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How To Get Into Almost Any Computer Business
This mini-book of mine shows you examples of how to get into almost any computer related business including; blogging, websites, audio, photo, video, and game production.
1. What Should You Do Online?
2. A Guide To Blogging
3. A Guide To Making A Website
4. A Guide To Home Business
5. A Guide To Audio Production
6. A Guide To Video Production
7. A Guide To Photography
8. A Guide To Game Development
Chapter 1- What Should You Do Online?
It's the question everyone asks themselves before going into online business. The Internet has become a place of HUGE income potential over the last few years. Now you're wondering, "If it's such a great place to make money, how come so few people are doing it?". There are alot more people than you might realize making huge amounts of money online. Just about every website on the internet has Ads on it. Thats right, those irritating banners at the top of your favorite site, trying to make you do offers for a free Television. Lots of people click those, and every time it is clicked, the web owner(s) make money on that click. I'll go over how you can make money from this strategy in my next chapter on blogging and website making. Now, if you're not the person who wants to make a website or blog, there is still a huge potential income for you. If you're talented enough, you can make a ton more money than blogs and websites. Audio, Video, Photography, Gaming, Software, Computers, it's all the future. It's no secret that people like comfort, and people are willing to pay to be entertained with your product. No matter what you want to do, all of the things covered in this LONG article, are things that will only grow in potential as entertainment becomes the main source of society. So Read on, or skip to the chapter that covers what you want to learn. I've gathered this info since I was Nine years old, and after all these many years, I am just beginning to reap the benifits. It takes work, and dedication. And if you have that, you can be something great.
Chapter 2: A Guide To Blogging
Over the last few years, the internet has absolutly exploded with blogs. Heck you've probably seen specials on the news about blogging. So what is blogging exactly? Basically it's just a watered down website, which makes it really easy to use and make changes each day. Why would you want to create a blog? Blogs are a great way to make a splash online because you basically get a free website, with no ads. Places that offer free websites always put their own ads on the page, so they can still make money on your website they gave you. Most blogs don't have ads on them, which entitles you to put your own on it.
How To Make Money
There are many ways to make money blogging. First and foremost, is whats known as affiliate marketing. This kind of marketing is one of the most popular forms of money making on the web today. It even pays peoples livings in many peoples cases. So how does affilliate marketing work? Basically you allow a company to advertise on your site, and you get paid for it. Most affilliate deals allow it to where you get paid per click on their ad from your site. Now this may not sound very profitable. (The pay per click can range from .25 to like $1.00 for starting affiliates. Im not a hundred percent sure on that, but if I remember right, that was the standard last time I looked. What you have to aim for is making your blog be seen by the masses. Just because you have a blog on the internet, doesn't mean it is going to show up in google's search engine on even the first 10 pages. You have to advertise your blog. One great reccomendation I have is joining online Message Boards (Forums). Make a few friends, and then put up a post asking what they think of your blog or something like that. That used to score me hundreds of extra views for each of the forums I put them in.
Get Your Blog and Decide What To Do It On
So you like the way blogging sounds right? Now it's time for the hard part. First, you need to setup a blog with a good blogging company. The ones I can personally reccomend are Blogger.com (Great for beginners) and Wordpress.com (a little more advanced). There are others like Typepad.com and of course a Myspace blog. But the first two I gave, I feel are the best. And of course they are free. Blogger even has built in support for Google Adsense. Which is what I will discuss in the next part of this chapter. Before that is discussed, you need to get an idea of what you will blog about, which is what keeps most people from making successful blogs. Don't create a blog on your life (unless you do something really interesting) because people don't typically care to be honest. The best way to go about it is to create a niche blog. A niche blog is a blog created around a centered topic, like Video Games, or Arts and Crafts. Creating a site like this brings in people interested in that topic, and if you have interesting enough articles, they will come back often. You MUST update these types of blogs regularly, about 4 times a day will suffice. Do you think Perez Hilton's blog made him a millionaire because he updated it once a day?...........No. It takes work. The other type of blog I can really recommend requires you to be smart. Yup, you have to know something to make this kind of blog. Do you know how to draw well? Make a blog on how to draw things. Do you know how to program? Make a blog about programming. Have great ideas on how to make money? Make a blog about it.
