I realized I started out the first post talking about monetizing a website, and haven’t really talked in more general terms about making money online. So I’d like to talk a little about the business models on the Internet.
A business model is basically a description of how a business operates, and in our case the most important part of a business model is how we make money.
The Internet has two basic ways to make money online: advertising and sales.
I talked a little about advertising in the last post. You provide human eyes to look at advertisements, and companies pay you money. They may pay you only when someone clicks on an advertisement (e.g. pay-per-click or PPC) or they may pay you when someone just sees the advertisement (e.g. pay-per-impression or CPM) or they may pay you only when someone clicks on an advertisement and then buys something (pay-per-sale).
Selling advertising space is the easiest way to get started making money online, but it does generally require a website.
Sales is the other main way to make money on the Internet. You have a product, and you create a website to allow customers to purchase your product. This also requires a website, but there are companies that will make it easy for you to create an online store. Yahoo, for example, will do this.
Since I haven’t tried creating an online store yet, I won’t recommend any specific programs. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of starting an online store, you can also promote affiliate programs. An affiliate program is where you become a salesperson for an online product, and promote it on your blog, in your email signature, on a web page, where ever. When someone clicks on your link to the product and buys it, you get a commission.
So advertising and sales are the two traditional ways to make money online. There are some other options that I’ll talk about in later posts.