From all the time I spend online looking for business opportunities, I have identified and would like to recommend you one of the most lucrative online businesses that is easy to start, highly competitive but highly rewarding: Web hosting review business.
Do you know one of the highest paying industries in affiliate marketing? The answer is: Web Hosting. That is one of the main reasons why I prefer to start a web hosting review business, rather than starting a web hosting business.
Here are some explanations on what you need to know about web hosting business and web hosting review business.
Web hosting business is indeed semi-passive type of business, but it still requires you to manage your customers. Successful small-scale web hosting providers can even make thousands of dollars every month! Although this is feasible to start, you are required to have – or to partner with someone who has – web hosting-related technical knowledge to get things working well; there are staffs to manage and web servers to maintain.
An easier route but less lucrative would be a reseller web hosting provider – you open a reseller account from your trusted web hosting provider offering reseller plans, and you can start selling right away. Another alternative, you could start a free web hosting business, offering free hosting for your clients; you will make money via service upgrades and advertisements. The possibility is endless.
As a web hosting service provider, you are making money from clients buying your web hosting packages. Just like in any other client-based business, you make more money if you can get more web hosting clients.
To have a look-see of what quality web hosting providers like (to help you benchmark,) consider visiting HostGator. If you are eco-conscious and looking for one of the greenest web hosting providers, I recommend you Super Green Hosting.
Web hosting review business
On the other hands, web hosting review business is basically a business offering reviews – usually user-generated – for business owners and individuals who are looking for the right web hosting solutions for their needs. You are not required to offer web hosting services yourself – you only recommend the right web hosting providers to your visitors and direct them to the corresponding web hosting providers.
You will make money when your site visitors are visiting your reviewed and affiliated web hosting providers and sign up with them. This business won’t make you as much money as a web hosting business, but it is definitely easier to start and manage.
You can earn anywhere from $30 to $200 for each sign-up (yes, $200 for one sign up!) in affiliate commissions, depending on which web hosting providers you are affiliated with. One example of such site is http://reviews.cnet.com/web-hosting/.
My take and some tips
I once run a reseller web hosting business and failed. Not that it’s a bad idea, but my lack of skills and knowledge in web hosting technicalities and web hosting industry as a whole have failed me.
I view web hosting review business as a more viable option as it doesn’t require much technical knowledge about web hosting. Your critical success factor is knowing to spot quality web hosting to recommend to your site visitors, getting them rated and reviewed, and getting targeted traffic (and buying traffic) to your web hosting review site, and eventually to your affiliated web hosting providers.
If you are interested on web hosting review business as much as I do, here are some tips (and spoilers) to help you start a successful web hosting review business:
1. Choose the right software and script to help you run your site well
You can actually create your review site in plain HTML using FrontPage or DreamWeaver, but the key here is to minimise your site management time by having a software or script automate things – adding new recommended web hosting, adding new reviews, etc.
2. Be prepared for a surge of traffic – host your review site on a cloud hosting
Noobpreneur.com has been suspended by its previous web hosting providers a couple of times due to surge of traffic from social media sites. The reason: A surge of traffic burdens the web servers and will impact in a performance drop to the sites hosted on the same servers. That’s why I turn to cloud hosting providers that can accommodate such surge of traffic, without getting my site suspended.
If you are expecting your review site to get huge amount of traffic (well, you should expect that to happen! Traffic means business,) you should consider cloud hosting.
3. Join quality and high-paying web hosting affiliate programs
HostGator can pay you up to $125 per sign-up ($50 for a first couple of sign-ups a month.) My partnership with Super Green Hosting gets me to be paid $150 per sign-up. A spoiler: Rates on the web hosting official sites are published rates – you can actually negotiate with them for a better payout if you can offer them more value. They charge customers less than $10 a month, but can get you $100+ … a win-win situation for all.
4. Offer valuable insights
Only offering descriptions of the web hosting providers’ features and benefits is not enough – you need to offer value for your site visitors; reviews and testimonials are those that really matters. A spoiler: Some web hosting review sites even pay you to post your review.
5. Drive laser-targeted traffic to your review site
Not all traffics are in equal quality. Obviously, getting traffic from, say, parenting niche won’t convert your visitors into buyers.
6. Do niche and creative marketing
General web hosting reviews are great, but you can even do well by focusing your effort to a certain niche of web hosting, such as green hosting, business hosting, free hosting, etc. A spoiler: “Buy from me and I’ll send you a cash back” works wonder.
Some web hosting offers an affordable monthly plan, even HostGator offers you a plan costing you next to nothing for the first month, but you still get that $50+ from a sign-up. A side note: Please confirm whether doing a cash back is against the web hosting provider’s TOS or not – ignoring this can get your account suspended and your commissions be held, if not made void.
Good luck in starting a lucrative online business!