internet-tour-gudieThe “Internet Tour Guide” is one of the newest niche business opportunities in the online world. The phenomenon has developed in response to the mobile Internet user’s desire to interact with the world through their cell phones, pads, tablets and other PDA devices. It’s just another contemporary way to make money in the new millennium.

What is an Internet Tour Guide? An Internet tour guide creates virtual tours of an area or site that users can download to their cell phones or digital devices.  It’s a bit like writing a guidebook, except the most successful Internet tour guides create specific tours for specific kinds of visitors.

Theoretically, hundreds of different “tours” can be created for the same city using different themes.  Take a city like Chicago, Illinois for example.  An Internet tour guide could create different downloadable tours like:

* Chicago history: Such a tour would likely include stops at historical sites like the Jane Addams Hull House, the Chicago History Museum, Union Station and the Water Tower.

* Wildlife viewing: This type of tour might include locations where wildlife can be spotted, plus a stop at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

* Shopping tour: Chicago is home to thousands of fabulous places to shop, many of which have been around for decades.  A shopping tour would no doubt include Michigan Avenue stores, and perhaps some of the city’s more eclectic and off-the-beaten-path shops.

All tours would contain specific directions for driving, walking or taking public transit, including links to information on bus schedules, plus hours of operation of various sites.  Google Map directions would also be a beneficial thing to include.

How to Make Money as an Internet Tour Guide: You can make money on this idea in two major ways.  The first is to create a Website featuring “I-tours.”

This will require some research on your part.  Check out what’s available in a particular city and then research some of its sites.  Create your tours based on this research.  As we’ve already noted, the possibilities are nearly limitless when it comes to creating themed tours.

Next, lay out your tours in a point-by-point fashion that is easy to follow.  Users can download your Web pages on-the-go.  (You may also want to offer them in PDF version for users that don’t have data plans on their devices or prefer to use e-readers.)

Some Internet tour guides charge small fees for their “tours.”  However, the best way to make money is to simply run ads (using a program such as Google AdSense) on your site’s pages.  This is the easiest way to make money using this concept.

The second way to make money using this concept is to create a downloadable mobile tour application.  The app would contain the tours which would be stored right in the user’s phone.

This type of venture is more complicated than creating a Website.  If programming isn’t your thing, you’d have to hire this part out to someone else.  If you do all the research, though, you may be able to find a developer that would be willing to write the program and share a portion of its proceeds.

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