In my previous post; How to Make Extra Money for Retirement Online
I explained how, when it comes to earning additional income and leading a life with purpose, the internet has created many new opportunities to earn retirement income online, in a way that just 15 years ago would have been the stuff of science fiction.
In this article I will give you an insight into 12 of the Most Popular Internet Businesses that are now available to choose from. There are quite a few, so this article will only provide an introduction each one.
We are now getting down to some of the specific and most popular ways people do that. I have also given you links to the most popular websites in each of the 12 niches and also to some free resources that will provide additional information
So there is a lot to take in if this is new to you. I suggest you take your time, look at the websites I have linked to and the free resources.
In subsequent articles I will provide more details on these and other options that might be of interest to you, and I will also make recommendations on what I believe to be the best training courses or resources available to learn the required skills and techniques from scratch, all the way through to making a regular income.
Just to be clear, I will only recommend systems and training courses that I am using myself, or would use if I had a need for that specific functionality in my business. Some of the training courses and resources will be free, others will need to be purchased or there will be a monthly subscription fee. I believe that all of the paid systems and training courses I recommend are very competitively priced for the value they provide.
Like any new business there will be some initial start-up costs to get going. The good news is that compared to a traditional physical business, these costs will be minimal.
Having this information up front will save you time, money and some of the frustrations I felt, when I realised that I had been investing time and money in training that, in hindsight, was not right for me. I have learnt many valuable lessons, some of them the hard way, and if I was starting again now from scratch, I would be able to do it quicker, smarter and cheaper. My hope is that by sharing my personal experience and knowledge with you, I will help you to make your journey smoother than mine has been thus far.
Popular Internet Businesses
Before we start, it is important that you understand there are no magic pills, no quick fortunes to be made. This is about building a high quality business with great products or services that fulfill a need that some people have, and that they are willing to pay someone to provide for them.
Like any new business venture it will take time to become viable, so the sooner you start the better. Even if you are still some way off retiring, getting started now and laying the foundations of your new business will maximise your income earning potential when you do retire – it may even lead you to bring that day forward! Wouldn’t that be great?
So how are people making money on the internet? The following list will give you an overview of some of the most popular types of online businesses.
Once you have identified a few niches that capture your interest, you should do some independent research and start to take an active interest, so that you become familiar with the options and how other people are monetising them
There are literally millions of blog websites on the internet. A blogger is a person who writes articles (also called posts) on their website on a topic they are either passionate about, know a lot about, or on a subject the blogger believes will attract lots of readers willing to pay for information about. Most blogs are interactive, offering their readers the opportunity to post comments about their articles and to engage in an ongoing dialogue.
A new blog is unlikely to be a short term money maker; but it can provide a steady stream of income once it has become established and attracted a following of people who enjoy the articles and trust the blogger.
2 Writing Articles for Other Peoples Websites
With over 600 million websites on the internet, there is a huge demand for quality content. If you have good grammar and writing skills and enjoy researching and writing on interesting topics, writing for a blog posting service could be for you. If you produce consistent quality work you will get a wide variety of assignments from the bigger blog posting services like Elance and oDesk without having a website to manage.
3 Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate programs are arrangements in which an online “Merchant Website” e.g. Clickbank and JV Zoo, pays affiliate websites (could be your website) a commission to send them traffic i.e. leads for potential sales. You would post a link provided by the seller on you website and if someone clicks your link, you get paid a commission according to the specific agreement you entered into with that seller. Basically, if a link on an affiliate site brings the merchant site traffic or money, the merchant site pays the affiliate site a commission.
You can sell affiliate products using a website you create specifically to sell affiliate products, or on your blog or authority website by adding the link provided by the product owner or the affiliate marketing website you downloaded the product from.
Amazon has one of the most popular affiliate programs in the world; but there are literally thousands of affiliate programs to choose from. Expecting commissions of 5-25% is realistic and they could reach 50% for software products that the buyer can download from the internet.
If you are planning to build a long term online business, there is a big downside to affiliate marketing. One of the key things you will need to do is to build your own list of people that have signed up to receive your ongoing emails or have previously purchased a product from you. The reason is that these people know you and trust you, so they are much more likely to buy additional products from you in the future.
In the case of affiliate marketing, when you sell a product for someone else, the chances are that the product they bought was what is known as a front-end sale, which will be a cheap product designed to get someone on the product owners list so they can up-sell more expensive products to them going forward, on which you will not get commissions.
