You probably found this page because you are looking for ideas of how to make money using the Internet. If you found it by doing a web search, you probably waded through a lot of pages of dubious value, most of which were promoting some get-rich-quick scheme. I hope that you figured out that most of these so-called opportunities are actually scams. The ideas I present on this page are not scams (although scammers sometimes try to take advantage of them, so you do need to be cautious). You probably won't find any ideas on this page that will make you large amounts of money. In fact, most of the ideas on this page will actually net you less than you would make by flipping burgers at the local fast-food establishment. But there are still advantages of some of these opportunities. First of all, while most of them will require some work on your part, the work is probably easier than flipping burgers. And in most cases, the ideas given on this page will allow you to work when you have time available.
There are opportunities available, and my intent is to show you some of those opportunities. Some might be a good fit for you. Chances are, you will have no interest in some of them. But if you are short on cash or out of work, I hope I will give you some ideas.
Most, but not all, of the opportunities on this page are available to you wherever you live. Some of them are available only to U.S. residents or residents of certain countries. Some of these opportunities will require some expenses on your part, but most do not.
You will definitely not get rich using Amazon Mechanical Turk. But if you need to generate some income, it's a relatively painless way to make a few extra dollars. One advantage of Amazon Mechanical Turk is that you will have access to the money you have earned within a few days.
Amazon Mechanical Turk is a marketplace where workers can do small online jobs, some of which will only take a few seconds of your time. You will be paid for these jobs. Some of these jobs pay one cent each. Most pay a few cents each. These will generally be tasks that could possibly be done by a computer, but which are better performed by a human being. For example, you might be asked to look at a picture and identify the number of people in the picture. In exchange, you will be paid one or two cents.
Occasionally, I've heard of people making $100 per day using Amazon Mechanical Turk. This is probably an unreasonable expectation, becuase you would need to work very hard to make that much money, you would quickly burn yourself out, and you could probably make more money at a regular job. But it is reasonable to make about $5 per hour. If you desperately need cash, this can be a good option.
There is a learning curve with Amazon Mechanical Turk. It will take you a few days to figure out how the system works. And for the first few days, you will be limited in the number of jobs you are allowed to do. But after you've done it for a while, you will start to recognize which jobs are worth the trouble. The best way to learn how the system works is to simply start using it. After a day or two, you'll be able to spot the good opportunities and know which ones to ignore.
Here are some tips that I have for you as you begin this learning process:
As part of the sign-up process for Amazon Mechanical Turk, you will need to open an Amazon Payments account. As you earn money, it will go into this account, usually within a day. You can immediately use this money to make purchases on amazon.com. Therefore, you can buy things on Amazon within a day of doing work. You can also have money transferred to your bank account. I simply keep the money in my Amazon Payments account. When I buy something on Amazon, I simply use the money that's in this account. If I were in desperate need of money for groceries (thankfully, I'm not), I could buy them in the Amazon grocery department. You can also purchase gift cards from other merchants.
If you desperately need the money, then you're probably better off having the money transfered to your bank account. But in an emergency, this would allow you to buy necessary items within a day or so of earning the money.
Update: I did an experiment to see how easy it is to earn money on Amazon Mechanical Turk, and my results are at this link. I probably could have done a bit better in real life, but my earnings worked out to about $3.48 per hour.
If you have any writing ability whatsoever, then iwriter.com will provide you with income. When you log in to iwriter.com, you will see various writing jobs posted. There will be a short description of what the person needs, and you will be shown how much each job pays. Typically, you will get paid about 1/2 cent per word. So if the person is requesting a 500 word article, you will get paid $2.43. As you do more jobs, you will also get access to slightly higher paying jobs.
Normally, there are about a hundred jobs available at any given time. You can browse through the available jobs and you will see many that you do not want. They might be outside your area of expertise, require too much research, or the requester might simply be too picky. But you can often find assignments that you can write off the top of your head or with very minimal research. In many cases, I can write a 500 word article in about 15 minutes, meaning that I have earned about $10 per hour. Again, it might be possible to make more money by flipping burgers, but it's more pleasant to sit in front of the computer and write.
After you submit your work, the buyer can either accept or reject it. If they reject it, you get paid nothing. If they accept it, you get paid the promised amount and it goes into your account immediately. As soon as you earn $20, the money can be transfered to your PayPal account, and you can set it up to have your earnings sent weekly.
I've had a few unfounded rejections, but most buyers are very happy with my work. You can see what percentage of their past jobs they have accepted. I stay away from people who reject 50% of the work, and almost 100% of my work is accepted. If someone does unfairly reject my work, I simply avoid that person in the future.
In the interest of full disclosure, the links on this page to iwriter.com are affiliate links. If you sign up with them and start making money, then I will earn a commission in the process.
Here's an interesting article about another writer's experiment at seeing how easy it was to make $100 per day on iwriter.com. As you can see, his experiment was quite successful. I've never made that much in a day myself on that site, but mostly because I've never devoted a full day to the task. But if you need $100 in one day (with the money in your PayPal account in less than a week), iwriter.com is a very good opportunity.
