The “Information Age”
You’ve probably heard the phrase “Information Age”. Do you know what it means? Many people don’t. And I must confess that I was one of those “many people” for a good number of years.
But as time went by, my perception of “Information Age” changed. I got to understand that it actually referred to the “Information Technology Age”, this period in human existence which is primarily based on information technology or I T – for short – as opposed to industrialization, as was the case before now.
And what is this “Information Technology”?
In the simplest possible terms, information technology or I T is “the use of computers”.
Computers have three inherent uses related to information: storing, retrieving, and manipulating. A fourth and perhaps the most influential comes into being when another piece of technology – the internet – is combined with it.
Thanks to the internet, a computer is able to transmit information from one part of the world to another within a matter of seconds. This allows an individual or entity producing goods in one location to be able to find buyers in another.
This is what I refer to as “traditional means of making money” on the internet. That is, businesses established and operating offline using the internet to sell their products and / or services. This is what generally comes to mind when the average person hears of making money on the internet.
So Many Ways
There are however many other ways of making money online apart from such “traditional” means. Countless ways of money-making online exist which do not require the production of goods as mentioned above.
Those “countless ways” have two main sources. They are the same two sources people use in their everyday life to earn an income. You’ve probably guessed them:
Yes jobs! Like you know them: working for others. The big difference perhaps is that because the internet is a virtual world, jobs here can not be physical. It’s restricted to “remotely” offering services as you’ll see below.
As is the case with offline jobs, online jobs do not require financial investment. Instead, they need a skill set or sometimes, an “unskill” set. We’ll get to examples in a moment.
The other source of making money online is business. Business, on the other hand, is owned by you, and requires financial investment: some, recurrent; others, one-time – as is also the case offline.
So, that’s how it is: you make money on the internet by “working jobs” and / or by doing “online business”.
Though both of the above are ways to earn an income online, the expression “MMO” (Make Money Online) is more commonly associated with the online business option.
Note: Whether it’s a job or a business you wish to use to make money on the internet, one thing you must be aware of is, it takes time and dedication to become successful.
5 Big Categories of Money-Making Activities on the Internet
Modern ways of making money on the internet are so many, no one article would ever cover all of them. There’s something for everyone to do to make some money online.
Below, I’ve regrouped the thousands of “non-traditional” ways of making money into five categories.
In each category, I’ve handpicked very common activities along with a couple of prominent websites where one can access those opportunities. Based on your area of interest, you could visit relevant sites listed and subscribe/apply to become a “participant” and start working on earning an income online.
A number of the activities listed below form part of the first source of making money online mentioned above. They are generally referred to as work from home or work at home (WAH) jobs. You could do them part-time, full time or freelance.
Others are based on personal initiative, and are generally referred to as “online business”.
Category 1: Little or No Skills Required (The “Unskill” Set)
What you need to work in this first category is perhaps basic education. With basic education, you could do any of the following and start making some money online:
– Taking Surveys
Note: Your geographic location, demographics and other similar factors are often times considered in determining whether or not you qualify to take a survey.
– Filling CAPTCHA
– Playing Online Games
– Selling Unwanted Items
You could sell just about anything on the following websites.
3. Craigslist: Depending on your city, you could visit the appropriate Craigslist website.
Category 2: Professional Skills Required
– Data Entry
– Transcribing audio to text
– Graphic designing
Category 3: Talent / Passion Required
– Taking and selling photos
– Making and selling artwork / crafts
– Selling recipes
– Voice over artist
Category 4: Online Skills Required
Anyone wishing to make money in this category would firstly need to acquire knowledge in internet marketing, website building, SEO, or the like.
A good place to access valuable knowledge and skills to effectively tackle these activities is the Wealthy Affiliate community.
With the necessary skills, you could approach businesses in your vicinity to provide them with such services, including:
– Internet marketing and branding
If you’ve read this article from the start, you would have understood the power the internet is giving businesses today. More and more “brick and mortar” businesses are striving to have a web presence, as it is the ultimate way of increasing their revenue.
