Choose Your Flavor of
Online Business Opportunity...
First, let's get three
You don’t have to be a computer whiz to
operate an online home business. You’ll inevitably
become more proficient over time, but you can start
with little or no computer know-how ... provided
you are prepared to learn, and to work through some
You don’t have to have a web site or web
sites to make money on the ‘Net. It's true
that most of the online home business
opportunities demand one, or benefit from one ...
but some do not.
You don’t have to have a product or
products of your own to profit from an online home
And ... a warning.
By taking an interest in an online Internet
business opportunity, you just became part of a target market …
you are one of the people interested in Internet Marketing. Or,
"making money from home."
You Are The Target
for the Best of the Best!
Now, these are HOT markets that have the best
marketers in the world drooling. Point being, if you pursue
your interest you are going to be visiting the web sites of
some highly experienced marketers (and many up-and-comers) …
and potentially giving them an e-mail address to reach you
with. You are going to read some of the best-written sales copy
ever written, and you're going to invite some of these people
to e-mail you even more persuasive copy on a regular basis.
So do be aware that these guys are very, very
good at what they do! One reason I spent $15,000 on courses etc
is because I consciously set out to learn a lot. But another
reason is that some of these guys are just incredibly good at
writing sales material (called “copy”) that creates an instant,
urgent craving to buy whatever it is they are selling. And I’m
a sucker for a great sales pitch (just ask my frequently
disgusted partner or my even more frequently disgusted wife). I
don't think I've ever met an online business opportunity I
didn't like ... or at least, that's what they'll tell you.
There’s good news here – you can learn from
these guys. And you SHOULD! They have an encyclopedic knowledge
of virtually every online homebased business opportunity, good
or bad. But please do be selective about buying. In my opinion,
if you're going to make money you NEED some of the things they
offer ... if you don't buy some things, you'll pay a "stupid
tax" in terms of wasted time, wasted money, lost opportunities.
But I am one of those who regularly commits the crime of buying
something “better,” when I already own something designed to do
the same darned thing … and I haven’t even needed it yet or
used it yet. So this is a case of, I suggest you do what
I say, not what I do!
Are you an
Opportunity or an Entrepreneur?
One of the Internet Marketing gurus, Rich
Schefren, recently came out with what he called a
"Manifesto" and one of the things he highlighted is just how
easy it is to be engaged with so many opportunities, each
needing a suite of separate skills, that you end up working
linger hours than ever and getting nowhere. He made a crucial
differentiation - between "Opportunists" who see every new
product as a potential path to riches, and "Entrepreneurs" who
have a clear vision of whare they're going and then judge every
new product in terms of it's role in achieving their goals. It
might be a superb product, capable of makinbg you money ... but
if it's NOT on your clear path to success, it's just a
distraction. Walk away.
When I Offer My
One last thing – most of the time when I
suggest or recommend a course or software, it’s because I have
it, and have read it or used it, and genuinely believe it’s
either essential, or else it's useful to accomplish something
easier than you could do by hand, or useful to accomplish
something more quickly than you could do otherwise (I’ll tell
you which of these applies), … and I’m convinced it’s good
value if you intend to operate the appropriate type of online
home business. If there’s a question mark against it – for
example, perhaps I haven’t been too impressed by the customer
service – I’ll tell you that, too. Sometimes I'll tell you what
I think is the best, or the most appropriate, even if I haven't
bought it yet; there are a few people whose opinion I trust and
I'll look for their endorsement. (To my wife's regret, if the
product is highly regarded, and I don't have it yet ... the
chances are I'm just biding my time to justify buying it
Ok, let’s take a look at some of the main types
of online internet business opportunities. In fact there are an
infinite number of opportunities, I come across new ones every
day; but these are the dominant ones, in my opinion. As new
ones take their place I'll add these, too; so come back and
Now, there are many different ways to slice and
dice the opportunities to help you decide whether they are what
you are looking for – for example, whether an opportunity is
best suited to pocket money or a candidate to help you make a
full-time living, whether the technique demands that you sell
to anyone within 3 feet of you, or whether you want to avoid
contact with people entirely, I could categorize by what suits
your personality or your skills or your level of computer
literacy, whether you’re willing to break a few rules (but NOT
the law! Everything I explain here is 100% legitimate).
