make money on facebookUrban legend has it that executives at Facebook want their social network site to be the “new search engine,” or perhaps even the “new Internet.” In other words, Facebook may very well be on its way to Web domination, becoming THE place where you can do and find everything you need and want virtually. It’s already possible to shop, trade, sell, text, chat, advertise and much more on Facebook. Will Facebook make Google or even the Internet obsolete?

Whether the urban legend is true or not, it’s unlikely Facebook will take over the world. However, it has already built a strong Internet presence, and will probably be so for awhile. So why not take advantage of Facebook’s success and get a little piece of the action yourself?

If you do a little research, you’ll discover there are dozens of different ways to make money on Facebook. Some are easy and can be done with little or no technical knowledge. Others require more in-depth skill and/or business savvy.

In this tutorial we will talk about two of the most popular ways to make money using Facebook. We’ll rate each one on a scale of one to five for how simple or advanced each method is. A rating of one means easy, with no technical skills required. A rating of five means that advanced skills or special knowledge is needed. These ratings may help you to decide which method you should attempt to use.

I. Selling Stuff

There are a variety of ways to sell things on Facebook. In this section we’ll examine three of these ways, giving you steps for each method as well as a difficulty rating for each.

Facebook marketplace: Facebook marketplace is like advertising in your local classified section of your newspaper, except on a large scale. The following section describes in detail:

1. Decide on a delivery method. You’ll have to think about how you will get whatever it is you’re selling to the buyer. You may choose to sell only to local contacts and require that they pick up any items they purchase. Then the onus for delivery isn’t on you. The only problem with this method is that you limit yourself in terms of the number of potential buyers you can sell to.

If you decide that you’ll ship whatever you’re selling, you’ll have to find out how much various delivery services charge and then pass that cost on to your buyers. Most shippers, whether it’s the post office or a courier like FedEx, base their delivery charges on size and weight of the item being shipped, how far it’s going and how fast you want it to get there.

You can choose to deal only with one or two shippers and that will make shipping pricing much easier to deal with. The post office should be your main method of shipping. If you want to offer another option to buyers, pick just one carrier to use to keep it simple.

2. Come up with a way for your buyers to pay you. Local buyers who are picking up their purchases can simply pay you in person. (Ask for cash only, no checks to avoid getting ripped off.)

When it comes to buyers who live out of your immediate area, the best way to accept payment is via PayPal. Anyone can send or receive money via PayPal; all you need is an email address. PayPal allows customers to pay with a major credit card, or with cash they’ve deposited into their PayPal account.

If you don’t already have one, create a PayPal account. Go to www.paypal.com and click on the “Sign Up” button and follow the instructions. It’s free to create a basic PayPal account. Now when someone buys something from you, you need only to refer them to PayPal and give them your email address. (Don’t ship the item until the customer’s payment has been cleared.)

3. Enable Facebook Marketplace on your profile if you haven’t already. Just go to your home page and enter “marketplace” in the search field.

4. Go to the Facebook Marketplace page and click on the button that says “Post Listing to Marketplace.”

5. Enter the item that you’re selling. Use persuasive and descriptive words, but be brief in this field.

6. Choose your location (it may show the nearest major city by default, and you might not be able to change this location).

7. Select the type of item you’re selling from the drop down menu provided. Choose the best possible category that your item fits into (i.e. “Stuff”). You may also be given the opportunity to choose subcategories. Take advantage of this (i.e. “Stuff? Clothes? Shoes”). Be sure to do this, you’ll get more targeted interest this way.

8. Enter the reason why you are selling the item in the proper field.

9. Describe the item. Again, use persuasive and descriptive words, but don’t get overly wordy. Try to keep your description to less than 100 words, but make sure that you include all pertinent information (size, weight, shape, condition of the item, age of the item, etc.) depending on what you’re selling. You may also choose to upload a picture of the item. You should always do this if possible. It will increase your chances of selling the item.

10. Choose whether you want it to appear in the whole marketplace or just to your Facebook friends only by clicking in the appropriate field. (Note: always choose “marketplace.” You’ll have a much wider audience.)

11. Click “Post” when finished.

12. Choose “Allow” when the Marketplace box pops up.

13. Enter your email address if prompted.

14. Supply information requested, if prompted. This may include your name and email. You may also be asked to supply a password. Make sure that you agree to the Terms of Service (the box should be checked by default).

15. You’ll be sent an automatic email. You’ll have to follow the instructions in the email to activate the listing.

Difficulty Rating: 2 – This is about the easiest method of using Facebook to make money. The only reason we didn’t give it a “1″ for simplicity is because it will take you some extra time to set up a PayPal account, Marketplace account, etc. if you are brand new to this. Those who already have all of these things will probably find this to be more of a “1″ in terms of simplicity.

Create and sell your own products: Don’t have a product of your own to market? Then create one! Companies like Zazzle and Café Press allow you to create your own customized products from their line of items.

With either of these sites, you get to choose your product from hundreds of items. Café Press is best known for customizable t-shirts, but also lets you create custom mugs, stationery, wall art, device cases and other types of custom clothing. Zazzle lets you choose from items similar to Café Press, but also has some items you can’t find on Café Press, like hanging ornaments.

