Perhaps the most obvious way to earn money online is to have your own website. Its the most versatile vehicle any entrepreneur could hope for, you could have a website for your existing company or small business, set one up to sell other people products and services, you could publish books you've written or ideas you have as a blog or website. These are just a couple of really basic ideas but the versatility of the web is far greater than i could explain on this site. Suffice to say that whatever idea you have you can probably achieve it online!

So lets look at some basic ways people make money from websites and/or blogs. One way is to use your site as a sales portal where people can fill in an order form, pay for their purchase and await delivery. Now this is very common and does work very well, I assume, but if, like me, you dont have a product this approach is kind of lost on us. One way of dealing with this issue is simply to sell other people's products. There are so many people selling so much stuff already, why add to the competition pool unnecessarily? I'm not saying shy away from selling all together, just sell something thats already been developed and marketed, preferably by a large corporation, and earn commission on your sales. Although it sounds like being a regular salesman or woman, its pleasingly not. I hate sales, but i love setting up websites. Marry the two and you get sales websites instead of a salesman. And yet another way of making a website profitable is to publish anything of value that you've written, or a friend or family member for that matter, offer them a percentage of your profits for the copyright to their material. Although you could sell such publications, in my view its rather unlikely. Anyone who actually finds your site probably knows a little about using the internet so they could probably find the same info you're offering for free elsewhere. The reason i mention this route is because the internet is all about traffic and conversions, you need targeted traffic with specific interest in what you're offering to visit your site and either purchase what you're selling or accomplish whatever other goal your site has in order to make you money. The key to getting this targeted traffic is content!

Content is king on the internet. One of the primary reasons, amongst others, that google and facebook are both so successful is because they provide users with precisely what they want, or as close to it as possible if the requested information is unavailable. Google in particular has turned targeted marketing into a science, the way that the google ranking system works is by a vast set of highly complex algorithms which figure out in a very short time exactly what a user could be referring to in a search request and even suggest alternate searches, similar requests or even the correct spelling of the word or phrase you intended to search for initially. The more relevant your site is to any particular search term or phrase the higher it will rank when searched. This is not to benefit web publishers at all, its how Google ensures its customers are getting the very best searching experience available online.

So in ensuring that you have valuable, relevant content on your site you will be sure to rank highly with search engines and thus will enjoy constant traffic flows. But what about the fact that by publishing a book online you're basically giving it away for free to anyone who wants it? Well, firstly, its a great way of ensuring constant traffic to your site as mentioned so now that so many people are visiting your site to read a chapter or two before work ends, you need to convert that traffic in money. This is where advertising comes in, as mentioned earlier, everyone has something to sell online, thus a lot of advertising is required. If you have the traffic and others have the ads, make a joint venture of it. Register with Google AdSense or Bidvetiser as an ad publisher and start displaying ads alongside the valuable content on your site. More on this below.

So in summary, the best place to start and set-up shop, so to speak, is to get yourself a website or blog. You can purchase a domain name for around $14.95 per year which is really peanuts or if like me you're really when broke you start there are numerous sites that offer free web space. They generally have a nice configurations tool so you can set up and adjust your site to your tastes and often have many great templates for you to use. All of the sites I've created so far are free sites, like the ones just mentioned, all done through www.synthasite.com its extremely user friendly, has great tutorials and useful functions as well as support for html code which is required for Google analytics and ads. Check out the Websites and Blogs section for more info.