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How to Make Money Online: Your Guide to Working For Yourself

How do I make money online? This is a question most of us have probably asked before. the internet is a vast sea of opportunity so why not venture out to grab success? People have made their mark on the web building their own business, creating and selling their own products, sharing their knowledge, skills and experience. Enterprising individuals have generated personal income from pretty much any endeavor you could think of. Some bloggers make six figures writing about what they want on their own schedule, some artists sell their creations around the world making a name for themselves and creating a steady income producing their passion, some individuals have made significant steps in independent financial success selling homemade products like cookies, cupcakes, organic sauces and pretty much anything else you could imagine a market for. With all the success stories out there it's clear that in this big world there is an audience for whatever you want to produce and success can be yours if you work for it and know the right way to go about it. So do you want to make money online?

Why Make Money Online?

Reasons to make money online may vary from one individual to the next, but there are a lot of commonalities among all seeking online income. Some people turn to online work to have more time at home with their children. Others crave the independence offered by online work with no boss to answer to, no office politics and nothing between you and your vision for the future of your career. Online work is viewed by many as a dream job affording income that can be earned from the comfort of your own home, or for that matter anywhere in the world. You don't have to worry about the weather keeping you from making it to work, sick days, vacation time, etc because your work can literally be done from anywhere.

Sell, Create, Market, Freelance? What Is Your Path?

There are so many opportunities out there to make money online that you have to devote some time to deciding which way to go. It's important to play to your strengths. if you are an artistic person then creating and selling your own work would be more profitable than trying to get an income from blogging about business and finance. If you have strong English and organizational skills, then blogging or freelance writing could be a good fit for you. additionally if you are well versed in social media and have a large following on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc, this will help you immensely in any of the above. Success online is all about connections. It doesn't matter how great a product or service you have if no one sees it. So remember Rule 1: Assess your Strengths to Maximize success. Doing what you are good at makes your work much easier. Rule 2: Assess your Resources and Take Advantage of them. If you have thousands of followers on social media, you have a built in audience to build your brand. If your work or social life gives you access to information others don't have or shows another side to a popular topic, use your unique knowledge to create content no one else can. Making money online is not about what's popular as much as it is about you and what you can offer to the consumer. Look at yourself and ask: "What can I do that I do better than others have done it?" or "What can I do that hasn't been done?" If you bring something new to the table with style and skill, you will be successful.

Is Making Money Online Legit?

Yes...and...No. The internet is overflowing with opportunity. However, this means there is opportunity to make money, work from home, start your own business, increase your income, etc. but there is equal opportunity to get scammed, loose money, not get paid for work done, or simply not succeed. This is life. You have to learn to navigate around the scammers and thieves to find real success. For every legit opportunity there are probably 10 scams. An easy rule is to look at what a website or company tells you and what they ask of you. If someone tells you you will be making six figures online it's probably a scam. These numbers do exist for some entrepreneurs out there but they get there through their own work and dedication. No company can guarantee you that kind of money. It's bait to get you to give them business and probably your money. This brings us to what is asked of you. Real opportunities don't typically require you to pay for them. websites that ask you to pay for a subscription service so that you can make money are usually just trying to make money for themselves off of you.

Freelance Jobs Online

Freelance or contract work is a great thing. It allows companies to thrive utilizing talent from around the globe and it affords the opportunity for individuals to earn money while building a resume of professional work experience. Work in this category includes freelance writing, Photography, survey taking and mystery shopping (Watch out for scams and low pay,) web design and development, consultation, etc. Freelancing is excellent for part time extra income, and if you have the skills for it you can turn it into a full time career as many in the field have. Below are some good places to start:

For Writers:

Be advised that Textbroker is a content mill site and as such it pays very low, even more so than other sites. So why is it on here? It is a great place to start to gain experience in writing for online clients. Textbroker requires you to provide a writing sample which gives you a quality rank. The higher your rank the higher your rate of pay and the more jobs you are able to accept. Also you have the option to set your own per word pay rate for additional projects. Also if you have the skill you can apply as a proof reader for extra income.

Problogger has been around for quite some time and is a go-to for many freelance writers. It features a constantly updates listing of available writing jobs from a wide range of different organizations.

