Make money on the web: 5 sophisticated ideas

In the summer of 2008 a halt. A well-dressed man came into my office to tell me about a new investment opportunity. It was an investment in a new type of online business and when he explained the prospect he was going to leave me with, he made a very memorable comment. My objection to his investment offer was that the Internet is a difficult investment vehicle because there is no real underlying asset to tie the investment capital to. It’s just ones and zeros (computer code) unlike other investments that could be sold at worst, an investment on the internet did not have an underlying asset to offer as collateral to its investors.

Well, that’s obvious, but here’s the memorable response he gave to my impromptu objection. He said sure it’s true, but why did Google pay two young men who worked in their garage $2 billion for a video-sharing website “You”?

Google doesn’t have the expertise to create its own video sharing website? Couldn’t they have one built in less than a day?

Why would Google invest so much money to acquire that business? ( I replied, I really didn’t know.

He answered, because YouTube has an underlying asset. That asset is the 20 million member names that actively use the site. He went on to explain that this is the underlying asset and a membership list of up to 100,000 is quite a tradable asset.

In the end I didn’t invest in this website, but that conversation always stuck with me.

1) To make money on the web, the ultimate end goal for any serious business person is in the list of loyal users of their website. The list is the main underlying asset of any online business, as the YouTube/Google acquisition clearly illustrates.

This first point is number one on my list of 5 sophisticated ideas to make money on the web. Work to build a list!

2) Do you have a digital camera? Did you know that there are websites that will allow you to upload your happy photos, where webmasters can download your photo for a fee? The more images you have in your portfolio, the more money you can make and believe me, they don’t have to be high end photography, many webmasters prefer gritty, less polished images.

3) Can you make crazy videos? Have you ever uploaded to YouTube? Why don’t you go over to ClickBank and pick a product and make a fun video on the subject of the product and put your affiliate link at the end of your video? If you get a lot of results, you can expect a decent return on your time!

4) Can you write a book? Go to cafe express, they will print one copy or a million copies for the same price. Get a serial number for the book and list it on Amazon, then get to work marketing it through blogs and social media. New York Times #1 Best Seller List…here we come!

5) Sell paddles! During every gold rush on Earth in the past 500 years, from California to Australia, many who arrived with the gold rush generally went home empty-handed, with only a small percentage finding gold. But those who set up shops selling blue jeans and shovels, cleaned! This same financial strategy can be applied to the Internet. Look for the next trend and don’t join the crowd, but see what things they will need and sell those items to them!

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