Author: Tom Frederick
Turning your creative efforts into money in your pocket can seem like an impossible goal. All the good ideas are taken, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, so what's left for us simple entrepreneurs?
The truth is that for every household name worth billions, there are thousands of solid companies making good profits on the internet. If you are worried you are losing out on a piece of the feast, then read on.
Whether you are a blogger, artist, mechanic or butterfly collector, the internet is alive with would-be visitors to your oh-so-compelling web site. How do you get them to stop by? Simple...
Write with enthusiasm, love and authority on your subject.
How much would it cost to open up a store in your local town? Think about the rent, the utility bills, the staff costs. How is your local high street doing right now anyway?
The best thing about selling through your web site is how easy it is. There are plenty of companies such as PayPal who will create an online shop for you and let you take credit cards, all in a matter of minutes.
But my web site idea isn’t a shop, so this isn’t for me right? Wrong!
If you write a blog about your favourite band, sell their t-shirts. If you make videos about fly fishing, sell fishing rods. If you write with authority, your visitors will assume your products are great.
There are so many e-commerce web sites with their own pros and cons that the best thing to do is google them. Here are two different and excellent examples to give you a taste of the possibilities:
Flexible solutions, build your own web site then add 'buy me' buttons or use their shop builder services. So many options it may make your head hurt, if so, try...
Buy an e-commerce site from them, customise it, put your products on, start picking out the BMW you are going to buy with the money.
Selling boxes with stuff in is fine, but this is the information age, and you are working hard on your web site content, is it good enough to sell?
How about having a Members area for a monthly fee, or a premium newsletter? Getting visitors hooked on the free stuff then charging them a fee for the best bits may sound mercenary, but it works.
PayPal, once again is a simple solution, add a Subscribe button to your members only area. You can even set it up to work automatically if you learn a bit of coding.
All forms of communication seem to come with adverts, and web sites are no exception. This is for one reason; adverts are worth big money.
Plastering your delicately designed web pages in garish adverts might not be in your business model, but done with sensitivity they can be an inexhaustible addition to your revenue stream.
Convincing other companies to pay you for advertising space on your web site is not easy. But luckily there are services which automate the process, adding ads to your site and paying you each time they are clicked on.
If you want to do your own leg work, then speaking to local businesses and organisations is a great way to arrange regular and simple advertising deals. They can supply you with images to place on your web site at a monthly fee.
What about if you can't find your own advertisers, of don't have time to search around? Google Ads is a service which places adverts on your site for you, they choose ads which fit your content and you get paid every time a visitor clicks on them.
Are you a charity or not-for-profit organisation? Perhaps you have a cause you are fighting for or are just doing something people may want to help you with.
Whatever your endeavour, maybe you just don't feel right charging people money, so let them gift it to you.
This is as easy as including an address to send cheques to, or a bank account to transfer money to. If you want to make it easier for your patrons then include a PayPal Donate button, super quick and easy to set up.
This last one is a pretty extreme way of making money from your web site. So you worked hard, built great content, probably for years, grew a following of thousands of regular visitors, perhaps you make money or perhaps your site just has the potential to make money.
Either way you could sell the web site just like any other business, hopefully for a profit which reflects the work you have put in to it, maybe even enough to retire on.
There are many businesses looking for web sites to buy just a Google away. You could also advertise your web site in a trade magazine specific to your web site content. If you are big and successful enough you are probably getting offers already anyway.
Making money on the internet means providing something worth paying for. Whether that is information, products, ideas or entertainment. Whatever you offer to your visitors, make sure it is high quality, honest and desirable.
The more barriers in between you and your customer's money, The less likely they are to part with it. Pay now buttons, credit cards and automatic payments make cash change hands quickly and easily.