If you have any type of web page, you can earn some money by using affiliate links. The page you are reading, for example, contains links to sites such as amazon.com. If you click on one of these links, you will be taken to amazon.com. If you buy anything on amazon.com within the next 24 hours, I will receive a percentage of the purchase price. That percentage can vary, but it's generally about 6%.
It is possible to make money using this program. If you have a website that provides useful information, you will get visitors to your site from Google and other search engines. For example, if someone doesn't know how to sew on a button, many of them will go to Google. If you have a useful page that shows how to sew on a button, then it will probably be ranked fairly high on the Google search results, and many of those people will come to your page. As a part of your page, you will need pictures of various items. In some cases, you will recommend that people need to buy a certain product. And for those recommendations and pictures, you can use amazon.com links. For example, here is a nice picture of some buttons:
If you recommend that they buy a sewing kit, you can provide a convenient picture and link on amazon.com:
After seeing your recommendation, some people will decide to buy a sewing kit. Many of them will buy it at a local store. But some of them will decide that the button can wait until tomorrow, and they will buy it from amazon.com. If they do, you will earn about 6% of their purchase price.
Even if these people don't buy the item you recommended, they might buy something from amazon.com. And if they do so in the next 24 hours, you will get 6% of their purchase price, as long as they clicked on one of your links. Many of the people who decide to buy the sewing kit elsewhere will still click on the link to find out more information. Or they might even click on the picture of the buttons. If they buy anything on amazon.com within the next 24 hours, you will make money.
If you need money fast, then the Amazon affiliate program won't help you. It will take a few months before you see the first money. But once you get the process started, you will start making regular income with little or no additional work.
Here are some tips on using the Amazon affiliate program:
In addition to Amazon, there are other affiliate programs available. In my experience, though, they are not as lucrative. People do trust the Amazon name, and once they are on the site, they do buy things. Fortunately, Amazon sells virtually everything, so you can earn money from these sales. But if you want to diversify, other good programs include Commission Junction, shareasale.com, and LinkShare. These sites will allow you to get affiliate links from hundreds of companies.
Whatever you do for a living, if it can be done remotely, then you can probably sell your services on elance.com. This is a freelancing website. Prospective employers post jobs, and prospective workers can bid for these jobs. You can bid for up to 15 jobs per month at no cost. If you want to bid on more jobs, you can do so at a relatively low cost. (I've never bid on more than 15 jobs in a month.) This is an excellent way to market almost any service. There are a large numbers of writers and editors using this site, along with engineers, programmers, attorneys, translators, designers, and many other occupations.
After you bid on a job, the prospective buyer must escrow the money to pay you, before you get started. When you are complete, the process is largely automated, and you will generally get paid within a few days. You can have the money sent to your PayPal account, or receive it with a wire transfer or paper check. The money is available for withdrawal as soon as you have earned it.
You can make a modest income by selling used books (or other items) on amazon.com as a "Marketplace Seller". When you view an item on Amazon, in addition to being able to buy directly from Amazon, you are given the opportunity to buy a used copy of the same book (or other item), often at a much lower cost. The buyer still pays Amazon, but the book is shipped by an independent seller. You can sign up to be such a seller at this link. You can sign up at no cost, although if you sell enough, it might be worthwhile to sign up for one of their paid account.
In my experience, it is easiest to make money by selling used paperback books. While some hardcover books might be profitable, I've found that the shipping cost eats into the profit too much. Also, not all paperbacks will be profitable. In many cases, you will be competing against sellers selling the same book for one cent. You will actually lose money if you sell for that price. In general, you need to sell books for about $2 in order to make a profit.
When someone buys a used book, they will pay the price you have listed. They will also pay a shipping charge. When they do, you will be notified of the sale and need to ship the book promptly. Amazon will pay you the price of the book, minus their fee, plus an amount to cover the cost of shipping. The fee is typically about $1, but the amount you receive for shipping is generally (but not always) a little bit more than the actual cost of postage. You need to be careful when you price the item, because you are responsible for sending the item, even if you lose money in the process. Therefore, it's best not to sell books for less than about $2. Generally, if you sell a $2 book, you'll come out ahead about $1.
You might think that bestselling books would be the most lucrative. However, they are not. This is because there are millions in circulation, and someone else is probably selling them for one cent. Nobody will pay you $2 if the book is available for one cent. The books that are the most profitable are books that are out of print that were not very popular originally. There are a lot of good books, many on obscure topics, that didn't sell millions of copies. But occasionally, someone will be looking for that particular book. And more often than not, they go to Amazon. Since the book is out of print, the only option is to buy a used copy. And if you are selling a copy for $5, they'll probably buy it from you. You'll make about $4 profit.
You can often find these books at garage sales and yard sales. Invariably, there will be a big box of paperback books, marked 50 cents each, or whatever. You take out a five dollar bill, and ask the seller if he or she will take that for the entire box. The seller simply wants the books gone, and more often than not, you'll get the whole box.
When you get home with your box of books, start searching for them on Amazon. When you find the book, look for the used copies that are for sale. If the cheapest one on the list is less than $2, then you can just discard the book, because it's probably not worth selling. But if another seller has the book for sale for $5.23, then you know that you can sell the book for $5.22. Your copy will be listed as being the lowest price, so it's the one people will buy.
