Making Money Online – Investment


Value-Investment is the main theme of this blog, especially the first half of the articles. But today I’m going to address the topic of investing as it pertains to the online landscape.

The simplest definition of investment is growing financial assets (the term is broad enough to cover other kinds of investment, like investing in one’s health, family, society, but our topic here is concerned with financial investment only).

Think of it as farming: You implant a good seed, in fertile soil, wait for a certain period of time, while watering, fertilizing and weeding, then you end up with some kind of vegetable or fruit. The seed is a metaphor for the initial capital or “principal” allocated for investment. The fertile soil is the investment instrument or “program”, the period of waiting is the investment term. And finally, watering, weeding and fertilizing represent your follow-up and tracking of your investment, to make sure it’s growing, not shrinking! And of course, the fruit is your profit…

The web has revolutionized many aspects of our lives, including our finances. One of those areas is online investment. Nowadays, you may engage in several investments, from the comfort of your home.

Traditionally, people would invest in businesses directly, or through stock markets. Another type of common investment has been in precious metals, such as silver and gold.

You can still do that and more online. Following are some examples:

  • Investment in silver and/or gold
  • Investment in energy and resources (crude, gas, solar, green, water, forests, etc)
  • Investment in online businesses
  • Investment in off-line businesses via online instruments
  • Investment in advertisement programs
  • Investment in High Yield Programs (HYIP)
  • Investment in stocks
  • Investment in Forex (Foreign Exchange)
  • Investment in commodities (coffee, corn, cotton, copper, etc)
  • Investment in real estate
  • Investment in web space, or buying and selling domain names
  • investment in Binary Options and Futures
  • Investment in online traffic

I’ll give a brief description of most of the above opportunities starting from the next post.

All the Best

The Wealth Maker

Making Money Online – Online Stores


 

So far, in this series, we’ve talked about advertisement and MLM. The first article sets the stage for the whole discussion. Please read it before reading any other article in the series.

3-Online Stores

Have you ever dreamed about opening your own store? Selling something you’re interested in? I guess most entrepreneurs have.

Creating an off-line store involves licensing, real estate, decoration, shipping, etc..

On the other hand, an online store could be as simple as one page, where you display some digital products. You could even delegate the back-office details to the vendors of the products you display on your e-store.

A very common example is Amazon’s (TM) a-store. First, you need to sign-up as an Amazon affiliate, for free. Then, you design your online store using Amazon’s templates and menus. It’s a fairly simple process. You finally end up with a website that shows Amazon’s digital, or physical, products.

Your next step is to promote your a-store’s URL, following the methods we’ve covered so far. If you managed to drive enough traffic to your store, and hence sales, you would receive commissions from Amazon right into your affiliate account. They would take care of accounting, shipping, handling, and so on. Your job is: First to design the site, using Amazon’s help, then promote it, so it makes sales.

Amazon is not the only online provider of e-stores. If you liked the idea, you could search for other companies that offer products or services you are interested in. Become an affiliate, then create an e-store using their ready-made templates and tools.

Some people prefer to have their own thing, completely independent of any existing business. In that case, the first part of the process becomes harder. You would need to have your own domain name, hosting, and web design (if you lack that skill, or don’t have the time for it). Each one of those costs you money, and time. But the end result would be a custom-made e-store, where you would sell products, services, memberships, programs, whatever, of your own choice. You could even list your own products, things that you’ve created yourself. A common example is an e-book, or a traditional book. Another example would be a service you intend to offer, like training or coaching.

If you went that path, you would be responsible for all the details. Your site should be equipped with online payment forms and buttons. It has to be able to process payments by credit cards or e-currencies, such as PayPal or Alertpay. You would need to take care of your own inventory management, website back-office maintenance and update, etc.

The second step of the process is the same. You still have to promote you custom-made e-store, drive traffic, and make sales. But while an affiliate e-store owner is not responsible for anything once the customer decides to buy, the owner of a custom-made e-store must follow-up the steps of completing the sale, till the money actually lands in his/her account of choice. Not only that. He or she has to perform all after-sales activities. Things like returns, refunds, complains, maintenance, and so on.

Please spend enough time researching both options. There is enough information online. But you may also consider talking to someone who has already started an e-store, of either type. Pick their minds, ask them questions, do your own online research, then prepare your strategies and plans.

