Make Money Online by Giving People What they WantWouldn’t it be nice to know what people want online and to be able to offer it to them for a fee (or free of charge if you don't need the money) ? People get what they want, you make money, life is perfect !
Well, it seems we do know what people want online. I did a search on Google for "What do people want online ?" and it came back with 1,440 pages. Not an enormous number but still more than enough. The problem is, however, they all seem to be repeats of the same page !
The highly popular page in question is an article written by Jay Conrad Levinson "probably the most respected marketer in the world" as the hype would have it.
So just what is it that, according to the article, people want online ?
JCL based his article on two studies, one by Zatso, the other by the Pew Research Center.
The answer he came up with is that, contrary to expectations, we don’t just wander about the Internet in some sort of befuddled cyber-daze hoping to find something useful, we are actually much more organized and goal-oriented. Well done us !
It turns out that we want two things : - information and contact with other people.
The Zatso study shows that, after e-mail, reading and getting news (I would include information in this) is the most popular online activity. This came as a surprise to me, as I would have thought that ‘entertainment’ preferably with videos and pictures was top of the list. However, this is what we do :-
- 33% of survey respondents said they read news online every day
- local news is of most interest
- 75% said they wanted news on demand
- nearly 66% wanted personalized news.
- they also wanted to be able to control the news they saw, not have it foisted upon them by a TV channel or newspaper. Control seems to be important. So put your ‘target audience’ in control.
The Pew Research Center study showed that when we aren’t doing our e-mail :-
- 50% of us are buying stuff and services,
- nearly 75% are searching for information about hobbies or future purchases
- 64% visit travel sites,
- 62% visit weather-related sites (my other half is constantly checking the weather!)
- over 50% do educational research,
- 54% are hunting for data about health and medicine.
- 47% regularly visit government web sites
- 38% research job opportunities
- 33% play games online,
- but, despite the stockmarket being ever more open and transparent only 12% said they traded stocks online.
So what can we do armed with these statistics ? If you are reading this post it is presumably because you are looking for ways to make money online. So, as your readers will be goal-oriented consumers, you need to make sure you make their seeking easier. Give them the information they want, or need, in as clear and concise a manner as possible.
At the same time avoid useless flashy add-ons, people (i.e. us) want straightforward information and straight talk, that allow comparisons to be made .
People are on the Internet to fulfil a need. That need is either for information or for friendship/companionship. This is demonstrated by sites such as Techcrunch or Plenty of Fish a totally free dating site financed by advertising, which apparently brings in between $5 and $10 million a year, or Dog Breed Info a site with info. about dogs (how predictable), which earns around $238,000 a year. For an up-to-date list on how much people make online and how they make it (which may give you some ideas on a possible niche you could exploit) check out Paula Mooney's List of Blogger Salaries
Personally I have a stockmarket information blog - Shares City (although given the low number of people trading online I may need to re-think that strategy) and, due to my recent experience with the weather and the floods in my street (see pics here - Floods in Britain 2007 ) I am considering starting a weather blog.
So choose an area where you think you can provide information (possibly from the list above and it would seem sensible to find one where the market is not already saturated), check out the competition and go for it !