The World Wide Web has strands leading from your home to the farthest corners of the world, and yes, it is possible to use this fact to make money. Which of the following opportunities are appropriate for you depends on how much time you have available, which skills you possess and how much money you have available to invest. However, it will definitely be worth your while to become aware of what options are available to harness the commercial power of the internet to generate a little, or even not so little, side income.
Online Consultancy and Niche Blogging
If you are an expert in some specialized field — polymer formation, pet nutrition, whatever — there is someone, somewhere on the globe who needs your expertise. Maintaining a blog is not difficult, and you may soon find that people in need of your advice are willing to pay for it. The income from this is limited by the number of hours in a day, so eventually you might even want to create a teaching course that can be presented online, and licensed to any of a number of websites specializing in education.
Even if you're no great expert on anything, simply being funny can make you money. Comic strip artists, writers and Youtube video uploaders get a portion of the revenue ads on their sites earn.
Dropshipping refers to a kind of distributed marketing model where you open an online store to sell products you don't manufacture or stock, and may never have seen in your life. Your role is only to create an attractive website which people love to visit, take orders and pass these to the company that makes the actual merchandise. While commissions are low, you never have to carry inventory or worry about returned products, customs regulations or virtually anything other than getting traffic to your website. You can also offer a range of related products from different manufacturers, for example diet supplements, health foods and lifestyle books. The website will be working for you whether you are even awake or not.
Web Design and Programming
While not everyone will be willing to spend the time and effort involved in learning the necessary skills, the good news is that a diploma or degree is considered trivial in these fields — clients will only care about your level of skill and commitment. For someone with some time to learn PHP, SEO and half a dozen other acronym-styled fields, this is one of the most profitable ways to earn a living online.
If you have a passion for something like antique porcelain dolls or handcrafted saddles, you will probably not be able to open a physical store in your home town and make a profit selling these. Online, however, there will be thousands of enthusiasts who share your hobby. Start a website or blog to attract their interest, then direct them to a trusted platform such as Ebay or Amazon to buy your wares. When people talk about doing what you love, this is what they mean.
Many existing companies are taking advantage of the multiplier effect the internet offers: you can reach more people, more quickly, and 90% of the process is automated. Why not take out a notepad and pencil, and spend a few minutes thinking about how you, also, can capitalize on this advantage.
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