Ok, so you have decided that you want to earn a living online, but what do you do? Well, let me start by telling you what NOT to do…
Don’t do anything that is already being done successfully in a big way by many other people. For example, don’t try and set up an online auction – it’s already been done a thousand times over and if you want to sell on online auctions, don’t sell computer equipment or console games or any one of a hundred other products that everyone else is trying to sell. The profit margins are too small and the competition is too big – way too big – for you to ever make any decent money.
The way to earn serious money online is to find a small niche market. Now, when I say a ‘small’ niche market, I mean small in terms of the Internet. Small could easily mean several million potential customers – the Internet is a big place.
There is no point trying to chase a market of zillions that is already being serviced by a major player such as eBay or Amazon etc. Instead, find a much smaller market – one that the big players wouldn’t be interested in and build your business around that. It is much better to have a potential customer base of 100,000 and little or no competition, than a potential customer base of 10 million, but all the competition in the world (most of it considerably more established than you).
So, find a niche, think about what people in your intended market might want, do some research to back this up and then provide it.
Corey Rudl (probably the best known Internet Marketer in the world) tells an interesting story which illustrates the above point perfectly.
One of Corey’s hobbies is racing cars and one day, whilst reading a forum board in a Ferrari website, he noticed that a lot of people were asking if anyone knew of a cheap source of Ferrari badges and emblems (the ones that go on the back of the car and on the wheel hub caps). Turns out that a full set of these badges can cost up to $600 and owners were finding that kids were stealing the badges as souvenirs and to use as belt buckles. So Corey found a supplier in Italy that would sell a bulk quantity of these emblems and badges to him for a discounted price and he then built a website selling sets of badges for $300 – half the normal price.
He then got the Ferrari enthusiast websites to link to his site (which of course they did because it was going to save their members a lot of money) and the last time I read an article about this website, it was bringing in sales of over $100,000 a year, targeting a relatively small niche market! Not only that, but Corey arranged to automate the ordering process and outsourced the packing and shipping, so in effect he doesn’t have to do anything to keep this site going. And don’t for one moment think that this is a super high-tech website – it isn’t and this just goes to prove that it isn’t the site design that is important, it is what you are offering.
There are thousands of similar opportunities out there, so don’t fall into the trap of going after the obvious targets as lots of other people will be doing the same. The way to be a success online is to think outside of the box and remember that ‘small’ on the Web can still mean big.