Some of these you’ve probably read from earlier posts and in greater detail, but I decided I would gather some more general information about making money online. While, yes I focus mostly for college students on this post, anybody can get some decent information on this.
Money is always a problem for college students, anybody really, but especially college students. We have loans, bills, gas, food, and other sorts of things to pay for. Sometimes having a part-time job just isn’t enough to cover what is needed. How can one cover the rest? We happen to have the greatest resource at our own hands: the Internet. There are several ways one can make money on the internet: blogging, paid surveys, paid services, and e-stores.
Blogging is a totally achievable way for people to make money. It takes multiple steps and of course it requires having a good sized following. Now, while it is totally achievable, not everybody can do it because it requires some knowledge of the internet which I will go into further detail soon. I spoke with Steve Pavlina via email, he’s a Las Vegas blogger that has made a decent living from blogging, and I asked him some questions about how to make money by blogging. His responses were basically pointers to some of his past blogs which went into great detail about making money via blogging.
The most difficult part is the need for patience, if you cannot wait then your blog is doomed to fail. Then there’s perseverance: you keep posting your topics while you build up viewers. There are ten ways to build traffic in a blog: create valuable content meaning will your content be worthy of being read by many people (“How to Build…”)? Create original content because while unoriginal stuff may be entertaining it’s more interesting to be creative with your posts (“How to Build…”). Create time less content because if people keep checking out posts from five or more years ago that’s a valuable post for you (“How to Build…”). Write for human beings first and computers second, meaning post content that means something to a person not nonsense that’s just going to put you higher on a search engine (“How to Build…”). Know why you want a high traffic site, this is pretty self-explanatory, but isn’t always profit oriented (“How to Build…”). Let your audience see the real you because nobody likes a fake, even if it’s easy to be that way on the internet because no one can see you, your posts will be more natural that way (“How to Build…”). Write what is true for you and learn to live with the consequences, meaning post what you want and understand that it may not be right for one audience but is good for another, but either way something is going to go haywire somewhere (“How to Build…”). Treat your visitors like real human beings, because if you don’t news can spread fast and hurt your traffic pretty badly (“How to Build…”). Keep money in its proper place, you blog shouldn’t be about making money, because sure money might be nice, but your viewers are more important and if you’re doing it all right the money will come with it (“How to Build…”). Finally, and most importantly: if you forget all the rest just focus on the people and rest will take care of itself (“How to Build…”).
Moving on to making money from a blog, this is easier than many people think, but the key is all dealing with traffic. The first and often time the best way to make money, is to use Google’s Adsense program, which is a free resource that Google has for people with websites to make money. What you need to do is sign up with Google, wait until you’re approved, and then copy the html code to your website. Google will then look at your site and post ads based off of your content (Google Adsense). The first $100 dollars goes to them and then afterwards all of the money you make goes to your Paypal account (Google Adsense). Another fantastic way to make money is to have donations to allow people to send money to you through Paypal or even snail mail (“How to Make…”). You can use Affiliate Programs via Amazon or LinkShare which allow you to review a product and anyone that purchases it through your review pays you a little commission for the sale (“How to Make…”). You can sell ad space, which is the only less passive means for making money on a blog, because all the others let you post the item and then the rest is the viewer’s clicking and buying (“How to Make…”). While it might be a great start, you should build more than just a blog and make it a real website this allows you to unlock the full potential of your site (“How to Make…”). There are also some great perks when it comes to a successful blog: people want you to test out and write reviews for your product and often times you get the stuff for completely free to test and keep (“How to Make…”).
There really aren’t any drawbacks to a blog. Starting it up is completely free and afterwards if things start really rolling for you, it’s dirt cheap. It is less than $10 a year for your domain name and maybe $150 a month for your server and bandwidth, but by then you’ll be making more than that a month (“How to Make…”). If a blog fails, it fails and that’s that.
Moving on now to paid services. What are paid services? The definition breaks down to getting paid to perform a service. What paid services are online? I did some digging and found two very good sites to make some pocket change, but one of them is very location based. There’s Student of Fortune and eJuror. Student of Fortune is an online tutoring service, and eJuror is a place where lawyers practice their profession and pay civilians to be their jury.
