REAL Ways to Make Money Online

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My neighbor’s dog walker’s barber said that the host of her fortnightly book group knows someone who makes up to $500 an hour online! Read on to hear her story and find out how you can do it too.

Yeah, right. Attention-grabbing, spurious claims like the one above are ubiquitous in the virtual world. But presence doesn’t equal credence. Whoever or whatever is making these outlandish posts around the Internet is nothing but a fraudster: The post will direct you to another URL where you’ll be asked to sign up – and pay – for a service or product or magic formula for turning Facebook likes into dimes. Or something equally as ludicrous. When it comes to making money online, this approach is one to be ignored at all costs.

But don’t let the spambots and digital snake oil salespeople deter you – there is money to be made online. Real money. And it’s waiting for you at the end of a few select avenues of opportunity, all paved with hard work and dedication. They could work for you, so check out the list below to see which of these online money-making alternatives to real-life work suit you best.

Get a digital side-job (or two)

You don’t have to make the Internet your sole source of income. Just like in real life there’s nothing stopping you from having two or more part-time jobs, or a side-job to complement your main profession or trade.

Fiverr is a great place to start. From translations to programming to design; sign up to Fiverr and offer your services to the whole World Wide Web at five bucks a gig. If you’re looking for something less taxing, then Swagbucks is your platform. Register with Swagbucks and they’ll reward you with cash and gift cards for doing things you’d normally do while surfing online, like shopping, watching videos, and using search engines.

This route is a great way of earning money online on an ad hoc, make-extra-cash-when-you-need-it basis. Going on vacation for two weeks? Do no more than remain offline – there’s no need to book the time off work from jobs like these, and no chance that a pushy boss will upset your downtime with a work request. Craigslist is worth a shot too (if you have enough time to sieve through the weird and wonderful listings, that is).

Professional blogging

Making money online from blogging is as easy as what I’m doing right now. There’s no special secret to it, simply find your passion or area of expertise and start writing about it. Once you’ve got lots of content and enough traffic – WARNING: this could take a while – you’ll soon get the attention of partners who can help you make money with your blog. The first is one of the oldest forms of earning income from blogging: advertising. Sign up with Google AdSense, for example, and then continue to blog as normal – except now you’ll receive cash for hosting ads.

The second can be filed under affiliate marketing. This branch of marketing is an evolving science, and has grown into a complex field whereby affiliate networks use your blog to promote other sites. You can earn a little bit of cash for only displaying ads; some more if someone clicks through from your site to the client’s site; and even more money if that user goes on to complete a transaction or register on the client’s site. Affiliate marketing can be an intricate process to understand – check out this post from affilinet – one of the leading affiliate marketers in the UK – for an easy-to-grasp rundown of how to monetize your blog.

Let the Internet bring work to you

The days of freelancers attending networking events and proffering business cards to all and sundry, though not obsolete, are fading fast. Now your digital presence can be your best selling point. If you’re a professional designer this should be your wheelhouse; if not, then make use of one of the many great free portfolio templates out there on the Web, and burnish your online business card till the clients come rolling in. After all, the Internet knows infinitely more people than you do, so let it do the hard work and bring you all together.