Forget the Internet story you heard about someone shopping garage sales and selling items for fifty times what they were bought for on eBay. Most of the stuff you have isn't worth much of anything, or it is worth less than you paid for it. Few people could make a list an entire page long of things they owned that was worth more than they paid for it and worth over $100.
Things I have learned about making money using the Internet:
- The Internet is scalable. For example, pay-per-click advertising pays the owner of the page it was on for every click that it receives. If you can get one person to click on the ads on your website it's just a matter of popularity to get a million people to click on the ads on your site.
- There is very little barrier to entry. A 12 year old kid can do better than a 37 year old marketing executive, and that happens all the time. Most of the time it is free to start making money by posting advertising of some sort on your website. However, the low barrier to entry means that millions of others are out there trying to do the same thing that you are and the competition never takes a break either.
- First the traffic then the money. Unlike a brick and mortar store most people that stop by your webpages are just looking, trying to become informed. They want to know what is out there and what people are doing. Keeping up with the Jones' takes on a whole different meaning over the Internet. You can look over someone's fence hundreds of times for hours without them knowing. Awesome for the searcher and the consumer, occasionally frustrating for the entrepreneur.
- There is more than advertising and eBay to make money from. I have made no money from advertising. All of the money I have made was from coaching, eBay, and DVD sales.
- The analytics of the Internet are nearly perfect. You can figure out your customers very well without them giving you any information. How they found you, how they left you, and what they looked at are easy to track and very helpful in understanding your audience.
- For the most part you do not really lose. You can only lose the money you put in, aside from the time, which I see as an investment for the independent entrepreneur. By playing the game for free, you only lose your time and playing the Internet game is far more fun that just sitting watching television.
- There are no unions, no business hours, few taxes, and few restrictions. You can easily do all of the work in the evening, when you would otherwise do no work.
- Getting started is the hardest part. The Internet is a big place. The Cloud is a dark, damp, and unfamiliar place to most people. Fortunately, it has a reciprocal relationship with its users. Be valuable to the Internet, and it will reward you with visitors.
- Your credibility sticks with you. Unfortunately, information and more significantly opinions last. Things can be cached and retrieved after they are deleted, if you know what you are doing. Everybody makes mistakes, and due to the anonymity of the Internet it is easy for detractors to speak out in ways that people would never say to each other face to face. This can be disheartening. Detractors are always heard more than supporters.
Go. Change the world.