It's been well established that many of the money making methods promoted or sold online are considered scams. Some websites are selling training materials to a legitimate at home business, but doing it in an unethical way – claiming you’ll be immediately wealthy with little to no effort.
Others are just blatantly illegal – they make you believe that you’re signing up for an inexpensive guide or kit, and suddenly your credit card is hit with multiple charges totaling hundreds of dollars.
Fortunately, there are actual ways to earn money online from the comfort of your home. Some of them may not replace your day job, and the ones that can take lots of time and hard work to get up and running, but they do exist.
Making Extra Money Online
Not everyone trying to make money online is looking to “get rich quick.” Some people just need a little extra money to make ends meet, to help pay down debt, or to help boost their savings.
The most popular way to make extra money online is by taking online surveys. Though online surveys only pay a dollar or two per survey, they can often be completed in a short period of time with very little effort. Just remember to only use survey websites that are associated with real market research companies – you should never have to pay to participate in market research.
Another popular way of making extra money online is through rewards websites. These websites will pay you for doing what you would do online everyday anyway – shop, check email, browse the web. The ways people use their internet is extremely valuable information to many companies. These companies will pay you to download software which tracks your movements, so they can better study how regular people use the internet. Rewards sites don’t pay much either, but essentially you are being paid for what you used to do for free.
Finally, there is something new called microjobs, or crowdsourcing. This is when a company outsources simple tasks which can’t be done by a computer, but can quickly and easily be done by a person in their spare time. Some people sign up for multiple different companies which specialize in this kind of work, making this opportunity slightly more profitable than others.
Oftentimes when people are looking for “ways to make money from home,” telecommuting jobs are what they are really looking for: a job working for an actual employer, with training and set duties that you complete from home instead of an office.
The most common telecommuting jobs available online are those working for call centers. Customer service, quality control, sales – if the job can be done with a phone and a computer, it can generally be done from home. Data entry and transcription are two other jobs that are easily done from home, for the same reason.
Often these companies will train you as independent contractors, which is not exactly the same as being an hourly employee. However, the work can be steady and sometimes offers benefits. Companies that provide telecommuting opportunities include, but aren’t limited to:
And while it is always a good rule of thumb to never pay anyone for a job, these types of jobs may require you to invest in certain software or equipment to be able to do your work properly.
Freelance jobs differ from telecommuting because you are self employed, though you are performing work for other companies or people. The most common freelance jobs online are writing based, generally for blog articles and website content. Joining freelance writing websites and forums can help you find many individual jobs, and some jobs which may turn into long term contributing.
Or, if you prefer taking pictures to writing articles, you can sell stock photos online. There is a high demand on the internet for basic photos, often of everyday items. You don’t need to be an expert, or an artist. You simply post your photos on stock sites and are paid a commission when the photo sells.
At Home Businesses
This is the big one. Often people go online looking for a telecommuting or freelance job and get swayed by websites claiming that they can make thousands of dollars a month, with just a couple hours of work a day. And all they need to do is pay $97 for a “certified training program.”
The reality is that there are many types of at home businesses which can earn people a livable income. Network marketing, internet marketing, making money through advertising on your website – all of these can technically provide you with enough money to replace your current day job.
Unfortunately – like any brick and mortar business – establishing an at home business takes time, money, and a whole lot of effort. But the good news is that there is lots and lots of free information about these businesses and how they work online, so you can see whether or not any of them sound right for you.