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Ecommerce Forum

what is the biggest money maker on the web?
Building sites is great but what is the number one seller/business?

 9:37 am on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

All the good things in here, how to code great sites, how to rank them with keywords is wonderful information but......

Can anyone say what is the Number One moneymaker on the web today?
Is there a study that someone could point me to?

I'm tired of building websites with the same old blah results as for as income goes.

As number 5 said...more input, please.




 9:41 am on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

porn? ;)


 9:51 am on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)



 10:03 am on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

yeap! try checking out some sex related keywords with overture they will always be higher than anything else


 10:39 am on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hey guys,

I'm really serious about this...

Does information sell better...or hard goods, like giftwares, etc???

I have searched but all I get is be my affiliate...earn a fortune overnight and retire to the ........

Not wanting affiliate arraingement but something I can do myself...




 10:40 am on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Or a service related business?

Black Knight

 10:41 am on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

The biggest money-maker on the web today, just as it has been since the nineties, is selling 'opportunity' to others who want to make big money fast online without a cost in startup capital or high-demand specialist knowledge. Sounds like you're in the market to buy some opportunity yourself.

Whether its MLM schemes, building ecommerce sites, SEO, or even Affiliate schemes, whatever you can present to other hungry hopefuls as a 'golden opportunity to make the dollars' will always sell. There's not only a sucker born every minute, but many of the suckers will buy into every scheme on the block. ;)

Last year, the search term 'Dreamweaver Training' was the highest bid item I found on Overture at well over 7 a click!

Unsurprisingly, more honest forms of gambling also sell well, again appealing to the millions online who want to make big money without big effort or big investments.

However, the real big money goes to those at the top of this huge ol' pyramid scheme that is the web:

Microsoft, providers of the software that most users buy into just to get online and surf porn, download free (ripped) movies, software and games, or just surf the net.

Ebay, the auction where anyone can try to sell whatever they have for a few fast bucks, and all pay a little to Ebay - another 'tax' on opportunity.

That gives you the general idea. Cynical? Sure, but just because I'm a cynic doesn't mean it isn't the truth. ;)


 10:49 am on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

>> I'm really serious about this...

So are we. Gambling would be the other biggie. Its a sad fact of human nature that the less savoury an activity is, the more likely you are to be able to make money from it.

Having said that, not every big money making sector need be unsavoury. People spend millions, nay billions, of every year on travel, and travel related items, plane tickets, hotel reservations etc Its hellishly competitive though.

Thats why you see threads in the Affilate forum about how to go about building "Method A" and "Method B" empires, the general idea being that early on its better to dominate a small niche, and sharpen your skills, then join the great feeding frenzy in the killer sectors, where the minute slice of pie you are going to grab still adds up to plenty

>> Can anyone say what is the Number One moneymaker on the web today?

I would imagine that some of the members here can. Don't expect them to share business critical information like that too freely though. The ideal situation for someone wishing to make money over the net is to discover that niche where the competition is low, and the money flows freely. If you post that here, within the week you can expect the sharks to gather, and they WILL take chunks of your income

Where you make money is also a very personal thing, I think. Some people build sites that work for CJ type banner deals, some don't. Some people prefer to work with mechants more directly, selling their stuff, others can't make it work. Some will go Method A, damn the subject matter, whats the ROI?, others want to build Method B labours of love, indulging their passions and incidentally, using the sites to pay the bills

>> Does information sell better...or hard goods, like giftwares, etc???

Selling intangibles like information or services is fraught with its own difficulties, there can be extra legal issues involved (was the info or service ever delivered? Can you prove it? What if someone pays for a piece of software by c/c, then refuses the charge? You take the hit, usually)

Selling goods leads to complications with shipping, do you send the physical stuff, or the merchant? Who handles returns? Who handles customer complaints?

Don't be fooled, operating on the web isn't easy. Pure affiliates have a relatively easy ride, they just supply the traffic, and collect the cheques. To make up for it, they need to send a LOT of visitors to make the big bucks.

Where do your interests lie, ann? That will provide you with the first answer in determining whats right for you


 10:52 am on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Last year, the search term 'Dreamweaver Training' was the highest bid item I found on Overture at well over 7 a click!

Viagra was up at $30 this year, and one can was $25, i wonder if they did a ROI?

