Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online and Avoid Scams with no Start-up Money!

It seems like legitimate ways to make money online without having to come up with start-up money is becoming more and more difficult.

Money is tight, scams are rampant and unemployment is high. I know, I've experienced all of these scenarios. Because money is tight and unemployment is high there are a lot of scams out there. And when you are trying to find ways to make money online the scams seem to come out of the woodwork. The most pervasive is the scam that asks you to receive money in the form of a check and then send a portion of those funds back to the purchaser or employer. This scam can be done on Craigslist when you are trying to sell an item or I've even seen them in job listings asking you to front money to the "employer" that they will supposedly reimburse. The pay for these jobs is always higher than average. Another scam is the online dating scam, these scams prey on vulnerable, lonely people, attempt to make romantic emotional connections online and then proceed to ask them for money. These are the most vicious scams.

So what is a person to do if they want to find legitimate ways to earn money online and avoid the scams. I have found a few that have consistently worked for me and by working for me I mean they pay cash without costing money up front.


The first online way to make money is of course our very own "Hubpages" If you would like to join you can by clicking here: http://hubpages.com/_earnmoneywriting

I am not recommending Hubpages because I write for them, no, in fact, I am recommending Hubpages because I have consistently made money from this online magazine. I have been writing for Hubpages on and off for over 5 years now and I have to say that it is one of the best places to consistently make money online. I've tried other sites and they just don't have the traffic and/or the writers that Hubpages has. Does that mean it's easy? NO. Does it mean that you will make money right away? NO. When I first joined Hubpages I wrote a few articles, linked adsense to them and forgot about them. After about 9 months I happened to check to see if I had made any money and I had made like $7.00! Was I disappointed? No, I was thrilled. I figured if I could make $7.00 doing nothing, then I could make more writing more often. Ever since I have been writing on and off for Hubpages for over 5 years and I still make a decent, consistent amount of money. The other really great thing about writing articles online for money is that you make money off of them FOREVER! Once you publish them online they keep bringing in the money for as long as they are on the internet. So, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Hubpages as a very good source of income online.


The next area I have found to be legitimate are online surveys. At first I was very suspicious of online surveys but I have found that you can make some decent money doing them as well. The best survey companies are the ones that pay you cash. And, you should NEVER have to PAY to take online surveys, if they ask you to pay to participate..run, don't walk, away from those! There are others that "pay" you by entering you into contests, I would steer away from those as well. Online Surveys are tedious and they do ask a lot of personal questions, but if you do just a few a day, you could pay your credit card bill with the money you make. The one I use is Vindale, they pay in cash.

Online surveys pay you via paypal once you reach $50.00


Originally, I wrote for Bubblews, however I have not received my last redemption so I can no longer recommend this site. Unfortunately, I am not alone and a lot of people have said that the same thing happened to them. So, I must retract my endorsement of Bubblews and advice you to avoid this site.


Zazzle.com is an online shop that you can use your images to create products like t-shirts, mugs, business cards etc. I really enjoy this because I get to create my own products using my own photos. It's a lot of fun and you can make money on it too!


I recently discovered another site called Musicxray. At Muscixray.com all you have to do is sign up, pick the genre of music that you like to listen to and wait for music to be sent to you. Listen to it for 30 seconds and they will pay you .10 cents. You don't have to review it or anything. After you have made $20.00 they will pay you through paypal. What could be easier? One thing though, it did take about a week or two for them to send me some music so be patient and it will come.


Last but not least is YouTube. I have two YouTube channels. I have been on YouTube for a number of years as well. And, as it was with Hubpages I pretty much ignored it the first year or two. However, lately I have started ramping up my videos and I'm making more money than ever on YouTube. The key to making money on YouTube is finding a niche. If you can find an area that you can either teach someone something, show people things that they can't see elsewhere or talk about interesting things then you are more likely to make a decent amount of money. I love YouTube and I get a lot of satisfaction making videos for them. Often I add my own videos to my Hubpage articles. YouTube pays you through adsense as well so your earnings will be combined with other earnings you get through Hubpages or any other blogs you might have. Adsense pays out when you reach $100.00 and they send it directly to your bank. If you don't already have a YouTube channel you can go to youtube.com and sign up for one.

