Making money online while staying at home is fast becoming a trend in our Internet enabled society, particularly among the Internet savvy younger generation. To many, it has become a source of extra income to supplement diminishing household income due to the ongoing economic crisis. Some people might think it is difficult to make money online, but fact it is not. Well, it is true that you may not get rich quick with an online business; you can easily earn a decent income if you put in sufficient time and effort, and it can be easier than the brick and mortar business. Indeed, there are many easy ways to make money online, provided you know how to do it. I have been in the online business for some time and I can tell you that my income is enough to pay for my families daily expenditures, and it is only supplementary income.
The very first step to creating a successful online business is identifying a niche market in which you have something to sell, be it information or products. This must be an area that you are good at in terms of interest, experience, skill and knowledge that you can share with other people. For example, I am quite good in Visual Basic programming language, so I created a Visual Basic tutorial website. This website teachers Visual Basic Programming and it has attracted nearly 4 million visitors since its inception about ten years ago; I think this is quite an achievement for a personal website.
Although a niche market may be a small market in traditional terms, the Internet provides a global market for your product or service. There are many areas of interest, which you can write about, some of the examples are computer and Internet, education, health, cars, stamp and coin collection, sports, movies, music, literature, science, art and so on, and the list is endless. To determine whether there is a niche market for your topic of interest, you need to do a search in the Internet by typing in keywords related to your topic. The search results will help you to decide whether you can venture into this market.
After you have identified your niche market, you will need to establish your Internet presence with a website. You must create a good website to attract new visitors and retain a large percentage of loyal repeat visitors in this way; you will generate a large customer base. To build a good website, the first thing you must do is focus on the content. You must make sure that your content is interesting and there is useful information that is well organized and easily accessible. In order to create good content, you must conduct research by reading books, journals, and collecting information from the Internet. Next, you need to design a framework for your contents; and get the main topic and subtopics properly arranged before you start writing your contents. If writing is not your area of expertise, enlist your family members or your friends to assist you with this task. Even if you are expert in writing, you still need to someone to edit your work. You can pay a freelance editor to do this job for you or you can ask your relatives or friends to help.
You must also design an attractive and consistent template for all your web pages. You should ensure that it is easy for the users to navigate around various sections of your web site. You can use GUI-based web development programs such as MS FrontPage, Macromedia Dreamweaver and there are other commercial products available as well to accomplish the above tasks. You should also learn some basic HTML so that you can customize your web pages. After you have completed all your web pages, review them thoroughly for errors. You must get your web site hosted by a reliable web hosting company so that it will be available online 24 hours a day. Although you will be required to pay a nominal fee usually US $ 80 per year, it is worth the investment and normally you can earn it back in days. Lastly, you must update your web site regularly people normally get bored with old contents. To save time in updating, you may want to start a blog (web log) to complement your web site because updating a blog relatively easier.
Once you are satisfied for your web site, it is time to promote your web site, free! The first thing you should do is to submit your web site to major search engines such as Google, Yahoo !, Web Crawler, and you can engage free submission service providers such as freewebsubmission.com or submitexpress.com to do the job for you. However, in order for people to be able to reach your web site, you must enter all the keywords related to your web site in the META tag of your web pages, in fact in every page of your web site. For example, my web site is a free tutorial web site for Visual Basic programming, so my META tag includes the following keywords "Visual Basic, VB, VB, VB, Visual Basic, Visual Basic Class, Visual Basic, Visual Basic, Visual Basic, CDROM, Visual Basic Programming, VB Programming, Visual Basic resources, Visual Basic Tips, VB VB, Visual Basic 2005, Visual Basic 6, Visual Basic basic 6ïOOEWindows XP, Windows Vista, Intel Pentium Chips, CPU, RAM, visual basic.net, VB.net, computer, Java, C ++, oracle, e-commerce, e-business, computer notebook, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Visual Basic 6 Professional, Microsoft Visual Basic 2005, Microsoft Visual Basic 2008. "You must try to think of all the keywords possible so that your web site can rank high in Google searched pages. My web site has always done well on search engines using these Meta Tags and keywords. I believe it is critical to keep these up-to-date to continue high exposure
The second way to promote your website is to join various discussion groups related to the content of your web site. Try to participate actively in those groups but be careful not to promote your web site overtly unless you fully understand the rules first, otherwise you could be banned. What you should do is you can try to solve their problems and lead them to refer to solutions available in your web site. The main advantage in joining discussion groups is when you send a message to a particular group, all the members of the group can receive it, so the reach is very wide, even global. Another way to promote your web site to search for those web sites that are related to yours and participate in forums provided by those web sites (if there have forums). This is an interactive way to promote your web site to people having the same interest. If forums are not available, you can also leave messages in guest books or whatever message boards are provided.
