How to Sell Your Online Business

This post draws inspiration from the acquisition of Instagram by Facebook for 1 billion USD (wow!) and the ongoing trend of selling valuable business websites / blogs to high-end buyers.

How to Sell Your Small Online BusinessUnlike the non-Internet age when people considered selling a business only if they were running into losses or becoming bankrupt, the Internet age has unleashed a new age of online business sellers who thrive by selling perfectly running and optimized money making business websites and blogs at a very high amount.

If you know the know-how of this industry, you can even sell a PRL blog with less than $1 AdSense earning daily for thousands of dollars! The following discussion focuses on selling an online business, with a list of useful tips to help a small business find targeted buyers.

  1. Be Creative
    Finding buyers for online business is just like solving a puzzle; it brings value only when you have creativity to join the pieces of the puzzle together. There can be numerous buyers for the online business and the creativity lies in sifting through the buyers to zero in on the best buyer. Moreover, the seller has to use creative online advertisements to draw the buyer’s interest.

    You can make use of the “Business Opportunities” column of newspapers and various online buy-sell portals like Flippa. These will definitely help you in getting a good list of potential buyers.

  2. Hiring a Broker

    Brokers are those people who work for commissions against successful completion of deals.  These people are hired on a short term basis and hiring such people will help you to gain a list of potential buyers and other investors suitable for your business. Moreover, if you want to save money on advertisement, it is sometimes best to hire a broker because they self-advertise the business on sale.

  3. Kind of Buyers

    In case you hire any broker or any acquisition professional to find buyers for your online business, knowing the kind of buyer is important.

    Positional Buyer:

    These people are third-party buyers to whom you are not related but the acquisition expert comes across them to negotiate the deal. These people may be your customers, your suppliers or your industry competitors.

    Financial Buyer:

    These buyers are interested only in the sellers’ business cash flow. They can be both  individual or a group looking to buy a business just for investment purposes. Hence, they will be interested in your business only if it provides a return on their investment.

    Strategic Buyer:

    People who firmly look towards owning businesses which can fit into their long-range business planning, fall under the strategic buyer’s category. This buyer can be a business competitor or belong to the same range of business looking to expand in local areas and hence, acquiring your business seems to be a profitable prospect.

    Out of the three groups of potential buyers, finding financial buyers is good if you want impressive value against your business. Which kind of buyer will you choose?

  4. Plan Out Selling Memorandum

    Planning out selling memorandums is the best practice to promote the saleable business. This memorandum is composed of your business product, services and market value. This is like a report you send to potential buyers so that they have an idea of what the business is all about. The tools needed to prepare business selling memorandums are:

    • Information regarding your company’s structure and operations
    • Asking prices and terms
    • Your business product information
    • Attached physical assets
    • Projected financial statements
    • Reason for selling your business

    These six factors must be there in the business sale memorandum. Practicing data abstraction while preparing the selling memorandum is necessary to protect business information from being leaked. When you are selling a completely online-operated business, make sure to include details about payment gateways, associated online assets, real income proofs and peripheral details like web hosting, domain validity and others.

Once buyers begin to show interest, negotiate with them, and seal the deal with the best offer.

Top Business QR Code Failures

Previously, we wrote about the advertising potentiality of QR codes and its use for online marketers. In this discussion, we will talk about QR code failures.

When QR codes are not able to manage all the encrypted data, when there is no web accessibility while scanning QR codes or when there is a lack of compatibility with the scanning devices, your QR code marketing plan could fail drastically.

Ever since its inception in the digital marketing industry, the responses towards QR codes have been slow.  “Corporate marketing failure with QR codes” was the most discussed topic of 2011.

Initially, they were considered as the best marketing tool to promote business online, but with certain campaigns, it could not achieve a high success ratio. This resulted in failure of the marketing base of those corporations who used QR codes as a part of their online marketing strategy.

Following can be classified as the top QR code failures

Red Bull QR Code Failure:

Red Bull is an Austrian born corporation. Red Bull started using QR codes in 2010. According to Forrester Research reports, only 1% of U.S. adults used to scan 2D bar codes and QR codes with their Smartphone’s in 2010. This caused big-time losses for Red Bull who paid huge money for adopting the QR codes marketing strategy.

Continental Airlines QR Code Failure:

Continental Airlines used QR code on its in-flight magazine. When a passenger scanned these codes, the scanner was directed to a webpage with a pop-up window and two buttons. This webpage was mostly offline and the passenger wouldn’t be able to access the information on that page.

Continental Airlines also used QR codes for its campaign program on the subway ads, on its flight magazine and on its website. But due to low accessibility of QR codes, it could not generate effective marketing results.


FedEx Ships QR Code Failure:

FedEx Ships started placing QR codes on its van and other heavy vehicles. Whenever one of these vans stopped on the road, Smartphone users started scanning this code. Due to this, various traffic problems arose. This proved to be an inappropriate QR code marketing strategy.


The Washington Redskins QR Code Failure:

Proprietary scanner is needed when a user scans any QR codes on any social networking sites. This made The Washington Redskins a big failure with QR codes. In 2010, they started placing QR codes on their official Facebook page. Since the users did not have proprietary scanner or scanner authentication to active the QR codes on the Facebook Page, the marketing strategy failed.


Esquire Magazine QR Code Failure:

Esquire’s use of QR codes was good until the magazines were packaged for mailing. After packaging, people realized that the mailing label or the address label was totally hidden due to QR codes.

The actual concept to launch QR codes on the address detail was to force customer to scan the QR codes to know the mailing address. However, the strategy could not prove to be an effective one and thus, it became another QR codes failure.


Nirvana’s Nevermind 20th Anniversary Edition QR Code Failure:

Nirvana’s album cover of its Nevermind 20th Anniversary Edition looked cool with QR codes. However, it became difficult to scan the codes because they were placed on the left hand side of the footer and due to less margin on the cover, scanning was impossible.


Ralph Lauren QR Code Failure:

Ralph Lauren placed its designer QR codes as part of its new advertisement layout. It failed for many reasons: A QR code was placed at the lower right corner of the advertisement page. This made the code difficult to spot. No description or information of QR codes was available on the advertisement cover. Instead of opening a contest registration form, users were directly linked to the company’s Facebook page. Ralph Lauren adopted branded marketing with the QR code and placed the brand name on the QR code. This was considered a bad marketing strategy by industry experts.


