As with any venture, whether it be for business or pleasure, the first steps into making money online are always the hardest. My first months were very confusing, and unfortunately expensive, mainly because I was “going it alone.” I had no guidance in what methods were tried and tested, so I found things out the hard way. I’m going to lay out five ways for YOU to get involved with internet money making and help you start your own internet business.
1-Ebay- The perfect starting point. Most people start on eBay by selling physical items-Old books and cds, and unwanted clothing can be a surprisingly good seller. Just your old household stuff will be fine to start with. Don’t expect to make a mint, because you won’t, you’ll probably make very little, but think of this as the training slopes to starting your own internet business- this is an IDEAL way to get the hang of the eBay system and to get used to being in business over the net. Keep notes if you have to, but try and be aware and learn as much as you can as you go-this is very good practice for getting into the habit of being professional with customers at all times etc. Once you feel like you are managing this side of things well, and you feel that you know the process well enough, it’s time to move on to information products. This is where you can make a lot of money in relatively easy fashion. To begin with, you need to obtain or create a product-it could be a guide on doing hair for weddings, or a report on how to keep your garden weed free through the winter. Aim for a minimum of around 30 pages so people don’t feel ripped off. It’s much easier than you think to write 30 pages or so about a subject which you know well, but if you do not think you can create it yourself, why not use freelance writers to complete the job? There are thousands of places to hire a freelance writer online, and I bet it is cheaper than you think. Check out elance.com to see.
Once you have the product, the rest is plain sailing. Information products are not sold like other items, because unlike physical items they can be delivered digitally. This is the magic word. Once you have a product that you can sell, everything else is basically profit, as you can supply it in the form of a PDF document via an email attachment. No postage, no manufacturing costs, just pure profit (After the eBay fees of course!). You want to aim at Buy It Now listings with multiple amounts, then you can ensure you get a fair price for each item. This is a GREAT way to earn. You will be surprised at the size of the market for informational products on eBay, and if you put the effort in you can be rewarded with a very high number of sales. My record is 73 sales of one ebook in one week-I was charging £14.99 each, so you do the math. Not a bad income for sending a few emails!
2-Affiliate Links- It still surprises me that the vast majority of people in the world have no idea this kind of thing exists-I’ll explain it as I go just to make sure that you understand what I mean. On the internet, there are thousands upon thousands of companies that will give you a commission on items bought on their site-if you provide the customers. Think of it as a finder’s fee. This is affiliate marketing. There are a million ways to profit from this, but the most simple is just linking to an affiliated product which matches the area of your website (or blog-if you don’t have a site you can set up a blog to use for the same purpose in about 1 minute flat if you visit blogger.com). For example, if you own a website (or blog) about diets and you get a decent amount of traffic to it, you could include a link to another site selling diet pills or plans-the link would be an affiliate link with your own id embedded in it, so that when the customers click through and make a purchase, you get a commission on the sale. Easy money? It can be, very easy! Two sites I would recommend visiting are Clickbank.com and Commissionjunction.com. They are two of the biggest affiliate managers, and they operate the affiliate schemes for lots of organisations. This means that they will supply you with the affiliate links to use, and they will also track your stats and commissions and arrange the payments for you. Payments are typically monthly or fortnightly, both if you play your cards right! If you put the time into affiliate marketing, it can change your whole concept of “working” for a living. I know it did for me!
3-Google Adsense- This is not something I make a huge amount of cash from myself, but I know of people that make their entire fortunes from it. This is how it works- You know how on some websites you get those little tiny advertisements, with “Ads by Goooooogle” underneath them? Well those are Adsense ads. When people click on those ads, Google pay money to the website owner. The person doesn’t even have to buy anything; the money is just for the click. So now imagine you have your diet website, and you get 10000 visitors a day. A nice amount of traffic. If you set up some Adsense ads on your page (which is really REALLY easy to do) some of those visitors are bound to click on the ads, and you will get money for every single click. The amounts per click are typically pretty small, but there are people that create whole sites full of ads, and obviously get lots of clicks that way. If you have a website I really would recommend it, as it’s basically free money once you go through the 5 minute set up process. Visit Google.com for instructions on how to sign up for an Adsense account. You will need a website or blog in order to be accepted into the scheme.
4-Google Adwords-I know that many search engines now offer a similar service, but my favourite is always Adwords. You know when you perform a search on Google and you get the “Sponsored Results” on the right hand side? Well those are peoples’ Adwords ads. The way it works, you set up advertisements for certain things with Google and then choose certain keywords for which you would like the ad to be shown. For example with your diet website you might set the ad to be displayed every time someone searched for “the Atkins diet” and then have the ad link to a relevant page on your site. It’s a little more complicated than my simplified description, as there is bidding involved for each keyword and other factors, but that’s the basic premise. Now, how do we make money out of that? Easy. We use the Adwords ads to link to people’s products that we are affiliated to. I find that the informational products sold through Clickbank are very good for this. I think this is because their home pages are geared very highly toward converting the sales there and then, which is a good thing for us. Now for a quick example of how we can make money from this: I’m sure there is someone through Clickbank selling some kind of diet product. With our previous diet ad, instead of linking to our own website, we could link to the sales page for the Clickbank diet product-if the page converts them to a sale, we will get a percentage of that sale paid by Clickbank in the form of fortnightly commission cheques! Some items at Clickbank will offer 50% or even 75% commission, so it’s easy to see how profitable it can be. You could easily net $1000 a month with only 1 sale a day. One downside to Adwords campaigns is that there is a lot of competition in the Adwords game these days, so it is tougher to make regular money, but if you research your keywords properly and using some of the free tools on the internet (tools.seobook.com is my favourite) you can still make a hell of a lot of money with this. For some more in depth tips on this form of making money, including how to get Google to give you FREE credit so you can begin making money without any cost, check out my blog at http://www.no-more9to5.blogspot.com
5-Find a “niche,” and create a site or product that caters to it. By niche I mean something online that hasn’t been done to death, and that there isn’t a million sites catering to already. For example, a bad idea for a niche would be making money online, as there is over a hundred million websites for that already. A better idea, and one that is often given for a good example of an online niche may be fly fishing. It’s a good idea to stick to your own areas of expertise or things you are passionate about when looking for a niche, as your own specialist knowledge may be what gives you the edge over the next person. For example you may be an avid online gamer, and be an expert on maxing out your stats for World of Warcraft. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of avid WoW players in the world-You could put your expertise down on paper and sell it as a guide called “Level 60 in 28 Days Or Your Money Back” or something like that. You could sell it for say $29.95-Who wouldn’t pay that much to get to Level 60 in 30 days? Imagine if you could sell it to just 1% of all WoW users at $29.95? That’s a serious income. Creating the product is only the start though. It’s when start considering places to sell it that things get exciting-the sky is the limit! Again you could sell it through eBay, you could start your own site to sell it from, you could even setup up some people as YOUR affiliates through Clickbank so they sell it for you and you just have to spend all the money they make you!
I hope you find these ideas useful-they are all things I have made money from, but each one is something I had to “stumble” across or work out for myself. Hopefully I have taken the guesswork out for you and you can take massive action now!