Here for your delectation is my little contribution to the masses of internet information on how to make good (and sometimes crazy) money online. I’ve split this up into a series of guides (3 in total) outlining how I think it can happen, why there’s so much internet spam surrounding this, and more importantly how people really do it!
Quite topical at the moment too as the word on the street is that many financial services types are turning their hands to setting up online businesses (I even know of one personally).
Todays nugget is a bit of a no brainer really but I hope I’ve got some tidbits in here you might not have thought of or didn’t consider, so please sit back, relax and I’ll impart my pearls of wisdom for you…
Alright, alright anyone could think of this – but the devil is in the details . As I see it there’s 3 main ways of going about this;
1. Selling actual goods
This encompasses the whole gamut from your classic ebay account/shop or hobby ecommerce site, software developers selling scripts directly to users all the way to massive corporate sites such as Amazon or Play.com. You don’t have to be much more than a hobbyist for this to develop into thousands a day turnover even for a hobbyist though, but why do some succeed and others fail?
Of course this is a simplification but you need a decent design and good products at acceptable prices which can vary depending on the type of shop, it may just be one product that you sell very well… but the one thing that most successful sites will have in common is visitors, visitors and more visitors (‘good’ ones naturally finding the site) as typical conversion rates are lower than people new to online selling expect. This can be achieved through good seo (search engine optimisation), using paid search (google adwords), spreading the word amongst world + dog if you have a unique or very cheap product, or even through offline means (adverts or articles locally or nationally). The possibilities are endless, but the more people that can know about what you are doing and where to find you the better.
There’s also a healthy and very profitable business surrounding ecommerce sites… even we sell a specialist ecommerce hostingThere’s whole sites and businesses dedicated to selling no effort aides like wholesale lists that drop-ship (deliver straight to the customer rather than the site having to keep stock) so you don’t even need to handle any products at all in theory, you can just get the sale, ping off the order to your wholesaler who’ll deliver it anywhere in the world for you! Sound too good to be true? I’m sure there are examples of this actually working but being a bit skeptical I’m inclined to think that a lot could be as a result of the worst of #2 below;
2. Selling Information
The holy grail if you can get it working well, as there’s little or no outlay, you can sell whatever it is as a download and watch the money roll in as you sleep. This can be any sort of information as long as it’s in demand and you can get significant enough traffic to the site(s) to convert visitors into cold, hard cash.
As mentioned above there’s sites out there touting the secrets of online money making in ‘get rich quick’ style from the drop-shippers/best wholesale list to those promising to make you rich without the piffling details of how before you part with usually a small amount of money (they thrive on high volume sales). To me these owe a large nod to the old tradition of the ‘I made $1000000 in a month, you can too!’ ads you used to see in national newspapers – the big secret being how you make that megabucks is to take out a newspaper ad just like they did and get lots of poor suckers to send you £10 to find out how you made the money!
Sounds like something Milo Mindbender might think up I know but sadly its quite rife, and the thing is they are actually correct, they’re making this money by telling the people that pay how to get other people to pay them for information on how to repeat the cycle!
Pyramid scheme anyone?
If you want to verify this a quick google or bing (maybe!) of ‘how to become rich online’ which will bring you a mixed bag of results, all of them wanting you to pay them to learn their secrets though! To be fair to them some of those I’ve seen have done a good job of explaining exactly how they hook people in by both white and black hat means (ethical and dodgy online marketing means). I haven’t actually paid for these I might add but they have crossed my path in my many years in the internet industry (ahem).
As a side note if you did look at some of the results sites isn’t it interesting that most of them a small one column seemingly never ending affairs, obviously deliberate design, almost like battering ram marketing.
You might be thinking ‘how come they do this as surely everyone would do it if it’s relatively easy?’ Well I have an answer for this too. I read years ago in an ebook that they know full well that 99% of the people reading the info would do nothing about it so they were safe from competition, also they were even deliberately targeting search keywords that they knew low motivation users might put into search engines (allegedly!). I’m inclined to believe it’s true looking at the examples of some of the more successful ones (who I can’t mention of course!)
The same applies for for the wholesale lists and ‘sales’ clubs you can join – though some of them I’m sure are perfectly legitimate and of a certain quality like anything that potentially offers easy money there are many people waiting out there to separate you from your money as quick as possible with giving little or nothing back.
Hope you found this interesting and not too long, I do have a tendency to waffle on sometimes. we’ll return with Pt. 2 soon where I’ll be talking about affiliates and advertising revenue.
11 Responses to “Guide to making money online pt. 1”
I must say that overall I am really impressed with this blog.It is easy to see that you are passionate about your writing. If only I had your writing ability I look forward to more updates and will be returning.
Just a note for anyone starting an ecommerce site. Competition online is tremendous and it is very important (IMHO) to find a niche and work on becoming the best within the niche, and not try to better the major companies out there.
Niche marketing is easier, but it does take an age before you start to see tangible profits for your efforts. It seems to grow gradually, search engines like established companies and after time they begin to trust you more and reward you with bigger and better search terms. Also, see each customer as a business relationship that could bring repeat business. Special and limited offers should be offered to your ‘regular’ customers first, before publishing them on the website. It keeps them primed to buy from you.
It’s very rewarding running an ecommerce site, but hard work. There are a lot of people out there who will try to rip you off. Find your SEO team by word of mouth and not by a simple web search.
Selling stuff on the internet is very competitive, perhaps even more so than if you had brick and mortar store. Why? Because if you don’t have what the customer wants or you price your products too high, they simply type in another url in their browser and whoosh, they’re away from your website and off to someone elses. With a physical store, the customer might have to compromise on brand, quality, color or even price because going to another store would mean actual time and expense on their part.
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