Jet Blue QR Code Failure:

Jet Blue adopted business marketing with QR code in 2011. The ads were teased with images of beaches along with an offer of a free vacation by scanning QR codes on it. These pictures were used on subway trains but due to low network coverage of Smartphone’s towers, the QR codes marketing concept failed.

Common mistakes In Top QR codes failures

While writing this post, I tried to find out what the basic or the most common reason for QR codes failure was for all these companies. I think in all the cases, the QR code was not placed properly. To remedy this, the following practices should be adopted to provide a better scanning facility to QR codes.

  1. Place QR codes where the web accessibility is easy. The code should not be placed in underground locations like subway tunnels, in-flight locations and in underground hospitals.
  2. Do not place QR codes on mailing labels or where the code gets obscured.

Besides, if the online marketers provide an easy approach to scan QR codes, for example, provide some free scanning applications, it would be an effective marketing tool. If QR code scanning is made possible universally without the use of Internet connection, it will be beneficial for both the marketers and the consumers.

Initially, Smartphones were less used and all Smartphones were not capable to retrieve text behind QR codes directly if they didn’t have proper or a compatible scanned device. Since the Smartphone market is growing, hope is still there for marketers to use this tool effectively.

However, as we saw above, the placement of QR codes is essential for its success. In online marketing, understanding the audience and providing the best source of information is vital.

Online Fraud Prevention and Control: PCI and VeriSign

Someone “purchased” from your site and one of two things happened:

  • The buyer’s credit card data is compromised & the buyer holds you responsible.
  • The buyer didn’t purchase the product, still the credit card is charged.

Fraud Control and Prevention Online: PCI and VeriSignAs a small business owner, marketer, merchant or a retailer, it is necessary to make the website secure, especially when the site is used for selling products and services.

Online Fraud Prevention and Fraud Control

Here I will talk about two important factors you should not ignore while setting up an online product-based business – PCI and VeriSign.

Let’s see what they are in detail.


PCI Compliance

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance policies were created to prevent Internet fraudulent activities. The huge amount of data theft possibility led to the creation of PCI compliance policies.

The VISA, MasterCard, Discover Card, JCB and American Express cards adhere to its policies. It is required from every merchant that stores and processes payment information maintain the “minimum security standard,” according to PCI guidelines. Non adherence to the guidelines results in additional fees or debarring from the credit card processing facility.

To help in this, the PCI has developed a 5 point guideline for the merchant to follow:

1) To protect credit card information by creating a safety network

The network in which the consumer card information or even the names are stored should be kept in a secure place.

For instance, if the consumer is paying through an online transaction then the web server page should be encrypted and contain an SSL certificate authority. Or, suppose that the merchant uses a personal laptop for storing information then the laptop should be kept secure behind a computer firewall.

Basically, the PCI compliance means creating maximum and effective security standards for fraud prevention.

2) To implement measures limiting access to the stored information

The card holder data should be accessed by those only who needs to use them. Even if all the technological applications are in place to prevent information theft, one cannot discount the possibility of human breach in security.

Therefore, PCI compliance guidelines strictly imply giving control measures only to those who really need them. Otherwise, no other person should have access.

3) To maintain the safety network by regular monitoring and testing

Regular monitoring and testing is necessary to detect security scams or any fault with the security. This does not necessarily mean any fraudulent activities; it only sheds light on any potential security risks that can become a big issue later on if the security risk is detected my any scam or phishing site. The merchant can sign up with security testing and auditing services to check the security system.

4) To create a management program to deal with any credit card information crisis

This PCI compliance is easy to adhere. In this, the person or merchant operating the computer containing sensitive cardholder information needs to update the computer security systems or browser now and then to erase any scope of data loss. Ensure that the security check system installed is always up to date.

5) To scan the data quarterly to remove any vulnerability

Whether it is a large or small firm / company, every establishment needs to scan the data quarterly to remove any possibility of security breach. If there is a big company involved, every employee needs to be trained on the PCI compliance rules and also should follow them strictly. Any discrepancy needs to be immediately sorted out.

Before a merchant is allowed to process credit card payments, they are checked first and then authorized. The authorization can be cancelled if the merchant company does not adhere to the PCI compliance policies.

VeriSign Seal

Since 1995, VeriSign has been offering SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates for online transactions to ensure data theft prevention and security to the online purchases. The SSL certificate authority is a major requirement for websites that sell products and services online because without guaranteeing transaction safety, it is next to impossible to convince buyers / consumers to purchase from a particular website.

99 percent of product and service based websites working today have the VeriSign SSL certificate seal or logo at the end of the page. It is an indication for the consumer to know that their personal data input on the site is kept safe and transferred to the merchant website in encrypted mode.

In simple words, a VeriSign certificate means complete safety and security with the financial transaction in process.

Other reasons for its necessity are:

Proof of Authentication

Not everyone is given the SSL certificate authority to publish the logo on their site. Before giving permission, the company performs authentication measures to ensure that the applicant for the certificate is the same person who will be operating the website.

Only with satisfactory identification does VeriSign allow SSL certification license. This process helps in guarding against unauthorized access to the particular website.

Functional Indication

An encrypted web session between the customer website browser and the merchant website browser can only happen when the customer website browser acknowledges the validity of the VeriSign SSL certificate.

When both the website browsers are linked, the merchant site browser gives the other browser an indication of its validity. Only when the validity is approved, the web session takes place. The data is encrypted and transferred to the merchant account securely.

Customer Satisfaction

How many times has it happened when a consumer wanted to purchase a product or service from a website but decided negatively at the last moment because there was no credibility in the transaction? By lack of credibility I mean the absence of the VeriSign certificate authority on the website, which made the consumer withdraw the purchase.

After all, a customer will always be worried about the safety of the transaction because he/she inputs sensitive personal and credit card information. Without any assurance from the merchant side about the credibility of the transaction, it is impossible to convince a buyer. It will only lead to business loss.

However, if the website displays the VeriSign SSL certification then the consumer will purchase with confidence. It will also give the merchant account a competitive edge against others.

