You’ve probably seen the ads and articles, and even received emails, promoting all the wonderful opportunities that exist to make money online. You have probably even been tempted by them. After all, you already spend hours a day doing things on the internet – you may as well be paid for it. The reality is, while it does take hard work, you can find success.
It’s not hard to understand the appeal. Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or have a disability, or if you just want to keep your own hours, the prospects are out there. And, with wireless and hotspot internet access, you can now work from just about anywhere you choose.
Selling things is probably the first thing that comes to mind. There are the auction sites you have heard of, but also many more. There are auction sites devoted to single types of merchandise or areas of interest. There are even virtual swap meets where you can set up a little shop selling vintage or handmade items. You can start with selling your own items, then branch out into finding and reselling things from garage sales, estate sales, thrift shops, and businesses that are closing. Or, you can set yourself up as a broker selling things for others and earning a commission.
The next largest market is webmastering, in which you maintain a website for someone else who doesn’t have the time, ability, or interest. Your services may include design or you might develop a network of graphic designers whom you recommend in exchange for return recommendations. To be a successful webmaster, you need to be available at short notice if there are any problems with the site, and you need to be good at following up on communications and requests.
Content writing is another area with lots of opportunity. The rising popularity of eBooks means that authors are needed. Usually, that means ghostwriting, but if you have ideas for your own books, it has never been easier to produce and start selling them. You can also earn money through advertising revenue from your own blog, though this is trickier because you will need a lot of readers in order to attract advertisers. Many online shops have affiliate programs that enable you to earn a commission if someone makes a purchase through a link on your site.
You will have to learn how to sell yourself, and you will need to be aggressive about seeking opportunities. Be prepared, depending on the type of business you choose, to spend some money to get yourself set up. You may need specialized materials or software, and you may need to get some supplies, like a fax machine. Your internet access must be reliable and fast and you must be good about checking and responding to emails and instant messaging. Where you can save your money is by not purchasing any of the programs that promise to teach you what you need to know to get rich. In most cases, you will learn all of that through your own hard work.
The possibilities described are not the only ones. You could be working as a virtual assistant, doing market research or information searches, offering transcription and translation services, selling your photographs for royalty-free use, and lots more. In fact, what you can do to make money online is limited only by your imagination.