The vast majority of people in America have access to the internet now. Unfortunately, most of them are using it mostly as a toy. But the internet could be used to do a lot more in your life, and you can make it happen. You just have to figure out how to convert the internet from a playground to an income source.
You can still use the internet for entertainment, but when you add the income component to the mix, you’ll be using it to its maximum advantage.
What People Mostly Use the Internet For
Nearly everyone uses the internet for communications (email, instant messaging in its various forms), shopping, playing games, watching videos, surfing, checking the news, weather and sports, or following their favorite TV shows in greater detail. On a more serious level, you may also be using it pay your bills online, a process that’s increasingly being required by various vendors.
That’s all well and good – the internet has tremendous value in all of those capacities. But you should come to view those activities as something of a training ground on how to use the internet, and to understand what it can truly do. That’s especially important if you’re old enough that you didn’t grow up with the internet – I know I didn’t.
Using the Internet to Improve Your Standard of Living
You’re probably already using the internet to find new jobs, to book trips, to get financial advice, and to get the best deals on products and services that you buy. You may even be managing your investments from an internet investment platform.
It’s also likely that you’re using the internet for school or work. At a minimum, you’re probably using it for school to do research, or at work to do web-based applications and to research clients, vendors and other organizations for various purposes.
Most of these are mechanical functions, but they serve definite financial ends. Using the web to find jobs and get deals has obvious financial implications. But using it at work shows how common it’s become throughout the business world. It’s very likely that your employer uses the internet for advertising and marketing purposes, which means that you’re getting an indirect benefit.
There’s a message in all of that – don’t miss it!
If You’re Stopping at Entertainment and Work Applications You’re Missing the Best the Internet Has to Offer
You’re probably at least vaguely aware that people are using the internet to make money. Some are using it to market existing bricks-and-mortar type businesses, while others have built businesses around the internet itself. You may have wanted to get on that bandwagon yourself at some point, and if you have, you’re thinking in the right direction.
No matter how overwhelming it may seem, you can make money on the internet. Never doubt that. The fact that so many others are proves the point. If you aren’t one of them, it’s probably because you either haven’t given it a serious try, or because you’re distracted by the TV version of making money on the internet.
Using the Internet to Generate a Small Income
The internet today is something like what Main Street was a few decades ago – the place in town with the most traffic and the highest visibility, which made it the optimal location for a small business. The internet is the 21st Century version of Main Street, except that it’s a “street” that literally circles the globe. The analogy isn’t a stretch either – the internet is commonly known as The Information Superhighway.
Don’t be intimidated by that title either. You don’t need to take the internet by storm in order to make money with it. You just have to carve out your own little niche. Once you do, you can take it as far at your time, talents and ambition will allow.
You don’t need to be an IT professional, a marketing genius or a brilliant entrepreneur either. As a consumer yourself, stop and think about what you buy and how you transact business on the internet, and you’ll be heading in the right direction.
A lot of would-be web entrepreneurs get hung up on technical details, like web designs or creating attractive graphics for their websites and blogs. Don’t let that be an obstacle – there are plenty of services that will take care of those important sides of your business for you. A good example is 99 Designs, that will do a package of graphic designs for you for a set fee. This will free you up to work on the actual content of your site, knowing that you have ready access to professional graphics.
For really simple blog and web designs you can probably find what you need through WordPress. They offer hundreds of web layouts that are user friendly, even if you know nothing about how to build a website. Need an app to manage your email database? Try MailChimp. Never let technicalities stand in the way of your business entry to the web – there’s a service available to meet every need you have, and usually at a lower cost than you imagine.
Think small. Before you can make a lot of money on the Internet, you first have to prove to yourself that you can make a little. Were talking small steps here. Try selling a few things on Craigslist or on eBay. Write articles for your favorite blogs and websites. Start your own blog. See what web jobs need to be done, even if it’s short-term gig. Offer your social media skills, graphic design skills, video creation skills or web building skills and see what comes up.
Here’s the point: once you demonstrate to yourself that you can make a little bit of money on the Internet, it isn’t such a scary place anymore. And once you determine you can make money, you can increase the numbers by scaling your business up.
Taking it to the Next Level – Using the Internet as an Ongoing Income Stream
You don’t have to get fancy here, and you certainly don’t need to be in a mad rush either. In order to turn a single money making event into a steady cash flow, you simply need to repeat the process. For example, let’s say that you succeed in selling some personal items on Craigslist. But you’re worried that you’ll eventually run out of things to sell. Not a problem. Get a copy of The Garage Sale Millionaire where Aaron LaPedis will show you how to develop a never ending stream of inventory to sell.
Once you’ve written a couple of articles for a favorite blog, look for a second blog to write for – and then a third, and so on. You’ll be well on your way toward becoming a freelance blog writer.
Once you’ve gotten at least one paid gig handling someone else’s social media promotion, graphic design work, or web building help, approach other potential customers. You can place an ad for your services on Craigslist, email the owners of small businesses (you can find them through their websites), or even put out periodic messages on your own social media.
It’s all a matter of starting small, and building up your Internet business slowly. From there, you can create a side business, or build it into your primary occupation.
Once you do, you’ll realize what the Internet is really worth, and you’ll see that it’s so much more than a playground.
Are you already making money on the Internet – even a little? Or are you thinking about taking the plunge?