When you look at companies like Facebook or Amazon and see how they were started it is easy to see how you can go about making money online. Some of these businesses took just a few hundred dollars to get off the ground and some were almost free with a lot of hard work and dedication.
Below are a few stories of some truly ambitious people who have managed to earn an online income:
Army veteran Brandi Ramos of Springfield, Ill., did it. As a single mom in need of extra income, she started her online retail career peddling “big and tall” men’s clothing on eBay.
Three years later, Ramos, 32, makes a good living working online out of her 600-square-foot basement packed with hanging displays and baker’s racks piled with tupperware containing underwear and belts. Ramos aims to offer quick service, answering all e-mails within four to six hours. She claims to net $25,000 on $100,000 sales a year, and even earns a few bucks per order on shipping.
If managing inventory seems too big a chore, play virtual landlord and charge other retailers monthly fees (or per-transaction fees) for the opportunity to market their products on your site. Amazon.com nabbed 28% of its revenues this way in 2006.
Now here are some better ideas of how this can actually be done solely online:
Craigslist is another take on this model: The 25-person company, worth a reported $2 billion, charges businesses to post help wanted ads in San Francisco, New York and L.A.; it also collects fees for apartment listings in New York City. Total page views per month: about 5 billion.
Then there’s every pajama-clad blogger’s dream: producing content supported by advertising dollars. Selling advertising is how thousands of established online media outlets pay their electric bills. They charge advertisers two ways: by the number of overall Web pages (called “impressions”) served up, and by the number of people who click on the ads.
Setting up a blog requires not much more than a basic publishing program, a server and software to track ad clicks. The hard part, though, is attracting enough eyeballs to make it worth someone’s while to pay to advertise on your site.
To have any prayer of attracting large advertisers, sites need to attract at least 500,000 unique visitors per month, says David Hauslaib, publisher of Jossip.com, a media and gossip blog that counts Coca Cola and Sketchers among its advertisers. Sadly, even if you do generate enough traffic, the “click-through” rates on ads tend to be quite low–in the neighborhood of one half of 1%.
Subscription-based models are even harder to crack. Unless your site fulfills an urgent need (for tangible investment ideas, a potential mate, etc.), users aren’t likely to pay for the content.
One way to garner subscription revenue is to run a virtual marketplace. These sites collect by allowing buyers and sellers easy access to each other. Many of these marketplaces flamed out in the dot-com bust, but some persist. Mfg.com, for instance, matches equipment manufacturers with smaller component suppliers. Dating sites like Match.com charge subscription fees for access to their members. And H2Bid.com links municipalities with wastewater-equipment vendors.
They are even more ways like flipping websites or buying tickets for events that will sell at a high price last minute to die hard fans. The ideas are almost endless. Just make sure if you take this path that you let your ambition lead the way, and never ever give up!
Do you have a success story you can share to inspire our readers to start making money online?
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