I have a page dedicated to each of the
opportunities I describe below where I go into much more detail
1. The approach known as
"GoogleCash." I LOVE this. No website, no product ...
but with a half-hour to kill in a hotel room before dinner, or
even while using the WiFi service at an airport, I can launch a
campaign that makes money within a day ... or even within
hours. However! While this is one of the approaches that sounds
like a dream come true, and can indeed be very, very sweet, it
isn’t as easy as it sounds. What I mean is that it's genuinely
simple to do, technically, but it's not quite so easy to make
money from it. But when you "get" it ... you can do very well.
And you can do it in such a way that your risk is minimal.
There’s an excellent download-able manual that explains how to
do this, called GoogleCash by Chris Carpenter, but if you want
to read my explanation first, click here.
The good: In theory you
can be making money inside 15 minutes, no web site needed
(so no web development software or hosting fees), no
contact with people (so no selling!), no credit card
processing, no customer service. And there is a decent
dollar potential – while most people doing this probably
make under $2000 a month from this approach, there are some
making 5 figures a month just from this.
The bad: There's very
little bad about it, except that in practice it’s not quite
so easy as it sounds. And you CAN lose money while you
learn the ropes if you're stupid enough to try to work it
out for yourself. Sorry to be so blunt but the GoogleCash
downloadable manual, supported by several how-to videos, is
dirt cheap and excellent value because it teaches you about
EVERY element you need for success, in thorough detail.
Much of the material is relevant to several of the other
online home business opportunities, too. It's extremely
well written, and among the top 3 how-to courses I've
bought. This book gave me the single biggest "aha!" of
anything I've bought.
2. The Adsense Opportunity.
While it DOES require you to build a website, or (much
easier!) a Blog, this is almost a sure-thing to make at
least pocket-money; and there are individuals earning
$20,000+ per month from this. But the reality is that it it
getting harder all the time to move beyond $30 to $50 per
month per web site. (The good news is that you can build
lots of sites relatively easily and inexpensively).
Essentially, you place ads (Google Adwords) on a website,
and attract traffic. People click on an ad ... Google pays
you money. No customers, no products, no credit cards, no
selling. This Introduction to Adsense walks you through
the nature of the opportunity, but then there are 3 specific
variations, each of which justifies it's own page:
3. Adsense on a Value-Added Content
Site. You build a Content-filled theme web site,
the more pages the merrier, using content that you
personally write, or content that you pay a ghostwriter to
write, or content that a ghost writer makes available to a
limited number of people for a monthly fee, or else content
that's free and already written, and available to you
already on the Internet just for the asking. Guess which of
these I prefer to start with?
With little effort you can make $30 per site
per month on a site that takes 15 minutes to build. You can
make anywhere between $50 (or less) and $300 (or more) a
month from a site that takes you 10 - 40 hours. If you
develop a well-conceived, good quality site you can earn
$1000+ a month ... but be aware, what makes the difference
is simple - how many visitors you get to your site. You'll
find it much easier to get higher traffic levels to a better
site. You'll find I provide a wealth of information on
the Adsense-with-Content opportunity.
The good: No customers, no
products, no credit cards, no selling, and if you do a
few things right you almost can't miss. Plus, a
content-filled site can have literally years of
staying-power, years of income generation, without you
doing a whole lot to it. Better still, if your site
proves to be in a decent market (lots of traffic, lots
of clicks) you can invest time and money to greatly
improve the site and add Affiliate offers to make it
MUCH more profitable.
The bad: You do have a
learning curve on several skills that are probably new
to you, you do have to spend a little cash on domain
registrations and web hosting, and you do have to put
some real time into it.
4. Adsense on a Software-Generated Site.
If the idea of generating the content for a 40 - 100-page
website seems daunting ... then this is probably of interest!
