Last Updated: 12/20/2021
Hi Ladies and Gents,
Today is Monday, December 20. Before we know it, Christmas will be here! That gets me thinking about turkey, goose, brandy-doused-fruit-cake, and seasonal sales again, but I digress somewhat. Of course, Christmas is not the only holiday celebrated in December. You can check out this article right here (external site) that talks about six of the more major internationally-recognized holidays celebrated in December....and of course there are more than these six, too! I should mention, though, that I celebrate Christmas and also the Gregorian solar New Year, so I will be taking the week of Christmas-New Year off from this website. That means that we won't have our regular two posts next week - please be aware of that! Today we are talking about another one of my all-time favorite topics: how to make money on the Internet. Without any further ado, let’s jump right in here to the meat and potatoes of today’s blog post: 3 Real Ways to Make Money Online.
You’ve heard all the sales pitches for various books, websites, apps, courses, and probably 101 other avenues and mediums that will supposedly turn you into a genius when it comes to making money online. Perhaps you’ve even invested in some of these items to find that they are full of useless information or only teach basic techniques that you already know. What you’d like to know is how you can really make money online, without a huge investment or getting caught up in some kind of Ponzi or pyramid scam.
Before we go any further, let’s get two things straight:
1) there are dozens upon dozens, if not hundreds – probably even thousands – of ways to make money online. Reading this blog and the articles on this website is not going to teach you all the ins and outs of every single way to make a buck through the Internet, nor is reading this blog going to “magically” make you rich. What I do hope is that you find some good information, tips, and inspiration – that’s probably the most important part, the inspiration – through this blog and other articles and features on this website and that you are able to find that inner confidence to forge your own way and move forward boldly with your plans to make money online as the result of having been here!
2) The other thing we need to get straight is the bottom line, which is that making money online isn’t the gravy train it was back in the 1990s and early 2000s when anyone could just throw a mom-and-pop type website up on the Internet that sold literally anything and make their millions overnight. The Internet of the 21st Century, like your toothbrush, clothes, and cellphone, is part of daily life now. It’s not the “new, cool, mysterious thing” it used to be back in 1995. And remember, the Internet is a medium, an avenue through which you can make money, just like opening up a brick-and-mortar store front in the physical world is an avenue through which you can (still!) make money – yes, even now in the 21st century. I akin making money using the Internet to making money using the railroad back in the United States in the 1800s and early 1900s.
Back in the United States of the 1800s, the railroad was the “new, cool, mysterious thing” that was very literally taking the country by storm. The advent of the railroad in the US ushered in a whole new era of mass, rapid (very rapid for its time!) movement of people, physical goods, services, and of course, communication. Suddenly, everyone who was anyone wanted to “make money off the railroad” – and many people were able to do just that! Of course, over time things consolidated and eventually there came a point when just a few supergiant companies owned the lion’s share of the entire railroad network stretched across North America (hmmm....sounds like Internet cables stretched across the world’s oceans today!). The railroad had its day, and I’m not here to go into the history of the rise and fall of the American railroad system in this blog post...but in the 1990s the “new, cool, mysterious thing” called the Internet took the US, and quickly the world, by storm....and…..is this narrative starting to sound familiar?
It’s no longer your Uncle John’s “Wild West” Internet of the 1990s out there anymore; it’s the rapidly consolidating Internet of the 21st Century we have to work with these days, but there is still PLENTY of life and growth left in the medium known as “the Internet!” So, with that said, let’s take a look at these three ideas for making money online as promised:
1. Advertisement Programs
Advertisement programs are available all over the internet; you see them every day – think Google AdSense back 20 years ago, but now there are so many more! How can these programs help you make money? Using this method, your mission is to build a website based on a particular topic, product, or service. Once you’ve published the website, you can sign up with any number of pay-per-click advertising services that will then populate your web page with advertisements. The people behind those ads – i.e. the people paying for the ads that show on your site and get clicked on – are literally funding your paycheck on a pay-per-click basis. Every time they pay their invoice to the pay-per-click ad company for clicks on their ads, a percentage will come to you (depending on the agreement you are operating under, and assuming people are clicking on the ads on your website). Imagine building a few small, basic websites with keyword density that will attract lots of traffic and then sitting back to wait for the money to start coming in.
