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Monday, November 17, 2008

Bad Economy = More online earners?

There's no need to go on a long rant about the state of the current American economy. We all know the situation, and surely, we've all had our moments of anger, despair, rage, depression, ignorance/bliss and every other emotion possible. What does need to be discussed is where the current American economy leaves the average person who is trying to work from home, maybe using an affiliate marketing program or other internet marketing strategy to make money online.

Explaining Discretionary Income

The money a person makes can be broken down into categories. Everything you have left after you pay your taxes is called your disposable income. That's money you have left that you can actually buy things with and pay bills with. From that disposable income there's a smaller slice called discretionary income. That's the category that is getting written out of people's budgets and that's the category which can affect your affiliate marketing programs.

Discretionary income is money people have and put towards unnecessary items. The definition of unnecessary or extra can change from person to person and source to source, but it's basically anything that's not essential to living. So even if you think you "need" that new jacket for the winter, if your old one is still serviceable than you don't actually need the new one and the money you spend on it falls into the discretionary income range.

Discretionary Income is Vital for Affiliate Marketing!

Obviously when times are tough the first things to go are the things that people don't really need and fall into their discretionary spending. That's a huge problem for those who are making money online with affiliate marketing. More often than not, the products that online marketers are advertising and receiving commissions on are discretionary items. Whether it's shoes, cheap travel deals, sports memorabilia, collectibles of other kinds or anything else, those all fall into discretionary income for households around the country.

When people cut their discretionary income budget, whether out of necessity or out of a desire to save more, less of these products are sold. That means less visitors to your website, less buyers for the products you are advertising and less money going into your pocket from your affiliate marketing or working from home strategy as a result.

What can online marketers working from home do to continue to be successful?

1. Diversify your online marketing - Just as diversification is important when you invest (you prevent huge losses by spreading yourself around, so one stock can't destroy your entire savings if it falls), diversification is also important for affiliate marketing. Branch out into new products and try to find products that are essential for everyday life, as opposed to luxuries.

2. Research target markets better - Research is always important when it comes down to affiliate marketing. You may find you have the right product and the wrong target market and are wasting your efforts. Research into the demographics least affecting by the current American economy problems and find products that are tailored to their interests.

3. Find better deals - More expensive products offer higher commissions in affiliate marketing programs, obviously the more money spent, the more money you in turn make. But cheaper priced items will sell more, especially in tougher times with the American economy. Turn your attention to more bargain products and cheaper offerings to keep making money online.

There isn't one easy solution out there for those working from home, trying to make money online with affiliate marketing. The falling American economy is affecting everybody adversely. But you can always try to change your strategy around to be more successful. You have to stay ahead of the game, in every aspect of life, instead of permanently playing catch up.

Earn and Write

One of the easiest and more entertaining ways to make money working online is to take paid surveys. Companies pay for your opinions on their products, from what you have used to products you might purchase.

Getting paid for your opinion is as simple as signing up with paid survey companies and taking surveys. Most paid survey companies will send you an email with a link to go to the survey. Once you complete the survey, you are paid, usually by check or PayPal. Some surveys are paid through points that you can redeem for merchandise or awards, although this is not as common.

The one main problem in looking for businesses who pay to take online surveys is that there are businesses who are scamming people into sending them money. While there is nothing wrong with paying to join a survey membership site or purchasing information such as a book or ebook showing you who pays you to take surveys, you should never pay to actually take a survey. Legitimate survey companies pay you, you don't pay them.

You can sign up with as many survey companies as you want to. The more you are signed with, the more chances you have of getting a survey which means more money in your pocket. Most surveys take 10-30 minutes to complete.

There are a lot of reputable companies who will pay you for what you think. One of the most popular ones is PineCone Research. They pay a flat $5 per survey that you take...not bad at all for something that might take you ten minutes to complete. The downside is that you cannot sign up with them on their website.
You have to find a banner somewhere online that they have placed on another website and sign up from there. But the banner is always moving. And they give no hint as to where on the vast World Wide Web this banner could be at any given time which leads one to wonder who anyone ever signs up with them. In the past, it's been reported that banners have been spotted on sites pertaining to freebies, bargains, shopping codes, and the like.
One of the most important things about taking online surveys is that most of these companies require that you not talk about the surveys to others. Some of the surveys offered are for new products that are not on the market yet, so telling others about these products could be a grounds for being removed from a survey panel. Be sure to read the confidentiality clause, if there is one.

Most of all, being paid to complete surveys, giving your opinion, is a fun way to make extra money and let companies know what you think of their products. Most of all, it's profitable!

Ebay Earns

There are so many different ways to make money online that many of them have yet to be explored yet. While the majority of ways to make money online are for people who are well educated marketing, advertising and computer languages like HTML, which is used to make things like websites. To many people, the option of making money online doesn't even come up because they think their not smart enough which is simply not true. Anybody can make money online given that what you are selling is a necessity to people, its something people need and or want, for instance a cell phone, or cell phone accessories.

The first thing you need to do if you're going to be successful online is find your niche. A niche is a category or, something you're going to thrive off of. What you need to do from there is decide how you're going to sell your product.

For step two, you will need to figure out is how to get your hands on your product. How will I get my hands on a bunch of cell phones that I can resell? Seeing how making them is not a very good option, how about buying them from a cheap source. Craigslist and Kijiji are great for this exact thing. You simply search "cell phones" in your local area and ads for selling cell phones will appear. The reason Craigslist and Kijiji are great for this is because many of the people selling on the two sites want quick cash now. In other words, the sellers are not willing to wait for an eBay auction because they need the money right then and there. Arrange a meeting spot with the seller and offer to pay cash, sellers usually like that.

Step three is simply go home, take a picture of your newly acquired cell phone and put it up for bid on eBay with a starting bid of more then you paid for it. I recently came across a used Nokia camera phone on Craigslist for $60.00, I searched the exact same used Nokia camera phone on eBay and it sold for $110.00, a profit of $50.00 for just the one phone.

Buying and selling using Kijiji and Craigslist is a great way to start off an online business. Remember you don't necessarily need to use cell phones, any electronics in general work great such as video game systems or IPods. If you can make roughly $50.00 in profit per sale you make, this is definitely one of the best ways to start off a business or to get some extra cash.