Safe Ways to Make Extra Money Online
If you are a frequent Internet user, you may have seen a number of suspicious banners floating around that advertise home-based online jobs with sky-high incomes. I have never clicked on one of those; for some reason, I just know that they shouldn’t be trusted – they sound just too good to be true!
However, that doesn’t mean that there are no genuine ways of earning a bit of extra money on the Internet.
If you have a skill that you can use online – such as copywriting, design, illustration, translation, photography – you could consider freelancing online. There are plenty of websites, such as elance.com, that can be used for finding online work in a number of fields: all you need to do is pick the right category (or categories), describe your skills and experience and list your hourly or per-project rates. It may be hard to get the first few paying customers, but once you have established a client database and received your first positive reviews, it should be much easier to get new jobs and projects – as long as you charge competitive rates. A great way of finding first customers is by initially charging less that the average rate and gradually raising the price with every new project you complete.
You could also consider becoming a virtual assistant, if you prefer working for a set number of clients for a longer period of time, rather than taking on different projects. Virtual assistants mostly offer administrative and sometimes marketing assistance – such as copywriting, social media monitoring, blogging, supporting executives, answering phone calls and so on. This means that you need to have a few years of “real life” experience in the field, but also be very well-organised and highly skilled in your field. Be prepared to compete with the cheaper virtual assistance markets based in India and Asia.
Blogging could be another way of earning extra income: some people even manage to make it their full-time job and the sole source of income! Pick a topic you are very passionate about: be it travelling, personal finance, parenthood, cooking; and start creating quality content which will, hopefully, start bringing in views and clicks. While it’s pretty hard for a personal blog to really take off, once it starts getting hits, you may be able to earn money through sponsored content and affiliate programmes. Making videos and posting them on YouTube can also be a profitable activity – if a video reaches a certain amount of views, the creator will start getting paid per view by YouTube.
There are also a couple of things that pretty much anyone can do online: one of them is selling used items on TradeMe or a local Facebook group and the second one is completing customer surveys online.
Do your research carefully and make sure you only deal with trusted and authoritative websites and affiliates, and you may be able to turn your hobbies, interests and skills into a profitable “side hustle” – just don’t forget to consult a tax advisor!