Making money from your online product

You have an online product, such as an app, computer game, software, blog, website or digital service. And of course you want to earn money from it. Learn more about 6 different revenue models to convert your online product or service into cash.

Is your current revenue model not generating enough money? Some 80% of starting businesses fail to do so within the first 5 years. So take inspiration for a potential earning model, or talk to an experienced entrepreneur for free via the Entrepreneurs' Sounding Board.

1. The free model

When you use the free model, you provide software or a service free of charge. Well-known examples are Google, social media platforms, and smartphone games. Free products or services are attractive to users: they can try them out without having to pay. And this revenue model is certainly interesting if you are launching a new product or looking for new customers.

Making money with the free model

With the free model, you earn money by selling advertising space on your website, in your game or software to advertisers. For example, the user will see an advertisement after each completed level in your computer game. Or hear commercials in between the music on your digital playlist.

2. Freemium model

The freemium model is a variant of the free model. The difference is, that only part of the product is free. Does the user want a full or a better version? Then they have to pay. For example, the website WeTransfer, where you have to pay transfer costs for files larger than two gigabytes. Or business consultants who share their expertise for free via e-books, webinars and digital newsletters. But the customer has to pay for tailor-made advice. 

This model is a good choice if you know what existing customers are willing to pay extra for, you want to remain attractive to new customers, and want to earn more from existing customers.

Making money with the freemium model

You earn money online with the freemium model because your customers are willing to pay for extras. And, in addition, in the free version you can sell advertising space as with the free model.

3. User-designed model

With the user-designed model you make use of the creativity of your customers. They design their own T-shirts, mugs, tiles, puzzles, stickers, photo books or wallpaper on your website or app. You just carry out the order. This model saves you as a supplier time and money and is suitable for products that you can easily print and personalise.

Making money with the user-designed model

Your income with this model comes from the sale of the end product. You offer the service with which customers can make their product for free.

4. Online platform

With this business model your app or website, the online platform, brings supply and demand together. Think for example of Marktplaats or BlaBlaCar. An online platform works best if you have a monopoly.

Making money with an online platform

You earn money through advertising sales, or by asking for a certain amount per transaction. You can also ask for a percentage of the sales price.

5. Subscription model

With the subscription model your customers buy access to your product or service for a set period. Usually, they take out a subscription for a month or a year.

This model is often used by antivirus software providers but also streaming services, like Netflix and HBO. You can also offer physical products such as flowers, tea, wine or underwear with a digital subscription. You offer the subscription online and send the product to your customer every month.

Choose a subscription model when you want loyal customers and a steady income stream.

Making money with the subscription model

You earn money online with this model because your subscribers pay you a monthly or annual amount. Continuously renew your product to keep customers loyal.

6. Online store

Yes, an online store, or  webshop, as it is often called in the Netherlands, is also a digital business model. Before you start an online store, choose whether you want to sell multiple products such as, or only one type of product.

Making money with an online store

With the online store model you earn money by selling your product. Meanwhile, you can save on storage costs by dropshipping.

Making money online, 6 revenue models