Hot! Ten Things to Make You Money Online

Make Money OnlineThere are lots of ways to make money online, Some come with risk and some without. With some you risk your capital, such as with Gambling, or Sharedealing and with others you risk income streams drying up due to competition or website rankings changing. If you manage to make a comfortable living online it often allows you the freedom of working from home or even the beach! Your not governed by buying a house near a train station for those uncomfortable commutes into the city each day, and you can also choose your hours. We bring you some of the most popular ways to make money online, but make sure you do your own research before entering in to any and get some expert advice.

1. Affiliate Marketing

This is where you effectively become an affiliate (salesman) for a merchant (Retailer) by guiding buyers to the merchants website. If that person then buys a product you receive commission on the sale. You don’t have to deal with the sale in any way or stock goods. This is one of the most popular ways to make money online as it doesn’t cost you anything and the rewards can be considerable. You do of course need some way of pointing potential customers to the merchants website. This is usually from your own website or blog or from newsletters. The first thing you need to do is sign up with a merchant. Some Merchants deal directly with affiiates but most use an intermediary who deals with all aspects including paymennts to you. One of the biggest affilate marketing companies is Affiliate Window If you sign up with them as an affiliate you will see on their website a large list of merchants in various sectors. You choose a merchant and request to join their programme. Some merchants wil allow you to join automatically, others may want to check your website first to make sure it is suitable. Once accepted there will be banner ads that you can put on your site or you can link directly to products. Commission rates vary from merchant to merchant and product to product as does cookie duration. If a cookie lasts 30 days that means that if someone visits the merchants site via your link or banner and buys anything within 30 days you will be paid commision. All sales will be listed in your affiliate account and you can view reports to see which products or merchants are performing best. A brief example of how it works…….. You have a website whose subject matter is Golf. You sign up with an affiliate marketing company and join a programme with a golf shop merchant with a 30 day cookie. You then place a banner ad on your homepage. A visitor to your website clicks on the banner ad taking them to the merchants website and buys a golf trolley for £100. The commission on that is 5% earning you £5. Easy money isn’t it? not that easy, you need to be getting traffic to your website and then enticing your visitor to click the ad or link and hope that they buy something. Reviews of products can help with this but there are lots of methodoligies and opinions on what works well and what doesn’t. New cookie laws have made things more difficult also so if your interested do some some reading on the subject. This book is a good place to start and the link is an example of affiliate marketing at work but this time with Amazon whom you can sign up direct with.

2. Ebay

Now unless you have been living in a cave you will already be aware of ebay and probably bought or sold on it already. There are lots of people who make a living selling on ebay, from large established companies to home business startups. Ebay gives an advantage over selling on your own website as it has a massive amount of members and visitors to it’s site, giving you access to millions of potential customers worldwide.If you want to make money on ebay the key is to source goods offline that are either niche, hard to find, popular or better value than what’s already being sold. Do your research by using Ebays advanced search facility, you can use it to view completed listings to see what is and what isn’t selling and to also guage pricing. Post some individual items for sale to test the water and also remember to set your auctions to end at a decet time. Sunday evenings are a popular time to end auctions but it can depend on your target market. Ending an item at 9pm on a friday night may not be ideal if your targeting 18-30 year old clubbers for example.

Sourcing stock is the difficult bit. I sold my record collection on ebay and learnt a lot about what sold well and what didn’t, and also which items were more valuable than others. My collection was a niche dance music category and sold really. I could of earned great money selling these records as a business but I couldn’t source more stock. Do your research on what sells well and then try and source goods at a price that will give you good margins. Auctions or bootsales are often a great source for goods which you can then sell to a larger audience online. Do consider postage costs and viability of posting when choosing products. Courier costs can be expensive and running a collection only auction limits your buyers considerably. You also need to take into account ebay listing and end price fees along with paypal fees if used. There are online calculators which can work these out for you when you are researching.