You use a software program to churn out web sites with
(potentially) thousands of pages in just minutes; and you
include Google Adsense ads on every page. Anytime a visitor to
your site clicks on one of these ads, Google gets paid by the
advertiser … and Google immediately pays you. You'll find a
thorough review of the process on my page Adsense with a PC-Generated Site.
The good: These are
relatively easy for someone who’s not afraid of
computers, ideally someone who's not a complete beginner
with computers. You don’t have to deal with customers or
credit cards or bother with stuff like customer service.
There's no selling. There are no customers. You almost
can’t fail to make some money – $30 a month per site is
common, and up to $300 a month do-able, I used this
approach to generate 12 sites in a few hours and these
made me $1500 in my first 45 days, just while testing.
Unfortunately, the Adsense opportunity has changed and
it's now much less common to hear of people doing $100+
a month (although many do).
The bad: Unless you’re
prepared to invest more time in customizing them once
built, these types of “generated” sites often don’t last
long … the Search Engines don’t like them, and when they
identify them, they effectively stop them from making
much money for you by giving you a low position on ther
Searches. Sometimes they'll spot you almost as soon as
you're "up" and your site never gets any Rank in the
Search Engines. Other sites ... it can take weeks,
months, even years, for the Search Engines to identify
you as an undesirable, during which time you can make
some nice moolah from a few hours work, and you CAN
extend the lifetime of a site by taking time to
“disguise” it. Unfortunately, that takes more time,
which is exactly what you’re trying to avoid by turning
Realistically, you have to assume they'll
keep dying on you, so you have to keep generating them
if you want to keep an income stream. And, you really
need to assume that you'll put time into "disguising"
them. At some point you have to wonder if you're better
off going the Content-filled route. But even so ...
using one technique I can build 5+ sites a day,
comfortably, each of which is a potential added $30 and
more a month.
While this site-generation route is still a
very viable route - I'm still doing this, and expect to
do so for a long time yet - there is another caution;
the value of the clicks that advertisers pay Google, and
Google pays you, has declined enormously and is likely
to decline more. This might be countered as Yahoo and
MSN services emerge and mature, and offer to pay
more per click to entice you from Google.
5. Adsense with a Blog.
Blogging is 'hot" these days, and you can create Blogs on
topics with the potential to attract a lot of visitors;
then, put Adsense on the Blogs. Just as with the other two
Adsense opportunities, if a visitor clicks on an ad, the
advertiser pays Google, and Google immediately pays you.
It's easy to generate a few dollars a month from this, and a
Blog on a hot topic can generate $100 or $150 a month.
But if you're anything like me - meaning,
fundamantally lazy - a red flag is already hitting you
upside the head; do you have to post articles to the Blog on
a regular basis? Because that could get real old, real fast.
So, there are options to have software make automatic posts
to your Blog. I devote a whole page to the Adsense on Blogs opportunity.
The good: Very, very easy
to put into place if you aren't looking for the best
results; and pretty easy even if you are looking for the
best results and prepared to invest a little time.
The bad: If you want the
Adsense income to be significant, you really need
multiple Blogs, and they really should be WordPress
Blogs, which means you need at least one domain
registering plus a web hosting account. Then, in my
opinion, you really need to have some software making
automatic posts to the Blog for you; else, with multiple
Blogs, it's a time killer. However, with the automated
approach ... this can be useful!
Now, I have to tell you that #4 and #5 above are sort of “quick
and dirty” ways to make some money with relatively little
commitment and a short learning curve. Nothing wrong with that
… but let’s be clear, you’re not really building a business
with these (there are exceptions). You might also see debates
where you are accused of creating the same kind of problem as
satellite debris … creating “junk” sites. Meaning, the sites
are truly not of much value to visitors (to be honest, from a
selfish perspective of making money, this is an advantage; your
content is so poor they feel obliged to click on an Ad!).
Should that bother you? It’s your call. But do
remember, the Search Engine companies are NOT the law – they
don’t own the Internet! If you choose to conform to their
requirements, or not, that’s purely a commercial decision.