All the Best…

The Wealth Maker

Making Money Online – part 2


 

In this post, I’ll start presenting few online, money-making methods, focusing on how they work, how they would generate money (or became monetized), and some of their pros and cons.

  1. Advertisement

Every year, businesses spend billions of dollars on advertisement. The online portion of that expenditure is getting larger and larger. The most common online advertisement instrument is the banner. A banner gives a flashy, brief sales message, that highlights the two or three biggest and most attractive attributes of the business.

Technically, the banner is but the nice face of few lines of HTML code. If you have an idea about programming, the banner is the execution of the HTML code behind it.

Once the banner is created and tested, it has to be promoted. Online promotion boils down to a single word: Traffic. For  the banner to reach as many potential buyers or subscribers as possible, it has to attract online traffic. So what does that mean? It means that the banner needs to be spread around, so that online surfers would see it, and be interested enough to click on it. Every click is called a visit, a hit, or a view. The more the hits, the better.

Since the banner  is “click-able”, once clicked, a webpage gets launched, and the surfer who has clicked the banner, would be shown a whole lot more details about the business. The hope is that the surfer would get more interested and “convert”. Conversion takes place when a surfer, who has initiated the “hit”, becomes a buyer of the business’s products or services. If the business needs subscribers only, conversion takes place when that surfer signs up, providing enough details, especially name and email address. That allows marketing/sales people to follow-up, in order to offer that subscriber a service, a product, or more information, for the time being. Another term that describes this process is “opt-in”. The surfer is said to be “opted in”, when he or she provides his/her name, email address, and sometimes, phone number, by filling out a special form on the sales webpage.

How would you make money out of all of that? The easiest way would be to sign up as an affiliate of an online business of your choice, and promote that business banner(s). The banners you promote, have in their HTML code your unique ID. So if they got clicked, the business (usually the admin) would know that it was you who had made that hit possible. The majority of businesses won’t pay you anything for hits only. But they do pay once the person who has clicked, converts. In other words, generates money for the business now, or in  the near future. As an affiliate, you would receive a percentage of that money, or an “Affiliate Commission”

To summarize: First you need to find a business you’re interested in promoting. Then you sign up as an affiliate. You get your special banner code and promote it, aiming at driving as much traffic as possible to that banner. The higher the traffic, the greater the probability that someone would click on your banner. The more the “clickers”, or the hits, the higher the probability of conversion, i.e. commissions.

Now you may ask: How would I promote that banner? The ideal approach would be to have your own website, where you paste the HTML code, so that the banner appears on your website, preferably the front page. But that’s not enough. You still need to make your site visible. You ought to drive traffic to that site. One way to do that is to list your site’s URL on as many traffic exchanges as  possible.

What is a traffic exchange (TE)? It’s a website that offers a service. When you sign up for that service, the site allows you to post a certain number of URL’s. Once you finish entering the URL’s (one of them is of the site, which contains the banner you wanted to promote), you can start “surfing”. This is a rather boring activity. You have to watch other people’s webpages, who are trying to promote, exactly as you are. Each “view” takes a number of seconds. Usually  between 10 and 30. For every site you watch, or view, you earn one credit. That credit serves as the cost of one view of your own site (sometimes the ratio is not exactly 1:1). You view other people’s sites so they view yours.

You could escape the boring part, to some extent, by joining an auto TE. The upside of that is you don’t have to click every 30 seconds or so to view the next page (and earn another credit). The TE does that for you automatically. The downside, however, is that other promoters would do the same. Which means they won’t actually see your site. Because while the auto TE is cranking, viewing one site after the other, people would minimize it, sending it to the background, and go off doing something else.

One way to know how your site is doing in terms of visibility and popularity would be to perform a Google search on it. The best result you should aim for is to see your site on the first page of the search results. Another technique would be to go to http://www.alexa.com. This free service tells you the rank of your site, globally, and locally, where the site was registered.

As you can see, the process is somewhat complex, and the reward is not that much, unless you became really good at it; something that takes a high overhead of time and energy.

This should be enough about advertisement as a source of online income. Please let me know if you have anything to add to the above, if you’d like to comment, or ask a question. All you have to do is use the form below. And don’t worry, you’re not “opting in” for anything 🙂

Till the next post: Read, think, consult your heart, decide and act…

The Wealth Maker