The internet is a great place to make money, the technology we have around us in our homes and the use of the internet means that walls and boundaries no longer exist like they used to, much of the problems you get with an offline business do not exist in the new online world.
Let us take a quick look at the offline business of the traditional local shop.
Small shops were the heart of local communities in towns and villages of the UK , they relied on the custom of that little community. People from the surrounding streets and the occasional passer-by were the only customers who they could really only sell to.
They had to have stock on the shelves for them to be able to sell; orders had to be taken on the shop premises and maybe in writing before the invention of the telephone. Delivery services were not cheap for the smaller business who could ill afford vehicles or staff to do the rounds.
If competition came along and opened up another shop near by then trade could fall and earning money would become even harder. If you did not own your own shop premises the landlord could up the price of rent to match the upward trend in society and today councils charge a business rate which means you pay for the privilege of running a business from a property?!?!? I know! You get nothing for it.
You often had to be brave with a huge set of dangly bits to take risks and turn your small business into something like the size of Tesco.
Competition and the cost of running a business could destroy small business and has in some places destroyed more than one or two shops; bigger stores with plenty of spare capitol would build bigger super stores with more stock that wiped out many small businesses. Having a traditional off line bricks and mortar business can be very tough.
Now the online world is a lot different, depending on what your business model is the start-up costs can be very cheap. Being online can have a lot more benefits for businesses, the three biggest ones are
You can take the cash up front for the product; many offline businesses still work on the rule of work/service first then payment later. This is not the case online.
The rent/rates are a lot less than offline businesses. Selling things like eBooks and access to websites requires very little storage costs. The cost of hosting a website can be as little as $3.96 a month.
An online course of videos and eBooks requires no manufacturing costs. Once a video is hosted it can be watched by many at the same time.
You can sell your products to anyone, at any time anywhere in the world and no longer rely on just the local community to buy your products.
Online courses are big business for many companies, educational companies like Stonebridge used to send out books and question sheets as part of distance learning programmes that they advertised in magazines and papers, slowly they are moving their catalogue onto the web, using online advertising and social media they are now starting to turn many of their postal programmes into online only programmes.
The cost for them is not particularly cheap because of the size of their business and the amount of information they need to get online as well as the functionality the site needs but when you consider the amount of books they needed to print and send out along with the question sheets that went with them, the envelopes and postal costs that is required for each person.
Now they only need to have the book online once that is accessed by everyone as a PDF document that can be downloaded to anywhere. A PDF document is like an Amoeba, it replicates itself when someone downloads it. There are no manufacturing costs so once their programme books are converted into PDF documents and placed online then they are done.
Question sheets can be printed off and filled in at home and sent in or simply filled in online and emailed to the course tutors taking away the cost of paper, printing and posting.
Now the example of Stonebridge is a big one, they are a big company selling a lot of courses. You could simply sell one course and the website needed would not need to be as big as Stonebridge’s. A simple WordPress site can easily house enough video tutorials that can be accessed by enough people to make you a great monthly income.
If you know how to do something that others don’t then you can create a series of video tutorials showing exactly what to do and then charge a monthly fee for people to get access to them. If you think creating videos is hard then you should think again. You do not need to create a Hollywood style movie. As long as they are of a good clear non fuzzy quality and easy to follow then they are likely to be good enough to sell.
Software like Camtasia can be used to create screencast tutorials, it is quite expensive however if you want you can use a cheaper software called screencast-o-matic which costs only $15 for the year or does have free version that will record 15 minutes of video.
Most people have smart phones or tablets these days that are capable of recording video for face to face speaking, laptops come with built in webcams if not cheap plugin webcams cab be bought for less than $20 and software like Camtasia will record what the camera sees and convert it to MP4 video file.
An intro can be made by computer animators found on sites like Fiverr.com for a few dollars which will add branding and higher perceived quality to your videos. Again when this short video animation is created, you only need it once, you add it to your raw video files when editing your recordings by simply importing it.
Membership sites are called the wall of cash because members were normally billed at the same time of the month usually the beginning or end which meant the membership site owner would receive a flood of cash into the bank account like a wall of water.
If you were earning roughly $2000 a month from your day job, you would need to work a full month to earn that money but with a membership site you create the work once and then each month you receive money by paying members continuing the course.
5 videos each month over a year is 60 videos, if each video was around 10 minutes long and let’s assume you spent 20 minutes editing them then all each video takes 30 minutes to make. It would take 30 hours to make all the videos which is less than a full working week so if you add another week for creating the website a few PDFs and etc the full years course could be made in 2 weeks!
If you charge just $25 a month per person, you only need 80 members; we are not talking about thousands. How hard can it be to get 80 people to become members when there are millions of people online each day?
Not all memberships need to be video course, people buy magazines like garden magazines which are a monthly subscription, online memberships can be online magazines, one members only website was for lovers of gardening and the owner charge $5 a quarter or $15 for the whole year and what is impressive is not only can you find gardening information for free everywhere, the site had 75,000 paying members. That is over $1 million in subscriptions a year. Wouldn’t you like just a fraction of that? I will leave you to think about that. J
Sam (AKA the Social Yeti) is one of the WordPress and Social Media specialists. Sam runs several online enterprises, he is the person responsible for bringing this community of writers, bloggers, WordPress, SEO and social media specialists together to create bizzebee.
Sam is a dedicated family man who lives in the south of England with his wife 4 kids, 3 cats, 1 dog, 3 water dragons, 3 Geckos, 5 tortoises, a bearded dragon and a Snail.
You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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