Have you ever wondered this? This is my overview of the different
strategies, plus some links to more info. My first piece of advice is to get educated. Read what the experts
say. Read a good overview of the business by Corey Rudl: "Online
Marketing Tips, Strategies & Secrets".
Use Banner Ads. Write some useful and interesting web sites, then post
some banner ads with those sites. Have you ever searched for some
information on a search engine and not found it? Why not write your own
web site about that topic. With a well chosen title, description and
keywords, you can get it listed high in the search engines. Some of those
visiting your site will click on the banner ads and make you some money.
See the Internet Marketing Center's "Associates
Program" for an example of how this works -- just put some
banners on your site, and let them do all the work.
Sell a Product. You can use the internet as a marketing tool to sell
whatever product you're already selling. This may work -- depending on
what type of product you're selling. Multi-level marketers like to sell
hundreds of different kinds of "reports" on a variety of topics.
This works well for some people, but I think you'll have more luck selling
a traditional product
Affiliate programs. Some large retail web sites have
affiliate programs in which you serve as an extension of their store. In
exchange, you receive a small fraction of the sales. Amazon.com does
this. Go to their main page: www.amazon.com,
then click on "Join Associates" near the bottom. It's a
good example of a typical program. Another example: my friend Brian
makes money selling magazines online: take a look at super-stuff.com.
Start an Internet Company. This might take a lot of money to start, but has
the largest potential income. It only takes about $150 to buy a domain
name and web service to get started, but to be a success, you might need to
hire 5 to 10 people at $50k apiece for at least a couple of months.
Write Web Pages for People. Learn how to write web pages, then hire
yourself out as a consultant. People will pay $30-$80/hour if you're good.
This is probably the most sure way of making money, since there are many
businesses out there that need web developers. However, it has the
disadvantage of only making as much money as the hours you're willing to
work. The other schemes make you money in your sleep, after you get things
set up right (Hopefully). Start by reading the WebMonkey section of Hotwired.com.
Then buy some good books and go for it.
The internet changes so quickly, and is still new enough that no one is
really sure how to make money online. That's good news: the playing field
is wide open. So come up with a good idea and go for it!