Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online: Hacking the Web for Cash

online business ideas

Navigating the waters of supposed online money making opportunities requires a keen eye, a dash of humility, and a good nose for smelling B.S. I remember about a year or two ago, there was a lot of buzz surrounding a so-called “opportunity” to process rebates at home for amazing money.  These come-one were aimed primarily at stay at home moms, or the unemployed and underemployed.  In other words, vulnerable people.  It turned out to be total bunk, and a lot of people got burned simply for trying to make some extra money.  It seems like everywhere you turn, you are seeing offers that are too good to be true – and after a quick search, you discover that your suspicions were right.  Terms like “Scam Warning!”, “Fraud”, and “Don’t get duped!” pop up alongside these promises of quick, easy cash, and after an hour or two of searching, you feel discouraged and  lost.  Is the internet just one giant pyramid scheme, looking to take advantage of  those in need of some extra money?

The answer, thankfully, is no.  Making money online is something that can be accomplished easily, legitimately, and without up front costs to you.  As long as you take a little time to research the money making options available online right now, you can absolutely come out on top.  No scams, no false promises and no bait and switch scenarios – really!  The reality is that a lot of companies not only rely on people like you, but they have built their entire business on the premise that folks out there need online money making opportunities.  They are all too happy to hire you.  Let’s take a look at a few opportunities that will let you start making money right now.

Freelancing

sites like fiverrThe term “freelancer” covers a wide variety of skill sets.  If you have experience in writing, editing, graphic design, web design, or marketing, chances are, someone wants to put you to work.  As with any other online job opportunity, you have to be careful about people looking to take advantage.  Taking an overall introductory course to freelancing is an excellent idea, because it will help you learn how to pitch jobs, find jobs, and which websites to use.  Never take a job off of an online classified ad site (such as craigslist).  There is no recourse for a situation like that.  Someone might post a job offering $1,000 for a sci-fi novel – but if you complete it, and send it over to them, what impetus to they have to pay up?

For that reason, it is especially important to use services like elance.com, or odesk.com.  Those sites have systems which protect both the freelancers and the companies hiring them.  If you do work through one of those sites, it will all be documented, and if there were to be a payment dispute, the website can come to your aid.  There is a feedback system in place, and your clients can put money in escrow as a guarantee of payment before you begin working for them.  It is much safer to work under those conditions.  The fact that there are thousands of jobs available every day does not hurt either!

Etsy

scrapbooking craft materialsSo, maybe you are not a writer, or editor, but are you crafty?  Do you paint, crochet, bake, sew or even do calligraphy?  If you have a particular talent, why not put it to use and get paid for your efforts? Etsy is a website dedicated to creative people who want to sell the products of their labor.  You can set up an individual “store” online, and showcase your items there for all to see.  This is not merely a site for “artists” in the traditional sense.  If you make soap, do needlepoint, upcycle clothing, or create cute gift tags, you can sell them here.

Like any other self startup business, going the Etsy route might take a little time to get going, but once it does, you could be bringing money in regularly doing what you love to do.  You have total control of the item descriptions, pictures and price points, and you can even set terms for shipping or turnaround times.

Fiverr

fiverr reviewThis is about as cut and dry a concept as you can get, and it has taken off in a huge way.  Basically, Fiverr.com is a website dedicated to anyone and everyone with a particular talent, and they set you up with a means of selling that talent for five dollars a pop.  Making money through fiverr is direct, easy, and a great way to get started in the world of online money making.

If you load Fiverr’s home page, you will get an idea of what kind of services people are offering.  Some popular angles are “I will film a believable product testimonial”, “I will provide a 30 second voice over”, “I will animate a short video”, and “I will create a business logo”.  These are just some of the quick and painless services you are able to offer for five dollars.  If you get a good reputation going on the site, you will be offered more and more jobs.  It’s a great opportunity to put your talents out there.

Ebay

how to make money on ebayOnce upon a time, Ebay was a quaint little website where you could list (and hopefully sell) all that stuff left over from your spring yard sale.  Now?  It is one of the top 25 websites on the entire internet.  When you have that many eyeballs on a website, you have a real deal opportunity to make some money.  While the “yard sale” aspect of the site is still alive and well (especially if you are in possession of a few hard to find collectibles), there are also many opportunities for you to become one of Ebay’s many “Power Sellers”.

There are a few inherent aspects of Ebay which allow for huge money making opportunities, and knowing how to hack them can really give you an edge over other sellers.  Taking a little time to get familiar with the site, its policies, and how you can thrive there can lead to a full blown, at-home business, if you play your cards right.  There is a market on Ebay for everything from knick knacks to classic cars.  It’s just a matter of finding your customer base.

Amazon

how-to-design-a-book coverThere is no denying the fact that Amazon.com is one of the true giants of the internet.  While this is a hugely profitable business for those in charge, there is actually huge opportunities for those of us looking for just a little slice of the pie.  There are a number of ways you can make great money by using Amazon, and learning some tricks can help make this website a steady source of income for you.

If you have a blog or a website, the Amazon Affiliates program will pay you to link back to relevant, Amazon products.  In a sense, you are selling some of their products for them, getting even more traffic directed back to Amazon.  This can be profitable, even if you do not have a lot of web traffic for your own site.  If you have a creativity streak in you, taking advantage of the Kindle marketplace on amazon can bring in money from a self published book.

Amazon even has options for you to sell back some of your old books.  This can be especially helpful for college students looking to regain a little money from those used textbooks, or for anyone looking to clear a little space on their bookshelf.  They will even print you a free shipping label, and issue you a credit once the transaction goes through.  Easy!

Domain Name Speculation

legitimate ways to make money onlineThis method might have bigger risks than some of the others, but it also have bigger rewards when it pays off.  Domain name speculation is the practice of buying domain names in the hopes that a company will want that name later, and pay you for it.  Understanding how the business of domain name selling works is crucial, as it will help you make wise choices and good investments.

If you are a follower of news trends, or if you think you might be good at selecting website names ahead of time, this might be a great business option for you.  It is a relatively passive form of income, because you are waiting for the customers to come to you, but once they do, it can mean a lot of money all at once.  Generic words are often sought after such as “insurance”, “travel”, “bank”, “creditcards”, etc.  If you can choose a winning combo, the payoff can be great.

Making money online does not have to be a scary or intimidating experience.  Udemy has some great introductory courses which can help you learn some tips and tricks.  Check out “Make Money Online, the Smart Way“, to find out how you can begin earning today!