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Photo by JMRosenfeld

Jason Wire describes 15 legitimate ways to make a bit of extra cash using the Internet.

I started working at 13 years old, helping to operate a run-down batting cage in a local park. A year later I moved on to concession stand sales, and before leaving for college I manned a power saw in a pallet factory sweatshop.

I’m telling you this so you understand I’ve never had any interest in obeying bright, flashing ads on the Internet urging me to ACT NOW to make quick, easy cash whilst sitting at home on my couch.

The following ways to make a bit of extra money online are all legit. Just be warned that the meaning of “easy” is open to interpretation.

1. Amazon Mechanical Turks

Computer programs and robots have not yet eliminated the need for cheap, tedious human labor on the Internet. Want to be an e-assembly line worker? Amazon’s Mechanical Turks Program might be right up your alley.

Make easy money online? Photo: Marissa Orton.

Suppose someone wants to create a directory of all the restaurants in Tucson, and so designs a program that combs through restaurant websites and takes out their contact information. This information might be arranged in such a way that the program misses it, or the page might be made of flash-only content. This is where the Mechanical Turk comes in.

Valued employees of this virtual sweatshop perform very cheap, contract labor for people who post jobs on Amazon’s site. Believe me, it works – within an hour of joining I had earned a whole fifteen cents! If you get a good system down, this could be an easy way to make a buck, but certainly not a liveable income.

2. Affiliate Programs

If you don’t fancy lugging around a set of Cutco knives, working as an online sales rep for any of the thousands of affiliate programs out there is as honorable as being the next Avon Lady.

Like any affiliate program, whether online or not, you’re a freelance salesperson. Whether it’s sex pills and muscle building formula, hotel reservations, or IQ tests, you can choose the company you work for, and there’s something for everyone.

Again, Amazon is one of the more popular affiliate programs. You just create a blog or website where you describe and review products available on Amazon, and link visitors to the selling site. You earn a percentage of the final sales. Check out Scott Allen’s thorough guide to making money this way.

3. MatadorNetwork Bounty Board

OK so I’m biased, but becoming a “bounty hunter” for the articles listed on the Matador Bounty Board is definitely a legitimate and fulfilling way of making some cash. As well as payment, your article will get great exposure, and for writers it’s an opportunity not to be missed.

Photo by deutero

4. Online Gambling

Obviously gambling is a risky business, but if you know what you’re doing it is possible to make significant money. Many options exist for those looking to strike it rich at the online poker tables, but Full Tilt and PokerStars are two of the most reputable and popular. To really sharpen your skills, check out the coaching available at Drag The Bar.

For people who want a lower-risk option, CentSports offers sports betting for even those on a beggar’s budget. Bet pennies, nickels, quarters – or even whole dollars if you’re feeling ballsy – on just about any sporting event around.

5. Be a YouTube Phenomenon

This is certainly a fun way to make money.

Step One: Get a free YouTube account.

Step Two: Learn how to share and upload videos on YouTube, and acquaint yourself with what’s popular. A recorded lecture of your cousin’s dissertation on Keynesian economics isn’t going to get many hits, but a one minute video of your kittens on a slide might bring in over a million.

Step Three: Once you’ve uploaded a number of videos, go to YouTube’s homepage and click the Partnerships link. To become an official partner and make money from your videos you have to apply. YouTube will review your account, looking at how many videos you have, how often you submit them, and how many views you regularly receive – so be sure to build up a nice portfolio of your friends’ skateboarding accidents.

Note that YouTube’s criteria for becoming a partner are comprehensive and strict:

— You create your own “original” videos.
– You own all the appropriate copyrights.
– The content is 100% yours (no income splitting/sharing if money is involved).
– You upload videos on a regular basis.
– Your videos are viewed by thousands.
— Your videos are suitable for all viewers.
– You are at least 18 years of age.
– You are based in an English-speaking country.

As with most things in life, your return will be related to the amount of work you put in.

6. Be a ChaCha Guide

Do you like surfing the Internet? Are you frustrated by people who don’t know how to search efficiently online? Do you consider yourself a level-90 Google mage? If so, and you’ve got some free time, becoming a ChaCha guide might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Photo by ChaCha.com

ChaCha.com bills itself as a human alternative to search engines. You enter a question, and they return a number of answers to similar questions asked before. But if none of these seem right you can submit the question to one of their live guides, who will work their magic on the web, find the answer, and send it to you on your phone.

According to a pretty thorough review of the program by a former guide, the current pay rate is 10 or 20 cents per query, depending on performance. Payment is monthly, as long as the ChaCha guide earns over $100, but there is also an instant pay option

7. Project Payday

Project Payday has all the typical signs of a scam or fruitless endeavor: an alliterated name, the word “payday” in its title, and a low-tech website featuring only a vertical, “read more” stream of text.

