1 Find a niche to help real people.
Look for real problems to solve, like losing weight, staying healthy, or gaps in a popular product line. “Nice to have” sites like Facebook and Twitter look attractive, but they are much higher risk, and a thousand fail for every one that succeeds
2 Position yourself as an expert.
People tend to buy from people they perceive as “experts.” Expert status is no longer a formal degree or certification. Today it more often means a “trusted friend” who seems real, visible, and doesn’t “push” products. Don’t hide behind a website with no address, picture, or direct contact information.
3. Automate to the max.
Take advantage of software tools to automate routine business functions, like taking and delivering orders. Provide website forums to help customers solve their own problems. Use free e-commerce software and services like PayPal before building an expensive customized solution. Generate revenue around the clock.
4 Use the Internet to outsource staff.
Hiring virtual assistants for each specific project can be a lot more efficient and cheaper than hiring and managing employees. Start with sites like Elance.com and Guru.com for specialized tasks you can’t do yourself. Pay others to handle small stuff, and keep your time available for bigger priorities.
5. Let your audience help with content creation.
Audience contributions, like product reviews, discussion board conversations, and comments on your blog are invaluable because they create more credible content and attract more money from advertisers. Even more valuable are success case studies and testimonials.
6. Define a business that is scalable.
First, pick an opportunity that has a worldwide appeal, like eco-friendly products. Then implement automation on production and tracking so you don’t need hours of manual work on each order. Finally, use customer feedback or promotions to attract more and more customers with less and less effort.
7. Focus on recurring revenues.
A great way to make more money more easily online is to replace one-time sales with automatically renewing subscriptions. With a stable base of subscribers, this can mean a continuing revenue stream from newsletters, support, or advice on demand.
Thanks to Mark Zwilling at Forbes for this article.