Once you have selected and designed your items, you can advertise them on Facebook. Include links on your Facebook page to your Café Press or Zazzle store. Feature products in your status box or use the “Links” app on Facebook to link to your store directly. You can even create your own business page for your products/store within Facebook.

First, we’ll start with the steps for designing Café Press items:

1. Go to the Café Press home page.

2. Click on the link near the top right hand of the page that says “Open your own online store.” You’ll be redirected to a page that lists some of the benefits of having your own Café Press “store.”

3. At the bottom of this page, click on the button marked “Start selling now.” You’ll be redirected to the sign up page.

4. Create an account supplying the requested information. Make sure you check of the box that indicates you agree to Café Press’ Terms of Service.

5. Click the “Join Now” button at the bottom of the page. You’ll be redirected to an expanded information page.

6. On this page fill out the information requested. This includes choosing a name for your “store.” Choose carefully, since this is the name that is going to reflect your business and will appear as part of your store’s URL.

7. Answer all questions and then click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the page. You’ll be redirected to an informational page.

8. Create your store and products!

Now here are the steps to creating Zazzle products:

1. Go to the Zazzle home page. Click on the “Sell” link at the top left hand of the page. You’ll be redirected to an informational page.

2. Click on the “Get Started” box, located about halfway down at the right hand of the page. You’ll be redirected to another page.

3. On this page, click on the box marked “Register,” located in the center of the page. You’ll be redirected to the sign up page.

4. Fill out the required information and choose a password. Click on “continue” when finished. You’ll be redirected to a confirmation page.

5. Click “continue” on the confirmation page. This will redirect you to another informational page. Read this information carefully. When finished, click on the “continue” button.

6. Zazzle will send you a confirmation email within a few minutes. Open the email and click on the “validate” button, or copy and paste the URL provided into your browser’s search field. This will validate your account (you won’t be able to do anything further until your account is validated). This email is time-sensitive and must be responded to within 24 hours.

7. On the validation page, click on the “OK” button. You’ll be redirected to a new page where you’ll choose the name of your store. Fill in the required information and then click on the “Create Store” button.

8. Your store is ready to be created!

Note: When creating your own products, make sure that your designs are either original (created by you) or that you have the rights to make money off of them. In other words, you can’t use copyrighted material to create and sell your own products.

Difficulty Rating: 3 – We give this a rating of 3 for a few reasons. The signing up process for both Zazzle and Café Press are very simple and straightforward (1-worthy). The extra work comes when you have to actually create your “store” and then market it using the various tools available on Facebook. Also, we know that not everyone is creative or an artist, and it will definitely take a bit of creativity to sell your designs.

Sell affiliate products: Not interested in creating your own product? Then just sell someone else’s. Affiliate marketing is the concept of selling a product made and/or distributed by another company. You are given a unique link to the affiliate product.

All you have to do is talk up the product on Facebook. Like selling items created through Zazzle or Café Press, you can create a Facebook page for your affiliate product, post it in the marketplace, and promote it from within your own profile.

Wherever you advertise it, be sure to include that unique link. This is what allows the parent company to register the fact that you made the sale and pay you out accordingly. You receive a percentage (commission) of each sale that originates from your unique link.

There are a number of ways you can find affiliate products to promote. Start by perusing one or more of these recommended affiliate partners:

* Amazon

* Share A Sale

* Commission Junction

* E-junkie

You may also choose to promote a product that you love and which offers an affiliate program.

The processes for becoming an affiliate partner are similar no matter what company you choose to go with. The following steps are generalized, but should get you started on selecting an affiliate product to market:

1. Go to the home page of your chosen affiliate partner. Locate and click on the link for new affiliate registration.

2. Fill out the required information and submit your application.

3. Depending on which affiliate you choose, you may have to wait for an email approval. Open the email when it arrives and click on the validation link or button.

4. Select your product. Make sure that you choose a product that you believe in and that you would use yourself. It’s much easier to promote something you yourself think is amazing.

5. Get your unique product URL.

6. Supply the information required to receive payment for your sales. Some affiliate companies pay by check. Others pay electronically using an online bank such as PayPal.

Note: Government rules in some countries require you to legally disclose that the product you’re promoting is an affiliate product. Check into this if you aren’t sure what the regulations are in your area.

Difficulty Rating: 3 – We rated this a “3″ because the sign up process for most affiliate partnerships is fairly straightforward. There might be some extra work involved if you need a PayPal account and don’t already have one. It will also take a little bit of work to start marketing it in the various methods available on Facebook. However, once you have all this in place, there’s not much left to do except keep talking up your product.

II. Creating and Building a Facebook Application

Facebook has hundreds of apps, many developed by regular people. The most successful of these apps go on to generate tens of thousands of dollars or more every month.

Facebook apps make money in four major ways:

* CPM: CPM means “cost per one thousand impressions.” With this model, the app developer makes a set fee for every 1,000 views of an ad that appears on the app’s page(s). In other words, after one thousand app users have opened up the app containing the CPM ad, the developer gets paid.

