As with any job search, the hunt for money making opportunities online is a process of trial and error. Have you ever walked into a job interview for a position you were totally excited about, only to discover the job had been massively misrepresented? That feeling is one known to job seekers everywhere, and the online job market is no exception. Whereas with an in person interview, you at least get a chance to lay eyes on your workplace and get a feel for a situation ahead of time, when searching for money making opportunities online, you are almost completely in the dark.
Let me see if this sounds familiar: You see a “too good to be true” promise of online profits while researching your options. For the next 30 minutes, you frantically run searches on every iteration of the job title, followed by the word “scam”. (“Process rebates at home scam”, “Stuff envelopes at home scam”, etc.) The number of positive hits you get on these searches is upsetting to say the least. Navigating through the waters of online money making is like being a diver among sharks. Approach the wrong one in the wrong way, and you are going to get hurt. Is there any way to make money online legitimately, without scams, and with no upfront costs. I have good news for you. Seven pieces of it in fact…
1. Sell Your Own Products
With the explosion in popularity of selling services such as Etsy and Ebay, more people than ever are able to engage in sales transactions for things they have made or own themselves. I can not begin to tell you how many people I know who have turned their talent for creativity into money. My mother in law makes and sells jewelry, a woman I went to high school with sells spice blends out of her kitchen, a friend of mine has a thriving baking business (online orders only), and a neighbor of mine makes children’s hair bows.
Each of these people started out with a talent for making cool stuff, and by taking advantage of sites like Etsy and Ebay, they have turned those talents into money – all while doing something they love to do anyway! The great thing about these websites is that they have built in protection protocols, meaning you have recourse if a transaction falls through. These are safe and trusted websites for that reason.
2. Drop Ship Products
What would you say is the most tedious and costly part of selling products online? If you said “shipping”, there are millions of people who would happily agree with you. That is where drop shipping comes in. If you are interested in selling products online – either through your own business, or through an affiliate program with another business, you can use drop shipping to take the stress and expense out of your transactions. You make the sale, and then a dedicated drop shipper takes care of sending the items out. Easy!
3. Sell Your Own Services and Talents
So maybe you are not the type to come up with cute and creative crafts. Maybe instead, you are a hairstylist willing to travel to your clients homes. Maybe you are able to do small gardening projects in your town, and want to advertise your services. It is possible to market yourself entirely online, without having to buy expensive ad space or physical real estate. Naturally, this form of income is limited, because you can only complete a certain number of these tasks per day.
Another option would be to make use of “gig” oriented sites like Fiverr.com. This is an innovative and fun website where you can offer up a small service for five dollars per hire. When you load up the main page, you will see some of the services being offered. Things like “I will write four business slogans”, or “I will film a convincing product testimonial”, or “I will design your logo” are some of the jobs people can be hired for on a one-time basis, and all for five dollars each. Since these are usually short, easy jobs, people have made a lot of money on Fiverr.com, doing what they do best.
4. Recommend Affiliate Products to Your Readers
Becoming an affiliate of a business is typically considered a “low to no risk” proposition. Basically, the way this partnership is set up is by listing another company’s products for sale through links on your own web page. Amazon.com is a large provider of these affiliate programs, and many people have found the arrangement to be very profitable.
If you have a blog, or a website promoting your business, you could ad appropriate links to products you feel might tie in with your site. If you have a fishing blog, linking to fishing rods, reels and lures for sale on another website might get your readers to make those purchases. You earn a percentage of the sales for each click from your webpage that led to a sale. Painless, simple and scam-free.
5. Sell Space to Advertisers
If you happen to have a website that already gets a lot of traffic – or similarly, if you have a plan in place to build a website that you feel will generate a lot of traffic, you might do well to sell advertising space on that page. If you can demonstrate to advertisers that you are getting thousands of hits on your page every day, they will be interested in purchasing space on your site. Eyeballs on a page mean dollars to advertisers, and by extension, dollars to you. It’s true that this might best be put to use as a secondary income (as online ads do not sell for as much as they did a few years ago), it can still be a steady second income.
The 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.
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!
7. Start an Affiliate Program.
If you have a product you are already selling, you can recruit people to become your affiliates, and sell your products on their websites too. This works much like the scenario in point #4 above, except this time, while your affiliates are certainly getting a cut of the money for their troubles, you are making the lion’s share of the profits.
Want a little more reassurance that you are making the right choice? Check out Udemy’s course called “Money Online the Real Way“.