With unemployment continuing to climb and more and more people finding themselves out of luck when it comes to work, there really is no better time than now to choose a perfect online business to help cover the bills. Who knows, maybe you will find something you enjoy enough to replace your current or most recent income and get you into the business of working for yourself.
Almost anyone with an Internet connection and a little drive can find ways to make money online like the ones below:
1. Information marketing: We're in the information age, and the internet provides you with the ideal medium to exchange know-how for money. Do you know the best fishing holes? How to play guitar? The secrets to a successful marriage? A recipe for moist and delicious brownies? A trick for saving gas? Think about your career, your hobbies and your interests. Virtually anything you know can be turned into extra cash. And don't worry if you think you're not an expert–as long as you know more than the average person on the topic, that information is valuable.
2. eBay: One of the largest online marketplaces makes it a piece of cake to get your own business going. You can open an account and start making money within hours on eBay! Take a look at some of the largest eBay PowerSellers and notice how they specialize in very specific products (iPods, cell phones, dog grooming kits, etc.). This allows them to leverage their efforts. A listing is created once, and money is collected over and over again. Unlike information marketing, this business requires the handling of physical goods, but even that can be automated, so it shouldn't prevent you from considering this idea.
3. Affiliate marketing: This is essentially a “referral” business, or as one of my book contributors likes to call it, “passionate recommendations.” Basically, you can get paid a referral commission just for sending people to sites (or vendors) that are set up to pay affiliate fees once a sale is made. The vendor does all the selling, fulfills the purchase and handles any customer service issues–and you just collect your check..not bad! Some people choose affiliates based on who or what is paying the highest commissions, and that certainly is a viable option. Most people opt to choose products or goods they are passionate about so that the process is much more fun and engaging.
4. Blogging: The range of topics is virtually endless–photography, sports cars, parenting, dieting, star gazing, the latest gadgets, Hollywood gossip–you name it, as there are blogs on just about everything you can imagine. Don't worry about competition. Folks who read one blog are apt to read others on a topic they're passionate about, as long as you have something interesting to say. Once your blog starts getting traffic, you can make money passively with things like AdSense (Google's ad revenue sharing plan) or actively by doing a little bit of affiliate marketing. You can see both types of moneymaking strategies at SparkleCat.com, which is a blog about a person's cat. What makes it interesting is that it's written from the cat's perspective and often refers to her “human.” At the top of the page are Google AdSense ads, and sprinkled throughout are suggestions for things like cat furniture and premium cat food, which are tied to an affiliate program. Pretty cool, no?
5. Yahoo! Store: This business is very similar to eBay in the sense that it's a monster-sized marketplace but more similar to a store in the true sense of the word. Think having your own retail outlet but without the hassles of rent, employees, utilities and all the other expenses of a traditional brick-and-mortar store. The neat thing is that it can be as hands-on or as hands-off as you want it to be because of companies called drop-shippers, which can do most of the work for you. In fact, you don't even pay for the inventory until you make a sale. How cool is that? Most people think the hard part of this business is creating your virtual store, but nothing could be further from the truth. Yahoo! has made the templates and wizards so easy that, dare I say, even a caveman can do it!
Like I have already said a million times, always take the time to do the research before spending any further time or money on a product, business line, company or service. If you can find ways to incorporate your hobbies into your new business, can you imagine how much more you would enjoy working every day?
Image Source: pimthida on Flickr
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