The start-up capital required, operational costs and overheads of running a web-based business may be low in comparison to starting a physical business, but by no means are the costs at absolute zero. There are indeed some costs involved and I mention operating an online business as a means through which to turn free Wi-Fi access into pounds because that’s ultimately what it comes down to.
You simply have to operate some sort of business if you want to be able to say that you made use of free internet access to make some good money, but the business can exist in one of many different types. When you think about something like an e-commerce website, that’s practically as straight-forward as it gets with regards to operating an online business, but there are many other not-so-obvious avenues to pursue. You can sell advertising for instance and there are great examples of so many different creative ways through which people have generated the type of buzz required to draw in advertiser dollars, such as the girl who, several years ago, decided to sell direct advertising space on her website where advertisers would effectively buy just one pixel on which to display their logos or brand identity. An idea may seem ridiculous but that shouldn’t mean we should discount it; novelty thrives on the internet.
There was a young boy from Scandinavia as well who endeavoured to sell advertising space on a contraption he’d made, which was to be attached to a helium-filled balloon that would be sent out to space. An attached camera was to film the entire “experiment,” but this is just a perfect example of how you can connect people on the internet and turn those relationships into cash. Take a look on YouTube and you’ll find many such examples of people – particularly young people – who have raised their profile by making interesting videos (vlogs) and attracted enough followers and regular viewers to make their profile appealing to advertisers. Finding your own angle and a way of monetising it is something which you’ll have to try and think about yourself.
The free Wi-Fi available to you can also be used to generate cash through the likes of those sites which offer remuneration for your time, such as freelance content brokers. Sites like those which will pay you to complete surveys are an option but these normally take a lot of time to get to a stage where you can withdraw the funds you’ve earned.
What will give you a serious fighting chance to make it really big online, however, is developing your ability to target specific markets, like perhaps dealing in products or services which target a specific region and then roping in targeted service providers for the marketing aspect of your online business. For example, if you’re selling novelty sports merchandise in Manchester through a drop-shipping arrangement (no running overheads), you’d look for SEO services in Manchester so that you know you’re getting as localised a service as you can get, all while improving your knowledge of your chosen market and competition through the free access you have to the internet.