There’s a rule of thumb to make money online, in fact it’s the basic rule of making money in every kind of business.. that is to give people what they want.

If you are building a website, you have to know what you visitors are expecting to get from your website. You also need to know where to find and attract these visitors to your website.

Same rule applies if you are trying to make a sale online, you got to know your target groups and find potential buyers at the right place.

A simple example is this blog, I am writing about “How To Make Money Online,” and I’m going to stick with this topic and work on getting potential readers. There’s no point that I blog about cars and gadget with this blog, and it certainly won’t work if I start selling baby products here.

How to know what your visitors want?

Interaction, by setting up feedback system like comments, email contacts or even forums. If you do set up a feedback system, I advice you to take the comments seriously and try to answer questions from your readers. Remember to give people what they want.

I am taking some risk with this blog for closing the comment system as it blocks interaction. I have my reasons though, I know exactly the direction of the blog and what I am going to provide, and I don’t have the time to answer all the comments.

Website stats tracker can provide some hints as well, like the source of your traffic; the keywords that your visitors managed to find your website etc. Optimize on those keywords and keep good relationship with your traffic source.

Where to get interested visitors?

Word of mouth, tell your friends and relatives about your website and asked them to promote it for you.

Visit forums, websites and blogs that are related to your website topic. Leave useful comments, share your expertise and you can attract visitors to your website with your signature.

Make friends with other webmasters, quite often a link back to you from a popular website is enough to kick start yours to become popular too.

Look for offline events that are related to your website as well. Prepare name cards with your website URL, if your website is really good you really should have no fear of sharing it.

Pay for advertising. This will depends on what your website is about and the possible conversion rate. If you are selling something online, quite often advertisement is the best method to get targeted customers.

Make to order!

Make to order simply means to produce something that customized to the exact needs of a customer. This is the ultimate fit into the rule of providing people what they want.

Make to order can apply to products, services and even content based websites. I have written some dozen of web pages by the request of my readers for free, and often they are extremely happy about it and promote the page for me, free as well. Win-win situation.

For products and services you can provide make to order customization for extra charges. It can give you extra profits but note that you need real expertise in your field to be able to provide those customization.

A classic example of make to order online business model is in web design, where the designer will work on the website based on the customer requirement. The designers could be charging 5-10 times compared to standard made website template, but the customers are willing to pay for a unique design.

Business is a game of supply and demand, same methodology applies to make money online, it’s a business anyway. In order to make good money online, supply valuable products, services and/or contents to your readers and customers.

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