Legitimate Internet Businesses

Every day, thousands of legitimate internet businesses are launched by people all around the world. A whole new breed of first-time entrepreneurs are making money online regardless of their age, education, background or gender…

Every day, thousands of legitimate internet businesses are launched by people all around the world. A whole new breed of first-time entrepreneurs are making money online regardless of their age, education, background or gender.

If you want to learn how to start an online business, the most important thing to remember is that if you’re presented with a business opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

While scores of legitimate internet business opportunities do exist, there are also countless scams. It’s imperative that you thoroughly research any opportunity before divulging your personal information or paying any money.

Be wary of one-page websites that make sweeping promises to reveal the secrets of making money online but do not actually provide any valuable information prior to your purchase. Of course some are legitimate but do your due diligence before spending money in this particular niche.

Starting a Business

If you are unfamiliar with how to start an online business, the process is actually very easy. There are now a huge number of legitimate internet businesses that take literally just a few minutes to start but have the very real potential to generate a respectable income.

In many cases you can start a business and operate under your own name without formally registering it (do your own research to be sure this applies to where you live). As a sole proprietor you are expected to keep records of your business activities and your online income must be reported.

There are essentially two ways to start a business online: you can either affiliate yourself with an existing product or service, similar to the concept of franchising or network marketing, or you can start your own business from scratch.


One of the fastest ways to start a legitimate internet business is to join an affiliate program. Essentially this means you will be promoting another company’s products or services. Every time someone you’ve connected with buys something, their purchase is tracked and you receive a commission on the sale. Revenue from an affiliate program(s) can be your sole source of income or just one component of your online business.

Another option is to learn how to sell information online. While this is still a relatively new concept to many, it has the potential to provide a significant source of income with minimal risk and start-up costs.

For some people, learning how to sell information is their best option to build a legitimate internet business it can be done so easily and on a part-time basis. It allows you complete control over what you want your business to be, how you present it, and how much time you want to put in to it.

Be Yourself

The internet allows you to succeed on your own terms and for many that means being able to truly be themselves. This is a major benefit to having an online business and precisely what makes some websites stand out among a sea of competition.

Feeling free to express yourself in your own unique way can bring a sense of self-fulfillment. Regardless of how weird, quirky or boring some people might find you, others will find you fascinating.

Of course not everyone will like you, your blog, your website or your products. But the good news is that there are hundreds of millions of people online, and some people will like you and willwant what you’re offering if they perceive it as valuable.

The bottom line is if you can connect with enough of these people, you can develop a profitable online business.

10 Great Reads for Internet Entrepreneurs

Recommended reading for internet entrepreneurs and infopreneurs:

Please note that I receive a small referral fee from Amazon if you click on any of the links below & purchase from Amazon.

1. From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur
by Stephanie Chandler

2. Finding the Sweet Spot
by Dave Pollard

3. YouTube for Business
by Michael Miller

4. What No One Ever Tells You About Blogging and Podcasting
by Ted Demopoulos

5. How to Write and Publish Your Own eBook in as Little as 7 Days
by Jim Edwards & Joe Vitale

6. The 4-Hour Workweek
by Timothy Ferriss

7. The E-Code
by Joe Vitale and Jo Han Mok

8. Outliers: The Story of Success
by Malcolm Gladwell

9. What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures
by Malcolm Gladwell

10. The One Minute Millionaire
by Mark Victor Hansen & Robert G. Allen

Hobbies That Make Money Online

The key is to find a niche that interests you and then use a combination of tools and approaches to develop it into a profitable source of income. Having passion for your subject can help keep you motivated during the start-up phase when you have yet to begin making money.

Hobbies can be an amazing and unexpected source of income. To find examples of hobbies that make money, try Googling ‘hobby ideas.’ You’ll find over a million websites and blogs talking about any hobby you can imagine, and lots you never knew existed.