So where do you get the affilliates for your advertising? Believe it or not, the answer has been right under your nose for sometime now. Ever been to E-bay? Scroll down to the bottome of the page, and click Affilliates. There you go, sign up an account and put their ads on your site. Go to all your favorite sites and look at the bottom of their pages for how to become an affilliate of them. Most major websites do this. The other type of affilliate marketing I reccommend is the most popular. Ever go to your favorite site, and see a box that says ads by google or something like that? It's called google AdSense. Basically you sign up for Google AdSense and become an affilliate of google, which is an affilliate of a ton of other places. AdSense only displays ads relative to what your site is about. Which is why it is important to find a niche for your site.
Like I've pointed out, all the guides I put in this article are pretty basic ways to get started in the online industries. So this is a basic guide to blogging. From here you can go wherever your success takes you.
Main Points To Remember About Blogging;
Find a Blog Company that satisfies your needs. (ex; blogspot.com, wordpress.com)
Make a niche blog that centers on a kind of content. (ex; Video Games, Arts and Crafts)
Find Affilliates to team up with to get paid on a payperclick basis.(ex; Ebay.com, Walmart.com, Google Adsense)
Keep updating your blog at least 4 times a day, bringing current, interesting content on your subject.
Chapter 3- A Guide To Making A Website
So if making a blog is so easy, why make a website? They work essentially the same way, both use affilliate marketing to make money. The thing about a website is, it can be expanded to be much bigger than a blog. Most blogs that become really successful, switch over to being a website eventually. The more content you have, the larger and better organized site you need. And if you wan't to start an online business, a blog is out of the question. One thing that needs to be realized about a website, is that it is something your really can't do for free and still make money on it. All the many places on the net that give your free websites (Tripod.com, Freewebs.com, ect.) all put ads on the site they give you and basically prevent you from putting your own ads on it to make money. They also make you use a subdomain. So instead of "Scottsreallycool.com" you site would be something like "Scottsreallycool.tripod.com" This makes your website look REALLY unprofessional and I highly reccommend you don't even try it as it is just a waste of time.
Get A Domain Name and Hosting Account
So here is basically the first step. Find a company that offers Domain Names and Web Hosting. What is a domain name? www.google.com. That is a domain name. It is important to have an actual domain name instead of a sub domain name, like "www.scottscool.tripod.com". Domain names either cost a flat yearly fee, probably around $6.00 to $10.00, or come free with your web hosting account. There are so many places to do web hosting it isn't even funny. So now I'll clear up which ones are the best for what you may need.
If you are a beginner that needs help building your site
www.1and1.com (These guys will host your site and give you a free domain name for only $4.94 a month, my highest reccomendation.)
Yahoo Web Hosting (I can't remember the exact address, look it up, it's worth it. Yahoo gives you the unimaginable UNLIMITED amount of space for your site and is only $11.95 a month.)
www.Tripod.com (They aren't the best by any means. Their prices aren't all that great and you don't get a whole lot of disk space, but they have a really good website builder that I like alot.)
If you are building you own website and just need a place to upload it to the internet
www.bluehost.com (These guys seriously give you a TON of space for your website for an extremely good price. I think it was either $4.94 or $6.94. You get an over a Terabyte of space for that tiny price.)
www.hostgator.com (I think their prices are about the same as Blue hosts, and you get a little less space, but I have heard alot of people like their service.)
Ways To Build You Site
There are three main ways to make a website. The first (and easiest) is to use a the online site builder that one of the beginner hosting sites I listed offers. These site builders let you do all your site building without any programming knowledge and you do it all directly on the website while it is already on the internet. This make it very fast to create a website, and it looks good too considering these websites give whats known as templates. Templates basically build the design of your site with the click of a button, all of the sites I listed in the beginner section offer them.
The second way is to build the site yourself using whats known as a WYSIWYG editor, a.k.a What You See Is What You Get. My reccommended editors are Ewisoft Website Builder, and Web Page Maker. They are both really easy to use, and require no programming. They both also have good template designs, but also let you build your own design from scratch. Once you have a website built with them, just click the publish button in them to send them to the domain you have at one of Advanced hosts I listed above. Its really as simple as that.
