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How To Make Money Online - Steps to Success

by Leslie Truex

Internet Skills

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Published on this site: August 25th, 2011 - See more articles from this month

One of the most popular ways to earn money is on the Internet. The appeal is that working online allows you to start a business that doesn't require you to talk directly to people (although you will need to respond to email) or leave your home. For many who are shy or home-bound, an Internet business sounds ideal. But an online business requires much more than launching a website. The Internet is filled with abandoned stores and other business ventures that never made a dime. Like any business start-up, you need to know what you're doing, make a plan and WORK. Here are some steps to online business success.

  1. Decide what type of business you want to run. Do you have a product or service to provide? Are you hoping to make a living as a blogger? Before you can start, you need to know what you want to do.

  2. Determine if there is a market for your idea and what does the market want. Don't launch a website without researching whether or not there are people who want what you offer and are willing to pay for it. Keyword search tools are helpful in learning how many people are interested in your topic and what specifically they are interested in.

  3. Figure out how you will make money. I can't tell you how many people I've met who want to make a living online and start a blog, but don't know how they'll make money. If money is the goal, shouldn't you figure that out early in the game? Money can be made online in a variety of ways including selling your own products and services, selling the products and services of others (through affiliate or reseller programs) and advertising.

  4. Determine the technical requirements to set up your website. If you'll be running an online store, you'll need a full e-commerce site with a product database and shopping carts. If you're selling just a couple of items, you may not need a fancy e-commerce set-up, but in both cases you'll need payment processing.

  5. Learn how to build or hire someone to build your site. Trust is an important factor in making sales. The more professional looking your site, the more trusting your site will appear.

  6. Develop a marketing plan. This is where most people fail in online business. Having a website and getting listed in a search engine are not enough. You have to know your market, craft promotional materials it will respond to, and get your materials in front of them. Marketing isn't a one-time deal either. Marketing is something you do every day to ensure you have a steady stream of customers.

  7. Run the numbers. How much do you need to pay your bills? How much are your business start-up costs? How much are your business running costs? How much profit above that do you want? How much can you sell your products or services for? How many do you need to sell to meet your goal? Knowing the numbers you need to meet are crucial to your success.

Online businesses are a great way to make a living at home. But despite what many infomercials and ads would have you believe, there is nothing automatic about making money online. You can't "set it and forget it" unless you're going to hire someone to run it for you. With that said, if you create an effective marketing plan, implement a few systems and manage your business, you can be an online business success.

Leslie Truex is the author of The Work-At-Home Success Bible and Jobs Online: How to Find and Get Hired to a Work-At-Home Job. She has been telecommuting and running home businesses for over 15 years and helping others to work at home since 1998. Get work-at-home jobs and other resources with her free newsletter at http://www.WorkAtHomeSuccess.com.

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