Many of the websites are fairly simple and run by individuals who developed a passion for their hobby long before starting the business. Some of the best sites offer most of their content for free and prove a helpful resource to bookmark.

Making Money with Hobbies Online

There is an unending list of potential hobbies that make money online. Many hobbyists make money online by selling their craft or specialty product through their website.

Thanks to the many reputable drop-ship companies online now, many sites and blogs can also sell the tools and related to hobby. Working with third-party drop-shippers is a particularly nice way to make money because someone else is responsible for shipping the product to the customer.

Creating Information Products

More and more hobbyists are making money by creating their own information products and selling them online. This includes how-to pamphlets, booklets, special reports, ebook publishing, workbooks, audio recordings, video products and more. It’s never been easier to start an internet business and make money as an infopreneur.

For example, a painter might create a website that features free painting tips and basic tutorials. A content-rich site naturally draws traffic from the search engines, resulting in more interested visitors, exposure and sales. She makes money selling her paintings, but also generates revenue by selling paint brushes, paint, canvases and other tools through a drop-shipper.

She offers monthly online classes as well as ebooks, and workbooks, each dedicated to a specific painting technique. She has created a set of videos and demonstrates different processes step-by-step while at the same time having some fun with the audience. It is available as a digital download or mail-order DVD.

The multiple streams of income each contribute nicely to her monthly income, and she loves the process of making money while teaching others to paint.

Getting Started

Most people have some legitimate degree of expertise in at least two or three areas. If you’re not sure what you could do, look to the things you enjoy in your spare time for ideas.

If you’ve been pursuing a hobby for a while, that experience will help you establish credibility even if you don’t have any formal training.

Some of the best hobbies that make money are taken for granted. In most cases, the more personalized or obscure a hobby, the better its online income potential. Many hobbies that make money online use tools & accessories which can be sourced through online catalogues & drop-ship companies.

If you’re still not sure how your knowledge could be profitable, take a minute and reflect on the following questions:

What do you love doing?

What do people say you’re good at?

What do you know a lot about?

What do you like to learn about? What would you like to learn more about? How would you spend your time if you didn’t have to work for a living? Where would you love to travel? How would you love to travel?

These questions can help you uncover and evaluate possible niche topics. If you can match your passion and expertise with an interest and demand for that knowledge, you have the foundation for a legitimate internet business.

“Happiness comes when your work and words
are of benefit to yourself and others.”

Making Money Online with Accessories

If your hobby involves accessories or equipment which needs to be purchased (i.e. paintbrushes / scuba gear / gardening tools, etc.), you can earn money by referring people to specific websites or companies that sell those items. Commissions can range from 5% – 80% for referred sales.

This is the basic premise of affiliate marketing and network marketing, where people are compensated for generating sales through word-of-mouth referrals and product creators invest very little money in traditional advertising and promotion.

Sample Hobbies That Make Money

To give you a few ideas, here is a small sample of hobbies that make money (as featured at The Hobby Show 2009):

Avro Arrow
Bead Work
Board Games
Bubble Hockey
Card Making
Coin Collecting
Comic Book Collecting
Die Cast Collectibles
Doll Houses & Miniatures
Fantasy Games
Flight Simulators
Forza II
Hobby Clubs of all Kinds
Magic Cards
Military Models
Model Building
Model Trains
Mosaic Art
Murano Glass Jewellery
Paper Airplanes
Radio Controlled Boats
Radio Controlled Cars
RC Helicopters
Radio Controlled Planes
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Slot Cars
Sports cards & Memorabilia
Stained Glass
Stamp Collecting
Table Hockey
Table Soccer
Teddy Bears
Trivia Games
Video Games
and more…

The list of hobbies that make money is literally endless, and these are only a small sample. A popular hobby can still be profitable if you can find the right angle or presentation. Niche market research can help you predict how profitable your idea or hobby might be BEFORE going forward.

