I have been working online for the past few years now and I think I have tried every possible way to make money online. There are many ways to make money online and it is impossible really to say that one method is better than another.
Everyone is different and has different needs, goals and skills, but at least in my opinion, one of the best and easiest ways to make money online, especially for your average person is by making their own information product.
Why is this? Firstly lets look at what options we currently have.
There is no doubt that Adsense is a great program and has enabled any webmaster to easily monetize their website. Copy a bit of code into your website and wait for your monthly check. It worked well especially for people who had long established websites and but few ways to monetize it. Google does all of the sales and automatically matches up your ads with the content on your site.
The problem especially for newer websites, is that being successful with Adsense means that you lose all of your visitors! Instead of encouraging people to stick around on the site, you need them to click on an ad for your to make money and in the process they exist from your site.
This is why Adsense doesn't work well on community type sites like forums, as people use those sites to engage with other members.
There is nothing bad about affiliate programs and generally they are a great way to make money on your site, especially if you can find products or services that match exactly to what your website readers are interested in. The only downside I have with affiliate programs, that it can take time to find programs that work on your site. Once you found a program and it is working well, you sometimes become dependent on those monthly checks. You become complacement because everything is working and there is no need to find something better.
The problem is that a company can change their affiliate program at anytime. They might become more picky about who they let into the program or cancel it all together. Government laws can change also. Just look at how Amazon killed their affiliate program for New York residents because of changes in the tax laws. Companies also change the software or network they run their program with, so you often have to update the links and codes.
Affiliate programs are an easy way to make money, but you are always going to be at the mercy of the company running the program and it does require some effort to maintain them.
While having companies advertising directly on your website is a great way to make money, it's just like having real customers that you continually have to keep happy. Firstly they can be difficult to find, unless you have a popular site and you wait for them to contact you. Unless you set up an automatic payment system, you are forever chasing money from them. Many companies also drive a hard bargain and do want to pay a lot of money to advertise.
Creating your own product
So this leads me to why having your own products is one of the best ways to make money online. By product, I mean anything that can be delivered digitally, whether it's an ebook, images or videos.
The advantages are obvious:
- no need to mess around with inventory
- you can target the product directly to your audience (or potential audience)
- you own the product, so you are in charge as to how it is sold
- you keep all (or at least most) of the money you make
- you can recruit affiliates to sell the product on your behalf.
- once you have created your product and it is on a topic that is not going to go quickly out of date, you will basically be able to
- you don't need any kind of specific technical knowledge
- if you don't have time to write a whole book, you can even outsource this step and concentrate on the marketing.
Of course knowing what kind of info product to sell is the big "if" in this equation. It helps to have a website currently in operation that gets traffic and regular viewers. If you are still looking for a market you can enter, start researching what kind of things are people looking for information on and how you might be able to create it. I can only say great things about e-junkie as a way to deliver your product as it is a cheap but reliable service.