The third way is the most expensive way, but can also make your site stand out BIGTIME. If you really thing your site is going to do well, you might want to hire a Website Designer. I never did use one, but I've seen some of their work and it really does look good. If your interested in this, I reccommend just typing in "website designer" in google and looking through Google's sponsored results, (to make sure you get a legit company). Designs can go from very cheap, up to around $10,000. So choose what you need.
What Should I Do My Site On?
Thats entirely up to you. I will point out that once again, you should find a niche to build your site around. Choose a center point of content to use. The problem still remains though that most of the really good ideas have already been done to death. Mabey you want to make a Video Game website. Ign.com and Gamespot.com, and Gametrailers.com basically have those sections dominated. Sure you can make a decent site that might generate some viewers, but what can you offer to make your site different from the thousands that already do that same thing? Think of content, or ways you can differientiate yourself. Offer contests, free stuff, ways for the community to interact, interesting videos or something like that.
Main Points of Making A Website
Decide what you site should be about, and a good design for it.
Find a reliable hosting company. (ex; www.1and1.com, www.yahoo.com, www.bluehost.com, www.hostgator.com).
Build a website around a niche using either the online editor with the hosting company you are using or an offline editor like Web Page Maker.
Find ways to make your site stand out.
Integrate Affilliate marketing into your site.
Chapter 4: A Guide to Home Business
Home-based business....it's what everybody wants to do. Why not? You get to work from home, it takes much less work and money than opening a retail store, and its easy to make money. There are many difficulties involved too though. Where are you going to get products cheap enough to sell for more? How are you going to get noticed on the net? How are you going to get products to your customers? And the question I myself forgot to think about; How will accept their payments? All of this is covered in this lovely chapter.
Where To Get Your Products From?
There are many, many ways to get good products cheap in this world. Most of them just so happen to be hidden from you sight unfortunatly. Their are two main ways that I have found that help you get products for your business. The first is whats known as a drop-shipper. Here's how dropshipping works basically; you advertise a product they offer at a higher price than what they sell it for, (which can sometimes be very cheap) and once a customer places an order for it, you simply place the order from the company, and the company sends it directly to the customer. What is great about dropshippers? You don't have to buy up any inventory, and you don't have to mess with shipping your products. What's bad about it? Alot of dropshippers are scams, and you also have to still deal with returns of products from customers. There are alot of real dropshippers though. They hide from the public because they only want to deal with business' instead of silly common people that don't know what they are doing. So how do you find these places? My best reccommendation would be a site known as www.worldwidebrands.com. This site lets you pay a flat fee for a lifetime membership to their archive of legitimate dropshippers. They also have many tools to help with marketing. This is also a place I've had reccommended to me by people I know, so it's one I can say is real.
The other place I reccommend to get products from, and probably the most legitimate, is the only and only ebay.com. Go ahead, click on the categories tab on the top of the ebay website. You'll notice that most of the main categories have a wholesale lot option. This shows you the good business-y stuff. You can get unbelievable deals from doing this. For example, you can buy a lot of 5 computers for $1000. Then sell each of them for $500 a peice. It's an expensive price to pay, but if you do your homework on the profit possibilities, it can be an amazing thing. Heck while you're there, make an ebay store. Ebay still makes people huge incomes just selling junk. Bags of sand have sold on ebay for money! Almost anything you put up for a reasonable price, can be sold.
How To Get A Website For Your Business
Sure you could try to use a cheap-o personal website package from a hoster for you business website. But that would just be stupid and unprofessional. The best and easiest way to go about it, is to get whats know by some as an e-store. Yes, these are expensive. Most range about $15.00 a month for one that sucks, to $50.00 a month one that actually works. Both Yahoo and 1and1.com offer e-stores. The great thing about getting an estore is that it comes prebuilt with all the things you would normally have to work hard to do. It integrates payment methods into your site. Paying the right price for an e-store gives your customers the options to pay with credit cards, paypal, checks, ect. Which is something customers EXPECT. Most people don't want to do money orders online. Another thing an e-store gives you is probably the most important. SECURITY. Your customers aren't going to put their credit card numbers on the web unless they are in a secure sever. Ever notice that little lock symbol that appears in your browser when you are paying for somthing, at say, Walmart.com. That shows that you are in an encrypted area that hackers can't see. Make sure when choosing an e-store package, that you get one that has SSL securtiy or something like that to protect your customers.
