Anyone thinking about starting an online business needs to begin by asking questions to learn about what he or she is getting into before diving into cyber-world. Unfortunately, one of the first questions asked almost always involves speculation about making money online – “Can I really make money?” and “How much money can I make?” It’s a necessary concern but just not the first consideration that the prospective new online business owner should be thinking about. There are a couple reasons for saying that. First, the money question is too general and doesn’t lend itself to a meaningful answer. There are just too many online income choices available to single out any one as a typical example. Second, concentrating on money at the very start of a business venture tends to divert the prospective business owner from giving the business endeavor and his/her role in it an honest evaluation as to fit and feasibility. Yet, it’s easy to understand why money tends to be the first factor considered by the prospective online business owner when so many online income opportunities are touted for the quick money that can be obtained from them with little or no effort.There are so many ways to make money online. The possibilities are limitless or at the least limited by what can be imagined. The first three questions that anyone interested in making money online should ask are, in this order, “what am I passionate about doing?”, “is there a need for what I’m passionate about doing?” and “will people pay for what I’m passionate about doing?” These three questions will give you a good start at finding the online business that’s the right fit for you.Obviously, being passionate about the type of online business one chooses to go into is a very important factor; maybe even the most important factor needed for increasing the probability of a successful start. Despite what so many online “gurus” say, there’s nothing easy or quick about making money online. It takes a lot of hard work. The new business owner who starts a business that he or she is passionate about, starts from a position of strength. Passion will help get the beginner through the rough times. And, there will be a few of those. Whereas, a purely monetary motivation for starting an online business will only be effective if the money rewards come fast and in copious quantities which rarely happens as quickly as promised.Any business should start with a business plan. This is absolutely mandatory if the business owner is going to seek funding via loans, grants or investors. Then the business plan should be formally written and follow a conventionally accepted format. The format and content of a business plan is beyond the scope of this article but a couple of the standard categories addressed in a formal business plan should not be ignored by the prospective online business owner even if the new business owner has no intention of seeking outside funding sources. The two categories are: existing competition and marketing strategy and both will affect how much revenue can be generated by the new online business.Obviously, starting an online business in an area that is heavily saturated with similar businesses is going to affect the ability to grab some of the market share but it doesn’t have to be the deciding factor in whether or not one more online business is added to the mix. A lot depends on the next consideration and that’s a marketing plan. Network marketing is a whole different concept than traditional brick and mortar marketing and it’s here where many new online business owners fall short. Again, it’s beyond the scope of this article to get into the details of network marketing but the one thing that new online business owners find hard to grasp is that they are marketing a relationship and not a product. Online traffic is the lifeblood of any online business and getting people to come to your website or follow you on your blog will be because they see you as someone they can trust. If they trust you, they’re more apt to buy what you’re selling.So, going back to the original question, “Can you make money online?” The answer is yes if you get into the business for the right reason and have a plan for seeing that reason through to successful completion.