10 websites you need to be on if you want to make money online - jobs on the internet
Websites where you can make money
Top 10 sites you should be on if you’re serious about earning an income online –
Everyone dreams of earning a passive income online. Every day thousands of people consider a question the tech-age has opened up for them, "can I quit my day job and earn money online?" Well, good news is, if you possess some sort of skill or talent (and a little bit of creativity)… and you pair that with online marketing know-how and a hell of a lot of motivation to succeed – you too can become one of the millions upon millions of everyday people earning a living on the World Wide Web.
When you think about it – the internet is the way of the future. Sure, we all know it’s the here-and-now in terms of information and communication… but it’s becoming the source of choice and preferred tool of the trade to do business for an ever expanding number of companies, small business operators, freelancers…and online marketing professions are the ones cashing in on this influx. They are the ones reaping the benefits of increased trade traffic on the internet, and this earning capacity will only continue to expand as more and more businesses turn to the WWW to sell, promote and expand their market; both domestically and globally. They now have the resources to reach the furthest corners of the globe – turning previously unreachable consumers into a lucrative customer base.
With the world increasingly becoming a ‘global village’ with fewer and fewer barriers between countries, no matter where you are located in the world, you are able to participate in the booming industry of internet marketing, print-on-demand services to sell your designs and artwork, social networking platforms to promote your products and services, as well as free user generated publishing platforms to publish your writing and articles and showcase your knowledge to the world. Freelancers, artists and designers are finding it easier and more profitable than ever before to ‘set up shop’ on their very own free blog or a low-cost hosting service on the web rather than dealing with the enormous overheads and basic costs involved in starting up a ‘bricks and mortar’ business. For small-business owners and freelancers alike, they have a great deal more avenues for getting the word out there about what they are offering, with relatively small startup costs involved. It’s a dream for those ‘starving artists’ who just want to create without the headache and hassle of serious ‘real world’ marketing, business loans, rent and so-forth.
It really is the ‘audition’ or ‘manuscript’ of the future, so to speak! For unknown talents (whether you’re looking to get your music out there to a receptive audience, whether you want your art to reach the right people or whether you want your words to touch those who matter) there is a platform where you know you can get started if you know you have the potential. I’m sure you’re all aware of the Justin Bieber phenomenon – and you only have to dig a little further to find hundreds of other young talents who have found their niche and their audience through putting themselves out there online.
Sure, it’s not for everyone, but if you want to make it, there really are more avenues than ever before to put the word out there about whatever it is you’re trying to ‘sell’.
It really all starts with knowing which websites you should consider using or becoming a member of in order to start generating those first elusive online dollars.
This is by no means THE definitive list of every, and certainly not the only, sites you should be a part of if you are looking to make money online, but it’s an overview of some of the most popular and lucrative outlets you should definitely be at least looking into if you want to build up and grow anything from a little bit of extra income on the side / pocket change, to a large passive-income generating online empire.
1) Google AdSense [ad-serving revenue-sharing service for web publishers]
- This is the Number 1 destination if you really want to make money online. Think of this as your base. This is not ‘where’ you make money, but the tool by which you generate income by adding Google ads onto the various places that you publish your content – be that your own personal website, articles you have written and published to free platforming sites, or YouTube videos created entirely by you and uploaded to your own YouTube channel if you happen to have been accepted as a YouTube Partner. But if you’re not in the YouTube Partner program (note: it takes quite a lot of work to be accepted and you do need to have a number of quality videos uploaded to your channel already, but if YouTube decides that they see potential in your work and your channel, then they will generally accept your application – meaning that you can start displaying the Google AdSense ads on your channel and beside any of your videos that you choose, thereby earning a share of the advertising revenue every time a viewer of your videos clicks on one of the ads) it’s easy for anyone to set up their own blog and start writing! There are so many free blogging platforms out there – all you need to get started is a username and password…and a few unique ideas to write about! What makes it even easier is the fact that you don’t need a hosting service – the blog is hosted on the blogging website, not your own domain, so there’s absolutely no cost involved to ‘host’ the blog online. That’s also incredibly handy if you can’t write your own code – for people that don’t know how to write html, a blog is a much easier option because there’s no coding involved like there would be if you had to design and upload your own website.
2) Zazzle [user-generated print-on-demand service]
- I’ve found their quality to be, for the most part, much higher than their biggest rival CafePress. Zazzle’s editing tools are much more user-friendly too. As long as you use your own original digital images and creations to add on their wide range of products, you are really only limited by your own imagination as to the number of unique deigns you can make.
This is by no means a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, you do really need to put the hours in, but once you have worked to get a couple of hundred products or more up in your store (or multiple stores, if you want to have several shops with each one focusing on a different theme – eg: cooking, gardening, school supplies etc, or you might choose to have a specific store just dedicated to business cards) you will begin to see the rewards of your effort. It really does take a few months to start seeing sales - it will most likely start quite small at first, but after a year or so on the site as long as you have a sufficient number of quality designs, you can easily be earning a couple of hundred dollars each fortnight or month. The choice is yours, and no one idea will necessarily perform better than another, it’s ultimately just about the hours of creating that go into building up your product range.
