My last post gave you the easiest way to find just the right business for you. Plus I shared some examples of clients and friends who have used this tecnique to create successful home businesses. Now I want to share internet businesses that are fairly simple and inexpensive to start. I have used each of these during my own online business career so I can tell you - they work!
1. Affiliate Marketing: The easiest way to get started online is through affiliate marketing. What's affiliate marketing? Promoting other people's products and/or services. This was how I started. In fact I'm still an affiliate for Ken Evoy's Site Build It!, Mike Dillard's Magnetic Sponsoring, and Rick Raddatz's Instant Teleseminar. To get started, look at the products you use and trust. Then find out if they have an affiliate program. Chances are they do. Then simply register to be an affiliate and you are on your way. If you don't know of any affiliate programs, a little online research will help you find them. Affiliate programs are free to join. If someone is asking you to pay to be an affiliate, beware! Most programs will also provide you with a website, training, and promotional tools. These are great to get started, but you will want to learn some web marketing skills to increase your income potential.
2. Blogging: I started blogging simply as a way to share my experiences with others. I never dreamed you could actually use your blog to may money until I met Darren Rowse aka ProBlogger. While participating in his 31 day Build a Better Blog program, I discovered that you can use the power of your blog to drive people to your websites, promote your affiliate programs, and even set up some advertising. Now my blogs are a main source of income for me. If you like to share your ideas and can express yourself well, blogging may be for you. If you are considering it, I highly recommend you check out the ProBlogger site. No one teaches the ins and outs of blogging better than he does.
3. Your Own E-Commerce Site: Once you have learned your way around the internet business world, you may want to consider setting up a site of your own to promote your own product or service. Infoproducts are especially easy to create and market and as Ken Evoy says - Everyone knows something someone else will pay to learn. If you aren't sure how to create and market an infoproduct, there is help available. Marlon Sanders has created the InfoProduct Dashboard. I use it and I like it so much that I became an affiliate of Marlon's products just so I could promote this product. You'll need to understand internet marketing, copywriting, networking, and a host of other skills - but that's why you started with affiliate marketing and blogging.
4. Freelancing: One of my businesses is the Travels with Bob shop. In in you will find all sorts of merchandise with designs featuring Bob - and soon, some of his friends. And if you think I created those designs myself, think again. I hired freelance graphic designers to do the work. In fact, all of my graphics on every site I own were designed by two wonderful designers - PopArtDiva and Karlyn. If you have a skill such as design, or copywriting, or web design, or programming, becoming a freelancer may be for you. And freelancing can lead to regular work. I started out as a freelance writer, submitting articles to various publications. That landed me a regular spot as a business columnist and travel writer on Boomer-Living.com!
5. Coaching/Consulting: Those that can, do. Those that have proven that they can and want to help others, coach. Or consult. Either way, if you have expertise in something, you can provide that expertise to others and get paid for it. BoomerBizCoach is my coaching business. I love sharing what I have learned with others. And thanks to my friend Wendy Y. Bailey, now I charge for that! You can too. (You can hear how Wendy helped me by listening to my interview with her on the BoomerBizCoach site). By the way, this is my first attempt a building my own site. That's another task I usually outsource. Why not this time? Long story. But I would appreciate some feedback on the site. Email me with your input and I'll send you a free internet marketing report.
These are the ways I make money online. There are others. If you have a unique business that you have taken online, we'd love to hear about it. I may even want to do a blog post about you or invite you to be a guest on my next series of interviews. Share your business in the comments. P.S. Commenting on other blogs is another great way to market your business. A tip I learned from ProBlogger!