We’ve all seen the quick fix: Banner ads and pop-ups, maybe a stray email that makes it through your spam filters, with promises of untold riches that await you. Work from home! Get money fast!
Someone gets rich, all right: But it isn’t you.
So how can you really make money online?
It has nothing to do with “Weird tricks of a stay-at-home mom revealed!” or anything that employers hate. Potential to earn revenue online is out there – you just have to know how to go about it.
Without any weird tricks. We promise.
But you do have to ask yourself a few questions.
Am I willing to pitch others’ products online?
Affiliate marketing can work. Amazon.com gives a hefty 25 percent commission if someone purchases an item you promote. Choose from millions of products Amazon offers. TopTenReviews ranked Commission Junction, LinkShare and one Network Direct as the best of 2013.
Tip: Pick a few reliable products to promote with one or two sites.
2.Can I snap a pretty decent photo?
You could sell stock photography to a growing sector of web clients. Business sites, bloggers and other clients need high-quality stock photography. Just join a site such as iStockphoto, Shutterstock or stock.xchng, for free. Some sites will require you to apply to become a contributor.
Tip: You’ll get better quality if you have a camera with a minimum 8 megapixels and shoot with a digital SLR, rather than an 8MP compact.
3.What am I willing to do for extra cash?
Micro-projects might fit your talent scope. Companies, especially small businesses, would rather contract you for small and mid-range projects than expand full-time staff. Apps such as Gigwalk and sites such as TaskRabbit solicit assistance from delivery drivers to on-demand workers and event staff.
Tip: Microjobs can be as involved as photo assignments and as simple as social media sharing or clicking on ads and posting in forums. Know what you’re willing to do, but be open to new possibilities.
4.Am I willing to launch a startup company?
Business ownership once required office space, retail space, a staff, and more. Today? All you need is a computer, a website and inventory space, which can be your living room. If you offer a service, you don’t need inventory space. A virtual store, on your domain or through eBay, can be profitable.
Tip: Find a niche product or specialized service (eco-friendly lunch bags or math tutoring for middle schoolers) and pepper your online business with top-notch customer care.
5.Can you write?
You can freelance for sites looking for good content, or review products and services on your blog. Be sure the review is a natural fit for your blog, and don’t alienate your faithful readers. Elance and oDesk are good resources for outsourced content, but you can earn money there, too.
Tip: Check out fiverr.com. You can offer any service there, as long as you charge $5. If anything, it’ll give you some ideas of things you’d be willing to do for 5 bucks a pop.
Never send money in advance of any online opportunity. If a site asks you for money, they’re the ones getting rich.
Be your own boss. You know what you’re willing and unwilling to do to make money online.
The more reliable your Internet connection, the better. Home and Mobile Internet is perfect for online commerce. It will help you save more money so that you can invest more time and money to your talent.