This article is spread over five pages:
How to find business ideas, domain name businesses.
Page 2: Online work, what you can do and how you can find it.
Page 3: Offbeat, unusual money-making ideas, making money just having fun.
Page 4: Unethical ways of making money
Page 5: Arbitrage, brokerage, finance businesses. Making money on eBay.
101 Adsense Alternatives
Arbitage Opportunties, Brokerage, Finance businesses, miscellaneous
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76. While most webmasters use PPC to refer to Pay Per Click old timers use it jokingly to refer to P*rn (where *=o), Pills and Casinos. Those are probably the three biggest money areas on the net and have probably made more millionaires than any others. But they are very competitive and are difficult markets to er, penetrate. However, there are lots of legal, legitimate opportunities here some of which are expanded on here.
77. Example of a pure arbitrage opportunity: For a while buying traffic via Google Adwords and sending that traffic to pages of little content and Google Adsense ads generated reasonable profits when done astutely. Sure, Adwords and Adsense are two sites of the same coin. But I did say you needed to be astute to recognise where the opportunities were and you need to test, test, test. There are still lots of contextual arbitrage opportunities about. Especially when you work across programs (e.g., buy traffic from MSN, sell to Yahoo).
78. There are a lot of arbitrage opportunities in the finance world as discussed below but if economics and finance talk bores you to death, there's sports arbitrage. Different online bookmakers may offer different odds on a sporting event. By taking the better odds at each bookie you could come out ahead irrespective of the actual outcome of the event. If you're really clever you could make a program to do this for you. Why don't the bookies adjust their odds based on what their competitors are offering? Because they have to balance their own books. Their prices are decided based on how their own punters are betting.
79. Hosting: You don't need to buy a lot of server hardware to provide a web hosting service. Many big hosting companies allow "reseller" accounts where you sell hosting plans to customers and the hosting company will host them all for you under your Reseller account umbrella. You get to charge customers as much as you want. Some Resellers provide value added services and charge more for these. At places like WHT you'll find that resellers sometimes sell their customers as a "bundle" i.e., you can pay some money to buy a reseller "business".
80. Related to the above is free hosting where you provide small website owners free hosting and in exchange you serve ads to all their pages to make the revenue to pay the hosting company and yourself. Early pioneers of this model are well known names like Geocities (now dead) and Angelfire.
81. Being a broker can be done in a thousand different ways. There are some entrepreneurs making healthy profits just by bidding for projects on places like elance and guru (and others) and farming them out to a bank of writers/programmers they use on a regular basis.
82. Trading from home is really catching on in many parts of the world. You don't need to be an expert on stocks & shares. You can trade on commodities, currencies, lots more. Trading futures allows you to leverage even small $100 amounts of capital into huge fortunes (or bankruptcy). I recommend the YTC books if you're looking to learn the ropes.
83. Gambling is a far cry from trading futures but a route to riches for many. No, not the traditional horse racing type of gambling where the only long term winner is the bookmaker. I'm talking gambling against other gamblers, I'm talking the numerous ways of gambling online (search). And there are a million books and ebooks that claim to "teach you how to win".
84. HYIP, or High Yield Investment Programs are just what they say on the tin. They are also highly risky. You invests your money and you takes a chance, but some pay as much as 100% per day. How do they do it? A very few are putting your money into investments with even better rates of return. Others are simply going to keep paying out the first few customers with investments collected from later ones.... and then they go bust. Pyramid style. Maybe the ones who make the money are the ones who get in early... or actually start HYIP programs.
85. What's it with eBay? You just can't get away from them. Their bulk "dictionary purchase" of ad terms from the Google Adwords/Adsense system means you find ads for eBay no matter what you're looking for, even if it's for toenail clippings or dead pets. Whatever the reason for their success you can join the bandwagon and sell your rubbish on eBay and convert a garage of old junk to hard cash.
86. And when you've acquired a fair amount of experience with selling your own rubbish, start selling others' rubbish. How to get your hands on enough trash? Place an ad in your local paper to do house clearances, or just buy stock from wholesalers in - yes, you guessed it - eBay itself. You can get anything from unused toasters to umbilical cord containers. A lot of ebay sellers are actually shopkeepers; they buy stock new from wholesalers and sell them in eBay instead of a physical bricks and mortar shop... and make a healthy living doing so.
87. You've now got a lot of experience buying and selling in eBay. It's time to write a book or ebook on how to use ebay to generate millions. It doesn't matter that you haven't made millions yourself. People still buy these books even if it's just to learn their way about ebay which can be quite daunting for some. And you can sell it on ... you guessed!
