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        A Home-Based Business Online
        How to find the right products to sell with your new internet business presence.

        a home based business onlinehome business ideas

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        But What Do I Sell?

        ?2021 Elena Fawkner

        So, you want to start your own online business. You know
        you have to create your own website, start your own ezine
        and generate traffic to your site before you can make sales.


         
        So far so good. But ... sales of what, exactly?  What do
        you sell?

        Fortunately, the options are many and varied.  Basically,
        though, everything falls into one of two categories ...
        products or services.  We're going to take a closer look at
        a few relatively easy options for when you want to get
        started and get started NOW.

        => PRODUCTS

        What kinds of products can you sell from your website
        assuming you don't already have something available?
        Your best bet is anything that can be delivered digitally
        such as software and information products.

        When it comes to selling software or information products,
        you have four basic choices:

        1.  you can create your own product from scratch, e.g., by
        writing a software program, a cgi script or an e-book;

        2.  you can join affiliate programs and sell products already
        created by other people and earn a commission for every
        sale;

        3.  you can join a multi-level marketing (or network
        marketing) plan; or

        4.  you can acquire resell rights for products already created
        by other people and keep 100% of the profit.

        Option 1. is a must-do.  Eventually.  But when you're
        itching to get started, you don't want to have to wait the
        3 or 4 months it takes you to write your ebook before you
        can launch your online business.

        Option 2. is great for a quick start but you're working on
        commission.  Someone else is getting the lion's share of the
        profit for your hard work.

        Option 3. is a good choice if you're a natural networker.
        For more information about MLM and whether it might be
        right for you, check out my article "Not MLM!  ... Why Ever
        Not?" at http://www.shelteredturtle.com/notmlm.html .

        Option 4. (along with option 3.) is where the real money
        is, at least compared to option 2.  Acquire the resale
        rights as well as the product and you're not working on
        commission any more -- you're working for serious profit.

        Where do you go to acquire products that can be
        delivered digitally with full resale rights?  There are several
        good sources but here are a few tried and true sources,
        each excellent places to start:


        => SERVICES

        What kinds of services can you sell from your website?
        How about advertising space in your ezine or on your
        website?  How about a members-only area of your site,
        access to which requires payment of a membership fee?

        => Advertising Space

        Since you really need to be publishing an ezine on a
        regular basis to stay in contact with, and generate, web
        site visitors, it makes sense to make money from something
        you already have to do anyway.  Selling advertising space
        is a good revenue-generator.

        Don't try selling your ad space until you have a minimum of
        1,000 subscribers or so.  Until you get to that point by all
        means offer free ads in your ezine though.  That's a good
        way to generate subscribers and get your readers used
        to seeing ads in your publication.  Ad swapping with other
        publishers during this period (and beyond) is also a good way
        to generate new subscribers.

        Once you reach the 1,000 mark, you can start offering
        your ad space for sale.  The days when you could publish
        an ezine with a classified ad section of 20 or 30 ads are long
        gone.  Ezine readers are much more savvy and discerning and,
        as a result, ezine advertisers are much more selective and
        will look for ezines that run few ads and which place them
        strategically amongst the content, or "meat" of the ezine
        itself rather than being stuck in a great glob that nobody
        reads at the end.

        Think also about sending solo mailings to your list as
        another source of revenue.  Be particularly circumspect
        when it comes to these mailings, however.  Solo mailings
        are very effective when targeted to the right audience
        and so advertisers love them.  Ezine subscribers have
        varying attitudes towards them though.  Some will
        immediately unsubscribe from an ezine that sends solo
        mailings.  Others will accept them so long as the ezine
        itself is worth receiving. 

        Personally, I don't worry about losing subscribers just
        because I send solo mailings.  The acceptance of solo
        mailings (which are, in my case, limited to one per week)
        is the price I ask my subscribers to pay to receive my
        ezine for free.  The advertising revenue I receive is how
        I pay my costs and make a profit.  If people aren't
        prepared to receive a solo a week in exchange for the
        ezine then they'll unsubscribe and that's fine with me
        because they're not prepared to make a fair exchange
        and were never going to buy from my advertiser anyway.