Fraud Prevention

To protect online shoppers, the FBI has directed consumers to only use those websites that display SSL certificate authority. Only an SSL certificate ensures safe and secure transaction. A website with this certificate will have the web URL starting with ‘https’ and also display the safety ‘lock’ icon on the transaction page.

Without these two indications, a consumer should never make a purchase. Fraudulent practices are a huge problem with the Internet these days and authorities are trying their best to make online shopping a safe method.

Summary

A product or service-based website which is PCI compliant and has the VeriSign SSL certificate authority, it ensures two things – consumer safety and seller creditability.
 
Aren’t these two your priorities also?

Top 10 Advertising Platforms to Make Money

Anyone who runs a blog wants to monetize it. While some write sponsored reviews, some sell products, yet another group of bloggers create blogs just for selling space for advertising.

Advertising Platforms to Make MoneyEarning through blog advertising is one of the preferred ways to make quick money. People have been known to create niche blogs, publish 50+ pages, get high PR and then create advertising slots for advertisers.

Advertisers easily pay $5 to $150+ per month for each advertising slots depending on the incoming traffic and the Page Ranking (PR) of the blog.

If you are one such blogger, here are the top 10 advertising platforms to make money.

Process:

Since there are no fixed numbers of advertisements you can run on your blog, you can register on each of the advertising platforms and wait for their approval.

List of 10 Advertising Platforms


1. Google AdSense – One of the biggest advertising networks and the first choice of every blogger. You can use the existing Gmail account to apply for an AdSense key. It’s better to apply for AdSense once the blog completes 90 days of activity and gets a decent amount of traffic. It increases the chances of approval.

However, the only drawback I find in this is the non-ability to choose ads. The AdSense publisher can create an advertisement unit depending on the kind of space available on the blog but the publisher cannot choose the ads to publish until the publisher becomes a premium publisher.

Only premium publishers are given the opportunity to choose. Most of the popular bloggers who run AdSense get to choose their ads. Nevertheless, do give AdSense a shot. It has an interactive report of advertisement clicks and provides a lot of help with site monetization.

Don’t forget to read the AdSense TOS. It has an exhaustive list of what to do and what not to do.

2. Adbrite – After AdSense, it is the second most popular PPC advertising platform, an independent ad exchange network where the publisher is given direct access to campaigns with full control over its features. The working rubric is similar to AdSense. You can choose various kinds of advertisements such as video-in banners, inline text ads, CPM banners, full page ads and others.

The only difference between Adbrite and AdSense is in the choice of ads. While AdSense displays ads on the blog/s based on the published content; Adbrite displays the blog within a well synchronized ad marketplace where advertisers can buy blogger’s ad space.

When a blog has high PR and high traffic, the blogger can create a business model for advertisement displays. For instance, the PR 5 blog blogager.com demands $150 per month for a small advertisement banner display.

3. Value Click Media – The 13-year old company, Value Click media is an advertisement platform that deals in CPM earning mostly. At the moment, they serve 28 billion ads every month to users in more than 280 countries.

They are very choosy about advertisers; hence, publishers get to choose only the best advertisers for their blog. Their services are very reliable and they have been known to make payments every time. Its CPM network offers money per 1000 page views / page impressions.

4. Buy Sell Ads – Buy Sell Ads is a mediator site which deals with selling and buying of ads. Both advertisers and publishers can register on this site. Its huge database of advertisers makes it possible for a publisher to bid on ads.

The main reason for this site’s success is its easy navigational feature which helps both the parties to locate mutually beneficial partners in the same niche and make money profitably.

However, it is not easy to get accepted by Buy Sell Ads. Most of the time applications are rejected because the blogs do not meet their acceptable criteria. Hence, before applying, make sure that the blog has PR2+, a good stream of steady traffic, a good Alexa rank and better on-page SEO.

Buy Sell Ads makes money from the commission

5. OIO Publisher – Like Adbrite, OIO Publishers is a well known alternative to Buy Sell Ads. It works with a different mechanism and revenue model.

Once the blog is registered with OIO Publishers, you have to install their plugin on the blog. This plugin is linked to the OIO blog account which seamlessly sends user data like the number of clicks and other stats.

The OIO plugin displays the ads randomly, depending on the blog’s published content. The payouts are monthly.

6. Ad Engage – Ad Engage follows the Buy Sell Ads model. Ad Engage is part of the Technorati media. This model displays ads on a weekly basis on publisher’s networks’ and charges 25 percent as its commission from both advertisers and publishers.

The Ad Engage customer support people guide you with advertisement code integration on the blog and help the publishers to sell advertisement spots on the blogs. The advertisers pay handsomely to the publishers.

7. Advertise Space – This publisher network is one of the popular competitors of Buy Sell Ads. In the last few years, it has grabbed a large market share and has made a reputation for itself for being the easiest self serving advertising platform.

Apart from displaying ads on the blog, the ads can be configured on iPhone apps too. Moreover, there is also an option to feature the blog for additional payment.

8. Adsella – Adsella is a new entrant in the advertisement network industry. As emerging players, they have done well in the last couple of years.

They take personal interest in the buy and sell of ads. They help the publishers in identifying the best advertisement deals; they equally help the advertisers to understand their needs and display their ads on the best of blogs.

The advertisement platform is good for those advertisers who have a restricted budget. Accordingly, they budget the advertisement campaigns on blogs.

9. Info Links – It is the next-gen text-based advertising platform where you don’t have to keep separate space for displaying advertisements. Rather, when the blog account is approved by Info Links, they sync the blog content with Info Links which then displays relevant advertisements with the content.

To avoid making the content full of ads, the Info Links ads are subtly underlined. The user can select the number of ads to display on every blog page. The payment threshold is $50, payable by check, PayPal and bank transfer done every month.

10. Chitika – This advertising platform is used by Squidoo.com. With 3 billion monthly impressions, Chitika is one of the best advertisement platforms of the online world.

Conclusion

Before signing up for the above sites, kindly go through their terms and conditions. Most of the advertising networks are compatible with Google AdSense. Moreover, keep the blog/s stats ready before signing up as you will need them. Fix a minimum acceptable advertisement price per empty slot.

However, ensure than you do not make the blog/s loaded with ads as it is a big turn off for the readers. Place few ads at relevant places. Keep changing the ads every week to compare which advertising networks are giving you the best output.

Come back and tell us your experience.

