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How I Tried To Make Money Online...And Failed! | A List Of Things To Avoid When Trying To Earn On The Internet

Updated on January 3, 2014

This Article is meant as a Cautionary Tale to all you enthusiastic opportunists trying to make a buck or two from home. It details the personal experiences of Pranshu when he dove in head first into what he perceived to be a way to get some pocket cash, until reality hit hard.

In no way is this meant to discourage you and I'm not saying that you can't do it or are not qualified. Lots of people are generating a steady income online but a hell lot more have got not a dime to show from their ventures online.

My story begins around 3 years ago when it first occurred to me that people are actually getting paid to do simple tasks online (at-least at that point I thought they were simple). And needless to say, my eyes lit up with dollar signs. I mean getting paid around a dollar for writing a simple review? Hell Yea, I'll take the money, Thank You!

So like everyone else I 'Googled' for 'how to make money online' or something like that and all these websites pulled up with tips and tricks and advises and do's and don't's of making money online.


Surveys Online

The first thing I tried out was this. Getting paid for doing surveys. This seemed simple enough. Write a little about what you do and don't like about a website and they give you money for it. But when things are that simple, there's always a catch. You gotta look out for the catch. It'll either be in the process of making payment out to you or you'll have to earn a certain amount before you can cash it out (Here they hope that most users will take 3-4 surveys and then get bored and pull out before making that threshold, and they'll have the advantage of those few surveys you took).

Now awsurveys has improved it seems but back when I first checked into them, they were shabby and wrote some surveys but was constantly unsure of whether they'll pay, in the end when I found out about the threshold amount (and some other catches) I just never checked back in.

I tried out some more sites now and then, but none of them looked promising enough or could provide any stability.

Google Adsense

Then I heard about the great Adsense. Yes, Google Adsense is what works for most people. So I created a small website with some Articles on it and then some blogs. I demanded an Adsense Account based on what seemed to me like my promising blog, as my primary website. And they gave it to me. And I lived happily ever after... Well, not really. They denied!! They took around 1 and a half minute to send me an Email which said something like this:

Hello Pranshu

Thank you for your interest in Google AdSense. After reviewing your

application, our specialists have found that it does not meet our program
criteria. Therefore, we are unable to accept you into our program.

We have certain policies in place that we believe will help ensure the
effectiveness of Google ads for our publishers as well as for our
advertisers. We review all publishers, and we reserve the right to decline
any application. As we grow, we may find that we are able to expand our
program to more web publishers with a wider variety of web content.

Please note that we may not be able to respond to inquiries regarding the
specific reasons for our decision. Thank you for your understanding.


The Google AdSense Team

Maybe if they had taken around a day to decide that my website wasn't acceptable to them then I wouldn't have been hurt as much.

Anyway, I thought that's that. And moved on.


Enter Hubpages

Moved onto Hubpages. Now in my opinion hubpages is the most promising way to publish yourself online and start making money. The tools they provide here are very helpful for noobs to start out and they guide how you can earn by your hubs. I say this with sincerity.

Hubpages was the first to point out to me to become an Amazon Affiliate and place their Ads on my Hubs. So at first I thought 'Great. Another Denial'. But Amazon granted me an affiliate account quickly (coz they don't pay per click, they pay only when someone actually makes a purchase through your links). So I placed them in my Articles. My Articles have received around 7000 hits so far and no one has purchased anything through my referrals on Amazon. Not very encouraging.

This time I also tried to sign up for Google Adsense with my Hubpages account as primary website. This time they took a while (much to the relief of my ego) and then denied again giving some reason like Area Code was not acceptable to them or something. Now I'm not willing to move and change my area code just so its 'acceptable' to them.

So that was the end of me trying to sign up for Adsense.


Working As a Freelancer Online

Next I tried to work as a freelancer. There are many freelancing website which bring contractors and clients together for business. A client posts a job, several freelancers apply according to their skills and then the clients chooses one and allots the job to one. The client starts working on the job and at payment time the website gets a margin. It's not easy to land your first job on such websites because they display that you don't have any experience working and so it's a deadlock coz no client wants to give you your first break and take a chance on you.

Although I did get my first job for writing Articles online on Elance within 3 days of me signing up, my experience there was horrible. And it's in no way a trustworthy website. They're oppressive and will block your money as they wish. I'll write in detail about it in a whole other article (By the way, you can also try out Odesk if you interested in freelancing online)

I enjoy writing online and now I just write to reach out to some people. Trying to earn online is way too much work for me I guess which is ironic because I gave it a try only because it seemed easy.

For those of you who are starting out, I hope you learned something from this and those of you who are successfully making money online, wipe that grin off your face, Thank You.


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    • Mary McShane profile image

      Mary McShane 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

      Thanks for detailing your experience. It is very difficult to try to find a model to follow to successfully make money online. And as long as it is difficult to find, more sites will pop up with their offers to help you find the work. Many are scams, some are not, but we still have to either try them out to find out for ourselves, or listen to the sage advice of those who have gone before us and learned. Good hub.

    • profile image

      goodwill 4 years ago

      Hi Pranshu, eish online business can sometimes be a pain in your head. I also tried out many things like surveys, writing jobs and others, I even tried those systems that you pay for. Before I knew it, my bank account reached 0.00. Decided to quite after a short prayer,.I checked my emails and I was interested it one offer I received, prayer instantly answered, registration, training tools and tools, everything is FREE. I gave it a try,and it worked out, hope you can give it a shot

    • |Pranshu| profile image

      Intellikid 4 years ago from The Information SuperHighway

      @Amy : Thanks. Online money making can be a hassle. Good Luck to you too. :)

    • Amy Ginn profile image

      Amy Ginn 5 years ago

      Funny...I feel the same way. I tried selling paintings on Etsy, which generated some money. But to make it worthwhile you have to put all your time and effort into it. Good luck!

    • Amy Hyun profile image

      Amy Hyun 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thank you! I'm loving HubPages so far!

    • |Pranshu| profile image

      Intellikid 5 years ago from The Information SuperHighway

      Welcome to hubpages Amy

    • Amy Hyun profile image

      Amy Hyun 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thanks for the hub!

    • |Pranshu| profile image

      Intellikid 5 years ago from The Information SuperHighway

      Thanks Teresa! I hope someday it works out for me too.

    • Teresa Schultz profile image

      Teresa Schultz 5 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      In our case it wasn't easier to hunt for a job - more than 100 job applications by my fiancé in a period of about 5 or 6 months didn't work out. We HAD to make working for ourselves (computer-based freelance or online) work - and luckily it did - it's still difficult at times to earn as much as we need or would like, but it's over four years now, so we're hanging in there, trying to improve our earnings further. I'm sorry Adsense didn't work out for you, or for that matter, that not much of anything online has seemed to work out for you - yet - maybe it will still happen. Good luck!

    • |Pranshu| profile image

      Intellikid 5 years ago from The Information SuperHighway

      I agree that sometimes it's just easier to hunt for a regular job than try to work out the intricacies of earning online. I'm glad it works for you. Goodluck

    • sparkster profile image

      Sparkster Publishing 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for this hub. This is the thing about working online, unless you've got your own successful business model or a business already established which you can get online then it's not worth relying on other websites, businesses, companies, etc.

      I have been making money online successfully now for about four years but it definitely wasn't easy. In fact it would be easier to go out and get a job. Just to let you know I have had relative success with Amazon and Adsense here on Hubpages and it took time.

      Maybe buying and selling on eBay would be a better idea to try out.