Freelance Writing
Established in 1997 This site has built a reputation within the freelance community connecting freelancers looking for work with companies ready to hire for individual writing gigs.

Where to Sell Online

Maybe online writing is not for you. maybe you want to make money selling products online. Fortunately there are significant opportunities for you. The internet provides a great service by connecting people from all over the world. This means if you have something to sell, you can find someone to buy it. Below are some of the options available.

Facebook It is very easy to sell items through the Facebook marketplace. Always think about safety when using online marketplaces like this, however. Their are considerable dangers when meeting people to transfer products and payment.

eBay This is the one that pretty much started online commerce. Back in the day eBay was the only game in town to buy and sell. The best thing about eBay is you can list pretty much anything short of illegal items. If you have something to sell, you can probably sell it on eBay. The downside: eBay fees are a little crazy which puts a damper on your profits.

Amazon The other big dog in the race, Amazon marketplace allows you to sell the same products on their site as used new or collectible. Fees are minimal, no fee to list, and Amazon has expanded the marketplace to allow you to sell many more products. There is a reason Amazon is an industry leader.

Etsy This is a site that specializes in homemade crafts and vintage collectible products. More about this one below.

Make Money Online With Your Art

Weather you are a painter, photographer, or graphic artist you can make money online. Turn your passion for the arts into profit. Here are some helpful links.

Etsy is probably the best place to go to find hand crafted works ranging from sketches and paintings to sculptures and clothing and jewelry.

A simple to use website for selling and buying art of any kind. Over 80,000 artists use Artpal to sell their paintings, sketches, photo prints, etc. It's easy to sign up to become one of them

Fine Art America
Thise website allows you to create an online portfolio and set up a print on demand service to sell copies of your work as well as selling originals.

Share Your Knowledge, Make Money

Do you have teaching or tutoring experience? Do you love to share your knowledge and skills and help others to learn? Do you have specialized or expert knowledge in certain subjects? If your answer to any of these is yes, you may be able to work online part time as a teacher or tutor. Many teaching opportunities involve teaching classes via webcam to students primarily located in China and some other countries. The most popular subjects are English as a second language (Don't worry, you don't have to know Chinese to teach these classes) and math. Tutor jobs cover all subjects, grade levels and locations. See links below for job opportunities.

Online interactive English classes for children overseas learning English as a second language.

Share your knowledge with students in over 135 countries and earn money.

Go it Alone: Build Your Own Brand and Web Presence

There are two ways to make money online. Either you offer your products and services through established channels or start from the bottom and build your own brand. Which way you go depends on personal preferences and skills. Working for others requires certain skills. If, for example, you decide to be a freelance writer, you have to work around your clients schedule and must meet deadlines. You also have to adapt your style to theirs. Your clients will want specific formatting and structure. Your work has to be to their specifications. For some this is difficult and feels restrictive of the writer's creativity. Going out on your own presents difficulties as well. If you decide you are going to start your own website or blog, you have to be ready to devote large amounts of time and effort to making your own success without anyone to help or to blame if things don't go right. Either way it's not going to be free money. Expect to work.

How Much Money Can You Make Online?

This question has to be answered in to parts. First of all there really is no ceiling in terms of potential income. This means essentially the sky is the limit. On the other hand, while there are self made internet millionaires, they are not the norm and they put in a lot of work and probably had a lot of luck to get where they are. There are multiple factors that go into how much money you make online. Most importantly the work you put in determines what you get out. If you barely try, you will barely earn, but if you work hard you can have a real income working online, but you probably won't be a millionaire.

Things to Think About Before You Start

Ask yourself what do you want to accomplish. think about the reality of working at home. It sounds easy but if you are trying to hammer out a blog post and you have kids and dogs running around distracting you, are you going to be able to focus and put out quality work? Also remember working at home is still work and you can't binge watch Netflix while saying "I'll do my work later." Also, it can be lonely work. If you like quite time by yourself then working online may be excellent for you, but if you thrive on the social aspect of the office, you may struggle with working for yourself online. Finally, be realistic, be true to yourself and follow your dreams.

Check out these articles too:

How To Make Money Freelance Writing

Work From Home: What You Need To Know

Five Road Trip Destinations You Have To See


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