Whilst it’s definite that there is a lot of potential to make money online, don’t be given the impression that working from home is easy. It’s not. However, by putting the hours, work and dedication into your business right at the beginning to get it up and running smoothly and sufficiently is probably the most vital aspect of running an online business. Once fully established you should find that your business grows.
There are an endless amount of sectors and opportunities in online business so it’s important for your business to be something that you are knowledgable about and experienced in. As long as you have knowledge of your chosen industry and the ability and skill required to do the work necessary then there is no reason why you cannot be successful.
Getting Set Up
Many people like the idea of setting up business online and working from home but feel that they are not technically minded enough to set up their own website or store. However, there are plenty of online services that can provide everything a budding entrepeneur could ever need to run their online business. Primarily all businesses are going to need to send and receive payments and there are two trustworthy and secure websites that can offer this:
Google Checkout and Paypal
Next to this your business will need either it’s own website or store. 000webhost offers plenty of free webspace and unlimited bandwidth usage for free and there is software available such as Microsoft Frontpage available which offer easy ways of performing website design (WYSIWIG – What You See Is What You Get). If you don’t have the time or your site is of a technical nature then you can simply pay a company such as Graphico to develop your website for you.
For your online store which you’ll need in order to sell your products you have the option of either using your own website, or you can use a third party service such as eBay (for products) or Lulu (for publising) and have the money paid into your Paypal account. Most of these services will charge a small commission.
Most people never manage to accomplish setting up work online due to the fact that they don’t know what sectors are best to get into or what sells best online. However, most successful online entrepeneurs simply choose a hobby or subject which they personally have a strong interest in and are knowledable about. If you website contains decent accurate and up-to-date information aswell as being well designed then it should rank up in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) making it more visible in search results.
There is an endless amount of sectors online with an endless amount of niche areas within each, you are literally spoilt for choice of which sector you want to get into. There’s sport, entertainment, technology, psychology, careers, economics and many many more. It’s entirely your choice.
Supplementing Your Income
Once you’ve set up your website or online store and you’re selling your products, whether they are digital downloads such as MP3’s and wallpapers or physical products such as computer parts you can now work on promoting your website and looking at ways of generating extra streams of income. Using an advertising network such as Google Adsense will allow you to place third party adverts on your website and promotional pages related to your content which will earn you extra money each time they are clicked.
Google Adsense is a great choice if your website just contains information but is not a store. However, the information would have to be informative, accurate, well written and presented and up to date in order to be highly ranked in search engines. It would also have to be free of coding (HTML / PHP) errors which you can use the online WC3 Validator to ensure.
In addition to placing basic advertising on your website to generate extra revenue, you now also have the choice to place affiliate advertising on your website. You place affiliate advertisers adverts on your website alongside your content and you earn a commission for every customer who clicks through to the affiliate’s website and purchases a product or service.
If, once your business is established, you find that you have a lot of spare time on your hands you could decide to earn a little extra on top by taking part in reward scheme websites. Slicethepie offer you money to review music tracks which can be paid into your Paypal account whereas Dooyoo will pay you by cheque to review consumer products. Mylot is another website that pays users via Paypal to take part in discussions. Most of these sites only pay low rates but if you’re already earning money online in other areas then it all adds up.
Keeping Your Customers Coming Back
In order to be successful online you will need to keep your website visitors (potential customers) coming back. The site needs to be well presented, clean, easy to use and easy to navigate around – customers need to be able to find what they’re looking for easily and efficiently. Regular freebies (even if it’s just a download) and a few games or competitions is a good way of keeping your website visitors entertained.
If your website is an information based site such as music or book reviews offering to pay a small percentage of your profit to your website’s users for writing some reviews for you is a good way too keep visitor’s coming back.
eBooks are a good seller online, especially within the cooking / food industry so if you’ve got that creative streak and are good at writing you may be able to sell your eBooks as downloads on Lulu. If you’re looking to go more professional Lulu also offer physical publishing at a low cost.
Websites such as CCLOnline and eBuyer provide low cost computer parts and peripherals and also offer discounts on bulk purchases. These can be useful for buying stock if running your own similar e-commerce website or shop on eBay.
If you’re into gaming then a free online games website is pretty simple to build. There are many webmasters out there offering literally thousands of free games to host on your website. The only downside is that the games usually contain sponsored advertising but it’s a cheap and easy way of getting set up online. You could also offer free and paid game downloads.
If you’d like to become a games developer there is a great program available from Yoyo Games called Game Maker 8. It’s easy to use, requires no coding or technical knowledge and it even gives you the ability to make 3D games if you so desire. If you have purchased the full version of Game Maker 8 you are legally allowed to create and sell your own games which are saved as one exectuable file on your computer. You can then sell the games you’ve made online.