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With the emergence of the internet, a new way to do business was created. But, just like any other successful industry, the web was soon over-crowded with people hoping to get rich quick through this new medium. Seemingly endless scams bombard internet users wherever they go, and somehow many people still haven’t caught on – if something claims to make you easy money, it’s probably too good to be true!

However, there are many legitimate ways to earn money through the web. Whether it is creating your own site to sell (or resell) a product, creating/writing a blog, or simply creating a website to complement an already established business, effective use of the internet can provide a part-time or even full-time income. Not surprisingly, it takes hard work, ambition, intelligence, and creativity. But for some people, an internet business is a better fit for them than a traditional one. Almost everyone has a dream, at least every once in a while, of owning their own business and being successful. The internet makes it possible for anyone to make that happen.

But even though it is a new medium, an internet business still uses a lot of the basics. What makes a normal business successful? It needs to have a product or service that is wanted/needed by others. It needs to have effective advertising and marketing (on the internet, this means Search Engine Optimization, Pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, and other new techniques). It needs a base of operations (a big advantage on the internet – this base could be anywhere you want because of the virtual medium). It needs time and work and research put into it. Just because a business is on the internet does not mean it will be simple and easy. But a determined entrepreneur can capitalize on the accessibility and advantages of the world wide web.

Which brings us to one of the biggest advantages the internet offers. Many businesses fail because they do not have enough of one thing – capital. It takes money to make money, and even the greatest idea ever will fail if it doesn’t have the funding it needs to succeed. Fortunately, the internet eliminates many of the necessary costs of start-up. As already noted, an office or building is not needed because the base of operations is virtual. All that is needed is a domain name (maybe $10 a year or so) and web hosting (around $5-$10 a month). And advertising can be much less expensive – again, because of the unlimited virtual space on the web, the costs associated with time and space are diminished. And creative advertising, namely SEO and Social Media, can be found for as little as a couple hundred dollars a month, and can have more of an impact than other expensive forms of marketing.

Another benefit of the internet is that many times people are looking specifically for what you have to offer. When people have a need or want, they turn to the internet to find more information. If you can target those people, they will find you, and you will see success.
Just like traditional business, there is no formula or secret weapon that makes an internet business successful. The keys are the work and ingenuity that are put into it.

Jamie Bates
Online Marketing Director