There is plenty of advice available for people who want to legally make money online. However most of it, unfortunately, is offered by people selling ridiculous get rich quick schemes, so called instant money makers or, even worse, scams. If anybody tells you that making money online is "effortless" or "quick" then alarm bells should be sounding for you. If you seriously want to legally make money online then you need to be prepared to put in the necessary work.
Nonetheless the rewards for getting it right are massive. Not just in terms of your income but, perhaps more importantly, in terms of the improvement in lifestyle that comes if you can work from home. Initially you may have to work harder to start your business but, once it has, you could work as little as 4 hours a day in return for a fantastic improvement in your quality of life.
So what are the 7 best ways to legally make money online. Each of the 7 steps outlined offer a basic introduction to the most effective ways generate an income for yourself and your family working with your PC from your own home. Each has the potential to provide anything from a little extra cash to a very healthy full time income. They are not presented in any order of preference and it should be noted that most successful internetpreneurs use most, if not all of these, techniques to legally make money online.
1. Affiliate Programs:
Fundamentally, if you act as an affiliate it means that you advertise others products in return for a commissions on any sales made by a customer who has arrived at the product via a link from your advertisement. This way to legally make money online is best achieved by a placing advertisements in the form of banners or contextual links on your website or blog. You will need to learn a little about web design or blogging. Once your site or blog is designed you can place your affiliate links on them and, if done correctly, will soon start earning some commission. You don't even need a website as you can use "landing pages" such as Hubpages or Squidoo lenses to advertise your affiliate products. Furthermore some products don't even require that you make a sale. They 'convert' (meaning pay commission) for you sending them possible customers which they can then promote to (often known as 'leads'). However the best commissions are invariably earned for referrals that result in direct sales.
You can find affiliate programs for products in many ways. Search engines, directories, forums and social networks are but a few of the places you could find affiliate programs but perhaps the best places to start are the affiliate networks such as ClickBank, Commission Junction or Linkshare. Affiliate payouts can be extremely high and it is not unusual for successful internetpreneurs to earn substantial incomes this way.
Sounds easy to legally make money online with affiliate programs then? But of course it is not that simple. It's totally useless having a great site or blog with high quality affiliate links if no one is looking for or visiting your links. No traffic equals no sales and wasted effort.
In order to succeed with affiliate programs you have to understand the marketing process. From 'keyword analysis' through 'product selection' to 'link building' a clear affective and powerful marketing strategy is essential if you are really going to legally make money online. It will take some time and effort to master marketing techniques but, with the help of some of the excellent affiliate training products that exist, there is no reason why you can't earn a fantastic online income with affiliate programs.
2. Information Products:
Information products are digital and therefore have minimal storage and delivery costs. Once designed and produced you overheads thereafter are extremely low and sales prices represent high percentage profits. Information products can be Ebooks, software, training videos or anything else you can download. There are many ways to sell and to market digital products from placing them on your own sites or blogs to marketing them on via your own affiliate program via affiliate networks such as ClickBank.
Many people think it's impossible for them to produce a product that anyone else would be interested in let alone want to buy. However everybody possesses knowledge that others want. For example I don't know how wire my house and am terrified to even try because I lack the knowledge required to do so. So whats my solution? I need to have the right information in order to learn how to wire my house. Needless to say I would be willing to pay to have that information. So if you are an electrician I would be willing to buy that information from you. If you then consider the massive scope of the Internet market place you can start to see how you can legally make money online selling information products based upon the knowledge you already have. No matter if your an electrician, a cook, a successful mum or even a bus driver you know something other would pay to find out.
You don't even need to be a writer, you can commission a ghost writer, or you can develop your own software or even produce your own instructional video. Do your research, read product reviews and look at other top selling products. Get this way to legally make money online right and the rewards can be very high.
3. Google Advertisement:
In the same way that you can place banners or contextual links for affiliate programs on your site, blog or landing page (well some of them anyway) you can also place 'Google AdWords' advertisements. Signing up for AdWords is very simple and is entirely free. Once you have set up your site or blog etc, and it has been accepted by Google, you can go ahead and design your AdWords ads. The advantage of these ads is that they will be automatically targeted to your sites content by Google. Each ad will offer a link to related products offered by people who use Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) on Google. In the same way that affiliate programs will pay out for successful conversions, Google will also split it's commission with you for the same. Whilst this is unlikely to be as lucrative a way to legally make money online as pure affiliate programs it is a valuable addition to any internetpreneurs income.
4. Online Store:
Ask most people what they think will be a good way to legally make money online and they invariably suggest some sort of shop or Internet trading site. Whilst selling physical products can earn you a fantastic income initial set up costs can be high and the chances are that you will be competing against some well established competitors. There are a number of automated store building solutions and "turn key" websites that mean you need to know little about web design or hosting etc in order to set your store up (though you will probably be far more likely to succeed if you do). Furthermore there are some excellent free order processing and inventory solutions such as PayPal that you can use for processing orders on your site once it is set up.
