If you search for “making money online” on Google, you’ll find out that most of the top result pages contain AdSense ads. Does this mean that the key to making money online is AdSense? Far from it. It’s just the way search engines think. After all, search engines can’t find out which one earned most money.
Affiliate marketing, blogs, e-books, paid surveys and freelance work are few of the ways to earn online.
One of the best advice I read is from Scott Allen at About.com. According to the article, you don’t even need a web site or sell a product online to earn.
Here’s the excerpt:
Help friends find better jobs
Sites like H3.com and JobThread connect employers with prospective employees, many of whom are already employed and not actively job-hunting, via networking – the people who know these qualified candidates. Rewards for referring a candidate who gets hired range from a few hundred dollars to as much as $5,000 – not chump change. This is a great way to break into the recruiting business with no overhead. JobThread is intriguing in that they can set up a job board for your site or your organization (you don’t even have to have a web site) at no cost to you — no merchant account required. You determine the posting fees and split the revenue with them.
Connect suppliers with buyers
Referral fees are a common practice in business, but they haven’t been used much in online networking sites because there was no way to track them. InnerSell provides that. Vendors set the referral fees they’re willing to pay, then when a deal happens, you get 70% of the referral fee.
Provide business contact information
One of the greatest challenges in sales is getting accurate contact information about prospective customers. A growing number of services have launched in the past couple of years to help address this, but most rely on members to maintain their own contact information. Jigsaw, on the other hand, pays members to help keep information up-to-date on the people they know, not just themselves, and pays them to do so ($1 for each unique new qualifying contact you put into the system). According to Jigsaw, in their first payout after launch, the top ten point-earns each received more than $750.
Become a semi-pro reporter
Creative Reporter is a new program from Creative Weblogging that lets just about anyone become a paid reporter/blogger. They’re looking for people to create original, but non-exclusive, blog posts / articles of 250-500 words on topics including parenting, celebrities, travel, mobile technology, and more. Pay is $10 per 1,000 page views on your posts (that’s excellent pay for Web writing, although there’s no telling how much traffic/money you’ll actually get).
Write your own blog
You don’t have to have your own Web site, or install blogging software, or even figure out how to set up the advertising. At Blogger you can set up a blog for free in less than five minutes without knowing a thing about web design, and Blogger even automates setting up Google AdSense so you can make money off your blog by displaying ads and getting paid when people click on the ads. To make even more money from it, set up an affiliate program (see below) for books, music, etc., and insert your affiliate links whenever you refer to those items. You’ll have to get a lot of traffic to become a six-figure blogger, but pick an interesting topic, write well, tell all your friends, and you’re off to a good start.
Advertise other people’s products
If you already have a Web site or a blog, look for vendors that offer related but non-competing products and see if they have an affiliate program. Stick to familiar products and brands – they’re easier to sell. To promote those products:
- Place simple text or graphical ads in appropriate places on your site
- Include links to purchase products you review or recommend in a blog, discussion forum or mailing list you control
- Create a dedicated sales page or Web site to promote a particular product
They all work – it just depends on how much time you have to spend on it and your level of expertise with Web design and marketing.
The above list is by no means comprehensive, but it highlights some of the new and interesting ways to make money online without investing any money, without having a product of your own, and without having expert sales and marketing skills. Most of all, unlike taking surveys or getting paid to read e-mail, the potential return on your time investment is substantial.