One way for an entrepreneur to make money by using a computer is to start an ecommerce business. With ecommerce, you can start a website and engage in the selling of your products or services, or someone else's, via the Internet. Several common ecommerce business models can be applied to your online business.
Vanity websites allow you to promote an individual interest or indulge in a hobby. An example of a vanity site is a writer who starts a blog as a form of self-expression. A vanity site typically is not a means to earn a large income. However, some income may be generated by using an ad serving application, such as Google AdSense, to place advertisements on your site that produce revenue when visitors click on them.
A storefront is used to sell products via a website. Products may be manufactured by the seller or sold through methods such as drop shipping, in which a site owner sells the products of a third party. Auction websites such as eBay.com are another common form of storefront site from which entrepreneurs can sell merchandise through a bidding process.
Subscription websites allow readers to gain access to information in a method similar to subscribing to a newspaper or magazine. Entrepreneurs who possess a high level of expertise in a field, such as investing or how to make money through a particular business venture, often use subscriptions as a revenue source. They may disseminate information in the form of a newsletter sent periodically by email.
Business-to-business ecommerce sites, also known as B2B, give businesses the opportunity sell products to other businesses online. Purveyors of products such as computer systems and office supplies allow small business owners to make purchases without having to visit a physical location. This can save them time and perhaps even money, such as when they receive discounts for buying through a website.
Affiliate marketing is when one business sells the products of another in return for a commission. An example of an affiliate marketing model is when an individual creates a website providing information about stock market investing. He then registers with the affiliate program of a business that sells a book about how to make money investing in stocks and places a link to the book on his site. When a customer clicks on the link and purchases the book, the site owner receives a commission.