So you want to start a web business

I understand your concern of becoming involved with almost anything on the internet, because you could very well lose money, time and resources. And, unfortunately, a great many business ventures that are out there are nowhere near as profitable or as easy as they appear to be, or are pitched to us to be in ads, emails, websites and links we see. Many require significant investment upfront, something the average man or woman can not handle. Sometimes it is hard enough to get the bills paid let alone think of investing or doing something else to get yourself climbing a ladder that might be able to lift you out of the hole we all seem to be in, low wages, hard sells, and more in that vein: Trying to live the American dream when many others are trying to profit off those of us at the bottom trying to make our way up.

Those deals, schemes and ventures are nothing more than what you feared they were, scams. They will take your money, send you some sort of outline for a business they read somewhere else on-line, and that is that. You have what you hoped to have, information on how to make money on the internet, but once you read it through you realize it is worthless, ten years out of date, fabricated, garbage.

I think that is where you are. Except, you are asking questions first, that is smart.

There are two things I know of that you can do that will generate traffic and sales over time. They are not instant get rich schemes, as I mentioned they will require work on your part, but they will get you into a second income, small at first, that you can work into a larger income over time. You can do them in your spare time while working your regular job, and they cost little to no money to start up.

The first is writing: You might say that you have no real skills as a writer, and maybe you can’t write the great American novel, but you can write instructional manuals, how to books, based on knowledge you personally have. It isn’t so hard to do. It doesn’t have to be rocket science either. And if you are a good writer maybe you do have the great American novel inside you. You can’t know until you try.

Writing: Writing is not a get-rich-quick venture. It takes time. I have a friend who looks at it exactly the way you should. It is a little something on the side that pays dividends over time. A sale here, a sale there. People are big on self-improvement, self-help, DIY projects now, and that information can sell in written form.

This is a link to an instructional book I wrote. I sometimes give this one away free and it helps to sell the others in the series: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/484498 . This is not a complicated book. I did a guitar build and I took pictures. I went and looked at other guitar books. How are they written, how are they put together? And I followed the pattern. All the writing and other material is my own. Notice I did something I know about. I did not simply copy another book, I did my own. Sticking to what you know can help you in your writing. You are not constantly researching, trying to understand this or that thing. And, you may be surprised how much you do know about some subjects. Maybe you have done carpentry work. Maybe you have done small engine repair. Maybe you are a model train enthusiast,  there are dozens of things that you know more about than I do. And that is what you are aiming for, something the public might be interested in learning about.

Fiction: If you can write it is not so difficult to write something that could turn out to be popular. Right now Zombies are popular. The Walking Dead is one of the top rated shows on TV, so it would make sense to write something Zombie based. The next example is just that. A series of books I have written that are Zombie based that sell well. Again, I sometimes give away the first book to get readers to buy the third and fourth books. This is the link to the first book in that series of books: https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/37057

You will notice two things immediately. First: Look at the download numbers. Those are free downloads, and the sales on the other books in the series prove that the system I employ works. Second: Although this series is in my name, I do not write most of what I write under my own name. I use a pen name. It places a shield between myself and the internet. And, like anything else, a shield between you and the internet is good in most cases. If people really want to reach me they can. If publishers are interested in my work it is pretty easy to read the Legal Disclaimer in the book and find my real name, in some cases, or my websites and track me down. But scammers and slick schemers don’t want to take that time. If they can’t easily scam you they go on to someone else who is easy.

So, plan one. Write. This will not make you rich overnight. This will provide you with a second income over time. You have to work at it like anything else, but it can be done. And it costs nothing but time. There are hundreds of places to submit your book to once it is done. Yes, it will take some learning to get it into the formats they require, but it can be done for free. You don’t have to pay anyone anything, and some places will even provide traffic for your books, like Smashwords, Amazon or Barnes and Nobel. Yes, you can sell there, and they will list your books absolutely free of charge.

Plan Two: Open your own E-store. This is also not so hard to do. Yes, there are scammers out there that will make it sound extremely hard, but if you pay them X amount they’ll sort it all out for you. Most likely they will take your money, enter your email address in the eBay store sign up and tell you that you are done. And, you are, except you can not sell anything at all because you have no way to get paid. For that you will have to set up a PayPal account.

As hard as they can make it seem, you can actually be set up to sell on eBay or Mecari, using PayPal, in just a few minutes. It isn’t that hard, but why do it? Why not open your own website with your own credit card processing and keep the money yourself?