It’s also extremely important to contribute in the Zazzle forums and check out other Zazzler’s designs – even if it’s simply clicking on a few people’s stores and commenting either on their ‘wall’ or directly on one of their designs that catches your eye. This is a very simple thing – but engaging with other users is a key way to get your username out there around the site and encourage others to take a look at your work. Another easy step you can take it to become a member of their fan club – they will most likely return the favor! Building up these networks is a truly valuable tool on any of these designing sites – who knows, you may even get a mention on someone’s blog or on another forum. It’s always helpful to get your name out there.
3) HubPages [free user-generated publishing platform]
- When competitor Squidoo fell out of favour with the Google Gods, HubPages solidified their status as the web’s most popular and reliable publishing platform. Once you sign up (once agin, it’s free!) you become an ‘Author’ and you have the freedom to write on whatever topics that interest you; and when they interest others – you cash in on the advertising revenue! Another benefit of Hub Pages is also its international feel – if you’ve ever heard of eHow or seen some of their user-created videos, you’ll know how U.S centred they are – so it’s great news that non-U.S writers have the opportunity to link their Google AdSense account to a free publishing platform too. And unlike maintaining your own blog, HubPages already has the layout and design planned out for you – it’s all ready for you to add your text! There’s no HTML and formatting to worry about, it’s just you and your articles. Make sure you use plenty of relevant keywords and tags though; this will ensure that people will be able to find your ‘Hub’ in a search.
The great thing about HubPages is that they do most of the hard work for you! As long as you put the effort into your writing (and research), the site has their own high profile on the major search engines, so as long as your articles are relevant and informative, this keeps the SEO (search engine optimization) work to a minimum for you.
There’s certainly no need to keep all your Hubs focused on a particular topic although if you feel you write best about a particular theme (ie: you may be a foodie or an IT professional) you can stay along those lines, but in terms of earning a decent freelancing income from your writing, it is necessary to branch out and write in a variety of genres and about a wide range of interests. This is how you will keep readers interested, but also how you will ‘catch’ more potential readers as they search through the giant pool of material competing for their attention when they hit the search engines looking for an answer to a question, a list, a ‘How To’ explanation, or any number of informative articles. This is where spelling, grammar and layout are important – there’s nothing worse than someone navigating away from your Hub because it wasn’t set out in a helpful or reader-friendly manner, or simply because you’ve been careless with your sentence structure or basic spelling. Spell-check is there for a reason – don’t forget to use it! Careless spelling/grammar turns many people off. No matter how ‘useful’ your information may be, if your grammar is sloppy, you are really letting yourself down; not to mention losing readers, potential followers and of course, the people who ultimately generate your income. If you want to make it as a freelance writer, the basics are key – they are essential to your credibility and your survival. So don’t overlook those fundmentals.
4) Amazon Affiliates [affiliate marketing program]
- If you’ve ever made a purchase through Amazon.com or one of their international sites, you’ll know how extensive their marketplace is. Well, you can make a bit of extra cash by integrating their broad selection of products into your own content or pages – thereby making a profit each time one of your promotions leads someone to buy that product. Unlike pay-per-click affiliate systems (like clickbank or Google adsense to name a couple) it’s more or less a pay-per-sale program, with you (the publisher) providing the lead. If your reader happens to click on one of the Amazon products that is related to the article you have written, and as a result buys that product via Amazon, you earn a share, simply for referring the sale.
The advantage of Amazon’s huge marketplace is that they will always stock something that is related to the content that you have published. For example, if you are writing an article about creating your own Kitchen Garden, there are numerous books and hundreds of relevant gardening products available on Amazon that you can integrate into your article that people reading your ‘how to’ advice will be interested in purchasing for their kitchen garden, or whatever it is that you happen to be advising them about. There are literally thousands of products in a myriad of categories that will be directly related to what you are writing about. Don’t forget, you can even do reviews of products – this makes the linked products even more relevant and possibly desirable; depending on the review that you give them of course!) People are constantly searching for in-depth and honest reviews about products they are considering buying – they are always more willing to part with their hard-earned cash if they know that others have had a positive experience with the product/s. Remember, you can have a significant influence over people’s purchasing decisions – so be as honest as you can and give reasons behind your opinions; unsubstantiated
5) Linkshare, Sharesale or The Total Package [affiliated marketing programs]
- These are some of the top affiliate programs out there on the internet. They are big networks who pay you a generous share of the ad revenue you generate by publishing their ads within your own content. Whilst Google remains the most popular, and Amazon possibly the most profitable for many people, these companies are separate programs which integrate advertizing into web content that you create and in turn you share in the revenue generated.