As part of this activity, you could be required to:
– Build websites
Businesses are hiring “internet professionals” to build websites in order to showcase their goods and or services.
– Help websites get traffic
Without reasonable traffic, websites would not achieve their ultimate goal. Businesses with website having low or no traffic are concerned about this problem. You could provide the solution.
– Manage Social Media
Like a website, social media is a marketing tool more and more businesses are taking advantage of. However, many business owners are either too busy or preoccupied with other activities to get involved with the intricacies of social media. They prefer hiring someone to handle their business’ social media “challenges”. Hence, the relevance of this role.
Category 5: Trending Models
This final category consists of currently-trending ways of making money online, and they – quite interestingly – attract the overwhelming majority of those seeking to make money online.
Blogging is the act of maintaining a personal website or blog by regularly publishing articles or blog posts generally centered around an area of interest/discussion referred to as your niche. As a blogger, there are many ways you can make money from your blog. But the most rewarding of them is by directly “proposing your art” to your audience. By this I mean, sell whatsoever talent, knowledge or expertise you have directly to others via your website.
Do you have a passion for photographing, for example? Do you have a collection of photos you’ve taken? It would be much more profitable were you to get involved in selling your photos yourself, instead of going through photography website like those in Category 3.
This applies to every passion, knowledge or expertise: from selling recipes to tutoring or transcribing, or even specialized consultation services.
Though initially it’s difficult to get a breakthrough with such business – you won’t be known or trusted and may not command the requisite online knowhow from the beginning – with time, your dedication and capabilities will eventually pay off.
In fact, that is how every successful business starts off, whether online or offline. No-one starts a business and knows instant success.
YouTubing involves regularly recording and uploading videos to one’s YouTube channel. It’s the video equivalent of blogging. You create a channel based on a niche of your choice with several possibilities of monetizing it, notably by displaying ads by Google AdSense. Click here to learn how to begin YouTubing.
– Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is using one’s personal “webspace” – it may be one’s social media page, blog, YouTube channel, or the like. – to advertise the products or services of companies and receive commissions in return if such goods or services are purchased via your space. Affiliate marketing is by far the cheapest business model to give a try. Click here and read our post on what affiliate marketing is all about.
MLMs (Multi-level Marketing Programs), also referred to Network Marketing Programs/ Platforms or Pyramid Schemes are programs which involve several levels of salespersons. The original entity (producer of the product) – at the top – recruits a second level, who in turn seek to recruit a third level, and so on. Each level recruit the next level in order to be paid commissions based on the price their recruits pay the original entity for the product concerned.
A graphic representation of this reality shows that this marketing model is a kind of network of salespersons existing on several levels and in the form of a pyramid, hence the different expressions to designate it.
The MLM is by far the most expensive model of online business to get involved in. It is not a model new marketers should venture into, as the demands thereof are so much, which would end up overwhelming the newbie marketer.
MLMs are “reserved” for very experienced marketers who generally apply several types of advanced methods – including extravagance – to enhance their recruitment campaigns.
Because of the extravagance associated with it and the fact that its campaigns are widespread on the internet, new online entrepreneurs usually fall prey to its exorbitant recurrent fees just to realize later that they lack all experience necessary to survive in such “harsh” marketing environment.
And before you know it, they withdraw, and resort to other marketing models seen to be more reasonable for their level of experience.
That’s the path so many who seek to make money online initially take as a result of ignorance on their part. But the sooner they get to see the reality, the better it is for their pockets and their psyche.
In short, only go the MLM route if you are an experienced marketer. In case you’re just learning about making money online, DO NOT venture into MLM. Period!
To conclude, I must include that in some cases, one business model overlaps another. For example, marketers may use blogging or Youtubing in their marketing campaign in favor of their affiliate or MLM offer.
Also, it must be noted that each of the jobs or business model described in this post does present an “opportunity” for scammers. Therefore, do yourself justice to carry out background checks on websites you’re not familiar with, and exercise a high level of caution before signing up to online “opportunities” to avoid being robbed of your hard-earned money.
Feel free to comment or ask questions in the comment box below. Wishing you all the best as you begin or continue your MMO journey.
To your success online,