There’s no shortage of articles advertising ways to make money online. Much of it is garbage, some of it is legitimate. Regardless of the scams and frivolous BS, the internet gives everyone unprecedented opportunity. For as many ways as you’ll find that currently exist to make money online, there are undoubtedly thousands of things you can do that haven’t even been created yet. It just takes some creativity, initiative, exploration, experimentation, and determination.
So much has been written about online opportunities that I won’t belabor it here, or give you tons of details. You can do your own research. My purpose is to simply give you some general ideas and categories that you can then explore deeper. Here and in my next post, I’ll offer suggestions on a few common and proven strategies:
This one is simple: find stuff that sells, and list it on websites like eBay, Craigslist, or Amazon. The trick here is knowing how to find the right products.
With drop shipping, you can open an online retail shop without purchasing inventory up front or managing inventory in a ware- house. You can facilitate all ecommerce products to resell using the Amazon or eBay marketplace. Using wholesale distributors, you choose the products you want to sell, add them to an inventory list and then list them for sale. When they sell, you purchase the item from the wholesale distributor and have them ship it directly to the customer. You collect money from the buyer and from your profits you pay back the wholesale distributor. In this model, the retailer never sees or handles the product, and doesn’t deal with order fulfillment. As a retailer, your job is to find quality products and advertise them. Many drop shippers don’t even need to have their own website.
The advantages of drop shippers are that less capital is required, it’s easy to get started, overhead is low, you can work from anywhere with an internet connection, you can choose from a wide selection of products, and it’s easy to scale. On the flip side, margins are usually low, it’s hard to keep track of inventory when you’re not doing it yourself, there are shipping complexities, and you often have to deal with supplier errors.
Digital Information Products
This is monetizing your expertise in the form of intellectual property. It can include e-books, training courses, software, website themes and plugins, and more. When done right, information products can give you unmatched leverage. You create a product one time, and then sell that same thing over and over again. You have no inventory, you don’t pay anything to duplicate each product.
As with anything, selling information products is much harder in practice than it sounds in theory. Not only do you need to know how to create something for which there is legitimate market demand and that will really sell, but you also have to know how to market it. You have to learn the various ways to drive traffic, from search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising, to paid links and affiliates.
Recurring Revenue Subscriptions
A recurring revenue subscription is the holy grail of all business models and is indeed one of my favorites. I have several subscription memberships for people investing in the financial markets.
If you can sell anything on subscription or recurring revenue, it gives you predictable cash flow because all of your customers are on subscription-based billing. It also allows you to manage the growth of your business. Recurring revenue is automated and creates brand loyalty as you deliver value to your customers every month. Every time your customer is transacting with your brand, you’re establishing more trust and forging a stronger relationship.
Netflix is the great example of digital product sold on a recurring revenue basis. A consumer convenience product such as the Dollar Shave Club deliver razors to your house once a month for a at monthly fee – a recurring revenue subscription based business model. If you have an existing business, bundle all your services into a monthly membership that your clients can sub- scribe to and bill them as a VIP monthly member.
You can make money by placing ads on a website, blog, or You- Tube video. This isn’t easy to do. It takes thousands and even hundreds of thousands of page or video views to earn much at all. But it can be done, and lots of people are doing it.
A podcast is essentially your personal radio station. You record on a specific topic and on a specific schedule, publish it on places like iTunes, and then market it to grow your listener base.
The Washington Post reports that the average number of podcast listeners has tripled to 75 million in the last five years. Edison Research reports that 33% of people surveyed have listened to a podcast, which is up from 23% five years ago. Furthermore, 30% of the time spent listening to audio is on podcasts.
As with any business, a successful and profitable podcast starts with defining your niche and providing valuable content for people hungry for your particular solutions. Next, consider your format and content structure. You can do interviews or storytelling, you can share your personal thoughts or use panel discussions, etc. The average podcast length is usually between 30 and 45 minutes.
Podcasts can be monetized through advertising sponsorships. Sponsors pay you a set amount per every thousand downloads or listens that your show generates. If your show generates 100,000 downloads per episode, you could earn between $5,000 and $10,000 per sponsor per episode. You can also create a suite of products to sell to your tribe of podcast subscribers. When it comes to broadcasting your podcast, you may want to include the podcast in your Google pro le. Populate all your free social media pro les and feature links to your podcast. Include show notes or the main summary points. On Facebook, link to your podcast and include show notes in a status update.
In my next post, I will offer a few more suggestions for online revenue. I’d love to here your opinion on these ideas here – what do you think of the market for generating revenue online? Do you have other ideas? Thank you for sharing.
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