You keep hearing that there are tons of opportunities to make money online and you’d like to get your piece of the pie, but if you’re like most people, you have no idea where to start. What kinds of jobs are out there? How can you find and apply for these jobs? And how can you avoid scams? Luckily, there are plenty of real ways to make money when you seek work online, and in some cases all you need is an opinion to impart (although you’ll probably make more money if you have some kind of skill to offer). Here are just a few types of work you may want to look into.
- Freelance. Whether you’re looking for full-time work because you’ve suffered a layoff (or you’re simply ready to work for yourself) or you need something on the side to earn a little extra cash, freelance jobs can be found in abundance online. Of course, you must have some kind of skill, but if you dabble in writing, graphic arts, or even virtual assistance you can find services (like temp agencies) that allow you to connect with the people who are seeking your particular talents. ODesk and Elance are two good options for anyone looking for freelance work online.
- Photography. With so many blogs and websites looking for original graphics to spice up text-heavy content, you can make a killing shooting and selling stock photos. This could be anything from staged shots of employees working at desks to nature photography to animal portraits. Of course, some topics will be more popular than others, and you can figure out pretty quickly what’s going to make you more money. But once you’ve got a portfolio started you can sign up for a site like iStockPhoto and start selling your stuff.
- eBay store. It’s pretty easy to start an eBay store; all you have to do is create an account on eBay to begin selling. You probably have plenty of junk around your own home that you’d like to get rid of, and from there you can approach neighbors to see if they’d like you to sell anything on consignment. And while you can certainly scour trash cans looking for treasures to sell, another option is to advertise in your community to build up your business.
- Surveys. There are plenty of scams out there when it comes to online surveys, so you’re going to have to do your homework to find an organization that is reputable. But if you’ve ever dreamed of getting paid to give your opinion, here’s your chance. The main thing you need to remember is that anyone asking you to send money or provide sensitive personal information (your bank account number, for example) is probably scamming you. Look for services that pay you through PayPal and don’t require you to spend a dime in order to start earning. From there it’s just a matter of filling out surveys and raking in the dough.
- Monetize a blog. Okay, so you’ll have to lay out a little cash up front; you need to find a domain for sale, secure a web host, and potentially even hire a web designer to set up your blog for you (although you may learn the basics on your own as you go along). Once you get going you’ll have to provide superior content on a daily basis (to keep readers coming back) and start using SEO (search engine optimization) practices to increase your web presence and bring in targeted traffic. But one you get your numbers up you can secure advertisers, net guest posts (to alleviate the pressure to write daily posts), and even find affiliates (you put their products on your page and get money from click-throughs). It could be a really fun way to make money, and if you get popular enough, you may even sell your blog for a profit.
About the Author:
Evan Fischer is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.