So, you've finally decided to take that giant leap of faith and start your very own home based internet business. You've decided that it's finally time to step up to the plate and claim your share of all those internet riches you keep hearing about. Only problem is, now that you've finally made your decision, it seems like a pretty daunting task deciding what to do next. Using the term "information overload" to describe the problem seems like a huge understatement.
Well, if you're really serious about starting your own home based internet business, the next step really doesn't have to be that difficult at all. There are 3 relatively simple ways to start making an online income and one of them is sure to fit your particular idea of what it is you would like to do. So, just relax, take a deep breath, and peruse the following list until you find something that strikes the right cord.
1-Join One or Several Affiliate Programs
This is probably one of the easiest and quickest ways to get started making money online. The internet is full of products that have affiliate programs you can join and most of them pay generous commissions. When you join an affiliate program, you are simply making an agreement with the owner of a product that you will receive a commision in exchange for referring a prospect to that person's product (usually a sales page that you have sent the prospect to via your affiliate link) if that prospect ends up making a purchase.
Start by choosing a product or service that you're interested in and then visit some of the websites which have achieved top rankings for the keywords which describe that topic. You're sure to find the top affiliate programs for that industry relatively quickly. Or, try visiting one of the many affiliate program directories (you can find them quickly enough in Google) and scan their listings and recommendations until you find something that appeals to you.
This is a good one for newbies since you don't even need your own website to get started. You will, however, need to learn how to use the pay per clicks so you can get some targeted traffic to your affiliate link. Once you start generating some income from the pay per clicks, you can then start reinvesting some of your profits and get yourself set up with your own website. By that time the prospect of getting set up with your own website won't seem so daunting.
2-Join a Residual Income Program
Residual income programs are somewhat similiar to affiliate programs in that you typically get paid for referring a prospect to the program's website if that prospect decides to make a purchase. However, the difference lies in the fact that with these programs you also have the opportunity to earn a monthly recurring income if the prospect you refer becomes a paying member of the residual income opportunity program. For example, I belong to one of these programs myself. If a prospect comes to my website and clicks on a link which takes them to the sales page for the product and they buy, then I get a commission. However, if that prospect also decides to become a member of the residual income opportunity program, then I get a check every month as long as that prospect remains a member of that program.
People tend to be skeptical of these programs and get them confused with pyramid schemes. The way to tell if one of these programs is a pyramid scheme is to simply determine if the company in question offers a real honest to goodness product or service. If so, it cannot be classified as a pyramid scheme and you should be okay. Don't be scared off by the fact that you will most likely have to pay a monthly fee to participate in the residual income opportunity. If you can build a downline for yourself in one of these programs, the monthly fee will be negligible compared to the potential residual income you could earn. Alot of these programs will provide you with your own cookie cutter website, which is okay if you are just getting started. Again, use the pay per clicks to start generating some traffic and then work on getting your own site up so you can start to build your own opt in list.
3-Sell a Hard Good or Downloadable Infoproduct
Okay, okay, I know this one doesn't sound so simple or easy, but to be honest, it's really not as hard as it might first appear. Selling a hard good entails offering a real physical product (like fishing poles, for instance) for sale in your own online retail store. If this idea really appeals to you, go for it. Brainstorm some products you would enjoy selling, then do some keyword research in Wordtracker to develop a targeted niche within that market (deep sea fishing poles?).
After that, you can use a drop ship source directory or the search engines to find manufacturers or distributors who will drop ship the merchandise for you (meaning they ship it directly to the customer and you don't have to carry any inventory). Then go to Ebay or Yahoo and sign up for one of their stores. I know from personal experience that Yahoo has some merchant hosting packages that are great and super easy to use. They'll even provide you with a shopping cart feature and help get you set up with a merchant account (so you can accept credit cards). Plus, you'll get some traffic already built in since millions of people are using their shopping directory to browse for products every day.
As for the website itself, don't worry. Most hosting companies today have some type of site builidng solution available for those customers who wouldn't know an html code from a java script. Believe me folks, if I, a completely technically useless and html challenged technophobe can do this, ANYONE can.
Now, as to the infoproduct. By the way, I mean YOUR OWN infoproduct. Everyone on the web and their mother will tell you that this is the best way to make the really big bucks online. Write about something you know and/or love. The topic of internet marketing seems to have been way overdone. Unless, of course, you are a true expert on some niche internet marketing subject, then definitely do it. Just don't do it because everyone else is.
As for the actual writing, you don't even have to do that if you really don't want to. You can check out a site like elance.com and post your project and have writers bid on completing the project for you! And there are so many easy to use PDF ebook creators available that formatting the book should pose no technical challenge whatsoever. Set up a simple little one sales page website with a link for payment processing, optimize the site for the engines, use the pay per clicks, find some JV partners, and you're in the money!
By the way, I know of some guys who have about 10 or 15 of these little mini sites set up selling little reports on niche topics and raking in an average of $2,000 a month from each site. And they're incredibly easy to set up and practically run on autopilot once you do!
Well, there you have it. Just a few relatively simple ways to get you started on the way to raking in YOUR share of the internet gold mine!
Andrea Hayhurst is an internet marketing professional and publishes "How to Succeed Online", a fresh and informative newsletter dedicated to supporting people like YOU! If you`re looking for the top rated home business opportunities, the latest time saving tools and helpful support from a friend in the business, come by and grab a free subscription today at http://www.Your-E-Source.com