One of the things I encourage people to do when they start out online is to quickly create a plan of what they want to achieve. A vision for your business is better, but not everyone is ready for a vision. Even a plan for the next six months will help you to focus on what you want to get done.
The internet offers an opportunity to reach a wide market if you are effective, and your “shop” never has to close. It will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to anyone that chooses to visit.
Not only is the potential for customers huge, but the number of areas you can focus on online is also huge, and whilst I will not be covering them all in this article I wanted to give you a flavor of some of the things you can do.
Affiliate Marketing – This involves you selling the products of a supplier. Its one of the more popular things to do when you start out online because you don’t need your own product, and many affiliates don’t own their own website.
When you sell goods on behalf of a supplier they give you a commission based fee – which varies but can be anything from 5% to 75% of the total cost of the product.
It makes for a great start because they take care of all the customer service and delivery of the product. The downside of affiliate marketing is the fact that you never earn as much as someone who actually owns the product.
Info-preneuring or Information Products – Information products are amongst some of the greatest products currently churning out money online. And anyone can create an information product. Imagine you know how to build a pond from scratch. That already makes you a lot more knowledgeable than me -the only thing I know about ponds is that they look great in my garden!
Maybe one person in a thousand will want to know how to build the kind of pond you know how to build.
Offline you can write a book about it but not many publishers will want to publish it (although there is self-publishing now!). because for a publishing company it’s just not worth the marketing.
On the internet though, one person in a thousand gives you a potential market of 340,000 customers. If you write a book and sell it online for just $10 per copy you could make as much as $3,400,000. All you have to do is tell people what you know-and tell them it’s out there. And that costs next to nothing.
If you love writing, or if you have work that you have tried to get published and failed, this may be a great alternative for you.
Niche Marketing – Now you have your information product on how to build a pond, this is called a niche market. You are not talking about knitting, or how to improve your golf swing so you will not want to market to those people.
Niche marketing is basically marketing your website to a particular market. Once your pond ebook is selling well there is nothing to stop you putting up another website about improving your golf swing, or looking after your new hamster. You just decide on the product, create it and put up a website. But again, you must first do some research into what people want if you really want your site to be successful.
It pays to focus in on one particular niche because then people will arrive at your site knowing that you potentially have the product they are looking for. If they are then presented with 30 different products on different topics they will not hang around long enough to bother looking.
Membership Sites – This has become one of the bigger money earners. Imagine taking everything you know on how to build a pond, filming yourself as you build and then creating it into videos. Interviewing pond and fish experts and turning them into audio. Then putting all that information into a membership area where people pay to gain access. 2,000 members paying a monthly fee of $10 to get access to this membership site is a nice chunk of change! Your site could charge a one-off fee, a yearly fee or a monthly fee (or all 3!)
Google Adsense – Google provide adverts that can be placed on your website, when someone clicks on this advert you get money (don’t get any ideas about clicking it yourself, Google monitor that and ban you forever!). What has become popular is to have a site that contains articles on a topic, e.g. Looking after a kitten and the adverts will reflect the topic, so there may be adverts on vets, insurance, food especially for kittens, etc etc.
As this information site will help people they are more likely to read the article and then click on one of the adverts. Even better, if you have a product you are selling and you write the article, chances are people will then take a look at your product and buy it.
Google changed the way it reviews sites late July/early August 2006, which really only affected sites that were setup with the sole purpose of getting people to click on their ad link, rather than provide information. The key is to provide quality unique information that you have written yourself, not just a load of clickable adverts and you will be okay.
Network Marketing – Network Marketing or multi-level marketing (mlm) is an area that is well known offline as well as online. Amway is one of the leading network marketing companies, and now, there are a host of opportunities to get into online.
Network marketing works because it uses leverage. The more people you introduce and help them to introduce others the more money you make. The difficulty can be in just getting people involved and then keeping them interested enough to learn how to replicate your success.
But if you manage that network marketing is definitely a great income generating opportunity. The key is to find a reputable company with years of experience, or a new company with solid backing both financially and in terms of the people who support the business.
Turnkey Businesses – A turnkey business (also called plug-in) is a business that provides everything for you. You will usually be given a product, a website and/or some training/tools in how to market. Some turnkey businesses offer incentives to be paid if you recruit others to take up the opportunity.
This is a great way to get started because you have everything you need. It is definitely important to look for a company that provides you with help and support.
A great example of a turnkey business is my business called The Wealth Director at http://www.thewealthdirector.com You receive a website, a newsletter system (with newsletters), subscribers and leads when you buy a package, everything you need is in one place.
There is also a complete business including personal development support at http://www.businessstartuponline.com to help anyone with online business startup and network marketing.
The above is a small part of what is possible online, 7 ways to start making money online. There are many other opportunities and I encourage you to research and find out which one works best for you before getting yourself involved in one.
I also encourage you to focus on one (or two at the most) and enjoy earning a living from them before moving on to running another business.