 3. Adsense

Those who  haven’t run their own website before probably won’t of heard of adsense, and many who have run one won’t of either. Adsense is Googles advertising service. When you search for something using Google you will notice that some of the sites returned will say “Ads related to…….” and they will be more prominent than others, either being the top  listings returned, or those on the right hand colum or at the bottom. They will often have a different colour background to the rest of the listings too. You will often see similar links on websites too which will list websites which are relevant to the subject of the page you are viewing. These ads are paid for adverts whereby site owners will pay google to list the ads on search pages for relevant keywords. For example if I ran a model railway shop site I could setup an Adwords account and then setup an ad for the site which might say “Best prices on OO Guage steam trains” and I might specify the keywords “OO Guage” that means if someone searches for the term “OO Guage” I want my ad to appear. Now where it appears on the page is subject of the CPC or “Cost Per Click” My top competitor may alreadys be advertising for that keyword and paying 50p for every click on his ad. So if I want to be top I need to set my CPC at more than his say maybe 55p. If I were to set my CPC at 20p I may come 2nd, 3rd 4th or lower depending on the competion. Highly competitive terms such as “Loans” or “Mortgages” may cost you Tens of pounds per click. The more competitive the more costly to advertise. Advertisers can then set limits to how much they want to pay out per day or how often they want their ads to appear, Anyway that’s how it works for the adverisers but for you as a publisher you can have these ads appearing on your website and you can then earn money each time someone clicks on an ad. You sign up for an Adwords account and can then create an ad box to appear on your website. Google does it all for you giving you options of ad box sizes and colours and other options. You then just need to place the code they provide you in the appropriate place on your site. There is a lot of discussions on where best to place ads to get the most clicks. You also need to read Googles rules on adsense as failure to comply can result in your account being banned. Don’t think you can get away with clicking on your own ads, you will be found out. There are also rules as to how many ads you can have on one page. But as with the previous items, do your own research and decide if adsense or adwords is good for you.

4. Design Competitions

There are lots of websites which run competitions offering cash prizes and I believe (consult your local tax office to confirm) that you don’t have to pay income tax if you win a competition. An exampe of how the sites work is users can run competitions for various design services, with the most popular being Logo design. Users sign up and pay to host a competition, specifying any requirements such as colours, themes and sizes. Designers then submit their entries free of charge and receive a cash prize if their design is chosen. A recommended site to checkout is 99designs which is great for running or entering, where the quality of entries are very good. There are competitions for Logos, business cards, brochures and more, with prize money Starting at around £199 for a winning logo design.

5. Content Writing

Online businesses have been growing at a massive rate over the past few years and continuing to do so. With so much competition online, achieving a good search engine ranking is paramount to being successful and As such competition is fierce. So when it comes to ranking well content is king. You need well written relevant content for the keywords you are targetting and then need to make sure it is updated or added to regulary. This is very time consuming which has seen a rise in the popularity of using content writing services. These service providers not only offer unique content for your website they also offer blog and forum posting services. One growing area which some also cover is Social networking management services which appears to have a large bearing on website search rankings. Most major websites now have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts which link to their websites and RSS feeds and posts to these are often managed by third party content writers. It is quite easy to become a content writer if your work is of good quality and you can deliver on time, but it’s not just a matter of writing good english. When writing for websites you need to take into account things like keyword density. Being spammy with over use of keywords can have a detrimental effect on search engine optiisation and you need to make sure that your content is actually legible and enjoyabe to read. To start of I would suggest writing some unique content and submitting to relevant sites so that you have a portfolio of work. This will be your brochure and is what prospective clients will want to see. Again do your own research. There are lots of websites where you can submit articles to and receive commission and also sites where you can bid on projects. Another option is to post on forums relevant to website creation or domain names as they will often have potential clients who will be creating websites and needing content.