Making a business online is a really smart move on your part. It's the future. People are lazy and will only get more that way over time. People want a way to do their shopping from the comfort of thier own home, and thats what online business' do. There are alot of difficulties, like dealing with returns, finding products, and that sort of thing. But with the right determination, you can make ALOT of money and continue making it as we progress into a more digital age.
Main Points of Making An Online Business
Think of a product that will sell, why not look at other sites and see what they make the most money on.
Choose the right package from your webhost! It must have easy ways for customers to pay, and secure environments for those payments.
Only deal with dropshippers you TRULY believe are legit. If you have any doubts, dont do it. You can always try my example of www.worldwidebrands.com.
Be prepared to deal with customer returns and that sort of thing. Discuss these with the dropshipper before you sign up with them.
HAVE PHONE SERVICE!!! Your customers want to have someone to call if they have trouble. Don't use Email support. Use Email Support AND Phone Service.
Chapter 5: Audio Production
So you love music, but you want to turn your passion into something more. Where do you start? I know I used to watch MTV shows and see the music stars say that you have to be born with musical talent to be able to do it. That's not the slightest bit true, but it music is something you have to be able to feel to do right. It sounds lame, but you'll understand as you progress. So how do you get in the groove?
Where To Start
First I'd reccommend downloading a free "Wave Editor". There are many of them around, so just google it and find the one that suits you. I'd reccommend using XPS Audio Studio. It's what I started out with. Now you can't expect to be able to do many things with a wave editor. Basically all you can do is take .wave music files (which are typically what you get when you record sounds) and edit them in simple ways. Try recording youself playing an instrument with a microphone attatched to the pink hole next to where your computer speakers are connected. If you dont have a microphone, most normal headphones you listen to music with will work. After you have recorded it, just take time to try different editing effects on it, like tuning the Equalizer, adding echo, reverb, distortion, ect. This may seem like a silly task, but it is what I would consider to be a very important step for a beginning musician. It helps show you some of the effects you will come to know with better editing programs.
I've Got A Basic Understanding, Now What?
Now you need to be sure of the genre you want to do. (Rap, pop, rock, metal, techno, ect.) Then find programs to utilize your abilities in them.The first and foremost thing you need is whats known as a music arranger. These programs let you lay out your songs using a thing known as "loops". You will come to see loops as one of your main tools in sound production. A loop is simply a certain melody of sound that you can replay over and over again. Need an idea of what a loop is? Listen to any rap song, the piano in the background, the synth you hear chimeing away, those are music loops. Using them makes your music get produced much easier and is basically madatory if you are going to be Rap or Techno. A music program I would reccommend that you can get for free is known as "Sony Acid Express". Its a great music arranger, and costs you nothing. You simply drag loops into the arranger and stretch them out to the sizes you need.
Ready To Make Real Music?
I'll just be honest, the odds of you becoming a musician from a free budget are very low. You need good tools to make good music. If you are a rocker, you need things like a Guitar, or a software guitar like Fruity Loop's Studios' "Slayer". If you are doing techno, you are basically fully based on software instruments. Try some of these, "Fruity Loops Studio", "Decka-Dance", "Rapture", "Sonar 7". Those are few good music studios that can help you out alot. All of those are really good for rap music too. Although, alot of rappers use whats known as a production station. These are extremely expensive tools, (ranging from $299-over $1000.) but they also make great rap music easily. If you really want to do good in music, you need tools like these. The best place to get them that I can reccommend is GuitarCenter.com. It has a perfect selection of all of these things, and has good prices.
How Do I Get Noticed?
More and more big time musicians are coming from the internet. Artists like Sean Kingston, Timbaland, and others all got their start from the net. It just so happens that place that they came from is none other than the notorious Myspace.com. If you are ready for the world to see you, then head to Myspace.com and start an artist account and get your music uploaded to it. If you wan't other places to help get noticed, there are many other great websites out there. Try places like Fuzz.com and Garageband.com.
There is alot of great money in Audio Production now-a-days. You could go for the big time and try to become a famous music artist, make a sell music loops for other artists to use, or mabey make music for movies and commercials. If you REALLY want to do something in music, you should probably invest money in it and go big.
