If you have not heard of ReviewMe.com, you are living under a rock. ReviewMe is currently the smartest way to advertise on the net, as well as to make money as a blogger. For instance, last month, John Chow has made $4500 from ReviewMe.com.
Now, if you take a close look at John's blog and browse through ReviewMe reviews, you'll find out that a good deal of these reviews were written by Michael Kwan and not John Chow (this does not violate ReviewMe TOS in any way, it's perfectly OK).
Matt Cohen figured that the millions of people who love T-shirts might love them even more if they sported personalized designs. His company, Pennsauken (N.J.)-based ChoiceShirts, makes custom shirts using a fully automated process that keeps costs low and volume high.
Cohen was no stranger to the T-shirt business when he started his company with about $500,000 in personal savings in 2001. His family had been in the business for about 30 years, selling everything from T-shirt designs to heat presses. Cohen had learned about selling online during a previous job at an e-commerce company. He sold stock designs at first, but quickly realized that offering custom designs could set him apart.
Have a brilliant idea. Sell it to one of many idea brokers. This is how the process works. You submit your idea. Idea brokers evaluate it and see if it can be monetized easily.
If no, your idea is declined. If your idea has a good potential, you sign a contract, the idea is sold, idea brokers get commission, you get money. Not bad, aint' it?
The only requirement is that your idea has to be unique and you have to be the author.
The debate on whether a university education or general experience best prepares you for entrepreneurial success rages on. Mike Clare, founder of the successful beds chain Dreams will definitely side on the life experience side.
With a brother at Cambridge, a young Clare had something to prove – and prove himself he did. Two decades since opening his first shop in Uxbridge, Clare now boasts more than 150 stores across the UK with an annual turnover in excess of £160m and currently has his sights firmly set on the international franchise market.
“I was always coming up with little business ideas to make money,” says Clare. “While at college, I used to buy massive boxes of condoms and then sell them to the other students individually for twice the price. I’ve just always loved the excitement of trading.”
As students at Stanford University, Lily Kim, Shu Lindsey, and Adrian Mak had trouble finding the precision pens they liked to use, the Japanese-made ultrathin ones with tips half the width of the average ballpoint.
They started importing their own in 2004 and turned their passion into a business, pooling $9,000 in savings to launch JetPens. They built a customer base by e-mailing fellow students and contacting artists they found on the Web.
JetPens now sells 10,000 pens and other items every month. Among its best-sellers are a pen with a tip fine enough to write on a grain of rice, novelty erasers (some that look like packs of gum or pieces of sushi, another designed to never run out of corners), and the "popcorn" pen, with ink that puffs up on the page, a favorite with scrapbook fanatics.
What started as an easy elective class at Oostburg High School turned into a home-based business for Lisa Johnson.
That sewing class gave the Lawrence mother of three young daughters the skills to create baby carriers at home that she sells from her Web site.
“I work at home. My girls are my first priority,” Johnson said. “That comes second.”
Johnson didn’t have an interest in sewing from the start. “Everybody took home ec because it was an easy class,” she said. Still, she didn’t anticipate using those skills as a way to make money.
Turning any cell phone into an eager personal scribe, Jott transforms spoken messages into text. After signing up for the service online and validating their phone number and email address, users dial Jott’s toll free number (877-568-8486), say ‘me’ or the name of a contact or group of contacts, speak for up to 30 seconds and then hang up. Jott transcribes the spoken words into writing, and sends the message to its destination as an email or text message. Transcription usually takes a few minutes, or up to 20 minutes during peak hours. The original audio message is retained, and is linked to in the email for reference.
Wedding Mapper is an online tool that allows people to map out their wedding and all events associated with it so that friends, family and photographers can locate places easily on an interactive map. The mapping tool is free to use, and doesn’t take long at all to set up.
The site is supported by ads, which can be removed for a one time fee of $9.95. That membership also includes a custom URL, ability to add links to wedding registries or other services, and file uploading for wedding invitations that can be printed out.
Sometimes all it takes is one smart move. Darren Barefoot, annoyed by a swell of media coverage about the virtual world Second Life, created a parody of it-- getafirstlife.com. (The subhead: "Your world. Sorry about that.")
Barefoot launched his site in January, submitted it to recommendation sites, and sent it to a few bloggers; it worked its way up Digg. Soon he was enjoying his own little windfall: 350,000 visitors in 30 days, and roughly $1,000 from Google ads--ironically enough, ads for the myriad businesses and services that cater to Second Life users.
Pick a Topic That You’re Passionate about
The worst thing you can do is blog about a topic because it pays the most. While keywords like Asbestos Cancer may pay a lot, they’re really boring to write about. This blog covers topics that I’m passionate about - cars, fine dining, technology, Internet, finance, and money. I never get bored writing about this stuff. When you’re passionate about your topic, it shows through in your writing and readers connect with it.
Blogs attract like-minded people together. Chances are really high that the person reading your blog is passionate about the topic you’re writing about. If you’re not passionate about your topics, the readers will see that and won’t stick around.