Internet marketing has changed millions of lives for the better, and given people like me the ability to earn a living working from home. As well as the potential for great profits, making money on the Internet gives you a flexible lifestyle and the option to work the hours you choose. Education and background have little impact on your chances of success, and you can start at any age between sixteen and eighty! ‘How can I make money on the Internet?’ has to be the question I get asked the most often, so in this article I’ll explore the options and tell you the skills I think you need.

Internet marketing is a very broad term of course. You could be marketing your own bricks and mortar business, such as a pizza restaurant, using a website and social media. You could earn a living as an affiliate by marketing the products and services provided by others for a share of the revenue. Once you have some experience, you could even sell your Internet marketing skills and expertise and work as a consultant to other business owners. It’s important to have an idea which direction you want to go in or you’ll end up running in circles. Over time your business may diversify, but you have to start somewhere.

My background is in professional photography, so my early Internet marketing activities involved building a website and using social media to generate leads and enquiries for my wedding and portrait services. Over time I realized that I could write articles about photography and use them to attract people interested in the subject who were willing to buy cameras, books and courses. My affiliate marketing business has now overtaken as my main source of income. Over the years I’ve taught myself many technical aspects of Internet marketing, including SEO, and I now offer these services to other businesses.

What’s The Best Option For You

Only you can know the best way to start if you’re interested in making a living from Internet marketing. There’s a lot of help out there, but you have to ask yourself what your own experience and skills are best suited to. Are you a student looking to make a few hundred dollars a month on a part-time basis? Or are you ready to quit the nine to five and build an online empire capable of generating fifty thousand dollars a year? Once you’ve thought about this, here are some of the main ways to make money from Internet marketing.

1) Blogging and video blogging.

One of the great things about making money online is that you can start with little or no investment like I did, and you follow your passions to make a living. You could start a blog about anything from cake decorating to growing bonsai trees and monetize it to generate income. If you don’t mind appearing on camera, you could start a video blog or your own You Tube channel.

2) Selling ebooks.

Selling digital downloads like ebooks is another great way to make money online. You could start with a single ebook selling for a few dollars and build an empire distributing thousands. You can sell ebooks created by other people as an affiliate, or create your own if you have some knowledge about a subject.

3) Selling physical products.

Thanks to Amazon’s affiliate program it’s easy for anyone to set up an online store selling millions of products. My photography websites generate income by selling everything from lens cleaning kits for a few dollars to high-end digital SLR cameras for a few thousand. I don’t have to hold stock or deal with shipping or customer service, I just collect the money. Selling t-shirts online has become massive over the past year, and you can sell pretty much anything you choose to.

What Skills Do You Need?

If making a living from Internet marketing was easy, why isn’t everyone doing it? Some people may lack the basic skills, but I believe more just lack the self-belief or motivation. A lot of people dream of the kind of income and lifestyle it offers, but they’re too lazy or skeptical to take the first steps. Some of the core skills you must have include the following.

1) Organisational skills.

I’m not saying you have to be a qualified project manager, but it’s essential that you can organize yourself and manage a series of tasks if you want to make money online. A project like building a website or creating an ebook can be daunting, but it’s actually quite easy if you break it down into steps.

2) The ability to focus.

If you’re the sort of person who gets distracted by every ‘shiny new object’ that comes along it can be very difficult to achieve anything in the world of Internet marketing. There are always new ideas, new techniques and new promises from gurus, and you need to able to filter them out and stick to your goals.

3) Some basic technical skills.

I learned this lesson the hard way. Most web hosting services make things very easy for you in terms of setting up domains and building websites, but it really helps if you have some core technical skills. For example, you should know how to upload files using FTP. One of my websites was hacked a few years ago, and I lost a lot of money in the process of getting it back online. I hired several freelancers along the way, and it would have been far easier if I had the necessary skills myself.

4) Writing skills.

Yes, you can outsource content creation, but I prefer to keep things within my control. Writing for the Internet isn’t complicated, and it’s something you can learn as you go along. Being able to produce your own articles and blog posts will save you a lot of money. It’s important to grab the reader’s attention with a headline, and it’s worth reading a book on copy writing to help with this.

Becoming an Internet marketing powerhouse is more about having focus, drive and determination than anything you can learn in a text book.