Main Points of Being An Audio Producer
Get a feel for music, learn how to make attractive sounds using good effects and such.
Use good music arrangers to design your music. (Sony Acid Pro, Magix Music Maker, ect.)
Find good software studios and instruments. (Fruity Loops Studio, Sonar 7, ect.)
Make youself visible with good websites like Myspace.com and Fuzz.com
Chapter 6: Become A Video Producer
Video, it's something we all watch constantly. Whether it be television or Youtube, video entertainment will continue to be one of the greatest forms of entertainment in the industry. Many people are beginning to see the great potential of videos and start producing their own content. It's more than possible to make HUGE money in the video industry. Im not going to lie though, even though I have a basic idea of how to make money with this sort of thing, and have done a little bit in it, I'm not super amazing at this sort of thing. Video Production just isn't one of my major interests.
What Do I Need To Start?
Well, first and foremost, you need a decent camera. Now this doesn't mean go and buy a $1000 camera, far from it actually. I reccommend buy a one of the many Mini HD Camcorders coming out nowdays. They are pretty cheap, compact enough to fit in your pocket, and have perfect quality for what you need in online videos. You need a camera you can have with you to use whenever inspiration strikes. You also need a decent Video Arrangement and editing tool. You can find decent FREE editing tools online on sites like Freewarefiles.com. You can also use the Windows Movie Maker Program that comes preinstalled on Windows XP and Vista computers.Use these to add decent titles and editing to your videos.
My Videos Rock! How Do I Make Money?
You would be amazed at the kinds of money people make on just some silly videos they upload. If you are a good video producer and want in on the action. Head on over to Metacafe.com and start uploading. There are people there that have (Not Kidding) made nearly $30,000 on just silly videos. This is the only site I ever really looked into making money on videos. I'm sure there are more out there, but this is the one I know of and reccommend. If you're actually making MOVIES, like the ones you see on DVD. I would reccommend contacting movie companys like Warner Bros or something like that. I know there are whats known as independent movie labels out there, so they might be easier to work with as starter projects.
What Kind of Content Should I Make?
Alot of different Video Content works well in today's world. Comedy is something people adore. And it's also the thing the millions of kids just playing around on the internet search for. When they go to youtube, what is the most popular keyword they search for? "Funny". Funny videos are extremely popular, try to produce just silly, off the wall things like making fun of a popular movie. You can also try making how-to videos. People like the visual representation they can only get from a video tutorial on what they want to learn. Take time to really show them how to do something, like cook a good recipie, or build a computer. The amount of content you could do your videos on is unlimited. Do what you are interested in.
The online video world is a rather huge one right now. With places paying big bucks for interesting content, the possibilities are rather endless. Just grab a camera, and start filming what you think would be good ideas, and see where they go.
Main Points of Being A Movie Producer
Get a camera compact, but high quality enough, to have with you at all times. To be ready when inspiration strikes.
Get a decent editor to make your videos look at least a little bit professional.
Find a website that pays for the amount of views that your videos get. (www.metacafe.com)
Create content to capture people's attention. (Comedy, Action, Animation, ect.)
Chapter 7: Become a Photographer
So, becoming a photographer sounds enticing to you does it now? That would make sense considering most other people on earth like the idea of getting paid to take pictures. The taking pictures part is easy and fun, providing content that people will be willing to buy......not so much.
What Do I need?
First of all, you need to understand that you aren't going to get away using the good' ol' family camera that has like 5 Megapixels. And you definitely are not going to be able to use your cell phone camera. The least I would reccommend having in your camera is about 8 Megapixels. Yes, this can be expensive (probably in the $200-$800 range.) but it is whats required of you. Websites that pay for photos have minimum resolution requirements that are very high, which requires a higher megapixel from your camera. I myself went out and bought the Nikkon Coolpix S51, which will more than suffice your needs as a media producer (and for the nice price of $229). You also need to have a decent image editor. You can definitly get away with using just the plain old Photoshop Elements (around $89-$99) and it is really all you will need for now. Basically those two things are all you need to get started.
What Do I Take Pictures Of?