I agree pretty much with Black_Knight, also the search for porn/sex have gone down almost 20% the last year ( i read it in a research paper, can't find it now ) And the strongest growing business was the Travel industry and specially Flights.

But i also read an interesting paper a few days ago, 4 of 5 that finds a product that they would like to order, buys it in a store nearby, or call the company up orders it trough phone, i think here is where the general business make there money from the NET, hopefully that number will go down and more people will buy over the NET then i think we will see a big difference in which business that makes the most money on the web.


 2:04 pm on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

I too am cynical as, years ago I went the magazine route of ordering everything that said "moneymaking opportunity" And was sorely disapointed...ripped is more the word for it so I am doubly cautious as to what I read and believe.

I have been selling astrology charts for the past three and a half years but the market is flooded with astrology sites...millions of them! So sales are not too good. things went downhill after the 9/11 event and every time the stock market hiccups I see a dramatic drop in sales.

I keep track of who orders what and times I email them out, keeping hard copies of everything to supply the CC companies if needed. So far I have had 0 chargebacks.

I have tried a few affiliate programs but never earned a dime from them. Was into selling ads through Burst but that went downhill, quality and money :(

Astrology still pays my website bills but just barely! That is why I am looking for new ideas....

Good thoughts in here, Thanks a lot and keep 'em coming....I am going to check my sticky mail now.


Maybe if I could figure out what else to do to get my own affiliate program off the ground things would get better. So far I have about 20 signups...since March


 5:10 pm on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

travel is definately up there

A new report released today by the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) underscores the bond between travelers and the Internet. There are now 52.2 million people who use the Internet to plan travel, and 16.5 million who are booking travel online.


 5:34 pm on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Travel(Now), welcome to WebmasterWorld. Yep. travel is one of the big categories, but individual sites just entering the market need to prepare themselves for a reality check --competition is fierce.

Real estate is the other big money-maker on the web, by far the most profitable for me when all is said and done, but we're able to convert many of our own leads (and sell those we can't handle ourselves).


 5:46 pm on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)


I don't think any studies exist that show the biggest money makers, people don't want that stuff made known.

There have been many good examples given here of items that make money and there are good reasons why they do. Work backwards, think about what people would buy on the web over a traditional store.


 5:51 pm on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Good point on the competition- but I think that will affect any top market. I've always been a proponant of working niches- whether in products or in sectors of a large product.

New travel affiliates tend to see the best results if they aim for the smaller areas or terms. The advantage of travel is that with 40,000 or more hotels to choose from (in most programs) and so many different cities and words for hotels (lodging, accomodation, motels, place to stay, apartment rentals, suites...) the keywrods are there for someone willing to do the work and listen to the people who know what they are talking about.

Back on topic-
I've heard/seen great results recently with anything home related as mortgae rates go down and people are consolidating and fixing up or moving.

(long time lurker, thanks for the welcome)


 5:54 pm on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Welcome Travel. It will be great to hear your perspective on a lot of the discussions here.

I agree that travel is very competitive and a hard place to start out. A general travel site would probably not do much of anything unless you knew what you were doing.

It also seems that some of the biggest money makers seem to ride waves or popularity. They are fairly unknown, pick up speed, start to make a lot of money, get over exposed, get too competitive, and then end up spammed out within about a year. At that point it would be time to find the next wave to ride on.


 6:04 pm on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

If I had to rank them in order I would go with:

1) Porn
2) Travel
3) Software

I've dabbled with travel and software, but never porn (not a moral crusade, I've just never had any to sell!). With all of them I guess you really do need a niche to have much of a chance. I suggest that the niche approach is the most likely approach to succeed.

Now I tend to focus on stuff I actually know something about and can build proper content for. That's my 2 cents anyhow Ann.


 7:12 pm on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Whatever niche you find yourself interested in, look around and do your research if you market your site right for SE traffic, that is the best kind. If you work hard enough, *and get lucky enough* you can get amazing traffic from SE's and turn over that traffic into good clean cash.

Good luck finding a niche, suggestion look through CJ.com, Linkshare.com or any other affiliate programs, and see what niche has a large amount of advertisers willing to pay good money for your marketing via your new niche site.

