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Six Ways of Making Money on the Internet Without Quitting Your Day Job

by Martin Avis

Not long ago, books, tapes and programs were all the rage telling how easy it was to make money in mail order. The ads are still running, and a few people are still reaping the rewards. Remember the guy making money from his kitchen table, wearing only his shorts?

Now the playing field has changed. Now it is the Internet that offers the lazy way to riches.

Thousands of folks bought the books, and failed to get rich. The Internet will also fail to deliver the expected riches to millions of hopefuls.

But if you learn the closely-held secrets of online success, YOU can be one of the few who profit.

Well, that is what they would have you believe. Truth is, the secrets are easy to discover. So easy that I will tell you some of them right now. And over the next few issues, I will uncover all that you need to know to really make the Internet work for you.

The Internet is a 24/7, 365 day shop, just bursting with customers. Actually, it is more like a giant Arts & Crafts fair. You've got to get the customer's attention, while thousands of other stalls are doing the same. Once you have attracted them, they look at your stall. If they like what they see, you get the chance to go into sales mode. At any time their attention can waver and you lose the customer.

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If you do catch them, and they like what they buy, and you were polite, helpful and courteous, then next time the fair is held, they will head straight for you. **************

The Internet is exactly like that.

The good news is that making money from the Internet doesn't have to be a full time occupation. You can run a business in a few hours a day without risking your day job. Most of the hard work can be automated, and there are hundreds of web sites offering free or very inexpensive software solutions for problems you don't even know you have got.

So why is it made to sound so difficult? There is a lot of technical jargon out there, and it gets in the way of developing a clear understanding of what you need to do. Once you have progressed along the learning curve, everything gets a lot simpler, but in the initial stages, you just have to grit your teeth and read everything you can lay your hands on. Go to www.google.com and type '"internet marketing" ebook' without the single quotes.

You will be presented with dozens, if not hundreds of free or 'for sale' ebooks. Buy some. Get the free ones and read, read, read.

There is no substitute for knowledge.

Here is a list of 6 questions that will lead you to decide how you can start making money with your own web site. It is not exhaustive: new ideas are being developed all the time, but it covers the bases:

> Do you want to sell hard products or digital products?

> Do you want to sell your own products, or someone else's?

> Do you want to concentrate on selling one product hard, or spread over a wide range of products?

> Do you want to accept payments online, or let other people deal with the money?

> Do you want to capture email addresses so that you can sell to them later?

> Do you want to run an affiliate program?

Let's look at these one at a time.

>>> Hard products, or digital products?

You can probably sell anything on the Internet. However, if you are looking to run a business in your spare time, digital information products are the easiest to handle. Why? Simply because there is no inventory to worry about, it is all in computer files on your hard disk. Also, the products are delivered directly to your customer, instantly.

>>> Do you want to sell your own products, or someone else's?

Your own products can be the most profitable. If you write an e-book and sell it for $25, who gets the $25? You do. All of it. Every last cent apart from a small commission to the credit card company. 'But I can't write an e-book,' you say. Sure it can be difficult if you have not written anything before, and you may think you have nothing to say that people would pay good money for. You are wrong! You do have a book inside you. Almost everybody does.

Ken Evoy's outstanding book, written with Monique Harris, *Make Your Knowledge Sell!*, will open your eyes and get you writing anything from a four-page report to a full sized book.

http://www.myks.sitesell.com/products43.html

>>> Do you want to concentrate on selling one product hard, or spread over a wide range of products?

This is a very personal choice, and depends somewhat on the target audience you will be aiming for and the expected profit-per-sale. If you have a product that is fairly high ticket, aimed at a niche audience, then you are probably best off building a web site devoted entirely to promoting that product.

Why waste your time diluting your efforts?

If, however, your audience is broad, and/or your profit margin is small, then by all means try to cross-sell them other products.

The choice has to be your own, but a lot of money is being made at the moment from single product sites.

>>> Do you want to accept payments online, or let other people deal with the money?

If you are starting out in business and have no trading history, it will be difficult for you to persuade your bank to give you a merchant account and the so accept credit cards online.

There are ways around this, but they will cost you a bigger percentage of your sale.

Don't even think about asking customers to send you a check. This is the Internet: people just won't do it.

One good solution is ClickBank. If you plan to sell digitally deliverable products only, ClickBank may be the answer. Their setup charge and commissions are low, and there are no monthly fees. Check them out at:

http://zzz.clickbank.net/r/?avisc

>>> Do you want to capture email addresses so that you can sell to them later?

An increasing acceptable business plan is based upon the idea of building a customer list and then selling to them at a later date. To make this work, your web site must be capable of generating a high traffic, and must have content that is of real value to its readers.

Once you have established that, invite visitors to opt in to your mailing list. This act gives you permission to email them without risk of spamming (sending out unsolicited email, which can get you into serious trouble with your ISP). Then you set about building a relationship with them through e-zines, newsletters, special offers, tips, recommendations, site update announcements and so on.

It can take up to seven communications before you make a sale, so perseverance is required.

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This method is longer term, but virtually all the Internet gurus agree that it is the most effective way of making money online.

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>>> Do you want to run an affiliate program?

Affiliate programs are special relationships that you create with companies that sell online. You advertise their products and direct your visitors to their site. They do all the work of selling, taking the money and delivering the product and you sit back and reap the commission payments.

With an affiliate program you can create a web site offering one, two, or a million products. Create themed sites (books, music, jewelry, art, you name it, there will be an affiliate program for it). You can even create entire department stores online.

And every time a customer buys a product, you will be credited with anything from 2% to 60% commission. Just wait for those checks to come rolling in!

Sounds easy? It isn't. Like any marketing method on the Internet, it only works if you put in the effort. You can design the best looking, hardest selling storefront on the web and if nobody visits it, that is how many sales you get. Zero.

Have no illusions, to make money on the Internet you have to put in the work. Maybe not 12 hours a day, seven days a week, but in the early days you will need to devote some time to setting things up.

Like anything in life, the dream is alluring. But this dream can, with hard work and perseverance, become a reality. Then maybe you can think again about that day job!

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"To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy." >>> Bette Davis (1908-1989), actress.

Friday, Aug 25th, 2006