Ways to Make Money Online
Written by George Manty · October 14, 2008
There are many ways to make money online. I like to group them into three main categories:
- Making money selling your stuff
- Making money selling other people’s stuff
- Getting paid to do something
Let’s talk a little more about each of these categories…
Way #1 – Making money selling your stuff
When most people think of starting a business they think of selling their own stuff. Here are some of the ways that people sell their own stuff online:
- Selling products
When I started out online my intention was to create educational software and sell it online. Like myself, most people that start a business online start off with the idea of selling a product. Almost every product imaginable can be sold online. Arguably, the easiest to create are information products.
- Selling Services/Freelancing
One of the quickest ways to start making money online is by selling your services. You call sell all kinds of services online. Some of the more common online services being sold are web design, freelance writing, coaching/teaching, virtual assistants, copywriting, traffic generation, and software development.
Domaining is essentially the process of buying and selling domains. While I own quite a few domains, most of them were bought with the purpose of developing them at some point in time. Although, I would be willing to sell some of them. For example, when John Reese bought trafficjam.com I wish he had contacted me about buying one of my domains blogtrafficjam.com, since I am not sure I will develop the idea I had for it when I bought it several years ago.
- Website Flipping
Website flipping is a very tempting business model to me. Flipping websites is a lot like flipping houses. You buy a website with the sole purpose of making it better so that you can turn around sell it. Much like house flipping, you should buy a website with good potential that is not properly monetized and/or not properly designed and marketed. After “rehabbing” the website, you can sell it at a much higher price. This process sounds like fun to me, except that I would have a hard time parting with the site after fixing it. I am more likely to buy a website, fix it up, and keep it for the residual income.
There are other ways to make money selling your own stuff, but the ones listed above are the most common.
Way #2 – Making money selling other people’s stuff
- Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online, and I will be discussing it in much more detail in a future series (or a free mini-course). Essentially, affiliate marketing is revenue sharing between online advertisers/merchants and online publishers/salespeople, whereby affiliates(publisher/sales people) are paid based on performance measures, typically in the form of sales, clicks, registrations, or a combination of methods. In layman’s terms, it means you get a percentage of a sale when you sell someone else’s stuff or cause someone to take an action that might sell someone else’s stuff. It is currently my primary method of making money online.
- Advertising Income
Many websites make money by selling advertising space on their site. This is most commonly done on content sites. Advertising income can also be gained through other methods like selling ad space on website templates and selling ad space in newsletters.
- Drop Shipping
Drop shipping is a technique where you sell products from one or more suppliers who take care of shipping the products directly to the customer. All you do is take the order and get the money from the customer, then you send the order details and and part of the money that you charge to the supplier. You make profit on the difference between the suppliers price (including shipping) and the price you charge the customer. This is essentially running a wholesale business without the inventory, although you will usually pay somewhere between true wholesale and retail prices for the goods. I have seen a lot of people run drop shipping businesses on ebay.
- Retail commerce
Retail commerce is where you buy products at wholesale prices from wholesale distributors, carry an inventory and turn around and sell said products. Many of the ecommerce shops you see are doing this. This model is similar to drop shipping. The advantage of this method is that you can make a higher profit margin then with drop shipping, the disadvantage is that you store the inventory and you handle the details of shipping the products.
These are the most common methods for selling other people’s stuff online, although certainly not the only ones.
Way # 3 – Getting Paid To Do Something
- Paid to
sites (Paid to surf, Paid to take surveys, etc.)
With “paid to” sites you can make a little extra money online every month. You can’t really use these sites to make a living online (at least not that I’m aware of), so I won’t be devoting more space to them here. If you’re interested in a little extra cash, and this method appeals to you, there is plenty of information available on the internet. And if you ARE making a living from these sites, and you’d be interested in writing a series on the topic, contact me.
As you are considering how YOU want to make big money online, this list should prove a good starting place . In my next post in the getting started series, I will be wrapping up with a list of resources to help you continue your quest to make money online.