So after you do all the hard work and incur the expense of advertising and selling the product for a one off commission, the product owner keeps that customer and gets the full margin on any future products that person, who you recruited, buys. So you are in reality building someone else’s business for them for one small commission.
Fortunately, some smart marketers recognised this problem and created a different business model that I have explained in 6. immediately below this point.
4. Internet Businesses With a comprehensive range of products including high-end programs
Some very smart online marketing entrepreneurs recognised the flaws in the affiliate marketing model and decided to build their own businesses model where they would create and make available to their affiliates (members) a comprehensive range of quality products, including high value programs attracting big commissions, that the affiliates could sell; but even better, having been the person that introduced this new customer to the business, the affiliate has the ongoing right to receive the full commissions on any further products that new customer buys at any future date, whether it is next month or five years later.
This innovation addresses the biggest issue with the affiliate model, under which you only get a small commission on the up-front product that the product owner allows you to promote to get people on his list so he can then offer them all his other higher value products and keep 100% of the sale value (After you paid for advertising to get them for him/her in the first place!!)
One of the other key issues for potential internet marketers is that like most people, they do not like the part where they have to directly sell their product to their potential customer. So in mid-2012, one enlightened entrepreneur, a young guy from Perth in Australia, called Matt Lloyd recognised this issue and decided that he would take the final step of creating a team of highly trained and experienced salespeople that would do all the selling for affiliates in his program.
So effectively, the affiliates roll is to advertise the products and generate quality leads that they would then hand over to the sales team to close the sale.
Matt’s other big innovation was to add a number of high ticket programs to his product offering, on which affiliates could make a profit of up to $5,500 on a single sale. – Just imagine how many $10 eBooks you would need to sell to make that!
You can find out more about Matt’s Program by clicking the link below:
PS. After reviewing this program for my subscribers in late 2015, I actually became a member myself and am making good progress building my business. I also personally coach any of my subscribers who join to get their business off to a fast start.
5. Create Valuable Resources-Authority Websites
The websites that hold the most value on the internet are those with the most valuable content. These are known as Authority Websites, and as the owner of such a website your aim would be to establish yourself in the eyes of your audience as the expert in that particular niche.
Building a successful Authority Web Business will take time and a lot of hard work; but the potential rewards can be huge for those who stay the course, win a strong and loyal customer base and have the ability to grow and nurture a successful long term business.
6. Membership Websites
If you are an expert in your industry or something you are passionate about, or already a successful blogger in your niche, you should consider starting a membership website. A membership website is a site that offers ongoing relevant information exclusively to its members for a monthly recurring fee.
Membership sites are one of the best internet business models and can create a reliable ongoing income stream, which allows you to invest more time and energy in looking after your existing customers, for which you will reap ongoing rewards.
7. Start an eCommerce Store
What is an eCommerce store? The easiest way to think of it is as a retail store, but instead of going into the physical store, you do all your shopping, selection and buying online, and your order is delivered direct to your home.
Amazon and eBay are the biggest examples, and they have become huge successful global businesses. You would need to focus on a specific niche that you enjoy and understand and you could sell products you buy or even products you make yourself. Imagine, no rent to pay – but you do need to attract customers.
Perhaps the most successful niche eCommerce store to date has been Zappo’s. This online shoe and clothing store was so successful that Amazon bought it for close to $1 billion.
8. Sell on eBay Selling successfully on eBay on a large scale is not easy and takes time. You ideally need to find a niche where the profit margins are high and competition is low. If you pick the right product, particularly unbranded products, you have a chance to import items and make huge profit margins.
I suggest you start by looking at Amazon Kindle eBook first. Here are 2 that I found that looked ok:
– “5 Minute eBay descriptions that sell” (cost US$7.27)
– Ebay Selling for Success Free to download (At the time of writing)
A decent eBay store is “Linda’s stuff” . Make sure you research thoroughly before deciding to go ahead.
9. Become an eBook author
The Internet and modern day self-publishing opportunities have made this the perfect time to become an author. Publishing your own writing doesn’t require the approval of a publishing company, nor do you need a book company to market your book for you. As long as you have a computer and can write in a popular word processing program, you can publish and market your own books online.
