Real: Be an Online Writer
There is a nearly endless demand for people who can write easy to read, compelling, and informative articles for website owners.
If you want to try your hand at being an online writer, the first step is to get a little bit of experience. Perhaps try writing 10 articles for free first. Once you have a few samples, then you can easily find work on various marketing forums or companies that hire freelance writers, like Demand Studios.
Scam: Make Money Posting Links on Google
This is one of the most popular scams around today. It generally comes in the form of a story or news report of how a stay at home mom is making $6,000 a month from home posting links on Google. The reality is, Google AdWords is quite a difficult skill to master. There is no easy way to make money “posting links online.”
Real: Be an Online Virtual Assistant
Business people and travelers all over the world need virtual assistants. The trick here is to find a real reputable company to work with. Avoid companies that ask you to pay an upfront fee to “apply.” Avoid companies that try to make it sound like you’re going to get rich being a virtual assistant. Find companies with a great track record of providing real service and develop relationships with those companies.
Real: Freelance Sites
Sites like eLance, Guru.com and Craigslist Gigs are great ways to make a bit of extra money. If you have skills in design, programming, audio/video editing you’ll quickly be able to find some extra cash. Even if you don’t, there are many ways to make money: Modeling, voice overs, transcripting, you name it.
Scam: Fill Out Surveys Online
The sales pitch here is that businesses need people to take surveys for their opinions. While this is true, generally user-feedback surveys are done in person, not online. Most “make money doing surveys” sites you see are scams. If it requires you to pay for a guide or pay to apply for anything, avoid it like the plague.
Figuring Out What’s Real and What’s Not
In general, if the opportunity looks like you’re providing real value for other human beings and getting paid fair value for it, chances are its real.
If it sounds too easy, sounds like you’re going to get very rich overnight, or sounds like it requires zero work, then it’s probably a scam. If you want to make real money online, then be prepared to put in a little bit of work. Rest assured however – You can make money online. Many people do.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.