Millions of Americans shop online, and with the resurgence of online shopping, there has been an increase in the demand for online money makers. When you combine that with the fact that more and more people are working remotely, you have a lucrative market if you know how to tap into it.
But where do you start? How do you determine what will make you money online and what will be a waste of your time?
Here are four ways to make money online instaneously, and two ways to lose money online. Take a look and see which ones apply to you.
1. Take Surveys
Giving your feedback and opinion on various products, events, and activities is one of the quickest and simplest ways to make money online. You can take online surveys for companies that you already know and trust, or you can use specialized tools to seek out the most lucrative opportunities that you can fill out. Some of the most popular survey sites include Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, OneOpinion, Ipsos iSay, Survey Spot, and Ipsos iSay Swingby.
Keep in mind: These surveys don’t have to be completely honest. For example, if you’re paid per day to take surveys, it’s in your best interest to suggest that Netflix’s The Komits are a great band simply so that you can continue receiving paychecks. It’s also in your best interest to suggest that the newest Marvel movie is actually not that good because the survey offers a bonus for giving your honest opinion. You get the picture.
2. Start an Online Lifestyle Store
If you’re looking to make extra cash, you could start an online store where you sell and ship various products such as clothing, jewelry, artwork, etc. Depending on what you’re selling, you’ll need to decide how much you want to charge for shipping. An easy way to make money is through drop shipping. With this strategy, you essentially operate a storefront. When a customer makes an order, you order that product from a third party (most often a manufacturer or wholesaler) and ship it directly to the customer. Shopify, BigCommerce, Shopify Inc., and WordPress have all crafted tools to make this process super easy.
You don’t necessarily need a fancy storefront or even a website to be able to do this. You can start off with an Instagram account where you post your store’s products and services. Once you’ve established a following there, you can move over to your website where you can provide more information about your store and what items are available for purchase. You can use tools like Shopify and BigCommerce to build a fully functioning e-commerce store without having to develop the entire thing yourself.
3. Start an Affiliate Marketing Business
You can use affiliate marketing to promote various products and websites. When a customer clicks a sponsored link or order form on a site such as Shopbop, Expedia, or Nike and makes a purchase, the affiliate marketing business gets a small commission. You don’t necessarily need to have your own products to be able to make money as an affiliate marketer. You can become a sales person for various companies, signing up to be an affiliate of various platforms such as Shopify and Amazon.
4. Start a Virtual Assistant Business
If you’re a fast, efficient typist who enjoys taking care of administrative tasks for businesses, you can start a virtual assistant business where you specialize in helping entrepreneurs and companies build their brands. Some of the jobs that you’ll be performing will include research, data entry, creating presentations, and answering emails. A virtual assistant business provides an opportunity to work remotely because you’ll be providing a service to businesses around the world. You can use platforms like JustSignal to find jobs that match your schedule (you’ll get paid per job, so you can control when you work and how much you charge).
The most lucrative opportunity with a virtual assistant business is when you’re helping small businesses grow their email lists. If you can get a few of these small businesses to buy your service and become a repeat customer, you can earn a decent amount of money without having to push a single button. You’ll simply need to show up, log some hours, and collect your money.
2 Ways to Lose Money Online
While making money is pretty straightforward, losing it is a different story. You can lose money online in a variety of ways, some of which are quite legitimate. Below, we’ll discuss two ways that you can lose money online.
1. Invest in Bad Securities
If you’re looking for the easy way out, you can invest in bad securities. There are numerous online brokers that offer a platform to trade stocks, options, and other securities. However, not all of these platforms are created equal. Some are perfectly legitimate, but a lot of the time, you’ll be facing shady deals and outright fraud. With that being said, it’s important to do your research and ensure that you’re not getting tricked. You’ll also need to watch out for all the boiler rooms that exist in a variety of fake facades (such as Charles Schwab’s ‘CRM’ and TD Ameritrade’s ‘TDAX’ platforms). Before you invest a penny in any securities, examine the brokers’ reputation, track record, and approach for making trades. With that in mind, here are a few questions you should ask before entering into any investment activity.
Does the company have a good reputation?
If you’re investing in the stock market, you’ll need to look into the broker’s reputation before making a purchase. One way to do this is through reviews that exist for each broker. You’ll want to look for both positive and negative reviews, as well as any general consensus. If possible, you should also try to contact the company directly to get more information on their reputation.
How is the customer support?
To start, you’ll want to know how forthcoming the broker is with customer support. Are they available 24/7? Do they have an emergency contact number that you can reach during business hours? Are there any complaints filed against the broker with regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority? If so, it may be a good idea to reconsider your investment. Finally, you’ll want to know how the broker handles situations involving complaints. Are they responsive? Are they willing to give you a full refund if you’re not satisfied with their service? The answers to these questions will go a long way in determining how much you should trust the stock broker’s advice and guidance.
Is the investment advice high-quality?
Just because a broker is giving you great investment advice doesn’t mean that it’s any good. You need to make sure that they are capable of providing top-notch advice before you put your trust in them and their judgment regarding your financial situation. Ask questions about the fundamentals of the investment, such as whether the company is a solid value play and whether there are any red flags in terms of the business’ financial health. You should also ask whether there are any restrictions on when and how the advisors can sell the securities they recommend. The answers to these questions will help determine whether the investment advice is worth following or whether it’s simply part of a money-get-rich-scheme. With that said, it is always a good idea to consult with a financial planner or an experienced stock broker before you make important investment choices.
Avoid Getting scammed
Getting scammed is never fun, but it’s more common than you think. The most effective way to avoid getting scammed is to be skeptical of unsolicited emails that offer supposed ‘insider information’ on certain stocks. This type of email is frequently used by scammers to trick investors into providing them with their login information and/or money. Keep your wits about you and don’t be fooled by questionable email spammers. Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Furthermore, be sure to read the small print on financial websites that offer stock tips or notifications of special offers. This is where most of the fraud happens because the small print tends to mention some of the darker tactics that certain money management companies may use to make money. The key is to be aware of what to look out for, and if something seems off, it probably is. Finally, remember that the stock market is a very risky place to invest your money. Do your homework and educate yourself about the risks before you plunge in. With that said, below are some basic rules that you should adhere to if you decide to enter the stock market: