Starting an Internet business can help provide a second income to your household, give you extra spending money for fun or supply a full-time income that isn't directly subject to the whims of the economy and job market. The many options available for starting an online business can be overwhelming and confusing, but the top Internet business opportunities generally fall into three areas. These areas rank high because they're inexpensive or free to start, and you can begin making money within days of launching the business.
Affiliate marketing is an Internet business opportunity that lets you promote other people's products or services and earn sales commissions. As an affiliate marketer, you get to choose which products or services you promote and how. You can promote products through an online website, for example, that's set up to operate like a regular e-commerce store, or you can simply advertise the products directly through online newspapers or search engines.
As an affiliate marketer, you do not have to provide customer support on products ordered, nor do you deal with shipping, product refunds or returns. Each time sales are made due to your promotional efforts, you earn a percentage in sales commissions. Affiliate marketing businesses can be launched overnight, with no initial cost using free online resources.
Free online resources include free blogging websites such as Blogger or Wordpress, social networking sites such as Facebook or YouTube and free classified advertising sites such as Craigslist.
Freelance writing is a versatile Internet business opportunity, because you can sell your writing services to clients directly or use your writing skills on your own website or blog. When writing for your own websites, you earn money by selling advertising space to pay-per-click search engines such as Google and Yahoo or by selling the ad space directly to companies whose products or services match the topic of your website.
Many freelance Internet writers earn additional money by placing relevant affiliate advertisements on their websites, offer custom writing services to clients on a contract basis or write reports and electronic books to sell directly to their website visitors.
E-Commerce is the online version of running a retail store. You sell products online directly through your own business website or through partner networks such as eBay Stores or Amazon shops. PCWorld states that, "Thousands of merchants use Amazon to promote their goods, giving Amazon a cut when items sell." Merchants like this setup because they can sell practically anything and they don't need to maintain a website of their own or deal with complicated credit card processing technology.