To find out the answer to this popular question, you need to do a little research yourself. Try browsing through photographers websites and seeing what they take pictures of, and how they make them appealing. You can also go through the stock photography sites I am about to discuss in the next section. Try looking through the most popular photos and see how they work. Try to think of things other producers might need. Mabey a family enjoying a game of cards, mabey a dog lookin' cool. Figure out people's need and try to build for them
My Pictures Rock? Where's My Money?!
Alright now you are ready to start raking in the dough right? Now we get to the interesting part. We will see if your pictures you have taken appeal to the people. What you need now are some good stock photography websites. These websites have different ways of paying you for each time your picture is downloaded. My reccommended websites are "istockphoto.com", "shutterstock.com" and mabey "fotolia.com". These sites all have ways to pay for your photos. istockphoto requires some samples from you first, and then sells your photos for more and more depending on the size people want to download the photo. Shutterstock pays you 25 cents per photo (yeah that sucks) but once you get 2000 downloads in a month, they pay you $500. Which to me is a decent way of doing it if you have the talent. Fotolia works pretty similar to Istockphoto.
Being an online photographer can be a fun way to bring in decent money. You have ALOT of competition, so be ready to fight to make the best content. Use your photo editor to make your pictures more attractive, like messing with the lighting levels in photoshop elements. Read Photoshop tutorials to find out what you can do to make your pictures better.
Main Points of Being An Online Photographer
Get at least an 8 Megapixel camera, that is a decent brand. (Nikon, Canon, ect.)
Get a decent photo editor. (I HIGHLY reccommend it be Photoshop Elements.)
Read Photoshop tutorials to find ways to bring out the best in your photos.
Take you photos to places like www.istockphoto.com, www.shutterstock.com, and www.fotolia.com.
Chapter 8- Game Development
Game Development. It's something almost every gamer has had at least a slight urge to do. Now believe it or not, just you yourself can pretty easily develop a great game the world will love. It just depends on your standards. 2 deminsional games will never really go out of style, and if you don't mind being limited to them there is a world of potential for you. 3-d games will continue to be extremely difficult to make for years to come most likely, and require teams of people to make them. You can still make a game that is good enough for people to pay for though.
What You Need For Game Development
You really only need one thing to begin developing your little gem of a game, which is a program called Gamemaker. Gamemaker could very well be one of the most impressive programs I've seen still to this day, and best of all is that it's free. You just have to put up with the ad that shows up before your game loads each time. I seriously reccommend buying it as you get really important features that aren't in the free version, and it's only $20. Once you have Gamemaker, all the power goes to you. You can get Gamemaker by going to www.Yoyogames.com. Once you have it, go to the tutorial section of the yoyogames website and go through each of them. They are well written and will take you quickly through the learning process. You don't need any programming knowledge to be a great programmer with Gamemaker.
Well, I've Made My First Game. What Now?
Now that you have made your game, you need to upload it to the yoyogames website. Over time it will generate reviews and scores. There are also other websites out their that you can submit it to for review, but they probably aren't very good and I never bothered with them. After it is uploaded, try advertising your game in message boards and things like that. Ask for helpful tips on how to make your game better. Now you are probably thinking of names for your development company, and nicer games to make. Not to mention, making money on them. Hold up, you need to make sure that your game is up to par with what games need nowdays. Go through the checklist I have provided to help keep your games professional.
A main menu for users to select options from. (Like what mode of the game to play, looking at high scores, ect.)
Give options to return to this menu easily from in the game. (Have a button for the user to click to return to the main menu, lots of developers forget this.)
Make sure all graphics, text, and audio are your own. (Don't include music, images, or names from other peoples things.)
Give it enough gameplay to actually be considered a good game.
Be invintive if you can, think of new things to add in.
Keep difficulty balanced, you should let a friend of yours play it before you release it and let him tell you what he thought.
The money making part of this deal is up to you. You can provide free demos of your game, make a website to promote it, advertise with people, whatever you need to do to get the word around that your game rocks. REMEMBER, online message boards are an extremely good place to get opinions on your work, and promote it.
A Word From Me
I hope you all enjoyed this mini book of mine. I know I probably missed out on some important points, but I hope it helped beginners get an idea of where to go with their ideas and how to make money on them. I'll be publishing many more articles to come, including a book on how to build computers, and all sorts of other neat stuff. THANKS FOR READING!