Saturday, October 11, 2008

101 Ways to make money online

101 Ways to make money online

(part time or full time, and working at home)


There's no catch and I'm not trying to sell you an ebook. Or anything (read about conmen who do). I'm not even signing you up for a newsletter. This list was put together more as a laugh. It may change your life. Or it may annoy you enormously because of its er, brevity. I hope it does both.

Some ideas here are nice and have halos, others smell of dog urine ... but all these methods allegedly generate lotso dosho, and every single one is legal at least somewhere. There's overlap in everything so some ideas may be repeated (and some may not be covered at all) but I'm still maintaining there are 101 ways to make money online, partly because it makes a good headline. No, solely because it makes a good headline. It sucked YOU in, didn't it?

No, you won't get anything for nothing but there are a lot of things you can get for nearly nothing. Like getting to pick holes in my list. Go ahead. Pick holes and then link back here to show people how stupid I am.

I've put together a lot of these ideas from thousands of hours discussing businesses for sale with their owners. They've shared with me how their businesses operate, how they make money online, how they built their businesses up etc. They've given me access to their traffic stats, their earnings and accounts and tax figures. Many even gave me access to their Adsense or other "main earner" accounts. Some of those businesses were so irresistible that I bought them. And sold them. And bought others. It's a game. I love it.

Most of these business ideas can be run from anywhere in the world, even the United States, Australia and other non-English speaking countries. For consistency sake all figures are quoted in US dollars.

Each method is summarised in a single small para so appreciate it's not the complete unabridged version. And, no, I haven't tried each one so out of the 101 business models to make money online 102 may be completely dud. But, I do intend expanding - in due course - on some of the money-making ideas that worked for me.

More disclaimers will come when people sue me (suing can make you money, see #66)

Finding business ideas:

1. Spend all day browsing Site For Sale forums (like the list we have here) for the myriad ways people earn money online. People looking to sell their sites actually tell you how they make money! Pick one that suits you. Research it a bit, and away and start your own business. Or use a search engine to find ways to make money online. It seems to Finding some things - like nuclear bunkers - is easier than othersbe so easy that it's almost impossible to find someone who doesn't know how to do it. (But why stop at one search engine (SE)? Most people get to less than 1% of the top qualify info they're seeking because they use just one SE like Google, don't have the vaguest of ideas of the advanced search features available, and don't know the benefits to be had using specialised SEs, local SEs etc. )

2. Bundle the two above to tell other people how to make money online. They always want to know. It doesn't matter if you don't know yourself, you can still charge them for it. I obviously don't have a clue as I'm giving it all away. You can now ignore everything else I say. But don't go spending money on internet cons promising to make you a millionaire and here's how to spot them.

3. Be more inventive with your search. Look for small business franchise newsletters. Or for home jobs in your particular niche or hobby. (And check point #2 above for those specialised SEs). You can also go through the appropriate DMOZ categories (examples: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12)

But using "search" is just the start of the game. There are simply so, so many ways. We hope you hang around to find out.

4. Like the guy you can pay to stick a message in a bottle for you and throw it into the sea. He's made tens of thousands of dollars already. And there are several others like him in all parts of the world. Do you live near a sea or river? Or join the cleanup of those bottles and get your council to contribute.


5. The dot com gold rush made many millionaires but there's still plenty of money in domain real estate and still some good catches available. A good dot com may be difficult to find now. But there are a lot of gTLDs and ccTLDs from the .info to .eu to .tv to and they all present opportunities being discussed in several good forums. Put your thinking hat on, buy a famous word domain for a few dollars and put it up on the domain selling sites.

6. Lost your thinking hat? Hang out at SEDO. DNForurms, Afternics and other places where domains are bought and sold. Provided you learn enough about the market to recognise bargains you could make a living from just buying existing domains and reselling them.

7. If you're smart you'll run dictionary checks against available domain names and auto-check them against search volumes (using OST, Wordtracker etc.) for that term and Pay Per Click (PPC) rates in the major ad networks (example) to work out which ones are likely to be more profitable. If you can pick up the domain for a profitable term that's searched for often you can use a domain parking program. Or post a little bit of relevant content and get a link or two ... and the search engines will start sending you traffic. If the phrase people are typing in coincides exactly with your domain name it gives you a great head start with SEs.

8. If you're smart AND a linguist you'd be doing that in multiple languages. And not paying for any domain till you've tried it free for five days to see if it does indeed get any type-in traffic (and how well that traffic converts). After you've tried it for five days and dropped it there's nothing to stop you immediately picking it up again for another five day trial. Strange, but true. It's not kiting, it's legal.

