Earning money online

Today there are an obscene number of sites and articles on the Internet dedicated to the topic of how to make money online. My concern is that all of those I’ve ever read are completely wrong, and serve a single purpose: to help the AUTHOR make money, disguised as articles to help the reader financially.

If you’re looking to earn money online, I’m happy to try and assist in this post, though my main aim is to warn you away from false items.

1. Don’t be fooled by guides from the rich and successful
It never ceases to amaze me how many sites there out there that offer an ebook or mentoring to make people rich. The sites often talk about the huge success the person has had with “the same method” of earning money as they are offering to teach for a small fee to purchase an ebook or similar.

I don’t believe a single one of these sites is real. For a start, isn’t it strange that someone who is earning large money (and has expensive cars and houses according to the photos on some of these sites) is wasting their time selling a few ebooks on the side?

One of my more amusing finds on this topic this year was the house of a site owner. I hasten to add that I wasn’t hunting for it! I was delivering leaflets as part of supporting a friend standing for local elections and came across a branded up car. I’m not a car person, so I can’t remember quite what it was, but think fast and fancy, and you won’t be far off. This car was lovely, except for the fact that it was branded quite heavily with the URL of just one such site. Amusingly, it turns out that it was owned (or leased) by the owner/tenant of a house in quite a rough area. This goes to show, these sites are created for show, they are meant to make you think these people are hugely successful, but in reality, if you earned a huge salary, would you bother to setup a site and write an ebook to help others do the same? Probably not, I imagine.

2. Don’t be fooled by “too good to be true” investments/schemes
A common topic of “get rich quick” posts is “Forex” (Foreign Exchange based schemes) or other “investment” schemes which offer quite amazing interest rates (these can vary from 5% per month, to 200% per day). These schemes work on one of two methods:
a. Someone using method b or the Forex market, and honestly believing they can use other peoples money to “invest” in other schemes/Forex to earn money. Sharing some with their “investors”, and pocketing the rest for themselves, for a nice profit (I might point at this profit never materialises).
b. Someone out to encourage people to “invest” in a scheme that doesn’t work. They will either just steal money that is sent to them for “investment”, or they will payout a first group of users to get positive feedback on forums that review such schemes, this is done to encourage a wider and faster “investment” rate, such that the final total stolen is large. Many of these schemes can be traced (where possible) back to the same persistent offenders. One of the reasons for this is that “investors” don’t have a legal system to naturally go to to report such sites, as they are not registered financial organisations.

3. Don’t be fooled by “paid to read” schemes
These schemes are another popular topic for those looking to make money. I’ve in-fact joined some myself in the past to see how much money can be made this way. It really isn’t a lot!! Joining 5 in parallel, I could expect to earn $1 to $2 per month. The real way to get these earning any kind of money, is to refer others into the schemes, as referral fees can enable you to enable pennies/cents without constant effort from yourself. This all said, you will still be talking less than $1 per week, unless you have a very large number of referrals.

4. DO something you enjoy
So I’ve run everything down… what is the secret answer to earning money online? Well if I’m honest, I’m not going to say I have a huge secret here… I don’t live in a mansion, and I don’t drive a luxury car, but…
a. In my experience, money on the Internet lies in advertising. You can make money advertising things on behalf of companies, either using schemes like Google Adwords (I have done this and earned well from it in the past), or more commonly you can advertise using advertising networks like Google Adsense on sites you own/maintain. This can earn well, but don’t expect to live from the advertising revenue of 1 site! Unless you setup the next Facebook, you’ll need to run something like 50-100 sites to earn a living in my view.
b. Do something you have a passion for, and this will generate true interest from real people. This may mean setting up a site based on a hobby or interest, writing articles on a favourite topic, or maybe selling items you know something about on ebay. Whatever way you choose to display your passion, don’t mislead your audience… people aren’t stupid, and you’ll simply find you are unsuccessful if you attempt to appear an expert in something you aren’t, or simply try to do something for the money.

Final Note:
I feel I should be clear that, although some are very successful with Internet, most who try are not, and either lose a lot of money, or use any “income” to suppliment the income of a “normal” job. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can make a fortune… be happy in what you do and are in life, and if you really fancy having a go at business on the Internet, do something you love, and something true and honest. You should be able to make money, and you can use advertising to enhance this (if that isn’t your entire business!), but don’t expect to have a passive income that allows you to earn £30k+ with a few hours work a day.

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