However, the way you can “make money” on this site could be a compelling reason to try it out. All you do is complete trial offers, and then get paid for doing so. For instance, if you complete a 2-week Netflix trial, then complete a brief questionnaire, you’ll get paid. As you might imagine, though, it takes a considerable number of offer-tries to make enough cash to legitimize the effort.

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Financial Savvy

 

About The Author

Jason Wire

Jason Wire graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2010 and spent the year after writing and teaching English in Spain. He's back in the states now, but doesn't know where. Follow him @wirejr.

  • http://expatheather.com Heather

    Love how mentioned your earnings rate with #1 – 15 cents in an hour – yikes!

    One thing to add, Demand Studios assignments are mostly pay per article (not based on page views/performance), and they have recently started several programs that offer higher paying assignments for feature articles ($80 – $100).

    http://www.demandstudios.com/blog/introducing-features-articles

    The structure of writing for DS is quite different than writing for Associated Content, Helium or Examiner. Pay is much higher and all articles go through an editorial process, ie you can’t just publish at will like on the other sites mentioned.

  • http://www.theresataylor.co.za Theresa

    Thanks for this! I have recently graduated varsity and am feeling the strangle hold of no drinking money!

  • http://www.bonvia.us/ Mike/Bon Via

    While not tried and tested just yet, Bon Via (http://www.bonvia.us) is certainly a legitimate way to make money: Travel, find great stuff, describe it richly, sell it online. We pay you via PayPal within 5 days. It’s a bit more democratic way to import things and we’re pretty excited about it.

    Plus, it rewards you going out into the world more and not hanging at the hostel, sucking on WiFi.

  • http://www.escapenormal.com Jacqueline Boss

    The bounty board sounds great- I was just thinking about having something like that on my site. Will definitely be checking it out.

    I think blogging deserves its own section though, although that is a commitment that takes quite a lot of time before you can start earning good money. Though I’m trying my hand at it and have started to make some in 2 months- not much, but anything is better than zero.

    Heres a post I wrote about how to get into blogging as a beginner: http://www.escapenormal.com/2011/03/06/6-steps-to-earning-passive-income-online-through-blogging-start-right-now/

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  • http://www.whatbizopp.com/business-opportunity/online-business-opportunities Dan – earn money

    The opportunities to make extra money via the internet are literally limitless. However, if you opt to market your skills online on a freelance basis, make sure you’re dealing with legitimate employers before applying to them as there are plenty of job scams out there waiting to rip you off.

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    Great article,

    While I was looking for a way to start making money online, I friend of mine told me that I can start working from home and to make $3,000/mo.I didn’t believe it, but I tried.I couldn’t believe when I saw my first payment …$460 for only one week were into my paypal account.LOL!

    If you want to make money like me, just click on the link in my profile (at the top of this post – WorkAtHomeHope.info) and register.Registratinon is 100% free.Work is easy and it does not require any skills…Everyone can do it.You can start making money from home today …

  • http://www.makemoneyideeas.webatu.com/ Melinda

    I must admit that I never heard about Amazon Mechanical Turks.It is the first time that I hear about it.Hmm..you gave me a good idea and I will try it ;)

  • http://onesoftmedia.in/ ayush

    I like No 6 and 7 going to try this soon….
    Right now I’m only in affiliate marketing and ppc hope this will improve my online earning

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  • PinkRules

    I finally decided to read one of these articles in an internet
    newsgroup describing how to make $50,000.00 in only one month from a $5.00 investment.
     
     Of course I thought this was ridiculous ,or some type of pyramid. Im the type of person whos tried all online surveys and found out that it doesn’t work. But, hey, what’s $5.00.
     
     Markus Valppu says he made $57,883 in four weeks. Dave Manning claims he made $53,664 in the same amount of time. Dan Shepstone says it was only $17,000 for him. Do I know these folks? No, but when I read how they say they did it, it made sense to me. Enough sense that I’m taking a similar chance with $5 of my own money.  Not a big chance, I admit–but one with incredible potential, because $5 is all anyone ever invests in this system. Period. That’s all Markus, Dave, or Dan invested, yet their $5 netted them tens of thousands of dollars each, in a safe, legal, completely legitimate way.
     
     Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:
     
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     1)- Heath Ward P.O.Box 2027 Dodge City, Ks 67801
     2)- Matthew Kulbacki 1025 12th street Golden, CO, USA 80401
     3)- Nikki Robinson 2324 Frederick Place Valdosta, GA 31602
     4)- Ross O’Brien 1040 pine lane Lafayette,CA 94549
     5)- Brooke Frieman 2451 N. Rainbow blvd. Unit 89108, Las Vegas, NV 89108
     
    STEP 2.  Now remove the top name from the list, and move the other names up. This way, #5 becomes #4 and so on. Put your name in as the fifth one on the list.
     
     STEP 3.  Post the article to at least 200 newsgroups. There are at least 17000 newsgroups at any given moment in time. Try posting to as many newsgroups as you can. Remember the more groups you post to, the more people will see your article and send you cash!
     
