It comes down to knowing your market and its potential before you get started. If you don’t know what is possible, or overestimate the actual return, you can spend years learning how wrong your early decisions were. That’s because you will have some encouraging success early on only to wake up later and realize it’s not what you want, and that you aren’t going to get there without painful and expensive (in time and money) changes. Changes, that with good, deep research, could have been avoided.
That being said though, if you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone, create value and work hard, there will always be a place for those type of people to succeed online. It’s often the people who want to make money online that approach it from a position of strength that ultimately succeed, trying to start a business out of a position of weakness and desperation is where I think a lot of people fail unfortunately.
For those with a large Twitter following, you can make money from your Tweets alone with Sponsored Tweets. You could be paid for sharing a business’s information, recommending restaurants or hotels, or tweeting pictures of you using or wearing products. As with all sponsored posts on social media, businesses will only be prepared to pay you to Tweet if you have a large following that you can influence. So work hard on building up a loyal fan base.

Before Sharpe ever came into close proximity with the internet marketing field, he was a construction worker. Needing a way to make ends meet, like millions of other people around the world, he turned to a field that could hopefully pay the bills. But try as he might, he was never able to actually get ahead. Until one day, when Sharpe discovered the amount of money being made online by internet marketers, his entire mindset changed.
When I saw the title “5 Harsh Realities of Making a Living Online” in my Google Reader I was very happy. I agree with you, not enough people talk about the fact that it’s NOT EASY. It takes a tremendous amount of time, effort and energy – and even then you are not guaranteed the results you want. It’s basically just as risky and time consuming as building a business in the “Real” world (i.e. not online.) For some reason, people think that being “online” makes it easier – but it doesn’t.

Most people need to take a step back and understand where money is even coming from on the web. Sharpe says that, when asked, most individuals don't actually even know how money is being made on a high level. How does Facebook generate its revenues? How about Google? How do high-trafficked blogs become so popular and how do they generate money from all of that traffic? Is there one way or many? 

If it’s not clear yet, information and expertise are two of the most consistent and lucrative ways to make extra money online. If you don’t like talking on the phone, you can sign up to get paid to answer professional questions on JustAnswer. There are thousands of questions being asked every month from people looking for help from lawyers, doctors, mechanics, vets, and more. To apply, you’ll need to supply your professional verification, resume, and a form of identification.
Michael Stelzner is founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, the world’s largest online social media magazine. He is author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers and the man behind large events, such as Social Media Marketing World (held in San Diego and a topic we’ll cover today) and Social Media Success Summit, the world’s largest online conference. If that’s not enough, he is also host of the Social Media Marketing podcast show, which is a iTunes Top 10 marketing podcast.

