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The 3 Most Profitable Streams of Internet Income

Jul 7, 2008
There are many ways to make money online but most of those fall within three main routes for making money on the Internet. I have simplified these 3 routes from the perspective of someone looking to start or expand an online business in order to give you a general grasp of the information. As you progress you will find that some products & services will overlap into more than one category but don't worry about that for now.

Many volumes could be written about each of these areas so I would recommend you invest some time to find out more. Right now, I just want you to get familiar with these to help you decide what type of business model you want to use as we move forward. The 3 methods for making money on the Internet include:

* Direct Sales
* Affiliate Sales
* Ad Sales

Direct Sales

This is the area that most people think of when they think of starting an Internet business. In this method you are selling the product directly to the customer and processing the payment through a payment processor of your choice such as Paypal, Clickbank or your own merchant account.

There are two main types of products you would sell through the Direct Sales, physical products and information products. Physical products can include books, shoes, perfume or anything that requires shipping. Information products on the other hand are usually downloaded or accessed online and require no shipping. Electronic products can include e-books, software downloads, Membership Websites, coaching, teleseminars, special reports, etc.

Affiliate Sales

An affiliate is the term used to describe someone who sells another company's products and services on the Internet. There are thousands of companies that will pay you a commission or referral fee for any sales or leads that you generate.

Once you signup as an affiliate for a company, you will be provided with a special link to refer people to their Website. When someone follows this link and makes a purchase (or starts a free trial, etc.) the company will know that the sale was referred by you and they will pay you a commission. This is a completely automated process. Many people make a very lucrative living by marketing other people's products and services as an Affiliate.

Ad Sales

You can either sell advertising space on your Website, Newsletter or Blog directly to the advertiser or you can signup with an Advertising Network like Google Adsense who gets the advertisers, sells the ad space and handles all of the advertiser's questions & complaints and gives you a percentage of the advertising fees for everyone who clicks on the site every month.

Once you sign up with an Ad Network you will be provided with a small piece of code that you or your Web person adds to your site (it's super simple and takes about 5 minutes). Once the snippet of code is added to your site it automatically puts text ads (like the ones you see next to the Google search results) on your site. These text ads match the theme of your site and are displayed in areas that you have chosen. The Ad Network also rotates the ads so that the ones that make you the most money are displayed most often. Google's Adsense program is the leader in this field and many people are making an incredible amount of money with this.

Each of these three methods has its own positive features and potential drawbacks. Take a look at how all three could be applied to your business and you can turn your hobby or idea into an Internet business.
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