10 Tips to Begin Your Start-Up Business Online

As promised, we are here with the follow-up blog story on 50 inspiring startups of 2012 with a handful of tips that will help you to start your online business. These tips could be a warning against mistakes people usually make or a guiding tip for online ventures.

10 Tips for Beginning Start-Up Business Online

Tip 1: You cannot copy businesses

Thinking of copying some ideas from the list of 50 inspiring startups? Yes? Because you think that doing so will give you the same proportion of success that the other person is enjoying. Right!

Start-Up Business Online You are very wrong. The reason that MLM businesses didn’t succeed after a certain level is because they were pulling the wool over people’s eyes saying you just have to copy the business model and wham, you are successful overnight.

It never happens that way. Whatever kind of business you want to do, it should be YOUR IDEA. Yes, you can take inspiration from others but the idea should be unique, something new.

If you want to do a start-up, you have to think from the mind of a consumer – the buyer. Would you buy product ‘XYZ’ if you were the buyer and not the owner? Think it yourself.

Tip 2: Don’t let go of employment

Start-up business is all about not being dependent on a boss to decide how much you want to earn. It is about becoming an entrepreneur. However, don’t let the excitement go in over-drive with wishful thinking.

You cannot make profits from Day 1. It takes usually about 3 years for a business to know whether it can survive of not. Year 1 is all hard work and struggle with little or no profits. Year 2 is break-even and Year 3 is when the business finally begins to make profits…generally.

So even if you keep 2 years margin to decide whether the start-up will work or not, how are you going to provide for yourself and your family? If you are employed, it’s best that you don’t leave it until you are stable enough in the business. I know that it means double hard work and leaving no stones unturned, but that’s the charm of being an entrepreneur. Isn’t it?

Tip 3: Find a support system

Your support system can be any of your family members or a mentor on a professional level. Start-up businesses cannot function alone. You need someone to guide you, motivate you in the lowest of low times, which you invariably will experience.

Whether you allow the mentor to take active interest in the business or just function as the creative / inspiring mind, is your call altogether. Moreover, if you are entering into a start-up with any family member, please ensure that the details of the partnership are clearly laid out to avoid problems in the future.

Tip 4: Research and expertise

There is no alternative to research and expertise which comes only through one’s personal experience and detailed knowledge of the chosen industry.

If your start-up is an eCommerce business, make sure that you are aware of your competition, prominent eCommerce brands, their investor relations, the product ranges and so on so forth.

You will see that a lot of your time is being spent on researching the business and it is good because the more knowledge you have, the better it is for your start-up business. To achieve this end, you can sign up with prominent business websites like CNN and Business Insider or buy niche market reports.

Do whatever you have to do for increasing your expertise over the select niche. It will definitely benefit you in the long run.

Tip 5: Convince the investors

If you had read the list of 50 inspiring stories, you would notice that I mentioned the name of many prominent investors backing those start-ups. How and why are they investing in these businesses?

First, the investors were shown a detailed business plan and/or a revenue model by the start-up founders. Second, they were impressed by the business, that is, its potential to make money.

If your start-up business plan can fulfill this criteria, you can avail a handsome seed capital to begin the business.

Can’t self funding work?

I remember mentioning the name of a gaming company who started with self funding and now it is a million dollar business but it doesn’t mean everyone can afford to. First, you need heavy savings for self funding. Second, if you have people dependent on you for sustenance, you cannot blow up all the savings.

Think hard before self funding. According to me, getting investors is a more viable option.

Tip 6: Sort out the taxes

A start-up should be a registered business; hence you have to take care of the taxes too. The tax system differs with each country but certain things are common such as employee welfare, taxes on goods / services delivered, and cost of registering a business and so on.

The kind of tax applied depends on the nature of the business. The taxes applying to LLC will be different from a Pvt. Ltd company.

You should never take chances with such matters. Get this sorted out while you are establishing the start up to avoid getting into problems later on. Consult a tax expert and draw up the mandatory tax payment so that you can include it in the start-up annual budget.

Don’t try to avoid dealing with taxes.

Tip 7: Get professionals on the team

A start-up business cannot be run alone – it is a fact. A business involves various aspects like marketing, accounting, sales, client relations, and administration and so on. Even if you are a multi-tasker, you will soon face burn out. In fact, when you add up the costs, you will see that you actually spent much more in trying to do all things yourself.

Hire a professional. At least, get a marketing, admin and product developer on the team at the earliest. It is believed that the first 10 people of any start-up business decide its fate in the long run. Therefore, be judicious in your choice.

We can tie this point to the self funding vs. finding investors issue. It will be extremely difficult to hire professionals and pay them salaries if you are self funding the business. On the other hand, if investors are involved, all the costs of running a company are shown to them when the business plan is presented; therefore, the employee salaries and other add-ons are well considered.

Tip 8: Begin networking ASAP

You cannot wait until the start-up business is up and functional to get clients and customers. In fact, setting up a pipeline of clients / buyers should be the primary agenda along with the business setting up process.

Marketing and networking are the backbone of any business. Try to get clients interested in the business from the start. Don’t waste precious time. It won’t come back again.

Tip 9: Concentrate on customer service

Some start-up businesses think that if someone is interested in their product or service, they will come back again and again. This is only partially true because if the customer service of the business is not good, there is no chance that it is going to get any first time buyers, least of all, second and third time buyers.

The way the support representative talks to the buyers, handles their queries, and sorts out their problem plays an important role in determining the image of the company. You have to agree that no matter what marketing strategy you use, the customers are the best marketing agents because they spread the word around.

Would you like to treat your customers – marketing agents badly? I surely hope not.

Tip 10: Be open to problems

A business plan gives a structure of the proposed business, it does not underline the problems you will face while actually running the business. Nobody can. Be ready to come across problems from Day 1. You have to maintain calm and patient to deal with them.

At the end of the day the problems might seem baseless but nonetheless, you have to deal with them. Be prepared, be open to problems – don’t be a complacent business owner. You will kill the business before it gets a chance to bloom.

Summary

I have tried to give you a lot of practical advice and tips. You have to have the psychology of a business owner before beginning a start-up. Business is a game and you have to become the master of it…

50 Ways to Make Money Online – Part Five

Continued…Part Four

 

41) Earn Money with Forums

Forums are live discussion boards that attract a lot of footfall because of the kind of information you get to view there.