Unlike selling digital products you have to consider how you are going to store your stock, deliver to your customers etc. If you are intending to sell a broad range of products you need to secure a supplier. Buying wholesale may improve your profit margins but you need to be aware that the percentage markup is usually quite low on most products. Therefore you need a considerable volume of sales in order to make a good return on your investment.
Perhaps a better approach is to identify a 'niche market' and sell exclusively to that. Commercially speaking a niche can be said to be any smaller segment of a broader market. For example if the broader market is 'Car Products' then a niche market could be 'classic car parts'. However, you may find that this is too broad a market to compete in and so may consider an even more specific niche such as 'classic car tires' or 'classic car electrical components'. By identifying 'niche' markets in this way you will reduce the competition but your market will be smaller. The trick is to find a niche that is small enough to compete in but has sufficient demand for you to legally make money online.
There are plenty of wholesale directories on the Internet that offer access to products at cheap wholesale prices. Unfortunately this is a sector of the market that attracts some real scam artists so you need to be very careful about "paying for information" as many so called wholesale directories are simply lists of links to wholesalers (many of which turn out to be dead). Nonetheless, if you are careful, read plenty of reviews and ask others who they've found to be effective suppliers in your chosen "niche", you can find some excellent wholesale directories, find some good suppliers and legally make money online by reselling the products to the customer via your online shop.
However, it's little use finding a great niche product line and building your website store unless you can attract customers. In order to do so you will need to successfully market your store and products just as you would with affiliate or digital products. Once again an effective marketing strategy is central to your success.
5. Auction Sites:
Chances are that most of us have either sold or bought something off an auction site, such as eBay, at some time or another. If you do want to legally make money online then selling your own product or reselling for others through an auction site can be highly rewarding. Many of the top eBay traders (the 'powersellers') are full time and , if you want to know how to make money this way, then simply check out some of their eBay stores and products in order to get an idea of what is achievable.
However selling through an auction site introduces further set up costs which need to be carefully considered as part of your business plan. It's important to carefully read their fee structure and listing policies before attempting to sell your products through them. Remember your profit margin per item may be reduced but the volume of sales you can expect could be greatly increased due to the customer base and brand loyalty that sites like eBay already have.
Many of the more successful sellers combine their Auction site stores and trade with their other online stores. By combining you efforts in this way you gain an increased exposure for your products by 'cross promoting'. Again it will be important to to identify a niche market for your goods on the auction sites and the same marketing methods need to be used in order to gain custom.
6. Membership Sites:
As we've already discussed if you have specialist knowledge or expertise, or if you offer a unique niche product or service then you can probably legally make money online selling that information or expertise. A membership site charges a recurring 'subscription fee' to those members who wish to join. The successful ones offer their members access to specialist niche products and information that is difficult to find elsewhere and has continued value.
For example let's assume that you are an expert (or know someone who is) on dog training and breeding. You could create a subscription site that offers member access to all the latest dog training products and breeder lists. You could create an exclusive community with access to forums; offer dog training videos; breeding lists and instructional products. For those people who are avid dog trainers and breeders such a site would have great value and the chances are that they would be happy to pay a modest monthly subscription to be a member.
Marketed correctly (there we go again) membership sites can be an extremely profitable way to legally make money online. Of course whilst you are building you list of members you are also developing a valuable list of people who are interested in your chosen niche market. These people may well be interested in other niche related products you have to offer.
If you seriously want to legally make money online then there is an idiom of marketing you should always bear in mind. The saying the 'money is in the list' is central to marketing. If you build a large list of subscribers, that you can regularly send offers and promotions to, your business will soon grow. The people on the list represent your best and most valued customers because they have already shown a predisposition towards what you have to offer by opting in to your list in the first place . Once they have given you their email detail you can begin to circulate your newsletter. However, providing that you do, you will also be able to market your own products and affiliate products to your list members.
Each of the 7 methods introduced here offer the opportunity for you to legally make money online and each has the potential to provide you a substantial income. These approaches are by no means intended to represent an exhaustive list of methods. The Internet is a dynamic and rapidly developing market place and the best online businesses are able to rapidly adapt to these changes.
Inevitable all of us are better at some things than others and most successful internetpreneurs specialise in certain aspects of online business. For example some are practically full time affiliate marketers whilst others predominantly operate online stores and auction trade. Generally speaking most are successful because they combine many, if not all the, the methods outlined here as part of their business plan.
However all have one thing in common, they understand how to market. Building stores and excellent web sites with valuable content is part of the way to earn online but without customers (traffic) you can not succeed. Therefore it's essential that you spend some time researching Internet marketing techniques and strategies. The best plan is to find someone that's successful and learn as much from them as possible. Keep learning until you feel confident that you understand the basic marketing principles. Test your theories and look for profitable markets and niche products that offer you high profit potential.