How-To Cash In on the Internet Bandwagon
Every now and again, a big deal will go through, and people who have never seriously considered an internet business, start thinking about their own online business.
The Google – YouTube deal is just one such deal.
Chad Hurley and Steve Chen started YouTube “in their garage” – likely in their living room office – but a “garage start-up” sounds so cool. Hurley and Chen started their website only 20 months before Google bought it for $1.65 billion. That is $825 million each for 20 months work, or $41.25 million dollars each for every month they were in operation!
All of us dream the big dream, but then reality sets in. Few of us can look forward to earning $40 million per month. While you can probably count the people who have on two hands, there are still thousands more people who have managed to turn their online business into a million dollar a year business.
Most people who start an online business might dream of making one million per year, but most would be happy just to earn enough to leave their day job behind them. Some would even be happy to earn just enough to pay their car payment or to save for their kid’s college tuition fees. All are worthy goals, and the good news is that all are within the reach of most people who strive to reach them.
Learning How To Play The Game
As with any great endeavor in life, there is a process one must follow in order to be successful.
The first step is learning how to play the game.
The beauty of starting an online business is that the internet is driven by information. If you have a desire to learn about something, then you will find someone on the internet who is willing to teach you about the topic you wish to learn. You can literally find information available on any topic, some of it free and some of it available for a small fee.
Online Business Structures
There are four primary business structures on the internet:
- Product Sales
- Service Sales
- Membership Websites
- Advertising Platforms
Product sales include both hard goods and digital items. Examples of hard goods include food, clothing, car parts, books and music. Examples of digital items include electronic books and software.
Within these four primary platforms, there are several ways to accomplish each business process. For example, with a Product Sales driven website, you can opt to use: a direct sales website, an online auction system, or an affiliate sales format. With Service sales, you can use the direct sales website or the affiliate sales format.
Affiliate sales systems are akin to Reseller sales systems. There really is one difference between an affiliate sales system and a reseller program.
With an affiliate program, you will direct the buyer to the seller’s real website – through a special tracking URL that is only available to you – to make their actual purchase, and you as the affiliate will be paid on a monthly schedule for the sales that you have generated.
With the reseller program, the source company will remain hidden in the background. You will make the sale, collect the money from the buyer, and then you will process the sale through a private access point on the seller’s website.
The concept behind the membership program is that people will rent access to a private area of your website.
The most well known advertising platform of course is the search engine. They make their money when someone else buys advertising. Other such sites include news or general information websites.
While the big boys make up the immediately recognizable websites based on the advertising platform, many small publishers are making a good living by providing advertising driven websites.
Low-Cost Entry Point
Forget going out and renting an office for $900 per month. Forget about having to set up utilities in your home and at your office. This is another one of the beauties of an online business. You really do not need to have a costly storefront in order to go into business for yourself.
If you go the online auction route, you will not need to have a website at all. But you may need the extra room in your house or in your garage to handle storage of the product you will be selling, unless you go the drop-shipping route.
The idea behind a drop-shipper is that you can register with a wholesaler. Then you can sell single-piece items to your customers, and process the order through the wholesaler in the same way you would through a reseller program. When you buy the product from the wholesaler, you will give them the direct shipping address of your customer, and the wholesaler will put your shipping label on the package. When your customer receives the product, by all appearances, that product will have come from your warehouse. To find drop-shippers who serve your choice product lines, you should sign up for a lifetime membership at World Wide Brands for their drop-shipper locator service: http://www.myaffiliateprogram.com/u/worldwid/b.asp?id=3601
In any other business model, you should seriously consider registering your own domain name, even if you intend to utilize the affiliate sales systems. The costs of pursuing this route are minimal. You can expect to spend $20-30 buying ownership of your own domain name for one year, and you can generally get a web hosting account (where you actually manage and store your domain) for anywhere from $30-50 per month.
Low Knowledge Threshold
Many web-hosting companies offer a HTML editing tool within their domain management interface that lets you build and design your website’s pages.
The beauty of these HTML editing tools is that you do not have to know how to build actual webpages. You simply type what you want into the editing interface, highlight what you want to put in bold print, and then click a little button that converts your highlighted text to bold print. The same processes apply for links to other webpages, and a wide variety of text formatting options. It is so easy, even a caveman could do it.
Mix-and-Match For Best Results
The lowest-cost systems for your first website is between the advertising platform, and product and service sales through affiliate programs. The best benefit for each of these three options is that you will not need to build your own online payment systems. That is a real advantage when you are just starting to get your feet wet.
For advertising systems, many people today utilize the Google Adsense system to put paid advertising on their website. To get involved using Google Adsense, you simply need to get your website approved by the Google staff, and then you copy a piece of code they give you and put that code into your webpages. You can generally get Google’s approval in three to five days. And then, once you apply Google’s code to your webpage, you will be able to get paid for advertising on your website immediately.
Affiliate programs work in the same way. You get registered with the affiliate’s website, and then they will give you a small piece of code that you can copy-and-paste and put directly into your website. Once again, you could be earning money from your visitors beginning the same day you put the affiliate code on your website.
My best advice is to not rely on only one system for making money.
Google Adsense pays you every time someone clicks an advertisement on your website (don’t do this yourself, or Google will terminate your account with them). Because Google is paying you for traffic that you send to their advertisers, you will only get paid based on a percentage of what Google collects from their client for that visitor. In some cases, we are talking about pennies per visitor.
With affiliate programs, you could literally make $2 or $200 for one sale.
I believe that if you are getting into an internet business on the advertising platform, you should not rely only on Google Adsense, nor should you rely only on your affiliate programs. But together, both systems on your website could provide a significant income for you.