Ways to Make Money in 2012Either you can join existing forums like Warrior Forum or you can create your own forum. Either way you can use them as an investment strategy to earn money. On your own forum, you can make money by showing advertisements.

Once the forum starts getting a high number of memberships, you can also open a premium registration or upgrade facility and offer premium products and services.

No Internet marketing guru will tell you the real worth of forums but it is there..believe it.

 

42) Sell links on Blogs

There are marketers who would love to pay you for placing permanent links on your blog content. Of course, there is a certain criteria like:

  • Blog Page Ranking
  • Alexa Rank
  • Traffic

Even if your blog is PR1, you can try this strategy. Or if it is not, you can still try because there are certain people who are willing to look at content quality and not PR or traffic.

What you have to do is place the link on your chosen keyword or the one provided by the client. The cost of such links starts from $1 and well, there is no limit.

It all depends on your negotiation.

 

43) Become a Virtual Assistant

Are you good at being a secretary or a personal assistant? Can you respond to official mails – or provide live customer care support?

If you can, try being a virtual assistant. There are short term online courses to prepare you for the same. 99 percent of the time, virtual assistants are needed by small business owners to help them make their businesses run more smoothly.

You can work from your home and your earnings will depend on the work you are performing. Experienced virtual assistants can charge $50 per hour so you can start with a basic $10 per hour.

Your earnings will depend on your efforts and abilities.

 

44) Use Paid Search Engines

While not all search engines are as big as Google or Yahoo, there are other search engines which are ready to pay you using their search tool to find relevant information.

Yes, they offer money in cents but if you search Google and Yahoo daily, you can spend some time on other upcoming search engines.

 

45) Earn Money with Triond

Triond is one of the oldest article submission sites which will pay you for writing articles for them and they also have an AdSense revenue sharing program for you to integrate your AdSense account with your articles.

However, you are given 50 percent of the revenue only and the rest is kept by Triond.

There is a third money making option too – Triond pays you a certain amount based on the kind of page views received on all articles.

The payments are made every month and they even send you an earning statement.

 

46) Create Software

If you are a techie person, you can make LOTS of money online by developing and selling software with a license. You can either develop software for others or make your own software and sell them online.

After you have made your software, create an official website to market it, establish an automatic payment gateway and you are done. Use lots of online marketing techniques and if your product has value, there will be sales.

 

47) Participate in Online Contests

This won’t give you a regular source of income and neither will I suggest you to make it one but sometimes, it is worthwhile to participate in online contests.

99 percent of the time these contests pay cash prizes. There are software development contests, app contents, writing contests…a whole Pandora box is out there.

Just Google the kind of content you would like to participate in, such as “writing contests” and choose whichever you like.

 

48) Earn Money with M Turk

M Turk is a venture of Amazon where they provide Human Intelligence Tasks to people. M Turk is one of the most legitimate ways to make money online. You can answer questions, do language translations, data entry, make logos and lots of other tasks.

The tasks carry a specific price and has to be done in the allotted time. For registered Amazon users, you can log in with the same account or create a new one.

You don’t have to wait for application approval. You can start working as soon as you login.

 

49) Earn Money with Advertise Space

Advertise Space is the next best alternative to Buy Sell Ads. It does not have a huge marketplace like Buy Sell Ads but if you are a new publisher, just starting out with your blog, you should experiment with Advertise Space.

They don’t check your PR or the amount of traffic. The blog is approved instantly and you can start bidding for advertising space.

The current payout is $25 and PayPal is the mode of payment.

 

50) Earning Money with Global Test Market

Global Test Market has been in existence since 1999 and is a legitimate online survey network.

You can join the network if you are more than 14 years old. Every survey gives you about 100 points and once you have accumulated 1000 points, it is converted into $50.

You can get payment through PayPal or shopping vouchers.

 

Conclusion

I am sure there are more than 50 ways to make money online and if you can cleverly choose even 10 of them, you are set for 2014.

Do share with us your online money making method in the comments section below. 🙂

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

50 Ways to Make Money Online – Part Four

Continued…part three

31) Earn Money with Flickr

Ways to Make MoneyFlickr does not offer any direct earning money methods as we have seen in the earlier sites but you can still earn money from them.

If you have a good eye for photography, you can use Flickr to post stock images that cannot be downloaded for free. If they are of high quality and resolution, you can put them up for sale at a suitable price.

Further, if you are into affiliate marketing, you can embed the affiliate links with images using the notes function. Therefore, when anyone clicks on those links and buys a product, you get paid.

With Flickr, you can be innovative in your marketing.

32) Earning Money with Meta Cafe

Like we had discussed about YouTube earlier, Meta Cafe is another similar video portal for revenue earnings. They have a program where you need to create your own videos and earn it on Meta Cafe.

To start earning, each of your uploaded videos should have a minimum of 20,000 views and a 3 rating. After this, you get to earn a maximum of $5 for every 1000 views.

Personally, if you know about video creating, then only you should go for this earning money online method because there is no point in outsourcing this task as the rate of return is much less – $5 for 1000 views.

33) Earn Money with Buy Sell Ads

If you are a blogger, you would know how difficult it is to directly contact advertisers and sell ad space on your blog. If you contact 100 people, 95% will turn down the offer.

However, if you want to get rid of the direct contact and getting turned down trend, you should join Buy Sell Ads. It is a direct advertising network where bloggers register their blogs for advertisers to see and buy your blog ad space.

Buy Sell Ads has a huge marketplace so you have a greater chance to get advertisers. Publishers (you) are paid 75% of the total advertisement revenue and the remaining 25% is kept by the administration as their fees.

34) Earn Money with Slice the Pie

If you are a big music junkie, Slice the Pie is where you should try making money online. As far as I am aware, their earning money program is unique because they pay you for commenting or reviewing the uploaded music videos.

The only condition is you have to listen to the music tracks for at least one full minute before you start commenting or reviewing.

If music is your passion, you might as well start earning from it!

35) Earning Money with Yahoo! Answers

One of the largest question-answer sites today, the Yahoo! Answers portal offers a very big platform for the clever affiliate marketer to try and make commissions.

