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Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies®, 3rd Edition by Joel Elad, Shannon Belew

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Selling Your Professional Services

Sometimes the issue isn't always which types of products you have to offer. Instead, you have to ask, “What can I do for you?” Another source for making money online is selling your services. Most online services fall into one of four key areas:

  • Creative: These products are delivered as a service. For example, you might be a graphic artist who develops logos, a writer who is paid to create ad copy, or an artist who paints portraits from photographs that customers upload to your Web site.
  • Organizational: If your site is an organization based on paid memberships, we consider it a service Web site. Typically, your members pay for access to a group of services in exchange for a renewable fee.
  • Professional: These folks are accountants, attorneys, public relations agents — you get the idea. Whatever the service, not only do you market it online, but your customers also can purchase the service over the Internet.
  • Software-based: A variety of Web sites provide software online that their visitors can use with their Web browsers. Sometimes called an application service provider (ASP), it's almost a hybrid of a service and a product. A company uses a Web site to sell software or a process that's delivered or managed as a Web-based service. Some examples are an online payroll-processing firm, a Web site hosting service, and a shopping cart program.

Whatever service you want to promote online, you need to have a clear picture of the benefits and downsides ...

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