Where to Look for Online Business Ideas that Work: A case study of student-related online business ideas

student online business idea
Student-related online biz idea

Do you want to establish a more successful online business idea? Focus your effort on getting the right information and making something out of it. Here are some pointers.

If you are looking for an online business idea, just look around you: There are free information available today on the Internet. As a webpreneur, it’s your job to eye for an online business opportunity from the information you get.

As of for me, I like reading articles from non-mainstream sources, such as WebProNews. I also like reading people’s threads and comments on Webmaster forums, such as DigitalPoint forums.

And here’s a spoiler: Even the so-called product launch gurus are looking for ideas on such forums – I once read a thread on DigitalPoint forums that is discussing about how to make money online. The interesting thing is that it is discussing unique techniques from the forum members’ experience that are actually working – the techniques that are found in the gurus’ ebooks launched some moment AFTER the thread was started – and hit big time on ClickBank! What the… ?

So, again, read forums and articles from relevant, non-mainstream sources.

A case study: Students-related online business idea

Now, while looking for ideas, here’s a clue for you: Laser-target an audience. Read this: Students found to blindly follow Google.

According to the article, college students are most likely to click on Google top search result regardless of any other factors. Here’s the most important piece of information from the article:

Eszter Hargittai, an associate professor of communication studies at Northwestern University, concluded, “Search engine rankings seem extremely important. We found that a website’s layout or content almost didn’t even matter to the students. What mattered is that it was the number one result on Google.”

Here are the key information on how to dominate the student niche:

  1. Layout and content won’t matter much to student
  2. Get your site to rank #1 on Google search results

The next question is, what niche to target?

Now, building a website in highly competitive niche is most likely to be difficult. Why not going for a smaller niche and try to dominate that niche?

From the information you get just from a single article, you can now have a couple online business ideas:

1. Online tool to calculate students’ GPA

Students always want to know about their GPAs (grade point averages.) How about setting up a site allowing college students to get some idea about their current performance in term of GPA?

A simple idea, but I know a site doing this making thousands of dollar a month hands-free – how? Well, the site ranks #1 for a highly related but not really competitive keyword (low-medium monthly search volume.)

2. College note sharing social network

There are some notable and established notes-sharing sites today, and there’s still room to grow. How about establishing a social network especially for students to share college notes (even sell them to others)?

…and more ideas if you invest your time in reading interesting articles and forum threads on daily basis and take notes along the way.

Read this like a mantra: Rank #1 on search engine result pages

No matter how difficult it is, you should aim for the stars – try to rank #1 on Google and other search engine result pages.

There are ways to drive more traffic to your sites, but organic traffic is king. Getting on top of Google can give you just that; this is the reason why people is still have faith in Google AdWords despite the sky-high costs rising on regular basis – to get to the top of the search engine.

Now, it’s probably better to aim for less-competitive niche, as there will also be limited competitors and advertisers – this way, you have a better chance to rank #1 on search engines without having those advertisers on top of your sites.

Final words – Improving your site design is needed; offering great content is wonderful; but “build it and they will come” kind of attitude won’t work. You need to drive targeted traffic to your site, and this can be achieved through proper SEO and link building strategy. Balance things out is the only way to get things work.

The opportunities are out there – find them and capitalise on them.

Ivan Widjaya
Online business idea