Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Top 5 Ways to Make Money on the Internet

Unless you're a freegan and have found a way to live entirely off the grid, you probably need some sort of steady income in order to survive. The traditional way to earn money, of course, is by having a job. You work for a company or start your own, and the work you do earns you money, which you spend on things like a mortgage, rent, food, clothing, utilities and entertainment.


Most people typically work from their company's central location, a physical space where everyone from that organization gathers to exchange ideas and organize their efforts.


But a few lucky souls have found ways to make money within the comfort of their own home. With the Internet, an ever-changing arena for businesses, some looking to earn money are finding ways to do so.


Some forms are best for part-time endeavors for those looking to make a little extra money on the side, while others can lead to full-time jobs and Internet success stories.


We've put together a list of our top 5 ways to make money on the Internet.



5: Selling Stuff on eBay

It's a fairly straightforward concept that most people are familiar with by now -- if you have a bunch of stuff that you don't necessarily need but others want and are willing to pay extremely inflated prices for, you can auction off the items on eBay or other online auction sites. Simply gather your goods, create a seller's profile and start selling.

It sounds simple, but takes some practice to sell successfully. Creating persuasive and legitimate product pages for the goods you're selling will help get buyers interested. It's also important to set reasonable minimum bids to ensure that people will buy. And remember to deliver the kind of customer service that will garner positive feedback ratings and to communicate with buyers to let them know you're reliable. The more positive feedback you receive, the more people will be willing to do business with you. And that, of course, means more money.



4: Blogging

If you have a particular passion for something, whether it's a hobby or an obsession, and you have something to say about it, blogging could be a profitable way to pour out your endless stream of thought. The key here, as with many other services on the Internet, is in selling advertising.


After starting up a personal blog, many writers sign up for ad services like Google AdSense, which post those familiar sponsored links you often see at the top and on the sides of Web sites. The more times your blog readers click on those ads, the more money you'll make through the ad service. This works fine if you're a casual blogger, and you may make some extra spending money. But if the blog is consistently interesting, well-written and really takes off, you may be approached by companies who want to reach your fan base with graphical advertising around your blog. Some of the more successful blogs, like I Can Has Cheezburger? and Boing Boing, have become pop-culture phenomena, and their creators have been able to quit their day jobs and blog full time because of the money they make from advertisers.


3. Designing and Selling T-shirts

As you walk around most high school and college campuses, you're likely to come into contact with lots of words. But it won't be material from textbooks or term papers -- those are probably in backpacks or sitting unfinished at home. Instead, they're the simple phrases or logos -- most of which are ironic or amusing -- printed on the T-shirts on the backs of the students.

Usually, the more unique and offbeat the design is, the more desirable the T-shirt is. The growth of the Internet has made it possible for vendors to sell T-shirts all over the world. In fact, sites like CafePress.com and SpreadShirt.com allow you to set up your own store, create your own designs and sell them yourself. If you create your own shirt design with a clever catchphrase or come up with your own unique statement and people like it, you can start making money.




2: Freelancing

Freelancing is similar in some ways to blogging. For one thing, you get to work from your own home or office most of the time. But there are a few important distinctions. First, if you're thinking about freelance writing, chances are you need to have more experience than the average blogger. Many freelance writing positions cover specialized topics for online publications and may require expert knowledge on a subject. However, if you're passionate about things like travel or food and know how to write, a freelancing job can provide you with good income.


Writing's not the only way to make money freelancing, of course -- anyone with graphic design or programming experience can find contract jobs that pay well and provide challenging work, too.



1: Domain Name Flipping

Based on luck, strategy and business savvy, domain name flipping can be one of the more lucrative ways to earn a living online. The term comes from the real estate trick that involves buying old, undervalued houses, fixing them up to make them more attractive and modern-looking and selling them for a much higher price.

In this case, the old and outdated place is not a house, but rather a domain name -- the main address for a Web page. With a little bit of searching, dedicated domain flippers locate unused, poorly maintained Web sites that have generic and recognizable identifiers and buy them. They usually pay a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars, but after extensive updates that make the site more business- and user-friendly, the domain name can fetch several times more than it was originally worth. The domain bird-cage.com, for instance, was bought for a mere $1,800 in 2005 -- after a redesign two years later, the site was sold for $173,000 to a bird cage vendor .

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