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How easy is it to make money online?

There are those that have a vested interest in making you think that there is easy-money just waiting to be harvested from the internet. Proclaiming this as fact then creates interest and provokes questions about how this might be possible. My personal stance is that 'easy' (and legitimate) money is not really to be had anywhere, but don't rite off internet earnings just yet... at least find out what sort of earnings are available, and heed the warnings in the second part of this article about the scams that are so prevalent on the web.

Is it possible to make money online? A definitive answer…

The first thing to say is that if you are NOT restricted to ‘legitimate’ money-making ie. if you are not someone who cares whether what you do is morally right, then please move on - what I have to offer is not for you. If you think you can ‘get rich quick’ (legitimately) on the internet – think again… On the other hand if you are prepared to do some groundwork and make a few hundred extra dollars a month, it is possible I can personally vouch for that.
There are a million different ways to make money on the internet, so first we must define which path you wish to pursue. I am going to start by differentiating between making money with a web site or blog, and making money without a web site. I have less experience of making money without a website so I am going to start with that option.
Four methods come to mind:

  1. Using Ebay or a similar service to trade either reselling purchases or just getting rid of your old clutter.
  2. Writing as a freelancer – this is not something I have tried, but I hear that ‘Associated Content’ is the big cheese for this type of scheme. You can earn reasonable amounts of money if writing is your forte.
  3. Paid To… programs – this is the easiest and least well-paid of the options, but there are probably hundreds of organisation paying people to click on adverts and view website and emails.
  4. An online ‘job’ where you are employed to promote/sell a product or as admin support as a secretary or in a similar role. I have heard of this type of scheme working for people, but I think there are far more ‘scams’ that real opportunities out there.

My advice for any of these methods would be to carefully research the opportunity and NEVER just apply for an online job as a result of an unsolicited email that you received…

Making money with a website:

I am drawing a distinction between a ‘standard’ website and a blog because different schemes apply to different formats although there are schemes which you can employ on either format.
The most famous of these is Google adsense – context-sensitive adverts which you can add to your website or blog. There are others such as Bidvertiser and Adbrite, but Adsense is the market-leader against which all other schemes are measured. In simple terms you add some code to your website or blog, the code allows Google to place relevant adverts on your site and you get paid small amounts when visitors click on your adverts.
Is it a money-spinner? Not unless you gear your site up completely for Adsense and get into some ‘Black Hat’ or possible slightly greying hat SEO techniques. Adsense will earn you a small regular amount varying from maybe a few cents to a few dollars per day – this may well be more than enough to cover the costs of paying for your domain and hosting your website and therefore you may be already showing a net profit…
From experience I would say that in general terms you are less likely to get clicks on adverts on a blog unless it is based on a good niche and you get plenty of traffic.

Another way to make a website work for you and deliver passive income is to use affiliate schemes for products and services closely related to your site content. Each scheme has it’s own payment matrix, but some yield decent amounts even into hundreds of dollars for a visitor to your site who ultimately signs up for their service or product.
There are other companies who will pay fixed amounts to have adverts placed on your site. This can either be done through a broker such as Linkworth or with a fixed scheme such as money4banners, or by advertising your rates and inviting potential advertisers to get in touch.
Blogs have earning potential all of their own through Paid to Blog programs, the leading light in this arena is PayPerPost, please note that they have minimum requirements such as the age of the blog, the number of posts and restrictions on content. They pay anything from $5 per post up to hundreds if you have a really good pagerank for your blog.

When researching money-making ideas on the internet (or anywhere else for that matter) you need to ask: Where is the money coming from? If there is a logical answer, the amounts are realistic and there are plenty of people who can testify that the scheme works. then the chances are that the scheme will be legitimate. If the money is only coming from the participants, then you should be wary…. Most legitimate schemes make use of the advertising revenue available from the internet either via direct advertising or content-related advertising. - see my monetisation section

For the low-down on internet scams, jump to the next page


By: Jay Livewyre


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