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Can You Really Make Money Online?

By Denise Hall
Posted Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The internet is a vast world of information, products and services for everything imaginable. Can the average person truly become financially successful? How do you even begin?

First, find a service or product that interests YOU. If you believe in what you are doing it will be reflected in your business promotions. Never try to sell something that you wouldn't buy for yourself.

If you don't have a product of your own there are plenty available for you to purchase online with resale rights. Be careful here, though. There are plenty of scams available, too! Always do your homework and check out any program before making a purchase. When in doubt, use your instincts to guide you. If it seems like it's too good to be true, it probably is.

But doesn't it cost money to operate a business? That's the advantage of the internet. It costs much less to run a home based business on your computer than it would to open up shop in a "real" store or office. It's also much more convenient because you can work around your other activities.

I recently surveyed many people who operate internet businesses and asked how much they've spent on their programs and advertising. Most have spent less than $50 to start their businesses and between $20 and $50 monthly for advertising. That's certainly very low cost! Some do everything for FREE!

After choosing your products or services, how on earth do you promote it? The internet has millions of websites. It's easy to get lost. Research is the key to answering this question. There are many places to advertise for free or very low cost. All you need to do is look around the internet.

Join safelists and newsgroups, such as Yahoo and MSN groups. They are completely free of charge and normally allow daily advertising. Keep in mind that you must join groups whose purpose is advertising business opportunities or products. Don't join a craft or cooking group and try to advertise your business. That's considered SPAM.

Subscribe to every ezine and newsletter you can find. Many offer free weekly ads to subscribers, as well as low cost paid ads. According to those who answered my survey, the best results come from ezine advertising. Why? Because they have targeted audiences. This has also been my own experience. However, most of us also use safelists and/or newsgroups.

Tip: Don't use ezines just for the free advertising. They contain a wealth of information to help you start and build your business. After all, that is their purpose! And I've found the publishers to be wonderful people. Very helpful! Don't be afraid to e-mail them with questions.

OK, now you have your products and you've found places to advertise. How often do you advertise? How do you write your ads? Once again, research is the key. See what others are doing by reading ezines and messages posted in groups and safelists. If you find it difficult to write your own ads that produce sales, you may want to invest a small amount of money in an ad-writing service. Many business websites and ezine publishers offer these services.

Persistance is of the utmost importance when promoting any business. Advertise, advertise, advertise! People are skeptical about purchasing a product or service from an unknown person or company. You must get your name out there for the world to see! Daily advertising to as many places as possible provides the best results. So grab a cup of coffee after dinner, sit down at the computer and ADVERTISE!

Take advantage of all the free publicity you can find. Many ezines will publish your profile or biography just because you subscribed. At the end of your profile you can add a signature file. Readers feel they know a little bit about you and they are likely to visit your website to see what you are offering.

Now to answer the question which is the subject of this article. Can you really make money online? The answer is YES! If you want to get rich quick, rob a bank! But if you want a true business be prepared to work for it. Internet marketing is no different than any other business. If you want to earn a living you'll need to work.

In the grand scheme of things, putting in some time and effort to build your business can be very rewarding. It's a great way to earn a second income and possibly replace your current job. Just ask the numerous people I surveyed who have done just that!

Thanks to all who helped with my research for this article. Good luck to all of you, as well as the readers, in your business ventures!

About the Author
Denise Hall is the publisher of Home Business on a Budget Newsletter. Her weekly publication contains helpful tips, articles and resources. To subscribe or visit ( This article may be reprinted in its entirety with this resource box included.


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