The straight forward answer is that you can do that, but it will cost you. You will need a website with a business account, not one of those cheap sites that claim to do everything for $4.95 a month. No, you will need your own Business account, which means your own server set up. That is the only way to go because if you do not have your own server you will have to run all the scripts and software installs yourself. A sever comes set up, many are already setup with store software you can install too, and then, after you are approved for a merchants account on the internet, you can set up your store. All of that is going to cost money. The server account, the store software, and unless you have spent a great deal of your life working on the internet as I have, you will need a tech for some work, $100.00 an hour to start.

Then you will need to get traffic, customers to your new site. They will not buy once you do get them there, because they don’t know who you are. For all they know you are a scammer just waiting to take their money. Research has shown, and from my own experience I can back it up, that the average internet shopper will need to see your name, your website, on average of three time before they will actually consider it. That translates to a lot of investment of time to build a reputation people will trust and buy from.

On the other hand, your eBay or Mecari account will cost zero to implement. The names are established and trusted. You will not have to go out and drum up customers or business, you will get customers and traffic from them delivered to your door, although it won’t hurt to also add links and tweet about your links. So it costs nothing to implement your own store and begin to sell.

The fact is that I set the entire thing up with zero money from my pocket. To do it you need a bank account, a legal address, an email account and that’s it. You can begin selling.

I guess that should give you a few things to think about. I imagine you have heard of other ways to make money on the internet too, but I can tell you that very few of them are worth your time. Someone will get rich, most likely the guy selling you on the information, but probably not you.

Setting up an eBay account:

Before you can sell you must have an eBay and a PayPal account. I’ll cover the steps involved in setting those two accounts up and listing your first item. The process should be hitch free, but occasionally eBay and PayPal both change pages up, have alternative pages for different browsers, etc., so keep your common sense working, look at the pages that load, follow the information given and the prompts. If you get stuck or something doesn’t work, let me know.

Go to https://www.ebay.com/sl/sell

Follow the prompts, read what is presented. It would be wise to read the user agreement instead of just agreeing to it.

If you follow the prompts and submit your information, open your account, that will register you with eBay.

You now need to set up your PayPal information, that is why we stopped here. If you have a PayPal account we can proceed, but you need to have one ready to go before you can become a seller and list your first item.

Set up a PayPal account: Go to www.Paypal.com/ Choose the “Sign Up” button on the screen. On the page that appears you can choose between a personal or a business account. Simply follow the prompts, input an email and password. At the opening screen click on the My PayPal icon upper right of screen. The main account screen will open and you will probably be offered a guided tour to explain what you are looking it. Take the guided tour and when you are done come back to that main entrance area once more. You will see there is a number on your new icon, usually a 2 or a 3 (Steps left to complete). Click the icon and give the balance of the requested information. Be prepared with your bank information, Home phone and Mobile phone. Enter that information. Don’t go further than that initial setup.

Back to eBay to link your existing Paypal account. You are ready to sell now.

Go to My eBay once more. If the page does not come up directing you how to sell, choose Sell an Item from the Sell list, left hand side. That will guide you through the process of listing your first item with eBay. Make sure you have images ready. Must be high res, at least 1600 size for width. Use eBay’s prompts to list your first item. At the end you will be prompted to verify your information. Be ready to answer an automated call from eBay. Take the pin code they give you and enter it for verification purposes. That will do it. You are now an eBay seller. After this when you list items there will be no verification process to go through.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION!

Okay, so you can sell on eBay now. What else should you know? Plenty. First, your account is limited because it is a new account. You will most likely be limited to selling very few items, maybe 10 or so, and the dollar amount you can list is also limited, maybe under a thousand to start. Also, when you sell an item you will not immediately receive that money. Paypal/eBay/Mecari will hold it for a few weeks, usually until the customer has received their item. So be prepared to pay for the shipping and wait on payment for items for a while. You should be able to see the logic in this. If not for this people could open accounts all day long, take the money and play that game until someone complained and eBay shut down that account.

As you make sales and prove yourself as a seller you will be able to list more items, and you will receive your money as it is paid, in other words as your item sells the money will be deposited directly into your account.

Okay, realize that things do change, so with eBay, PayPal and or Mecari there may be new steps, or steps added after I post this. In any case, the results are the same. These are actual ways to earn money that I know will work because I use them.

Think about reading this again. Did I ask for money? No. Did I tell you that you need to pay some sort of fee to buy a brochure that will tell you the rest of how to do it? No. That is the point. I know it is hard to believe that free information might actually be worthwhile, but it is true. You can go ahead and pay for this same information, if that makes you feel better, but that will not be what makes you money; doing the work is what makes you money. I honestly don’t know of a single thing that will make you money without investment of some sort, time, money, etc..

I hope this helped or inspired you, Dell

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