Now you might want to ask how to make money with high web traffic. The secret is you must participate in some good and high quality affiliate programs. It is not productive to join too many affiliate programs because you may jam your website with too many advertisements that might anger your visitors. I focus only on two affiliate programs, sometimes the Amazon.com affiliate programs and Google's AdSense. Google's AdSense is a free advertising program that will automatically generate the advertisements that are related to the contents of your web site. It is a pay per click program, which means you earn an income when the user clicks on any advertisement that appears on your web page. The earning from each click variations from a few cents to a few dollars. Let say, you have 100 clicks per day and average earning per click is 50 cents, then you would earn $ 50 per day. The best thing is you will be learning the income 24 hours a day, even while you are sleeping. Google's payment is on time and convenient, they can bank into your bank account directly or pay you through Western Union Payment System if you are from outside the US.
There are many tips on how to place the Google Ads in your web pages provided by the Google's AdSense team, so you can get the best lessons from the team at no cost! In addition, you can also advertise your website by participating in Google's Ad Words program, where you need to pay a small fee to get your advertisement place in other websites through Google. The small fee is worth the investment as you can drive more traffic to your site by capitalizing on Google's large customer base.
Amazon.com affiliate program is also one of the best affiliate programs in the World Wide Web. Once you have become an associate member of this affiliate program, you can start earning commissions by selling the products provided by the company through your website. Normally the amount of commission is 5% to 10% of the product price. Amazon.com provides a very lucrative commission system whereby the more you earn, the higher the percentage. You should sell the products based on the contents of your website because the people who visit your website are generally interested in your topic so naturally they might want to buy the products that are related to the your website's contents. For example, my website is a Visual Basic tutorial so I sell things like Visual Basic software and Visual Basic books. I have been with Amazon.com for around 10 years and I would say that the income I get is satisfying, although it may not be as good as Google's Ad sense.
The third way to make money online is to sell digital products. Digital products are products the users can download from your website. Example of digital products are video clips, music clips, software, articles, photos, electronic books, games, educational courseware, information, research papers, etc. To avoid copyright infringement or violations you will need to insure that all digital products you sell are of your own creation and they really belong to you. After you have created the digital products, you need to install an online payment processing system. I suggest using PayPal or Clickbank. PayPal will allow you to register free and let you use the shopping cart to process your transactions, and they will only deduct about 8% as service charge from any successful sale. Each withdrawal will be charge $ 5 service charge and the money will be deposited directly into your bank account or your credit card, it is that convenient. I am selling my own digital book online through my website and the sale is good, and the money is instant!
The fourth way to make money online is to sell tangible things over the auction sites. If you have some physical products to sell, you can always sell them through auction sites such as e-bay. Selling through e-bay has its advantage, as it is the largest online auction site in the world, which means your market reach is global. In order to guarantee that you can enough supplies to sell, you must find reliable suppliers who can provide consistent supplies so that you can deliver the products to your customers seamlessly. Beside, you must make sure the quality of the products match the prices, and you must engage a good transport or courier service provider to deliver your products to your customers in time. Moreover, you need to provide after sale service.
Lastly, I wish to say that you have to put in a lot of hard work to build a successful and profitable home based affiliate business. You need to be imaginative and creative too. I can assure you that the initial efforts you put in will allow you to enjoy the kind of income that will be beyond your expectation, and it will bring you revenues even while you are sleeping! You will become a person that can enjoy uncommon freedom by having a lot of time and money. I am already walking along this path and I hope you can join me too!