The key is to find a niche that interests you and then use a combination of tools and approaches to develop it into a profitable source of income. Having passion for your subject can help keep you motivated during the start-up phase when you have yet to begin making money.

Why Should You Sell Information Online?

If you want to start an online business with basically zero risk and minimal startup costs, you should consider learning how to sell information online. It is the ideal business model for anyone who enjoys writing and would like to build a business in their spare time.

If you want to start an online business with basically zero risk and minimal startup costs, you should consider learning how to sell information online. It is the ideal business model for anyone who enjoys writing and would like to build a business in their spare time. One amazing thing about a website or blog is that you can work in spurts, putting in time whenever you can – or taking a break for 6 months – without harming your business in the same way you would in a traditional bricks and mortar business.

Learning how to curate and sell information online is easy. It will take work to build up enough content to start making money but the process and work itself is straightforward. If you want to build an internet business and make money with information as an infopreneur you first need to decide on what your focus is. Almost all successful infopreneurs have a dedicated focus – a niche – for their content development. This allows you to target very specific niche markets and know that your audience is interested in what you are writing about. If someone is going to share their email address to join a mailing list they want to know what it is they’ll be receiving. A targeted niche helps them feel comfortable that any time you email them, the subject matter will be interesting to them.

The actual prep phase, getting a blog or website off the ground so you can focus on writing has never been easier. Literally, anyone with a bit of help (which is readily available) can lay the foundation to build upon. What gets tough is consistency – like 3x a week or more – adding quality content that is of value to readers. Even if you have a static website with good information, it’s necessary nowadays to regularly add content – usually via a blog – to help with your search engine optimization (SEO). The recommended minimum length of posts is 500 words but 750 is better.

People expect great content to be accompanied by great images. There are a ton of ways to make your site or blog look great. One of our favorite places for beautiful free images is Unsplash.com. But stock image photography is very inexpensive and will do wonders for first impressions.

Until you have a lot of traffic or emails on your contact list you likely won’t be making any money. While your content continues to grow you will begin looking for ways to drive traffic to your site. SEO is critical for organic growth via search engine traffic, but relatively inexpensive paid sources are also an excellent tool for growth. Both Google AdWords and Facebook advertising are proven methods with many saying the value they get with Facebook is significant.

If you feel insecure about these next steps, don’t worry! Learning how to sell information online is easy if you take it step by step. The most important step is to develop your content. The ‘Build It And They Will Come’ approach does actually work to a good degree. There is a saying online that ‘Content is King’ and it’s true. If you have poor quality information how could you ever expect to make money with it?

How Non-Profits Can Raise Money Online

Do you realize how powerful this type of fundraising approach can be? In most cases, non profit organizations can easily take advantage of the same tools, action steps and opportunities that infopreneurs utilize to make money online.

Traditionally, non-profit fundraising ideas involve public events and local media to raise money and awareness. This is effective, but it is also limited.

The internet has created a whole new world of opportunity for fundraising, with far greater reach than ever imagined.

Even if they don’t understand it, most people are aware that the internet has become THE best study and reference tool ever invented.

Organizations are now discovering that when you use the internet to provide helpful information to others, quite often there is a way to simultaneously make money without ever compromising your values or vision.

Do you realize how powerful this type of fundraising approach can be? In most cases, non profit organizations can easily take advantage of the same tools, action steps and opportunities that infopreneurs utilize to make money online.


A growing number of individuals and organizations are leveraging the internet to generate revenue from all over the world. This trend will continue as more people discover that it’s not only possible but also that it’s now relatively easy to do.

While most non profits have a website and use the internet regularly as a communications tool, it has yet to be embraced by the non profit sector as a revenue generator. The most common reason is that people simply don’t know how, and they wrongly assume it is still a technically challenging and complicated endeavor. The truth is that nowadays, with a little help, anyone who can surf the internet or check email can learn this.

The internet has created the perfect storm for inexpensive non profit fundraising ideas and campaigns. The benefits include virtually no risk, minimal start-up costs, and the potential to connect with millions of people.

