Are you looking to make some extra money in your spare time? Perhaps you want to quit your job and work at home. There are millions of people that work at home and the numbers are increasing due to the myriad of ways to make money using just your computer and an internet connection.
This article will explore 5 of these methods and discusses the advantages, disadvantages and how to get started:
1. Sell A Service.
The quickest way to make money from the internet is to sell a service. Do you have a skill that you can turn into dollars? Skills such as article writing, resume writing, logo design, web design, photo editing and copywriting are in high demand. If you are possess a unique skill you can advertise your skills and sell your own service. Places where you can advertise your services include forums, blogs and classified ads sites. Once you have developed a solid client base you may want to build your own website and set up a more automated ordering system.
This is probably one of the simplest ways to make money online and will allow you to generate some start up cash to invest in other online ventures.
2. Build Websites. Developing websites are the staple of many internet entrepreneurs. There are 3 types of sites that you can develop to sell your own products or someone else’s products as an affiliate.
Ecommerce sites – Ecommerce sites are becoming increasingly easier to build with platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce. You can literally get your online store up and running in as little as a week. The main hurdles for ecommerce store developers are product sourcing and logistics (item delivery) however, these can be overcome by joining a support network such as SaleHoo – a membership site where you can get have all of your ecommerce questions answered by experts.
One of the great advantages of selling physical products is that you are not limited to selling them exclusively on your own site. You can also shift products quicker by utilizing online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon and Craigslist. These sites are very popular so you will not have to worry about getting traffic to your products while you are still establishing your site.
Authority sites – Are you an expert on a topic? If you know a lot about one subject area whether it is weight loss or building solar panels, a great way to monetize your knowledge to create an site and establish it as an authority. Post long, detailed articles with some unique images and watch as search engines pick up your content and begin sending you traffic. Get even more targeted traffic by promoting your site on places where your target audience congregate such as Forums, Blogs, Facebook Groups and Twitter (answer people’s questions).
Niches Sites – Perhaps you are not an expert on a topic, another type of site you can create is a niche site. These are smaller sites (20 – 30 pages) centered around one topic. For example you may create a niche site about a product such as Lego, a celebrity fan site or a health condition such as athlete’s foot. Niche sites are resources that people will visit to find answers, treatments or the latest news. The advantage of niches sites is that they are usually ever-green and require less updating than an authority site. The downside is that they are a little more difficult to make popular and link building may require some creativity and technical SEO knowledge.
3. Drive Paid Traffic To Affiliate Offers. Another way to generate income online is by buying targeted traffic and sending it affiliate offers for a commission per sale or action. Paid traffic can come from PPC (Pay Per click, PPV (Pay per impression) and Social Ads. Here is an overview of all 3:
PPC (Pay Per Click) – PPC is probably one of the most well known source of paid traffic. Platforms such as Google Adwords and MSN Adcenter allow users to bid on keywords that people type into their search engines and your ad will show up along the side of the search results. PPC traffic can be costly and beginners will probably run into quality score issues if they are inexperienced at building landing sites.
PPV (Pay Per Impression – PPV, also known as web or contextual traffic is not as well known as PPC. This traffic is sometimes viewed in a negative light because it comes from pop ups. When a user installs a toolbar onto their machine (i.e. to play games or view premium content), a pop up will appear when they visit specific sites. Marketers are able to bid on these urls and have their pop up show up. Surprisingly, this traffic is very targeted and coverts well on certain affiliate offers. For example, if you wanted to promote a weight loss supplement for men, you may want to target menshealth.com and bodybuilding.com and other similar sites. The great thing about PPV traffic is that the cost per impressions is usually low, sometimes costing as little as $0.01 per impression.
Social Ads – Social ads are fast becoming a popular platform for independent markets. Some examples of social platforms are Facebook, Plenty Of Fish and LinkedIn Ads. Social ad platforms allow you to target people by demographic. This means that if you were promoting an affiliate product such as a coupon organizer, you may want to choose to only show the ad to people who were students, 18 – 25 and female in order lower your advertising costs and increase your chances of a sale.
To learn more about paid traffic, you can take a look at AffPlaybook, a membership site which has tools and a private forum to discuss paid traffic techniques.
4. Sell eBooks on Amazon. Selling ebooks on the internet is not a new idea, there are many places that promote ebooks such as Clickbank. However, The Kindle Direct Publishing Program by Amazon is relatively new and many independent authors have taken to it in droves. By writing
There are many things you could write about and it does not have to be a long fictional novel. People have also had success writing non-fiction “how to” books. For example, shorter 40 page books which show people how to decorate their homes or save money on groceries have been past best sellers on the Kindle.
One of the main advantages of selling ebooks on Amazon is that very little promotion of your book is needed (although you will probably still want to get your book reviewed by some major ebook sites). Users search for books using the search bar in the kindle store and your book will come up if it is relevant to the user’s query.
A common problem with selling ebooks is that many people do not enjoy writing or are unable to write to a high enough standard. Fortunately, it is possible to get around this problem by finding a competent writer and outsourcing your book using services such as oDesk and Elance.
Ebooks are going to become more popular as the demand will be driven by the popularity of handheld devices such as the Kindle, iPhone and Tablet PCS, all of which can view ebooks.
5. Invest in Stocks. For people with some spare cash, investing in stocks is a great way to make some passive income. By finding companies which are undervalued and pay out a dividend, your capital can grow while providing you with a yearly income. The disadvantage is that when you pick the wrong stock your investment may be worth significantly less than you paid for it giving you a net loss.
The learning curve for picking the right stocks can be off-putting for some but the good news is that there are a lot of well written resources available online which can help you learn for free. For people starting out, I would recommend reading some books about Value Investing.
Building up a stock portfolio with millions of dollars may take some time but it is something that is definitely achievable with some planning, determination and a little luck.
About the author: Jack Hogan is a full time internet marketer and former human resources manager. He is the creator of ResignationLetterExamples.net, a site which provides free resignation letter examples for different occupations including teachers and nurses.