I am so sick of turning on the TV or opening a newspaper. All you get are media-inspired “doom and gloom” stories about the stinking recession.

Now I don’t mean to make light of a serious situation. I know that a lot of very big companies have been caught with their pants down, so to speak. And I know that many good, honest folks have lost a lot of money – or even their jobs – as a result of the current crisis, through absolutely no fault of their own.

But that doesn’t mean you should hide your head in the sand and wait for “the good times to roll” again before you embark on a new business venture. The truth is, NOW is the best time – especially on the Internet.

Businesses that are launched in hard times are better equipped to survive than those that grow bloated and fat during times of surplus spending. But in order to thrive during an economic slowdown, you need to know how to do things the smart way, and not waste money you don’t have on strategies that won’t work.

Today, I’d like to share with you four cheap and easy ways to create new streams of income with an Internet business.

Without further ado, here they are:

Business Turbo-Charger #1. Generate passive income with a niche website.

A niche-centered Internet business is the best way to profit from a downturn, because the cost of entry is so low… and the upside is enormous.

On top of that, an Internet business is very forgiving. You never have to “bet the farm” on an idea. You test it out, and if it isn’t working, you find out right away. Then, you can either fix it or move on to something better.

Business Turbo-Charger #2. Join an affiliate program that aligns with your current business model.

This is the fastest way to grow an existing Internet business, guaranteed.

Your customers are very likely to buy from you again and again – but how do you get them to do that if you have only one product? Easy. You offer them affiliate products.

All you need to do is conduct some research into your market and discover what products your audience is clamoring for (beyond what you already provide).

Then you find an affiliate program that offers such products, and sign up with them.

Then you simply e-mail your customers special offers for those products… mention them on your site, in your e-newsletter, and in your blog… and watch the orders come rushing in!

Business Turbo-Charger #3. Start a blog or e-newsletter to strengthen your relationship with your customers.

In turbulent times, the businesses that are truly successful go the extra mile to build a strong relationship with their customers and prove that they always have their customers’ best interests in mind.

Starting a blog or e-newsletter is a great way to do this. It helps you personalize your Internet business, and allows your customers to get a glimpse of the people behind the scenes. This goes a long way toward reassuring wary online shoppers that you’re someone they want to do business with.

Not only that… search engines absolutely love the fresh and frequently updated content in blogs and e-newsletters. And that means you’ll get a big boost in the search engine rankings and drive more qualified visitors to your site.

Business Turbo-Charger #4. Write helpful articles to boost your reputation.

An effective way to spread the word about your business and boost your reputation as an “expert” is to write free articles on topics related to your industry, and then submit them to the Internet’s top article directories.

The benefits of doing this are twofold…

1. Your target audience will become familiar with your name, and will be far more likely to buy your products.

2. The links you’ll get from the articles that point back to your site will give you a nice boost in your search engine rankings.

The bottom line is that every little thing counts. You have to do what you can to separate yourself from the pack and stand out from your competitors. And you have to keep your eyes open for every opportunity to add new streams of income to your business.

This is especially important during an economic slowdown. If one or more income streams dry up, your business will continue to thrive.

With an Internet business, you never have to worry. As long as you build the business on a solid niche, and are always looking for ways to diversify your income streams, you’ll be able to keep afloat… even when others around you are drowning.

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