After you've decided which ones are worth selling, you simply sign up for an account at this link and follow the instructions for listing the books. If you list a box of books this way, interestingly, you'll make your first sale within in an hour or two. Other sales will trickle in over the next weeks and months.
Periodically, you will want to check the prices of your books, and make sure they are the lowest price. When you list the book for $5.22, it's likely that the other seller will lower his price to $5.21. At that point, you need to reduce yours to $5.20.
When you make a sale, you need to send the book promptly. Also, you do not have a large cushion to cover your expenses. Most paperback books can be sent easily in a manila envelope, which will only cost a few cents. You simply print out the packing slip, put it and the book in the envelope, and place it in the mail. Generally, you will send it via Media Mail, but in many cases, it's easier and cheaper just to send it First Class Mail. After you send it, you confirm the shipment on the Amazon website. In about two weeks, Amazon will pay you by direct deposit.
This venture works best if you need to go to the post office for some other reason. At least at first, you'll probably need to hand each shipment to the clerk behind the counter. However, you are allowed to simply drop items in the mailbox, as long as they are under 13 ounces. Most, but not all paperbacks will meet this requirement. Therefore, you can simply buy the stamps, weigh the envelopes at home, and drop them in the mailbox. Occasionally, however, you will need to go to the post office to buy more stamps and/or mail the books that are over 13 ounces. Some post offices have longer lines than other post offices. So if you know that your post office always has a long line or is inconvenient for you, keep this in mind.
Your book selling business will probably net you less than minimum wage, once you consider the time it takes to buy books at garage sales, package the orders, and mail them. But it's a relatively pleasant way to make a few extra dollars.
You will have leftover books from all of those selling for one cent. You can simply throw them in the trash or recycling, donate them to a thrift store, or have your own garage sale. Occasionally, I've packaged up large bundles of such books into categories, and then sell them by lot on eBay. For example, I'll list them as "50 Science Fiction Books--Free Shipping!" and then list them with a starting price that covers the postage. Inside the description, I list the titles of all of the books. They usually wind up selling, and I at least break even. People are searching for a particular book. They might click on my auction, because they know they'll get the book they want. The "free shipping" lets them know that they won't pay any additional cost. And they might be interested in some of the other 49 books. This method of disposing of the "worthless" books is usually more trouble than its worth, and I generally discard the unwanted books. But you can generally squeeze out a few extra dollars, which might be worth it if you have the time.
You will get paid fairly fast, but you will need to get started with some of your own money. You'll need to pay the postage out of your own pocket, and you will get paid within about two weeks. So don't begin your book selling adventure if you are totally destitute. But the expenses are quite minimal.
I've recently signed up as an online tutor at tutor.com. While you probably won't become a millionaire as a tutor, it is a fairly pleasant way of earning a few extra dollars. You'll earn more than the minimum wage, and you can largely set your own schedule.
Generally, tutor.com requires its tutors to have a college degree (in any major) or be a current college student. Students, often at public library computers, will log in with homework questions. When they request a tutor, they will be connected to one in an online "classroom", with a chat window and an online "whiteboard". You, the tutor, will help them the best you can and send them on their way. Most of the students are reasonable respectful, and they generally end up learning something from the session.
To begin the application process, you take tests in the subject area about which you want to tutor. The tests are actually quite difficult. The tests cover material that's generally a lot more difficult than the questions you will actually get from students. But you will probably pass the tests in some fields. At that point, you will probably be placed on a waiting list, as I was for several months.
When tutors are needed, you will be contacted, and you will continue the application process. This might entail a small amount of additional testing. But at this point, the testing isn't particularly difficult. You will be assigned a practice session where you will be paired up with an experienced tutor playing the role of a student. If you are successful at this practice session, you will be given a background check. Assuming you pass, you will have a probationary period where you simply start tutoring. You will be reviewed by another tutor, who will give guidance. At the end of the probationary period, you will be approved and be given a small raise. Or, if you don't have what it takes to be a tutor, you will be politely informed of that fact and sent on your way.
Online tutoring isn't for everyone, but it is a relatively pleasant way to make a few extra dollars. You are paid a fairly respectable wage for the time you are actually tutoring students. In addition, you can sign up for scheduled hours, and you'll be paid a smaller wage as you wait for students. When a student comes into your "classroom", you do need to devote all of your attention to the student. However, there are times spent waiting for students (either paid or unpaid, depending on whether you scheduled yourself for that time). Therefore, online tutoring is a good activity when you are working on something else, assuming that you can set the other task aside at a moment's notice.
You are paid on a monthly basis, and you will receive your check about ten days after the end of the month in which you tutored. It is also possible to sign up for direct deposit, which probably speeds up the process somewhat.
If you do decide to sign up as an online tutor, an existing tutor can get a small referral bonus for referring you. Therefore, during the sign up process, I would appreciate if you would list me as the person who referred you. In the appropriate spot on the application, state that you were referred by "tutor.com tutor Richard Clem".
I'll be updating this page with other opportunities. Please check back! If you have any feedback, please let me know. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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