9. Misspellings. Massive opportunities still exist in the misspelling/typo market. People trying to get elsewhere land on your site instead ... and you sell them stuff (or use the domain parking idea). Some even tempt fate by making PPC opportunties out of typosquatting on trademarks. Finding typos has never been easier. There are many tools that will find misspellings for you. How easy can it get?

10. Domain parking and type-in traffic: People sometimesThe witch has spoken guess at URLs. If they want a plumber they may try though they've never used that site themselves. Find terms that people may be typing in (I will provide a detailed guide to this when I get a chance), buy the domain and populate it with ads. There are several ad programs to monetise your parked domains. Or combine this with the previous idea to buy or similar typo domains to make money online.

11. Drop catches. People sometimes forget to renew their domains and these expire. Picking them up will give you some remnant traffic from sites that link to this domain/people who've bookmarked it etc. In some cases the traffic can be pretty high. Provided you're fast enough to replace the copyrighted content that was there with something else you can make quite a profitable business from doing nothing else but this.

12. A variation on the above. Sell the domain back to the previous owners. Note that you may want to tread carefully and get familiar with the rules for that TLD before you start sending off ransom notes. For example, with ICANN (domains that end in .com, for example) the moment you send the previous owners an email saying you've got their domain and you'll give it back for $10K... you've lost. It can't look like a ransom demand. Be reasonable and read the small print of the UDRP. No UDRP required if you're sitting hostage on or the equivalent at blogger, mybloglog, or other big destinations. LOL, watch them kick themselves and sack their web advisors who told them about taking the "dot info" but omitted to mention the importance of protecting the brand by owning the associated myspace directory (and others)! And it costs you nothing!

13. Run a domain management service. Hundreds of thousands of webmasters (or more) have a large portfolio of domains. A lot of them would like the boring bit taken out of their domain management. You can run their DNSes or just a service reminding them when each domain comes up for renewal. Or an automated monitoring service to tell them when one of their domains/sites is inaccessible.

14. Start a directory to list domains for sale. That's what people like SEDO do. You can get money just for allowing domains to be listed in your directory.

15. If you're running a service putting buyers and sellers of domains/sites in touch with one another you could get money for add on services (like providing escrow facilities). For ideas have a look at what existing domain intermediaries offer.

16. Run a domain research service. Wonder what happens when a manufacturer is looking to name a new model car? Or starting a new range of clothing? They need trademark and patent research but now they also need some domain research. Which of the literally thousands of combinations and misspellings (+ are taken and which do they need to buy? With a few of the free domain tools discussed on this page and one or two more - like free DNS tools - and a little time you could provide them a service they'd pay a lot of money for.

17. Start your own country: Whoa! yes, you're reading it right. If you've heard of Sealand (what is Sealand) you'll know that starting your own country is not that far fetched. Once you have your own WhackyCountry you can apply for a .wc (yuk) TLD. Sell millions of domains. Keep some for yourself. Ever wanted a Google.___?

18. Perform domain services for businesses and then send them a proforma (even if they've never heard of you). Explain that it's free this time but you'll gladly keep acting for them for a small fee. For example, there are thousands of big businesses whose half-wit webmasters/ developers didn't put in a redirect from the non-www to the www versions of their sites (or vice-versa). One entrepreneur made a few thousands just from pointing out to businesses how they were losing hundreds of customers every year who were landing on and finding nothing there.

I'll talk about domain opportunities some more on this page when I get a chance.

Buying and selling internet businesses

19. Many sites runs on "auto-pilot". A common price these sell for in site-for-sale forums is 12-24 months' worth of net earnings (silly price, but it's true). Provided you don't mess the site up you can recover your capital in as little as 12 months and then ... sell the site to recover your capital again. Double your capital every year. 100% return. Sack your stockbrokers. It really is a crazy world!

20. Site flipping doesn't require as much capital and expertise as many people believe. Like property flipping, Buffalo Walking Service - why do only dogs get to have fun?you buy one that needs a bit of TLC. Do it up, then sell it on for a whacking great profit. And, the beauty is you never have to deal with tenants!

21. How about cornering a little market? There are DMOZ categories with grandfathered sites (sites that have been listed for many years) which aren't being updated. If you can pick up a few sites in the same category and merge their content suddenly you "own" that niche. That opens a lot of possibilities.

The rest of the 101 to come later.

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