It is work, but if you find a niche and learn how to build upon it, it can be really successful. I for first hand knowledge know, and so does many other webmasters in these forums. It is just all a matter finding that proper niche.

Sure Porn, Software ETC is good, but its too crouded... Find something less crowded and something you can possibly make good money off of.


 9:03 pm on Sep 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Some really good ideas in here...things to look at and think over...

Afraid Porn and travel is out, one I'm against and the other I know absolutely nothing about and no interest in it...I always wanted a Bingo site but don't know how to do the offshore thing to dodge the authorities..:)

I will keep looking, meanwhile keep the suggestions coming this has taken a deciedeedly interesting turn..

Oh, and welcome to the forums travel.

All 2 cents are welcome in here :)



 3:55 am on Sep 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

I started this convo to get some real information from real people who are trying to find solutions same as I am. I have gotten some really great posts from some really great members!

This post is for...well you know who you are...If I wanted to pay a "consult" I would have gone there first. I consider that kind of sticky mail spam. I did not ask for names of consultants just some good solid information that we could all share to better our web experience.

Thanks______but no thanks.

(The sticky mail from C.B. was fine and appreciated)



 7:33 am on Sep 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Oh yes, Thanks Oilman, those were good ideas too.



 8:08 am on Sep 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think most intangibles would be hot sellers online.

Waiting... is major negative factor that also includes shipping tangibles and additional costs (in many cases).

In saying that though, a paying market must be identified and in advance of product/services.

The music industry late arrival with "paid for" downloadable MP3's, after Napsters free choice was too late as most consumers were unwilling to pay, when they were getting it for free.

It's all still early in the game, 8 -10 years of life is very short especially since those who grew up with the World Wide Web as an intricate part of their childhood and adolescence are just starting to become of age -- but most still don't have their own credit cards yet.


 3:15 pm on Sep 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Just got some numbers today (UK ONLY, research done in MAY 2002):

  • # of internet users in the past month: 18,9 Million
  • # of Web users shopping online in the past six months: 10,6 Million
  • Average per head spend for the past six months: 560 ($874)
  • Total Value of Online shopping in the past six months: 6,0 Billion ($9,4 Billion)

    Online shoppers (%)

  • 31% Books
  • 27% Cd's
  • 24% any travel
  • 21% clothes
  • 14% Electrical h/h
  • 13% Software
  • 12% air tickets
  • 11% Hardware

    And it continues.

  • mansfield smooth

     6:27 pm on Sep 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

    lazerzubb, where did you get those figures from?

    are they accessible to the general public? thanks :)


     8:52 pm on Sep 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

    >>New travel affiliates tend to see the best results if they aim for the smaller areas or terms...<<

    A new travel affiliate faces one MAJOR problem, and that is, on the search engines that have gone Pay Per Click, which amounts to all the good ones except Goo, the new travel affiliate immediately find themself in a bidding war with their own affiliate provider company.

    This has got to be the most idiotic set-up known to man. An individual affiliate can never hold their own against one of the 3 or 4 major travel database companies when bidding on the meaningful search terms (usually city names + hotel, etc.). Conversely, the major travel affiliate provider companies face a continuous bidding attack from new affiliates who have no idea about ROI, and are simply throwing money at their new web site, which must severely decrease the provider's ROI.

    And with the lesser-popular search terms, it's hard to attract enough traffic to make it worthwhile.



     9:01 pm on Sep 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

    One more point: It looks to me like *rbitz is moving right on schedule to corner the market on on-line flight bookings.

    And I believe *rbitz affiliates receive $1 per booking, as opposed to the percentage of sales some of the other travel database companies pay.



     9:06 pm on Sep 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

    I see your point, but I don't know that I agree. Our top affilaites spend many thousands on ppc and track ROI carefully. No, they will not be in the top 5 for "discount hotels" but they will be in the top three for every permutation of "Boise Hotels" which has a lower price and better look to book. Larger companies are notoriously less flaxable than smaller- which is where affilaite have the advantage. If I can tell you our top cities and hotels booked this time last year, you can get ppc for the best terms right now. You can use the same info to look up what may be going on there and bid on terms like "bluesfest hotels" which the known entities simply are not covering. Top affilaites tend to be much more efficient and flexible with their marketing dollars- and I love them for that!

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