When I was younger, it was always a dream of mine to be the owner of a franchise business. I thought there wasn’t anything better than a franchise. You basically leverage another company's name, make really big money with their brand, and everything goes perfectly—or that was what I thought, anyway.
The summer when I was 18 years old, I connected with a company that was willing to give me a franchise painting business, and I spent the entire summer doing exterior painting. I hired crews, found customers, and everything. Ultimately, it was a miserable failure.
At that point, I realized that maybe franchises aren't the best thing in the world, and from that point on I continually searched to try to find what would be the best business, which eventually led me to websites.
In this post, I want to explain why I think websites are the best business model out there. That being said, let's go ahead and get started.
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Can be a One-Man/Woman Show
The first thing I really like about websites is that they can be a one-man or one-woman show. In other words, only one individual is needed in order to make a website function, and you don't really need a large staff.
Now, over time I have hired a large staff and built up a portfolio of websites that warrant having that large staff. However, in the beginning (just like you now) I was an individual who was strictly working on websites by myself.
I love the fact that with just one person, you can build a full business and then can call in specialists whenever you need to. For instance, if you need someone as a website developer and you don't have those skills, or if you need some copywriting done and it's really not your strong point, you can call someone in.
Low Startup Cost
The next reason why I think websites are a great business model is they have such a low startup cost. When you're starting a website, you're really paying for two things. You're paying for the website domain name, and you're paying for the hosting.
The hosting can be a very low price. In fact, on this website, I have a page focused on Starting a Blog. If you click on that, you will see there is a link in there where you can get hosting from SiteGround for $3.95 a month, which is super cheap; you can't get much cheaper than that with a business.
Think about a website compared to other business models. Starting any type of store can be extremely expensive. Starting a mobile service, like a food truck, has a really large startup cost as well.
Also, you can create a website in 5-15 minutes, and it's already going. That’s not how it is for a lot of businesses out there.
Overall, I absolutely love how low the startup cost is, and how it allows you to do so many different things that you just can’t do with other businesses.
Almost No Overhead
Next is the fact that websites have almost no overhead. In other words, the ongoing costs are extremely low, especially if you're just starting out. Usually, all you have to pay for is your hosting and the tools that you've purchased. Some of those tools will have recurring costs and others will not, but the point is is that the ongoing overhead of your business is incredibly low.
Now, once you've grown to a certain degree and you decide to outsource your writing, then yes, your costs will go up and there will be more overhead. But again, this isn't a requirement for the business because you can technically get rid of your employees and continue to write the content yourself if you get in a really bad spot.
High Profit Margins
Next, there are really high profit margins with websites. I know quite a few people in this industry, and I've talked to many of them—some of them have even been on my YouTube channel. Generally speaking, it's not uncommon to find a profit margin of 80-85% once the business is established.
When you're first building up a website, that profit margin is usually a lot lower because you're investing in the content and trying to grow it. However, once it's grown to a certain point and it's gotten much stronger and bigger, then your profit margin is usually around 80-85%.
At times it could be as low as 60-70%, but that's still really good compared to a lot of businesses out there, and for being a one-person shop, like for I am. I'm just one person, but to have a business that makes over $200,000 every single year, and have a profit margin somewhere between the 70-80% range, is really good.
Passive (If You Let It Be)
Next—and this is a big one—website businesses can be completely passive, if you let them be. For those who have been following me, you know that I am a very hard worker. I have my hands in a lot of different things; I have eight different websites, I have a YouTube channel, and there are a lot of different things I'm doing at any given time to try to grow my business.
I chose to utilize the passive business model and continue to grow more businesses and get bigger and bigger. It's not just about collecting money for me; I enjoy the process of actually creating businesses.
If you don’t enjoy that process because it’s too stressful, or you don’t have time, websites truly are passive. You can build them slowly, you don't have to invest a ton of money in them all at once.
Also, websites really never close. It's one of those clichés that most people roll their eyes at, like “Oh God,” but really with a website, you do make money while you’re sleeping.
Your website is going to be up 24 hours a day, seven days a week, unless you have some downtime with your host, which happens from time to time. Overall, it really is a passive business model, and you can design it that way from the start.
If you don't want to go to the degree that I have in continually trying to grow and get bigger and bigger, you could just have one or two websites, collect a hefty paycheck every month, and be done with it.
