Many people became successful from the “first wave” of internet businesses. But a whole new wave of opportunity has just begun to flow, and early-adopters of the newest technology and Web 2.0 have got an incredible opportunity to reach the heights of professional and financial success.

People around the country – and in many developed countries – are rebounding from the lack of ‘community’ that has occurred over the last generation. This has resulted in an explosion of online networking communities. Originally begun in the form of message boards or forums, they now abound, and while the big players (social sites such as MySpace, Facebook, etc., and business sites such as Linked In, Ecademy, Fast Pitch, etc.) are very established, there is still ample opportunity – and easily accessed technology – for new communities to be built for profit.

What many people do not realize is the complete ease at which they can start their own “niche” online networking community as a revenue-generating enterprise, thanks to the proliferation of user-friendly platforms for business owners now available at a fraction of the price of the need to hire a software developer or team (which for a long time was the only option).

An online networking community is a superb revenue-generating business, as more and more people are looking to become a part of something in an increasingly disconnected society. With the options now available, just about anyone how to get a networking site up and running in a single week (and often in much less time), as long as they do a bit of homework to learn everything one needs to know about the hosting of the site, the software or platform needed, how to generate traffic and membership, and how to build advertising and other passive revenue streams.

Entrepreneurs who do not necessarily have access to significant startup capital need have more affordable avenues now available to build and grow an online community. These options allow these savvy startups to start – and stay – lean, in terms of staff, use of freelance or contract workers, office space, web hosting and software, office equipment and supplies, and advertising and marketing.

With the right tools, knowledge, self-discipline, and perseverance—starting an online networking business is one of the coolest new ways to achieve financial success through the internet, and to become the master of your own professional universe.

Julien Sharp, founder of Stylo Creative Communications, is a writer and social media communications consultant whose love of the written word has taken her across the globe. Her work has appeared in national and international publications. Julien is a contributing author to the latest in the best-selling Masters series by Ivan Misner, PhD and Don Morgan, MA, MASTERS OF SALES: Secrets From Top Sales Professionals That Will Transform You Into A World Class Salesperson (Entrepreneur Press, September 2007). Her first solo title, Design and Launch an Online Networking Business in a Week, is due to be published by Entrepreneur Press in spring of 2009.
© Julien Sharp