In January 2003, I decided that I needed to have a website for my business. I knew nothing about design, hosting, databases, domain registration, etc. It took only a few months before I figured out what needed to be done and became fairly skilled. A year later, people were calling on me for advice, design, and assistance with marketing. What a difference a year makes!
The Internet has changed the way we communicate, the way we research, and the way we do business. There are several ways of using the Internet to create income. Choosing the one that works for you will take time. You’ll need to do some research and be open to learning a completely new skill-set. But once you’ve found a way to make money online, you’ll see the joy of residual income and have a portable business that you can take anywhere in the world!
Ways to make money online:
- An Affiliate program: This is where you have a website, you drive traffic to it, and then you sell other people’s products. Examples of this range from MSN (look for links to the Gap, etc) to marketing your own, or other people’s Ebooks from Clickbank.com. I run affiliate programs on my site through my newsletter, on my resources page, and various posts. According to US law, you do have to have a disclaimer stating that you earn income from your affiliate links to abide by truth in advertising laws. If you have a website, you should definitely have affiliate links on your site that have complimentary, non-competing products that you can recommend with a full heart. In other words…don’t sell crap just because you can make money at it 🙂
- Website design: this takes time and effort and a huge learning curve. Believe it or not, the money is not in the design, it’s in the marketing. Anyone can put together a half-decent site, (heck, look at mine!) but not everyone knows how to market the website once it’s built. Wordpress and Joomla have made web design much easier for the masses. If you’re willing to master those two platforms, not only could you create websites for others, but you could set up a service to provide support to people already using them.
- Flipping Websites: If you don’t own a website, you can go to web brokers to buy, build, and flip other sites that had previous been developed for a profit. You can learn more at Filppa.
- Social Media: Small businesses give better customer service when they’re accessible beyond their website. You can learn how to manage Social Media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. There are plenty of courses on Udemy that will teach you how to use social media. Small business owners especially need help with their online marketing, (there are only so many hours in a day!) and according to Salary.com the average income for a social media marketer is around $108,000! Of course, I tend to think that for most areas outside of big tech firms, a more reasonable $40-$50,000 is to be expected.
- Selling your own products online: You can create your own products like e-books and sell them on Clickbank, or if you’re crafty you can sell hand-made wares on sites like Etsy and Artfire. You could also pick up items at garage sales (or purge your own attic) and sell them Ebay, Amazon, or Craigslist. The problem with physical items is that you’ll have a lot of inventory, and have to deal with shipping…which can be an adventure in and of itself.
- Selling subscriptions: If you have a knack for a particular area of interest, and like to write, you can sell subscriptions of your e-zine to people. I receive an e-zine of listings for upcoming grants and such for artists. It will take a while to get your list to a size that will earn you a good income. But, if you’re willing to take the time to build an audience, and perhaps give something away for free, it’s possible to get there.
- Network Marketing: The Internet really lends itself to MLM and network marketing because you can do online training and conference calls with people all over the globe, and sell products directly from the warehouse, where your customers just punch in a code so that you get the credit. Don’t just jump into a business because you think you can make money, though. Take some time to do some research and build your business.
- Developing Apps: Believe it or not, you don’t need amazing technological skills to develop an app. (Although, it does help!) There are plenty of online classes and tutorials to show you how to create an app. All you need is the desire to learn and an idea that people will pay for.
Before you jump into the Internet waters however, make sure you do your research, develop your business plan and know your target audience. There’s no use in spending money on education, marketing, or advertising if you’re not willing to take the time to plan out your actions.
Think about all the extra money you could make by being a mystery shopper, starting your own business, or working from home for a legitimate company. Take control of your income and check out our LEARN page for a list of classes, books, and more!