Student of Fortune is a fantastic way to make some pocket change. What you have to do is make an account and you may hook up your Paypal account to it. There are users that post questions dealing with school based problems and they attach a “bounty” to the question. Then a tutor helps the asker solve the problem and they get paid based off of the bounty (Student). The owners of the site get paid a 20% commission for the first purchase of the tutorial and then if it gets bought other times there’s a 40% commission (Student). While that might seem like a large piece of the pie, you’re posting answers for free and getting paid between $1 and $50 per question. This is really the best if you’re looking for some pocket change.
When I tried out Student of Fortune, I discovered one issue: many people posted answers and not tutorials. It is written in the terms that you must agree on to make an account that you will not cheat and posting an answer to the question is cheating because it is solving the question for the poster and not helping them solve it for themselves. For me that was a make-or-break factor and it broke.
EJuror, lawyers need practice, right? Here is a place for lawyers to go to make hypothetical cases to the public and then pay them to come to a verdict about the case. The biggest problem with this site is it is very locational. If you live in a low-population low-crime location it is less likely that a case will be posted, but it is very different for those in the opposite position (eJuror).
Paid surveys are exactly what you think they are, a site you fill surveys out on and then get paid for finishing them. There are two excellent sites for this: Vindale Research and MySurvey. Vindale Research is the most intensive of the two because it asks you to test out something before you take the survey (Vindale). MySurvey is less intensive, but you may not always qualify for the surveys that you can take because they are often looking for a specific demographic (MySurvey). The worst part of taking surveys to make money is the time it consumes. Of all the ways I’ve talked about and am going to talk about, these are by far the longest and most time consuming way to make money online.
Finally, comes one of the easiest and possibly one of the best ways to make some real money online: e-stores. EBay is probably the worst example and the most popular one, and it’s one I use myself all the time; however, it works and is easy. EBay requires that you make an account and hook up a Paypal account to it. From there you make your account a seller account and then begin to list things in your account (eBay). Also, contrary to common belief, you don’t need a high rating in order to make a profit selling things; people are often willing to take a chance on a new vendor. The most effort you every have to put into it is taking a picture of your product and mailing it to its destination when bought.
As far as the best ways creating your own website is perhaps one of the best ways to earn money as long as you stay dedicated, have an entrepreneurial mindset, and know how to obtain traffic. EBay remains one of the most consistent ways to make money, but you of course need stuff to sell and need to travel back and forth to the post office to send most of your packages. Paid surveys and services are OK if you want to make some pocket change, but they aren’t always reliable and often are a pain in the rear end.
Yes, there is an annotated bibliography:
“EJury.com :: The Online Trial Experience.” EJury.com. Web. 13 Apr. 2012. <http://www.ejury.com/>.
“Electronics, Cars, Fashion, Collectibles, Coupons and More Online Shopping | EBay.”Electronics, Cars, Fashion, Collectibles, Coupons and More Online Shopping. Web. 13 Apr. 2012. <http://www.ebay.com/>.
“Google Adsense.” Google Adsense. Google. Web. 19 Apr. 2012. <www.google.com/AdSense>.
My Survey. Web. 19 Apr. 2012. <https://www.mysurvey.com/>.
Pavlina, Steve. “How to Make Money From Your Blog.” Personal Development for Smart People. Web. 19 Apr. 2012. <http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/05/how-to-make-money-from-your- blog/>.
Pavlina, Steve. “How to Build a High-Traffic Web Site (or Blog).” Personal Development for Smart People.Steve Pavlina, Jan. 2006. Web. 20 Apr. 2012. <http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/01/how-to-build-a-high-traffic-web-site-or-blog/>.
Pavlina, Steve. “Steve Pavlina.” E-mail interview. 12 Apr. 2012.
Vindale Research. Vindale. Web. 19 Apr. 2012. <http://www.vindale.com/>.
“Your Source for Easyonline Homework Help!” Homework Help, Online Tutoring in Math, Science, Physics, Chemistry from StudentofFortune.com – StudentOfFortune.com. Web. 13 Apr. 2012.<http://studentoffortune.com/>.