Please note that Yahoo! Answers does not offer a direct or official earning money online option. What you can do is keep niche affiliate links ready, browse through the question sections in the selected niche, offer genuine answers and stick the affiliate link in the end.

If the affiliate product you are offering is really good, in the way that it solves the person’s problem, there is a high chance that the person will buy it too, giving you affiliate commission.

Most importantly, Yahoo does not ban us from leaving affiliate links. However, it does not mean that you will leave the same link in every question, in which case it will be considered as spam.

36) Earning Money making Twitter Backgrounds

If you are good in designing, you can make money from Twitter by designing Twitter backgrounds. Since Twitter is being increasingly used by business personnel’s to market their products and services, there is a demand out there for business-specific brand name building and Twitter background building is also involved in it.

You can create a separate website to show the twitter designs and promote the same using twitter. This is how twitter becomes your marketing channel as the source of earning money too.

Check out this list of best twitter profile designs.

37) Earning Money through Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking sites like Digg.com and StumbleUpon.com really provides bloggers extensive content exposure and traffic but social bookmarking is a painful task, especially for those bloggers who upload more than one post daily. Logging in to bookmarking sites to bookmark the blog is time consuming.

Therefore, many bloggers outsource this task and this is where you come in as the service provider. You can provide the social bookmarking service for bloggers, combined with other blogger services as well.

38) Earning Money by Making WordPress Themes

More than half of the blogging population uses WordPress themes for blogging because of its easy content management system and navigation. Most of the time, bloggers look for free themes but if they like one theme particularly, they are willing to pay for it too.

And if you are good with CSS, PHP and HTML coding, try creating a WordPress theme which you can sell through professional theme websites. This is important if you want people to take you seriously and buy for you.

Moreover, if earning money is not your criteria then you can give away the themes for free and it will give you a back link since the footer of the theme will contain your details.

39) Earning Money with Hub Pages

In 2011, after the Google and Panda update, many people complained about losing their Hub Page traffic and earnings but if you are starting now, it is good because you have a higher chance of content ranking, traffic and revenue earning.

What you need to do is create hubs, include Amazon, eBay or AdSense links in the hubs and publish it. You get 100% of the earnings generated from your links and 60% from the money generated from your hub content.

Hub Pages is one of my few chosen places to earn money from my writing skill.

Read in detail about making money from Hub Pages.

40) Earning Money with Helium

Helium is another writing portal where you can earn advertising revenues and money from the content page views. Like Hub Pages, you have to create high quality content. Sometimes, if the internal editing department likes your hub very much they will consider buying it upfront or ask you to write on specific topics.

Otherwise, you can earn between 1 USD and 5 USD for every 1000 page views per content piece.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 5

50 Ways to Make Money Online – Part Three

Continued…Part Two

21) Earn with Gather.com

Gather is a paid social networking site that pays you money to remain active on the social site. Its similar to Facebook; the only difference being that Gather pays you for being active and Facebook does not. You can earn on Gather by doing the following:

    Ways to Make Money Online in 2012

  • Posting videos
  • Posting pictures
  • Updating status
  • Using their apps
  • Playing games and others

Whatever points you accumulate through these tasks can be redeemed in the form of cash and/or Amazon vouchers and other gift cards.

I think this is a very new and novel way of earning cash through social media. In fact, if you are good in reviewing, you can review products or services you have used on Gather and get paid for the same.

Again, I would say, this kind of earning source will not tide you over every month but it can surely pay your little menacing bills, cover gift costs, buy something extra for yourself and so on.

22) Earn Money with She Told Me

While researching for this list, I came across She Told Me. Apparently, it is the biggest AdSense sharing revenue network these days.

In this, you get to write your own chosen articles and get paid. I don’t know whether they pay upfront for the articles but they surely pay for the AdSense revenues.

Here the AdSense is divided into 3 blocks – one block is for the writer (yours), the second block is for She Told Me and the third block is for the referrer (if any) who recommended the website.

The best thing – if you already have a Chitika advertisement account, you can insert your own Chitika ads and earn 100% revenue from them.

Signing up is free.

23) Earn Money with Hits4Pay.com

Hits4Pay is one of the oldest sponsored email reading networks online since 1998. Here you get a signing bonus of $5 and they pay you 2 cents for every email you read. Sometimes the emails pay you 5 cents but those are rare.

If you refer people and they sign up, you get 2 cents for every email read by the referral.

The payout is $25, credited to your account through PayPal.

24) Earn Money with Xomba.com

Like She Told Me, Xomba is another AdSense revenue sharing portal where you write content for Xomba and enter into a 60-40 partnership ratio. Xomba gives you 60% of the advertisement revenue.

Obviously, the content has to be highly search engine optimized to get any kind of revenue. There is an extensive list of topics for you to choose. You can write on anything as long as it is relevant and you should have an AdSense account.

Signing up is free.

25) Earn Money with Commission Junction

Like ClickBank, Commission Junction (CJ) is another highly popular and credible network for affiliate earnings. There is a huge repository of digital products like web hosting services, domains, software, eBooks and others.

The commission percentage is between 2% and 70%. Like with any other affiliate network, all you have to do is:

  • Create an account
  • Fill in payment details
  • Select a product with good commissions
  • Review it (if you want)
  • Spread the word around with relevant affiliate links

…and earn affiliate commission. Commission is paid out for every valid sale. The minimum payout if 100 USD and the common mode of payment is PayPal.

Please check out their payment details for country specific payment options.

26) Earn Money with Sponsored Tweets

Supposedly the most trusted way to earn money online through Twitter advertising, Sponsored Tweets pays you for posting paid tweets on your Twitter account. It is not an issue if you use multiple Twitter accounts for tweeting.

There are two options – Pay Per Click and Pay Per Tweet – the Pay Per Click can offer about $5 per click and the Pay Per Tweet can sometimes offer $150 per tweet. Of course, the amount per click or per tweet depends on what you are tweeting about.

50 USD is the minimum payout and you’ll need a PayPal account for receiving the money.

Signing up is free.

27) Earn Money with Text Link Ads (TLA)

Text Link Ads (TLA) is yet another advertising network where the advertisers pay for displaying texts and hyperlinks to the publisher. (the blogger) I would suggest that you sign up for TLA only if you have PR 1+. PR 0 blogs rarely get an opportunity to display ads.

