Making money on the Internet is a hot topic these days, especially with so many people unemployed. A search for “making money on the Internet” brings back about 313,000 results. There are tons of programs, courses, e-books, blogs and websites for this topic. There are many “get rich quick” scams out there, so how do you tell the scams apart from the real opportunities? You simply look for the ones that don’t say a single thing about being rich while you sleep or anything along the lines of that. The sad thing is that many people fall prey to the vultures that do nothing but pull information – gathered for free – from the Internet, put it together, slap it into a pretty package and then sell it with false promises of overnight wealth. It is very possible to earn a healthy living from the Internet, but it will require some time and effort. There are two main ways of using the Internet to make money.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a term that is almost everywhere you look on the Internet, which means it is king of familiar, yet so many people have no idea what the real meaning is. Affiliate marketing is basically just Internet based sales, with a bit of a twist. Your pay is usually only commission based, but if you research various products and services to find the right ones, you can make a nice earning rate. There are some websites that compile a database of companies that allow affiliate promotion of certain products, but sometimes these websites charge a fee for access. This is really a rip off because you can access this information all on your own. All you have to do first is figure out which type of product and/or service that you would like to promote, based on the market popularity. Then you can search using the type of product as keywords. Locate a few of the top companies that represent these products and visit the websites. If the companies offer an affiliate program, there will be a small link at the bottom of the web page. Click this link and sign up. When you join a company’s affiliate program, you are often given customized tools that can help you in your marketing efforts, like code for product images and banner ads. You are also given a custom referral link. When you use this link in your website or blog text, customers can click it and be directed to the sales page for the product. The company tracks your custom ID and when a customer purchases through your link, you get the commission payment. Most companies provide between 15% and 30%, depending on what the product or service is.

Professional Freelancing

Professional freelancing is quite similar to sub-contracting. For payment, either one-time or ongoing, you perform certain tasks for a company or person that is looking to outsource (hire) for certain projects without actually having to keep an employee on a full-time basis. You can customize what you do. For example, if you have experience with website design, you can be a freelance website designer. If you have content writing experience or journalistic experience, you can become a content ghostwriter, which means that you are researching and writing various things that will be adding to the Internet through websites, article directories, and blogs. The professional freelancing market is an extremely competitive one, so it is important to make sure that you have a pronounced amount of experience. If you know what you’re doing but can’t prove your experience, the best thing for you to do is sign up for one or two freelance job sites that will provide you with access to hundreds of projects and help you establish yourself in the market. Pay varies; when you have more experience under your belt, you can average about $15 per 500 words.

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