6) RedBubble or Etsy [social commerce and print on demand service]
- If you’re creatively inclined, these fulfilment sites are for you. You can upload your photographs or art onto various products to sell, or people can simply buy your work as prints. If your art is more focused on crafts or jewellery, you are better off using Etsy, as it is more centred around selling gifts and unique works of art rather than digital art and cards.
7) About.com [platform for original user-generated information and advice]
If you’ve ever searched for advice online, you’ve more than likely stumbled upon a page on About, all written by everyday web publishers like you. Like a lot of the other advice and help sites out there on the web, you can write about anything you like (within limits) – there are guidelines that you have to follow, just like with HubPages and Squidoo, but it makes a great outlet for people who can freely write in a variety of genres and styles and about a myriad of different topics. You’re not going to make a massive income stream just from writing articles for these publishing platforms, but if setting up a dedicated blog is not for you and you enjoy writing very broadly, then these free publishing platforms are for you.
8) Blogspot (Blogger), WordPress and TypePad [blog platforms]
If you prefer to have your own blog, these are pretty much 3 of the most popular free blogging platforms available for budding bloggers and writers. Because you own the blog yourself, you do have a few more freedoms regarding content, layout, design, style, etc than you would if you write for a publishing site like About, HubPages or Squidoo, but there are downsides too – the big one being page-rank and search visibility. Sites like HubPages are more visible and thus have higher page rank with Google. What that means to you is
9) eBay [online auction and e-commerce website]
This is perhaps the most obvious one. Everyone knows you can make a little extra cash from selling your old stuff on eBay… but those wanting to work from home can think about taking it to the next level. Setting up your own eBay store means that you can stock a collection of products that you buy wholesale, either in a niche market or selling a wide variety of useful products. Have a look around and see what generally sells well, perhaps search the most searched for products and bestsellers on Amazon etc. Or if you have a hobby, like jewelry making, post a few of your designs up and test the waters; if they happen to sell, keep it up. You may then be able to expand and have your own Etsy store. But it doesn’t matter if you have no creative talent at all, there are plenty of popular lines of products that you can source from wholesalers. There are plenty of popular niches out there that you can set up in – hair care and salon products, jewellery, kids clothing, pet products, party supplies, consumer electronics… the list is endless. It’s best to choose something that you at least know a little about as you’ll need to be able to answer questions from customers and be able to know if you’re getting quality products from wholesalers and/or manufacturers.
10) PayPal [e-commerce and money transfer service]
The last one is obvious, but you can’t get paid by the majority of these sites unless you have a PayPal account. It’s free to sign up, all you need to do is add and verify your credit card or bank account so that it is linked with your PayPal account. All that means is that it allows you to deposit funds into your PayPal balance and/or withdraw money from your PayPal balance over into your bank account securely once you start getting paid via PayPal. Of course, it’s also handy if you do a lot of online shopping because you don’t have the hassle of typing in all your bank/card details each time you check-out of different sites, but the main thing is the security of not having to give your details out to every single store that you buy from – all you need to do is type in the email address that you chose when you signed up with PayPal – it will become your username too for each time you login to PayPal. It’s great peace of mind and a terrific time saver.
Note: I didn’t include sites like Elance and oDesk because the people who are making a generous chunk of change on those freelancing sites are generally web developers, techies, designers and SEO professionals and I wanted to gear this list more towards the average person who just wants to start out with writing, publishing and/or selling. But those are also options if you have experience in those types of fields and are interested in some freelance work. A word of warning though, a lot of the users on those sites have been freelancing for years and therefore have a higher chance of snagging the jobs posted on the sites because they know how to bid smart and target the client properly. So you’ll often find that without some level of experience you won’t be winning the bidding for the jobs. That’s just generally the way it goes.
Remember --- start small. Don't expect to start raking in the cash in the first week or even earning big in the first month or two. It's all about generating original and creative content and publishing it in the right places and target it at the right people.
There's no get rich quick schemes - and those that claim to be - are scams! There's no two ways about it - any ebook, webpage or guide telling you how you can earn thousands by simply working a couple of hours a week or other such claims - are blatant lies. There's no other way to put it. Don't waste your money and don't believe it.
If you are serious about generating anything from some extra pocket change to an amount you might be able to live on one day, it takes time and most importantly, it takes effort. There is no easy, foolproof or 'proven' method (even though ebook sellers might tell you there is to take your money from you!) as everything on the internet is unpredictable and variable. Work with the times, keep an eye on the trends and decide whether you want to choose a niche or work more broadly. Ultimately, it's up to YOU. No one else can make the journey easier for you, no one else can write your content or tell you what will work and what will flop as that's just the nature of trends on the internet.
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Do you want to make money writing your own articles for HubPages?
If you've got a passion for writing and a knack for researching topics that interest you, then HubPages is the place for you.
You can write at your own pace and publish Hubs about anything you like. It's a terrific way to showcase your creativity and share your expertise with others.
Best of all - you earn money based on the traffic your Hubs receive... so the more you write, the more views and in turn revenue you will see from the HubPages Ad Program.
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