Setting up a small internet business could be a way for baby boomers to supplement their income.
There are no expensive overheads and lots of potential to earn money without ever leaving home. Because the internet is available 24/7 you can do it as and when you want to. You can even set it up so that it runs itself automatically with just a little tweaking occasionally.
Like the idea but don't know what you could do?
We baby boomers have gained a mountain of knowledge as we've travelled through life. There are probably things you have learnt like me that you could pass on to others and make money at the same time.
Have you become a keen gardener, cook, golfer, health and fitness expert, life coach, photographer?
Are you a dab hand at D.I.Y. decorating, car enthusiast, sailing?
Are you an expert on customer service, c.v. writing, interview techniques?
Do you see yourself as a travel expert or knowledgeable about your local area?
Are you a budding artist, card maker, quilter, dressmaker, potter?
Are you passionate about fashion, hair or beauty?
Are you passionate about animals, cats, dogs, horses?
Here's two examples of people who have used their passion and knowledge to start their own internet business.
My friend Jane was a farmer for most of her life but has always been passionate about history. Now in her retirement she's created a small internet business with a wonderful history site.
It's for individuals, organizations and local history groups to upload their photographs, diaries, obituaries, documents and even create their own history projects.
This site is principally about the essential - non-financial- information that goes towards planning and living an active retirement, that's right for you.
Retirement Financial Planning is necessary -and there is a section dedicated to this - but a career is never just about money, and neither is retirement.
Retirement Stories is about relationships, early retirement, retirement jobs, retirement hobbies, best places to retire, and has a very popular section on retirement speeches and letters.
Greg retired, in January 2007, from his position as Finance and Marketing Director of one of Ireland's leading grocery brands. He now pursues his interest in writing and retirement coaching, through the medium of inspirational stories.
He tells real stories about real people, to enable retirees understand their retirement needs, identify and achieve worthy goals, and lead a more balanced and fulfilled life.
You can use your knowledge or passion to create a small internet business just like them. Of course there's nothing to say that your business has to be small. Got big ideas! Don't limit yourself, you have a global market, it's up to you how big you want to be.
Decide whether you want to blog or have a website. This will depend on how confident you are on the internet.
A blog is easier to set up, it's relatively low cost, there are even free blogging platforms. However if you want to earn some money I would suggest something like a Square Space or a Wordpress blog both of which are relatively cheap.
A blog is like a diary and you need to update it regularly, at least 2-3 times a week.
A website is more static, takes longer to build but long term if done correctly, can build a serious business and has more potential for earning money. Once built you can then relax and it only needs a few hours a week maintenance to keep it fresh.
I started with a blog and then I moved on to building this website using Site Build It. You don't need to know complicated computer programming or html you just need to follow the tutorials step by step and it will guide you into building a site that will deliver a small internet business that you can be proud of.
Whichever you choose you will need to buy a domain name that reflects your topic and get started. You can buy domain names from www.GoDaddy.com. When you start writing your articles the secret is to use relevant keywords as hooks for the search engines to find you.
It's worth doing some keyword research on your topic before starting. You can use www.wordtracker.com/ for this, which also has excellent tools available to help you gain an understanding of how to optimize your content for the search engines.
An autoresponder is an e-mail marketing platform that enables you to capture customers/visitors e-mail addresses so that you can then keep them informed of your latest updates or product offers. I've used iContact in the past and I understand Aweber is also a good one. Both are relatively low cost to run. iContact offers 30 days free trial. Aweber start-up is just $1.
Once you have your autoresponder you can design a contact or opt-in form, copy the html code, and insert it on your site. Then use it to encourage your visitors or customers to opt in to receive your e-mails or articles.
You can pre-schedule automated e-mails to go out when you choose, you can conduct surveys for marketing purposes, you can track your marketing campaigns.
Every time you send out an e-mail including links back to your blog or website you're driving the traffic to your content.
If you decide to use Site Build it your domain name and autoresponder are all included in the package.
Every small internet business needs a marketing strategy to drive traffic to it's site. You can't just put up a blog or website and then sit back and expect thousands of people to find you. Like every business you have to do some marketing.
The good news is marketing on the internet needn't cost you money. It can all be done free if you use the social networking sites like, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Myspace, and if you really want to be adventurous you can create Video's and post them on You Tube.
Bookmarking your content at bookmarking sites such as Digg, Delicious or Sumbleupon to name but a few, can also be a great way of building your programme of links driving traffic back to your site.
When using bookmarking sites don't just bookmark your own content, but bookmark and promote other people's content to.
Article marketing is another great way to drive traffic to your site. The most popular article platforms are Squidoo, Hub Pages and Ezine Articles.
When posting articles in different places, it's worth bearing in mind that you must not use duplicate articles, you can get yourself banned from sites for duplicating content. You can also be penalized by the search engines.
You should always post original articles. Many internet marketers re-purpose their articles for different platforms. Once you've posted an article somewhere, post it to every social network you belong to and hey presto your article is being clicked on by several different audiences.
Look for blogs that are relevant to your topic and leave appropriate comments. There is usually an opportunity to include a link to your own blog or website.
Creating strong inbound links helps to drive traffic to your site and push your ranking up in the Search Engines.
The whole idea of creating your blog or website is to create an income. So how do you do that if your site is an "information site"?
There are a great many different ways to earn money on your site and these are only a few of the most popular:-
When deciding on your monetization strategy it's best to have a good mix. Don't limit yourself to one. The more income streams you create the more money you will earn.
Imagine having several different pay days a month as payments are popping into your bank account from several different sources.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by the thought of all this, don't be put off. Connect with other internet marketers on the social networking sites they are always posting "how to articles" on their blogs and websites and you will find a wealth of free valuable information that will help guide you to build your own successful small internet business.
The other alternative is to be taken by the hand step by step using Solo Build It which is the platform I've used to build my small internet business. You can start small and go as big you want the sky's the limit if you're prepared to put some work in. I can personally recommend it.