Even as a middle-aged adult, I am fascinated by the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. It would be wonderful to find something like a goose that lays golden eggs. You just give it a warm place in the barn and feed it a little grain every day, and presto!, it provides you with an endless supply of riches. Just a little over two months ago, I stumbled upon just such a thing: marketing products through the internet. “Absurd!” you may say, or “What has this guy been smoking?” you may ask. But, consider the following factors before you pass judgment:
• You can set up your own internet marketing business in just a few hours for much less than $100 (yes, only two zeroes; this is not a typo).
• You can create and sell your own products for nothing more than the cost of your own time and the electricity it takes to run your computer; or you can create nothing yourself and sell other people’s products for unusually high commission rates.
• You can sell physical products if you wish, or you can sell information products, which require no physical inventory, no storage costs, no shipping costs, and involve absolutely no environmental impact (what about the electricity, you ask? Perhaps a valid question, but let’s face it, if you weren’t doing something useful with the few cents of electricity your marketing efforts consumed every day, you would still have your computer on while you are surfing the ‘net or playing video games, right?).
• You have light-speed access to a potential market of hundreds of millions of customers, but you don’t have to summon up the energy and wear out the shoe leather required to actually knock on hundreds of millions of doors.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about internet marketing is the existence of an enormous network of like minds out there in cyberspace who are willing and able to help you set up your own business, in many cases at no charge to you, through discussion forums, on-line courses and free or inexpensive software. The mysteries of domain registration, web hosting, e-mail autoresponders, e-book publishing, payment processing and web design are very simple to solve with a little work using easily accessible resources.