This was the exact scenario that use to be the classic “quick and dirty” way to make money through a website back in the days of yesteryear. It really isn’t as easy as this anymore, to be honest, like it was back in 1999, but it is still possible. People still make money running pay-per-click ads on their websites now in the 21st Century. The trick often lays in having BOTH relevant ads that complement your website content, and getting A LOT of traffic to your site – useful, “converting traffic,” as they call it in the lingo, that will actually be interested in, and, thus, click on the ads in question that are displayed on your website. Again, to be honest, with so many websites on the Internet today, and more being added every day, THAT is the tricky part! Getting people to your website; getting them to stick around on your website; getting them to TRUST your website; and THEN maybe getting them to click on an ad on your website!
Of course, pay-per-click is just one way of making money through advertising on the Internet and the only one we are discussing here today. There are numerous methods of making money through advertising on the Internet – think creatively on this one! Just remember to stay within honest and ethical boundaries! In many jurisdictions, intentional false advertising is a legally punishable crime; and, if you ask me, it’s just plain wrong to do it anywhere, whether it is legal to do so or not!
2. Direct Internet Sales
Like Internet advertising, while there are several avenues down which you can pursue Internet sales, there are some ways that are smarter and easier to get your foot in the door with than others. When first beginning your pursuit of Internet sales, you will need either a product or service that does not draw too much from your bank account. Buying a bulk product for discounted rates and reselling those items individually could be a way to break into the market. This, of course, requires you keeping inventory and dealing with shipping the items yourself – something to keep in mind. You can either set up a website from which to sell your product(s) or service(s), or you can sell from one of the plethora of Internet marketplaces and/or auction sites out there these days – i.e. think “eBay,” “Amazon,” just to name the two big “supergiant” names of what I am referring that have been around since the dawn of the Internet, there are numerous sites out there like those these days. Many people have made quite a large sum of money selling products on auction sites and online marketplaces in the past, and this is something that is still a viable and growing market today, although, true, more competitive than it was 20 or even 10 years ago. If you take into account the fees you will have to pay, the shipping costs, and the materials cost, setting your price at a level to return a reasonable profit, you can have an Internet auction or marketplace sales business that is highly successful. A good way to attract business is to have a unique offering, whether it is a service or product, that few or no other sellers are offering – “niche yourself” into something unique!
Again, as with pay-per-click advertising discussed above, direct sales on the Internet – and particularly direct sales through auction and/or marketplace sites – is just one of a myriad of different ways you can make money selling things online. Other big avenues you can go down with the Internet sales idea are affiliate marketing and/or selling digital products and/or digitally-based services.
3. Selling Custom Kits (a unique twist to the “Direct Internet Sales” idea)
Perhaps you’ve been frustrated in the past by having to go to several different places to collect parts and pieces for a project. You want to customize your car, for example, but you have to go to one dealer for wheels, another for body parts, and someone else for paint or decals. What if you could buy a whole “custom overhaul kit” in one place? This third point is really an extension and unique rendition of Number 2 (above). If you leverage your skills and abilities from Number 2 (buying in bulk) and create custom kits with various complementary items and then resell those kits as their own individual sales units, this can be a lucrative business venture because you sell everything as a package, giving you the ability to mark up the price for the “value added” aspect of the kit and earn quite a handsome profit in some cases. By utilizing this method, you are also offering the customer the chance to purchase everything he or she needs in one easy place through one easy purchase – assuming you are easy to do business with (ok, that’s a joke!).
The example given in the paragraph above was customizing your car, but the idea of creating and selling custom kits can reach far beyond the automotive industry. Some other big ideas that immediately come to mind for me along the lines of custom kits are custom cleaning kits (for a variety of industries), custom finishing kits (for a variety of industries), and, of course, the famed and acclaimed “Starter Kits” which have become so popular over the last few decades. You know what I mean – things like “The Photography Starter Kit,” as one random example, which may offer a bunch of photography accessories, such as a carry-bag, lens cleaning paraphernalia, wallets/holders for memory cards, etc...many of these items are all things which are relatively easy to purchase cheaply and in bulk, and then when you combine all of them into your “Custom Photography Starter Kit,” you can mark up the price as you are selling a value-added unique stand-alone product now.
There you go, some potential money-making ideas to chew on until Thursday.
Better life, better business, better you!
Ideas, inspiration, opportunity,
Andreas Philip Gross Enterprises
Washington State Certified K-8 Educator, K-12 International Education Consultant, Professional Coach, Proofreader/Editor, Affiliate Marketer, Popsicle Stick Crafter, Print-on-Demand Products Designer, and Webmaster
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International K-12 Educator,