I realize that there are a great many ways to make money online but these are the ways that have consistently worked for me over the years. I hope that they are useful to you as well and if you know of any additional methods that have worked for you please enter them into the comments section below. Thanks and good luck!

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Comments 16 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 2 years ago

Thanks so much for this very informative article. I will be referring to it often. Voted up, useful and interesting.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks "Breakfastpop", much appreciated.

Johnny Parker profile image

Johnny Parker 2 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

Learned a few new ones there, many thanks.

Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 2 years ago from Michigan

This was a good write up Brie. Scams pop us every day - and new ones. I watched the second video, and the author gives a good list of scams and his personal experience - it's informative.

Also, I like your ideas of legitimate ways to make money online - like Bubblews. I have heard good reports about the Bubblews site. Voted Up and Useful!

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks "Johnny Parker"

crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 2 years ago from East Coast , United States

Great work here Brie. Voted up and shared. You have to be careful with scams. Bubblews is a good site but still going thru some things. I've made quite a bit of money over there. Hub Pages will always be one of my favorite sites. I've been here since the very early days of Hub Pages and I've made quite a good bit of money here.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan Author

Yes, scams are out there but at least there are some legitimate places out there as well.. Thanks for stopping by.

AOkay12 profile image

AOkay12 2 years ago from Florida

MusicXray sounds a little like SlicethePie, except that you are not required to do a review on MusicXray.

I have been a member of Vindale Research for a number of years. They are okay, but their cash out minimum is too high.

I also have a YouTube channel and what I noticed is that the more videos you add, the greater your earnings potential. My earnings are starting to increase after a year of uploading videos.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan Author

Yes, I have noticed the same thing for You Tube videos..but they do start earning good money after a bit of time.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan Author

Yes, I have noticed the same thing for You Tube videos..but they do start earning good money after a bit of time.

no body profile image

no body 23 months ago from Rochester, New York

Thank you so much Brie, for this article and the things you do for people who need to know the things you share. I appreciate you so much. I really do. I just shared this article to my wife's email and when she gets home I know she will love the information here. It may get her thinking on how to make money at home and to get closer to her dreams. You really are a dear. Bob.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 23 months ago from Manhattan Author

I hope it helps, thanks for your kind words, I really appreciate them.

Mickji profile image

Mickji 23 months ago from between Italy and Switzerland, travelling around the world thanks to a little special object

Hi Brie and thanks to you for writing this article and to no body for sharing it with me.

I tried the YouTube as you mentioned in your article. But I think that you have to be a Partner in order to receive money from YouTube. I created the account almost 4 years ago, I have 150 subscribers and choosed a niche (making music videos playing the ocarina together with other musicians or alone) so I should get some points. YouTube has disabled partnership for musical videos apparently. Is there another way to get money from YouTube ? Because there are some people watching my videos, so why shouldn't I get rewarded by it? ... it's sad ... Is it all because I live in Italy and Switzerland ? I guess localization does an important job with YouTube.

I will now try musicxray because I listen to music every day all the day. I heard it in the past but some people said it wasn't a safe website so I gave up about it till now. Maybe it will work for me. Doing things with music and get coins is the dream that every music lover has!

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 23 months ago from Manhattan Author

Sorry to hear about YouTube, I don't really know why they are rejecting you..I've been on for awhile and had no problem but I don't do music videos and maybe that is why..they are a stickler about copyright infractions and they wouldn't monetize one of my videos because I couldn't say where the music was from (it was a live band at a festival).

Mickji profile image

Mickji 22 months ago from between Italy and Switzerland, travelling around the world thanks to a little special object

I would add a website to the list: ReverbNation.

In the past it also allowed you to create your own t-shirts like Zazzle. Apparenly now you can only sell your music.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 22 months ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for the tip, I'll look into it.

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