When we hear the word online business, we usually think of trading goods or services through the Internet. This is partly true. Doing business online includes selling online but is not limited to that activity only. Doing business online means using information and communication technologies to support all of the activities of a business. This includes email marketing, lead generation, search engine optimization, article marketing, pay-per-click advertising and so much more. Doing business online is synonymous with electronic business, or e-business, which is broader than e-commerce.Some would say that doing business online is the future of business. You do not have to pay for expensive rent in a prime location to sell your products. You do not even have to have your own products. Just apply to some affiliate programs and you are ready to go. Using affiliate programs, marketing the products is all you have to do. You do not have to worry about the efficiency of your supply chain or the number of your inventory.In a way, doing business online lowers the barrier to entry by keeping startup cost down. Renting web-hosting space, for instance, is much cheaper than renting a corner store in lower Manhattan. It also levels the playing field somewhat. In the off-line world, only bigger companies can afford a lot of billboards and marketing in the print media. Smaller businesses cannot compete. In the online world, on the other hand, marketing your products and services is not as expensive. As a result, small businesses can effectively compete with bigger businesses.However, a low barrier to entry means a lot of competitions. This is the downside of doing business online. Care must be taken to ensure that you stand above your competitors. This is usually done through online marketing efforts. Luckily, as already stated above, online marketing is not expensive. You just have to do it right or hire a skilled and competent Internet marketer to do it for you.Online marketing is one of the most important activities that you need to do if you decide to start and doing business online. There are many types of online businesses. Some require a self-hosted website while others do not. Examples of the latter are those built on Yahoo!, eBay and Amazon Stores. There are a lot of other activities that apply only to one or a few types of online businesses. Online marketing, however, applies to all online businesses. You can never go far without it.Starting an online business is a wonderful way to earn money online. It does not take a lot of money to set up an online business. It does not even take as much time as a brick and mortar business requires. But the online businessperson must never forget the importance of online marketing. Click the links below to make your online business more profitable!