* CPC: This stands for “cost per click.” In this monetization model, the app developer gets paid a fee every time an app user actually clicks on an ad or link that appears on the apps page(s). If the user doesn’t click, the advertiser doesn’t pay.

* CPA: This means “cost per action.” In this model, the app developer receives a fee each time a user clicks an ad and then takes the action that is desired by the advertiser. For example, an advertiser who is trying to build up a contact list may pay an app developer for app users who click on his ad and then submit their email address to the advertiser. If the user clicks but doesn’t take the action, the advertiser does not have to pay.

* Affiliate programs: With this model, the app developer makes a percentage of the sale of any affiliate’s product that originates from the app’s page.

The more popular an app becomes, the bigger the potential for the developer to make money from it. Apps with the biggest audiences (number of users) can charge much higher rates for advertising. Plus, some of Facebook’s most popular apps, like Farmville, went on to generate millions of dollars in revenue through product licensing.

The key to making money off of a Facebook app is by coming up with an irresistible idea. Facebook is home to hundreds of boring, pointless apps that haven’t generated much revenue for their creators.

Add to that a growing mistrust of Facebook apps by some Facebook users. This is mainly due to a history of apps that generated unwanted spam for and on behalf of users, including making ridiculous postings while posing as that user. This has made it more difficult for app developers, but not impossible as long as the user’s privacy is respected and the app itself is worthy of widespread acclamation.

Instructions for downloading the Facebook platform and creating your app can be found at the Apps on Facebook.com page. From here, you’ll be able to find complete, step-by-step instructions, including:

* Creating your app

* Configuring your app

* Authorization

* Social channels

* Performance

* Special considerations

* Samples and next steps

Difficulty Rating: 5 – You should have at least a basic knowledge of programming to attempt creating your own Facebook app. Some business savvy will also be helpful. It’s definitely not something for an amateur to try, or at least, not without a partner who understands programming.

If programming isn’t your thing but you think you have a killer idea, it might be worth hiring a programmer to build your app for you. Professionals can be on the expensive side, but you may be able to find cheaper help if you look for a brilliant student (high school or college). Another option is to find a programmer who is willing to work for a cut of the profits.

Hope this helps,

Related posts:

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  4. How To Make Apps & Make Money
  5. How to Become a Life Coach and Make Money

(11) comments

Chris Harris says:

November 16, 2011 at 11:59 am

I am a facebook addict. You can not bet how much excitement this article brings to me. Pretty soon I will be earning through facebook.

Daryll Baldwin says:

November 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I find Facebook and making money on Facebook quite an interesting proposition. I am still looking for other sites to learn more but I am grateful to the author for these instructions.

Roxanne Evers says:

November 29, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Brace yourself for the coming of an age of Facebook. I use Facebook extensively in my buy and sell business. I use it as y directory and my product brochure. Instead of maintaining a website, facebook can be a cheaper alternative.

Chuck Heather says:

December 8, 2011 at 8:53 am

So, this is the reason why my facebook is becoming like a product catalog. I have friends who invited me to join their FB groups only to be notified of the products they are selling every day! Might as well get back at them and earn for my self!

Norman Murdoch says:

December 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Doing business through facebook is a bit fun. I’ve been selling stuff through FB and it is better than the traditional way. I want to learn about how to find affiliate site. I am sure I can maximize my income because I have found way to maximize social networking.

Benjie Go says:

December 20, 2011 at 6:11 am

Dear Scott, I want you to know that I super appreciate this article. Your suggestions seems to be too practical but I tell you, this have not crossed my head ever! Even facebook did not tell me that I can earn through it. Again, thank you.

Jason Lee says:

January 4, 2012 at 7:52 am

I am a direct seller and I use facebook extensively. It is quite effective marketing tool. Unwittingly, facebook has features perfect for small time entrepreneur like me.

Timothy Boyle says:

January 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Hi Scott! I did not follow your advice to the letter. But I through this article, I discover a smart idea to earn more money during the holidays. I thank you for the insight and the inspiration,

ways to make money on facebook says:

January 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Scott, thank you for the great tips. I have really only thought of using affiliate marketing and advertising as a way to monetize on Facebook. But you have opened some new doors for me. I have never thought of Zazzle or Cafe Press, nor have I thought of creating my own app. I think I will definitely take the app idea, as I have great ideas, but no programming experience. Need to outsource. Awesome ideas. Keep them coming!

Monique Wilson says:

February 11, 2012 at 5:03 am

I’ve been selling products for quite some time now, and Facebook is one big factor to advertise my products. It has helped me a lot selling to my friends and their friends and friends of their friends and so on.Thanks

Nikki Gonzaga says:

April 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm

I have some friends who are taking advantage of Facebook to sell products so I would say that it is really a powerful tool. Since most people are into Facebook, that is the reason why it would be an advantage for every business to have their own facebook account that they could use to promote their products. I have also friends that uses Twitter. Maybe I will find out if that, too, is effective just like Facebook and will share it here.

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