20. October 2011 15:25
In these tough economic times many people are deciding to start their own business, and what better place to start a business than online. So how can you make money online? Well there are a number of ways but I guess they could be broken down into three main categories; e-commerce, subscription services and advertising.
E-commerce as you would expect involves selling products online, this may, or may not involve substantial start-up costs, depending on the types of products you are going to offer. If you are going to be selling something like cameras online, you will need to purchase your stock in significant volume to get the discounts you will require to make a profit, this will involve a hefty investment. But not all e-commerce sites need major cash investment. In this new digital age there are many non-tangible products that can be sold online, such as e-books, MP3's, stock images, the list is practically endless.
Subscription services can provide an income from your users, by paying a fee to access the content on your site, such as a subscription to 'the Times online' for a fixed period. Or the ability to access unlimited music on demand from companies such as Spotify. Obviously the content you provide to your users must be of a very high standard, for them to want to part with their cash.
Another route that some online entrepreneurs may take is to make their money from online advertising. This can be very profitable but you will have to have very high volumes of traffic coming to your site. This can be achieved by offering excellent content (usually for free) to attract visitors, who in turn will click on your ads. A site that springs to mind that uses this business model is Facebook, now I don't expect everyone to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, but a well written blog with up-to-date content will certainly get you started. Be warned, unless your site attracts millions of visitors a month The Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising approach is probably not going to generate enough income for you to be able to quit your day job just yet.
So what do you need to get started, well in my next post I will discuss getting your business online. From how and where to buy your domain name, to hosting your website and choosing the right software tools and applications to turn your business dreams in to reality.