Best Business Models: The Positive Effect of Business Models that Work

Two standard online business models that support the long tail and help generate revenue

It’s clear we’re in a new age in publishing, and we must consistently redefine ourselves as media professionals. We’re no longer publishing a single magazine or newsletter, we’re now offering users information and entertainment on a variety of platforms using a variety of business models and marketing channels.

Two standard business models that work

The effect of business models that are used appropriately (or inappropriately) with an audience can vary. It can be hit or miss. However, there are two standard, fundamental online business models that rise above every other business model in importance:

1. The free Internet hub. The key to online success for a publisher, an Internet hub attracts new prospects, converts them to free information users (most often as subscribers to a free email newsletter or newsletters) and then, via web pages, email, RSS feeds, and other communication methods, refers them to other revenue-producing sites in the website network.

Simple and easy-to-use, this offers users free content and community in return for registration and brand loyalty. The hub’s primary goal is to build a permission-based email, bookmark or RSS relationship with each visiting user.

fuelNet.com is a best practice Mequoda Internet Hub.

2. The retail business model. Retail websites have two business goals: (a) allow users to buy products, and (b) begin a user relationship with both buyers and non-buyers that will lead to future sales.

There are three types of retail business models, what we call “archetypes”.

The Catalog Archetype offers many products for sale and has a shopping cart for checkout.

The Book (or Product) Archetype is a single product orderflow. If an author has only one book to sell and has no plans to acquire a larger audience by developing an Internet hub based on the contents of their book, they may create a simple book website where users can buy the book and nothing more.

The Event Archetype is a single page with multiple daughter pages. These daughter pages might link to a heavier description, photos, testimonials or other marketing pieces related to a specific event.

Amazon.com is a best practice retail business model (catalog archetype).

Choosing the right business model and supporting infrastructure for any business is a key strategy for business success. Building the right infrastructure supports higher revenue, lower operating costs and happier customers.

Download a FREE copy of 7 Ways to Monetize your Portal Audience, and discover how today's top publishers are generating revenue through memberships, events, clubs, sponsorships, and more.

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