Saturday, August 23, 2008

Do You Really Need Money to Make Money?

The advent of the Internet has changed the economics significantly for starting your own business. Before the 1990’s, to start your own business you needed to spend $1000’s ot more each month on a location, products and marketing. But now, you can put up a thriving business with nothing more than $50/month, a computer, and the same amount of work.

If you could make $50 instead of sitting on the couch watching TV shows before and after your favorite show, would you do it? Would it be worth it to give up a couple hours of re-run television each week to make thousands of dollars?

What can you possibly hope to sell with only $50/month to spend on a product?

Information: Chances are you know more about a particular topic than anyone else you know. That makes you an expert. If you can put your knowledge on a topic into an e-Book, there are possibilities where people will buy it and be very happy with it. If you aren’t currently an expert in anything, you can become one. Learn all about a particular topic, then write an e-Book to teach other people. You’re selling both your newly acquired knowledge and the work you did putting information from different sources into a single location in an easy to digest format.

Note that you don’t need to spend a dime to get to this point. Even if you don’t own a computer, you can do all of this at a library, cybercafé or on a friend’s computer.
Once you have your information product ready, all you need is a website to sell it. It doesn’t need to be a fancy website, and you don’t need to worry about how you’ll collect money. There are a number of companies whose single purpose in life is to make it easy for us to sell things on the Internet. They handle the credit cards for you. All you need to do is write up a web page that makes people want to buy your product, then hook it to one of these payment vendors. Your website hosting will cost you no more than $30/month, and your payment vendor will simply take a small cut of every sale you make.

Now you’re spending $30/month, and you need to advertise your product so people know it’s available. You can take the other $20 and use it to buy Google, Yahoo, or some other kind of Internet-based ad. You can spend dollars on advertising in a suitable off-line publication. And, best of all, you can spend $0 and use various cost-free methods to advertise.

Visit article sites and give away valuable tidbits on the topic of your product. Not only will you show people that you know what you’re talking about, you’ll be creating links back to your website for people and search-engines to find.

Let’s say you’ve done all this, and you’re selling your e-Book for $20. Assume that of that, you end up with $15 after your payment vendor takes their cut. Two sales per month cover your website hosting costs completely. Of course, you can see you’re putting in real work and real hours of time on this.

At $15 per sale, you only need to sell 67 copies above your monthly minimums to make $1000. That’s an average of fewer than 6/month. Much of the work is done up front. Once you set things in motion and gotten the ball rolling, it takes a minimal effort to make sure that the money keeps rolling in. Once you reach the maintenance phase on one project, you can begin a new one. Maybe the next e-book will be worth $100? You’ve already paid for web-hosting, too. Do you see where this can lead? Your incremental costs are minimal.

If it doesn’t seem worth it to spent 10-50 hours setting up a business that will only earn $1000-$5000/year, stop and think about this: If you can push the profits from one info-product to $5000/year, then stop and start working on new product while the first one continues to make $5000/year, you’ll quickly be making $10,000/year. Keep doing it and you could quickly be making $50,000/year.

You really need some dough to set up your own internet business.

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