If you have been following our blog for some time, you might have seen promotions of an E-Book – 27 Ways for Programmers to Make Money Online. This E-Book lists and explains 27 different ways for programmers to make extra income. We have first published this book on October 2015 – via LuLu and later added it on Amazon Kindle. We have published this as a paid E-book to experiment how money can be made by selling E-Books online. We are publishing the Income Report in this blog post – income made by selling E-Book – 27 Ways for Programmers to Make Money Online.
How did we come up with the book idea?
The idea of this book came as a way to leverage blog posts with good traffic in DollarFry. If you have gone through our ‘About Us‘ section – you know that we run multiple online businesses. DollarFry is a project we started to help people make money online by leveraging their skills. The idea behind DollarFry is to explore all possible options to make money online – be it blogging, publishing E-Books, selling online courses, offering freelance works, selling web design whatever! We have not limited DollarFry to a single money making idea (like make money blogging).
Before deciding to write an E-Book on 27 Ways for Programmers to Make Money Online – we first scanned Google Analytics data (of DollarFry) to identify blog posts with the most traffic. We identified this blog post – Make Money Part Time Programming as the best performing blog post in DollarFry at that time. We brainstormed how to make the most out of this blog post with traffic. The idea behind is – people read this blog post to get knowledge on how to make money or extra income with programming skills. There are millions of programmers in this world – which is the total market size. A small percentage of this total size might be looking for ways to earn extra income with their programming skills. So we zeroed in to develop a very detailed E-Book – which lists and explains all possible ways to make extra income with coding skills.
The development phase
Once we decided on the E-Book idea, our next step was to develop the E-Book quickly. We wrote the book ourselves (Linjo Joson wrote the core part, I did the proofreading later) within 2 months. Since we both were busy with other businesses we have, Linjo decided to write 1.5 pages a day (the book has 80 pages in total). He followed the schedule perfectly and came up with the full content within 60 days time period. Linjo is an expert PHP programmer with in-depth knowledge in many areas. He was well knowledgeable in the book subject that it took only 30 minutes for him to write 1 page of the book. This way he finished 80 pages of the book in approximately 40 hours (consider 50 hours max). If he worked straight 8 hours a day, this E-Book could have been finished in just 5 days.
Linjo finished complete content of the E-Book (including writeup, quotes, graphics and tables) in the stipulated time frame. What remained was proofreading and fine tuning of the E-Book. He assigned the task to me. Since I was super busy that time, I asked him to release the E-Book (as proofreading could be done later). We released the E-Book as such (just as Linjo finished final draft) and decided to reupload the edited version (after proofreading) later.
Takeaway – You don’t need a fully finished product always to get sales. You can release a product in the raw form initially and fine tune it later (by providing updates).
How did we promote this E-Book?
We have not used any paid promotions for this E-Book. As I wrote earlier, our core idea was to make use of the traffic in DollarFry. We promoted this E-Book to readers of this particular blog post – Six Ways for Programmers to Make Money Online. If you read through the blog post, you can see promotions of the E-Book. Apart from this, we occasionally promoted the E-Book in DollarFry using notification bars (like HelloBar) and popup advertising (to people who visited other posts in DollarFry). We have also used a sidebar banner advertisement in DollarFry. The important thing to note is that we directed all our promotional efforts (the hyperlinks) to a custom designed landing page in DollarFry. We have designed this landing page dedicatedly to promote this E-Book.
Apart from these promotional efforts, the organic traffic of marketplaces (LuLu and Amazon Kindle) might have contributed to some sales. We don’t have a clear data on sales happened through organic traffic from LuLu and Amazon. However, a major share of E-Book sales is from promotional efforts in DollarFry.
Income Report (up to 31st August 2016)
Let’s come to the core part of this blog post – the income report on E-Book sales of 27 Ways for Programmers to Make Money Online. We have been selling this via LuLu and Amazon Kindle marketplaces. The promotional efforts in DollarFry were directed towards LuLu only.
Earnings from LuLu – 110.67 USD (Sales Value – approximately 180USD – including LuLu commission)
Earnings from Amazon Kindle – 45 USD (Sales Value – 75USD approx)
Note 1:- We have not promoted Amazon Kindle sales via DollarFry. LuLu being a less popular marketplace than Amazon, the organic sales from LuLu could be approximated around 10 to 20USD. The remaining earnings from LuLu is achieved via promotions in DollarFry.
