#1 E-commerce Shopping
Leverage your website shopping cart to sell products and goods online.
While selling products online is the most clear cut and simple way to make money online, you will have several hurdles to clear before getting started.Before considering an online business, get your tax filing status straightened out. In fact get familiar with how to file business taxes because you will learn the hard way that business taxes are important. Decide whether you will own a sole proprietorship (easiest), partnership or corporation.I mention this because if you plan to buy products at wholesale prices from distributors you will need a resale certificate from your state. In order to attain this you will need a business license. You may also need a business bank account with certain distributors in order to open an account.
Once you have your documents in place and an established relationship with your distributor, you can start thinking about selling online. You will first need a shopping cart. This is an online catalog which will showcase your products and allow customers to checkout.
I personally recommend using 3dcart or shopify. This is a third party shopping cart which provides hosting and a full featured back end admin panel with the latest merchandising and marketing features. You will find the amount you spend on developing a website, customizing a cart and maintaining your shopping cart will end up being very costly.
3dcart and shopify takes care of the technical aspects of online business for a low monthly price while allowing you to concentrate on marketing your business. There are many shopping carts to choose from such as free magento, free opencart, paid volusion, paid shopify and many more. I only use 3dcart or shopify for solid results. Take it from me thoughunless you are ready for heavy development work, choose a third party shopping cart for your first online ecommerce venture. You can always upgrade to custom solution at a later time after you start earning money.
Before marketing your website you will also need a merchant account. This will allow you to accept credit cards online. You can start slow with Paypal for accepting online payments. Although this will probably limit your sales. You will want an integrated merchant payment solution. I use Chase Paymentech as my merchant provider. They deposit payments fast and offer decent rates.
Once you have your payment method setup, it is time to market your new ecommerce business. I’ll leave the details of marketing online to another lens.
#2 Commission Junction and Linkshare
Leverage Advertiser Networks to Promote Products and Services.
Getting a commission for selling or marketing advertiser products or services is probably the most convenient way to earn money online. But in no way does this mean it is the easiest. In fact it took me many years to profit from affiliate marketing. Being a successful affiliate means you are in the top 5% of online entrepreneurs who can make a living recommending products online for a commission.Companies such as commission junction, linkshare, shareasale and clickbank provide you with referral inks and a network of advertisers to work with. When your visitor clicks on your tagged link and continue to purchase, you will receive a commission for that sale. Amazon actually was the first to leverage advertiser programs in a major way allowing website owners to promote there products in return for commissions.
Commission Junction is the most popular of affiliate networks. Once you sign up you can view different advertisers you want to promote. You will need to submit an application for approval to join there program.; Commission can range from 10% – 25% of a sale or even as much as $100 primes of dollars per sale.
Linkshare is another popular affiliate marketplace allowing you to work with large companies. It works the same way as Commission Junction in terms of setup and application approval.
Clickbank is an affiliate marketplace for digital goods such as ebooks, video courses and audibooks. The cool thing about clickbank is that the advertisers are very conversion savvy. They structure landing pages in a way to get as many people to purchase as possible. In my opinion clickbank marketers are some of the savviest marketers online. Unfortunately Google does not play well with Clickbank products. Or any affiliate products for that matter. To avoid Google issues make sure your content is unique and promote your affiliate products as a recommendation rather than straight up advertisement.
#3 Amazon Marketplace or Partner Program
Leverage the massive traffic of Amazon.
Amazon offers you 2 ways to make money. The first is is to sign up as a partner promoting Amazon products for a commission of about 4% – 8%. The second way is to sell your products as an Amazon seller.
Amazon Partner Program – If you have an existing audience, Amazon partners is a good way of leveraging your network for extra income. Much like the affiliate networks mentioned above, you receive a referral link or widget to use within your posts online. When visitors click on the link then continue to make a purchase, you get paid a commission. If you have the ability to create unique content Amazon affiliate can help add to your passive monthly income.
Amazon Marketplace – This is where your can sell your goods on Amazon. Amazon sellers are able to open an account called “Amazon Seller Central”. This is a dashboard for sellers allowing you manage the products you will offer on Amazon and provide earnings report. Amazon seller central also provides useful features like automatic shipping label printing and fulfillment services. Amazon sellers are not required to have a business license. Although if making heavy sales, you should eventually consider it. Also get ready really low profit margins.
#4 Ebay Auctions
Leverage the popularity of Ebay to sell your goods and services.
I’m sure at this point many of you are familiar with Ebay Auctions and how certain top sellers earn a living just from Ebay alone. This was actually true for me as well many years ago. I was able to quit my job and just sell on Ebay until i learned to build websites.
Selling on Ebay is a combination of pricing and sales marketing. What i mean by Sales marketing is that your auction has to present your goods and services in a way that is clear, easy to read and useful.
Headlines are very important as they will decide who will view your auction. About 70% of any successful advertisement will depend on the quality of the headline. Before creating an auction come up with a list of headlines and choose the one that stands out to you the most.
#5 Blogging and Social Networks
Leverage an audience of billions with social networking and unique content.
This is a method of making money i have been using for the last few years and i must say my favorite. It allows me to leverage the full range of my skills and talents in a way i can be of use to other entrepreneurs.
Starting conversations online or writing unique content is not necessarily my strength, although because i love to talk about marketing and online business i can easily talk and write about the subject with ease. Here are a few ways to build a social network.
Website Blog – If you are developer or familiar with programming you can easily setup a blog and start posting unique content right away. How to get traffic to your website will be covered in another lens. If you have a web host like 1 and1, godaddy, hostgator, bluehost, hostmonster, etc. you are able to create a blog with one click using ‘simple scripts’ or fantastico. Check with your web host support section or forum for instructions. Its a free and fast way to get a real blog website.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. etc – By now you should be familiar with at least some social websites. If not, setting up a new profile is easy and fast. You will find making money through a social setting is a little tricky but defintely possible and can yield big profits and exposure. Unfortunately social media marketing is a large topic which will not be covered here. Although defintely keep an eye out for future lenses dedicated to social network marketing.
WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, etc.; – These are blogging platforms allowing you to publish posts to the social network audience. Many of these posts also get ranked in Google and other search Engines allowing you to leverage additional traffic and backlinks to help promote your blog or website. Writing unique content is key and will yield success if it is a useful topic.
Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon – With these networks you can share content which people rate or your can submit your own unique content. This is a great way of getting your content distributed online. Make your content and posts interesting, funny or useful to get maximum results.