Friday, July 06, 2007

The Top 5 Ways To Make Money Online Or Just To Make A Living

There are many ways to make a living online.

Some ways to make money online are very obvious.

Some are not what you initially think of as the way to make money online, but are extensions of a normal business taken online. Some methods of making money online are easier than others. Other methods may seem more difficult, but in the long run are more successful.

Making a living online has a lot of potential.

While many people initially have the idea that it is an easy way to get rich fast, in truth, it can be far from that for most people. This has a lot to do with unrealistic expectations. Some of this is due to the numerous Internet marketing related products that are sold. While many are good, none of them will make you rich fast unless you put a lot of work into it. For most people who really stick to it, it seems a decent income can be made after putting a lot of work and effort into it. Along with good training.

Another reason people think about getting rich fast on the Internet are some of the true success stories out there.

Many see what seems like an instant, easy success like John Chow or Darrren Rowse. Yet, both of these individuals either had some experience online already or have taken a few years of diligent work to get their blogs to the level they are at now. In other words, success did not necessarily come overnight while they were sleeping.

For me, there are several things I really want from an online income (or any form of income).

I want time flexibility, to be able to to decide when I will work. I also want the freedom to work my business from other locations (Wisconsin winters are really starting to get me down). Of course, I do want to make a decent living to provide for my wife. The ideal business also allows for a residual income that will not disappear if I cannot work it for a period of time due to illness or extended vacation or even retirement eventually.

What I have done is made a list of what I think are the Top 5 ways to make money online.

I’ll let you know why I think they are so great. I am also going to list some advantages and disadvantages of some of them. I realize that some of them may seem very similar, so I’ll try to define what I think makes the difference as well as I can. There is a difference in my mind, so I’ll try to express it.

The Top 5 ways to make money online:

#5 eBay

When I say eBay, I mean purchasing products or drop shipping products for sale on eBay auctions. While this can be very honest form of income, it can become a real grind if you need to handle shipping. Also, if you do not have a unique product, you are also in one of the most competitive markets you will find.

In nearly any case, you will need to constantly pay attention to this business. When you do not have an auction running, you will not be making money.

#4 AdWords Type Affiliate Marketing

Also called search marketing or PPC (pay-per-click). One form of this type of Internet marketing is the Google Cash system but that is just one twist of it. This most likely involves running AdWords ads with Google although MSN and Yahoo also provide similar services. You run an ad to get readers to click though to your page where you sell the product or service of another company as an affiliate. Many make thousands of dollars a month doing this type of business.

The disadvantage of this type of Internet marketing is the need to constantly keep watch on the campaign. You must first create ads and landing pages that convert at a profit for the amount you pay for each click on your ads. This can be washed away in the next “Google slap.” Still, a very effective way to make money if you can handle the risk.

#3 Websites or Blogs

Probably the most popular method of online income. This method of making money online consists of developing Websites and blogs that are monetized. In this case, traffic comes from natural methods instead of PPC. Income may come from Adsense or affiliate ads on the Websites. Most likely, this is what most people think of when they think of making money the Internet.

Contrary to rumors, Adsense is not dead. It has made Google an empire and will be here for a long time. It is one of the easiest ways to make money. It may not be the best though. Many find selling affiliate products much more effective although it can be a little bit more involved.

While a blog will take daily posting and promotion, Websites will also take a lot of link promotion in order to generate income. A good website may provide some form of residual income once fully developed with a little bit of occasional maintenance. A blog is easier to promote and network though. Residual income from a blog could eventually come in the form of hiring paid writers for the blog and running it like a business.

#2 Developing Your Own Product

There are many options besides building the proverbial better mousetrap. There is a saying that everyone is an expert on something. You could put your expertise into an e-book. Perhaps you have an idea for useful software. Of course, you could also develop a non-digital product.

You may use some of the other methods to market your product. You may use PPC or just sell off a website. You may even pay other affiliates to sell your product. This does not have to be online only. You could sell your product with links to your Website in newspapers and other advertising media. Perhaps you will one day be running one of those infomercials on TV.

In the case of digital products, this can be a very residual income as long as your product is useful.

You will need to make sure your product stays up to date and competitive. If you develop hard goods, you will need to figure out production and delivery just like a regular business. Residual income in hard goods may come in the form of selling the business to retire.

No matter if you have a digital product or real world product or service, you will also need to think about customer service. No matter how good your product is, there will be those that complain. There are also going to customers with questions that will need to be answered. You will need some form of customer support.

While developing your own product may seem a lot more difficult than just putting up a website, it is a much more dependable business. You do not need to worry about Google or another company you are an affiliate for dropping you. Done right, you may even have a business that can be sold or inherited by your children.

#1 The Perfect Partnership

In my mind the perfect online business would be a partnership with a company that took care of all the problems of developing your own product. They would take care of updating products and keeping them competitive. They would take care of customer support. They company would took care of distributing it and taking the orders.

Of course the there are specific requirements for the product or products. It is going to need to be unique so people need to get it though you. It must be affordable for broad appeal. Ideally, the product is consumable so people order it regularly and there is a residual income from the customer reordering consistently.

A multi-tiered payout so you could get income from other affiliates under you would be nice. While this idea was once considered only in multi-level marketing, today even companies like Google are using it to promote with its Adsense affiliate program. I have not heard much good about the payout from Google with this though, and you are going to have to compete against Google itself for traffic for this.

This all adds up to a business you can build and not worry about constantly.

 Something you can rely on. Something you could retire on. Something you can will to your children.

It is not easy to find such a business to work with. Few companies have the integrity and ethics to make it work. Few companies have a high reorder rate and the customer loyalty that would make it work.

Multi-level companies seem to want to front load potential partners with more product than they could personally use meaning you need to invest a lot of money before you can represent them.

Low reorder rates and poor customer loyalty are typical. Not too mention crazy business plans that tend to make it very difficult for the average person to make money. The tendency for only a few people to make money is why they are so often compared to outright illegal pyramids.

Many multi-level companies even shorted their own business partners online. A number of affiliate products for sale are multi-level marketing company products without. The affiliate does not even get the chance for repeat sales.

There are few companies that work with affiliates that have any type of residual payment for reorders.

While some affiliate products have what seems like a great payout for the initial sale, if the product is good, it is nothing to what the company will make on additional sales. Of course, many affiliate products are terrible anyways even if the customer never realizes it.

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