The advertisers place their ads for a fixed period of time. The price of the text links are to be set by the publisher. (you) Be careful while setting this price because you get only 50% of the amount because the remaining goes to TLA as their earning. Therefore, it is a 50%-50% revenue account.

You are either paid through PayPal or TLA vouchers and the minimum amount you should have for payment is $25 for those who want to be paid through prepaid Master Card or through global checks.

28) Earn Money with Sponsored Reviews

If you are interesting in reviewing products and services on your blog but you are having a hard time finding paid review sponsors, Sponsored Reviews is one of the best marketplaces to try.

Here you register the membership account, link your blog, set the price and start bidding on paid sponsors.

Please note that you will receive only 50% of the amount you set for reviews as the other 50% is taken by Sponsored Reviews. Moreover, the chances of your blog getting good offers depends on its PR and the number of daily page views and unique visitors. The maximum you can get is $500 per review.

Payments are credited every 2 weeks into PayPal and there is no minimum payout criteria.

29) Earn Money with Fiverr.com

Fiverr is one of its kind initiator of the mini-marketplace concept where you can sell anything for a fiver. ($5) The Fiverr company deducts $1 from each seller so you basically get $4 per sale.

What can you sell? Your answer is – anything under the sun. For instance, you can find writing services, voiceover services, tattoo designing, web designing, poetry writing, sand writing…and hundreds of others.

When I visited the site a few days back, one gig caught my eye – there was this gig wherein the girl would write your name or the ad (am not sure!) on her lips, take a picture and send it to the buyer. Very weird! But she is the top-rated seller there. So as I said, you can sell just about anything 🙂

30) Earn Money with eHow

A few months back, eHow partnered with Demand Studios to build a network of quality writers. eHow is famous for its “how-to” articles that gives you step-by-step solutions or tutorials.

You can try to become an eHow writer. Your earning is generated through the number of page views the content receives every month.

Last I checked, Demand Studios were taking writers only from the US and Canada so unless you are in these countries, it is impossible to become an eHow writer.

Nevertheless, the earning potential is wide and you are paid through PayPal.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 4, Part 5

50 Ways to Make Money Online – Part Two

Continued…Part One

11. Create Niche Blogs

Unlike regular blogs, niche blogs are keyword centric, which are targeted to rank high on search engines. For instance, there are many people blogging about mobiles, but only a few are talking about Nokia ONLY.

Make Money Online in 2012So if you have a site whose content is only about Nokia, you are creating a niche blog which has higher chances of better keyword rankings. Later you can add contextual ads and earn money.

Or, you can sell the niche blogs at a very high price if it has 1) good content; 2) high traffic; 3) ad revenue potential.

You can read an inspiring post about blogs that sold for millions.

12. Social Network Activity

Apart from Facebook and Twitter, there are many other social networking sites that have found a new way to make money online and distribute a portion of the revenue to their down line.

These social networking sites ask you to sign up and pay you for using the social network. As more members sign up, it increases the social network owner’s chances of displaying more advertisements and earn revenue.

I don’t know whether this method is legal or not but such social networking sites do exist and people are earning from them regularly.

13. Trading on FOREX

FOREX trading is similar to share trading with the difference that in FOREX you have to buy and sell currencies. The value of currency differs with every country. For instance, USD 1 = 51.30 INR and this value changes everyday.

FOREX trading is very lucrative. You can find various online FOREX trading platforms like XE.com. To make profits via this strategy, you have to first reserve foreign currencies for a period of time and when the value of the currency increases, you can sell off those currencies and earn your profit.

Of course, don’t expect to earn from Day 1. You have to research currency valuation for the last 6 months at least to see how your chosen currencies have trended in the market and then you should make the plunge.

14. High Yielding Investment Programs

There are various financial institutions online where you can invest your money for a fixed period of time. These are called high yielding investment programs because they give you periodic fixed returns for the whole duration of the investment, until the last day of the fixed deposition.

At the end, you get back the total amount you had invested as the principal sum. For instance, you invest $20,000 for 3 years with a periodic return of $1000 every five – six months. At the end of 3 years, you get back the whole $20,000 in principal.

This is a good source of investment for long-term secondary income.

15. Start your Own Web Store

Are you good in creating knitted sweaters? Or, are you good in making handmade jewelry? Or are you a writer who is interested in creating eBooks?

With the Internet, it has become doubly easy to sell online. What can you sell? Anything that is worthy of every buck spent by the buyer. There are online premium platforms where you can create your online store and make money from those sales.

If you are interested in affiliate marketing, you can create an E-store of affiliate products, market them and earn commissions.

In other words, you run a full fledged business right from your own home. Just make sure the products are of quality and they are easily shipped all over the world, unless it is an exclusive digital product.

16. Become a Guest Author

It is a misconception that guest authors work for free. Of course, unless you are yourself a blogger and want to guest post on other blogs to increase backlinks, there is no money involved.

However, there are clients out there who are willing to hire only guest posters to research high Page Ranking (PR) blogs, pitch them, write guest posts, publish them and get backlinks to the client websites…and you are paid for all this stuff.

If you have good writing skills, you can easily charge $20 per guest blog of 500 words. You can also create a list of PR 2 blogs to contact freelance clients. A client will always be impressed with a ready made list.

17. Online Teaching

If you don’t want any physical teaching job, you can become an online teacher. Online teachers are in great demand in the US and UK where parents usually prefer Indian teachers because of their vast subject-based knowledge resource.

You can either create an independent website offering online teaching services or you can join online tutorial websites and charge on a per hour basis.

If you are teaching online, be expected to get students from around the world. You need to think about this because there will definitely be time zone differences, sometimes 12-13 hours time difference.

Online teaching is a very lucrative business.

18. Create Search Engine

Google allows you to create a separate search engine for your website. You can do this through AdSense.

First you need a website with good content, then you can custom embed the AdSense codes along with AdSense ads. Therefore, whenever anyone uses your website as a search engine and clicks on the ads displayed, you get to earn money.

It is not easy to make this search engine. You have to read about AdSense in detail to implement this strategy. Not to forget that if your website has good traffic footfall daily, the earning potential increases a lot.

19. Review Products

Before the Internet, there was radio advertisements, TV advertisements, fliers, and other marketing methods that asked consumers to review products and give the company representatives their honest feedback.

