A short 20 years ago, for most of the population, the Information SuperHighway (as it was known back then) was little more than a collection of dial-up modems and "Dungeon and Dragon" bulletin boards. Like watching a child grow up, the internet has grown too. Just like the 'terrible two's', the dot-com teething pains in the early 2000's were tough on everybody. For a while, it seemed like the 'net was a good-for-nothing teenager living in its parents basement, because all I seemed to hear about were gambling and adult sites. Then it happened. With the rise in popularity of Google and Apple, ordinary people finally started to figure out how to earn money online. It was like the internet finally settled down, got a job and became a productive member of society. With each passing day, entrepreneurs are finding new and exciting ways to mine the internet for profit. All you need is a computer, an internet connection, the willingness to work hard and the right strategy - with this, you have the opportunity to earn a living from anywhere on the planet.
So which internet business ideas are making people money? Here are just a few:
Search engine optimization has turned into a massive industry - finding out what people are searching for and creating content to match their needs will generate advertising revenue. If you are very skilled at either search engine optimization or have excellent writing abilities, your articles could be seen by hundreds of thousands of people. With an average advertising commission of between $16-$18 per thousand views, well, the math just works. Even if you can only do keyword research and then find a good ghost-writer the opportunity is there to make extra money.
Some companies require customer reviews to market their products. If you have used a particular product or know someone who has used it, you could write a review and get paid. To find out about this, google "make money writing reviews".
Getting Paid to take Surveys
Companies are always looking for market research and focus groups help to provide this information. It would seem that the days of a nosey telemarketer calling you during dinner to ask you 5 questions about your life insurance coverage are behind us. Increasingly, market data is coming from online surveys.
If you have some important or relevant information to share with other like-minded people, your best bet is to launch a blog. Blogging not only helps you share information but also earns you revenue through ads and affiliate sales. There are several online ad programs that earn you revenue depending on the traffic driven to your blog.
Writing Your own e-book
Within my mastermind group, a number of members have been successful in earning revenue from e-book sales. The key here is that you are recognized as somewhat of an authority within the subject area that you write. In the old days, you would need to submit a manuscript to dozens of publishers in the hopes of getting your book published, and then you could expect a fraction of the book's selling price as a royalty. Today, anybody can sell a book on iTunes or Kindle without the infrastructure costs associated with printing, shipping and selling a physical book. These are truly exciting times.
Selling Pictures and Images
With the increase in people creating their own blogs and writing their own e-books, there is a parallel increase in demand for photos and images. Sites such as Shutterstock act as a middleman between graphic artists and the buying public.
I believe that the Mobile-App-development ship has still not sailed. Notwithstanding the fact that hundreds of thousands of apps have already been created, new concepts continue to be introduced and new devices are produced. If this is of interest to you, Chad Mureta's App Empire is definitely worth reading.
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There's always eBay
Have you ever watched the A&E show 'Storage Wars' and wondered who, in their right mind, would pay $90,000 for a stack of old Elvis Presley newspapers? In the internet age, there seems to be a buyer in eBay for just about anything. I can't see supplementing an income selling used household items on eBay, but what I do see are merchants selling new products (via the online ebay store) to a worldwide audience.
eMentoring and Tuition
A number of people have developed courses that they are able to re-sell over and over again. If you are seen as an authority and can develop a course that has applicability to a large number of people, you can charge for your time and deliver training online.
As you can see, the opportunity to make money on the internet is limited only by one's imagination and creativity. The internet has truly levelled the playing field and provided an opportunities for anybody with a computer and some entrepreneurial spirit to earn a living online.