Earning money from your own home is the new American dream. The white picket fence has been replaced by high speed internet access, and it's time everyone learned how to supplement their income by developing additional streams of revenue.
There are, of course, the traditional method of selling real-world products online (with which you're no doubt familiar), but you might not be aware of how much money you can make selling simple information. You can even leverage an online following to make money advertising the products of others!
Today we'll be discussing some of the simplest and easiest ways to get started earning money from the comfort of your couch. Let's get started.
1. Selling Products in Online Marketplaces
We'll begin in familiar territory. This method should be very recognizable if you spend any time on this blog at all. This includes:
- Dropshipping your products.
- Selling inventory from a secondary source such as a wholesaler, liquidator or another drop shipper.
- Listing products on eBay.
- Selling unconventionally sourced products (from live auctions or flea markets) online.
- Listing items attained by any of the above methods on comparison shopping engines or any of the various eBay alternatives, including eBid, Etsy or even Amazon.
This is the method most preferred for its low barriers of entry. Literally anyone with Internet access and a bit of free time can find reliable inventory sources and start drop shipping. It's a fast way to build supplemental income, and you don't actually need to find a supplier to get started selling online. Instead, you can sell your unused items around the house until you get the hang of it, and then branch out into drop shipping.
An even more attractive feature of drop shipping is the fact that you don't have to spend any money to make it. Sell the items first, then use the money from the sale to pay your supplier to ship it out.
You will have to be careful about running short of inventory though. Sudden surges in demand for certain items will leave you short on product, and long on customer complaints. This can lead to diminished confidence in your reputation as a reliable online seller. Finally, you won't be able to accommodate special requests by your customers because you'll never have access to your inventory.
You can circumvent most of these troubles by buying from wholesalers, manufacturers, or liquidators direct. If you do that, however, you'll be forced to store your own inventory. Weigh the pros and cons of each method and decide which will work best for you.
Also Read: Complete Guide to eBay Dropshipping
2. Produce Products to Sell in Online Marketplaces
Another option to make money online is to create products yourself. This can be a valid option if you have a unique artistic skill or ability. Maybe you enjoy knitting, painting, woodworking, or any other crafts. Wine bottle lamps, for example, are popular items.
Alternatively, you could offer an informational product. Ebooks, reports, or online courses are all examples of products that can be sold for 100 percent profit if you market them well. Just create an educational, informative, and entertaining data offering. We'll talk a bit more about one of the most effective forms of data selling a little later.
The obvious problem with this method of online selling is that you're putting in a ton of work. Not only that, you have to provide all the start-up capital as well. This includes all material, production, and listing costs. You can't forget about fees for whatever online marketplace you choose, either.
You've got to produce something people will buy, and market your product on the public platform of your choice. You could always outsource the production, but then that cuts into your profit margins.
Still, if you have the patience, the perfect product, and the cash on hand to get started then it's possible for you to make a great deal of money by producing your own inventory.
3. Make Your Own Marketplace
The next obvious option is to make your own eCommerce site to market and sell your products on. This option gives you the ultimate freedom to choose your inventory sources, product offerings, and marketing methods. You assume all of the costs, and therefore keep all of the profits.
Additionally, hosting your own domain provides you with additional opportunities for earning money online, all of which depend on accruing a sizable audience for your offerings. Doing this will substantially limit the competition you'll have to contend with directly.
Unfortunately, creating and maintaining your own website is more than a little work. In fact, it can be a full-time job all on its own. In addition to simply building a website, (which is no small feat) you'll have to optimize each page and content piece for search engine traffic, as well as sales conversions. Constant bugs, updates, customer interactions, and a plethora of other concerns will constantly look to siphon off some of your attention.
You can limit the amount of work you have to do in many ways, though. Outsourcing the technical aspects of building and maintaining a website is always a valid option.
That way you can concentrate on your marketing and sales figures while leaving the technical logistics to a dedicated support staff. To successfully launch and maintain your own eCommerce site, you have to concentrate your efforts on marketing. As much as 75 percent of your initial workload when developing an eCommerce site should be spent on gathering an audience. Attracting eyes to the products you're selling is the task upon which every other factor of your success hinges.
4. Sell Information About Selling
Once you've made a decent living putting your product offerings online in one form or another, there will be people banging on your door asking for the secrets of your success. Information products that explain the step-by-step processes of creating successful online businesses are perpetually in high demand.
So if you decide to share your knowledge with the world in the form of ebooks, webinars, online education resources, or even a more esoteric format such as podcasting, you can be sure you'll have a small but dedicated audience that you may just be able to grow into an empire.
Of course, to even think about engaging in such an entrepreneurial venture, you'll have to become at least moderately successful to begin with. Thus the barriers to entering into this home business opportunity are the most prohibitive of the list.
To start selling information about selling, just lay out the processes you followed to make money selling in the first place. Do so in a sequential and easily digestible manner. Try to imagine yourself as a technical writer, putting together an instructional piece. Then imagine you're a marketer and add some entertaining flavor to the text. If you've been a successful online seller, you've probably played both roles already.
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to make money from your personal domicile. These are just a few of the most popular. Let me know some of your favorites in the comment section.