        There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to
        pricing your ads.  Basically, you want to achieve some
        measure of equilibrium between supply and demand.  If
        you have more demand for your ad space than supply,
        increase your prices until demand is in line with supply,
        do not increase the number of ads.  The more ads you
        run, the more you dilute their effectiveness for your
        advertisers and the less likely your advertisers are to
        place repeat business with you.  In other words, by
        taking a short-term increase in profits, you sacrifice
        the longer-term profitability of your business.  You're
        cutting off your nose to spite your face.

        Conversely, if you can't sell all your ad space, reduce
        your prices.  Try and get to a price point where the
        demand for your ad space is roughly equal to your
        supply.  If you have an occasional ad spot vacant
        don't worry - just run an ad of your own instead.  But
        if you regularly find yourself with half your ad inventory
        unsold and you're not running an excessive number of
        ads, this is a signal your ads are overpriced and it's time
        to reduce your prices or make the strategic decision to
        run your own ads instead of others'.  In fact, in many
        instances you'll make more money from your ad space
        by advertising your own products and services than you
        will from selling the ad space itself.

        How to set your price?  As I said above, there's no hard
        and fast rule.  Whatever brings about equilibrium between
        supply and demand.  My own pricing formula is $5 per
        1,000 subscribers for a single classified, $10 per 1,000
        subscribers for a sponsor ad and $20 per 1,000 subscribers
        for a solo.  That pricing structure is right for me but may
        not be right for you.

        Your pricing will also be influenced by how specific or
        general your target market is.  If you publish an ezine on a
        relatively esoteric subject with a small but highly targeted
        market, you'll be able to sell your ad space for a higher price
        than you will if you publish an ezine on a really general
        subject (such as "internet marketing") with an extremely
        large but also undifferentiated market.  For this reason,
        it's not the size of your list that dictates your advertising
        pricing, but rather how targeted your list is to the subject
        matter of your ezine and your advertisers' products and
        services.

        Similar principles apply when it comes to selling advertising
        space on your web site.

        Bottom line: advertisers want and will pay for results, not
        how many subscribers you have on your list.

        => Paid Subscriptions

        Paid subscriptions are another good way of generating
        income, whether they be for your ezine or web site.

        As far as your website is concerned, by utilizing password
        protection you can effectively cordon off areas of your
        website for paying members only.  This requires some
        technical set-up but your webhost will generally offer some
        sort of basic password protection capability.  For more
        advanced systems, you'll need to get hold of a specially
        designed cgi script for this function.

        When it comes to pricing your subscription services,
        although no doubt there are exceptions to the rule, the
        better approach is to charge a monthly access fee rather
        than an annual fee.  A monthly structure allows you to set
        a relatively low initial price, thereby making the decision to
        sign up more of a no-brainer for your subscriber, and it also
        gives you a recurring monthly income.  It's also possible to
        charge more overall than you could under an annual
        structure.  For example, most people would not hesitate to
        pay, say, $9.95 for monthly access to a site they perceive
        as valuable, especially knowing they can cancel at any time. 
        But those same people may hesitate if that initial investment
        was $120 ($9.95 multiplied by 12 months). 

        With the appropriate payment processor and software,
        subscription fees can be set up to be automatically charged
        to your subscriber's credit card each month unless and until
        they cancel.

        => THE ROLE OF CONTENT

        These are just a few of the options available to you to
        generate income from your own online business.  The bottom
        line with respect to all of them though is the quality of your
        content.  It doesn't matter how good your product line is if
        people have no reason to visit your site in the first place.

        So, put first things first.  Pick a subject matter for your
        site that you are passionate about.  Do the hard work of
        creating a truly valuable resource for people interested in
        the same thing.  Publicize it to death.  Publish an ezine on the
        topic, again with high quality content, to draw them to and,
        more importantly, BACK to, your site again and again and
        again.  Then, and only then, will you have a chance to get
        your product or service in front of them.  Then, and only
        then, will you have a chance to make the sale.

        There's no disputing that the main reason we go into business
        is to make money.  If you don't have this as your objective,
        then you're engaging in a hobby, not running a business.  But
        when it comes to doing business online, the reality is that you
        have to give before you can get.  So give your site visitors
        what they're looking for.  Do that and they'll visit you again
        and again and refer their friends.  Do that and you'll actually
        have customers to sell your products to.  Don't do that and,
        although you may have the greatest product or service in the
        world, no-one but you will ever know about it.

        Signup to Receive Our Free Home Based Business
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