You can get an excellent free article from the Copyblogger website, a highly respected source of quality information for bloggers and authors, which will give you step by step information you need to create and publish your own eBooks: click here .
10. Training, Mentoring and Coaching
Perhaps you have a specific skill set that you could teach? There are hundreds of skills that can be taught over the internet, especially due to the fact that video services like “Skype” and “Google Hangouts” are free, and you can even record them FOC as well; so the video recording is there for ongoing review and reference. Potential opportunities include:
· Coaching in – just about anything
· Help improve writing skills · Marketing-great if you have the experience
· Specific technical skills that people may want to acquire
There is a growing number of websites devoted to training, so I recommend you pick a niche that you know very well, and maybe focus initially on your local State or Region. You can always expand from there once you become experienced and established.
11. Translation Translators are in high demand and they are needed for almost any language. In a world where more and more companies are using outsourcing, those that speak other languages are invaluable. The types of work vary greatly, from replying to company emails to being involved in negotiations between two companies or with a service company and its clients.
12. Provide Technical and Design services to Internet Marketers and Businesses
If you have technical IT skills or are prepared to acquire them, there are a number of niches available where demand is growing rapidly. This is an area I would only recommend if you have the aptitude and the passion for this type of work; it’s certainly not for everyone. You will also need to be prepared to undergo ongoing training, as all of these areas are evolving and new skills will be required if you are to keep pace with changing technology.
I have summarised some of the main opportunities below. If this is of serious interest to you, you should do your own detailed research. I will provide regular updates on this subject and provide more detailed articles as relevant developments occur– just in case you miss them.
– Create videos If you are a keen amateur or semi-professional video producer, why not make a business out of it? Many videos used on the internet have been shot using i Phones, Smartphones, I Pads or Tablets
If you are able to combine your video shooting and production skills with creative skills, then your potential revenues are much higher. If you don’t have those creative skills, maybe find someone who has and team up with them.
– Offer a website design service. Nearly every business is looking to build a website, and those companies that have one are looking to make sure that theirs looks bigger and better than the competition. WordPress, the dominant content management system (CMS) for Internet Marketing Websites, can be learnt fairly easily. There are also courses that teach the basics of coding, e.g. CodeAcademy offers niche specific online technical courses.
– Outsourcing. Most successful service providers and internet marketers need specialist external help from time to time. Instead of actually providing the services personally, you could become a middle man, with enough technical knowledge to be able to outsource their projects and take a profit margin for providing that service! Just Google “How to outsource your internet technical projects” and you will find an amazing number of outsourcing companies you could use, and some offer great service at incredibly cheap prices.
– Build apps. Mobile applications are growing in popularity, and people are willing to pay for ways to manage their affairs from their smartphone. If you have a great idea create your app. yourself if you have the technical skills, or there are plenty of software developers looking to collaborate with people on app. creation. See this excellent article
– Offer telemarketing services Telemarketing services are an ideal way to find sales leads and booking appointments with prospects. More and more companies are looking to outsource their marketing efforts and this presents an opportunity. To learn more I suggest you Google “telemarketing services” followed by your region or country. There will be plenty of companies offering services that you can learn from.
– Manage social media profiles. Social media is growing in importance for almost every company in any business. Unfortunately, to do this effectively is incredibly time consuming. Most business owners simply don’t have the time to do it in a pro-active way.
The most popular system for managing your entire social media presence, offering a whole host of functions designed to do all the hard work for you is hootsuite This integrated software will manage all your social media platforms from one dashboard, schedule messages and advertising across all platforms and provide regular reports to measure results and effectiveness.
– Remote technical support. This will require IT operational skills and some capital for computer equipment to set up. Many small businesses can’t justify a full-time IT person, so an external maintenance and troubleshooting service, available remotely as required, is a great option.
When businesses find high quality IT service providers they will stick to them, and price will not be a major issue. This is all about quality service and peace of mind for the business owner.
As you can see, when it comes to earning retirement income online, there are lots of options available, and these are only the most popular ones. Please take your time and do some further research. If you have any questions or are keen to get moving, feel free to send me a comment on this article or on my “Contact Me” page.
You can read the next article in the section “How to Earn Retirement Income Online – Blogging and Writing Articles for Other Peoples Websites, by clicking here
Finally, I would like to thank you for persevering and I hope you are enjoying the journey so far? Please let me know what you think by adding a comment in the box below.
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