Total Earnings from E-Book Sales – 155.67 USD
Note 2:- We know this amount is very very less compared to what we earn from our other businesses. DollarFry is not our full-time business. We work on DollarFry only on our free time. But we consider this a good achievement because we generated this revenue solely from DollarFry (using a product we created). We would not have published this E-Book if we had not looked for the best-performing blog post(s) in DollarFry.
Screenshot from LuLu
Future of the E-Book
We have decided to take this E-book to next level. As an initial step, we will be reworking on the book to release a 2nd Edition. The next edition of the book will be improved with good graphics, interviews of programmers who make money online and other useful information. The revised version will be proofread and edited with the help of Professional English writers for quality.
For the marketing part:-
- We will be running promotional campaigns via DollarFry
- We will be listing in other E-Book Marketplaces (to get more sales)
- We will be using internal promotional features of LuLu, Amazon and other marketplaces
- We will be promoting this E-Book in other blogs making use of Affiliate Programs
If you are an expert in some topic like say PHP Programming or an expert in Python or an expert in some other areas like Writing Ad Copies or an expert in Italian Cooking; we recommend you to come with a good & useful E-Book idea. You can make good money by selling your expertise as E-Book to others (who seek knowledge). We are not E-Book experts! And making money from E-Books is not our first priority as well (as we have a handful of other successful online businesses). We published this E-Book as an experiment. There are lots of E-Book superstars who make tens of thousands of Dollars with their E-Books. Why wait! Get to action immediately.
Note:- Read our article on – How to Make Money Online by Selling E-Books
We shall publish Income Reports from E-Book sales in coming months as well. We shall also publish income reports from our other online business as well in coming days. Stay tuned!
What are the popular online businesses types in India
India is a big country and different kinds of online business are budding up day by day. Which online business is apt for you?
Lets have a look at some of the online business that are popular and feasible in India.
India is a country with more than 1.3 Billion in population and is expected to become the country with biggest population by 2025. The internet just have around 48 % penetration of the total Indian population, where in countries like US , the penetration is more than 85 %. This states it clearly that the Indian eCommerce industry(which is a 30 Billion dollar industry right now) is gonna skyrocket in the upcoming years.
Some of the biggest players in the Indian eCommerce industry are,
Biggest ecommerce websites in India
India being a big country, have the space for many ecommerce businesses. Here is a list of the top eCommerce businesses in different sectors. You can also see that most of these ecommerce portals were started around 2011-2012.
Flipkart – Found in 2007, Headquarters at Banglore
Snapdeal – Found in 2010, Headquarters at NewDelhi
Amazon – Global Player, found in 1994, Headquarters at Seattle.
Fashion and Apparels
Mynthra – Launched in 2007, Headquarters -Bangalore
Jabong – Launched in 2012, Headquarters at Gurgaon
Pepperfry – Found in 2012, Headquarters at Mumbai
Fabfurnish.com – Found in 2012 ,headquarters at Gurgaon
Diamonds and Jewelry
Bluestone – Established in 2011,
Spects and Frames
First of all you need to identify your ecommerce niche. You cannot compete with Flipkart or amazon, the niche must be comfortable for you, also it should a space in the gigantic ecommerce market. In 2016, the success of ecommerce lies in picking the right niche. You also need to create a proper marketing strategy for your ecommerce store, like whether to use Facebook/Google ads,direct ads etc.
2. Digital Product Store
Starting a digital product store is another good online business in India. The biggest advantage of a digital store is that the investment is one time . A digital product can be sold repeatedly and the profit percentage will stay high.
Some of the popular digital good store ideas are
Ebook Store – When it comes to 2016, ebooks are as popular as paperbacks. Start an ebook store in a niche , market your ebook store and bring audience and sales to it.
Softwares – We are living in a world of free softwares. But, there are software niches that are not available online. Find out the right opportunity and start selling your software. Long tail pro is one such good example for a software that has demand.
[spencer haws longtialrpro earning image]
Photos/Videos/ Graphics – 2016 is an age of designers. Without good design, you cannot do anything. If you are a creative designer or do have a team of good designers, you can start your online graphic store. Through this digital store you can sell your graphic designs to the users. Some of the good examples would be istockphoto, shutterstock etc(at times, I’ve found them expensive). If you can find out an economical solution in a good niche , you can certainly turn out your store into a success.
