easy to understand and implement. It can be implemented both by having (creating) the own website, and without your own website.

If you decide to create your own website and use this business model, it means that you’ll place ads on your web pages by use of affiliate programs (for example, like ClickBank, PayDotCom, JVZoo, etc.). You also will have to accompany the ads with some original content, reviews, comment, etc. If you successfully select the products (ads)  and learn well how to get stable targeted traffic to your website – it’ll mean that you have mastered this model.

If you do not create own website, then you’ll have to advertise your affiliate URLs (affiliate web pages, which you get from the Affiliate Control Panel of the program owners) and you provide traffic directly to these pages.

So, boldly make concrete steps on choosing from types of business websites and start to make money online!  

1.4. Outcomes that you should have from performing Step 2-1.

Outcomes Comments and advice.

1. To Get a General Idea of the Types of Business Websites and Business Models for Websites. This is rather general information, but it is useful for a better understanding of the overall Internet business concept.
2. To Have Chosen Model for You. If you start from scratch, then you should choose the Affiliates Model and later carefully examine the best marketplaces where you’ll get the products for sale. 

Finishing with Types of Business Websites – go ahead with Choosing Website Platform.