No ethical or moral issue here! Putting a so-called “junk”
site that creates income for you and provides qualified
traffic for the advertiser who’s paying and praying for
exactly what you’re giving them … remember, most
billion-dollar Wall Street darling advertising companies do
little but provide intense aggravation to everyone else
(think, TV commercials, billboards on highways, pages and
pages of ads in magazines) in order to make money for
themselves while elevating their client’s brand name to make
money for them, too.
OK, I’ll climb off my hobbyhorse here.
LIke the Adsense with Content opportunity, the
opportunities I describe below come more under the heading
of businesses that you can establish and grow.
6. Selling on eBay. Almost
everyone has heard of eBay these days; but did you realize
that more than 400,000 people make a full-time income by
selling stuff on eBay? My write-up of The eBay Opportunity covers a lot of this
The good: It really isn’t
hard to make SOME money. There are an incredible number
of different ways to use eBay for profit. And, you CAN
build a business from eBay. And that business can be a
very, very nice business indeed! In fact, there’s more
good stuff here – eBay is one of the few businesses
where instead of trying to find customers, millions of
customers a day go to eBay, unprompted, wanting to buy
something! Another plus … you can often get into
eBay business with little initial expense. And one more
… you can often make SOME money, very quickly.
The bad: Unless you learn
from the experts, this can be hard work for relatively
7. The Affiliate Marketing
Opportunity. Using the same type of
Content-filled theme site that we use for Adsense marketing,
you can attract traffic to web pages that promote other
merchant's products. The 'Net is filled with merchants who'd
love to find people willing to promote their products in
return for a commission. So, the visitor arrives, clicks on
a link that takes them to the merchant's own selling web
site, and when they buy something the merchant credits you
with the appropriate commission. This can be a few bucks for
the sale of a book at Amazon, for example; or, several
hundred dollars commmission on the sale of a piece of home
fitness equipment. This is big business; many people on the
Internet make a 6-figure income from selling other people’s
products on the ‘Net and collecting a commission. I go
through the whole thing in some depth in my page on
The good: this is a
genuine opportunity to build a substantial, robust
business. You can make anywhere from $100s to 100s of
thousands of dollars a year from this route; with no
products of your own, no credit cards to process, no
customer service, and (optionally) no customer contact
whatsoever. More, people with products are begging to
find people willing to sell them on their behalf! You
find a company willing to pay you commission, in a
market with reasonable opportunities, build a site,
attract traffic, and pocket the money. These sites can
be money-makers for many, many years; if a merchant
doesn't perform, or goes out of business, you simply
replace the links on your site! And by the way ... if
you take the smart route, you DO have customer contact;
you collect opt-in names for your list and, over time,
this list will yield you far more money than the sales
off your site.
The bad: unless you
outsource the content as I describe in the Adsense with
Content section, or use pre-written Articles as I
describe in that same section, which is what many do ...
then this does take some real work; up front research,
designing and building a website, developing a flow of
traffic. You also have the learning curve of keyword
research, web hosting, and site-building.
One variation of this is to use your web site
to capture (voluntarily, and legitimately) the names of
people interested in a local service; for example,
insurance. Then “sell” (or loan) those names to a local
business, for a fee per name, or a commission on closed
deals. This can be quite lucrative.
There is also a form of automation available;
many larger merchants have "datafeeds" which give affiliate
marketers access to their databases, including product
names, descriptions, photographs, pricing, etc. People with
a bit of techie know-how can take this feed and generate
enormous web sites, one or more products per page. I haven't
done this, but I'm going to!
8. “Information Product,” or “How-to”
product sales. You can develop an information
product on almost anything ... although the recommended
route includes research that pretty much guarantees that you
have a market for the product, and that people are willing
to spend money. Examples of information products include
teaching parrots to talk, playing better golf, (teaching
parrots to play better golf?), how to sell your house "for
sale by owner," make better business decisions, cure
back-ache … anything. Scrap-booking was “big” this year.
Ditto dog training; weight loss is always big. And so on.
More information can be found on my Information Products page.
