Let’s start off by clarifying that this is going to be messy. When talking about business models, there are no clear black/white lines. Everything below doesn’t fit in nice little buckets. Most sites do a few of the below at once and mix and match the strategies. My hope is that this post broadens your thinking on your own monetization methods. If you’re only monetizing your site via 1-2 methods, it may behoove you to either add a method OR swap methods.
Would you consider Print on Demand a good revenue model for online business? I suppose it's a bit like.. affiliate. The main printer is printing most money (as usual). But I wonder from a business perspective whether it's easier to promote, get SEO on (perhaps), etc.
I recently found out about your Substack and have been reading all your posts from the beginning. It is very inspiring! I have been thinking about starting a website that aims at helping people improve their social skills (things like how to socialize at cocktail parties or what to say on first date). My plan is to start small, sharing books, videos, podcasts that I'm reading or watching on a daily basis, and contents that I think would be relevant for my audience. Long term plan is probably to grow into a coaching/course/subscription business. My questions are:
1) do you think overall whether it is a good plan? any major concerns?
2) you talked about starting with either e-commerce, affiliated or content business. So it seems like my plan in the short term looks like a content website? I feel like if I'm just sharing information on a daily or weekly basis, it is more like a blog? is it the right approach to begin with?
3) do you think if it is a good idea to start a substack website, instead of my own website? basically sharing information over there and grow into a newsletter subscription business.
Very helpful how you laid out the trade-offs between selling a product on Amazon vs. building a standalone DTC website. My impression from reading is that Amazon has lower downside and lower upside, which makes it the better route for someone starting out with no e-com experience (i.e. myself). Lower downside because it's easier to setup, there's built-in traffic, and they manage your inventory, but lower upside because of high competition (incl. from Amazon itself) and less data. Do you agree?
I have one other question: you said "it’s pointless to send 20-50 units to Amazon for FBA when you’re just getting started." So if I were to manufacture a product and sell it on Amazon, what are my upfront costs going to look like to reach an appropriate scale? Can you give me a rough idea in terms of # of units or cost (I think you said $20-50k in another article)? I am trying to gauge what the initial investment will look like (excluding any advertising and other costs).
Autist q: When you say “leave and never come back” under DTC you mean “cmon u know what this is unless your an idiot” (funny) rather than “leave/dont try this (business model) its too hard”. Right?
Fantastic post. Not from the US but reading the Amazon "cons" section gives me an idea of what our local marketplaces in Asia (Shopee, Lazada) will be pulling on us over the next few years.