88. Don't fancy writing? Then set yourself up as an eBay assistant. eBay itself will send you people who need help with their complicated system. And you can charge them a commission.
89. Alternatively, setup a shop to accept goods from those who can't list them themselves. Yes, a physical shop. There are lots of them springing up all in big cities. The operation is simple. You take something in from somebody, sell it on ebay and retain a percentage for all your efforts.
90. Think building an ebay business is too much like building a normal business? If you've got the capital you can take the easy route. A lot of ebay "shop" (businesses) come up for sale in site-for-sale forums and with business brokers. The ebay username and feedback generally accompanies the business so you continue to benefit from accumulated goodwill (though the "transfer" is something that eBay may not approve of).
91. Opportunities to make money in eBay are limited only by your imagination. There's money in everything from making connections (putting people in touch with other people) to coming up with or commissioning software to make the average ebayer's life simpler or more productive (thousands of such programs already exist). There's even a business model involving just searching for and finding items that have been misspelt in the listings.
92. It's not just eBay. Any merchant big enough or third party affiliate manager program - from Commission Junction to Clickbank - has opportunities. For example, you can create an Amazon affiliate site.
93. Set up a proxy. People seem to want to surf at work AND access sites their IT system blocks them from viewing. A proxy allows them to get around that restriction. Some proxy services get by just on the advertising (as it's easy to get enormous page views in the proxy business). A very good one will even have people paying a few dollars each. There are several ways to monetise a proxy.
94. Enjoy networking? Social networking Web 2.0 style? Make money with it. If you build up sufficient reputation in places like Digg people will start approaching you to start some buzz on their company or their new product. At one point Netscape offered top "Diggers" a sweetener os $1,000 to move over to their competing service.
95. Selling databases of parts/directory listings/modified or value added DMOZ data/ email lists. The DMOZ directory is a massive directory put together by volunteer editors. And they give away their content for free. Kind of. You can download their database and combine it with other information - like phone number and postcode from Yellow pages- to add value / enhance those listings. You could then sell the enhanced product.
96. Find jobs for your friends. An easy way into the personal recruitment business. Know a friend who's just right for a particular job? Make the connection between friend and employer and you could get up to $5,000 for a few hours work.
97. Get paid for your unused computer cycles. Is your computer sometimes on while you aren't actually sitting at it? Then it's using electricity but not performing "work". Joining a distributed computing group like SETI lets you use that computing power to help reach some worthy/unworthy goal. However, you can also use those cycles to earn money by selling them to companies who have large computing tasks then can't do completely in-house.
98. Take the cap around: Do something nice. Provide some information that helps someone, perhaps someone grieving for a lost partner. Or info on how to volunteer to help orphans in Africa, or find an internship. Make it useful. Or just make it very funny. Then stick a donation button on there for people to support your work. You'll be surprised at how well a donation button works on the right type of site. No, it won't work on this page - or any page promising to make you a millionaire.
99. Start an article directory. Giving away free articles (with embedded links) is one way for webmasters to build incoming links to their sites. For other webmasters these free articles are a great way to fill out their otherwise bare sites. Be the middleman. Popular article directories make a lot of money from the contextual ads they post on all the free articles they are displaying on their site.
The 101st method is my personal favourite because I find it hilarious:
There was this bloke who bought an email list of one million email addresses. He sent half of them a stock tip that a certain stock was going up, the other half got the same message predicting that the stock would go down. 50% of them saw him proved right. He ignored the rest and split this 50% into two groups. Half got an email with another up prediction and the other half got the same email with a down prediction. He rinsed and repeated a few times till he was left with about 15,000 people who saw him get it right several times in a row. They were obviously very impressed. He then invited them to pay $5,000 each for a seminar with him on picking stocks! :)
I make a healthy living online and with multiple income streams (no I won't tell you how much. Remember, I'm not trying to sell you anything). I put this article together originally because friends and family kept harassing me to show them what I did for a living so they could do it too. I collected some of the ideas for things I had done myself, got some more from the thousands of site-for-sale threads (and detailed conversations I've had with those sellers) and threw some more obscure/zany ones in here for good measure.
May money just flow to you. If finances are tight right now, take heart - money happens, it's easier than you think. I feel very privileged to live in these interesting times, times full of opportunity, times where I've been able to give up my day job, work at my leisure, enjoy my kids growing up, retire decades earlier than I normally would and spend time writing this drivel instead of running the usual rat race. God bless the Internet and Good Luck. You CAN do it.