The Web offers tremendous opportunities for those who know how to harness it. You hear of stories of people who earn thousands if not millions of dollars from doing business on Web. While there are many scams (same way in the traditional business world), there are various ways you can legitimately make money on the Web.
Here are the main business models you can adopt:
1. Sell products on the Web – Big boys like Amazon or Lillian Vernon online catalog or smaller businesses like BigKidsVideo.com or Candle4Less.com all sell products on the Web.
You can either sell: (a) through your own storefront through your own website or applications such as Yahoo Stores; or (b) sell through online auctions like eBay
2. Information Delivery. Others such as About.com or PowerHomeBiz.com create content and monetize their content in a number of ways:
a. Advertising – whether by joining banner ad networks such as Tribal Fusion, BurstMedia or Fastclick and display the banners on their site; or through contextual advertising such as Google Adsense or Intellxt
– Join an advertising network. Advertising networks are organizations that aggregate Web sites that offer advertising space, and sell banner ads (and other advertising options) across them. Traffic requirement is often a minimum of 5,000 monthly impressions, although many do not accept sites hosted by free page services.
Burst Media Http://www.burstmedia.com
Fastclick (ValueClick). Http://www.fastclick.com
Tribal Fusion Http://www.tribalfusion.com
– Participate in contextual advertising networks. Contextual advertising are text ads delivered based on the content of the web page using an automated system.
Google Adsense Https://www.google.com/adsense/
Yahoo! Publishing Network (currently in beta and available to US publishers only) Http://publisher.yahoo.com/
Quigo Adsonar Http://www.quigo.com/adsonarexchange.htm
Commission Junction Evolution Http://www.cj.com
– Sell advertising for your site directly. This is admittedly a more difficult route for a small business site wanting to earn advertising revenues. But hey, as they say: “no pain, no gain!”
b. Affiliate Programs – you sell other people’s products that your audience may be interested in; and you get a certain commission after the desired action was done (whether a sale, a lead, subscription to email newsletter, or however this is defined)
c. Paid online content. Hoovers.com or WebmasterWorld.com Supporters forum all require paid subscription before accessing the information
d. Content licensing and syndication. Some publishers such as the Associated Press get paid every time their content is published elsewhere
The best online business will depend on what you want, how you define to be interesting. A person may consider an adult site to be the most exciting work in the world, while that may not be your cup of tea. Or someone may say design websites but if you don’t know HTML then it is not a business for you.
The key is to determine what your interests are, what you want to do, what is suitable for your lifestyle and your overall goals, and what can fit with your resources.
Dan Ramsey in his book “101 Best Home Businesses” has a chapter on how to find YOUR best home business. He suggests these 10 steps:
1. List 5 things you do best
2. List how others would benefit from what you do best
3. Find out how to give people what they want
4. Learn the value of your services to others
5. Find out who else offers similar services
6. Learn from the successes of others
7. Learn from the failures of others
8. Plan your own success
9. Make low cost mistakes
10. Enjoy what you do and how you do it.