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Surfing the net for fun and profit

Internet millionaire shares his secrets to striking it rich in cyberspace

Surfing the net for fun and profit

In today's high-speed Internet era an almost unlimited amount of information is available on the web for free.

Millions are glued to their terminals surfing the vastness of cyberspace.

It is fun, but would it not be more enjoyable if you could make money doing it? Of course it would.

Kelvin Hui makes about Bt40 million a year from his community websites ambatch.com and friendearth.com.

Hui was in Thailand for a Rangsit University seminar called "Investing for fun: how to start your own online e-business". Rookie was there to pick Hui's brain.

Some people mistakenly believe building a successful e-business is only for geeks, or computer engineers, he says.

But Hong-Kong born web publisher Hui says computer literacy is not a prerequisite.

"It takes no complicated skills. With a computer to connect to the Internet anybody can earn money like the experts," he says.

Hui uses himself as an example. He has a doctorate in ecology - no information technology there.

He possesses average computer skills and cannot build complicated websites. His mother tongue is Chinese whereas almost 100 per cent of computer code is in English, as is the lingua franca of the net.

"What you need is the guts to get started," he says.

It costs nothing to start up your own e-business. Instead of investing a lot of money hiring a web developer Hui suggests building your own pages using templates available at sites like geocities.com. It and others offer free domains and software to create your own cyber shop or web log.

"To build it, just follow the instructions," he says.

There are two ways to earn money online - as a direct salesperson and as a web publisher.

Being a salesperson means you develop a website to sell products - vases, calendars, mugs or whatever. The more you sell the more you make.

If selling is not your thing then web publishing is where you want to be.

Hui started making money from web publishing seven years ago. His site referred users to an advertiser selling anti-spyware.

His e-business did well. Hui used the commission he earned to pay off his student loan that allowed him to get a Cambridge degree.

"To be a web publisher is as simple as posting your own blog. Just write on any topic you are interested in and put it on your website. And if readers click on an advertiser on your site ... bingo! You will receive a commission, he says.

"The content on your website can be had for free and sourced from other websites on the Internet."

Advertisers can be found at adbrite.com or Google Adsense.com. You will need more than 15 per cent of the content to be in English to submit it to Google Adsence. adbrite does not care what language you use.

Ads will be sent for you to post. You are paid on a per-click system. The more people clicking on the ads the more you earn.

The cheques will be delivered automatically once you reach the minimum number of hits.

"The minimum paid by Google Adsence is US$100 while adbrite is US$50", he says.

Though you might not become a millionaire overnight Hui suggests you not become too serious about making it rich.

"Develop your site step by step and don't spend all you have in one go," he warns.

"Remember, making money makes for a better life but the aim of life is not 'making money'. Have FUN with what you do first and let the FUNDS follow. Let's enjoy the process more than how much we make."


By Watchara Saengsrisin

The Nation

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