    STEP 4.  You are now in business for yourself, and should start seeing returns within 7 to 14 days! Remember, the internet is new and huge. There is no way you can lose.
     
     Now here is how and why this system works:  Out of every block of 200 posts I made, I got back 5 responses. Yes, that’s right, only 5. You make $5.00 in cash, not checks or money orders, but real cash with your name at #5.  Each additional person who sent you $1.00 now also makes 200 additional postings with your name at #4, 1000 postings. On average then, 50 people will send you $1.00 with your name at #4,….$50.00 in your pocket!  Now these 50 new people will make 200 postings each with your name at #3 or 10,000 postings. Average return, 500 people= $500. They make 200 postings each with your name at #2= 100,000 postings=5000 returns at $1.00 each=$5,000.00 in cash! Finally, 5,000 people make 200 postings each with your name at #1 and you get a return of $50,000 before your name drops off the list. And that’s only if everyone down the line makes only 200 postings each! Your total income for this one cycle is $55,000.  From time to time when you see your name is no longer on the list, you take the latest posting you can find and start all over again.  The end result depends on you. You must follow through and repost this article everywhere you can think of. The more postings you make, the more cash ends up in your mailbox. It’s too easy and too cheap to pass up!!!

  • http://www.debtnegotiators.com.au/debt-solutions/credit-repair/ liza

    You have shared really great tips & tricks with us. You have explain
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    Good info! I really like 15.Start a Content Site which I also recommend to all my friends. If you have any interest or hobby you should start your own blog and sooner or later you will start making some money! To start your own blog you can follow free guide here: http://www.how2startablog.com/starting-a-blog/ Starting a blog is very easy and quick ;-) Good luck and Best Regards.

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  • Saheed Olugbenga Olaoti

    av not been able to secure any better way at all.

  • Justin Maverick

    Great post Jason I found this very informational. Have you heard about Motor Club of America? Its a company that provides members with benefits ranging from medical coverage to roadside assistance. Its been around since 1926 so its extremely stable. Its only $40 to start and the best part is you get paid $80 for every person you refer. Check out this link to see a list of the plans the offer if your interested:
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    http://naturalpay.com/?ref=jacdonmibawo

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  • Ashish Kothari

    all are bogus ideas.

    • Ian Elrick

      They are not all bogus ideas. Most of them can work. There are hundreds of ways of making money online but it took me a year to realize that the most important aspect was “traffic”. No customers = no money. Check my site for more info make money online

  • Jordin Carter

    I finally discovered three useful ways to make money online! Each solution is designed for the most common ways people market online. The Truth is everyone is different and the reason why people fail, is because they have not found a solution that fits their strategy! IF you’re like me. You want massive, fast traffic. Millionaire Society gives you the simple instructions on how to get 100,000 visitors in less than 1 hour. Google Sniper 2.0 offers a solution to getting around traffic generation, if your not in to it. Lastly, Coffee Shop Millionaire is a way that pretty much does everything for you, like creating your website and offering ready made websites to come in and start making money with little work! I am actually a member of them all, but Millionaire Society suits me best. For more info just go to theinternetmillionairelegacy.us.

  • Jordin Carter

    I finally discovered three useful ways to make money online! Each solution is designed for the most common ways people market online. The Truth is everyone is different and the reason why people fail, is because they have not found a solution that fits their strategy! IF you’re like me. You want massive, fast traffic. Millionaire Society gives you the simple instructions on how to get 100,000 visitors in less than 1 hour. Google Sniper 2.0 offers a solution to getting around traffic generation, if your not in to it. Lastly, Coffee Shop Millionaire is a way that pretty much does everything for you, like creating your website and offering ready made websites to come in and start making money with little work! I am actually a member of them all, but Millionaire Society suits me best. For more info just go to theinternetmillionairelegacy.us to check at this site I found.

  • Extra-Cash-Online

    Texas Holdem is great and you are right a little risky. Come see how we earn extra cash online!

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  • Marcel Corona

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  • Austine Nwimoh
  • Tiffany Anderson

    Another way to earn money online, not a lot by any means, is swagbucks. Bascially you earn “swagbucks” for watching videos, using their search engine, playing games, doing surveys, signing up for newsletters, and using coupons. Your swagbucks can be redeemed for giftcards, including paypal ones, which can be directly deposited into a bank account. I have a lot of downtime at my job, I use swagbucks a lot. I’ve earned around $300 by just goofing around online. It does take alot of effort, but hey, if you’re online anyway and want a little extra spending cash Id recommend it. If you do try it out, please use my referral code. They match points every time you use their search engine :-)

    swagbucks.com/refer/thenewtiff

  • Shuhieb Patang

    If you want to get free stuff like electronics, clothing, books, gift cards, and a wide variety of things click on the link and sign up. You can even make cash and receive a check or deposit money into your Paypal account. Just click the link and start earning happily. http://www.points2shop.com/?ref=kingpatang

  • meLbourne16

    Hi! If you

  • scottr0316

    What is the article that I’m posting?

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