The good: lots of dollar
potential, and being an information product means it can
be downloaded by the purchaser so there’s no physical
product to print, package, and ship. There are also some
excellent services that mean you don’t have to get
involved in credit cards, either, or deal with returns
or complaints or download problems and so on. They take
care of all that. Incidentally, you don’t have to
be a good writer, or even knowledgeable on any topic, to
take advantage of this. Also, the selling web sites are
relatively small and simple. There is some serious money
to be made on Information Products. Many marketers
consider it to be the perfect business.
The bad: unless you
outsource it (many do) this does take some real work; up
front research, developing a product (this doesn’t have
to be a daunting task), and building a selling web site
(again, this does not have to be a daunting task).
9. Selling Physical Products from a
store-front or catalog-type website; typically,
products you’ll buy from the manufacturer or a distributor
(unless you are yourself the manufacturer). This isn't an
opportunity that appeals to me too much, to be honest, but I
point you in the right direction in my section on selling physical products.
The good: well, the upside
of this is that if you do a good job with the right
products in the right markets you could end up with
7-figure sales just from the ‘Net. You make much more
per sale than you would as an Affiliate; there are some
astonishingly large sales figures from ecommerce sites
operated by individuals.
The bad: this is a real
business, it does mean real work! You can also find
yourself having to deal with issues of purchasing,
inventory, and shipping (although this is NOT
inevitable; you can often work with manufacturers or
distributors who drop-ship their products, or else work
with fulfilment houses who handle all the stocking and
shipping and even sometimes the order-taking and credit
10. Joint Ventures (or JV’s as they are
known). Now, these are interesting; essentially you
find someone who has a list of people to which they
regularly send e-mails or newsletters or ezines (some lists
can be 100,000+ names, although this is a rare extreme); and
you find someone who has a product that will appeal to those
people on that list; and you coordinate the get-together of
the two in return for a percentage of the profit. There are
people able to generate 6 figure incomes from just one or
two such JV’s a month. Of course, if you yourself have a
product, or a list ... you can do the JV and cut out the
middle man. If this appeals, take a more detailed look at
the opportunity on my JV Opportunity page.
The good: no web site, no
direct selling, no credit card transactions, and when
you get one JV success under your belt more doors open
to you, because this is very much a word-of-mouth world
where building trust is important.
The bad: lots of
networking, facilitation, coordination, … well, these
are all negative from my perspective, I know others who
revel in this type of work!
11. The Opt-in list and e-mail
marketing Opportunity. For many of the different
money-making channels I've already described, the REAL money
is in getting a person’s e-mail address, then e-mailing
offers, newsletters (with offers) or ezines (with offers) or
mini-courses (with offers) or … you get the picture. In
reality, you can get such a list without ever having a
website as such; just from directing traffic to a
name-capture page. It's far more common to do this via a
respectable website, though.
List-building tends to be the skill, and the
activity that separates the amateurs from the professionals.
Many amateurs want the income from the sale or the Click and
can't be bothered with all the work that goes into
developing and maintaining and "milking" a list. But for the
professionals, they'd happily trade the 1-time sale in
return for the opportunity to sell to the person again and
again ... which is what they get from having their e-mail
address on their Opt-In List. Most Internet Marketers will
tell you that if they lost everything in their business ...
if they kept their list, they'd be making money within 24
hours. The potential is enormous; you'll find people who
earn 5 figures in 2 or 3 days from a single mailing to a
good List. There are a few things to consider, as I discuss
in my page on Opt-In Lists and e-mail Marketing.
The good: If you have a
decent list, you can convert it into income on demand!
This is close to the ultimate "make more money almost at
will" objective I mentioned on the home page. It doesn't
take a lot of time or effort to maintain a list and
"work" it effectively, and the dollar potential is
The bad: There is more
work involved than simply putting Adsense on your site,
or links to merchant sites. You need to "nurture" your
list, with regular but not-too-frequent mailing, to
establish credibility and build trust.
And finally, one opportunity that is
highly-touted on the 'Net but one I’m not going to
12. Multi-level marketing, or
MLM. I hear that MLM CAN be a very lucrative
business, and the Internet CAN be a wonderful place to grow
an MLM business, but I simply don’t have any affinity
whatsoever for MLM so I’m not going to talk about it.