The internet revolutionized the local business world. In 1989 you could place a Yellow Pages advertisement and get targeted calls from prospects. Sure it was expensive, but it didn’t matter. Consumers trusted the Yellow Pages for the information they needed. Business owners paid for what worked. The Yellow Pages were effective. Local business advertising budgets were well spent in the Yellow Pages. To grow your business, that’s where you had to be. The same can be said for newspaper advertisements. People trusted newspapers in a similar way they trusted the big yellow book.
Everyone knows the most basic rule in the stock market: "buy low, sell high". Buying stocks lower than where you sell ensures your survival as a broker, trader, or investor. If you can do that on a consistent basis, you can get a job on Wall Street - or better yet, start your own investment blog. But buying low and selling high is bigger than the markets. What is true for hedge fund managers is also true for business owners. Successful online businesses must find ways to buy something for less than they sell it for - on a consistent basis.
Airline pilots aren't born - they're made. Each pilot's story is different. Maybe little Jack takes a plane trip on a family vacation. The seven-year-old Jack passes the cockpit on his way to his seat. He spies the high-tech gadgetry, the pilots in their starched uniforms, and the small windows above the massive super-computer that commands the flying hunk of metal. Little Jack is in awe. Jack fantasizes about walking onto the flight deck and sitting in the captain's chair. He imagines radioing air traffic control, navigating the runway, and throttling the massive Boeing into the sky. He almost-naively imagines, "I could do that."
One of my friends is now learning the ropes of internet marketing. I'm a little further down the road than he is. As I thought about this whole process again, it made me wonder: How does somebody make money online? There are four ways that regular, everyday people make money online. These four ways - or a combination of them - is the foundation for any solid internet business. In other words, if you're just starting out and you have no idea where to begin, look to build your online business in one of these four areas.
Business models are a dime a dozen. Some work in one situation but completely fail in another. Markets are not all the same - but then again, that's what makes business fun and unpredictable. Find the right model for the right market and you have a winning business. Although not a business model, in the strictest sense, there's one concept that has been the foundation for many successful businesses in recent years: FREE. Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine, just released Free: The Future of A Radical Price. In his book, Anderson documents how 'Free' is taking over the world.
Words are powerful. Words launch armies. Words elect presidents. Words land you jobs and words convince someone to marry you. But words can do more than that - words can persuade you to take another step along a path where you ultimately pull out your credit card. Words convince you to buy something. And that's why we read this stuff: we want people to buy something from us - online.