6. Photography

Another money making opportunity whilst doing something you enjoy and working your own hours! There are many companies and websites where you can publish your photographs and earn commission by selling copies or usage rights. These range from online sites such as Bigstockphotos.com to full blown photgraphic agencies suc as Getty Images. Bigstockphotos.com allows you to upload your photographs directly to their site and start earning right away. You earn commission each time someone downloads your photograph to use. Checkout the images that have been downloaded the most to give you an idea of what subject matter is popular and then get snapping. You will find a lot of the popluar images are stock photos which wil be used for websites and online brochures, so thing like businessmen on the phone or holiday type snaps of families on the beach will sell well. Remember that you will need a signed waiver for any models in your photos though allowing you to sell rights to the image. If you are very good and ave a great portfolio you may be lucky enough to sign with a stockphoto agency such as Getty Images. Signing with them would mean BIG commissions on any photos sold in comparison to onlite sites.

7. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is an alternative to affiliate marketing which can offer greater commission rates. How droshipping works is that you will list products for sale on your own website and will take and process orders via your site too. However you will not stock or ship the items,  you will have an agreement with a 3rd party company to ship the goods directly to your customer. Your margin will be the difference between what your agreed price is with the merchant and the price you charge the customer. The downside of dropshipping when compared to affiliate marketing is that you have to deal with the customers. You are responsible of dealing with any returns or complaints and the contract as far as the customer is concerned is with you. Your reputation can be tarnished on the back of poor service or delivery failures by the 3rd party. Keeping your site upto date with stock levels can also be tricky unless you have a realtime feed from your supplier.

8. Domain Parking

Not as lucrative as it once was but you can still make some money. Domain Parking is where you register a domain name and point it’s nameservers at a parking companies servers. They then display a page of ads relevant to your domain which when clicked on earn you commission. The key to this is having a domain that receives lots of visitors. Typo domains are popular for parking. Typos are where you have common type errors when searching for a domain for example you might type facevook.com instead of facebook as the b is near the v. The problem then is getting someone to click on an ad link. This takes lots of trial and error. The parking companies offer various templates to use and some such a namedrive offer search page templates which are just a search box. This is good for domains which get traffic but your not sure why. Visitors are more likey to make a relevant search on the page rather than clicking on an irrelevant ad.

9. Gambling

With the creation of online betting exchanges and casinos it’s never been easier to gamble. We now have the ability to bet on not only sports, but TV programmes and general elections worldwide. With sites such as Betfair we now also have the ability to become a bookie, taking bets as well as making them. Betfair allows you to bet against results and to even setup API connections with them that then allows you to run complex algorithms. If you think a horse won’t win a particular race you can take bets on it which is called ‘Laying’. For example you think hore ABC won’t win and click the Lay button at 2-1. You then decide how much you want to take as a bet. If you accepted a £10 win at 2-1 your liability would be £20 if the horse won, but you would earn £10 if it didn’t. You could also Lay multiple horses in the same race but you will need to have enough credit in your account to cover your liabilities before being able to place the bets. Another thing you can do is back a horse at a certain price and if it then goes in to a shorter price you could then lay it and secure some money. E.g. I back DEF at 10-1 for £2 it would give me £20 if it won. If the price then shortened and I laid it at 5-1 for £2 it would give me my £2 original stake back and a liability of £10 if the horse one. That has a net affect of no outlay on betting but a free bet with a potential gain of £10 if the horse won.

10. Share Dealing

First of all sharedealing is risky. shares can go down as well as up and normally do if I buy them. If inexperienced you may be better off joining a share club or investing in a unit trust. You can buy physical shares in a company but it’s not always cost effective if looking for short term gain. This is because you not only have to pay commission to the executing broker when buying and selling but you also have to pay stamp duty. Shares are subject to a 0.5% tax per purchase and tax on any capital gains. Another option is spread trading. This isn’t subject to stamp duty or capital gains tax and has other advantages over normal share dealing. There often isn’t a commission charge as spread companies make money on the spread of prices they offer. You can go short i.e. sell shares you dont own (this bets on shares going down in price) you cannot do this with physical shares unless you borrow stock. You can do what is called gearing up. Spread betting is done on margins so if you bought £1000 worth of stock you would only have to pay part of that upfront. This does make spread betting very risky! a disadvantage over physical share dealing is that you down actually own shares so do not benefit from things like dividends. Whichever you choose make sure you read up on the subject and seek independent advice.

Good luck making your millions whichever route you choose!

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