How to Make an Extra $500 a Month Online
What would you do with extra money every month? If you’re looking to fatten your wallet, you may want to consider an online business. Many online businesses can be started with little to no overhead costs, giving you the chance to try something new without large financial risks.
Start an Online Business
What are you most knowledgeable about? It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert in bicycles, vintage typewriters or origami. There’s a market for it all. Make a list of your hobbies and areas of expertise. Research the various online businesses and websites in your niche to get a feel for possible opportunities.
What Do I Need to Start Selling Online?
Once you have decided what to specialize in, you will need to write a list of your business needs. Here are some items you may need to consider:
- Products: What will you sell? Will you need to buy stock or materials to ship to customers?
- Storage: Will you need space to work and store your products?
- Storefront: Do you want to create your own website and store, or do you wish to use an online marketplace?
- Shipping Supplies: Items such as envelopes, boxes, labels and packing materials can add up quickly.
- Business Email Address: It’s best to create an email account specifically for your business.
- Business Accounts: You may need to open a new business bank account to receive payments and make purchases. A business credit card or online bank account such as PayPal may also be needed.
- Business Licence: You may need a business licence if you operate under a name other than your own. It’s also important to check tax implications.
- A Business Plan: A business without a plan is bound to go off course. It doesn’t need to be complex – a simple guideline of your needs, goals and how to accomplish them can help keep you on track.
- Advertising: Will you need to advertise? How will you market your business?
How do I Start?
Once you have a business plan in place and something to sell, you will need to build a niche store. You can start small and simple and plan to grow your business as you build experience.
For example, let’s say you love to read and find used books. You could build your online selling business a few different ways.
To start small, you may decide to find books with a high resale value and become a seller on Amazon. You can start as an individual seller and use the Amazon Marketplace system to list your books, allowing customers to easily make a purchase. Once you sell a book, you need to ship it. Amazon takes care of the payments and details for you, charging you a fee for each item.
Another option is to sell your books using an online bookstore’s buyback program. Although harder to find in Canada, some stores offer to buy your used books directly from you. You may get a lower price per item, however you sell all accepted books at once. All you need to do is enter the information online and ship them off, using their free shipping labels. This business model can work well if you have a large volume of used books.
A third business model may be to open your own eBay book store. This online marketplace gives you easy access to building a storefront, posting your listings and processing your sales. Customers are plenty, but so is the competition. You can list as many or as few books as you wish, giving you lots of flexibility.
The final business model we’ll touch on involves building your own online book store. With your own website and shopping cart software, you can create a specialty store, allowing you to specialise and target specific buyers. You may wish to build a book store for parents, focusing on parenting books and children’s literature. You could build a niche store specialising in original editions of science fiction novels. This model is more work to set up and market as you are on your own, but all of the profits are yours to keep.
There are more options for the book seller, including using several venues at once. These strategies can be used for selling a variety of products – it takes time to decide which online venues are most appropriate and profitable for your area of expertise.
What If I Don’t Have a Product to Sell?
Listing products and filling customer orders isn’t for everyone. If you are more technologically inclined, you may wish to explore the area of advertising and affiliate marketing.
When creating your own website, you have access to the various paid advertising programs. By adding ads onto your site, advertisers will pay you to put up their ad. The busier your website is, the more you get paid.
Some businesses allow you to post their products directly onto your website, creating your own mini store. When someone selects the item on your website, they are redirected to the other company’s main site, where they can make their purchases. Since they came through your website, you get a percentage of the sale. This allows you to create a storefront with products without having to process and ship orders.
Can I Really Make any Money?
Starting an online business can be a profitable one. Profits will start slowly, but with time, patience and a niche area, you can build your business and create an online income. You won’t see $500 profit in your first months, but it certainly is possible to get there with some hard work.