For very little cost, you can sell a product online that hasn’t been selling well offline. Once it is set up, it takes virtually no work to maintain and monitor. Even if you only get a few sales a month, it is money that you wouldn’t have otherwise!
Let me give an example from my own experience. Back before I took my first business online, I advertised my book, “Secrets of Buying and Building Your Specialty Car on a Small Budget,” in “kit car” magazines (there were only two) for three years, and made a full-time income doing so. After a while, the ad rates jumped too high and the market was getting saturated with my product, (I was the only person writing a book on such a subject) so it just wasn’t worth running the ads anymore.
I put the same book on a simple web page, did a few reciprocal links with related kit car sites, and announced my presence on the two kit car e-mail discussion lists. The result? It still brings in over $1,000 per month automatically. I don’t do anything to maintain it (I haven’t touched it or even paid attention to it in over 2 years), and it still generates $1,000 in profit every month. It’s not much, but I don’t do any real work for it.
It is an old book that was not profitable, and not being advertised anymore offline, but because I put it on the Net, it now earns me $1,000 on autopilot each and every month. It’s not a lot of money, but it is icing on the cake. If you can get a few products like this, you can generate a full-time income very easily.
Be prepared to change your advertising concept a little and adapt it to the Internet. For example, in the kit car business, the customers are what marketers call “picture people.” In magazines, using pictures in your ads increases the cost of the advertising. On the Internet, though, because there is basically unlimited space, you can really take advantage of images. In fact, when I advertise in newsgroups, I let everyone know that there are a ton of pictures on my site. Just having images at your site is a way of getting traffic.
This pitch enticed kit car enthusiasts to come and check my site out. The philosophy is to give the target market what they want.