Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Are There Really Ways to Make Money Online?

by : Lloyd Lopes

As soon as I came onto the high speed broadband circuit, I was suddenly exploring the web instead of the usual "get on, get what you need and get off "scenario. I was to stumble upon many sites during "surfing" that claimed to show you how to make money online.

The claims ranged from the oh-so-obvious Nigerian scams, to the not so obvious tricksters and then some opportunities that looked legitimate. Needless to say -- as an extremely skeptical person I ignored all of them. I was interested, but I was one of those people who, if I did something, it would be done my way and nobody else's. I looked objectively at the promise of an "online income" and saw that it was indeed perfectly probable -- look at Google, Amazon, Yahoo! And EBay. These were certainly companies who had made a pretty fortune online.

However, these companies started out with one thing I didn't have: Cash.
They were investors with the ability to get the right people to do the right thing at the right time, and to profit from it. They had huge resources to throw at the internet game, and they were like the Wal-Mart monopolies of this world -- squashing the little guy as they went along.

However, delving a little deeper into this "Internet Money" thing revealed something interesting. Behind all the MLM, Pyramids and other schemes lay a group of people who were making large amounts of money online. And these guys weren't companies -- they were privateers.

And through this group of sparsely spread "Internet Marketers", as they called themselves, I learned how to really make money online. They did not want me in any of their schemes -- they held secrets and led false information to their competitors. Very few wanted to teach me and rightly so -- why should they waste their efforts on a newbie and add to their already existing competition?

But a lot of this "Internet Marketing" thing started to make sense. As I learned off what snippets I could get -- it turns out that a man with an internet connection and a half decent PC can leverage his existing talents in a way that was never before possible. It was also cheap to start. $50 got you 2 websites and some hosting for a year. With a website come endless opportunities. You could sell products, services and advertising with a little savvy and even less money.

Building an "Online business" or even taking your business online is an absolute must in this day and age. With the internet, you can attract thousands of times more customers with a tiny fraction of the cost and effort of regular business. As one of my non-technically minded colleagues put it: "It simply makes sense". An online marketing strategy is something that will be as standard as newspaper advertising in the next 5 years.

As to making money online -- start with what you already have. Take your small toy shop and make an ecommerce store. Optimize the site for the search engines -- and sell to the world. Expose your restaurant on review sites that will be more than happy to do it for free and gain huge exposure and customers.

Then take it from there.

A lot of people put off going online because they are skeptical and do not understand it or what it can do. My advice to these people is this. Test it. Just do it. You'll never know until you actually attempt it.

There could well be a gold mine waiting for you online. From starting your own store -- to creating affiliate sites and information sites designed to sell advertising , the web is a market place and there are very few , given the size of the web , who are taking advantage of it.

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