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Scam-free Ways to Make Money Online

Updated on October 13, 2012

Regardless of employment status and/or household income, everyone can use a little extra money. Nowadays there are many options on the Internet to help you do just that. As with all things, the amount of money you make online goes hand-in-hand with the amount of work and effort you are willing to put into it, but nonetheless, whether it be pocket change or enough to fund your next family vacation, it is possible to make money online. Here are just a few ways to get you started.

Sell Stuff

We all have items hanging around taking up space in our garages, basements and attics. These items will literally sit and gather dust (many with tags still attached) for months and years until we either sell them at a tag sale for the teeniest fraction of the price you paid, or throw it out altogether. This doesn’t have to be the case. There are many marketplaces online, the most popular being eBay, where you can place an ad for your item for just a small fee. You may be thinking that it’s not worth the hassle, but in reality, though it might not be worth it for one single item, if you can string together a few items, those sales will quickly add up.

Once you master the art of selling your old “stuff” online, you may even want to try visiting tag and yard sales and reselling items for profit.

Sell Handmade Crafts

If you have even the slightest creative bone in your body, selling the crafts you make can be very profitable. You may choose to sell your crafts through online marketplaces such as Etsy and Artfire and pay a small fee per transaction, or you may decide to sell through your own craft website. To find out more about these options, read my detailed articles on the subject of selling your handmade crafts.


Blogging can be a fun way to journal about your life, hobby or favorite subject but it can also be profitable. Perhaps the best way to earn money through your blog is through pay-per-click advertising applications such as Google Adsense. Adsense widgets are available for blog platforms such as Blogger and Wordpress and can simple be added to any header, footer or sidebar in a variety of sizes. The amount of money you make through Google Adsense depends on the amount of traffic you get per day, but in my personal experience with my craft blog, I make enough per-month to pay for all of my craft supplies for free. It’s free to try, so you have nothing to lose.

Affiliate Marketing

It is very common to find companies/stores that are willing to pay you to post their ads on your blog and/or website. If you are new to affiliate marketing, perhaps the best place to get started is through Commission Junction. At Commission Junction, you will have hundreds of companies to choose from. You will submit your site as part of the application process and if you are chosen, you are given many product and advertising links to choose from. Some companies use a pay-per-click process while others will offer you a percentage in sales, meaning that any time someone clicks on one of their ads through your site and purchases a product, you will earn a commission. The more companies you promote, the greater the chance you will make a sale to receive your earnings. Keep your target audience in mind when making your selections. There is nothing more annoying to a reader or visitor than being hit in the face with ads upon ads that have nothing to do with your featured topic.

Write Articles

Everyone has something they are knowledgeable about, or at least passionate about, so why not earn some extra money by writing about it? Though it can be intimidating to publish articles at first, you will soon find that once you start publishing content, the easier it will get, and you’ll even start enjoying it!

Article submission sites such as HubPages and Squidoo are perhaps two of the most popular websites that will pay you to publish articles. The great thing about these sites is that, unlike some other sites that will pay you an up-front amount per-article, HubPages and Squidoo will offer you the chance to continuously earn money each month using an external pay-per-click system. And with the integration of eBay and Amazon ads, your earnings will easily double.

It is important to note that with proper promotion, any articles’ earnings will grow the longer it is available, so do not get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Keep writing and publishing. And remember, the more articles you publish, the more readers you will attract, thus leading to more earnings.

Take Online Surverys

I had heard about being paid to take online surveys for years before I actually started doing it. The whole idea seemed highly unbelievable to me and I worried that it was all a scam. But recently, through recommendations of friends, I visited and read through all of the reviews before I ultimately joined two survey-taking sites. I am someone who enjoys taking surveys and polls to begin with, but even if I wasn’t, there really isn’t an easier way to earn money. You literally have to answer questions and offer reviews on anything and everything from your lifestyle to company products and ads. Most (reputable) survey sites will offer you points per article. Once you reach a designated threshold, you can choose to receive a payout. In my personal experience, I chose and I find their surveys to be easy and interesting, and I earn points quickly. In fact, I received my first payout within three days of registering for their sites. It is important to note that you should never use an online survey-taking website that requires you to pay a fee up front.


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