This is the first of three articles which look at different aspects of what’s involved in making money online. Here I look at some of the ways to make money online, as perhaps that’s what first springs to mind when we think about making money online. However, internet marketing is about more than just what you do. It’s about who you are and how you do things. We’ll take a look at these in the other two articles.
How To Earn Money Online
While the idea of earning money online from the comfort of your home, rather than enduring the stresses and demands of the 9-5 rat race may appeal, it’s not going to happen by itself. So, how do you make it happen?
Ultimately, just like in the offline world, you have to sell something. So you need to get your head around this. If you’re the type of person that just likes to spend their time chatting on forums or social networks, or if your areas of interest aren’t really commercially viable, then maybe this isn’t for you.
However, while the thought of selling may be off putting, in reality there are numerous online money making opportunities, some of which may appeal to you.
- Selling digital downloads (information products like eBooks)
- Promoting other people’s products for a commission (affiliate marketing)
- Selling on eBay or other auction sites
- Running a membership site
- Selling your online services (writing, graphics, etc.)
- Owning a website that sells drop shipped or wholesale items
What Does It Cost To Make Money Online?
From the above you can see that with very little money, and few resources, you can start an online business. Selling on fiverr or ebay means that not only do you not have to have your own website, but you don’t need a list of prospective customers either. If you start to sell goods you have but no longer require, or services you can perform such as article writing, you can start to make extra money quickly and easily.
The above two examples may be difficult for a newcomer to scale up because you’re either effectively selling your time, which is a finite resource, or you may need to invest in stock, which might initially be beyond you. However, they do offer a couple of cost effective ways to make money online and once you get going and gain some confidence you may wish to try other money making ideas.
Another relatively cheap way to make money from home is to become an affiliate marketer. Once again there’s no need for a product or a list, and some would argue that you can even get away without having to have your own website because you could promote products using free sites such as Squidoo. However, many affiliate marketers do have their own list and/or website, depending on the product they are marketing.
While it may take a while, and some cost to build a list, owning a website is not a major expense. You’ll need a domain name, and hosting, and if you’re trying to build a list, an autorepsonder is a good investment. You should be able to pick these up for less than $30 per month.
What Factors To Consider When Deciding How You’ll Make Money Online
Ultimately how you start to earn an online income will depend on you. You’ll have to consider:
- What you like doing. It’s unadvisable to choose something just for the money you think you could earn. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re unlikely to see it through and therefore also unlikely to realise the earning potential.
- How much money you have to invest. If you’re trying to do this on a shoestring budget, then you’re unlikely to be able to invest in any kind of stock. Therefore buying products with the intention of selling them on eBay, or via a digital download, is probably not going to be an option for you.
- Your goal. If you’re just trying to earn a little extra income then doing anything where revenue exceeds costs could be acceptable. If making money online is just a hobby to you, then maybe it doesn’t matter how much time you have to invest to achieve it. However, if you’re trying to build a business, your decision criteria are likely to be totally different.
I’d like to make a business out of this, so it’s my intention to be in this for the long haul. I’m aiming to set up a number of different income streams so that if one were to suddenly fail, it won’t wipe out the whole business. Remember Panda and Amazon in some US states? Clearly whatever these income streams are, they have to be profitable. It’s no good making a dollar if it cost me $1.20 to make it!
On top of this, they also have to be scalable, i.e. have the potential for growth. After all, if I can find a profitable product, but the demand doesn’t exist to make it commercially viable, or it’s too labour intensive to produce, it’s not really compatible with my intention of earning my living online.
And yes, I’m also trying to build the much coveted passive income. That means that whatever I decide to do, it must either be something that ultimately I can set and forget, or easily outsource.
Finally, I’d like to build it in such a way that I also create a sellable asset. Then, when I want to call it a day, I can just cash it in and go and find that beach 🙂
Having read numerous make money online reports, I’ve decided I’m going to start with selling digital products, either resell rights products or as an affiliate. I’m now going to spend some time sourcing some products and looking at affiliate networks. I’ll let you know how I get on in a future post.
Over To You: Have you started making money online? What did you start with? How long did it take you to earn your first dollar? Maybe you’re struggling. What’s holding you back?