Now the companies have left the traditional marketing methodology and have shifted online. They look for people who can review their products, either free or paid, and write about them. This new trend is known as Blogger Marketing.

You only need a website/blog, the skill to write a review and good traffic. Depending on the deal you have with the company, you can even get a small percentage share for sales coming through your website/blog. But don’t confuse this with affiliate marketing, it is entirely different.

You can earn anywhere between $10 – $50+ per product review.

20. Create Tunes

Recall your favorite advertising tunes from your childhood that you used to love very much! These days audio producing companies turn to online tune makers for creating advertising tunes or music for their songs.

Visit fiverr.com and you will be amazed by the variety of such services. You can use Fruity Loops, a tune generator software, to create great tunes and sell them to advertising companies for all they are worth.

Best is to open an E-Store of tunes, hang a price tag and let buyers take their pick.

Part 1, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

50 Ways to Make Money Online – Part One

As I had written almost a year back, the Internet is still the Pandora box waiting for us to make money online in 2014.

Ways to Make Money OnlineIn the last 14 years, we have come across plenty of make money online options. Below is a list of the top and the best 50 ways to earn quite handsomely in the year – 2014.

Note: We will post 10 at a time…

This list consists of only those ways which I think, both theoretically and practically, will be able to give us really good returns.

Earning Potential – Approx. $5 to $5000+ per month

 

50 Ways to Make Money Online

 

1. Flipping Domains

You can make really good money if you know how to select premium domains and sell them online, known popularly as flipping domains. How does this work?

…and then you put this up for sale.

People are willing to pay for these kinds of websites because everything is almost done for them.

However, if you do not want to create websites/blogs, add content and ads, just buy premium domain names and sell them after some time. I have seen such kind of domain names being bought for more than $1000 whose original price was not more than $20. The older the domain name is, you get a better price.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Income Insiders has an entire section devoted to affiliate marketing. If you are interested in sales and marketing, try affiliate marketing by all means. Of course, some may tell you that this field is over flowing, that it has become saturated.

But the fact is only about 10% of affiliate marketers are able to make money online while the others fail. So you actually have 90% of the market open for you to explore.

Affiliate networks like eBay and Amazon pay around 75% commission to affiliate. You can join any affiliate network you want, promote the products, get sales and you earn commissions.

The potential of earning money online through affiliate marketing is unlimited. Period.

3. Designing Logos

Logo designers are in great demand. Not everyone is a designer and neither does 100% of the web users know how to use Photoshop to design logos.

Visit mini marketplaces like fiverr.com and you will be amazed to see just how many people are willing to offer logo designing services for just $5, excluding the $1 commission fiverr.com charges.

A Logo gives a company brand image. If you are good at logo designing, make it your niche and start promoting yourself on freelancing websites like oDesk.com, Elance.com, Freelancer.com and others to start your freelance web designer career.

4. Sell eBooks

Digital book or electronic book, call it whatever you may like, selling eBooks will continue to be a lucrative proposition in 2014. In a world of information overload, there is a demand for quality content still, which eBooks are in a position to provide.

Whether you write your own eBooks or you become an affiliate for eBooks written by others, it is a wonderful opportunity to make money online. In fact, if you have written your own eBook, you can maximize earnings by putting it up on the market for affiliates.

Like this you can create your own affiliate market and increase sales, which gives you maximum profit.

5. Facebook Money

I feel Facebook is becoming a monopoly in itself by trying to compete with Google. Hardly a day goes by for those 500 million active Facebook users when they do not login to Facebook. This trend gives you two opportunities:

  • Market your product and services on Facebook and get contacted by clients.
  • There are many apps on Facebook which gives money making opportunities. For instance, there is a Facebook-centric writing network and again, there is a service which pays you to sign up on other websites. The second one may not pay much but no problem, the agenda is to earn money. Even a penny is money.

If you want to target Facebook, I suggest you remain online there as much as you can in any given day and explore the possibilities.

6. Earn Money with GPT Websites

GPT or “Get Paid To” websites are those websites where you have to sign up and do various “odd jobs” online which you normally do sometimes but without receiving any payment in return.

For instance, the GPT websites can ask you to fill out surveys, post tweets, click on ads, surf the net and other such things. It takes barely an hour daily for this kind of work.

People who are using such sites to make a marginal amount of quick money online without implementing any skills other than the skill of browsing the Internet can make use of the GPT websites.

But beware – there are many fraud GPT sites out there too so just Google the GPT website name to read user reviews first.

7. YouTube Channel

A housewife, bored with sitting at home doing nothing, started to share her cooking videos on YouTube regularly. Within two months, her YouTube channel had million views and she started earning from YouTube video advertisements. She earned $1000 one month.

Later, YouTube offered her partnership and now she earns a guaranteed $1500+ every month from those videos.

This is the power of video content marketing. If you have any skills that you think will benefit people, make YouTube your major earning source.

8. Sharing Files

Income Insiders has a detailed blog post on making money by sharing files. You earn when people download the files you upload. What do these files have? Anything!

You can upload information based files, data files, general subject based info and others. These files can be both text-based and image-based. Here the earning depends on the type of file you have uploaded and the number of downloads. Most of the websites pay per 1000 downloads.

Read the above linked blog post. You will see a resource list of many high paying and reputed websites paying money by sharing files.

However, please make sure that these files do not infringe copyright.

9. Google AdSense

You can read about making money with Google AdSense in detail from here.

Google AdSense is undoubtedly the first and foremost choice of people who want to make money online through advertisement revenues. It is a misconception that you need a website or a blog to make money online from AdSense.

In fact, there are lots of AdSense revenue sharing websites that will allow you to integrate Google AdSense advertisements with your content and allow you to earn revenue.

If you are not ready for the first way, I suggest that you play around with AdSense a bit through the content revenue generation system before starting blogs and websites.

10. eBay Selling and Affiliate-ship

eBay, one of the largest online shopping portals, allows you to sell goods online and earn money by becoming a product affiliate too and turn eBay marketplace into a second income source.

If you have a garage full of old sporting goods or a massive library of books or anything else that has value, list them on eBay, select the country you can ship to, set the price or choose auction mode and you are set.

Alternatively, if you have a blog or website, you can become an eBay affiliate to sell products and earn commissions.

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5