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Home-based web biz, anyone?

A host of revenue streams await those who can conquer the internet
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Remandaban says that Web-based businesses can basically run themselves—meaning they continue to make money even while the entrepreneur is asleep or working in a regular job.

Automation and systemizing the online business is a great way of making it generate a steady revenue stream,” he says. “As soon as you discover your niche, you can basically program the business to run itself. At the end of the month, you’ll be surprised how much you’ve made even if you spend barely an hour or two on the Web each day.”

Be a pro blogger

Abe Olandres is a 30-something techie who earns six figures a month without holding a day job. Instead of trolling in an office cubicle all day, he spends his working hours in chic cafés drinking latte and typing on his trusty laptop computer. Olandres is a professional blogger, a new breed of Web-based entrepreneur who writes about his personal experiences and reviews gadgets for a living.

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Olandres is hardly alone in this new growth market. A huge number of local bloggers—blog is an abbreviation of “Web log”—are steadily revolutionizing the way people interact all over the world. Indeed, Olandres’ Yugatech.com blog has morphed from an online diary to a top resource portal for local techies—a sort of news service where reviews of the latest gadgets to hit the local market are posted, critiqued, and discussed.

“I started blogging in 2000 with a personal journal,” he recalls. “Back then, I wasn’t making any money from it. It was just a way for me to share my expertise with other people. But in 2004, I shifted to blogging about technology exclusively, and that’s when the advertisers came calling.”

According to Olandres, bloggers typically have a number of revenue streams: sponsored content or posts that take up a particular product or company, paid subscriptions to the blog, or paid advertisements. Yugatech has taken the paid advertisement route, wherein companies pay it a certain fee either for a specific period of time, the number of ad clicks, or the number of “impressions” or times the ad was displayed on the site.

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He explains that for a blog to succeed and make money, it must have a specific target and fill a particular need for Web surfers. In his case, he has chosen to focus on gadget reviews, eschewing the personality-driven nature of most other blogs. His site gets at least 300,000 pageviews a month, with 500 to 1,000 unique or new page-views per day. He pays a dedicated server of a foreign Web services firm to host his site. (For startups in the blog business, he suggests getting hosting services that cost less than P1,000 a month.) “Some blogs are general blogs that talk about the daily lives of their authors,” he says. “However, I find that unless you are already famous before you start blogging, there’s only a very small chance that you can attract user traffic to visit and read your posts. In my case, I decided to focus on technology because it’s my area of expertise, having worked for the IT industry for almost a decade.”

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Another successful blogger, Anton Diaz, says that people who want to earn big from doing Web entries should concentrate on brand-building above all else. He explains: “A blog is such a personal device, and to succeed you need to put your personal stamp on it. This is one of the reasons why a blog takes anywhere from six months to one year to start earning. You first have to build an image, look, and feel for your site.”

Diaz, who runs www.ourawesomeplanet.com, a travel and cuisine site, says most startup blogs falter because they tend to cast wide blankets when they should instead stick to a specific genre or niche.


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