The Internet Age has spawned thousands of ways to make an income by using it. It literally provides opportunities to make ‘a fast buck’ but unless supremely talented or extremely lucky, this can at best be a supplementary form of income. Of course, the work may pay well but it requires plenty of time and dedicated effort to be invested in that space. Such ways of earning incomes are provided by online businesses.
There is no dearth of ideas to choose business opportunities online but it requires a great deal of planning and research to find one that suits an individual’s skills and area of expertise best. The topmost advantages of online businesses are that it requires no ‘brick-and-mortar’ structure nor does it require many people to conduct the business. An online business can even be headed by a single person. Some of the very popular online business opportunities include:
• Blogging – this is an excellent way of giving space and freedom to writing expression. Though blog writing does not require great technical skills, it needs a certain amount of promotion to attract others to the blog and building a following. If the blog becomes popular, advertisers can be requested to post their ads on the blog; products can also be promoted on the blog which result in paid commissions.
• Paid writing – many people start their own blogs but are unable to sustain for a long time. Writing articles for other sites or blogs can help an individual indulge and entertain the passion of writing and earning an income. For someone who has a good command over a language, becoming a copy editor and accepting assignments for editing etc. is well paying.
• Affiliate or Reseller – ideally suited for those who have the knack of marketing and selling products. An affiliate or reseller is one who can earn a commission through sales of products promoted on his or her website; all it needs is to tie up with an affiliate program and start promoting products
• Professional freelancing – skilled people in respective trades can accept projects through bids for article writing, content creation, SEO, website design, data entry, programming and many other jobs for established businesses. Elance, Freelancer.com, oDesk and others are popular freelance sites.
• Online advertising – Google AdSense is the most popular in this category where PPC (pay per click) advertising options for ads clicked by visitors to a website or a blog can bring income. However, the returns depend on the amount of traffic to the website or blog and the click-through rates. Other forms of online advertising can be through Blogads, TextLinkAds and RSS feed.
• Selling photos – an avid photographer or a shutterbug can make good revenue by selling photographs that they have clicked on various subjects. There are plenty of people who are not into photography and who require images for various purposes. Many agencies like Shutterstock and Fotolia offer incentives to people to earn through their photographs.
Other ways of conducting an online business and earning revenue include –
• Webinars and e-tuitions – online tutorials, lectures and seminars
• GPT (Get Paid To programs – filling online surveys, playing games
• Theme designing – design theme templates for websites and blogs
• Forex trading – stock market may be a risky option but dogged determination and research will bring in good returns
• Virtual Assistant – small online businesses use VAs (Virtual Assistants) to function as an office secretary to handle many tasks and administrative duties.
• Medical Transcription – this area needs particular skill sets such as high speed typing and a firm grasp of medical terminology. This is used for quick turnaround of medical reports, patient history and documents, consultation and clinical notes, psychiatric evaluation etc. and is more or less like a BPO service.