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It’s all about income

Let’s face it!  You are using the Internet to find information, to make money, or to do both.  The Internet makes a great research library, but it is just as powerful when used for business purposes.  But one of the biggest mistakes people make is not taking the time to develop a marketing plan that makes sense.

There are several ways to generate income on the Internet.  As discussed, you can generate revenue through direct sales on your website.  You can also generate revenue through advertising, and that is where the Internet world is getting more and more interesting. 

When you do a search on the Internet for ideas about making money using Internet tools, there is a wealth of options.  The ones discussed throughout this report are the broader concept Internet marketing strategies. 

One of the temptations on the Internet is to do “everything,” but the Internet is like real life.  You can only do so much.  For example, it’s possible to make money creating a blog, but a blog absolutely has to be kept up-to-date to be useful.  People are not going to click through ads placed on blog sites that have not been updated for months.

In other words, it is important to not take on too much and fail to do a good job managing your Internet income-producing opportunities.  It’s wonderful to have so many options available, but that does not negate the fact that you must manage your business professionally and with foresight and goals.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Internet today is the fact that you don’t even need a website to make money!  For example, you can sign up as an Amazon bookseller and sell your used books through Amazon Marketplace.  You sell and ship the books and Amazon deposits your revenue in your bank account every two weeks.

Though establishing advertising links that pay is a little more complex, the entire process is getting simpler by the day thanks to the many affiliate programs and sites dedicated to connecting the right Internet partners.  In the early days of the Internet, you had to “go it alone,” but that is simply not true anymore.

The key to success is remaining focused on your goals and your business plan.  You can develop a business plan that does not include a website, but you still need to establish goals and objectives.  It’s easy to get overstretched with all the tempting offers to help you make money.  But whatever arrangements you agree to, they must be managed over time. 

Think of it this way.  You can set up links with an affiliate program, but if no one ever clicks through, you’ll never make any money.  You can keep the arrangement going, but the question is: Why?!  You need to look at your web statistics, analyze the income produced, and make adjustments as necessary.

The Internet is a powerhouse marketing tool that provides everyone who has access to it the opportunity to make money.  Even better is the fact that you can generate multiple streams of income via Internet marketing.  More is almost always better!

Business Opportunities

There are many ways to make money on the Internet.  The discussion up to this point has been focused on adding links and ads to existing sites.  There are affiliate programs, email marketing campaigns, and many other ways to generate multiple income streams.

The inveterate Internet entrepreneur will most likely have multiple streams of income from a well-designed Internet marketing program.  But the first step before the marketing is the development of the business itself.  How can you choose the right keywords or pick an affiliate if you don’t have a well-defined business model?

The Internet is the land of opportunity and variety.  There are multiple ways to become an entrepreneur.

  • Develop your own Internet-based business
  • Buy an online franchise
  • Open a store on eBay
  • Join Yahoo Merchant Solutions
  • Sell on an auction site
  • Become an Amazon Marketplace seller
  • Become a referral service for a shopping site

This is a report on using Internet marketing to generate income and not about how to set up an Internet business, so the discussion will not go into detail on the types of businesses.  But everyone should be aware of the various types of online business formats that are now available.  Savvy Internet vendors will often combine one or more formats in order to generate maximum revenue, and that is where the power of the Internet is increased exponentially.

For example, when you visit eBay stores, there is often an embedded link on the site.  The link will take the shopper to the vendor’s Internet website where additional products or services are offered.  These vendors sell through eBay and through their own website.  It is like having two websites to attract millions of potential customers.  Income will flow from both sites.

This goes back to the idea discussed earlier.  To make full use of the Internet’s ability to generate income, you should implement more than one income-producing strategy.  In this way, there are multiple streams of income flowing at all times.

Affiliate programs

Affiliate programs are the same as a performance-based marketing program.  It is an online referral system that pays a sales commission to you for helping to sell the products of another website.  In other words, you place a link on your site that a customer can click on to get to another site you don’t mind advertising.

The links can be single-sided links that appear on a website or they can be cross-links.  In the cross-link set-up, a link to your site is placed on a website for a business that has placed their link on yours. 

There are affiliate service providers specializing in setting up affiliates.  The affiliate program would provide you with the information you need to set up the ad on your site.  When a customer clicks on the link, they are taken to the originating site.  The affiliate program tracks the referrals, sales, and commissions earned.

There are different ways to define a transaction: pay-per-click or pay-per-action. Pay-per-click pays a commission based on the number of times a customer clicks on the ad link, regardless of whether a sale is made or not.  With pay-per-action, the qualifying transaction on which the commission is paid must be defined.  It could be a closed sale, a request for information, a new customer, and so on.

Following are some of the more popular and reliable affiliate service providers.

An affiliate arrangement should be viewed for exactly what it is: a partnership.  You are allowing others to place ads on your site, and in return, your ads will appear on other websites.  But you don’t want to place your link just anywhere.  Affiliate Internet marketing has some basic principles to keep in mind if you want to generate as much money as possible.

First, you need to find the right partners.  If you sell Bibles, you would not want ads on your site that promote lingerie.  Second, if you need to establish a true link campaign strategy, you must understand the market you intend to reach and then do the research to find out how your intended market shops the Internet.  There are millions of ads placed on the wrong sites; as a result, the customers fail to click through and income is never generated.

Blogs

A blog is a short name for a Web log.  It is a website that has a particular format in terms of information provided.  There are online running commentaries or information posts that allow other readers to submit comments.  Blogging is becoming a popular form of communication, which means that there is an opportunity to earn advertising income from blogging.

A blogging website must be maintained on a regular basis because material on the site needs to be fresh and updated to be relevant.  Most blogging sites are dedicated to a particular topic like politics or a personal hobby or interest.  That means there are keywords that can be easily identified for programs like Google’s AdWords. 

The best way to make some money on a blog is to have ads placed on the site.  As discussed earlier, there are a number of ways to earn money through advertising, including pay-per-click ads and affiliate ads.

Links can be embedded in the blogs so that they lead to another website or product listing.  The blog reader clicks the link to get more information, and you get paid a commission amount that is determined by the affiliate sales provider agreement.

Naturally, you can also sell advertising space on your blog site yourself if you desire. 

Some people earn money as a contracted blogger.  Businesses will hire people to write periodic blogs for their company.  So you can run your own business and be a blogger for another company if you wish.  Or you can blog to earn supplemental income.  In these situations, the money you earn from writing is your income stream.