Internet is increasingly becoming the place to look for business opportunities. Anyone looking for income online, the statistics are staggering: currently, 2.3 billion people have access to the internet out of total world population of 6.9 billion. This is a penetration of only 33%! The potential for growth here is enormous. As devices get cheaper and the internet networks such whether delivered through cable, satellite and mobile increasingly accessible and affordable, this trend is most likely to increase.
For the economy of any country this is a wonderful thing since increase in internet activity leads directly to an increase in commercial activity and hence economic growth of the country. For instance, one study suggests that internet activity accounted for 21% of GDP growth in the last 5 years in mature countries; 3.4% of GDP growth and 10% increase in productivity.
Internet usage not only permeates commercial activity but also increasingly, social activity. The explosion recently in the usage of Social Media such as Facebook (please click to read my article on Facebook), Twitter (please have a look at my ebook Profit From Twitter), Google Plus and Pinterest is a testament to this fact. These platforms once again present a tremendous opportunity for commercial activity. The selling on Social Media platforms works on a more sophisticated level in the sense that these platforms “know” so much more about the user due to personal data that is naturally given out to friends and relatives as part of being sociable that products can be targeted more effectively.
Global e-commerce sales are expected to top $1.25 trillion by 2013. Internet with all the activity conducted on it is without a doubt on a one-way street which is upwards. Even businesses with high street presence are being swept by the consumers’ enthusiasm for shopping online. Those who do not adapt to this new way of doing business are being swept aside on to the scrapheap of failed businesses. On the other hand, those who do embrace continue to thrive. The internet has provided the consumer with tremendous choice and convenience. For the vendor, for instance a retailer, the internet has presented a much wider and more targeted audience.
In the following video, participants are discussing the benefits to the consumer and the retailer of e-commerce.
Simply put, this explosion in internet activity presents an enormous opportunity for everyone to thrive online just selling their stuff to anyone willing to purchase anywhere in the world where they have internet access.
Internet – Income Generating Activities
So, what type of activities can you undertake to earn an income online?
I have categorized areas you can partake in to earn an income online into four broad areas:
- Selling – (your own stuff on ebay or as an affiliate of Amazon or on an online marketplace. Selling can also extend to a service you can provide to others on a site such as Fiverr – see Fiver Rockstarr);
- Article Marketing – (blogging – writing for your own web site or someone else’s);
- Trading – (forex trading – see my ebook Forex Tamed for an introduction) ;
- Betting (see football tips).
These areas hold many activities within them. Let’s consider three of these briefly.
Selling – On the internet, you can of-course sell your own stuff. It could simply be something you don’t want anymore, such as old clothing, books, guitar etc. The most popular site people go to for this is ebay. Or it could be something new, for instance a new ebook (see my article on Information Marketing and PDF) you have written on a topic you know which you could sell on an online marketplace. Alternatively, as opposed to being a vendor selling your own stuff, you could sell someone else’s stuff being an affiliate, for instance for an organization such as Amazon.
As already mentioned above, one very famous site called Fiverr matches people who have a need for something, let’s say graphic design, with people who have the skills to deliver for a five dollars or less. The exchange of money and products-the transaction-is all done online. One popular “dig” on Fiverr is graphic design. If you think you have the talent, you can easily turn it into profits using a professional grade graphic design software such as the Adobe Photoshop Element.
Article Marketing – You can approach this in three ways: you can either write for someone else or you could write for yourself or both. It is always difficult to get a blog going, especially these days with the on going Google Panda and Google Penguin updates. It takes time to satisfy Google’s algorithm to rank your site on page one of a SERP. At least, by writing for someone else’s blog, money would be coming in immediately and once your own blog gets going the earnings potential could be endless.
Trading – You can trade currencies or stocks on the internet. These days there are many online brokers (see Forex Brokers) you can participate in the markets with. Furthermore, you do not need to be confined to your desk since you can now trade from mobile devices too such as smartphones or tablet computers (Windows Tablet).
Internet – Traffic Is A Good Word
Over the last two years or so to present date, Google with Facebook increasingly snapping at its heels, got really serious with its threats to rid of “spammy” web sites from prominent positions in its index. The threat Google faces from Facebook comes in the guise of user engagement – the more eyeballs it can retain for longer the better it is for Google and less so for Facebook. With people finding relevant and engaging materials in their searches on Google would mean these people coming back again and again and as a consequence continuation and even growth in its biggest money spinner, the AdSense Campaign program.
The ‘weapon’ deployed by Google in getting rid of low quality sites that did not meet Google’s quality criteria were two big and evolving algorithms named Google Panda Update and Google Penguin Update. Before these updates, Google used to give incoming links to a website, possibly the greatest prominence in its PageRank algorithm. This meant that webmasters put a lot of effort in a tactic known as Link Farming which meant collecting as many in coming links as possible even from completely irrelevant sites.
With these two updates, links-but only the most relevant links-are amongst one of many factors taken into account when indexing a web page and ultimately the website. Google become social and has started to give more prominence to Social Signals such as Facebook “Likes” which is ironic you might say as Facebook is possibly the biggest threat to Google’s dominance. Now, Google wants content but not only any content, one which is original and well written and plenty of it to maintain its dominance. Google is not only getting smarter but is increasingly getting what it wants.
In the online marketing business, for instance affiliate marketing, success will only happen when your website has traffic and plenty of it. Google, as the world’s biggest Search Engine by far, has the power to ‘make’ or ‘break’ your website commercially. Building traffic need planning, hard work, consistency and careful execution. Do not believe any get rich quick schemes of making money online-if they did ever exist before, they do not now.
Affiliate marketing is perhaps the easiest way to monetize a website. This doesn’t mean that once you become an affiliate and start showing affiliated products that you will instantly start making money. Unfortunately, Google has positioned itself in such a way that you will need to write some original content for it to take notice and propel your site to number one page. Remember only the top 5 positions in a SERP attract the most traffic-up to 40% of all the traffic for that keyword/phrase. Internet traffic is the beginning and the end of it all.
In order to succeed in affiliate marketing, you need to satisfy these three criteria:
- The product you choose needs to have demand for it-perhaps one of the bestsellers;
- You need to have keyword/phrase research around this product;
- You need to then write an original article on the product as a product review;
- Search Engine Optimize (SEO) the article.
Some of the product reviews I have written are shown in the table below. Please feel free to click on the link and browse the articles.
|Article Title||Link To The Article|
|Panasonic Televisions||Panasonic Televisions|
|Modem Router||Modem Router|
|Samsung Printer||Samsung Printer|
|Samsung Digital Camera||Samsung Digital Camera|
|Sony Camcorder||Sony Handycam|
|Panasonic Camcorder||Panasonic Camcorder|
|Canon Camcorder||Canon Camcorder|
|Laptop Acer||Laptop Acer|
|1TB External Drive||HDD|
|Blue Ray Disc||Blu Ray Disc|
|Motherboards For Sale||CPU|
|Kindle Fire UK||Kindle Fire UK|
If you have any questions whatsoever related to this article please do not hesitate to to comment. We also have a very active Facebook page which you are most welcome to join by pressing the button at the top of this page.
To your online business success!
Hanif Somani, Ph.D.