Can you really make money online?
Mon, Apr 25 2011 07:27
| Make money online
I’ve been full-time online business owner since 2007, so I’ve seen a few things here and there. One of the first things i did was to invest in knowledge. I needed a fast track, so rather than scrabble around the internet trying to work it all out for "free", i checked out the industry leaders, reviewed a few courses and checked in to some!! Listen, if you think you want to make $200,000 per year from zero, without any investment, forget it. It doesn't happen... Especially into an industry you don't know.
What do you think a franchise is? It's a fast track into a new industry. And even when you invest in the "franchise" you still have ongoing running costs. Stop kidding yourself into thinking otherwise. Making money online is a REAL business..so treat it like one... Ooops! I digress!!
Over the years i often get asked, HOW can you actually make money online? Basically, there are hundreds of different mechanisms, but in essence these can be broken down into 5 core activities (list not in any order of importance);
1. Auction sites
3. Network marketing
4. Product creation
5. Asset flipping
The thing is you can break this down further into only two primary ways to make money online…
I’ve used just about every revenue system i could lay my hands on since I started out. I’ve sold ebooks, , pod casts, home-study courses, online courses, membership sites, physical products, websites, domain names. I’ve also sold advertising on my sites. I've made network marketing systems, I've joined direct sales and sold them too. And I’ve made hundreds of thousands of dollars with affiliate programs and Adsense.
And this is what I’ve learned about actually extracting money from your web site – there are basically TWO ways to make money online:
1. You can sell your stuff.
2. You can sell other people’s stuff.
That might sound overly simple, but it’s CRITICAL you understand this…
First off, I’m a huge fan of selling my own stuff. This gives you control, positioning… and most importantly it gives you higher profit margins.
And higher margins aren’t just about you making more money, it’s about your business survival.
For example, if you’re selling a $97 widget that someone else is producing, you might only make $10 or $20 or $50 per widget you sell.
That might sound good, but if you’re competing against someone else who is manufacturing that widget (or a competing widget), and they are making $90 in profit per widget… then you aren’t going to be able to compete.
They have more money to spend to attract traffic. They can use affiliates, they can buy traffic, they can use that margin to hire out content creators, copy writers, web designers etc..
Bottom line, higher margins mean you have more money to spend to pull in more traffic.
That’s why it’s important for you to have your own high-margin high-value products. Maybe not when you first start out in your business, but it’s something you should quickly work towards.
Personally, I love information products for this purpose – they are relatively easy to create and they have high margins.
All that being said, you should also use the second revenue system – selling other people’s stuff.
1. Because it will balance out your cash flow
2. And you will never be able to create all the products that your prospects want.
Trust me on this – no matter what market you’re in, your prospects and customers will have a bigger demand than you can meet.
Some people think they can put a wall up around their customers, and keep them from straying to a competitor.
Well that’s pure fantasy… it’s not gonna happen, not when they can find ten competitive solutions in the time it takes to do a Google search.
So you might as well be the trusted source introducing them to other people’s stuff.
So let’s break this down – what exactly do I mean by “selling other people’s stuff”… well, this is where a lot of people will violently disagree with me… but it goes way beyond vending other people’s products off your site.
In fact, if you’re doing any affiliate marketing, marketing CPA offers (cost per action), advertising, or even Adsense… then you’re selling other people’s stuff.
Nothing wrong with ANY of that. In fact it’s GOOD… for the reasons I outlined above. You just need to be really clear about these two revenue systems, and when it’s right to use each of them.
Just to clarify; I think you should do both.
I know that when I first started out, I didn’t have the knowledge or the confidence to create my own products, so I sold other people’s stuff…
Now, you also need what's known as a front end, mid, and back end product... But thats another subject.
So back to the two revenue systems;
You can start either place – with your own products, or by selling other people’s stuff.
But in the long run, almost everyone will want to do both…
You need your products or services for the revenue, the margin, the branding, and the control.
And you need to sell other people’s stuff to smooth out your cash flow, and to meet the needs of your clients and prospects. You do this through affiliate marketing, selling advertising, CPA, Adsense and similar programs, or directly selling other people’s stuff off your site.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule… but they are pretty rare. For most businesses, you really want to go after both revenue systems.