Integrating the internet as a fundraising tool is a fantastic project for organizations to initiate, particularly since knowledge of computer programming or web design are no longer prerequisites to success.

With all the help that is available today, it really is feasible for even the most inexperienced internet users to make money online. Individuals are doing it and, in the years to come, more and more non profits will integrate ecommerce into their fundraising mix.


In-person fundraising events do something very well that the internet typically does not: they make it easy to build and maintain strong, personal relationships with supporters and donors in the real world. The only problem is that they are almost always doomed to a revenue cap.

Fundraising events are limited in their capacity to generate revenue due to:

1. The legal capacity of a venue
2. Geographical barriers (i.e. fundraising in a small town)
3. Finite amount of time and staff/volunteers
4. Low levels of public interest or awareness for the cause within the region
5. Using the internet exclusively as a communication tool and not also as a revenue generator

Many organizations have seen a decline in fundraising due to the economy. When cost containment options and reduction of staff or programs are exhausted, creative and innovative fundraising ideas become necessary.

In addition to support from foundations, corporations and government, the traditional fundraising model is built on strong relationships with donors, which requires the personal involvement of board and staff. While very personal and effective, it is only as available as the resources to implement it.


Whether it’s marketing or fundraising, the more people you can reach with an effective message, the more money you will make. The internet gives you the potential to connect with millions of people worldwide, some of whom will be interested in your cause, subject or area of expertise. Used strategically, the internet can become the most powerful, efficient and cost-effective fundraising tool in your entire organization.

The most astonishing feature of the internet’s potential is the scale – it’s inconceivably massive. Of the 1.6 BILLION internet users worldwide in 2008, 452 million spoke English. There is probably a niche market online for literally anything you can imagine, as well as tons of stuff you’d never dream of in a thousand years. With the right research and strategy, you can connect with enough of these people to generate revenue and contribute to your fundraising goals.


The internet is already being integrated into most non profit fundraising ideas and strategies. The top 5 reasons to use it as a fundraising tool are:

1. Low risk, minimal start-up costs and excellent revenue potential
2. Achievable for most organizations
3. Ability to generate and sustain passive income
4. Access to millions of people worldwide
5. Ability to generate revenue 24 hours a day


Below are the top 10 non profit fundraising ideas that organizations are using to generate online revenue.

Most of the strategies are not new – they have simply been adapted for the internet.

Each one has the potential to raise a lot of money and it’s easy to integrate more than one into a campaign.

Most importantly, every one of these non profit fundraising ideas can be developed and launched with minimal financial expense, or for free. Many organizations already have a lot of content and history to draw upon, and can quickly build a foundation to support these ideas.

The top 10 non profit fundraising ideas which leverage the internet are:

1. Donations
2. Online memberships
3. Newsletter or ezine subscriptions
4. Special Reports
5. Books or ebooks (i.e.: compilations, cookbooks, poetry books, short stories, drawings, calendars, photos, coffee-table books, how-to, resource lists, etc.)
6. Audio products
7. Video products
8. Guides, recommendations and referrals (books or other products or organizations related to your subject)
9. Joint ventures
10. Affiliate programs featuring or related to your cause or subject


With the integration of the internet as a marketing tool, non profit fundraising ideas become limitless. An organization can follow the same basic step-by-step process that individuals do to launch an online business.

Non profits often have a distinct advantage online thanks to their charitable nature and pre-established credibility in the real world. This can play a significant role building trust in a faceless and mostly anonymous medium.


Do you feel your organization could benefit from this concept but not sure how to begin? We’re here to help. We can clarify any questions you have and help you present the concept to your team. We can also help you research, develop and implement an internet-based solution that compliments your organization’s mission, image and values.

Planning an Event?

Bryan Pickell is a passionate and engaging speaker for conferences and fundraising workshops. He is also available for private consultation.

For further information, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you!