Many people – probably including you if you are reading this article – are curious about how to make money online. A Google search for "make money online" brings up 171,000,000 websites and this number is growing daily. With the financial crisis and the privileged rise in unemployment, many people are looking for ways to make money online and at first glance you might suspect that all the opportunities are now gone. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Quite simply, your ability to make money online is only limited by your imagination.
As of March 2009, over 1.5 billion people around the world were on the Internet and this number is increasing every day. In much of the world, those online also tend to have at least some money, as buying a computer and paying for online access continues to limit access to those able to pay. Further, with the advent of secure money transfer systems such as PayPal (an original idea that made many people wealthy), these Internet users with money are much more willing to engage in commerce online. This means that the Internet provides a global market of some 1.5 billion people, the majority of which have at least some money and a willingness to spend some of that money online.
The real question is how to tap that intense market. The basic starting point for making money online is the same as it is for starting any business: finding some product or service that others will pay you to provide. Once you have an idea of something you can produce, provide, or do for people, the next step is to learn how your chosen market works on the Internet. At this point you can adopt a preexisting business model; you can take the basic premise of an existing model and modify it to create some unique feature or functionality, or you can opt to create an absolutely new model for engaging in commerce online. Creating new and original models for buying, selling, or providing a service online tends to lead to the creation of most "Internet Millionaires," but this is not always the case.
Like any other business, the amount of time and energy you throw into your business has a direct correlation with the ultimate success of the business. There are thousands of "get rich quick" opportunities online, but realistically if you want to be successful online – just as in the real world – you will have to do a lot of work and have patience. Neverheless, there are thousands of people around the world today that make their money exclusively online, and many thousands more that make a healthy second income online.
To join the ranks of those making money online, the first step is to figure out what you are good at, what you like to do, or what you would be willing to do. After you know what you want to do, start exploring the Internet to see how other people that share your talents, skills, and interests are making money online. Once you see how they are doing it, sometimes you will want to follow suit, or perhaps you will have a better idea that you can try. The Internet and Ecommerce is expanding rapidly and there is no reason to believe this will change; so to take advantage of it, you have to get started learning the mechanisms of the Internet and of your chosen market.