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Online Business Basics: Money-Making Options

A Frank Comparison of Money-Making Options

Description: New products are unlimited as your imagination! Online, the most popular products are digital products – anything that can be accessed instantly. This includes eBooks, software, games, newsletters, and membership sites.

Advantages:

You keep 100% of the profits. No sharing with anyone, unless you choose to!

You control the quality of the product. You create the product and therefore have the power to make sure it meets or exceeds your own quality standards.

Satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. You put your love, sweat, and tears into creating a product that you can be proud of.

You know the product intimately. The people who are most successful at earning money online are those that have first-hand knowledge and a genuine belief in the quality of the product they’re selling. Who better to do this than you?

You can get others to sell it for you. You have the option to recruit affiliates to help expand your sales reach.

You have leverage. You can use your product to negotiate mutually-beneficial joint ventures with other businesses.

Disadvantages:

Product creation can be very expensive. There are costs associated with research, the purchase of tools and materials, assembling or creating the product, fixing problems, testing marketing material, managing customer service requests, and more.

You’re responsible for everything. That includes inventory, billing (online orders, credit card processing, cheques, etc), shipping, customer service, refunds, product updates… Many people struggle with things like taking time off – in which case the runs them, instead of the other way around.

You have to live with the potential of rejection or failure. Not everyone will love or want your product. Some may even outright hate it. You can’t please everyone (and shouldn’t try to) – but criticism may be more difficult to accept when it’s directed at something you’ve poured your heart and soul into. There’s also a chance that your product will never flourish, in which case you’ll have to let it go and start over again with a new idea.

How to Get Started:

Check with the appropriate authorities about product regulations, zoning, etc. You may also want to talk to a qualified legal professional about issues directly relating to your product.

Information (digital). “Infoproducts” such as eBooks are wonderful — they don’t cost much to create, and they can be delivered automatically.  Write about anything you’re experienced with: how to pick a contractor, how to negotiate for a new car, how to find a financial planner that’s right for you, how to research a daycare center before enrolling your kids, where to find the best Bed & Breakfasts in your state or province … there are countless possibilities! Most people come online to look for information — give them what they want! A good guide to get you started is Make Your Knowledge Sell.

Software. Are you a programmer? Design and develop a program that solves a problem or provides pleasure/entertainment, and you’ve got a winner. I’ve seen simple software sold successfully on the ‘net — stuff like label creators, “sticky note” programs, even funny little animations.

Specialty items. I’ve seen custom scratching posts for cats, handmade beaded jewelry, specialized clothing (for example, a picture of your baby on a t-shirt with a balloon-caption with a clever saying), and personal caricatures created from photographs.

Videos, audio tapes, or (printed) books. Are you a motivational speaker? Create a DVD. Are you an accomplished dog trainer? Create a video demonstrating some simple dog-training techniques. Are you a carpenter? Write a simple “how-to” book on build a deck, complete with illustrations.

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