Money Making Ideas on the Internet

Money Making Ideas on the Internet

How to own, operate, and organize a money making Internet business.


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What are the Different Types of Money Making Businesses on the Internet?

David Peterson - 2006

There are 4 basic types of businesses that you can operate on the Internet. Each of these 4 types has a different level of expertise needed from you the business owner. ALL OF THEM CAN EARN YOU MONEY!

The 4 types of Internet money making business ideas are:

  1. Multi Level Marketing Programs (MLM)

  2. Affiliate Programs

  3. Reseller (eStore distribution) 

  4. Manufacturer Direct (eStore distribution)

I placed the 4 business types in this particular order to give you a gauge on the level of Internet expertise that you will need to know. Also the marketing expertise that you will probably need tends to follow this order as well. Let's look at Internet expertise and Marketing expertise as "barriers of entry" to an Internet business.

A "barrier of entry" is simply a term that means how hard it is to start a business. This term applies to both ebusinesses as well as traditional brick and mortar retail stores as well. Internet expertise deals with the infrastructure needed on the Internet and marketing expertise means everything from creating advertising campaigns to budgeting for those advertising campaigns. There could be many other barriers of entry besides Internet and marketing expertise, however let's just focus on these two and how they relate to our 4 business types. 

Internet Expertise:

  • How hard it is to produce a website?

    • Have you ever created a website?

    • Do you have the money set aside to have one created for you?

    • Are you willing or even better, do you have the time to learn how to maintain and make changes to your website?

Marketing Expertise:

  • How many other people are selling your product?

    • Do you have the marketing budget set aside to compete with all of the other players?

    • Do you have a competitive advantage that will make it easy for customers to choose you?

    • Do you want to be responsible for designing the creative aspects of an ad campaign?

If we look at the 4 types of businesses we can now explore how simple or how hard each of these two expertise are going to be.

Multi Level Marketing (MLM) - An MLM program is a way for you to sell a product or service while you are a member of a team. You have a team above you and if you are successful at the MLM you will create your own team below you. Everyone in the team makes some money when the product or service is sold. The absolute ease of entering into a Multi Level Marketing ebusiness is why they are so popular today. In terms of Internet expertise you typically don't have to know anything about the World Wide Web. The MLM's parent company does all of the work for you. They create the website, they give you the tools to edit and change the website, and the cost to join the MLM is typically minimal so no money has to be "set aside" for this type of Internet business. The opportunities with MLMs come in the form of marketing expertise. Typically most MLM ebusiness owners start late in the game so there can be literally thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people selling the same thing you are trying to sell. The great news is the MLM parent company has probably already created the ad campaigns and can explain exactly how to run those campaigns. The two major areas of focus will be that you will have to set aside some marketing dollars to compete and your only real competitive advantage is how much time you invest in the ebusiness. 

Affiliate Programs - An affiliate program is your site selling someone else's product or service. An example of an affiliate program would be if you have a hobby website running and you want to sell a magazine or some other product related to your hobby. Choosing an affiliate program in this example is simple. Just go to and choose from one of a 1,000 of different affiliate programs and payouts.  The Internet expertise needed for an affiliate program can be fairly limited. Today it is very easy to create a basic yet very beautiful website. As an example at for less than $10 month you can have a professional website up and running within a few minutes. You do have to maintain that website and make content changes to that website but typically companies like have the tools available for that purpose. The marketing expertise side of the equation can be a bit trickier.  The tricky part is no one is really around to tell you how to create a marketing campaign around the product. Also there can be hundreds if not thousands of other affiliates trying to sell the exact same thing. I personally love affiliate programs when I can get in very early before everyone else jumps in and starts selling the same product.

Turning money making ideas into a money making business is a race! 

You are in a race with Success and Failure

  1. When running this race will you succeed in your business before going broke?

  2. When running this race will you succeed in your business before your family says "enough is enough?"

  3. When running this race will you have enough working capital to pay your new vendors and your old mortgage?

  4. Can you see the finish line at the end of the race? 

  5. Will you know when you have won or lost the race?

Do the 5 questions above worry you?

Order Been There - Done That Now!

Reseller - Personally this is my favorite type of ebusiness. Basically this is a business where some other business creates the product and you just sell it over the World Wide Web. Normally you don't even have to touch the product, you just sell it and tell the manufacturer where to send it. I have been very successful at it with my and my estores. The Internet expertise varies depending on how sophisticated the website becomes. As an example the store is a template website that was purchased for about $50.00 and I just added the pictures and content. The site was created from scratch with a simple design that can be updated easily. However in both cases if you did not know a lot about HTML (HTML = the language used to create websites) then neither type of the design would work for you. It would be too frustrating. If you don't know HTML it's really not a problem just go to and use one of their template ecommerce setups. Just as with the affiliate program above the marketing expertise needed to be a reseller can be steep. Unless you get in while the product is new you will probably run into plenty of competition. This competition will require you to constantly create new marketing campaigns and to spend quite a bit of your hard earned sales dollars on those campaigns. 

Manufacturer Direct - The difference between a manufacturer's direct program and a reseller is who holds the inventory. If you are running an Internet Manufacturers Direct business out of your home then you will have to stock those products you sell in your home and ship them from your home. Your Internet expertise will be just like the resellers above. Your marketing expertise will also be just like the resellers above. The main marketing difference is that you typically have to pay for your product BEFORE you make the sale with this type of business, so you will have to have money "set aside" in order to begin this type of ebusiness. The other main marketing difference is that you typically have complete control over how you market your ebusiness. Since you bought and paid for you product the manufacture has limited control on how and where you advertise. For example if you want to price the product well below what everyone else is charging on the World Wide Web then the manufacture direct approach is really the only type of model you can choose. All of the other 3 types want pricing control so they would probably stop doing business with you unless you conformed to their pricing model.  

In conclusion there are several factors to look when trying to get ideas on what types of money making Internet businesses to choose from. I personally like being a reseller but I have also made money as an affiliate as well. If you are serious about an Internet business my suggestion would be for you to read my book Been There - Done That. That book covers everything from advertising to staying focused on your business. 

Good luck on bringing your money making ideas to the World Wide Web!


David Peterson

David Peterson

Author of: 

Been There - Done That

David Peterson's Search Engine Optimization Guide

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