Another reason why I think websites are a great business model is because I really think that they're fun. There aren’t many business models out there where you can monetize just about anything you do.
For instance, let's say that you really enjoy sewing. There are plenty of sewing websites out there where people make thousands and thousands of dollars every single month talking about something they enjoy. Now, that's an extreme example, but the point is, you get to work on the topics you have an interest in.
With most businesses, you're stuck; you have to do a certain thing and you have to deliver a certain service. While that’s enjoyable for a while, it can get pretty tedious and old. Websites aren't like that, because you can write about one topic, and then if you're getting kind of bored of that one, you can shift to the next one.
You can try new things and have your voice heard in that particular industry. What’s even more fun for me personally, is that I get to watch the websites grow. There's something really gratifying about having an idea in your head, putting it onto the web, and then having people flock to it and tell you how great it is.
Next is the fact that websites are a very mobile business model. There aren’t many businesses where all you need to make them succeed is a computer and an internet connection, but websites are one of those.
I want to give you a quick example of how helpful this is. So, I’ve had this mobile business for over six years now, and for those of you who have just found me or haven't been following me for too long, what you may not know is that about three years ago, I lived with my wife in Brazil for an entire year.
My business didn't slow down, though—it actually sped up, and all I needed for my business to succeed was my computer and an internet connection. I didn't even speak the language in Brazil, which is Portuguese, and I had a tough time with the customs.
There were a lot of things I didn't know, but I was still able to make a living because I had a website where all I had to do was log on and create content.
Easy to Pivot
It’s also easy to pivot when you have websites. This is a really big one for anyone who’s had any type of physical goods or consulting business because it's not easy to pivot in those types of businesses.
However, with the website business model, it's really easy. If things go wrong, you can change the direction of the entire website in the blink of an eye. All you have to do is log on, change some text, maybe change a few videos, point people a different way, and boom—now you have a new business.
For example, I started this website six years ago and my idea at the time, if you're wondering about the name, was to create one-hour courses on an online course platform and sell them to people. That failed miserably, because I had no idea how competitive it was, and I didn't know what I was doing,
I didn't know anybody in the industry, so it failed. I let it sit for a very long time, and now it’s really pivoted because I'm helping people create and market their own online businesses on this website.
I left it for a while, but I’m just now coming back to it. You can't do that with a lot of physical businesses. If a physical business is having a bunch of problems, then you're in deep trouble because you're not able to adjust your entire strategy on the fly, like you can with a website.
Easy to Measure Results
Another thing I really like about websites is that it’s very easy to measure results. With a traditional business, that's kind of difficult to do because you don't always know what people are looking at, what they're reading, or how they're interpreting things.
With websites, you can utilize analytics to understand that information, so the feedback loop is really reduced. What that means is that I don't have to guess what people think of my homepage, where they’re going on my website, what they're reading, or where they're clicking.
All I have to do is use data and analytics to see exactly what these people are doing on my website, and I can then look at the data and envision the path that they're on to understand what they're gravitating towards and where I may need to make some adjustments.
Examples of tools that help with this are things like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Ahrefs. Between those three tools, I have all the analytics I need to successfully run my business and not have to wonder if I'm being successful. The data is all right there in front of me.
The next thing I really like about this business model is that it's proven. I personally make somewhere between $20,000-$25,000 every single month in revenue, and I've been keeping track of that ever since the beginning when I wasn't making that amount money.
If you're interested in that, you can click here to see my income reports from every single month. They show all the money that I spent on certain things and all the money that I made with certain things, so you can understand exactly how I'm able to make that money.
The scary thing is, while it may seem like $20,000-$25,000 a month is a ton of money, there are people out there that make over $100,000 a month, or even a million dollars a month from websites. That actually happens, which is mind-blowing even to me.
Then there are people on the other side, where they're not making as much as I am, but they're still making $3,000-$7,000 every month, which can easily replace a full-time income.
If you're interested in learning more about that, then click here to watch a video about whether blogging is a good career choice. If you watch that video, you'll see me give some specific examples as well.
The last reason why I think websites are a really great business model is that they're very scalable. I am living proof of this because I now have a portfolio of eight different websites. That's right—eight.
Now, for me to create eight different businesses other than websites, that would require an insane amount of staff, an insane amount of overhead, and a lot of moving parts. I don't have any of that. I have eight websites, and I have five or six employees at a time who are all part-time contractors.