That being said though, if you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone, create value and work hard, there will always be a place for those type of people to succeed online. It’s often the people who want to make money online that approach it from a position of strength that ultimately succeed, trying to start a business out of a position of weakness and desperation is where I think a lot of people fail unfortunately.
“I always point people to the article ‘1,000 True Fans’ by Kevin Kelly. If you choose your thousand ideal customers or readers properly and find the single author blog that targets that audience, you never have to do any more marketing. You’re done. That is a lesson that very few product developers and marketers have learned, and it’s unfortunate.”
You could also opt to use existing websites for making money. These include both active income and passive income methods. For example, you could sell some used items or invest in creating some digital designs that then can be sold on merchandise. Again, devote a sizable portion of your time to passive income so that you can slowly build up earnings that will arrive on autopilot without any extra added effort. 
Teespring is a great website to start your t-shirt business. They have a great designing editor and a list of active buyers who are seeking to buy best possible shirts. Once you design your shirt, you can upload it on Teespring, they will adjust as per your variants and size of your offerings. Once it goes live, you will have a limited number of dates to sell a particular desired quantity.
The harsh reality and truth is that in order to make substantial amounts of money online, you need to deliver real value. You need to contribute something meaningful to the world rather than looking for ways you’ll achieve instant wealth and riches. By no means does it happen overnight. And it doesn’t happen by signing up to some internet marketer’s “proven” system. It happens slowly and painfully over time.
When I saw the title “5 Harsh Realities of Making a Living Online” in my Google Reader I was very happy. I agree with you, not enough people talk about the fact that it’s NOT EASY. It takes a tremendous amount of time, effort and energy – and even then you are not guaranteed the results you want. It’s basically just as risky and time consuming as building a business in the “Real” world (i.e. not online.) For some reason, people think that being “online” makes it easier – but it doesn’t.
Why am I telling you all of this? The answer is pretty simple. I want you to get the understanding that making money online (at least in the initial stages), takes A LOT of STUDY and WORK! That's the unknown secret of Internet Marketing Gurus. Anyone can make a few hundred dollars. To be quite honest, you can make a few hundred dollars in your FIRST MONTH as a Freebie Trader. To be even MORE honest, it's much harder to profit $2,000+ each and every month, which is the reason I built this blog, and so many other people have their blogs on Internet Marketing – To save you the struggles that we had in getting going.
I thought I was the only chick that read this. Funny I told a friend about his blog. He read some articles and was hyped up at first but after a few days, he lost motivation and went on about how much of a dick you seemed to be. I saw that as an excuse and din’t bother with him anymore. I choose not to hang out with people that do not have the same mindset as I do. I’m building my brand and company, and you can either come along with me or move!!!
Great list! Another suggestion would be transcribing. Transcribing really requires very little skill or capital to get started. You can sign up with companies like Elance and Odesk to find jobs OR reach straight out to producers of audio content to see if they need help. With the huge trend in podcasting a great place to start would be by perusing iTunes for podcast shows that may need help turning their audio podcast episodes into text for their website or “show notes.”
WOW, this post sums up exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. Being about 1 year into the internet marketing game I have found that time is definitely a critical asset. What you save in money will definitely cost you in time AND in order to succeed there is a certain number of hours required in preparation. No shortcuts! I could “amen” this post all day.
Hey [NAME], love what you’re doing on [Insert Platform]. My name is [Your Name] and I’m the head of SEO at [Your Agency]. I noticed that you have a large following on [Platform], but I wanted to give you a heads up that you’re missing out on approximately [INSERT TRAFFIC ESTIMATE] website visitors every month. Can I send you a quick video showing you how you can capture this traffic you’re missing out on?

Writing copy for websites is another great freelancing option for those who have a way with words. Copywriting can involve writing the text for websites, press releases, promotional offline materials including leaflets and brochures, and any other professional text for businesses. Writing copy can be better paid than blog writing. However, clients can be more fussy, as they want the highest quality writing for the forefront of their website or advertising campaigns. Many freelance writers offer both copywriting and blog writing amongst their services. This can be a good way to juggle regular but lower paid clients (blogging) with the higher paid but ad-hoc project based copy work.

I knew about this post already because I was on your “private” webinar and signed up for your course. I am really looking forward to getting rolling with you! I know you’re moderating these comments so if you do allow this to go public I would say to anyone who reads this, who is signing up for the webinar to ABSOLUTELY sign up for your course!! It is a very much needed service to a lot of people searching for answers to how to do it right online (no I don’t get paid for that). Thanks for your always informative and straight shooting insights.


When you're selling information, you aren't really in the business of selling information. You're in the business of transforming lives (doesn't matter what your niche is, the end result is to inspire your client to act on your advice, even if you give advice on landscaping) - and charging high prices is one way of making sure that a higher percentage of people will benefit from your advice and value it more.
For the most part, everything is online and I don’t need to meet any of these men. That’s the way I like it. But there was one guy, who’d randomly send me $1,000 a month, and I actually got together with him. He lived in London and got sent to New York for six weeks. We met and he fucking fell in love with me. I stayed with him in his apartment in Chelsea. He paid when we went out to do things. We slept in the same bed and I made out with him when I was drunk, but it was clear that we were not going to have sex. He didn’t give me cash in New York, but as soon as he got back to London, he completely wiped out my Amazon wish list, which had like $6,000 worth of stuff on it. He bought me everything.

I used to have fun doing surveys while I watched TV. I was choosy about the companies I used and I never paid to sign up for any. I got about $25 in free BlockBuster movie coupons, cashed out about $25 from another site and did an in house project trial where a company sent me to full size body lotions to use and record information about. I had fun, felt like my input was improving the business world, but I wasn’t looking to get rich quick, just earn a little bit in time that typically wasted. Some survey companies pay very little, others pay better. Of course, it is not fair to the businesses conducting the research to lie in order to qualify for a survey and they certainly deserve honest and thoughtful answers to their questions. The companies I worked with told me how much the survey would pay and how long it would it would take. Research for the reputable companies.

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