Themes/Plugins – We sell WordPress themes through themeforest. So far we got more than 130 sales. Not that big, but a good start. Some of the hottest platforms that do have great demand for themes/plugins are WordPress,Magento,Shopify,Joomla,Prestashop etc.
3. Ebook Selling
Ebook Selling is another good online business model. Being a digital product, the efforts/ investment are one time. You have multiple options to sell your ebook .
- Amazon and Amazon Kindle store – List out your ebook in the amazon stores for free. If your book is good, the amazon audience will buy your ebook
- Blogs – Start your own blog,build audience to it and sell your ebook on behalf of this audience. If you have no interest in starting a blog, make a list of blogs through which your ebook can be sold. Contact these bloggers and offer a commission per sale.
- Shareasale – You can list your ebook in shareasale, shareasale affiliate users can promote your ebook
- Warriorplus – Warriorplus is similar to shareasale, where you can offer a percentage the sale revenue as affiliate income to the seller.
Blogging is another online business in India with great demand. You can see the income reports of many Indian bloggers all over the internet. Amit Agrawal is one of that old and popular Indian bloggers and is expected to have an earning of $60,000 a month. Harsh Agrawal from shoutmeloud publishes his income report regularly, In June 2016 Harsh earned $29,659 from his blog.
Yes, the blogging industry is crowded very much but if you can find the right niche which has space, you can definitely make money out of it. Tools like Google trends can be used to find out the new trending blogging niches.
Note: – If you are looking to launch a blog in the fashion niche, we have created an excellent guide on How to Start a Fashion Blog and make money from the blog.
5. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is another online business model possible to operate in India. The idea of affiliate marketing is very simple. You refer a customer (possibly a visitor on your website) to a particular product and if the customer buys the product, you’ll get a percentage of the sale as commission. If you are new to the term ‘affiliate marketing’, read our guide on – What is Affiliate Marketing to get a good idea.
Harsh Agrawal from ShoutMeLoud has published this blog post in which he has disclosed his 5-year affiliate earnings – $80,410, Out of which more than 20% of the earnings came through hostgator affiliates.
Indian E-commerce giants like Flipkart, Amazon.in and SnapDeal offer affiliate programs for its approved associates. If you are familiar with the Amazon.com Affiliate program, things will be easy for you. The affiliate programs of these Indian e-commerce companies operate somewhat similar to the Amazon affiliate program. You have to refer visitors from your website to the websites of these e-commerce companies through their product affiliate link. You will get a commission when any of those referred visitors makes a verified purchase.
What are the popular affiliate programs in India
Amazon is the number one affiliate program in India. Amazon offer 5-10 percent commission per sale.
Shareasale – Shareasale affiliate offers good range of commission, there are products which offer commissions as high as 75%. You need to pick one product and can promote it through facebook, blog, social medias etc.
Hosting is a niche where the Indian affiliate marketers make great deal of money. Most of the hosting affiliates pays good commision as well, the bluehost hosting affiliate pays you $60+ per signup. Online marketerers like Patt Flynn makes more than $75,000 a month from bluehost affiliates alone.
Some of the most popular hosting affiliate programs in India are
Flipkart one of the most popular eCommerce website in India offers one of the best affiliate programs in India offers upto 12% commission per sale.
India is a country where arranged marriage is a billion dollar industry. Bharatmatrimony affiliates offers you 25% commission per paid signup. If your blog has descent amount of traffic, you can post text links or banners to bharatmatrimony in your website/blog and get paid per signup.
6. Selling in eCommerce Market places
Ecommerce marketplace selling is another good online business to start in India in 2016. You can register as a vendor to the popular eCommerce portals in India. Some of the popular eCommerce market places in India are.
From my personal experience selling in Snapdeal was not that bad. I have a store for artificial flowers in Snapdeal. I used to get plenty of orders, there were days where I got like more than 20 orders. I didnt have much inventory (around 30 products). I am sure that the number of orders will be improved(may be doubled) if I add more products.
The biggest negative in selling through Snapdeal is the unexpected returns and order cancellations which you may need to encounter. Snapdeal doesn’t have a system to track cancelled orders, you might only come to know about the order cancellation after you ship the product. When I started selling in Snapdeal, I got like 3 orders on the very first day, I was excited and once I packed all those 3 products, I found those orders vanished into thin air. When I called the customer support, they told me that all the orders were cancelled. Well, okay, the poor vendor should be notified right?
Once Snapdeal resolves these problems, it will be a great marketplace for sellers in India.
Amazon is much more organized that snapdeal, I’ve listed 15 products in amazon. The number of orders I get from amazon is far less compared to Snapdeal. May be it takes some more time for the orders to catch up(I only started recently in amazon). But the over all experience was good, very organized, more over I can arrange the shipping of my own. In Snapdeal, they handle the shipping(through couriers with which they have tie ups). I’ve often felt that the Snapdeal shipping charge is little bit over priced. In amazon, we can bargain with our courier partner and this can reduce our shipping cost.
Flipkart is another good eCommerce marketplace with a very big user base. I have no personal experience selling in Flipkart, but many people I know do sell in flipkart and make great deal of revenue online.
7. Selling Services
India is a country with the second biggest population in the world with lots of technical resources. Most of the engineering graduates are into IT/Software jobs, this has resulted in an aggregation of many IT experts in India.
You can bid for works in different domains from upwork(formerly elance), freelancer, guru etc. The industry(especially web development, web design etc)is a little bit crowded, but you can see lots of jobs posted in various categories. Try bidding in low competitive categories, you can definitely get works from these portals. Data mining/Business Intelligence will be be one good area to explore.
What are the scopes of doing online business in India
Doing online business in India do have great scope. Now a days you can see lots of people in India working full time online. The major challenge is to find the right online business for you. Whether it is ecommerce or blogging or whatever, you need to choose an online business that is feasible for your. For instance, if you have an offline business that do have a good scope to go online, then your area is eCommerce.
As I said there is not point of starting another flipkart or snapdeal, but you can always go niche. In my case, I already have an offline business of artificial flowers, which is a niche and I took it online. The online competition for artificial flowers is not that high.
Like wise, every online business models which I mentioned above do have their own opportunities. You just need to identify it. Some says the blogging industry is overcrowded, but I strongly have to disagree. Well, I admit that there is no point in starting another gadget review blog(too crowded) but we are living in a world where a number of topics are generated daily. You just need to find a new blogging niche which do have less competition and vast opportunity.
Hope you enjoyed this article about starting an online business in India. Queries? Just shoot in a comment.
Are you looking forward to make money from your blog? Don’t have much money to spend?
This article can help you in starting your blog for free and making money from it. I’ve divide the whole article into 2 sections.
1. How to start a blog for free?
In order to start your blog for free, you have to register a blog in WordPress or Blogger.
Both platforms are good, but I’d prefer using WordPress rather than blogger.
Why WordPress is better than blogger?
Some quick features,
- Better themes – WordPress have lots of good themes compared to blogger. So , if you are looking to build one good blog with a good clean design, WordPress will be the wisest choice.
- Better functionality – WordPress have better functionality than blogger
How to start a free blog in WordPress ?(6 Steps)
#Step 1: Get to WordPress.com
Browse into WordPress and select the Create Website Button.
#Step 2: Select the category of your blog
Complete the small survey of WordPress about your blog.
#Step 3: Select the type of homepage
Select the type of homepage you want. You can even start an online store with WordPress for free. Here, as we are starting a blog, its better to select the first option , A list of my latest posts.
#Step 4: Choose a WordPress theme
In this step, you need to select the theme of your blog.
#Step 5: Select the domain name
In this step, you need to set a domain name for your blog. You need to pay in order to get an independent domain name, in the free option, you’ll get a WordPress subdomain. Here I’ve registered, mysuperawesomeblog2017.wordpress.com
#Step 6: Select the Free option
You need to select the free option
#Step 7: Create your WordPress account
#Step 8 Your Done! Happy Blogging
This is how your blog interface looks like, you can see the sample First blog post generate by WordPress itself to make your job easier.
2. How to make money from your blog?
In order to make money from your blog you have six popular methods ,
- Using Contextual ads
- Affiliate Marketing
- Selling your Product
- Selling your services
- Selling your blog
- Selling sponsored post and ads.
Read more in How to make money from your blog